Sunday, March 11, 2007

Old work, new work

With the purchase of all that new fabric lately, I really needed to tidy up a bit, and you know what happens then, don't you? Of course: all those UFOs appear! I'm not talking about extra terrestrials or anything weird like that, but those pesky UnFinished Objects that have been lurking in teetering piles of stuff. What I found this time was a lot of stitching. Five pieces in fact! They were all finished as far as the stitching went, but needed to be framed or finished one way or another.

This sampler is from an embroidery class I took a while ago and is full of French Knots, Lacy Daisies, Seed Stitch and Bullion stitch – a nice way to try out all those stitches and keep them for easy reference later. I found a floater frame at a sale, which I thought was just perfect and decided to stretch and mount the piece myself. It turned out that the frame was too big, but after considering it for a while I ended up cutting the mounting board to the size of the back-opening in the frame, cut another, larger piece of mounting board to stick to the back of the frame to hold it in place, and covered the holes for the screws with buttons. I’m quite happy with the result!

This kitten was stitched during a long summer of convalescence three years ago. A serious infection in my leg left me fairly immobile for the whole summer and in between hobbling to the loo and to the kitchen to get drinks of water all I could do was read and stitch. I have never finished a cross-stitched piece so fast before, but once it was done and I was back on my feet again I couldn’t stand the sight of the poor thing. Now, when I came across it again, I realized that it was quite sweet and really deserves a space on my wall somewhere.
I also had two pictures of cat’s eyes (one domestic and one wild) lying about. I had thought that because of the dimensions of these I would have to have mats and frames made especially and that would be quite expensive, so I hadn’t worked up the courage to inquire about it yet. However, at the same sale as the first one I found two photo frames I decided I could use. There was not enough fabric around the stitching, so I stitched a strip of green leaf fabric and a strip of black fabric top and bottom of each and used that to stretch around the mounting boards, and it worked out quite well. Ideally the frames should have been wider so there could have been some “air” at the sides of the motifs as well, but I decided to go with what I had, and now the pictures are up on my walls instead of lying unfinished in my workroom. There is one piece yet to go, a blackwork picture of five cats (Why on earth have I been buying all those cat patterns?), which will become part of a small quilt for a friend. I have just the right fabric to go with it – hmm; maybe I should get started right away…

On to an entirely different subject: My mother and I visited an exhibition of the designs and drawings of Alphonse Mucha last week. I loved the drawings, but what really floored me at this visit was the colour of the walls! I have been looking for this exact shade of subdued blue-green for ages, but not been able to find it. Seeing it on the gallery walls and seeing how well it worked both in direct sunlight and in areas with more shade was great, and I knew that it would be perfect on my living room walls. I phoned the gallery the next day, and they were ever so sweet about it and came back to me later in the day with the colour reference number for the paint, so now I know how I’ll spend my days off at Easter!

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