Christmas presents, scribbles and inspirations

Did you get any stitchy presents? I did! (I also got an OS Map Quiz Book – my husband knows me well.) Eldest and daughter-in-law (and, according to the gift tag, baby grandson, although I’m not sure how much he was involved in the whole process) gave me three of the RSN Essential Stitch Guides: Crewel Work, Silk Shading and Canvaswork. With the Goldwork book that was already on my craft room bookshelves I now have expert information about all four modules of the Certificate at my fingertips. (You will note that I picked canvaswork instead of blackwork, which is the other option for the fourth module; I greatly admire some of the blackwork that talented stitchers create but for now I have no particular desire to create any myself.)

My Christmas present: three RSN Stitch Guides All four Stitch Guides together

Incidentally, I do know that the RSN have brough out this absolutely amazing book containing all their Essential Stitch Guides. It’s a great idea as some of the information occurring in every guide (for example about dressing a slate frame) can be given just once instead of being repeated in every section, and it is also a cheaper option than buying all the individual Guides; but I really like the fact that the individual guides aren’t very large, and especially that they come with a spiral binding which means I can open the appropriate volume at the relevant page for whatever I’m working on, put it down flat beside me, and it will stay there, ready for me to consult while I’m stitching. For me, these will be working books.

Anyway, of course I had to have a good browse through them all on Boxing Day, and as I was looking at the various stitches in the canvaswork book I just had to scribble down a few ideas for a sea shore design.

Scribbles for a sea shore canvas project

By the way, anyone who watched “The Snail and the Whale” on Christmas Day will see where at least one bit of inspiration came from smiley.

Inspiration from the Snail and the Whale

This sea shore idea isn’t entirely new; when I was sketching and collecting images for the Jacobean module I also noted down any ideas that didn’t quite fit the technique or the brief but might be usable for other modules. Bearing in mind that at that point I fully intended to stop after Jacobean and goldwork (and I’m still not 100% decided on this matter) I’m not sure why on earth I kept thinking of things that would look good in canvaswork, especially as that was definitely the least interesting module as far as I was concerned, considered an option only because blackwork so definitely wasn’t. But there you have it – an idea for some sort of sea/beach combination with “bits” on the beach (both animate and inanimate) was born.

Earlier scribbles for a sea shore idea

That is still the most likely type of design for me to use if ever I do get round to the canvaswork module, but there is another contender. It would need quite a bit of work – simplifying, deciding on textures etc. – but wouldn’t these oystercatchers make a striking design? I photographed them at Buckler’s Hard a couple of years ago, and they are just such distinctive birds.

Oystercatchers at Buckler's Hard may be a good topic

Or perhaps an oystercatcher could invade that beach scene…?

7 comments on “Christmas presents, scribbles and inspirations

  1. Oystercatchers, which we find in abundance in these parts, have a lot of character. Plus an orange beak, to warm the heart (cockles?) of an expatriot Netherlander. And I did wonder how you’d decide about modules for the RSN Certificate. It’s clear that the birds are telling you fairly clearly. Canvas work has undergone the sort of transformation that cross-stitch did all those years ago in regard to subjects, colour and (above all) texture. Could be fun.

    Pleased you had a lovely, and stitchy-receiving Christmas (and I’m with you re. maps; love ’em). So did I, but that’s for another place. Best New Year when it comes.

  2. As you say a bit of orange never comes amiss (see Jacobean module) 🙂 – but I am fairly enamoured of my beach/sea idea as well, and I think that would be seen from above – I mean it would have a sort of drone perspective (or bird’s eye, if the bird were looking straight down!) and I don’t know whether I could make the oystercatcher fit in with that.
    Happy New year to you and yours as well, and enjoy your stitchy presents!

  3. My stitchy gifts included an RSN Guide to Goldwork and also Ruth Chamberlins Beginners Guide to Goldwork. As another coincidence the wedding sampler I am cross stitching for next spring has 2 starfish holding hands and a lovely poem – the couple are keen surfers. I agree with Serinde canvaswork has come a long way from the days of having acres of beige background petitpoint to stitch after the interesting design bit was done.

  4. Louise, you should hear Gary Parr at Fiber Talk on the subject of acres of beige tent stitch 🙂 – by the way, it is interesting to see how American needlepoint/canvaswork has developed into a much more geometric direction than the pictorial UK style.
    Enjoy the goldwork books! Will you be including the bits of goldwork in the SAL?

  5. I have Fibre Talk bookmarked to listen to sometime soon. The Sal is going to be stitched in both versions including goldwork. The materials are all ready for next week.

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