wallflowerarts

Adding Gold to Our Rainbow

Archive for the category “embroidery”

It’s been awhile

Again. My health crashed pretty badly and we had a fair bit to do with the October Market and a couple of commissions. I got a diagnosis of a herniated disc pushing on my spinal cord in my neck and recently of Carpel Tunnel syndrome. Pain in my neck, shoulder, arm and hands has really limited my time on the computer and my migraines had been back to daily again. I’ve been told not to stop my handcraft/art though so at least I can keep creating.

I have been keeping up a bit more with our Facebook page and since I got my new phone I’ve been able to post photos on our Instagram again and post on our Twitter. These will probably be the best places to keep up to date with what’s new for us.

We have finished many items since I last did a round up so I’ll try and get the photos edited and posted but with our internet as slow as it is and sitting at the computer causing problems I’m not sure how long it will take.

For now I will share the photos I’ve managed to get to load on Instagram. Sorry for the low picture quality, My phone has never been good enough to have a decent camera. I hope to keep up to date with this blog more from now on.


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Embroidery commission for a friend’s niece. The power was off because of a storm so I sat in the doorway embroidering. Our house is pretty dark so doorway it was. I wish we had somewhere to comfortably sit in the front yard.

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The little fuzz bucket, Dougall, after his summer haircut. Both dogs grow long hair over winter and we cut them short come spring.

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And the big one, Pippin. Don’t let the slightly worried face fool you, that was for the storm. He was ecstatic to have short hair again, bouncing all over the place. Excuse the feed bag of fleece in the background. There was nowhere else to put it.

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The storm didn’t last long

Font garden Nov 2013
The roses on the fence are out and in the foreground you can see the Borrage and spinach

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Sunset

The Wholefood Kitchen
Asparagus, feta and quinoa salad and an apple juice at The Wholefood Kitchen, Bathurst. We adore The Wholefood Kitchen. It’s such a friendly place. The staff treat you like family and the food and coffee are excellent. Food is local and in season and amazing. It’s right near the Bathurst Wholefood Co-Op too. We have coffee here most Wednesdays before I go to Hydrotherapy. We sit and work on what ever projects we’re in the middle of. It’s really worth a visit if you’re in town. It’s open Wednesday to Saturday from 8:30am to 2:30pm
49 William St Bathurst NSW 2795
(02) 6332 9327

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The shawl Ruth was working on. Hopefully we’ll get a full picture soon

Pizza capers
We finally got around to trying Pizza Capers in Bathurst. So much of their menu is gluten free. It’s fantastic to have this here as we don’t have a Crust Pizza up here.
I’ve never lived anywhere that has as many Gluten Free options as Bathurst.

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We shared a Bourbon BBQ Chicken pizza. It was a bit sweet for me but that’s the style of pizza. Most importantly, I didn’t get sick. We will definitely be going back.

Embroidery progress
More progress on the embroidery

Storm coming
Another storm

Front fence full of roses
The front fence is covered in roses

Peach and nectarines with sugar ready to become jam
Peach and nectarines with sugar ready to become jam

Orange and elderflower marmalade
Orange and Elderflower jam from a friend

Front garden Nov 2013
The garden. It’s such a pretty time of year. It’s full of ladybirds and butterflies and bees. Shame about the heat.
The darker rose on the far fence smells wonderful.

First Jam of the season
The result of the jam making. This one is such a beautiful colour.

Embroidery commission
The finished embroidery

Hipster Totoro
Hipster Totoro. I was needle felting a big grey Totoro for a friend and then accidentally added a mustache.

Swaps can be great fun

Earlier in the year I signed up for a needle work swap on Flickr in the Phat Quarter group.
It’s a great way to get involved and you end up with a wonderful piece of art for your wall. It’s fun, if a little nerve wracking, to create something for everyone else.

The theme was Blinded By Science.
My assignment was to create an embroidery for Mooshee. I love their embroidery, especially their plus sized pin ups so I decided to mix that with science.

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I was happy with how it turned out.

The most exciting thing though was getting this amazingly, gorgeous embroidery in the post from Sarah Hennessey. My photos can’t do it justice. The stitching is so precise and beautiful.

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Sarah’s photo of the piece shows some more of the wonderful details.

You can find a similar design along with a whole botanicals series at her Etsy shop Sometimes I swirl.

 

Sunday Link Post

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* Article about the amazing Holterman photo collection and it’s rediscovery in a Sydney Shed”Discovered by chance in a garden shed in suburban Sydney after being lost for more than half a century, the Holtermann collection is Australia’s most internationally significant historical photographic archive. Taken between 1870 and 1875, the collection of 3,500 glass plate negatives has recently been digitised by the State Library of NSW, unlocking fascinating stories hitherto hidden in the blurry background. Capturing nineteenth century Australia with extraordinary precision, the photos document life in gold rush towns such as Ballarat, Victoria and Hill End, NSW. Spectacular promotional shots of Sydney and Melbourne also feature alongside portraits of Australian citizens. Viewing the collection you are taken into their world.”
These are fantastic. When you look at them on the computer you can see so much detail. Loads of photos of Hill End in the collection. Including one of our cottage.

* Pin up girl clothing. I can’t afford this stuff but it’s reasonably priced and I love the look. Wish I could try some stuff on. I don’t like dresses and skirts and all but I’d love to see what these look like on. They are gorgeous.

* The High Cost Of Cheap Food. Great article about food security, ethical food and how the big supermarkets are screwing people over. Often ethical food is placed too far down the list of spending priorities. I’d rather eat free range and chemical free than go to see a movie. I prioritize my health an animal welfare above expensive clothes and the newest electronics. We get very little money a week between us but we buy local, ethical and as chemical free as we can.

* The Mudgee Project Mudgee is a town near(ish) to us. They are known for wine and honey. We shop their occasionally but with our doctors, hydo, more gluten free options and later shop opening hours, we tend to go to Bathurst much more often. This project is a photographer taking a photo of Mudgee once a week for a year. It’s a stunning collection of photos. I couldn’t make it to the exhibition as I had pneumonia but you can still look at the photos online.

* Easy Chain Stitch post on Sublime Stitching “The “chain stitch” is the one everyone has heard of, but hates to do. Why? Because it’s laborious. It doesn’t always come out nicely and it uses up a lot of floss. But, chain stitches create a nice thick, textured line. It’s one of the most embroidery-ish embroidery stitches there is. This technique will guarantee they always come out perfectly.”
I’d actually started doing them this way myself because I couldn’t get the other way to look right. It’s good information to have.

* How Fast Is The NBN This page shows in real time the difference between what Labor are going to implement (fibre to premises) and what the Liberals want to do (Fibre to the node and copper to premises). Liberals plan is ridiculous and we wouldn’t be any better off than we are now, possibly worse as we wont get subsidised satellite. The further from the node the more the signal is degraded. We’re a long fucking way from anywhere.
How are Australian businesses located anywhere other than the middle of the capital cities meant to compete with the rest of the world? Optic fibre all the way would allow rural and isolated schools and students to connect with other schools for projects it would allow people in rural and isolated areas to use skype services to consult with specialists in the city without having to drive for a day or more.

* Visual Art Resources From Accessible Arts NSW (disability and arts but useful for anyone starting out) Developing your exhibition plan, Presenting your exhibition, Documenting artworks, Photographing live performance.
Except I still don’t understand them and can’t really do them myself.

* Sandra Dieckmann’s illustrations She draws fantastic animals

* Pipecleaner sculptures Using nothing but pipecleaner. Animals. How??

* Cake Wrecks: Sunday Sweets – 80’s Movie Night theme. I love them.

* Bathurst photos from the Vault The Western Advocate has combined with the National Archives of Australia and Bathurst Library to bring you these hidden treasures.

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Sunday Link Spam

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* Novelist David Mitchell looks back on the heartbreak – and joy – of learning that his son had autism. And an extract from the book ‘The Reason I Jump’ by Naoki Higashida, translated by David.

* Meet Thelma… and Louise, the Baby Two-headed Texas River Cooter Adorable turtle that seems to be doing well.

* Fibre Art Specimens a look at some gorgeous science based fibre art compiled by Magpie & Whiskeyjack.

* Five must see tutorials for getting started in Machine Embroidery I’d love to be able to get an embroidery machine. I’d like to digitize my own art but I also love the designs you can get at Urban Threads. I don’t have the space or the money though so for now I dream.
I’d love to stitch these gorgeous butterflies on the back of a hoodie

* These Photoshop and Illustrator tips on Threadless are really useful

* I wish I could afford a blog/webpage designed by Bakercourt

* The needle felted art by ex-soldier Kiyoshi Mino is amazing.

* This tutorial on making a screen print from an embroidery hoop and water proof glue by Reasonably Gumi has given me loads of ideas I want to try out.

* This Peacock Dragon art by David Revoy is amazing

* A gorgeous crochet Mario Bros blanket

* A Toy Maker Makes A Toy Maker by Doktor A. “It is glorious! Just look at the intricate detail of this robot toy maker making more toys at his trusty workbench with a plethora of spectacles. The tiny details, from the miniature glass dome to the tiny bench clamp are absolutely fantastic.” Gorgeously steampunk as usual from Doktor A. I love his stuff.

* Cake Wrecks: Sunday Sweets – Video Games theme Not sure I’ve played all of these but the cakes are amazing.

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Art, my connection to where I live, the dissonance between that and my cultural heritage.

Widdershins – an exhibition of Moorland Mythic Art I so, so want to go to this gorgeous exhibition in Devon. Artist involved include Alan Lee and Brian Froud. So much gorgeous art that makes me cry. Oh god I wish I could see it in person.

“Dartmoor’s landscape is steeped in magic and mystery and it is home to many artists whose work is inspired by mythic themes. Widdershins showcases the work of those who live on Dartmoor (or have local connections) Widdershins explores local legends, world myth, folklore and faery tales in diverse, surprising ways… and although it all starts ‘Once Upon a Time’, it is definitely not for children only.”
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This is the sort of stuff I’d love to draw and sculpt and bring in to my work but I am so far removed from the landscape that is linked with British Folk Law.
I feel a real connection with the land out here but the myths and legends out here are either still set in European landscapes or they are Aboriginal law and to create with those is appropriation.

How do I work with Myth, Legend and the spirit of the land I live in without being disrespectful to the people that were here long before? How do I work with my cultural heritage when living and connecting with a land that is so vastly removed?

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I can make up new stuff on my own, I know, but there is something about working with legends and myth that goes back thousands of years, that other people connect with and have connected with.

I sit here in this ghost town of a gold village and I spin yarn from wool straight off a sheep. I embroider artworks with needle and cloth. I light my fire and sit by it’s warmth. These things were done by women in this spot since the 1850s. These slow ways of being, of creating, of living are something that connects me to the history of this place but I want to create art based on the spirits of this place, on the mix of landscape and imagination that brings the place to life.

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Water here is precious. Sun is plentiful and in summer it is dangerous. Summer is not the warm, pleasant, plentiful time of joy that it often is in England where I was born. Winter isn’t ice and snow and a baron land.
This village, at 850m above sea level and the other side of the Great Dividing Range from the coast is the closest I come to the weather and plant life I was born in to in Easbourne, Sussex, England.

We have milder summers and much colder winters than the coast. We have lots of European trees planted in the village. We actually get a proper Autumn here where all the leaves change.

Autum in Hill End

Within a short walking distance though it’s back to Gum trees and Wattle, which I love, but it is green all year round, or at least our version of green witch is really fairly grey. Summer is drought and heat and storms. It’s fire and floods and sun that burns everything brown and grey and brittle. It’s full of flies and mosquitoes, snakes and spiders. It’s certainly not a green and plentiful time.

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We get a few days a year of 40c. Much less than we did on the coast but still awful. We get some winter nights at -6c. Much colder than the coast but we’ve only had one decent snow fall where it stuck. And even that was gone by morning.

snow in Hill End

We get less water and more floods. This land is a harsh and dangerous paradise. It’s hard work and red dust and wide open spaces. It’s coal and steel and gold. It’s sheep and cattle and kangaroos that well outnumber the people. It is beautiful and harsh and so very, very old but at the same time it’s brand new.

High Water in the Turon

Road to town

I want to make art to reflect that, to connect to this land that lives and breaths with me. To show others the savage beauty and the things you can’t always see. The things that were and the things that weren’t and the things that are.

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I have been considering paintings that show European myths and legends in an Australian landscape and how out of place they look.
I want to go and sit out in the bush and take photos and draw the things I don’t see. I want to needle felt creatures that fit within our landscape but don’t exist and the ones that do.
In a less literal sense I want to spin wool dyed with the plants and ochres of where I live.

Now to find the time, space and money to make a start on this. Not sure I have enough of any of those to get much done any time soon though. I have only the space of my arm chair and the small amount of time when my health lets me think and do at the same time. Money is even more scarce at the moment.

2013 Heritage Wool and Natural Fibre Muster Part 2

Part one can be found here

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Such pretty yarn

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Felted fire

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Felts and dyes

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Gorgeous fibre

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Cute placemat

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These were all fantastic. Ruth ended up buying one

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So much pretty

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So many things we wanted but couldn’t afford

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We left the Arts Centre and walked over to the Court House where the rest of the stalls were.

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Outside the Court House

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I ended up spending ages feeling these Artisan Lace yarns. So soft and amazing colours. I wanted to use them for embroidery. I ended up narrowing it down to the purple and the peacock green/blue. I went away for a while to look at other stuff as I’d just bought some Woolganic from them but ended up coming back and grabbing the green/blue one. It’s stunning. Not sure what exactly I’ll embroider yet but I think it will be on the back of a black hoodie.

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This stall had the most amazing felted alpaca hats. I fell in love with the grey one. The prices were good but I just couldn’t afford it.

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Here it is. Isn’t it pretty. I also love the little alpacas

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And here is our spoils. From top left we have a new cable for Ruth’s interchangeable set as the old one broke. A gorgeous yarn by””, 8 balls of Woolganic wool. It’s so soft and pretty.
Second Row: The peacock blue lace weight yarn, a bag of white corn silk fibre, a lovely nostepinne that looks like a beater’s bat from Harry Potter.
Bottom row: black, purple and white Merino/Silk fibre, a bunch of business cards and some needle felting needles.

I did enjoy the show a lot and will try and get there again soon. I ended up with my health crashing badly after walking around for so long. Still managed to get to Orange and get some shopping done.

2013 Heritage Wool and Natural Fibre Muster Part 1

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Last Saturday we went to the Heritage Wool and Natural Fibre Muster in Carcoar.

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We turned up later than we hoped. Managed to drop in to the Bathurst Co-Op for veg and The Wholefood Kitchen for fantastic coffee and some delicious lemon and coconut cake on the way.

They had two gorgeous Alpacas out the front in a pen. Adorable things they are. The bigger one kept stopping the other one from getting to the food bucket.
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Bumble Hill Alpacas

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These are the gorgeous prizes for the raffle. The jumper on the left was so soft, knit in a fine alpaca yarn. Sadly we did not win. Would have loved that. The first prize is a beautiful woven throw rug and third prize was a cowl made with hand spun, died and knitted alpaca yarn. The proceeds of the raffle are going to aid the spinners in the Christchurch area.

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I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to put names to most of the stalls. It was packed and I was in a lot of pain. I grabbed a whole heap of cards but I really can’t remember which one went with which stall. 
This one I do know though. This is Casbar. Their farm is just outside Hill End, we’re practically neighbours. 
There was a gorgeous grey fleece that I would have loved to buy but it was out of my price range. 
There was also some soft, soft alpaca, some beautiful spun wool and lovely jumpers, hats and scarves.

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Casbar’s gorgeous scarves and a jumper

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Gorgeous hand painted yarn

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Denise Lithgow Designs

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Smooshy skeins, jumpers and hats

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Pinwheel jacket and lovely pastel yarns

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Dyed locks

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Orange lace

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The bobbin lace demonstrations were fascinating.

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We ended up in a photo in the Blaney Chronical. We’re in the third photo along watching 10yr old Anna demonstrate bobbin lace making.

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There was a competition through the local spinning and craft groups. The theme this year was bags.

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 It was a great day out with loads of smooshy yarn and fibre to feel.

It’s great to get to see stuff in person, see what it looks like in natural light, feel what it’s like, how stretchy or bouncy it is. Without Internet shopping we’d be terribly limited in yarn choice but it’s so hard to know what stuff is worth buying.

We will definitely try and get to the muster again next year.
I have way too many photos for just one post so look out for part two soon.

Finshed projects: Part One, the embroidered jacket

Once again health got in the way of keeping this updated. We’ve also been really busy with commissions and birthday presents. It’s time to start posting some of the projects we’ve finished in the past month or so.

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My big project for a while has been an embroidered jacket for our friend’s birthday. I got a black hoodie from K-Mart and embroidered wings on the back. I picked this design from Urban Threads as my friend loves butterflies. I love the design, it’s really pretty.

This was my first time embroidering on clothing and on fabric that was stretchy. I bought some dissolveable  stabiliser. It was a fairly open design without any large areas of solid stitching and as I was hand stitching it rather than machine stitching (one day I may own an embroidery machine but it will have to be when we’ve moved somewhere bigger, there’s not even enough room for a printer here) I figured that dissolveable stabiliser would be enough.

The jacket was black so it was much easier to draw the design on to the stabiliser so I attached the stabiliser on to the outside of the jacket rather than the inside. The dissolveable stabiliser doesn’t fuse on with heat so I pined it down and then tacked it on with thread. Getting the stabiliser to stay in the right place and getting the design centred was probably the hardest part of the project.

Once I had the stabiliser in place I used baking paper to trace the pattern off my netbook. It wouldn’t all fit on the screen at the size I wanted it so I drew the part that was on the screen, moved the paper up and traced the rest of it. If you turn the brightness up as far as it will go and press really lightly with a soft pencil this is a great way to transfer designs.

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With the design drawn on paper I slipped the paper underneath the stabiliser and got Ruth to put the jacket on so I could make sure I got the wings in the right place. Once I did, I just traced the design on to the stabiliser. Then it was just a matter of choosing my colours, hooping it up and stitching it.

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I didn’t have a sharp needle that would fit all 6 strands of thread through the eye so I stitched 3 strands in a purple. This didn’t show up as much as I’d have liked it to against the black so I added a darker blue and an aqua. I wanted a really bright teal but couldn’t find one.

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Here is the design mostly stitched in one colour. It showed up great against the white of the stabiliser but not so great against the black of the jacket.

I tried adding a metallic silver thread but it was really difficult to work with and didn’t look as good as I wanted it to.

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Here you can see the silver down the bottom left corner of the design. I wasn’t happy with the way it looked as a highlight colour and I didn’t have anywhere near enough to stitch the whole design with it.

If I did this again I’d probably find a colour that stood out well against the black on it’s own. I love the look of the three different colours but it took so long. I had to stitch the whole design three times.

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Purple, Royal Blue and an Aqua DMC Cotton against the stabiliser.

Once I had finished stitching the design I cut away all the excess stabiliser as my test piece had shown that although the stabiliser dissolves completely it leaves the fabric stiff like starch. I wanted to cut out the bits between the lines of stitching too but with the scissors I had it would have been too easy to cut the fabric so it just wasn’t worth it.

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Here’s the jacket with the excess stabiliser cut away.
Next I just chucked the jacket in the washing machine on delicate with some towels. There were some glue like marks left on the jacket after the first wash. I don’t know if washing it on a normal cycle would get rid of more on the first go, if I should have used washing detergent rather than just soap nuts or if it just needs two washes. 
I didn’t have time to wash it a second time before posting it but I gave instructions to my friend that the marks should come off after another wash. The stitching held up fine in the washing machine so I was happy about that.
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Here’s the jacket hanging upside down on the line to dry. I’d lost my card reader for the camera so these are mainly phone photos. The jacket is actually black, not grey and it dried without all those wrinkles.

I definitely stitch better with a hoop than just trying to hold the jacket by hand. I have a lot of issues with my hands, they often shake, they sometimes spasm, I get a lot of pain in them and I can sublax or dislocate the joints in my fingers easily so I have to be careful how I stitch but this was an enjoyable project and I’m very happy with how it turned out. I have about 3 other jackets planned for me now. I’d be happy to take commissions for embroidered jackets but it takes so long and is a lot of work so they jackets would cost between $85 and $100 depending on the complexity of the design.

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Close up of the stitches
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Next month I’ll be visiting my friend and I will get some finished photos of someone wearing the jacket in decent light with my proper camera. I just ran out of time.
I ended up using 3 skeins of each colour cotton DMC thread, half a metre of stabiliser and it took just over a week of stitching each evening to finish it. 
Given that this was my first on clothing and my first time working from someone else’s design I’m very happy with it. There are so many Urban Threads designs I’d love to do. I have a dark blue jacket that is going to get a TARDIS design on it and another black one that I want to stitch the firebird design on and a grey one that I want a tree on the back, maybe this one. I’d also love to do some Streampunk jackets and sew up and embroider a whole bunch of re-usable shopping bags.
Coming Soon: In a couple of days I’ll have a post up about the knitted hoodie commission we finished and one about the hats and gloves we’ve been busy knitting. As soon as my recipient receives the embroidery I posted I will also have a post about the Blinded by Science Phat Quarter Needlework Swap and the absolutely amazing embroidery I received.
I also have a couple of posts about amazing local food and buying direct from the farmers and some recipes we’ve been making with that awesome local food.
What have you been up to lately craft wise?

Busy day at the market

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It was a stunningly pretty day today. Blue skies and sunshine. Got too warm for me.
It was down to 5c over night but it must have been in the high 20s today.

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Not the best sort of weather when most of our products were woolen hats and gloves. We still sold more than I thought we would and some badges, some of the note cards and one of the post cards.

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It was great to see everyone. Some great conversations with people and I got a fair amount of spinning done.

I’m exhausted though and I didn’t eat properly or drink enough and then forgot to take my meds. I’ll have to be much better about that tomorrow.

Our cat has been really sick lately but after $300 of vet bills and a week of her being miserable she’s really come good. Her and her brother have really loved the carrier bag we got from A Slice Of Orange the other day

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Once again please excuse the phone photos

A few months ago I signed up for my first needle work swap. It was through the Phat Quarter Flickr group and the theme was ‘small things’. I love Owls and Scops Owls are tiny so that was what I decided to embroider. I just worked from a photo so there’s no pattern for this.
I hope to get a decent photo up of it soon once I find my card reader.

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Joy to the world from Wild Olive and a giveaway

Last month Mollie from Wild Olive put out a call on twitter for people to stitch up a secret design that was to be part of the Christmas celebrations on her blog. I had finally finished sewing together the Nativity figures for our in-law’s Christmas present and was looking for some embroidery to do next so I put up my hand.

Mollie sent me the pattern and here’s my result. Details about the give away below.

Embroidery for Wild Olive

Stitch and colour choice were up to me. I adore rainbows so I decided to go with 6 different colours for Heaven.

Embroidery for Wild Olive

Nature is stitched with a gorgeous blue/green cotton colour way I picked up from Lincraft last time I was in Penrith. I thought it went perfectly with the word nature.
For the words Heaven and nature I used back stitch.

Embroidery for Wild Olive

For Sing I decided to use three single threads of three different gold colours spliced together to get a nice rich tone with highlights and lowlights. It is stitched in outline stitch with the highlights in a brighter yellow and split back stitch.

You can get the patten to embroider your own text from Joy To The World over on Wild Olive. Mollie also has “Repeat the Sounding Joy” and ” Wonders of His Love” patterns and they’re all avaliable as PDFs and have a Creative Commons license on them so head on over and check them out.

Embroidery for Wild Olive

Don’t embroider yourself or don’t have time to embroider right now? I have decided to give away this embroidery.

What do you get?

One lucky winner will get this embroidery stitched with cotton thread on a soft cotton fabric in a plastic display hoop. I will send it anywhere in the world so you can enter where ever you live. I will be posting this off next week but it is coming from Australia and for other countries I can’t guarantee it will get there before Christmas. There should be plenty of time but the postal systems at this time of year get a bit bogged down.

Embroidery for Wild Olive

How do you enter?

To win you just have to head over to my Wallflowerarts etsy shop and then comment back here and let me know what your favourite item in my shop is. Comment here by Midday Tuesday 11th December (Australia EST) and you will be in the draw. Tuesday afternoon I’ll use a number randomiser to pick a winner. Make sure to leave me some way to contact you so I can get an address to send the embroidery to.
For an extra entry you could promote the giveaway with a link here from Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Just let me know in the comments. 
Good Luck.

Embroidery for Wild Olive

Tomorrow I will blog about the process of embroidering this pattern with progress photos

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