It's becoming a routine for me to have Saturday mornings in the studio. A lazy breakfast is followed by the walk ten minutes up the road to my little space and several hours framing, cutting mount board, mounting 'scapes finished during the week, cataloguing my pieces and keeping an eye on my finances. I'll usually work straight through until mid afternoon with perhaps a five minute coffee break, and then once I'm done, tidy the studio and meander home. It's a nice routine and I feel very blessed to actually have it! To have the space and the time and the materials and the ability to do what I love.
This week I had to re-frame an older stitchscape as I decided the frame it was in was too small and it needed more space to breath, and also stretching and mounting my two newest 'scapes; Bluebell Woods and Cow Parsley. The little Cow Parsley one was then framed in a little black box frame I had ready, but the Woods will have to wait a little longer as it needs a large frame that I have to order in.
To be honest, I am slowly outgrowing my tiny studio with all these framed pieces stacked up on every surface. I have booked a handyman to come and put some shelves up for me along two walls so hopefully that will alleviate my space issues for a little longer!
The studio is in my Grandmother's back garden which she has just had completed revamped with new paving replacing some rather slippery old wooden decking and uneven slabs which had been installed by the previous house owners. The pergola has been given a new lease of life as the decking was really rotten here and had been hastily covered with some bumpy, non-slip plastic stuff hiding just how bad it was. This has all been dug out and paved and now looks so inviting with lush greenery covering the top and pretty scented plants at either end. I'm not sure if this beautiful purple flowered plant is a Lilac or not but it sure smells sweet! I wonder if I could re-create this pergola idea in a stitchscape?
I do already have another little world growing in my hoop, this one half inspired by the fabulous stone print fabric I picked up at Olympia, and half by the dry stone walls that I saw on last year's holiday to Yorkshire. I really like the colours in this embroidery, they seem quite muted but are still lively enough to be interesting and really do remind me of the slight haze and lushness that was everywhere you looked whilst travelling through the Dales.
To make the wall stand out and be the real centrepiece of this little 'scape, I have layered it over a slither of felt and followed the outline of the bricks with stitches to get that quilted effect that enhances each individual stone. I'm planning on breaking up the stark brownness of the wall with some pretty flowers and greenery that drape and peek out of the stone work.
I still feel like I'm taking each fabric as it comes, not over-thinking the stitches beforehand and just seeing how it goes. I changed my mind on how to approach the above fabric, I wonder if you can notice the difference (above image) in the stitching from when I started and how I changed it?
After filling in the cross-hatch section, I decided that I also wanted to outline the honeycomb-esque lines and started tracing each little tiny line individually, which took ages and also made it look quite messy- can you see where I mean? Just to the left of the cross hatch section? I stopped to think a little more about what I wanted this piece to look like, turned the hoop around and realised that the pattern was a series of fly stitches stacked on top of each other to create the hexagon shapes. Bingo! Working them in fly stitches was much neater and much quicker as the needle wasn't going through the fabric so many times. Much better.
I finished the background textures of my Yorkshire wall piece this afternoon whilst standing chatting in the sunshine to the Parents who were soaking up the evening sun on our new patio. Dad has spent the last couple of weekends and a week on holiday making a new patio in the front garden. It's not completely finished, but enough so that you can sit out there and enjoy the sun whilst listening to the bees buzzing happily in the Lavender bed, feel the slight breeze on your cheeks as it breathes past and rustles the petals on the Iris and the Bluebells which are still going strong.
Evening sunshine is just the best isn't it? Such a beautiful golden glow- see, it's sunny in the Dales too!