Sunday, 3 May 2020
Thursday, 16 April 2020
For a few years now I have been intending to work up online classes. I bought the GoPro video camera and I acquired the editing software. I thought about it for a long time then put it all away for another day.
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Open for pre-ordering
I have spent this morning publishing everything on the website and opening it all up for pre-order, if you want to get in there quickly. Not that we intend to run out of anything.
Monday, 29 July 2019
World Embroidery Day 30th July
My husband had arrived home with a couple of boxes of cupcakes which he had bought at a local child welfare charity event and in order to celebrate I indulged my sweet tooth by making a jolly good effort to eat the lot - no I didn't eat them all, but I gave it a good try. But stuffing my face with baked goods is not really enough and as the end of that huge task almost coincides with world embroidery day, I can't think of a better reason to have a little promotion on our website.
So, if you go to World Embroidery Day Promotion in the Online Shop on our website you will find that all of the books I have written have been marked down by 25% for the next week. In addition to the books, we have a selection of full kits that have been marked down by 30% if you buy the full kits and 25% if you buy the packs individually.
So, have fun and in the meantime here's a little taste of the birds. The book will be called Crewel Birds and in it you will find:
Saturday, 6 April 2019
We've had a really slow start to the year with building alterations to our studio.
We added two extra rooms and, best of all, tiled the floors throughout. This building was originally a double garage and servants' quarters, so not great floors and dust was a huge problem.
So, with the floors being done, we had to move out completely and put everything in my house. Kit stock bins, crates of thread boxes, stationery, sewing and winding machines - you name it, the spare bedrooms, the lounge and dining room, the passages, even one of the bathrooms and the kitchen didn't escape and this was for the whole of January and most of February. We continued to work, get the orders out, from our study which suddenly became inhabited by extra computers, printers, etc.
Building, by its very nature, always takes longer, costs more than you anticipate and makes a mess. If the truth be told, we should have done these alterations years ago but one has to face all this, along with one of our dogs that barks incessantly when we have workmen on the property. So, we didn't do it. But eventually needs must and all that.
Eventually it was all finished and we moved back into what is now a wonderful space, in the first half of March. We have enough space for everything - in fact, more than we need but you can be certain we'll fill it up, that happens. We even have electrical sockets where we need them, lights as we want them, with floor space for dog beds, gotta have the dog beds.
So now, having got ourselves supremely sorted out, stock recorded, website up to date, we are ready to celebrate with a 25% off everything sale.
If you go to our website, everything is marked down for the next two weeks. We have good stocks of everything, but as is normally the case, don't wait too long as stock tends to go fast when we have a promotion. Our website works in such a way that things disappear when stocks have run out so, if something doesn't appear it is because that particular item has sold out already.
As far as the rest of the year is concerned, I will be in Australia in September teaching at the Perth Embroidery Guild's 50th anniversary Threads of Gold convention. I will be travelling over a couple of weeks before the convention and doing a bit of a round trip, teaching in Brisbane, Caloundra, Geelong, Bendigo and in the Perth Hills. These workshops have been organised by the guilds and various groups in those centres and may or may not be open to non-group/guild members but if you would like the details, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you in touch with the relevant person.
Before I leave for Australia I intend to finish (have to finish) my Crewel Birds book. The intended publication date for that book is around March/April 2020 and it will comprise 6 birds - 2 of them in a very Jacobean style (firebird, phoenix, that kind of thing) and the other 4 will be quite non-traditional. A rooster, a pheasant, a mallard duck and a flamingo. Here's a little taste of two of them and I hope that they will garner approval from you.
I so enjoyed designing and stitching the birds in my Crewel Creatures book that I felt the need to do more, so a whole book of them. Currently being stitched and written under distracting circumstances, however, because we have seven weapons of mass distraction.
Bred with my heart and not my head with Lily, who has her father's beautiful temperament and her mother's mischief, the perfect dog. Perfection that had to be passed on. Father is Freddie who belongs to a friend and also have a lovely nature, as well as being a very handsome chap. They were born by C-Section on the 6th of March and are now just over four weeks old. At around 3 weeks, they turned from little blobby, ratty things into dogs. Puppies that play, bark, fight, eat hungrily and give us endless hours of pleasure. We just sit and stare at them, even if they're not doing much at all. Puppies do that to you.
Unlike her mother's litter which had to be hand-reared when Brenda got terrible mastitis, this has gone so smoothly. Lily is the most exceptional mother, all the puppies are healthy and we are in puppy heaven. And there are three white puppies, like Grandad, so I'll be keeping one of those, for sure. One of the little girls and her name is Monica.
We did try to let her have the puppies naturally but had expected that not to happen because Brenda and Brenda's mother didn't go into second stage labour and Lily obviously has the same genetic thing, so after a few hours at home in the early hours, I took her into the animal hospital as soon as they opened, and the decision was made. It was an interesting morning at the vet, even landed up with an article in our local newspaper and if you want to read about it, you can access it here. Talk about being exposed, my potty mouth. The vet who wrote that does a regular column for our local rag and is an old friend of mine. We often swear at each other.
Freddie, the father, in the meantime has gone in for the chop, poor boy. A day or two before the puppies were born he got into an altercation with a monkey in his garden and came off second best. He was stitched up, got rabies' boosters, lots of antibiotics, all sorts of things and learnt nothing from the experience. The moment he was feeling up to it he was out chasing monkeys again, so he sealed his fate. But at least we got a really nice bunch of babies before all that. Silly boy.
So, having given you an update on Boxer dogs in Africa, all that remains is to say take advantage of our 25% off sale. We hope to switch on our computers to a full inbox on Monday and, as always, will get everything out to you as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Till next time, Hazel
Friday, 16 November 2018
It's that time of year when, after a really busy time, we sit down, take stock, think about what we're doing next and - while we're about it - try to give our loyal customers an end of year 'gift' in the form of specials. And no, this is not Black Friday. We don't do Black Friday, we prefer to just be nice to you when we can find the time to do that.
So here we go.
This book, a collaboration between Di van Niekerk, Monique Day-Wilde and myself, came out about two months ago and, I'm afraid, with not a lot of fanfare from me. I was in Australia and not in a position to write to all of you. So, to make up for that, I'm doing it now and to make up for my tardiness, we are running a special.
We don't stock all of the kits on our website, only the ones where I was involved in the stitch design. You will find all of those on our website on the Mandala Special page. For the next two weeks, if you purchase 3 full kits of any of the designs on that page we will send you the Mandala book for nothing. To sweeten the pill some more, we have put a 10% discount on all of those kits for the same period. You will also find the same thing happens on our normal Mandala Page.
My Crewel Creatures book has been so well received and I have received so many compliments, so thank you all for that and to celebrate the fact that you like the book, we are offering full kits of all the creatures on our End of Year Specials page at a 30% discount.
In amongst the Crewel Creatures are the Tumbleweeds Series, currently our other popular line and also at a 30% discount for the full kits.
And also..............the bead flower brooch. Specifically designed with instructions that take you through 3-dimensional bead flowers, I did this for those that need to have more extensive instructions that there is ever space for in any book or similar publication. I am in the process of putting a whole bead embroidery book together, similar to the Needle Lace and Needle Weaving books but these things take time. So until I've actually come up with that book, the bead flower brooch gives you some fairly good instructions and we are offering our stock at a 30% discount.
And now, onto the subject of threads. It has become difficult to get Anchor threads - which is a pity because they were really nice with some sublime colours, but that's life. Because of this, I made a decision to, therefore, up our range of DMC threads and in the next month or so the last of the stock should arrive. When it does, we will have the entire ranges of: Stranded Cotton, Colour Variations, Coloris, Light Effects, Satin, Perle #12, Special Dentelles and Diamant metallic threads. I will send out a newsletter with a complete list of our DMC stocks when everything is here. In the meantime, it is only the Special Dentelles and the Diamant threads that are waiting for the last few colours.
One of the problems that I encounter when I am playing around with needle weaving and needle lace techniques is the limited range of colours in the DMC Perle #12 and Dentelles ranges. The solution to that is Presencia threads. They really do have a fabulous range of colours in the Finca Perle threads and I have started bringing in some of those in Perle #12 (simiilar to DMC Perle #12) and Perle #16 (simiilar to DMC Dentelles). I'm slowly building up this range and if you click on the links to each page you will be able to see what we have in stock at present, remembering to check in from time to time to see what we've added. On both of those pages are links to colour charts, so have a look at those. Such a fabulous range of colours and, having worked with it over the last year or two, I can tell you that it is good quality thread.
So, that's it for now. Must get on with the next thing that has to be done and we do hope you will be tempted by our specials.
Thursday, 8 February 2018
Going Round In Circles
And then two designs that are similar to mandalas in that the projects involve repeats. One would think that it would be tedious to repeat what you have already done but my experience is that this is not the case. You are watching the whole thing come together as you stitch and that is not at all boring.
And the last one is a mandala design that I did a few years ago.
So, there you go girls. Get in quickly because these specials usually go fast.
My new book, Crewel Creatures, is about six weeks away. If you want to get a small preview of what the book looks like, either go to my home page or click here. You'll be able to have a squizz at the back and front covers along with a selection of the content pages.
When I know that the arrival of boxes of books into my studio is imminent, we will be uploading all of the packs - along with the books - on the website and I will let you know they are there. We intend to do specials on a selection of the full kits, so watch out for that.
And now I'm going to go back to stitching mandalas. I think I'm on number 13 but, actually, I've lost count.
Till the next time,