Friday, June 25, 2021

Would Ye Be Interested???

 In Finishing Workshops?

 I have been entertaining the idea of offering either in-person or online Finishing Workshops. Students would bring whatever project they need help or guidance with and work on that. Would ya'll be interested??

 The project would not have to be mine either.  You could bring a Christmas ornament you need a little help with to get together, or any wooden box or casket you need help with covering. 

      For in person class I would bring my tools to help with finer box/casket fitting and adjustments. 

 I love this idea because I can help you to achieve your dreams for your embroidery! Not all embroiderers have my woodworking background or have the right tools to get everything ship-shape.

For a beautiful finished project, as much time and care should be spent on the finishing as the embroidery itself.

I have lots of tips and tricks I can share....

Please let me know what you think. If there is enough interest, a Finishing Workshop could be in your future!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Hand Sculpted Bespoke Figures for Stumpwork

 Precious Ones...Sooooo Tiny

I sculpt figures for stumpwork embroidery from papier mache to whatever pattern I am given. I don't use any kind of molds, ever. The faces are usually about the size of my thumbnail, like the ones above. Even without paint, they are characters! My latest ones though, I just had to share~

I was asked to make a set of seven figures that are... oh my golly... soooooo tiny! I have never sculpted this small before and it was a serious challenge to get features this minute to be visible from a distance.

Each is boxed individually to help protect them until they are ready to be attached to the embroidery. I sculpt each set directly over their full size pattern to ensure they are a perfect fit.

Such tiny delicate little hands and fingers~ they were seriously hard to hold onto to even sculpt. I now with 100% certainty realize the limit to what I can and cannot sculpt. I know I couldn't go any smaller than these ladies!

Large or small, if you would like me to make you a set of figures for your embroidery, just drop me an email to

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Heirloom Ornaments ....

 Heirloom Materials!

When I say that my ornament kits are heirloom quality, I mean it. I like to think of them as the perfect way to introduce yourself to working with the finest materials available. Real gold and silver metal threads. Real seed pearls. You are what you eat~ you should expect no less in one of my embroidery kits. The beautiful threads above are included in the 2021 ornament kit~ I think Rumplestilskin himself would be envious!

There are gilt spangles and gilt Grecian luscious.....

Clockwise from the left  is gilt rough purl, which is a hollow spring coil of gold wire... real seed pearls, and non tarnish check thread. Real gilt check thread in a small enough size is not available currently. This that I  have chosen for you is so sparkly and beautiful you will love it!

Along with the 2% gold Elizabethan Twist shown in the first picture, there is both broad and narrow crenelated gilt plate. I show you how to keep it from tarnishing so much in my instructions!

Now, back to my earlier post on the amazing camouflage abilities of couching with Trame...can you see it anywhere??? (and this picture is seriously magnified!)

Sunday, June 13, 2021

14 Years in a Row...

  2021 Early American Life Directory of Traditional American Crafts

Wow. What an honor. I have been juried into the Early American Life Magazine Directory Of Traditional American Crafts for 2021, my fourteenth consecutive year.  THANKYOU to all of the judges! These two fine 17th c bead peddlers were my entry for this year.

I love to make dolls to represent different periods. These are tiny 6" girls, very challenging to make this small. They both have period-correct wardrobes and I thought you would enjoy seeing what is underneath their outers.

I have made a couple of sets of twins, and sibling dolls occasionally. It is always fun for me to see how different they come out. No matter how hard I try to make them the same, they always take on their own unique personalities. 

I usually always give my girls pantaloons for modesty's sake, but actually, pantaloons were worn in the 17th c. Over her pantaloons she wears a period correct ankle long shift and cap.

I love this picture of her sister...perhaps she is a few minutes older...not much. She is helping younger to dress.

Both wear silk gowns trimmed with silk ribbon trim.  I stitched her hat from a bit of an antique kid glove and trimmed with real tiny feathers. Hats such as this were commonly worn by women in the 17th c.

Their clothes are removable, and bodices are fully boned and lined.

I love every aspect of doll making~ and that includes the stands! I made both of their stands to resemble a cobblestone street corner when placed together. I like to imagine myself standing right there alongside them...selling beads~ what a glorious day!

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Silk Threads...

One of My Favorites!

One of my favorite silk threads is Soie Trame. These colours shown above are included in this year's ornament kit. Aren't they beautiful? I love gazing upon spools of gorgeous thread just as much as what I make with them.  Will you use the entire spool for the kit? Heck no! A spool of Trame silk lasts for eons.

Trame is a very fine straight filament silk~ it has no twist in it. In the picture above it is the fine gold silk on the left. The purple on the right is one stand of Soie Ovale, which is also a flat filament silk. They both are beautiful when worked in satin stitch, but as you can see, the Trame is just sooo much finer than the Ovale. When trying to embroider weensie designs, scale is everything. The Ovale is just too thick, and while it can be divided....why would I want to do that when I can just use the much finer Trame?

The corn and gilliflowers on the ornament are stunning worked in long and short stitch with Trame.
But my favorite use for Trame is as a couching thread. It's just so fine! Instead of distracting from what it is being used to couch down, it simply fades into the background. All the metal threads on the ornament shown above are couched on with Trame!

I like to double it up in my needle as shown above. I use one long piece, pass it through the needle, and knot it on the end. This way my needle is captive and won't keep coming out of the eye. 

A tiny 2mm f4 size gilt spangle attached with Trame....

A double strand is used to couch crenelated gilt plate. Once finished you won't even be able to see it! I love this thread and if you have some in your stash, I hope you will pull it out and use it!

Saturday, June 05, 2021

2021 Ornament Inspiration

My Favorite Flemish Cabinet

 This year's ornament is yet again inspired by my favorite Flemish cabinet, shown above. You can view its last online sale here. I love the style of embroidery on these cabinets. Metal threads and plates are used heavily along with the silks and they really sparkle when opened. 

The outside of the cabinets are ebonized to black, so when they are opened there is a flood of colour and sparkle that is overwhelming. Who cares what's in the drawers, the cabinet is the true treasure here!  

If you zoom in on the panels and you have stitched some of my previous ornament kits, you will hopefully find some familiar motifs. The beautiful graceful scrolls of the crenelated gilt plate, the pansies, gilliflowers, and the tulips! (enter gasp here) Tulips are very special to me and I really love how 17th c artists drew them.

I have been making my own Flemish cabinet, but for those who just want a little taste of the embroidery style....give this year's ornament a try, I promise you won't be disappointed! 

I am working up the kits now, so keep checking back to see what it is! I can't wait for you to see it~ 
Happy Stitching everyone