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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bristol Embroideries on: November 02, 2013 10:01:51 AM
These are my latest stitches,  both Bristol (UK based).  Painting the background and then embroidering over the top is a new technique for me.  Ive always had a tendency to fill everything in, but this makes the details quite hard to spot.  By painting the background it means I can concentrate on those details and Im really happy with the result. 

The first is this embroidery of an altered pedestrian Crossing on Park Street Bristol

The second is a detail of a particularly fine pub/hotel in Old Market Bristol.  I really liked the carvings on this one and, although Ive had to use a bit of creative license, I am very happy with the result.

Do let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions of how I can improve (bearing in mind Im not the best painter!).
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bruce Springsteen project. on: April 01, 2013 06:52:16 AM
Hi all,

Some of you might have already seen bits of this on the big stitch along 2012 etc, well Ive finally finished it.  I started in Jan/Feb 2012 with Asbury Park and finished it in early March 2013 (ironically the last one to be finished was asbury Park.)
Basically its my four favourite Springsteen album covers.  I probably would have chosen Tunnel of Love over Born in the USA, but was influenced by the fact Bruce's bum seemed easier to embroider than his face!
Here are the four together

And Ive taken some individual shots as well (sadly only on my camera phone so they arent the best)
Asbury Park:

Born to Run:

Darkness on the Edge of town (probably my favourite)

AND... Born in the USA:

I cheated a bit on this one and used some Chambray for his jeans.  Couldnt quite face blocking all that in.
I am happy that I managed to complete such a large project in a year; as I am famous for getting distracted and never finishing projects.  I would probably not have used the beads on Asbury Park if I made it again.  Likewise I might have been tempted to paint the individual letters rather than embroidering them as I dont feel that I capture enough of the detail.  However, I have framed it up in a very suitable 12" box frame and I am very happy with it over all.  I cant wait to hang it up!

Anyway please let me know what you think and any suggestions you might have.  And of course I hope you like it!
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroideries of Kent on: October 13, 2012 03:04:02 AM

My latest two makes. Recently I have been working on a few home projects.  Home in this case being the county where I grew up, Kent.  I have been meaning to work on some projects along these lines for atleast the last two years.  You see in Kent we have all sorts of lovely churches, landscapes and unusual buildings.  In my first project, which was possibly quite ambitious I have sought to capture a night scene of the iconic windmill in the heart of my home town.  I borrowed the colour palette from Van Gogh as I wasnt sure how to capture the building in the night.  It was quite a freestyle piece as I only made a very basic sketch to work from.  I also adapted my source image by removing the high buildings on Stone Street as they cut the left hand side off the piece and made that side look too heavy. My second home piece is of the fields looking across to Horsmonden Church and the Oasts there.  Horsmonden church is quite unusual in the fact that it is located some way from the village of Horsmonden.  There are various reasons thrown around for this.  It also happens to be a stereotypical view of Kent I guess because of its prominent oast houses.  I actually really enjoyed creating this piece, again from a brief sketch.  I am very happy with the way the field and foliage have come out and I think the oasthouses are particularly cute.  If an oasthouse can be cute!  My final project is crossing the border into East Sussex (not really very far from me at all) and hopes to capture Rye.  Ill keep you updated!
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Abundance of Embroidery thread craftalong-2011 Ongoing on: December 11, 2011 12:29:12 PM

I would like to harness fellow embroiderers/cross stitchers in a mission to rid/lower our supplies of certain overstocked colours (so that we can have room to purchase more) Wink.

My hope for this stitch along is that we can inspire each other with themes and creations so that we can all have perfect thread selections.
We can also admire each others lovely work.

Who is with me?
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / bits and pieces... on: December 09, 2011 06:21:32 AM
Hey all,
I havent had proper internet access for around 6 months and although I havent been terribly constructive I do have a few things to share so without further waffling here is where I am at (apologies for some of the photo quality they are taken on my mobile)
First of all is this little embroidery of a blue tit in an ornate birdcage.  It started life destined for the hoopla swap, but as my partner dropped out I decided to finish it for my self.  I still need to finish the back, but like most creative types I am terrible at finishing projects.

The colours and detail probably are nicer in person, but you get the idea..
Then I have two works in progress
The Tiger Who Came to Tea (based on one of my favourite childrens books)

Ive actually progressed a little further than this, but obviously forgot to take an up to date photograph before I left my flat for home.  So I will get an update posted Asap.  Ive always loved this book and the illustrations and have often had it on my interests for the hoopla swaps and so I decided after I finished the birdcage I would create one for myself.
Finally there is this little piece

I am not a massive fan of slogans, but I was inspired by some christmas cookies (yes I know :S) to do an embroidered slogan in their style.  Of course I managed to make the font too small to put 'sprinkles' on :S.  However I dont know whether to introduce some colour with some french knots in the background in various colours.... what do you think?
It will eventually read 'Oh Hello' just takes me time to finish these things...  Cheesy
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / sailor jerry swallow on: June 05, 2010 10:45:05 AM
Heres what Ive been working on (very on and off) for the last few weeks.  Its based on one of Sailor Jerry's designs.  Im considering putting my name on the banner and then making it into a purse.  However I dont have access to my sewing machine until July so it will have to wait to be completed.  Im quite proud of the french knot cloud, however they obscure a little bit of the detail and make it very hard to photograph.  My camera would have a clear shot and then when it focussed it would be blurry (so frustrating).  On with the pictures...

A bit of detail:

Overall (rather blurred)

Thanks for looking.

7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Portrait with a klimtesque background on: January 09, 2010 12:47:44 PM
I finally finished... ish.  I'm not entirely satisfied with our eyes they look a little cartoony and I still am in two minds as to whether to add flowers to my hair, but for now it is finished.
It took me about 4 weeks to complete (spread over about half a year).  I did the majority of the faces in September, the background in a week in October and then the rest of it on the saturday gone!  I think all the greens and flesh tones put me off which meant it took a lot of effort to pick it up and not so much to put it down!  The piece is mainly made up for split stitch and satin stitch so not very inventive, but I am happy with the outcome.
Hope it is of some interest and comments and suggestions (over flowers and maybe ideas on how to decartoon the eyes) would be greatly appreciated.

On the wall

I need to clean the glass..
And another one for good measure.

I completed this piece with support from the big stitchalong so many thanks to them.
Thanks for looking.

8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidered bull on: September 14, 2009 02:11:49 PM
I found this image/the inspiration for this image somewhere on the internet, but have since lost the source.  I believe it was on a tea towel originally? Anyways I saw it and liked it and so thought I would copy it in a simplified way.  It kind of reminds me of Ferdinand the bull what with it being a bull who likes to smell flowers.  So without further waffling here it is:

and here is an attempt at a close up.

I was slightly more adventurous with my stitches this time adding french knots to the mix.  The piece was completed in under a week with the aid of a lot of Deadwood episodes!
Comments etc are always appreciated.
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Autumn in Bavaria (another Kandinsky) on: September 14, 2009 02:02:24 PM
Here is my interpretation of Kandinsky's Autumn in Bavaria.  The real version can be seen here:http://web.sbu.edu/theology/bychkov/kandinsky_autumn_inbavaria08.jpg
Here is my version:

(this photograph is not wonderful where the colours are concerned so Ill try to get another with natural light after work tomorrow)
Its pretty much all done in split stitch, satin stitch and a tiny amount of long and short and chain stitch.  It took a couple of months to complete but only because I got bored of all the fiddily colour changing.  I ended up finishing it over the summer holiday, which was rather fitting as I was in Bavaria and visiting lots of art galleries with Kandinsky (and other artists from the Blaue Reiter group) on display.  Having toured the Bavarian art galleries I have decided I prefer Gabrielle Muenter's works so maybe she will be part of my next project (once work calms down).
I hope its of some interest to you all.
10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Mnster Opera House on: July 21, 2009 05:16:27 AM
This piece is my embroidered interpretation of Mnster Opera House; the source photo which I used can be found on this site 5 pictures down from the top of this article:
The inspiration for this piece came from my German history course on Music, Citizenship and Nation.  I happened to see a photograph of Mnster Opera House and thought it would be interesting to embroider.   I feel the building expresses hopefulness for the future, with its clean, pure design, whilst acknowledging the past, shown by encorporating the older bomb damaged building into the modern design.  The design is also bold because it moves away from the traditional designs for Opera Houses in Germany.
As the photograph was black and white it provided me with the freedom to choose my own interpretation of the colours of the surrounding buildings.  I felt bright colours would compliment the predominantly white opera house.  I also did not refer to the photo after my initial sketch so that I could interpret the road and blank areas in my own way rather than trying to copy the photograph too closely.
Anyway I hope the piece is of interest to you.


I was having a little trouble with my camera and with the sunlight reflecting on the glass.  Also it clearly needs some pressing!
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