Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘rose garden stitch’

I’ve always liked stained glass designs, so when our Campbell students started asking about how to do the rose garden temari pattern last month, I decided to finally do one in stained glass colors, the way I’d been meaning to for probably years. I think I need to play with this concept even more, because I really like how it came out just on a simple 8.

P1030122

P1030123

And then I had the bright idea to stage a shot with the little stained glass hummingbird I bought in the gift shop this time, which led to a hilarious extended photo session with me trying to hold the hummingbird above the temari by its invisible fishing line with my right hand and the camera in my left hand, just waiting for the hummingbird to stop spinning long enough to take a picture with it at least briefly at the right angle… How I suffer for this blog.

P1030125

Not the most elegant temari shot I’ve ever staged, but not bad for having to take all the pictures with my off hand. I was amused, in any case, and later I managed to get both the ball and the hummingbird arranged on the same ornament stand, so now I can continue to enjoy them without making my arm sore.

Read Full Post »

As I’m sure is no surprise to anyone who has read this blog, I am a fan of the author Seanan McGuire. Beyond the fact that I find all her writing delightful, one of the things that really gets me is her ability to write description. Something about the way she manages to evoke pictures in my mind, particularly with colors, just speaks directly to the way my brain works.

As it turns out, this can be really distracting! I was only a chapter or two into her latest release, Sparrow Hill Road, when I noticed I hadn’t taken in the last several sentences because my mind had become busy designing a temari. (Two obsessions in one!) To understand the design, a bit of background about the main character of Sparrow Hill Road (from the website description of the book):

Everyone knows the urban legend about the girl who asks for a ride home; the one who turns out to have been dead all along. But where did she come from? Who was she? And how did she die? She’s been called a lot of things: the Phantom Prom Date, the Girl in the Diner, and the Spirit of Sparrow Hill Road. Around here, we call her Rose.

Rose Marshall was sixteen years old in 1952, pretty as a picture, and in the wrong place at the wrong time. A drive along Sparrow Hill Road turned into a fight for her life—a fight she was destined to lose. Her story could have ended there, but a lucky break and a well-timed ride home set her on a different path. She’s been running down the ghostroads ever since, one more casualty who never made it home.

Color-wise, Rose spends a lot of time on the ghostroads, where I retain an overwhelming impression of gray fog. She died in her prom dress, a green silk gown. And roads, especially ones where accidents will occur, run through her afterlife and give her purpose. For my temari, that translated into a fog-colored, light gray background; wrapped bands in black with yellow center lines and white outlines, like a highway; and green silk roses, fading at the edges like a ghost.

Here was the original plan I had to stop and draw in my planner, since I wasn’t at home at the time and couldn’t start working on the temari right away:

Original plan

Original plan

The next step was to go to the needlepoint store and pick thread. I originally thought I’d just do the roads in regular perle cotton and the roses in silk, but since I had a gift certificate to the store that my mother-in-law had given me for Christmas, I let myself look at all the specialty thread as well, and the project got a lot fancier. I found this really interesting Caron thread called “Snow,” which they describe as “a synthetic metallic thread,” and which, to me, in the black color looked a lot like slick wet pavement. (Remember what I said about Rose being drawn to accidents?) For the middle line of the road, I decided on a yellow silk lamé braid, because clearly the sparkly bits would be the center reflectors, and for the outer white lines, I got white silk lamé braid that GLOWS IN THE DARK!

All the supplies together

All the supplies together

(Excuse some of the color weirdness of these initial pictures; I ended up taking most of the progress pics with my phone.)

Now I could finally get started!

Marking lines

Marking lines

The main C8 marking lines were done in yellow, to be the center lines of the road-bands, and then support lines were added in a Kreinik black-and-silver metallic braid to allow the roses to be stitched over top later. (Normally, support lines would be stitched over/around the main lines, but I didn’t want the yellow lines interrupted by the black/silver, so I wove the stitches underneath the original C8 lines.)

Now the roads!

Crossroads

Crossroads

Honestly, just that stage looked pretty good. (Sadly, I have not figured out a good way to photograph the glowing effect of the white lines, so you’ll have to take my word for it that they really do glow in the dark.) The power of the crossroads ends up being pretty important in the book, so interwoven wrapped bands seemed appropriate.

Now the roses. This was my first try, featuring a standard rose garden technique, where each alternating square is the next gradation of color:

Rose garden, traditional fade

Rose garden, traditional fade

I wasn’t totally satisfied with that, though, because the lightest color used on the outside becomes so overwhelming. (These roses end up being a bit bigger than in a normal rose garden design, because stitching them around the intersecting road-bands causes them to start with a larger center; hence, wider and more overwhelming outside squares of color.) So I decided to take a few rows of the darker colors and repeat their fade within the widest band:

Improved rose with additional gradations

Improved rose with additional gradations

(Also, it’s pretty subtle, so I’m not sure anyone but me would notice, but the rows used to outline the different squares of the roses go from black to dark gray to light gray, fading as the greens fade.)

Some more shots of the roses and roads:

Triangle intersection view

Triangle intersection view

Diamond intersection view

Diamond intersection view

And glamor shots with the book:

Roses on Rose's story

Roses on Rose’s story

This last one shows the cover more clearly, and I was pleased to note the greens I had chosen were pretty close to the one used for her blouse. Note that her feet fade out before they really touch the ground.

The girl in the green silk gown

The girl in the green silk gown

So that’s been my big project lately. I’m pleased to have it out of my head and into the world! Also, if you like the temari and haven’t read the book yet, check it out! It should make the temari make even more sense. (This book is technically in the InCryptid series universe, but its story stands alone, so anyone can pick it up anytime.)

Read Full Post »

Last year when I reread all of Seanan McGuire’s October Daye urban fantasy series, I was also thinking about temari a lot, because I had just finished up my Level 1 & 2 JTA submissions and was starting to think about collecting inspiration for Level 3 designs, which have to be all original patterns. One of the first things I wrote down on my list of possible temari themes was “Luna Torquill rose garden.”

Now, if you read these books, you would know that there are many things that phrase could mean, as Duchess Luna Torquill grows roses of all kinds. Her Garden of Glass Roses is described beautifully in several of the books, and I do still want to do a temari of stained glass roses based on that. But in this case, I was inspired by the passage where Luna’s true appearance is revealed for the first time in An Artificial Night (pg. 197):

The rose began gleaming like a star, getting brighter and brighter until everything was obscured save for Luna and the rose. There was a flash of black and silver light, burning pink around the edges like a sunset, and Luna was gone, replaced by someone I didn’t know.

She was taller than Luna, with marble white skin and hair that darkened from pale pink at the roots to red-black at the tips. It fell past her knees, tangling in the rope of briars that belted her grass green gown. […]

The rose woman opened her eyes. They were pale yellow, like pollen. […]

I had an idea for this sitting in my head for ages, and when I decided to teach a temari class focusing on the rose garden design in March and April, I finally started it so I would have a ball to use as my example. Since I was teaching the class, though, I didn’t get very far into the design, only finishing one full rose to serve as my example for students, and I needed to be working on the temari for my brother’s wedding anyway, so it sat for more than a month, only 1/6 finished, amongst my teaching supplies.

But then, last week, Seanan McGuire posted a giveaway challenge on her blog, asking people to submit art that they had created based on the Toby universe, for a chance to win a advance copy of The Chimes at Midnight, the next book in the series. This was a clear sign I needed to finish it up! Here’s how it turned out:

Rose face

Rose face

Pictured with an actual rose from our front yard, from the semi-wild rose canes that have been here since we moved in.

Triwing view

Triwing view

The roses I did in the graded pink shades described for Luna’s hair, with the palest pink used for the base. The triwings I did in shades of grass green. I was originally thinking of stopping there, but I also wanted to incorporate thorns somehow, as Luna’s roses are always inclined to demand a price, and her character is hardly uncomplicated. Since there was quite a bit of open space between the roses and triwings, I looked through my embroidery encyclopedia and found the spine chain stitch to make a circle of thorns around each rose. (There is actually a thorn stitch as well, but it didn’t have quite the look I wanted.)

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with it. I might try another variation of the design later on a white base, maybe try to replace those basic triwings with a more intricate winding of thorns now that I have the stitch down, but I definitely consider this a successful prototype.

Read Full Post »

I have a bunch of stuff I need to post about! Let’s start with an easy one:

This is the last ball I had to finish for my JTA submissions! (Seriously, I’m done! I sent all the Level 1 pictures and all the Level 2 patterns w/pictures and diagrams to Barb last Friday, and she approved them as being done and sent them off to Japan!) I had actually done 90% of this ball ages and ages ago for a class I took from Barb in Raleigh. At a store that hasn’t been in business for more than a year, just to give you an idea, of how long I mean by “ages and ages.” I really liked the rose garden design, but the element that really brought the whole ball together was the pine needle stitches filling in the blank spots, and I had a mental block about doing straight stitches. I have no idea why. I was just convinced they were going to pull out of alignment and end up all uneven. I appear to be over it now (as you will see later this week, when I post another ball that has a huge amount of pine needle stitching as filler and I didn’t even think twice about it.)

Anyway, for the three required C8 balls, I already had a design using my favorite kiku stitch, so I needed to come up with something else. It suddenly occurred to me that I had this rose garden ball sitting around, and if I would just finish it up, I’d be set! And now I’m doubly glad I finished it, because it’s a beautiful ball.

Purple Rose Garden

Purple Rose Garden

The pattern is by Barb Suess. The original called for shades of pink, but since we were taking the class actually in a thread store, I switched out the colors for purples. Which is not a huge shock to anyone who knows me.

Read Full Post »