When I arrive home from an overseas trip I am always very tired
and it takes me several days - often a week or so - to recover.
Preparations beforehand, setting up, exhibition days
and dismantling an exhibition site is really hard work.
Consequently, once I have unpacked my clothes suitcase,
I spend most of the time
for the next two weeks in my threadbare stitching chair -
relaxing to replenish my energy levels and, of course, stitching -
before I tackle replying to the hundreds of emails,
opening the mountain of mail correspondence,
unpacking the ordered stock that has arrived,
replying to all of the telephone messages,
restoring unsold stock to the Needlework Gallery,
unpacking & setting up the stitched needlework models throughout the house,
restoring and replenishing the 'set-up' supplies in readiness for the next exhibition
and attending to any needlework orders received.
Therefore, today I finished 'Sweet Adeline 1873'
a dear little design by GigiR.
A reproduction of a sampler in the collection of my friend, Gigi,
who lives in Belgium.
The original of this design is stitched with a red thread but I chose a rust colour.
Actually, I have stitched this design twice.
Once over two fabric threads as per the original design
(as shown above)
and the other over one fabric thread and finished it as an ornamental.
Design Title: Sweet Adeline 1873
Design Code: GR:SA
Design Price: NZD 29.50
Fabric: Belfast Linen - Dirty Linen
Thread (Sampler): Mulberry - Sampler Thread by The Gentle Art
Thread (Ornamental): DMC Stranded Cotton - 918
When I was exhibiting at 'Celebration of Needlework'
I received many requests for designs that feature a single letter.
Consequently, in addition to relaxing and stitching,
I also spent many days hand-drawing letters of the alphabet designs.
There are a lot of letters in the alphabet!!
To date only done a few of the letters.
The process of designing is quite a long process.
After I have drawn a chart by hand
I then choose
the fabric count and colour
and the thread colours.
Once these are chosen I then stitch little "test" samples
with the thread colours
to ascertain whether they suit the fabric colour and decide whether I like them or not.
Once these decisions
have been made
I stitch the design
and when completely finished
I then create the chart
in my computer charting programme,
draft the instructions
and layout of the design by hand
and when completely satisfied,
I then type up the hand written notes,
insert the charts,
photograph the stitched model
and add the image of it to the cover
and print out this copy and review it.
So often changes have to made
to the wording of instructions or correction of spelling mistakes,
tweaking/repositioning of charts and/or stitch diagrams,
adding a space here or there or taking one out, etc. etc.
Below is a photo of myself concentrating on charting one of the letters
into my charting programme.
Keith caught me unawares!
I was totally focused on what I was doing.
As you can see, I look pretty "worn out"
all snuggled up in my blanket in my threadbare stitching chair.
Also you can see how well my lovely man looks after me -
lunch had been provided by him!
(Empty luncheon plate and empty teacup of tea beside me)
I hadn't had to move - all brought to me.
And too - you can see all the other clutter around me -
pens & pencils, threads, stitching hoop,
a finished/stitched letter on the nearby couch cushion,
my daily reading books, another piece of needlework in progress,
and for when I got tired of charting, the TV remote in readiness
so that I could watch a programme that had been recorded whilst I had been away.
And finally, my pussy cat, Tabitha.
When I saw this photo I thought to myself,
"Oh, my goodness, you look just like your mother!"
Look at the receding hairline, the thinning hair and the age spotted hand!
A bit scary!! Mum was 20 years older than myself.
However, the older I get, the more I realise a lovely soul
is more important than being lovely in looks.
Here is a sneak peek at one of the alphabet letter charts
- the letter, "G" and one of two models stitched -
My plan is to stitch two models of each letter.
One model with the letter stitched with ecru coloured thread
and the other with the letter stitched with a coloured thread
(a shade lighter than the flowers and outlined with a darker shade).
I'm also going to finish the letters as ornamentals
so that they will be easy to take with me
whenever I am exhibiting overseas.
One side of the ornamental will be the plain thread letter,
the other side the coloured thread letter.
Lots of stitching to do - 52 pieces!!
That's all for this time.
Hopefully I will have another one or two letters to show you next time.
Bye for now.