Sunday, March 31

Happy Easter

watercolour by me (2009)

And hopefully a fluffy white Easter bunny with a suitcase full of chocolate goodies will knock on your door... :)

Tuesday, March 26

Dear Crafty shops...

In the past few years I regularly received the question whether I had my patterns available for wholesale. Until now I had to say 'no' but I'm happy to report that I'm currently in the process of getting at least one, but probably more patterns printed, starting with the Princess and the Pea pattern. If you have an online or 'brick and mortar' crafty shop and are interested in selling my printed patterns, please contact me at nicole (at) followthewhitebunny (dot) com
Once the printed patterns are here at Follow the White Bunny Head Quarters (which is basically my craft room upstairs) I will send you an e-mail with wholesale prices etc.
Thank you!

Monday, March 25

Small steps

I spent some time with Bear yesterday and made good progress. As you can see I am not very bothered about leaving bits of the embroidery unfinished (like the rose). When I get bored or stuck at some point or other, I move on to something else. Eventually it will all get done, honestly!

Can you see the difference in shading between the larger piece and the smaller one? A large scale definitely gives more opportunity to make the shading look super subtle. From a distance anyway...Via my peeps on Instagram I got some great ideas for flowers to add to the Bear embroidery: Honeysuckle (so appropriate for a bear but a real challenge to embroider!), Forget-me-nots, Bachelor Buttons and Ivy. Let me know if you have more great flower/plant suggestions. I'm looking forward to include some of them in this piece!

I also had a rare visitor in my Embroidery corner today:

Just checking whether I needed help with that left over floss in the teacup...  ;)

Friday, March 22

Discount to celebrate!

In my own Follow the White Bunny shop, customers can download their patterns immediately after payment. A great feature if you ask me because what is better than directly receiving the goods you have paid for? Today I found out (by accident actually) that Etsy had also made this feature available for the Follow the White Bunny Etsy shop. I worked hard this afternoon to adjust all the listings so all my patterns that are listed on Etsy are now ready to download immediately after purchase as well!

To celebrate I have a special discount in both my shops this weekend. If you buy patterns for at least $10 you get a $2.50 discount! You have to use the code BUNNYDISCOUNT at check out though. Offer applies to all patterns (including 'package deals') and ends Sunday the 24th of March. You can find the Follow the White Bunny shop here and my Etsy shop here.

Tuesday, March 19

Winner Book and Floss Giveaway!

Many thanks to all embroiderers who entered my giveaway of Aimee Ray's new book Embroidery & Beyond and 12 skeins of lovely DMC floss!

I let pick a number and it chose:

Lucky comment number 13! Congratulations Kristin with this fabulous prize!

Monday, March 18

Trying new things

I do enjoy a bit of experimenting in my stitching. This time I'm trying out a kind of cross hatch stitch/pattern in my Doubtful Guest embroidery.  I'm not trying to copy Edward Gorey's original drawing exactly, but make my own interpretation with needle and thread. Hope it will work out nicely :)

In the meantime I'm also trying my hand at making fabric designs. I wanted to do this for a long time and I'm very excited about the two designs I'm working on. As soon as I'm 100% happy (well 99% happy maybe) with the designs I will have them printed at Spoonflower and if they are any good you will be able to buy them there as well!

P.S. don't forget to enter my giveaway of Aimee Ray's new book plus 12 skeins of DMC floss!

Thursday, March 14

Embroidery & Beyond: a review and a giveaway

Aimee Ray's first book (Doodle-Stitching) was a book very suitable for beginning embroiderers. I think I learned my first stitches (such as the back and split stitch) from that book! Her new book Doodle Stitching. Embroidery & Beyond is very much a follow up to that first book.

With only a few basic embroidery skills and this book in your lap you can dip your toes into several embroidery techniques without getting buried under heaps of information. Actually Embroidery Basics (like what materials you need and basic stitches) are covered in this book as well so a confident or enthusiastic beginner could definitely use this as a starting point to explore different types of embroidery.

All chapters (Cross Stitch & Decorative Stitches, Applique & Color, Redwork & Crewel, Sashiko & Sisha and Cutwork & Stumpwork) have short introductions to the techniques and many projects with instructions to try them out. It makes techniques that may seem a bit daunting, accessible and less 'scary' for beginners.  With a book with such a wide scope it's inevitable that the introductions cover the basics but do not go beyond that. Having said that, I do think the 'cross stitch' section could have done with a little more explanation and illustrations!

Now if you are a fan of Aimee's patterns you will find some really good ones in this book. There are too many to mention but I especially love the Hansel and Gretel redwork (with a bit of pink) Storybook Panels. There is a neat project to make your own Embroidered Cuckoo Clock and a lovely interpretation of the Family Tree in Crewel. And I think the Crewel Peacock on a bag is a really fun way too add embroidery to an everyday object. Many of the patterns will have to be enlarged before you can use them. I know a lot of people find that a bother and would rather have full sized patterns included but I guess it's a way of keeping the price of a book reasonable.

Doodle Stitching. Embroidery & Beyond is a book which just could set you off in an direction of an exciting embroidery technique that you want to explore further through other books and patterns. The book also offers lots of patterns in Aimee's unique whimsical style that are fun to stitch for embroiderers of any skill level. If you are a more experienced stitcher and looking to explore new techniques, such as Sashiko or stumpwork, it is likely you would choose a more specialized book to begin with.

Doodle Stitching. Embroidery & Beyond by Aimee Ray is available in (online) bookstores, for example here.

Lark Crafts (also publisher of my pal Carina's book due to be released later this year!) kindly offered me to host a giveaway of the book I just reviewed: Doodle Stitching. Embroidery & Beyond and a set of yummy DMC floss (see the first picture) as well.

If you want a chance to win the book and floss, leave a comment on this post before March 19th, 12 AM (Central European Time) and tell me what your favourite embroidery technique is and which one you would like to try some day. I think I'd like to try my hand at Crewel Embroidery. :)  You have to either leave your e-mail address in the comment or link to a profile with an e-mail address. If there is no way I can contact you, I will have to draw a new winner (sorry to be so strict but I have had quite a lot of trouble to find some of the winners of past giveaways!)  Good luck everyone!

Lark Crafts kindly sent me a copy for review without obligations.

Monday, March 11

Hey sailor!

A quick update of my Bear & Fish embroidery! While I was stitching the rose (just beneath the foxglove) I was thinking about putting Bear in a sailor suit (including a cute sailor hat). There is a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition in one of our local museums right now and that's probably where the idea came from. I would need to do some unpicking of fur on the top of Bear's head and draw the new outfit  directly on the fabric but a sailor outfit would look really lovely on Bear I think. :)

Monday, March 4

Crafty books

These are some of the Embroidery books I own.  As you can see I like to use floss to bookmark interesting pages. :)  My birthday is coming up in a month and I wouldn't mind adding a few good books to my 'library' so if you have any good tips please let me know! I'm especially looking for books with stitches and techniques, not so much books with patterns or projects (because I generally make my own). Tips for awesome quilting or sewing books are welcome too. Thanks!

Sunday, March 3

On Smiling Teacups, a Love Story and Postage Stamps

I just returned from a few days away with the family. Everyone in the family, except me, had had some type of flu in the weeks before so the break was very welcome.  Just before we left I bought this cute 'Fancy a cuppa?' Frosted Pumpkin Pattern (see photo) and being a bit in a hurry I couldn't find all of the floss that the pattern description mentioned but managed to find most of it.  I stuffed some Aida (this was the only colour I could find) embroidery scissors and the printed pattern in a craft bag and took it as my project on the go. I always take some kind of crafty project with me on trips. I got most of the Teacup finished while I was away.

I also did a bit of reading and one of the books I read was Jojo Moyes 'Me before You'. Not the type of book I usually read so I had been 'avoiding' it for a while but I'm glad I finally read it. I thought it was a very well written, touching love story with heartwarming characters and dealing with some difficult issues as well.

Before I left I also started on another new scrappy quilt project: a low volume postage stamp quilt based on this tutorial. I'm in doubt whether this quilt won't become to boring with all these muted shades and very tempted to mix in some brighter strips or squares...