I am belatedly catching up with and completing some embroidery projects that I started in the latter part of last year. One weekend in November, I returned to the Royal School of Needlework to do a two-day course in paisley crewelwork. The tutor for the course was Florence Collingwood who I hadn't learnt from before, but whose teaching style I very much enjoyed.
This was a very enjoyable piece to work as it included such a variety of stitches, including some of the very traditional Jacobean elements such as trellis. It also included stem stitch, block shading, long and short, satin stitch, bullions and french knots, single and double seeding, herringbone, cretan and vandyke stitch, and finally some whipped and woven wheels. A number of these stitches were new to me, and for others it was a good refresher.
Paisley designs are inextricably linked with the town of Paisley (near Glasgow in Scotland) which was one of the major centres of shawl manufacturers. Originating with weavers in Kashmir who had produced exquisite cloth shawls for centuries, shawls began to be brought to the UK through the movements of British travellers, troops and merchants. With increasing popularity, the silk and cashmere shawls became covetable fashion items. Local industries then set out to produce similar items at a lesser cost to meet the growing demand. Paisley shawls were manufactured in a range of textiles including woven cashmere, embroidered wool and printed silk. One of the most common motifs used in paisley work is the tear drop design.
Of course a trip to the RSN at Hampton Court Palace is not complete with at least some time spent admiring the beautiful grounds from the vantage point of the RSN classroom windows...
The first day was one of those beautifully sunny winter days we do get on occasion here in England - however, the long, low shadows certainly indicate that winter was definitely approaching (and from memory, the second day of the course was misty, cold and damp!). However, the Saturday was still revealing some late blooms in the rose garden...
I spent a bit of time over the past weekend finishing off the design. It was the first time I had embellished my embroidery (other than when I did the goldwork course), but I like the effect that adding the vintage buttons and a few sequins provided - I think it gives a bit of whimsy to the design. I plan to frame this piece (along with some of the others I've completed at the RSN) to line my hallway.
One of the reasons I wanted to complete this piece is that I'm off to the RSN again this weekend where I am doing another Jacobean crewelwork course. But it is nice to tick one of the 'unfinished' projects off my list!
I recently returned from three lovely weeks in Sydney...although I have no photos to show for it, apart from this of the lovely flowering gum in my mother's garden which always times bursting into bloom with my visit.
As usual, the time seemed to go past so quickly. Three glorious weeks of spending time with family and catching up with friends (including a quick overnight trip to Brisbane) and before I knew it, it was time to head home to the UK.
I have a few projects stacked up here for which I need to start developing an action plan...
After months of searching on ebay, I have finally found the perfect size glass fronted cabinet for the bathroom. Soon to receive a new lease of life with some ASCP.
The surprise purchase of four dining chairs - I have long planned to update my existing ikea versions, but was undecided as to what to choose (I toyed with the idea of antique bentwood chairs for a long while). A fortuitous search on gumtree just after I arrived home resulted in the acquisition of four faux bamboo Chippendale style chairs. So, in addition to repainting, I will also be trying my hand at re-upholstering for the first time...
I have another embroidery course coming up at Hampton Court Palace this coming weekend so have been busy finishing off one of my other projects.
Finally, after many months of waiting, the landscape gardener is coming this week to rid my front garden of all of the horrible rocks, and build some proper garden beds for me. Hurrah! Just in time for some spring planting.