I did a lot of stitching this week, since we don't have any litigation going to trial in the next few weeks at work, which means I get to take lunch and leave on time, leaving a lot more time for stitching. Mary Ann Hoover. Mary Ann's colors are a tad gloomy, so I switched out to something brighter, which is what brought me back to Janet Gibson.
Look what arrived in the mail all the way from Canada! (The Essamplaire). Lady Needlework! Tom decided I needed to stitch her. No small understaking, our lady!
Here's a closeup (from the large 2-page stitching photo) of her face and the serpent twining around her wrist. While it's an unknown symbol of something, I can guess that it's the needlework serpent, which has us under its spell. Needlework serpent also makes a pretty nifty thread snip. Speaking of thread, there are approximately 55 colors of AVAS included in the kit.
The daunting part: probably 50% of this picture is done in queen stitches. Queen stitches make up the ground, most of the flowers, the bugs and the trees. The sky is stitched in a diamond satin pattern. The lady, the castle, the uncorn and the lion, as well as some other small elements, are stitched in tent or continental stitch, over one. In fact, all of the squares on the chart represent one thread, not two. I'm thinking of converting the pattern over-two using counted cross for all but a few of the flowers. It will spoil some of the nice texture, but it might save my sanity. It will also double the size of the finished picture (currently 15.5 x 13.75"). I've been griping about the size of my finished designs, since I have so many bare walls, and stitching on 40 count means that even the largest, most elaborate project turns out too small to be anything but part of a group for impact.
Stitching flair: mica! The mica is cut and shaped to fit the windows of the castle in the background, then they are stitched into place. Fun but nerve-wracking, since the mica flakes and crumbles easily.