Friday, July 02, 2010

Stocking Cuffs! More Old Files

I was looking through old files again today, and found a whole folder full of stocking cuffs I had forgotten about. LOTS of them.

For many years I did nothing Christmas, as there were no shiny/sparkly threads to make them look right - and also, the images are simply not in my head, as I "see" other types of design.

About twelvle years ago, after I had moved back to Austin and decided to start designing painted canvas again, I painted some for various customers of the two shops here.

There was also the factor that I had become a grandmother, so anticipating that I would have more than one of them, I knew I'd never do a complete stocking - nor would I want to stitch one. (it would take too long) I like the look of just the cuff with the body of the stocking being velveteen.

I've never been a fan of needlepoint Christmas stockings, as they are generally too "busy," and have too many things going on that really don't show up well when hanging over the fireplace. As decorative accessories at Christmas, the cuffs with a plain body are great!

The William Morris cuff looks really bad in this scan, as my ink was running out when I made the copy - so it doesn't show up well, and has strangely colored streaks on it..

I painted this one later when Madeline was about four years old, and Julia was a new baby - and showed her a collection so she could choose what she wanted. I was astonished that she chose this one! The other grandmother, also an "art" person (she was a curator at the Kimball Museum in Fort Worth for many years, and did her master's in Art History) was not surprised, as she said that of course our granddaughter has wonderful and sophisticated taste.

I stitched it with a lot of metallic gold outlines, and had less white at the top. That was worked with pale green beads on white, and her name was machine embroidered on the foot of a dark blue velveteen stockiong. It was really pretty! Julia's had red poinsettias with some turquoise "jewels" here and there, as she is a December girl.

The next scan is one of a pair, but I can't f ind the other one. I had a lot of fun painting the originals, but discontinued it quickly so I wouldn't have to do it again.
The two cuffs with ornaments are simple and effective, I think, and names fit nicely over the strings that dangle the ornaments from the swag. I used as inspiration the ornaments showing almost every year in the Smithsonian catalog - these gorgeous art museum catalogs, including MFA Boston and the Metropolitan are outstanding for visual images to inspire one, but I'm always aware of copyrights, and some things I only use for personal and not commercial - like the Metropolitan Museum angels. I started doing those for myself in 1985, and adding one every year..

I've seen a number of these same ornaments, over the last few years, interpreted by several designers - and recently they are absolutely beautiful with other embellishments added, and used as individual tree ornaments. I stuck to simplicity and stitch counting for mine, as I felt necessary for using several in a small space.
I have to stay out of the files now for a few days and get some work done that has lagged behind with my chaotic lifestyle lately - but I'm enjoying weeding out old files and finding things like this.


threadmedley said...

I love the William Morris one! Elegant and not your typical Christmas design. Placed on a navy velvet stocking, it would be a real knockout!

Rachel said...

You have been having a productive rummage, haven't you! They're gorgeous - much nicer than the usual Santa's Sack efforts!

LIZ said...

I love the cuffs! I think the ornaments are my favorites.

Front Range Stitcher said...

Thanks so much for posting those lovely cuffs for us to see. I hadn't thought about how dramatic it would be to have an amazing cuff with lush velvet for the stocking only. This is something I could do in my lifetime. lol I hadn't stitched a full sized stocking before because of the humungous undertaking it would be and I wasn't sure I would finish it...ever.