A-Tisket A-Tasket, I'm not doing a Casket

Bloggy Stuff : I’ve gotten the “Follow” which pops up at the bottom of the screen working now.

The title of this post doesn’t rhyme in an Australian accent but I think that it would in at least some American accents.

The Thistle Thread Stumpwork Casket course aims to teach how how to design, embroider for and finish a stumpwork casket of your own design.  There is a second course, how to do the same thing with a Mirror that Tricia has run person on people.

I decided to do a mirror in the end, rather than a casket.

At this point, I should mention “Stitching Angel”. Stitching Angel is someone on the Course. I don’t know who. She gifted me $1000 in TT gift certificates. This is in addition to $150 of gift certificates I received last Christmas from 2 other anonymous course members. One day, I’ll find out who y’all are, and ….. say Thankyou even more than I already have.

So I used some of the $1000 to buy a mirror.

fancy mirror

It comes with the glass when it arrives (in an enormous box). It’s approx 45×60 cm (17.7″x23.6″).

I’m currently working on the design for the mirror. I had done designs for the Front and Left panels when I was planning on doing a casket and the work I did then has greatly informed the process I’m going through for the Mirror.

This is what the Mirror design looked like initially :

Basic - 1….then it looked like this : Initial Mirror Design

I’ve been working placing the largest motifs for the whole mirror and the details across the top of the mirror. I’ve looked at so very many 17thC stumpwork designs in the last 15 months it was pretty easy to pick which motifs I wanted to use and arrange them according to 17thC design principles.



Mirror2The Water Dragon on the right there is taken from my original Left Panel Design. He is fountaining water from his mouth across the corner of the mirror down into the pool of water at the bottom, from which a SnailBird is having a drink.


Water Dragon-Left Casket Panel

There will be lots of moss around the pool. I’m also using the same SnailBird that I drew (from a casket shown in Twixt Art and Nature) that is shown in the design. I might put fish in the pool – or I might put a layer of mica over the top of it, or both. I haven’t decided yet.

I want the mirror to be very leafy and very organic. Creatures (I’m going for Grotesques) half hidden under leaves.  I am/was planning my major stitch to be long and short stitch but I seem to be setting myself up for rather a lot of detached leaves. The leopard on the top left represents my cats. The tree with the red fruits – that makes me think of an Australian tree. I’m thinking of using coral beads for the fruits – they were commonly used on the caskets/mirrors.

The top is pretty much done. I have two avenues from here – either to start working on more and more accurate line drawings for the top part, and/or to continue placing motifs for the rest of the mirror, as the spirit takes me. Eventually I’ll be working on the colours to use – the colours shown here are the ones used for the original motifs, not at all necessarily what I am going to use.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
18 Responses
  1. Sue Jones says:

    Wow, you’ve set a huge amount of work for yourself in there. But it’s going to be a treasure when it’s done.

    • Megan says:

      Yeah – it’s going to take me forever to draw and colour, let alone stitch! This is meant to be a multi-year project tho :-)

  2. This is going to be fun!!! I always loved the one in Jane Nicholas’s book.

  3. Ruth O'Leary says:

    Wow, it’s going to look amazing!

    It’s good to have your blog back, by the way.

  4. Laura says:

    Oh, wonderful! I guessed the leopard would stand for kitties. Organic with lots of detached will look fantastic. As much as I adore the caskets, I think I too would be more likely to do a mirror, in hopes I could finish it in this lifetime. I LOVE the flying snail!

    And the post of the title does rhyme for me. :)

    • Megan says:

      Thankyou! :-) The flying snail is actually a CatSnail with the little cat’s head sticking out of the snail shell, and he has antennae. He’s from an illuminated manuscript. The details wouldn’t be that clear in the photo. I’m going to put a few other little cute grotesques like that.

  5. Laura says:

    You know I’m totally absconding with the flying snail kitty idea.

  6. elisabeth in CT says:

    ooooh! I’m off to find a flying snailkitty as well…it’s just too perfect! And your blog is wonderful as well. I’ve been following on Ning, but this is ever so much more concise and clear. :-D

    • Megan says:

      I put the link to that image and another one in my reply to Laura – he’s so cute, isn’t he! I’m glad you like my blog!

  7. Rachel says:

    My goodness, there’s so much thinking and rethinking underlying this post – you must have had a lot of fun doing it!

    • Megan says:

      I still am! Still got the other 3 sides just to ‘mock up’…..heaps and heaps of design work to go *happy face*

  8. John Hopper says:

    Looks exciting, though hard work, but then where we would we all be if everything could be achieved simply and overnight. Will look forward to progress reports.

  9. Susan says:

    Wow!!!!!!! What a magnificent undertaking!! I am overjoyed to be on the journey with you and all the illustrations/planning is looking marvelous!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>