Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Singin' the (Happy Dance) Blues

I'm dee-lighted to report that I FINALLY got my icy blue beads (after hunting high and low on the internet for any available 6/0 size) and was able to finish beading my new, new, new NORTHERN LIGHTS design this weekend. Whew, I'm soooo happy to finish this new counted canvaswork design and get it on my website for you.

I've been eager to share this shimmery piece with you, since I know there are lots of blue and aqua lovers out there... I mean, who doesn't love blues and aquas??.... And this one is totally FUN to stitch, with no difficult stitches -- just lots of shiny, easy stitch and thread combinations that create a dazzling finished work of art:

 The piece is built around a favorite variegated Watercolours thread - 068, "Mediterranean" (2 skeins) - but I also provide instructions on how to pick out other color palettes if you want to choose your own colors and amaze yourself with your favorite color combinations.  (And hey, wouldn't those separate diamond blocks make totally fun ornaments?  What a fun way to try out some wild and crazy color combinations!)   Each diamond block uses totally different stitches, and if you notice, I tried to alternate straight-lined blocks with curvy-lined blocks - just to mix things up and add some variety to the different areas.

I always enjoy making the snazzy corner "fan" stitches -- working the bottom layer with 1 ply of the 3-ply variegated Watercolours, then placing the second layer of stitches on top, using 1 strand of the softly shimmering Ribbon Floss threads. The most important thing is getting them to lay flat and smooth, but a laying tool works wonders, as does one of your fingers!   And I hope they remind you a bit of those shifting colors of northern lights in the cold winter skies, since they were my inspiration for this piece.

Anyway, NORTHERN LIGHTS is finally available for you eager stitchers.... so please visit my website: www.laurajperindesigns.net for all the latest ordering info. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Meanwhile, Back on the Stretcher Bars...

I know, I know... it's been a while since I've done some regular blogging.  But I've been very busy dividing my time & energy between designing and stitching several types of projects, and by the end of the day it's hard to focus enough to string words together... I'm hoping to get back in the bloggin' groove this new year, so here's to the start of another fantastic stitching season!

Wanna see what I'm working on for the New Year?
Here's a counted canvaswork piece that's almost finished.  I'm waiting for icy blue beads to arrive, before I can finish the model and release the pattern (with beads included).   I'm calling this one NORTHERN LIGHTS, because it's got lots of blue and aqua shimmers in it:

The patterns and stitches are actually very easy, but mixing and matching different threads makes it look more complex than it is....Very Very Fun!!  Psst: it's actually a companion piece to one of my favorite designs, JEWEL BOX, which was done in greens and pinks:

The other project on my stretcher bars is THE SENTINEL, another gorgeous painted canvas by Sandra Gilmore. The owner of FLEUR DE PARIS (distributor of Sandra Gilmore canvases) asked me if I'd like to do a stitch guide for this fellow, and of course I said YES!   I've got him hanging on my office wall, and his unblinking stare continually reminds me that ahem, I've got to get back to work on him:

So far, I've figured out a border; started working on the birch trees; and now I need to get started on the wolf's coat.  I've got a pile of soft Bella Lusso wools for the wolf, and plan to do him in overlapping long stitches. Wish me luck on that!

Hope your New Year is off to a great stitching start, too....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Just a Reminder...

Happy New Year, Stitchers!

Are you busy working on new projects for the new year?
If you want to start a fun little ribbon project, you might want to sign up
 for my RIBBONS WITH MONOGRAM cyber class that will start in February.  

And what's fun about this project is you have the choice of several different colorways:

The stitches are easy, the threads luscious, and it makes a sweet little pillow, too.
So if you're interested, please sign up now; registration ends on Sunday...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shakin' Up a Little Snow

Woo Hoo!!  I've just finished working on a new holiday stitch guide, called SNOWGLOBE 1, by Sandra Gilmore.  After the large FALL SPLENDOR piece I stitched last month, this was very, very fun because it was small (8"x 9") and didn't require any fancy stitches!  Here's a peek up close:

I used a blackwork pattern for the table area, using a subtle variegated Watercolours thread; and I also padded some of the pedestal rows stitched with DMC #8 pearl cotton to add a bit more dimension.  As for everything else, I used lots of metallics for lots of sparkle (which, alas, you can't see in any of the photos).  The snowglobe area was all done in tent stitch, but with a blended needle of floss and opalescent Kreinik blending filament.  The globe really does sparkle like a snowy snowglobe should!  And while my model has a more antique-y gold look, I've also included thread options for a pure snow white effect...

If you love snowglobes (and let's face it, who doesn't?) and want a fun little project to keep you merry and bright throughout the holiday season, this may be the canvas for you.  I left my model flat for framing, but it sure would be cute to have it finished as a standup piece, don't you think?

 Please contact your local stitchery store for ordering the Sandra Gilmore canvas called SNOWGLOBE 1, along with my stitch guide, from our distributor, FLEUR DE PARIS.  And just so you know, the stitch guide is available on my website, too....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A New (Encore) Cyber Class for 2015

Bonjour, Stitchers!  Recently, I was browsing through my file of past cyber classes and decided it was time to do "Ribbons with Monogram" again, for those of you who may have missed it the first time around (a year ago).  It's such a sweet, romantic piece that looks like this:

It's a small project, 7" x 8.5", done on the old-fashioned brown mono canvas, just to give it an antique look.
There are three elaborate ribbon patterns, but each one is different and equally fun to stitch.  I've also designed a special alphabet that is a little bit Victorian, a little bit French, n'est pas?  If you enjoy stitching up fantasy ribbons, this is a fun way to try your hand at these three ribbons:

This design makes a perfect piece to stitch for yourself and/or for friends & family; the smaller size is great to make into a stylish accent pillow, too!  And because I couldn't narrow it down to just one colorway, I thought I'd offer the stitcher several color options (each one equally yummy):

The cyber class registration runs from now until mid-January 2015, and the class will start in February 2015, after the hectic holiday season winds down.  So if you're looking for a special treat for yourself, or a fun project to kick off  the new year, why not visit my website and see more of the particulars regarding this new "Ribbons with Monogram" cyber class -- including the specific Watercolours threads and #5 pearl cottons used in each of the colorways.  And if you'd like to play with your own thread colors, you can always get just the pattern and create your own unique version from threads in your stash!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Celebrate the Bounty

Here are more of my designs that share the colors and feel of the Autumn season. 
(They are all available at my website,  in the Sampler Collection and Impressionist Collection,
if you are interested.)
 Anway, I love designing things that can be displayed for longer times during the year; so 
I've amassed quite a collection by now....

Rusty O'Toole

Prairie Star

 Long Autumn Panel

 Red Poppy Collage

 Turning Leaves

My latest stitched painted canvas, Fall Splendor

and last but not least, Pumpkin Harvest 

Have a lovely Thankgiving weekend, and I hope you manage to sneak in a bit of stitching, too!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fall Splendor

Well, here it is.... my largest finished painted canvas piece to date, FALL SPLENDOR by Sandra Gilmore.

It's been painted on the darker sandstone canvas, so it has a lovely aged parchment look to it; and with the "zig zag" border I designed for this piece, it measures 15" x 15".  Here's a peek at the variegated outer border:

What the photo doesn't really show you is that the entire floral pattern in the background is worked in simple Tent Stitch, using a glitzy Kreinik #8 Braid (6 spools, to be exact!), while the rest of the sandstone canvas is left unstitched.  Then for the leaves, I wanted something very simple (to show off all the colors) and decided to use long Straight Stitches.  Surprisingly fast, fun and non-stressful (well, if you don't count concentrating on keeping the long stitches flat, smooth and untwisted), it really was a joy to stitch all the different types of leaves in 5 ply of Splendor silks.

As this big leaf photo shows, just by changing the stitch directions in certain areas of the leaves, you can create surprising color changes, because the light hits the stitches in different ways....

Those red berries and fat acorns are padded and stitched with a shiny rayon ribbon, just to provide additional texture and surprise to the piece. (The padded elements are a bit smushed in the photos, since they're smack up against the scanner bed, but trust me, they are nice and poofy in real life.)

This canvas was an absolute joy to stitch, and I plan to enjoy looking at it all autumn long.

If you are hankering for an elegant fall piece, please contact your favorite stitchery store so they can order you both the FALL SPLENDOR painted canvas and stitch guide from my friends at FLEUR DE PARIS.  The stitch guide is also available on my website