Blackwork Canna Lily


I was a bit quite last week as I went to the dentist, to sort out my wisdom tooth, & ended up on antibiotics. I’m ok with antibiotics, but they make me feel very tired & a bit nauseous. So progress has been slow. I’ve managed to get the basics of the Blackwork stitches in. I think the next job will be the outline, followed by lots of fiddling about with the shading.


A dyslexic problem with Blackwork embroidery


I’m not sure how many people know I am dyslexic, I didn’t find out until I was part way through my physics degree, when a tutor looked over my shoulder at my lab book & stated; “ sorry I didn’t know you’re dyslexic”. Follow by a brief conversation about my lab book looking just like his. I am thankful for him pointing it out. I thought I was just bad a spelling & hated reading out loud.

Forward on to the Blackwork castle, some of the visual distortions came back. I found it very difficult to count & get the shading correct.

Blackwork embroidery of Cooling Castle in Kent UK

I happened to mention to one of the embroidery tutors about how difficult I had found it , compared to the Whitework, & that I happened to be dyslexic, & would normally work on lilac paper. We had a conversation about coloured fabric & my ability to to shade correctly. I found lilac linen & l’ve framed up my small slate frame. I found a photo of my Lilly I grew in the summer.

Blackwork design tracing

To transfer the design on to the linen we tend to use the tacking method. The design in drawn on to tissue paper, & then tacked on normally with a pale blue machine thread, but I have lilac linen instead on white.

Tacking through the tissue paper
After the tissue paper is revived.

After a bit of sampling, I decided on a stitch

Stitch sample.

Gold work almost finished

Gold work embroidery puffin

My puffin is finished ✅

He really needs something to stand on to ground him, otherwise he’s just floating around in midair.

I need to have a think about the rocks & sea pinks in the photo I used, but also to check I have not missed anything from assessment criteria.

Watercolour Fox


Continuing with my woodland animal theme, I finished my Fox.

For my next painting, I have two photos I really like a squirrel or a stag. The stag is within a landscape, & the squirrel is standing on a fence post. Both involve painting the whole body, so a different challenge, that will push me forwards, as I regain my practice.

Any suggestions dear readers stag or squirrel.

Gold work Puffin update


Slowly progressing , I’ve finished working on the wing for now. It’s time to work on the area under the wing & the feet. I need to start thinking about giving him something to stand on, in the original photo I took my design from he’s standing on a rocky outcrop with sea pinks. Time to think about that too