Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stitchy News! With Giveaway & Contest!

There are some very interesting stitchy things to check out around the blogosphere!

In the last Stitchy News! post, I mentioned the wonderful work that CrazyStitcher of Crazy Cross-Stitcher had done with the blackwork design Flower, by Jeanne Dansby of WyrdByrd Designs. Well, CrazyStitcher has a great new post up with new photographs and a really neat slideshow of the finished card, including the greeting she stitched! Her work is absolutely marvelous, and it is hard to believe that this is her very first filled blackwork project!

CrazyStitcher also has a spiffy new Gallery, filled with some very cuddly and cute animals called Country Companions among other lovely works, that is well worth visiting!

Congratulations on your wonderful finish CrazyStitcher!

I'm also immensely flattered and pleased to report that CrazyStitcher's good friend, Rainy Day Crafter (of Dancing in the Rain) has also been inspired to try her hand at blackwork after seeing my Metallic Monarch Variation!

Of course, all the beautiful designs in the blackwork booth at the large craft fair she and CrazyStitcher recently attended - and the short class they both took that day - might have something to do with it, but both have credited my work as their inspiration to try the technique, and I can't put into words how happy I am that they both thought so much of a work I did that they were inspired to try a stitching method that was new to them both :)

Although, that said, all credit should ultimately go to Jeanne Dansby, methinks; I hadn't been moved to try stitching another blackwork project for years until happy happenstance led me to Monarch, so there is a nice stitchy karma domino effect on the go it seems ;)

At any rate, Rainy Day has posted up a beautiful finish of a lovely blackwork design called 'Forget-Me-Nots', and if you click on the photo for the enlarged version, you can better see the gorgeous and subtle filling stitches she did in metallic gold in the centers of the largest flowers! While this would be a beautiful design to completely fill in with specialty stitches, the well-placed and restrained sparkles of the Upright Cross-stitches and Smyrna Crosses lend her 'Forget-Me-Nots' an elegant and refined air that is lovely and impressive!

Congratulations on your first blackwork finish Rainy Day!

And that's not all. In this same post you'll find a photo of her finish of Deckchairs, which is also the first large project she's ever attempted (!), and the start of one of her Wish List projects, a cute little girl with a very sparkly umbrella aptly (though somewhat confusingly) named Gorjus! And Rainy Day has included some eye-candy pictures of the unusual and intriguingly designed blackwork projects at the craft fair she and CrazyStitcher went to, The International Craft and Hobby Fair (ICHF) in the UK. For more photos of the beautiful quilts on display at the fair, visit CrazyStitcher's post about that day!

So congratulations also on your Deckchairs finish and your new start, Rainy Day!

In more exciting blackwork news, Ant of Sweden, the company that recently launched the new retail collection of WyrdByrd Designs patterns by Jeanne Dansby, are offering a new contest on their site. To enter, you must guess the name of an excerpt of one of Jeanne's patterns! Five lucky winners will receive the full chart of this gorgeous Spring-like design :) Open internationally, this contest ends on April 28th, 2011 so make sure you hurry over soon!

I first learned of the innovative framing work of Jill Rensel in a recent post on Arthemise's (Mostly) Stitching blog, where she showed pictures of two of her newly framed epic cross-stitch works: The Awakening from Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) and Teresa Wentzler's Castle Sampler. In both cases, Jill extended the work by adding hand-painted details to the beautiful mats she created, and her work is an excellent and unusual compliment to these complex designs.

Jill has recently started her own blog, called Rensel Studio, where she is sharing images of the many cross-stitch works she has framed over the years. While I've heard that framers can work magic, I was not aware of this particular form of artistry, and am amazed by the way that her craft work sets off the stitching of her clients.

Some of my favourites of the works she's posted so far are this subtly framed floral, this lush mandala, this delicate heirloom sampler (with closeup one and closeup two), this stunning sea mermaid, this charming bird and watering can, these curious hummingbirds amidst the flowers and this cute little Easter design. And from her Work We're Proud Of page, this adorable birth sampler and this beautiful fairy.

Jill's artistry is astounding and truly inspirational!

And last, but certainly not least, Karen, of Karen's Colourful Creations, has had a monumental week! For the past few months, she has been taking a cyberclass from the Victoria Sampler in a project that she long wished to work with, VS's Heirloom Christmas band sampler! It has been interesting and inspiring to watch her stitching progress and to read her thoughts as she worked on this piece, which includes many specialty stitches and advanced embroidery methods, including drawn-thread work.

Honestly, I have always viewed works done with such elite methods as a bit intimidating, but watching Karen's work has really opened up my eyes to the possibilities inherent in such elaborate stitching! It may take me a while to get there, but I confess that I am now very curious about drawn-thread work, and may look into trying a few stitches sometime :)

If you don't believe me (or even if you do), head on over to view Karen's post about her beautiful finish of Heirloom Christmas in all its considerable glory! This design is very aptly named, as it is definitely a keepsake work to treasure :) It also features one of the nicest Holiday verses I've ever come across: "Sing the Joy of Christmas / Of Peace that never ends / Share the Love within your Heart / With family and friends".  If you are new to her blog, I recommend going through her archives and viewing her in-progress.

And Karen is starting a new cyberclass with VS soon, a beautiful design called Butterfly Lace, which she just posted about today! If you visit the design site, you'll see that there are actually two colourways available - a yellow butterfly amidst blue hydrangeas, and a multicoloured butterfly frolicing amongst pink daisies :) Both are beautiful, and Karen has chosen the pink. The most interesting thing is that the butterfly is not a charm, as I first assumed; it's a little miniature sculpture that Karen will be making out of lovely ribbon and gold wire! How neat is that? I'm really looking forward to seeing her work on BL ;)

Besides her spectacular finish and promising new start, Karen has also reached a milestone - it's her 5th Blogiversary, and she is hosting her first giveaway to celebrate! To enter, simply leave a comment on her giveaway post, with your e-mail address if it is not in your profile. The drawing is open to everyone (including non-followers) and there is a very generous gift certificate to the stitchy store of your choice, in the amount of $40 US, to be won! The deadline is April 30th, 2011.

Congratulations on reaching 5 years, Karen, and may you have at least 5 more!

So that rounds up this very special edition of Stitchy News! There will be more updates coming on my personal stitching projects soon :) Until then, as always, Happy Stitching!


Rainy Day Crafter said...

Thanks so much for the mention and very kind and lovely comments Aurelia! :) I'm all for the stitchy karma domino effect, lol, as I'm so glad that I tried my hand at the blackwork - I think I'm going to get so much enjoyment doing more in the future!

CrazyStitcher said...

Ditto what Rainy Day said about the mention and comments, and also about the karma domino effect. x

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Thank you both for the wonderful comments, Rainy Day and CrazyStitcher! You're very welcome, and I'm just happy that I was able to be of some help :)

As for the stitchy karma domino effect we have going on, we'll have to see if we can't keep it going, lol! ;)