Tag Archives: Embroidery

My dollhouse needlepoint kit business has a new look, and I’m celebrating with a special offer!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been giving my dollhouse needlepoint kit business a makeover – hence the snazzy new header image here, with the gorgeous sweet peas!! I love this new look – it’s so pretty! You’ll be seeing the sweet pea look on all my social media from now on – Facebook, Etsy, my website, and so on.

To launch the new look, I’ve decided to celebrate with a special offer for you!

From now until midnight on Sunday, I am having a sale on all the dollhouse needlepoint kits featured in my Etsy shop. There are almost 70 of my kits on Etsy (they are the best-sellers from my whole range of 280) – to get 10% discount off any of them, just use the code MAKEOVER10 at the Etsy checkout, before midnight on Sunday 24th September.

So, if you’d like to treat yourself to a 1:12 kit to make a dollhouse scale carpet, bellpull, teacosy, handbag,wallhanging, or many other types of mini-stitching, now’s your chance to get a great kit at a discount price!

Visit my Etsy shop now, to save 10% on the usual price of these great little kits!

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Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

 

 

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I’m hooked on stitching bellpulls now……

I spent some time a few days ago making up materials packs for the three Mary Hickmott cross stitch bellpulls that follow on from the fabulous ‘Height of Summer’ one which I made a few years ago. The Autumn, Spring and Winter bellpulls are one step closer to actually being made, now!

However…..

While I was hunting through my stash of charts, I came across another couple of Mary Hickmott’s bellpull designs, and I’ve decided (mad as it may seem) that I just have to kit these up as well, and one day make them too, as I’m hooked on stitching bellpulls now.

This first one is a gorgeous design of sweet peas in pink and purple shades, and is called ‘Sweet Pea Pastels’.

sweet-peas-1

The chart pack suggests stitching it on pure white 28 count evenweave, but I think that might look a bit harsh against the wall where I would hang it, so I am going to stitch it on Zweigart Cashel linen ‘Ivory’ instead, which is a soft cream. The pinks and purple threads still look lovely against this fabric. I’m using Anchor stranded cotton again – look at all these beautiful colours!!

sweet-peas-2

The brass bellpull end is one given to me by my friend Karen Dixon, who sells these on her Millennia Designs website, in case you want one yourself (she has many other designs, too).

This final bellpull design from my chart stash is called ‘Fabulous Fuchsias’, and it’s a smaller design than the others designed by Mary Hickmott – it’s only 32 inches long when finished, as opposed to the 40 inches of the other ones. Its also a bit narrower. So, it wouldn’t take as long to stitch, so I’m tempted to start my marathon bellpull-fest with this one!

fuchsias-1

The fabric recommended on the chart pack for this one is Zweigart 28 count Cashel linen in Vintage blue – it’s a really pretty, softly marbled-looking fabric.  I bought a piece of it from Sew and So, 27 x 39 inches cut size, and it should be plenty.fuchsias-2

The wooden bellpull ends are also from Sew and So, and are manufactured by Framecraft. As this bellpull is a smaller design, I felt that heavy brass bellpull ends would be too overpowering.

Both chart packs are available from Mary Hickmott’s website Stitch Direct – the Sweet pea pastels one from here, and the Fabulous Fuchsias one from here.

So, that little lot should keep me busy for, ooh, several years, I should think  🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

 

 

Mary Hickmott bellpulls are to die for…!

I love making cross stitch bellpulls, even though no-one needs to actually use one these days! They are just lovely things to make. The Mary Hickmott bellpulls are to die for, though – they are really special designs!

About 15 years ago, I made this bellpull, called ‘Height of Summer’, designed by Mary Hickmott. Here’s how the design was shown in the  New Stitches magazine:

summer-2

This is my one, now hanging on the upper landing of my house. It is stitched on 28 count Zweigart cream evenweave, using Anchor stranded cotton. From what I remember, it took me about eight months altogether.

summer-1

 

At around that time, the Height of Summer bellpull was so popular (it was originally featured as a project in the New Stitches magazine, and later brought out as a chart pack and possibly a kit as well), that Mary Hickmott also started to design bellpulls to represent the other seasons, too. Of course, as I’d liked the first one so much, I made sure that I collected the other three. This is the one I plan to stitch next:

autumn-1

I’ve kitted it up, with Anchor stranded cotton, Zweigart 28 count Ivory evenweave fabric, and a gorgeous pair of heavy brass bellpull ends. These were given to me by a friend of mine who is also an embroidery designer, called Karen Dixon of Millennia Designs – she sells many styles of bellpull fitting on her website, if you’re interested  🙂

autumn-2

The Height of Spring bellpull uses bright yellows and violets – very indicative of spring flowers. I really like stitching with these colours, so it will be a tough choice as to whether I start with the Autumn or the Spring bellpull.

spring-1

Here’s my materials, ready to start:

spring-2

And finally, there’s the Height of Winter bellpull. Another beautiful design.

winter-1

And the materials ready to stitch this one:

winter-2

They’re all wonderful, aren’t they? These have been available for over 15 years, and in my stash box of charts ‘to be stitched one day’ for almost all of that time. But now that I’ve kitted them up, I’m just that bit closer to actually stitching them.

They are available as chart packs from Mary Hickmott’s website Stitch Direct, and should be findable if you do a search on the site for ‘height of’ – then, all the bellpulls will come up in the search results. At the moment, they cost £9 per chart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits

Book review: ‘The art of bead embroidery: Japanese style’ by Margaret Lee

I love beading, so when I found out that this book, ‘The Art of Bead Embroidery – Japanese style’ by Margaret Lee had been released, I just had to get it! It’s published by Stitchology, who publish the Australian embroidery magazine ‘Inspirations’, so I just knew it was going to be good…..Art of bead embroidery

Margaret Lee really knows her subject. In the book, she goes into detail about the equipment you’ll need to do Japanese style bead embroidery, design ideas, various techniques such as how to stitch neat lines of beads, plus filling stitches too…..

Art of bead embroidery

There’s a detailed section on the tools you’ll need. I’ve been doing embroidery for over 50 years now, but some of these tools were news to me!

Art of bead embroidery

The techniques are explained with photos as well as neat diagrams in the typical ‘Inspirations magazine’ style.

Art of bead embroidery

About a third of the 116 page book is for the projects – nine in total. These are really lovely. They range from a small handbag mirror, through evening bags and glasses cases, to ones such as this lovely beaded box lid.

Art of bead embroidery

I loved the photography in the book – very atmospheric, and really gets you wanting to grab some beads and get beading!

I think this glasses case is my favourite project in the whole book – I like stitching with yellow shades, as it lifts my spirit. The design is a gorgeous flowing paisley pattern. There’s a matching small handbag that can be made from the same pattern – dimensions and instructions are given for both, and you just double the quantities of beads listed when making the bag.

Art of bead embroidery

At the end of the book there is a section for ‘case studies’, which is a kind of in-depth analysis of a couple of designs, without giving detailed instructions for how to make them, but explaining the design and execution challenges – interesting to see how Margaret Lee thinks these through.

As with the Inspirations magazines themselves, this book comes with pullout sheets of pattern outlines at the back of the book. If you love these designs, but feel that you’d prefer to just do them in embroidery (that’s what I kept thinking, anyway!), then these pattern outlines would be very useful.

 

Pros:

A beautifully presented book, with lots of projects explained in detail with good photography. The projects list which techniques are used, along with fabric and bead quantities required, and build up from simple to complex throughout the book. I really loved the fact that Margaret lists the bead quantities per project in the format of a fraction of a 2″ x 1/2 ” tube – such as half a tube, or a third of a tube. Such an easy way for you to work out if you’ve got enough beads of the right colour in your stash!! This book covers an unusual topic, so if you already have ‘too many’ embroidery books, then this one could be justified simply by being that little bit different!

Cons:

Not many, really. The contents page has the projects listed with names like ‘Hanami’, but not what the project is FOR – such as ‘glasses case’. So, if you’re looking for something in particular, it’s quicker to just flick through the book. Perhaps it seems a little pricey at £28 for a paperback, but this is an exceptional book.

Conclusion

I feel that Margaret Lee is the Jane Nicholas of the bead embroidery world. She has got an eye for detail and a neatness that really shines through. Her eye for colour is amazing. This book is full of her personality. Even if you never actually make anything from this book (despite your good intentions….) then this book is worth getting. I love it!

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The Art of Bead Embroidery – Japanese style by Margaret Lee

Publisher: Inspirations

ISBN 978 0 9923144 7 7

Price: £28.99

Available from the publisher, Inspirations (i.e. Stitchology), the UK Distributor Search Press or from Amazon.

 

PS: This month’s Inspirations magazine, Issue 95, has an article and a project (which is not one repeated from the book!) in it. It’s to make the beading tools case which is shown open in the book, but we never got to see what the beaded side looks like! So, if you would like to ‘try out’ one of Margaret’s beaded projects for yourself before investing in the book, buying Issue 95 might be the way to go first  🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you interested in doll’s houses and stitching? Then why not visit my website, where you can buy doll’s house needlepoint kits to make all kinds of soft furnishings for one-twelfth scale dollhouses. There are over 280 kits to choose from, plus chart packs, fabric project packs, tutorials, and lots of eye candy to inspire you! Kits are available on 18 and 22 count canvas, 28 and 32 count evenweave, and 32 and 40 count silk gauze, so there’s something for everyone – from beginners to experts.

As a special offer for new customers on my website, use the code FIRST TIME 10 at the checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

Dollhouse needlepoint kits