Saturday, 27 November 2010

Designing a manicure set pouch

About five years ago, when my second sister announced her decision to (finally) stop biting her nails, I promised her that, when she cracked it, I would buy her a nice manicure set as a reward (and to fill a new need!!). I confess that it slipped my mind at the time and when I did remember (long after she no doubt forgot - she doesn't have my elephantine memory, lucky girl!!) all I could find on the market were trendy teenage designs that I frankly wouldn't insult her with. So, I realised I was going to have to make one myself. I bought all the things I planned to put in it - scissors, emery boards, tweezers etc, and did a design.

OK, so the project went no further. Problem I think was that, unless there's a discernible deadline, things rarely happen with me, so it got kind of unintentionally shelved and the manicure tools hujng around on my bedroom shelf for a long time. Well, she gets married out in Taiwan next month and alongside the 'blue cushion cover' we agreed on as her wedding gift, I decided it was high time that this other one was made and it's a great occasion to give her a personal something. Naturally, now the time is finally upon me to do the project, I can't find the manicure stuff!! I've seen them since we moved and I put them somewhere just too safe!!

I looked at the design I drew back in '05 or '06 for the pouch and decided that it was cluttered and just wouldn't work after all, so set out to rework it yesterday afternoon. When I went with Rosie to a stitching and craft show once, she'd admired the stumpwork blackberries on display in one retailer's booth and said, 'They look good enough to eat!' So, I there and then decided to do some for her at some point. Marrying the two ideas, we get the following design process.

I don't go for drawing things out and then re-doing it until I like the layout, so instead I drew a box the correct size and cut out a few berries, leaves and a flower (yes, I know blackberry flowers are long gone before the berries ripen, but this is only art...) and played around with them until I had an arrangement I liked.

The next stage is to draw out the best layout and colour it in (got a chance to use the yummy Derwent Coloursoft pencils I treated myself to on my last full day in Taiwan). This is basically what I'll be stitching, only the flower will be moved to the right a little so as to be at the end of the stem and thus look more realistic. I consulted my 'British Wildlife' book quite a lot during this design!!

This is the floss toss showing the Madeira silks I plan to use, the beads for the fruit and 2 options of lining material. Now the pink looks a bit nicer with the antique white silk - just matches better, but I know Rose likes green more, so I won't decide on that one yet, but will see how it looks when the embroidery is done.

I've cut and washed the silk fabric (which I think shrank a bit!) and I just need to check with Rose that she will take her hubby's name before I put her future initials on the back. I can't see her not taking it, but you just can't be sure, so better safe than wasting time on a 'G' when an 'E' was required.=)

Stitching due to start over the weekend, all being well!


Rachel said...

That's a good way to design, much easier than redrawing it multiple times!

Creative Mind said...

your blog is soooooooooooooper are so talented...i love embroidery but i also love all type creativity..i am following your blog with love..i hope you will show us more wonderful projects..
stay blessed...