April 25, 2012

The English Monarchy,

It was only after I left high school that my interest in history began to develop.  Doesn't say much for my old history teachers does it?!, and the fact I couldn't remember their names, makes me realise how much uninspiring teachers can affect your schooling.  

We've just had two weeks off school here for the Easter holidays, during which, I went on a trip to Peterborough for the day and ended up in Peterborough Cathedral, stood before the grave of Katherine of Aragon.  A few days later (and a long story!), I was also in the presence of the burial place of Oliver Cromwell's head, and the last surviving person to have seen it.  Within history, it's always been the English monarchy in particular which has fascinated me, so I started to wonder how I could bring this into my design work.

Now, I'd previously started sewing some Softie bodies which were going to become dogs for the next installment of Project 3.  I completed one, and while I was kind of happy with it, there was just a certain something missing.  Cue, the train of thought beginning.  Dogs.  Dogs and English monarchy.  Dogs and English monarchy = King Charles maybe?

King Charles Spaniels?

I think he looks quite regal,

and quite appropriate given it's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year.  In homage, here is me at our 1977 street party for the Silver one (I'm in the rather fetching yellow sunglasses!)

ps, and talking of Oliver Cromwell's head, eeeek!

April 20, 2012

Embroidery resources,

The other day on Pinterest, I came across this fantastic download.  It's a whole embroidery book for alphabets that someone has scanned as a free resource.  While I loved the designs in the book, alphabets are not something I'd personally have a great deal of use for.  But after some additional googling of the author, I came across this little beauty...

The Handbook of Stitches by Grete Peterson and Elsie Svennas

Even though all the photography is in black and white, the charming appeal of the embroidery shines through,

 due to the age of the book (circa 1970 for the english edition), all the designs have a real retro flavour,

embroidery for me has a timeless nature,

 and this book makes me feel inspired to stitch!

I struck lucky and got my copy via Amazon Marketplace, and am very glad that on a dismal, grey and wet spring day this little ray of sunshine arrived in the post.

April 3, 2012

Penguins the sequel...

The latest issue of the online magazine from Crafteroo is out,

containing the next installment in the penguin family of softie patterns.

Click here for a taster of what's inside and also more information on how to purchase a copy, it's only £1.50 (that's about $2.35).  Bargain for crafty ideas over the Easter break!