Sunshine on gloomy winter evenings

The days seem so short at this time of year. Cold and dark, the winter evenings seem to stretch out for longer than the hours record, and it makes me want to hunker down. In need of honing my embroidery skills for my Creative Practice, I set out to make something to brighten my spirits. 

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I started with a sample of linen I had dyed, somewhat unsuccesfully, with red cabbage leaves. I say unsuccessfully, because I was hoping for something much more vibrant instead of the pastel lavendar I ended up with. 

I folded the sample in two and manipulated the top layer into folds using running stitches and concealed buttons and secured the whole thing in a hoop.

To give me the colour hit I needed, I was clearly going to have to raid the kitchen cupboards. I boosted the background with some vinegar from a jar of pickled red cabbage (keeping a theme going!) which I dripped on, before dribbling on water mixed with spirulina powder.

My dear late dad had been an enthusiastic cross-stitcher in his later years and it felt special to be able to use some of the threads he had accumulated and which had not been touched in the years since they had come into my possession.

Such a lot of choice! But a great chance to play! 

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No constraints, just experimental stitching, to see what worked or didn’t.

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It felt like a lovely way to bring some life and colour into the winter gloom. And I learnt some useful lessons to carry forward for my next MA project. Happy, happy!