Monday, April 6, 2015

Anatomy of a WIP...

The last stop for this "Work In Progress" will be a cone tree.  The finishers will sew it together on the straight sides to create the shape of a cone and mount it on a stick/stand. 
Let’s break it down just for fun…

We don't generally post pictures of our projects in development but maybe we should.  Sometimes you can literally see the mad genius in the creative process.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a person that frequently “auditions” several different stitches/methods before I pick one....or several.  Often I do this in the side margin of my canvas so that I can “see” that it’s going to match and fit the look I’m shooting for at the time.  This doesn’t always work, but for me it’s a fun part of the progression.   Here's one of those such "casting calls":

It’s also fun to see the “tools of the trade” that stitchers use.  I'm often asked what type of laying tool(s) I use.   My all-time favorite and the one that I use 95% of the time is the Trolley Needle.  It's basically just a huge needle welded to a finger splint.  You can use it on any finger and it acts like an extension of your finger/thumb.  More often I'm asked what all those holes are in the far sides of my canvases.  Well, every laying tool needs a parking spot and while some folks have awesome little tool holders magnetically attached to their canvas....I have developed the habit of just stabbing it through until I need it again.  Works well for me because I've developed such a rhythm that I can swiftly slide my thumb through to put it back "on."  Perhaps this is a "bad" habit but it doesn't harm anything since it's on the waste edge of the canvas and it works for me so I shall keep doing it.  Plus, habits are very hard to break. 
Most of us have a library of needlepoint books to assist with our creative madness.  One of my favorite references is the Stitches To Go book which I took apart, laminated the pages, and then jazzed up a three-ring binder to put it in.  That's my green book in the corner.    Cropped out of this picture, but my iPad is there, too.  Of course.

We also like to bling up our projects with magnets and bead-holders, etc. and I'm no exception as you see here (although I usually use double-stick tape instead a bead box).  If you look closely at this picture, you can see through the canvas to the back and might notice my pink scissors stuck to the back side of the snowflake magnet.  You can't see it, but there is a needle-threader stuck to the back of the bead box magnet.  I love that the magnets they use now are super strong!  

Oh, and about those pesky little leftovers....or "orts"....we love our Snap Trays!  Look under the edge in this picture and you can see not one, but two!   One for orts before they end up as artwork in a beautiful jar and the other to keep supplies nearby.


As they say, it’s as much about the journey as the destination.  And it's true for us...we needlepointers love the process as much as the finished product.
After all stitches had auditioned to star in the background, this is the one that was selected.  I'm not sure if it was the best choice or not but I really struggled to make a decision and I just wanted to stitch.   And I wanted it to be at least slightly tree-like.  I used splendor for the diamonds and then backstitched with Petite Silk Lame for a touch of sparkle. 
 And yes, I stitched over the swirls, but that's a post for another day.  I want to bead the swirls in a less conventional way by creating long strands of beads and then couching them to the canvas.  I found fun red large beads for the ends as well.  My plan is to use a backlight that will show through the canvas enough for me to place my beaded strings.  I agonized over the decision  to stitch over the painting instead of leaving it open in those places and am not sure it was the right one, but if nothing else, it will become a lesson I can blog about.   I'm just not sure yet if it will be "What not to do..." or "Check out this fabulous idea..." so only time will tell and you'll have to stay tuned to find out. 



Catherine Stroup said...

Cool canvas! I love spirals. I did a piece like this (3D witches hat) with a tighter spiral design. Trying to compensate around the spirals was not easy, and changed the whole effect of the stitch. I think it would have been difficult for you to compensate here, so your stitching over the spiral approach makes a lot of sense to me.

Suzanne said...

That was exactly what I thought!!! I sure hope I can make good spirals on top of the canvas though...remains to be seen. I hope to try it this weekend.

Thanks, Catherine!

Mari M said...

I'm soooo happy I stumbled onto your blog. Thanks so much for sharing. I love your projects and your perspective. It really is so helpful to see your creative process and tools of the trade you prefer. This tree will be another winner. Looking forward to seeing it shape up.
Cheers, Marie

Suzanne said...

Mari, I'm so happy you found ME! Enjoy the blog and please contact me if I can ever be of any assistance. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.