Early 19th c School Girl Art Inspired Thread Palettes & Winders
I have always loved the quaint theorems and folk art done by young girls in the early 19th c~ the pieces have such character, and are both simple and very complex at the same time. It is indeed very challenging to capture the simple primitive nature of such art, but in loving it so, I am trying to do my best to draw from my inner 'School Girl' spirit. I also love to work wood, and when I laid eyes on a certain figured maple board, I literally saw thread palettes and winders! Its such a gorgeous piece of wood, I cant wait to show you the finished pieces I have been able to make from it. I have spent the past few weeks cutting them out and sanding them, all by hand, until they are as smooth as a little wee babe's skin. Since we keep bees here on our little place, my first set is designed to honor them ~ I have named it 'Model of Industry' . Not only are bees a Model of Industry, but I believe so are our hearts & hands~ for when they are put together, great things can happen! Each set will consist of a thread pallette, and three special themed thread winders~ so until then~ 'Whatever Thy Hands Findeth To Do, Do It With All Thy Might'
....at a time. I always prefer to finish the inside of a case first~ then when I get the outside done, its really done! Hope you enjoy this little video~ the doors are hinged with magnetic catches... I am taking a little respite to get over being sick...(thankyou school germs~YUK), and have been working on some really marvelous stitchers helpers for the shop...youre gonna really love them, I mean really love them! Made for stitchers....by a stitcher..you can bet Ill be saving a set out for me!!!
When working stumpwork figures, it is good to study your pattern and visualize it in your head as finished~ get a paper and pencil, and list each element of the design you wish to work, then you can go back and number them in correct order~ for example~ I cant attach Ladye's left hand until I have worked her vessel beneath it...and her right hand cannot go on until I work the fish~ but, the fish cannot go on until I have worked the dress underneath of it~ ect ect. It helps to write down a list, then you can go back over it and make changes as you think things thru. I worked Msr. Fish first because I was bored one day, and just really wanted to make him! He is worked same as the little one in the water, with real fish scales and an antique white opal bead for an eye
Ladye's shoes were worked in a dark putty ovale over shaped padding, with grey gimp rands and soles on the heels. Little cream silk rosettes with red beads adorn their throats
The bottom of her skirt was worked in stages like Earth Ladye's
Once the lower skirt was complete, I worked her vessel, then attached her fish and both hands. Gimp was added to her bodice to define her stomacher and waist tabs
Sleeves, cuffs and falling band were next, hers I trimmed in gold squiggle plate with antique gold lace on her cuffs
Even after her hair and string of pearls were added, she still told me she was not quite complete and wanted a brooch...something special she said. I got to thinking....and yes, indeed, something very special....I had just the perfect 'thing' so I was off to dig thru drawers and boxes until I found it
This was absolutely perfect. It was one of my Mother's earrings, 14k gold and opal~ I always loved it when I was little, she had lost the other at some point and had this in a jar....when I left home to join the Navy...or perhaps it was when I got stationed back in the States...anyway, at some point I absconded with it. Several times over the years I have thought it would make a nice dollye brooch, but never the right dolly needed it~ but when Ladye Water saw it, oh yes, she had to have it
I snipped the back off and stitched it on with gold silk, its just perfect and makes this panel even more special to me now....so if you have some special little bit of broken jewelry....a button, a single earring....a broken bit of necklace or ring~ you may look at it differently and try and figure out how you could work it into a special piece of your embroidery.
I have been so busy getting our oldest daughter moved into her first house, and getting the childrens end of school things taken care of I haven't had much time to stitch, but the inside panels are coming along slowly~ thought you would enjoy seeing the Earth side Ladye come to life~ On all my dollys, I start with the shoes first~ they're my favorite! Ladye got a nice sensible pair of humble black silk shoes with brown silk rosettes on the throats. Next came her petticoat, all done in long and short stitch of coarse to match the rest of the panel, and trimmed at the hem with a bit of antique silk and silver metal cord.
I love making stumpwork figures~ they are like a big jigsaw puzzle! They may look intimidating at first, but are quite easy~ just start with the layer furthest back, and build up from there. One of the fun things is making the clothing~ weather you are working in a ground fill or needle lace, is experimenting first to get the shape of the separate pieces so they will give you the look you want~ you can work as simple or as elaborate of clothing as desired. I like to use paper towels to draft my pieces~ I fold and manipulate them to my desired effect, then transfer that as my working pattern piece. Above, I am holding the piece that will be the very bottom skirt hem, that is gathered in folds around by her feet.
The pieces are transferred to dutchess silk satin and worked separately~ I like to work as many pieces as I can at once, so make sure they all coordinate. One must be careful tho~ with a high relief stumpwork you must be patient and work one piece, then attach it, then draft the next piece. As you move along thru the figure, the pieces worked below will affect and shape the pieces above it
After her petticoat, the side of her skirt came next, padded to full out its folds.
The next piece is the bottom skirt, here, I have worked it in long and short stitch, then cut it out and ironed the seam allowance under around the required sides
If you are thinking what a mess of pins....YES! WHAT a mess of pins it took to tame this monster!!
Be sure to work the base/background underneath of hems and such, because everyone wants to peek under to see legs!
Ladye Earth all finished~ She holds her apples in her hand and has silk wrapped purl over a long and short stitch base for hair. I sculpted all the figures for my flat top, and love love love how they come out~ so delicate and the mache is light weight enough that they wont drag the panel off the casket! I think she looks happy~ I am sure happy with how she came out~
A few weekends ago we went camping with friends at Lathrop State park here in Southern Colorado~ since I have so many Kindred Spirits around the globe, I thought Id share a little of our trip with you~ I took these pictures on a hike early one morning~ above, you can see alot of the park, both Martin and Horse Shoe lakes, with the Spanish Peaks in the background. We live just about same distance from the peaks, but on the opposite side, behind them, so not a far drive at all, just about 30 minutes.
Pip wanted to go with me, she was so excited! Off we went up Hogback trail~ its not far, makes a nice 3.5 mile loupe. I love trees~ especially the gnarly oaks when they are dead, or like these, no leaves yet.
Here we are on top of the trail, with the Peaks in the background. I must admit, Pip likes chatting it up, so this time, we didnt see much for wildlife~ a couple REALLY nice roadrunners we spooked that were too fast for me to get a picture of~ theyre so pretty
Did see this Jay out singing his morning song for all to hear
And found one clump of barrel cactus that were blooming already! There are some really old clumps up on the trail~ 100s of years old..this one growing out of a rock crevice
I usually walk the Hogback a few times a day...this day, I saw it twice, and then ran around both the lakes...that day was over 11 miles on these feet!
Lovely olde Cedar~ wonderfully spooky looking...and yet peaceful at the same time. I love to lay on the ground under a tree, and admire the view straight up.
HA! had to include this picture~ remember how excited Pip was to go? At the top she was still pretty energetic....this is about 3 miles in, when I asked...pleeeded....with her to go up the Jackson trail...she was so sorrowful~ "Mom Im so tired" she said~ "another trail???" ....it was just a little one ;)
So after being all worn out, she had to go fishing of coarse...so she wasnt really so tired after all.... we cooked her fish she caught in the coals of the fire that night...it was a good day!
The Lady's Repository Museum is a privately owned museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of unique early American fashions of both women and children, the later being a specialty.
All proceeds from Diamond K Folk Art sales (antique reproduction Folk Art, Dolls & hooked rugs) directly support the Museum, of which can be found on ETSY, eBay and the DKFA Blog~ please see the links on the sidebar. You can also mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org