Saturday, 24 March 2012


I've kind of stalled a bit on the course this last week or so.  I'm really struggling with the Grinling Gibbons stuff.  It's not really grabbing me.  While I can appreciate the beautiful work and the amazing attention to realistic detail it just feels way beyond my skill.
I didn't really feel comfortable doing the sketch work (sorry you'll have to twist your head a bit to get the idea this photo didn't upload correctly)

I don't know what it is I just don't feel inspired.  I've also been struggling to gather the things I need to come up with my own composition for the stitched piece in this style.  I'm thinking I might have to cheat a bit.  On my wall I have this lovely doll that I picked up on a holiday in Greece a few years back.
She's holding this really pretty posy of roses, which reminded me a little bit of the Grinling style of wood carving.  So I might just do a sketch and stitched piece based on this.  We'll see I'll mull it over.
While I'm mulling I think I might move on to the next exercise for a while and come back to Grinling else I could be stuck procrastinating around this one forever.  (By the way isn't Grinling such a fabulous name, I love it!!!)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

In the style of ... sample 3 finished

After another long week at work which left me pretty drained and not feeling like I wanted to do much in the evenings, I hit the machine this morning and got round to finishing the last 'In the style of Cefyn Burgess' sample.

I'm much happier with the way this one turned out.  After a bit of a rocky start, I decided to cheat slightly and sketch some rough placements in pencil on to the fabric to give me a bit of a guide and this helped me get things a bit more where I wanted them.

For something that looks so simple in style, I have found it quite difficult to get to grips with.  I do like the style though and its something that I hope to find time to explore some more in the future.  For now though it's time to move on to Grinling Gibbons

Monday, 12 March 2012

Slow going

If anyone tries to tell you that exercise is good for you, my advice is don't believe them.  On Friday I took a new class at the local gym and oh boy was it hard work.  I used muscles that I didn't even know I had, I was barely able to move all weekend!!  Hence stitching has been slow, my shoulders and back were so stiff I was only able to sit at the machine for 5 minutes at a time.

Some progress on the third Cefyn Burgess inspired piece but not much
Am hoping to have it finished tomorrow, I'm already feeling less achey today so am hoping to be fully fit again and able to sit at the machine for longer.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Trying to think differently

Today I haven't had any time for stitching, but I have had plenty of time for thinking as my mind went a wandering while I was sat in a work meeting today.....oops.  I was thinking about the images of Cefyn Burgess' work that I added to my sketchbook, and the things that I liked about them. 

One of the things that struck me about them was how much variety and detail he includes in his pieces, and so far I've tried to keep my compositions quite simple, including only a few elements in each.

So this is where I'll be going next

I've tried not to worry so much about getting proportions right, about making an accurate representation.  This time I'm trying to think more about shapes and filling the space on the page, I'm reasonably happy with the sketch that I've come up with, I'm looking forward to seeing how this comes out in stitch.

Monday, 5 March 2012

In the style of Cefyn Burgess - part two

Straight back on the horse, well er the sewing machine, after yesterday's disaster, for another attempt at working in the style of Cefyn Burgess.

A couple of weeks ago my lovely colleagues bought me some flowers to celebrate 10 years at my place of work, they have lasted really well and are only just getting to the point of needing to go to the garden recycle bin :)  So before the petals disappeared completely I thought I'd do another kind of recycling with them first.

My composition.
 My sketch
 Translation in to stitch
Much better than the first attempt, yay!  The lines are a lot cleaner and less heavy, and I've managed to get the proportions slightly better, though that is still something I need to concentrate and work on.

I don't think I will have time to get another complete piece done tomorrow night, but I will at least make a start.

The Cefyn Burgess Disaster

Don't you just hate it when things go pear shaped?  My attempt at the next part of chapter one certainly has.  The task was to have a look at the embroidery work of Cefyn Burgess,( you can go take a look here),  create yourself a little still life, then sketch and stitch your design in the Cefyn Burgess style.

This is my still life, created with some bits and pieces I picked up on a lovely walk around and about Castle Combe yesterday.
 This is the sketch ...... looking at it now I can see I got myself in a right muddle, nothing is in proportion and it all looks generally awful.
 From awful sketch to even worse translation into stitch, yuck!!
It's even less in proportion than the sketch, nothing looks quite right and it's all so heavy and horrible, nothing like the feel of Cefyn's pieces at all.

I will try again tomorrow.  I think sometimes things go this wrong because I'm always trying to cram lots of work in to the weekend.  I'm so conscious that I took way too long to complete  the first module and I need to speed things up, but it's hard to find the time to space things out well when you work full time in the week.  The trouble is the more you try to cram in the more the concentration goes and stuff like this tends to happen.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Thread sketching

Sorry I know I've been quiet here and it's been a few days since my last post.  Have had an up and down week and didn't manage to get as much as I'd hoped accomplished....isn't that always the way, life is just so darn busy.

I did manage to finish collecting my resource pictures, and this morning has found me busy sketching away for the next exercise in the chapter.   Don't you always find that moment when you put thread to a nice blank piece of cloth really exciting and scary all at the same time.  I'm always eager and apprehensive to find out whether I can translate the image that I have in my mind.
I don't think that I set myself a particularly easy task with the image I chose in the end, the flower petals were all different shapes and most of the shading and darker parts of the picture were at the middle and outer edges of the flower.  However I think it came out ok in the end.
I'm not convinced that my drawing is really a good accurate representation of the flower, but I think my thread sketch came out very similar to my drawing which is a good thing ..... I think?