Monday, 25 August 2014

Zombie eyeballs and Clarice Cliff!!

I guess you couldn't get two more different themes than scary Zombies and classy Clarice Cliff so you can probably imagine the fun I've had working with these two ideas!  You can read about those further down, but first....

New designs on the way....
The design I'm currently working on is titled 'The Gardener' and I'm halfway through stitching it now, but here is a little teaser photo showing the not-so-scary scarecrow!  My original idea was for it to be based on a vegetable patch or allotment as these are 'growing' in popularity lately but I thought it may appeal to more people if it featured all things gardeny!  So as well as featuring patches of carrots, beetroot and turnips growing in the ground it also includes a garden gnome, watering can and flowering hanging basket and barrow.

I also have a new abstract design in the making which is based along the lines of my Arabian Night design, featuring feathery, flowery petal shapes and a green and pink palette this time.

And one more thing I'm working on is.............a new idea for a book.  And I'm going to leave it there for now!  So, on with the Zombies...

Zombie Invasion
I always like to create a new design for Halloween each year and as I had already covered the usual ideas of witches, pumpkins, haunted house and ghosts I wanted to choose something different.  And it was Zombies! For some reason the idea of bloodshot eyeballs kept springing into my mind (probably says a lot about the state of my mind!) and while thinking about what would be considered scary and ghoulish for Halloween I decided on the Zombie theme.  It was great fun creating these zombies.  I just designed the faces as if they were 'normal' then started changing the colours to greys and greens and adding some blood for good measure.  On my shelf there is a large cone of shocking pink stranded cotton and I've been trying to use it in a design but never found the right place to use it, but this design was just right - everything else is 'shocking' in the design so the pink fits right in!  The eyeballs just topped off the design for me - but I must say that stitching the design was not such a pleasant experience as I had those eyeballs and Zombie faces staring at me all the time!  So, here is the completed design, available as a kit here: Zombie Invasion Mini Cushion Cross Stitch Kit
Clarice Cliff
This mini cushion design was inspired by the most prolific and important English Art Deco ceramic artists of the Twentieth Century and I thought of designing this one after watching a few episodes of 'Flog it' on TV which kept featuring pieces of hers that people wanted to have valued and sell at auction.  I looked through some antique price guide books for photos of Clarice's works and looked at the Clarice Cliff collectors club website and found a wide range of designs.  My favourite pieces were the ones featuring the little cottages and also the almost psychedelic trees.  So I tried to use the same colour palettes found on the pieces and combined some of the pattern ideas into this mini cushion, with my own little cottage scenes.  I titled the design 'Art Deco Daydream' and the kit is available here: Art Deco Daydream/Clarice Cliff Mini Cushion Kit
Scottie Dogs & a Dachshund
Around 20 years ago, one of my earlier designing projects featured patterned frames which I had planned to make up into photo frames but never got around to it.  Going through my stash of these previously designed pieces I found a tartan frame and a green swirly one, all stitched up but not made up into anything.  And then the idea came to me to design a picture that I could stitch inside the frame and as i had previously produced a set of kitten pictures I thought it would be nice to design some canine pieces.  With the tartan design the obvious had to be Scottie Dogs!  As I like to give my designs a name of its own I put out a request on Facebook for anyone who may have such dogs if they wanted the design dedicated to their poochie.  One friend posted a photo of her little cutie and his name was Bailey.  He's a white Scottie and I designed my Scottie to try to match him.  I designed a black Scottie to sit opposite him and named her Bonnie.  And here is the result: Bonnie & Bailey Cross Stitch Kit

I had to go out and buy a box of dog biscuits especially for the photograph!!  I only needed 3 biscuits so my brother's dogs are going to be pleased to have the rest!  After having a few requests from another FB friend for a Dachshund design I thought it was about time I obliged and after seeing a photo of Snooper Hound, I created this mini cushion design, titled 'Snoops':  Snoops Cross Stitch Kit

I have a Jack Russell design in the planning now as I already have a frame stitched and lined up for it.

New Stitches Magazine
My Henry VIII portrait mini cushion kit made an appearance in the latest issue of the magazine which was a nice advert and give me that little extra design boost.

Flowers of the Month & Cross Stitch Collection
OK, the time has come for me to reveal my 'secret' project.  I have been producing a set of pincushions to match my twelve Flowers of the Month mini cushion designs and these pincushions will be published in the next twelve issues of Cross Stitch Collection magazine starting with the October design.  I had originally been asked to design an additional Christmas pincushion but the magazine had a bit of a re-jig and after naming the last issue 'Late Summer' the issues have been re-organised slightly, so now the Christmas one will feature on the magazine's blogsite as a free chart nearer the time.  So, unless there is another re-jig by the magazine you'll be able to see the first pincushion project in the October issue which is out around the 22nd of September (in the UK).

So until my next post, and in the words of Bruce Forsyth...... Keep Stitching!


  1. Sheena, your designs are delightful! They're what caught my eye in that bookstore in London on our amazing trip. I carried that one back across the ocean, and now I want to get started on one of them!

    1. Thank you for those lovely comments Cathy. I hope your fingers will itch to stitch one of my designs :-) Happy Stitching.

  2. Wow, your new pieces are great, each and everyone! I love them, and I'm quite sure I will love the garden-y one as well ^_^

    1. Thank you Leonore, the garden design is well on the way to completion so it will be appearing on my website very soon :-)