Monthly Archives: July 2014

Exquisite needlepoint in a Russian dollhouse

One of my regular dollhouse needlepoint customers, called Natalia, has just sent me some more pictures of the dollhouse stitching she has been doing lately. She has been working on the largest carpet kit that I have on my website, which is called ‘Tabriz (large)’.
Tabriz dollhouse rug 2
It measures 12 1/4 by 9 1/2 inches, and is stitched in needlepoint on 18 count canvas, so it has been quite a challenge to get it completed – but doesn’t it look stunning? This dollhouse is not Natalia’s – she stitched this Tabriz carpet for her friend.
Tabriz dollhouse carpet 8
If you look carefully, you will see that there is also the matching Tabriz bellpull on the wall between the two display cases. 
Tabriz dollhouse carpet 6
The lady doll is holding the Tabriz bolster cushion, too. 
Tabriz dollhouse 3
I think that Natalia’s friend is a very lucky lady, to have Natalia to stitch for her!

My first selection of prayer beads for sale

I have always loved beads, and recently I decided I’d like to try my hand at making some prayer beads, to blend my love of beads with my spiritual path of Sufism, where most people use prayer beads (sometimes called tasbih or tasbee) to count their wasifas/mantras. Whenever I looked at other prayer beads that were being sold, I felt that they weren’t quite right for me. Usually, they were either too big, or too brightly coloured, or the tassels were too ‘tufty’! Making my own would solve those problems, hopefully, because I could choose all the materials myself. I made a couple, just for my own use, and really enjoyed making them. But then people started to ask if I’d make some for them….

As I’ve written on here before, each year around this time I go to Germany, to a Sufi Summer School (as I follow the Universal Sufi path of the Ruhaniat Sufis). It is a week long retreat, and in the middle of the week there is a market on the Wednesday afternoon, where participants of the retreat can sell things that they’ve usually made themselves, such as jewellery, scarves, clothes, and so on.

This is what I took to the market two years ago - lots of little embroidered boxes, and a few framed pictures

This is what I took to the market two years ago – lots of little embroidered boxes, and a few framed pictures

A couple of years ago, I made some little embroidered boxes, and they sold well, so this time I thought I’d take some prayer beads (plus a few of the boxes that I still had leftover from before).

Most prayer beads were made of semi-precious gemstones such as amethyst, lapis lazuli or hematite. Some were made of Czech glass, and some were made of painted glass pearls. They were all either 99-bead or 33-bead (suitable for Muslims and Sufis to count wasifas/mantras).

My ‘stand’ at the market was very basic – people just spread out blankets on the floor, put whatever they are selling on the blankets, and sit at the side of their blanket so that people can see what is for sale. So, here is my ‘stand’, in three sections :

Semi precious prayer beads 1

 

Semi precious prayer beads 2

 

Semi precious prayer beads 3

I made 36 sets of prayer beads altogether – and was amazed to find that I sold 23 of them during the one and a half hours of the market! I’m definitely going to be making more of these, and will probably start a new website for selling them, soon.

Here are some of the prayer beads, in close-up:

8mm 'cornflower' painted glass pearls, 99-bead set of prayer beads

8mm ‘cornflower’ painted glass pearls, 99-bead set of prayer beads

 

6mm Unakite semi-precious 99-bead set of prayer beads

6mm Unakite semi-precious 99-bead set of prayer beads

 

10mm Malay jade, 33-bead set of prayer beads

10mm Malay jade, 33-bead set of prayer beads

 

6mm faceted red crystal, 33-bead set of prayer beads

6mm faceted red crystal, 33-bead set of prayer beads

 

What do you think of them?

New dollhouse needlepoint kit just launched – make a ginger cat teacosy!

This is the latest dollhouse needlepoint embroidery kit that I have launched on my website – a teacosy in the shape of a ginger cat!

dollhouse-teacosy-ginger-cat-800

It is stitched on 32 count silk gauze, with one strand of Anchor stranded cotton thread (floss). Everything you need to complete the kit is included – a colour block chart to count the design from, detailed instructions, plenty of Anchor stranded cotton thread, a suitable needle, and a generous-sized piece of 32 count silk gauze fabric. The kits are available for £12.95 each. The little teapot and the blue china tea sets are also available.

There’s a free tutorial on my website, too, showing exactly how to put the teacosy kits together, so that you can see just how to do it, and how surprisingly simple they are to make. If you’ve never done stitching at this miniature scale before, there are also tutorials showing you how to get started, how to do the needlepoint / petit point stitches, and so on.

I’ve been meaning to design a cat teacosy for about five years, so I’m really pleased, not only that I’ve got around to doing one, but that it has come out as well as it has!

dollhouse-teacosy-ginger-cat-hand-800-cropped

Suitable for cat lovers everywhere! Even dollhouse scale ones!

 

 

Kit review: beautiful beaded fuchsia flower necklace set from Spellbound Beads in Lichfield

It was my birthday a little while ago, and one of the presents I got was this lovely necklace and earrings kit from Spellbound Beads, in Lichfield. I love making bead jewellery! This is what was included in the box (except for the thread grippers in the top right hand corner, and the purple ruler at the bottom):
Beaded fuchsia flower necklace 1

 

All I needed to supply extra was round nose pliers and wire cutters, which I already had.

 

Beaded fuchsia flower necklace 2

 

I first made up the stamens, in two lengths.

 

Beaded fuchsia flower necklace 3

 

Then I assembled the beaded flowers – five for the necklace, and one each for the earrings.
Beaded fuchsia flower necklace 4

 

The colours of seed beads included in the kit are lovely – all pinky-purple shades.
Beaded fuchsia flower necklace 5

It only took about two hours to complete, and I’m really pleased with the set. I altered the fixings for the earrings to be clip-ons, as I don’t have pierced ears, but other than that I made them up exactly as per the instructions, which were very clear. The fuchsia flowers hang nicely when the necklace is on, with the flowers sort of  ‘looking forward’, due to the way they are strung on.

The kit is called ‘Amanda Simples fuchsia flower necklace set’, and is available for £9.95 from the Spellbound Bead shop here (a bricks & mortar shop, but they do mail order too).  There is also a pale pink colourway available.

Pretty, isn’t it?