I present to you the Away With the Fairies embroidered autumnal blouse, featuring split stitch text, padded satin, long and short stitch and bullion knot fly agaric on the back of the collar, and long and short stitch mushrooms on the front, with straight stitch grass. The model is the beautiful Katrina Bautista. Here are the Nikon 35mm shots, as well as a handful of test shots we took on Kat's iPhone. The Fuji Instax and (extremely expired) Polaroid prints are still to come. I am embroidering a blouse for each season; next up is obviously Winter. This blouse will soon be up for sale on my Tictail.
For hand embroidery commissions, contact me at email@example.com
This time of year heralds some of my favourite things; Twin Peaks watching season, warming bowls of food, woollens, the colour orange in plentiful supply, hunting for mushrooms in the forest, and yes, leaf-peeping. I realise all this makes me sound like a Pumpkin Spice Latte acolyte (I've never touched a drop I swear), but I still think Autumn is somewhat magical.
As yesterday was spent fungi foraging, it seemed apt to include sketches of mushrooms I made last week along with photographs from our family walk in Epping Forest as the diaristic element of last week's #secretsofselfpreservation potion.
I finally bit the bullet and started drawing, and the results do not appear to be utterly catastrophic. It reminds me of a page from this visual diary entry and this #secretsofselfpreservation potion from back in March, which was about feeling the fear (of drawing terribly) and doing it anyway.
I drew inspiration from one Ms Hermione Granger and embroidered "Fear of a thing is worse than the thing itself" on to autumnal ribbon. Because it so often is.
The potion's label is from the first page of my altered book What To Look For In Winter. The potion's title is Sweet Kernel Potion, a reference to Keats's To Autumn, and to hope in the face of fear.
Remember you can get involved too, via the hashtag #secretsofselfpreservation, by writing about a simple way you plan to, or already do, take care of yourself. Alternatively, you can create your own embroidered (or written on paper) potion - just remember to include the hashtag #secretsofselfpreservation along with your snaps of it.
When I was a little girl, one of my aunts delighted in buying me a t shirt which proclaimed that I was "away with the fairies". As an adult who is still very much away with the fairies, I have of late had a hankering for that shirt (though I wager it would have to be scaled up several sizes!)
I decided to commit that beloved (if ruefully worn) phrase to cloth, as an antidote to the serious stitchy business of RSN embroidery. However, some of my training so far has seeped in there, and padded satin (the mushroom caps), bullion (the gills, or frilly bits to you and me), and raised stem band (the stalks) stitches all make an appearance in what I think is quite a pretty, if slightly puckered, little patch.
It's nice to make something "for me" again, and get a little practise of techniques whilst doing so. I tried not to worry too much about "getting it right" and just go with the flow. This little fairy ring stitch sampler was inspired in no small part by the season, and by the beautiful embroideries of one of my favourite up and
Now that I've started at the Royal School of Needlework, I'm always on the look-out for visual inspiration. I'm particularly drawn to natural forms, and so I took the opportunity to go on an early autumn walk with my family.
This star moss had intense green tendrils and was springy underfoot, buoyed up with the rain
Autumn is my favourite season, visually (if one discounts truly wintry days); mist and dew descends over the landscape, brightly lacquered leaves line the earth, and nature's harvest swells.
These incredibly sculptural bracket fungi were almost as large as chairs
I got the idea that I would stitch a wild mushroom for my silk shading (essentially photo-realistic painting with threads) module, and so I got out my camera and scanned the forest for interesting fungi.
This little cep mushroom was the specimen I felt most inclined to stitch
There had been a heavy rain just prior to our walk, and water droplets hung from all the plants, and polished the mushrooms.
Sumptuous beefsteak fungus
The tannins and reflections in the leaves below turned these water droplets caught in a spider's web into liquid gold and bronze
As autumn continues and turns into winter, I must make the time to take these walks, observing, recording, and enjoying the season...