Thursday, July 01, 2010

Nature and Inspiration: Wildflowers in Silk Ribbon

I find the most amazing things when going through old files - and I mean OLD ones. I was trying to force myself to discard old patterns and pictures that haven't seen daylight in at least ten years - and found this photo.

I stitched the egg about 12 years ago when I was first working with silk ribbon. I was enchanted with the "instant gratification" thing, and looked to nature for most of my insipiration. In this case, it was the Texas wildflowers in glorious bloom during a spring when it had actually rained enough.

I was painting accessories for the gift shop at the National Wildflower Research Center just outside Austin, and took my own photos for the painting - so used them also when attempting to replicate the effect in silk ribbon.

First - the Texas bluebonnets. I have been looking at this flower my entire life, as I was born here in Austin - but I never really saw the little bit of magenta on some of the petals, and didn't know how actually purple the blue flowers are until I started looking up close as I was mixing some paint to match.
I had learned silk ribbon stitches and techniques from a well illustrated book - so working out the different flowers, leaves, and grasses myself, was quite entertaining and sometimes enlightening.
The grass behind the flowers is just a generic grass and fills out the composition.

The red Drummond's Phlox is planted at the Wildflower Center next to the bluebonnets in one of the beds with a very lovely effect. This isn't one of my photos - the phlox is actually much darker, as the silk ribbon I used on the egg.
The little yellow Huisache Daisy was the perfect addition to this composition. I'm sure many of you have had a grandmother who gardened, and told you that a little touch of yellow always finishes the bouquet or the flower bed itself. This is so true. "the finishing touch." These were really easy to replicate.
Anyway, one should learn stitches and techniques and use them to create individual pieces - it's much more rewarding than just doing what everyone else is doing. Look to nature for inspiration, as it's an incredible source.
The background of the egg was, of course, stitched before the ribbon embroidery was done. It's a simple light blue lattice with basketweave white - and a bead placed where the diagonal lines intersect. ( I was just starting to use beads also).


Rachel said...

Isn't it fascinating to come upon work from years ago. I can see that you enjoyed developing the flowers in silk ribbon!

LIZ said...

Lovely! So delicate.
I have had the same experience, coming across designs from "before".