Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Bal Masque

Some of you who lives in Northern countries actually celebrate Midsummer while it's just another day in wet season down here in Japan.  It's kind of funny since Midwinter is marked on the calender as one of the days of importance.  To be precise, Midsummer is marked as a day of importance on the calender but we do not celebrate or anything.  Perhaps everybody so hate winter and we all need a reminder spring will come eventually, before the weather becomes harsher (the coldest is February here).  

Anyway June in Japan is not a very nice month.  It's VERY WET.  It's either wet and chilly or wet and hot.  It's a transitional month before summer which is worse; July being hotter and humid and August being the hottest and more humid.  

It's not very comfortable to wear a mask in June in Japan (or any other summer month, for that matter) but if I were to attend a masquerade ball on Midsummer's night, then I would like one of these masques here and dress like Titania.  "The Merchant of Venice" is a mask maker whose web page I stumbled across years ago.  They do not update their web page very often, if ever, so after a few visits I stopped checking on it until about a month ago when I moved from Internet Explore to Firefox and thought it was a good idea to make sure all the bookmarks still worked.  The page still exists and I am glad for it but I doubt they have added any new mask since last time I visited their site.  I have not purchased any yet, but my favorite is a one called "succubus" which you can find in Gothic category.  I might one day place an order for it...

Happy Midsummer and enjoy the longest day of the year.

P.S.  I wonder it's also called a midsummer even in Southern hemisphere?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

prototype I and II

It's already halfway past the month and I finally managed to upload my contribution to Flickr photo sharing. 

When I announced this month's photo sharing earlier, I gave you a small peek of my current project.  It was a needlework tray and pin cushion set as many of you figured it out.  I have stitched two third of the tray and pin cushion and before continue stitching the rest, I thought it would be very prudent to make a prototype to determine the colours I chose would really work fine. 

Not too bad, but not exactly what I thought it would appear.  The darker blue and green are too conspicuous and needed to reduced it to a single round.  Toup and silver look too much alike and no, it won't do.  Perhaps much darker colour might have worked better?
Sorry about the blurry picture, but one less dark blue and green with dark charcoal and dark olive, the pin cushion appears completely differently.  The pin wheel parts and squares appear more prominent and this is not the effect I prefer for this particular project.
So, it's white that I finally chose for the tray with silver metal thread.  My metal threads are smaller in size than the silk I use and since I reversed the proportion of silk and silver for the last part of the stitching, I encountered the small problem of coverage at the edges and it shows as you can see.  I really should have made the third prototype.  The stitching part of the tray is finished and it only require attaching the lining to the inner bottom.  I am not really sure if velvet works better than satin but as I have some velvet in my stash and no satin at all, it's most likely I would use velvet.  I will show you when I finished lining the bottom, in either material, along with the new pin cushion in matching design.  In the meantime, wish you happy stitching.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Share Your Thimbles June 2011

It's June and it's time for "Share Your Thimble" on Flickr.  Last month we only had four people who showed us their thimbles.  All are regular participants and their works are lovelier than ever.  If you have not visited the Flickr to admire these little beauties yet, please do so from here.  Although all the May's thimbles were advanced design, the simple yet elegant and sophisticated two-scales are always welcome.  "Share Your Thimble on Flickr" is a photo sharing group where anyone can upload the photos of their Japanese silk thimbles and not a contest.  No one win.  No one criticize anyone's work.  Just the place to show off your thimbles.  You can join the group with your very first thimbles. 

Here are the rules:

1. The thimbles (or any other rings) have to be your own work.

2. Although the name of the group reads as "thimbles", your work is not necessarily a thimble and you can make your rings in any size you would like, as small as a focal beading for a necklace or as big as a bracelet, or even bigger.

3. As stated above, they have to be your own works however, you can use the ring base from the kit if you choose to do so. It may not seem to be fair, considering I sell the kits, however, they are many other kits available (at least in Japan) and some of you may be able to obtain them, and it is definitely not fair to exclude the people who is brave enough to share their first work with us from the group.

4. No technique restriction applies. You can use back stitch and weaving in addition to the forward stitch, and even embroidery on the surface if you choose to do so. This is not a contest. You do not need to use these techniques if you are not up to them or you simply do not feel like it. A simple yet elegant two-scales design is always welcomed (and it's one of my favorite designs).

5. You can use any material, and in any colours, you would like.

6. Please state the size of the mould on which you formed your ring base in the description field of the photo, either in millimeters or in inches. Please also mention what threads and padding you used, too, so that we could compare notes. In case you bought one of my kits, here are the sizes and materials: "first thimble" is 50mm in circumference and Tire Silk size 9 & floss silk padding. "small pincushion" is 61mm in circumference and Tire Silk size9 & floss silk padding. "medium pincushion" is 103mm and Tire Silk size 16 & knitting yarn for padding.

7. You can upload as many photos as you like. You can upload several photos of one thimble if you choose to do so.

Now, please start uploading your photo from here.

I have not finished my contribution to this month's photo sharing yet however, it's preferable when the post is with photos, any photo.  So here is a small peek...
Can you guess what they would be when finished?