The first stage of the embroidery course I'm doing with Karen Ruane is working with scrim (or cotton gauze) and paper to create surfaces suitable for hand embroidery. This is done using a sewing machine, which took me by surprise, as I was expecting to be doing only handwork.
I dusted off the Elna Lotus SP which was my mother's and hadn't been used for some 20 years (really). I learnt to sew on this dear old machine and I've been so surprised and pleased that the old girl (the machine, not me!) works at all, let alone coping with having the foot removed and doing FME (Free Machine Embroidery).
The grids and circles above are all about creating a more robust surface to hand embroider. While others stitched fabric scraps for added interest, I of course, felt compelled to use old book pages. (These are old books I bought specifically for artwork, but I do confess to hesitating quite a while before I managed to pull out the page).
Below are some pictures of sewing on paper.
This top one is the back, but I like it better than the front.
Paper has so much potential for use with light.
I haven't mentioned my first trial of eco-printing, which I did just after arriving home. A friend had left us a bunch of roses as a welcome home gift. We enjoyed them for a few days and once they began to fade a little, I put them to creative use. I more or less followed this tutorial.
I'm still thinking about how I want to use the results, so I experimented with some stitching on this example. This is the view from the back again, and illuminated, below that.
I've really been having so much fun with all of this and now I'm ready to add some hand stitching to these pieces.