Sunday, April 22, 2007

Progress Report On Death's Head Bunny

You can see that I've finished the 'colouring in' and am on to the outlines and the structural grid. I'll outline the leafy carrot tops in a more 3D manner, to make them look foliage-ish.
For the 'bars' I am using some exquisite, old, old silk my Grandma gave me when I was around 21-21years old... which is a fair time ago now. It appears creamy white on the skein and would too if you did a satin stitch or similar, but with the shadows involved in tight Buttonhole stitching, the colour appears more 'taupe' or greyed. Perfect, I think, as the bars are to be support for the central motif, both physically and in a design sense and therefore should sink into the background somewhat.
I've only worked the bottom left-hand corner thus, so far. The mercenised silk Bullion's up beautifully and I bothered to go find a Straw needle to work the Bullions, which makes a lot of difference in how easy they are to do.
I thought I'd show you the back, which is doodled on and an entreaty to return if lost plasters it all over. I'll probably file the paper when it's finished for fun and memory's sake.
The 'Death's Head' will jump out and be more defined when it's finished.
I don't think I said so before but when you put the contact over the paper, it is a good idea to tack around the edge so it won't peel off. Then, crumple it up to make it malleable and easy to manipulate.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Here Is The Major Source Of My Inspiration: Design In Needle Lace

This makes my little heart go pitter patter. I love it. You can see the idea of incorporating monsters and exotic creatures is perfectly traditional and my bunnies are only following, not leading in style. Just following happily with this amazing technique in the old tried and true tradition.
I love the chunkiness, the clunkiness of it all. It's coarse and thick, no matter that the thread is fine.
The excellence of the graphics here... birds and frogs and people and floral motif's intermingle with no regard to scale but terrific regard to the overall composition.
There is a clean symmetry which can be seen in the larger photo.
I have found, in my overall experience, that you need to be careful to retain some order when you're playing with higgeldy piggeldy forms like this or Crazy work, or you'll end up with an mass of confusion. For example, with the three bunnies I'm still working on, I had to change the pattern on the dress because it got utterly lost in the background. I'll show you when it's finished. Likewise on the crazy quilt, I had not intended to put a border between the Grandmother's Fans and the Crazy patches, but it looked like a dog's breakfast and needed some ease for your eye.
Will you all at least try some lace work please, so we can share?

Here Is The Lesser Source Of My Inspiration For My Needlelace: A Bobbin Lace Piece

Jean Goldberg, Australian Lace maker extraordinaire, gave me the best book on lace you could hope to have. It shows her nature that she'd bought a few copies to give away... a true evangelist/teacher. The book is 'Lace, History and Fashion' by Anne Kraatz and you should try to get it. It has the history of lacemaking which is a story of political intrigue and treason.
This design shows the tradition of including figures. I think it's Bobbin made lace, in fact I'll eat my rabbit felt hat if it isn't. The lower (of the top pictures) is a detail from the other, ie the 'fringe'. Notice the geese.
The bottom picture shows a draughtsmans 'cartoon' or pattern, which were sold in books. You could use it as your template, but would probably just draw out the grid and refer to the diagram.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

'Pirate Bunny'

OR 'Death's Head Bunny With Cross Carrots'. 8cm square.
Finished couching of base outline or supports.

Part done couching.

Bottom: Template on brown paper with adhesive plastic.
This is a new lace piece I'm working on. I'm still doing this one (and you must be sick of looking at it) but I wanted to put the idea down while it was there. I get a bit of time at work when I have to stay-put but can doodle and work through an idea, trying different things on paper before I put it in concrete, so to speak. There's quite a committment in making lace, in any embroidery really, so ideas do well to be well developed. (Of course I decided to put this post in now, being the action-man type of woman that I am, and it's too dark to photograph proper-like, but you'll get the gist.)

1: Put your design on firm brown paper. Brown paper seems to have good fibre and takes abuse.
2: Cover with clear contact and rub it down.
3: With double (?) thread of whatever colour you're using and a contrasting couching thread, BOTH MACHINE-THREAD THICKNESS, couch the outline. Fold in ends. Nothing on the back of course (except couching thread) because the back (paper) and couching will be taken off.
4: 'Colour in' with lace stitches.


A: The 'Bars' or 'Supports' are done also with Detached Buttonhole, but every so often you do a Bullion back on itself.
B: Finish everything, then go around the edges of the main solid pieces, again with Detached Buttonhole. This raises the edge and defines the section. For example, one would probably edge around the carrots first, then the foliage and skull... all after having done the bars. Get it?

Go HERE for stitches and thanks to Peggy Crawford and Loretta Holzberger.

You can see in the drawing I have added a background grid, which supports the design and must be part of the overall 'vibe'. Baby.

If you want to know anything about the method, email me at: or better still, put a comment so others can see.

It Had To Be


Friday, April 06, 2007

This Post Is A Disciplinary Act

I made this Wagga for my beloved's eldest daughter, dearest Lee Lee (Leah) for her 21st (December 2006). AND as you can see if you're really looking properly, I havn't finished it yet. It's all done excepting for the ties or quilting and phew! that would take at least 2-3 hours so you can see why I'm putting it off!
You'll have to take my word for it that the actual, warm, fuzzy reality of the blanket is far more beautiful than the photo.
This truly is my favourite method of working at the moment... to build rather than plan as such. I exclaim, throughout the process, 'I love doing this!' It's exciting as only you will understand.
I'm putting these dodgy photo's up in an effort to embarrass myself into finishing it.
Although, in my defence, the recent bout of illness meant that to have come this far was quite an effort and I should really be praised and adulated with the gentle throwing of rose-petals, lilting song andsome kind of a colourful dance troupe.
And, without going on and on and on and on and on about it all... as my health has returned in full so has my enthusiasm and energy. But you should see my sewing room. It's a bit messy. You might remember I posted photo's of it in a messy state once before, just to show myself as humble and endearing, but vanity prevailed and I took them off.
P.S. Click on the Label link 'Wagga's' to see others I have posted. I'll photograph the early one's too (given to family now) so you can see the progression.