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ISSUE 170, JANUARY 25 2019
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INSPIRATIONS. ALL Stitched Up!
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Hi <<First Name>>,
Welcome to the first All Stitched Up! for 2019.

Late last year, The Do Lectures weekly email challenged us to think about our goals for 2019. The philosophy behind their business is a simple one – ‘that people who do things, can inspire the rest of us to go and do amazing things too.’ And isn’t that what we’re all searching for, the inspiration to go and do something amazing with the time, talent and resources we’ve each been gifted?!

The email went on to remind us that all too often, however, we set our goals with plenty of good intentions, but then get busy and distracted and before we know it another year has passed, and the goals seem just as far away as they did when we set them. It turns out most of us are better at setting resolutions than we are at keeping them!
As the blank page of a New Year has only just unfolded before us, how can we can we ensure 2019 is different? Is there a way to guarantee we’ll meet the goals we’ve set for ourselves?
Whilst there are no real guarantees in life, The Do Lectures posed three simple, but effective tips for change that will absolutely point us in the direction of success…

KNOW THE DESTINATION | You need to be clear about where you’re headed.

KNOW HOW YOU WILL FEEL WHEN YOU GET THERE | Change needs motivation and how you feel is the fuel you need to make change happen. You need to be able to imagine how you’ll feel when you reach your intended destination.

PLAN | Unfortunately you can’t outsource change, you have to stop thinking and actually start doing.

Let’s all find our moment at the outset of this New Year to start unpacking the time, talent and resources that lie within each of us and make 2019 our most amazing year ever! Here’s to finding our amazing…
 
Celebrating 100 Issues

Picking up where we left off last year, we’re continuing to celebrate 100 issues of Inspirations Magazine and this week we’re sharing Diane Hendra’s stitching journey with you…

‘I have all issues of Inspirations Magazine. I’m a basic embroiderer and have dressed porcelain dolls since 1980. I have also made baby blankets for my grandchildren using patterns and following the stitching guides in your magazine. I had my Inspirations Magazine on order from a local newsagency for many years, but then my husband John used to give me an annual subscription for Christmas, so I think you would definitely say that I can identify myself as a foundation member!’

‘I use the magazine to make Christmas presents for friends and when I was President of the Bannockburn Bowls Club, I embroidered forty pincushions as thank you gifts. I treasure my magazines and look forward to each new issue, all of which contain the most amazing embroidery one could ever hope to see!’
Diane, we appreciate your support since issue #01 and for taking the time to share your Inspirations collection and needlework journey with us. Thank you for including us - it’s been an absolute pleasure to share the journey with you!
 
Featured Project | Inspirations #100
Monet, Hugo et les Poissons d'Or by Jenny McWhinney
For those of us who fell in love with Jenny McWhinney’s Monet the Mouse when he first appeared way back in 2003 in Inspirations issue #38, and then again three years later in issue #51, it’s been a lot of waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping… until now.

Some of us never thought this day would come, but it is with much fanfare and excitement that after 12 years, we now have a third book in the ‘Adventures of Monet’ series.
‘Monet, Hugo et les Poissons d'Or’ (Monet, Hugo and the Golden Fish) is a special project Jenny worked on especially for Inspirations issue #100 and this week we have the great honour of handing over the microphone (or in this case keyboard!) to Jenny who shares with us the backstory not only to Monet himself, but also a rare insight as to the how, where and why this incredibly talented artist creates her incredibly popular characters.
#1 Flowers for Grandmother; #2 Monet and the Yellow Paper; #3 Monet, Hugo and the Golden Fish
‘Ever since I was a young child, sketching and painting has been my first passion, with the second being stitching. Both of these creative outlets seemed to go hand-in-hand so organically. I see the characters I imagine and bring to life, through painting and stitching, as my puppets.’
‘Puppeteers use their puppets to express personal thoughts and ideas. The puppet acts as the perfect vehicle to express the puppeteer’s thoughts, feelings and unique perspectives, while getting an artistic message out into the world.
Much like the puppeteer, nothing brings me more joy than using my creations to pass on an idea, message, or just make someone smile.
Placing my characters into imagined scenes or taking them on any kind of fantastic adventure expands their personalities and gives them their own special backstory.’
‘I create directly from mother nature. For example, if I want to create a wombat or a reindeer, I will use multiple reference photos of the animal and study the skeletal structure. Once I know the anatomy of the creature, and how it is constructed from the inside out, drawing him in any position that my idea requires becomes much easier. By understanding the way the creature moves, I am able to pose him as I wish, to suit whatever I imagine his backstory to be, and whatever message I wish him to convey.’
‘The concept of my ‘Monet’ series all started with one single image - just a tiny mouse lying in his quaint little bedroom. I enjoyed stitching him so much I thought I would do another image - the same mouse character picking flowers in an English garden. After the second image, I had to decide what to do with Monet and his developing story.’
‘A little ‘cloth book’ seemed the obvious choice. Gradually working on the individual pages of the book was extremely rewarding, seeing Monet’s adventure stitched into reality. Completing each page gave me a feeling of achievement and kept me excited to see where the story would end until eventually the first book of the series ‘Des Fleurs Pour Grandmere’ (Flowers for Grandmother) was finished.’
‘Observation is the best way to collect inspiration. Just observe, and you can collect endless ideas and inspiration. Toddlers and young children are a massive influence on my characters, they are so funny and so honest. Without any inhibition as they are still finding their own unique pathways in the world. I adore their comical chubby hands and lack of balance as they learn to manage their limbs just like baby elephants and other animals.’
‘I owned some little mice for quite some time and would let them run around my desk amongst my pencils and books, and sketch them as they investigated their surroundings. They are (as are all animals) fascinating to watch as they go about their own business, in their own miniature worlds. I remember the first time I watched one climb over the day calendar on my desk – legs all over the place – she was very undignified but wouldn’t give up. I recalled this image when I sketched Monet falling into the rubbish bin in my second Monet book ‘Monet and the Yellow Paper’.’
‘In Monet’s newest tale, ‘Monet, Hugo and the Golden Fish’, I was hoping to explain to the new generation that we need to look after the natural resources we have, caring for the environment, and the importance of small acts of kindness. Monet’s acknowledgement of the shiny golden fish was my way of expressing to the tiny reader that even a small act of compassion can make a difference.’
'If you wish to design yourself - as I say to everyone that comes to my classes, NEVER worry about making a mistake as sometimes it takes several tries to get where you want to go - just remember my little mouse climbing over the day calendar!'
Jenny, on behalf of the international needlework community, thank you so very much for making all our dreams come true and creating a third ‘Adventures of Monet’ book – it’s everything we could have hoped for and more!
Make Your Own Monet, Hugo et les Poissons d'Or
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Monet, Hugo et les Poissons d'Or (Monet, Hugo and the Golden Fish) by Jenny McWhinney features a new adventure for Monet Mouse in this charming stitched storybook.
 
PRINTED MAGAZINE
Inspirations Issue 100
 
 
DIGITAL PATTERN
Monet, Hugo et les Poissons d'Or
 
Step 2 – Purchase Kit from The Bobbin Tree Website
Kits are available direct for from Jenny McWhinney’s store The Bobbin Tree via her website HERE.
Looking for Monet the Mouse Books?
Des Fleurs Pour Grandmere
Des Fleurs Pour Grandmere (Flowers for Grandmother) by Jenny McWhinney from Inspirations #39 is a charming and captivating little embroidered story book, the first in the series featuring Monet the Mouse.
 
DIGITAL PATTERN
Des Fleurs Pour Grandmere
 
Monet et le Papier Jaune
The second story in the Monet the Mouse series, Monet et le Papier Jaune (Monet and the Yellow Paper) by Jenny McWhinney from Inspirations #51 follows Monet as he embarks on an exciting new adventure
 
DIGITAL PATTERN
Monet et le Papier Jaune
 
Needlework News
Thread Heaven Conditioner
They say that in heaven all the angels are getting into a magical little product called Thread Heaven to help enhance their needlework.
This wonderful versatile tool helps resist frays and tangles by straightening and strengthening threads. Once treated, threads will glide through needle eyes with ease and help you stitch quicker and with less hand fatigue.

If the angels are into it, then it must be good! Thread Heaven conditioner is now available from our website.
 
WARES
Thread Heaven | Thread Conditioner & Protectant
 
Stitch at Home Challenge
Looking for some direction or a challenge to kick off your stitching in 2019? Well, the latest Stitch at Home Challenge announced by San Francisco School of Needlework and Design (SNAD) might be just the thing for you!
The Stitch-at-Home Challenge was conceived by SNAD to encourage and inspire people to stitch. It is not a competition, rather a personal challenge. They provide the inspiration and you use any needlework technique or combination of techniques to make a piece of textile art. The good news is that anyone at any level of stitching expertise may participate and each challenge culminates with an exhibition at SNAD.
Their latest challenge asks you to consider the idea of borders.
Your borders might take the form of whitework edging on a handkerchief, they might be vertical or horizontal, sawtooth or hemstitched. It’s completely up to you how you interpret the idea of a borders – either literal or metaphorical.

To find out more, including details of how to enter, call past their website HERE.
Survey Says…
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our ‘Take 5 to Answer 5’ survey that we emailed out last week. The response has been AMAZING! We’re thrilled at how many of you got involved in the conversation and are touched by all your kind and encouraging words. We are humbled.
If you are yet to have your say to help shape the future of Inspirations, you’ve still got time… click HERE to take our short survey.

Over the coming weeks we’ll let you know the results of the survey and look forward to sharing with you some of our upcoming plans.
 
Featured Project | A Passion for Needlework
Red Currants by Julie Kniedl
There’s something about red berries. Luscious globes of sweet, tart fruit that herald celebration, especially in Australia where summer coincides with the festive season and we are able to tumble handfuls of berries over clouds of whipped cream atop a Christmas pavlova! Berries are prized for their flavor, their nutrition and their eye-catching, jewel-like beauty.
With ‘Red Currants’, the stunning three-dimensional berries by Julie Kniedl from A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII, we can enjoy this beauty in any season of year.

As an irresistible side note, do you remember Jennifer Paterson? She burst onto our TV screens in 1995 on a motorbike with Clarissa Dickson-Wright in the sidecar as the cooking duo Two Fat Ladies. They drove to various locations in the UK and set about cooking something with lots of butter or cream in the host kitchen using whatever dishes and tools were at hand.
Jennifer Paterson & Clarissa Dickson Wright | Two Fat Ladies TV Series (Picture: PA)
They’d have great fun cooking in their own, unhurried way. They’d down tools to wander about the locality while collecting local produce. Oh, and in one episode, Jennifer made some berry-topped tartlets. When adding red currants, she said, “I think they are the most ravishing of fruits!”
Julie’s red currants certainly look ravishing and making your own spectacular stem of berries is going to be one of those pleasurable embroidery experiences where simplicity is sublime.
This can be something you do over time – unhurried. Easy to follow techniques and the small size of the elements makes it a perfect project to work on while having fun in the company of fellow embroiderers or take it along to wrap a bead here or there while waiting for those things we all wait for during the year. Alternatively, take this project outside to work on in the garden, or stay in and settle down for some ‘Stitchflix’ with a cup of tea. ‘Stitchflix’? Yep – stitching while you stream shows on…any digital TV service.
Making the leaves and berries will be familiar to those who love stumpwork. Each leaf is edged with beading wire, leaving wire tails for the stem. Blanket stitch is worked over the wire outline, the leaf filled with long and short stitch and the veins defined with a combination of fly stitch, stem stitch and straight stitch. To finish, the wires of the stem are wrapped. The beads are wrapped and the little brown tufts cleverly added at one end. A wire stem is secured within the bead. When the berries are ready, the racemes are assembled with a wrapping process that forms a gradually thickening stem, creating a very natural look.
Think of the assembly process a little like a florist putting together a bouquet.
You begin with one berry and start to wrap the stem, then bring in another berry and wrap around both stems, add in another berry, and so on. Our diagram artist Susan O’Connor has developed some ingenious schematic-style diagrams for a visual guide to the assembly of each raceme of berries.
It must be time to talk about the wooden stem! We’re sure you’ve noticed the stem. Julie’s combination of a natural wooden stem with fine wool threads for the berries, leaves and wrapped green stems is as stunning as it is harmonious. And this is where downing tools and wandering about comes in.
Keep an eye out on walks or in your garden for wooden stems to use. A stem from pruning would be ideal, but make sure it has dried before use. Julie’s stem is 18.5cm (7 ¼”) long and has four junctions, but as in nature, every stem will be unique. Follow the instructions and refer to the close-up photos for drilling the holes needed to insert the wrapped stems of the berry racemes and leaves. A clear, fast-drying glue will ensure the ends of the wrapped stems are held securely inside the drilled holes.
Enjoy arranging your leaves and berries and find a special place to display your new three-dimensional masterpiece. And, please, do send us a photo of your finished piece!
Make Your Own Red Currants
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Red Currants by Julie Kniedl is a spectacular stem of luscious three-dimensional berries and leaves worked with fine, wool threads.
 
PRINTED BOOK
A Passion for Needlework | Factoria VII
 
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Red Currants includes everything you need to re-create this spectacular piece: Fabric (unprinted), wire, beads, embroidery threads and needles.
 
READY-TO-STITCH KIT
Red Currants
 
Looking for More Julie Kniedl?
Copies of our brand-new book celebrating the incredible talent and legacy of Julie Kniedl are now available.
Botanica | The Three-Dimensional Embroidery of Julie Kniedl teaches you step by step how to re-create nature using your needle and thread with such realism, the art and the original are almost identical.
Have Your Say
For some us Christmas 2018 seems a lifetime ago, but for others (especially those of us who are yet to pack our decorations away!) it seems like only yesterday!

Before the memories of another Festive Season are all but behind us, we thought we’d share Joan Wilson’s account of how her local Embroiderers’ Guild made the most of 2018 as they prepared for this special time of the year with needle and thread…

‘Last year, 13 members of The Embroiderers’ Guild, Queensland Inc. met every Thursday afternoon at the Logan North Library to embroiderer our own versions of Noël, the Schwalm Christmas stocking featured in Inspirations issue #96.’
‘Of the 12 who completed the project in Schwalm, four members created a stocking, six decided to work the design as a wall hanging, two as a table mat and one member opted to work the design in conventional embroidery stitches.’
The Schwalm wall hangings, edged in Hemstitching by Irene Leis, Kaye Wheat and Kay Lambley.
‘As many were not familiar with the Schwalm techniques, the various elements were taught in structured classes over the first four months of 2018 with everyone practicing on a sampler. Members then worked at their own pace, with some finishing their embroidery in six months whilst others took 9-10 months and only a couple remain unfinished.’
Table mats by Coral Cassidy (top left) and Jenny McMahon (bottom left) and the wall hanging by Cathy Adam who worked the design in conventional embroidery stitches.
‘Barbara Kershaw’s design was modified slightly - the bell openings were left unworked and the band around the base of the bell was worked in solid stitching using parallel rows of Chain or Stem Stitch or filled with French Knots. The stocking design still had five bells like Barbara’s original, however an additional bell was added to both the wall hangings and table mats. My Swiss Bell was used to redraw the bell shapes and to relocate the clappers. Some of the fillings in the original design were replaced with lighter fillings such as Honeycomb, Wing, Satin Stitch Squares with Flower Filling and Needle Weaving over Ground Stitch.’
Joan Wilson’s bell pull, with Swiss bell attached and stockings worked by Louise Cummings and Denise Wilson.
Joan, what an incredibly fruitful year you each had with needle and thread! We look forward to seeing what’s produced in 2019 and thank you for sharing your Noël stitching journey with us.

If Joan’s inspired you to make sure Barbara Kershaw’s Noël graces your Christmas this year, why not start stitching today before time is against you?! The links below will point you in the right direction.
 
READY-TO-STITCH KIT
Noël
 
 
DIGITAL PATTERN
Noël
 
 
PRINTED MAGAZINE
Inspirations Issue 96
 
What Are You Stitching?
Before we find that the hustle and bustle of 2018’s Christmas Season is well and truly behind us, this week we’re sharing the stitching that was inspired by this most festive of seasons. Maybe it will even inspire you to pick up needle and thread to ensure your Christmas stitching for 2019 is well and truly on track?!
Annette Rich
‘My hand made effort for family Christmas Gifts… I used towelling which I’ve had for years and years and each one has the receiver’s initial embroidered on it along with a few basic flowers. I call them Soap on a Rope with Washer! Just thought you might enjoy my little personal gifts for my loved ones.’
Annette, what a simple idea that will be well used by their recipients! We love the time and talent you poured into your Christmas Gifts.
Gill Gavashon
‘With Christmas coming and the thoughts of squeals from little children opening their presents filling my mind, I thought it was time to make something for my grandsons.’
‘I am a fan of Jenny McWhinney's designs and her little elves immediately caught my attention. As many of us would know there is a kit for these lovely little creatures, but I decided that I would use my stash of threads, beads and sequins and simply buy the printed linen from The Bobbin Tree.’
‘I ended up finding that I didn't have the bells, little heart sequins or enough beads the project called for, so I ended up having to compromise - there is definitely something to be said for buying a kit, but also how one can put one’s own stamp on our embroideries! Whilst the colours aren't exactly as Jenny had them, I think they came out just fine. Four of them will be winging their way to Norway and the other two to Western Australia.’
They came out just fine indeed Gill! We can just imagine the squeals of delight from each of your grandsons as they opened their ornament which will take pride of place on their Christmas trees for years to come.
Karen Friscia Zoback
‘I made this Christmas Tree and Tree Skirt a few years ago. The skirt is all hand embroidered with beads and buttons and then I added the small mirrors. I still get compliments about it!’
Karen, we love that the time and talent you poured into your Christmas Tree and Skirt is still being well used and much appreciated years later. It must be an absolute joy to display it each year!
Patricia Boyden
‘I was delighted to see this Christmas Bell in issue #166 of the newsletter HERE. I stitched this quite a while ago and thought it was from an Inspirations but wasn’t sure. Many thanks for the reminder, I so look forward to my newsletter every week!’
Patricia, we’re so pleased to have you as part of the Inspirations ‘family’ and love that we were able to remind you about Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Rejoice’ project you stitched all those years ago! We love the charms you’ve added to her original design – they truly make it your own.

Has this week’s What Are You Stitching? reminded you of some Christmas stitching you’re yet to share with us?! If it has, we’d love to see photos of the festive items you’ve created with needle and thread and hear a little of your stitching journey to date. Email us at news@inspirationsstudios.com
 
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Beautiful embroidered owl
 
Absolutely stunning
 
Quote
‘If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.’
~ Les Brown ~
What's On
Stay informed of upcoming needlework events taking place all around the world in our new What’s On page on the Inspirations Studios Website HERE.
If you’re holding an event or would like to suggest one to be added, we’d love to hear about it. Email us the details at news@inspirationsstudios.com
INSPIRATIONS
© 2019 Inspirations Studios

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