Friday, December 28, 2012

A Pretty Misers Purse

Miser purse with embroidered silk ribbon pansy.

The diamond shaped purse project came out very pretty.  It makes me think of a young woman at a dance using the purse to hold her dance card.  I am so glad that I noticed it in a movie.  What struck me most about the purse design was the fringe.   After taking a pansy silk ribbon embroidery and drawing a diamond around it I sewed it together with the right side out.  I first tried a button hole stitch but it didn't work.  So I just used a straight stitch and made a lot of random backstitches to secure the seams.  The top was left open and then after trimming the fabric leaving enough for a fringe, it was turned inside out.  Around the open edge of the purse I turned down a hem twice and stitched it down.  The top seams were a problem because when I started to fray the fabric to make the fringe it was easy to fray to much.  I have never done a diagonal fringe before.  So I only frayed to a 1/4 inch from the seams in any direction.  Finally I ran some purple ribbon through the top hem leaving two loops of ribbon so the purse can hang from a wrist.  What was really cool was that the loose woven fabric used had small stains that looked like old pin stains.  If I were to make another purse I would make a bias edging on the top to secure it better.

Close up of pansy ribbon embroidery.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mountmellick Embroidery

I went out today to get some thread to work on the Mountmellick embroidery.  There is only one place in town that has the Perle cotton so I was very lucky to find what I needed.  So this afternoon I started the embroidery.  It is very easy to stitch the design and I'm getting used to the Palestrina stitch.  Even though the fabric is lighter then the book recommends it is still hard on the hands.

Last night I went through the pile of finished embroideries and found some ribbon embroidery I had finished but not yet used.  I decided to make it into a small bag.  Watching a version of "Emma" I noticed a cute little draw string purse.  It was a diamond shaped design and had a fringe.  So I took the silk embroidery and pinned it to a back piece in a diamond shape.  I decided to sew it wrong sides together using a beaded buttonhole stitch.  It is the same stitch I used on one of the Christmas ornaments.  Since it is a lot easier to stitch I want to work on it tonight if I'm not to cold!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas

The big day finally got here and has been dull even by our own standards.  I am still making gifts to send out but I have slowed down.  Started today by being sick and sleeping in.  So I didn't get to make bread for dinner.  We were going to have turkey soup for dinner but it went bad.  So Lee may make us some potato pancakes instead!  The local Chinese restaurant is closed.

So beside resting I have been learning to do a form of whitework called Mountmellick.  It is very simple whitework with only a couple of different stitches, mountmellick stitch and palestrina stitch.  The main difference in this form of embroidery is that it is supposed to be worked on a heavy fabric like cotton duck.  A couple weeks ago I found some fabric that looked right but was a lot easier to stitch on.  So the last couple of days I have been practising the stitches and have actually copied out a pattern and put it into a stitching frame.  It is a wonderful frame that allows me to sit or stand to use it.  The project I am attempting to create is a large pillow cover.  The pattern is from a book I got last Christmas called "Begginer's Guide to Mountmellick Embroidery" by Pat Trott.  The author does the thickest padded satin stitch I have seen used.  She fills in shapes with seed stitch as well as two rows of padded satin stitch before the final satin stitch finish.  I really do enjoy whitework because it is all about light, texture and pattern.  Tomorrow I will have to finish the Herb Robert embroidery because it is supposed to be a Christmas gift and needs to be framed.  Sad that I never got the butterfly right!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lots of Earrings

Earrings!  That is all I seemed to be doing the last few days.  So far they are coming out rather well.  I am a little tired of making them though.  The thought in the back of my mind is to finish 20 sets and then if I don't get any other gifts finished at least everyone will have earrings!  They have lowered the dosage on one medicine and raised the dosage on another so I'm not sure if that last sentence makes any sense.  I still want to make the ear shaped earrings but haven't got the piece to hold it onto my ear working for very long.  It also brings up another problem, making it fit someones ear.  Somehow calling and asking someone to fax a picture of their ear is probably going to alarm someone as to my already questionable sanity!

So here are a few pictures of some earrings I've made.

These two I started but couldn't find the beads to make mates yet!
Crystal earrings with drop fans.
These came out very pretty This was the first time I had used the crystal fans.  The circular crystal has 42 facets so these really sparkle.

Angel earring?
Another picture of the angel earring.
Here I was trying to add the fan as a drop when I accidentally made an angel.
Very abstracted pearl and crystal earrings.
More crystal earrings this has a dangling wirework piece.
Blue, clear and gold glass and crystal beads wired onto a gold chain.
These were a lot of work to make.  There are a lot of small crystals wired onto the chain here with 24 gauge wire.  They came out pretty but to much work.
Another set of clear crystal earring this one was made
using a briolete as a drop.
A set of steam punk earrings in progress.
I was also making some necklaces.  They are just simple wired crystals and pearls.
Cream crystal pearls surrounded with small light blue crystals
alternating with dark blue square crystals and bicones.
Brazilian embroidered roses.
This little embroidery is for a Thank you card.  When it was finished I cut the fabric and glued the edges to the back of a 2.5 by 3.5 card.  It had been a long time since doing the bullion rose but they came out rather nice.  It was another doodle that I made without any planning.  Hope to get it in the mail soon.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Tree Up!

Yesterday I fell asleep before I was able to post!  I fell asleep early and only just woke up at 3:00 pm.  That was probably because I tried to do to much yesterday.  I worked on the kitchen and made biscuits so we could try some black current preserves.  Sadly the preserves weren't as good as I've had before.  Sounds strange but one of our treats is a jar of preserves occasionally.

So after the biscuits, I put up the Christmas tree.  This is my third year with a tree and have 7 ornaments so far.  That is counting the copper ones I've been making.  I also strung lights on the tree for the first time and it was very comic!  The lights are so unevenly strung it looks awful.  But I am going to try to restring them.  There were also some surprises!  The green and copper snowflakes just blended into the tree but the all copper snowflake looks fantastic.  I found some smaller wire snowflake forms and will make these with all copper beads.  The other idea that I've had is to use the crochet wire necklace tutorial and make a very long piece to use as a garland.  Here is the link to the tutorial

I've made a short piece of the garland and it looks great.  It is just that the garland will use a lot of copper wire and beads.  That gives me two ways to recycle the garland after Christmas.  First after Christmas I could cut the garland into crocheted wire necklaces.  That would be an easy and great way to recycle but what would I do with all the necklaces?  The second idea is to cut a few inches of garland at a time and recover the beads and then straightening the wire to use on earrings and other small projects.  I could also go back to my original idea of making the copper necklaces and hooking them together as a garland.  Then people could choose the one they like from the tree and I could give it to them as a gift.  I will have to think about it.

The other gift project is to make truffles and a bread (ie. stollen or cherry bread).  I'm not sure I have the energy to make food this year.  I would also like to make jewelry as gifts.  It just seems a waste to send a box without several goodies for each family.

Yesterday I started making some earrings which I messed up rather badly.  I was making the earring rather abstract and couldn't get a pair to look alike.  I do plan on making a great many earrings this season but maybe not abstract ones!  I'm not able to get pictures right now so I will try again tomorrow.