Thursday, 15 May 2014

A Journey into Space with a Posy of Pansies!

Space Travel
Recently on TV there was a live show broadcast from the International Space Station and an idea popped into my head for a Space themed mini cushion!  The 'four-petal' template that I usually use in my designs was just right for this theme because there were so many small motifs relating to Space that I could fit into the small sections.  As each of our planets have a broad range of colourings and patterns they made perfect subjects to include and then I added some space dust and a swirling vortex, with the edges of the sun and moon also appearing.  In the central part of the design I included an astronaut and a space shuttle and of course, I had to include the ISS which originally inspired the design!  I really had fun putting this one together as it was quite a change of theme from my other designs.   So now I'm adding more of these 'unusual' themes to my list - ones which you don't often see created in cross stitch.

I wonder if you could cross stitch in space?  I guess you'd have to be careful where you left your needle and scissors - I mean, you wouldn't want those flying around, would you!!

A Posy of Pansies
Going back to my roots of designing floral mini cushions, I realised that in all the flowers I've designed in cross stitch I have never produced a Pansy cushion.  These flowers have always seemed popular, and it was even a favourite flower of Queen Elizabeth I, so I just had to create my own mini cushion featuring them. I took a trip to the local garden centre to get a closer look at the real flowers but it made things all the more complicated because I just couldn't decide which colour-way to choose as there were purple pansies, yellow ones, white ones, reddish-mauve ones and ones with a combination of those colours!  Each as beautiful as the next.  Then I thought, why did I need to pick just one colour-way?  To create this mini cushion design I would add Pansies in all of the colours I'd seen to create a central 'Posy of Pansies', and here is the result:

Flower Power Re-Vamp
I like to re-visit some of my earlier mini cushion designs from time to time to see if they give me any further ideas for matching items or whether I could photograph them differently and one of those this month was my Amazing Gazania mini cushion.  This cushion is slightly larger than my usual ones (by about an inch all round), and I thought the setting of the original photograph didn't really show the design off to its full.  So I set up a new background and I think it's helped the colours in the design really pop.  Here's the original photo on the top and the new one underneath. What do you think?

I then had to take a group photo with a couple of my other mini cushions that feature large blooms as I thought they looked great together, and here it is:

Magazine Features
This month I've had two mentions in stitching magazines.  The first is my England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales mini cushion which featured in issue 191 (Jul2014) of Cross Stitch Crazy.

Then a few weeks ago I was contacted by a nice lady from New Stitches magazine as she was interested in featuring my Patron Saints Collection, so I supplied a high-res photo of the group of mini cushions and it has appeared in issue 254 (Jun2014).

And finally....
I have a new mini cushion appearing in kit form soon which is kind of an abstract design based on my Tiger mini cushion.  I was struck by the eyes of the Tiger when I was stitching that one when this new design popped into my head.  Keep an 'eye' out on my website for the kit!  There will also be a new pincushion kit soon which is a real scream!  Can't say any more!

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