Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I Have My Christmas Present

 I have my Christmas present. He sits by my side and talks with me. We dance together each day, several times a day. He is my Rich. 
For those of you still visiting here, you know that my husband, Rich, had a stroke in mid-July. In addition to the stroke, he has been dealing with early stages of slowly-progressing Parkinson's disease, too, for the past couple of years. 

So the rest of July and most of August was spent - a week at the hospital (trying to see if the stroke would get any worse, they said!), and then almost a month in rehab before I could bring him home. I was there every day, all day from morning till after dinner in the evening (also a way to avoid rush-hour traffic!) watching and learning how to help with his physical therapy (since I knew almost nothing about what to do). 

I did find out that it really IS true: God never gives us anything to do that is impossible. We are all made strong enough to deal with anything in our path.  And I found out the hard way, that if we think we can do it all ourselves, He will give us a little Tap On The Shoulder, reminding us that it's OK to ask for help.  In my case, I pulled a back muscle as I was in "learning mode", and asked for a caregiver to help. Rich was very grateful, as I think he got tired of listening to my moaning and groaning in pain and acting like I was near death. 

Rich had the stroke about a week after we celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary. The little ladybug picture I posted earlier - that was a design I stitched while Rich was in rehab (where I almost found a couple of new people to teach, too!!). Someone asked me, "Ladybug??  -- I thought it was an Alien."  To which I replied, "It reminded me of one of the shower or swimming caps that had flowers all over them."  --way back in The Olden Days.
        But the Brazilian embroidery which I love has been like an anchor in a storm, keeping me in balance. And even though I am now busier each day than I ever thought I could be, I spend time each evening working on my projects, sometimes only for an hour or two.

Well, I can't complain. Life is beautiful. I have my Rich; I have my Christmas present, and a present each day with him by my side and improving.  We dance together often during the day -- as I help him regain his walking balance.  We talk often, and we laugh a lot. He has asked me not to sing...  

Now that we are getting into a routine, I am finding moments here and there when I can work on this blog.  And I've been jotting notes on my Facebook page (please 'like' me there so you won't miss anything!).  And, as I promised so long ago, my next project is to share the little Olden Flowers - Brazilian embroidery's original flowers which are pretty much public domain. I just used different leaves and backgrounds and will give you patterns and instructions and sources if you'd like to make your own little art quilt, or even use the flower designs for crazy quilts or journal pages or fabric postcards -- anything creative you can think of.

Thank you for listening. As I wrote earlier, I already have my Christmas present. I have my Rich.  My life is rich, Rich is my life, and life is beautiful.

Friday, September 13, 2013

B.E.Things to Stitch - On and With ...

This is not a personal advertisement but I know we have a lot of new Brazilian embroidery (and some more experienced) stitchers so I’m going to share this.

I received a phone call from someone whose friend had a huge supply of Brazilian embroidery kits and threads. She is making this available to anyone interested. I don’t know what she is charging for anything, but just wanted people to be aware that they would need to pay the postage and pay in advance, as is usual in any of our sales. Note that postal rates to Canada and overseas are higher.

If you are interested, please send me an email (use the email 'contact' address - not the comments section) and I will give you her phone number (with her permission). 
My only involvement with this is that I received a phone call and am trying to help.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Did You Miss Me?

I sure missed all of you -- writing here is one of the joys of my days.

--and I owe those who come to visit regularly an explanation. First of all, a big bad virus came and tried to eat my computer.

Lucky for me, hubby knew just what to do ...he took it to the computer guru.
Of course, that was over a month ago. Everything is now fixed and humming along at high-speed.  But you know how life goes ... if it isn't one thing, it's another thing.

Hubby had a stroke last month - moderate, but it affected his right arm and leg which he is moving along (also at high-speed) trying to re-train. He will do it, too, I have no doubt. We get to hold hands a lot while I help that wayward, stubborn arm do its thing. You won't hear me complaining -- him either. He's been in rehab and it is an entire month from the start to now. But he's home and I can tell that is the best medicine for him -- he said "he was afraid he wouldn't ever see this place again" ... Yes, it almost made me cry, too. I'm helping him and will get more help as soon as I poop out. We had the absolute BEST team helping him at Portland Providence's PARC rehab unit -- what a wonderful, patient staff they all are. But I have him back now, and that's the best part. We are enjoying each day together and facing this challenge with a sense of humor and support for each other (I always think he needs it more).

OK, that happy eyeball face above...  Well, that's one of my newest Millefiori Brazilian dimensional embroidery designs. I was in rehab with Rich each day, learning what I needed to know and stitched while I listened. This is the result:
"Not Just Spots!!"   
      If you ever look nose to nose at a ladybug, you'll see how beautiful they really are.  Do you remember the "Rosey Posey" I earlier described here? These spots are stitched with yet another version of this easy flower, improved (in my opinion) from two previous methods of stitching the flower. This Rosey Posey is stitched with a particularly pretty dyelot of EdMar's rayon floss #327. I will probably have this design available for retail sale as a pdf file, but might also have a fabric print with photo and instructions. Since you would be stitching the same flower over plus six, stitchers might prefer a traceable design. I'll let you know down the road a bit.
Well, as long as you are reading here (hopefully), here's an interesting idea that most probably know about. Keep long straight stitches from sagging; make a teeny little backstitch beneath one end of the stitch.  See:
That's it for the ladybugs at the moment.  And that is a ladybug bead:
 As promised the last time I wrote here, I described the little BDEIG quilt I made and promised to share patterns and sources so you can stitch your own Original B.E. flowers.  I named it "The Olden Days - Early B.E. Flowers".  I'll share those very soon. Remember:
One other thing ...
With all of the other things going on this summer, I haven't updated my website except to post information here and here about my newest book, My Book of Stitches.
   Thank you to so many who have tracked me down through my email address or phone. I'm shipping these orders as soon as I receive them, double wrapped and shipped in a padded priority mailer. I hope you'll get your own copy soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Brand New Book About Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery

This is my NEW book - My Book of Stitches.  It is written by me, Rosalie Wakefield, and is hot off the press! This book has almost 300 pages and is loaded with the ideas I get when I thread my needle. I'm hopeful that it will inspire other stitchers and add a few ideas for those who would like to design for Brazilian dimensional embroidery.

I've licensed My Book of Stitches with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License, which I've linked for further information. This means that others can use any of these ideas and stitches, produce even better ideas if they like, and can sell whatever they develop from these stitches, and all they need to do is attribute (give credit) to the source - My Book of Stitches by Rosalie Wakefield. It's my way of sharing the things I've learned from other Brazilian embroidery instructors.

The book is coil bound, almost 300 pages, and a lot of ideas I've used in my designs, also many ideas from my books, and a few new ideas that popped into my head while I was writing the book. Books will be sent on order in a padded priority mailer; prices shown on my website, You can email me or leave a note in the comments if you have questions.

I've been gone for a week and now I'm going to go out into my garden and see how many flowers will be there after I pull the weeds that are trying to run the show.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Interlude - Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery

That's what I've been in.  --an interlude.
      People have been asking me where I have been.
This is the Interlude Rose, one of my Brazilian dimensional embroidery flower designs that is a variation of the original Canada's Rose, which I also thought up -- these flowers consist of lots of floss and lots of petals worked on a tiny little base (in this case, a pentagon about 1/8" across). Depending on the floss weight I use (and it's an easy flower to make with any weight), I have a large or a smaller flower.
I was playing with some of my pictures,  and have - in addition to my own computer thingies - found a great online photo editor at picmonkey. It does all sorts of interesting things to your pictures. I liked this picture so much (here's the original). . .
. . .that I sometimes stop what I'm doing and decide I absolutely HAVE to share with you.  Somewhere in all of these words and more words, there might actually be some helpful information, hopefully.
Now for the blatant advertising. This is part of one of my new Millefiori Brazilian embroidery designs that I PROMISE to update on my website. The design is named #8007 "Waltz of the Flowers".  Here's a picture of it, finally finished:
It's the size of a CD and includes other flowers besides the Interlude Rose -- Three to Tango, the Vienna Rose, Can-Can (compete with naughty ruffles), Staccato (new - shown earlier on this blog), the Hokey Pokey and Fox (Trot) Grass.  --I was going to do 3/4 time for the waltz, but there just wasn't enough room, so some of the notes are floating around. The border is a nice way to use variegated floss, too.
OK, back to work.  I just wanted you to see the pretty Interlude Rose (that's a 4mm fire polish bead in the center).  I promise to get back to regular blog writing as soon as I return from our BDEIG Seminar. See you soon!
Oh, by the way - I might have just one more post before I leave - come back and see.  (Sign up for the email posts if you don't want to miss anything) It's a big surprise!!!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bugs? Sure. It's Brazilian Dimensional Bug Embroidery

Before I get too enthusiastic, I should let you know that there is blatant advertising ahead.
This is a picture of one of my Millefiori Brazilian dimensional embroidery designs, #915 "There's a Garden in My Dragonfly". The picture above is stitched entirely with 100% rayon floss from EdMar.
I took detail pictures of this design, but when I stitched it my enthusiasm overflowed and I stitched another version entirely as bead embroidery. More about that later.
Here's the commercial. This design #915 "There's a Garden in My Dragonfly" is available at my Millefiori website, printed on cream or white fabric. Send a note if you'd like to order one for yourself. You can use PayPal if you want, or you can email me for more information.
Commercial over.
Here are pictures of the fun that I had, plus some hints and tips you might be able to use in your other embroidery designs.
This is the bug behind:
Bullions, cast-on stitches, some herringbone, some knots...
Here's a picture of the detail work on one of the wings:
By the way, it was while stitching this design I discovered Brazilian couching. I didn't want to make outline stitches to edge the wings (the dark color above) and I knew that regular couching stitches are sometimes quite long. With Brazilian couching, you make a stitch about 1/2 to 3/4" long and make a fabric bite (through the fabric) of only 2-3 threads (floss held below the needle for outline or Brazilian couching stitches). This type of couching can be used with any fiber or metallic thread for extra sparkle when you are finishing leaves, stems or . . .  dragonfly wings. If you double click the picture, it should fill your computer screen and you can even see any uneven stitches that I sometimes make...

Those corner designs (second picture above) are stitched with little "dragon-flowers". I'm adding a picture of the bead embroidered corner designs, too. (By the way, I get a lot of my little flower and leaf beads from Beadcats, but they are available at a lot of bead stores and companies including Fire Mountain and Shipwreck.  The B.E. version:
 The Bead Embroidery version:
Here is the bead embroidered version of #915 "There's a Garden in My Dragonfly":
I traced this design onto lightweight Solvy (by Sulky) and basted it to velveteen (velveteen is much easier to stitch than velvet with its nap). But any fancy fabric, even a brocade, could be used. The wings are a semi-sheer overlay of fancy fabric. You could also stitch the design using 3" wide floral sheer ribbon, stitched in place. (I edged the wings with a metallic thread, probably Candlelight) If you add sheer fabrics to the cream or white prints that I have available, you can produce a beautiful design, too.

OK, so THEN ... I raided my old collection of jewelry, looked at old earrings, buttons, shell, sparklies, etc.   ....and that body? It's a BRACELET. I think I actually WORE it back in The Olden Days when I was in high school.  Here's a picture:
More pictures:
Those are rhinestones and cabochons (I think the smaller blue one was part of a necklace). Probably the most collectible item on this embroidery is those little silver things between the two ovals. I think they might be old shoe clips (with rhinestones -- worn before my time, I'm sure ... probably from a garage sale bargain!) The blue/green/silver add-on is also a shoe clip:
...and I found some broken earrings:
...and part of an old plastic necklace (oops, I mean "lucite" - the NEW plastic):
I added some seed beads and little shell cabochons (attach non-hole things with Fabri-Tac or other clear-drying glue).
These two pictures are images of detail embroidery on the wing and head:
I hope you will pull out some of your unfinished, or untouched, or even unloved B.E. design purchases and think about things you can do to make them truly your own.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cuthbert - Viking Cat Invades Personal Work Space

Cuthbert is a Norwegian Forest Cat. Sometimes Cuthbert thinks he is also a Viking and should go around his territory looting and pillaging (Just ask his little minion, Emmy, who makes herself really small and insignificant when he is surveying his kingdom).
Yes, this is/WAS my pincushion factory. I sell these interesting little Pincushions for Drizzles at my Millefiori website. (OK, I don't have them posted, but I DO have them available for sale.) While I was busy stitching, guess who came to visit and park under my nice warm worklight?

Of course, I found it necessary to divert my attention elsewhere, so I downloaded the pictures in my camera - mostly my flowers, which are blooming vigorously in our beautiful Oregon springtime here in the Willamette Valley. 

When Cuthbert saw that I wasn't going to stay and give him his full measure of appropriate attention, he went to look for a "better" spot (cat version). He found this box:
And it was almost just right.
Yes.  Fits good.
Almost. Well, it might need remodeling....
Or he feels he could just move to a BETTER box.

So, how I will entertain you with my flowers. This is one of our rhodies -
Always my favorite - I never get tired of photographing these lovely flowers.
This next picture is one of our hydrangeas, just the leaves (yes, I'll entertain you with the flowers in a month or two...)
I was thinking, earlier this week, that I should have planted some pink tulips. But when I went to look, I saw that I had that same thought last fall:
It's actually #115 and #203, with a little bit of #104 here and there. Very pretty. The lilacs are also blooming now. The trouble with lilacs is that they are in the VERY TOP of the shrub, almost touching the sky. I almost need a stepladder to enjoy them up close, but this is one of my old fashioned lilacs:
And this is a yellow lilac that I found at the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden in Woodland, Washington a few years ago. (Looks white, doesn't it?)
It's yellow. Really pale yellow....
And all by itself, I happened across this pretty little calendula, joyfully blooming in the sunshine.
Next time I write, I'll talk about that little BDEIG art quilt I worked on.


Monday, April 15, 2013

A Story About Some Not-So-Pretty Quilt Fabric, and Some Really Pretty Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery

I had this idea to stitch a Brazilian dimensional embroidery design on cream poplin and make a little art quilt. So I went in search of fabric that would coordinate. I'm trying to avoid the word "ugly", but these are definitely NOT my colors. Here's what I found:
eeuw. But it had "strips", which is a good quality to have in quilt fabric as I understand it.
So I bought it anyway.
OK. So I worked on it a little in my photo editing program. But I was still unsure.
--until I found green. (I guess you know by now that I'm not A TRUE Quilter.) But I took it home, decided to pull out my EdMar rayon floss.
Oh, yes. Now that is more like it (above). 

But THESE are my colors:
   I have discovered something during my adventures of sewing pieces of fabric together and naming them "quilt". If you are thinking, in any way, of quilting your finished Brazilian embroidery, it's always a good idea to go fabric shopping first, and THEN match your floss.

It was a major disciplinary effort for me to avoid adding any form of BLUE to my work. Now I'll show you a picture of my little BDEIG art quilt, all finished. In my next post, I'll add some pictures and tell you a little about what I did (hints and tips, you know!). I made this little quilt because I wanted to use my little ABCs for Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery designs with all of the bugs, bees, birds, cats, hedgehogs and other miscellaneous creatures (from one of my books that is out of print at the moment), and that's what I did  See:

I was surprised when I didn't use the narrow fabric print strips, how pretty the wider floral looked. Here's a detail photo:
Now I'll write about the flowers. These are all the original Brazilian embroidery flowers. Back in the days before people were educated about copyrights (or even cared), everyone used everyone else's flowers. Borrowed, stitched, added to designs, re-sold, all without credit. No one really knew who the first person was to design a flower. Yes, the basic stitches (bullion, cast-on, stem, chain, etc.) are available to all. Stitch 'designs' - combined stitches, changes, variations - those require attribution (a concept in copyright law which requires that the designer or author be credited).

It has since been decided that these early flowers are all public domain designs. There is still discussion about sharing to teach and using floral designs that others have developed as part of their embroidery/teaching businesses. I'll tell you where to find the instructions for these floral designs and those who have the early B.E. books will be able to stitch them for their own personal use.

Here are the floral designs that I used; you'll see that I used the flower (in most cases with original instructions, but sometimes changing what I did), and I added greenery, leaves, stems to make a new design. I won't sell these, but I'm sharing them to give stitchers an idea of what they can do with a flower they like. These designs are approximately 2 1/2" square.

1.  Fuchsia
2.  Maria's Rose
3.  Bossa Nova Rose
4.  Snow Flower
5. Geron (or Gerone)/Lazy Daisy
6.  Bullion Daisy
7.  Peach Blossom
8.  Rolled Rose
9.  Creeping Flower
10. Cast-on Daisy
11. April Flower
12. Ruth's Tole Rose
13. Japanese Violet
14. Canada's Rose (my original design!)
15. Cast-on Flower
16. Maria's Iris
No blue!
The next time I write, I'll share with you some of the things I did when I designed and stitched this little 27" square art quilt.