Here's the calendar picture for October ... a beautiful silver washed fritillary ... one of my favourite uses of Dalmatian dog technique! Back to fuzziness tomorrow, or maybe the day after, as tomorrow is my birthday and I might be otherwise engaged!!!
OK, you've inspired me to take a look at "fuzziness"!! The key to making an fuzzy animal really look that way is to work several fine strata of straight radial stitching at the outer edge of the outline - and to extend this wherever two planes of stitching overlap... always fuzz out the element which is NEARER to you, in this case, baby's outline is IN FRONT of his Mum's .... except just at the bridge of his nose, where her fur overlaps his as he snuggles into her.
Some of you will have seen this one before, but I can't resist putting him up to conclude this "thread"!! Here the white whiskers work well (like on the snow leopard - all donated by my beloved Ragnar Hairybritches!) as they are superimposed over the underlying deep, glorious shades of the tiger. The inside of a cat's ear (large or small) also takes some careful working, the fluff which protects the inner ear is built up with single strands of fine silk overlaying the dark shadowed recess of the ear itself.... and the eyes? As we have already discussed,
On a black background, of course, white whiskers are at a premium! The adult snow leopard's exquisite coat is a perfect foil on a dark fabric. The final few strata of the coat are worked in finer and finer silks, until the last stratum is in a gauge little more than a hair's breadth.
Yesterday's kitty was a wildcat kitten, so I thought today we would have a look at a snow leopard cub... whiskers worked I the same way! But let's take a look at the eyes - and this technique would be the same for your precious domestic moggie! They need to be worked in several stages (as per diagram in my comment below) and built up gradually...
Now, what about those curved whiskers? Do any of you cat owners out there ever find whiskers which have fallen out, perhaps on the carpet? Yes, I thought so... all you have to do is gather them up, collect enough and when you are ready to work a pussy-cat close up, surface couch them into place using very fine silk. It has the added poignancy of being able to include a cat's own whiskers in his portrait!!
Here are another two kitties to have the "Helen M. Stevens' True Embroideries" treatment! Emma (top) and her son, Bilko, were the beloved cats of a great friend and expert stitcher in her own right! Apparently I caught their purr-sonalities well... which, of course, is what this type of portraiture is all about... it's important to remember that embroideries are NOT photographs... the scale of this study is similar to yesterday's: tomorrow we will look at larger interpretations and I shall reveal the sec ret of the curved whiskers!!!
This was an early miniature portrait I worked of my precious cat, Ragnar Hairybritches, and his brother, Perseus Pussius, when they were kittens! It is still one of my most precious possessions! Worked on an even smaller scale that the previous piece, the whiskers are stitched in both black and white silk to give contrast - the silk was so fine that otherwise it would hardly have shown. Each portrait is only about 1.25" across.
This beautiful ginger and white cat was called Buster, and I worked this portrait of him for his "Mummy" in the form of a miniature study, the circular frame was around 4" across. The whiskers are straight here, worked in extremely fine white silk... on the larger study of the black and white cat (a few days ago) they were curved ... I will let you into the secret of those whiskers in a little while - keep watching! This picture, by the way, is in my book "World of Embroidery".
Back to cats tomorrow (sorry about the delay, my computer had to go to PC World for a rest cure!!!) but today is Battle of Britain Sunday, so here's a spitfire, worked in Bayeux Stitch to commemorate the day!
Oh, thank you all, you are so sweet and it means so much to have all your good wishes. I am gradually feeling better and better, thank you so much. Since you liked the black cat so much, I thought I might "gentle" myself back into harness by putting up some more pussycat pictures for you... this one is from "Embroidered Animals".
Hi Guys, sorry I have been off line for so long - and thanks for all you continued interest while I was away, posts and so on... Suffice to say that I had a rather bad experience during my trip away which ended up with me in hospital for a day. Still, all over now (except for some medication which is making me feel extremely weird) and so take the black cat as either the bad luck which began it all, or the good luck that (eventually) got me (and Mitty!) safely home. Personally I prefer the latter interpretation. Back with you all soon, Love, Helen x
Mr. Mousie has packed his trunk and is ready for the off!! Next stop Glastonbury Arts Festival!
... And here is the larger version, approx. 75 mm across, which will be £75.00. They are all backed in velvet, and beautifully boxed with a Studio number. Hope you approve!
...so, as promised, here is an idea of the new paperweight collection. This is one of the smaller ones, just over 54 mm, herewith a wild rose and bumble bee. These will sett at £55.00 each.
September's calendar picture has a familiar ring to it ... it is the one I am currently using as the cover picture for this page!!! Ah, well...
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.