Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pre-order Romantic Motifs - my new book!

Romantic Motifs
This is the advance copy of my new book, Romantic Motifs. Isn't it pretty? My publisher let me have a lot of say in the look of the cover, so I am really chuffed with how it turned out. :-)

And, OhEmGee, the book is real! I can touch it!!! Yay! This is pretty much how that feels:

You can pre-order a signed copy of Romantic Motifs in my shop OR order a signed copy with extras: a 8″ square fabric panel with a new pattern printed right onto it, as well as a paper version of the pattern.

The book has lots of motifs with a romantic feel, but you can use them for many other things. Hearts, flowers, birds, butterflies. Flowers that make the shape of a heart. It's all in there. And all the patterns are included as iron ons, yes! So it will be super easy to transfer the patterns to your project, yay!

Romantic Motifs
So many French knots on this page. It took forever to stitch. But I think it's worth it. :-)

Romantic Motifs
This page. Oh boy. It's one of the first stitched pages, but it was the last to be finished.  My original plan was to do the frame in satin stitch, but it just didn't work. The warp/weft of the fabric made it look wonky. So after a couple of tries, I had to put it aside while deciding what to do.

It's not my original vision for this page, but I really, really love the chain stitch frame. Satin stitch would have been so pretty, but maybe, just maybe, I actually prefer the extra texture from the chain stitch. :-)

Romantic Motifs
A couple of the projects. The centre of a table cloth and an embellished apron. From IKEA. It's amazing what a bit of embroidery can do, huh? :-)
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cozy Curlicues :: Pattern Throwback Thursday

Pattern Throwback Thursday
Over the years, I've made quite a few patterns and sometimes I forget that I made this pattern or that one. So I decided I'd start giving myself a weekly reminder of the patterns I made. So every Thursday I'll do a wee 'Throwback Thursday' post for an old pattern. :-)

cozy curlicues
Today I pulled the Cozy Curlicues pattern off the shelf. It's one of the very earliest patterns. It's still one of my favourites. I love the meandering curvy lines. It's kinda like a stitch sampler and especially great for practicing your chain and lazy daisy skillz. :-)

You can of course get your hands on Cozy Curlicues in my various shops: polkaandbloom.com - Payhip - Etsy.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Saturday Stitching Class

Teaching class in London, May 14
On Saturday I went to London to teach an embroidery class. It was a happy afternoon with a lovely group of ladies. There was lots of laughing and chatting and of course some stitching. I was so busy talking about stitches and showing stitches that I only managed to snap a couple of photos.

A little while ago I bought a hoop stand and that turned out to be a really great tool for showing stitches without having to hold the actual hoop. Good old Mary Thomas came along to the class too, just in case. :-)

Teaching class in London, May 14
One of the participants brought along a screw driver to tighten her hoop. It was a bit big! And the cause of much merriment. :-)

All in all a happy stitchy afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I've had sweet emails saying the others did too, so I am delighted! Hopefully I can do another class soon.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

WIP :: Class Sampler

Class sampler WIP
Yesterday was the absolutely most glorious weather here. I sat outside in the sunshine working on the sampler for the class I'm teaching on Saturday. Stitching in the garden.. so lovely. Even if it is a small garden. And Blake comes running through the garden barking at who-knows-what from time to time. :-D

There's still places left if you want to join us for the class in London. It's in Grays Inn Road, not terribly far away from the British Museum. You can even save 10% with the code HELLOSUNSHINE. :-)

Class sampler WIP

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Happy Day!

Birthday cake 2016
It's my birthday today. 40. Huh?! Where did the time go? Happy birthday to me. :-D As this post goes live, Tony and I will be tucking into the leftovers of that cake he made for me on Sunday. Early birthday fun with Tony's family. And tomorrow I'm off to Denmark for a few days to visit my family, so that means I'll have another birthday with family and friends in Denmark. Not too shabby. ;-)

I have something else to celebrate. I've written about all the EU VAT fun before. It has had a big impact on my bizniz, and not in a positive way. But I've figured out a way to offer my patterns and ebooks via my own site again - I haven't been able to do that since January 1, 2015! I'm super happy about this!!

If you like, you can read more below about why I've not been able to do this and how it will work from now on.

Confetti and balloons for Polka & Bloom!

To celebrate my birthday and the happy news for my shop, you can go stock up on patterns and ebooks with 40% off until Sunday, May 1. Use this code: BALLOONS. Only valid for patterns and ebooks. EU/UK customers - Rest of the world customers.

You can also use this code in my Etsy and Payhip shops, but only until Friday, April 29. But bear in mind that you will be charged VAT in the Etsy/Payhip shops if you are in the EU/UK.

AND there's more! The Polka & Bloom shop has moved to polkaandbloom.com (it was shop.polkaandbloom.com before). I've also moved the shop to be run on a Wordpress site because I got fed up with hand coding all the pages. So I'm still tinkering with the design as I learn how to use Wordpress properly. But there's a working shop and that is very satisfying. It looks ok, and it works on mobile and tablet. :-)

A photo of Blake for no particular reason. I swear he gets cuter every day. ;-)

The EU VAT funtimes

If you've followed Polka & Bloom for a while, you may remember that I've talked about the incredibly frustrating EU VAT law that came into force on January 1st, 2015.

In a nutshell, since the start of 2015, I've not been able to offer ebooks and digital patterns on my own site because it would mean a LOT of confusing dealing with VAT. Seriously, the different countries interpret things differently and some countries don't even know what to do about small businesses like Polka &Bloom.

So much frustration and confusion over the past year and a bit. Tears. Swear words.

The dumb law hasn't gone away, sadly. BUT. I have finally figured out a way to use the shop on my own site to offer patterns and ebooks. YAY!

I have basically had to manually copy all the pattern and ebook items to a separate section for EU/UK customers. Not a glamorous job at all!

EU/UK customers will now be able to buy patterns and ebooks without paying the current VAT rate in their country for digital products. However, these items will be delivered by email and not a direct download. Because that dumb EU law says that some human intervention has to take place for the purchase to be exempt from VAT.

Super annoying, I know. But by doing it this way, EU/UK save money (almost 30% VAT in some countries!) and I save a lot of hazzle.

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