Saturday, 11 October 2014

Online Sketchbook - Ideas and Inspiration for Contemporary Embroidery

I have been going through some of my sketchbooks recently and my husband thought it would be a great idea to scan them in and publish them online! I thought this would be a really good way of showing how I work using various media and how I develop ideas and simplify design elements, which I can then use for embroideries.

The theme of the first sketchbook is a mix of flowers, berries and insects which I have produced in watercolour, pen and ink, pencils and some embroidery. I hope this gives you inspiration to begin a sketchbook to develop ideas for your own embroidery designs. A sketchbook can contain photographs, magazine cut-outs, drawings, written notes, stitch samples, found objects etc. The most important thing is that it's yours to do with whatever you like and remember don't be too precious with it!

Click on the image below to enlarge and flick through the sketchbook.


Friday, 10 October 2014

New Work in Progress - Embroidered Portrait Number 2

I've just started another hand embroidered portrait this time however the background image has been first created using fabric crayons. I first created the image on paper then ironed it onto the fabric, which is just a plain white calico. I have started adding some outline detailing and begun the shading as well.



Monday, 29 September 2014

Back To The Drawing Board!

After taking a long break over the summer holidays I am back and having to rethink my online embroidery tuition! You may have noticed that my tuition website has been down for the last couple of months. Well I shall tell you about my nightmare! When I put the website up, after my husband did such a great job of designing it as well, it somehow got registered on some foreign database! Then all hell breaks loose, I got spammed big time! Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of emails and phone calls came through from companies trying to sell me anything and everything! My poor email box was overloaded! My phone became under siege by unwanted callers trying to tell me my new building needed energy, insurance, water etc. What new building I said, I'm going to be running online embroidery courses I exclaimed! But no they kept on coming trying to sell me everything but the kitchen sink on and on! Needless to say you genuine lovers of embroidery who signed up to receive info about when the courses would be available, got lost in amongst a few thousand idiots trying to sell me stuff. 

I have to say I felt like giving up! I had the flu the kids holidays had started, my phone was ringing constantly and I honestly thought to hell with everything! I took my tuition website down and even had to delete my blog post as that was getting spammed too! It was a nightmare! How my website and details got on some obscure database I don't know but that is the power of the internet. I have never experienced this with my personal website so don't know what was different. Anyhow I have decided to keep all my tuition to this blog from now on! I will be offering up embroidery tutorials and projects which will be available to access here and also in pdf format for you to download and work on at your leisure. So stuff the spammers they're not going to get me down anymore! Tutorials will be resuming and so will my embroidered artwork as I am now in full swing finishing off a few projects so that I can start some new work!

The free taster project on sun printing and hand embroidery is still available to download via my website and I am still going to provide feedback and email support for any of my embroidery projects and tutorials.

Hand embroidered portrait illustration

Monday, 28 July 2014

One Sock Finished

The school summer hols have started and would you believe it the first week the kids are off I come down with the flu! I have been feeling pretty bad this last week or so and stuck in bed or on the couch. Luckily I managed to complete a commission for a large crochet felt bowl before I was struck down with the lurgy! I also despite having a banging headache and the sneezes, completed my first country birds sock. I love the stripes the yarn makes and I'm really pleased with the results. I will be casting on the second sock today and I'm also hoping to get back onto some embroidery and course writing this week as my head is starting to clear and my nose isn't running as much lol

Blue Tit Sock No. 1

Saturday, 12 July 2014

One Pair Finished, Another Pair Started

I have just completed my third pair of socks! I'm really pleased with these as I managed to match the stripe patterning on both socks and keep the tension the same too. The wool I used for these was Wendy Roam Fusion in Heath and it's a beautiful variegated yarn. I love the self-striping yarns and I have just cast on a pair for my little boy in West Yorkshire Spinners new Signature 4ply yarn. The yarn comes in three different ranges Sweet Shop, Spice Rack and Country Birds. I'm using Blue Tit from their Country Birds range which is a self-striping, printed yarn. The colours are fantastic and I'm loving watching the stripes appear as I knit!

Just finished these!
Blue Tit - Country Birds by WYS

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Block No. 9 - Pretty Cross

I'm still continuing with my crochet blocks and this is block no. 9 which when worked forms a pretty cross design. I did have two attempts at this one as I didn't get the open spacing right the first time! But second time round it came out ok. I think this block would make a lovely Easter dishcloth or coaster and certainly combined with other blocks a wonderful lacy blanket.

Block No. 9 - Stylecraft Special DK - 4mm crochet hook

Friday, 4 July 2014

A Busy Week!

Since attending Woolfest at the weekend I haven't stopped all week! If you have school age kids you know what it's like when it gets to the end of the school year, one event after another! This week we have attended a school play, high school transition evening and sports day. The kids have had that many activities including dressing up in world cup football related colours and taking in scooters for the Tour de France activities. It's going to be like this for the next couple of weeks with another sports day, school play, summer fair and leavers assembly to attend!

Anyway my first time at Woolfest was brilliant! I spent way too much on sock wool, a natural dye kit and other goodies but we all really enjoyed the day! It was great seeing all the demonstrations especially the spinning ones, which I am keen to have a go at. We got some great advice and help from stallholders and everyone was really friendly. The kids loved seeing the different sheep breeds especially my little girl who absolutely loved the alpacas and the lambs. I must admit I was completely overwhelmed by all the stalls and by the end of the day my feet were killing me! For my daughter it all got a bit too much, she was completely shattered!

One tired little girl
Cute alpacas
A busy Woolfest 2014
A handmade basket of goodies