Lately the only project I have been plodding along on is my Torah portion. It has spent some quality time with me lately while I was enjoying the new season of Downton Abbey. I am almost done stitching the text!
The only required stitching for the project is the text, however I of course want to make it even more special with the optional stitching: taggim (little crowns over certain letters), borders, and illumination (decorative stitching in the bottom "white space". The project website has lots of information from required color palette (the below pic is missing one color that my local craft store was out of) to border designs, charted illuminations and more.
I spent a couple hours browsing the gallery of finished portions, reading the translation of my specific portion and searching online for various photos. My portion takes place during the "Joseph" story, and the specific verses are about Jacob telling his sons to go back to Egypt. So I decided to create borders inspired by papyrus reeds, and an illumination of water lilies, a common flower in Egypt. Using photos I found online, I sketched out the following as my design:
Right now I am planning to cross stitch the borders, but just do an embroidery stitch for the illumination. I tried a bunch of times to chart the water lilies, including using some free online software, but I just wasn't happy with any of the results. I am hoping the embroidery will add some whimsy to my portion. And yes, I did just talk about adding whimsy to the Torah--weird, I know.
Anyway, I also recently received an email saying there are some "orphan" portions which the original stitchers couldn't finish for whatever reason. If I make quick work of this one, I may try to "adopt" an orphan portion to complete too. I will keep you posted when I make more progress on this one!