Friday, February 24, 2012

Beaded chain stitch insects


Apart from flowers, the beaded chain stitch method can be used to embroider insects’ bodies and wings.Here are a few examples:



A dragonfly



Butterfly



A bee?Well, almost!



This  spider’s my favourite.I can’t believe I’m saying this because I suffer from arachnophobia.My mother thinks that’s weird because she doesn’t know that millions of people worldwide suffer from this phobia.The body of this spider is embroidered with 2 different sizes of beads.Once, I had a spider brooch which was my favourite but who needs a brooch when you can embroider this easily!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beaded chain stitch flower


My experiment with chain stitch for this week’s TAST challenge produced a beaded chain stitch petal.This petal is really easy to stitch.


This is the completed beaded flower.Chain stitch was used to hold 2 beads on each row.


To begin, sew a single bead at the base of the petal.


Bring the needle up again at the starting point, go back into the bead.You’ll need 2 beads for the next row.


Go back into the bead as shown.Don’t pull through.


Take a stitch from the starting point, as shown.Wrap the thread under the needle and position each bead on either side of the needle.As you can see, this is going to be the first chain stitch.


Pull through.With 2 more beads for the next row, go back into the same point, take a stitch, wrap the thread under the needle and pull through (second chain stitch).Arrange the beads on each row before starting the next one.Work as many rows as you like.


For the tip, only a bead is needed.


A beaded chain stitch petal.


For this flower, more chain stitch rows were needed and the petals on both sides were slightly bended.


The calyx completed the flower (sorry, no green beads!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mirror work 3


This week’s TAST challenge is detached chain/lazy daisy stitch.Today I,m going to try to create a mirror/shisha work out of this stitch.


Draw a 2.5cm diameter circle.Fix a mirror(1.25cm diameter) in the middle of the circle as shown and bring out the needle.


Bring the thread over and under the foundation stitches and take a stitch from the starting point.Wrap the thread under the needle.This is the detached chain/lazy daisy part.


Pull the thread (when pulling, use the same tension all around to get beautiful, rounded center) and insert it back into the fabric to hold the loop.


One detached chain stitch made.


Come up near the first stitch.


Continue as above.


This is the completed mirror work.


Here I’d worked the stitches slightly apart and the tips, pointed.As you can see, I didn’t use a mirror.Instead, I drew a small circle and worked as the instructions given above.


Decorate the center with beads, sequins etc.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Peacocks in my backyard


It’s the middle of summer.There’re loads of work on the farm.Most of my time is spent on irrigating our land.Because of that, I hardly have time for anything else.Today’s post got nothing to do with embroidery but it’s related to my latest project  which I’m planning to show in my next post.
I live in rural India.For someone who had lived in a city almost all my life, this place is paradise.This is where the heaven meets earth.The quiet countryside, green fields and slow-paced life.But above all, this is the land where peacocks roam freely.
When we first moved here a few years ago, we came across a peahen and her eggs in our backyard.We tried to protect the peahen and waited eagerly for the eggs to hatch.One early morning, I woke up to a commotion outside our house.It was the peahen, making quite a noise.Venturing outside, I witnessed a scene that devastated me. Our dogs managed to trace the newly-hatched eggs and killed all the chicks.The peahen was on top of a tree, watching helplessly at her dead chicks.She made quite a noise the whole day as though mourning the death of her babies.Peacocks and peahens live in groups and are very protective of each other.They overly protect their offspring.When in danger, they can fly really high but the peachicks aren’t so lucky.They are easy preys to predators.Over the years, I,ve seen many peacocks in my backyard.Sadly, their number is dwindling.


These are young peahen and peacock.Peahens are considered dull-looking compared to peacocks but still there’s something about them that distinguish them from other birds.They’ve metallic green bodies.


This peacock used to make our backyard its permanent home.My son christened him, ‘Rhaimy’.Normally peacocks are very scared of humans but when I was about to take this photo, it was like Rhaimy was posing for me and as though he was saying, “Hey, take my picture and show the world how handsome I am!” I felt like a National Geographic photographer.Since we used to see each other often, Rhaimy knew that I wouldn’t harm him and there was an understanding between us.Peacocks love water so it was quite common to see him when I was irrigating my land.He would accompany me from a distance, perching on the compound wall.When he was around, I felt safe beacause peacocks kill and eat snakes.So I knew I was out of danger.Sadly, Rhaimy went missing a few months after this photo was taken.


This is another shot of Rhaimy.



Nowadays, this peacock could be seen around.He’s still young-that’s why the tail is shorter.We assume that he’s Rhaimy’s son thus calling him Rhaimy Jr.


This is the most recent photo of Rhaimy Jr.Look at the tail-it has grown (picture taken in the evening).

I miss Rhaimy’s presence this year but Rhaimy Jr. is around most of the time.Last week, I saw Rhaimy Jr.’s dance for the first time, exactly at the same spot where his ‘father’ used to dance.I‘ve pictures of Rhaimy Sr.’s dance but that will be for another post.
I consider my son lucky because he has so much of space to play,cycle or explore the nature.When he was running freely on the green field, it reminded me of a T.V. series that I used to watch 30 years ago.It was titled “The Little House On The Prairie” which was based on a true story that chronicled the life of a little girl, Laura Inggals (played by Melissa Gilbert), who lived with her family on the Canadian Prairie (if I’m not mistaken).They were poor but lived with honesty and dignity.Such T.V. programs are rare these days.
Living on paradise comes with a price-you’ve to work really hard from dawn to dusk.But the great thing is, at the end of the day, you’ll be too tired to think of anything else and sleep comes naturally- no sleeping pills, no prescription medicines.The next morning, you’re up again to the crow of cock to start another day.No matter how hard life is, there’s nowhere else that I would rather be than this place I call home….sweet home.