Thursday, January 19, 2017

Warty Old Frog (with Flies) and a Four O'Clock

Entertaining myself with my Brazilian dimensional embroidery designs, I stitched a warty old frog - a BLUE warty old frog. He seems happy enough, though - he has 'snacks' floating around his head.
This flower could be anything, but I added the 'fly stitch' tubular part to turn it into a Four O'Clock. The petals are colonial knots and the center of each is a bead.
     These are a few additional designs I'm sharing from my book "An Artist's Garden". The book's pictures are in black and white, so you can save these pictures into your file if you'd like color reference. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

January in An Artist's Garden - Brazilian Embroidery Designs, plus Notes on Couching

January in western Oregon, USA, and there is snow. It's up past my ankles.
It's hugging the trees.
It's even taken over one of my favorite summer stitching spots.
So I move my stitching time indoors. It's time to share more of the Brazilian dimensional embroidery flowers I've published in my book, An Artist's Garden:
You can read more at my website, at "Books by Rosalie Wakefield". Meanwhile, here are a few more pictures in color.
Simple stitches are used to make this pretty Floss Flower (Ageratum) -- straight stitch, buttonhole stitch, and a bead at the center.
These are all small designs, traceable (although there is a pre-printed design with all of the flowers and veggies).
      Speaking of veggies, here's one - an eggplant that makes one ponder the age-old ponderment (I think up new words now and then, too...) "Which came first, the chicken or the eggplant??"
Yes, it's a fairly scrawny chicken, so it is probably saved from the stewpot. It looks better in Brazilian embroidery anyway - the 100% rayon Boucle makes lovely chicken feathers.
This is the English Daisy (Bellis perennis), not too different from the Floss Flower shown above.
I have a note written with the instructions that mentions that white or light flowers will stand out against white background fabric if you surround them with a frame of greenery or fine growth, or change the color of the flowers. 
Brazilian dimensional embroidery has lately removed itself from the fine growth we all used in The Olden Days. Now we tend to direct our attention to the actual flowers. But fine growth (couched Glory in greens with French knot 'field flowers' added. Here's an example:

These pictures are from one of my older Millefiori designs, #921 "Twelve for Tea", featuring floral designs from My LadyFlowers.
There are several methods for stitching fine growth, all described in my most recent book, My Book of Stitches. They are Airy Fairy credited to Virginia Chapman of Floss Flowers Plus, my original Automatic Couching and Brazilian Couching. Stitchers can also add fine growth with feather stitch or fly stitch, or can also try the technique I call "R.M. Couching" (named for B.E. designer Rosie Montague and illustrated in her book, Brazilian Three-Dimensional Embroidery). 
    I used her technique for the pictures shown here.

The difference between Rosie's couching and the Airy Fairy couching is that Airy Fairy starts with a long, long stitch which is then tacked and couched back to the flower with side branches and the addition of French knots. Rosie's couching also starts at the flower, but all stitches are short (about 1" long) and all subsequent stitches, also 1" long, sprout from the sides of the original stitch, building from the flower up and out.
Back in An Artist's Garden, here's the Flower Girl - a design approximately 2" tall. I've mentioned previously that these little designs will apply nicely to crazy quilts, wearable art, needle books, or any other spot where people can stop you and say, "Oooooh, what's that?", and you can proudly answer, "Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery!  Here!  Let me show you how!!"

Monday, January 2, 2017

Mynah, All Mynah -- A Free Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery Design From Me to You

With a new year, I thought it would be fun to give my blog a new look. Just like shopping for fabric, it took a while to decide on the 'perfect' colors to dress up these pages (especially since I like them all). I'm also going to update my website. That's next. 

Now, however, I'm sharing a freebie "challenge" design with my fellow Brazilian embroidery stitchers:
"Mynah, All Mynah"
Yes!  It's black. On black. (The "Where's Waldo" of the avian night world~~)
I'm posting pictures here, but all of the instructions (with pictures) are free as a pdf file.
      If you would like a copy, please send me an email (go to the "About Me" page on this blog for my email address). I'll send the file out by return email. I'm requesting that (because of copyright issues) you ask for a copy for just yourself. If a friend would like one, please ask them to send a note to me separately. Thanks!  Respecting copyrights is a perk for those of us who design; your tacit agreement is our encouragement to make more designs for you. 
I designed this black bird for those who do NOT like to stitch on black or dark fabrics. I encourage you to give it a try anyway; you might enjoy it. (You might also enjoy turning this birdie into a blue bird or a red bird/cardinal, or use the colors of your choice for both bird and background fabric.)
The Mynah bird, for those of us who like sparkly things, is easy to relate to. Those who do dimensional embroidery are also attracted to the shiny rayon colors and are enamored of beads, specialty threads, ribbons. The Mynah (or Myna) Bird is related to the starling. Other black bids attracted to shiny objects are the crow, the blue jay, magpie, jackdaw, the raven and the bower bird. Hard, shiny things might be a reason why birds don't have teeth. . .
I thought about these Sparkle Collectors who swoop in, accumulate a 'shiny' or two and fly back to their nests to enjoy their spoils.
By transferring the traceable pattern to Solvy film, you can easily see where to stitch. This design is 6" x 6" and I mounted it on wooden stretcher bars while I worked.
Our black bird is stitched with black Iris (100% rayon Z-twist floss available from B.E. merchants listed at the website). Nice. Shiny.
If you scroll back up a couple of pictures ago, you'll notice that shiny eyeball. You can use a 3mm. facet-cut glass bead, but I had some golden sew-down rhinestones in my stash (Swarovski 3188 Lochrosen Rhinestone 3mm crystal) -- extra sparkle, always a nice concept.
I stitched the leaves and branches with green floss, choosing green glass leaf beads from (also available from other bead shops). The object of this birdie's affection is an 8mm faceted bead. These are plastic, but glass is nice, too (I'm an equal opportunity bead lover).
      The adventurous stitcher might opt for small dimensional rolled roses instead of beads (the black bird won't mind), and a nest filled with flowers is an awesome concept.
The lower branch holds the black bird's nest. I re-purposed a handful of leftover floss, couched it down around the top of the nest in a circular shape and then added more beads.
That little pink kitten bead hiding in the nest ... I'm not sure how she got there; cats tend to hang out around my embroidery.
So. This is my challenge to you. Find a small piece of black or dark fabric. Luckily, I have a collection of dark green-on-black cotton prints (15" x 15") with a poly cotton lining fabric - not many left, but the price is very reasonable. If you email me, I'll send you details.
This is a FREE-from-Me-to-You design:
"Mynah, All Mynah"
(that dream within the hearts of us all ....)
It's a pdf file; just email me for a copy - and enjoy the challenge~~