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Elmsley Rose

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Elmsley Rose

14 January 2012

Needlepaintings that I DO intend to do :-)

I used to paint medieval grotesques when I did calligraphy and illumination. I love them. You’ll see examples that I’ve painted in the past come up my on screenshow.

For example,


I’ve called him “Leonard”. :-) (painted in gouache)

I intend to do more …. but in needlepainting. These will be just a bit more approachable than the Archimboldo – I was only joking about that one! ~grin~. Sorry to the people that took me seriously, although Kimerbley Servello’s suggestion in the comments for speckling was lovely.


The two images above from The Luttrell Psalter, 14thC.
Image source and more on the Psalter :

More images from the Luttrell Psalter (hey, it’s a good source!)....source :


And these last images are from the Giornale Nuovo post entry
“One manuscript in particular features such an abundance of this type of illumination that it has become known as ‘the Book of Drolleries’ (Le Livre des Drôleries)……”
More information and images on Giornale’s post.


I think I’ll have a lot of fun :-) They are great creatures! I’ve certainly never done the design analysis to make a needlepainting from an ordinary image before. It’ll be a new skill to look forward to learning in the future.

Looking at Opus Anglicanum's (Tanya's) recent piece ( I'm tempted to think about using trying out the Opus Anglicanum approach as well as needlepainting (long and short stitch).

Has anyone ever designed a needlepainting directly from a picture?

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8 January 2012

A Needlepainting Project that would be really silly to attempt

But I think it would be beautiful. Maybe when I'm really really really skilled at needlepainting? ~grin~

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (also spelled Arcimboldi) (1527 – July 11, 1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books – that is, he painted representations of these objects on the canvas arranged in such a way that the whole collection of objects formed a recognizable likeness of the portrait subject. (wikipedia)
I’ve always felt a little sorry for this poor fellow :
Lots more images of Archimboldo’s work at

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6 January 2012

The Embroidered Frame

The last time we saw The Gold and Silk Butterfly for SilkLover, it looked liked this :


Then I replaced the Electyra Beetlewing head with more raised chain stitch in the same purple as the body. I felt the beetle wing just didn’t work texture-wise.


I was talking about placing a net over the body in my last post. But, as a re-start of embroidery after a long break from embroidery, I thought I’d work on the embroidered frame first, as something simpler and more “Zen” to do.

The First Component of the Frame :

“Ok, to work Buttonholed Herringbone Stitch, first work a row of Herringbone Stitches. Next using a blunt needle throughout, bring your needle up at 1 and work a buttonhole stitch over the first thread as shown below. Continue working stitches over this first arm of the herringbone stitch making sure to pack stitches close together as shown. When you get to the top of the intersection work a buttonhole stitch over the crossed end and then continue down the other side of the herringbone stitch. Repeat till all of your herringbone stitches are covered with buttonhole stitches. Its really simple but so effective!”
Here’s my first line of Buttonholing over Herringbone stitch, in a purple a couple of shades darker than the body, along the bottom :


I discovered the hard way that the ‘scallops’ needed anchoring to the ground every centimetre or so. I went back and put tiny anchoring stitches in.

The next line (up the left hand side) looks much better, as I anchored as I went :


I could have buttonholed over the top intersection of the herringbone stitch, as I did to form the curved scallop on the bottom. However, I thought leaving the little crosses uncovered echoed the anntenae of the butterfly.

I’ve still got the right hand side to do.

Second Component :

I’ve got a thick gold thread which I’m going to couch along the top.
I couldn’t buttonhole/herringbone along the top. I’m right up against the EverTite frame there.


Third component :

I’ll couch the same thread used to outline the butterfly itself (another gold thread of mysterious type and origin), just touching the outer edges of the ‘scallops’


Fourth Component :
Rather magically, I found that I had a bag of seed beads that complemented the colours of the piece really well.


I’m going to fill in the 4 corners of the piece with beads :

Here in the top two corners, to fit between the angle of the couched threads and the downward curve of the top scallop :

IMGP0547 copy

and here in the bottom two corners :

IMGP0551 copy

Each corner will be squared off by the couched thread, not rounded as shown in the photo. It’s kinda hard to hold the thread square holding a camera and having only two hands….

Doing this slightly ornate thread, I think putting a net over the butterfly’s body might be a bit much. I’m thinking of simply couching his/her outline in gold thread, and adding a bead eye.

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4 January 2012

New Post - Thankyou

Thankyou all for such sweet and supportive e-mails and comments made in my last blog entry (The Guts Are Spilling Out of My Blog - I can't link to it - it's a bug in my new template).

I was able to embroider again yesterday - my fourth session since March! The embroidered border for the Gold and Silk Butterfly for Silklover. I think it's looking pretty good :-) I had no idea what to do at first, but then some ideas magically came together. I'll post photos soon.

1 January 2012

The guts are spilling out of my blog!! Old and new posts.

So far, I've re-labelled (tagged) about 150 of the 464 posts in my blog. This is to fit in with my new blog design, where posts will be divided into

:- Projects and put in a Table of Contents in the new Header,
:- serious research posts (being re-labelled with the Some_Writings tag - they are tagged with all sorts of names at the moment and impossible to find)
:- the Document Of the Day posts - interesting tidbits about embroidery, which are being retagged with "Cup_Of_Coffee".
:- and a few other new tags.

But this necessitates re-publishing some of my posts to change their titles as well as their tags. I've noticed that all sorts of posts are appearing under my 'latest entry' in the blogs of people that list my blog.

You can take this as an opportunity to read some old posts, or ignore them. Until the re-tagging is finished, I'll temporarily mark any new posts with "New Post" as part of the title.

I'm embroidering again! For the first time in 6 or 7 months, and it's just lovely. I'm working on a border for SilkLover's Gold and Silk Butterfly :-) :-) I still need to finish the body, but that's more complicated and I thought that I'd start off with some simpler work. I'll post about it in a couple of days, giving people time to read this post first, in case they have been wondering what on earth has been going on with my blog.

I also have two projects planned - Heart of the Thistle, and What the Snake Stole (formally called "The Bishop's Cope"). I'll talk about the design of both of these projects in upcoming posts. I worked on their designs in the last few months on my computer whilst sitting in bed.

Since I'm doing the Thistle Thread Casket Course starting in April, I plan to only start Heart of the Thistle, which is in simple tent stitch and rather small. I'll keep What the Snake Stole for later on.

I'm feeling stronger than I have in months, which is just wonderful. The doctors at the pain clinic have stopped playing around with my pain drugs, because I've gone into Bowel Motility Failure. (My intestines can no longer move food through themselves). It isn't painful, and I feel much better than I've felt since March, when the work with the Pain Clinic started. Fixing bowel problems always takes ages, so I'm (rather strangely) hoping that it will take ages to fix, before I have to go back to the Clinic, because changes in drugs always makes me really sick. It's been a rather radical "diet" with my guts not working  - I've lost over 30kg (66lb) and gotten my mid'20s body back, albeit with a tummy and breasts that are not quite the same as they used to be. (I'm about to turn 41).

Getting my hands on a needle and thread again ...... it's just like Christmas! ~grin~