Thursday, 12 October 2017

The last few stitches ... little medieval witch .

I thought I,d finished , but as I looked at this more close up photograph , I noticed on her shoulder , under her chin , a very small area unfinished still , just a few more orange stitches ....maybe just three little stitches ....
                                      I,ll soon put those in and then away . . .  . .

                                                ......and on to the next thing ....

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Little Witches - medieval

 These illuminations come from a manuscript of a french poet Martin Le France 1410-1461 . Titled- Le Champion des Dames  .  (public domain)
 I have always loved these two endearing little witches ..said to be the first ever depiction of witches on broomsticks .

                   Sweet little medieval witch ...I am going to stitch you today !

I,m stitching her fast to try and capture the fast action of the medieval scribe's quill and brush .

 I wonder about the children he watched at play outside , in the courtyard below his window  Two little girls riding their hobbyhorses ..using their mother's broom sticks ...maybe ...

                                                     She cast a spell on me !
I,m just needle painting here really ..... using stem stitch and crewel stitch to outline before filling in ...shading  and  painting with long and short stitch  .
 I,m using Appleton's Crewel Wool .

                            I love using these the gorgeous Autumn colours too !
                That picture came out a bit dark ....but look there's a little rainbow !

 That's better....a bit more light ...
Halloween is a simple affair for me here in England money spent on fancy costumes or trick and treating.... I need every penny for Christmas ! But I might put out a hollowed out swede or mangelworzel with a candle inside children we played Bob-apple ..trying to bite an apple up out of a bowl of water ....we had toffee apples..battled with conkers . ...told simple spooky stories ...and talked about old superstitions ....nothing more than that really .
When I did my family history,at around the 16th century, I found two girls of my family who had been put on " the ducking stool "or  "swum" in  Coldred , a village in Kent . I was so shocked to find that and it really brought it all home to me .  So very sad ...and there are still today many other places in the world where being accused of being a witch is a terrible frightening thing .
 Anyway .... my little witch , is a little sweetheart  ....maybe I,ll stitch her friend too  !

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Le Point de Bayeux - The Bayeux Tapestry Stitch

                  Prepare outline of design shape to be filled using point de tige .

Yes, lets set the Bayeux Tapestry Stitch apart from the rest and learn a little French !
Ha ! Ha !  Point de tige -- is Stem Stitch !

 O.k so I got a little bit carried away with my Stem stitched outline and stitched a Quatrefoil window !( I also used plain easy Satin stitch for that ).
  My wool arrived ..I think I already mentioned that I,m using Appleton's Crewel wool .
 I ordered mine from . Surprised to see new labels !
I,m using a beautiful piece of antique linen .

        Point de lancé  -  Take the thread from side to side, but not across the back .

   Barrettes -  Perpendicular threads carried across about 5mm apart ..and once again ,not across the back .

 Picots  - tiny slightly slanting stitches which hold down the Barrettes . About 5mm apart alternating .

The reverse - shows how this embroidery style does not waste precious hand-spun and dyed wool .

I managed to do this piece without a frame , but if I were doing a larger piece , then I would definitely use one .

          I,m beginning to love the Point de Bayeux  ! Maybe I will do a larger one !

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Bayeux Tapestry Stitch -prepare slightly larger sample

 I finished my tiny Halley's Comet , my first attempt at doing Bayeux Tapestry stitch . The thing is , this is is actually a process of working three stitches together , which I will be able to show more clearly in my next post .

                     So I am sorting through my wool again and deciding on colours .

                I even tried out the colours together with my colouring pencils .
              This will just be a little sample to go into my personal stitch book .

 I prepared this Quatrefoil medieval window and I,m going to fill it with Bayeux Tapestry stitch .
I chose my colours and as always happens ,  I haven't got enough of Appleton's crewel wool no 481 to get started ! So I,m now waiting for that (and a few others ) to be sent to me from The Viking Loom  .
Meanwhile I am going to put my feet up and have a lovely browse through these two wonderful books .

The Bayeux Tapestry  by David .M.Wilson  and   Herbier medieval by Bruno Fogliazza  .
 Simply the best book ever on the subject of the Bayeux Tapestry and  Bruno's book shows beautifully , how to do and use the Bayeux Stitch for other modern designs . I love your book Bruno !
 I also give here the link to Chantal James wonderful website  ..sigh ..I wish to go and see her workshop !

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Medieval Stars

                                 I finally decided to stitch the flag of Saint George .

I decided that the stars should just sink into the background , not to make a big thing out of them with bright colours and definitely no beads  .
I only put a little yellow colonial knot into the centre of three of the stars .
 It got me thinking though , about medieval stars and how we often see them illustrated in early illuminations .

 I,ve been meaning to do something from the Bayeux Tapestry for a while and have a proper go at the Bayeux Tapestry stitch  .
 I thought I would start with something small .

    1066 Halley's Comet - Isti mirant stella - which translated means "The people marvel of the star ".
I chose to stitch it as it is now , with faded colours , although , it is said  , that on examining the reverse side , the colours have not faded all that much .
The  Bayeux Tapestry is actually Crewel embroidery and not a tapestry at all .
The word crewel comes from the old Anglo Saxon word "cleow " which is wool fleece spun into two fine threads and then twisted together .
 Worsted means a fine smooth thread which has been spun from long staple wool . Staple meaning the length of the fibre in the fleece .
 Crewel work is embroidery with this fine wool .

Sigh, my photos didn't come out , where I show you how I do Bayeux Tapestry stitch .(boring bit  ---Picasa have stopped running and I,m supposed to change over to Google Photos which is not as good as Picasa so I,m told .  So I will go away and see what I can do and put those pictures on next time hopefully . I am not a rocket scientist ! )

 I amused myself for a long while looking at the sun , moon and stars in old illuminations .
I love the flower like stars of the illuminations of the Visions of Hildegard von Bingen .
 I love the bright colours of these 11th and 12th century illuminations .

 I bought some lovely blue linen which looked lovely on line but turned out to be too thin really for my crewel work , so I decided to use it to doodle and experiment on .
I thought I,d give this very expensive Bohin white fabric marking pencil a try . I usually am quite happy with an ordinary pencil , well a soft lead one anyway pencil has nearly worn out !

                               I drew it on freehand and actually went over it twice .

 By the time I had stitched around the star , the middle circle had worn away .
So, if I use this again in the future , I can see that I should only draw a little bit at a time .
It makes a beautifully fine line though .

It is a scorching hot Bank holiday Monday . The beach is filled with happy families once again . The roads are busy with people driving from place to place .
I take my little dog out nice and early ,while it is cool ,for her walkies , usually over at Goonhilly or the woods .

Then hang out the washing and retire to the Summer house to read and paint and stitch .

Too hot to do any gardening ....although maybe later as the sun goes down .

I,m thinking and praying for all of you caught up in Hurricane Harvey . Hope the rain will stop soon and help arrive swiftly to those of you who need help and rescue .

Monday, 21 August 2017

Medieval Stars and Flags , Crewel wool , Gold threads or Beads .

Making good progress with my medieval cog ship , but have some decisions to make .

         I will come back to the waves , as I have been moved to embroider the stars .

 The stars on the seal look like little flowers , so to make them a little bit more star like , I was thinking of putting french knots in the centre .

                                           Maybe heraldic gold crewel wool ...

                                Maybe gold thread give a little sparkle ?

Maybe silver thread would be better ?..maybe a little bit of silver glinting in the waves ?

                                             .... and what about the flags ?
                                      Should I do the flag on the Seal of Stralsund ?
                              Should I just keep it a neutral and just pick a colour ?

                                    ...  or do the Cornish Flag of St Piran ?
                                                   That would be fun !
         It didn't come into use until that wouldn't be quite right ....sadly .

                                      The flag of St George would be o.k .
                   That was in use on ships at this time in medieval history , around 1340.

 Shall I stitch on tiny pearls or little shells ? Ho... hmmm ...that would make it begin to look too Elizabethan maybe ?

                            I spent a very relaxing hour playing with my beads ....

                              ....and looking through my box of goldwork threads .
                                                   I just cant decide !

Monday, 7 August 2017

Making waves !

                                                      Making waves .

                                                       The mast and sails .