My craft of choice recently has been embroidery. Its small, can be done in little snatches and is oh so soothing after a long day.
This little fellow is adapted from a pattern I found on the art blog of the crazy talented Gennine (seriously check her out- so amazing!) I adapted the pattern to fit the size of hoop I wanted to use and off I went. When I finished this little fellow just looked so sad to me that I added the tears. Not sure what he is crying about though.
To get the deeper colour on the tail I mixed strands of thread from the two colours I had already used. Both artistically pleasing and thrifty (I hate wasting thread!)
What have you made this week friends?
Well, here goes. I’ve been working on this piece of embroidery on and off for over a year now. Its one of those piece where there is so much I want to do I tend to get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing. Life is ironic like that.
Its a piece of fabric from Ikea which James brought for me because he knew I’d love the pattern. I’ve been embroidering over it aiming for a cacophony of colour effect to make a really bright wall hanging.
I’ve been experimenting between keeping the colour life realistic like on this heron…
And being a bit more out there and surreal like with this seed pod and the main branch stem.
Like many an embroiderer before me I was very pleased with myself when I worked out that chain stitch could be made to look like feathers.
I’m really really proud of the way in which these leaves turned out. It was my first time at attempting split stitch and if it didn’t take so ruddy long, I would use it as a fill stitch for everything I love the effect so much!
I would dearly love to finish this so I can hang it in my living room, I’m off this weekend from work so I might have to have an intense session on it!
Have a fantastic Wednesday my friends
The original song is by The Magnetic Field I believe and this artist is Nataly Dawn. I can’t get over how beautiful this is.
Well, I say wanders, it was more of a driving tour with a little bit of crutching on my part, but still! My Dad took me out for lunch today and I took some pretty cool photos…
The view from the pub garden
this little fellow was so co-operative and stayed still for ages!
the weather turned a little grey on us
We also went to see the Wenhaston Doom, a medieval church painting that through some strokes of lucked survived the reformation and was rediscovered in the late 1800s, when rain water washed off the coating of white wash. It is generally considered one of the best preserved examples of this type of painting in the country. When you consider that it is over 500 years old and spent a large amount of time white washed, you can see why the history geek in me did a little dance. (Yes this is what a history degree that focused on the medieval period does to you!)
The Virgin Mary and St John the Baptist
On the left St Peter with a Bishop, King and Queen (earthly centres of power) and on the right St Michael and the Devil
The spectacular quality of this painting is even more remarkable when you consider that it is preserved and maintained by a small, country parish church. We walked in there for free, and whilst we did give a donation towards the church, there was no imperative to do so. The doors were unlocked, and whilst I have no idea how much the painting is worth, I imagine it is a substantial amount. The fact that anyone can walk in and bask in the glory of this amazing art work is a testament to church which maintains it, and a culture which values such historical statements. I was impressed.
I’ve been inside churches in Italy and Poland, which were obviously untouched by the reformation and seen the effect which this amount of religious art can have whilst in a place of worship. I am so used in British churches and to just seeing whitewashed walled everywhere, so I think it is worth a moment to imagine what the effect of these painting would have been to their original audience. They depict certain scenes from the Bible which tell of Judgement Day, and the effect on a largely pre- literate congregation cannot be under estimated. It was a good trip.
Okay, history lesson over!
How has your Thursday been friends?
I picked up my sketch pad and water colour pencils for the first time in ages this week. I love to draw but don’t practice any where near enough to be good. One of my ambitions is to take a proper art class at night school one day to learn how to draw properly rather than just using ‘How to’ books!
I hope everyone is having a lovely Wednesday
One major advantage of being confined to home is that I’ve had time to catch up on all the projects which my fingers have been itching to do for ages!
Like this little fellow…
I used french knots as a fill stitch for his wings and tail. I had never used this as a technique before and I’m quite happy with the effect it created. Even if it did feel like it took forever!
I choose a muted brown palette for this little guy, partly because it goes with the colours in my bedroom, and partly because with all the grey weather we’ve been having here recently I was yearning for something a little warmer.
I think I’m most pleased with the way his eyes turned out though.
I think when I get enough balance back, or alternatively when James gets home I will hang him in the bedroom. It feels like a good place for him to live. I modified a bit this pattern from Badbird’s blog (its about 3/4 of the way down). And now I’ve also found a myriad of other free patterns which my fingers are itching to do!
>I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love the sunrise; I never thought I’d be in this position- one where I’m up to watch the sunrise more days than I’m not. Yesterday was a particularly spectacular one. It caught me off guard; a beauty so elemental that it touched my soul at its very core.
The pinks and the purples seemed to battle for dominance over the darken grey sky, slowing pushing their way out, like arms of the universe gently caressing the morning, reassuring the day that it was not alone.
That although the sun had risen every day for the last 5 billion years, this day, would not go un announced in to the cosmos. Its dawning would not go un noticed and without fan fare.
By the time I reached work this morning the sky had mellowed, the vibrant pinks and purples had given way to a gentle golden glow, bathing the landscape. It was beautiful. It reminded me in this grey and often difficult world, that there was beauty. Beauty that is free to all, elemental and right.
This feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day. There is a word to describe this kind of feeling- numinous. A feeling of spiritual awe at the incomprehensible. I could look up the scientific explanation for why sunrise causes the sky to take on different colour, and this would explain to the how. But it would not touch on the why.
Yesterday I stopped to worship at the alter of beauty and nature. I complain about getting up early for my job all the time, and yesterday I was reminded to count my blessings. I live in a beautiful albeit sometimes difficult and dangerous cosmos. It is stunning and inexplicable to me in equal measures. Yet that is the attraction. I love the sunrise precisely because I cannot explain it. A daily reminder that somethings do not need to have a purpose, and that some feelings are worthy because of their innate existence.
Happy Thursday my friends.
(Of course I didn’t have my camera with me yesterday so these pictures are ones I’ve taken over the last year of various mornings.)