Tuesday, September 15, 2020




And More Stitching....

About the only thing I accomplished this week, Dear Readers, was more stitching on the Medieval Ladies Tapestry. You saw last week that I had changed the headdress of the Lady on the left to look more Medieval. The Middle Ages are considered to be the years between 500 AD and 1500 AD, so there were more than a few centuries of Fashion to consider. But Tapestries as we know them - large woven "pictures" for hanging on the walls - were only begun around 1400AD. That reduces the clothing options quite a bit, but it includes years of very "outlandish" headgear for both men and women. For most of this century women covered their hair unless they were bathing, or unless they were young maidens. As with all things, generalizations are dangerous, but more often than not the women portrayed in Medieval art wore "headdresses" often covered with a "coif" or veil of linen. 

Here is an example of a Medieval illumination 
depicting feasting nobles, dated around 1470.
You can see the variety and elaborate nature of the head coverings.
All of this is by way of saying I was still not satisfied
 with the "hairstyle" of the Lady on the right, in my Medieval Tapestry.
I was hoping I could "unstitch" some of her hair
 and maybe convert it to a "turban" style.
I spent quite a while trying to undo the hair
 and gave up before I had ruined everything.
I decided instead to just add the "veil" 
and a narrow band around her crown.

Of course, it is nearly impossible to see the pale gray
 of the "veil" against the white unstitched cloth.
It will really only show when I stitch the background.

And then because I was getting carried away 
with inventing details, Dear Readers,
 I wanted to add something to the draped skirt she is holding.
Why would she be holding it thus?
Perhaps she is gathering blossoms?
Of course she is gathering blossoms!
Her Mother (in a more old fashioned headdress)
 is handing her some flowers...
She, young Lady of Modern persuasion and barely covered hair...
 is saying she has enough already...

Her skirt is full!
And to make these dots look like blossoms, 
I had to add the green of the leaves...
First the darker green and then the pale green.
I know, you can barely tell!
But I did want to see how the colors would all look together.

And here I am moving on with the stitching
 the pale highlights on the skirts...
I think it is looking more like I wanted it to.
And that's all I did, Dear Readers....
Stitching and More Stitching!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Filling The Gaps.....


 Details..... Details.....

I did a lot of Repairing things last weekend, Dear Readers, fixing gaps in the Castle stonework and adding missing stitches to the Medieval Ladies Tapestry. It was one of those satisfying stretches of actually making things come out right after all! Imagine That! I have a tendency when stitching the Petit-point to want to get all of one color in place before adding another one.... this only works on small designs, I am discovering. The trick I am learning is that you can leave one color thread "dangling".... just unthread the needle and let it drape to the side while you "work" for a while with another color. This is much more like painting and easier to fix the missing stitches before you have gone too far. I am learning! As I was fixing the missing brown stitch in the Lady's cuff, I found a missing pink stitch, and one that was supposed to be pink but I had stitched brown.... I know you don't need to hear all of this... but I had to unstitch quite a bit and re-do it. 

Fortunately, I had not gone too far and was able to get the stitches right.
And over in the Castle Stables, 
you recall I only had one more "Arch support" to complete... 
but it turned out to have an even wider gap than the back wall!

I don't know how I didn't notice it for all those years!
It needed filling the same way as the previous one...

A long strip of "ceiling" glued in the gap 
and then covered (mostly!) with the "stone" pieces.

You can see the rough edges where the strip didn't glue exactly right.
But this is the "camera's" view... 
I can't get my head this close to actually see it.
 And I also added the missing "stones" 
to the Stable Door surround...

They had to be fitted one at a time.
It is so hard to see back there
and I couldn't measure the gap 
and hold a stone in place at the same time.

And you might have thought, Dear Readers, 
that the Guard Room was already completed...
But once I had "strengthened" the corner post in the Stables....

The corner of the Guard Room looked weak.

So I started to "strengthen" it too...

Here you can see the stronger corner.... 
just needing the grout lines painted.
I thought it looked Great....
Except that the "capital" now was out of balance.... 
and I had never been satisfied with it in the first place.

Here you can see the close-up "before" shot....
(What a mess of miss-matched pieces!)

Here it is "after" the capital has been remedied.
This was a really complicated piece to shape!
I am really pleased with how it turned out!

And on the other wall..... Over the Door to the Great Hall...

There was an arch that hadn't been added yet...
(I didn't get a good "before" picture)
Here the stones are added, 
waiting for the grout lines to be painted.

And the final "stones" over the stable doors....

And even the small side door was finished....

And then I had to paint all the Grout lines....

The Guard Room ceiling arch....

The "strengthened" Corner Post....
(So Satisfying to see...!)

The Dungeons ceiling arch.....

Stables left hand side.....

Right hand side....
(I even added the door handles!)

The back wall.....
I can't tell you how satisfying it is to have this done! 

And as for the Ladies Tapestry, Dear Readers,
I am making changes to the original design.
I wanted the Ladies to look more Medieval....

I know it is hard to see.... but I am adding a 
"coif" to the headdress on the left.
This requires adding a new pale gray thread color,
 because the off white flesh tone needed to stand out against it.
It won't be until I am doing the background color
 that we will be able to tell how it really will look.

But I think it will work!
She already looks much more Medieval to me!
I know I have not shown you the kit design picture....
I'll do that next week....
For now, Dear Readers, 
I am Happy with all these little details.... 
Filling all those Gaps!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

More Of The Same.....




Stones and Stitches.... 

You Might recall, Dear Readers, that I was needing to unstitch a good portion of my work on this Medieval Ladies Tapestry. It is another kit by Janet Granger. I have indulged my current passion for Petit-point stitching by purchasing a whole bunch of her kits. As I am gradually moving on to stitching larger items that require a Real embroidery frame (I feel so Grown up!) I have at last also purchased a stand to hold the heavier frames. It does take some getting used to! But more importantly, I have to confess that I am also altering her kit design just a tiny bit. (I have done this a couple times before now as well.) In this case the Lady on the left had a hairstyle which I thought was too modern looking.... I wanted to emphasize the Medieval nature of the project, so I changed the hairstyle a little bit. I will show you the details later. For now you can see that at least I have positioned her correctly in relation to the Lady on the right! You would be surprised how much difference one row to the right or left can make in the end! I am double checking my "counting" constantly with this one.... and "reverse stitching" quite a bit too! But progress is being made.

Here you can see a bit of the stand that holds the frame.... 
I will have to take a better shot of it.
And the ladies are beginning to look like themselves!
I have already identified a place where
 I missed just one stitch of the brown thread....!
 Just one stitch!
I have to figure out how to get just one stitch in where it is missing.

As for the Stones.... progress is slow.
I thought for sure I would get the arch supports
 in the Stables all finished this weekend... 
but then I ran out of the lumber I was using....
just two "stones" shy of completing one of the arches.
I thought I had lots more of the same material,
 but the dimensions turned out to be just a tiny bit different!
They were even labeled as the same size "stock"
 but when placed side by side you could clearly tell
 they were not the same!

I went back to the local Home Depot to get some more
 if I could find any the right size,
 but I couldn't find any more.  
When I got home I found one more piece in my stash that was the right size!
I swear I had looked five times and not found it!
So I was able to complete the arch with the same size stock after all.
And I have enough to make the arch on the remaining wall as well.
As you can see, none of the "grout lines" have been painted yet.

And once the Vault support stones were in place,
 I could continue with the door surround stones.
 These will need to be fitted carefully against the Vault support arch.
I still have not added the door handles to these doors!

Here is the Stables as it stands today.
The left side Arch Support stones still need to be added.

And the stones for the Door Surround in the side door too.
And all the grout lines will need repainting.
But, Truly, Dear Readers, I can't tell you
 how happy I am with all this Stone Work!
I turn the Castle lights on at night and just sit in front of it
 and move from room to room
 admiring the sturdy Castle-like feel of the structure!
Doors.... Windows.... Shutters..... Vaulted Ceilings...... 
it is just so Wonderfully Medieval!

And here is a better (sort of) picture of the Embroidery stand....

It has a whole series of adjustable joints
 so you can position it in a great variety of ways 
to suit your every need!

And the Tapestry as it now stands....
I still have a long way to go.
But that is the Fun of it, Dear Readers!
It might be just More of the Same....
But Stitch by stitch and Stone by stone
It adds up to a Whole Castle....
And I am Loving how it is turning out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Indecision Overcome.....




More Re-doing.....

I am Sure you won't be surprised, Dear Readers, to see more of the Castle Stone Re-building project in all it's rough and imprecise details, since that has been the story for a while in my Mini World. The Vaulted ceiling in the Dungeon also needed its arch supports strengthened. Above you can see the beginnings....  I have turned on the Flash for my camera so you can actually see what I am talking about. It makes everything look horrible... and you can clearly see all the inadequacies of my earlier construction and the irregularities of my painting! I hope you can overlook the piles of bones.... this is the "Ossarium" for the ancient Chapel which has stood here for Ages. Fortunately, adding the "stone" vault supports has become rather Formulaic.... that is to say easy... and it went quickly with no problems.

All it needs now is the grout lines added.

And this would be the final arch to re-do.... 

unless I decided to re-do the Stables too.

Which you can see here.

And I left them for Last because I was Undecided! 

The painted arches looked fine! (I told myself.)

It is way too deep in there to reach! (I told myself.)

Nobody can even See way back there! (I told myself)

But the Stable Door needs its stone framework done! (I told myself.)

And that will make the Arch supports look terrible! (I admitted reluctantly.)

I didn't want to leave this as the Only Castle Room unfinished! (I reminded myself.)

And the arch supports aren't that difficult! (I reminded myself.)

Which meant I would have to knuckle down and just get it done!

But when I started to add the arch support stones 

I made an alarming discovery....

The vaulted ceiling didn't quite meet the wall!

 And the crack was wide enough to make adding the "stone" supports tricky... 

they could disappear into that crack!

(This picture was taken after I had already added supports 

to the corner posts... hiding part of the gap!)

You can see here, more clearly, the added corner posts... 

I decided that the foundation itself needed to be "strengthened".

Otherwise the stronger "vaulting" would look out of scale.

And with the last section of the "post" added... it just needs the grout painted.

Then I added a strip of "vaulted ceiling" to the crack....

 (painted the dark gray) 

and then I could add the support stones!

Of course, I also needed to "strengthen" the other corner post.....

 back there where it was Really Really difficult to reach.... 

let alone see what I was doing!

Which is why I only managed to get half way across one section of the Vaulting!

But I am glad I decided to tackle this.

 I am making the whole structure better in the process!

And that is all I am going to show for now, Dear Readers, 

because I am not enjoying the New Blogger!

I have not managed to make my pictures fit.....

Which is more than annoying!

Well.... I'll just show you the next stitching I have started ..... 

although it is requiring re-doing as well....!

It is a Medieval style wall hanging....

but I counted wrong when starting the second lady's hair....

I am having to unstitch all of her!

And my frame isn't really big enough... 

so I've ordered another one!

Re-doing seems to be my new Normal!

I hope you all are faring well and making minis....!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Stitches And Stones......




Soothing Patterns.....

I Don't Know about you, Dear Readers, but I am finding the rhythmic process of stitching to be a very Soothing activity in these trying times. The minute I finish one piece of stitching I want to start another. And it is almost the same with the Stones for the Castle doors and windows. There is a sameness to the construction and a predictable outcome, with minor variations. I don't have to think too hard or figure out complicated new processes, I just need to keep applying myself to the job of making little "stones" to fit the door surrounds. It's a good thing that I have a whole batch of little stitching kits waiting for me, and a Whole Castle full of unfinished doors and windows! The current batch of "stones can be seen under construction below......

Exciting....! Right?

Well, there was a Little bit of Drama about installing them.....

I had to Negotiate with Slitherwing to get access to the Dungeon doors!

I can't reveal the Terms we agreed upon.....

But I managed to get the stones done.

 I think the doors are looking good, 

all they need are the grout lines repainted.

Slitherwing didn't want me to get any closer to the Dungeon....

Here you can see where I need to repaint the grout lines around the doorways... 

but the Stones are in place.

It is really difficult to reach the Inner Dungeon

 even without Slitherwing in the way!


As for the Stitching, Dear Readers, 

The Prayer Rug is coming along quickly. 

(It is a small carpet)

It is such a Beautiful pattern!

I Love the colors, the theme, the Patterns...

I want to make more and learn to design them too!

But Meanwhile, I will just keep Stitching...!


And as for the New Blogger.... Grrrrr.....

I am coming to the conclusion that I will have to redesign the whole blog template....

 it appears to be the wrong structure for the new photo format,

 and I don't know how to adjust it. 

So don't be too surprised if things are different here one of these days...

When I figure it out.....