Wednesday, January 21

New things

Good news (at least I think it is!): I'm busy writing and embroidering for a new online workshop (or 'class', but workshop sounds more 'hands on'). More details will follow next month but the planning is to launch towards the end of May. If you are interested in joining me (and yes the photo below is a hint of what to expect) then be sure to keep an eye on this blog or sign up for my newsletter!

I learned lots from my experiences (and the survey) from last years 'Furry Nice' online Embroidery class, so things will be a little different. But for the better of course. :)

This Spring I'm also hoping to have a few more patterns printed. One that is familiar (see above) and two brand new ones. I'm working with someone to sort out the printing stuff (because that's really not my thing) so I can focus on the Embroidery part (which is more my thing)!

Wednesday, January 14

Lovely (handmade) gifts

Just at the end of 2014 I received a lovely package full of goodies, including this wonderful hand stitched brooch my friend Sami made for me! I'm wearing it today but thought this old book was a better backdrop for a photo than my wrinkled cardigan. It wasn't a swap technically as both me & Sami just (without knowing we were planning to) sent each other a few goodies around Christmas time. :)

I don't do many swaps anymore as they always stress me out a bit but I had much fun with the &Stitches Bloggers Secret Santa swap. Rebecca sent me an amazing package with a fabulous pouch (Polar Bear from Sophie's fab Stitch the Halls book!) and a very pretty pieced mug rug (a.k.a glass of white wine rug). Rebecca's package also included lots of different M & M varieties, which my daughters loved. Over here you can only buy the chocolate and peanut M & M s.... Rebecca has a post featuring the whole loot on her blog!

I sent a Moomin Snorkmaiden drawstring bag with goodies to Julie. I adapted one of the Sublime Stitching Moomin patterns to make it look more winter-y.

My bestie Caroline went to Japan and brought me heaps & heaps of fabric, including this super cute animal print. No idea what the owl is on about but I'm sure it's something nice. :)

Tuesday, January 6

Roses and rabbits (and a cat too)

I regularly take photos of my embroideries when I'm working on them.  Mostly to see if I'm on the right track with my colours etc. The obvious spot for taking these photos is near a window, where there's plenty of natural light. A bright, slightly cloudy day is best for taking pictures.

Rain or shine, I always have a trusty assistent helping me out with these photos. ;)

Today I was taking photos of this Rabbit & Roses piece. I'm quite happy with the overall look of this embroidery so far. I did unpick some of the stitching this morning (you can still see some stray floss-fluff on the fabric) as parts of the stitching just were not good enough in my opinion. In the process I managed to push the tip of the seam ripper I used for unpicking, under my nail which wasn't a very pleasant experience. Luckily it was my right hand (I'm left handed) and with lots of band aids on the injured finger, it doesn't stop me from continuing to work on my Rabbit & Roses piece. :)

Tuesday, December 30

Pigsty: a free Moz cross stitch pattern

I was trying out some cross stitch pattern design software yesterday and made this slightly kitschy pattern. As you may know, I have a soft spot for stitched lettering and especially lyrics and quotes so I choose a (not especially cheery) song title by Morrissey. I guess if you don't like Morrissey the pattern is not all that interesting but I thought I'd share it anyway. :) There's no colour key or anything and text and or flowers may not be perfectly centred but hey, it's free! If you decide to stitch this pattern (or if you have any other stitched lettering to share) please add it to my Stitched Lettering group on Flickr!
You can download the pattern here.

Sunday, December 28

2014 in stitches

I embroidered a lot in 2014, this is just a selection of what I made! Furry creatures, especially bears and polar bears, remain a favourite subject but I really liked stitching the owl too. The VW van design I originally made for Australian Homespun Magazine (and made into a pattern later) features all kinds of animals, including a flamingo and an octopus. I also regularly featured flowers in my designs from poppies (in the Jackalope pattern) to a pixelated rose in 5000 French knots (centre) to colourful, folksy flowers in my 'negative' Flower bear piece (bottom right). Next year I will definitely bring you more embroidered animals and flowers! Wishing you all a safe and fun New Years Eve. :)

p.s. there's only 2 days left to buy my PDF patterns!

Tuesday, December 23

Flower Bear Finished & new project started

Finished my Flower Bear a week ago or so but the lack of daylight really made it impossible to make a half decent photo. So when the sun came out this morning I grabbed my camera and made a few photos.

Here he is a bit closer. I really enjoyed making this piece and it has inspired me to start another embroidery, similar to the Flower Bear.

I received a Frixion pen from Rebecca in an &Stitches Secret Santa swap (alongside other fabulous goodies like different M & M flavours we don't have over here...) and used it to draw directly on the fabric. So the lines are a bit wobbly but I really like the freedom of drawing up a design like that, even though it's not my usual method of getting a design on fabric. The roses are based on an old embroidery I saw on the cover of a book but I didn't follow the example too closely.

I also got out my Anchor Embroidery Threads (bought a big lot second hand on Ebay years ago) and found some interesting colours like a really bright red, a shade I haven't seen among my DMC threads yet. My experience from stitching a pixelated rose in French Knots earlier this year, made choosing colours for this project easier and helped in my understanding of shading. So I'm happily adding orange and pink and really dark red shades to stitch these roses. :)

I probably won't have much time to work on this over Christmas but hopefully I can bring you an update on this project in the new year. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

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. ;)