Thursday, 7 July 2016

From coffee table to applique

Finding a good image is, for me, the hardest thing. I mull it over for months and change my mind dozens of times. Agony!

Anyway, my applique image was simple. Several years ago I walked the Camino de Santiago (the French route) with a friend. At the end of the walk we decided to have a few days of luxury before heading home and so stayed in the parador in Santiago - in the main square by the cathedral. Yes, it was luxurious. More importantly, the parador is effectively a museum - filled with paintings, antique furniture and glorious stuff. Outside our (very luxurious) room was a coffee table which was made out of stained glass. I took a photograph of the glass surface - and that, basically , was it. My image. OK, I've fiddled with it a bit but not much.

So ...................... looking everywhere for images is worthwhile. The worst thing is when you have to find something by tomorrow!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Just the manes to finish.

Well, I have been away a lot again, but when I have been at home I have worked hard to finish this piece.

As ever the finishing bits take ages and are hard on the fingers. Embellishing the shields was hard - there are lots of layers of leather, padding and silk. The manes are just roughly finished at the moment. I have used turkey stitch - again through leather etc - and will eventually trim the threads so that the manes are actually fre flowing. The horsemans' spears are made out of Bonsai wire - always useful stuff to have around. Oh yes, the door handles are smooth purl.

I am going to put this away for a few days, at present all I can see is the faults. Then it needs mounting before I hand it in for assessment.

Friday, 10 June 2016

I really must finish this piece.

Yes. I have been away for a long time, but I did at least collect some detailed pictures for my next assessed piece. That's my excuse for my absence anyway.

Really the work that is left is hard to do, fiddly and through many layers of fabric, but doesn't look like much.

It is all about sorting out spears, finishing shields, highlighting hooves, applying cording. The list is much longer than that! 

At present I am stitching the manes. It's a kind of version of turkey stitch. I will cut and trim each mane to give the finished effect. I have already done the tails in matching thread. I am using a gorgeous 30 wt silk thread (thank you Barbara!) for the manes and tails. It has a wonderful sheen - which doesn't show in the picture unfortunately. 

I have a target finish date of mid-July. That's my next visit to Tracy in Durham. I would like to be able to take the piece off the frame and mount it in July. That would give me a straight start for the next piece in September.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Almost there

There have been some tricky bits and tricky times over the last few days. For example, I used some sticky tape to remove some fluff from the background and promptly tore the white horse's leg off - time to cut a fresh horse and ponder why I had needed to take fluff off in the first place. If I had cut the padding more accurately first time round ....................

Anyway, the white horse is firmly attached and so is his rider. There is a lot of detailing to do yet but the end is definitely coming in to sight. 

The blingy shields are gone and a much quieter coloured leather substituted. Overall I think that the colours work well together.

There was a point when I thought that I was quietly mad for choosing such a fiddly subject, but now I think that it was a good choice.


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Definitely less bling.

I said that I was going to change the horseman's shield and I have, twice! I am much happier with this third incarnation. This time the shield is actually purple, but it looks dark brown.

As you can see I have started to prep the second horse and rider. I have also been thinking about the spears and lances (anyone know what the difference is between a spear and a lance?). I have tried cocktail sticks and also bonsai wire, but I think that I will probably/possibly stitch the spears of the men on the parapet and maybe use bonsai wire for the horseman.

There is still a lot of work to be done and I would like the piece to be ready for the next RSN assesment round - in the summer. I had better stay at home for a bit if that is to happen!


Monday, 14 March 2016

My Kingdom for a horse!

Well, after a long absence (yes, we have been on holiday again!) the first horse is in place. He was named "Kingdom" by Tracy's Thursday RSN group. I rather like him. There are several layers of padding below the silk. I have replaced the shield with something a bit less blingy since this photograph was taken this afternoon. I think that I will still have to calm the shield down with some stitching though.

Oh yes, the cobbles are pretty well finished. I applied loads of small semi-circular pieces of felt and then stem stitched along the top edges.

The end is coming in to sight. There is another horse and rider to put on and the spears and lances and then some finishing off.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Does it look any different?

Well no!! To me it looks pretty much the same, but again - it's about detailing.

I have finished the couching round the doorway and added  a row of stem stitch; the canopy thing is now in place and I have almost finished the archway under the canopy; and I have started on the ground. Now that is interesting. In the original the ground is shown as sort of cobbled, so I have used some felt padding to give the impression of cobbles. There is more to do on this, and it may not work - but, they are not wrinkles you see - they are the cobbles of the future! I am also prepping the two horses and riders who will be in the foreground. 

There is still masses to do, but it's fun. I never expected to enjoy working this piece, but I really am enjoying it. It appeals to the fussy bit of me!