Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Well, it has been a while since I last wrote a post here, but we now have much more space to pack the cross stitch kits and we are having a very busy time.

Here are three little designs that went into packing last week for all our customers who love Wales.  Croeso (welcome), Cariad (love) and Hiraeth (a love of/longing for Wales).  

These are now available as counted cross stitch kits (worked on 14 count Aida fabric) to add to our Welsh Alphabet Sampler.

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Here is the cover of the Picture Post Coronation Special for 2 June 1953.  I plan to use it as the inspiration for a new set of Royal Samplers, for stitching on an 18 count fabric.  I love the idea of setting examples of the rich emblematic heritage of the nation within an abundant floral border and this is a glorious example. 

I aim to choose material primarily for its decorative potential, although the story behind each will also need to be of interest to give the sampler relevance.  

I hope to begin outlining these (I have three in mind) as soon as both the Royal Residences and the Royal Baby Samplers are released. 

Friday, 24 May 2013


I planned to use the last hour of Friday to look at tidying up the Royal Residences Sampler, but got distracted by this instead.  It is an amalgamation of borders and bits from one of the Birthday Card designs, which I have switched to a black background.  I find there is something quite friendly about it and if a good amount of pattern variation were developed, it could work.  Although pretty-ish, it is fairly pointless as it is - but I am thinking of using it for a festive sampler with a Christmas message stitched within the inner border.  Windmill turns into Christmas tree, cake into a pile of presents, wheat ears into pine branches, birdies into robins, swans into geese. The majority seem to want greens with red for Christmas stitching, but I prefer the pinks, reds and greys showing already.  Perhaps we could offer a second version on white with greens?  I will come back to it another day...

Friday, 17 May 2013


Ready to go with 14 count Aida stock being packed today, here is the final kit packaging for the dual-purpose Teatime-Birthday Celebration Sampler.  The main image shows the sampler with the Birthday details.  The highlighted area below shows the design with the stitcher's initials and year worked, if it is preferred to complete in the traditional way - a little extra flower motif has replaced the birthday age numeral.

Although we include a full alphabet and numerals chart in the kit, customers often take up the option of a free chart to add their own details, which is all included in the price of £19.95.

As well as a couple more extras (more cake!) and colour tweaking to finalise, I decided to also add an extra little bit of brighter blue to give it a tiny bit more zing.

The first has gone out into the world today to a lady with the initials DS - is that a co-incidence?!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


This was one of the first little cross stitch designs I designed specifically for commercial purposes when planning the launch of Riverdrift House.  It has been very popular as a kit, the ice-cream colours help give it the 'ahh' effect, maybe, and the little story of the drab brown lady bird...'which one will she choose?' was fun at the time.  The wonky letter placing was done on purpose.   All I can recollect is sitting stitching this on a hot summer night with my family who were (quite noisily!) loafing about watching 'The Lady Vanishes'.

I have reached the stage where I have decided to sell a selection of designs as Chart Packs only - and this has now been prepared to sell as one of these.  I can still offer the option to buy a materials pack separately if required. 

If of interest, please contact me via the website.  The original kit version is still showing there for now, but will disappear during the summer when we re-organise.  Chart only pack costs £5.95 inc p&p (UK), add £2.90 to send abroad.

Friday, 10 May 2013


Here is a new design I have been working on for a very special birthday sampler.  We will offer it as a kit with the option to personalise either with the initials, birth year and age of the recipient, or alternatively, the initials of the stitcher with the year of completion may be added in the traditional way.  I will make a little motif to replace the age numeral for the latter option. 

I have attempted to keep it celebratory, but hopefully not overtly so - the implied dresser and blue colourway help to restrain, and I have left out too much of the obvious, so no balloons or candles!  I have set it in a border that I used on one of the very first samplers I designed for Riverdrift, with a slight variation for emphasis, necessary for the limited colour palette.

I still have a bit of filling out and some final tweaks to the upper garland, but at this stage it is usually best to sleep on it and come back with fresh eyes another day.

This one is for my Granny Dolly, born in 1913, in this her very special year - she must have made more cups of tea in her lifetime than almost any other living person - but keep it a secret until October, please!  No need to wait until then for the kit, however... I will be charting up next week and stock will follow soon after.

Sunday, 5 May 2013


Here is how my Lace Spot Sampler design looks on black.  This is the second stage of the original design, which was converted to be stitched in a single colour (grey) on a white 14 count fabric (with just one 5-coloured motif, hence the 'spot') for selling as a kit.  Some people find dark fabric more tricky to work, but I find working with a white cloth on your lap can help, as the light background shows through the holes quite well.  Lots of pattern repeats in the design can also make the stitching experience less aggravating, so strong horizontal repeats and a good emphatic border become a pleasure to work - hence the 'dentelle' border design developed for using here.  

I hope to be able to produce a few black fabric kits later on this year and may well re-colour this one if I decide to include.