Friday, May 31, 2013

Iris Celadon Model Complete

Iris Celadon
Iris Celadon was a fun stitch.

I found it was one of those patterns that I could get into an easy rhythm with and could readily stitch as I watched something on tv.  I'm pleased with the effect that alternating threads of darker and lighter shades in the background achieved.  As I sit looking at it on the wall it really did give it dimension that makes it look like a piece of porcelain.  Though I'm sure that using just one shade would also work well.

The pdf charts for Iris Celadon are now for sale on the Gracewood Stitches website for $8.

Do you find that you associate a piece with the programs you watched while you stitched it?  I surely do and for Iris Celadon I'll always think of two wonderful series I stitched it to called The Victorian Kitchen Garden and the Victorian Flower Garden.  They are available on Dailymotion and some are on you tube - here is a taste!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Updated Version of 'Sanctuary' Free Pattern for Charity

Stitch count 191 x 250

I originally created my pattern, Sanctuary, at the time of the terrible tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 and dedicated it as a pattern that would be sent to anyone who requested it for free, though I do ask that a contribution be made of any size to the charity of your choice to benefit whatever disaster is currently taking place.

That pattern was made on the first software I used when I began designing and it needed to be redrawn into my new software.  Since I've been working on new designs I've kept putting off taking the time to move Sanctuary.  But viewing the terrible devastation of the tornado that hit Oklahoma this week I decided it was definitely time to make the effort.

I did change the colors for the design to three shades of delft blue and added a title and the verse that inspired the pattern.  If anyone has the original Sanctuary and would like the newer one as well, just send a request to me at

We moved here to the inland northwest from Oklahoma and knowing what wonderful people they are and how terrible their ordeal is right now, I hope everyone will keep them in their prayers and if possible make a donation for their relief.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

New Design! - 'Beauvais'

I must be nutz!!!  Truly, I'm afraid to introduce this next design since it means there is no turning back I HAVE to do it!  Lol, thankfully I believe it will be worth the effort in the end, but OY! the time it is going to take, please don't expect to see as many patterns from Gracewood Stitches as I introduced in the last two years.  I stitch my own models and I don't go on to the next design until the one I'm working on is almost done.

I guess I shouldn't be so intimidated though, I thought Iris Celadon would be a killer, but here I am almost done - pictures next weekend, Lord willing! - and it went much faster and easier than I had anticipated.  So I'm hoping that 'Beauvais', which is just slightly larger will also pleasantly surprise me, I HOPE!

See what I mean? LOL

My inspiration for Beauvais comes from my love of textiles.  From far Eastern intricately woven silks to vintage utilitarian cottons, linens and wool fabrics, I am mesmerized by the patterns that can be achieved.  I wish I was a sewer, quilter or weaver so that I could have the joy of diving into textiles from modern to vintage and creating some remarkable items, but I'm afraid I never learned those things in my youth and all attempts since have left me more than frustrated and annoyed at my lack of such abilities. 

But!  Thankfully, I can create them in the way I know best by designing my own 'fabrics' for cross stitch or needlepoint.  I love vintage French fabric so for my first 'cross stitch textile' I created one with a French flavor and chose the name, Beauvais, for the lovely city in northern France.  I also like the fact that 'beau vais' translates to Goodwill.

This design uses the Assissi technique of stitching the background and leaving the design area open.  On an 18 count aida fabric the pattern will measure 14.5" square, stitch count 263 x 263, in two colors of floss, a dark delft blue and a lighter sky blue. 

I need to seriously take a break now, glad it is a weekend, hope all of the mothers among you will have a lovely Mothers Day tomorrow!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Springtime in the Rockies & Winner of Drawing

All of our seasons here in the northern Rocky mountains tend to be dramatic, but spring can be especially so.  Maybe because it is our briefest season it is cherished.  Weather can change not just in a week or day but hour to hour as systems come in from the Pacific and this last week was a perfect example of 'typical spring' weather in the Rockies.

This particular day we had rain, hail and snow and the sky was full of colors, from deep violet shades to bright pinks.  When these clouds finally lifted the mountain tops they were hiding were white with deep new snows.

Struggling against all the elements new growth is coming on everything from roses and fruit trees to explosions of color from bulbs we've scattered in the forest over the years.  And one who is enjoying all of this with us is our waif from the winter, 'Buddy' whose story I told you about in January.  The poor half dead, half frozen tabby cat who wandered down our drive is now, thankfully, well enough to begin enjoying exploring Gracewood.

The vet thought he might have a number of health problems, but he certainly is flourishing at the moment and has begun bringing 'gifts' of mice to express his thanks, lol  Lately his favorite pastime has been annoying squirrels as they chatter at him for limiting their access to the firewood.

This weekend is the Lilac Festival in Spokane and while theirs bloom far earlier than ours do, I can already get whifful hints of their heady fragrance. 

Speaking of fragrance :)  The winner of the drawing for a 5 ml decant of Sous le Toit de Paris is Carolyn!  But since only three people commented asking to be included, I'd like to send Pat and Christine a sample of the fragrance as well.  If you three ladies would send me your address at I'll get them mailed off to you.

Spring also means more time required outside and a little less stitching time but Iris Celadon is further along and I hope to be able to devote some time to the next design soon.  Until them, here is this week's progress.

If it is spring where you live, I hope you are enjoying it as much as we are!