If you didn’t manage to visit Helen’s exhibition at Glastonbury earlier this year, you will get a chance to see her participation in the “REAL” Glastonbury Festival this autumn! The Glastonbury Arts Festival Centenary celebrations will include an Arts and Crafts show On Sat/Sun 5th and 6th September … full details on the Exhibitions page.
Check on ebay for a selection of Helen’s vintage designs published in the 1990′s and 2000′s in Inspirations and Needlecraft Magazine …
Hurry !!! Auction ends Saturday 26th July
NOW READY … “THE BEAUTIFUL BOOKS” PAGE …
and … ORIGINAL ARTWORKS PAGE …
This is another of the pictures I am taking to Glastonbury ... it kind of sums up what we have been looking at lately... for a change it is worked in twisted rather than floss thread, giving a warm, soft glow to the sheen of the rich pure silk. A perfect study for the end of summer. Speaking of which I must put up your September calendar picture tomorrow!
Couldn't resist putting these two up together. Mr. Feisty (the real hedgehog) is now totally at home in my garden - here tucking into Mitty's dog food... and this is a study I worked a few years ago Maybe I should have included some "Chappie" along with the fruit!
The small blue (as you might expect) is the smallest of all the British blue butterflies, only around the size of your little finger nail!! Beautifully mottled underneath, it's upper wing surface looses its sheen very quickly as the scales are rubbed off, so capturing it "in motion" is the more attractive option. You are seeing this much enlarged ... the original will fit into a paperweight just 50 mm approx across.
Just putting together and framing up some pictures for the Glastonbury Arts Festival show ... what a surprise: butterflies! Here are some purple hairstreaks with blackberry fruit and flowers.
I thought we would have another quick aside from butterflies (I don't like to let you get bored!!!) so here are some detailed flowers with LADYBIRDS! Single flowers of the common mallow and meadow cranes-bill are about the same size (roughly one inch across) and the seven spot ladybirds are in proportion. These designs will be set into crystal paperweights, like the butterfly series we have been exploring.
What a weekend! Two doggie shows netted a total of FOUR awards including Mitty's first ever best in show! To see more visit my personal page Helen M Stevens (Poodle Lover)!
The Camberwell Beauty is another butterfly with a fascinating name and history... it was once common along the banks of the river Thames near what was once a little village called Camberwell! Not much of the village left now! It was sometimes called the "Beauty in Mourning" as the outer edges of the wings resembled the Victorian fashion for ladies in mourning to wear black with (in the later stages) cream flounces of lace on their gowns.
The Painted Lady (like the Red Admirable/Admiral) rejoices in a popular name which was given to it during the Regency period or thereabouts, reflecting the fashions and attitudes of the day. I rather like to think of the pretty Empire line dresses of the ladies reflected in this butterfly's appearance: pretty and complex to a high waistline, falling away to a simple, long-line skirt below. History and nature combined!
Just learned that "due to public demand" the Glastonbury Arts Festival Centenary Arts Show is opening an hour earlier each day over the weekend of 6th/7th September. Mitty will have to have a very early walk those mornings. Take a look at the full Festival programme on http://www.avalonmusic.org.uk/ and my for further details!
So many times, I am thrilled by the seeming artistry of the natural world ... but of course it is just Nature being her beautiful, unaffected self! Being able to stitch a spider's web or dragonfly's wing is a way of paying homage to that inspirational beauty; and isn't the finest silk the perfect medium in which to do so? Back to butterflies tomorrow!
How about some more Dalmatian dog technique? Along with the various shades of orange in the buff-tailed bumble bee, this is a really golden study, allowing the rich black sleave silk to shine out in beautiful contrast. On all these butterflies I am working their antennae (and the bees' legs, etc.) in a single strange of fine gold metallic thread.
Almost a butterfly ... but I am sure that you will forgive this slight detour along the route! This Golden Hawker was in the garden yesterday... I really do seem to be creating a little wildlife sanctuary, don't I? At one point it was very still, sunning on a warm stone and I was able to study the cellular effect on the wings. Honeycomb stitch really DOES do a good job!
Had a really lovely day out yesterday at a picnic in one of Essex Wildlife Trust's reserves. The sun brought out a new flight of red admirals... such amazingly vibrant red and black, shown here with a common blue. The red admiral was originally called the "red admirable", but the name changed over the years ... you can understand the original idea! The inner strata in warm brown is worked in a simple, single sweep of radial opus plumarium.
A little aside from butterflies for today .... I have a resident hedgehog in my garden, christened Mr. Feisty (see my personal timeline, Helen M Stevens (Poodle Lover)!) which made me go back and take a look at hedgehogs I have created over the years ... this little fellow is a detail form a download which will soon be published by Vivebooks in a new series of my designs in "ONE SIMPLE STITCH"...
The large tortoiseshell is bow sadly one of the rarest of British butterflies. It is a perfect example of the use of Dalmatian dog technique with well defined black spots on the mottled pale and dark orange background. I have also used laddering (needleweaving) around the very outer edge of the wings, outside the last strata of black on the upper wings, and beyond the blue flashes below, to suggest the rippling shades of brown and black creating the extremities.
Like the swallowtails, the purple emperor is, well, mainly purple!! Traditional photographic techniques do not capture the shade at all well, as the scales on the wings are iridescent and cannot be successfully captured. Embroidery comes to the rescue...