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Projects: Snowy Egret

June 7, 2010

Hi gals! I’m back with a new project. When I introduced Robyn Cockburn, I mentioned that I couldn’t resist her latest pattern pack. I finally got a few moments to myself and sat down with the patterns. Here is the first of the patterns, the Snowy Egret.

In this, I got the chance to work a little bit on my feather-embossing, which I must confess is not something I get much of a chance to do.

Predominately white-work, there is a bit of color on the egret’s legs, beak, eye and eye-ring, all of which was done with my polychromos. There is some more color on the back, for the water and a sunset. This was also done with the polychromos and the blending medium. The water has several shades of blues and a little bit of dark green, and is spread specifically to look streaky.

The white-work border could have been a bit whiter. No matter how long I let the parchment rest, I was afraid of tearing the paper. I’m not sure if the paper I used is getting “dry” (losing it’s elasticity) or if I had pressed too hard and stretched the paper to fast on one of my first passes with the large embossing tool.

I chose to add sky/sunset very lightly in this project, instead of showing this regal egret standing just in water. It may be hard to see in the photo, but I promise you, it is there!  I also had to put this aside for a couple of days, as just after I started it, the news media came out with some truly horrifying photos of oil-drenched birds, including some egrets, in the Gulf of Mexico, which truly broke my heart. I would look at this project and see those horrible pictures in my mind.

Once I was able to get a hold of myself, the perforating and cutting went pretty quickly. The piece is attached to card stock with invisible thread, and then layered onto another piece of lighter blue card stock.

The last step is to find a suitable frame, oh and wall space!

Hope everyone is have a great start to their week!

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28 Comments
  1. June 7, 2010 7:21 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous, C!!! I can see the sunset in the distance. Beautifully done and kudos to Robyn for such a lovely pattern.

    • cepet permalink
      June 7, 2010 7:38 pm

      V, wait until you see the other patterns in that pack! Being the bird lover that I am, this is the PERFECT pattern pack for me!

    • Katy Kasar permalink
      June 10, 2010 7:42 am

      Hi Vickie – many congratulations on being Chiara`s `Designer of The Month` – and very well deserved too – I am getting on well with your fab book on your Etched Glass Technique – stayed up till 02.00a.m. this morning, determined to get the mask onto my chosen design – I should have chosen a darker background, but I was still flabbergasted to see how it transformed my `Fairy` – I am awaiting my vellum from the US, but just had to skip ahead so I could see the effect of the mask – an absolutely stunning technique – thank you Vickie, I just LOVE IT!! Love and hugs, Katy xx

      • June 10, 2010 8:47 am

        Thanks so much, Katy. Please don’t let it keep you up all night though…..lol

        • Katy Kasar permalink
          June 10, 2010 8:59 am

          HaHaHa Vickie – I`m sure it will, but I am a bit of a `night bird` anyway, and am lucky enough to be able to take a little siesta if it catches up with me after lunch – will show you my first piece after vellum arrives – they said 7-10 days, so maybe next week – take care Vickie, LLL Katy xx

  2. Sue permalink
    June 7, 2010 7:26 pm

    It is heartbreaking to see those poor birds. Your egret is lovely and a fitting tribute to them all.

    • cepet permalink
      June 7, 2010 7:33 pm

      Thank you so much Sue, and what a lovely idea. My egret will be dedicated to all the birds in the Gulf that are in distress.
      You’ve given me a new mission — find a group in the gulf states that would like this dedication, maybe they could use it as a fundraiser.

      • Katy Kasar permalink
        June 10, 2010 7:45 am

        Chiara, what an ingenious idea!! – those poor creatures, I can`t bear to watch -you go girl!! – such a worthy thing to do!! – look forward to hearing how you get on – love and hugs, Katy xx

  3. June 7, 2010 7:32 pm

    Oh my word! This is absolutely EXQUISITE!!!! I love it Chiara, amazing job girl! I’m so glad you mentioned the paper getting dry. My friend had paper that was dry and she thought it was her, I tried working with it and knew it was the paper, now I understand why. I’m going to write her right away and tell her. Thanks for sharing that, I had no clue!

    • cepet permalink
      June 7, 2010 7:37 pm

      Thanks so much Jerri. I always try to keep my paper in the plastic bag it comes in, and then in a drawer. Somewhere along the line, I must not have kept the paper properly sealed in it’s bag. But, it could have been me pressing too hard when embossing. I try to be very careful about my pressure, but who knows. Something to watch out for.

  4. Dawn Haylock permalink
    June 7, 2010 7:57 pm

    Lovely. Robyn’s pattern’s are always lovely to do.

    • cepet permalink
      June 7, 2010 8:00 pm

      Thank you so much Dawn! I can’t wait to get to the rest of the patterns in this pack, they are truly wonderful.

  5. June 8, 2010 2:22 am

    Really very beautiful will hérons cheer

    • cepet permalink
      June 8, 2010 7:29 am

      Merci, Raymonde!

  6. dorita permalink
    June 8, 2010 2:28 am

    oh Chiara, this is a master piece! congratulations!
    What is invisible thread and how do you use it?

    • cepet permalink
      June 8, 2010 7:26 am

      Dorita, invisible thread is a clear plastic-like sewing thread — kind of like fishing line, but very thin. It’s sold in the (sewing) notions section at craft stores and fabric stores. You use it like regular thread.
      If you look closely at the piece, on top and on bottom there are a couple of spots with perforations. When I place the piece over the card stock (and tack it down so it doesn’t move around), I use the 1-needle tool to reperforate those spots. Then, I thread a thin sewing needle with the invisible thread, up and down the perforations to tack the piece to the card-stock. I use a bit of tape to hold down the tails of the thread on the back, and the layering of card stock, hides the tails of thread and also is an added security so the thread won’t unravel. You don’t see the thread when it’s finished, more importantly, there is no threat of glue showing through the paper!

      • Katy Kasar permalink
        June 10, 2010 8:01 am

        Hi again Chiara – love the idea of the invisible thread – apart from your use of it, (hope I`m not going to ask a very silly question here??) – no matter what I do, or how I fix tape, and pins and all sorts, my parchment still moves when I turn over to do the embossed dots – I ALWAYS end up spoiling the piece so tend to stick more to just perforating, where my work stays in one place – could this invisible thread be used to stitch to all four corners (and maybe a few other places around the edge of my parchment whilst on the grid, sort of threading through a couple of holes and then tying – it surely would be more secure than tape etc? – what do you think? LLL, Katy xx

        • cepet permalink
          June 10, 2010 8:18 am

          Katy, it’s possible, but I think it would be a huge pain to tack the parchment to the grid with sewing thread (invisible or cotton thread). When I first started trying out the invisible thread, I found that pulling it too tightly through the project and card stock can cause the thread to tear through the parchment.

          Mary Price, over on the PCmag forums that suggested securing your parchment to the edge of the grid (leave a sufficient amount of paper between the edge of the grid and where the pattern would start) and then flipping the paper over to do the perforating after you do the embossing. When she’s done this, her project is still lined up. (It was in the “Hint’s and Tips” section: http://forums.magmaker.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=21993#p370152)

          Another thing to think about, are you holding your parchment paper down onto the grid with your hand as you perforate or emboss? If you are, that too could be stretching your paper, thus it won’t line up with the holes on the grid again.

          Let me know how you get on.

          • Katy Kasar permalink
            June 10, 2010 8:56 am

            Thanks so much Chiara, and to Mary Price – it is whilst doing the embossing that my parchment moves – I always leave plenty of room from the edges, and I havn`t noticed pressing hard whilst working, but I could well be doing so – I will make note when doing my next piece of work involving embossing dots design borders, and will let you know how it goes – thanks Chiara – cheers!! – LLL, Katy xx

        • June 10, 2010 8:58 am

          Hi Katy,

          A good portion of my work is done on grids and I use low tack tape (actually it is painters tape) to secure my work to the PCA grids. No tape will work on the PERGA grids so I use short shank mapping pins on the PERGA grids and I don’t limit securing my work to just four corners when using the Perga grids…..I secure the paper in as many places as it needs to stay put!!!!!

          Also, after doing your perforating you cannot just flip the PERGA grids, with the parchment attached, and continue on with your embossing……or visa versa. With the PERGA grids you have to remove the parchment…..flip the parchment over……replace…..secure it, lined up properly to the grid and then continue on with embossing. With the PCA grids you can simply flip the grid over and continue…..because the PCA grids are thin and you can easily see your work from either side of the grid while the paper is secured to it.

          To summarize: Perga grids require removal and replacement of the parchment to continue with the next technique. PCA grids do not!!

          • Katy Kasar permalink
            June 10, 2010 9:09 am

            Thanks so much Vickie – I very rarely use my Perga grids, for this reason – I also use painters (masking) tape,and also lots of short shank pins around edge, but still find my work getting out of line sometimes (usually when I have done most of the border-grrrrh!!) it`s very fractional, but sticks out like a sore thumb-LOL!! – but thinking about it, Chiara may be right – maybe because I am so anxious NOT to allow it to fractionally slide, I am pressing hard on the parchment and the warmth of my hand is stretching it a little – will make a note next time and see if this is the case – thanks so much for your help and advice, as always Vickie – LLL Katy xx

  7. Nelly permalink
    June 8, 2010 3:07 am

    Hi Chiara, this is a wonderful bird . Good job and I love the white work, you know, it’s one of my favorite techniques……
    About the embossing and the “dry” paper: I know here, with my classes, I use a lot of paper, so it don’t get the possibility to dry. But you keep it in the good way, in plastic, so I think you pressed too hard in the beginning. You have to strech the paper very gentle and let it rest between the layers for some hours, so it can “come back in shape”. Therefor you need patience,…..a lot!!
    If you hardly can see what you’ve done after the first time of embossing, it’s well done. Then you will see your embossing growing and growing each time you add a layer. For the last layer you can use a soft white pencil as an embossing tool. That will make your emnbossing perfectly white.
    The sky/sunset colours are perfectly made.

    • cepet permalink
      June 8, 2010 7:13 am

      Nelly, thank you so much for the tip! I used the Flex paper on this project, and I’ve noticed that there is a difference in the “feel of the paper” as I am embossing. I’m not sure if that made the difference, or not.

  8. June 8, 2010 4:41 pm

    Superb job Chiara! Very exciting to see a pattern in this pack made up by someone else. I know another lady is working on the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo at the moment. Hope you have fun with the other patterns!

    • cepet permalink
      June 8, 2010 6:57 pm

      Thank you Robyn. I had a lot of fun with the Snowy Egret, and was able to practice some techniques I don’t normally use. I can’t decide which pattern to do next, though! Such a tough decision 🙂 I guess you’ll have to wait and see…

    • Katy Kasar permalink
      June 10, 2010 7:35 am

      Hi Robyn – I love your work, and bought some of your designs recently – unfortunately I havn`t had the time (family staying for a month) to do most of them, but have done one of your gorgeous rose designs (the plain peach rose-bud) – I was pleased with the result – are you on Facebook ? – if you are, if you go into my album you can see it there (Katy Kasar) – it must be a lovely feeling seeing your wonderful creations done by another person – it must be gratifying for all your hard work involved in creating them for us to do – many thanks Robyn, and after seeing Chiara`s beautiful egret, I am off right now to buy this pack from you-LOL!! – thanks so much Robyn, love and hugs, Katy xx

    • Katy Kasar permalink
      June 10, 2010 9:19 am

      Hi Robyn – as just said above, I have just bought your gorgeous, exciting, four pattern exotic birds pack – I don`t know which one to begin with, they are all so lovely – and I must compliment on the clarity and quality of your pattern packs and your super instructions – thank you so much for giving us these lovely designs – LLL Katy xx

  9. Katy Kasar permalink
    June 10, 2010 7:52 am

    Hi Chiara – such a beautiful piece of work – and beautifully done too, as always – this elegant creature looks even more regal as he stands alone and becomes a very definate focal point – I just love the way you have done him – I love Robyn`s designs too – I havn`t done birds before, but after seeing this design, I am off right now to buy this `birdy` pack-LOL!! – super work Chiara xx

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