Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jane Seymour: Finale

There really wasn't much left to do to finish off the Jane Seymour canvas--it was just a matter of finding the time to do it!

Instead of adding beads to her double-stranded necklace, I opted to stitch it with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #127, one of the threads I'd used on the Anne of Cleves canvas.  Petite gold beads were used to decorate her English gabled hood.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Anne of Cleves: Finale

To give Anne of Cleves a gauzy-looking veil, I used Silk Lame Braid in a T-stitch.  You may need to click to enlarge the photo to see her tassel--the gold beads I added at the bottom of the diamond ray and Smyrna cross show up in person, less so in the photo.

The last step was to give her a necklace of petite gold beads.  This little gal definitely isn't going to get lost on a Christmas tree!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Anne of Cleves: Back on track

The thread snafu is over, thank goodness, and Anne of Cleves' gown is now completed.  Sometimes "reverse stitching" can be a learning experience!  With the red velvet done, I added the trim at the hem of the dress, again using Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #3221 to outline the area and filling in with DMC floss #729 and Smyrna crosses of Kreinik braid #127.

Next on the to-do list is the veil of Anne's headdress, which is decorated with an elaborate tassel.  I've added the top of the tassel, a single diamond ray stitch and Smyrna cross, so I can stitch the veil around it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

One step forward, two steps backward

It wasn't bad enough that I've only been able to stitch at night, due to painting commitments.  And working under less-than-stellar lighting conditions probably wasn't such a good idea.  Fact of the matter is, Anne of Cleves has suffered a wardrobe malfunction.

I was happily basketweaving away when I noticed a strange diagonal streak on the canvas.  I stopped work, thinking to check again in morning light to see if the streak were still there.  Yup, it was--obviously an irregularity in the way the thread had taken the dye.  So I started frogging, determined to find the spot where the streak began.

To lessen my frustration, I decided to finish the trim on her gown.  The bands over three threads were filled in with tent stitches using three strands of DMC floss #729.  For the bands over four threads, I alternated tent stitches in floss with Smyrna crosses of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #127.  I'll fill in the trim at the bottom when I've finished with the red velvet.

Monday, March 24, 2014

More progress on Anne of Cleves

Slow going these days--more painting than stitching--but I've managed to get half of Anne's red velvet gown completed.

In between lengths of red Petite Very Velvet, I've been working on the trim as well:  more braided knitting stitches for her sleeves and stem stitches to define the trim around her neck and waist.

I also did a little work on her headdress, outlining the structured area around her face in tent stitches with a Kreinik metallic that combines gold with a hint of red.  Inside the metallic thread I added gold Silk Lame Braid in slanted Gobelin and tent stitches.  The gauzy veil that falls from this hat will be added later.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Anne of Cleves - Progress I

Anne of Cleves' dress, as captured in the Holbein portrait upon which this design is based, has simple lines constructed with sumptuous fabrics:  red velvet trimmed in gold.  For the red velvet, I chose Petite Very Velvet V655, which I'm stitching in basketweave.

The elaborate insert to her bodice was worked in slanted Gobelin stitches with white DMC floss alternating with tent stitches of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #3221.  More of the same metallic braid was used in braided knitting over one thread to trim the cuffs of her sleeves.

Her face was worked in basketweave with DMC floss and her eyebrows with Burmilana.  The style of her headdress completely obscures her hair.

There's a lot of red velvet and trimming to do, so this is going to take a while!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The German bride

Henry VIII remained wifeless for two years after the death of Jane Seymour.  But the need to secure an alliance with countries supporting reformation and a split from the Catholic Church led him to seek a fourth wife.  His ambassador in selecting a suitable candidate was portrait painter Hans Holbein, who was commissioned to capture likenesses of various noblewomen.

At the German court of the Duke of Cleves, Holbein painted miniatures of the duke's two sisters, Amelia and Anne.  Anne won the beauty contest, and was sent to London for a royal wedding.  Holbein must have used a little "artistic license," however, because Henry didn't find his fiancee the least bit attractive--even calling her a "Flanders mare."  Henry went through with the marriage ceremony but within six months had obtained an annulment.

It was an amicable split, with Anne gaining the new title of "The King's Sister" and several properties, including Hever Castle, former home of Anne Boleyn's parents.  She survived both Henry and his sixth wife, Katherine Parr, and even attended the coronation of Henry's successor, Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon.

This adaptation based on  Holbein's portrait sets Anne of Cleves apart from Henry's other wives in one respect:  no black veil!