silhouettes…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Silhouettes are so much fun, don’t you think?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I would like to collect antique silhouettes, but, for now, I have a very special silhouette collection of my niece and nephew.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My sister had the kids silhouettes cut every year while they were growing up, until the very talented lady who created them decided to retired.

I wonder if Lilly, Ellis and Otis would sit still long enough to have their silhouettes cut…

lilly

lilly

Lilly might sleep long enough to have hers done, but she’s never in a silhouette-ish position.

otis

otis

Otis, too….

ellis

ellis

Ellis, himself, looks a bit like a silhouette already…

I’d like to learn how to cut silhouettes, though my live in models may not be the perfect subjects for practicing the art.  The next best thing to being able to cut my own silhouettes has to be punching them.  I started two silhouette projects this week.

witch 1

witch 1

Witch 1 is an average silhouette size.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe is starting to come together nicely.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust the background to do and then, maybe, she’ll have a companion join her… a warlock, perhaps? or possibly a cat of her own.

witch 2

witch 2

Witch 2 is just a little bitty thing, about an inch and a half across.

mini tart tin

mini tart tin

She fits perfectly into a tiny vintage tart mold.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Coupled with a wee spiral of wool and a vintage rhinestone…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…she makes a very elegant adornment!

 

rebecca

 

 

progress….

cat and dog

antique cat and dog

Since returning from Ireland, I’ve been making some (slow) progress on my antique-rug-inspired punch needle piece.  (If you’d like to see where this piece started and the colors I’m using, you can visit the original post by clicking here.)  I’ve completed the easy parts ~ namely the cat and dog ~ and am now working on the background.  Oh boy, that background!  That intricate, expressive, perfect background!

resting...

 

I want my background to be every bit as perfect as the original rug.  I want to get every little stitch right.  I want my color matching and color placement to be perfect…. perfect….. perfect… Each time I think about how perfect I want Antique Cat and Dog to be, my anxiety builds, and builds.  Whew… I need a time-out.  Perhaps, I should meditate with Otis…

otis says, "i would love to meditate with you, if i can just find the time...."

otis says, “i would love to meditate with you, if i can just find the time….let me get back to you when i’m not so busy…”

Okie doke, so Otis is out, but I see Lilly and Ellis.  Maybe they’re up for some meditation or even a little yoga?

lilly says, "oh my gosh!  she's looking at us, ellis ~ quick! pretend like you don't see her."

lilly says, “oh my gosh! she’s looking at us, ellis ~ quick! pretend like you don’t see her.”

"tum te tum te tum...."

“tum te tum te tum….”

Apparently, meditation and yoga are out of the question, at least as far as my friends are concerned.  Instead, I think I’ll set Antique Cat and Dog aside for a few days and work on some smaller projects.  Do you ever have to do that?  Just put away what you’re working on for awhile until you can see it with an unjaundiced eye?

 

Until next time, may all your work be as perfect as human hands can possibly create!

 

rebecca

 

home….

have you been to ireland?

cliffs of mohor

cliffs of moher

no?  go….

the voyage of st. brendan

the voyage of st. brendan

…you’ll find a place steeped in history and folklore….

randy enjoying tea at a castle

randy sips a spot of tea

…a quiet place to have a cuppa….

a butterfly joins our tea party

a butterfly joins our tea party

…in the company of butterflies.

one of many

one of many

you’ll find the inspiration and strength….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…of angels.  eloquence will be your reward….

me, jenn (randy's sister), randy

me, jenn (randy’s sister), randy

…once you kiss the blarney stone.

reminder of the potato famine

reminder of the potato famine

you’ll feel the searing pain of the past and you’ll cry…

comical cow

comical cow

…but, you’ll have so many opportunities to laugh out loud.

which way?

which way?

most of the time, you’ll wonder where you are….

blarney castle

 

…but it won’t really matter, because where ever you are it will be beautiful, breathtakingly, almost painfully, beautiful….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand sometimes hauntingly still.

an impromptu session

an impromptu session

if you visit the pubs you’ll hear music and laughter, and if you mix with the locals themselves….

me, irishman david, randy

me, irishman david, randy

you’ll make friends for a lifetime.

someone said to me, once, “if you ever, ever get the opportunity to go to ireland, don’t even think about it. just. GO!”  i didn’t understand before, but now i do.  it’s a home from home… a quiet home, and a very old home. a slow-down-and-breath-the-clean-air home.  it is, in fact, a home very much like being at home, lacking only the proud and glorious stars and stripes, and…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

lilly…IMG_0676

ellis…IMG_0303and otis.

…home, sweet home

rebecca

antique cat and dog….

ticking horse done at last...

ticking horse done at last…

the above photo is not a picture of an antique cat and dog, but is a picture of the  finally finished Ticking Horse ~ thank you to everyone for your suggestions to keep things simple!  i ended up using an antique tack, like the ones i used on the rocker ends, for the riders eye.  the reins are floss.  you can visit Ticking Horse on etsy by clicking here, if you’d like.

after Ticking Horse was done, i felt at loose ends… do you ever feel like that?  it’s almost a feeling of anxiety when i don’t have the next project ready to go before i finish the first project.  so, i sought out my creative friends for fresh ideas…

lilly?..... hellooo...

lilly?….. hellooo…

since lilly is indisposed i turn to my stash of antique rug photos and am inspired by this one…

antique cat and dog hooked rug original

antique cat and dog hooked rug original

i love everything about this rug… the way the original artist used lots of rippling around the hissing cat ~ it conveys such energy, and how she made the dog appear so alert.  such a simple design, but there is so much emotion expressed in its simplicity.

time to draw up my pattern.  to do this i used a paper napkin placed over my computer screen and traced the outlines of the design onto the napkin.  then, i taped the napkin to the back of my weavers cloth so that i could see the design from the napkin through the cloth (no easy task as i didn’t use a light box or window) and drew over the lines i could see.  here’s the result…

pattern on cloth

pattern on cloth

although the above photo looks blue, the weavers cloth i used was my usual white.

now, what colors to punch with?  where are ellis and otis, my color coordinators, when i need them?

"we're busy ~ what do you want now?!"

“we’re busy ~ what do you want now?!”

how about a little color suggestion, ellis? otis?

"nope, we're busy, busy, busy and we have a lot to do!"

“nope, we’re busy, busy, busy and we have a lot to do!”

fortunately, i have a rainbow of Valdani floss to choose from and i’m able to come up with the following:

oh! the glory of valdani perle!

oh! the glory of valdani perle!

from left to right, i’m using: 5, jp6, h206, jp5, p8 and p9.  i like using Valdani’s 12 perle cotton in a medium Cameo needle on a #1 setting.  i usually get my Valdani from Snowflake Memories, click here, or from the Valdani website, click here.

i get started on the cat and dog…

a beginning...

a beginning…

and then work the flowers and background…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthese antique rug inspired pieces take me a loooong time.  i like my finished embroideries to look as close to the original rugs as possible, so there’s a lot of studying of the original and then color placing on the embroidery.  i can see that this may be tedious for some people (like quilting is for me), but i find it engrossing and rewarding (like quilting is for people who love quilting!).

whilst i’m punching i think about things.  things like my upcoming visit to Ireland with my husband, and things like my family and friends (lilly, ellis and otis)… simple things, quiet things.  things to look forward to and things that have been….

 

until next time, may all your thoughts be pleasant ones!

 

rebecca