Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ivory Angel--filling in

The top of the angel's robe is finished, using more Vineyard Silk Classic Evening Haze and Steel Gray.  I wanted to maintain the shading but chose lighter values of gray than were painted on the canvas to keep this area from getting too dark.  The inside of her sleeves were filled in with Vineyard Silk Classic Dark Earth. 

I could have couched the strings of the lyre but didn't want to run the risk of the thread getting snagged several years down the road.  So I worked the strings in a stem stitch with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 001, which elevates them above the top of the robe while keeping them securely fastened.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ivory Angel--moving along

The white of the angel's other wing has been worked down to her elbow with Silk Lame Braid in an encroaching Gobelin stitch.  More of this thread has been added to the shopping list!

The sleeves of her robe have been added using Vineyard Silk Classic Natural and Edwardian Gold.  Evening Haze and Steel Gray have been used for shading.  I need to rummage in my stash for a dark brown to fill the inside of her sleeves.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ivory Angel -- A little light music

The Ivory Angel is playing a lyre, but it's painted the same as her chair.  I'd always thought of lyres as being gold, but a Google image search revealed there are plenty made entirely of wood as well.  So I've compromised, stitching it the same as I did the chair, using two shades of brown DMC #5 perle cotton and "gilding" it with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V.

The bib of her robe was stitched in basketweave and tent stitch with Vineyard Silk Classic Natural and Edwardian Gold.  Joining the open areas of her sleeves are little silver clips, stitched in Smyrna crosses with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 001.

To give the wing on the right a lighter, "airy" look, while still maintaining the shading, I've decided to use just two shades of thread.  The white was worked in an encroaching Gobelin stitch with Silk Lame Braid for 18 ct.  A single shade of gray will be added as soon as I buy it!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ivory Angel: please be seated!

Moving to the more substantial section of the angel's chair, you can actually see where the front leg ends and the back leg begins!

Once again, the wooden sections were stitched in basketweave with two shades of brown DMC #5 perle cotton and "gilded" with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V.  Tiny sections of background were added in the Nobuko stitch with floss now that there are stitches close by to anchor them.

I'm pleased with the way the chair turned out--looks more like a throne now!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ivory Angel - A milestone

The background is finished!  With this much accomplished, it's pretty much pure play from here on.

All the little design elements that were a bit of a blur--where the wings start and stop and the outline of her robe--are now a lot clearer.  Working down toward the toe of the stocking, I noticed that there are actually three layers to the angel's costume:  the robe, her dress and an underskirt.  I'll need to factor in the weight of the thread used for each of these areas to achieve some depth to her costume.

As a reward, I worked one arm of her chair.  Since it's been painted in brown tones, I decided to make it a wooden chair but changing the lighter elements to a metallic to simulate gilding.  Two brown shades of DMC #5 perle cotton provide a harder appearance and contrast well against the softer background thread and what I plan to use for the robe.  Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V  was used for the gilding.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ivory Angel - 2

The Nobuko background continues to grow, now reaching just below the arm of the angel's chair.  Time to give her a face!

Three shades of DMC floss were used for all the skin tones, with two strands of Burmilana forming the eyelashes.

With mostly white, gray and brown tones used to paint the tan canvas, it's sometimes difficult to decipher where one design element ends and the next one begins.  Working the background helps to delineate the contours of the angel's wings, while stitching her face and arms gives me a better idea of where the lines of her dress fall.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ivory Angel - 1

Like the other stockings I've stitched to date, work on Ivory Angel began with the background.  As the owner of Town-Ho Needleworks, my LNS, so often remarks, if you don't keep up with the background of a piece, the chances are 50-50 that you'll never finish the project.

The thread for the background is DMC floss 712, basically an ivory shade but with a tinge of yellow that will accentuate the gold in the angel's dress.  There will be a lot of basketweave in this piece in order to achieve the shading, so I chose the Nobuko stitch for the background.  It provides some visual interest, compensates well around curved areas, and works up quickly.

My first goal was to stitch the background down to the angel's left elbow.  My reward was to work the angel's halo, using Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002V Vintage Gold and #8 fine braid 5760 Marshmallow in basketweave and tent stitches.  So far, so good!