News / Swans

  • Disaster! High Dramas and Heart Warmers

    I’ll just let that one sit with you for a moment. Closer look? Are there words to describe the sheer tear-soaked devastation I felt on receiving my precious, sweated and slaved-over Swans from my framing lady, completely smashed? I mean, can you handle the drama? It’s like Eastenders Xmas Special. Or something. I came home on Tuesday (18th) night to find my framed piece in the kitchen. Nervous and excited me and Mister carefully started to slice open the well-packed and layered parcel. Then I heard it. Like Sleigh bells but more ominous. Tears were shed. Many many tears. The good...

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  • VIP Commission: Swan-a-thon is over!

      THEY. ARE. DONE! Let’s go back a stage. So I knew the 2nd swan would be quicker to do than the first as all the decisions had been made and I was essentially copying. This first pic is actually what I did last Sunday after the mega stitchathon. Over Thursday, Friday and Saturday I did the rest: So it’s gone from this: To this: The finished pair. If it was mine, I would call it ‘Swans Kissing In The Snow’. I added just a sprinkling of french knots to prevent them looking like they were floating, like stickers. I’ll...

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  • VIP Commission: I have invented Embroiderers Yoga.

    Well. This is the MOST intense amount of embroidery I’ve ever taken on and it’s the very tight deadline to get it to my finishers (as in, professional stretching and framing rather than anyone finishing my embroidery, obv) that’s the real challenge. Originally it was going to be the 12th, then it became the 3rd. Sigh. So it requires some serious hours at the coalface. I’ve written before about all the different stages it takes to complete an embroidery to professional standards, and you have seen the preparation that goes into the canvas before needle even meets thread. But I...

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  • VIP Commission: This weekend’s work

      I am very very pleased with this. I used spun silk in satin stitch on the tail, back to cotton on the under wing. The large wing gave me design problems as I couldn’t initially decide on the best way to complete it, but then inspiration struck from the art-deco style and I created overlapping arces in two tones in split stitch. You might be able to see tht if you view the pics enlarged. The face is split stitched. I totally got a reward when I put the face in and suddenly there he was, a proper swan....

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  • VIP Commission…This is an Endurance Sport.

      This is what my desk currently looks like. Tidying up, along with all other non-essential tasks, have ceased to work on the VIP Swans. It’s going well. Better than well, probably my best work. But I am a very bad embroiderer. My mister says it’s the ‘Mad Scientist’ in me. I literally sleep, dream, eat, breathe this piece. Well, I would if I actually ate (or drank) anything during a session of stitching. I’m bad. I get all intense and can’t leave my chair. At night I obsessively think of the next bit and what stitches to use and...

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  • VIP Commission…transferring the pattern

      So my pinboard which I usually use for damp-streching my finished work has been taken over by swans (and toadstools). Progressing with the pattern transfer. This was a lesson in trusting one’s instincts versus trusting one’s ruler. It was a draw. Here is my prepared piece; you can see the backing cotton under the doily with tacked centre lines and circular lines attaching both together. On goes the tissue paper pattern and I line up the centre lines. Here’s the start of my problems. Because I had tacked the two fabrics together in a rough circle, it was fooling...

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  • VIP: Stage 1

    Stage one of my VIP commission. So we knew we wanted to work on one of my vintage doilies, and chose this large circular Irish linen one. I had initially in mind an oval shape as the composition of two swans will naturally sit landscape, but then I noticed this lovely sort of heart shape motif in the lace cutwork, and I thought it would be so nice as an echo to the swans curving necks. The doily is great quality, there was a tiny little hole which I mended, but other than that nothing but one or two tiny...

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  • VIP Commission

    With my Midwinter ’12 collection now launched, I haven’t blogged as much this week as usual; I had thought I would get to ‘upgrading’ a few more designs for jewellery like the Ribcage pendant for a start. Then I was asked to do a VIP commission! It’s a VIP because it’s a very important piece for a very important person to me. This client is an old colleague, mentor and friend and someone with exquisite taste. When she contacted me and we talked about her ideas I got really excited to make this piece for her newly renovated Art Deco...

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