Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Pearls and Angel's Wings


   This morning the sun shone in through my window and gave me some good light with which to begin embellishing Archangel Michael's wings with pearl seed beads.

 I dont usually feel comfortable sewing beads onto any of my embroideries , but this was a popular thing to do back in the 13th and 14th centuries  .

Goodness me !... that beading needle was a devil to thread ! 

I am amazed they had glass seed beads , pearls and beading needles , like this , back in these early medieval times !

Very thankful for the beautiful sunshine ... I threaded up no more than five teeny tiny pearl seed-beads at a time on my beading needle . Then stitched every other bead going backwards , then every other one coming forwards again , and so each beach is secured .

                   On the awkward turns , I went just one bead at a time .

The sun disappeared behind the clouds and my eyes needed a break now anyway , but I have made a good start . 

Friday, 23 October 2020

Archangel Saint Michael and the Dragon update

             He is beginning to come alive now . Dashing , radiant and victorious !

             After a few hours of fiddling with Colonial and Bullion Knots  .

                                          He has a full head of curls .

 I embroidered his slippers in white silk and gave a glint of flashing white to the dragons fierce teeth .
My eyes began to feel tired , so I rolled it up and packed it all away .
            We set off for our walk ,to get some fresh air and some exercise .This is one of our favourite places , see pic above , Carne Gulver .

    Other lovely and interesting places near by- Nine Maidens Stone Circle , Lanyon Quoit and Men-an-Tol are all quite close by too on the West Penwith Moorlands .( I,ll take you there with us another day ) 

From here we stand and take in the beautiful views all around and out to sea . There is Saint Michael's Mount down below us .
We had enjoyed our picnic earlier at the car park at Marazion Beach . There were so many people there today . I think it is half term for some children from up country . Our grandchildren will have their little break next week . 

Yes, too many people for comfort , we thought and decided to take our walk somewhere a bit quieter .
  This is the Greenburrow Shaft Cornish Engine House at Ding Dong Mine .

 I have been thinking of embroidering a Cornish Tin Mine for a while and we  have been visiting some of the best ones and taking photos of them . 
Ding Dong Mine is looking to be a very a strong contender .
   The stories this place could tell , but today it is a beautiful and peaceful place .
My husband found some nice pieces of crystals and I found a small piece of tin/lead strip and some small fragments of glass which were probably from leaded light windows either in the engine house or from maybe another building  long gone near by .I might incorporate them into a project later on .
       There were so many lovely things of nature to inspire me here today .
      It did us both good to get out and have this change of scene and fresh air .
I am waiting for some beads to arrive in the post that I possibly might add to my embroidery . They didn't come today , so I,m hoping maybe they'll come tomorrow , Saturday .
 Tomorrow it is forecast to rain , rain , rain . I don't care .
The rain will help to germinate the lettuce seeds that I have sown out in my vegetable garden and if the postman brings my beads , then I will be happy to play with them and do my embroidery all afternoon . 
          Happiness and contentedness me !  

Friday, 9 October 2020

Archangel St Michael - Be Thou my Battle Shield , my Sword for the Fight !


I did a little bit more yesterday evening .
I finished filling in all the green of the dragon , I will come back to him later , to put in a bit more detail , dragon's eye and fierce teeth etc .

Began to fill in his shield .

          Did a bit more work on his face , just enough to give an impression of his Angelic features . Once again , too small to put in much detail. Trying not to fuss too much about it and keep it simple .

 I had wanted to embroider his shield with white silk but I don't have very much of the white silk thread left and I need it to embroider his slippers .

 I found a very tiny quantity of some red fine Briggs Twisted Silk thread in my vintage silk thread box , perfect ! Very happy me ! 

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Archangel St Michael and the Dragon -Medieval Seal of Helston - update


Archangel Michael - medieval seal of Helston embroidery update - filling in the Dragon .


I had meant to do an update a couple of days ago but my pictures did not come out very well due to low light levels in the afternoons now . Autumn is here , along with gloomy weather and the nights drawing in  . I tried to put  more lights on ,but then the pictures turned out all yellowy .
So I took it outside to the picnic table , to get a little bit more natural light .

 I have been working on the wings and his robes mainly , I am thinking of doing this again slightly larger and with crewel wool . 

 I could put in more detail if it were a bit bigger . 

I am now happy with this arm, which was irritating me so much !

So after all of that , I spent a very long time stitching his robes . I still have a bit more of it to do, but will come back to it later on .
  I reward myself , by  pulling out this delicious green vintage silk thread and begin filling in the Dragon . 
  This picture is one of those I took yesterday evening under a lamp light , explains the yellowy look of this photo ! Yuk ! Not good !

 I went over the black outline with stem stitch in dark green . I don't know why  I did all the outlining in black ..what a silly billy me !
  I accidentally stitched over one of his slippers , but I can easily fix that . 
What colour will his slippers be ? I,m still thinking about that .

                                  I,d like to introduce a little flaming red ,

           and maybe this for his hair ...and slippers ?  I think these threads might be too thick . I,ll see if I can find some finer silk threads in the vintage box .

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Michaelmas - update on my Archangel St Michael and the dragon embroidery

I have been busy up in the veg garden , heavily weeding and planting out onion sets and other jobs . It's been a bit rough on  my poor hands ...too rough for stitching with delicate antique silk threads , so I haven't done very much more of my embroidery, but.....

Today is Michaelmas !   The feast day of Archangel  Saint Michael , so  I thought  I really should give you a little update on the little piece of embroidery that I,m working on .

Please forgive any spelling mistakes , gaps between every paragraph and strange allignments of my pictures on here today , as  I really am not getting to grips with this new Blogging format ....if that is the right word for it . As I am writing this , there are lots of new symbols and new ways of doing things ...it's all really too difficult for me . I may even have to stop journaling altogether , but I will give it a good try  .

Anyway , the sun has been shining and I have enjoyed sitting at the picnic table , in the lovely and warm early Autumn sunshine . The sun streaming over my work , perfect and most comfortable for my eyes too .

                           I have made a good start on his wings and face  .

He does look a little odd I know , but I am working from a 13th century woodcut and  I am trying to keep that " medieval woodcut " look .....but throw in some colour and bring him to life a little bit .

The antique silk threads I am using .

    As I sat working , my husband came out of the kitchen doorway and said he saw a feather fall from the sky , right on to my head ! He walked across took it out of my hair . Here is the feather . Maybe someone is watching over me ! 

His arm , in the woodcut , looks a little physically inaccurate , I can't change that , but I,m trying to make it look less obvious , without it becoming modern looking.

So here we go ! This picture swung out to the side and it wont let me write in the space beside it ! I,ve already messed this up and had to delete everything and start again , so this time I,m leaving it . So, so sorry about this !
 Anyway I hope the sun is shining where you are  and you are enjoying some peaceful time with your needle and thread  .


Friday, 21 August 2020

Archangel St Michael and the Dragon - Medieval Seal of Helston - prepped and ready to stitch !

                             First I like to embroider that angelic face .

                                     I,m deciding on colours right now .

                                             Dragons be green ?

The Medieval Seal of Helston - Archangel St Michael and the Dragon - Crewel embroidery

 I have made a start on Archangel Saint Michael and the Dragon , the 14th century Seal of Helston .
St Michael is one of three patron Saints of Cornwall , the others being Saint Piran and Saint Petroc  .
 And so the story goes - Archangel Michael was flying , carrying a mighty boulder , which he intended to throw down to block the entrance to Hell ...but the Devil flew up as a fierce and terrible fire breathing dragon and they began to battle !
  Archangel Michael won , but he dropped the boulder , which fell down to the Cornish town below  , and this is how the town got it's name of Hellys or Hell's Stone .... Helston as on the map today .
 The Devil fell down into the murky depths of Loe Bar .
  Ever since this great battle , all the people of the town  have celebrated this victory of Heaven over Hell by dancing the much loved Furry Dance round and  through the Town every year on the eighth of May , Flora Day .

 Historians will tell of the name for the old stannary town of Helston - Hellys or Hen lis being Cornish for "old court" and that Ton is the Saxon word for town .
You can read about the history of Cornish Stannaries here -       https://www.cornwallforever.co.uk/history/cornish-stannaries

                                    The first story is the true one ! :)

So that is how the Seal of Helston came to be of Archangel St Michael slaying the Dragon .
 The picture comes from a medieval woodcut " Essays in Cornish  History" by  Charles  Henderson .
 I thought at first to embroider him as a woodcut , but then thought it would be fun to bring him to life with a bit of colour .

It's a shame they used the dragon to represent the Devil ....I quite like dragons !

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Comet Neowise Embroidery Panel Finished

 I have finished my Comet Neowise embroidery panel and have decided it will be part of a much bigger wall hanging .
 More panels to come !

In the night sky for real , this is how we saw it , up on end , under the constellation of Ursa Major . A beautiful comet with two tails , sadly never to be seen again in my life time .
 I believe you can still go out and see it in a clear night sky , but it can only now be seen with a telescope  .

Monday, 17 August 2020

Comet Neowise almost finished

I have been busy filling in the tail with colonial knots and the night sky with swirling stem stitch . I am using crewel wool for this .
  The comet and stars are quite a thick Anchor perle cotton thread .
  I don't usually mix different threads , you know , crewel wool , cotton perle , silk or metallics . In fact I,m pretty sure that I have never mixed threads . I feel uncomfortable about adding beads too , no rule about this , it's just silly old me .
  Anyway , but it does then become mixed media surface embroidery I suppose .
    Crewel embroidery is only crewel embroidery if you are only using crewel wool .
Having used this perle thread , I think does give a nice texture to it that I am liking and it has a lovely sheen to it too .
 I need to do another photo-shoot because a fly landed on the tail as I was taking the photos of it , I only noticed it after I put the photos onto the computer ...sigh .
    Oh ! Well !  See you later !

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Comet Neowise embroidery update - looking better now !

                               It is looking a little bit better now isn't it ?
 I am doing some quite random vertical stitches all over , which will help support the stitches which I am going to work to fill in the night sky with .

         Yes , I,ve given myself a lot of work to do , but I am enjoying it !

Pearls and Angel's Wings