Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Canvas of the Month: Jane's Geisha

Kirk and Hamilton Geisha Glasses Case - Side Two
For this Canvas of the Month, Bonnie and I are doing something a little different than what we did in the past. We are working on a canvas set instead of coming up with ideas for the same canvas. Bonnie is doing one side of a glasses case and I'm doing the other, using two glasses case designs from Kirk and Hamilton. Here is the set. We don't know what dimensions are for these canvases so we assumed they were roughly 7 x 3 1/2 inches on 18 count canvas.

My canvas is pictured above. Here is what I came up with for this design, based on Bonnie's threads. I thought since this was a set, I ought to mirror what she was doing on one side of the case by reusing the same threads and stitches as much as possible on the other side.  Bonnie used Splendor silk for her geisha's kimono, cotton floss for the skin, wool for the hair, beads or metallics for hair sticks, silk or metallics for hair ornament, metallic for sunglasses, Mandarin floss for the background.  I'll try to match what she's done if possible.

I like to start with the background.  Since Bonnie used Mandarin floss here, I think I'll do the same, especially since Mandarin floss has some lovely shades of green.  For the wave pattern, I would stitch simple vertical stitches over the the pale yellow interiors and then cross stitch the green outlines.  Next I'd tent stitch her face, neck and hand in 3 plies of cotton floss (except for the lips) followed by stem stitch outlines for the ear, eyebrow and nose put right on top of the tent stitches.

Her lips can be stitched in two shades of pink Splendor silk in long stitches.  Using the same medium pink shade of Splendor, stitch the medium pink collar of her kimono in diagonal oblong upright cross stitch.  Couch the dark red outline in a matching darker pink metallic.

Now stitch the lighter blue edge of the kimono (also in Splendor silk) using diagonal cashmere.  Edge with couched medium blue perle, either silk or cotton.

I am not quite sure what the geisha has in her hand but it might be a hagoita paddle.  Regardless, I think it would be lovely stitched in  Nobuko stitch using a gold metallic.

Stitch the hair sticks using the same gold thread.  Tent stitch the smallest areas, then lay long horizontal or slanting stitches and pad over them with the same metallic in long vertical stitches.  Bead the rounded tips with gold beads, preferable faceted ones that match the gold metallic thread.

Turning to the geisha's hair, I'd use Burmilana in long and short stitch, being careful to follow the flow of real Japanese wigs and keeping the stitches shorter than usual.  This will look like the "thin wool" that Bonnie used, be durable and is also easy to stitch with.  DO NOT stitch the hair visible behind the half moon shaped hair ornament.  Instead, stitch the half moon in skip tent stitches with a dark brown/gold metallic in something light weight like #4 Kreinik braid or even Accentuate.  This will allow the black hair to show a bit just like it does the way it was painted.

Tent stitch the glasses using Kreinik's new holographic black thread.  You will get SHINE.  

The final area of the glasses case is the main floral pattern of the kimono.  I would totally bead the leaf and fruit patterns, both the white leaf and the blue veins and the white of the stems and round fruits.  Match the blue beads to a blue Splendor silk and tent stitch the background of the kimono.

This will add up to a durable set of geishas glamorous enough to contain your best sunglasses!

Many thanks to Bonnie for helping me with this project.

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