well, I make it 6 different textures... opus plumarium, i.e.feather work, on the face, paws, etc.; chevron stitch (the prickles); split stitch and seed stitching (the apples), floating embroidery (the travellers' joy) and straight stitching. Beginning with the opus plumarium, as usual, the stitches converge on the nose... like this little fellow we can see in profile!
Speaking of textures, how many can you count here, and all created with the same silk! Shall we take a look at each one individually?
... and another little fellow curling up. Have not seen Mr. Feisty, my resident hedgepig, for a couple of nights now: think he may be starting to settle down for hibernation. Judging by the amount of dog food he has eaten, he should be ready for it! Have we ever looked at how prickles are worked? On a pale background each has a shadow line, then two grey (light and dark) straight stitches form a chevron, with a single fine white stitch through the middle: very prickly indeed!
... and once he has enough stored up, it is time for a well deserved nap! Here, again the blending of the shades is important, but even more so the directional sweep of the stitching... nose to tail, leg into body: like the tributaries of a river all coming together. And, of course, the golden, autumnal leaves to set the subject off.
Such a lovely autumnal doggie walk this morning ... so many little grey squirrels busily collecting nuts for the winter. When you look at them closely they really aren't "grey" at all! Silver and white with gold "points". In embroidery this is a really good subject for practising using several different shades in your needle at the same time. But remember to use a fine thread, otherwise this just get too bulky!
Here's the whole picture... I was trying to create a scene that you felt you could "walk into", from the foreground to the distant hills. Oh, that lovely summer's day!
With our third badger, we have seen the animal from all angles: full face, in semi profile and full profile. In every case the sweep of the stitches is down to the nose, with the ear voided to make it stand proud. Whiskers? Well, of course, in a contrasting silk. The suggestion of the badgers' set is given in seed stitch, contrasting with the grasses of the meadow beyond. Full picture tomorrow!
... we are page three stars: thankfully not the Sun, but the local paper!
... pretty summer flowers integrate into the foreground. The lovely little "cushions" of pollen masses at the centre of the daisies are worked in tiny seed stitches, the colours graduating very slightly to give a really three dimensional effect.
It's Trafalgar Day today - 209 years since Nelson's victory ... this is the closest I could get to the famous message "England expects..."
Clearly, it's a beautiful summer's day, with a distant backdrop of fields and trees and a foreground including Queen Anne's Lace (or cow parsley, which doesn't sound half so nice!) ... and could that be the spider's web where Mr. Badger's lunch originated?
Here's baby! The very distinct lengthways stripes along a badger's head are quite a challenge. As well as the stitches converging upon the nose area, you also have the keep the demarcation sharp... tricky!
Let's have some more fun with details before I show you the whole of another picture... Mr. Badger fancies something different for his lunch!
So .... as promised here is the whole picture. Photo was taken, I am afraid, through the glass, so none of the details have been 100 per sent as sharp as I would have liked for you, but I hope you have enjoyed this series. The completed and framed wall hanging measures about 48 x 36 inches.
OK, so here's the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle before I show you the whole thing ,,, and you didn't think I could do such a big piece without having a butterfly in there somewhere did you? A Camberwell Beauty, once a common butterfly along the banks of the River Thames, by a quiet little village called ... Camberwell! Not so quiet now, methinks!
Helen M. Stevens' True Embroideries shared Inspirations Magazine's photo.
Lovely to see one of my designs on show in Oz!! (The swimming otter.) Not sure who was working this one, but it looks super, well done! If you are reading this, do get in touch!!