Archive for the Category » Future Embroidery Projects «

Needlepaintings that I DO intend to do :-)

I used to paint medieval grotesques when I did calligraphy and illumination. I love them. You’ll see examples that I’ve painted in the past come up my on screenshow.

For example,


I’ve called him “Leonard”. :-) (painted in gouache)

I intend to do more …. but in needlepainting. These will be just a bit more approachable than the Archimboldo – I was only joking about that one! ~grin~. Sorry to the people that took me seriously, although Kimerbley Servello’s suggestion in the comments for speckling was lovely.


The two images above from The Luttrell Psalter, 14thC.
Image source and more on the Psalter :

More images from the Luttrell Psalter (hey, it’s a good source!)….source :


And these last images are from the Giornale Nuovo post entry

“One manuscript in particular features such an abundance of this type of illumination that it has become known as ‘the Book of Drolleries’ (Le Livre des Drôleries)……”

More information and images on Giornale’s post.


I think I’ll have a lot of fun :-) They are great creatures! I’ve certainly never done the design analysis to make a needlepainting from an ordinary image before. It’ll be a new skill to look forward to learning in the future.

Looking at Opus Anglicanum’s (Tanya’s) recent piece ( I’m tempted to think about using trying out the Opus Anglicanum approach as well as needlepainting (long and short stitch).

Has anyone ever designed a needlepainting directly from a picture?

A Needlepainting Project that would be really silly to attempt

But I think it would be beautiful. Maybe when I’m really really really skilled at needlepainting? ~grin~


Giuseppe Arcimboldo (also spelled Arcimboldi) (1527 – July 11, 1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books – that is, he painted representations of these objects on the canvas arranged in such a way that the whole collection of objects formed a recognizable likeness of the portrait subject. (wikipedia)

I’ve always felt a little sorry for this poor fellow :
Lots more images of Archimboldo’s work at

Mira Calligraphae Monumenta – The Green Man

I’ve always wanted to embroider a Green Man. But looking at embroideries of him, I’ve never seen one that has inspired me to do my own version.

“A Green Man is a sculpture(SP), drawing(SP), or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves(SP). Branches or vines(SP) may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament(SP), Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches(SP) and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical)”  (Wikipedia)

Finally I’ve found a source of inspiration! From the Mira Calligraphae Monumenta, of which I own a copy :

” In 1561-62, Georg Bocskay, imperial secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I, inscribed the Mira calligraphiae monumenta as a testament to his preeminence among scribes. He assembled a vast selection of contemporary and historical scripts, which nearly thirty years later were further embellished by Joris Hoefnagel, Europe’s last great manuscript illuminator. This book, now in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, is reproduced here in complete facsimile form,… Topics include Hoefnagel’s nature imagery, which encompasses plants, fruits, and small animals, and its relation to the spread of interest in botany and zoology at the end of the sixteenth century. ……” (Amazon)

Never mind Herbals – I regard this as my best ‘natural image’ source book for embroideries. Here’s a couple of images from it :

The Green Man that inspires me :-

 Laid gold passing for his hair and whiskers, with some darker gold for the shadows (eg the underside of his hair), some padding around his eyes and mouth, and the actual face done in needlepainting. The beard would be interesting to do – in silk or in shades of gold metal thread, or a mixture?

The actual eyeballs would be really hard to get correct – I’d have to think about that. Maybe consult with Jane of Chilly Hollow Adventures – she’s good at things like that.

I don’t plan to do the branches with the acorns that extend out the top sides of his head, or the red thingy on top. Just his face would be enough. I think that I would include the horns, to provide balance in the ‘weight’ distribution in the piece.

More images :-

Green Man Embroideries

More images from the Mira Calligraphae Monumenta

A Beast to Embroider

Firstly, me. I’m on some horrendously strong antibiotics atm, and due for 2 operations in 2 weeks. So please forgive me for being so quiet! I have LOTS of blogging to catch up on!

I found this creature on BibliOdyssey – a great source of images.
from the entry -  

Woodcut illustrations from Aldrovandi’s ‘History of Monsters’

I think he’d be lovely to embroider, with some raised work, feather-type stitching in long and short stitch, a bit of gold used to make scales (or are they feathers on his head?). And it’d be fun choosing a historical technique to do his claws….

Or maybe take a Jacobean approach, and throw in a bit of metallic thread as well?

I think that he’d be lots of fun to embroider, in any case! If you check out BibliOdyssey, don’t miss the guy with the big ears!

A New Project!

If you didn’t see that I posted yesterday (about a set of links to free internet ‘palette construction from images’ tools), well, scroll down :-)

I’ve been making embroideries for friends for the last 8 or more months. I’m going crazy. I NEED to get back into the Elizabethan world.

While waiting for some purple thread for the Butterfly, I’ve started the next and final thankyou present – a marigold. I’ll post about that presently.

It’s not a big project, so I’ll be “free” in a month or so, maybe less.

I have my  Elizabethan Historical Sampler sitting there as a UFO. But the whole *point* of the Sampler is to try as many new stitches and techniques as possible. My health just isn’t up to that at the moment – it’s a bit hard to think and learn a lot when you feel ratty. The medical specialist programme I’m now on will guarantee I’ll feel pretty ratty until at least November – but I should be much healthier and stronger at the end of it :-) :-)
So I wanted something that I already had the skills to do, but was Elizabethan (and beautiful, of course).

I made a file of prospective projects, then I chose one after thinking for a day :

It’s the bookmark of a Cope that Julie gave me! The dragon will be especially fun! There’s some silk shading in his wings, the cross and the leaves above too. Surface couching work on the silver thistle (or I’m going to make it surface couched, anyway). Perhaps I’ll use kid for that red patch in the middle? Gold kid. I’ll need plenty of pearl purl, that’s for sure!

Lots of ideas! I’ll be using DMC for the Cope piece although I’d prefer to do it in silk, but it’s too expensive.

My initial choice was this motif :
I just adore the colours in it, and like the lightness of the scrollwork. But it occurred to me that I’d just done lots of split stitching for the Butterfly wings, so didn’t really want to do a repetitive stitch project again so soon.

Meanwhile I’m be Butterflying and Marigolding away :-) I’m a big post behind on the Butterfly – He has a body, legs and antennae now.

What a nice project to do…….

Julie (SilkLover) sent me this bookmark awhile ago.
Wouldn’t it be a lovely project to embroider?
Julie's_Bookmark (2)
From the back -

”Detail from a Stole
Designed by A.W.N. Pugin
Worked in satin stitch, couching and raised and laid work.
English c 1840-1850”

I’d do it on the same shot purple silk that I just used for Roses and Pansies.
The outside border looks like stretched out pearl purl in two lines, with an inner line of passing thread.
All of the rest of the metal thread looks like pearl purl too.
The thistle isn’t clear in the scan – it’s actually gold passing couched down with minute stitches in green thread.
The dragon looks more heavily raised than the rest. All the motifs look raised.
Aren’t the little crosses on the border, with purl and spangles just sweet?
I’d love to embroider it, – it’s added to my ‘to-do’ list. Gods only know when. Meanwhile, the bookmark lives on my bedside table, propped against my lamp so the gold shines in the light.
I have ahead of me

  • to add trim to Roses and Pansies (finished the backing – post on that when trim arrives and is attached and project is completely finished)
  • Julie’s Butterfly. I’ve done the design transfer, and ready to start embroidering. I’ll blog on it soon.
  • 2 more ribbon embroideries (Daisies and a Sunflower)
  • 2 x 3 linen hankies to monogram to the recipient’s specifications

…..end of Thankyou presents

  • 16thC Historical Sampler (half done….about another 9 months work there)
  • Gold MasterClass Pincushions
  • and this project, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. It involves some Long and Short stitch, and I’m just *itching* to do some more needlepainting. It’s been too long……. :

It’s from the British Library of Book Bindings.
I may not do the exact same flower. Or then again, I may. (Oh, sweet decisions!)
Note the heavy, heavy raising, covered with passing thread.
And the outlining of the major petals of the flower in passing thread as well.
But I’m really looking forward to doing this project when I get that far…….

  • I also have 3 Thistle Thread mini-projects tucked away.
  • I’d also like to finish doing Mary Corbet’s lessons on Long and Short Stitch, and her on-line course on embroidered lettering.
  • ….and the Bookmark above

I don’t actually intend to do the Gold Masterclass Sampler in the short-medium term. I’ll learn the 17thC gold stitches necessary for the pincushions, and any others as and when I want to use them on various projects.
This is because of my own 16thC sampler. By the time I’ve finished that, I think I’m going to be a bit Sampler’ed out for awhile. I will have been working on it over a period of some 3 years by the time I’ve finished it (given the break I’m taking now, doing SRE Cards, and Pieces as Thankyou presents for various people that have helped me in various ways in the last year).
I’ll save it up for the future sometime. Or use my favourite motifs on a smaller project. Or something.
So many projects! And I’d like to get back into some illumination (painting with gouache) if the Pain Clinic sorts out some better drugs for me, and I can spend extended time sitting in a chair again. (I embroider on the couch – that was the whole reason why I swopped from Calligraphy/Illumination to Embroidery a few years ago – being unable to sit in a chair for long any more).
And that’s another whole list of projects I’d like to do!
I’d like an extra lifetime, please. Maybe I should add that to my 40th birthday present wishlist!

Future Embroidery Projects – Theessamplaire Swetebag

My friend SilkLover pointed this project out to me.

It is being run as an on-line class as we speak, but she has heard that it may be released as a kit in the future.

I hope so – I’m in love. Oh! That beaded tassel head on the right!

Details, and an enlargement are at

Tho it is awfully pricey.

Future Projects

I’ve got a lot planned to do over the next year or so.
I’m about half way through my Sampler
and I think it may take another 6 months to complete. (It’s already taken 6 months). Oh boy, have I learnt a lot!
This will be pushed out a bit by some other projects that I intend to do simultaneously once I get back to it.
Firstly, an illumination,
This creatures appears on the front cover of  one of the hardcopy editions of “World Without End” by Ken Follett.
It is intended as a follow up present to this one
which still needs it’s black background completed. The progression on this piece came to a compete halt when I hit my relapse. Both are intended for Nick.
Nick does so much for me, and deserves far more of my art in return. I want to finish the “Ick” piece as soon as I can – as soon as I’m steady enough to paint black into those tiny white corners!
I am also doing Mary Corbet’s Long and Short Stitch lessons, admittedly at my own pace. I started them last night.
And then, a bit further down the line – a project that makes a basket from thin card and (lovely) material, the card being printed with old botanical prints and then aged. I have an old vintage nightgown in that apricot/beige colour they had then, which should look just fantastic to use as the material inside..
This is the first step :
We are still downloading panels to be aged and trimmed with bias binding.
When the sampler is finished I may either
a) do a completely unexpected project, or a Les Turpin Delport kit or something like that, or
b) start on something I have my heart fairly firmly fixed upon to do at some point……………
This is an embroidered Book Binding from the British Library of Book Bindings. I may not do this exact one (there are several, similiar) but the idea is a large flower in satin thread in long and short stitches, framed by silver purl which has been heaving padded to form a frame.

The other project that talks to me (and know you know all my embroidery project aspirations!) is this piece :
It appears near the beginning of Clare Hanham’s book “Beginner’s Guide to Silk Shading”, and is accompanied by the comment
“….was given to me by Mrs Elizabeth Boswell”.
It would be quite a challange to get the period colours selected, and placed correctly.(I’m not thinking about legal issues here)
To me, this would be a very advanced project for sometime later down the track.

Twixt Art and Nature Rose

Margaret of Life, Needlework and Everything is posting a tutorial on how to do a Tudor Stumpwork rose at the moment – she’s up to the third post on the subject : (

If you’ve been following how I did my dusty pink rose – well, she does things differently, and achieves a lovely rose.

Of particular interest is how she does her sepals.

I’ve been talking to her a fair bit in the comments, because these roses are fairly dear to my heart, and I thought I’d show you the rose I’d really like to do one day. It’s from “Twixt Art and Nature

Gold and Black

I decided not to gild the gold – but to use gold gouache instead. I thought it’d fit better with the watercolour, which is fairly light in density.
I’m doing the black in gouache. I don’t know what that is on the black on the right – something to do with the camera?