Saturday, February 28, 2015

Portrait of a Cottage

The neighbors next door have been working on improvements to their charming cottage this year.  It's so pleasing to many in the neighborhood who pass by their home.  In general, fresh paint, beautiful doors and windows, landscaping and even general clean up can make such a difference to the first impressions of a neighborhood.  Everyone who passes takes pleasure when someone improves their home.   I love the new look of our neighbors' home.

 I wanted to express my appreciation in a more permanent way, so I thought a felted wool portrait of their home would be a fun way to recognize all their work.  This was a new technique for me, so I improvised as I went along.    I started with a photo on my cell phone, which I enlarged to my desired size.  Using Photoshop I created a second layer and traced the principal lines of the home that I wanted to repeat.  I also printed out the photo on copy paper and traced a few of the curves for a more accurate black and white sketch than I could achieve with my amateur photoshop skills.  I made a couple of copies of the sketch and that became my pattern.
I appliqued the wool to the backing wool fabric.  Color selection, and shading helped begin to create dimension.  Due to the size of my project, I did have to make edit decisions regarding which details I wanted to repeat because they expressed the essence of the home, and which could be omitted.

I used # 5 pearl cotton to begin embellishments.  I used an assortment of stitches, to suggest the tile roof texture, the bricks on the fireplace, the window frames, and the stained glass in the front window.

The final shrubs are one of my favorite parts.  

Here's a closeup  and the original inspiration.