inspired by

A weekend holiday

Teague

This weekend was my middle 6ft3 'child's' 21st birthday.  I only have one left under 18 and not for very much longer!  We hired a car (we don't have a car, we love walking, trains and bikes usually) and took local trips that we can't always do.  Saturday was spent at Sennen beach with a surfboard, body boards and an evening picnic with friends watching the sun go down over the sea.  A beautiful way to spend the evening before his birthday.

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Sunday afternoon (the poor boy had to work in the morning, saving for college) was spent at the most beautiful place in the whole of Cornwall (well we think so), Nanjizal cove.  It even has a beautiful name! Lovely family time and lemon drizzle birthday cake.

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There are flowers everywhere here in Cornwall at the moment.  I love this time of year,  the hedgerows are overflowing with flowers, everything looks beautiful and it's so easy to forget that it was ever winter.  We are well into pink and purple flower season now as you can tell.

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I did also manage to get some stitching done last week.  I am working on a new pattern, that comprises of two designs that sit well together, inspired by flowers and butterflies.  I've kept the girl very simple and then embellished with lots of flowers and butterflies.

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I was enticed by quite muted colours for these two hoops (I am in love with DMC 3726 and DMC 316 at the moment) but I think they would look nice in bright colours or pastels too.

There was a bit of a gap between posts over May, it turned into a very busy month with a lot of exam stress as my youngest is doing her final A level exams but I should be back to more regular blogging now.

I hope you are all enjoying the seasons (whichever you may be in) and having a little time for stitching

x

 

 

 


A beautiful book by Yumiko Higuchi

IMG_6180When I first began Lilipopo it was zakka sewing that interested and encouraged me.  I love the way very simple designs can be beautiful with a little care.  So over the Easter weekend I had a little time to do some personal stitching and pulled out my zakka embroidery book by Yumiko Higuchi.  I have had this book  for quite a while now.  I did stitch one design when I first received it, loved it and then put the book in my bookcase and left it.  This week my train pass wallet fell to pieces in my hands so I decided that, rather than get another ugly plastic one from Great Western Rail, I would stitch my own pretty one and I remembered this book

IMG_6181 (1)There is a card wallet pattern in the book but I wanted a different design on it so I used the wallet pattern but spent some time working out where to put elements of the botanical design onto the wallet pattern.  I think most of the designs can be put onto most of the projects.  I love this design!  Flowers and insects are fabulous for stitching.  

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this little bee is stitched with stem or outline stitch in the book.  I got ahead of myself and misread the pattern and stitched it using backstitch.  But he still looks great.  I had to use double my normal number of strands but I love the way it stands out from the fabric but it still has the details.

IMG_6184I really wanted to stitch this flower!  I was a little wary of all the chain stitch and at first I did have to do some undoing until I had a chain that seemed a good size but, once I got stitching, it was a dream to stitch.  I love love love the effect of the chain stalk and the running stitch petals.  I'm not too sure why I put the bird where I did other than that I wanted to stitch the bird!  I think he could be elsewhere but I still love the simple design.  The final wallet is perfect for my train pass and library card.

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and I am so addicted to these designs that I have started another tile pattern.  This is a little lavender or pin cushion, I haven't decided yet... I just wanted to stitch it.  Lots more chain stitch practice.  I think chain could be my new addiction, which surprises me because it's not a stitch I would normally use very much.

I absolutely recommend this book, it's perfect for making small projects that you can carry around anywhere with you.  The focus is on one or two colours so you don't even need lots of threads to take about with you.  The projects would make beautiful gifts too. 

I would love to hear about your favourite embroidery books, after all you can never have too many!

Now I'll hide this stitching away for the weekend and get on with my work!

x

 


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.

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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

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

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

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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.  

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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.

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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


lavender girl inspiration

Watermarked

Inbetween busyness with dull admin stuff and lots of supplies ordering for the Christmas season this is what I have been doing, having fun with lavender girls.

Dress collage

I love playing around with liberty tana lawn scraps.  I especially love  the turquoise Betsy at the moment.  The fabrics are (in a clockwise direction) grey Mitsi, yellow Kayoko, turquoise Betsy, red June's meadow.  All these are available from Alice Caroline on Etsy .

Head collage

The kits should be ready in a week or so

x


winter dream embroidery pattern

Water marked

It's finished.  I really loved the whole process of designing and stitching this one.  I think the soft colours and repetitive stitching were just what I needed this week while I was trying to decide on plans and stock for kits and fabric panels for the upcoming season!

It took quite a lot of drawing, stitching and redrawing to get this one just how I wanted it.  When the children were little I used a lot of Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf methods in their education and I love the peaceful gentle art aesthetic associated with it all.  And I am a big lover of Robert Frost's poetry, one of my favourites being 'stopping by woods on a snowy evening'

Wm horse's head

and of course it was inspired by all the beautiful vintage dala horses out there.  Wouldn't it be lovely to ride off on one into snowy woods on a wintry evening

The pattern is in my shop now and I will be having fabric panels printed with this one later in the month.  I may also offer a kit for it in time for Christmas.

So all in all I'm feeling quite (unseasonably) Christmassy now!  In early October!!  Today I think I will have to go make squash soup and apple cake to get myself back into the autumn rhythm, or I could start my Christmas shopping early, for the first time ever, in my life!

I think soup and apple cake...

x


tea time and gcse exams

Japanese teapot watermarked

For a few months I have had a beautiful quote from Chaim Potok in my head

'come let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things'

I love this quote, I have it pinned to a board in my bedroom, torn from an old copy of flow magazine.

So I started drawing teapots... and once I started I found it very hard to stop.  I could have drawn a lot more teapots than I could possibly sew!

But finally I have completed a tea time pattern

Teapot main hoop watermarked

The pattern has four teapots in total, although one of them has not been stitched and is left for you to experiment with.  It also includes a few teacups and some flower heads.

I love the way the hoop looks like a tea tray

Sunflower teapot watermarked

we do get through an awful lot of tea in our house

Yorkshire Tea of course, as that's where I grew up.  Sadly we have very soft water down here in Cornwall so it never tastes quite Yorkshire enough for me but still very nice tea.

We also love our green tea with lemon and mint tea ( I think they would go nicely in the Japanese teapot)

Are you a tea drinker or a coffee drinker?

Perhaps the sunflower pot could work for a coffee drinker

I hope you enjoy the pattern and I will get back to my tea drinking and prepping my final home ed child for her gcses next week!

I think we will both be very happy peeps after June the 9th when the exams are over and hopefully the sun will be shining and all the birthdays coming up.

The pattern is available in my Etsy shop as always

x


mini designs for mini frames

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Quite some time ago (before christmas) I was contacted by Shelby from Ewoodstory to see if I would like to create something using their lovely frames and pendants.  I loved the idea and Shelby sent me some frames to try out.

Pendants

aren't they gorgeous?

she also sent the sweetest little wooden flowers, a bit like sequins with a central hole so you can stitch them on with a bead.

Wooden flowers

I plan to use these in a very different sort of project later in the month

So, back to the frames...

As I doodled ideas into my sketch book I realized that there were lots of things I would quite like to fit into these little frames

beginning with little heads

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I love the shape of the oval half n half pendant

and then moving onto flowers

Vase of flowers whole

In the end I came up with eleven tiny patterns (between one and two inches tall)  with tiny stitches.

Main collage

and the pattern that includes all these designs is over in my shop 

Tomorrow I will pop a tutorial on here to show how I attached the finished embroideries to the pendants.

x


Inspired by

Bear in a balloon

things are very busy at the moment with stitching up my new pattern and working on a few commissions so I thought that I could link to some of the blog posts that have inspired me in my tea breaks this week

I've been loving this gorgeous cross stitch from &stitches and am feeling inspired to try out that lovely double cross stitch. 

And another stitch I didn't know over at Kimberly Ouimet's fab blog a 'ringed backstitch filling stitch

I love absolutely everything Murgatroyd and Bean do but this lovely feathered chain stitch is another stitch I really want to try this week.

Are there any beautiful stitches that you are just dying to try?

x