A heart-full day

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. --Helen Keller Wishing you all a day full of heart, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you again for all your wonderful support.
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A stitchy place to rest your drink

Since I launched Red Gate Stitchery last year, I've been offering up various ways for you to adorn yourself with stitches. Today I'm offering a way to adorn something else: your coffee table. Introducing new cross stitch coaster kits! The kits are a fun way to add a little something stitchy to your decor. They also make a nifty gift. The coaster kits are available in thick gray felt or in a nice substantial cork. Both come with precision-cut holes in a modern martini glass pattern, so they're a breeze to stitch (no hurting your finger trying to force a needle through thick felt or cork - ouch!). Find them now in the shop!
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Road trip stitching

One of the things I love about cross stitch is that it's a portable craft. As you already know, I'll stitch whenever and wherever I get the chance. Over the holidays that meant stitching in the car as we road tripped to visit family in surrounding states. It may have been Christmastime, but I had a different holiday on the brain: Valentine's Day. Some fun new patterns, perfect for the ones you love, are coming to the shop very soon, so stay tuned!
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Selling (at) the farm

Last weekend I participated in a lovely little craft show held at a farm in my hometown. The setting was idyllic: a light-filled studio that was once a horse barn, snow drifting gently down outside leaving a dust of white on the old stone walls, and the cows watching from nearby. Inside friends mingled with artists and the holiday spirit abound. Such a wonderful day. I had a few moments before the happy hustle and bustle began to snap some photos of my display. Have a look.
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Ring becomes pendant

Chevrons are all the rage these days, and I'm not complaining. I loved my stitched chevron ring so much, I decided to make a matching pendant. Even better, the necklace is a kit, so you can stitch one up too! I love the modern colors in the kit, but you could choose any color scheme you like. Heck, how about combining two design trends and stitching yourself an ombre chevron? Too cool for school. You'll find the chevron necklace kit now in the shop.
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In a wave of madness I applied for my first ever craft show. With the show less than four weeks away, I am madly making inventory at the same time I am madly working on getting some new items in the shop. All this stitching madness means my studio is in a constant - and maddening - state of disarray. Good thing I'm far too happy about all of this activity to be the least bit mad.
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Doing the unexpected

One of the joys of selling needlework kits as I do, is seeing what you creative folks do with those kits. Even when the patterns are reproduced exactly as I've designed them, somehow the pieces seem transformed simply because another hand stitched them. Other times, what you choose to do with the kits takes me completely - and wonderfully - by surprise. Such was the case recently when Atsuko shared a photo of a bamboo pendant she made. Atsuko, whose art of choice is weaving, explained in a blog post that rather than stitch on the pendant, she chose to weave on it. If you look closely you'll see the warp and weft woven together in a houndstooth pattern. Truly wonderful! Vicky, of the blog making it, stuck to stitching on her bamboo pendant blank, but then instead of wearing it as a pendant, she transformed it into a fabulous key ring. I've been so inspired by both of these projects. Very early on in my love affair with fiber, I learned to weave. (I even own a loom, albeit one that's gathering dust at the moment.) Atsuko's designs have sent me searching for my old weaving books. As for Vicky, she put into action something that had been rolling around in my mind for a while now. You just might see some key rings in the shop in the not-too-distant future! Thanks to all of you wonderful stitchers out there for your endless creativity.
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New cross stitch designs: A departure of sorts

I enjoy stitching critters: elephants, bunnies, birds, butterflies, and even bees. I have a kitty who will soon find his way to the shop, and some special holiday creatures waiting in the wings. But not everything I stitch has a heartbeat. My latest collection of patterns is a bit of a departure. It's all about fashion.

Modern cross stitch pattern - retro pink dress, lime green purse, blue pump shoe

I imagine these sweet designs hung in hoops over a dresser or alongside a closet door. Or how about sewn up as sweet pillows and arranged on a comfy boudoir chair? I also think they would make fantastic and girly bridesmaid gifts. So much fun to stitch. You can purchase the patterns as a collection (at a discount, of course) or individually. Check them out here in the shop.
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My first press!

There's little as exciting as having your work mentioned in the media, especially if that media happens to be one of your favorite cross stitch magazines. I'm thrilled to report that's exactly what has happened. My little workhorse of an elephant made his way into the pages of Cross Stitcher Issue 254. I had no idea it was going to happen. A Facebook fan from the UK actually tipped me off after she saw it in the magazine's pages. Since the magazine is published in the UK and I'm in the States, I had to wait weeks before I could get my hands on a copy. Absolute torture, but totally worth the wait. Here's the spread: I was included as part of fabulous designer Jacqui Pearce's Trend Spotting column. The theme was animal magic - how appropriate! Here is Jacqui's oh-so-kind write-up of my work: I couldn't be more thrilled! Thank you Jacqui, and thank you Cross Stitcher! (Oh, and while this was my first press mention, it wasn't the last. More on that soon!)
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A summer of stitching

Whew! What a summer. Busy, fun, and way too short. It seems no matter where I went this summer, my stitching went with me. I love little projects you can pull out wherever you happen to be when you have a few extra moments. Whether it's in the backyard on a summer evening. Or at the beach. Or story hour at the town library. Or to destinations afar. Where do you love to stitch?
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New cross stitch necklace kits in the shop!

See this adorable cross stitch heart pendant? I've been wearing it - or its purple sibling - nearly everyday. It looks great with just about everything I own. For example: You can make your own with one of the new Red Gate Stitchery DIY cross stitch pendant kits now in the shop! The stitching is simple, even if you've never cross stitched before, and the result is something all stitchers - from beginners to the most experienced - will be thrilled to have in their wardrobe. (Don't want to stitch? Let me do it for you with one of my finished pendants. Easy peasy!) Happy stitching,
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Want to learn how to cross stitch?

Certain cross stitch projects can be daunting: lots of colors, lots of stitches, lots of time. For experienced stitchers, doing a big project can be really gratifying. For new stitchers, not so much. One of the things I love about my cross stitch necklace kits is that they're easy enough for beginners, and I hope they entice some of you who are new to cross stitch to give it a try. It really couldn't be easier. To help new stitchers along the path to stitchy bliss, I've published the Red Gate Stitchery Beginner's Guide to Cross Stitch. It has all the information you'll need to stitch up your own beautiful pendant, or whatever your first cross stitch project may be. Check it out here: Beginner's Guide to Cross Stitch. And as always, happy stitching!
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