Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to Skulls

I hope everyone found Deborah's question about how I stitched Japanese hair on my geishas interesting, particularly since I reposted old information about how my canvases were worked.  My original blog is no longer easily available, so reposting was the best option to help Deborah.  My apologies to long time Blog readers to whom this was old hat and to those who aren't really that interested in stitching hair.

As you can see, I've been busy finishing side two of the cell phone case.  This has been rather relaxing after Cha which involved trying new techniques and coming up with stitches to interpret the lovely design.  I am about to start assembling this into a pouch.  I have Ultrasuede cloth (very thin version of Ultrasuede) in purple for the lining and a long chain for the handle.  The background above is the lining fabric but I forgot to include the chain in the photo.  Sorry.

Once everything is put together I'll add beads to the side seam where they were omitted when I stitched this.  I doubt I'll put trim on the edges as it will be carried a lot, so I'll have to be very careful to make a neat seam.  I'm going to adopt these mini stocking instructions to make it up.

Wish me luck!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Break for the Beauty Shop: Part Eight

To make a long story short, I ended up omitting a red ribbon in the Mother of the Bride's hair.  Here is what she looked like when finished.  The other geishas' hairstyles were done basically the same way.  I would sketch out each one, decide where to put the padding, and then how the long laid stitches should slant over the padding on my sketch.  In some cases I left room for the hair ornaments and in other cases I stitched right over them and added them later (or omitted them entirely).

Here are photos of each of the other geishas' hairstyles in the wedding party.  Each geisha's hair was done in Soy Luster but only the mother of the bride and the geisha in purple had Shadow Soy Luster hair in black-charcoal-gray.   I decided the other geishas were younger so their hair was black Solid Soy Luster.

Working from the left to right, here is the green bamboo geisha.  I thought of her as the Bride's spoiled rich girl friend.

Next is the blue Tomboy geisha.

Here is the Bride, all in pink.  She has the most elaborate headdress because she is the Bride!

The next geisha is the yellow Fan geisha, the Bride's closest friend.

The final geisha is the purple one.  This geisha I thought of as the Mother of the Bride's closest friend from when they were maiko (trainees) together.  The purple geisha has gone on to be famous while the Mother retired and started a family.

Here's another random photo of hairstyles-- to give you a sense of how they looked against the finished background.

Deborah, I hope this helps!  The two canvases sold for $650 at the ANG Auction and went home with a stitcher from Houston.  Lucky lady!

Jane, waving to all from CH where I have to get back to that cell phone case.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Break for the Beauty Shop: Part Seven

Reposting of April 29, 2006 article:

Attached is my scan of potential bows for the geisha's hair. Pretty horrible, aren't they? There's a row of red sequins that I found when hunting yet again for red ribbon (top), plus the red ribbon floss (middle) and red Flair (bottom) I dug out of The Stash. I also found a spool of DMC metallic (remember the Or Clair?) in cherry red which I used to gather the Flair. The ribbon floss refused to be gathered. It wickedly widened itself like a pair of running panty hose and glared at me. The Flair looks ok as it bunches up nicely but it is all wrong for the geisha, the wrong color, the wrong shape, etc. The ribbon floss has the beading needle piercing it and you can barely see the red DMC metallic which has no French name. It is merely Art. 270. Sad not to have a name, isn't it? Especially when your light gold sibling is Or Clair!

I did come back fromThe Stash with some tomato paste red Felicity's Garden. That's a tapestry wool/silk blend, very nice thread. Not much shine but it is wonderfully soft. I think spilled tomato paste is the perfect color for the background of Two Monsters, don't you? Check the picture--you know the drill--it's over there on the right. Wear sunglasses.   [This is a canvas I was about to start stitching.  Photo here.  I wasn't kidding about the sunglasses.]

I am considering a diamond shaped stitch for the background of Two Monsters. I like using stitches that echo shapes and those monsters are looking out from a diamond shape. 

Susan Portra has kindly diagrammed the stitch on her website [now defunct so no photos, sorry] which she calls Bargello Diamonds. I think I'm going to try it after I finish the geisha's outlining. That means a busy morning for me. Finish geisha outlining, check her in sunlight for missed stitches, take her picture for Blog posting tomorrow, put monsters on stretcher bars, test the Bargello Diamonds in the margins with the tomato red Felicity's Garden. That'll keep me busy for a while!

But first, more coffee.

Jane, slurping it down here in Chilly Hollow

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at