Eat Pray Love

Your probably wondering what this has to do with embroidery – well this lovely, thought provoking movie (he’s rather nice too) got me thinking about my New Year’s resolution for 2011 –  and my rendition of this would be Design  Stitch  Share.

Designing = ideas or food for thought

Stitching = meditation

Sharing = to love

This year I plan to explore ways to improve on the composition of my designs.  Researching material for the Colour book last year made me realise how important it is to have a good composition and to pay as much attention to the negative spaces in our design (the blank white spaces) as to the positive (stitched spaces).  So to help me achieve this I am going to learn how to paint with coloured pencils.  This will be twofold as I hope to be able to create my own paintings for reproduction in embroidery instead of relying on the permission of artists.

I particularly admire the work of Ann Swan a botanical artist who explains this concept clearly in her book “Botanical Painting With Coloured Pencils”.  Not only are her paintings inspiring for embroiderers of flowers but her work lends itself well to needle painting.  You can find more information on her website:

I will also be looking into the possibility of online classes so that overseas members can join in on workshops and of course there are two books to be released this year, which is exciting.

If any of you have ideas for online classes I would love to hear from you.

I look forward to sharing ideas with your this year and a very Happy New Year to you all, may it bring you much joy peace and creativity.



14 thoughts on “Eat Pray Love”

  1. Trish, quite by coincidence, I happened to have bought the Ann Swan book about a week ago. When I saw it the first thing I thought of was your embroidery work!

    Quite often when I’ve stitched one of your pieces I’ve been struck by how much it looks like a coloured pencil drawing. It seems like that would be a natural medium for you to work in.

    I’m sure you will have a lot of fun with the pencils. I hope you will be able to share what you discover about the relationship between floss colours and coloured pencils. I’d be really curious to hear about the similarities and differences and, especially, any insight on how to compensate for the differences.

    1. Thanks margaret – I am flattered that you thought of my embroidery when you bought Ann’s book, thank you. You are so right that pencil drawing is a natural medium for embroidery as the pencil lines (filling) closely represent our long and short stitches. I have actually used pencil drawings in the past as a guide to finding the correct direction for my stitches. An example of this is the portrait of Elise in the gallery. You may also have noticed that I have included coloured pencil drawings with the stitch diagrams in some of my books (Redoute & Crewel & Surface). I am looking forward to trying out this new idea and will certainly share with you the similarities and differences – some of which are immediately obvious to me as I study Anns book. Am sure you will enjoy the book too keep me posted! Trish

  2. Learning to paint has certainly improved my designing, and more to the point it’s made it easier to develop designs. I’m less anxious about drawing and re-drawing!

  3. I think this is very innovative and inspiring—-wish I could participate in any of your three suggestions but with my capabilities I shall have to just stick to the original three and keep wishing and looking at your creations. I am sure the response will be great LOL and good luck for 2011

  4. Hi Trish,
    Happy New Year to you and your family. I was very interested to see Ann Swan’s web site, I really like botanical art. I hope you enjoy learning to paint with coloured pencils.
    I have most of your books and the DVD and I look forward to purchasing the new books when they are published this year. I too would like to access your on line classes. I think these could be a great help to beginners. I have completed one of your beginners pansy embroideries. This flower has five petals but I think I did every petal twice before I got it to look right! But I suppose that is the way to learn. Hopefully later this year I will have more time and be able to get back to my embroidery.

    Best wishes Pam

    1. Thanks Pam Happy New Year to you to. Yes it does take practice keep persevering you will get the hang of it. “Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well” (Phillipe Earl Stanhope). Trish

  5. My dear Trish, Firstly happy new year from Isle of Man and I am sure the weather with you in the Cape is far better than here! I am thrilled to say that your supplier in UK is now open and I received my DVD, 2 kits and lots of bits and bobs from them on Saturday – I was like a dog with two tails I was so chuffed with my parcel. Wendy actually phoned me this morning as I had left a message for her when I received the parcel to say I was so pleased and the DVD is just great. I already have picked up a feew tips that I was doing wrong – I was not using two threads for the first row and I was also working from the bottom into the top instead of the top into the bottom (if that makes sense) all vital tips for a good finish. I traced all the trial flowers from your book and can now put my new found knowledge into practise so watch this space. There are just not enough hours in the day but I intend to make this year count in my road to learning this beautiful art. Wendy told me the new book should be soon although she did not know when so I asked her to keep me posted – I did not realise there were two! – bring it on! The online classes are a great idea and this should really help those like me who are really in the backwaters with little help so I really look forward to that. I was so interested in your pencil painting – have not heard of this but I am sure you will let us know all about it on your blog – will have a look at the website you suggested in the meantime. I am sure this will be very beneficial for your embroidery for new designs. Many thanks for the blog and look forward to further tips – have you any idea when the books are going to be available? All the best Elx

  6. Dear Trish,

    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    You have made my day by saying you are looking into online classes and like Therese I have your DVD and find it excellent. I am a summer student at The Royal School of Needlework and after finishing my Certificate course with Merit I decided to do the Diploma one. I go over to London every summer for a few weeks and sew. It’s fabulous. Two weeks of nothing else but embroidery, although I must say it gets a bit stressful when I have a deadline to meet but that adds to the enjoyment. I am also interested in your future artistic projects.
    Keep up your good work.
    Gillian Gonzalez

  7. Dear Trish, first of all I wish you and your family all the best for the year 2011. I would like to add a comment. Trish, a book is just a book although very useful (sometimes). I’ve bought your dvd and received lots of information about the fabrics I have to use, how to start with the embroidery using 2 threads in the needle to gain a beautiful edge a.s.o. And it was helpful being able to see how you were working on your embroidery. I would like to have access to online-classes. This would be of great help to me. In my country there are only 2 ladies giving classes but the distance is a problem.
    I’m looking forward to your new book. Best wishes

    1. Thank you Therese I am glad the DVD has been helpful. I will certainly give a lot of thought as to how best present online classes. Where is your country? Trish

  8. Happy new year to you and yours Trish! May it be a creative, happy journey. I am looking forward to your books becoming available and vow to pick up my needle and thread this year and start on your wonderful kits. I have the rose, which is in the ‘things to do’ basket. I have been taking coloured pencil painting class with Linda Hampson here in Pietermaritzburg. She features her botanical work at the Kirstenbosch exhibition every year and her work is amazing! Unfortunately for me she will be emigrating to the UK this year. I also have Alyona Nickelsen’s book, Coloured Pencil Painting Bible. Excellent book for a beginer as she has lessons to follow, and a great website with newsletters that always has an interesting subject regarding her artwork. Do take a look and I will follow up on Ann Swans Botanical Art book as well!
    Best wishes

    1. Happy new year to you Moz, thanks so much for the information on the coloured pencil tutors – am I able to get in touch with Linda Hampson? Would love to see some of your work if you could email it to me, I think it is a wonderful medium. Trish

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