Shadow Work? Mist and Shadow…

I did not know when I changed the blog theme the other day that I would have a post with a title like this – but it fits rather nicely!

Meg asked about Shadow work and how the lovely effect is created. For a rather detailed discussion on this please go to this link. Note that I said discussion 🙂 For a graphical representation of the rather simple stitch used, go here (same site, different page).

Basically, Shadow Work has most of the work on the back of the piece, which means that the color is seen as a shadow from the front. It is a simple double back stitch that crosses over on the reverse side to create a Herringbone stitch. One must be very careful to go up in the same previous hole, so a very good lamp is required. Remember that you do this sort of work on something like sheer transparent silk Organza – mine is so sheer that I lost it on top of my white tablecloth! Yep – though something WAS on top of it, so I have an excuse 🙂

Signing off for now – the clock is showing that I am past my bed-time 🙂


3 Projects at the same time?

Someone who reads this blog commented when we were talking on the phone the other evening that I am working on 3 projects at the same time.

Actually, if I were honest, it is probably double that – but there are several projects I haven’t worked on in a LONG time – and I do intend on changing that once I get through the current list of projects. God willing. Should I live that long 🙂

You see, there is the liturgical embroidery – that I am not yet ready to go back to until my spirit settles some more after the death of my stepfather a couple of weeks ago…

Tiramisu is a huge project, and the little work I’ve done on it so far tells me it will take quite some time to finish – and I have promised liturgical embroidery projects for TWO monastic sketes…. sorry Tiramisu, but liturgical emboidery takes presidence once I get back to it.

In the end, I think that there are lots of reasons for multiple projects. It isn’t to keep from being bored (I dare anyone to tell me that creating things of beauty could ever be boring!)… nor is it because I don’t have “better things to do” – for that isn’t the case either.

I think that it is the allure of learning new skills with which to use to create things of beauty – and what can be more beautiful than something that will be used in Orthodox worship? It seems to me that it is the end-purpose of the work that makes it beautiful – not what little effort I may have put into it. Does that make sense?

 Ok, I will stop pondering, and go pick up a needle – in the end – needle and thread is a much easier medium for me to express myself than words. I keep trying though 🙂

The Kit Has Landed

The kit for my EGA group correspondance course, Luck of the Irish, that is.

Let’s see what the kit includes:

11×8 cut of Emerald Green Silk
Lacing, basting AND cuching thread
tissue paper
wax paper
5 different sizes/kinds of needles

padding gimp (looks like floss to me 🙂


the English Metals (remember, this is a goldwork course)

Pearl Purl
Check Purl
Smooth Purl
Wire Check Purl

Interesing names for the metals, aren’t they?

The purls are all gold gilt, the spangles are 2% gold.

Materials are beautiful, the task somewhat intimidating to begin 🙂 However it promises to be fun once I force myself to actually start – needless to say, this isn’t like working with floss!

Card-carrying member of the HSS

So what IS the HSS? Such an odd combination of letters, what could it MEAN? If you are a member of the Cyberstitcher chapter of the Embroider’s Guild of America you would already know.

HSS = Head Slap Society.

That would be your OWN head…

as in….



Why am I a member of the HSS? Let me list the ways….

1. Luck of the Irish goldwork group correspondence course. Class is starting right now, or as soon as we all get our materials. March 2007 is when we are supposed to have finished it. That is if we want our work evaluated 🙂

2. Tiramisu, blackwork group correspondance course. Starts as soon as we all get our materials, scheduled to be completed in October 2007.

3. Chalice Cover set- set in white brocade, beginning as soon as I get the chance to start working on it.

4. Chalice Cover set – set in burgandy wool – to begin whenever I finish #3

5. Still have to complete the “All Things Bright and Beautiful” sampler for some friends who had thier first child 14 months ago. I had HOPED to have it to them by her first birthday….

6. Finish several books on my reading list.

7. Ramp up marking for freelance indexing business


oh yes, I work for a living 🙂

Any questions now about why I am a proud member of the HSS?

I’m baaack

Well, I’ve been back for a week come tomorrow afternoon, but it took me awhile to sit down at this blog and do something. There is something about blogs, it is challenging at times to come up with something to say on them that someone might actually WANT to read. So, I try to avoid that little problem by giving links to pretty pictures…. see the following 🙂

I am taking, not 1, but TWO group correspondence courses through the Cyberstichers Chapter of the Embroider’s Guild of America this winter. There is also another set of chalice covers to embroider (pretty much the same as the set I finished in August), AND am still working on 2 other projects. Oh yes, and I work full-time as well…. hmmmmm, perhaps it’s time for a long bout of insomina 🙂

I don’t man that about the insomnia, been there, don’t want to go there again!

The photo is of a goldwork course called Luck of the Irish – appropriate name, and is the first of two courses I am taking this winter. The link is to the entire PDF of the 2006 education catalog, but will open to the approapriate page. Sadly that is the only way you can view it…. it about the only thing about the new EGA website that I don’t really care for. Those with slow connections probably don’t want to try it, and if you turn to page 38 in the same file, you will see the image for Tiramisu – which is the OTHER class I am taking, it is in something called Blackwork – which I find very cool – the name has nothing to do with the color 🙂

Time to go to bed, big day tomorrow.

The photos are in :)

I am looking forward to hearing what my few readers think of this in-process project photos. Between work, indexing, and parish life – I don’t have the time to put into needlework that I would like to… if anyone has figured out how to live without sleep PLEASE let me know 🙂

This first image is of an icon I have been working on for several years. If I live long enough to complete it, the finished project will be that of Christ the Teacher. Christ is holding one hand up in a blessing, and the other hand is holding an open book with a scripture – though the script will be in Russian. This is quite a large project, and I don’t get the chance to work on it often. It would probably have been completed already if I could just go a year without working on other projects 🙂

Earlier this year I started work embroidering a set of Chalice Covers for my parish. This photo is of the work in the middle of the large cloth, the one that is draped over the priests back during the Great Entrance.

For some reason, though I took quite a few pictures of this cloth, none of them really came out very well. Shadows from my hand, other things interfered with the photos. I am not a photographer 🙂 This photo was taking without the flash and while you can’t see the color of the fabric, I think the embroidery is much clearer in this photo. The fabric is a dark red garment-weight wool, and the embroidery uses only silk floss. I love working in silk, but generally only use it for liturgical embroidery. I love how it feels and looks, but even more importantly, silk floss has a much longer life than cotton. I am unsure what’s up with the apparent line across the upper part of the cross – am hoping it is just a lighting oddity and that isn’t really there.

The interesting thing about seeing an image of embroidery completed months ago is that you see the imperfections that you couldn’t see before. The embroidery is in 4 complementary shades of gold.

This is a sampler called “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, and is a gift for the first born daughter of a wonderful Romanian couple I have the pleasure to be able to call friends. I am sorry you can’t read the script, but this is a VERY long sampler, and this was the only reasonable size that I could make fit this page that wouldn’t overwhelm it – or cause you to keep scrolling sideways, and sideways, and, well you get the picture.

There is one other project – but it isn’t far along enough to take photos of. I just got the drawings last night to begin work on the two smaller chalice covers, so there won’t be any pics of those for some time. So, that’s all for now!

If there is interest I will post a true-color image of the large Aer – though I’ve completed the embroidery on it – the cloth itself hasn’t been finished. Thankfully I don’t have to finish them, just embroider them 🙂

Group Correspondance Courses from the EGA

As I promised Meg, following are links to the GCCs I am taking from my chapter of the EGA.

EGA = Embroider’s Guild of America (I belong to Cyberstitchers, an online chapter that is very active and lots of training opportunites.

GCC = Group Correspondance Course (yes, you DO need to be a member of the EGA to take any of these wonderful correspondance courses, and there are also Individual Correspondance Courses that are just as beautiful… Membership isn’t that expensive 🙂

This year I had a lapse of sanity and signed up for FOUR GCCs! Thankfully I am coordinating two of them, and one is a special pricing through my chaper, so my fees for all four are only about that for one full course. Will I finish all of the classes this year? Of course not! However I will have all the materials, and they will be completed.

Tiramisu – Reversable Blackwork (this is the real reason I plan on working on the Greek Cross blackwork project – to ramp up my skills before I get to this wonderful project)

GRRCIA – 3-D Dimensional Needlework (How can anyone resist Ms. Kitty? I will choose a different color family)

To the Acorn – an Acorn Sampler (that has a lot of new stitches for me to learn 🙂

Luck of the Irish – a real Goldwork project – THIS is the one that will be completed this year (so I can have help from the instructor 🙂 This uses techniques traditional to Orthodox liturgical goldwork – though of course a very different style – and I need the practice as I hope to eventually do something with goldwork for my parish.

So where does the lapse of sanity come in (aside from the fact that this is just TOO MANY projects when you combine them with everything else I have going? Three of the four projects listed above are in the 4th quarter of the year. Acorn is the only one that isn’t scheduled for that time period…

Oh well, this will give me plenty to do next winter, and next summer, and next winter and… you get the idea 🙂