I have absolutely loved working with CrossStitcher magazine recently (and thank you so much to everybody for all the wonderful feedback on the dragonfly pattern I designed for them) so I am delighted to wish them a happy 20th birthday!
The whole team really is the most friendly bunch you could hope for and they do a brilliant job of showing off the more stylish side of cross stitch. I must admit I have never been a fan of cross stitch magazines before as they are generally full of teddy bears and other not-so-inspiring designs that I would not want to have in my home, but since Charlie introduced me to CrossStitcher last summer it has been winning me over issue by issue (and Harriet's lovely feature certainly didn't hurt either!).
My copy of issue number 250 dropped through my letterbox today and I am completely in love with this project:
Bordering on granny territory, but channeling just enough Cath Kidston to keep it firmly within the realms of the desirable. This little picture really doesn't do it justice, but in the magazine the cluster of floral hoops just looks so beautiful. Normally I am content to appreciate other people's designs from afar and stick to doing my own thing, but for the first time ever I am itching to stitch a design that I didn't make myself - it is so different to what I do, but I think it would make a wonderful change. I just need a gypsy caravan/garden hideaway to hang it in.
I also really like this cushion designed by Emma Bridgewater (whose pottery I adore) for the jubilee:
As part of the birthday celebrations, CrossStitcher are running a competition every day this week, and today you can win this actual cushion for your very own. But even more exciting is Sunday's competition to win £250 worth of Emma Bridgewater pottery! I will definitely be entering that one...
If you haven't seen CrossStitcher before it is well worth a look - the chances are not every design will be for you, but there are always a good few gems and with new designers like me on board there has never been a better time to let is surprise you.
PS - Bonus points if you can spot my cheeky little face peering out of this issue!
Before Christmas I was introduced to the awesomeness that is Rocky and Balls (thank you Miss Mellor) and I became instantly obsessed. For a start their album is called "We Like Cake and Beards and Stuff" and I am well known to have a penchant for cake and for beards so they pretty much had me at hello!
Rocky and Balls are two girls from here in Britain who make wonderful music that is quirky and charming and lovable - pretty harmonies, funny lyrics and a big dollop of warm fuzziness. The best way I can describe them is sort of like a crafty British version of Teacups mixed with a hint of Ross from Friends on his keyboard (in a good way). Have a listen - I defy you not to love it!
Anyway, the most exciting part is that they have kindly given me a free copy of their album download and since V-Day is around the corner I thought it only fair to spread the love, so I am going to give it away to one of you lucky people! Since you know quite a bit about me by now I thought it would be nice to find out a little more about you, so to be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me one (or more!) of these three things:
Anybody can enter (including friends!), but only once. Entries will close at midnight on Saturday 18th February 2012 and the winner will be chosen at random (using random.org). I will post the winner on the blog so keep a look out to claim your prize! Comments are moderated but only to stop spam so they may not show up straight away but will be posted as soon as I see them (unless they are naughty/spam obviously!).
In a rather timely coincidence, today I finished stitching my newest pattern: this rather nice crown. The coincidence being that today is the 60th anniversary of the day our lovely Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne.
I must admit I was blissfully unaware of the fact that this year was our Queen's Diamond Jubilee when I designed the pattern a while ago (its origination having more to do with the fact that I was watching an awful lot of The Tudors at the time), but it fits quite nicely so I think I will dedicate this design to her. In any event I imagine HRH would appreciate having a cross stitch design dedicated to her significantly more than the equally lovely Henry Cavill (who is the chief reason for my love of The Tudors aside from the costumes, and therefore next in line for a dedication).
I stitched it in black to begin with as usual, but it will look fabulous in gold. I also intend for it to become a cushion at some stage in the not too distant future, but if I am honest (being as I am much better at stitching than sewing) that day could be a long time coming so I didn't want to wait until then to show it to you!
I am planning to make this design available as a kit in the spring (alongside The Bee, Libellule, The Cupcake and one more new pattern I have yet to show you) and am now just working on the packaging so will let you know as soon as they are ready. If you can't wait until then though, the pattern for The Crown is now in the shop!