October was a busy month as many Christmas orders started rolling in, so my blog posts were rather scarce during that month!
The British Craft Awards
My first piece of news this month has to do with The British Craft Awards 2014. I received my copy of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine (Dec2013 issue), and saw that Sheena Rogers Designs had made the shortlist of nominees in the 'small business you love to support' category. I was blown away. Just to get onto the shortlist feels like a great achievement for me, and is a lovely reward for all the efforts I put in to my stitching business.
There is a voting form in the magazine, and there'll be one in the next issue of The World of Cross Stitching too, plus there is a website where votes in all of the stitch categories can be placed. Here's that website: http://www.britishcraftawards.com . Voting closes 20th December and winners are announced in February I believe.
This week I've been putting together my Christmas advert which will be appearing in the magazines mentioned above. It's a bigger ad than my usual monthly ones as it's a 'thank you & Merry Christmas' ad to my customers. Deciding which mini cushions to feature in the ad was difficult but I went with two group shots which enabled me to show 12 designs in the one ad. Hopefully the response will be good.
Each year I've always wanted to design something specifically for Remembrance day but I've never been able to manage it. So this year I put in an extra effort and produced a picture design which features the first verse from John McCrae's poem 'In Flanders Fields'. I added the poppy design that appears on my August Flower of the Month mini cushion and trimmed the edges with a lacy design. I'm pleased with the finished effect as it's not too somber but hopefully conveys the right sentiment. It's available as a PDF chart from my Etsy shop via this link: In Flanders Fields
While working on the Remembrance chart I thought about my Nutcracker picture which I designed last Christmas, as I had a chart pack available but only as a printed version. So, I added the PDF format to my Etsy shop because the PDFs are instantly downloadable from there which some of my customers seem to like.
New Mini Cushions
I always like to produce a new collection of festive designs each Christmas and so this year, after creating my Stained Glass mini cushion, I used that same style to re-create The Nativity in cross stitch. I produced this mini cushion and also a matching set of four tree decorations which were great fun to stitch because of the variety of bright colours. I stitched all of the black outlines first and then filled in the colours, so it felt rather like colouring in a children's book, which I used to love doing as a child!
The latest series of Downton Abbey hit the TV screens last month and Jazz seems to be featuring in some of the episodes, so with my Downton Abbey mini cushion being extremely popular I thought I'd design a companion mini cushion featuring All that Jazz! I placed rows of piano keys along each edge and there are motifs of a gramophone, trumpet player and a fruity cocktail!
I have several new mini cushions at different stages of progress on the go at the moment, on a variety of themes including 'Beside the Seaside', traffic signs and vintage patchwork pieces. I'm also planning a clown design for the new year as that's something else I've been wanting to do for a long time.
So, on with the order packing and stitching and designing and email answering!