Back to stumpwork class today! There are ten three-hour lessons this term and we've lots to do. And today we started with how to make a beaded blackberry.
Black felt - the pliable stuff, not the stiff stuff. The stiff stuff isn't pliable enough. Obvs.
Black sewing thread
Teeny tiny beads stored in a reluctant-to-open pot
Minute amounts of toy stuffing
A beading needle (absolute waste of money; I ended up using a very slim ordinary embroidery needle instead)
Buckets of patience
Squinting and frowning
Non-stick, grippy fingers
A swear box
Anyway, I was most pleased with my results. I think Andy and Heather were less impressed but then they didn't go through the blood, sweat and tears of making them. It took me an hour and half to make the first one, but then as I found my rhythm (somewhere between soul and a slow jive) I speeded up and this, as they say in Eurovision, is the result of the judging panel...
And now, for scale, with a 5p piece because I don't want you to think the blackberries are the size of basket balls. They are, in fact, the size of blackberries...
I made two using black beads and two using purply-burgundy beads. And various sizes of felt ball bases. The purply-burgundy beads were especially slippy and therefore caused greatest contribution to the swear box.
AND...just in case you are still in any doubt as to the teeny-weeniest nature of the whole operation, here is a single bead and the skinny needle I used. We are talking pimple and splinter here...
I reckon I used in excess of 100 beads for each berry. And I probably need to make another 8 or 10 to go on my final design piece. But once again I find myself absorbed by this whole stumpwork malarkey. And class was fun - lots of laughs and chat. We are becoming a familiar and close-knit group and it is good. Very good.
Next lesson we are continuing our design plans and learning some more stitches to add to our repertoire. And inbetween time I am hosting another crafty session chez-moi, to make sure I keep up with my resolve to practise my art on a regular basis.
On another note, does anyone want to hire out Flora? For she has taken it upon herself to develop her own skills in wallpaper stripping. I have had severe words with her about this. But on the plus side it means I've HAD to buy a new wallpaper for the bedroom in the Laura Ashley sale (yellow poppies!) which, of course, necessitated new curtains (pink poppies!!). But still, a wall-paper stripping Flossie I could well do without.
Any takers? She's very efficient.