Saturday, May 12, 2012

Postcards completed and starting

Above is 5 of the 7 van Gogh cards I mailed.  The top one is my favorite, and it is also the most literal interpretation of the painting.
Below is the new postcard project.  The theme is Cityscapes and I'm working on the Foshay Tower.
Mom said when she moved to Minneapolis the Foshay Tower was the tallest building in Minneapolis.  As you can see, that's no longer the case.  I think I'd like to find out just exactly how close that building is to the Foshay Tower.
An old photograph of the Foshay Tower.  

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vincent van Gogh Les Alyscamps

In the van Gogh theme PostmarkdArt trade I am finally finished stitching my cards.  Two are waiting for the liquid stiffener on the back to dry.  All cards were due April 30.  Note to self: "Next trading round do not sign up for 4 trades, no matter how fun they could be".
 All of the cards look different.  Some have the sky put on, but that didn't give me the effect I wanted.
I made them with counted cross stitch cloth (aida cloth) that was laying around and embroidery floss.
20 years ago I loved doing little cross stitch things, and now...well, these cards kinda say what I feel about cross stitching today!
I painted the cloth first.  I started out using some painters markers, which worked excellent, not changing the hand of the cloth, but they stink to high heaven.
Then I changed to acrylic paint, watered down.  It didn't work well, but I didn't want to poison myself with the other pens.  The main problem was the paint would clog up the holes in the weave.  I had to switch from a rounded point needle to a sharp point needle and poke my way through paint some times.
Then I just started stitching.
I also started out by marking the 4" x 6" size on it and started stitching with 6 strands of embroidery floss.
[That reminds me of a quilt show I went to years ago in Idaho, someone had tied their quilt with real dental floss!]
Eventually I wanted a stitch going around it and when I started doing the typical needlepoint stitch I immedately had some type of PTSD from whatever project I last cross stitched.  It's just no fun to stitch in an orderly fashion!
I made a few cards where I didn't do that outer stitch, I just stitched the picture up to my 4 x 6 lines.
After stretching them and putting the liquid stiffener on them I decided I didn't like it.  I stretched them in a quilting hoop so that when I put the stiffener on them  it would dry straight, but they went crooked anyhow.
So the last one I again put a needlepoint stitch around the edge and it didn't feel as painful as the other times.  I guess I got used to it.
The picture below is the back of one of the cards.  I didn't want a lot of thread on the back, so every time I stitched down into the fabric, when I came back to the front I only moved one hole over.  The exception is the trees and all their branches, I had to make a mess.

There's also those red dots all over.  Those are not stitches!  They were preprinted on the fabric for whatever the kit was that this fabric came in.  You can also see where some of the yellow paint seeped to the back in blotches.  All the aida cloth came from other cross stitch kits so that can be considered recycling, and the embroidery floss would have been the same, but making all the van Gogh cards I ran out of yellows.  So some of the yellow is newly purchased. 
All in all, I would make these again.  Each one takes hours but I love the effect.