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1  Re: Summer Ninni Swap 2016 - GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Ludi on: August 18, 2016 08:34:36 AM
I received this unique zipper-lipped flower-devouring Ninni from teag - with a cute card!

Thank you teag, I love her, she's the perfect small size I prefer.  Plus fun to zip and unzip.  Cheesy
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2  Re: Hoopla A-Long 2013-until the END OF TIME in Needlework: Stitchalongs by Ludi on: August 08, 2016 09:45:17 AM
In spite of being very uninspired to craft lately, I realized that trees inspire me, so I stitched this little apple tree:

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3  Re: Summer Nerd Games: June 1 - August 31, 2016 ~*Join Anytime*~ in Craftalongs by Ludi on: July 24, 2016 10:55:11 AM
Research Project Name: Strange Doll "Medusa"
Team: Analog
Medal Event: Craftology
Bonus Points: (include which Bonus Points you think you've earned, e.g., Engineering, Giver, Community, etc.) None?
Project Link: (if available) http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=449760.new#new
Brief Description: (how it fits the requirements, pattern/techniques used, any fun tips, etc.) Polymer clay head, glass eyes, padded wire body with embroidery floss wrapped hands and stitched feet and tentacles, silk tunic and trousers, glass bead pearl necklace. For suereal in the Strange Doll Swap.
Project Picture:

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4  Medusa in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Ludi on: July 24, 2016 10:48:41 AM
For suereal in the Strange Doll Swap.  suereal requested an androgynous character, and Medusa can be of any gender.   Approximately 6 inches tall (I forgot to measure)

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5  Re: Strange Doll Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Ludi on: July 24, 2016 10:45:51 AM
It's been a month since I sent and I haven't heard from suereal (I'm worried!), so here's the doll I sent her, entitled "Medusa." suereal requested an androgynous character, and Medusa can be of any gender.   Approximately 6 inches tall (I forgot to measure)

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6  Re: Embroidery Nerdgasm!! in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by Ludi on: July 23, 2016 12:50:22 PM
Tracked down another painting, "The Thames at Westminster," 1904:

and a sketch for a war charity, 1916:

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7  Re: Strange Doll Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Ludi on: July 13, 2016 03:18:43 PM
I received a stunning package from suereal.

This Cheshire Yokai doll, with many eyes, snaggly teeth, and triple tail:

And extra dolls!

Frankenstein monster figure:

This creepy snakey baby doll with closing eyes:

She fits in the tiny coffin Wulf made!

Thank you so much suereal!  I feel bad that I only sent you the one tiny doll....

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8  Re: Embroidery Nerdgasm!! in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by Ludi on: July 08, 2016 10:53:05 AM
Found another reference to Ernest's embroidery, in this little booklet from 1968. It mentions the kneelers he stitched, but doesn't mention him!

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9  Re: Embroidery Nerdgasm!! in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by Ludi on: July 02, 2016 04:51:07 AM
It's mostly stuff you already know, with a few more gossipy tidbits.  I was really quite disappointed, to be honest.  It seems as though the author doesn't really know his subject; he claims Ernest is "Largely remembered today for a series of films he made in Hollywood in the 1930s."  Just two films, not "a series."  He gets that very simple fact wrong - can we expect much accuracy in the rest of the article? I am especially disappointed by his cherry-picking of so many disparaging comments about Ernest, and promoting them as though that was the general impression everyone had of him.   Sad

The saddest thing in the article was that the author was not able to locate any existing embroidery by Ernest.  Of course, given he was not aware of all the examples of Ernest's other artwork, we can't know if he looked very hard.  I retain hope that some piece of Ernest's embroidery will eventually surface.

And just for the heck of it, here's a photo of Ernest with Gladys Cooper.  Easily mistaken for each other, don't you think?

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10  Re: Embroidery Nerdgasm!! in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by Ludi on: July 01, 2016 02:10:37 PM
I wrote a little book report  Smiley

The University of Bristol Theatre Collection, which houses the Ernest Thesiger Archive, reports much recent interest in Ernest.  One result of this interest is an article by Joseph McBrinn in the current issue of TEXT, the journal of the UK Textile Society, entitled Ernest Thesiger Expert Embroiderer.  http://www.textilesociety.org.uk/text-journal/text-back-issues.php

Not surprisingly, McBrinn focuses on Thesigers outlandish personality and behavior, one remarkable aspect of which was his insistence on carrying his needlework with him wherever he went.  McBrinn seems to take a somewhat negative tack in his discussion of Ernests impression on his contemporaries, including opinions from people who found him bizarre and even frightening, rather than those who found him charming and funny.  Regarding Thesigers penchant for female costume, McBrinn leaps to an odd conclusion his fondness for female impersonation often led him to be compared to, if not mistaken for, the actresses Violet Vanbrugh and Gladys Cooper. The comparison to Cooper, at least, derives from a story told by Ernest himself.  Its implausible that he, with his caricature-like physiognomy, could be mistaken for the famous beauty.  McBrinn comments on Thesigers open homosexuality, yet claims Any reference to homosexuality is omitted from the two volumes of published and unpublished memoirs he completed in 1927 and in 1955.  This is not strictly accurate; in his 1927 memoir Practically True, Thesiger gives a subtle account of the attempt by author Samuel Butler to seduce him when he was a youth:  The next time I met this Mr. Butler was at a garden-party at Lambeth Palace, and he spent the afternoon filling me with ices and strawberries and cream.  We met several times after that, and he was always extraordinarily friendly and kind, and had his appearance been less repugnant to me I should have completely succumbed to his charm.

McBrinn points out that Thesiger holds the place as the most famous male figure in the history of English embroidery, and yet, sadly, apparently none of his embroidery work survives.  McBrinn continues with more commentary about Thesigers life, saying that much of what is known about him is, in many respects, gossip.  McBrinn does little to repair this sad state of affairs, gossiping about Thesigers marriage to Janette Ranken, his friendship with Queen Mary, and his relationship with Janettes brother William.  No new light is shed on this relationship, which remains in the realm of speculation, although it is mentioned as significant in the context of the article because it was William who apparently introduced Thesiger to the craft of embroidery.

The article continues with a discussion of the Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Industry, which Ernest helped found after WW1, and then on to comments about Ernests ecclesiastical embroidery work, all of which appears to be lost, the publication of Thesigers book Adventures in Embroidery, and his later  appearances promoting embroidery in various media.

McBrinn states Throughout his long and productive life Ernest Thesiger was dismissed as effeminate, camp and frivolous.  This is, I feel,  a rather negative conclusion and differs from the impression I have received from my investigations into his life.  I find it to be the interpretation of critics from our own time.  In his day, Thesiger was a highly regarded figure on the stage, one of the most popular comic actors of his time, while simultaneously being a much-publicized eccentric.  McBrinn continues But his commitment to embroidery is undeniable and his life and work deserve to be much better documented.  Given that the centenary of the Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Industry is only a few years away surely it is time for a proper reassessment of this inimitable figure and his context.  I heartily agree and am doing my best to forward this documentation. 

In the notes, McBrinn claims that, aside from a watercolor in the Victoria and Albert Museum, The only other surviving work by Thesiger is a painted copy of an Aubusson carpet for the dining room and two miniature paintings of Italianate landscapes for the library in Queen Marys Dolls House.  This is inaccurate as there are many surviving examples of Ernests drawing and painting  as can be seen on The Artist page of the Ernest Thesiger website.

Im happy to see an article about Ernest appear in a journal of this kind, though I have reservations about McBrinns unoriginal repetition of a stereotypical interpretation of Ernests life.  Im also critical of McBrinns choice to use references which contain errors, such as Eccentrics of Comedy.

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