Blackwork Fill and Eye Surgery

First off I just want to say that yesterday my eye surgery went without a hitch. I am already feeling much better and even the light sensitivity is almost gone. I am so glad to have that chapter finished and behind me! I get the jeebies just thinking about someone touching my eye so you can imagine how difficult it was for me.
Last weekend we did manage to make it to Mulhouse and not only did we look at an apartment, we looked at four! We ruled out all but one for various reasons and applied for the other. Unfortunately there are other applicants so we have to sit back and cross our fingers, hoping we get it. I know I don't want a repeat of last weekend searching when it comes to my hip. No matter how much I think I am healed up any kind of strenuous activity and I am right back down again. One thing I have noticed though is I seem to heal back up quicker now so I guess it is all just a process. I know I will never again take for granted the ability to walk. It is a precious thing indeed!

So I wanted to post a few pics of my progress on the coif. I have started filling in the area that I outlined and I am loving it. I get reminded over and over how much I love the blackwork effect. Hubby has decided that he likes it too! I am loving this thread a lot more than the other too. I am so glad I decided to dye this batch. It is much smoother and stronger than the commercially dyed thread I bought, and really isn't hand dyed better...even when it's black?

Blackwork Coif

Hello Everyone! I have been a bit under the weather but am feeling better now. I wanted to make a quick post to show you the beginning of my blackwork coif. I traced part of the design onto a piece of linen and started the outline of the design. I am using a fairly heavy silk thread and using the split stitch with this. The thread is so heavy it actually resembles a chain stitch which is fine by me. That is a common stitch from that time. I wanted to use the heavier thread for the outline to create a nice contrast with the blackwork fill in that I plan on doing later. All in all I am quite satisfied with how this is coming along so far. I feel so unsure of everything I am doing with this. I want it to be as authentic to period as possible but with never having the opportunity to study any pieces up close myself I find myself questioning everything I do from the fabric to the weight of the threads to the stitches. Hopefully some day I will have the opportunity to see some pieces myself up close and personal.
This weekend we are going down to Mulhouse to look at an apartment, or possibly more than one if we get calls back on any others. If not then we will spend the rest of the day exploring the city. I am getting excited about the move. I am slowly packing to make it easier on me. The studio is a room of boxes and now the packing is moving out into the other rooms. This week I took the trellis down and trimmed back all my vines. They will be going with me to my new home where they can grown with abandon hopefully! I will try to keep updating this blog as i go along but things are a bit crazy around here so it probably wont be often. In the meantime I hope you have a wonderful creative time at whatever you are doing :)

Project Updates

Thought I should do a catch up post since it's been awhile since I have updated the blog. I have managed to pack away most of the studio, after going through all of the material and tossing several garbage bags full of stuff. It was a good feeling knowing I will be moving with a lighter load. I still have the other five rooms to go through but they aren't quite the challenge my studio was. It is now a room full of boxes with one corner still reserved for any dyeing I have to do. I will pack that at the very end.

In the meantime I have found time to do a bit of stitching and planning although the jacobean bunny project ground to a halt. With the sewing machine not being set up anymore I will probably not work on it until we are moved. I did change my mind on the material I want to use with it. My wild sense of color took over with the embroidery and the piece I had intended to use just didn't seem suitable anymore. I chose this piece instead. It looks like I made it for it I think!

I finished up the blackwork cuffs and collar and think they turned out very well even though I didn't like that silk thread. I have since dyed some new thread to use with my new project. I hope the new doesn't want to snag like the other. I had to use shorter piece and change frequently to keep this piece looking good.

I worked for several evenings on this flower study, sketching pieces from the painting that I mentioned previously. I wanted to get the feel of the style. I found it very fantastical and that pleased me much. It was much looser and more free form than I expected and so I started my new piece with excitement.

My new design is very much based on period motifs. Although the placement and overall design is mine I made sure every form and shape is used in this period as well as the overall feel is in keeping with this period. I just didn't want to copy some piece from a museum or from a painting. After all I am sure people from that period didn't want the same thing as their neighbor either. They all wanted something new and different. I wanted to keep with the feel and look yet make it different enough that it could be considered an original piece.
Now I just need to get started on it. I have dyed two different weights of silk for it. I plan on doing the stems and outline of the flowers in the heavier silk and then do fill in black work patterns with the lighter thread. I don't want to venture into gold work or spangles yet. I want to get the techniques down with these two and then I will investigate what I need to do more elaborate work. My next piece after this will probably involve gradient colors which were often used in the 16th century also.
So that's what I have been up too besides looking at apartments non-stop. It looks like we should be able to find a decent place without too much effort. The prices seem reasonable there and lots of nice big places. Now just to hope I can find a place with a bathtub, a dishwasher connection AND nice big balcony or garden. *fingers crossed*