Last month, to relax and take a break from all my counted canvaswork projects, I pulled out a painted canvas I had in my closet, done by Sandra Gilmore called "HYDRANGEA". I was really enjoying working on it, because I didn't have to worry about graphing any of the stitches and could just "play" with it.... I used some blackwork patterns (only I stitched them in white #5 pearl cotton), created some easy checks, tent stitched the watering can and all the flowers,
then went back and "embossed" some of the petals by straight stitching (with rayon ribbon floss) on top of the tent stitching, like this:
.... added a woven border, so in no time at all, it ended up looking like this:
When I showed it to some of my stitching friends, they just loved it and asked me if I was going to create a "stitch guide" for it, so they could stitch it the same way I did. [In case you were wondering: stitch guides are the latest trend in needlepoint today. Buying a hand-painted canvas can be quite an investment, not to mention all the threads you need to stitch it... so it's rather intimidating to try and figure out how to interpret a canvas so you can enjoy stitching on it and still be true to the artist's original vision.] My first panicky response was, "No way, I have too many other projects, to even think about tackling a NEW one...". And then as more stitchers asked about a stitch guide, I calmed down and thought, "Hey, why not give it a try and see what happens..."
So, sure enough .... I sat down and wrote a stitch guide, and you know what? I had a blast! I created a fresh new layout, hunted out some new fonts, did a few stitch diagrams (but didn't have to graph out EVERY stitch!) and even included closeup photos of the different stitched sections. I then contacted one of my favorite wholesale distributors, FLEUR DE PARIS, because they handle Sandra Gilmore's canvases and asked if they'd like to carry my stitch guides as well. They did. And the rest, as they say, is history....
Soooooo, I have a new sideline -- Needlepoint STITCH GUIDES by Laura J. Perin Designs! As you might imagine, I'm really excited about this new development. I mean, who wouldn't love to have a reason to buy more wonderful threads and stitch more painted canvases as beautiful as Sandra Gilmore's?!? So I'm off and running.... and shopping.... and stitching....
P.S.: I'll be selling just the stitch guide on my website (www.laurajperindesigns.net) , but if you are interested in getting the canvas and guide together, please contact your local stitchery store and they can order it for you from Fleur de Paris in Los Angeles.
P.P.S: And in case you were wondering... Don't worry, I'm still going to be producing counted canvaswork designs. (You should see the string of them waiting to be finished in the coming months).... but doing a bit of painted canvas work makes a nice change and certainly re-energizes me for all sorts of new projects!