Laissez les bons temps roule!

Today is Mardi Gras…

I’m still researching bows for the shamrock piece. Not really, I have researched and have three books marked…just not in the mood to start. Another not really, but I have in my mind how I want the bow to look but don’t know if I can stitch it the same way. In short, I am procrastinating. I have to be in the right mood to tackle some projects, especially those I have a vision of how the finished stitching should look. I want the bow to be realistic looking and the stitching to be very smooth, and full. Do you envision how a canvas should look? They say that this is why we do not like some of our work; we have envisioned how we think the canvas should look and yet we do not stitch it the same way. I have another month until St Pat’s Day, hope inspiration hits me before then.

Bones, the Guild piece from a few posts ago has been passed on.

I needed a canvas for Super Bowl…one that was fairly simple and would not require my undivided attention…I think because Super Bowl was in New Orleans I was more attracted to all the activities. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities…but I think it is a young person town. You have to be young to eat, drink and be merry 24/7 for days on end and let’s face it New Orleans is a eat, drink and be merry town! And in my younger days, I could eat, drink and be merry with the best of them, but today I am a little more reserved. I still love the food and I don’t know how you can be unhappy in a town that is always partying, but I have my limits and so fix’n some Cajun food and watching from my “easy” chair was the best “big easy” do this year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd what a better canvas to stitch than Nick, my Mardi Gras man. On her website Kathy Meyer (http://kathymeyer1.tripod.com/kmdesigns/index.html) calls him a Beatnik, but he is definitely my Mardi Gras man. I’ve had Nick for a few years and he’s always been my Mardi Gras guy. For those of you who do not know Mardi Gras is only on Fat (gras) Tuesday (Mardi) before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. BUT carnival started in January on the 12th night and was only set aside last week for Super Bowl. And by last Tuesday after SuperBowl, the krews were readying themselves with costumes, throws (beads, cups, doubloons and all sorts of goodies) for the parades that happen almost non-stop through Mardi Gras. Oh, to be young again…”throw me somethi’n Mister!”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANick was the canvas of choice for Super Bowl and he was fun to stitch. Basketweaved top part of his face with a light green silk floss (remember the colors for Mardi Gras are green, gold and purple). His beard is a loosely stitched basketweave with green and gray silk floss and them I took a needle and ‘fluffed” or picked at the stitches to give him that 5 o’clock shadow look. All of his OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhair, eyebrows, beard and mustache are Petite Peluche stitched freely in slanted Gobelins. His eyes are padded Satin with an outline stitch and Turkey Tufted eyelashes. I was going to clip the Turkey Tufting but thought it was cute left loopy. He was topped off with a purple beret OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstitched in a stitch using perle cotton and #12 Kreinik braid: #070: Mardi Gras (http://www.kreinik.com/).

I opened up his body to add a wire frame to give him a spine (you have to have a spine to play at Mardi Gras) so he can play with his beads and doubloons…after all you can never have too much fun at carnival/Mardi Gras.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIsn’t he cute? I just love him. He’s been finished and swimming in my from my Carnival/ Mardi Gras days on my desk this past week.

He has a buddy I stitched a long time ago for Halloween. I’m not sure what his real name was (and I don’t see him on the website) but I called him OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWalter, the wizard witch. I love the doll eyes and I think I added the moon to the hat…But his nose is his crowning glory! It is needleweaving (buttonhole stitch) over padding using glow in the dark Kreinik braid (http://www.kreinik.com/). And then I made warts using pony beads and Peluche from Fabulous Fibers (http://www.fabulousfibers.com/Default.asp). He also has wire added to him and he usually sits with my other witches at Halloween holding a tiny beanie baby toy from a McDonalds Happy Meal.

I would really like the heart one shown on Kathy’s website too but I don’t see it listed…Oh I hear my credit card squaking…”Use me, use me.”

Today is Mardi Gras so: “Laissez les bons temps roule!” (Let the good times roll!)

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to eat, party and stitch today!

ttfn…sue
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P.S. This is the rest of my Mardi Gras display. Bought the masks in New Orleans years ago and I love them, some of my throws, my hat and my Mardi Gras Throw bag (partially seen on far right with pom-poms). I even have a No Parking sign that the police chief of Meterie in Jefferson Parrish sent me, it hangs in my hallway year round.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Advertisements

Torin Ailfred O’Patrick and Faces

I decided that my little leprechaun needed a name, so I looked up male Irish names and Torin Ailfryd O’Patrick was born. His name means: Chief (Torin) elf counsel (Ailfryd) of noble descent (O’Patrick) or Toppy for short.

I try and remember to take a picture of the canvas I am stitching to use for reference only; after I am done stitching Toppy I will take another picture for my stitched piece notebook. I have been trying to keep track of what I stitch and have been cataloging pieces I find that are not in my files. I wrote about this a couple years ago (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/keeping-track-of-needlepoint/). New needlepoint canvases have a stitch guide to go with them, some have stitches others have just the threads I used listed.

If a needlepoint canvas has a face I usually try to start by stitching it first. Faces give the piece personality and also can give a clue into how the rest of the piece is going to be stitched. I think needlepointing faces can be daunting especially when trying to make the face appear realistic; and I think Basketweave & Continental are best suited to either realistic or interpretational stitching of faces. I have seen a Long & Short stitched face that was lovely; it was executed in 1 strand of silk and I doubt that any stitch was more than 4 threads in length. But for the most part I feel Basketweave and Continental are the best; and very realistic complexions can be stitched using one of several thread blending techniques. Sometimes it is best to stitch the entire face and then stitch the special features over this base; other times stitching the features within the face are more desirable; each canvas should be judged on its own.

The first angel is a Gay Ann Rogers (http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Home_Page.html) tree topper and her face is stitched very simply with just eyes and mouth stitched also; there is no shading, outline or detail.

The next angel’s face is a Brenda Stofft (http://www.brendastofftdesigns.com/) angel class, taught many years ago but such a classic. It is difficult to see in this picture but her shading is delicate and realistic. She was stitches with 4 colors of floss, all in Basketweave and Continental: #1 outlined her face, neck, chin and tip of her nose, #2 filled in on either side of the nose and up into the eye area and also under her chin, #3 was stitched with a needle blending technique using two colors of floss just to give the suggestion of blush cheeks, #4 was the remaining parts of her face.

This Lee  (http://www.newleesneedlearts.com/) Geisha canvas was a real challenge. I wanted her to be as realistic as possible and to have the ivory complexion of the geisha. There are 5 colors of silk floss mostly stitched in Basketweave and Continental with an overlaid and outline stitch: colors 1-2-and 4 were so close in value that I barely could tell them apart when not in their original skein.  #1 is the lightest of the silks used on her face; #4 I knew I was going to outline the face but I also wanted the chin to be defined but not by an outline stitch, so there are continental stitches along the chin area that are thread  needle blended of colors 1 & 4; color #2 is under the chin; #3 is the cheek area and is the same value as color #5 but with a pinkish tint to this color family; # 4 is the outline used around the profile of her face and one stitch into the chin area before the tent stitches were used to suggest the rest of her chin; and #5 is the darkest of the flesh colors stitches over the Basketweave to suggest her lowered eyelid.

Ready –to Go Santa (Beau Jeste canvas/class and another fun face) He just has two colors #1 for basic face and #2 outlines nose and is also used for his cheeks. If this had not been a class, I might have overlaid his nose area with #1 in a horizontal Gobelin.

Back to Toppy’s face. I am stitching his face in Basketweave; stitching over his closed eye, eyebrows and nose areas; his open eye cheeks and mouth are left unstitched. Later this week, Toppy and I will be back with a sparkle in his eye and the details of his face.

Do you name your canvases? So how do you approach stitching canvases with faces? I love hearing what other stitchers do to make stitching their canvases more personal.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

P.S Happy Valentine’s Day too.