Sunday, 22 June 2014

Embroidery Picture - Neals Yard, Covent Garden

Over the past couple of years I have completed at least fifteen framed projects featuring buildings, landmarks or landscapes.  So far my subjects have either been commissions such as the portrait of Yethouse in Newcastleton,

or portraits of famous landmarks that I think will sell well as greetings cards or prints such as the North East Landmarks piece.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a new subject and, as I had no commissions waiting, I decided to choose something that appealed to me just for its beauty and not just for its saleability (is that a real word?)

After a good few days on Google, I came across this blog post by The Lost Londoner.  In it I found Neals Yard in Covent Garden.  Although I have heard of Neal's Yard Remedies and their organic health and beauty products , I had never realised that Neal's Yard was a real place and that it was so stunningly gorgeous!

As it made me happy just to look at the vibrant colours in the photos on Google, I decided it was to be my next project. This has been my most ambitious picture to date, and it is still not completely finished, but here is my progress so far.  

I'm still undecided as to what I will add in the foreground, perhaps people or more foliage but it has been a joy to do and makes me smile whenever I look at it.

It's definitely on my list of places to visit next time I'm in London.


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Applique Flower Cushion in Blues

Today I decided to make something for myself.  It's been a while since I had the time (or energy) to just make something for fun.  So I thought I'd make a cushion.  Here's the cushion pad, not really what you need to see but better for the big reveal photo at the end of the finished cushion !!

I thought I'd share with you the thought process that goes into designing and making a Ruby Patch cushion.  The first step for this particular project was my new fabric from Ikea.

Their fabric sells at such good prices it is a shame not to buy some when you visit.  They tend to specialise in bold, colourful prints which are great for adding interest to the back of my cushions.  Today I chose the left fabric which is a botanical print in a very dark navy blue.

So now I had the back of the cushion sorted, I wanted to choose a design for the front that complemented it.  As a fully qualified list maker, I always find that my ideas work better if I write them down.  This was the result.

Birds and butterflies were my initial idea but they were swiftly replaced by flowers.  I don't usually do flowers so it was a nice change.  Before finalising the design I got the fabrics out to decide which ones to use.

Although the yellows really appealed, I decided to go with blues and stay monochrome.  The flowers were cut out of different blue cottons (including some denim from an old pair of jeans) and attached using bondaweb.  The design was then outlined and highlighted using free motion embroidery and here is the result.

Job done. x

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Embroidered Portrait - Edinburgh Castle

Last month I completed a small portrait of Edinburgh Castle.  I am determined that I will start to produce portraits of my favourite buildings and landmarks whether they have been commissioned or not.  I think that there is a market for greetings cards and prints for this kind of portrait and will be investigating ways to get my artwork to develop away from just originals which are both time consuming and expensive.  

If I can supplement each piece with additional sales of other products I will be a happy bunny.

Here's the Edinburgh Castle pic.

If you are interested in commissioning a picture, you can contact me at .

Alternatively, I'd love some suggestions of what you think would be good future portraits.  Please comment on this blog with any suggestions.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Personalised Wedding Notebooks - Commissions for Jayne

I was recently commissioned to make two wedding notebooks for two couples who are getting married abroad this year.  One wedding was to be in Cyprus and one in Crete.

The lady who commissioned them, Jayne, is attending both and wanted to give the couples a reminder, not just of their weddings, but also of the enormous amount of planning and organisation that goes into that happy day.

My wedding notebook standard design features bride and groom outfits on the front with personalised details of the wedding eg names and dates.

 The back is a design personal to the couple.  Jayne asked for maps of the islands on which the weddings will take place..

If you are looking for an engagement present with a difference, contact me at to commission your personalised wedding notebook.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

VW Beetle Ipad Mini Cosy with Personalised Design

Recently I had a message on my Etsy shop from a lady in Columbus, Ohio who is beetle mad.  Not the creepy crawly kind of beetles but the VW car type.  She asked if I could customise my normal VW Beetle Ipad mini cosy design to make it look like her car, Sunshine.

This is my standard design case.  

Sunshine the VW Beetle is bright yellow with a smiley face on the front and daisies scattered all over the body work.

As my design is a front view, there was nowhere for me to feature the daisies that are all over the sides of the car.  To make sure the case featured these, I covered the plain brown linen background fabric with little daisies and lined the case with a daisy design fabric too.

It was lovely to be able to customise my design.  If you are interested in ordering a bespoke Ipad mini or Kindle cosy, contact me at  

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Embroidered Portrait - Dalkeith House, Newcastleton

Last week I posted a blog on the commission I completed for the owner of The Yethouse in Newcastleton.  

I also completed a smaller picture of Barbara's other holiday property, Dalkeith House.  This is a much bigger house, licensed for wedding ceremonies and is situated right in the middle of the village. 

Here's my interpretation from a slightly different angle (and without the car in front)

And here's the final framed picture

If you would like to commission a portrait of a building, landmark or favourite scene, contact me at .  They are perfect as a housewarming or birthday gift and are also popular for weddings or christenings, creating a family heirloom of the future.  

Commissioned pictures can be personalised to show the name of the building or special names and dates.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Embroidered Portrait - The Yethouse, Newcastleton

Last summer we went on holiday to the Scottish Borders and stayed in a gorgeous farmhouse called The Yethouse.  Owned by a lovely lady called Barbara who lives next door it had the best standard of accommodation and furnishings we have experienced in a long, long time.  

Remotely set but within walking distance of the village, the house is right next to the Seven Stanes mountain bike trails and also a Rock UK centre offering a wide range of outdoor activities for all members of the family.

On returning from our lovely holiday, I completed a commissioned picture of the photo above and this was the result:

Barbara's was delighted with the picture and it is now hanging in the Yethouse for visitors to see.

If you are interested in commissioning a portrait of your home, favourite building or landmark, please contact me at .

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Embroidered Notebooks - Lots of stuff posted very late!

Once again I have been guilty of neglecting my blog.  

No excuses, straight onto news!

In the last few months I have been changing my products, introducing new ones and removing some old ones.  Over the last year it has become obvious that my most popular ranges are the notebooks and framed pictures.

I have therefore been concentrating on these and phasing out some of the less popular (and smaller) items.  

Here's a little collage of my most recent notebooks.  I'll post more about them and in more detail later.

Many of my notebook designs are bespoke.  They allow me to product new original designs and this keeps me interested and also gives me the patience to produce my standard lines (gardening, recipes, sewing and travel) without getting too bored!

You can find my notebooks and artwork for sale via my Etsy shop , my website or on Make the Most of

Alternatively, if you would like to discuss a bespoke design or would just like to order direct, please email me at