on my work table

Smaller

flowers for a unicorn on my table at the moment.  I love the medieval tapestries and paintings of unicorns lying in fields of flowers

Me045

medieval unicorns always look so peaceful and calm, although I don't think my unicorn is going to be fenced in!

I want the flowers to be more modern and fun, I have absolutely fallen in love with the bright green blue of DMC 3849

Smaller 2

especially with cream and pale pink.  Not so keen on the reds so I might be dropping those from my palette.

As for the unicorn himself there is no sneak peak yet as I am torn between a restful unicorn and a prancing unicorn!

This stitching is happening in between some tedious (to me) learning about photographing, lighting and photoshop!  I wish I loved photography but I have to admit it is the part I like the least but February is down in my bullet journal as 'photography month'  (you see I don't even have a picture of that!)  And so I have committed myself to improving my photography and hopefully, in March you will be seeing perfect photographs with no blurry bits and stand out detail!  Hopefully...

I hope you're having a lovely February and have a more fun project than photography skills for the month (thank goodness for the stitching in between)

x


catching up

Photo (1)

February is usually not my favourite month, full of grey days and so long for such a short month.  But, this year seems different.  Every dog walk this month seems to have brought different weather and there has been grey and plenty of wet and wind but all punctuated with beautiful sunny days that make me feel as though spring is already here.  Our regular walk takes us to a nature reserve at Marazion; the ponds there seem full of bird life, herons, snipe, Canada geese, grebe, egrets and even the everyday mallard.  There are more gulls along the way, herring gulls, black backed gulls and black headed gulls.  We even have a friendly black redstart who lives in the rocks at the start of the path.  Sadly my camera is not quite up to photographing birds at a distance.  I'm really enjoying the repetition of our walk, noticing the subtle changes and learning to recognize some of the smaller birds we see along the way.

Photo (2)

On the sunniest day I took the afternoon off and sauntered around the marshes with the boy watching the birds and enjoying the sun while it lasted with no stitching and no computer in sight.  What a perfect way to spend time, I feel so lucky to be able to do it.

Photo

Last week, after soaking black beans for a chilli, I remembered that I had read somewhere that I could dye with the soaking water so I grabbed two jars put black bean water in one and tea in the other then popped a piece of linen and a piece of bandage into each jar.  I put them on the windowsill and forgot about them.  these are the colours that came out.  I should add that I haven't mordanted them so while the tea fabric will probably be okay I suspect the black bean might fade in too much light.  

I am going to start a little slow stitching project with them using the beautiful Linblomman linen threads that I bought in Falmouth.  A  perfect project now the weather has decided to go back to bitter wintery cold again!  I'm looking forward to getting back in from a cold Sunday dog walk and sitting with a cup of tea and my stitching.

Bunnies no frost

I am feeling rather pleased with myself for being a little ahead of the game for a change with my Easter spring pattern all ready and in my shop this week!!  

The pattern is a very simple one that I love framed in the hoop but I think would look lovely on a little Easter bag too.  

I have also been spending a little (possibly too much) time on pinterest this week gathering beautiful pictures of stitchy goodness and some stitch tutorials  Are you a pinterest addict too?  I think I could lose myself for quite a long time in pinterest land!

This coming week I'm going to be focusing on some flower stitching and a little bit of unicorn stitching along with quite a bit of drawing for a project that I am quite excited about.  

I hope you are enjoying your February and finding some cosy  (or cool depending on where you are) stitching time

x

 


dog walking in winter

Mist

we are going through a very wet and misty period at the moment in West Cornwall.  Familiar places become unfamiliar but strangely beautiful and every dog walk feels like an atmospheric adventure.  So I thought I would share a little of our greys, reds and greens today

Seagulls

swarms of herring gulls, black headed gulls, turn stones and sanderlings line the edges of the water looking for food

Me

and the colours!  I love the colours at this time of year.  I love the moorland reds and greens far more than the summery st Ives blues.  

Boats

and then one day a dog walk in a different direction, just for a change.  The fishing boats at Newlyn harbour on our way to Mousehole along the coastal path.

Whippet

This is Ash the whippet (for dog lovers!) who accompanies us on our long daily treks into the wilderness.

Photo

And this is Teague the strange middle son who forms the rest of the dog walking team and took all the beautiful photos @teague_popovski

The best thing about our dog walks at this time of year is definitely getting home to a warm space and frothy coffee with a little bit of stitching waiting

I hope you are enjoying your outside spaces whatever the weather

x


a stitchy flowery thank you

Final flower globe wm

This week has been a little bit here, there and everywhere so in between those mixed up moments I got on with a little flowery stitching and created a little free pattern for all of you as a small thank you for making last year such a fabulous year for lilipopo.

I am a huge fan of snow globes, I utterly love the magic and sparkle of them.  They take me straight back to my childhood and also to the moment when my three year old daughter picked one up and cracked it in the shop at the  top of the Eiffel tower!  A moment she has never forgotten but she still (at 16) can't help 'looking' with her hands!

This week though I wanted something flowery rather than sparkly, looking forward to spring so the pattern is for a flowery globe rather than a snow globe.

Butterfly flower detail wm

There's even a spring/summer butterfly in there.  Right now I am sitting typing in a very cold space wondering whether to put my cosy fingerless mittens on so this spring scene is something I'm really looking forward to!

Flower globe pattern transfer

If you are a new stitcher I have beginner notes here 

there are some stitch tutorials here

and there are lots of tutorials on my pinterest board 

here 

Right hand detail wm

The link to the pattern

I hope you enjoy stitching the pattern up as much as I enjoyed making it

Now to tidy my mixed up messy work space and try to create some order for 2017!

x

 


on my work table

Bandit 1 wm

It's January and I really should be brightening everyone's day up with colour but I'm a little bit addicted to blacks and greys at the moment (although there is some red thread in the picture, I'm not sure what I planned to do with that!).  I thought I would share a little bit of my stitching process.  This is only the first stitching of my drawing and already I am changing things in my head as I go along...

Bandit 2 wm

First I trace the drawing using this flatbed lightbox. Mine is actually A2 size but it takes up too much space on my table for how often I use it, especially given that my designs are really very small!  On top of that I have accidentally trapped and almost snapped the wire!  So I think I will be treating myself to a new A4 lightbox that can sit on my desk all the time and not be put at risk!  The fabric I have used here is in natural colour (light brownish) so it is harder to see the design  but once I'm tracing and pressing the fabric against the box it's clearer.  

Bandit 3 wm

Here is what I end up with.  I am a very lazy tracer and don't trace stripes etc.  I put them onto the pattern because I suspect not all stitchers are as lazy as me.  

Bandit 5 wm

and now I can hoop her up and pop her under my very exciting magnifying lamp.  For a very long time I didn't need a magnifying lamp but these days I find it helps immensely and I have become quite reliant on it.  In fact perhaps I did need one before I just didn't know it. This is the one I use.

Bandit 6 wm

And out comes that black thread, 2 strands and back stitch.  I love filling with back stitch, I tend to do it in sections 

Bandit 7 wm

I'm not sure if this is a proper technique but I find it helps me keep to the shape of the hat.

Bandit 8 wm

I'm not sure how clear it is but I'm using long short stitch for the sleeves.  I think I just felt like a change really but it works nicely in the long thin gap

Bandit 9 wm

and this is as far as I've got with her (well I'm a little further on but no light for photographs!).   Once I finish her I will redraw her making the changes that I have in my head and then restitch her to make sure she's quite right before turning her into a pattern.

If you are new to stitching I have guides for 

materials and transferring patterns

various stitches including back stitch and long short stitch

I'm hoping to have a little colourful free pattern on Monday for you.  As long as everything goes to plan!  Something to make us all feel a little spring like in winter (unless of course you are reading this towards the end of a glorious summer)

x


Happy New Year

Oh my!  A little late as usual...  It takes me a little while to get into the new year there is quite a lot of looking back at the old year and planning for this year in the first two weeks.  This leads to a gentle slow start.  I do feel lucky to be able to start my year this way when I see my partner and daughter rushing out the door on the 3rd of January to get to work and college.

It's very cold and grey here at the moment, lovely for sketching and stitching but not so lovely for photographing.  So here is my 2016 pattern collage!

2016 collage

I'm always a little surprised when I realize that a particular pattern only emerged last year.  They become so familiar to me that I think they've been there forever!  And I love seeing them together like this.  Along with patterns there was a lot of kit preparing and pre printed fabric panels sorted out.  And then a few commissions and two magazine pieces.

All in all a wonderful year for LiliPopo and I would like to thank all of my lovely followers and customers for sharing the year with me.

This year I have lots of pattern plans, some in my head, some in my various sketchbooks and some already partly stitched.  Flower girls, unicorns and a thief of hearts are foremost in my head at the moment.

Heart burglar detail

along the lines of this little ACEO 

I want to improve my ability to use a posh camera (aka a DSLR).  At the moment I use a rather nice RICOH but I just have it on one setting and go for it!  I think I would like to understand a little more about photography this year.  

One of my own favourite patterns has always been catching wishes

Catching wishes detail1

I love working with one thread and in blacks and greys so this year I want to stitch up more of my drawings using a blackwork style of stitching.  I started towards the end of last year with my attitude fairy

Pics 027

I popped some wall paper around her (Edward Gorey style or Matisse without the colour)

Pics 028

and some floorboards beneath her boots.  I love the slowness and repetition of this kind of stitching.  I'm still working on my usual linen cotton mix so I get a little bit of unevenness here and there but I think I like it like that.

Pics 026

I like the idea of building up a space around the girls to create more of a picture.  

It would be lovely to know what you would like to see more of on the blog as I am going to create a blogging plan in the hope of being much more consistent over here!  I just need more sunshine so I can take more photographs

So I have my list for 2017.  Time for a coffee and I'd better make a start!

Wishing you all a wonderful New Stitchy Year

x


shop update

Girls collage

At the moment I am busy stitching dancers, fairies and girls.  I love doing this because it's so much fun creating each little character.  Which dress?  Boots or dancing slippers? Crazy hair or tamed hair? Stripes and more stripes... And then the little french knot embellishments.  It's a lovely calm time in between checking stock, packing and trips to the post office.

Delicate silver grey

Red dancer

These two girls feel like dancers with their delicate shoes and dance poses.  

Red fairy

Grey fairy

fairies with attitude.  I will also have some framed fairies once I have worked out the best way to back the oval hoops.

Gold hat full

Red mitsi

and girls in boots to celebrate my own new winter boots!!!!

I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas stitching

x

 


The fairies have arrived

Fairies galore

It has been such a busy two months I seem to be ordering supplies, packing kits and going to the post office for most of my working days.  So exciting to be sending my kits to so many different countries.  The all new post office staff in Penzance's sadly moved post office don't seem quite so excited by the number of parcels I'm taking them.  I love to think of all those girls being stitched all over the world!!

Today however my desk is swamped in fairies!  Not the kind that pack kits, order supplies or go to the post office sadly.  In fact they are the kind that sit there reminding me to get on with the stitching.  So, after what has turned out to be a very busy November, I have finally finished the 'fairy with attitude' pattern.

Full black

I love stitching this pattern.  It feels like playtime after all the work stuff.  I love choosing colours (mainly black white and red I've noticed!) and I love embellishing her hair, messing around with sock stripe patterns and wing possibilities ...  Best of all she is deceptively simple

Full red

She can be stitched with an embroidered dress or with an applique dress.  I recommend Liberty tana lawn for the applique as it is such a light strong fabric.  If you are in the UK you can buy small pieces from here at Duck egg threads.

Black silver wing

I think these fairies would make lovely stocking fillers.  I also think a bedroom 'keep out' sign might be fun (or a craft room or a chocolate cupboard...)

I will have some hand stitched versions of these for sale by next week I hope probably in the same cushion form as the lavender girls so they can be hung up as decorations.

I'm also working on that little boy fairy cushion and hope to have a pattern for him next week, still enough time to stitch a fairy cushion before Christmas I hope!

I know quite a few of you are long since started on your Christmas stitching and I hope you are all enjoying it.  I think I may need to start thinking about our family Christmas quite soon too!  A bit of knitting maybe...

x

 


On my work table

Hair

thanks to all my lovely customers my work table has been mostly full of kit supplies and packaging while I have been sending out such a lot of lavender girl kits!  How lovely to think of all the lavender girls that are being stitched this winter.

But I have had a moment or two to carry on working on this 'fairy with attitude' design.  I've used my absolute favourite Liberty fabric - red mitsy for this prototype.  Sadly I can't get hold of any more but I may have enough for a couple of dresses!  

I'm still tweaking the dress design and thinking of adding a stitched dress design as well as an applique pattern.  I have a tutu idea in my head but whether it will work in stitch as well as it works in my head...

Legs and boots

I love stitching with one strand of thread (using my super duper magnifying lamp!) because it looks so much more like my original drawing but I am also stitching her up using two strands to give a more solid line.  I think she'll work with both but the effect will be different.

I'm also looking at these oval flexi hoops 

Catching wishes

I used the round one for catching wishes and they are so easy to stitch and then frame in.  I also love the little Victorian look hanger at the top.  I think these may be easier for using in the kits too as they stay taut.

New designs

I love the lace and the Christmassy fabric.  I was thinking of making her into a sort of mini quilt hanging...

Little elf

I also have a little elf drawing on my work table that is soon to become a fairy cushion for boys.  My own two boys were always very happy to have messages and gifts from the fairies so it's probably about time I designed a boy version!

I'm also messing around with my blog template so that it works on mobile phones and ipads, because not everyone is as old fashioned as I am and still using a laptop for looking at blogs!  It will probably change again before I am happy with it...

Now for hot chocolate and a nice film on this grey cold evening

x

 


Just a quick reminder

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A couple of years ago I did a short series of blog posts to stitch this little notebook cover for a Christmas lists notebook (being something of a notebook and list fanatic!)

I realised that I don't have a clear link to the posts anymore and Christmas is on the way so I have added a page above to link to any free stuff 

and here is the link to the beginning of the series for anyone who missed it the first time around

lilipopo Christmas stitch along