Another Blackwork Knot Garden Biscornu

In my Etsy shop (also called Stitches ‘N’ Dreams), I sell charts of the biscornu that I design. I have always loved crafting, and ever since I took up stitching about 25 years ago, I’ve never been without at least one project one the go. So I thought I would have a go at selling my designs on Etsy. I’ve had a few sales, which is lovely, but even if I didn’t sell anything, I would still be stitching, and especially stitching biscornu!

However, I have been keeping an eye on which designs people seem to like the best, and there’s no doubt that my Knot Garden Biscornu is definitely the favourite. Regular readers will know that I love blackwork and beads, so I really didn’t need any more incentive to get designing another biscornu, also based on the formal outlines of a Tudor knot garden

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A Blackwork Christmas Ornament Biscornu

If you read this blog regularly, you will know that I love miniature stitching especially biscornu, and that I also love blackwork and beads. So what better way to indulge my passion than to design something that combines all three? The rest of the world may not want to be thinking about Christmas yet, but we crafters need to get ahead, so I thought I would design a biscornu with a Christmas theme, that could be used as a hanging ornament or just as a Christmas decoration.

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A visual meditation on the theme of ‘Stillness’.

At last I’ve managed to finish the project I have been working on over the last couple of weeks, and I can now explain all about it.

In summer 2013 I visited a flower festival at my local Parish church, and whilst wandering around the beautiful historic church, I entered a small chapel where there were many candles burning. There was a small notice explaining that although lighting a candle in itself was not necessarily significant, it acted as a ‘visual prayer’ – a reminder of prayer.

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Handmade cards (mostly stitched)

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Over the years I’ve given my friend and family a lots of hand-made gifts, and especially cards. I’ve given a lot of cross-stitched cards. Some of them were ‘freebies’ from cross stitch magazines that I used to get – I can’t afford them now as they are so expensive, but I always enjoyed making them.  My mum has kept everything I have ever given her, and since I haven’t got anything new to show you just now, I thought I would show you some of my old cards instead. Some of them are over fifteen years old, which you can probably tell if you look closely! The card above was a lovely little project, and I loved the free printed card that came with it.

 

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This cross stitched card of autumn leaves was given to my dad for his birthday.

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This jolly seaside card reminded me of the summer holidays by the sae when I was a child.

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This card was stitched on evenweave – almost the first time I had ever worked on evenweave.

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Another birthday card for my dad.

Needlepoint card

This lovely card used some different needlepoint stitches

Hardanger card

My very first attempt at hardanger, and I am still hooked!

Beadwork card

A beadwork card – I am still hooked on beadwork too.

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This Christmas card was made with folded fabric – rather like a tulip pattern.

Stamped mandala Christmas card

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I made over 70 of these mandala Christmas cards! I had to stamp three images for each card, then colour them, and cut sections of the design out rather like decoupage. I used sticky pads to lift the layers up, and added a little jewel in the centre. I started in October, and I loved doing them, but it did take a long time!

I’m sure there are a few more of my cards and gifts around, so I’ll see how many other I can find to show you. It would be great to see cards or gifts you’ve made.

Ndebele inspired biscornu

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This week has been a very busy week. I have had to spend a lot of time on the day job (freelance writing), and I’ve spent most of the rest of the time watching Wimbledon tennis through my fingers! So I haven’t managed to upload any new posts. However, this evening I finished a project I’ve been working on for quite a while, and I am delighted with it.

The Ndebele tribe in southern Africa are renowned for their amazing geometric artwork, which they use to decorate their houses, artefacts and sometimes even cars! If you want to know more, and see some examples, take a look here and here.

I have always found it inspirational, and for some time I’ve wanted to have a go at designing a biscornu with an Ndebele-inspired pattern. And this is the result. It took me quite a long time to chart the design, and even longer to stitch, as it’s actually quite detailed, which is why it’s taken me a while to get it finished. Usually I stitch two identical designs for the top and bottom of a biscornu, but I knew it would take a long time, so I decided to stitch a border square instead. If you take a close look, you can see where I cheated a bit…

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I’ve uploaded the pattern to my Etsy shop, so if you are interested, you can find it here.

I’m thinking about designing some more biscornu based on art from different cultures, so watch this space. 🙂

I hope you are all enjoying your projects.

80th birthday biscornu

Over the years I have given quite a lot of hand-made presents to may family, but an 80th birthday is rather special! Earlier this year my mother celebrated her 80th birthday, so I wanted to design something rather special for her as a memento. So I set to work creating a biscornu worthy of the occasion, and after a few false starts, this was the finished result…

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I was really pleased with how it turned out. I used a combination of stitches, including some cross stitch, needlepoint and hardanger. I also used crystal white seed beads and bugle beads for some added sparkle. The finishing touch was a tiny ‘Hand-made with love’ charm which I stitched to the  front.

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I always enjoy making gifts for my family, but I was especially pleased with this biscornu.