This is Crystal, who passed away about a year ago. She was owned by good friends Pat and Bob and is very much missed. Pat and Bob have had boxers most of the years that we've known each other, but Crystal was special. She was very bonded to Pat-and Pat to Crystal. The original picture for this was taken by Judy Wood, who does amazing critter photos.
I've never done an animal before, or a person for that matter, and this took quite some time. Eyes are tough so I did them first by hand. No point in spending hours and hours stitching only to have to scrap the whole thing because the eyes were messed up. However, this turned out ok I think. Now Pat and Bob haven't seen this yet, so I hope they like it. I'm always nervous when someone looks closely at my work. You would think I'd be over that by now. Nope. Maybe never!
As always, this piece was done with an ordinary sewing machine - NOT an embroidery machine. It was stitched free motion on plain cotton. My process involves many techniques and those change depending on what I'm stitching. Frequently, my backgrounds take more time to produce than the subject of the work. I've used photo transfer at times and have no problems with doing that. I've transferred a more exciting sky, for example, in exchange for one that's not as interesting. Also I've photo transferred water. It's my practice that if I can't improve it with stitching, then I don't stitch it. Simple as that.
I'm going to be very busy for the next several weeks getting ready for March. I'll be speaking at one of the meetings of the S'toon Quilt Guild, as well as teaching a two day thread painting workshop. As well, I've decided to enter Gardenscape once more and am very much looking forward to seeing all the really great people I met last year. I also have to prepare several pieces for a gallery, and decide on an entry to a large exhibition. On top of this, I'd like to get this blog to a place where I have some pictures posted and all the usual blog stuff that I don't have up and running yet.
I've been asked whether or not I do commissions and/or teach. The answer is yes to both. In fact, as mentioned above, I have a two day workshop coming up on March 1 and 2 that I'm very much looking forward to.
Alrightee! That's it for now. I'm not sure what day I'll be posting on, but possibly I'll aim for Friday. That way I can include anything that I've done over the week, or can complain about what I haven't done over the week. And I don't know about you, but this winter can end any time now! Talk soon.