ISSUE 188, MAY 31 2019
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Hi <<First Name>>,
We’re all experiencing a change of season.

For those of us in the southern hemisphere, we’re reacquainting ourselves with our winter woollies and are trying hard to remember not to leave home without our umbrellas just in case they’re required. While those living in the northern hemisphere are tucking the same items away in the back of their closets until they’re needed again.

It may be that you’re looking forward to this seasonal change, or perhaps you’re trying your best to hold on to the season just past. The truth is, there’s beauty to be found in every season, it’s just that depending on your seasonal preference, there are times you’ll have to dig a little deeper to find it!
The thing about seasons, however, is that they’re always changing.
The same is true with our seasons of life and needlework. You may be in a season of life where your time with needle and thread is squeezed in between bottle feeds and sleep times. Or, you may be burning the midnight oil after a long day at work to ensure you make some stitching progress, even if it’s only to lay a stitch or two. You may, however, be fortunate enough to find yourself in a season of needlework bliss where your time is answerable only to the stitching that beckons.

Whatever season you find yourself in, remember that if you dig deep enough there’s beauty to be found and that the season you’re in will change. So, make sure you’re grateful for the things you love about this time and remember that what’s challenging you in this season probably won’t be found in your next seasonal shift.
Have Your Say
This week’s Have Your Say rounds up some of the conversations and questions that have been lying in wait in our inboxes for some time now. We’re sorry it’s taken us so long to get to some of them - we always love to hear from anyone and everyone in the Inspirations Community, but often find ourselves short on time and newsletter space to include everyone’s emails!
Pascale Michaux
In issue #153 of the newsletter HERE we unpacked Gretchen Ruben’s ‘formula’ for happiness which prompted Pascale to email us about what brings her stitching joy…

‘I feel happy when I stitch something as a gift - I made a drawn thread embroidery for my daughter and felt happy when stitching it, proud when I saw it finished and even more happy when I saw her face while opening the present!

I love to make Bullion roses as they’re fun to stitch and always look so pretty. I love all kinds of whitework as it seems very chic to me. I very much love to stitch designs by Anne Downs from Hatched and Patched, and I also love reading this newsletter each time I receive it!’

Pascale, we love that you love stitching and All Stitched Up! and hope they both continue to bring you many hours of stitching joy.
Louise Minich
After appearing in Have Your Say in issue #154 of the newsletter HERE, we heard from Louise with an update on her life and stitching…

‘I must apologize for my delay in responding. My husband has been in hospital since mid-August and passed away on 1 October. Because of this, I have been too exhausted to do my own needlework of late but was amazed to find some beautiful stitching adorning the hospital chapel at Presence Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines Illinois in the USA. There were 14 Stations of the Cross banners, which were collages of woven material, embellished with goldwork and surface embroidery.
There were also individual pictures of the Three Wise Men done in counted thread embroidery.
I cannot express the solace and peace I experienced each time I visited the chapel and contemplated these expressions of faith rendered in fiber and needle art! I hope your readers will be uplifted by their beauty as much as I was.’

Louise, we’re so sorry to hear of the passing of your husband, but love that you found solace within the hospital’s chapel and from the needlework that was so thoughtfully included in its design. We hope the passing of time helps ease the pain of a difficult season and that you’ve found your way back to needle and thread.
Kathy Thompson
After our needlework convention, Beating Around the Bush, last year we heard from Kathy…

‘Something amazing happened because of Beating Around the Bush! I was attending our large city church in Flinders Street in Adelaide when during the service I noticed the lady near me not following our somewhat complicated liturgy, so I offered to help but she just shook her head and said, ‘Thank you, but I am French’.

So, when the service was finished, and because we had recently travelled to France, I welcomed her and then invited her and her husband to coffee after the service. We chatted and she showed me some embroidery and mentioned Beating Around the Bush. As I love embroidery too, I decided to invite them to lunch a few days later.

She handed me a card with her contact details, and only when I got home and looked at her blog did I realise that it was Catherine Laurençon I had met. She was in Adelaide teaching at the convention and not a student as I had thought! We had an amazing time together at lunch, shared so much in common and a wonderful new friendship has been made all thanks to Beating Around the Bush.

Catherine asked me to thank the Pastor, who had invited her to church when they were sightseeing the day before to come and listen to the pipe organ when she mentioned her son is an organist at their church in France. Without his invitation and Beating Around the Bush we would never have met. They now have accommodation with us in 2020 if they return to Adelaide again!’

Kathy, your meeting Catherine can only be described as serendipitous! We love the hospitality you extended and that your shared love of needle and thread has forged a lasting friendship between the two of you.
Catherine Laurençon teaching at Beating Around the Bush
Ronda Bergin
‘Thank you for your newsletter, I look forward to it each Friday. I am sending you a couple of photos of a sewing kit that belongs to my sister. She has always thought it was from amongst the belongings of our Uncle, Noel Granger, who was killed at Milne Bay during WWII. Is there someone in the Inspirations Community who might know if this is likely and if there are there other kits around like it?’
If you’re able to point Rhonda in the right direction with the information she’s seeking about her Uncle’s sewing kit, email, we know she’d love to hear from you!
Featured Project
Small World by Rose Andreeva
We are usually enchanted by miniature things. One can’t help but be delighted by the perfection of tiny cups and saucers found in the kitchen of an antique doll’s house. Or exclaim in joy when we see the perfectly scaled passengers waiting patiently for the perfectly scaled Lilliputian steam engine to pull in at a tiny toy station platform.
As embroiderers, we often work in miniature, perfecting tiny stitches on finely woven ground, or searching for miniscule holes and hair-width threads, endeavouring to count just right.
But perhaps more magical than any of these things is the tiny world of nature down at our feet. Remember back when you used to lie in the grass on a summer’s day, your face at the level of the ground, trying to get a view of what the world would be like if you were an ant or a snail?
Down there, even the doll’s house cups would seem large. A ladybird exploring a leaf the size of a village green, or an ant cowering beneath a dandelion seed larger than a parachute puts our own world into perspective and serves to remind us that this amazing scene exists all around us if we’re willing to take the time to look at it.
There are hundreds of thousands of insect species in the world, with each individual species playing a vital role in the planet’s ecosystem. However, from our height it is easy to forget or ignore these little creatures or worse, simply view them as pests. Rose Andreeva’s exquisite piece ‘Small World’ from Inspirations issue #102, invites us to get down on the grass and take another look at our tiny neighbours.
What sets this piece apart is the texture which Rose has achieved. French knots in a careful array of shades and colours faithfully creates the moss of the ground and the skin of the elegant snail. The addition of beads represents the soil and the plump raspberry that the snail looks up at, weighing up if he could reach it for his next meal. Finished off with mischievous ladybirds and delicate, gossamer like dandelions and spider webs, this is a tiny world captured perfectly.
It is easy to get caught up in the fast pace of life, moving here and there, our eyes glued straight ahead (or straight at our smart phones) and we forget the delight we once experienced lifting the tiny teacup, lowering the tiny railway crossing or watching the ladybird scale the tiny blade of grass as if it were Mount Everest.
By working Rose’s design, you are stopping and letting your eyes drift down. Every knot and stitch encourages you to really look at the insects on the fabric and, by extension, the insects around you on which they are based. They may be small, but they are as much a part of this beautiful world as you or I.
Becoming One with Nature
While it’s easy to take the miniature creatures in our world for granted, it’s equally as easy to overlook the amazing efforts of the Inspirations creative team when it comes to capturing the photos for the magazine we all enjoy.
Working in miniature is incredibly challenging for both the stylist and photographer at the best of times, but when we called for a well-trained snail to slither in front of the Small World project on cue, it really upped the level of difficulty to a whole new level!
Our star snail admiring his likeness in stitched form.
Believe it or not, the snail who stars in these photos was actually hired talent with the wrangler able to entice it out of its shell right on cue in front of the camera as requested. We won’t disclose the magic trick to wrangling a snail, but it was surprisingly logical and simple and worked perfectly every time.
Special shout out to our photographer Mike whose willingness to get up close and personal with the snails by laying in the grass with them, really paid off!

DISCLAIMER – No snails or needlework were harmed in the making of this publication.
Make Your Own Small World
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

Small World by Rose Andreeva is a delightful miniature garden scene with a handsome snail approaching a strawberry plant.
Inspirations Issue 102
Small World
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Small World includes everything you need to re-create this charming scene: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felts, interfacing, beads, embroidery threads and needles.
Small World
Looking for More Insects?
Liberty by Jane Nicholas from Inspirations #31 is a unique stumpwork cricket.
Inspirations Issue 31
Praying Mantis
Praying Mantis by Lesley Turpin-Delport from Inspirations #36 is an amazing textured insect.
Praying Mantis
Needlework News
Inspirations Calendar – June Project
Whether you are in the middle of a dark cold winter or the peak of a blistering summer, casting your eyes upon the June page of the Inspirations 2019 calendar is going to brighten up your mood and put a smile on your dial.
Such is the allure of these vivid red, plump strawberries that, although you can’t actually eat them, will be in season all year round!

Festive Fruit by Denise Forsyth from Inspirations issue #96 is a punnet of fabulous strawberries made from linen textured with pulled thread embroidery. The project is now available as a digital pattern.
Festive Fruit
RSN Book of Embroidery
They’re a bit famous these guys… perhaps something to do with the fact that the Queen of England herself was their patron for over 10 years and, with a history dating back nearly 150 years, it’s fair to say they know a thing or two about needlework.
This recently released book by the Royal School of Needlework covers 8 key subjects in detail: crewelwork, bead embroidery, stumpwork, canvaswork, goldwork, whitework, blackwork and silk shading. Containing all the trusted, bestselling content from the RSN Essential Stitch Guide series, plus a new section on mounting your finished work, this fantastic book is a must-have for all embroiderers.
Fully redesigned and integrated, the original eight titles have been given a new lease of life in this larger format, a must have for any fan of needlework. Now available to purchase from the Inspirations website.
RSN Book of Embroidery
Inspirations #27 – 8 in stock
Psssst…. we’ve got a little secret to let you in on: we’ve just added 8 brand new printed copies of Inspirations issue #27 to our website.
If you’re one of those people who is missing issue #27 from your collection… you’re very welcome and yes, we do accept gifts of appreciation - especially chocolates!
Inspirations Issue 27
Featured Project
Gingko by Julie Kniedl
There are many plants that we love for their beautiful foliage, and as we move through autumn here in Australia, we have been treated to the spectacular, seasonal colour displays of the botanical world. Much of the autumn colour in Australia comes from introduced species, as most of our indigenous trees are evergreens.
One of the deciduous trees that has been brought to our shores is the Ginkgo biloba, and Julie Kniedl in the book Botanica has depicted a stem of gingko leaves that are beginning to transform into their golden autumnal glory.
Ginkgo, or gingko, trees are the only surviving species of the division ginkgophyta and exist in the fossil records dating back many thousands of years.
They are commonly known as maidenhair trees as the fan-shaped leaves resemble maidenhair fern leaves.
In the relatively modern age, the long-living, hardy gingko is native to China, although wild populations are considered to possibly only exist in remote locations. Revered for its longevity, endurance and the beauty of its leaves, gingko trees have long been cultivated in many areas, particularly in China and Japan where it was often planted around temples and shrines. Some trees are believed to be over 1000 years old.
In the book Botanica you will find all the instructions you need to make your own lasting stem of gingko leaves. With only a handful of requirements, it’s one of the more straight-forward pieces in the book to recreate. Wired leaves of various sizes are stitched onto cotton fabric, and then cut out.
The stems are wrapped together in groups, with clear diagrams included as a guide, and are then assembled into one, main stem. To finish, you can take advantage of the wired stems and leaf edges to gently shape the leaves and turn them in different directions so that they fan out from the main stem.
If you’d like further gingko inspiration, myriad images are available online, but how about visiting a real tree? Gingkos have been planted in many countries around the world, and botanical gardens are a great place to start. Due to their hardy nature, gingkos have even been planted as street trees, including in Adelaide, the home of Inspirations. In those situations, it is hopefully the male trees that have been planted. The female trees produce seeds which have a fleshy outer layer that become, to put it politely, ‘on the nose’ as they ripen.
The smell is due to butyric acid present in the fleshy layer. It’s a strong, rotten, rancid smell and if you haven’t encountered a ripe gingko seed, you might remember it from school science lessons on esters. Butryic acid would have been the one that stank out the lab. Interestingly, the ‘offensive’ smell is transformed in the ester-making process into a nice, pineapple aroma.

In Adelaide you will also find gingko trees in the Adelaide Himeji Garden. This tranquil garden was planted to celebrate the sister city partnership of Adelaide and Himeji, Japan. One of the finest specimens in Australia is considered to be at Geelong Botanic Gardens, in Victoria.
Are there any gingko trees near you? Let us know! And if you make your own gingko stem, remember that we always love to see your creations, so please send a photo!
Make Your Own Gingko
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions

An elegant twig of dainty, fan-shaped gingko leaves by Julie Kniedl from Botanica.
Botanica | The three-dimensional embroidery of Julie Kniedl
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit

The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Gingko includes everything you need to recreate this pretty stem of leaves: Fabric (unprinted), wires, embroidery threads and needles.
Looking for More Projects
Celebrating Leaves?
Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves by Monique Johnston from Inspirations issue #97 is an embellished doorstop featuring a harvest of acorns, blackberries, rose hips and maple leaves.
Autumn Leaves
Inspirations Issue 97
Al Fresco
Al Fresco by Louise Spriggs from Inspirations issue #77 is a stylish contemporary cushion with bold leaf motifs.
Inspirations Issue 77
What Are You Stitching?
Inspired by the small world that Rose Andreeva created with a dimensional snail approaching a strawberry plant in her miniature garden scene ‘Small World’ in Inspirations issue #102 HERE, we were stirred to share the smaller things that have been created with the needles and threads of the Inspirations Community…
Francoise Dufresne
‘For my pochette (which translates to ‘wallet’ from French), the kits I started with were only small measuring just 13 cm (6”) round. So, what to do with them without framing them?!
I ended up finding an old clasp in a flea market, used some black velvet and added some patterns around the edges of the embroidery.’
Francoise, we love the creative way you’ve used your embroidery to embellish an evening bag. What a gorgeous addition to your wardrobe!
Keryn Cooper
‘I belong to The Embroiderers' Guild, Queensland, Southport branch. In 2018, The Embroiderers’ Guild, Queensland Inc., celebrated its 50 Year Anniversary. A lasting reminder of the Anniversary has been the creation of The Celebrate Embroidery Panels which all members of the Guild were invited to contribute to. Three panels with a total of 189 squares were created in total. I contributed an embroidery based on Stumpwork by Jane Nicholas.’
Keryn, what a fabulous way to celebrate such a significant milestone! We love that everyone’s small squares were brought together to create panels with so much impact.
Nina Burnsides
‘I’ve been in and out of the doctors’ offices a lot lately. I hate having to wait without something to do, and my normal projects are too big to carry around with me, so my solution was to design some tiny Stumpwork butterflies to work on.
They are 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) wide by 1 1/16 inches (3 cm) long. However, I’d like to make them a little smaller because I want the pocket watch frame to close. I can fit the hoop and a selection of threads into a quart freezer bag which fits inside my purse.’
Nina, they say necessity is the mother of invention! We love that you found the silver lining in the time you were spending at doctors’ offices and have created something with needle and thread that are gorgeous companions to your Flights of Fancy project that appears in Inspirations issue #102 HERE.
Sharon Greenaway
‘Part of my range of art includes brooches made with printed cotton/linen folded down into a metal brooch holder. Usually every winter I would settle down to creating crocheted projects, but now need to take this easier due to a weak shoulder. Last year I was itching to do some hand work and decided to have a go at embroidering some of these brooches.
I had to remember high school lessons and was amazed how it came back to me!
The first few were a simple stitch here and there to give a little three- dimensional character to the brooches.
However, I have slowly added more detail to the point I feel I am hand colouring my images not with pastels or pencil, but with colourful thread. The main stitches I use are back stitch and French knot, but I hope to try new stitches in the future.’
Sharon, we love that you embraced your change of season from crochet to embroidery and that your embroidery lessons from high school came back so easily! You’ve created gorgeous pieces of wearable art.

Good things really do come in small packages! Have you created something tiny with your needles and threads? We’d love to see it! Email photos of your ‘small world’ along with a few details about your stitching journey to
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You May Have Missed
Lepidoptera by Fiona Hibbett is a stunning panel of nine stumpwork butterflies.
Inspirations Issue 102
The Butterfly Collection
The Butterfly Collection by Jan Kerton from Inspirations issue #54 is a gorgeous stumpwork paperweight, trinket box and tiny pots.
Inspirations Issue 54
Anise by Wendy Innes from Inspirations issue #53 is a stunning stumpwork butterfly picture.
Inspirations Issue 53
Monarch by Wendy Innes from Inspirations issue #42 is a striking stumpwork butterfly and thistle.
Papillon by Rosemary Frezza from Inspirations issue #26 is a collection of six lifelike stumpwork butterflies.
This Week on Social
By Gina Newlyn
Windflowers by Susan Porter
‘Change with the seasons of life. Don’t try to stretch a season into a lifetime.’
~ Unknown ~
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
© 2019 Inspirations Studios

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