December 21, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 3: Snowman

Snowmen make the best ambassadors for winter. They are not here for long, but bring us happiness and smiles. What a perfect reminder to enjoy what we have, for it may be gone tomorrow. Briarstitch84 has stitched up this very sweet snowman. His background is equally impressive-watercolors on linen. I love everything about this hoop. Here's wishing you and yours a peaceful first day of winter. Let's all hope that we can be as happy with snowfall as the snowman is.  

Patterns: Christmas trees

Handmade Christmas trees

Handmade Christmas Trees by Teresa DownUnder

TeresaDownUnder has posted a summary of her Christmas tree crafts she's made over the last few years, I particularly like her patchwork and embroidered trees, check out the link for the how-tos!

December 20, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 4: Oh Christmas Tree!

The Christmas tree is the focal point of our house. I usually want to get the biggest one they have but my husband's better judgement always reels me in. Each ornament on our tree represents a memory. Kim Ouimet has stitched this very sweet tree and the best part-no needles to clean up. It is the perfect little reminder for Christmas 2014.  You can read more about the project on her blog and purchase the pattern at her shop

December 19, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 5: A Major Award

The Leg Lamp...a major award and it's Italian! Kwgronau stitched up the Christmas Story's iconic leg lamp as a prize for her family bingo game. I think I want to be a part of her family. The Christmas tree fabric is the icing on the cake and the fringe is to die for. Don't forget to check out her other creations, she is one talented lady! 

December 18, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 6: Ugly Xmas Sweater Cat

Mr. Kitty will wear your Christmas sweater, but he won't be happy about it. Oh wait...that IS his happy face. One of my favorite crafty embroidery peeps, Cate Anevski stitched up this adorable, yet slightly annoyed kitty in an ugly Christmas sweater. You can make your very own but downloading the pattern and the tutorial on &Stitches

December 17, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 7: Dala Horses

I always associate Dala Horses with Christmas.  My husband's heritage is Swedish and we have many Dala horses and pigs in our house. Each Christmas we pull out a box of special family heirloom Swedish ornaments including Dala horses just like the ones from Jacque Davis. These beautiful ornaments hold a special place in my family's heart and connect us to past. 

December 16, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 8: Bunnies Also Look at the Sky

Bunnies love to look up at the winter sky and wish upon a star. What is he wishing for...a bunch of carrots, world peace? This little brooch created by Makiko_at is so sweet. I just want to jump into the embroidery and give this fuzzy guy a hug. Each piece she creates is one of a kind and in addition to brooches she creates jewelry, ornaments and art dolls. You can see more of her work here. 

December 15, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 9: Woodland Christmas Friends

One of the most important things to me during the holiday season is to make sure that I spend quality time with my friends. These adorable Woodland Christmas Friends by Bustle and Sew are an excellent reminder that the best friends are the quirky ones. I am dying over the rabbit with his ear covers. You can see other patterns for sale, magazines and freebies on Bustle and Sews' website. 

December 14, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 10: Christmas Elf Girl

Who doesn't like cute little elves at Christmas? Tell me who and I will give them a bonk on the head! Christmas elves are adorable! Check out this great tutorial by Wendi Gratz if you don't believe me. If you are not in the Christmas spirit you can use the pattern for a spring sprite or a summer gnome. You can read more about the post and download the pattern here. 

Patterns: some sad news - #VATMESS

Wave Goodbye by Nicole (Follow the White Bunny) - 
pattern available here until 30th December 2014

Hands up who's addicted to embroidery .pdfs? I am, there's nothing like a spot of instant pleasure, affordable art and anticipation (of the stitching you plan to do with the pattern), that a good embroidery .pdf can bring. So, I'm very sad to hear that some of my favourite designers have been badly affected by a change in European tax law, that comes in force at the beginning of next year, meaning that, if you're an European designer, selling digital products (such as .pdfs) will suddenly become a hell of a lot more complicated. You can read more about the change in law on this excellent post from What Delilah Did

Nobody has ever become rich from selling embroidery and craft .pdfs, in fact even before this some embroidery designers were shutting up shop, the new ruling makes it even more questionable whether selling embroidery .pdfs is worth it. Reading the recent crop of blog posts has been sad and frustrating, that bureaucracy meant to tackle tax avoidance in large multinationals, is instead going to stifle fledgling businesses. Nicole from Follow the White Bunny is no longer going to sell .pdfs from 31st December, however her shop will remain open. Carina from Polka and Bloom thinks she may have to put up her prices to counter the cost of the extra administration. Sami from Teasemade will also stop selling .pdf patterns on 31st December. Laura from Bugs and Fishes will be removing her .pdf patterns from her shop on 22nd December, as well as no longer accepting blog ads (also affected by the new rules), she will be looking for a VAT compliant reseller and selling her .pdfs that way. 

So, if you've been eyeing up that Follow the White Bunny .pdf that you never quite got round to buying (Nicole's latest pattern Wave Goodbye is particularly lovely), want to get in on the action on one of Carina's classes or pattern clubs before prices may rise (I love her new Stitchy Souvenirs pattern club) or fancy wanting to know how Laura makes one of her felt creations, or support any of the other talented European designers out there that are selling digital products, now is the time to do it. 

If anyone knows of any other European designers whose businesses have been negatively affected by this new ruling and I haven't mentioned them, please do leave a comment below.

December 13, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 11: Sparkle Baby!

Kerry A from Candy Floss Ramparts has a message for you that not only applies to the holiday season but throughout the year. Don't Let Anyone Dim Your Shine is a perfect uplifting message for anyone in your life. I am even thinking about stitching it up for myself! The pattern as well as a tutorial is available for free on her website. 

December 12, 2014

Countdown to Christmas Day 12 : Baby, It's Cold Outside

There is only one way to kick off a countdown to Christmas and that is with a free pattern from the most awesome Cherry & Cinnamon. The pattern is inspired by the movie Elf and I can just hear Buddy and Jovie singing in harmony with each stitch. You can download the pattern HERE and don't forget to stop by her blog, Green Geenie. 

December 7, 2014

Patterns: Felicity Hall Christmas Ornaments

Felicity Hall, purveyor of fine cross stitch patterns, has a special offer on her site at the moment where with any order you get a free copy of her Christmas Ornaments PDF chart. There's lots of goodies in her store, I particularly like her purse kits but if you're overseas (from the UK) and worried about postal times, she also sells some lovely PDF patterns. And if nothing else in her shop does tempt you, you can buy the Christmas Ornaments PDF pattern itself for £10.

December 3, 2014

Craftster December Hoopla Along

I can't believe that December is already here. I'm not ready! Can someone please tell time to slow down. Another month means another great Craftster Hoopla Along. This month's theme is Winter/Christmas/Winter Holidays. 

Do you dig cold weather? Love a snow day? Are you crazy for Christmas? Having a Happy Hanukkah or maybe a solemn Soltice...whatever the case may be, stitch up your wintery goodness. You might even be the opposite of all that cheer and hate the cold weather-that's cool too, just pull out your floss and fabric and let us know! 

You have until December 31st to be eligible for a random drawing. The prize this month is a 20.00 Amazon gift card.

Come on over and join the fun!

November 23, 2014

Patterns: Aotearoa Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Aotearoa Tree of Life by Liz Smith

When I spotted this piece in the Flickr pool by Liz Smith, I was curious to see if it was a pattern, so I checked out Liz's Flickr profile and I found her online store, The Stitchsmith, which as well as having the lovely pattern above (which in the sample in the store looks great as white work on black fabric), also has loads of colourful birds and New Zealand themed patterns to! I will definitely be bookmarking that site!