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August 2017

photography things and a new little caravan

Caravan full picture

This week my trusty little Ricoh camera finally gave up the ghost and I had to learn how to use a grown up camera!

The truth is it was never my camera in the first place.  Everyone in our house loves photography apart from me.  It's my guilty secret, I really don't like taking photographs.  I like setting them up but when it comes to camera techy stuff.... yuk!

That little Ricoh seemed to do everything for me (it even took the pictures in a square) but now I have to learn how to use the family DSLR!


Tripod and everything.  I would like to tell you that running lilipopo is just doing a bit of sketching and then doing a bit of stitching but there are all of the other things too.  I have learned an awful lot of techy skills on my lilipopo journey, from adobe illustrator to photography to book keeping.  I'm sure all this is very good for my brain but really I would like to just sketch and stitch.

Instead I am in the process of learning about ISO and aperture and shutter speed, I can't seem to work out how to turn the flash off and use macro at the same time but I'm sure I'll get there in the end.

Flowers in garden

and in the midst of all this I finished my new little caravan pattern.  I loved stitching this pattern I just kept embellishing (hopefully not too much!) and had so much fun with the colours and stitch choices.

Window and border and bunting

I have included guides for the colours and stitches that I used but I really think it's the perfect pattern to just stitch the colours you love and the stitches you love.  

It's available in my Etsy shop now and the perfect pattern to practice those stitches.

Now I'm moving onto sketching a wintery pattern, I'm aiming for a sampler type of design but I'm also going to have to get back to that camera manual and learn to love photography!

caravans and colour

Finished first caravan

I have been working on a new caravan pattern, one that fits into a hoop to be framed but could still work as a cushion centre or in a square picture frame.  Last weekend I would have loved to have had this little caravan as we danced in the mud and rain at WOMAD.  Our little tents kept us dry but I think this caravan might have been a little more luxurious!  

WOMAD was absolutely fabulous despite the rain, it's hard to complain about a bit of rain when there are musicians from Syria along with the Survivors of the Khmer Rouge making the most beautiful music.  It really is such a positive festival that reminds you that we are all just people striving to be as happy as we can be, no matter where we are from.  Music always seems to me to be the best art form for crossing boundaries and bringing people together.

Since getting back my youngest has turned 17!  I can't quite believe that next year all my children will be adults.  

Colour and pattern

And so now I can get back to a little bit of stitching.  I've been choosing the colours for the final version of the caravan.  I had to change a few small details, the cups and saucers were just too tiny to see properly once stitched so we are drinking tea out of mugs.  And my original handwritten 'happiness' was a little messy so that has been adapted along with a few other details.

I am leaning towards a palette with a lot of pinks, reds and peaches although I think the main outline colour will still be blue and I might add a little purple if I can find the right one.  Choosing the colours is always my favourite part, although I do sometimes change or add to them as I go along if something isn't working or something else is needed.  I have been known to unpick a lot of stitching because a colour that looks beautiful on the bobbin simply doesn't work in the embroidery.


I'm also having a bit of fun with stitches in this pattern, trying to fit a few more in.  I love couching and am really happy with the way the knots turned out at the end, there's also a bit of satin stitch using quite long stitches.  Satin stitch is not a stitch I use very much so I'm challenging myself to include it more as it's a great filler for certain kinds of areas.  I will be adding some stitch tutorials to the blog as I go along over the next month or two.

I also have a winter sampler plan in my head but at the moment it is only in my head!  I'm feeling quite excited about the idea of working with more stitches and I love old samplers so hopefully more of that to come.

Finally I have a couple of fab resources for you.  

Marna Lunt is an English embroiderer and tutor (as well as a snow globe collector)  I love her style of stitching and she has the most fabulous free introduction to stitching course.  It is packed with videos of lots of stitches and she is just lovely.  You just need to sign up to her newsletter to have access to the course.  She also has more advanced courses that you can pay for and she does workshops.

The other thing I have been having some fun with is Creative Bug I think you can try it for free for a couple of weeks then it costs about £3.50 (it's in dollars so it changes) a month and there are just so many art and craft videos.  There is a lovely embroidery sampler tutorial by Rebecca Ringquist that is lots of fun to do.  I particularly love all the 31 day drawing challenges as I am not particularly good at making sure I draw every day but there are all sorts of classes on there.

Now I'm going to plan a party to celebrate my and my friends big birthday.  We are having a Hawaii theme due to the particular age that we have reached...  I will leave you to work it out!

Have a fabulous weekend