Thursday, 25 September 2014

All things Gardening plus an Alien or two!

Flowers of the Month
So finally my 'secret project' has been revealed with issue 241 of Cross Stitch Collection magazine. This issue features the first pincushion in a series of 12, with one being published each month.  These pincushion designs match the mini cushion designs from my 'Flowers of the Month' kit collection. I was so chuffed to finally see the pincushion in print and I can't wait to see the rest, as the magazine was responsible for taking the photos of each pincushion and I just love the way they set this first one up.

The Gardener

Whilst on the topic of flowers, this month saw the release of my mini cushion kit titled 'The Gardener' featuring all things related to gardening.  When I design these mini cushions based on a theme I like to make a list of all the things I can think of related to that theme.  So for this mini cushion I included the tools of the trade, a hanging basket, a wheel-barrow full of flowers, a garden gnome and a colourful scarecrow (the idea for the scarecrow came from the little ones that I’ve often seen stuck in the ground at the country fairs I go to, and I’ve always wondered if they actually do work at scaring the birds away).  Of course, gardening is not just about pretty flowers so I wanted to include little vegetable patches around the edges of the design too.
I’ve managed to hook my mum into cross stitching now and she worked on stitching the model of my Kaleidoscope design.  To be honest, this design was created by my playing around with colours and patterns and it was mum that came up with the title for the design.  Now when I look at it that’s all I can imagine – peering through a Kaleidoscope full of those coloured beads and bits of glass.  I’d like to say that was my intention all along with this design, but I can’t!  Mum enjoyed stitching it though so that’s what matters. 

Aliens & UFOs
After the success of my, shall we say, more ‘obscure’ or ‘ghoulish’ designs of Zombie Invasion and Day of the Dead I wanted to come up with another design along these lines.  I wouldn’t say aliens fit into either category but they are different from the usual flowery designs I create! Plus, this latest design was inevitable for me really – my dad and brothers are into this stuff in a fairly big way.  I sat down and made my list of all things Alien and UFO related and once I’d got that list it took me a long time to think how I would convert them into cross stitch!  I didn’t want the design to be of scary-looking aliens nor did I want it looking too childish so I hope I’ve struck the right balance. (Well, I haven’t been carted off by the men in black yet so I think I’ve done OK!).
FREE Gingerbread
Well, sort of!  With the ‘C’ word coming ever closer (yes, Christmas), I’ve been thinking of a design to offer as a free gift with special orders from my website. Several months ago I was given a large bolt of cream-coloured aida fabric by a very kind lady and since then I’ve been trying to think of ideas for what uses I could put it to.  So, I’ve combined both thoughts and produced a little gingerbread man tree decoration, using buttons and bows that I have ample supplies of in my ‘bits and pieces’ store too.  Although it uses Christmas colours, there isn’t anything related to Christmas in the design as such so it could also be hung in the kitchen all year round.  The photo layout for my Marigold pincushion at the top of this post made me want to try something creative like this for my Gingerbread man so I gathered some pieces of fabric, skeins of thread and spare buttons and made this little setting. 

If you want to get your hands on one of these kits to make your own gingerbread man, you can by placing an order of £35 or more from my website through to the end of November 2014.

I'll most likely be cranking things up for Christmas in my next post so until then....keep stitching.


  1. You got me again with the gingerbread man :). My kids have all chosen one that they want - at least my older daughter will be stitching up The Day of the Dead herself :)

    1. My gingerbread man is certainly helping to round up more people into becoming hooked on cross stitch :-)

  2. The garden is really pretty, I guess I have to get that at some point and then there will be no rescue from being sucked into the awesomeness of your designs :D

    1. Thank you Leonore. But be warned, once you've stitched one you may become hooked ;-)