Thursday, July 31, 2008

No. 100 - Porthole # 34


Wow...100 blogisms! Nowhere near MA who is close to 600...but then I only started this year!

Porthole # 34 is a bit of whimsy. I started with the addition of a Free Form beaded embellishment and went from there..adding in a whole bunch of French Knot roses mixed with some blue buds. Next I added the seam above it in blue Silk 30...a Herringbone base embellished. Above that I added long & short LDs, tacking the long ones together at the mid-points to open them up. On the green patch I used some Candlelight Midnight to stitch some travelling vinery...then lastly used some gold Ribbon Floss for the fans with LD points.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Drag Bag - Other Bits

Have another couple or three pics of stitching done on the bag. Above the monogram there are more sprigs growing out of the pocket.


One of the front pockets was trimmed on the edge & has a teeny floral spray on the inside pocket.


By the time I got to the other pocket I had thought more about those cool Bullion Roses made with Ribbon Floss...but couldn't decide on a few colours...so opted for one of each...a rainbow of roses! Finished off the pocket of this one too of course.

This Banner Thing

Can anyone instruct me how to get this banner (below) situated in the right hand section?
The code thing is not my forte...not sure where the heck to add to make it work!

Thanks !

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Other Pocket

The monogram pocket was not where I began on my Drag Bag. I spent hours & hours creating this huge floral spray on the right hand side. Above that I worked Feather Stitch vines coming out of the pocket, and added a Cast-on Stitch flower at each point. These were worked with VC Hand-dyed Silk Perle #12 in Nectarine. The French Knot roses at the bottom is the same colour in silk ribbon.
As I want to be able to wash this bag occasionally...I decided to stick to silks, rayons and polyester (Jeans Stitch). I used a whole lot of Ribbon Floss...and was particularly thrilled at how it worked for the Bullion Roses! The density and definition is way cool. I liked it so much that I did another spray of them on another pocket...but we'll get to that another day.

Porthole # 33


I began this one by adding the beaded Free Form piece. The purple and gold fit well and the size was just right for that seam. On that shocking green patch I worked a double row of Herringbone and did some tacking work in crosses; to finish off the bottom I worked a line of Cast-on stitch scallops. The whole thing is done in Pearl Crown rayon.

Directly opposite on the purple patch is another row of Herringbone...this time in silk. Added small LDs to the ends for leaves and some bullion buds.

Next I filled in the gold patch with some LDBT buds and greenery SRE. Added some purple vines & leaves on the rust patch then finished off with a spray of gold...simple running stitch enhanced with Colonial knots.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Road Trip to Hillsburgh

Home again, home again...jiggety jig!

Hi all ... did ya miss me? My kitties did...got a real earful when we got back tonight!

Friday afternoon my sis, neices and Mel and I headed west to visit family. Stopped in Mississauga first to visit my one sis Stephanie and neice Amber ... stayed for dinner (Chinese....yummm) then headed north to Hillsburgh to see Mom, my sis Deenie, her DH Pat and young neice Sarah. We're all always so busy that it was great to spend a bit of time with them. We had a lovely visit...the girls had great fun cooling off in the pool while we adults kept cool in the shade and chatted away for hours. Pat...aka Master Chef...did a couple of whole chickens on the rotisserie....and made a fabulous salad and steamed rice...a totally delicious dinner...followed by a cake with candles & everything for Emma & Becca who both had BDs this past week.

Around 6 pm the sky started to get really dark....and a storm was headed our way! Deenie timed it just right to get all the patio chairs covered before the rain hit....and then it teamed down so hard...that the eaves had a hard time draining it...at one point they were so full it was flowing right over the top!

To add to that...the house has recently finished undergoing extensive renovations to add on a second MIL suite (my Mom already had a 2-bedroom MIL apartment in the basement...and due to a stroke...the recent renovation created an apartment to accomodate Pat's Mom as well as an office for their home-based business and a seperate 2-car garage...as the latter apartment was created out of the original 2-car garage).

Cathy and Deeni had gone down to the basement to get some pillows and bedding that were stored in a space off the laundry room and discovered that there was water seeping in somewhere...coming across the floor...and over to the drain, Deeni for some reason was standing on a small stool....trying to get something when it slid on the water on the floor...she went for a loop...hitting her face & glasses against the nearby fridge....lost her balance and ended up falling on her side into the water on the floor!

Poor Sarah saw all this and started sobbing...thinking Mommy was hurt! Deeni was a bit banged up but able to get up an hobble out of the mess...assuring Sarah all the while that she was okay. She actually did lose the screw out of the hinge on her glasses...but nothing a bit of tape couldn't temporarily fix. It was a bit later that she discovered she had a really major scrape on her ankle and foot. Sprayed on some Bactine...and just carried on! What a trooper!

I'm willing to bet she'll develope some bruises tomorrow.....but for the moment she chose to ignore it all and take advantage of the rest of our visit.

Pat later discovered that the source of the water coming in was the failure of one contracter to seal up an outlet made to house a new electrical panel...so now that he knows what the problem is can get it rectified...it was just a whole lot of crazy to go through to find this out!

Yes well...this week off is almost at an end...but did I plan it right! Go back to work for a day...take two more off...go back for another day then have another day off before having to work a weekend! I can live with that!

One more week off in August...and we have plans to hang out at a friend's cottage...a lovely spot on a small lake. Looking forward to that!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Rest of the Pocket


I toyed with several ideas as to what to do around the monogram...maybe a floral wreath or a heart...and finally decided to needle tat a circular piece to frame it in. It was done in Jeans Stitch Lavender...and I still have some tacking down to do...but looks really elegant. Still may add to it...but...will think on that a while.

Anatomy of a Monogram



There has been a lot of chat on lists lately about alphabets & monograms.

I recently added one to my current project ... my Blue Jean Drag Bag (of which I just finished scanning the completed sections) and thought it'd be a good creative process to share.

I started by trying to find one out there on the Net ... but didn't find what I wanted. So....decided to make one myself!

I'm sure there's lots of programs on this box that would have created just the size and font I was after...but stuck with what I know best ... Corel Word Perfect. Only problem there is that it maxxes out at 72 ... and I wanted it waaaayyy bigger than that!

Okay ... so make it bigger! I chose my font and set it to 72 and printed that out. Next I scanned it to create a jpeg. I went back to Word Perfect and created a text box to about the size I wanted...then inserted the jpeg into the box and dragged it out to enlarge. Had to adjust it once or twice but finally saw what I wanted. Save and print!

Next step was to pin this printout to my fabric. I then did a row of backstitching (about 1/8" or so topside) in purple Jeans Stitch around the entire monogram...then ripped away the paper, picked out the little bits with my needle...and voila...the outline of one monogram! I whipstitched over the outline to create a solid line.

I wanted a "raised" effect...so needed to pad it a bit. I went around the inside of the letter with Chain Stitch to give me a nice base.

To fill in I used simple satin stitch....I started off using one strand...but that seemed to be taking forever....so I switched to doubled thread and picked up the pace!

The final result is what you see here....next time I'll show you what I did around that!


Porthole # 32


This is another featuring a Free Form piece. The copper tone picks up the shade of the rust patch, on which I added a feather stitch vine and bullion leaves in Pearl Crown; the florettes are Colonial knots in Kreinik Ruby #4.

To the left of that I did some stacked & staggered Chevrons enhanced with Cast-on scallops in deep cranberry Soie Perlee.

The lace butterfly I bought years ago at the Creative Sewing & Needlework show; added some copper beads to the wings & sat it in the middle of an SRE vine made of Bullion Tip Lazy Daisy leaves and Colonial knot buds in deep purple. (I don't think the scan does this one justice...looks much better close up!)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Porthole # 31


Ahhh...Day One of a week off ... so thought I'd start off by sharing #31 with you all!

I rather like this one. I started off by adding the Free Form leaf vine (one of the many patterns that I'll be offering soon) then added the blossoms using white Ribbon Floss...BT LD at the centre and LD at each side all filled with a centre stitch.

Next I added the white lace motif and the gold vine (Candlelight - Gold). Above the motif I stitched a small leaf spray enhanced with seed beads.
Last I added the purple & green spray. This was done by ruching (pronounced "rooshing") the ribbon...bringing the ribbon topside...gathering on a thread...then tacking in place before taking the ribbon down through the fabric and up at the next spot.

Time to get scanning...just noticed that #32 is the last one in the file ... #33 to 37 ready to go...and 38 waiting to be finished.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New Things

I finally got around to adding a pic of me!

Also added a couple more links ...

Allison Aller shows some awesome work on her blog and I know this will be one of my faves to visit on a regular basis!

Cate Ross Originals is my sister's blog ... she only just got it up and running ... I'm hoping that she'll post often ... and especially show some of her work! She has recently become enamoured with beading (and I accept full blame or credit) ... we plan to collaborate in the near future to show some of my new Free Form creations a la clothing.

I didn't really need a distraction from what I already have on the go ... but been wanting to make myself a new Drag Bag ... for the stuff I take back and forth to work ... my current one is just about worn out ... so just had to get going on it. It'll be a serviceable unit ... but that hasn't stopped me from embellishing the blazes out of it! Lots of rayon & silk threads/ribbon and Jeans Stitch ... so that I can launder it from time to time.

Started with the top section of an old pair of DH's jeans ... and so far have added a floral spray to one back pocket, a monogram M on the other, and completed an edging and floral bit on one front pocket. I used the fabric from the leg inseams to make handles (which are long enough to sling over my arm/shoulder) and once finished I'll line the inside with some sturdy fabric to accomodate my binder(s).

Will post some scans & pics of it soon.

I am still poking away at my Portholes ... on # 38 now ... and may take a breather after # 40 until I decide if I'm done...or half done!

It's a hot humid day here in Pickering ... and off to hide in the basement where it's 5 degrees cooler ... to finish my schedule and do some stitching!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Porthole # 30


I skipped adding beadwork to this one...as I had a small metallic tatted bit (Kreinik # 4 ) that I've been wanting to use, and this one seemed to fit.

The centre fabric was another of my Goodwill finds ... I liked the swirly pattern on it. I enhanced what was there by adding Colonial knots in two colours and extended the swirl to the yellow patch, first working an outline in backstitching going over it with Detached Buttonhole stitch using purple Jeans Stitch.

The LD fans on the purple patch are Pearl Crown Rayon; for the split Chevrons I used Cotton Perle #5 in blue and Pearl Crown in green; on the wine patch I used black Cotton Perle #5 for more LD fans.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Porthole # 29






I'm excited to show you this one because it's the first one that I added a Free Form edging to!

These pieces are created first then couched in place...they are really versatile as one picece could be used a number of ways (variations shown below).

Though I started with a rather dark background, I love how the edging brightened it ... and then pulled from these colours for other seams.

The real beauty of this method ... is it's flexability ... you can repeat the pattern however many times you need to fit where you want it to go ... whether it be 3" or 12" ... then simply pin it in place, couch it down and voila! ... one cool seam! Beyond that...you can further embellish with stitchery to enhance it (you wll see some of this on other Portholes).

But ... it doesn't stop there! Imagine creating these edgings to embellish clothing! Just picture how stunning it'd look to dress up a collar & cuffs of a jacket ... or trim a neckline of a dress or shirt! With the precision of creating a seperate piece the fit will be exact.

I have some holiday time coming soon ... and planning on using some of it to put together pattern sets ... which will be available soon! Oh yes...for sure...I will let you all know...I'm very eager to share these patterns with all ... as I'm confident that you'll love the technique as much as I do!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Porthole # 28


A while back I posted about spending two hours in a miniature rose garden ... this is what I was referring to!

The "wrought iron" fence was stitched with Kreinik metallic #4 then I added the French Knot roses & leaves. On the royal blue patch I worked a row of yellow Chevrons then two rows of Herringbone in wine silk, and used Candlelight gold for the LD fans, crosses and knots. Opposite on the wine patch more gold in stacked Chevrons overlayed with black metallic Chevrons with fly stitches added to form triangle points. The royal blue Chain Stitch vine is Ribbon Floss. On the small black patch the LD feather is Kreinik Metallic ... Ruby #4.

Stay tuned ... tomorrow I will share # 29 ... which is the first one featuring one of my Free Form Embellishments!

Happy Birthday Canada !

Today we celebrate Canada's 141st Birthday ... I have always been thankful that I was born here and proud to call it home.

How lucky we are ... to live in a place where we are free to live as we please. When I see some of the atrocities that happen in other places around the world ... I count my blessings.

Yesterday the store was busy...and as part of our Canada Day event we were handing out small flags to each customer. The kids especially were thrilled...those innocent smiles when handed their gift...made it more special...and they waved them happily!

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