Sunday, 22 January 2017

Embroidered Mandala

I've finally finished the embroidered mandala which I started several months ago. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out but it took a very long time and, to be honest, I got fed up doing it. I enjoyed designing it and it was fine when I started but after that it got a bit repetitive. I embroidered it on white cotton initially but I've now put it on to some ice dyed fabric which I made some time ago and I've turned it into a cushion. Here it is.

And here it is on the bed with some other cushions (which I didn't make), and a close up.

The embroidery is mostly long and short stitch with some kind of outline stitch (I forget the name of it) for the black lines. And here's a closer shot of the whole thing.

I decided to do a mandala after seeing some mandalas which a friend of mine drew. This is one she painted on my hand. Beautiful.

Friday, 20 January 2017

January 2017 Bead Journal Project

For 2017 I'm trying something different for my bead journal project. I've had an old loom sitting around for a while so I've decided to use it, and add a few inches each month including, of course, beads in some way.

There were a few problems with this plan. Firstly, the loom was in pieces with no instructions. Secondly, I think there may be a piece missing, and thirdly, I couldn't quite work out how to warp it up or whatever it's called. After much internet searching which turned up lots of looms quite like, but not exactly like mine, I had it 'warped' (dressed?) Here it is.

I've made a few rooky errors. This loom has notches cut in the bars (combs??) but they're a bit of a pain as the yarn I've used tends to catch in them. Also, I used the only yarn I had (couldn't wait of course) and it's a rather cheap, stretchy wool. What's more I've used three different balls and each one stretches in a slightly different amount so it's difficult to keep the whole things tight. I rewound the back bar with some paper to try to reduce the stretch and wriggle which helped a little. There are two dents in the side bars where I think a heddle rest should be but there isn't one so the heddle kind of dangles which probably stretches the yarn more.

Anyway, I wasn't going to let all that stop me so I started with a little bit of edging which you can see here.

I didn't think the warp would show so much. If I'd known I would have chosen something more neutral (although probably I wouldn't have had the patience to wait till I'd bought something). So now I'm stuck with white, baby blue and glittery grey for the year. In fact I really like the wool; it was part of my birthday present at work, but I had planned to make a hat from it. Oh well.

So then I did my January rows. Here they are in all their wonky glory.

What does it all mean? Well, the green represents my commitment to eating healthily this month (it is January) and the clear beads represent my plan to take time every day to do something mindful (like yoga or meditation). As you can see I embroidered over the top of the weaving. Not sure what that represents - just felt right. I quite like it, although I might embroider round the beads at some stage as I'm not keen on the amount of white in between them. I'll finish with a few close ups.