Misericordia

Category: Commissions (page 1 of 4)

Malka

Dear Little Lion,

Here is your name embroidery, let me explain it to you.

You are called Malka – Queen. Queens demand respect, they are self-assured, and they make their voices heard. So far, you are living up to your name in style.

I have been looking at the goddesses of Egypt for inspiration. Sekhmet is a lion goddess, a warrior and a goddess of healing. She is associated with Ma’at who represents truth, justice and fair dealing at all levels of society. The disk behind your name is both a crown and a dish on the Scales of Justice, you will have to wear both of them.

I know it’s a lot for a (fairly) small person, but I think you can do it.

Lots of love,

Matka

PS. If you feel hard done by, ask your brother how he feels about being named after someone who was given a job he didn’t want to do, ran away and sat in a fish for a while, and then was regurgitated and went and did the job after all.

Musn’t Grumble?

It’s not technically true that I have nothing to report.

Myrtle and Willow - Misericordia

I have been working away on the myrtle leaves, but the progress isn’t visually thrilling (neither is it giving much of a sense of progress).

Ibuprofen - Misericordia

So instead of progress, I have a cold, a professionally embarrassing back injury (I did it while sitting down and putting my teaching shoes on), and a pair and a half of trousers.

Trousers with Cat and Hankies - Misericordia

Churidar trousers notes - MisericordiaTrouser perspective - Misericordia

Still, each leaf snufflingly stitched is one more increment towards leaflessness.

You’ve Guessed It

A dinosaur looks on - Misericordia

More leaves.

Myrtle leaves - Misericordia

At least they’re myrtle instead of willow, which adds a (very little) variety.

String of myrtle leaves - Misericordia

Trails of leaves - Misericordia

Stitch By Stitch

My work this week can best be described as incremental.

Applied silk stems - Misericordia

But there are only so many times you can make a movement before it must come to some result, so I am awaiting the discovery that I have accidentally completed something.

Wrapped knots - Misericordia

Oh, look!

Willow stems - Misericordia

 

To A Bodkin

The furniture rearranging continues apace.

Sewing Drawer - Misericordia

I’ve reordered my supplies by genre rather than work/not-work and realised that I had only been using the front half of my plan chest drawers. (I suppose that’s part of the challenge of a large drawer in a small space!)

Drawing Drawer - Misericordia

With the liberal application of hoarded fruit punnets and clicky-sticky tape, I’m slowly bringing a bit of order to things (no clear flat surfaces though, let’s not be too hasty).

Corded rouleau - Misericordia

I’m still itching to draw rather than sew, which hopefully explains the slow progress on anything involving a needle and thread (no matter how beautifully organised). I did get a bodkin out, which is always pleasing. I’ve been playing with corded rouleau to use as stems for the Ark Project tablecloth, and it’s been unnecessarily difficult.

Bodkin - Misericordia

In the end I’ve settled on turning the loops empty and then threading it with a homemade cord made of scrap fabric. I’ve managed to streamline the production so much that I’ve stopped cutting holes into the ends of the fabric in favour of slits so I don’t have to put the wee flappy pieces in the bin.

Corded rouleau with recycled padding - Misericordia

I’ve become very callous and started to cut up abandoned or unsold embroidery. I just don’t seem to have the energy spare to deal with shuffling it around or looking after it.

Recycled cording for padded rouleaux - Misericordia

I wish I could say it was helping me get more work done, but it’s been mainly infinitesimal updates to various baby books, half rows of knitting, and a pleasant return to regular Pilates sessions.

Recycle scrap fabric into yarn - Misericordia

This is my favourite bit of the cord-making process, when you pull the two ends and they lock together. I’m not sure what the emotional equivalent is, but I’ll let you know when I find it.

Use fabric scraps to make corded padding - Misericordia

“Whatever you do, it’s never enough”

I was sitting on the (very crumb-covered) kitchen floor (because it’s better than sitting in a chair), trying to document the 25 minutes (using my new productivity app*) I’ve spent this week on the Ark Project, when the radio intruded on my internal monologue and presented me with the title of the post.

Sketchbooks and ginger cat - Misericordia

I have a few sketchbook pages of notes and a little swatch of stiffened silk which really represents me coming to realise that I’m going to be cutting hundreds of leaves out of silk very shortly, and I don’t really want to hem them. I also have to get a handle on properly 3D rouleaux which use the minimum of silk, more on that when I get it to work.

Fabric glue test - Misericordia

*I’m using the Pomodoro Technique which times you working for 25 minute blocks. It’s been quite helpful for taming my distractible nature, even though the free app I have keeps demoting me to Unrepentant Slacker!

And now it’s time for …Cake of the Week, iced buns!

Iced Bun - Misericordia

I’m very pleased with these, they’re hitting the not-too-sweet spot nicely. (I didn’t fill them because the first iced bun I ever ate didn’t have filling so I have grown to love them as oddly sweet bread rolls.) I can only show you the elegant pale yellow icing. After the first four were iced the colour scheme descended rapidly into the lurid and sludgy spectrum. I’m thinking about making half-sized ones for Little Lion’s upcoming first birthday celebrations (which is a bewildered post for another day).

Broken Is Beautiful

Ah progress, could we not agree to a more linear approach to our adventures?

Jumping in with both feet - Misericordia

Having decided to jump in with both feet and aggressively line the bimah cloth, I’m now picking out the lining and starting again. I haven’t exactly decided how, which is a touch awkward, but at the speed I’m going with it, there’s plenty of time to work things out.

Wrinkled linen - Misericordia

The cake of the week (quite apt, really) is Broken Biscuit Cake (or Tiffin, or Fudge Cake). It’s a rather glorious cupboard-cleaning exercise, and this particular one isn’t quite as lavish in terms of chocolate as many recipes (but still tastes like it).

Broken Biscuit cake with recipe - Misericordia

Marie’s Grandma’s Tiffen (or Ailene’s Fudge Cake)

4 oz butter

4 oz sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons drinking chocolate

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

1 cup fruit and nuts (or other lumpy things you’d fancy)

1/2 pound digestive biscuits, crushed in varying sizes

Grease and line a 9 inch square tin or traybake pan.

Melt butter and sugar in a pan, add drinking chocolate and milk (and fruit if using). Simmer for three minutes. Gradually add remaining ingredients and mix well. Press into the pan and cover with melted chocolate (add a half slice of toast’s worth of butter to the chocolate before you start to melt it so the chocolate doesn’t crack). Cool.

I used pretzels because LYM can’t eat nuts and I’m still undecided about putting fruit in chocolate. This one turned out a little crumbly because I didn’t measure any of the crispy bits, but if I’d stirred in a little of the melted chocolate I think it would have been perfect.

Certainly, it’s soothing my picking-out angst!

Stitch by Crumb

What a week!

Kipling - Misericordia

We’ve all been struggling with various forms of P1 and Nursery Plague since before Christmas, and it’s all come to a head with various children home in various stages of pathetically poorly or irritatingly not quite well enough to return to school but full of energy.

Despite these challenges, I’ve been steaming ahead with various projects. It turns out that concentrating on finishing just one thing makes it much easier to finish a lot of other things (or at least start to finish them).

Children's Badge Banner - Misericordia

First, there was the badge banner, which was the simplest possible project that took us about three months from purchase of the felt to application to the wall. It looks a little bare at the moment, but I have high hopes for the pair of them, and there’s a whole second knitting needle that can be put to use if they prove particularly keen on badge-based achievements.

Hand embroidered silk banner - Misericordia

I’ve been getting on with the banner for the Ark Project tablecloth, it’s very slow going but it was infinitely eased by a friend’s Profane Embroidery Night (I like to think I provided the sacred counterpoint). Somehow my opportunities to work safely with white silk are a little limited at the moment!

Cast iron bracket - Misericordia

A few house-y things are coming together too, so there’s rather a pleasant sense of momentum going into February.

Cinnamon Cake with Brown Sugar Icing - Misericordia

Oh, and on the cake front we’ve made a cinnamon cake with brown sugar icing and a batch each of brownies and flapjacks.

Flapjacks and Brownies - Misericordia

I’ll write you a post about the flapjacks because I’m a bit proud of an alteration I’ve made to the recipe to assuage a little of my inevitable sugar-guilt.

Nina – Commission

With Christmas embargoes over, I can show you a baby name piece in a new style.

Nina's Hamsa hand embroidered hoop - Misericordia 2015

I love a hamsa, I wore one around my neck the entire time I was pregnant with both the weans. I have always liked the idea of protective amulets, rhymes and other practices (while maintaining an irritating inability to believe that they work), and given the brief to use patterns and designs influenced by Nina’s North African and Balkan heritage, I had the perfect opportunity.

Nina's Hamsa hand embroidered hoop - Misericordia 2015

It’s very easy to get into a groove with your house style, and stepping outside the confines of a font and being in charge of the black lines was a little daunting.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and I’m looking forward to trying some more pattern-making and drawing.

Nina's Hamsa hand embroidered hoop - Misericordia 2015

Interestingly, once I’d made the shapes, I could hardly bear to distract from them with exciting embroidery stitches, and did the thread equivalent of carefully colouring within the lines!

Done and Done

An unexpected feeling of accomplishment is filling the air.

Hoop back - Misericordia

I’ve finished my last commission (no photos, the usual gift embargo applies until the New Year) and I’m ready to set myself some impossible crafting goals for the holidays.

As an aside, I tried a new method of finishing the back and I can’t decide what I think about it.

Here we have the makings of Little Lion’s Hebrew name embroidery, her name means queen, so I pondering something regal and ornate.

Gold and turquoise embroidery thread - Misericordia

I’ve also promised Dragon some work on his quilt, so here’s hoping for a few quiet moments (and possibly a slightly more seasonal chill in the air) to make good on my promise!

I hope you make it through the last week before the holiday, don’t forget the odd deep breath and solitary outdoor walk may make all the difference.

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