I don't think I would have found this book on my own but as it was set for my book club next month I sort it out. Firstly I tried the council library, I found I was 157 on the waiting list. (Must be something about this book.) So then I ordered a copy from the U.K. It arrived yesterday and I don't seem to have had a lot of sleep since then. It is called "The Hare with Amber Eyes" by Edmund De Waal.
I love minitures, so when I found it was about netsuke my interest was peaked. Then I got carried away with the story.
I was admiring the work of a friend, Joan, and looked at this book cover for a week before I realised that she had used the back of a stitch. The book cover was stitched on canvas and she just turned it over.
She used the wrong side of mosaic stitch and clever lady that she is, didn't use a variegated thread rather just picked those colours that were close to each other.
It is such a clever way to use up old coins and make a memento of a trip to Scandinavia.
Not a lot of print, but what there is is in both Swedish and English and great cooking videos with English sub-titles. Here is Australia our citrus growers have just dumped most of the crop of oranges because the juice manufacturers are able to buy concentrate cheaper from overseas. I keep thinking of all the muddled juices I could have made.
When we visited the GoMA gallery last week there were a group of paintings by Monia Tichacek that really grabbed me. From the distance the paintings just looked like very pretty arrangements of blobs of water colour.
I have no idea why I went in close to have another look, but I was just blown away with the detail that appeared when I did.
Rather like when you put a drop of water under a magnifying glass.
I think it was this painting that made me look again at the others.
It just looked like a watercolour of a rural scene. But when I looked at the detail...
I wonder if I could achieve this in an embroidery?
Again, not a stitch that I think I have used. So I had a play around with it and found that I could manipulate it in a number of ways. Firstly, by increasing the wraps around the needle it reminded me of beads, so I shortened the length of the chain to accentuate this. Then I lengthened the chain section to see what would happen there.
I have had an idea of embroidering a woman with neck rings, like the Kayan people in Burma but as this stitch could be made to look like beads I decided on an African woman.
I drew a rough portrait on the wrong side of the fabric in pencil and then stitched the outline on this side in stem stitch, which became a back stitch on the right side. I used 2 strands of embroidery cotton for the hair, using a colonial knot for the bottoms and then a French stem stitch for the braids. For the beads I used the cable chain stitch. This was stitched in a variety of silk thread, using one or two threads to get different textures.