Last year (or was it the year before?) Stitch magazine, published by the UK Embroiderers' Guild had a project in it that attracted me. It was tiny embroidered "fairy shoes". I lingered over my friend's magazine, thinking that I'd love to have a go, but deciding that they were probably far too fiddly, and that I'd get incredibly frustrated with trying to make them. As I use embroidery as my relaxation, frustration levels need to be kept as low as possible! Anyway, my friend made them and they were gorgeous. Then, for our embroiderers' group Christmas party, we were each told to bring our embroidery gear and some beads because we were going to make a mystery project. Yes, it was the shoes! Well...one, anyway. And, of course, it was easy...and very satisfying. This is the result of my first attempt - the inside of the shoe still needs to be painted with gold paint, to disguise the stitching. But, isn't it cute? I've decided that it belongs to a Christmas Elf, which the Danes call "nisser", so I'll finish it by attaching a gold thread to the heel, so it can be hung on the tree.
My local embroidery group organised a Christmas Gift Exchange at our Christmas Party. The gifts were to be handmade, and that made me get back into the sewing room and actually make something, instead of procrastinating as I've been doing for months. (Although I also had a very busy life from August until the end of the year. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!) Anyway, I had borrowed a book from the library, after spotting it while walking through to a meeting in the Library Meeting Room. Unfortunately, I have returned the book, and can't find the piece of paper where I wrote the title, of course...I'll have to go and find out. Anyway, one of the projects in there caught my interest, as it is similar to a technique that I have used before. That is, fusing and machine stitching fabrics to a base fabric, making lots of lovely texture, and then painting over all of it. This technique not only used hand stitching as well, but suggested using layers of paint - a slightly different tone was used each time. This book cover is the result. And fortunately, the recipient was thrilled with it.