Howdy-ho and a vigorous good morning from a chilly Kansas!
Inspiration, instruction, information, and all kinds of tasty needlework tidbits – that’s what I’m serving up today.
I’m also going to share some juicy gossip with you at the end of the article, and ask for your help.
So, grab a cup (or two) of your favorite steamy morning beverage and let’s sit down and have a chat!
(You might grab a sweater, too. It is really cold here this morning!)
Yep. It’s a hot chocolate morning!
Fun Designs for Whimsical Hand Embroidery
And speaking of hot chocolate, let’s start with something totally whimsical.
This discovery came about when I was searching online for a coloring book page to print for my niece. I asked her what she wanted to color, and she said, “Hot Chocolate!” This may or may not have had something to do with the fact that she was drinking hot chocolate at the time and couldn’t think of anything else…
While I was searching, I came across a website called Whimsie Doodles, which is a “digital stamp” website. A digital stamp is really just an image that you print to color and use for card-making and the like.
For some, the images might be a little cutesy and sugary, but I think they’re whimsical and fun, and I really like their collection of Holiday images. It was the penguins and “snow stuck” that especially caught my eye.
I could see using these for hand-embroidered Christmas stockings, little ornaments, and more! Many of the designs are simple enough that they would work for appliqué, or a mix of appliqué and embroidery. The images must be purchased, but once you have them, you can enlarge and reduce them to suit whatever project you like. The drawings are clean line drawings, so they’d trace easily for designs to hand embroider.
Just a thought, if you’re looking for something cute and simple for Christmas stitching.
Crewel Work Company Overhaul – with Videos!
In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Crewel Work Company has overhauled their website, and it’s gorgeous! It’s easy to get around on, easy to read, and it’s got a terrific section of how-to videos for crewel embroidery.
The shop pages are wonderful – with zoomable, clear images – and you can even switch your currency if you’re shopping from outside the UK.
Nice job all around!
A (free!) Little Book of Embroidery Basics
The Embroiderers’ Guild of America has put out a very nice little freebie called A Little Book of Embroidery Basics (PDF link).
You can download the PDF and print the booklet – it prints at 5.5″ x 8.5″.
Thistle Threads Sale!
Thistle Threads is making room for future inventory, so Tricia is having a sale of some really beautiful threads and other needlework goodies. If you like historical embroidery, silk, ribbon, and other interesting needlework bits and bobs, stop by her shop and see what’s on offer! Looks like stuff is going pretty fast!
If you’re looking for real metal threads for goldwork, Tricia also carries some pretty spectacular ones, here.
A Free Embroidery Project – Christmas Chalk Art
Over on Flamingo Toes, Beverly posted a cute Christmas chalk art project for hand embroidery, with the pattern and all the instructions. Perfectly suitable for beginners, it’s a fun project!
Kathy’s Opus Anglicanum & Travels
I’ve followed Kathy Andrews’s blog The Unbroken Thread since it first began. Kathy, an American, lives in Germany but she’s a pretty avid traveller. She’s back and forth between Germany and the UK a lot – mostly on needlework-related jaunts. And she writes about them! I love traveling with her vicariously!
Lately, she’s been writing about her latest UK travels, to participate in an Opus Anglicanum workshop and visit the V&A exhibition of the same that’s going on now. Here’s her first installment.
I’m looking forward to the next one!
Sit-On Hoop Stands for Aussies
For those of you who live in Australia and are looking for sit-on embroidery hoop stands in all different sizes, Yvette Stanton is now carrying them here at Vetty Creations. (To see what these are all about, you can read my “Hoop on a Stick” review here.)
I often get emails from Australians asking about sources for good linen. Yvette also carries some really nice linen that’s suitable for the whitework she does – she does a lot! – and also for just about any kind of surface embroidery. It’s the Weddigen linen (925 and 22) on this page. The 925 is comparable to the “Alba Maxima” linen that I’m always talking about. It’s good stuff!
If you need an inspirational fix today – or you just want to revel in some gorgeous embroidery – you should pop by Catherine Laurençon’s blog and see the recent photos she’s posted of her students’ needle painting.
Pretty amazing stuff! I especially like these pieces by Sophie and this piece by Isabelle.
The blog is in French. You can always drop it in Google Translate if you need to. Mostly, I just go for the pictures!
Schwalm Whitework Tutorials
Whitework lovers will be happy to know that Luzine Happel has done it again! She has a new book available on borders and tendrils, and she’s also offering this free sampler to folks who have purchased her new book. All the needful information is in that article.
If you take time to browse through her blog, you’ll also find plenty of wonderful tutorials for all kinds of Schwalm and whitework-related stitching, like this tutorial for tendrils and this tutorial for forks (or off-shoots of a line).
And, better yet, this thorough tutorial for making a linen candy dish with a lovely needle lace edge. What a great idea for a hostess gift, a good friend’s birthday, something special for mom…!
A Miniature that will Knock your Socks Off!
Ok, whether you are into miniatures or not – as in, to-scale miniatures, or miniature needlepoint on fine silk gauze – you just have to see this Tree of Life carpet by Natalia Frank.
It is stunning…and intricate…and colorful…and wow! Talk about a challenge!
She sells the pattern, too – and a kit, but it’s sold out – and she’s broken the design down into various configurations, too, for those who might want to just stitch a bookmark (or a tiny runner for a dollhouse). Really exquisite design!
A Bit of Gossip & How You Can Help
Well, since it’s about me, it’s not really gossip!
I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past many days, working to have a YouTube channel shut down for violation of copyright.
Now, YouTube is one of those social-network-oriented situations where you pretty much expect to share your videos with everyone.
When you publish a video to YouTube under the standard user license, it can be shared via other sites and means, by other people. It can be emailed, embedded on other web pages, shared through social media and so forth. And that’s really the whole point of using YouTube as a blogger. My how-to videos on YouTube are all branded to needlenthread.com, and I use YouTube to direct people to my website for more information, just like any blogger who makes video tutorials does.
Recently, A YouTube user has taken my instructional videos (and other people’s), cropped out all my branding, and re-released the videos on their own YouTube channel with that channel’s branding. There is no evidence at all that I am the owner of the videos, unless you know my voice and recognize my work.
The remastered videos, of course, are peppered with ads, so the perpetrator is making an income on them. The person is also using the YouTube channel to drive traffic to a download site for “thousands of embroidery designs” for $79 – requiring unsuspecting folk to turn over payment information. Dangerous, to say the least, when dealing with this type of nefarious fraudster!
So, how can you help?
If you are on Facebook or other social media networks, and you come across videos that recognizably feature another person’s artwork, videos, recordings, or photos without crediting the original owner, please don’t like or share the video. By liking and sharing videos that feature, in essence, the stolen work of another, it encourages the violators to keep doing what they’re doing, while encouraging others (who see them getting away with it) to do the same. It can also lead innocent people to sites that are fraudulent.
A great big thank you to Sarah Homfray and hubby for alerting me to the problem in the first place!
My Cup Runneth Empty
Well, that was a long chat, wasn’t it?
Hope your weekend’s a glorious one! See you next week!
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