I have just enjoyed a lovely week with my son Ben. Sadly he had to leave this morning, but we were able to celebrate his birthday with him on Sunday. I had made two pictures for him, to go on the wall of his music room in his new house.
People who follow my other blog, will have seen one of them over the past months as it was a long-term project. In fact it took me two years to complete as I couldn´t handle it much through the heat of the summer, so it kept getting put away. It is done in counted cross stitch and was bought as a kit, but I hadn´t realised how difficult it would be to just sew in black and shades of grey. I would not attempt another monochrome one in a hurry! The chart was much too tiny for me to follow, so I had to enlarge it on the computer into four A4 sheets, but that at least gave me the satisfaction of finishing one page at a time.
I actually completed the cross-stitching back in October last year, but it looked a bit ´sorry´then. It had no definition, and it was crumpled and grubby all around the edges from my hot hands!
But then there was lots of top-stitching to do. I don´t enjoy doing that bit but it brought the picture to life, and made it look a lot better. I finished that in January.
The next step was to gently wash it and rinse it carefully, and leave it a while to dry a little. While it was still damp I turned it face down onto a towel and made sure it was squared up properly, and then I ironed it on the back and left it there until it was completely dry.
With cross stitch pictures that I have done before, I have taken them to a craft shop to be stretched and framed, but that wasn´t an option here, so I had no choice but to do it myself. I had a long chat with my sister Jean on Skype because she always does her own, and then I did my best with it, and I was pleased with the result. I had the mount and glass cut at the shop, and a frame made to size. I am glad to say that Ben is really pleased with it, so it was worth all the work. (I´m afraid you can see my reflection in the glass on this, but there was no other way to take it.)
Ben´s second picture was quicker and easier to make. This time I bought a standard size frame and made my picture to fit in it. I did have to have the mount cut at the shop though.
This time I used ink dusters and distress inks to make the background sea and sky, using a mask to add the setting sun. The picture is one I saw on the net on the front of a T-shirt, and I designed a cutting file in my silhouette studio software. I cut the top half of the image from black vinyl and added it to my background. Then I altered the cutting file to make the image more open, less dense. I cut this from sparkly black vinyl to make it like a reflection in water. I added this to the picture. Both halves were cut in three parts because I only have a twelve inch cutting mat and this was too long for it. But I used a transparent transfer tape, so it wasn´t too difficult to match it all up.
A while ago I bought a digital scrapbook kit called Listen to the Music by Kimeric Kreations at Digichick. I took the saying from the Word Art file in this, and again turned it into a cutting file, cut it from black vinyl and added it across my picture. I wasn´t quite happy with the background because there was no difference between the sky and the water, so I used an old, very tiny water ripple stamp by Art Impressions, to stamp randomly over the lower part with one of the inks I had used already. It doesn´t show very much, probably most clearly over the sun reflection, but it makes the distinction I was looking for.
And here is the finished picture.
I am glad to say that Ben was equally delighted with this one, and he is looking forward to hanging them both in his new room.