Eye Candy Monday
Today I am going to share some lovely embroidery pieces with you. We'll start off with the work of one of my students, then we'll have a look at some new pieces I made and we'll finish with a new initiative to bring Mastercrafts People together. Let's start with a stunning blackwork piece:
This piece has been embroidered by Anja from the Netherlands. She started it last year during one of my week-long embroidery retreats. Anja worked from a picture and translated the different textures and shades beautifully into blackwork's geometric patterns. Anja will add some white highlights to the eyes to make the birds even more life-like. I so enjoy seeing a finished piece which started under my tuition!
Next up is another piece by Anja. She started it last week during another one of my embroidery retreats. We had great fun designing this piece by using a piece by Hazel Blomkamp as the base. Then we added two flowers from a colouring book by Millie Marotta and a pomegranate from an older embroidery book. Just to illustrate that you don't need to be able to draw your own design from scratch. Mix and match often produces a stunning new design. I have a feeling this piece will turn out great as well!
As most of you know by now, I have a subscription to the Broderibox by Nordic Needle. Although I used all threads present in the May box, I wasn't sure what to do with the purse clasp. I am an embroideress and I can mount a finished piece satisfactorily. However, I am not good at finishing. Mainly because I do it so rarely. Time to change that! There are so many lovely products out there to turn your embroidery into something other than a framed picture. Time to become acquainted with the clasp.
Luckily for me, there was a website listed on the back of the clasp's packaging: Zakka Workshop. Do visit their website as they have some adorable stuff on there. And best of all, they have a really good Youtube video on how to install the clasp. As I wasn't confident that I could come up with the right size embroidered purse, I ordered their instructions for the simple patchwork pouch. It provided me with a template for the purse and then it was just a matter of adding a cute bird, do some Schwalm embroidery, add some beads and best of all: use a House of Embroidery hand-dyed perle #12 in a colour combination that's totally out of your comfort zone :).
Worked a treat so far. Installing the clasp wasn't as easy as the video makes you believe. Especially not as I've probably used the wrong interfacing between the embroidery and the lining of the purse. Mine is probably too thick/stiff. That's the challenge when using instructions from another country. However, I am quite pleased with the result! I will tinker with the purse design and write up instructions at a later date. Just keep an eye out for them on this blog :)!
Another great way to finish your embroidery (and really hot on Instagram!) is to use a tiny wooden hoop by Dandelyne. Since I really like my Schwalm butterfly, I wondered if I could shrink the piece enough to go into a 4cm hoop. Guess what? I could! I used a combination of House of Embroidery hand-dyed fine silk and raw silk as well as paper covered wire to stiffen the upper-wings. I've now worn the piece around my neck for two days straight (I did put it down for sleeping...) and it holds up beautifully. As I had some trouble adding my finished embroidery to the hoop using the instructions provided, I will write a blog on this alternative method soon. It will help others mount embroidery on thin fabrics into a Dandelyne hoop. By the way, you can get your Dandelyne hoops here in Germany from the lovely Nadine from Zur lila Pampelmuse. That's where I got mine :).
Still reading? Good reader! There is one last thing I want you to go and check out: the Mad' in Europe initiative. It is a website where you can find European Mastercrafts People. Please do visit my page and leave a review! It will not only earn you my eternal gratitude, but it will also help to make my work more visible. And don't forget to check this initiative for local crafts people near you or your next holiday destination! (and do apply for membership if you are a fellow European artisan; it's free!).
THE END :)
Today I'll talk a bit about the 'behind-the-scenes' of my business Märchenhaftes Sticken. Although you can now find quite a few of these stories on the world wide web, there are still people out there who will be surprised to read that my days are not entirely spend embroidering beautiful things :). Seriously, I am not embroidering marvellous pieces most days. Instead, I usually see my Acer Aspire V more than I see my needles and threads. Now, don't start to feel sorry for me, because the other tasks that make up Märchenhaftes Sticken are mostly fun too! I'll promise. Just read on.
Take last Saturday for instance. We checked out the Paradies Hof in Wessobrunn-Forst. A lovely farm bistro in a gorgeous setting. They run a crafts market on Sunday the 21st of May called 'Bunter Markt'. I've never before presented my work at a local crafts market. However, I figured that it might be a cost-effective way to reach the locals. You see, my 'problem' is that I am very well able to reach the world through my website, this blog, Instagram and the like. BUT, I am not faring so well with local support for my business. This is largely due to the fact that my local people are not computer savy. Unfortunately, newspaper and magazine ads are quite pricey (think hundreds of Euros). And, running the risk of dispelling another myth, you don't make the kind of figures with a small embroidery business to be able to pay for such pricey marketing strategies :). Ten Euros for a table at the Bunter Markt is much more doable. Added bonus: I will meet other local makers! And, since the farm bistro prides itself on baking delicious cakes from local ingredients, we were obliged to try them too... Very hard to be me indeed.
Since I've never done anything like this, I need to prepare for my stand. Thanks to my lovely and inspiring fellow embroidery makers on Instagram, I have a fairly good idea what makes an attractive booth. So, apart from making more beaded pendants, I've asked my farmer landlord if he had some old drawers for me. Currently, they are sitting on a towel in my kitchen after they had a thorough encounter with a water hose :). Those of you who have come to visit me here at my studio on the Lötschmüller Farmstead, won't be surprised that he was able to turn up quite so many assorted drawers in such a short amount of time... Farmer Sepp Maier is a huge collector of anything and everything. And since he lives on a large farm, there is always an empty space which just shouts to be filled with another precious piece!
And then there is the amount of time I spend on my 'prevent-a-stitcher's-bum-program'. I am not sure the program entirely works as planned... But I love to be outdoors, clear my head, give my hands a rest and exercise the rest of me! Today we walked the Klosterweiherweg near Bernried. Apart from passing by these beautiful artificial fish ponds dating back to medieval times, we read some inspiring texts along the way. They were beautifully presented on stelae marking points of interest. Invigorated, I can now write this blog, compile my newsletter, think on what to do with my drawers, compile a list of places where I am allowed to lay out my new flyer, etc. Happy stitching!
Bead Embroidery Pendants
Oh dear, I am a bit late, ain't I? That's because I spent all day packaging some lovely new goldwork threads! You will find a super fine gilt and silver plated twist, a gilt textured thread not unlike check thread, more gilt shapes (to make wheat ears and the like) and silk wrapped purl in my webshop.
Yesterday, I attended a bead embroidery workshop at ArtTextil in Dachau. We made quick and easy pendants and rings with the talented Julia Schmid. I really enjoyed myself. Upon coming home, I ordered some sparkly beads and cabochons to make some more!
That's all from me for this week. Just a little blurb in between some unforeseen circumstances. Can't promise to have a blog ready next Monday, but I am definitely back the week thereafter! Take care.
Today we'll end our tour of the Regensburger Domschatz with three splendid paraments stitched in the 19th century. Generally speaking, I am not a huge fan of these 'newer' paraments as they tend to become too simple and almost hasty in their stitching techniques. This is especially true of paraments of the second half of the 20th century. However, the three pieces you are about to get acquainted with are still proof of high craftsmanship.
The first piece is an antependium or altar cloth entirely stitched with tiny seed beads! Do have a look at the enlargement of Lucas's head and you'll see what I mean. The piece was stitched in Regensburg around 1890 and designed by Dean Georg Dengler (1839-1896). Dengler designed various pieces and saved many pieces of Christian art for future generations to admire.
The largest piece in the collection is part of a throne baldachin. It was made in Southern Germany at the beginning of the 19th century. It contains, however, older parts. On red velvet, large floral motives in gold and silver threads are appliqued. The exotic flowers are filled with basket weaving patterns, whereas the stems and outlines are stitched with the guimped couching technique. The piece was donated by Archbishop Karl Theodor von Dalberg (1744-1817). A true child of his time, he was not only a church man, but also a Prince-Primate and a Grand Duke.
The last sparkly piece I'll show you is a cope worked in goldwork and silk embroidery. It was made in Southern Germany in 1871/73 and donated by Bishop Ignatius von Senestrey (1818-1906).
That's the end of our tour through the paraments of the Regensburger Domschatz. I hope you liked seeing these ancient splendours of embroidery craftsmanship. Next week I'll show you my embroidered version of Millie Marotta's fox. Fingers crossed I'll finish it on time...
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