Rhoda Accomplished

I’ve always been drawn to the murky area where Art Nouveau melts into Art Deco. For this post and this site’s redesign, I specifically am envisioning the late 60s/70s revival ala Rachel Perry lip gloss containers, Yellow Submarine animation, denim and caftan embroidery of that time, and enameled jewelry.

I have a copy of Victorian Designs for Needlepoint from 1978 by Phyllis Kluger that is pretty spot on the aesthetic I want. You MUST look at her gallery – there’s a quilt titled MITOSIS – Hot Sex Among Ameobas. I want to be Phyllis when I grow up. My (awesome) mom bought the first edition in 1978 and gave it to me in the 90s.

So, that’s a whole lot of set up for this. I don’t quite remember where I got this book of wrapping paper, but I finally took the plastic all the way off of it! I’ve cherished it for too long and have not used it until now.

inspiration

 

The sheets inside have reproductions of various Art Nouveau designs – some from tapestries, some from wall paper, etc. There’s a brief legend inside:

design credits

 

It was hard to pick what to use for the new site, I really love these squirrels, but they’re not quite the style I wanted…they’re a little too Victorian parlor wallpaper looking…

Art Nouveau Wall Papers

 

I decided on these dandelions. They hit that middle ground I was looking for…a little Aubrey Beardsley lilt, good 70s colors and come on! Dandelions are the underdog of botanicals. You have to love that someone made them so beautiful.

Dandy Lions
Dandy Lions

I’m quite rusty at embroidery and wanted to use a denim piece I got out of the remnant bin that had the perfect color/texture I wanted albeit a bit of spandex in it which made it even more fun to try and stitch. </sarcasm>

This is my favorite book in my entire collection. Seriously.

Reader's Digest Complete Guide To Needlework
Reader’s Digest Complete Guide To Needlework

The photos are very dated…even when I got it in ’94-’95 from one of those book club things….

Sexy Vest
Sexy Vest

Ok, so that vest is 8 levels of wrong and may be one of the gates to hell, but I’m kinda digging this open work…I almost opted for doing it instead….

Sexy Caftan
Sexy Caftan

In all seriousness, the book can’t be beat for tutorials and illustrations. They are ultra clear, step-by-baby-step and easy to follow. I really needed a refresher course. I had forgotten how to even do a French knot! Sooooo rusty.

Illustrations

 

I did an interpretive sketch of the dandelions to sort of feel out how it was going to stitch…I planned on doing it freehand, without a pattern or chalking, but wanted to get an idea of how it was going to work….

Arteeest
Arteeest

Don’t quit my day job, right?

Finale
Finale

I think it turned out pretty well. Obviously it’s good enough that I had my amazing man put it up today for me as my new header. I used a hoop on the denim, but did it without a stabilizer or anything like that. Just inexpensive embroidery floss I had on hand that was in the craft bin, and the denim remnant I had around.  My leaves could use some practice but it certainly has that Rhoda-feel I was looking for.

Dandy Done
Dandy Done

Now, do I make a series with the rest of the denim or do I make a baby dress out of it? Or? It’s tempting to make a series to frame up…but it would look so cute as a romper or dress top too…decisions, decisions.

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