Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Realistic Tapestries by Jill Draper

I just came across some fantastic realistic stitched tapestries by Jill Draper from the UK. These photos from the Telegraph say it all! Jill "renders pictures of rural life and shimmering seascapes in her embroidered tapestries recreating scenes with astonishing accuracy from photographs. Each picture measuring around 15 x 30 inches takes up to 120 hours and contains hundreds of thousands of stitches done by hand and machine." Read entire article here.

Casserole Totes

The festive season is almost here. It is the time of year for parties and visiting with family and friends. Sometimes we bring goodies and casseroles with us. What better way to transport a hot pot than in your own casserole carrier. I found a few free patterns. Check them out! 
Casserole Tote from Craft Town
Embroidery Library has one
Dixie Doodles 'Cozy Tote' Casserole Dish Carrier
Round Casserole Carrier
12 + Casserole Tote and Carrier Patterns from Tipnut
Fabric Dish or Dish Insulator 
Casserole Carrier
Insulated Carrier
Handy Tote for 9" x 13" casserole dish
Quilted Forest Pattern 
Kitchens Accents from Fiskars
Quilted Insulated Casserole Carrier  
Another one! or two
Tutorialfrom Cackleberry Cottage
Here's a great place to get recipes to use with your new casserole tote: Kraft Canada

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Embroidered Box

photo by Judy Cooper
I've been doing some 'spring' cleaning in my studio. Maybe I'm putting off getting some 'real' work done! I came across an article in an Embroidery Autumn 1987 magazine called The Embroidered Box by Margaret Swain (historian and author). To my surprise this box was the very one our tour group saw at the Embroidery Guild, Hampton Court Palace, UK in October.

According to Margaret Swain, 'it is a handsome addition to the Embroiderers' Guild collection, and is the gift of Miss Hester Clough, founder member of the Mid-Wessex Branch . . .' The box 'is the typical oblong shape with a flat top. The lid, edged with silver braid, is worked on white satin, using silk, coloured bullion, metal thread, seed pearls and mica for the windows. It displays a dazzling variety of stitches, some of which, leaves, flowers and the wings of insects, are stiffened with wire.'

Swain goes on to explain that this is raised work which we commonly refer to as stumpwork. The term stumpwork is relatively modern and only goes back to the turn of the century. I found her quote about stumpwork, from work by John Nevinson,(1938), interesting. '... that  the term stumpwork was not found in any contemporary 17th century document, and is meaningless, though perverted ingenuity has made the unlikely guess that the carved wooden heads for the miniature figures were called stumps'.

The fashion for raised work appears to have died away at the beginning of the 18th century as did the fashion for these ornate boxes.

Since I had actually seen this box up close, I found the historical reference interesting. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Keep It Hot! - Tea Cosy

This weekend was finally devoted to working in my studio. I usually submit something new to the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador Christmas exhibit - Comfort and Joy. The deadline was Friday but I was given a bit of extra time to get my piece in. I decided to make a tea cosy using my fantasy fabric.

This first photo show one side of the tea cosy before it was stitched. As you can see, I used lots of colour, decorative yarns and wool roving on a cotton base. This was topped with navy tulle and then stitched over with different shades of rayon threads. The threads matched the yarns. Once that was done, using Sulky Sliver Opalescence thread, I stitched over or outlined certain parts.
The second photo is a close-up of the other side of the tea cosy before it was stitched.

Here is the completed piece. Each side is quite different. One thing I've noticed: the Sulky Sliver threads don't glitter in the photo. When the light hits the threads, the piece really sparkles!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

#4 Textile Art From England

I was asked by the Newfoundland and Labrador Craft Council to do a photo essay for their newsletter of the textiles I saw while on the England tour. This is part of the essay showing photos from the embroidery guild tour.
Hampton Court Palace, built during the reign of Henry VIII, is the home of the Embroiderers’ Guild of the UK and the Royal School of Needlework. We were very fortunate to have behind the scenes tours of both organizations. 

The president of the Embroidery Guild of the UK gave us an entertaining lecture and display of work. I have many more photos but these were a sample from this part of the tour that I selected for the newsletter. 
Or Nué on Book Cover
Embroidery by Constance Howard

The Or Nué (Gold Work) is on the cover of a book. I could not get the photo to turn the right way even though it is rotated correctly in my files. Go figure! I tried everything but this is it. The piece beside the book cover was done by Constance Howard, a well known British embroiderer. She wrote The Constance Howard Book of Stitches, first published in 1979. I have this book and it is an excellent one for hand embroidery.

The box cover below is another stunning addition to the guild. It was a gift of Miss Hester Clough, founding member of the Mid-Wessex Branch of the Embroidery Guild. More information about this box is in another post.
Stump Work on Box Cover

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Quilt Show

I have added a link to The Quilt Show on the side of my blog. Last July they had a special rate for a six month trial membership so I joined. I did enjoy viewing the shows since I don't see them here on TV. So a couple of days ago I renewed my membership. For special occasions, they do host a free weekend where you can view any show on the site. They also have a teaser by letting you see a free show. Check out the projects and the daily blog. Have fun!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cluster Map - Visitor Locations

When I put the cluster map on the side bar of this blog, I figured it did a continual visual count of all my visitors and where they were from. Not so! I had an email a couple of days ago telling me that one year of counting was at an end and that a new map would appear. Here's the old map. Now the visitor count starts again for another year. However, the counter showing the total number of visitors continues as usual. I did save a copy of the map with all the dots but forgot to copy the 85 different countries that were listed.
Thanks to all my many visitors since August 2009.
I'm having fun with this blog. For one thing, it keeps a record of blogs and web sites that interest me and they are easier to find.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Art Knowledge News

Art Knowledge News is an on-line art news magazine which is updated daily. I signed up for this about a week ago. Since getting back from my England trip where I visited lots of museums and art galleries, I can continue to peek into galleries around the world to view some more spectacular works of art. Of course, I could do that at any time, but with this site coming to me daily, I'm seeing things I probably wouldn't have thought about. Also they have a list of links that is easy to follow. I'm also following them on Twitter.

The photo was taken at the Tate Modern Museum, London. I did not record the artist's name. If anyone knows it, I would appreciate you letting me know and I will update this page.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

46 Days Until Christmas!

Wow! 46 days left - Christmas will be here before you know it. I hadn't given it much thought until I started to pay attention to the Christmas projects in the various craft and quilting magazines on the news stands. I started looking and found a few simple free projects to get you started on your Christmas list.
Christmas Pudding Pin Cushion
BOM quilts has lots of free patterns for Christmas
Christmas Basket Applique
Figgy Pudding and Holiday Magic Place mats, Napkins & Napkin Rings from Red Rooster Quilts
Simply Santa from CompuQuilt - paper piecing
ElfChristmas Ornaments from Better Homes & Gardens
Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern - applique

Also check out my previous posts:
Freebies for Crafters
Freebies From Freda's Hive

Saturday, November 6, 2010

#3 Textile Art from Knitting & Stitch Show, London

Here's some more art work from the Knitting & Stitch Show, London. These photos were all taken with my Canon S90 camera.
The first piece of textile art was made with layers of sheer fabrics that were dyed/painted and stitched. I just love the vibrant colours.

The second piece was felted.
Various techniques were used in the other pieces.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stone Henge

photos by Judy Cooper

My friend and I took a day tour while visiting England. We went to Stone Henge, Salisbury (to see the cathedral) and Bath. It was a very memorable trip. Our guild, Michael, was priceless!

During the summer months, it's possible to get private tours of Stone Henge where you get to see the stones up close. These tours occur at sunrise and sunset. In any case, you get an audio tour which works very well. It was an interesting morning and I'm glad I experienced it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Forte Framing and Gallery

Forte Framing and Gallery now has a new web site. The original one has been totally redone! For those of you new to my blog, this framing shop in Chicago belongs to my daughter and husband. For those of you living in the Chicago area, please stop by and see the place. Some of my textile art is on display as well as some of my shimmers.

They also rent out their shop space for art shows and parties - the shop is very spacious and a fantastic place for a party!

Jill is working on some original art pieces just in time for Christmas. You can see her at work if you drop by.