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Topic: Embroidered portrait of The Twins  (Read 12502 times)
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carolynjane
« on: October 05, 2004 09:49:43 AM »

Hello Everyone,
I have been lurking here for over a month and finally got up enough nerve to post a picture of my latest embroidery project which was inspired by Jenny Hart -- my "embroidery idol". I happened across Jenny's web site over a year ago and was completely mesmerized by her embroidered portraits. I decided then to create one of my own based on a photo of my beloved twin sister Marilyn and myself when we were around 5 or 6. It measures 18 inches by 18 inches.

Here it is:



I got to meet Jenny at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago last month and it was such a thrill for me to get to "talk shop" with her. She is one amazing young woman and I can't believe I had the good fortune to finally meet her.

I have been embroidering since I was in high school (I turn 51 this month) and feel like I've found a whole new way to express myself with needle and floss since coming upon Jenny's portraits. (Do I sound like a groupie or what?)  Smiley

I hope you like the portrait.

Carolyn
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"Life is just one grand sweet song, so start the music."
marnewein
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2004 09:53:19 AM »

Absolutely beautiful!  What will you do with the finished piece?
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raveneyeannie
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2004 10:17:49 AM »

Your embroidery is so exquisitely GORGEOUS that I am just amazed.  I think you are incredibly talented and have a great eye for all the little extras that make your portrait perfect...down to the crayola boxes and starry background. Bee-yoo-ti-ful! 
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michaelasmom
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2004 10:45:14 AM »

Your work is amazing!

I'd love to do a portrait series for my grandmother, but I am a little intimidated.  I am in awe of your work.  And I agree, the little details are what really sets it apart!
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tinafish
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2004 11:08:22 AM »

my oh my oh my...that looks just beatiful.  Shocked how time comsuming that must have been!! i love it! you did a wonderful job
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xmelinda
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2004 11:17:05 AM »

Wow, Carolyn, that is just amazing.  It's BEAUTIFUL.  I am in awe!

I first saw Jenny's portraits a long time ago, too, in ReadyMade, and was totally enthralled with them.  I wouldn't even know how to begin something like this.  I think of my embroidering as just fiddling around, but something like this is ART.  Did you draw the whole thing out first?  How did you do it?  It's gorgeous.  I love the scrollwork and dots and flowers at the bottom, and I love how there's 2 of everything.

Melinda
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isadora
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2004 01:08:11 PM »

It's SPECTACULAR! I am in awe of your talent! It's really just wonderful and unique. I love Jenny's portraits, too! And I met her at last year's fair. Sadly, I didn't make it this year!

I would love to do something like that but it's FAR beyond my skill set! Perhaps you could give us some pointers on how you put it together?
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ilovepaper
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2004 01:12:38 PM »

i saw your work on jenny's site, it's gorgeous.
glad you came out of lurking, nice work.
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carolynjane
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2004 01:43:14 PM »

Absolutely beautiful!  What will you do with the finished piece?

Thank you so much! I am planning on making it a wall hanging by putting wooden dowels on the top and bottom and maybe adding some tassels too. Haven't quite settled on the best way to do it.

Carolyn
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"Life is just one grand sweet song, so start the music."
carolynjane
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2004 02:13:57 PM »

Wow, Carolyn, that is just amazing.  It's BEAUTIFUL.  I am in awe!

I first saw Jenny's portraits a long time ago, too, in ReadyMade, and was totally enthralled with them.  I wouldn't even know how to begin something like this.  I think of my embroidering as just fiddling around, but something like this is ART.  Did you draw the whole thing out first?  How did you do it?  It's gorgeous.  I love the scrollwork and dots and flowers at the bottom, and I love how there's 2 of everything.

Melinda

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful feedback. Big, big sigh... I can't draw worth a darn  (but I'm learning), so here's how I created the portrait:

I scanned a 5x7 inch photo of my sister and me. (the small picture of me to the left is half of the original photo)

I took the scanned photo and cropped it into two photos - one of me and one of my sis.

I took the two photos and inserted them in Word Documents and, keeping the proportions accurate, stretched the photos out to fill the entire 8x11 paper and printed out the now big pictures.

Then I took a fine-point black felt tip pen and drew over the basic shapes - face, hair, eyes, lips, nose - as best as I could on the pictures I printed out.

Next I used a light box (a window on a sunny day works too) and  traced my felt tip pen drawing onto the fabric. This was the hardest part because I wasn't sure what kind of pen/pencil to use on the fabric. I ended up using a quilters gray/sliver marking pencil but the lead kept breaking and it took a long time.

The rest of the images and "The Twins" were traced on the fabric using a fine-point blue wash-away marking pen. Note: the blue wash-away pens you buy at Wal-Mart are not fine-point and they leave a line that is too heavy (for me at least). I found a fine-point wash-away marking pen at a local fabric store.

I used 100% cotton unbleached muslin fabric and I DOUBLED the fabric so that all my knots and stray threads would not show through to the front. The next time, I may try using some tear-away backing as well. (Using double fabric did not present any problem when I started embroidering.)

And that's how I did it!  Smiley  It was a lot of fun!

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"Life is just one grand sweet song, so start the music."
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