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 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.
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.