Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blog Note on Photos

Before I forget, I need to mention that the new format for Blog doesn't have as wide a margin as the old format I was using until I accidentally pushed the wrong button and deleted it.  (Yes, I have a backup for that format but I decided to change it a bit.)  This means that photos which were fully visible in the old format may not be in the new.  Any photo that heads an article has a border around it.  If I uploaded a larger photo than will fit the new format, the right edge's border will be missing.  Click on that photo and you'll see the larger image.

Actually, clicking on any photo should reveal a larger size unless I deliberately made the largest size visible.  Hope this doesn't disconcert anyone!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

What Is Wrong With This Background Part Two

I really appreciated all the input I received in the Comments when I asked Blog readers to try and find the problem with the background of the bra canvas.  You guys found a problem I didn't know about--I never realized that some of the deer have longer front legs than others!  (I'll fix that tonight before I continue the t-stitches around the deer.)  For folks with dyslexia, the deer legs all look alike until someone points this out.  I'm grateful for your sharp eyes.  I suspect I made the mistake on one deer and didn't catch it, then looked at the long-legged deer and copied his stitching on his neighbors.  The moral is to do your counting from your chart, not from the motifs you've already done.

However, this isn't the problem I know I have and I am quite pleased you didn't see it.  The end vertical column of deer on the right hand side is stitched with a different thread and a slightly different color than all the other columns of deer.

The bulk of the leaping deer are stitched in Medici color #8505 which is tan.  I had a full skein of this and thought it should be enough for the deer.  I think it would have been except that I decided to use cross stitch instead of half cross stitch.  Somehow the fact that I was going to use twice the amount of thread than I originally planned didn't register in what I laughingly refer to as my brain!

So I rummaged around in the stash and found a similar tan in Burmilana #3744. It is slightly more yellowish in hue but a good match.  I did the right hand column deer in it using tent stitches instead of cross stitch except for the top partial deer which is in cross stitch with the top \ stitch done in my Medici to camouflage the fact that I am using a different color.  The bottom / stitch is in my Burmilana.

You may be able to see the color difference in the third deer from the top in that right hand column.  Working from the bottom up, I added the top \ stitch in Medici but the top half of the deer is just Burmilana in underlying / tent stitches.

Of course I could have posted an SOS here and on the ANG email list and someone would have scrounged up a skein of Medici 8505 for me, but there are other ways of coping when you run out of thread, especially when you are using cross stitches.  It seemed a good idea to go another route here in case you find yourself in the same fix in the future.

When I get to the tap pants' background, I'll probably stitch all the deer in tent stitches and then randomly top some of those / stitches with Medici or with Burmilana.  That will hide the thread change even more.

Since no one spotted the color differences and I can barely tell myself even knowing where to look, this workaround will do well.

Besides, isn't it fun to know that a canvas with a camouflage theme has camouflaged thread in the background?  LOL

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Monica's Background Question

Yesterday Monica posted a question in the Comments section.  It is worth talking about at some length but I decided I would do that here instead of putting my answer in the Comments with her question since a lot of folks don't look at Comments.  Here is what Monica asked:

"Jane, I have a question. I have tried to search your blog and got several good ideas on this topic but I am wondering about the philosophy you have adopted of stitching the background first before the rest of the piece. Is it overall because you do not want to inadvertently disturb the decorative stitching you have done while working a background last? Is it because you want to have an outline done to follow as you stitch and so that decorative stitches that edge up to the background will not be “taken down” by having to stitch a background stitch in the same hole after they are done? I was always taught to do it last, especially if it was a light thread but I am now hearing different schools of thoughts and I want to venture to try this on a major piece I am about to work on and want to try to wrap my head around the reasoning before I start, otherwise, if I am not committed, I will not follow thru with it that way. Can you help me by sharing this thought process? Thank you so much."

Monica, I like to stitch the background first because I like to stitch from the background to the foreground.  But that is sort of like saying that I like to eat my vegetables entirely off my plate before eating my meat.  It is my personal preference.  I feel that it helps me keep the background in its proper place (which is less dominant) by doing so.  I also like not having tons of background to stitch at the end.  If I do as much background as I can stand early, the canvas seems not to drag on and on after the more interesting foreground is stitched.  I do occasionally abandon a project, but not often these days as I am not bored to tears by miles of background before I can finish a piece.

Sometimes there are good reasons for stitching the background first (or last).  I deliberately stitched my tap pants canvas before I did the background because I hadn't found a good frame yet and didn't know how much background to cover.  But I'm reverting to my more normal practice of Background First with the bra canvas in the set because I have my frames now and know exactly how much background I need.  

All the reasons Monica stated are good ones for doing the background first.  There are also often reasons for doing the foreground first.  I remember when I taught myself to needlepoint in 1988 that almost everyone did the foreground elements of the design first and then tackled the background, but it seemed to me at the time to just be habit.  After I while I started doing background first  unless there was a good reason not to, as that just suited my personal preference.  

My own opinion is that unless there is a good reason to alter one's usual way of working, you should stick to it.  Obviously whatever order you normally stitch in --background first or foreground first-- works for you and you are comfortable with it.  You may find it makes sense to alter the way you approach a specific canvas, but I believe that in general stitchers can work either way.  I just like to start with the background because it seems logical to me.  

It might not seem logical to you, or you may have a canvas where this doesn't work.  It all depends....

I'd like to know what everyone else thinks about this topic.  It might change my mind and it certainly will help Monica clarify her thinking about how she approaches a painted canvas.  

Monica, thank you for the thought-provoking question.  I hope you don't mind that I quoted you here for everyone to read but I couldn't reach you to ask permission first.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow