Friday, June 27, 2008

Color Palettes of Asilomar

Here are some color palettes from Asilomar, in Monterey, California:





Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back from Asilomar

I'm back from Asilomar and still in kind of a daze.... It was soooo wonderful to be surrounded by 120+ stitchers all crazy about stitching. For a whole week we talked, walked, ate, slept nothing but STITCHING! In the most beautiful coastal scenery you can imagine....

(Is that a stitcher's paradise or what?!?)
The buildings were all done in a rustic arts & crafts style...from small cottages to majestic halls. And all surrounded by lots of big pines and cedars...

Deer wandered around between the buildings, scarcely noticing the people at all. (This doe and fawn were just outside my bedroom window.)
And my classes were held in a wonderful, light-filled building on a hill that had wonderful pine-filled views from every window. (You can see how much time my stitchers spent gazing out the windows. Actually, they're concentrating on making lots and lots of bullion knots - everybody's FAVORITE stitch, ha, ha...)

ANYWAY, I certainly met lots of new stitcher friends, greeted some old friends, compared notes with other teachers, and even got to meet the regional and national presidents of EGA. All in all, I can confidently say: A very good time was had by all!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just A Little Color Break

This blog is just a tranquil rest stop for your eyes.
A time to stop and admire colors, just the way they appear around us...

Aren't these whites and greens restful?

And here's a brighter springtime photo...with the little purple flowers acting like polka dots in the background of the elegant dogwood blossoms...

Oooooh, and here's another punch of color...
I just love those spicy pink dianthus - no matter what size, kind or color!
(And who says pinks and reds don't go together?!?)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Otter Be Going...

Well, I'm finally packed up and ready to hit the road to drive down to Pacific Grove, to teach a few classes at EGA's Western Pacific Region Seminar at Asilomar. It's my first time teaching at Asilomar, and I've heard such wonderful things about this regional seminar that I can't wait to experience it for myself!
I've spent the last year designing, stitching, printing,and kitting up the projects I'm going to be teaching. One is called PACIFIC GROVE COLLAGE and features all the things that make the place so special (the Monarch butterfly and the sea otter, to name just two):
The other project is called PACIFIC TIDE POOL, and it's really something different. It's a freeform stitching experience that let's each stitcher create their own little tide pool:
It should be lots of fun....and I hope I'll return next week with lots of lovely photos of Pacific Grove and lots of renewed enthusiasm for new stitching projects!
Anyway....GOTTA FLY NOW! Bye for now....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Speaking of Chocolate...

Stitching up some yummy ribbon designs is almost as good as indulging in a box of chocolates...(well, not exactly the same, but just as fun!)

And lately, I've had an absolute craving to stitch up some ribbons in the currently popular color combo of turquoise/aqua and brown. I've been seeing that particular color combination in decorating magazines for several years now, and I've really wanted to create a ribbon design with those colors.

But first I had to find a suitable variegated #5 pearl cotton to use as the foundation. That was harder than you might think.....There are lots of variegated colors out there, but not one that was just the right turquoise/aqua and brown. Well...finally, Caron Collection came out with Watercolours 180 - Green Tea, and HOORAY! that was close enough for me to use. I grabbed a few skeins and started stitching....

Here's what it looked like when I first put in the basic ribbon foundations:
I matched the variegated thread with a darker tan, DMC 738 & 739, for the ribbon borders.

And I decided to work on the dark brown canvas, to make those ribbons stand out.
But at this stage, everything looks pretty pale and washed out, doesn't it?

Fortunately, I went to my local stitchery store - The Regal Rabbit in Windsor, CA - and came home with some scrumptious turquoise threads, in lots of different textures.

And now look what happens when you add some turquoise to those bland tan colors...
The ribbons start to get dimensional...and the whole project starts to liven up!

And then of course, you get to add a little bit of sparkle on top of the turquoise....and things REALLY start to sing!

Here's a peek at another of the big ribbons...For this design, I've even splurged and added some turquoise Very Velvet Petite for a special accent on the ribbons. (Can you spot it?)

Well, back to stitching on these ribbons....I'll unveil the whole design to you when I finish stitching it....(and hopefully, this new design will be available mid-June, so check on my website: later this month if you're interested!)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank You!

THANK YOU to all the blog readers commenting on my designs - especially about the ribbon designs I've recently mentioned.

If you're interesting in seeing more of my designs, please click on the link LAURA J. PERIN DESIGNS (listed at right) to visit my website: You'll be transported to my online catalog, that shows all my patterns available for purchasing directly from me (with checks, credit cards or PayPal).

While you're visiting, you might also enjoy checking out the FREE PATTERNS page on my website. I've posted a few smaller designs for you to print out, that are fun to play with and stitch up in your favorite color combinations....

Happy Stitching!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Wrapt Up in Ribbons

I have an on-going fascination with creating ribbon patterns. I was first smitten with stitched ribbons when I worked on a Carol Costello piece 'way back in the '80s, called HAPSBURG LACE. ..I LOVED working on that canvaswork piece of interwoven ribbons. It's still one of my all-time favorite pieces.

And I've always wanted to create my own design of interwoven ribbons. But where do you even begin? Over the last few years, I started by adding a few bits of ribbons in my floral collage pieces. It was so much fun to mix & match stitches and threads to create pieces of ribbon, that I finally had the confidence to sit down and design my first interwoven ribbon pattern called FLORAL RIBBONS.

I've always wanted to stitch something in apricot and green as well....because my sister Diane stitched her own design of woven ribbons back in the '80s, using that color combination, and it always stuck in my mind as a very lovely color pairing.

Anyway, here's a closeup of some of the floral ribbons:
I just love looking at their supposed complexity, but really, they're made up of very simple stitches - just combined in fun ways - to look more complex than they really are.

And, as usual, I love to incorporate a variegated pearl cotton thread....using it as the foundation of the color palette, and then choosing my colors from that variegated thread.

Here are more floral ribbons from FLORAL RIBBONS.
You can see how the variegated thread is used in a bargello-type ribbon that really adds drama to the overall piece.

And above it, inside the apricot zig-zag ribbon, you can see the variegated thread is used to create the large smyrna star flowers...Yet another way to use variegated thread!

Yum....these ribbons are almost as delicious as a box of chocolates (but not nearly as fattening!)