Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Pagan Embroidery 1

It is not easy to find embroidery related to pagan symbols. Even the patterns available are scarce and most of the time quite expensive. I found some freebies in pagan symbols and I decided to make them and, why no, sell them in my Etsy shop. For the moment they are only five but I will extend the collection and have so much more in the next weeks.

I started for the most important symbols for any Pagan, the Horned God and the Triple Goddess. They are embroidered over Aida 14 count cream with black thread and mounted on white felt.



Another Triple Goddess symbol is the Goddess Spiral, which represents the Goddess in Her three aspects: Maiden, Mother and Crone. It is done in Aida 14 count with golden thread mounted on white felt.



One I like too much is Hekate's Wheel or Hekate's Strophalos, which is a symbol specific of the goddess Hekate, Goddess of the darkness in Her Crone aspect related with the New Moon. It is embroidered in one of Her colours, black, and mounted over purple felt.


Finally, because we are in the dates around Lammas, I started a series of banner called Wheel of the Year Banners. I will prepare one for each one of the Sabbats. I decide to mount as a banner so you can hang it in the front of your Altar.


All of these embroideries can be order from my Etsy shop. They are completly customizable and will be made specially for you.

As usual, comments are welcome.



Sunday, 30 July 2017

July's finished Jobs

I am quite happy with the projects I have finished this month. As usual, I finished less than what I planned in advance but I don't think I will never finish what I plan.......

I did these three small cushions in hardanger, in white, green and red. I love hardanger but I don't know why I didn't do for a while.




I did a small cushion of summer season. The patter is a freebie from Happiness is CrossStitching.


Other two small things I did in cross stitch is a lavender bag and a key fob with the breast cancer ribbon. It is funny that I forgot to put the key ring and finally I have a small pillow instead a key fob.....







Finally I would like to show you this small pincushion in blackwork with a strawberry design.


Do you like them? All comments are welcome.




Sunday, 9 July 2017

The Blogger Behind.......Ipnot

When I saw first time this blog I was impressed and still I am every time I visit it. It is amazing how with only French knots Ipnot can do so realistic things as a pizza, a tomato, etc.
I decided that Ipnot, the blogger behind the blog with the same name, Ipnot, was a very good starting point for my new interview section, The Blogger Behind.



Tell us something about you.
I am Japanese embroidery artist. I am making embroidery works with the French Knot stitch only. As in the art of stipple painting, I use my needle like a paint brush and I stitch one knot at a time.

How and when did you start crafting?
I have been making handicraft arts for 5 years already. But only about 4 years ago I started to make embroidery.
First I wasn’t into embroidery. Instead, I made clay accessories. But 4 years ago I saw an embroidered bear in a magazine. Then I told myself I will make one. I want to try embroidery because when I was a child my grandmother liked to do embroidery. Then I saw how to do it and I was curious about it. After seeing the embroidered bear in the magazine, I tried it. I really had a lot of fun and I decided to stop doing clay accessories and just focus on embroidery.


How often do you craft?
I craft almost every day. But sometimes I can’t embroider engaged with another job. Since I am the happiest when I am embroidering, I want to embroider as long as time permits.

Where do you get inspiration?
I can get inspiration anytime anywhere. I always keep my eyes open. I touch a lot of arts in libraries, museums, solo exhibitions, art works at SNS, art related TV and so on.

Why do you craft? How did you learn?
Embroidery is my life work. I have spent my childhood surrounded by very creative and crafty people who have inspired me. I was drawn to embroidery because my grandmother used to do it and made it look very relaxing and enjoyable. So I tried it and enjoyed it myself. Since then, I started my own projects and it doesn’t feel like work.
I learned embroidery by myself.



What do you do when you are suffering a creative block to unblock?
If that happens, I go to a museum to appreciate art and I get creative input. And then, I keep doing embroidery without thinking deeply.

What are the crafting tools that you cannot live without?

The crafting tools that I cannot live without are needles and thread.

Thank you Ipnot for your time and all the best for your future projects.

Friday, 7 July 2017

New Section on Sunday: The Blogger Behind



From next Sunday I am going to start a new section in my blog, The Blogger Behind. This section will consists in interview to people having a blog in anything related with crafts as embroidery, knitting, sewing, cooking, soap making, candle making, etc. 
I have already few interviews programmed but if you want to take part feel free to contact me or leave a comment.


Monday, 3 July 2017

Small Cushion Tutorial

Today I am going to explain how to make a small cushion. I am sure most of you know how to do it, but when I started to make finitions of my embroideries (and even now) I found very useful the tutorial people published in the web and I need to say that they are still very useful as obviously it is not possible to know all what you want and we are continuously learning.

The first thing is obviously choose and embroider the design we want. Once it is done we cut the embroidered fabric in a square of the desired measures plus 1 inch each side. For example if you want your cushion to be 4 inches you should cut a square 5 by 5 inches. Cut another square in the fabric you chose for the back of the same size as the embroidered fabric.



Hold with pins both squares right sides facing. Sew by hand or machine following the backstitch line leaving a small portion opened.



Trim the edges leaving half an inch from the sewing line and turn it around pushing the corners.




Fill with toy stuffing and sew the opened side with hidden stitches.



Our small cushion is ready!!!!


I hope you find useful this tutorial. Don’t doubt in asking if you have any question and please send me the picture of your finished cushion. Enjoy!!!!!! 

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Traditional Embroidery Sampler 2

I finished the second part of my sampler with a bit delay. It is being very hot these days and it is difficult to take the needle and embroider...... Anyway, I could do the second tutorial video Rosario Montoro has in her YouTube channel. In tutorial I did two type of herringbone stitches (in blue and violet). 


I am not really sure about the name of the violet one, if you know how is it call tell me in the comments, please. The problem is the videos are in Spanish......

The third stitch I learnt in this tutorial is the Half-Chevron Stitch. It is a very easy and nice stitch.

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These are the three stitches I learnt this time. It is nice to see how my sampler is advancing, it looks great now. See you in the next post.


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Spicy Parsley Soup

I remember when I was a girl and my mum made that soup for me in the cold winter. I cannot forget the taste and I have been always scared of reproducing my mum's recipe as I thought the taste was going to be different.

But I decided to prepare and I was really amazed: it was tasting even better than I remember. It was delicious. I decided to share it with you.


Ingredients (for 2 people)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 4 potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 good parsley bunch
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Cumin seeds
  • Saffron
  • Black peppercorn
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil


Preparation

Add some olive oil in a saucepan. When it is warm add the onion and fried until transparent. Add the pepper and the tomato, both diced. Let the mixture fried for a while. When the mixture is fried, add the potatos diced and the parsley. Fry for a while.

In the meantime, in the mortar mash the garlic cloves, cumin seeds, saffron, peppercorn and salt. Add to the vegetables, stirr well and cover with water.

Let it boil until the potatoes are tender. Blend it and decorate with some parsley.

Ready to eat.

Enjoy and if you like let me know in the comments.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

My Large Size Projects

Now it is time to show my large projects, those which took me long to finish and that I am really proud of them. I have quite a lot but I will show you only the ones I enjoyed more in stitching. None of them are framed mainly because I don't have space to hang them and like that can be easily stored in a box. If you want to see more of them leave me a comment and I will write a second part with more jobs.

The first large project I did was a sampler organized by Angie from the blog Angie Designer. It came on parts, so it was quite easy to follow. As it was the first it is done in Aida 14 count and it is huge. I would like to repeat it in Aida 18 or 20.


This one is a heart in country style made as a present for my mum in the mother's day. It is very nice and allowed me to know the technique consisting in using two strands of threads in different colours. The effect of that is amazing.


I never liked owls too much but my mum loves them. She has a collection of hundreds of owls coming from different part of the world, embroidered owls, soft toys, etc. So as a consequence of doing and buying owls for her I finally also like owls. I made this special owl Christmas tree which is quite funny.


In this one I need to apologize for the quality of the picture, but I wanted to show you as I like a lot. It shows a house changing during the year. You can see how trees and landscape change with the months.


Another sampler, this time in Aida rustic 18 count. It is the famous Dear Jean quilt in cross stitch. It was really nice to embroider.



I want to finish this post about my large projects showing you the Sweet Words County by Stoney Creek. I love the country style cross stitch and in this one the words are really beautiful. Each one of the part is having original Stoney Creek boutons



I have few more large project. If you want to see them let me know in the comments and I will do a second post.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Traditional Embroidery Sampler 1

I love traditional embroidery but I never tried it thinking that it was too difficult. I really like to challenge myself and I have decided to take a new challenge, I am going to do a sampler with different traditional embroidery stitches and if I like the result I will start doing small projects using that technique.

For learning, I found a very nice tutorial in YouTube. Videos are in spanish but it is very easy to follow simple by watching them. The lady who is doing the tutorials is really skilled in embroidery. If you want to have a look her name is Rosario Montoro.

Initially I thought in using Lugana Evenwave fabric with Coton Perle no 8 threads but after a try I found the fabric square very small and I decided to change to Aida marble effect 18 count fabric but keeping the same threads.






In this tutorial I did four different stitches which are the basis of the traditional embroidery, stem stitch, chain stitch, blanquet stitch with same and different lenght. I am using different colour for each stitch for identification. Among these four stitches, the one which I like less and had worst results is the chain stitch (in yellow). 



Stem stitch (red) and the two type of blanquet stitch (brown and grey) are not bad if we keep in mind that it is the first time I am doing them.


What do you think about my stitches? Shortly I will continue with the sampler.......

Friday, 19 May 2017

Pann Mill Visit

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The 14th May is in UK the National Mill Day and majority of mills in UK were open for free to people to visit them. A working mill is something very simple but interested to see, mainly because nowadays most of the mills you can visit are not working and few times we have the opportunity of see one.
One working mill is situated in High Wycombe, in one end of the big park The Rye. This park is a huge extension of grass with 1 mile perimeter where people can go to walk, run, cycle, play with children and do sports. It is a very nice place beside the river Wye where I have been multiple times and didn’t know that a mill was there.

Rye Park

Mill surroundings.
When I knew there was a working mill in the park and that it was open I quickly decide and have a look. I was greatly surprised. At one time there were 37 water mills on the River Wye and Pann Mill is one of the few remaining and the unique still in operation. The mill is located on the A40 London Road, at the Eastern end High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire). The first record of a mill in this site is on 1086. From that time ownership of the mill changed several time and the mill was rebuilt few times. Last mill was built in 1759. Commercial milling ended in 1967 and in 1971 the mill buildings and house were demolish as a part of a road widening scheme. The restoration of the mill has been carried out until our days and the mill is now operating and looking nice.

Front and side views of the mill.

The way the mill works is very simple.

Scheme representing how the mill works.
The mill is powered by a cast iron breast shot water wheel where the water feeds into the wheel at breast height, as opposed to an overshot wheel where the water falls from above onto the wheel. The water wheel is approximately 5 metres in diameter and has 48 buckets around its edges. It turns at about 5 revolutions per minute and it is believed that the wheel generates around 7 horse power.
 
Water wheel working.
The water wheel turns a large cast iron cog in the mill called the pit wheel. The pit wheel is fitted with 60 oak teeth. Although most of the machinery bin the mill is made from iron, the teeth are generally wood and these mesh with a smaller cog called the wallover. This is because the wood is more easily replaced than iron. A modern drive belt transfers power from the wallover shaft to the second shaft, the spur shaft. The spur shaft turns the grinding stone on the floor above.

Mill machinery
Mill stones are on the first floor. The stones work in pairs, one above the other. The lower stone is fixed while the upper stone rotates driven by the water wheel. The mill stones were not open to visit as they were continuously working but a miniature scale representation of them is outside the mill. The working wheels look the same but so much bigger than the one shown.

Miniature scale representation of the grindstones.
A very important part of the mill is the part which feed the grain into the grindstones. That part is called the Mill Furniture. In this part we can define different parts, one to store the grain ready for grinding, and other to send the grain into the centre of the stones and finally the support for all of these. This part is operated by the miller. The miller has to control three things, the speed of the water wheel, the gap between the grindstones and the amount of grain fed. The grain need to be moisture before going to the grindstones to avoid blockages on them. Each of these duties has an effect on the others and the miller need to coordinate all of them to produce the flour in the required quality.


Mill Furniture were the grain is fed and miller.
After being processed by the grindstones the produced flour come through the tun to the collection box, where is ready to be packed and used. The flour produced in this mill is wholemeal wheat flour. This flour seems to be fantastic, it has a nice touch and smell. I bought few kilos to taste and make my breads.


Collection of the produced flour.

Flour produced in the mill packed for selling
I would like to thank the Pann Mill Restoration Team, who kindly show me the mill and gave all the information necessary to write this article and the Pann Mill Society. Their unique source of income is public donation and flour sales. If you want information for visiting the mill or make a donation send a mal to manager@pannmill.org.uk.