Friday, February 22, 2013

Angel progress: garland, claws and tail

Like the angel and the lamb, the lion, too, now has a garland of flowers.  The leaves were worked in satin stitch with two shades of green Impressions, while the flowers were stitched in French knots with Vineyard Silk Classic Bright White, Peppermint and Berry.

When I stitched the brown background at the bottom of the canvas, I covered the bottoms of the claws.  I've reinserted them, using a stem stitch and DMC floss #310.

I find "free-form" stitching the hardest to do--following the pattern for a stitch is easy, but randomly stabbing the canvas to create a desired effect is another story.  Using two strands of a Burmilana that closely matches the main color of the lion's body, I worked random long stitches with the canvas turned 90 degrees.  When I was satisfied with the flow of stitches, I added shading with one strand each of two darker browns in long stitches on top of the base.  I'm hoping that this "practice run" in stitching the tail will make working the mane a little easier.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Acoma Pot, part 2

The Acoma Pot canvas went with me to the monthly meeting of the local needlework group yesterday.  This design had taken a back seat when I started work on the angel canvas, but the angel was much too large for an outing.  And I'm getting to the tricky part on the angel canvas, too.  Doing some simple basketweave in the midst of a lot of folks chatting while plying their needles seemed like a good idea!

I've now added the last two colors of Vineyard Silk Classic to the mix.  "Caramel" is filling in the lower arc and some of the flowers, while "Dark Earth" outlines the rainbird's tail feathers and the centers of some flowers. 

I'm keeping up pretty well with the background, too, and am more than half-way finished with the "Natural" and "Bark."  A lot of details remain, but I'm having fun popping in a little color here and there.  With any luck, I will have "rounded the bend" on the bottom right corner after next month's meeting!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Angel progress: a leonine body

There's a lot of Petite Very Velvet in this lion!  Not too surprising, since he measures nine inches from stem to stern and four inches at his highest point.

It took a full week of stitching to reach this point, including a stint during the blizzard last weekend when the power was out for 45 hours.  Then I sat by the window to take advantage of my only light source, a blanket wrapped around my lap since there was no heat.  What we stitchers do for love!

Time now to give this noble lion a garland of flowers and restore his claws.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Angel progress: facing down on lion

I was referring to the lion on my angel canvas, but there's another lion roaring outside!  What's being hyped as the Storm of 2013 is howling outside our door, and while I usually blog in the mornings, I thought I'd sneak in a post before we--gulp--lose power.

My ordered threads arrived in record time, thanks to my loyal LNS owner and Rainbow Gallery.  I now have enough Petite Very Velvet to finish off the lion.

So far, I've finished his face, with some DMC cotton floss added for the eyes.  DMC floss #873 is a bright yellow, not metallic--I personally dislike using metallic threads for eyes--something surreal about "glowing" eyes!  There's a lot more of the lion's body to stitch--it's a very large lion--so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Acoma Pot" progress

Work on this canvas began at last October's meeting of our local needlework group.  I don't think I'm doing too badly considering this is a "downtime" project!

All the threads are Vineyard Silk Classic, with "Bark" for the outside border and "Natural" for the inside background.  One of the pluses of VSC is the "mileage" you get from a single skein:  30 yards of thread covers a lot of territory.  I've used one full skein of "Bark" and two skeins of "Natural" so far.

  I stitch as many strands of one background color as I can before going totally loopy, then treat myself by adding another color here and there.  So far I've used "Cactus" for the leaves, "Russet Orange" for some of the flowers, and "Monk's Robe" for outlining and the tail feathers of the rainbird motif.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Switching gears

I've come to the end of the thread line for now on the angel canvas.  For the lion's body, I decided on Petite Very Velvet--it will provide a smooth surface to contrast with the mane and the garland around the lion's neck.  But my LNS had only two of the four values of brown I need--the lightest (and predominant) and the darkest shades are on order.

Those of you who follow the blog regularly know that I tend to be pretty systematic in my stitching--I have a certain order in my mind as to which areas I work on before moving on to the next.  At my house, we refer to this as "proceeding in Dewey Decimal Format."  So I've stitched all the areas requiring the two brown shades on the lion, but will have to put this canvas aside until my ship comes in.

Heaven forbid that I should be without something to stitch at night!  So for now, I'm turning to a canvas I began last fall--Acoma Pot by Judy Harper, which I've had in my stash for a few years.  Inspired by a water jug created by Southwestern Native Americans, this design is painted in colors that seemed particularly appropriate for autumn.

The size of the canvas--approximately 10 by 12 inches--made it suitable for me to work on at meetings of a local needlework group which meets once a month.  A friend of mine in this group had asked me to teach her to needlepoint, and since I'm basketweaving Acoma Pot as a pillow insert, the canvas was ideal as a teaching tool.  I've worked on the canvas a bit from time to time outside of group meetings--tomorrow I'll show you my progress to date.