Friday, June 28, 2013

Details, details

After working some more on the background of the Toyland Rocking Horse canvas, I rewarded myself by filling in some blanks. 

The horse's mane is now decorated with sprigs of holly.  Two shades of green Burmilana were used here:  the darker shade in tent stitch for the veins and the leaves worked in satin stitch with the lighter color.  The berries were stitched in French knots using the full six plies of DMC floss #321.

Santa Bear's suit is also complete with the addition of French knot trim.  This was stitched with white Silk & Ivory, which makes terrific fluffy knots and is white enough to contrast well with the color of the mane.

As I've worked on the background, the thought has occurred to me from time to time that stitching this canvas is a little like stitching a turkey platter!--it's just about the right size and shape.  But going back to complete certain areas has added a lot of dimension to the piece and makes the project more exciting!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Another mane event

Guess you could say I got a little carried away stitching the background of the Toyland Rocking Horse canvas.  I had planned on working down to the center mark on the left side to even it off with the right, then move on to another area.  Well, one and a half more skeins later, I rounded the section under the rocker.  Definitely time to reward myself!

The horse's mane was a little tricky to stitch around the sprigs of holly, and transitioning the stitches from vertical to curved at the top of the head wasn't exactly a piece of cake, either.  Using two strands of white DMC Medici wool, I worked long/short split stitches and then added some shading with one strand of golden brown Burmilana.

The horse brasses were worked in a satin stitch with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002.  More satin stitches with Vineyard Silk Classic "Deep Wisteria" were used for the reins, bridle, and the ribbon of the garland.

With the mane completed, hopefully stitching the tail won't be quite so daunting!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swimming in a sea of green

In the past week, I've concentrated exclusively on stitching the background.  I reached the center mark of the canvas on the right-hand side and am within an inch of the mark on the left.

It was difficult to determine how much thread would be needed for the background--the overall piece is 17 x 19 inches--so I bought eight skeins of Vineyard Silk Classic.  Of those eight, I've used three and one-half to date, and the background area is starting to narrow again.

Guess I won't need those other skeins of the same dye lot that are still in stock at my LNS!  I'll even off the left side and then treat myself by working on another area for a while.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beginning the background marathon

Since my last post, waiting for threads to arrive, I decided to stitch the horse's blanket.  But first, I needed to work a small part of the mane adjacent to it.  This was accomplished using two strands of good old DMC Medici wool in a long/short.split stitch.  It looked well enough, but appeared too white.  So on top of it, I added one strand of a golden brown Burmilana in random long stitches to warm up this area.

The blanket was worked in a woven stitch using Trio "Really Red."  This thread contrasts well in both color and texture with the saddle and horse's body surrounding it.

Finally on Tuesday, I picked up my background thread--Vineyard Silk Classic "Tea"--from my LNS.  I began about one-half inch from the top of the canvas (where the stretcher bar interferes) working a Nobuko stitch.  Here's how far I've come in five days of stitching!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Peaceable Kingdom: Finale

Did you ever wake up in the morning and think, "Yes!  This is the day!"?  Despite the weather being rainy and gloomy, that's how I felt--I finally had inspiration to finish the Peaceable Kingdom canvas!

When you're random-stitching over previously worked areas, you really need to see in your mind the effect you want to achieve.  For some strange reason, this morning I finally saw the tall grass I needed to stitch below the field and surrounding the lion.  I'd had the thread for ages: how I needed to stitch it and how far down I needed to go toward the bottom of the canvas suddenly became clear.

Using one strand of Wildflowers "Guacamole," I placed random long stitches in rows overlapping each other.  I didn't want to encroach on the angel or the lion--that would have ruined the perspective of the scene.

So from the painted canvas (photo below), I've created my own stand-up--an angel, lamb and lion in a peaceable setting all my own.

My apologies to a reader some time back, who posed a question several days after my post that I didn't see right away.  The hills in the background, she asked--how did I achieve the dark "points" with the overdyed thread I was using?  Most often I don't, but sometimes I find I need to "manipulate" the thread I'm using.  It's a matter of looking ahead when using overdyed thread--if it starts turning darker or lighter and that shade doesn't suit your needs, end it and begin again.

So now I can return to the Toyland Rocking Horse canvas, and perhaps another, with a clear conscience--this canvas is a wrap!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Some this-and-that

Still waiting for my background thread to arrive for the Toyland Rocking Horse canvas, I've been working on other areas that needed filling in.  Isn't this a cute toy soldier?

His sash had already been stitched with Petite Very Velvet and his pants worked in an encroaching gobelin stitch with Impressions.  I gave him a helmet of Petite Very Velvet, accented with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 that I also used for his epaulets and belt buckle.

 His tunic was worked in a diagonal oblong cross stitch with two strands of DMC Medici wool that I've had in my stash for at least 15 years.  The brown DMC Medici wool that I used for his hair and mustache is probably of the same vintage!

Moving on to the rocker, I used two shades of brown Burmilana in basketweave for the end, with the lighter shade filling in between the gold accent stripe with an encroaching gobelin stitch to simulate the look of wood grain.  This stitch looks good but takes forever to work up!