I love watercolors. If I could paint, watercolors would be my medium. Therefore I wanted to embroider a bookmark where color palette is based on sepia watercolors. So far I am very happy with the result!
I am working on my new bookmark collection. This time I wanted to create something cheerful, colorful, warm and sunny. Must be influence of the summer...
Durham castle. I see a beautiful canvaswork design. Yes, my brain is at that stage of embroidery obsession
Embroiderers hard at work during the RSN Summer Intensive Course. All of the ladies are established and talented embroiderers. Learning and improving never stops.
This joyous lot are RSN summer intensive class at a local Italian place. We talked about bras, politics, highway etiquette. We even talked about embroidery!
Creative Workspaces of Fowlers Yard, Durham, UK. I will be spending next two weeks here working towards my Royal School of Needlework Certificate
Our local weaving company "Tine" has been in business for more than 100 years. Their small shop is an embroiderer's happy place! Pure wool threads of any thickness, any color.
My customers were asking for a more universal gift option for the book lovers in their lives. That is how the idea to create a collection of hand embroidered bookmarks was born. A delightful silk embroidered bookmark is a thoughtful and unique gift for the person in your life who lives in the world of books. For a passionate collector, avid reader or enjoyer of all things beautiful! It will make her or him smile every time a book is opened. As my hand embroidered bookbindings, these bookmarks are embroidered by hand only, one little stitch at a time. I use pure silk threads; they provide a subtle sheen and quiet luxury to the embroidery. The embroidered fabric is then hand stitched with tiny overcast stitches to a satin ribbon. This design was inspired by early 19th century bookmarks, which were made of paper and attached to a silk ribbon. This collection of bookmarks is called “Century of Flowers”. It features slightly abstract flowers and leaves, I currently really enjoy creating these types of designs. I hope that these little bookmarks will provide many warm moments of joy to you.
These bookmarks are available in my Amazon.com shop. To go there, please press here or the big green button "Bookmark Shop" on the top right corner of this page.
My first bookmark collection "Century of Flowers" is now available on Amazon.com.
To go to the shop, please press here, or the green “Bookmark Shop” button, or type www.amazon.com/shop/embroideryisvital in your Internet browser.
This is one of the most expensive books in the world, and it is available to buy: „History of the Expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the Sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and Down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. Performed During the Years 1804-5-6.”
It is a narrative of the famous American land expedition. 1,417 copies were printed in 1814. Approximately 23 copies remain extant with very few in private hands. The journals originally were paperbound, with the plain cardboard front cover.
The price: 350 000 USD. It can be bought at Powell’s City of Books, the largest used and new bookstore in the world, occupying an entire city block and housing approximately one million books, located in Portland, USA
You can read more about this gem here and here.
I am working on a new project. It still has to do with books, although this time it is not a book cover.
This hand embroidered binding was commissioned for a very unusual bible. This is a Viking Studio edition of the breathtakingly beautiful Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, originally published in a limited letterpress edition by Pennyroyal Caxton Press, Inc. in 1999. The book was designed and illustrated by renowned Barry Moser, and the main feature is his poignant illustrations. The best word I could think of to describe his engravings is sombre. Thoughtful and sorrowful. They are monochrome and ascetic, with no sign of the usual exaggeration or exaltation. It was a challenge to design a cover that would complement and be respectful towards the illustrations without fruitlessly even attempting to copy the brilliant work of the master.
I based the design on a simple cross, and softened it with damask motifs. I used only two hand embroidery stitches: queen stitch (tiny diamonds forming the cross) and turkey stitch (fluffy damask motifs), and only two types of natural thread: cotton and wool. The embroidered cross hugs the edges of the front cover, and the embroidery flows over the spine to the back cover. I used only one strand of thread to do all the embroidery. As a result the needle has been guided back and forth through the fabric more than two hundred fifty times per every square centimeter.
The book was expertly re-bound by book restorer Dace Zalite.
Pure linen fabric, cotton and wool threads, size of the book: 31 x 20.5 x 5.5 cm (8.1 x 12.2 x 2.2 in).
Here you can read more about the unique Caxton Bible, about Viking Studio, and about Barry Moser.
Recognized as one of the most important Asian works of art to ever come to market, this Imperial silk thangka measures over 3m x 2m and it has survived in impeccable condition. Exquisitely embroidered in gold and brilliantly coloured silk threads, it depicts the majestic Raktayamari, the red Conqueror of Death, embracing his consort, Vajravetali. Created during the Ming dynasty Yongle period (1402–1424). It was sold by Christie's in 2014 to Mr. Liu Yiqian, a Chinese collector, for his Long Museum in Shanghai. It was a world auction record for any Chinese works of art sold.
Image and information from www.christies.com
I decided to take a small brake from the large embroidered bookbinding project to embroider something for the Easter, and decided on this canvaswork egg. The design is from a very talented canvaswork designer Laura Perin. I used 100% linen threads in natural colors: honey, beige, mossy green, sunshine yellow, brown. The white thread which forms the squares at the bottom half of the egg and the inside portion of the frame is a common household linen thread! It varies greatly in thickness, and appears impossible to use in embroidery. But for this project it works perfectly, and I had such fun using it!
I am continuing to embroider the cover, which will later become a part of the binding for a bible. The fluffy part in the foreground is turkey stitch. It looks fuzzy, disheveled and rather mad at the moment, but it will undergo a magic transformation and look very different when finished.
I am currently embroidering a cover for a very unusual edition of Bible. In an earlier post I showed you the first outlines of the cover. The work has progressed a lot, and here you can see the queen stitch portion of it. It is my absolutely favorite counted stitch! Despite being very angular and precise, it lends itself beautifully to hugging round shapes and lines.
Emotions overcome me when I see pictures of the Klementinum, a historic building complex in Prague, which houses National Library of the Czech Republic. Let us go visit it this year!
There is more information on the Library’s website here.
These are Madeira wool/acrylic embroidery threads. My dad made special little shelves, they are so perfect for neat storage of the bobbins!
I made the embroidered tangerine quite some time ago, but it still makes me smile. Tangerines mean New Year! Why? Only us, those over 40 who grew up in Soviet Union will understand. The second picture (photo from tula.air.ru) is a still from an iconic 1975 film “The Irony of Fate or Enjoy the Steam!” Can you count how many stereotypical and still beloved dishes are on that festive table? Happy Happy New Year!
In cinemas all over the world the latest Star Wars movie has opened. The British Library is joining the fun with a very amusing and thought provoking article about familiar looking creatures in medieval manuscripts. You can see more pictures here.
It is dark outside even in the middle of the day. Trees are lamenting in the wind, and rain is flogging our windows. Here is a perfect book to read on such a day: „Crewel World. Needlecraft Mystery” by Monica Ferris. Is embroiderer the murderer or the victim? I will let you know.
To all my creative friends, crafters and artists. To all of us who know that creativity and fear are inseparable, that it is impossible to step into creative endeavor without having to encounter fear. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love” in her new book “Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear” tells how she had to sit down and convince herself to write knowing very well that whatever she writes will never be as successful as “Eat, Pray, Love” and that her talent will be questioned. She still did it. Love her, love this book.