Thursday, 27 April 2017

Hello Everyone - I'm Back!

Well, its certainly been a long time and yes, I’m back.  

Pleased to say I’m well again and feel quite energetic once more (TG and all the angels…oh, and my own brains!) 

Not that I ever forgot y’all, and I certainly never left off what I was studying in needlework.  The thread really did continue and my exploration was always ticking away, always...

So, what I’ve decided to do this time round is not write really looooooooooong posts that drain every ounce of strength from my pre-frontal cortex, but instead make the needlework drive the posts, rather than the other way round…? 

Without trying to sound  immodest, you understand, I like to think I’ve made considerable personal progress, albeit intellectually, as regards certain mechanical problems in my needlework that keep popping up and were driving me personally to utter distraction….

Because of that, I knew I had to ‘go back to the drawing board’, trouble was I went back further and further and ended up, of all places, in the middle of the Cretaceous period? – I kid you not!  

Strange connection you might say, not really, because at the same time I was also re-designing my garden!

Ye old doodle cloth has been my trusty companion throughout.  Sorry no pictures of that bedraggled comfort blanket...haha. 

But you know, its funny how you start on a very private hunch that seems awfully like fretting, that can take you through quite a few months and yet at the end of the journey, eventually, you find you actually discovered something for yourself…So all that time spent away was not in vain.

I plan to return to all my previous projects and sort them out and this Victorian image is the one I decided to start with.

‘Motivation has to depend on emotion, if there isn’t emotion driving motivation, then it ain’t gonna happen’.
I heard that said recently, and realised that was what I needed to do, recall the original emotion that prompted the needlework idea and get back with the program!

Obviously, this one is extremely sentimental and speaks for itself. 

I have several problems with this piece and they only popped up as I went along and kept popping….

For starters, the padding of the shapes has brought all the curved areas forward to the same frontal axis.  Which is fine for a drawing, but is too confusing for a work that’s in relief, such as this. 

So I decided what I’ll need to do is make the relationship between the sleeve and the loose pleats of the skirt distinct. 

The way I decided to do this is the same as if it were a painting e.g. pick out areas of darker tone to push back shapes that are further from the centre of the image.  It may work, or it might be disastrous.  I decided to try a test section on a separate cloth first.  All I know is, I will have to do something about the problem, because otherwise the arm and the pleats will all have the same appearance…

Decoration and contrasting textures will help, but I need to press on, while at the same time think about how I will sort this one out?

I’ve also been working on Stem Stitch Filing as probably the most effective way I’ve found to fill a shape, if you want the the stitch direction to explain the form, like this leaf in the bottom left of the image:

As you can see, last year was my year for buttercups…

I like to think what’s different about these specimens is that I was trying to make ‘botanical’, rather than stylised depictions of the ‘Little Frog’, which is the translation of Ranunculus. 

Well, I have to rush off now, until next time xxx

P.S.  I hope this blog post comes out reasonably OK, as I've lost Live Writer and my computer is too old for the new Open Source version.  


  1. Wellcome back, Beth Lea

    I'm curious about you'll solve the dress problems.
    Glad to hear from you again

  2. The dress problems hopefully will work themselves out with a couple of tonal counterpoints to suggest different planes. Basically his trousers (in deep shade) and the back of her bodice (in shade) will hopefully straighten out what is where, in this space sort of thing. If that doesn't work either I pull out another visual trick or have a lot more work to do...we'll see? My eyes are like veritable tomatoes at the moment, so will have ample time to think.