Friday, July 24, 2015

Learning Brazilian Embroidery & Making Parisian Essence

This past month has been weekly lessons learning how to do Brazilian Embroidery. Mary Beth has been kind enough to teach us at our rug hooking days. She winters in British Columbia with her daughter & family & took this class to learn herself & came back home only to find a huge interest here in this fine needlework she has mastered beautifully!
Mary Beth ordered complete kits for us to being our lessons, the kits would have everything needed to complete a sampler piece.

This is mine, I've got three out of the seven done. We work on one flower a week, this circular piece measures 6" across. It literately can take an hour to complete a flower!! This is a labour of love as it will take a long time to work but the beauty in the unique rayon simmering threads make it beautiful!
                                                   How frilly is this French Hydrangea?!

                                 I was thrilled to learn the bullion stitch, on this Rolled Rose!

                              And this Knotted Lazy Daisy has been my easiest so far...

New Ironing Board Cover!

 This was a much needed job to do & I did my usual procrastinating about it but once I took the old cover off & it literally fell apart as I took it - I knew what I needed to do! Sooner than later! lol
 I washed the cover & when it was dried, I reused the padding & elastic & placed this IKEA fabric from 2005 on top of the pad & cut out around it. Leaving a one inch seam for the folding for the elastic casing. And Voila! I really don't know why I procrastinate so much, the job went off so easy & looks great!

Parisian Essence~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well the last time I saw Bill he had brought one of my old  2006 Australian Stitching books out to me & laughing he told me how he & Nick had found it while packing & in it was a doll that was so me as I have been living & breathing my garden this year! And I probably would want to make it for my potting shed. I looked at her & she was oh so sweet!

                           Her apron reads 'A time to sow and time to grow in my garden...'

OK! I'll see Bill & Nick next weekend so I best get busy making her---I read the instructions but she's to be painted with Parisian Essence & her apron to be dyed in it, what's Parisian Essence?!
I looked it up on Google & it's a darkening sauce used for gravies, fruit cakes, & fabric for craft items. Well then I found a recipe so last night I made some & here's how it went!

Recipe for Parisian Essence

1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of hot water

In a heavy bottom pan, over low heat, melt sugar, stirring constantly until burnt and black.
Remove from stove & cool a little.
Add hot water a few drops at a time, stir till smooth & return to heat till the burnt sugar becomes a thin dark liquid.
When cool - pour into a bottle.

Parisian Essence will keep for years, the intense heat destroys all sweetness. A few drops will go a long way to darken gravies, fruit cakes, and the staining of fabrics for various crafts.


How simple was this going to be! Well it was simple but a very long process of nearly two hours~!

                                       I used my faithful, handy cast iron frying pan!

                 I'd never done this before so I was surprised when the sugar started clumping...

                                                                    Then it melted!

                                                    And started to smell oh so good...

                                                              I stirred & stirred...

                                      The yummy smell left & the burnt smell was present.

                                                         I stirred some more...

                                                       And it finally happened...

 The white sugar had turned as black as the cast iron pan it was in! I added the water a few drops at a time & watched it bubble like crazy, then a few more drops, again & again....

                                               One cup of bottled Parisian Essence!

For the doll I will need 2 tablespoons but for years to come I will now have Parisian Essence in my pantry & better yet...I know what it is!! lol
I'll post my results of the Gardening Angel Doll, when I start the process. I swear I've ADHD, I'm so close to finishing the Vintage Tin. Two more squares & I can bring it all together but what do I do?!!
I spend an evening making Parisian Essence & tracing out a doll pattern, pushing away any Vintage Tin fabric that was in the way. I really need to focus on the task at hand!

You do have to admit---Gardening Angel Doll is cute! Can't wait to create her, she's a big one at 26"!!

Blooms In The Garden

                                                 How gorgeous is this bulb's flower?!

                    I was thrilled that it came up so beautiful, there's several now.

When Ross brought me these bulbs last month, he told me I would have to remove them in the fall.
I planted them in a large basket pot & placed gravel deep in the hole for drainage. In the fall I will remove the basket & retrieve all my bulbs for next spring!

                                The colour seems to be a lovely purple shade right now.

We've had so much rain here on the east coast & being shore side it's been chilly & damp but when I look out the window & see the garden, it makes me smile & happy to see it!
Maybe not so happy to see the grass & how much it has grown!

My post is late this week as the beginning of my week started off sadly with the passing of a friend then on Monday John  Cowhig, my father-in-law died. He battled cancer for over a decade & was one of the positive, caring person I knew. I will miss him & his Irish accent as he would speak, I would smile, he was a delightful man.

Our last family Christmas together in 2012, John is on the far right sporting his red & white winter sweater. We keep our house at 64F so everyone know to layer when visiting. He use to watch Boris for me & it was John that gave him the title of 'Little Man', always asking in telephone conversation, 'How is the little man?'
                     Grandpa John with some of his grandchildren as he celebrated his 80th birthday!
                                                                   God Bless You John!

You are so loved & missed by so many of us! What a privilege it was to have you in my life!

We all come with an expiry date.
Live each one of your days to the fullest & love & enjoy all the friends & family that are part of your life each day. You never know when your date is up.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit with me. :-)


  1. Cynthia, my sincere condolences on the passing of your beloved father in law.
    I'm glad you have sweet memories of him. I love what you said "We all come with an expiry date. Live..... you never know when your date is up. I think it a great way to remember to live each day with love and purpose.

    I love the Brazilian embroidery you're doing. They have great instructions online. I love the bullion stitch. I have only ever done basic embroidery and the French knot but haven't embroidered in a very long time. It's a good time to revive this lost art.

    That garden angel doll is just adorable. Now I learned a new thing here. I never heard about Parisienne Essence. Thanks for the demo.
    Have a great week and do as you please. Life is too short and remember, we all come with an expiry date.

  2. How lucky are you to have private lessons for Brazilian embroidery! Lovely work ! Nice to see the family pic, but sad about your F-I-L. Thanks for the recipe for Parisian Essence - hadn't heard of it before.