News / Toadstools

  • Old Favourites and New Twists

    I’m so excited about all the new product development I’ve been doing. Some new things and some tweaking of old things. First, here’s the new: New custom birch frames for embroidered jewellery. **Disclaimer  – I know I know. I always say this, but I just AM comfortable putting quick and dirty camera phone pics on my blog, and saving up my glamour shots for a proper photo shoot day when I get the proper DSLR out. Photography bores the shit out of me. Soz. And I celebrated with setting the three new Poisonous Toadstools into them. I rubbed natural soft...

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  • Poisonous Trio #3

    This final Toadstool I am the most happy with, especially as I tried a new stitch out on it and pulled it off. RECKLESS.  This one is Amanita phalloides – Death Cap. So far so same-as, but I decided to give myself a break and quit the bullion knots here as A – the shape of the mushroom means less of the fins are visible so it would be difficult, and B – I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO ANYMORE. So I used a darker colour and satin stitched it. Then I started with the new stitch – Turkey Rug....

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  • Poisonous Trio #2

    Although snazzy, snazziness isn’t everything, so I decided to talk you through the construction of the next toadstool (rather than a slideshow), which I declare to be a juvenile Devil’s Bolete. I chose this nice subtle variegated silk (nauseatingly and wrongly IMO named ‘Pot Pourri’) for the stalk and fins on this one as it was the most neutral of my fine silks. Unfortunately it turned a bit more stripey and yellowy than I thought it would. Oh well. I won’t be able to use it again, seing as it has been half way down my cat’s throat: Sigh. Made...

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  • Poisonous Trio #1

    I guess I’m making up for an absence of work as this will be a trilogy of posts on  my new little mini-collection. Plus I just discoved the slideshow function on WordPress so you can see all the stages of work without so much space! But really I just wanted to try it out… I had intended to do some more toadstools for AGES but something always seemed to put me off when I actually sat down to do them. Maybe it’s the fiddlyness of Stumpwork. Yea probably that. Hadn’t done a bullion knot for a while and they make...

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  • Back to the drawing board

    Hello. I just had a lovely 4-day Easter break. It was tops. We ate, we slept, we did the traditional bank-holiday-Monday trip to Ikea with the whole world and their children. Good stuff. The best part was I got a new chair! Are you excited? I can tell that you are. No seriously, I was starting to get back and shoulder (and neck and hand) problems from sitting on my lovely, but squishy, sofa for, like, 8 hours at a stretch sewing, and really in the interests of wanting to keep on doing that for the next 40 years, I...

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  • Death Cap

    So much learnt! Here’s a brief summary: Dyed the Salamanca fabric in tea and backed it with cotton Raised stem stitch band in cotton (twice) Bullion knots in cotton Needlelace (Single Brussels stitch) in cotton Padded felt slip in wool viscose and cotton padding Brick stitch in Crewel wool Detached woven picot in cotton Couching in cotton French knots in cotton Lettering in backstitch and skull in padded satin stitch in cotton! Sigh. The afterglow of successful creation. I’m basking right now.

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  • Finishing off the mushroom

    So we come to the end. I’ve skipped ahead a few steps in this post so you’ll see all the final stages. After finishing the woven picots, all the main sections were done, and it was left to tart it up a bit. First, I couched in the cap. I used two different colours, in groups of 4 threads, one on top, and one underneath. Then I decided to use another of my lovely hand dyed variegated cottons in a browny, brambley colour scheme, first to couch a line to the base, tidying up the leaves and you-know-what, and then...

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  • Leaves

    When I first saw this stitch described in the RSC Stumpwork book, I got really excited. It was really the stitch that confirmed I needed to do another toadstool just so I could employ it. Again, when I think of traditional Stumpwork I think of fancy little thingies like this. Some 3-pronged detatched woven picots to be precise! Yea boy. I used some gorgeous hand-dyed variegated dark green cotton. They were actually super simple to make. I thought I would leave them detatched but realised they would just flop to the front so put a couple of little holding stitches...

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  • Artistic revision

    At this point in the piece, I sat back and took stock. I realised that what at the start looked like a nice gradiation of colour in the initial panel of raised stem stitch making up the stalk, within the whole composition it now looked a bit crude; the colours are in fact not closely matched enough, so it looks a bit stripey. Also, the idea behind shading it in this way was that it would mimic a natural light source falling on the toadstool. But as I haven’t used darker colours anywhere else, it started to look a bit...

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  • In which I do some fluffy stuff

    Ew. According to the field guide, this is the ‘bag-like volva’ part. Ew. Ew. Ew. HATE that word. *shivers* Anyway. You know how when you touch a dry mushroom, parts of it feels a bit soft and velvety? I wanted to convey that kind of texture tothis portion, and decided to use Crewel wool and techniques to achieve this. Using a Crewel needle, I used one strand of Appleton Bros worsted wool in three shades of mushroomy. I used Brick stitch for this, a satisfyingly regimented kind of long and short stitch, worked in horizontal bands, lovely for trying to...

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