Saturday, June 28, 2014

Either Housecleaning or Cat Photography....

There really isn't any choice. Cuthbert and Emmy are just too cute:
So I woke them up:
Naughty Cuthbert. Poor cute Emmy.
Guess I'll finish cleaning house now.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Today is my birthday - the first day of summer, the longest birthday of the year. If anyone is looking for me, you'll find me out playing in my flowers.  I'm here somewhere ...
Oh, wait.  That was Cuthbert.
     Here is another view of my back yard where I would rather spend time than cleaning dust bunnies from inside my house:
And here...
This flower is (well, I thought I knew its Latin name as sisychrinum) something I call the "Sunny Satin Flower" because I made a Brazilian dimensional embroidery design with it years ago. It's been coming back in my garden for that long, too!
Oh, wait!  It's my birthday ... I need to go outside and play in my flowers.   But first, here are a few more pictures.  Astilbe:

Asian Pear Tree, loaded with fruit this year (this is the tree that a little birdie planted for me several years ago):
And my beautiful little Emmy.
NOW, I'll go out and play in the flowers.  Well, there's a batch of daylight left - it IS, after all, the longest day of the year!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Watched Pots and Things Boiling Over

OK. I Googled to get the exact quote.  It's "A Watched Pot Never Boils". 

Well, I can tell you from personal, recent experience that if you put some water in a big pot and add some Ivory Liquid and throw in your embroidery that bled all over the place - the red and blue and even some dark green ... that if you put all of that on the stove and go over (here) and sit down to write a blog entry, that a pot that is NOT watched will just merrily boil over, all over the stove, down the front of the counter, into my drawer that holds the new paper napkins and sogged them all up, and onto the floor making a nice big puddle.  Silly quote anyway.

Peggy Crawford.  We all remember her, those of us who do Brazilian embroidery and also a lot of stitchers who contributed to the online Crazy Quilt Magazine.  She was a sweetie, one of the nicest persons ever, a wonderful designer and writer of excellent instructions, and several years ago she wrote a book Stitching the Wildflowers of Virginia.
Back in "the olden days" (lower case), I fell in love with this beautifully written book and Peggy's lovely designs, all traceable patterns. I traced all of them and then piled them every which way onto a piece of 12" x 12" fabric, pulled out my floss and began to stitch. The finished embroidery was stashed away in a drawer until now. I pulled it out. It was grubby. I soaked it in cool water (how we do it now). It bled and bled and then ...right... some more.
My solution would have been "I really meant for that to happen," and I went to look for my watercolors. I was going to dab greens onto the background fabric - all greens and browns like an artistic work.  But then I realized that I stitched this piece in the days BEFORE Red Dye #2 was banned and the dyes used for rayon are now heat sensitive. 
The old floss was NOT heat sensitive.
Into the boiling pot it went - with Ivory, soapsuds throughout my kitchen, and the embroidery that disappeared almost ALL of the color bleed in a few minutes. For further reinforcement (since heat wouldn't make the dyes run more anyway...), I threw it in the dryer, high heat for 10 minutes.
Here it is. Almost NO color bleed.  (OLD floss, remember) OK, well, there is "some" color bleed...
Now I agree that this Brazilian embroidery could have had another boiling water bath, but I wanted to get it finished because I'm going to take it to Show and Share at our BDEIG Seminar  (Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery International Guild, Inc.) this week. Read more here. Scroll down to the lower right corner and double click "Seminar 2014".  We are going to present a tribute to Peggy Crawford and the designs she has made for us to stitch through the years. Copies of Peggy's book are still available online. Here are some of her flowers up close:

I have mopped up my kitchen floor, I have the embroidery outside drying in the sunshine (since I didn't leave it in the dryer heat for long enough), and if I still have color bleed, I might add some watercolors to the background. And I might just try another soapy boiling water bath again later.  But this time I. Will. Watch. The. Pot.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Design Lines and Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery Prints

Well, it's been a while since I wrote.  Sorry.  I discovered Facebook and a lot of my flower photos followed me over there.  I'll add more here soon - I have lots of things to share -  but I wanted to let you know something I just discovered.

Some of our Brazilian dimensional embroidery designs are on black fabric, printed with white ink.  A while back I had some designs like this and the white lines refused to wash out (it was probably the ink they used...). 
A friend of mine stitched one of my earliest designs "My Stamp Collection" and discovered that the white lines wouldn't come out. We did some troubleshooting and found that (on the black fabric), you can cover those white lines with a Black Sharpie Pen.  I used a fine point Sharpie and covered the lines quite nicely. 
Just thought you might be able to use this information somewhere down the road. Here's a close-up of one of the flowers
I'll be back soon - just trying to catch up with myself. The other day I went out the door and met myself coming in.