ready for viewing

My commissioned artwork number two is done! It took longer than the first, because it asked for a lot of hand stitching. As a matter of fact I thought this piece would be entirely hand stitched up until the near end. Then the art demanded a sky and the sky demanded a tree, and there I was playing with tulle and free-hand machine embroidery. 

Here are a few details to tease, followed by the full image. I am quite happy with the way this has turned out, if I do say so myself. I am especially pleased with the way the maps peek out, and if you concentrate, you can read names of places between the stitches.
chimney through the leaves
bay in the sky
piney woods behind the windows
entrance station through the front door
sea lion rocks by the stone wall
Santa Lucia © Natalya Aikens 2013
What do you think? It's so totally different from the other that I am sort of surprised. But at the same time, I am not surprised at all as the ephemera I was given was so different too. That's the part I really love about this new challenge, each one is guaranteed to be completely different from the other...On to the next one now!


The home is starting to emerge on my home portrait commission. As I mentioned earlier tis a slow process. This piece has demanded hand stitching and I am still obliging. It took a while to put down my guidelines through the paper image which I now have torn away. Now I am filling in with color using my favorite cotton variegated thread.
guidelines in place
roofing materials
front door hasn't seen much stitching yet
walls and windows
walls and greenery
Now it's a matter of what to add on and what to leave out. How much to fill in and what to leave to imagination... I'll just keep stitching and get back to you later!


Yes progress. Very slow progress, but progress none the less. The second home portrait has demanded to be entirely hand-stitched. So that's what I am doing. Through paper. Layers of paper. This may take a while.
maps glued to the house plans
print out in full color and choosing thread
and stitching
and stitching
I'll be here a while.... happily stitching.

while waiting..

..for the paint to dry. Literally, on my first home portrait. I thought I'd get started on the next one. This one is on the left coast and completely different. Which is exactly what makes it exciting for me. How will I translate this into stitch? I don't know... wait and see.
The ephemera is brochures, receipts and house plans
The ephemera I was supplied with this time is strictly paper.
Gorgeous maps to work with!
I adore maps. Always have. I some ways I miss the pre-GPS days, when you had to map out your trip. Love pouring over all the markings, imagining places and trips to take.
Immediately I started cutting them out.
Before I even knew what I was doing, I started cutting out the maps. This piece is definitely screaming "collage me"! So collage it I will.
wish I could be there...
How will the receipts fit in? I don't know yet.
Tracing paper overlay to see what could fit in.
I made a tracing paper 12"x12" square to play with and see what will fit in and what will not.
Wrapped around the canvas.
Then I gave up and just tried wrapping the whole thing around a canvas to get a better idea. I don't want to cut up the house plans just yet...
The gorgeous house!
I was so wrapped up with playing with all the paper goodies, I haven't even yet even figured out how to get the house involved yet...Hmmmmm....