Leopard’s Gaze – a finished object [Giveaway]

The last time I blogged about Leopard’s Gaze was over a year ago, in September 2016. There was a reason for this – and it’s not that I wasn’t working on it! The project was destined as a birthday present for my brother, and I don’t know whether or not he reads my blog…I didn’t want to blog about it and ruin the fact that I’d finished it! The worst case scenario was that he knew I was working on it, but thought it was never going to get finished, and if he didn’t read the blog, well, I was trying to cover my bases.

If you didn’t get it from all of that, Leopard’s Gaze is finished!

Pleased as punch! I've finished Leopard's Gaze!
Pleased as punch! I’ve finished Leopard’s Gaze!

Leopard’s Gaze – the inspiration

In December 2012, my family and I went on holiday to Zambia. While we were there, my brother took the most incredible photograph of a mother leopard. Her name was Alice, and she had a couple of cubs with her. We spent a magical hour or so watching them snooze in the sun before leaving them to carry on. We came away with this photo:

The original photo of Alice, taken by my brother.
The original photo of Alice, taken by my brother.

At the time I was working in Hobbycraft, and one of the Dimensions Gold Collection kits, Leopard’s Gaze, came in. It was almost a no-brainer. The kit came home with me.

The original artwork for this kit is a painting called “Light Being” by an American wildlife artist, Al Agnew. It can be found here.

Al Agnew's "Light Being", the painting Leopard's Gaze was based on.
Al Agnew’s “Light Being”, the painting Leopard’s Gaze was based on.

Completing Leopard’s Gaze

Since January 2013, I’ve moved house five times, and the project has moved with me. It’s travelled from Kent to Devon to London to Devon to Bristol, and had stitches put into it (more in some places, less in others) all along the way. Things really kicked off when we moved to Bristol. We arrived in June last year, and didn’t get any of our stuff until October. This meant that I only had the few projects I’d brought with me when we first arrived, and Leopard’s Gaze was one of them.

After two years of the odd stitch here or there, this is where I was at in 2015.
After two years of the odd stitch here or there, this is where I was at in 2015.

I got really into it. The job kicked my butt for the first few months – I hadn’t been in a corporate environment before, and it’s always hard being the new person, so I had a lot of spare time in the evenings! Before long I was steaming ahead, and I finished stitching on the 18th of February this year.

I’d decided to get it professionally framed – it had taken me four years to make and it needed someone who knew what they were doing. I washed it when I was done, and it warped pretty spectacularly, so it was a big job. It was framed at a place in Bristol, and after a demonstration, I chose to put Art Glass in the frame. This is specially coated glass that doesn’t reflect light as much as regular glass – in the below photo, the clarity of the centre of the pane comes from the Art Glass.

Comparison between Art Glass and regular glass.
Comparison between Art Glass and regular glass.

My brother’s birthday was in September this year. It was a big birthday, so we had a bit of a party, and I presented the leopard to him with something of a time-lapse. I filmed his reaction, which you can watch here.

No more Leopard’s Gaze

Our bedroom wall, which homed the leopard for four months, has seemed bare ever since it went to its new home. However, I’m so pleased I’ve managed to finish and present it to him, despite the fact that I miss it. I’m hoping it will be an heirloom.

Hanging on our bedroom wall when it was finished.
Hanging on our bedroom wall when it was finished.

The project got me back into cross stitch, which I got started on when I was about 13 and hadn’t really looked at since. I found out about FlossTube, the cross stitch community on YouTube. I learned a lot of new techniques and also got exposed to a world that I’d never known existed. It was a bit of an eye-opener!

If you like the project and are into cross stitch, I’m doing a giveaway for the pattern and remaining floss. The kit is extremely hard to get hold of now, but I never intend to stitch it again and want to give the pattern to someone who will appreciate it! The giveaway is open until the 30th of November 2017, so you still have a couple of weeks to enter for it. Head over to my YouTube channel and this video, which is where I’m holding the giveaway, if you want to have a go.

The back of my cross stitch.
The back of my cross stitch.

Life has been a bit emptier since this enormous project got finished. However, I’ve got plenty on the go and a resolution to finish all my WIPs, which you can read about in my last blog. I’ve got more FOs to tell you about from 2017, so watch this space!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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2 Responses to Leopard’s Gaze – a finished object [Giveaway]

  1. Diane says:

    I can’t comment on the youtube page as I don’t have a youtube account… but I’m still following your blog and I must comment on this GORGEOUS cross stitch you finished and gave with love. This is the most beautiful work I have ever seen a real labor of love and I think you did the right thing for the framing.

    • Corrie Berry says:

      Thank you Diane, it’s lovely to hear from you! I’ve got another framing decision to make and it’s nice to know the majority of people think this was right because it’s informing my decision for the next one :)

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