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Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Links :: Map, Giveaway, Christmas Play List

Christmas decorations
Picture from the day we decorated for Christmas. The embroidered hoops are from my first book, Stitched Blooms. It makes me happy hanging them up every year. :-)

Giveaway! I am doing a giveaway of a copy of Mandalas to Embroider over on Instagram. Find it here.

Someone translated the London Tube map into German and it is brilliant and hilarious. Especially if you understand German of course. A few of my favourites: Nimmdillzirkus, Hundslangsam Zentral and Kannnichtweiter. :-)

Image translation. This is both cool and freaky. We literally can't trust the pictures we see anymore.

A look behind the magic process that is MimiLove's.

It is the 25 year anniversary of the R.E.M. album Automatic for The People and I've been listening a lot to the album. Sad to say, the song Ignoreland is just as relevant (maybe even more so) to the state of politics as it was in 1992. (Some swearing in that song, so possibly NSFW.)

Speaking of that album, I'd love the special edition CD box set they put out with lots of demos, but 75 quid is a bit much for me! :-D

Have you ever heard of corner to corner crochet? It was new to me but I definitely have to try it!

I have been sewing tops for myself. I didn't tell you that, did I? I'd love to make a top in this Regent Street Lawn fabric. Isn't it pretty? Very Liberty-y, but without the expensive price tag!

If you have access to BBC iPlayer, I highly recommend Handmade in Mexico: Huipil. It was fascinating and kinda moving too.

Need a Christmas play list to listen to? I'm putting together a list on Spotify. There's 40+ songs on there right now, but I keep adding to it. My epic Christmas list. ;-)

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Finished Object :: Christmas Quilt

Christmas Quilt
The Christmas quilt is finished! For a few weeks now but it took me a while to get some pictures of it. That requires the cooperation of Tony.

But I'm glad I hadn't got round to taking pictures because when it snowed on Sunday that was the perfect opportunity to take the pictures. Christmas quilt in snow! :-)

Christmas Quilt
I love this quilt. It is super cozy and warm and the bright colours just make me so happy.

The quilt is made entirely from my stash, so now I'm pretty much out of Christmas fabric!

Christmas Quilt
It is a pretty crazy combination of contemporary (Cotton and Steel) and more traditional fabrics. But somehow they all go together perfectly.

Christmas Quilt
A few years ago, I made some Christmas cushion covers with a bit of embroidery. When the covers were replaced, I kept the fabric, of course. And I'm so happy to have these little snippets of the past in the quilt.

Christmas Quilt
Speaking of the past. The backing is made from a duvet cover that belonged to my grandparents. It has been washed a gazillion times and is really soft and lovely.

Christmas Quilt
The binding is Rosali fabric from IKEA. I didn't have enough of any Christmas fabric to make binding and a scrappy binding would have been too...scrappy since the quilt is a bit busy already. But Rosali has Christmas-y colours without being Christmas-y and it goes well with the back as well.

Actually, because the back is neutral, I reckon that extends the use period if the quilt beyond December so that's a nice bonus. :-)

I don't have a pattern, per se, for the quilt but I made up a PDF showing the blocks and their sizes. If you're a speedy type of quilter, you should be able to finish one for Christmas. You can download the guide here.

Below are a few if my favourite Christmas fabrics. They feel quite traditional to me. I guess I'm an old-fashioned Christmas kinda gal. And of course I love the nisser in those fabrics, which are all from Denmark.

Christmas Quilt
Tiny nisser.

Christmas Quilt
Larger nisser.

Christmas Quilt
Toadstools.

Christmas Quilt
Another snowy quilt picture.

Blake in snow
Off he goes! Blake didn't think the quilt picture taking was as much fun as I did. ;-)


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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wintery Weekend

Snowy morning!
It snowed this morning! I'm so happy. I miss snow. We get it so rarely here. It seemed like it would turn to rain and disappear again, but as I'm writing this, it is snowing again!

Blake in the snow
We went for a little walk to make the most of the snow in case it did disappear. Blake enjoyed it, despite the look on his face here. Snow kept getting in his eyes, poor boy. :-)

Danish December treats
I made a fresh batch of æbleskiver for elevenses today. It seemed the right thing to do on a snowy Sunday in December. Of course, while I was making them, I had Christmas music playing and I was singing along. :-D

Blake admiring the fairy lights
Last night we got all cozy, watching Love, Actually. It's one of our traditions now, there are certain films we watch through the December weekends. Do you do that too? Last weekend we watched Scrooged.

Blake usually curls up by my feet, but last night he decided to get extra cozy, snoring away on my lap. ♥

Teaching at The Village Haberdashery
Yesterday I taught beginner embroidery at The Village Haberdashery. This time we used the Noël Wreath pattern to make it festive. It was a great class, they picked it up so fast. I love watching people learn stitches, it makes me so happy.

More classes are planned in January and February if you're in London and want to learn embroidery.

Satin stitch Noël
I stitched this using up odds and ends of thread. I think it turned out quite cute. Might have to do some more of this.

Danish magazines
On Friday, a package arrived from my parents, no less than four Danish magazines, all saturated with Christmas inspiration. Liquorice for me and pebernødder for Tony. My mum sends him a batch every year because we still haven't nailed a nice vegan version of these biscuits. One day!

I hope you're having a lovely Sunday, whether you have snow or not. I'm about to put on my big coat and boots so Blake can have an afternoon walk. And it's still snowing quite heavily, woohoo!
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Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Links :: Giveaways, Illustrations, Christmas Song

Liberty fabric and candle
On Tuesday I met in London with a friend and she gave me this lovely homemade soy candle and pretty Liberty fabric. Which reminded me of some fabric (top) that I have been hoarding for years. I just can't bring myself to use it, it's so pretty... :-)

Right now there are two happy chances of winning a copy of Mandalas to Embroider. Yay! Visit the myBearpaw blog to enter (and read a lovely review!) and/or visit Cloud Craft on Instagram to enter their giveaway.

100 Questions to Spark Conversation. Or maybe just get to know yourself better?

Cut-Out Ink and Pen Illustrations of London’s Oldest Pubs and Other Landmarks.

What happens to light in clouds?

A treat I always think of as very Christmas-y is brændte mandler. The literal translation is 'burned almonds' but they aren't actually burned, they are covered in a hard sugar layer. They are delicious. I came across a recipe which is safer than trying to deal with melted sugar, Veganske brændte mandler lavet i ovnen med aquafaba. The recipe is in Danish, but I'm sure Google will help you with a translation. I'm definitely going to try this. :-)

Artist Who ‘Paints’ Japanese Landscapes With Excel.

Are you planning on opening a shop on your own website? I recommend Ecwid. I've been using it for years. It is easy to use and you can customize it if you want to. You can even embed it in a Wordpress site. The thing I really like about it is that digital products (like my embroidery patterns) are included in all but the free plan, it's not an option you have to pay extra for. Try Ecwid here. (Full disclosure: I get a commission from all paid accounts using that link.)

I think it's ok to start listening to Christmas music now, isn't it? Well, to be honest, I started in late November. ;-) One song I have been enjoying is Vanessa Carlton's version of John Lennon's Happy Xmas (War Is Over).


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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Blue Amagerhylde

Blå Amagerhylde
This is my Amagerhylde, Amager shelf. In Denmark it is known by this name but in other countries it is usually called a pyramid shelf. For obvious reasons. :-)

Mine was made by my great-grandfather (as far as I know, I should check with my mum). I got it after my grandfather passed away.

I blogged about it before, when it used to hold my collection of Star Wars PEZ. Now the shelf is painted blue and the PEZ collection is no more.

I was reluctant to paint the shelf because it reminded me of my grandparents' home. But I didn't really like the old brown colour, so I finally painted it earlier this year. And then it took a few months before we finally hung it in the spare bedroom. Although it only needed a single nail to hang it!

Blå Amagerhylde

Blå Amagerhylde
I have this thing with polar bears. :-)
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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mandalas to Embroider :: Winner


My personal random number generator (that's Tony) has chosen number 22 and that is MadameRenard. Congratulations!

I will be in touch with you shortly for your address. :-)

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mandalas for Rescue Dogs

six mini mandalas
These are six of the mini mandalas from the Mandalas book. They are for sale in my shop. Each hoop measures 5.5 cm (approx. 2.1") in diameter. They can be used as brooches or necklaces. I am including a brooch pin with each one, but it's not attached in case you'd rather wear it as a necklace (chain is not included.)

50% of the sales of these will go to The Sato Project.
The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico.

We concentrate our rescue on a place known as Dead Dog Beach. As its name states, it is usually a last resting place for dogs, and it is not a happy one. No dog walks to Dead Dog Beach - it is at the end of a long road with no residences - they are dumped there. There is no food or fresh water on the beach. We are the dogs’ only source of food, fresh water, and most importantly, love, on a daily basis.
As you maybe know, our dog Blake is a rescue and since he became part of our family, rescue dogs are very close to my heart. When I first heard of The Sato Project, I cried. And held Blake extra close grateful that he is safe.

I cried because I just don't understand how people can be so cruel and dump dogs knowing that they will most certainly die.

And I cried because there are good people in the world who will go out of their way to save these poor dogs.

If we were in the US, we'd adopt one of the Sato dogs, but since we're not, these samples from the book will help me make a contribution to help the work carry on. I hope you'll consider 'adopting' one of these mini mandalas. Find them here in my shop.

If you buy two, or more, I will refund the postage as an extra thank you. xo

Mini Mandalas

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mandalas Review And Giveaway


A reminder to enter my giveaway of a copy of Mandalas to Embroider and embroidery thread: the giveaway closes in about 4½ hours as I'm writing this. So go enter now if you want a chance to win.

However, if you missed my giveaway, head over to Follow The White Bunny where my friend Nicole is giving away a copy of the book (without thread, I'm afraid).

Nicole has also written a very nice review of the book AND there is a super cute picture of her new kitten looking admiringly (I imagine) at the book. Wishing perhaps that she had opposable thumbs so she could do embroidery? Or maybe she just wants to play with the thread. :-)

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Slow Hexagon Quilt

Hexagons WIP
I am taking a little break from embroidery at the moment, but that doesn't mean my hands are idle. I just can't sit and watch TV without working on something with my hands. Just can't do it.

So I have pulled out my Denyse Schmidt fabric hexie quilt project. It is a veeeeeery slow project.

I started it in late August 2013 and the end is nowhere in sight. I can't even see the middle of the project, that's how slow it is. :-)

My initial plan was to make hexie 'flowers' all in one colour with another colour in the centre. I did kinda start that, but then decided that I'm just going to make it completely random. Which also helps with adding new DS designs.

I actually don't mind that the project is so slow. It's nice to know that I have an old 'friend' I can pull out when I don't have anything else I'm working on. And atleast now I have started sewing the hexagons together.

Do you have any long term projects like this?


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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Different Glorianas


Sometimes I get messages from customers about a pattern they have used. That always puts a huge smile on my face. And sometimes I get messages with pictures that just blow me away.

See those two versions of my Gloriana (Queen Elizabeth) pattern above. They are amazing!

The one on the left is by Jana and the one on the right is by Elizabeth (yes, really!).

I love how the colours are so different from my original version, and probably closer to something old Bess would have worn when she was a live. In comparison, my version is more like a pop art portrait of her! ;-)

Both of their versions are excellent, but I am really impressed with Elizabeth's use of beads, lots of beads. It adds another dimension to the embroidery.

Thank you for sharing, ladies, you made my day!

If you want to stitch your own version of Gloriana, you can get your hands on the pattern here:
polkaandbloom.com/EU-UK
polkaandbloom.com/everyone else
and in the Polka & Bloom Etsy shop.

And remember there is 20% off all embroidery patterns and ebooks until tomorrow, Nov 27. Use code INDIEFRIDAY on polkaandbloom.com - on Etsy no code is neccessary.

Gloriana embroidery pattern


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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Crafts from The Past

Crafts from the past
When we were getting our old flat ready to sell (almost five years ago!) a bunch of stuff was packed away in my inlaws' loft. When we moved into our house, that stuff just went straight into our loft. A few weeks ago, I got it down from the loft and I found a few bits and pieces I had occasionally thought about over the past years. "I wonder there such and such is..?"

Well, it was in the loft! Since most of the things I discovered, in the bags from the loft, were things I hadn't thought about, I think it is safe to get rid of them. Some can go without much fuss, but some of them I thought deserved to be remembered in some form.

This post is some of those things.

Up the top there is a star fruit pincushion I made ages and ages ago. I remember using green food dye to colour it. Probably not the best thing to use. ;-)

And a slice of felt cake from a book I reviewed. It was fun to make, but not really my thing.

Crafts from the past
Another pincushion, with hand drawn decoration. And a softie. The story of the inspiration for her may make you laugh. We were visiting my parents and had dinner one night. Something with boiled potatoes. The sauce pan of potatoes was on the table and a smudge of potato on the inside of it caught my eye. It looked just like a face! Which I sketched and then it became the face of this wee gal! :-D

Crafts from the past
A little house I made, I think it was inspired by a piece in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. I kinda feel like making another house now. I think my skillz have improved so I could do a better job.

Crafts from the past
I remember being quite chuffed with the effect of this tree. It's just coils of thread, stitched down with couching stitches. But it's a nice effect, I think. :-)

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday Links :: Sale, Bird Houses, Needles

Handsome Blake
That Blake, he's so handsome, don't you agree? :-)

If you need a project to stitch, do take advantage of my sale over this weekend. Starting today, there is 20% off all digital products on my website: polkaandbloom.com - use code: INDIEFRIDAY. Valid until Monday, Nov 27. In the Polka & Bloom shop on Etsy, there is 20% off all digital products and 10% off my iron-on transfers. No code necessary. Also valid until Monday, Nov 27.

In case you're in Copenhagen some time before Christmas: Christmas markets in Copenhagen. The post is in Italian, but I'm sure you can get the essential info from the post. :-)

Turning FOMO into JOMO.

Sweet post about creating Christmas rituals. Although that post is more about creating Christmas rituals for your kids, I can kinda relate. After moving to England I/we had to create our own Christmas rituals, mixing together traditions and rituals from both countries.

Danish Street Art Project Has Built Over 3,500 Urban Bird Houses.

Universal Needles… Are They Really Universal?

Colorful Embroidered Portraits Use Thread to Mimic the Spontaneity of Pen. Embroidery goals. ♥

Extraordinary Routines: Tina Roth-Eisenberg.


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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Binding The Christmas Quilt

Christmas quilt binding
The Christmas quilt is coming along! I am almost done attaching the binding and that means not far from finishing the quilt! Which means there will, hopefully, be a post about the finished quilt next week. Providing I can get Tony to 'model' the quilt so I can take pictures of it. ;-)

Those clouds in the background is one of my fabric design on Spoonflower, Happy Clouds. It's available in a few different colours. :-)

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