Sunday, 13 July 2014

Tudor Times

I'm all Tudored out this month!! I've completed my Tudor Rose pincushion design AND a new Henry VIII portrait mini cushion.

Tudor Rose
I was watching a programme on TV by Dan Cruickshank recently, called Majesty and Mortar and it featured the inside decoration of Hampton Court Palace - a home of Henry VIII.  One scene showed a ceiling embellished with Tudor Roses against a turquoise background with gold filigree edging.  Apparently this colour palette was favoured by the Tudor monarch and I just had to create my own version for my pincushion design.


Here it is and it features that exact colour palette - I can see it nestled on a little side table in the palace with one of Henry VIII's wives seated next to it working on her embroidery!  The kit is available via the following link and includes a small bag of filler so you'll have everything you need to complete it: Tudor Rose Pincushion Cross Stitch Kit
Henry VIII Portrait
Although I have already produced a mini cushion kit featuring Henry VIII and his six wives the design didn't allow me to capture the opulence of the clothes and jewels of the period so I designed a new Henry VIII Portrait design along the lines of the Elizabeth I design.  I had great fun working the glorious golds and rich reds into the design and I just had to use that deep turquoise shade that featured in the pincushion design as a background to Henry.  When I'm stitching I don't like to work on large areas of one colour so I try to design in a way that will keep the stitcher interested, but not for them to get annoyed at keep having to change colours in their needle! It's a fine balance to get the colour usage right, but then that's the fun of designing.
Here is Henry VIII in all his glory, standing next to Elizabeth I.

I do wonder whether to produce more designs along this style, featuring the six wives of Henry.  But I also have an idea to produce a Queen Victoria design.  Most pictures of this Queen are usually greyscale and dull, with her dressed in black so I would like to brighten that image and perhaps design her in a regal white/silver dress.

Highland Stags
Of course, Tudors enjoyed hunting so there is a tie-in with my next design here.  I so enjoy working tartan-style patterns into cross stitch designs and for this design I wanted to get the feel of heathers and thistles blowing in the winds of the Highlands of Scotland so I used a palette of violets and mauves to create the tartan check pattern and gave the Stags a background of cold and misty blues and dusky greens.  It made a nice change to use this type of palette in my designing after the rich golds and reds of Henry!
The kit is available here: Highland Stags Mini Cushion Cross Stitch Kit
Wrest Park - Italian Garden
My last design for this post is titled 'Italian Garden' as it was inspired by the gardens in the grounds of Wrest Park which sits in Bedfordshire, UK.  The gardens are styled in the same 'four-petal' shape that I use in my mini cushion designs so I just had to capture the garden in cross stitch.  Here is the Italian Garden in front of the house:


A different selection of flowers are planted in the garden each year and when I captured it the flowers were in shades of purple with bright red blooms bursting up through them.  There were yellow flowers edging each of the 'four petal' shapes and a grassy path separated the sections.  Plants with silvery leaves lined the whole area.  As there are four squares to the garden I wondered about creating a larger cushion by repeating this design four times and stitching a 1 inch border of sandy stitches around each. This is my finished representation and it is available as a kit here: Italian Garden Mini Cushion Cross Stitch Kit
And finally....
A mention must go to Cross Stitch Crazy magazine before I sign off this post as the kindly featured my Liquorice Allsorts kit in issue 193 (Sep2014) and also included my website as their Website of the Month.  A big Thank You to them.

My next task is to complete a new Halloween mini cushion.  I've designed this one with a Zombie theme - so look out for the bloodshot eyeballs coming atcha!  And I have a Clarice Cliff inspired design which is such an uplifting design to stitch with a variety of light and dark colours.  My magazine commissioned projects should start appearing in a month's time - but I won't tempt fate by saying anymore yet, maybe in my next post....so I'll leave that to tease and tantalise until next time!  

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