Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Decay and Repair Embroidery

This week for WOYWW I have done another 4 index cards for the ICAD challenge.  As part of my decay and repair theme I was pleased to find a couple of old button cards which I used as backgrounds - one still had the white circular marks on it where the buttons had been (top right).  

Also this week, with it being too hot to do much I got stuck into my new, updated copy of The Subversive Stitch - Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine' by Rozsika Parker.    It's a fascinating book for anyone who loves embroidery and needle craft, or has an interest in women's history or feminism - it was an incredibly useful book when I was studying for my degree in Textile Art and I was so pleased to find it had been republished and brought bang up to date.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


For WOYWW my desk has been busy this week! I have been having great fun trying out a new technique I learnt about from the incredibly talented Morag over at Paper Rainbow.  It involves Citra Solv cleaner and National Geographic magazines, and the process dissolves the ink leaving beautiful background papers.  For anyone interested I found this tutorial here particularly helpful.   The backgrounds on this weeks index cards for ICAD are all from my first attempt at this technique and they led me to work with darker colours and a night time feel - I ended up with a wonderful mix of highly patterned papers and more subtle ones like these - you never know what you are going to get!  I introduced blue as I adore this peacock shade but very rarely use it - I thought the black really enhanced the vividness of it.  I used some pieces of real wings from my old antique collection and I matched them with some brilliant blue embroidery thread  and black lace.

Some close-up details

I love the darkness of this one with the delicate blue spots - so perfect for my theme! 

I used some of the Victorian butterfly wing jewelry I've collected over the years to photograph with the index cards, including a brooch that fell apart when I picked it up - strangely I was thrilled, as I would never have pulled apart a perfectly good piece of jewelry but I love the old, broken look of it and I know I'll put it to good use in the future!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Moths and More Moths!

At the risk of being predictable, here is my work desk for WOYWW this week, and once more I have my index cards for the ICAD challenge - only 4 this week as I have had a lot on, but I'm pleased I managed that many!  I kept them fairly simple and used a combination of machine and hand stitching, with a few very small matt black beads.   On my learning curve this week I discovered that if you sew your stitches too close together on card you end up with the piece of embroidery falling completely out of the overly perforated outline! 

Close up details

OK, so it's a butterfly and not a moth - but what the heck, I love it and I think it goes well with the antique deeds.  This photo influenced my colour scheme for the index cards this week - I really like the simplicity of the black, white and brown

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Decay and Repair Project and ICAD Cards

For WOYWW today I have on my desk another six index cards for the ICAD challenge, and once again I'm working with the theme decay and repair.  I used tweed pieces and bits of antique lace, plus printed moth images.  During the often steep learning curve that is my art journey, I discovered that if you embroider a zigzag stitch around anything circular it looks like a sun drawn by a child!  Hence the rather large amount of zigzagging added to the bottom left card to try and detract from the 'sun' - it's an absolute disaster but I decided to keep it in - I am using these cards much as I would a sketchbook, for trying out ideas, so disasters really ought to stay as they are all part of the process!

For anyone interested I have a large embroidery that's pretty much finished now, and some moth photos that are all part of the 'decay and repair' theme on my previous blog post here

I have a real weakness for old teacups, and I thought this one went so well with the colours I 'd chosen for this weeks cards that I just had to photograph them together!