I’m still on dogie-watch schedule; I can’t seem to get back in the grove of things.
Mary Corbet (http://www.needlenthread.com/2014/08/embroidery-work-space-or-where-is-waldo.html) and I have something in common this week…I came back to a desk piled high with things that needed attention and all I wanted to do was stitch and let the dogs out. But I did tackle my desk and made a dent to put some order into my desk; now instead of a heap of mess, I have organized piles of mess.
But since I finished stitching my first light house and Vicki De Angelis over at Mostly Needlepoint (http://mostlyneedlepoint.com/did-you-know/) pointed out it was National Lighthouse Day…I figured it was an omen and I should share this with everyone today.
My first lighthouse from ABS designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/)is Portland Head Lighthouse and is destined for Sudberry’s (http://www.sudberry.com/) black box. My box is like the one shown on Anne’s website (I think it was called the pen box) but I think it is out of stock and unless you find it in a shop somewhere, you may have to frame this piece. I needleblended the sky (post: http://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/hiding-out-is-such-fun/) and will share with you my email from Anne, MNS (master of Needleblended skies):
You’d think that counting the number of threads in the depth of your sky, then dividing it by the number of “blends” you’ll be using, would give you the right number of lines deep for each “blend.” But every time you cut in a new “blend,” it encroaches on the one before it. So….
Try turning the canvas upside down, working the lightest value of blue at the horizon. Keep going until you run out of “blends.” In the case of the box insert, you then have the option of going to DMC 3755 to cut into the 3325, so the darkest shade is at the top of the canvas. That makes for a more dramatic effect, and the lightest shade at the horizon doesn’t overpower the shades above.
That makes sense to me…I started at the top and worked down but next time I’ll work up from the horizon line.
This was one of those pieces that no matter how hard I tried to place more decorative stitches, my friend Virginia’s words kept rattling around in my head. Virginia is a guild member, who has tried more techniques than anyone I know; she stitches till the wee hours of the morning and until recently (last year or two) stitched on 40 count canvas without extra light or magnification. Oh yes, and did I tell you she is 80+ years young. I always say Virginia has forgotten more than I am ever going to learn. Anyway one time, I was trying very hard to put decorative stitches on a canvas and it was not working out at all. Virginia said; “Honey, when it’s screaming Basketweave, just stitch Basketweave. Sometimes Basketweave is best and every needlepoint should have some…it’s a place to rest your eyes. “
Well, every time I would try to think of a different stitch I would hear Virginia, “Basketweave” So much of this piece has Basketweave. The sky is Basketweave, but I did get to play around with the needleblending technique. And after I was completely finished with the sky I thought I could have used Nobuko or Diagonal Mosaic for the clouds…but I was lucky to get the clouds in there anyway. And I love the rocks, Alternating Padded Satin with overdyed threads just jumped off the canvas. And the Diagonal Gobelin for the water was good too. The foreground green and shoreline could be nothing else but Continental and Basketweave.
The buildings: I tried my best to stitch the siding of the large building in a small decorative stitch but nothing seemed to work for me…Okay Virginia, Basketweave it is. I did get the windows and doors stitched in Cashmere and variations of Cashmere. The brown building did lend itself to a decorative stitch and so the siding is worked in Diagonal Mosaic, the shutters are Oblong cross, and yes, the windows are basketweave. And all the red roofs are a Gobelin stitched diagonally, horizontally or vertically.
The green background I couldn’t decide whether that was grass or trees and I wanted it to be trees, but they had to stay on the back. I used 2 ply green overdyed floss and did French Knots. They were small enough that they did not overpower the little brown house but added a texture to the right side of the canvas to help balance the decorative stitches used in the rock.
The lighthouse did give me pause…I thought since it was behind the main house it should be Basketweave too, but then I decided that lighthouses are round and so this was probably a bit further behind the house than I originally thought and maybe if I did Alternating Diagonal Gobelins it would make the light house the focal point (as it should be) and still not overpower the house or the whole canvas. It worked, gave the lighthouse a bit of definition and the illusion of roundness yet stayed behind the house. The top is mostly Continental stitched in black perle cotton and Kreinik black braid with the lights in yellow Kreinik braid cross stitches.
But my favorite is the fence, I was afraid it might get lost against the white house but it didn’t (even if the picture doesn’t show this. I wanted to stitch the fence in a whiter white but could not find DMC B5200 in & 8 perle and did not want to use floss. I stitched small horizontal (2 threads x 1 thread) Overlapping Oblong Crosses for the rails and then when I had cleared the area for a post I went back and stitch an upright Oblong Cross (4 threads x 1 thread)…see diagram.
My first lighthouse is completed and as much as I would like to keep stitching new canvases I have a box full of canvases I need to stitch so I have decided one PPC (previously purchased canvas) before new canvases. And I haven’t decided what that will be yet…but I have to find a small one for my carry along project.
In a couple days I’ll show you how much progress I made on my Debbie Stiehler Tomato too. I really did get some serious stitching done last week. BUT I have to get back to my finishing…Christmas is a coming!
Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!