Love letters again

Sharon Boggon’s Sumptuous Surface Embroidery class is fabulous. I am thoroughly enjoying myself, and stretching my wings as a designer — and a very uncomfortable stretch it is! Give me a book to plot any day. This visual design stuff is hard! Luckily, Sharon is an amazing teacher with that gift for holding your hand just enough as she takes you out onto the narrow bridge over the deep yawning chasm of doom (otherwise known as fear of failure).

I thought I would show you a little progress on my Love Letter embroidery piece. First, I finished up the white stitching that makes up the background behind the envelope and quill.

I carried the squares made of running stitch down the side as well and then married them to a stretch of more organic stitching in all its disorderly messiness. I am really digging the contrast between the orderly and very linear top and the messy, organic bottom. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo at this stage when the background was finished but the quill was still empty.

I started in on the ‘encrusted’ style stitching for the quill and I had a lot of fun with it. As this was meant to be a monotone piece, it is done entirely in shades of gray and off-white, with a tiny hint of gray-green in there. Here you can see the finished background stitching and the quill.

I added sequins, small stones, seed beads, and some pieces of a broken necklace to the quill as well, which gives it a delightfully varied appearance both in terms of shiny surfaces and in height. Here’s a close up:

The broken necklace bits are my favourite. There is still a bit of stitching to do to finish up the quill, and then I have to put a border on it, but it is almost finished and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Next up is a full-colour project, and I am finding myself scared to death of designing. Again. I’m playing with some ideas, but I have discovered that I really lean towards making representational images a lot more than random patterns or isolated objects (even though I love how those look when other people do them), and so I am struggling with designs once more.

It’s good to stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone, I think.

This morning, I challenged K to join me in my morning physio for the next little while as I have been finding myself spectacularly unmotivated in the mornings. He agreed readily, but as we got to it, his muscles protested heartily as we stretched, and he insisted that he couldn’t possibly do it the way I wanted him to.

But he did.

It took a little while to warm up his muscles, and a little longer to convince him that he really wasn’t going to break if he pushed a pose or a stretch a little bit further, and little by little he limbered up and was able to move his body into and out of the various positions. At the end, after everything else was finished, he managed to do 40 inclined pushups, which resulted in the biggest grin I’ve seen in a while.

We walked to the library and back this afternoon to celebrate a productive morning, which is a little over 5 km. The kids got a few books.

Well, okay, maybe more than a few. Maybe a dozen.

Each.

And dragged them all the way home from the library, turning a 2.5 km walk into something more like a zillion and a half km if you ask me. Especially at the end, when your arms are dragging and your feet are tired and your knees just want to stop moving for a while.

The best thing about walking home from the library is that when you arrive, you can sit down with a big glass of ice water and a good book and forget all about your aching muscles. Which we did. Or rather, which the kids did. K dove into a novel with a rather ferocious cover while B roared through four Magic Tree House books in a row in less than an hour.

Me? I finished up the stitching on my love letter. It looks beautiful. I’ll show you pictures tomorrow.

Maybe my next class project should be a book.

We do like books around here.

 

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