jeudi 3 mai 2018

JE May 2018 Report

Hi everyone :)

Even if I shouldn't have had time to stitch in April, because of school... guess what happened !

I did some nice things in the last month, and I had my group meeting. This time, almost everything went well. I got a little bit frustrated on my orange chrysanthemum at some point, but now it's over. No «hours of angry removing» this time. 

This is my progress since my last report and everything I worked on last month. 

  • Paperbag
Foundation is done ! 

Last pic is «light test». It's to make sure there are no holes or empty spaces in our foundation. It's done by putting a lamp under the fabric. I suppose everything is okay for me, but in cas something is incorrect, I still have a part of twisted thread ready.

  • Blue Iris
Flower is done ! 

It was a little bit hard. I think there is too much space in the middle of my right outter petal, but it's okay for me. I will leave it like this. More about the process here -> Blue Iris Progress

  • Orange crysanthemum
Almost done ! 

Bigger petal on foreground has to be done first. Then you work clockwise, and counterclockwise. I feel the right part looks better than the left part. I've got better at this. The biggest petals took me almost 1 hour each to stitch, including self padding. I am a VERY slow stitcher. It take me a lot of time to decide where i will put my next stitches.  

The only thing, i feel my thread is not twisted tight enough for the first petal and those going to the left.  Or maybe i am looking at my piece too close. I suppose time will tell me what is the best. Alors, I am not too satisfied with my smallest petal in the back. Maybe i'll redo it in the end. Maybe not. 

I need to finish with random size layers in the middle and japanese knots all around. At the end. I hate knots.

More about the process on another post :) 

  • Blue chrysanthemum
I had a flat blue thread from my iris that i didn't want to throw away. I decided to stitch to not lose it. I began my blue chrysanthemum, with flat silk and no padding. 

Actually, following the Japanese Embroidery rules, i should do the Purple Chrysanthemum on the left before the blue on the right, because the latter is in background compared to the other. But since this petal is notre overlapped by the purple ones, I decided I wont lose my precious (and expansive!) silk. 
For now I won't work on this flower until the purple is done. 

  • Yellow Valerian

I wasn't ready to go back to pinks. I decided to work on my yellow flower. It's made with flat weft foundation. I have to make sure all my stitches are parallel. 

In this picture, I see the difference between my day 2 of formation, where I had so much difficulty to stitch parallel, and now. Lots of improvement needed, but very satisfied with my progress from the begining.

Nancy made a light test for me. My first stitches on the top have some spaces between them, I will have to add some more libes to cover it. 
I will put lattice on the flower at the end. And some knots to finish. Someday. Did i said i hate knots? 

So now here is what it looks like, Before /After

I am very glad with my progress so far. It is so satisfying to complete elements. 

23 hours in this since february :)

Next thing : 

Working on my valerians this month... and maybe pinks !

I look forward to put the layers on the Paperbag on next group meeting in end of May.

mercredi 2 mai 2018

WIPocalypse - April 2018

Hi everyone.

(Late) WIPocalypse time, hosted by Measi's Musings

This month's WIPocalypse is more GradSchool-ocalypse. End of April is not the end of the world for the common student but the end of the semester (I'm lying, it feels like the end of the world).

Between all my projects I had to submit, my exams, papers, grading exams (Teaching assistant job) and everything related to my Master but not the courses, I found some times there and there to stitch procrastinate. Productive procrastination. Mostly Japanese Embroidery.

So my project from last WIPocalypse was there

And now it looks like this

-Paperbag foundation is done, i will add some decoration on top after my group meeting in May.
-Blue iris is done.
-Chrysanthemum is almost done. It needs knots and layers in the middle. I hate knots so much, so it will wait until the end, when i will have no choice but to do them.
-Worked on Yellow Valerian for my monthly groupe meeting. I also had a blue flat silk thread that I didn't want to throw away, i stitch it on the chrysanthemum I'll be doing later ( I need to do the left one before, because it's on foreground)

My goal for May will be finish the yellow, and maybe pinks if I have time.

But maybe it won't happen :  I have a new full time session with courses and more Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant contract beginning in May. I just received a very big scholarship for my grades, so all this hard work of stiching studying pays off :) ... so i will find time to stitch probably. Surely. I always find time. Even if i should be writing.

So far I have put more than 25 hours in this. Including the removing. I began to track my time in February, so it excludes Class time and everything before February ( But I really had no time to stitch before that, so maybe a 5 or 6 hours max ? It won't make a big difference in the end I suppose). It's really time consuming but also very rewarding. I feel like I do not only put a needle in a fabric endlessly without reason, I am learning more each time the thread plunge into the fabric. 
And I am also very slow stitcher, contemplating my piece everytime I have to take the decision where i should put my stitch. I hate doing mistakes. I really hope i will finish this piece before next year.

For the question of the month :

April 29 – Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO

Eeeeeeee. Well. My longest WIP/UFO/WIP (working on and off) is Elegance of the Orient, from Dimensions Gold.

It was my first very big project, I laid my first stitches on it in May 2014 (Almost 4 years !!).  Why did it became a UFO ? I think it's because of Aida 18 ct fabric. When i first stitched on linen 32 ct, I knew i would never come back to Aida. This why lady was sometimes put on the side while i was working on other projects. Also, after summer 2016, i didn't stitch for more than 1 year due to illness. I gradually came back to embroidery last automn.

Last picture i was there

Maybe I should seek to finish it this year, or 2019. I don't know. I do not feel the urge to work on it. I don't like to set unrealistic goals I deeply know I wont respect. I prefer listening to my innerself about it what I really want to accomplish, and this piece is not on my main to-do list. I have other priorities for the moment. (sorry !) So... maybe someday. 

This girl i've been following for long time had just finished it recently. It looks wonderful, you should have a look at it.

I hope you had a better month of stitching than me, and that I get more time in May. 

Happy stitching :)

lundi 16 avril 2018

JE Blue Iris Flower is done !! :)

Grad students first problem : I should have been writing. Instead, i've been doing some useful/productive/fun procrastination!!

Blue Iris Flower is done !  

The left outter petal was quite a challenge

The tip of this petal was very hard to do. Because of the inclination of the petal, it was not exactly like the center one. It took me 3 or 4 time to do the left part. I am satisfied with this result, since it's the best i could do.  

And some other pictures. It was very sunny this week in Montreal.. but still freezing/snowing/icy wathever. It should be called «second winter», not spring.  

Et voila !!

The right inner petal was very hard too : because it's part under the right outter petal, you have to guess where to land your next stitches to create something balanced. I was not satisfied with my first result, and had to remove 3 times my stitches. I feel what is there is not the best it's possible to achieve, but it's the best i could do at my level of embroidery beginner.

I learned great thing with this iris, i feel my eye knows better where my stitches and my needle should go to create what i want. 

Also, while having a very hard time, this crossed my mind  : «If it's easy, then you are learning it wrong. »

I felt like a ghost was looking above me, and telling me to perseverate.  I can assure this thought didn't came from me. I am a little bit of a lazy person who loves when everything is easy. I would never ever think of something like this ! 

Next thing : 
I have a group meeting on the last week of April. Maybe i will work on my pinks or the orange chrysanthemum. I was supposed to be working on top layers of paperbag, but my friend Dima won't be here, and I don't want Nancy to give two times the same instructions. I hope to have some improvements to show after this meeting !

A little bit about my group :
In Montreal, there is a group of ladies from the Embroidery Guild who follow the JEC cursus. I think we are about 10 people working on different phases. Nancy is the lady who organize the group meeting at her house. She received the Phase X formation but she doesn't teach. She is giving us advice when needed about our stitching since she is the most advanced. She is precious help for me and Dima... and everybody I think. On our monthly group meeting, she sometimes don't even have time to stitch because there is always someone calling her for help and suggestions :)

If you are in Montreal and interested to see Japanese Embroidery or even take courses, the group sometimes receive teacher from other places! Next time will maybe be next spring (2019) depending on the group progress on their projects.

lundi 2 avril 2018

April 2018 JE Report

Hi ! I hope you had a great time in March. 
Between studies and other things, I had a group meeting for Japanese Embroidery at the beginning of the month, and unfortunately i had to remove a lot of work. 

When i came to the meeting, it looked like this :

Where to begin ... 

First : Byebye Pinks. All of it.  As I understand, Japanese Embroidery has very strict rules, but you can do some variation of your own when you are more skilled. My pinks were not done the traditional way, I was very unhappy with how it looked (not the same as it should be), and a fellow stitcher suggested to remove it if not satisfied.

So i did it. I cut everything :( It was so sad at first, but i am okay with my decision. It's for the best.

Second : Byebye paper bag. Well, not all the stitches, but 75% of what i did. Problem is, I left a big space in the middle for cords. After discussions with other stitchers, stitching the cords on top of the bag is part of the exercise, and meant to be hard, because there will be a lot of surimposition in other phases. This one is just a practice.
So I did it, i removed the thread. Almost. All. Of. It. 
Catastrophe !!!

It was like this.

Then like this ( I want to cry ) .

Then throw away this unusable ORT's (SO MUCH THREAD... i am actually crying )

Fortunately, i could re-use a part of those threads, this time stitching the good direction : from left to right. (I was stitching the wrong way). So here is what a complete day of stitching looked like : a day of unstitching. Not a single new thread was added to my work. I was SO sad. The only time I had to sitch in one month was to remove ALL of the past work. 

I felt very crappy for some days. I was in mid semester time, had a lot of papers to submit for my Master then, and I was impatiently waiting for my stitching day to relax. never happened. I did what i had to do, then put my work in my case until i could find courage to redo everything. After 3 weeks, when i found time between my studies, I felt urge to stitch, so i put my frame on the stand, and went back to work. 
I could add a little 5 hours of stitching, so here is what it looks like as today.

I had to remove a little part on the middle, but it will be very fast to stitch. 

The big problem is, with this mistake of not doing the paperbag the good way at first, i had to throw away so much thread... now i don't have much left :

Eeeek ! I love to live dangerously.

Our next group meeting is at the end of April. I was given a goal, if possible : finish the paperbag (while finishing my Master courses :/ ). Since i still have brown to put on it, and so little left, I want to wait for the group discussion to not mess up more things and risking to not have enough if i still do mistakes. I will wait, and work on something else Knowing my friend Dima won't be here in April, I will probably be working on something else, and wait for her to comeback in May, so we could do this together. She also had to redo her paperbag and is also short on thread.
I suppose the best for me would be to finish the iris and chrysanthemum... ans those removed pinks.

Oh, and a i did had a little bit of green on a long leaf, but my little finger is telling me will have to remove it when the littles seeds on top will be stitched

Should i remove or not ? To be continued....

Then, this is what it looked like at the end. 

Well... almost. I didn't took a picture of the paperbag finished. Without the pinks, my embroidery looks so empty :(

Next month is another month. Things should go better by then. Never give up.

Happy stitching :)

Japanese Embroidery Class Phase 1 - Day 4

Day 4, the last day of my formations of Phase I of Japanese embroidery. I was very reluctant to go to my last day. With the failures I lived the day before, i was not sure anymore on my capacities to do Japanese Embroidery. I told myself I had been waiting for this class for so long + it cost me a lot of money for the course and furnitures + all my things were there... so i got out of bed and went to class.

Good thing is, the last day went better than i thought it would. We worked on 'easier' things 

The first thing was finishing the outline of the paperbag, and put guidelines to follow the weft of fabric.

That part was way easier than what i did before. You twist the thread, and stitch inside de outline, while making sure to go parallel every time, following the guidelines.

Another part of the day was stitching the long iris leaves. This one is a little bit tricky, since you have to follow the movement of the leave. I have problem with where to land my next stitch when the forms is moving. 

It's not perfect, but im okay with my work

Finally, the last part was about the pink flower. They have to be worked in short and long stitch. In this orang, i will put white and gold thread. It will look great. :)

(I say this, but i had to remove everything... )

So this was the end of the four day adventure. That last day went better than the others. When i got used to silk thread, i was able to not snag it everywhere, twisting the thread became easier. 

This is what it looked like at the end of the formation

Even if it was hard, I got a lot of fun. I am able to blog about it because after 6 month my interest on Japanese embroidery is still very high. Even with the difficulties i face, i manage to continue.

One of the fellow stitcher is having a monthly meeting at her home, so everybody could have a full day of working on their different pieces ( A gift from the sky, knowing i dont really have time with school, i could never be able to find time to stitch ! ). Plus, having a group helps when you have questions or incertitudes.

From now, I will post a monthly report of my work, what I did, what went good and bad. When Carol-Ann Conway from Threads Across The Web ans Susan from Plays With Needle were still doing Japanese embroidery, I got a lot of pleasure reading their blog about their struggles. Knowing they had great times and also difficult helps me when I struggle on something, since i am very fan of their stitchings ( They do it so good ! ). 

If you have the opportunity to try Japanese embroidery, i encourage you to go for it :) And I hope you will get as much pleasure as i have to stitch with silk and learn this beautiful art.

vendredi 30 mars 2018

WIPocalypse - March 2018

Hi everyone,

here is my monthly progress as March 25 31 WIPocalypse (almost on time !) . I've been talking a lot about Japanese Embroidery, but i still work sometime on my cross stitch. I've done a lot since my last monthly report, had some new starts on the way ( but no finishes ^_^ )

WIPocalypse rules are here on Measi Blog

So here is the question of the month : 

March 25 – What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend?
This year, I discover more of Japanese embroidery. I love de Japanese Embroidery Center designs, and also Midori Matsushima's ones. I love the silk thread, you can do so much with it, it's a pleasure to stitch because of its delicacy and beauty. 

Here are my progress !!  

Warning : VERY LONG POST. TOO MUCH PICTURES. (Joke, never enough pictures)

Japanese Embroidery

#1 Bouquet from the Heart of Japan

I won't lie, March was kinda hard for me. I've made a lot of work in February, but had to remove A LOT (like 6 or 7 hours of work, maybe more) because some things were not quite right.

So it all began here. 

Now it looks like this.  
Well... almost. I was too lazy to take another picture with paperbag done ;)

(It looks so empty without pinks !!! )

#2 Colours of Spring

This piece is a small kit from Midori Matsuchima. I did a little but of work on it, but it was before i has my Japanese Embroidery Class... si it's VERY FAR from perfect. Since i'am working mostly on my bouquet, i don't know when I will comme back on it. Maybe i will remove everything now that i had a complete formation. So here is what i looked like on the last time.

It's a little bit sad. I should really remove everything.

Cross stitch

Most of my time is on Japanese embroidery.... but i still do cross stitch ! Usually when i am too tired to do anything but repetitive movement and counting while watching movie. There is something very relaxing about cross stitching, almost contemplating.

In those 3 years (Ishhh.. ) of not blogging, i did a lot of work. I will try to recall every WIP and new beginnings i made ( And no finishes at all lol). I will try to have NO OTHER BEGINNINGS this year ... easier said than done. 

It all came to this : 

ok so let's go back to my UFO's... WIP's to see what was improved.

#1 Elegance of the Orient

Yesss ! A lot of work done ! 


Tadaa ! Lighting is not that good, maybe i will take another one someday.

#2 Jazz café

... and yess ! Improved ! 

Still a lot to do, but coming good !

#3 Mad Hatter

Well.. no. nothing.


#4 Pagoda View
  Yes ! A little bit. Not easy to spot on this pictures. I will have another one someday.


 Bad lighting and bad phone kills art.

#5 Mini Hogg

Yay ! Moredone. But still unfinished. 

New Starts

This is where it hurts. When you should work on your things and you literally procrastinate cross stitch by cross stitching something else !!!

#1 Charlotte

From Mirabilia, my favorite. But I lost the pattern on my last moving :(

#2 Villa Mirabilia

This lady is so gigantic !!! I did almost nothing 

#3 Mini Birthday mouse.

Okay, I lied earlier when saying i finished nothing. I began AND finished this little cutie.

Ready to put in a card !!

#4 Kimono Sunset 

Annnnd thats it. For my defense, two of them were on a Eventually-To-Do-List. And i finished another one. 

So i think that's it... 
I feel so guilty for having all those WIP. Not blogging made me lose track of what i was working on, and how much of them i had !!!

As we say in french : Admitted offence is half forgiven.

Ok, this was long post. It's the punishment for not blogging for so long. Thanks for having made through it !!