Friday, December 19, 2014

Whisky - my first doggy friend!

About 22 years ago, my father was posted to Pune, Maharashtra. I had very few friends in our campus, and was more or less a loner. And then I found Whisky, aka Whiskers, an adorable cocker spaniel belonging to our neighbors.

She had the most beautiful, melting eyes. Every evening her owners would often tie her to a pillar in their verandah. I would peep around the corner and make a little sound - and Whisky would jump to her feet, wagging her entire body! I would then take her out for a walk.

Once when her owners were away on a holiday, they had left Whisky care of me for thirteen whole days. I remember feeding her with my hand initially, since she was missing her family. After her walks I would brush her coat till it shone. I would even smuggle her into my bed, much to my parents' consternation! I was in tears when I had to return her to her owners.

Whisky was my first doggy friend. She taught me what it was to care and love unconditionally. We were together for barely two years, after which her family moved out. But I still remember her eyes, and treasure her memories!

This embroidery is dedicated to her.

Monday, November 24, 2014

An Indian Summer Garden - Finished and Framed

Here is the peacock in a summer garden. I loved working on it, racking my brains on which stitches and colours to use, and am pretty satisfied by the end result. Here it is framed.

Just looking at it would suffuse warmth into a cold, wintry evening!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WIP - An Indian Summer Garden - Part 6

Here's the peacock, all finished. I've used a host of stitches here - satin stitch, padded satin stitch, outline stitch, fishbone stitch, chain stitch, whipped chain stitch, herringbone stitch, long-and-short stitch, french knots, running stitch and, of course, straight stitch.

I hope I've been able to capture the colourful resplendence of the bird here. Next up, the entire piece.

Monday, November 10, 2014

WIP - An Indian Summer Garden - Part 5

After the myriad foliage, it is time to bring the royal bird to life - err, thats the poet in me! I love the bluish green ring around the deep blue center of a peacock feather, and my endeavor was to capture that in thread. The center of each feather is in french knots, followed by a bullion knot around it, and nested blanket stitch encircling them. The stem of the feather is in back stitch, and the fine wisps in fly stitch.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

WIP - An Indian Summer Garden - Part 4

This design has three clusters of leaves, which I chose to work in trellis. I think, when working a trellis, the choice of colours is of utmost importance, for there needs to be a balance between the colours that complement each other, and one or two colours that "pop-out". Here the bright orange couching catches the eye immediately, while the dark and olive greens complement each other. The outer border of each leaf is worked in coral knots, while the leaf buds are worked in bullion stitch.

Monday, November 3, 2014

WIP - An Indian Summer Garden - Part 3

There is another vine that surrounds the peacock in little bursts of colour. I've worked the vine in chain stitch. The flowers are a combination of pistil stitch and french knots. The leaves are padded satin stitch, seed stitch and stem stitch. Nothing complicated, yet eye catching!

Monday, September 22, 2014

WIP - An Indian Summer Garden - Part 2

Entwined around the tree branch is a vine with delicate orange blossoms. I love the way the vine, its leaves and flowers create an intricate mesh of colour.

The vine is worked in back stitch and stem stitch, the leaves in fly stitch and the flowers in nested laze daisy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WIP - An Indian Summer Garden - Part 1

Secret Garden - An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford in not an ordinary book. For every page you turn to will inspire you in many ways. And for embroiderers it is a virtual treasure trove. My first pick out of it was a gorgeous peacock perched on a tree, surrounded by blooms. 
Although the peacock is yet to be embroidered, the foliage around it is done, so over the next few weeks I shall give you glimpses of these. The above is the first of the series - the tree branches done in close rows of stem stitch, the leaves in fly stitch and flowers in lazy daisy. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chinar leaf - thinking of fall colours!

To be honest, I've never seen chinar trees during fall. What a glorious sight it must be, to be surrounded by a million hues of green, yellow, brown, red and orange! Some day I will travel to a place just to watch the chinar trees change colour. Until then I can find solace in embroidering a few coloured threads on my canvas, what?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Arum lily

The arum lily somehow reminds me of an ornate lamp, which is why, I chose to embroider it on a black background. It gives the illusion of the petal embracing a flame within, doesn't it?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stumpwork - Butterfly and Dogrose

This was my first attempt at stumpwork. The dogrose petals and leaves have been padded with felt. For the butterfly wings, I first couched thin wire around the outlines of each of the four on a separate fabric, covered it with buttonhole stitch, and then filled-in with long-and-short stitches. Here's another view:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pink Frangipani

Delicately scented and pretty colours - whats not to love in a frangpani? Most homes in the armed forces have huge gardens and you'll most like find this beautful tree in one corner. I've spent many a hot suumer day hanging about in its cool shade, reading, or just day-dreaming. Embroidering it, was hence, filled with many childhood reminisces! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

The early morning bird

One of my most enduring childhood memories is watching the little Indian sparrow flitting about busily. They often spend much time hopping about on the ground, pecking, perhaps examining anything that even remotely resembles their food. Although one rarely finds them in cities these days, it is a pleasure to spot them in the outskirts, as industrious as ever.

Their attitude is much what I emulate - travelling, studying topics of interest, anything that can inspire my next creation. Which is why, when I decided to embroider a bird, it had to be the common (or not so common anymore) sparrow!