inspired by

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.

Details

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

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


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

Main

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

Girl c 2

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