Wednesday, January 1, 2014


My first post of the new year!!

As well, this is my first attempt at beading and at using french knots.  An interesting exercise.  I'm not crazy about the beading but it's probably because I have tried to make do with the beads I have at hand.  They are quite expensive (well, not bad really, but try and get out of the bead shop without spending $100 or more....and such a tiny little bag as well!!!) and to be really effective, I suspect they should be bought with a project in mind as opposed to being out of one's mind with all the choices and just grabbing willy-nilly.  The french knots were fun to do.  Really, I can see how one might use both embellishments but I'm not really one for embellishments of this sort,... well, not yet, anyway.  I don't want to be closing any doors here!
I'm still not sure how I feel about this fabric. It has a high thread count and so dyes up beautifully but as you can see, it shows all the needle marks!!!  It'll be wonderful for piecing, however, and so I shall carry on with it.  I have dyed up a couple more batches this morning, my first of the new year.  I am messing about with value and I think I have dyed a couple of quite pastel pieces.  I'll show you as soon as I've washed them out, that's always the magic part!  I think they'll be a little easier to use in stitched samples, the colours being a little less intense.

This is the little drawing that inspired the above pieces.  I'm enjoying experimenting with different pencils and trying to get the tonal values that I see in the photograph.

And finally, my first ever photo that I've produced, messing about in Photoshop Elements and using textures. It's also my first lot of pics taken with my new lens, a prime lens, for portrait work.  I don't actually do portraits, but flower heads, well, that's sort of a portrait, isn't it???  I know it's not great and in fact, it  needs a bit of cropping off the bottom, but I was excited to get it this far!!!  And in terms of portraits, you can just see my little St Francis statue in the background....I really don't do people shots, but perhaps this will qualify!!

So that's it, a series of firsts, and it's only January 1 today!!!  (Mind you, I guess everything I do today will be a first, if I want to get really picky!  But some of these are firsts ever, so I think they work!)

And so, as I think of all my dear friends, old and new, loved and lost, may the blessings of the season be yours throughout the year.  And happy creating!

I'll be back....


  1. What a lovely post this is! Beautiful delicate work and wonderful words and greetings.
    May your new year be happy as you create.

  2. ... And another thought about french knots ... I imagine you already know of the books and DVDs by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn - 'Creative Embroidery', 'Stitch Magic' and 'Stitchscapes' among others. If not, you'll find them at Most are available on Amazon (some at crazy prices) and I've found them very useful.
    I've used french knots quite a lot in the past. I really enjoy the repetitive nature of the stitching of them and the raised texture. With practice I've found I can vary the results a great deal which I like.

    1. Oh yes, thanks for the reminder, Margaret. I in fact have all their books (I'm a bit of a book fiend) and their dvd's as well. And you're right, they contain lots of great ideas. I shall delve into them again. Tks for the encouragement re the french knots...I shall persevere.....

  3. Lovely portrait of the hydrangea, Marny ! And you stitched work is lovely as well. I envy headers and stitchers … can't wield a needle and thread very well, but wish I could.
    I had a couple of workshops, here in Canada, with Jan and Jean, a long while ago, and still think of the fabulous time I had in their workshop. They are extremely talented and funny, too !
    Happy photo-shop 'ing !

    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comments! And l am so envious, to have taken workshops with Jan and Jean. Lucky you! I am re-watching their In Stitches dvd at present and it is so inspiring.

  4. may your new year continue the way it has started