Posted by: Jocelyn | December 23, 2013

Maybe I might start blogging again

Goodness, it is pretty well a year since I blogged. I had sorted of decided to not bother anymore, but lately I’ve been thinking that maybe I should do it after all. It so often seemed too difficult, by the time I found my camera and hooked it up to the PC, and copied photos over to the PC etc. And that’s if no-one else was using the PC when I wanted to. But I think it may well be easier on my iPad – take the photo, open the app, type my post, insert photo, and it’s done. Well, we’ll see. I shall do a few posts and see how it works.

So. What to start with?……….

Walk The Wild River – a work in progress

This has been a cyber class with CyberPointers, a piece designed by Linda Reinmiller.
And I am so pleased with how it is turning out. It has such a wonderful variety of stitching techniques, many of which I have tried for the first time. Some of them have involved cutting the threads of the canvas – scary!!!!!! But Linda is a great teacher, and was there to hold my hand LOL.

Linda’s original was inspired by the area where she lives, so I took that idea for myself, and have based my colours on the South Island of New Zealand. I live in the North Island, but my husband and I had a fabulous holiday in the South Island.
Ha – North Island, South Island …… We are so imaginative here in NZ.

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I still have to do the 3 diamond shapes that will fill those empty spaces – they are done on seperate pieces of canvas, and then attached to the base canvas; and I need to add some beads here and there.

Each segment has the stitches as designed by Linda, but with my own colour choices.
Perhaps over the next few posts I shall explain some of the segments and show you some photos that gave me the inspiration.

Here’s the first one – sheep on the hills of the high country – an area of high hills leading to the mountains, and home to some big sheep stations.

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Posted by: Jocelyn | January 16, 2012

Menagerie stitch-along

CyberPointers is going to have a year-long stitch-along challenge in 2012, called Menagerie. Over the year, Karen will give us the directions to stitch 2 “blocks” each month, which we can use however we want to – She also gives ideas for making them into ornaments or different kinds of samplers. Thirteen of the blocks will focus on different stitching techniques, such as hardanger, bargello, blackwork, drawn thread etc, and the other 11 will be different needlepoint stitch types, such as diaper patterns, looped/linked stitches, box stitches and Hilton stitches.

This sounds right up my street – I love creating things like this. But first, some decisions need to be made.

Layout
I want to do all 24 blocks, all squares or rectangles, and each with a border around it. Here’s my tentative layout.

Karen’s instructions say the blocks will be based on squares 54 x 54 threads and she will give instructions about making them bigger or smaller. The diagrams of her intended layouts show different sizes, and even some triangles, so I reckon I will be able to get them to fit this layout.

But should I stitch all the borders now? Then each month I would choose which shapes to use for those 2 blocks. Or do I wait so I can maybe alter some of the blocks at the time, to better suit the stitching insructions?

Colours
But first I actually need to make some decisions about colours. I want to do the sampler in neutrals – ecrus, browns, greys, a bit of white, and some gold metallics.
Why? Because they are the colour groups with the biggest variety of threads in my stash. :)

But what about the borders? Should I use a solid colour, and if so, which one? Dark or light? Or how about using a variegated thread? Here’s the lid of a box I made, and the borders are a fairly subtle variegated WaterColors thread from Caron.

lid

My sampler will a similar idea, but each section will be bigger, and will be rectangular or square and not have some of them going around corners, and the borders will be vertical and horizontal not diagonal, and probably satin stitch not smyrna crosses.  But otherwise it will be similar.

So… solid colour or variegated?  Decisions, decisions, decisions…..

Posted by: Jocelyn | November 28, 2011

mystery
The mystery piece I was stitching from Laura Perin’s blog is finished. It is so glittery and shiny!! I have used this metallic thread before, but never in such quantity on one small piece – and if I had known how it would be used in this one I would have chosen a different thread.

So I am really glad that I didn’t know in advance. That is the joy and fun of mysteries like this – they can “force” you do try something different. Sometimes I might not like the result, and sometimes (like this one) I do like it, but either way is valuable. Mysteries always teach me something – and being a ‘planner’, someone who likes to plan ahead, they let me see that there is value in just stitching and trusting the process.

Posted by: Jocelyn | November 21, 2011

Mystery, week 2

Mystery 2

Here’s my version of Laura Perin’s Mini Mystery Monday, week two.

Goodness me, but it’s shiny! The metallic thread I chose is so shiny and glittery; I’ve used it for accents before, but not in such a prominent way. At first I was thinking of unpicking it and finding something else to use, but I decided to leave it – to me that’s what mysteries like this are all about: experimenting, trying something different. So I’ve left it propped up where I can see it as I stitch other things each evening in front of the televsion; and now I love it! I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Posted by: Jocelyn | November 18, 2011

SOTM, Nov 2011

Stitch of the Month, Nov 2011

All the diamonds are one – so where will the variegated thread and the metallic blending filament be used in December? A border? Filling the triangles that formed? Hmmmmm….

I changed the position of most of the diamonds, from what the instructions suggested because I wanted the 6 that cover most of the canvas to be on the outside, and the four more open diamonds on the inside. I love the outer ones, but I think those 4 inner ones look a bit busy.

I changed some threads too – the 8-point star was supposed to be done in one strand of perle cotton, but my perle colours were too faint, it looked insipid. So I re-did it using 2 strands of floss. Much better. I changed at least one other diamond’s threads as well. Oh, and the walnetto in the bottom diamond – I did that twice too, because I did it in green and yellow first, and that really did look too messy. The green and terracotta looks a more defined.

I’ve hummed and hah’ed over whether to swap the 3 open inner diamonds. The way it worked out, was that the 2 with colours on opposite sides ended up in the centre. Would it be better to have the two spiky ones in the middle and the rounded one in the centre bottom? Or perhaps the two that have ‘cut-out’ bits in them should be the centre 2, with the solid star at the bottom? In the end I decided to leave it as is.

It will be interesting to see what December has us do to finish it all off.

Posted by: Jocelyn | November 14, 2011

It’s a mystery

Mystery One
Mystery 1

Part 1 of a mystery project that Laura J Perin is posting on her blog. She has given us the suggested threads, and an idea of how to choose the colours. I am using a much darker variegated thread, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out! Being a mystery, we have do not know what the finished project looks like yet; Laura is going to post an installment every Monday for a few weeks.

Mystery Two
The other mystery is why I haven’t posted for so long – I have no idea. I just stopped blogging. I thought I was too busy to post, that I would do it later. And suddenly weeks have gone by, the project I was going to document as I stitched is well and truly finished and in use. So I will try again.

There is no way I can post every day as so many people do, but I will try to post at least weekly.

Posted by: Jocelyn | August 25, 2011

Moving right along…

For Today 4
The colour scheme is developing nicely – two shades of brown, purple and green, and the outlines are a Watercolors thread called Pebbles. However I am not sure about that dark purple because it stands out a bit much I think. I am aiming for more of a harmonious blend rather than having something glaring like that. But I will leave it for now and decide about it after more has been stitched.

When I start or finish a thread, I make sure any weaving of tails is done only in the outlines or the space currently being filled. I don’t weave any thread into a neighbouring space; that way it is very easy to unpick anything I don’t like.

I am also wondering about adding beads to some areas – for example the green and brown at the lower right corner, or the dark brown part further long the bottom. Maybe, maybe not. I will wait till it’s all finished to decide.

I love the dark brown patch on the bottom edge. It’s just a simple, basic checkerboard but with one stitch going across each square at right angles. Very simple but it gives a wonderful texture.

This sort of stitching lets you use all your favourite stitches LOL. Another one that I love doing is the woven effect just above the dark purple. One of the threads I used in that is a dark metallic and I am really pleased with the lift that it gives.

You can see a close up of the stitching by clicking on the photo, which will take you to Flickr, then right click and select “large” or “original” size.

Posted by: Jocelyn | August 20, 2011

This book has to be re-covered!

I have a little book with daily readings – it is well-read, and BADLY in need of a decent cover to stop it completely falling apart.
The Book

So of course I am going to make a needlepoint cover. :)
I will do it the style that Jean Hilton made popular with her piece called Puzzle, and then her Puzzle Purse. I found I really enjoy this sort of stitching when I did the Puzzle Purse and I also used this style when I made my needlepoint box.

So, here’s the first step:
For Today 1
I’ve outlined the area to be stitched with crosses, and then stitched some diagonal lines in smyrnas, creating simple shapes. I have no idea yet, which stitches I will use to fill in those shapes – I will just decide when I get to each one.

My threads… Mostly DMC threads – perle 5 & 8,, and floss. There are also some fabulous metallics that Jan from StitchLady very kindly sent to me.
For Today 2

And so to the fun bit…
For Today 3
I’m sorry it’s such an out-of-focus shot so that you cannot see the stitches well. I will try to do better as I stitch more. I would try to describe them, but I’m not very hot on stitch names… I tend to just stitch them without bothering about what they are called.

So that’s the start of my new book cover. As I progress, I will try to explain my thinking, and why I choose particular stitches. I love reading things like that on other people’s blogs so I shall try to do it too.

Posted by: Jocelyn | July 17, 2011

The beginnings

Taking a short break from needlepoint, so I’ve put down the tapestry needles and picked up the knitting needles.
The beginning

I’ve always enjoyed knitting, and while browsing around Ravelry recently I came across Jane Thornley’s patterns. Colour! Texture! Love!

So this is my first attempt at Jane’s style. I’ve been feeling the cold a bit this winter, so what better than a fun shawl/stole/very-wide-scarf to throw around my shoulders? It’s about 75cm (30 inches) wide and I guess its length will depend on how much suitable yarn I can find in my stash.  :)  I don’t think the photo really shows off the different textures of yarn - I will try to get a better shot to highlight them when I’ve done a bit more.

Lots of fun, with free reign to ceativity. I am fighting the urge to come up with formulae, and generate a rotation list for the yarns and stitches. I don’t think that’s what Jane’s style is all about, but it is the way I usually tend to work. But not on THIS project!

Posted by: Jocelyn | June 25, 2011

Hot Stuff, in cool mode

I’ve seen quite a few versions of Hot Stuff, by DebBee’s Designs and loved them all. The original was done in yellow, red and orange – hence the name; though DebBee has also charted it in more green/grey tones. I decided to use my usual cool colours …

Hot Stuff

I had been planning to take progress pictures, and blog about how I decided which colours and threads to use in each section, but somehow I just kept stitching. It was really a fun piece to stitch, with so many interesting techniques. It also uses different threads, some of which are difficult to find around here. However I had some ecru Neon Rays so I had to find a variegated thread that would go with the ecru, then chose the soldic colours from there.

 One fairly major deviation I did from the pattern was in the very top and bottom squares. The pattern called for one of them to be in a variegated thread with the Rhodes stitches across the square done in rayon. Then use the same threads but in reverse for the other sqaure. I didn’t like the expanse of rayon, so used another variegated, in darker tones of the same colours.

I haven’t cropped the photo, so you can see how it was just plain old white canvas which I coloured myself. I use ordinary acrylic artist’s paints and a fairly thick dry brush. Don’t load the brush too heavily with paint or it globs up and blocks the holes. I just brush all over, without worrying about getting it even; I think a bit of mottling or uneven coverage adds to the hand-crafted look.

As usual, you can click on the picture to go to Flickr and then right click to see it up close.

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