Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A Spider's Touch

I have been looking at poetry and nursery rhymes and how bugs and insects, particularly spiders are portrayed in them. The Spider's Touch a poem by Alexander Pope (1688-1744)caught my eye. The thought of a spider's touch sends shivers down my spine but it is fascinating that sitting on fine threads they feel everything. One slight movement and they are on their prey in seconds! This piece is going to be part of a bigger hand embroidery of spider poetry and nursery rhymes. It is funny how sometimes things we fear often fascinate us!

Monday, 27 April 2009

A moth and a caterpillar

After spending time yesterday with my very upset parents my wonderful husband knew I needed to loose myself in my embroidery and took charge of the kids and the house work! I was very angry and needed to relax and embroidery always does that for me. I didn't feel like listening to the pounding of my machine so set about working two small hand embroideries on my moths theme this time however introducing a caterpillar too. The moth sample is worked in buttonhole stitch, buttonhole bars and backstitch on tissue silk hand painted with watered down silk dye and silk net. The caterpillar is worked in buttonhole stitch and backstitch on hessian and scrim. I think both ideas are worthy of developing into larger pieces.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Free Resources and Flickr Update!

I have just added a Free Resources section to the Hand Embroidery Network my aim is to make the network not only somewhere you can chat too other like minded people about embroidery but a great resource for inspiration, free projects, opportunities for embroidery and textiles artists across the globe and reviews and articles about embroidery related topics. A bit ambitious you might say but just my enthusiasm for something I love and for an old tradition with a contemporary twist!

I am continuing to add images to my online portfolio on flickr this includes paintings, embroidery, photographs, drawings and sketchbooks its a slow process but its getting there. The above image is one of my favourite paintings Oriental Poppies I did another version of this for my mum on her 60th birthday.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Extreme Close-Up

I thought I would post this close up picture of the free machine embroidery that I worked on in the video below. It gives you an idea of how the stitches look. I planning on producing another video this weekend on the same project and a further one on basic hand embroidery stitches.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

New Administrator, New Project, New Videos

Just a quick update on the Hand Embroidery Network, Arlee Barr a mixed media textile artist from Calgary, Alberta has joined me as an administrator and will be helping me with setup and content. Arlee has been involved with textile arts for 47 years and produces some amazing pieces which you can see on the network or on her design journal here she has also added her very cool 80's lady pattern to the free projects section so check it out! There are also some new video demonstrations of hand embroidery stitches by Marisa Landa-Love an embroidery artist from Camarillo, CA United States. Marisa is skilled in Brazilian embroidery techniques and you can view her videos on the network here. A big thanks to both of them for helping me with the network! If you haven't joined the network yet, why not?

Monday, 20 April 2009

New Embroidery Video Tutorial / Demo

Over the weekend I have done another small video on beginning free machine embroidery. The video shows how to use a hoop, setup your machine and start stitching. I am going to do a video every week as it is a great way to demonstrate techniques for the Hand Embroidery Network. This weekend I have been really busy working on a metre wide free machine embroidery and I have also been out sketching sheep near my home. I will have to post some sketchbook images and some more embroidery sketches as well.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Creepy Crawlies

This is my finished free machine and hand embroidery of bugs. Just got to decide how I am going to frame it!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Free Patterns/Design Sheets

I have uploaded to the Hand Embroidery Network some free patterns/design sheets they are Russian Dolls and Bird Cage they are in PDF format and are available to download and print out for personal use only. I am working on some more design sheets and will be adding loads more over the coming weeks. The network now has 29 members which is great there is so much talent! I am really glad that I started the network I must admit up until this year I had never joined any social networks let a lone start one myself! I am a really shy person and being an artist I tend to keep to myself. I told myself this year I was going to be a joiner and so I joined the Embroiderers Guild, tried to setup a local embroidery group (though I was surprised that there were no embroiderers in Bacup!) and setup the Hand Embroidery Network to share my love and enthusiasm for embroidery. Well I achieved two of those things and have met some great people in the process.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Ants Free Machine Embroidery

Here is the completed sketch of ants that I am drawing with my Brother sewing machine in the video below. Produced on hessian fabric it gives a kind of wooly effect to the ants.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Free Machine Embroidery Demo

Here is a small quick video that I did last night showing how I sketch with my domestic sewing machine (it needs to be lighter I think). I am sketching ants onto hessian in black machine embroidery thread. I like the rough surface of the hessian as it shows the hairiness of the ants! Will post completed photo of the ants next.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Britannia Coconutters Bacup Easter Dance Video

Britannia Coconutters Easter Dance

I have been working on my free machine embroidered bugs today and will be posting a video of me sketching an ant with my domestic sewing machine, so that if anyone is interested they can see how I create my bug embroidery drawings. However I had to stop for a Bacup tradition that happens every year at Easter time to go and see the Britannia Coconutters with my husband and our two children. They are a traditional morris men dance group of which the origins of the many traditional dances they perform are lost in the mists of time and no one can say with any certainty how they came about, but if you go to the small Pennine Town of Bacup situated between Rochdale and Burnley on Easter Saturday you will be confronted by a band of men the survival of which is as unexpected as is fascinating and whose strange appearance could be described as exotic! Here are some photos above and Happy Easter to everyone who stops by and reads my blog.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Too Many Embroideries! Too Little Time!

Phew what a week! I seem to be working on lots of things at once and not getting one thing finished. I am still finishing my bugs and working on my moth piece and I am also doing the research for the embroidery competition and I really need to start the sampling! Do you ever feel that you have too many embroideries on the go and too little time? The network has gained some new members which is great and I am working on the Stitch A-Z and some free projects so April is going to be a really busy month!

Friday, 3 April 2009

Running Out of Room!

It's been a few days since I last posted a message as I have been busy researching ideas and themes for a couple of embroidery competitions I am entering this year and also trying to get to grips with my new Brother overlocker! I have wanted an overlocker for awhile and finally decided to get one to help finish off my embroidered textiles. The network is going great we now have 20 members which I think is cool and everyone's work is wonderful! You should definitely check-out the gallery to see all the amazing embroideries by some amazing embroidery artists!

Just thought I would show the above image of my workspace as I am running out of room fast! I am definitely going to need a bigger house as the one we live in is tiny and I am slowly taking over with all my equipment and fabrics! I think my husband is convinced a bomb has hit the house when he comes home from work! I must say is does not help that I have now inherited Lisa the hamster on top of my antique sewing box, apparently she makes too much noise in Oscar's bedroom.