This is the result of several influences coming together into one idea. Several months ago I read a very interesting article/project about color blending - Lois Caron's Optical Color Blending (part I, part II). Ever since, I've been trying to think of an interesting project of my own using the methods discussed. At about the same time, I read some interesting articles that I can't find right now about Tertiary Colors (those formed by mixing secondary colors). Last week at the thrift store, I found a very interesting book Bargello and Related Stitchery by Charles Barnes and David P. Blake. The book has some very nice looking bracelets, so in addition to having new ideas about bargello, it got me thinking about needlepointing bracelets. Then, this week's TAST stitch turned out to be Satin Stitch, which can be used for bargello. So, I decided to try blending secondary colors in a bargello-influenced pattern. It is not at all what I envisioned - it doesn't look much like bargello nor do I see the formation of tertiary colors in the blending. On the other hand, I really like how it is turning out. I've wondered if I should have used a finer canvas since it shows through a little bit, on the other hand, I think the little bits of white showing through keep it from being too dark. I still want to experiment some more in the future with all of these techniques - particularly the color blending. I think it would work better with larger areas of each color, I'm only doing 5 stitches of each blend over 3 threads - a small area of a smaller stitch like continental might produce results I like better. It would be nice not to have to adjust the threads on my needle every 5 stitches too!
I decided to try Oyster Stitch for the warts on my frog. Even after a couple of practice stitches, I'm still not very good at it. But I really liked the effect for frog/toad warts. It's definately a stitch I'll go back to. I'd like to experiment with it in a line as well at some point.
I was browsing the TAST group on Flickr and found this great sample from Fiona Cupcake -
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Here's the bottom part of my Victoria Sampler Heirloom Anniversary Sampler. My class is long finished, but I'm not. Some, but not all of this, is due to the fact that I'm doing the optional Hardanger edging.
I have real mixed feelings about the class. There was a lot of valuable information in the class, but I really feel that some of it should have been a part of the pattern leaflet. And some of it was erratia! As far as I can tell, the only way to get erratia on the VS patterns is to take the related course. Since they have a beautiful and vibrant website, there's really no excuse in my mind for not making them available there. The class also had some hints and tips for an easier order to stitch in. The leaflet essentially goes from top to bottom and then does the frame. The course goes from top to bottom as well but leaves the beads and ribbon embroidery until last for ease in working it in a frame. This makes a lot of sense, but if it's really the best way to work the project, why wasn't the leaflet written in that order? (Note: The course was written by a different VS staff member than the pattern, which may explain this.) That said, there were a number of stiches and techniques I'd never done before and the greater level of detail in the course was very helpful. The real test will be when I do the ribbon embroidery, because I'm completely unfamiliar with that technique. But after looking at the course content, I think I will be able to do it without any problems. The instructor and other class members in the online forum were very friendly and helpful. All in all, I think the class was a good experience, but I don't really feel like it was a good value compared to other products and services from VS. On the other hand, if I were a true beginner or this was my first attempt beyond cross-stitch, the class would have been worth every penny!
I have to admit that I'd probably be more enthusiastic about the class if I were enjoying the project more. It's beautiful, but it's not me - then again it's not FOR me.
I haven't been keeping up with the weekly TAST stitches because I've been working on my Victoria Sampler sampler for my brother's wedding, but I really miss it. Tonight I decided to start up again, even if I'm not in a position to try to catch up. This week's stitch is Crossed Buttonhole. Yesterday at Fabric Depot, I picked up a pair of free sample frogs from Jack Dempsey Needle Art, that were intended to be done in cross stitch. I regularly see stamped goods with nice images at the thrift store, but I don't like cross stitch very much. So, I thought this would be a good chance to experiment with using unexpected stitches on stamped goods. Since it would cover the lines nicely, I decided to try doing one of them using crossed buttonhole instead of regular cross stitch. I'm not sure whether or not I like it, I think it has more to do with the picture itself though, I feel like it needs more filling than just the cross stitches (or in my case the crossed buttonhole.)
I'll have to see what I think when I'm done playing with it though. Since I took the photo I finished the buttonhole and started working on outlining it, which is a big improvement. So, we'll see...
Pico has a cute post about a visit to our LNS on her blog:
Doggie Dash and A Dog I Actually Like!