The day after tomorrow I leave for Plimoth Plantation in MA. I'll be working on the 1627 jacket project up there http://www.plimoth.org/embroidery-blog/ I'm very excited to be able to participate in a project like this. When I first got serious about embroidery I was into reproduction samplers and now I'm interested in stumpwork so the chance to learn more about historical embroidery fits right in with my interests. I'll have three days of stitching with a lecture and special project as well. Can you imagine, three days with nothing but embroidery! Thank goodness I have such an indulgent husband. He encouraged me to go and he is staying home from work to look after the kids while I go.
In order to ready myself for the stitching, I've spent the last few days working on the butterfly pattern that came with the stitching sample kit that was part of the process for participating. The body of the butterfly is trellis stitch, the red wings are buttonhole and the pink wings are buttonhole lace - the outline is couched down so afterwards you can lift off the wing and attach it where you want it. Just this butterfly and the samples have taught me so much, I can't imagine how much I will learn going to work on the jacket.
In the meantime, I went to a local bead store yesterday - which has an online storefront as well http://banglesandbeads.net/catalog/ - and I was awestruck. Having only encountered the craft store bead aisles, this store was incredible. I love the crystals and pearls and glass beads, but the semiprecious stones that were available in all sorts of shapes were really inspiring. I could see garden paths and water and flowers and trees and all sorts of things I could embellish with those beads. I guess the variations in the stones fit with my love of overdyed threads. I didn't get anything for myself this trip - I bought quite a bit to encourage my daughter's new love of jewellery making - but I will get something on another trip because I will go in with some ideas!