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21  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidered portraits - Herzog, Sellers, Bacall, Andula on: October 20, 2010 02:32:04 AM
It has been a while, Craftster! I kind of forgot about this place and it is so nice to come back and see all the awesome stuff people have been stitching.

Lately I have challenged myself to do more portraits since they can be so difficult in terms of keeping the faces recognisable and, well, human looking. So here are a few of my recent projects, let me know what you think.

Werner Herzog

For some reason he is coming up really low quality so you can't see the stitches, so go to my Flickr/Etsy if you would like to see him in better resolution. Anyway I think this is my best work so far, it has definitely been one of the most time-consuming. I <3 Herzog films.

Peter Sellers

Dr Strangelove + Lolita... need I say more? Just a nice simple black portrait.

Lauren Bacall:

This was kind of an experiment to see how it would look on grey. I added the white eyes because the lips dominated the piece too much otherwise. However, it is a bit... startling? I think in the future I will try just doing simple black portraits on this colour fabric.


I adapted this portrait from a movie poster for "Loves of a Blonde" aka "A Blonde in Love" by Milos Forman. The character is called Andula, I highly recommend to film to anyone who is into new wave/the sixties. Anyway I am happy with how this turned out, was originally going to add some black into the hair for shadows/depth but decided it would have more impact if only the face and neck had black stitching.

Well, I hope you like my work. Comments and criticism are VERY welcome. Now I am off to look at what everyone else has been up to while I was gone....
22  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Re: Help me to re-create my great-grandmother's beaded wedding headpiece on: May 22, 2010 06:28:46 AM
Thanks a lot for your reply, it's great to hear someone elses thoughts and I will take your advice on leaving the edges til last  Smiley
23  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Help me to re-create my great-grandmother's beaded wedding headpiece on: May 20, 2010 05:50:00 AM

This is a picture of my grandpa's parents on their wedding day, back in the 1920s. The groom was a tailor, and he met the bride because she was a bead embroiderer by trade and was often used by his company. My grandpa said she probably made the headpiece in the photo herself, but unfortunately we don't know what happened to it.

So I thought it would be great if I could re-create one to wear at my wedding (years in the future when I have a fiance), and pass it down to the next generation of our family.

The problem is: I have never done any bead embroidery. I do normal embroidery among other crafts, but never anything to do with beads. So, I have no idea how to even start such a project.

Since I am totally new to bead embroidering, I would love any input and advice from more experienced beaders.

Here are a few of the issues I am unsure about:

1 - What to construct the headpiece from -

Presumably I will need to cut the shape from something stiff like card, and attach the embroidery to it after I have done the beading? I have no idea what materials to use for this and how to go about attaching it whilst keeping it neat and professional looking.

2 - How to make it wearable -

I can see the shape and how to do the beading etc, but how does it stay on the forehead like that? Would it have some kind of strap that goes around the head like the band of a hat? Or attach the sides to an alice-band? Other??

3 - Size and proportions -

I am afraid of making something and then realising that it looks too big or tall. Perhaps there is some way to measure the face to get the proportions right for something like this?

4 - The bead embroidery itself -

I've bought some beads and thread to practice with on a pre-made disc of silk. I will look up techniques on how to do the actual bead embroidering online, but any links to tutorials or tips you can provide would be much appreciated. For instance, would you start with the outlines of patterns and then fill in? Leave the edges till last or do them first? Would you do it all in a simple backstitch or are there better techniques for something like this? Any ideas on what kind of beads they are in the original, what sizes? Do they all look like beads or do you think some of them are sequins/rhinestones/other? Here is a close up picture:

My plan is to make a mock-up using cheaper materials first before making a real version with high quality beads. There is no rush since neither I nor my sister is engaged or will be for a few years, but I would like to get started on it soon.

Thanks a lot for reading if you stuck with me this far, I know I wrote a lot  Smiley This project means a lot to me so any help or input would be hugely appreciated.
24  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Cross Stitch on: February 05, 2010 02:11:55 PM
Oh hey, I'm the weirdo that just favourited most of the photos of your cat on Flickr. I think I have a cat-crush on Shampoo. You can't technically be a crazy cat girl unless you own a cat yourself though. At least I tell myself that.

ANYWAY, this is awesome. I love that you chose something pretty obscure from the book rather than going with the obvious. I hope you're going to hang this on your bathroom door.
25  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Moomintrolls on: May 08, 2009 08:56:11 AM
Yayyyyy! I lovelovelove the Moomins! I've been meaning to embroider them myself at some point, but there is always a gift that I need to make for someone else first.

Anyway, great job, it really does look just like the Tove Jansson illustrations, and I love that you kept it black and white. It will look wonderful framed on the wall. I want one  Cheesy
26  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Embroidered Baby Sampler for a Doting Grandad on: May 03, 2009 04:36:02 PM
He is going to LOVE this! I know I do  Smiley
Aw, thank you so much  Cheesy
27  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Starfish for my mom on: May 02, 2009 01:07:35 PM
Wow this is gorgeous, so classic and simple. May I ask what the framing method was? It looks great and quite easy to do.
28  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Embroidered Baby Sampler for a Doting Grandad on: May 02, 2009 01:06:13 PM
You're too hard on yourself! This is lovely! What a sweet and meaningful gift. Smiley
Haha thank you  Cheesy I'm just eager to improve my skills, but you're probably right that I should cut myself a little slack.
29  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Embroidered Baby Sampler for a Doting Grandad on: April 30, 2009 07:26:50 AM
Thanks for all the feedback everyone, it's really great to get some reassurance. I always feel rather self-conscious of my mistakes even when they are small, so it helps a lot to get encouragement from you guys  Smiley
30  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidered Baby Sampler for a Doting Grandad on: April 29, 2009 02:37:33 PM
My mum's boyfriend became a grandad last year and he is absolutely enamoured with his new grandson. I wanted to make him a nice gift for Christmas/his birthday/everything and was inspired by LilyVanilli's amazingly beautiful baby sampler. I wanted to make something similar, but was challenged by the fact that this was to be a gift to go in the grandad's house, not in a nursery. He wouldn't want anything feminine or cutesy with pastel colours and cute animals.

This is how I decided to combine his two favourite things: his new grandson, and Chelsea Football Club. I drew up a design including the baby's birth information, the Chelsea logo, a football on some grass, and filled in the dead space with 'bubbles' which I thought were just cutesy enough to be suitable for a baby sampler. Once I drew up the transfer I decided to make the lowest bubbles into flowers by drawing in stems, and at the last minute I added in petals and leaves to make it clearer that they weren't balloons or bubbles with tails.

This is how it came out in the end:

The writing on the logo was a challenge. The 'Chelsea' part came out well, but the smaller font was much fiddlier and if I did it again I would use less strands (oh the joys of hindsight).

The regular text worked great though, and the font seemed to match with the baby sampler theme:

In this close-up you can see some of the stitches I used to do the 'bubbles' in different shades of pale green and blue. You can also see the fiddly little icons which are part of the logo (the red flower and football), which were very difficult to sew and came out rather uneven when you compare the 2 sides of the logo - oh well!

Here is a close up of some of the flowers, which came out much better than I had anticipated. I used different shades of green for the stems to make them stand out from the grass. You can also see that I ventured with a new stitch, taking the "checkered chain" element from LilyVanilli's sampler and using it as my border. I had trouble deciding what colours to do, and decided to use similar colours to the logo to tie the whole thing together. I'm not 100% happy with it, but once it's in a frame I don't think the border will stand out so much anyway, so I'm not too disappointed. I am proud to have learnt a new stitch though, and it was surprisingly easy (if you want to learn it, the video on the Needle'N'Thread website taught me to do it in just a few minutes). I need to take more care to make my stitches even, and would definitely do the checkered chain smaller next time. I've been embroidering for over a year now but I'm still learning  Smiley

Finally, here is a close up of the football (or 'soccer ball'). The satin stitch didn't make for nice crisp hexagons, so I went around the edges with a stitch for each side to tidy it up. The result is a happy accident in my opinion - the ball looks cuter with the slightly rounded hexagons. You can see in this picture the trouble I had stitching the tiny letters - the 'B' in 'club' should have some blue in the middle but I couldn't fit it in. That will teach me to outline small details in two different colours (the logo has white letters with a gold outline on a blue background).

I decided not to fill in the logo because I didn't want the dark blue to overpower the whole thing.

Overall I am very pleased with the outcome, and I think it will be a big hit with my family, especially the recipient. Despite a few flaws, the design really came together. I love the way the flowers and 'bubbles' look, the logo is clearly recognisable, the text is legible, and I think it is just masculine enough to be displayed on the wall in my mum's boyfriend's house.

Comments and critiques welcome, as well as any advice you have for improving on my mistakes  Wink
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