Thursday, 7 February 2008


Artisusan - that is taking empathy much too far. We take so much for granted, including the putting on of pants -is that the American version of pants or the English, which translates as knickers? Whichever, it is a most frustrating state to be in and I wish you normality as soon as possible.

Hippopip - I find that the loo roll isn’t as sharp as the WS paper but a combination of the two works well - sort of going in and out of focus. I did a lot of research into loo rolls and found the best for casting is the sort sold for recreational vehicles. Another good one was found in a college up North where I was doing a residential. We were responsible for leaving several of the loos paperless. The person who had to replace them probably thought there was a nasty bug going round.

Clarabelle - I have to say that I named my daughter Claire because I thought it couldn’t be shortened. So what do we all call her - you guessed it - Clarabelle. I am so astonished that you bought a computer just to join WoW. That is a terrible responsibility for me, keeping the standard up!

Thanks to everyone who mentioned Workshop on the Web. I do so love doing it so it is great that you enjoy it too. Just been commissioning for the June issue and have got a great line-up, including Pauline Verrinder, Hilary Hollingsworth and Jean Littlejohn.

Annabelle, I must introduce you to Jane Wild. She has been doing some fantastic life drawing lately. I sent her to look at your study. If she lets me I will post some of her stuff when I see her in a week or so.

Sue - yes I am posting more and, yes, it is due to frustration at not being able to do much. So glad I’ve got you lot to talk to.

I remember writing an editorial for Embroidery mag about someone who was chair-bound after an operation. She said that having time for reflection gave her a whole new way of looking at her work. Perhaps it is working for me. I pinned my background on to a board to have a good look before stitching. You may remember that it was going to have a top ‘floaty’ layer of strips. Well, I started fiddling - a tuck here and a fold there - and then pinned the fossils on and looked some more. I have decided I don’t want a top layer and I like it as it is. What do you think?

It is quite big. Even with the folds, it is about 30 inches square, so I can still get away with it as a major piece for the exhibition. I may couch some threads over the top as they were a big part of the original design. I cloned some onto the photograph. Here’s how it might look. Not sure it needs it and I can always use that idea in the next piece.

I managed to do a little stitching this afternoon, just to integrate the piece and merge the colours into each other a bit more. I like to use a zigzag for this, varying the width as I stitch. One of the ace things about Berninas is that they haven’t been seduced into making the width and length controls electronically controlled. They have socking great buttons instead.

Here I am stitching into a piece of puff paint on Thermogauze (current issue of WoW). It’s becoming part of the background very nicely.


I really hope to finish this tomorrow if the back holds out.


Kate said...

I'm really enjoying seeing this piece grow. My first thought was What a shame it isn't 'square' and then I thought Why? Why indeed - the drape is rather attractive. I'm with you on the not needing a top layer (actually, nor the couching). However, have you considered a behind layer??!! (Just something to peek through the holes...)
I do hope your back is all better soon. I had one myself at the end of last year and it is just draining, isn't it!
By the way - have you been following Ben Fogle on his Extreme Dreams (6.30pm BBC2, daily)? Some of the scenery has been breathtaking - really inspiring for embroidery, I thought.

artisbliss said...

Thanks for your well-wishes. I am mending slowly and discovering ways to do hand stitching in all kinds of positions that don't hurt, or at least not as much. I know what you mean about no stamina for sitting up.

I am so intrigued by your nautilus shells. That swirly image has always attracted me and it is cool to see this beautiful organic shape incorporated in your art.

artisbliss said...

Forgot to say pants means trousers, but undies are a big problem, too. I haven't needed this much help dressing since the last time I had a baby!

Wabbit said...

I do like the couching threads the way you've shown them as I think it pulls the eye towards the focal point. Without that, it is pleasant but still is in need of something. I agree with Kate in that a layer behind might be a good idea. Hope the back feels better soon!

The Wittering Rainbow said...

Fabulous shimmery colours! I hope you're friend allows you to post her life paintings/drawings as I'd love to see them. Keep getting better x

Feather on a Wire said...

As always, fabulous work.
Do you think you could make your photos larger so when we click on them we can see more detail?

little sort of lady thing called Granny said...

Hi Maggie! Sorry to hear about the bad back. Hope it improves soon. Studio is nearly finished! Have realised that I have not 'blogged' for ages...knew this would happen!

Genie said...

Love Your work, and look forward to next workshopontheweb

Wabbit said...

Re-reading, I'm sorry to comment again to report that my new Bernina does have electronic stitch length and width controls. I find it really hard to do a smooth taper with the width button. :( I hope your back is much improved.

corryna said...

Wow! I really love this piece. It is beautiful. Wish I could make something like that. Thanks for showing it.