Below is a close up of the lower leaf section, (about the only close up shot that came out well!!!)
The finished item from various angles:
Worked in DMC and Anchor stranded cottons, and Mill Hill petite seed beads.
You may have noticed that the first, in the hoop pictures didn't feature any tiny dewdrop beads. Well, there's a story behind that! When the stitchery was finished, I decided that it didn't need any other trims and decided just to make it up without beading etc. However....
When I was pressing the flatwork from behind, the silk went all puckery and odd. I knew it was nothing to do with the backing or the iron being too hot, but I didn't know how to solve it. So, I tried steaming it with the iron. That's when our delightful and rather ancient steam iron decided to spew out jets of rusty water all over my precious embroidery! You can imagine the howl of horror I let out! I'm glad Sir was in the States at an academic conference at the time as I may otherwise have wasted time taking it to show him the disaster. As it was, I ran straight to the bathroom washbasin to rinse out as many of the marks as I possibly could under the cold tap. I was more relieved than I can tell you that the vast majority of them came straight out. Phew!
Next I pressed what I could of the un-embroidered areas with the iron on cool (and steam OFF!) and then put the whole thing back in it's original hoop and set it in front of my study fan heater to dry again. Not only did it dry nicely, but it also pulled out all those original funny puckers!! I was left with one or two light brown marks that most people wouldn't have noticed, but that weren't good enough for me. So, I got out the petite seed beads and put one on top of each tiny mark! I added a few more in certain unmarked areas to even things up a bit.
I won't try your patience with all the hassles incurred whilst putting it together, I'll only say that I had neither time, desire nor inclination to add the braids I'd made. It really didn't add anything to the finished product and I was feeling a spot on the stressed side by this time. Anyway, into a Tesco zip-lock freezer bag and then into a gift box it went, ready to hand over to the happy couple.=)
When I'd managed to calm fully down, I felt quite proud of my work and although one or two of the friends I told the near miss story to said, 'You shouldn't tell people that', I realised I wasn't only enjoying having a tale to tell, I was also rather proud of having done a good rescue job.=) LOL!
Here's the piece 'in action':
And here's the happy couple after the ceremony posing for their promised photo with their gift.=)
I really did learn huge amounts from this project. As usual, that was more what not to do next time than anything, but it was a good learning process, if a little tense at times!
Now then, what's next up....?
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2014