Saturday, February 28, 2009

So much wonderful news, my head is spinning!

So what's the good news, you may ask?

Well, first, the non-stitching news. Long story short, DB has been here in Canada for just over 3 years now, and we've been doing his immigration paperwork for residency. While full permanent residency is still a couple of months away, he got his work permit a couple of months ago, but with this recession, finding a job has been difficult. I kept telling him that in spring it would be a snap, there's so much building going on in this area (he's a carpenter by trade) that he would be tripping over jobs. Well today he got one, and a very good one at that. He's been hired to join a small crew of guys who do home renovations/restorations on centuries old homes, and starts Monday. Very happy for him - and me! This means I can finally cut down my hours at work and get some serious designing done!

Stitching news... part 1 - - Celtic Garden is now available for sale. I got the chart sent off this morning and it was up on the site right away - and on the front page too! I was doing my happy dance before I went to work today! The neatest part was coming home from work, and seeing a couple of emails, and a message board post about the design from some friends. The message board post had me dancing again, my friend mentioned that some people I don't know were emailing her about this new, must-have piece that was just released and it was mine! I was so happy I almost cried.

Stitching news... part 2 - Carrie's threads has just released a new product which has me flying. Silks!! I'm a fanatic for silks, I rarely stitch with anything else. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Carrie's colours, and I do have a couple of projects kitted in the cottons, but I rarely work on them for the sole reason that I don't enjoy working with cotton much anymore. And now I can re-kit all of these pieces in silk and still get to use all the cool colours! I'll definitely be contacting Carrie in future for some of my own designs!

Stitching news... part 3 - I'm almost done the design for piece number 3. Well I guess it's actually number 4 if you include the free piece I released last June. I know I promised DB and Mom that I wouldn't work on designing or model stitching after working all day and would give myself a break, but I'm glad I didn't really. I had a bit of a play earlier and I'm quite happy with how the ideas are flowing now. Sometimes I can see it so clearly in my head it's scary, but when I try to convert the picture in my mind to stitches it just won't work. This one seems to be coming more easily. And now I have 3 whole days off to work on it!

Stitching news... part 4 - I've gotten two more people hooked on silks. I sent an HDF e-card to my aunt - I say aunt because she's married to my uncle, but she's my own age and one of my closest friends. I had been telling her for ages how nice silk is to use, so much nicer than cotton and a hundred times nicer than the kit threads she uses on so many pieces. When you send an e-card from HDF, there is a spot to put the persons mailing address in, and Vikki will send them a thread and fabric sample. Well she got it and played and is in love. :D AND... another aunt was down a couple weeks ago for my son's birthday. I had brought a few things I was working on with me including various silk threads I was using for them, and my HDF tags. I just got together a care package for her with all kinds of silks and fabrics that she loved, my mother is heading up north this weekend and taking them along. Apparently my aunt is so excited that she's reminded mom about 10 times not to forget the bag of goodies!! I love getting people to explore new horizons in stitching! I fear though, that I have become a dealer, and they'll be coming to me for their fixes!

Stitching news... part 5 - well it doesn't have me totally overjoyed like the others, but I thought I would give a mention of what I'm working on personally. I put aside my latest model to wait for some threads, and in the meantime I've been stitching away at a couple things. Spanish Rouge got a couple more bands finished - very happy with my colour selection on this one and when I'm not so lazy I'll take a picture and post my progress. And of course with all today's good news, I had to celebrate... with a new start. I started I Will Give You Five Hearts, by A Mon Amie Pierre today. I'm stitching it on Vikki Clayton's 35 count linen, in Haywains, using Crescent Colours Belle Soie Silk in Rosebud. What a gorgeous colour of thread. I've been waiting to find the perfect project for it. This one stitches up very quickly - almost done 1 heart already. :)

And now I must get some sleep. It's 5 am, and though I'm still flying high from such a wonderful day, I need some zzzzz's. ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Had a play... I think I'm happy now

I remember now why I stopped doing website creating/editing. I don't have much patience for all this fiddling!

I'm still feeling very overwhelmed by all of this. It's an awesome feeling to know that people are interested in what I'm doing, but at the same time, it's very frightening. What if my next design isn't as well received? What if I never come up with anything else good? What if, what if, what if?

I never expected things to move along as quickly as they are. I set my goals for this year, and was HOPING that by the end of the year I might find representation. I never expected a distributor to be interested in me with only one design!! Not that I'm not extremely grateful, because I am!!! It just seems like it's all happening so fast, and between the excitement and the nerves my head is spinning.

I'm having a rough day, design-wise. I have too many ideas floating around in my head. I get a clear picture of one and start plugging away at it, all the while being bombarded with other ideas for different things and it's driving me nuts!! I guess that's better than being struck with designer's block!

So what else is new then. Well, I'm almost finished the stitching on my latest model - apart from a couple of thread colours that are being created just for me - how cool is that?. It's really coming together nicely, and I must say I'm quite happy with it. I'll get back to stitching it later on, for the moment I'm fiddling in PatternMaker with some other ideas.

I suppose I should get back it then, huh?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New career... new blog

Well, seeing that I have really and truly become a designer - though my official first release won't be available until later on in the week - I thought I should set up a new blog to go along with it! Of course this page is under construction and will be fiddled with lots and lots as I have the time and patience to do so, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling!

A little bit about me and my designs....

Well, I love all things sampler. The fun in designing for me is to take old traditional styles and give them a modern flair. I love Celtic knotwork, it ties into my heritage (English, Irish and Scottish) and is so much fun to play around with! I also love playing with colours and textures and different stitches.

I love working with silks. I don't like to stitch with cotton and I avoid it at all costs. I don't care if I have to spend a little bit more money, I'd rather enjoy what I stitch. I've experimented with just about every brand of silk on the market, and I like using them all for different things. My favourite is Hand Dyed Fibers, it's easy for me to get and I can get ANY colour I can dream up. However, I use and love them all - Gloriana, Belle Soie, Thread Gatherer, Waterlilies, Dinky Dyes, NPI, they all have a special place in my heart. Some have colours that are just to dye for, some work better for certain counts of fabric, they all have different light reflection properties and when you mix them all up together, you get some really cool effects - so I do, and will continue to do so!! Every piece should be an adventure, and that's how I hope that people will see my projects.

I'll admit, some of the cotton overdyes are really cool, and I do play with them from time to time. I don't know that I'll ever design with them, but they can make for some really wonderful projects too, so it may happen.

My favourite designers include Sampler Cove, Needlemania, Ink Circles, Needle's Prayse, Drawn Thread, Dinky Dyes, and many others. I rarely ever stitch with the recommended threads, and these designs really lend themselves to experimentation.

A little bit about me personally...

Well I learned how to stitch when I was young, but I never really got into it until about 10 years ago, and even then it was sporadic until the last five or so years. I think the discovery that there was more out there than Dimensions and DMC is what led me back and got me hooked. It's not in my nature to follow directions, I like to be an individual so I think that's why I never had the patience for it back then. The Needlework shops in my area don't carry a great deal of selection, so the internet became my enabler. Since then, every spare moment I have a needle in hand. My life until now has been a pretty rocky road, and stitching has become the keeper of my sanity. It helps me to relax my body and clear my mind, which anyone who knows me knows is not an easy task! My brain is going in 100 different directions at the best of times, so being able to find that clarity is wonderful.

The inspiration to design came from a number of sources. You know it's time to start creating when you look around you and see things in terms of thread and fabric colours. My muse is often nature itself - where you can find fantasy and imagination lurking at every turn. The simple elegance of a snowflake, the wonder of a flower, the drama of a sunset, the pure, raw power of a thunderstorm.... all awe inspiring in their own way, and I think my need to capture some of that in thread is my form of tribute.

Man, that was way too deep and meaningful.