Monday, 6 June 2016

Freemason Cufflinks.

An unusual commission to show you here. A pair of hand embroidered cuff links showing the Freemasons symbol.They were tiny and very fiddly to make. I used a thin machine thread for the embroidery  which is about 1cm in size. The challenge here was getting them to look identical.

Close up of the embroidery , approx 1cm in size. The backing was a navy/black flat silk.

Compass and set square symbol of the Freemasons. mounted in silver plate settings.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Custom requests.

I love it when people have their own ideas for pieces of jewellery. Some can be a challenge, but who doesn't love a challenge? Here are some I have done in the last few months.
     The peacock range was made for the Royal School of Needlework shop to coincide with their Peacocks and Pomegranates exhibition. Details of that on their website. I have not made any pomegranate pieces yet but I'm working on it. I think I am much more drawn to the peacock colours , so they got first look in.

A lily of the valley silk ribbon and silk appliqué necklace. I really wanted to get the effect of the little flowers being like little round bells and quite three dimensional. I think I have achieved it.  

This large silk shaded brooch was done for a lovely mum on Mothers day. Her name ? Iris. Stranded cottons on a white silk backing. 5cms diam.
Close up of the colours, as the flower was so small I had to use stronger colours than I would use on a large project to enable me to get enough shading into a small amount of space.
Three necklaces with the letter G and two silk ribbon roses. Silver rococo thread and sequins make up the letter. 


The backing of this brooch is a silver lurex/silk mix which does not really show up in the photo, it really shimmers! Some fabric painting, sequins, beads and freestyle stitching finish it off.

Close up of a silk appliqué necklace with space dyed threads. 

Three peacock silk appliqué necklaces.

Silk appliqué and metallic threads bangle. 

Another initial , this one with three roses and a contrast colour on the sequins.

Close up of the silk roses and silver rococo threads

A freesia and buds in silk ribbon on a wonderful blue silk. 

A large brooch of two ginger toms. A little amount of fabric painting then alot of stripes. I had to do some editing to make the embroidery design simpler than the photographs I was given, but I think it has made the image more striking and therefore a better piece of jewellery.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Bits and blanks.

Some more jewellery pieces. Some new ones for me ; bangles and cufflinks .
        I buy my blanks in bulk from China. This is always a risk as it can be very hard to see the quality, some are great like the blossom bangle below. Others not so much, such as the atomic bangle I made for myself.

A thistle commissioned brooch, I would have probably put a leaf or third bud on this one but the brief was VERY specific. Long and short stitch thistles.I have added some purple metallic thread on the very top of the flower to catch the light. The backing is Campbell tartan silk from James Hare Silks. 

 A snowflake inspired small brooch. Stitched in silver machine thread with a Swarovski crystal centre.  

A cherry blossom bangle, now for sale in my shop. I will be making lots more bangles as I think they are a lovely way to wear embroidery as the person wearing it can also enjoy the embroidery. 

This metal blank was not good value for money, it is really lightweight and the corners are so sharp they catch on your clothes. I cannot use these in my shop so they will all be made up for me like this one. My favourite colour in a space dyed thread , satin stitch circles with antique Italian beads. 


Tiny cuff-link snowflakes commission. Machine thread with mini 2mm sequins and glass beads from Prague. The backing is a navy and black shot silk. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Latest bits.

A few pieces of my latest jewellery. Oak leaves and acorns heavily appear as usual.

An allium necklace made for a colleague at The Royal School. Space dyed threads, french knots and antique glass beads on a silk backing.

Oak and acorn necklace, crewel wools on silk. Long and short in the leaf french knots and satin stitch in the acorns. 

I love this one as it is in my colours. Long and short thread painted leaf using stranded cottons with a metallic thread vein on a cream silk. 
A thread painted poppy brooch that I made for my lovely mum. Stranded cottons on silk. 

Crewelwork using wool from the Handweavers Studio on a silk backing. 

Beetle on silk , stitched with space dyed perle. 

Toadstool stitched in viscose knitting ribbon and stranded cotton on a silk / silver lurex mix.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Wedding sampler.

I thought I would share a wedding sampler that I stitched recently. The wedding took place in Greece and I was asked to use a sea theme for the embroidery design.
       The font I used was the same as on the invitation , this was traced through on to the white silk with a fine 0.5 blue pencil. At the bottom of the wording I stitched the wedding bouquet; rosemary, olive branches and white roses.
        To keep with the sea theme I added a shell and seahorse. These were kept very simple in style to fit in with the lightness of the overall sampler. The words on the sampler are personal to the family so I am only showing the embroidery in parts.

The font was embroidered in a space dyed stranded cotton using stem stitch . This blended from turquoise through to sea blue and a bottle green. Stem stitch is perfect for embroidering writing as you can get lovely curves.

The bouquet was embroidered in stranded cottons and white and green silk ribbon.

The shell was embroidered in stem stitch using DMC colour variations stranded cotton.

The seahorse was stitched in stem and coral (how appropriate!) stitches and french knots again using DMC colour variations thread. A couple of sequins and an antique glass bead finished it off. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Flowery work.

I have got to 'meet' such wonderful people through the power of the Internet. On my blog here and through instagram and facebook etc. One lovely lady bought one of my necklaces and then got in touch to suggest a custom order. The results of this are shown below and I enjoyed it so much that I offer this as a custom request in my shop. The pendants suggested were a violet and a couple of roses in some oval settings. They are quite large at 3x4 cm but at the same time seemed quite small when I wanted to put lots of detail in. The roses needed lots of petals to look realistic, but my original design had too many so I had to simplify it to enable enough shading. The mounting of them was actually the hardest part, hand cut ovals are not easy! The flowers are all worked in stranded cotton on various flat silks.  A link to the ordering details is here .

Close up of the sepals.

A silver rococo thread has been added to the frame of this necklace.

This particular rose is called 'Marilyn Monroe'

This rose is called 'double delight'.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

A couple of articles.

A couple of articles for you to read .
         Firstly my shop and work was featured on the website mr x stitch. This is a great website if you are into all kinds of exciting contemporary embroidery. It is not just about cross stitch ! Click here to read all about it.

The second article is all about creating my blue embroidered beetle on UK handmade. This is a great website showcasing all kinds of designers that are contributing to the surge in handmade items in the UK at the moment. There are galleries of work and a directory if you want to commission a piece of original art. Click here to read this article,( it's a long one!!).

I hope you enjoy them and thank you for all the comments and messages you send.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Mini frame.

Here is a mini frame that I recently stitched an embroidery for. I did change my mind about the embroidery half way through which is normal and there was quite a lot of pulling out. Which is also normal.
    I decided I wanted to do an art deco style piece so I used a colour palette from a Clarice Cliff ceramic to inspire me. The grass had two versions as you can see, hence the pulling out. I am happy with the final version though.
       These frames are from the talented E.Wood Story. They sell a variety of mini frames for embroidery in various woods for you to use as necklaces and some fantastic crochet kits if that is your thing. I have another frame left to stitch , which will have to be a silk shading piece. Possibly as landscape. Watch this space!

     Link to shop for frames

The finished embroidery, I just love these 1930's colours. satin stitch, stem stitch and couching. All in one strand of stranded cotton. Finished size 4cms x 2cms .

The original embroidery with the long and short grass foreground. I felt that this didn't fit in with the style of the rest of the piece. It all came out !!!

My next mini frame.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Ribbon embroidery.

Just recently I have been trying out ribbon embroidery. I bought lots of silk ribbons years ago and have never given them ago.
       Well here is my first attempt. I love the look of these ribbons, all silk and beautifully space dyed so the colour changes are really subtle. It does also mean you have no control over where the colour lands. I am also finding that ribbon embroidery does not like to be taken out. This I find really frustrating as sometimes things are not quite as I like them .
       If you live in the UK you can get your ribbons from Sophie Long.

She also has some beautiful kits for sale so do check her out.

Hollyhock design, this just grew and grew. It was supposed to be just one stem. I just could not stop. I just love the way hollyhocks just get so tall and bend over.I tried to capture this.

 Hydrangea, this ribbon had very subtle shading so I brightened it up by using some spacedyed threads with a stronger pink shade.

I loved this ribbon, wine and olive is the best way to describe it. I thought it looked like an Autumn hydrangea when the colours start to fade away. I had some beads which matched perfectly so they just added some more dimension. 

So many colours all in this one ribbon. A high Summer sort of flower.
A silver necklace with another hydrangea.  
My first attempts all together. I do not think I  will make full size embroideries with ribbon work but they are perfect for brooches. I have just bought another load of ribbon from Sophie so I will have to play some more.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Branching out.

Sorry I have not posted for a while. I have however been busy stitching. Before Christmas I had lots of work from The Royal School which used lovely silk threads, they catch all over your fingers but it is a treat to use them. I also had a lovely commission from a friend of four brooches. Two were ones you have seen before but here are the other two. Such original ideas, it was a fun job. Other pictures are brooches and a new idea of embroidered rings. These are work in progress. Enjoy.

A silk shaded poppy brooch. The backing fabric was a beautiful shot black and blue silk from James Hare Silks. The long and short was worked in stranded cottons. A few french and bullion knots give some texture. 5 cms.
Brilliant idea for a brooch for my friends daughter. Beaded bun, silk lettuce, felt tomato and cheese, shaded french knot burger all on a silk gingham background. 5cms.

I am keeping this one for myself, satin stitch and beads on silver plated adjustable ring.

Embroidered rings. Space dyed thread used for satin stitch, metal thread embroidery for the centre and tiny glass beads. Silver plated adjustable setting.

A different style brooch, this one based on 17th century black/red work. This style was not geometric pattering but a seeding embroidery often worked in crewel wools with metal highlights. I have used wool, stranded cottons, silver spangles and silver rococo/ check thread. These silver threads will tarnish over time but hopefully not for a while yet.

Crewelwork brooch. Long and short thread painting and seeding on orange silk with stem stitch . 5 cms.
Jacobean style leaf worked with stranded cottons, stem stitch filling and french knots. 5 cms.

Silk shaded oak leaf. Stranded cottons on a flat silk.

Silk shaded oak leaf with silver passing thread.

Embroidered rings . Satin stitched in space dyed threads with antique beads on silk.