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Natalia Frank posted a topic in TextilesDollhouse miniature petit point carpet Tree of Life 1 is my first carpet I stitched this year. It took me 11 weeks and 1 day to finish stitching it, spending from 8 to 12 hours daily. 7 days went for blocking, stretching, finishing the sides and fringing. It has total of 180,600 tiny stitches and 468 ends form the fringes on both sides of the rug. An idea to stitch a series of carpets under the Tree of Life theme came up to me last year, when at some point I caught myself thinking that I was tied and bored to stitch the repeatable motifs of the rugs. I wanted to create something different and fun to stitch. I have to tell you, I exceeded my own expectations. Tree of Life 1 carpet was the most challenged and enjoyable stitching project I've ever had. First of all, I spent good number of months at the library, researching and reading the books about the Persian rugs. Research is one of the most important parts of a stitching process of a project for me. I learnt that the main theme of "tree of life" carpets is happiness, life and immortality; that, as a whole composition, it expresses the wish for a long life, fertility and protection. Second, I chose to stitch it on 56 count silk gauze. A reason is that I have a whole line of Gloriana Tudor Fine over dyed silks (108 colors) and couldn't wait to try it. This silk floss perfectly covers 56 count and a choice of over dyed colors gave me an opportunity to fulfill my artistic soul. I was so impatient to start working on the carpet that, when I actually started stitching it, the pattern hasn't been finished yet. Each week I added different motifs and elements to it. I draw, to say exactly, outlined the shapes of animals on the computer with a black color, printed the sheets of a motif I was going to stitch out, displayed all 108 colors of silk floss on the floor surrounding me in the fan shape, and, literally dived in my own Nirvana while choosing the colors. I am sure, those who collects silk floss, would understand the astonishing power of emotions working with the colors. So far I used 89 colors, 93 skeins that cost me $500. The rug consists of a field, 4 corners and 4 panels in the border that are connected by fretwork in reds and white. First choice of the color for the border was peaceful blue. However, the thought of red as a positive color that excites the emotions was prevalent. In the center of the rug you can see the Tree of Life that is guarded by a snake, a symbol of eternity and continual renewal of life. The tree of life itself is a sign of life with its stem as foundation and leaves as a breath of life. A bird sitting on one of the branches of the tree symbolizes life and soul. The snake represents fertility and creative life force. Representing grace, peace and beauty there is a deer resting in the shadow of the tree. Ducks on the water bring a strong sense of knowing, which lends to a graceful self confidence. The center of the rug represents a thought of the Earth meeting with the Heaven separating by a bridge, a human made object, symbolizing a hope for the better life and unity between humanity and nature. There are 4 panels in the border. The compositions in each panel is a different representation of the same theme. All flowers in the border panels express a hope for good luck. Peacock, depicted on the left panel in the border, is full of royalty, awakening and spirituality. Wolf in the lower panel brings mysterious energy together with the sense of fertility of a running away rabbit. An eagle, "king of the skies", on the right panel of the border, gives us a feeling of strength, courage, freedom and power. Each corner of the rug has a diamond shape motif with a colorful bird inside sitting on a small tree of life with blossoming flowers. Birds stand for an expectation of good news. I entered the Tree of Life carpet into PIMA contest that was held last May at the Kensington Dollhouse Festival and it took the 1st prize. I am very thankful to the organizers of the festival and judges of the PIMA contest for an opportunity of challenge. I hope you like the rug as much as I do. Front side Back side