Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A Belly Full of Scales

I am having so much fun with this little project. Actually, it is not such a little project and I wish that I had kept a record of time spent on him; I think it is running to a considerable number of hours already.

The body is covered in scales. There are two types of scale on his back and a third kind on his belly.

The scales are essentially the same; they all have an ‘anchor’ bead in ‘V’ between preceding scales that is surrounded by 3 rows of seed beads. The scales are worked in rows either side of the back fin, down the sides and under his belly, meeting up at the bottom centre.

As much as I am enjoying this, I was getting a little bored of scales in the end and am pleased to have finished them so that I can move onto his face.

Happy Stitching

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Are You Happy with it?

I decided to email my tutor to seek her opinion. Even as I typed my message I could hear her saying "What do you think? Are you happy with it?" Well, no! Clearly I would not have been asking if I thought it was good enough. So I deleted my email, unsent, and took my Japanese snips and cut through all of last Sunday's work. I took out everything, including the guide stitches and started afresh.

There are days when you can't put a stitch right ...

... and there are days when the stitches find their own way.

I'm not sure what I did differently, the angles look the same, but the first version looked wrong and would have forever jarred on me. The second version feels right and now I am happy with it.

The section I worked on Sunday took two hours and I think I reverse stitched every bit of it at least once. This time I barely reversed a single stitch yet the same section still took me two hours to stitch. That suggests to me that the first time I rushed it, yet I thought that I always stitch more or less at the same pace ... slow. Mentally, I possibly am rushing it now, I am keen to finish this phase so that I will be ready to begin Phase VI in March even thought I try not to think ahead and stay focused on my current Phase.

Happy Stitching

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Two Hours Going Nowhere

Now that the festivities are over and things are supposed to have settled back into their usual routine I planned to settle back into a routine of doing a little stitching before work each day. No problem Monday and Tuesday but then came the snow and since then normality has been suspended! But everyone in the UK has heard about nothing but snow for 5 days so I will say no more about it other than to share a picture of the view from my bedroom window.

I finally found some stitching time today but it proved frustrating. When I last stitched some of cord #4 I thought I was getting the hang of it but it continues to cause me difficulties. Previously, I thought that my problem was making the angle of the stitches too shallow so I have taken care to make them steeper. Now I think that they are too steep. I've stitched, reverse stitched and restitched this section again and again and I still don't like it. My instinct was to rip out the stitching again but I've decided to look at it again tomorrow and see if I feel the same way when I am feeling less frustrated.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

On a more positive note I have been making some progress with my little beading project.

© Beadalot/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching

Sunday, 3 January 2010

These are a few of my favourite things

I've had a lovely few days in Amsterdam, enjoying some of my favourite things, and that's not counting food and wine!

Amsterdam boasts a great variety of museums. My favourite of these is the Van Gogh Museum. Vincent van Gogh was probably the first Artist I could name, but I was singularly unimpressed with the pictures I had seen of this paintings until I saw one for real at the National Gallery in London. Soon after that I visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and began to really appreciate his work. This year, I returned to the Museum for the third time to see the van Gogh's Letters exhibition. I loved learning more about the artist and his art through his writing.

I saw a brief glimpse of the Blue Moon on New Year's Eve between a gap in the clouds (or saw that smoke from all the fireworks).

On New Year's day we went for a walk on the beach. I simply love everything about the sea, the sound, the smell, the spray. The only thing I don't like is being on it in a boat! I was quite astonished to see how many people there were on the beach but I am told it is a popular Sunday afternoon (and New Year's Day) activity. As we ended out walk we watched the sun set beyond the water. Who doesn't love sunsets?

During the drive back to Amsterdam we watched the moon rise a huge, orange orb. I find the moon endlessly fascinating and unfailingly beautiful.

Finally, between eating, drinking, walking and visiting museums I found some time for stitching.

A lovely end to what has been the happiest year of my life (so far) and a bright beginning for the next 12 months.

Happy New Year.