Just to let you know that the premium linen is finally back in stock. There has been a 5% price increase, sorry about that but unavoidable. As you know this is a top quality fine, linen fabric imported from Belgium – it is not easy to find this standard of embroidery linen anywhere else in the world, and those who have purchased it previously will attest to it’s gorgeousness and what an absolute joy it is to stitch on for both Needlepainting & Whitework with colour.
The linen is sturdy enough to support the weight of your embroidery without a backing fabric and can be washed and ironed repeatedly without any wear and tear.
The landscape pack 4 includes the current Campagne,Provencal and Tuscan landscapes in both medium and large outlines as requested – so you have the choice of stitching the normal size or a larger size if you prefer. The pack also includes iron on transfers for future landscape designs, I decided to think ahead to save on shipping costs. Each transfer can be used approx 5 times or more so once you have purchased a pack you should be all set for any future designs you purchase.
I plan to start work on the Scottish Loch landscape very soon and there is also a new Whitework with Colour project in the pipeline for those of you who are fans of this style of embroidery so keep watching this space! Till next time wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.
Hope your week is going well. I have been very busy working on commissions for magazines and books and also preparing some proposals for an overseas convention in 2021. I hope to be able to share more with you very soon so watch this spot!
As soon as time allows I will also share with you part two of my overseas trip to Kew Gardens and Ireland, meantime I am pleased to announce that the Etsy sister shop is now open.
We have re-opened the old shop as a courtesy to those of you who feel familiar with Etsy or who didn’t know it had closed 2 years ago and have emailed asking where it has gone!! The shop will be selling digital patterns for instant download only – unfortunately there is a limit to file size on Etsy so not all the patterns are available but you will find 95% of them there. So you can now shop for digital patterns on either Etsy or you can shop for digital patterns, materials and books at the Main shop as usual.
On a happy personal note my 17 year old daughter, Katie passed her IGCSE exams – we got the results yesterday and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Katie is my youngest and arrived some 11 years after my other two daughters, so it has been 32 years of school runs, homework and exams…………. all I can say is I am so proud of her YAY !!
Meantime, wherever you are in the world keep smiling and happy stitching.
Today I wanted to dye some white linen to give it an antique look for a specific project, and thought you may find it helpful to see the process and the results. I prefer coffee over tea for this as it creates a beautiful soft antique shade, see for yourself here is the method:
I used the premium linen fabric available in my online shop but it would work with any white linen or cotton.
2. Half fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil.
3. Add approx 4 tablespoons of pure coffee granules. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes till the coffee has dissolved. Allow to cool slightly so it is not boiling hot.
4. Immerse fabric in coffee solution. Leave to soak for about 30 minutes for a light – medium shade, 15 minutes for pale and about 1 hour for darker. I left it for 30 minutes.
5. Remove fabric from solution and rinse thoroughly in clean water till the water runs clear – lay on a clean fluffy towel. Roll up to remove excess water and allow to dry.
6. Iron with a hot steam iron to remove creases.
Process complete you now have a gorgeous shade of antique linen!
Till next time wherever you are in the world, keep smiling and happy stitching.
Hope your week is going well? Overseas trips always provide me with new inspiration – it is good to get away and see what is happening in the rest of the world and come back refreshed and brimming with new ideas. As there is too much to share in one sitting I will spread this out over a few blog posts, this week I will be chatting about my visit to Search Press book publishers.
On Friday 14th June my daughter Stacey and I made our way to Search Press which is located just outside of Royal Tunbridge Wells a historical town in Kent, England. We had spent the last 2 days in a lovely country Inn and had the opportunity to explore some of the beautiful countryside around Tunbridge Wells.
We spent a day at Scotney Castle – a 14th century moated castle and country manor within a wooded country estate and I was in my element, it was so quintessentially English and the gardens and flowers were just out of this world! The beauty of these gardens, the numerous wildflowers, wildlife and insects that they attract were a huge inspiration to me and I plan to introduce these into future designs, so watch this spot!
As mentioned previously, two years ago I signed a contract with Search Press for future book titles, and have just completed my first commission with them for the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. The book will be released mid 2020. Search Press is the leading art and craft publisher in the UK , with offices in USA and Australia. They have won awards for the Best Craft Book Publisher in the prestigious Craft Business Awards, the craft industry’s highest accolade for a book publisher eight times since the awards began in 2006.
“With a team of nearly 40 people, many of them long-term employees, Search Press now publishes up to 100 of its own titles each year, as well as distributing books for other publishers. From the commissioning of an original idea to the final delivery of books into the warehouse, the publishing process is carried out ‘in-house’. A few books are bought in from other sources and labelled with the Search Press ‘stamp’, but they are always checked by Search Press before they are printed, so that they fit in with their style and publishing philosophy. “
This was my first visit to Search Press and we were warmly welcomed by Becky Robbins my editor and Mary Ellingham the publicity manager who showed us around the warehouse and offices. Having worked with Becky on the new book for several months it was great to put a face to the person behind the emails and phone calls and to see behind the scenes.
The warehouse where the books are delivered and stored was impressive! Rows and rows of books labelled and bar coded for easy access were laid out in an orderly fashion. The staff were busy taking delivery of shipments and moving boxes on haulage trolleys, packing and unpacking boxes of books, and preparing online orders for shipping.
I was surprised to see how many people were employed at Search Press, and the work environment seemed happy and relaxed in an open plan office format. My editor mentioned that working together like this could prove useful as if you needed something from another department you could just shout instead of picking up the phone ! There is a little garden outside with benches where the staff can have their tea/lunch and a dog lay quietly behind his mistresses’ desk whilst she worked.
I found I could identify with each department from Customer services, to print layout, graphic design, sales, editors,digital , and so much more. Whereas they have approx 3-4 staff members in each department I similarly tackle each job alone for my online business (on a smaller scale of course). I seem to remember asking a few of them if they wanted to work for me in Cape Town!!
Thank you Mary and Becky for showing us around, it was such a memorable visit and a great pleasure to meet you all. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we can’t wait to see a copy of the new book!
Till next time wherever you are in the world, keep smiling, and happy stitching.
Want to learn how to do botanical needlepainting then these are for you. Botanical needlepainting is the realistic interpretation of flowers and plants. I am pleased to announce that there are two new botanical needlepainting patterns available in the shop. Both patterns are stitched using DMC stranded cotton. The iron on transfers are not yet available but will be soon.
This Aquilegia flower, more commonly known as columbine or ‘granny’s bonnet, is a lovely study in botanical needlepainting embroidery. Learn how to subtly blend shades of colour and achieve a realistic effect, by adding outlines to your embroidery. This pattern is suitable for all levels including beginner.
This heavenly Helleborus flower, sometimes known as Lenten rose, is a beautiful study in botanical needlepainting embroidery. This project focuses on more advanced shading and how to create a realistic effect by adding small details, outlines and texture. This project is for those who have a little previous experience in needlepainting and want to brush up on their technique, or simply just to stitch this gorgeous flower for the pure joy of it!
Meantime, wherever you are in the world have a wonderful week and happy stitching!
I hope this finds you well and that you are having a great week? Just a reminder that I will shortly be leaving for my overseas trip and the shop will be closed from 7th June to 7th July, so tomorrow is the last day for placing orders. I will have limited access to emails and the internet whilst travelling and therefore will not be able to reply to any emails or reply to comments on Facebook and Instagram during this time, so please do not think that I am neglecting you, I will respond as soon as possible on my return.
I promise to “tell all” when I get back and also have some lovely new embroidery patterns planned for the second half of 2019. Till next time, wherever you are in the world, I hope you have a lovely summer, keep smiling and happy stitching!