Thursday, April 29, 2004

Running Fast Again

Last week was soooooooo fast - How fast was it? It was sooooooo fast that it blurred into this week that has been just as fast.

Did get all the html and pages done last week that I needed to, but no tambour homework. Went to the class anyway and the teacher was very forgiving. It seems that for most of us the stars were aligned on fast trak. Managed to get the tambour stitch to work well as embroidery, as a bead attachment and as applique before the class ended. Unfortunately I need to put it away for awhile.

This week has been running almost tooooo fast. Did managed to do something fun (see my Musings column) and went to the local EGA meeting. We had a lady in to talk about the Royal School of Needlework and her experiences during a very intensive 8 weeks of training. Don't think that is the route for me.

Next month is Linn's Blackwork Ornament class for our EGA group. It is right after CATS ( My tambour class mates got hyped on my comments about Linn's goldwork class and so we are having a special Goldwork class just before CATS. Been getting a good response to my class announcements - everyone is excited that Linn is coming.

Meanwhile, I've received confirmation that my column is a go. I'll let you all know when it is to be published when they let me know. Guess I need to finish the 2nd column soon - next week's assignment.

This weekend is my SCA Beltane event - a coronation event. So drag out the good clothes, cook up a storm (just for fun I'm entering 2 dishes in the Wooden Spoon competition - theme is From the Pasture and we are camping at a sheep ranch - you can guess what my dishes are), prepare for guests, haul out the camp gear.... So back to cooking - 2 dishes down and 2 to go. Stitching -- I'll take it with me, but it looks like a full weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Ready to Go on Strike

All this html is getting to me. It is sooooooo literal. Good thing I have my Crazy Quilt Bargello to keep me sane. I've been doing lots on it. Haven't had the energy after all the html to do the Tambour homework yet (sigh) - guilt.

Monday, April 19, 2004

A Tambour Report

Well - I'm told that once you learn the process it is very fast. You can't prove it by me - yet. Tambour is using a crochet hook to make a chain stitch. If you are "embroidering" it looks like chain stitch on top and can be used to outline, fill, applique, etc. If you are beading, you work the beads or sequins on the bottom which is the right side of the fabric, and the chain stitch shows on the back side of the fabric. Since you are working with a tiny crochet hook and it is a 2-handed process, you have lots of places for problems. Think I found them all (grin).

Much of class was set up - creating a muslin frame for the work fabric and then putting it into a scroll frame - with tacking all 4 sides. Then came the actual technique work.

We have homework. I'll try to get through it all. I'm not sure what project I'll develop for next weeks class. As usual I thinking about a rose.

Class was fun. A chance to learn something different with people I know. 3 of them are top level historic costumers - 2 I've known since the 70's and the 3rd is the lady who matched me with my husband. One is a costume and design phd student and historic costumer. One is a more fun and fantasy costumer. And other is also a historic costumer. The teacher is a couture dressmaker with about 20 years experience who also does some reproduction and conservation work.
Now back to the mundanity of html -- it never ends.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Something New

One of the ladies at the Reticella class mentioned that there was going to be a special class on Tambour embroidery on the 17th & 24th. My immediate reaction was that I had other things scheduled -- supporting my husband's war efforts. When I mentioned the class to him, he said I should go since the "war" events weren't really my thing and he knew I would enjoy the class. I called and they could fit another person in so on Saturday I am off to learn another form of embroidery.

18th C embroidery is not my thing, but collection 18th and 19th C embroidery tools is very much my joy. I have a tambour set and sewing box. While I won't use it in the class, I will take it for "show and tell".

Also received my Stitching Festival confirmation of classes. In May the Stitching Festival comes to a nearby town and I have signed up for 4 classes. I'm learning that while 7-10 classes may be fun, I'm too exhausted to really enjoy. So I will take shuttle tatting (took needle tatting last time), making overdyed threads (we get to be messy), an edging class, and a 2nd class on insertion stitches. When I'm not in classes I'll hang out at Linn's booth some and shop and and and...

Still having fun with the Crazy Quilt Bargello. Put in a couple Ogees. Linn gave me some of the Dinky Dye silks and they are wonderful. The cottons aren't bad either.

Now back to webbing the 100 classes for the Arts and Sciences event in July (blech - html).

Monday, April 12, 2004

Keeping Promises

Okay think I figured out the camera, Photoshop, writing in html in style sheets and other geeky stuff enough to post a couple more pics of some of the work I've been blathering about. I am not a tech person and so I don't make any promises about this working.

The model for the article is a voided band bookmark. The pattern is from a historical model book. I stitched it in a limited edition Gloriana thread in double running and cross stitch. I wanted it to be something an experienced stitcher might find fun to do and the newer stitcher something easy to do. It was an interesting balancing act.

My brain candy is the Crazy Quilt Bargello. Spent some more time stitching on it this weekend to recover from the Reticella class. Think the class worked well except it took 5 hours instead of 4 and even then they had lots more work to do. I think they all walked out with a feel for the method of working the technique and the style if nothing else. Want to make a couple changes to the handout then will post it on my website (all 3+mgs of it).

-- stitching renews the brain - I am convinced --

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Paperwork Stitching Paperwork Stitching - which would I rather do?

Spent yesterday AM writing reports and doing general paperwork. All I could think of was - "I want to get back to stitching". Spent the afternoon working on the Reticella handout. Decided I really needed at least some diagrams. The stitch diagrams are all from the web - with citations. Then used Canvas to create diagrams of the piece. I had already done the "pattern" piece that you put on the needle pillow and stitch over, so added letters and numbers to it - in various versions, to show the order of stitching. So the handout is done - all 12 pages.

Unfortunately it is 2.7 mg even as a pdf - large numbers to get the detail in the jpgs (sigh). Tech alert - it is too big to mail to husband at work to get copied. Nor does he have a way of taking a disk. So last night - 11 pm, husband created a space on our server where I could put it and he can get to it to get the copies done. Normally I'd have printed the copies myself, but my equipment doesn't have the fine resolution I want. Oh well!. I will post it on my website next week if anyone wants to look.

Then I got to have fun - my reward for being good. Spent part of the evening doing the model stitching. Also did a bit more on the Bargello piece. Had decided that one color REALLY didn't work so had taken it out. Courtesy of Linn I had a Dinky Dyes silk that was just perfect. Took the section in a completely different direction than I had originally planned - but it works. Hurrah.
Yes I know - pics. I promise soon.

Now back to the "paperwork" - actually building the class listing in html for the July event - 100 classes in a weekend plus about 10 demos, plus 8 competitions, plus a play, plus.... Yes I'm running it :)

-- Sabrina (renewed by stitching)

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Filling my mind with Reticella

I'm on Reticella overload. Spent the better part of Sunday and yesterday immersed in reviewing my books on Reticella. The 10 page handout is mostly done (hurrah!!). The bibliography is over a page long! I am spoiled though - I spend my money on books. One book is actually a huge oversized 2 volume set of the Elisa Ricci's Old Italian Lace. There were 300 printed in 1913 and I have #217. The photos and tipped in prints are WONDERFUL. On many I can see each stitch. I makes me feel much better that my piece is a bit flopsy (another Linn-ism) even with using the needle pillow. Ahhh total immersion.

Have "designed" the class project by looking at and decontructing one of the pieces. There are a couple ways to do it, but I think it is one I can present to novices. It has every thing I need to teach - make the base square, satin stitch overcast edges, figure 8 overcast "brides" with picots, single thread "brides", buttonhole covered brides, and a section of detached buttonhole. Have decided to be nice to my students and bought them 28 and 32 count Irish linen and 12 pearl cotton. I originally was going to really make them work with 36 ct and 80 dentelles. Now I have 3 days to make the model :).

Feels really good to be immersed in needlework (sigh). Well almost immersed - spent Saturday gathering more information and classes for the be A&S weekend in July. Need to get the website done next week. A friend also tapped me to teach a section of her college class on ADR - so it will be a "professional" night next Tuesday in front of 30, hungry for information about Arbitration, students. Fortunately I have done this before. The overheads are done and the talk only needs to be updated at bit.

Now back to finishing the handout. It is hard to explain in words what would be easier in pictures - but I don't have the luxury of time. At least I'm stitching.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Hurrah! Model Done!!

Finished stitching the main part of the model on Wednesday night. Did the fiddly bits (a Linn-ism) last night. The husband did the scan and today I uploaded the whole package to the managzine. Now the waiting begins. It feels great though to know the first, and thus, probably the hardest one is done. The next article is sitting in my brain. The charts are mostly done and the model is about 1/2 hour from being finished. But before we go there we need to finish the Reticella class handout.
Guess I better decide what pattern I'm going to teach.

I plot out the process for teaching first. Determine the key points to cover. The handout is more a brain dump of bits I want them to remember and a guidebook for the project. I've learned more about desk top publishing than I ever wanted in the process.

Have really gotten into Adobe Acrobat. It can do wonderful things. Once I have the handout finished I put it into Acrobat. This makes it a smaller file and easier to print. I can also set permissions so the copy that gets uploaded to the website is read/print only.

Also need to finish the smocking article. I have it partially written. I need to decide whether it should be web or document on web. There is lots of interest right now and lots of misinterpretations running around. Part of me feels the need to put people on the right track - at least make them question what people are saying as absolutes.

Need more time. Anyone have some time I can have?