Finally, I have finished my work on Jo's block for a Christmas round robin we are in together and will be mailing it off to Japan in the morning. Jo's block looks like a Christmas tree and Leslie had stitched a Teddy Bear under the tree so I wanted to add another toy. This is the polar bear pull toy I stitched to keep the teddy company. The wreath around his neck is done in french knots with Gloriana Petite Princess perle silk thread. The harness and lead is done in some Kreinik braid and the body of the bear is good old DMC. The bear was worked in white embroidery floss and was cross stitched and then over that I did encroaching gobelin stitch. I worked the whole thing with waste canvas from a pattern in this year's Cross stitch Christmas ornament magazine. I wanted to add candy looking buttons for the wheels and turned the house upside down for them until I remembered I had put them on another block. So, I ended up settling for these vintage plastic buttons - I thought they looked like wheels.
For this seam I started with a series of Christmas trees worked in fly stitch. Then I added the gold lace trim and a painted mother of pearl button I did at this year's retreat. I was amazed that Gerry was able to teach me this technique and that I was actually able to learn it. I ended up making two buttons with cardinals painted on them and this is one. I was so fortunate too that Gerry gifted me with another button that she used as a sample in her teaching! Thanks Gerry!
This was a very simple seam of double laced back stitch. The gold back stitch is done in a mystery thread cannibalized from a kit I picked up at the thrift store awhile back. The red and green threads laced through the back stitch are silk. The glass snowmen beads were another thrift store find. I came across a set of Christmas themed wine glass charms and knew that I had to get them and take the snowmen off for this block. I'm not sure if Jo will think they are too big and clunky but is she does I am sure she will find somewhere else to use them where they will be just perfect.
This was actually the first patch I did on Jo's block - just a scattering of snowflakes. Some are cut from a trim I got in a Christmas baggie swap at CQI, one is a sequin, one is cross stitch using waste canvas and the large one I found at my favourite funky fabric store. It was just too gorgeous to leave there - had to have it! lol This must be the magpie in me coming out again.
This is the area I worked on, with the exception of the polar bear at the bottom of the tree. The snowman is made using cross stitch on waste canvas and he is done all in DMC cotton embroidery floss except for the white. The white was done in a thread called Whisper which has a wispy appearance. It is hard to describe but the thread is almost hairy - does that make sense? lol
The little bullion stitch robin is done in DMC again. I wasn't perfectly happy with how he turned out but this was my attempt at it and eventually you are faced with either going with an attempt and being happy with it or chewing up the fabric underneath so badly you have no choice but to cover it. The snow under him is some thread called Ersatz - another "hairy" thread, this time the wisps being very glittery.
So, without further ado, here is the whole Christmas tree block to date! There are so many lovely things already on it - Debbie's snowman face peeking around the corner, Leslie's gorgeous beaded cardinals and her fuzzy little teddy bear, etc. I am almost sad to send it away!
I have one more block to work on in this round robin - a stocking for Hideko. I can't wait to start!