21 01 2010

Started: Dec. 13, 2009

Finished: January 20, 2010

Metallics, Silk threads and DMC Rayon threads on white linen.

23 x 23 cm.

Based on photos of Svea, the design features her blue eyes and bubbles which represents the temporal nature of life, like how fast youth and innocence disappear.

I chose bold colors on the hair and clothes, using stitches referred to as “Oriental stitches” in the book “The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework” by Therèse de Dillmont. They are called laidwork stitches in Pauline Brown´s ” The Encyclopedia of Embroidery Techniques”. Laidwork is covering an area with straight stitches, like satin stitches, and couched to hold them in place. Couching can be as simple as a small stab stitch to a decorative stitches similar to filling stitches in crewel embroidery.

Svea´s face was stitched using thin silk thread filaments. It resembles my drawing style of creating shades by using straight lines, when drawing with pencil or pen & ink.

The outline cord is chain stitch using silk and whipped with metallics.

Click on the photo to see the original large format.

Svea Vanitas (Bubbles) Dec 15 2009 After 8 hours

I am now starting to fill in the hair and dress with “Oriental Stitches”, usually found in antique chinese and japanese silk embroideries. The outline cord is now being whipped with metallics. If you click for the larger format, you will notice that the bubbles are also whipped with metallics.

Svea Vanitas (Bubbles) Dec 18 2009 After 12 hours

Finally finished today, it will be shipped to her grandma for customized framing.

I added some more silk on the cross hatching. I struggled with the colors on the hair. Since I am colorblind, I usually trust my intuition when selecting colors. Obviously, I failed again. I could have used one color for the hair and it could have been safer that way. The blue dress end up fine. I thought if I do not start to explore colors, I will never learn to use colors at all.
The linen was not fine enough to stitch my signature on like I usually do, so I just wrote it with a pen. This was also the case in Heiwa handkerchief.
A much closer shot of the eyes:
I wanted to post Svea´s photo but I have no permission from the parents. so here is a photo of one of  my earlier commissioned baby portraits:
Update February 11, 2010:
Svea was featured in´s needlework gossips.
Thanks to Meri and the team of!
Handarbeit / Stickerei in Berlin, Deutschland.



9 responses

20 01 2010

Hi, Vince! I found your blog by Méri’s ( and I am truly amazed since I first looked at the photos of your work. And you say you’re colorblind?? That’s just not possible! Believe me, you can definetely see more colors than most people. Keep stitching! I bet every mother on Earth would pay you really well for works like this. 🙂


21 01 2010

Thanks for the comments.

The portrait is on the way to her grandmother for framing. I think she mentioned she will give it to the mother as christmas or birthday gift. But I doubt she will give the portrait away. If I am the grandmother, I would keep it to myself. lol!


21 01 2010

Splendid work! You captured her eyes so beautifully. I’ve seen “Oriental stitches” used in other pieces but never realised until now how close it is to cross-hatching. I need to dig out some articles and look at embroidered portraits again.


21 01 2010

the cross hatching part is my own doing. they are basically straight stitches. i used it to resemble my crosshatches in my drawings.
the oriental stitches (as called in Dillmont Encyclopedia) are those in the clothes and the Bokhara stitch on the hair part, which I modified because of the irregular shapes. I would rather call them laidwork. Oriental sounds racist. lol!


21 01 2010

This is so pretty, Vincent! I really enjoy all your work!

At the begining of the year I’ve changed to wordpress and I’m still working on its potencial and I’m writting a page with my books and magazins lol! They aren’t so beaytiful and precious of yours – That Dillmont Encyclopedia is a treasure!


21 01 2010

I saw that you are also new to wordpress. I just found out about customizing the blog last week, like using my photo as the title header.
I also discovered I can write other blogs, under my first account name. Then I made the library as another blog. I can also make a private journal, not public, where I can write my personal thoughts also under my first account.


21 01 2010

Yes I know! But i will not write another blog, that’s enough lol!
I’m writting diferente pages for my links – but it takes too time 🙂 and I’m not stitching at all! and that is bad… I’ll begin a sampler with filling patterns for my Schwalm work soon… … …i hope.


21 01 2010

I thought I would make a separate blog just for the books, so i don´t mixed up too much topics. The reason why I can´t keep up with other blogs are too many topics. I am also thinking of transferring all my quotations with needleworkers in arts so this blog will just be left with only stitching stuffs. 🙂


14 05 2010

I love your work, the textures of it! Your stitches are so careful and artful. I can’t wait to read the rest of your blog.


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