Monday, January 27, 2014

Anne Boleyn--Part Two

Work on Anne Boleyn's dress began at the neckline, outlined in stem stitch with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 and filled in with black Petite Very Velvet every other stitch.  The same threads and stitches were repeated for the cording at her waist.

Her arms were worked in consecutive slanted Gobelin stitches over two threads with Vineyard Silk Classic "Lipstick" with more stem stitch banding at her wrists.

The bodice and train were stitched with more VSC Lipstick and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #005, with tent stitches outside the ovals and satin stitch inside.  I then outlined the train in gold Kreinik metallic with slanted Gobelin stittches over two threads.  When designing cylindrical ornaments, I like to add a visual element to the back of the design since I've never met one that hung perfectly plumb on a Christmas tree, regardless of the skill of the finisher!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Tudor Challenge

Just before Christmas, I was talking to the owner of my LNS, who mentioned he needed two lighthouse canvases and a Henry VIII cylindrical ornament canvas.  He'd evidently sold the Henry he purchased some time ago and wanted one for himself.  And, he said with a twinkle in his eye, if I wanted to work up designs for Henry's six wives, he'd take those, too.

Mind you, I haven't designed a cylindrical ornament in ages--I worked up Henry himself 15 years ago--but the thought was intriguing and the subject matter right up my Anglophile alley.  So I started researching online to see what kinds of images were available--I wanted to be sure I could come up with six designs, each with its own personality indicative of the character portrayed.  The portraits I found were promising, and I accepted the Tudor Challenge!

First up here is Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, sporting her famous pearls and "B" necklace and holding a Tudor rose.  I've jump-started stitching her headdress, since I didn't want to bore anyone working a lot of basketweave in black Petite Very Velvet.  It's in the style she favored called a French hood.  The hood is actually constructed in two parts:  a piece of stiffened material forming a tiara, worn over a veil of either satin, taffeta or velvet.  Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002 outlines the tiara section in a stem stitch.

My research revealed Anne had a dark complexion, dark hair and eyes so dark a brown to sometimes appear black.  Her hair was worked in Burmilana and her face in DMC cotton floss.  So far, so good--I'll be back when I've finished stitching some of her dress.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Good things come to he who waits

Remember the photo at left from 2011?  I had blog-stitched a Baltimore rowhouse based on plans DH had made for his model railroad.  Finally--over the holidays, he finished this section of his layout, with not one but three rowhouses!

Mind you, DH is an old-world craftsman, scratch-building all his structures, then creating roads and a backdrop in which to place them.  Cars of the period (circa 1950), people, lamp posts and trees are added.  Finally--argh--he "weathers" them to make them dirty so they look real.  Certainly this isn't something needlepointers would ascribe to, but hey, this is model railroading at its best!

I've been working on a bunch of things since I last blogged, and hope to be able to show something for myself soon.  But I promised to show his finished magnum opus when it was finished, and I think you'll agree the wait was worth it!  See why the two of us rub along so well?