Friday, 27 March 2020

Horse Stitch

So what else am I doing during lockdown? Following on from one of my recent posts, I said I was working on quite an ambitious cross stitch project. Well, here it is:

An Eadweard Muybridge Horse in Motion. Every frame hand stitched, taking between 1.5-2 hours each, along with creating the cross stitched patterns (another full days work at least). And then post production (scanning in, importing them into the project, tweaking the frames and so on). For just over 1 second of animation. Dedicated or mad? You decide. Maybe both.

I didn't test out how it would look with the patterns I made before starting the sewing, so for all I knew, it could have turned out looking terrible. Luckily, it turned out exactly how I wanted and couldn't have been happier with the result. I put a lot of work into creating it and I'm pleased it paid off. Now I just need to find a film festival which is accepting entries of films under 10 seconds!

Thursday, 19 March 2020


As we all know these are strange and uncertain times and without football being played currently or in the near future, understandably people are at a loss, myself included. I do have plenty of other hobbies and interests to keep me going, but one thing which I was getting a lot of my enjoyment out of lately has been removed. Photographing and watching football has been a key part of my life in the last year or so and with a lot of events coming up which I had booked in to photograph now postponed, it all feels quite gloomy.

Being as what is happening in the world right now is far greater and more important than football and the safety of everybody involved is paramount, I understand the need for the postponements. If honest, I would not even wish for the games to carry on in the midst of this crisis. Annoying as it may be, the more we all pull together and keep to the guidelines given, the sooner this shall pass and we will be watching the game again, looking unto it as even more beautiful than before.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Cross Stitch

To give myself a bit of a break from my animation, because of feeling uninspired and downhearted due to the gazillion rejections I've had with it recently, I decided to go to Hobbycraft and treat myself to something fun. This would be to take my mind off my work and provide a different type of creative outlet other than photography or animation. Sometimes it's refreshing to have a break and do something which is still creative/ productive, but with no pressure.

So, I decided to buy a cross stitch kit. For a 3"x3" kit, you get a pattern, a piece of material, a needle and a selection of threads in the colours as per pattern. I chose a fairly simple beach hut one as it was vibrant and I love going to the seaside! There are loads to choose from. During 2012 when I was unwell, I did a lot of these cross stitches when in hospital, but I have not done one since. It felt a bit strange, but also pleasing to pick it back up again.

I really enjoyed making it and it was quite easy to get back into the swing of it. It's a really relaxing hobby actually, but does involve a fair bit of concentration. If you're not careful, you might lose count!

Anyway... once completing it, I thought, well why don't I do my own design next? So that's exactly what I decided to do!

I made a pattern for 16 aida count fabric of the above giraffe. Maybe you recognise it from an animation I made not so long ago?

The pattern took a while to produce, because it was a case of putting in each symbol separately. If anyone knows a quicker way, comment please!

Once the main pattern was complete, I added an outline (in blue, above). This was so the finished piece didn't look so 'pixelated'. I actually 'ad-libbed' the outline when I was sewing it, because some of the lines on the pattern would have seemed a little unnatural otherwise.

Finished outcome
Regarding the overall piece, I am pleased with it as it's an achievement in terms of what I have accomplished: a cross stitch from designing my own pattern through to completing it to a good standard. Despite this, as it's my first one, there are bound to be issues and I feel that there are some parts I would improve upon. I feel these will only get better with practise, which is why I have decided to embark on a really quite ambitious project for my next one... Watch this space for more!