You know, life just has a way of getting in your way...if you let it. Don't know what excuse to give about not blogging other than that. I just haven't done it. So I'm going to try to get back to it. I love needlepoint and I love when people share their gift with me so if I can share and someone love it, then I need to do that. Plus, it's good for keeping me motivated to stitch.
I only started needlepoint in 2005 when I took a beginner class so it's been a relatively short time. In those 12 years, I've had at least 4, or maybe 5, that I didn't stitch at all...because well, life. So really I"ve only been stitching about 7 or 8 years. I haven't met any other stitchers in my years of doing this who just don't put in even one tent stitch in a whole year. I don't know what happens. It is not that I stop loving everything needlepoint, it's just that I can't seem to make time for it. Or just can't get interested enough to do it. I don't know. It's weird.
So, I didn't stitch much this past year or two...some, but not much. I started a new job, moved to a new place where I had to make all new friends, lost my Dad, moved my lovely daughter to the City of Angels....blah blah blah. Occasionally, I get emails from around the world from some of you wonderful readers who check in on me. Love that! I mean, really....who gets that? So cool! So, I'm still here and still loving needlepoint and vowing to try to do better about blogging in 2018.
To start off the year, I want to show you this fabulous and super sassy gal! I actually did stitch on her in 2017 so I wasn't completely off the reservation! LOL
This cutey is an & More design. I've taken more than a few "classes" with Julia Snyder and she never fails to come through. I couple years back, she threw out the words "Beaded Turkey Work" and I whipped my head around so fast it should have come off my neck. That appealed to me...she suggested this canvas so I dove right in. I also used the background plaid pattern that she has made 'famous' and that I like so much and have used in previous projects.
Obviously it's not finished and I need to get back to it, but here is a close-up of her skirt:
I used all of the variations of white and clear beads I had and bought a few extra that had a different look or were lined, etc. I love size 15 for 18-count mesh and yes, I do think there is a difference. The size 15 are slightly smaller than the size 14 we are normally sold. And yes, I do love the ones from & More...they are my favorite. I rarely ever have to pitch beads that won't fit my needle and I never get broken ones in my tube. Those are now my go-to beads for most projects.
So....I dumped the whole lot of beads into a bowl and mixed them up. yes...thousands of beads! Literally. Using white beading thread and using a variation of the standard Turkey Work stitch, I would scoop up 21 beads to make each loop. The variation was basically that I omitted the locking stitch...too difficult with beads and not really necessary because the beads keep the stitch from moving. And I had to skip a row in order to fit this unusually large loop. Otherwise, it's just like doing Turkey Work except that you scoop up beads for every loop. Tens of thousands of beads...so you have to like beads! And you have to have a good light...and possible a magnifier.
Hindsight being 20/20 and all that...I always try to mentally catalog the things I would do differently when I am doing something for the first time and have no way of knowing how it will turn out or how it will be to execute, etc. In this case, I probably wouldn't have mixed the beads and used all solid white versions. And I also would not have executed the Turkey Work in straight lines...this doesn't matter when you are using thread but it shows with the rows of beads...not that a lay observer would ever notice but you know how that goes...anyway, it doesn't bother me enough to redo it, of course! I love the way it turned out. I will use the same technique for the "fur" on her top and hat. So much fun!
It does take a while though...I watched many a rerun of NCIS to get that skirt completed! The red skirt is just a jumble of tiny red sequins attached with a bead in a random fashion and I think it turned out great as well. I used the same technique for the hat. I haven't decided if her bodice will be different. Julia suggested I lay rows of sequins that lay down for the bodice and mine didn't look so great when I tried so I already took that out. I think I might try again. Not sure why that simple technique is messing with me...I might have to call Julie and get a tutorial to figure out if I'm doing something wrong or if I'm just too picky....hehe.
Last pic for now is the package stack at the bottom....
I got to use a few different techniques here....the new one for me was Or Nue stitch as pictured in the bottom box - pronounced OR NEW WAY. This was my first time attempting this fascinating stitch.
Per Google/et al, "Or Nue is French for Naked Gold. Or Nue (or shaded gold) is a form of goldwork embroidery using couching where different colored silk threads are stitched over the metallic base of gold threads to form patterns or designs, often figures or narrative scenes." Needlepointers have basically just adopted the stitch pattern and use it with different threads, etc., not just gold. Essentially, you lay long threads all the way across the pattern from side to side, and then satin over in certain places to make the design. That's over-simplifying a tad but you get the idea. I like it.
Welcome back with a really long post but I hope you enjoyed the pics of this fun project. I hope to keep up with my blogging this year...I have lots more to show you and lots of projects in my queue.
Happy New Year to all and I hope that 2018 is marvelous for everyone!