Today was one of those "not quite sure" days. Not quite sure what I wanted to do, not quite sure why I feel so unsettled. I wish I had a tapestry on the go – I just feel like sitting down and doing some needlework to settle my mind! Unfortunately I finished my last one (a gift for my daughter) about a year ago and haven’t yet found a canvas I like. I’m not capable of doing counted cross-stitch – I tried once and made a horrible mess of it and spent more time unpicking than I did stitching (finally giving it up as a hopeless task!), so am reliant on finding good printed tapestry canvases.
However, once I have the basic picture, I’m quite creative: I usually take no notice whatsoever of the suggested colour scheme, and inevitably complicate the colours a lot (one autumn woodland scene, reminiscent of a Turner painting, I did with nearly 40 colours when the colour scheme said about 15!). They do tend to take me a long time: the record is about 5 years but that was when I was studying fulltime and it is a very big, very complicated canvas! I always use tapestry/embroidery floss as I like the way it catches and reflects the light, and it’s lovely to handle.
I’ve done quite a lot of canvases now: the first one (a pair of fawns) I did as a teenager of about 13; followed by a cat with kittens (now given to our goddaughter); a sunset with silhouetted trees, ducks etc; Jesus as the Good Shepherd (the first time I really complicated the colours); a pair of fruit still-lives (small ones – pears and apples); the “Turner” autumn scene; Mary; a huge volcanic tropical island beach sunset (very complicated – nearly every stitch in the breaking waves was a different colour, and that was in the original scheme!); and a Madonna and Child for our daughter. They all tend to be quite big…
Update: just been on TradeMe and found a seriously lovely tapestry, 50x40cm (big!), adapted from a painting from one of the old masters but can’t quite place the artist. Reminds me of Michelangelo! Great price, great picture. Very happy! It’ll give me something to do in lonely motels when I’m travelling for work, in and around assignments and homework once university studies begin again!