Tuesday, December 16

Noel Brooch


Say hello to Noel! This handsome bear may be tiny (about 1") but he likes to give big hugs. I embroidered Noel completely free hand on Liberty fabric with just one strand of floss. I then made him into a unique brooch. He's now available in my shop and although I do understand that Noel would make a perfect Christmas present, it's most likely he will arrive after Christmas! Places to go, other bears to see, that sort of thing. ;)

Thursday, December 11

Saying Goodbye to Digital Patterns

Come January I will stop selling downloadable embroidery patterns, for various reasons.

The admin side of selling the downloadable patterns and the income that it currently generates it's not in balance. It was probably off-balance for a long time but I guess I chose to ignore it and hoped things would improve. The new 2015 European Union Tax Rules for selling digital patterns make the admin process even more complicated and definitely 'helped' in making the decision.



Also somewhere down the line my focus seems to have shifted somewhat from 'just' pattern making to developing my embroidery skills and artistic side. And I noticed that when I did make time for those things, good stuff happened, like my current Flower Bear (for want of a better name) project for example. In the next year my aim is to give more room to my embroidered art. I hesitate to use the word 'art' because I don't really feel like an 'artist' (maybe that's something I need to work on) but the combination of skill, creativity and imagination makes me think I can get away with it. ;)  I hope people will appreciate the designs, possibly even support me by buying the actual embroideries (or other work) or commissioning pieces.

In the mean time I will be working on a new online class (already made the first sketches!) and I hope many of you will want to join in. I'm positive that there will be more printed patterns too at some point, in addition to the Princess and the Pea iron-on pattern already available. I will also be listing finished pieces (old and new) in the shop.



There's truth in the often pinned quote that you can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. It's a bit scary but exciting too and who knows what is on the other side of the ocean?  Even though I do feel a bit sad about saying goodbye to this (important) part of my business I do appreciate the irony of the name of my most recent pattern 'Wave Goodbye'. ;) Anyway if you are interested in buying any of my PDF patterns you can do so until the 30th of December. Find them all in my Follow the White Bunny Shop (which will remain open in the new year!) Also if you have bought downloadable patterns from me in the past years, please make sure you download them before the end of the year!



Many, many thanks to all of you who bought my PDF patterns in the past years. Thousands and thousands of Princesses, Hedgehogs and Foxes found their way to many of you, all over the world. I always liked to think they travelled to you in teacups and hot air balloons instead of electronically. :)

Tuesday, December 9

New work (in progress)


I usually try and avoid posting frumpy photos (fabric not ironed! embroidery on a peg on the fire escape ladder!) but I hope the embroidery makes up for it. ;) I have been working on this for over a month now. Progress is a bit slow due to an aching thumb that is in a brace most of the day and well, the amount of fill stitching is quite overwhelming too. I don't even know how much time I have spent embroidering this piece, surely more than 40 hours... There are parts of this piece that I'm very happy with and there are parts I'm not crazy about but I really do like the overall effect. I also like that it's totally 'me': the subject, the flowers, the obsessive shading and using about every colour available in my stash :)  It's nearly completed now and I can't wait to try out more similar ideas. Maybe even as embroidered illustration. Anyway, I expect that some of this will make it's way into the new online class I'm planning for 2015. Hope you all like it.

  

Monday, December 8

This

Life's little ups and downs (and extra busy family life this time of year) have thrown me off blogging a bit recently and I really only want to blog if I have something to share. But... I really thought you should see this video though (I already shared it on Facebook and Twitter so it might not be new to everyone!) that I found via the Make-zine blog.

It shows how Embroidery Artist Cayce Zavaglia works and although I really don't want to compare myself to this amazing talent, I was happy to see the messy backsides of her embroideries because mine are pretty messy too. These Embroidery backsides show the process of how the artist works. Very much like a painter actually. With needle and thread travelling all over the place. Fabulous stuff.


 

In other, less inspiring, news: due to new VAT rules in the European Union (I won't bother you with the details) starting January, selling digital downloads (like my patterns) will become more complicated than before. I'm not sure what to do about it but I'm hoping to sort something out in time. However it's possible I will have to stop selling my downloadable patterns for a bit and they won't be available for purchase.

Saturday, November 29

Owl Embroidery from start to finish


Of all the embroideries I did this past year, my Owl embroidery is probably the piece I'm most proud of. I have regularly posted updates on Instagram of its progress and I thought it would be fun to put them all together: from (water colour) sketch to finished embroidery.


Wishing you all a great weekend!

P.s. if you have time please vote in the &Stitches Poll I made. We want to know your favourite embroidery techniques! Because it's likely you have several favourites you can choose three. :) You can vote here. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 26

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas



A little while ago I was asked by Stitch Craft Create whether I was interested in taking part in a book tour about Handmade Christmas Decorations. One of the books immediately caught my eye: Handmade Scandinavian Christmas by Hege Barnholt.*



Having spent a few years in Norway I'm familiar with some of the Scandinavian Winter/Christmas traditions. To me a Scandinavian Christmas means: light, warmth and bringing nature inside your home. I was pleased to find all of these elements in this book.



The projects in Handmade Scandinavian Christmas are not just 'inspired by' but 100% Scandinavian. There are too many projects to mention: they range from knitting projects (more about that in the interview) to decorations for your home made with berries, branches and pine cones to wrapping ideas. There are typical Scandinavian recipes (I for one can't wait to make the Rice Pudding with Cinnamon!), a chapter about flowers and also simple projects involving food that make great Christmas Gifts. Another thing I definitely want to try are these cute bird feeders.



The project descriptions are rather concise at times but with a little common sense you can work it out. I must admit that the simplicity of many of the projects make it all seem very doable even if you are not especially gifted in cooking, crafting or making decorations. Some of the projects in the book (like the one pictured below) however involve sawing branches and using a drill, which is a little outside my comfort zone. ;)


Me and my daughter Luna opted for the safer paper ornaments (no sawing required) and we were pretty successful! Also: it's hard to stop at one so we made several :)


We did change a little detail, using needle and thread rather than a paperclip to bring the whole thing together. We also made a paper 'woven heart' which again was easy to do with very satisfactory results. There is actually a separate chapter in the book with projects for kids but I found that these paper Christmas decorations were very suitable to make with children too.


I thought it would be nice to learn a bit more about the author of the book, Hege Barnholt and she kindly agreed to answer the questions I sent her! Hege lives in Norway with her husband (a photographer) and works as an interior stylist. Their blog and Instagram account are well worth a visit/follow because of the beautiful photography and styling.

Is there much difference between the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian Christmas Traditions?
The original Scandinavian Christmas is in the colours red and white. And we use a lot of natural materials. The Swedish and Danish Christmas are almost similar. Only the food is a little bit different.



The book has many projects and I read that some of the recipes were passed down from your grandmother but how did you source the many other projects? Where they also passed down from your family or did you make new ones in a traditional style?
I made all the projects my self.  Some in traditional style but also some with a new design or look. All the Christmas cakes are old recipes from my grandmother and mother. My mother made them for me, she died last January. So this book means a lot to me. She made me to the creative person I'm today. 



There are quite a few projects in the book that require knitting. What is it with Scandinavians and knitting? It’s seems immensely popular in the Nordic countries!

We live in a country where part of the year is darkest and cold. We stay inside and love to have crafty projects. And we love to wear them when its cold. The Scandinavian design use a lot of old pattern in a new way,  and the wool is typical Scandinavian style.


Do you have a special Christmas tradition in your family?
I loved when my family sat around the table preparing for Christmas with scissors and paper needles and thread. Making homemade presents and decorations for Christmas. We also used all things we had collected from the nature in the autumn such as cones, moss and crooked branches. And my husband and I always make each other an advent calendar, Its so nice all the 24 surprises until Christmas.



Santa or Julenisse (the Norwegian Santa, but a little different)?
Of course - Julenisse,  it is the cutest. 


Thank you for a lovely interview Hege, God Jul!
***

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas is perfect if you want to bring a genuine piece of Scandinavian Christmas into your home. Many of the projects are easy to do and require little expertise. 



Now if you'd like a chance to win £100 to spend at Stitch Craft Create you can share a picture of your own handmade Christmas on the share board of Stitch Craft Create or use the hashtag #SCCXmas on Twitter or Instagram. Definitely worth a try I think :) 

Happy Crafting everyone! 


*I received an e-book version of the book for the review. All my opinions are my own. :)


Thursday, November 20

New Things...


So...I have (therapeutically?) been stitching on a Very Interesting Project recently. That is to say, I think it will be quite lovely when it's finished but as I'm embroidering it I'm already thinking of a thousand different ways I could have approached this project. The stitches aren't perfect but overall the effect that I'm after is definitely reached. A bit cryptic I know but it in this case it will be so much nicer if you see the finished piece first and perhaps in progress photos afterwards (although I don't have too many). The red rectangle isn't part of the project. I wanted to add an appropriate text there but in the end I couldn't think of anything.... it contrasts nicely with the rest though. :)

Also new is this Wave Goodbye... pattern. As you probably know this pattern was published in Australian Homespun magazine a few months ago and I'm now releasing it for all to enjoy.


As always the pattern has a Stitch and Colour key and valuable tips from yours truly. :) There's still enough time to stitch this in time for Christmas for the VW van or cute animal fan in your life!