Saturday, April 29, 2017

While We're Waiting -- More Flowers from An Artist's Garden

A while back I started sharing Brazilian dimensional embroidery flowers from my book, An Artist's Garden, so you could have a color reference for the designs.
This is the Treasure Flower or Gazania (also called African Daisy). The photo of this flower is courtesy of
I thought of an interesting and uncomplicated way to add the little dark spots at the base of each petal, so have added it to several of my Millefiori designs. Here's a sample:

This is the design from An Artist's Garden (above).

I like to stitch this little Glory Bee!! whenever I can  - it's made with black Glory bullions, gold Glory or metallic-thread bullions, and the Millefiori Knotted Loop Stitch for wings. It's less than 1/2" long:
In the second photo above, I used 2-3 straight stitches when I used metallic thread for the gold stripes.  By the way, my favorite gold thread is the DMC gold that I find at JoAnn Stores in their craft department -- it's on a spool and has 3 strands woven together, and is very durable.
I named this technique "Lazy Tendrils" (formerly known as Travelin' Tendrils). These are made with elongated lazy daisy stitches, easy as pie. You can add them to any design just by practicing your penmanship (lower case, cursive letter "e") with a wash out pen.
And, because they are good for you, green beans:
Here are a couple more -- a hellebore
...and a hollyhock.
If you study these flowers (double click to enlarge), you'll see none are too intricate - these are fairly easy stitches and the traceable patterns are pretty simple. Throughout An Artist's Garden, whenever I had space on a page, I dreamed up a little design using more flowers from the book and other simple stitches. Like this:
This is a California wildflower design - I've posted the California poppy previously, and the lupine is coming soon.
To finish this session of blatant subliminal advertising, here is a picture of the back cover of An Artist's Garden. I call it "Formal Garden":

Saturday, April 22, 2017

My New Book is Finished!! Forever Flowers -- 50 Flowers in Brazilian Dimensional Embroidery

--ALMOST finished. It will be on its way to the printer early next week. Watch this space, or my Millefiori Facebook page, or my website, for more details. A fabric print will also be available.  You can also email me for price, postage, etc.

My first book was "My Stamp Collection" -- 50 flower designs from a U.S. Postage Stamp set. I've named this book "Forever Flowers" ... flowers that will last as long as you like, 50 new flower designs. Here's one.
And another:
And another:
My cheering section (Cuthbert, who else!) is sad that I'm finished -- He likes to park on my floss and keep it warm.
But that's OK. More time for him....

Very soon I'll start posting color detail photos for the flowers (you are welcome to copy these blog pages for reference if you like), and explain what I did.
Right now I'm off to rip fabric for fabric prints -- give me a couple of weeks. Stay tuned. This has been SO much fun~~


Saturday, April 1, 2017

LILIES - South of the Border, or North, or East, or West

It all depends on one's color direction/choice. This is my Millefiori design #8006 (details at my website, I've seen it at so often that I thought I'd write about it here, too.

     I named it "South of the Border" and described it as a "lily bouquet" with lacelike chiffon lilies, Amazon asters, fan flower, Argentine weeping lilies, a lollipop lily and the rain lily. 

This is scaevola, or an Australian native also known as the "fan flower" and is usually blue, pink or white.
To make a Brazilian dimensional embroidery version of this flower that attracts butterflies (shown) and repels deer (too big for this design...), I selected the blanket stitch.
To make it 'dimensional', I chose to make the bullion petals with blanket stitch, worked clockwise with our 100% rayon Z-twist floss (manufactured by
It helps to make really 'good' bullions, but in case they don't all work out, I decided to cover the base of the stitches with a cast-on cover-up.
     Here's the short version of what I did, in pictures.
Above: I started with a lazy daisy bullion. The second bullion is anchored into a blanket stitch as shown at the upper right. Sometimes you need to convince these bullions that you and they are on the same page. You can do that by going through the fabric and bringing the needle up in the correct position (especially if you work with a hoop or frame).  That's what I did in the three pictures shown below.

It really works - you just need to convince it that you are running the show and that it will be beautiful and lovely and gorgeous when it's all finished.  See, below?  It's starting to agree with me.

Here's the basic process, and below is the finished flower:
--with any little 'disagreements' covered with the cast-on calyx. Here's a close-up of the finished flower on the design:
It's always fun to play with leaves, too. Here I stitched the leaves with pink veins. Because the green is so dark, there is space between two of the leaves to give them a bit of separation:
This is a detail picture of another of the flowers - the Teacup Flower:
The focal flowers at the top of the design are Chiffon Lilies. At various times, I've stitched them with different colors, or reversed colors:

I used the cast-on pistil stitch to make the stamens (I've described this step-by-step on this blog if you do a search). The petals are drizzles, stitched with a variation of the "Archie" we all know and love.  Remember:  Archie R.A. Drizzle (the Latin: Archiara drizzle)
I have these and a lot of other flowers and dimensional stitch techniques in "My Book of Stitches" (Millefiori #8000) - aka, The Pink Book:
Oh~   And here's the butterfly. When I stitch butterflies, or flowers, or anything, I'm always trying to think of how I can use our B.E. dimensional stitches. This little one, though, is not - I used just simple stitches.  By the way, I like to make a bullion for the butterfly by starting with a fly stitch and using the bullion (body) as a tacking stitch. The wonky eyeballs shown below are French knots (although colonial knots are more dimensional).
And now I think I'll flutter away -- I am working to finish my new book of fifty brand new flowers, "Forever Flowers".  I'll let you know as soon as it's ready, will also post pictures.


Monday, March 27, 2017

A Walk In The Woods ... aka My *soggy* Garden

Vernal Pools.  I learned something new today ...even though I'm in Oregon, I discovered that California has "Vernal Pools" -- temporary little lakes that sprout all sorts of life.  (In the Midwest, we called them "Mud Puddles")

--and then I realized: I have a "vernal pool".  Here it is:
With 7" of rain this month (and 41" since October '16) we have a very pretty "vernal pools" that develop in low spots -- and lookie, lookie -- we even have green slimy stuff around the edges.
I think I will have to add more Nice Dirt here unless I want to stock my 'vernal pool' with little fish.

We did have company the last time this 'vernal pool' formed. The thrush has been splashing around and having lots of birdie fun.

Luckily, the pansies I planted are on "high ground". . .


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dragons and Daffodils

I was wondering where I was for a whole month.  I found me in my garden and found my dragon there, too. First of all, this is the daffodil.
There were two of them blooming in my Oregon garden this morning ... in March, already. I snapped this picture with my trusty camera and didn't have to do any "magic" to it ...well, its aroma is totally magical.
I've just finished editing the second Education Projects book for our Brazilian dimensional embroidery group, BDEIG, Inc. It's going to be a good one - lots and lots of projects to stitch. More on that later.
Here's the little dragon:
He's one of the Brazilian dimensional embroidery "Cutie Pies" from the back cover of my book, Take A Stitch.
Fabric print available, instructions are in the book -- available at my website, A lot of people already have my book; if you'd like the print, send me an email and let me know if you would like a cream or a white print. I'll let you know the cost plus postage and you can do the PayPal or check thing to get it on its way to you.
OK, back to the little dragon. Here are a couple of detail pictures to entertain you. (He's harmless unless you stick yourself with your needle) Here he is napping on his nose (also known as a "detail photo")

And here he rolled over on his back:
Doesn't look very tough now, does he?? 
Oh, wait, he just said "grrr" (or whatever it is that dragons say ...if they say anything):
Looks like he was just at the dentist's, doesn't it?  Grrr.
There were lots of other Cutie Pies. This next one I called a Barnyard Dragon:
...and I think those dimensional stitches we do come in pretty handy.  If you scroll back up, you'll see that I used various animal tracks to separate each of the Cutie Pies (even the edge border).
And then I stitched this little pelican, another of the Cutie Pies. He's just been out fishing - nice he has a place to store his fish.
So now I'll go back to work. By the way, I've been posting on Facebook. I have a Millefiori page there, but there are also a couple of really interesting Brazilian embroidery groups you might like to visit.  
    This is the OTHER daffodil I saw this morning. It's the start of my daily circuit around my garden with my camera. I saw a camellia bud the other day, and the snowbells are blooming everywhere (they think they are weeds, but I don't -- I like them all).  Daffodil ahead: