Stitchcraft News


  1. The First of April
  2. Many are our Joys in Youth
  3. Winter is the Better Season
  4. As sleeps the patient rose
  5. Ring every day the chimes
  6. November comes And November goes
  7. Summer has two Beginnings
  8. September days are here
  9. Remember to be Gentle
  10. Answer July
Earlier Stitchcraft News

The First of April

Hello and a warm welcome to our April 2019 newsletter.

At the time of writing it isn't quite April yet, but we always like to look forward as our rear-view mirror seems to be getting more misted up as time goes by.

In This month's Issue ...
  • Patterns from Doodlecraft and Nora C.
  • New kits from the near East
  • Permin, Glorafilia and John Clayton (Heritage Crafts)
  • Kit Reviews and the Bargain Basement

First off, new maker DoodleCraft has introduced a range of decorated games board designs. These heirloom quality designs are by Debbie Harding who has lots of good ideas combining blackwork and cross stitch. If you don't play Chess, there's Snakes & Ladders, Ludo - or Dragons and Beanstalks!

Nora Corbett has been busy as usual. This month there are three new designs - two new Intriguing Insects, Miss Beetle in blue black and Miss Ladybug in red and black, and another addition to the Holiday Village of a town house decorated for Christmas.


Cross stitch is big in Eastern Europe and we now have some lovely new kits from another Russian company called MP Studios. MP Studios use Zweigart fabric and DMC stranded cottons and produce good quality colour charts to go with their great designs.
Bonzai Sakura cross stitch kit by MP Studios

Golden Hands (another Russian company!) produces stunning designs which we couldn't resist despite there being no English instructions. Don't worry, however, as English instructions are included with each kit - just in case your Russian is a little rusty.

And, like buses, Russian cross stitch companies always come in threes. Andriana has some fantastical, distinctive designs that will be a pleasure to sew and show.

We have some new tapestries (needlepoint) from Glorafilia. Some designs have made a welcome re-appearance and others are completely new but all of them are of top quality.

John Clayton's latest Elegance lady is a bride called Laura. She stands in a rose arbour in her long white gown on her big day. Spring wedding anyone?

Permin have a Collection 2 for 2019 and have re-released some older designs. The new Collection has pretty flower cards, new cushions and table covers and a new hardanger design. One new idea is some cross-stitched little birds with colourful overall patterns.

Permin's Classic Collection has lots of flower designs and an Adam and Eve sampler with animals in silhouette in the Garden of Eden.


Anne has stitched Magic by the (not very well-named) Oven Company see her review here.

April's Bargains

There are nursery designs in the Bargain Basement this month, some birth samplers, some height charts and some pictures. As usual they are at half previous low price for the month of April or while stocks last.

And Finally ...

In case you never found out about San Serriffe and the Spaghetti Harvest (and who would want to?) you can read all about them in our Newsletter Archive. There's also the odd snippet of information on needlecrafts!

The last word to Mark Twain (US, 1835-1910):
«The first of April ... is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.»

by Arts and Designs on Fri, 29 Mar 2019, 20:19
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Many are our Joys in Youth

Greetings and welcome to our March 2019 Newsletter ...

In this month's issue
  • Lots of new kits from Lanarte, Bothy, Heritage, Alisa, Textile Heritage and Riolis
  • New patterns from Blackbird, Nora (of course!) and Cottage Garden Samplings
  • Cartoon animals in the Bargain Basement
We visited the largest UK trade stitching fair in Birmingham two weeks ago. Many new collections were launched there and the kits are now trickling in to stock. So here we go ...


Lanarte`s first collection of 2019 has Bewitching Youth (illustrated), two pretty bird and flower designs by Marjolein Bastin and a re-release of the popular Water Pump with Birds.
Bewitching Youth, cross stitch kit by Lanarte
Bothy Threads` Spring Collection has more of the popular Hannah Dale designs, some as tapestry cushions, more Bebunnies, two new fairies and London and Paris posters. We have most of them in stock and you can see the complete collection in our online catalogue.

Heritage Crafts have added two series, one from Nigel Artingstall and the other featuring Lavender Lister. Nigel Artingstall is a British wildlife artist and the new kits include a kingfisher, hare, grebe and wood mouse. These realistic images are lively and detailed and the stitching completely covers the design area. There are new cartoon designs of Lavender Lister, four in all and two of them on new patterned Aida by Zweigart. There are also new kits by Heritage's popular designers Karen Carter and Peter Underhill.

And talking of wildlife we have two new kits from the Russian company Alisa featuring little song birds. These come with linen Aida in natural which makes a more ... natural background.

We now have some pretty kits from Textile Heritage, a long established Scottish manufacturer but new to our range. We have started with stitchers' items needlecases, pincushions and scissors keeps in lots of different styles. They also produce a large range of bookmarks, greetings cards, lavender sachets, coasters, keyrings and small pictures. Lots of kits to make small gifts or gifts in themselves for stitchers.

Prize for the most unusual new kit this month goes to Riolis and the kit is called Underwater Kingdom (but perhaps Octopus's Garden would have been a better title!). With rising sea levels maybe this will be the view from your living room in a few years.

The new ranges of kits from Anchor and Maia are yet to come but we'll let you know all about them as soon as we can.


Some customers have been waiting for number nine, the last of the For the Birds Series by Blackbird Designs and it has finally arrived. It has already sold out but will be back soon.

December Blue Topaz is the most recent fairy by Mirabilia. The design has sold out already and we have re-ordered. Please accept our apologies if you missed it first time round.

This is a very busy month in the stitching world! We now have the eighth of the Songbird`s Garden series by Cottage Garden Samplings and Festive Little Fobs Coffee Edition from Heartstring Samplery - the last of the 2018 series. Plum Street Samplers have continued to pile up animals this time in a Lump of Llamas.

Bargain Basement

There are cartoon animals in the Bargain Basement this month cats, dogs, birds, mice, cows and sheep all at half the previous low price while stocks last.

And Finally ...

The year is yet young and we hope it will bring knowledge, delight, peace, harmony and friendship. Of course we expect to be confounded but we leave the last word to William Wordsworth (1770-1850):

«Many are our joys
In youth, but oh! what happiness to live
When every hour brings palpable access
Of knowledge, when all knowledge is delight,
And sorrow is not there!
by Arts and Designs on Fri, 01 Mar 2019, 19:23
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Winter is the Better Season

Welcome to freezing February - or feverish February - depending on where you live.

January has been a really quiet month for new needlecraft releases. The main trade shows are coming up in February and March and most companies are saving their new releases for those. So next month's newsletter should have a lot more er... news.

Kits and Charts
Wild Rose Berries, Cross Stitch Kit by Merejka
Eastern Europe is a rising star in needlework circles and we have been extending our stock of Russian kits with more from Panna, Magic Needle, Merejka and Alisa.

Nora Corbett has produced two more Autumn Pixie designs. Miss Ginko and Glittering Leaves are in reds and gold shades and have added beads.

Chinese New Year is almost upon us (although I have to admit it's not something we celebrate ourselves) and Anne has produced some Chinese knot designs - in red, of course. These are available as kits - and as downloadable charts.

Bargain Basement

February's theme is Landscapes - hot, cold and everything in between.
There are landscape picture kits in various styles in the Bargain Basement for the month of February and as usual at half previous low price while stocks last.

And Finally ...

While North America has been freezing at -35C we hear that Australia has seen feverish heat at +45C. Here in Scotland we're pretty much in the middle but that doesn't stop us complaining.

Japanese poet Kamijima Onitsura (1660-1738) had this to say about it:

«While it's summer people say
Winter is the better season.
Such is human reason.

We hope your weather is what you wish for.
by Arts and Designs on Fri, 01 Feb 2019, 19:26
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As sleeps the patient rose

Happy New Year and a Hearty Welcome to our January 2019 Newsletter!

In this month's issue:
  • Anchor's Hoop Collection Emroidery Kits
  • Zelda and Harriet are here
  • Blackwork birds by Anne
  • Bargains
Needlecraft Kits and Patterns

Anchor have a new embroidery collection called the Hoop Collection.
These kits are pre-printed on 50% cotton/50% linen fabric and come complete with hoop to work and mount.
  • The Princess Collection has seven designs, four on 20 centimetre hoops and two on 12 centimeter hoops.
  • The Best Friends Collection has Dad, Mum and Baby elephant on different size hoops and a Turtle Family.
  • The Bunny Collection is especially for the nursery and there are also five more grown up designs about kitchens and coffee.

Although they use a variety of stitches, these kits are suitable for beginners and quick and easy projects for the more experienced.

Christmas got in the way of ordering new products (how inconvenient!) but we now have Zelda the latest Nora Corbett design from Mirabilia.
She was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald - an icon of Jazz-age America and the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The pattern is richly finished with beads.
Harriet, cross stitch kit by John Clayton
Harriet (illustrated) is the latest of John Clayton's Elegance ladies. Wearing furs and a cloche hat, she also looks very much of the Jazz Age.

Anne's latest blackwork birds are a family of coal tits.
Available either as a chart (paper or download) or as a kit with 28 count cream Jobelan, this design was inspired by visitors to our garden.

January Bargains

With Valentine's Day in mind there are 'hearts' in the Bargain Basement although not all romantic as some are baby samplers.

And Finally ...

We hope you enjoyed your Christmas - we were closed for a couple of weeks over the Christmas period while we visited family in England.

Our title this month comes from A Calendar of Sonnets: January by Helen Hunt Jackson (H.H.), US Poet, writer and activist 1830-1885
O Heart, when Love's sun goes
To northward, and the sounds of singing cease,
Keep warm by inner fires, and rest in peace.
Sleep on content, as sleeps the patient rose.
Walk boldly on the white untrodden snows,
The winter is the winter's own release.

You can read more about H.H. at

Just before we go, 'Blue Monday' - the most depressing day of the year, apparently - is on its way but let's just ignore it and be positive about the future however it may turn out. The future isn't stitched up yet!

by Arts and Designs on Fri, 11 Jan 2019, 18:25
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Ring every day the chimes

A very warm welcome to our December 2018 newsletter!

In this issue ...

Just for a change we decided to tell you about new patterns first this month ...

  • New Patterns from Nora Corbett and Blackbird Designs
  • New Kits from Anchor and Bothy Threads, and Diamond Painting kits from Vervaco
  • New stranded cottons from DMC
  • Canada postal problems and our Christmas Holidays
  • Mike Vickery kits in the Basement

Nora Corbett has a new series. The Intriguing Insects released this month are Miss Moth and Miss Dragonfly so let's see if more follow soon! Actually one thing that is quite intriguing is that Miss Moth is misprinted as Miss Moss on the pattern. Perhaps someone with a lisp in the wrong job.

Blackbird Designs have a new large alphabet sampler. Merrily, Merrily We Welcome Spring is based on an antique sampler and has four alphabet sets, house, birds and flower motifs. (It's out of stock today but we have more coming and they should be in next week.)

Christmas Guest by Merejka
We're pleased to see some new Anchor kits after a few years' lapse. There's a birth sampler, height chart and several wildlife designs.

Bothy Threads Winter Collection has a baker's dozen of new kits - Henry VIII sampler, a lovely 12 Days of Christmas and more dotty and spotty designs from Hannah Dale of Wrendale Designs. Anne's favourite from the collection is called Parasols. There's also a new set of long stitch designs from Rose Swalwell of Derwentwater designs - Long Stitch Seasons has hedgerow flowers in close-up in a set of four.

On a different tack entirely, Vervaco`s third 2018 (Diamond Painting) Collection is all diamond painting with Hello Kitty and Disney characters. The kits come with high quality colour printed, 100% polyester fabric; pre-sorted 'diamonds' by number; plastic bags for storing sorted 'diamonds'; 'diamond' applicator tool, craft tray and wax caddy; complete instructions. Suitable for ages from 8 years. You can see the catalogue here and if you are interested in any of the diamond painting projects please let us know.

Stranded Cotton

DMC have a released a new stranded cotton called Etoile. There are 35 of the standard colours - but with added sparkle. Each strand had a little sparkle at intervals and these are staggered along the six lengths.

Anne tried them out on one of the free designs from the DMC Creative web site and and you can see her review here.

Other News

If you are in Canada ... we have seen serious delays with post to Canada over the past month or more - on top of the long standing Customs delays in Vancouver. The postal strike has apparently been resolved but there will still be considerable delays because of the backlog. We hope that customers whose packages are already in the system won't have too much longer to wait.

We are having an extended break over the festive season partly because we want to have the chance to be festive ourselves and partly because we have to change the way we label your packages due to new postal requirements (nothing to do with the Br**** thing). This change needs a lot of new software and we want to be sure it's all working properly before we 'go live'. We'll be doing this over the Christmas and New Year period (and enjoying the holidays too!).

Bargains in the Basement

We have put some Vickery Collection kits in the Bargain Basement for the month of December, as usual at half previous price. These have some Celtic design and some brightly coloured fun samplers.

And Finally ...

Our title is drawn from the poem A Christmas Carol by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (US, 1807-1882)

«In December ring
Every day the chimes;
Loud the gleemen sing
In the streets their merry rhymes.
Let us by the fire
Ever higher
Sing them till the night expire!»

Well, we don't see many gleemen singing carols nowadays and it's our loss as it would bring some much-needed feelings of society back to our streets. Maybe in this cynical, commercial age we should remember our rich, warm and vibrant culture - and even bring some of it back to life.

We hope you have the opportunity for family and social gatherings over the Christmas period.

Whether you're in a cold or a hot climate we wish you the very best for the Christmas season!
by Arts and Designs on Fri, 30 Nov 2018, 20:24
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November comes And November goes

Welcome to the November 2018 newsletter!

In this issue ...
  • New kits from Golden Fleece, Riolis, Design Works and Magic Needle
  • Eva Rosenstand Anniversary
  • New Patterns from Mirabilia and Nimue Fee Main
  • Baby garments for you to customise
Red Umbrella - cross stitch kit by Golden Fleece
We have some lovely new kits from a Russian company called Golden Fleece. They have many romantic designs adapted from work by various artists including the Dutch artist Haenraets, some of whose paintings are also available from Lanarte. We think they're lovely and we hope you do too.

Many more new great quality kits have come in recently
from Riolis, from Design Works and from Magic Needle

Eva Rosenstand started production 60 years ago and they're still going strong. In celebration, they have re-released ten of the most famous designs - which were originally stitched on 18 count linen. These kits are now also available on 26 count linen and 14 count Aida and so they come out smaller than the originals, use less thread and are less expensive.

Vera Mouse Knitting by Marjolein Bastin was a very popular design and sold out years ago, or so we thought! However one of our suppliers still had one in stock - so we got it in a moment of nostalgia. We hope you enjoy this cute little needle crafter.


Another popular design from Mirabilia Lady Justice has been snapped up and is temporarily out of stock, but we'll re-stock soon. This uses only three different beads and two colours of Kreinik #4 braid.

The first of the Robin's Orchestra series by Nimue Fee Main is called Le Gallois du Tylwyth (or the Welsh Fiddler). From the artwork of Helene Larbaight, it will be followed by another seven in time.

For the very small ...

We have pretty little baby slippers from Charles Craft with an Aida area to stitch. It comes with a little rabbit pattern. Anne stitched pink bows on one pair in an evening and you could create your own embellishment too. A lovely present for a new baby in size 0 6 months.

A hooded baby towel is also a great present for a new baby and will last for several years. We have them in white and lemon from Jobelan and Anne has designed rainbow boats for the white and five little ducks for the lemon which we'll include.

And Finally ...

Here in the north we anticipate the onset of winter as the clocks go back and the nights draw in. We send our slightly envious greetings to those of you under the Southern Cross where the nights are shortening and the barbies are being dusted off.

This month's title is from from the poem November by Elizabeth Coatsworth (US), 1893-1986:

"November comes And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With Hallowe'en just around the corner and other traditional celebrations to follow in November, we hope you can find the time to reflect and relax and we wish you a peaceful month.
by Arts and Designs on Fri, 26 Oct 2018, 18:48
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Summer has two Beginnings

A Windy Welcome to the October 2018 Newsletter!

Our title is from a poem by American poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886):

«Summer has two Beginnings
Beginning once in June
Beginning in October
Affectingly again ...»

In this month's Issue ...
  • Kits from Nimue, Permin, John Clayton, Anne Peden and Luca-S
  • Patterns from Nora Corbett
  • October Bargains

Nimue Fee Main has a new Art Nouveau lady design inspired by Brittany and the traditional Breton costume. Available as a kit in linen and as a chart.
Bigoudenn Rouz - cross stitch kit by Nimue Fee Main

Permin have a new catalogue which includes this year's new releases. We have some Christmas designs including advent calendars and hardanger wine bottle aprons.

We now have in stock the first part of Permin's Secret Stitch Along advent calendar. This comes with all the materials fabric, threads and red plastic rings. The first chart of the design is included and the rest will be downloadable at two weekly intervals.

There are two new Elegance ladies from John Clayton and Heritage Crafts this month. Martina wears a powder pink evening dress. Holly in her burgundy evening dress stands by a white Christmas tree both sparking with gold metallic floss. These kits are available in 27 count evenweave and 14 count Aida.

Anne's latest design in her Blackwork Garden Birds series is a pair of goldcrests in a yew tree. This one comes as a downloadable or paper pattern or as a kit on 28 count cream Jobelan.

We have some lovely new designs from Luca-S. There are two realistic Santa pictures (if that makes any sense!) - that we love - and a cute robin picture for Christmas - and a set of three cartoon birth samplers for other happy events.

Bothy Threads have released a new set of kits of cute soft toy rabbits, from Bebunni. Some are especially dressed for Christmas.

With so many new designs, they have had a clear-out of some older ones, both by Bothy Threads and Derwentwater Designs, so don't delay if you are interested in one of their current kits.


Nora Corbett's latest designs are Autumn Flame and Autumn Blaze. These are in the Autumn Pixies series and are in vibrant Autumnal colours.

October Bargains

This month in the Bargain Basement there are many ladies in different styles - elegant, wild, ethnic, victorian, feisty ... - and as usual at half the previous low price. Offers are only for this month and while stocks last.

And Finally ...

Those of you in the southern hemisphere (who we often overlook in this newsletter!) should actually be experiencing the beginning of Summer - although of course that's not what Emily Dickinson meant!

As for us here in Scotland we have had high winds and lots of trees down - which passes for summer here.

Well, at least we have seasons and each one has something new to offer. So we rejoice in the beauty and magic of each season and enjoy it while we can.

We wish you an enjoyable Autumn/Fall/Summer wherever you may be.

by Arts and Designs on Fri, 28 Sep 2018, 19:36
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September days are here

Welcome to our September newsletter ...

This one's going out on Sunday 2nd September as we didn't have time to prepare it for the usual Saturday release. We're very sorry if you were disappointed yesterday!

In this month's issue ...
  • Problems accessing the website?
  • New kits from Magic Needle and Bothy Threads
  • Nora Corbett's Latest Design
  • Permin's not-so-secret Stitch Along
  • The DMC Floss card
  • Teddies and Toys in the Bargain Basement
Problems Accessing the Arts and Designs website?

We moved to a larger web server early in August and some people reported problems seeing the new server. After a lot of head-scratching we worked out what the problem was and we have a fix if you still can't access The fix is to click this link and ignore your web browser's security warnings (which are wrong in this case as it's just our new website). Click 'proceed' or 'advanced' and proceed to the website to clear the problem. You should only need to do this once to clear the problem for good. Please let us know if this doesn't work for you!

Flight of the Bumble Bee, cross stitch by Hannah Dale, Bothy Threads
In stock we have a new range of cross-stitch kits from a Russian company - Magic Needle. Only a few to begin with - but we'll put their catalogue online so you can see see the full range.

The designs are great quality covering everything from fantasy to traditional and are printed in colour on large easy-to-read sheets. Floss is pre-sorted on card and fabric and needle (ordinary, not magic) are of course also included.

Bothy Threads have released their Autumn 2018 Collection. These are
  • Two more magical designs from Lavinia Stamp worked against a backdrop of a full moon
  • Two contrasting dance inspired designs by Beryl Cook
  • Two more colourful cat designs by Rosina Wachtmeister on 14 count white Aida measuring 28 by 19 cm. Both use metallic threads and beads are used for the raindrops
  • Four more cross stitch designs from the Wrendale Collection by Hannah Dale. As usual they are worked on specially printed 14 count speckled Aida;
  • The first kit from Michelle Grace's art work of a retro take on Little Red Riding Hood
  • From another new artist for Bothy Threads, Paul Liggins bases his comical artwork on scenes from the Dorset countryside
  • A new Love Country design by Sarah Reilly shows a hare, fox, badger and robin snuggling up ready for the cold weather ahead
  • Two cute designs by Nicola Mason - Decorating The Tree uses some sparkle thread while Robin Wreath uses Lana and tiny black beads
  • Two Christmas Slightly Dotty designs to add to this series. Slightly Dotty Xmas Puds is embellished with beads, sequins and ribbon whereas Slightly Dotty Snowmen isn't embellished
  • Three cute Christmas card designs by Karen Tye Bentley are worked on misty blue Zweigart Aida and use silver metallic and Lana
  • Tapestry Kits from The Wrendale Collection by Hannah Dale. Each one is worked in Anchor Tapestry Wools on a full colour printed 10 count interlock Zweigart canvas. They measure 36 by 36 cm. (The cushion pad and backing are not included in the kit.)
We have chosen a few of the kits from the collection to begin with and you can see the whole collection in the online catalogue.


Permin have decided to have their own Secret Stitch Along. It's not completely a secret as we know it starts with an elf (which is a clue).

The secret stitch along comes in six parts and the first has the material and all the threads with only the pattern for the first section. The next five parts are printed at two weekly intervals finishing in plenty of time for Christmas (oh dear, what a giveaway).

To save you postage costs - and to help the environment, we have decided to offer it for sale when we have the complete set. Which we admit does rather spoil the fun.


The latest Mirabilia design is March Aquamarine Fairy in teal and lemon with lots of beads. Although we have already sold out, we should have more back in stock soon.

DMC Floss Card

If you've ever tried to find out the number of a piece of DMC floss, then you'll know it can be really difficult.

We now have the latest floss card from DMC which has real samples of all the stranded cottons including the new shades, Color Variations, Light Effects, Pearl Cotton and Metallic Pearl.

This is an invaluable aid to choosing and identifying colours and will be useful to you for years to come.

Bargain Basement

There are Teddies and Toys in the Bargain Basement for the month of September. They're already selling fast so don't delay!

And Finally ...

Our inspiration this month is the poem September by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

By all these lovely tokens,
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

Amongst the «lovely tokens» are ripening corn and apple trees laden with fruit. Of course if you're in Australia or New Zealand, such things are half a year distant - but we're sure you remember!

Wherever you are and whetever you're doing - Have a golden September!
by Arts and Designs on Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 16:24
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Remember to be Gentle

A warm welcome to our sultry August newsletter ...

This month ...
  • The Russian connection
  • John Clayton's Chloe
  • Poison Pixies and Tropical Butterflies
  • Blackwork Birds
  • Fairies in the basement

Veiltail Goldfish, cross stitch kit by the Oven Company
This month we have some lovely new wildlife designs from the Oven Company of Russia. The designs range from realistic to quirky and all of the kits are very reasonably priced for their quality. The charts are in bright colour (not a match for the stranded cottons) and some have no written English but the graphic instructions are clear enough for most stitchers.

From another Russian company Panna there are three `white lace` designs of animals stitched in white outlines on dark fabric and some watercolour style designs.

We love these kits but the supplier for these companies is taking a summer break so we'll start placing orders again in Mid-August.

John Clayton's latest Elegance lady - Chloe - wears blue and carries a blue parasol. As usual the kit is available on either cotton evenweave or Aida.

Designs and Patterns

This month the ever-productive Nora Corbett has produced two new Poison Pixies and a new Holiday Village design called The Coffee House.

Our granddaughter's new bedroom has a jungle theme (and she is a wee monkey!) so Anne designed and stitched tropical butterflies and mounted them on flexi-hoops. These are available as downloadable charts or kits on 28 count evenweave.

Blackwork Birds

Robin is the most recent blackwork bird from the Garden Birds series by Anne. The design can be downloaded as a pattern (in PDF format) or mailed as a paper chart pack.

Robin is also available as a kit on 28 count cream Jobelan. Anne's garden is a haven for wild birds so there are plenty more to choose from - just by looking out of the window! Anne has already started on the next one.

Updates, Advice and Fairies

We must apologise to those of you who are still waiting for kits from Lanarte's Second 2018 Collection. These have been very slow to arrive at the UK distributor and then only come in dribs and drabs. We check daily for updates but we understand from customers that they are in short supply everywhere.

And now a tip if you have your own system for storing floss for a project. A lady who had bought a large Thea Gouverneur kit called us this week to check on the shade of one of the stranded cottons. She had taken all the threads off the original floss card and re-arranged them into her own system. Unfortunately, doing this lost some critical information about which colour goes with which symbol. It took several days and photos to reconstruct the key. If you feel the need to take the floss off the cards that come with the kit, you can save a lot of time and trouble if you take a photo first!

There are fairies in the Bargain Basement this month, all at half previous low price while stocks last.

And Finally ...

Our title this month is from a poem by Kent Nerburn ...

Remember to be gentle with yourself.
Be gentle with others.
We are all children of chance.
And, no one can say why some fields will blossom,
while others lay brown in the August sun.

Kent Nerburn (American writer b. 1946)

May your August blossom!
by Arts and Designs on Fri, 03 Aug 2018, 16:22
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Answer July

In this month's Issue ...

Not so much that's new - it's holiday/vacation season and we've been away ourselves!

Part of our trip took us to the Forêt de Brocéliande in central Brittany, France in which lies a magical area with an enchanted spring ...
Anne Looks hopefully
Unfortunately we didn't see any fairies. Perhaps a little vin de pays would have helped.

New Designs from Nora Corbett

Congratulations to Nora Corbett of Mirabilia Designs now celebrating her silver anniversary - designing for 25 years. Her beautiful designs of fairies, mermaids and ladies have given and are continuing to give great pleasure to many stitchers around the world.

We have the anniversary design Lady Mirabilia with embellishment pack and all the necessary materials. With an Art Deco look and a touch of silver, she is a very elegant lady. Each pattern comes with an exclusive silver butterfly not available separately. Sadly, all of these have been snapped up but we hope to have some more very soon.

Alice (of Wonderland fame) in ribbons and lace with her own pocket watch is another new Mirabilia design (from Nora Corbett of course).

Last month we tried to order some of the other new Nora Corbett designs like Butterfly Fairy, Lady of the Flag, the Queen Mermaid, the Seaside Kingdom and the fairy Moon but Wichelt cancelled our order. We really don't know why we (and other retailers) weren't able to get these patterns given the hoo-ha about the 25th Anniversary.

New Kits from Lanarte and Vervaco

The second Lanarte Collection of 2018 is now available. We have chosen an attractive lady and flowers by Marjolein Bastin and you can see all the new designs in the Catalogue.

The second Vervaco 2018 Collection is also now available. We have chosen some designs in shades of grey (one with a splash of red) and a sepia design.

This catalogue is also available to view.

Please let us know if there's something in either of these that you like that we don't have in stock and we'll be happy to order it for you.


This month there are Kitchen and Bathroom items in the Bargain Basement - towels, tea towels, toilet roll holders and some foodie samplers.

And Finally ...

The title this month comes from a short poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Answer July
Where is the Bee
Where is the Blush
Where is the Hay?

Ah, said July
Where is the Seed
Where is the Bud
Where is the May
Answer Thee Me.

Well, we have all these bounties this year and we hope our untypically glorious summer never ends!

We wish you untypically glorious weather wherever you are.

by Arts and Designs on Fri, 06 Jul 2018, 19:17
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Earlier Stitchcraft News ...

Knee-deep in June ... Welcome to June's Newsletter!
In the Cherry Blossom's shade ... ... In the Cherry Blossom's shade
See the land, her Easter keeping ... ... Welcome to our Easter 2018 newsletter
The winds of March were wild and drear ... ... A warm (especially if you live in Britain) welcome to our March newsletter.
Fair Maid of February ... A very warm welcome to February's newsletter!
The New Years Come, The Old Years Go ... ... Welcome to our last newsletter of 2017 (and first of 2018).
I heard the bells on Christmas Day ... A warm, festive welcome to our December newsletter!
The Black Cat and The Philosopher ... Hello and welcome to our Halloween newsletter ...
O wad some Power ... ... A warm welcome to our Autumnal newsletter.
Faith is the Bird that feels the light ... Welcome to September's Newsletter!
If ever any beauty I did see ... ... ...
She sights a Bird ... Welcome to our July 2017 newsletter
There are Moments ... ... "There are Moments, above all on spring evenings, when the lakes that hold our moons are sucked into the earth and nothing is left but wine and the touch of a hand."
Ne'er cast a cloot 'till May be oot ... A warm Spring welcome to the May 2017 newsletter!
Paint the Meadows with Delight ... A warm welcome to our April 2017 issue ...
Each minute sweeter than before ... A warm welcome to our March 2017 newsletter!
I wonder if the sap is stirring yet ... ... A warm welcome to our February 2017 newsletter!
One Little Person ... «One little person, giving all of her time to peace, makes news.
Warlocks and witches in a dance ... « Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Let Love Take Root ... ... ...
No Man Needs a Vacation ... ... ...
A Fur Coat in Texas in August ... Hello and welcome to our August newsletter!
If there is a limit to all things ... Welcome to the July newsletter!
Lux Tua Via Mea: Your Light's My Way ... Greetings and a warm welcome to our June newsletter.
Love, whose month is ever May, ... ... Welcome to May's Newsletter
Shamrocks, Walls and a Touch of the Blarney ... Welcome to your April 2016 newsletter!
Zen and the Art of Stitching ... A warm welcome to our March Newsletter.
Year of the Monkey ... We hope you enjoyed your Christmas and New Year celebrations.
It's Raining Cats and Dogs ... Happy New Year
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care ... ... ...
Treacle Scones ... Welcome to our November newsletter ...
Drawing the Impossible ... A warm welcome to our October newsletter.
On a bank of flowers, in a summer day ... Perhaps summers were better when Burns wrote the poem whose first line forms our title this month.
Imagination Rules the World ... We were inspired by the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo on the 18th June 1815 and so this month's title is a quotation attributed to
When pleasant sights salute the eyes ... «It is the month of June,
Ne'er cast a cloot ... ... Ne'er cast a cloot ...
Happy Easter! ... In this month's newsletter ...
We are Stardust ... ... «We are stardust
Kings may be blest ... As the birth of our national bard,
Ring in the New ... Welcome to 2015!
'Tis the season to be jolly! ... As the cold nights draw in, it seems a good idea to raise our spirits and Christmas is the ideal way to do it.
Peace, Prosperity and Pleasure ... To Keats it's the "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" and to Bryant [it's] "the year's last, loveliest smile".
No spring nor summer's beauty hath such grace ... ... Welcome to our October newsletter - it's a little longer than usual as there's lots to tell you.
Rest is not idleness ... «...
Worth Waiting For ... We hope your summer (or winter) has been as pleasant as ours.
This Sporting Summer ... This year it's certainly another summer of sport with the World Cup in Brazil as well as the usual round of tennis, golf and other tournaments.
People Take Pictures of Summer ... ... «People take pictures of summer, just in case someone thought they had missed it, and to prove that it really existed.»
A spirit of youth in everything ... The title is taken from Shakespeare's Sonnet XCVIII
San Serriffe and the Spaghetti Harvest ... Welcome to our April newsletter ...
No one relaxes in March ... Indoors or out, no one relaxes
A Hint of Spring ... Maybe we no longer think of
A Big Year ... Happy New Year!
Time to Reflect ... Less than 3 weeks to Christmas now so if you didn't manage to finish that cross-stitch Advent calendar in time ...
Now's the Time! ... The astrologers tell us that whoever is determined to achieve something can make significant progress during November.
No Time for Poetry ... There's no quote from a great poem this time!
Autumn is a second Spring ... ... «Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower».
That beautiful season the Summer! ... ...
The Meadows' Queen ... «The empress of the year, the meadows' queen,
Spring Cleaning ... It's «out with the old and in with the new» this month as many suppliers have been having a Spring clean.
Hot Cross Stitches ... You may be enjoying your break for Easter which falls this weekend.
Moscow, March and Mary ... Commonwealth Day
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant - Anne Bradstreet ... February was the month of purification for the Romans - who evidently did their spring cleaning earlier than most of us.
January, month of empty pockets! ... Welcome to our January 2013 newsletter, and may we start by wishing you
Childhood's Beginning ... As the Christmas season approaches, we, like everyone else, are preparing for the big day.
Clocks, Crafting and Ceremony ... Our clocks went 'back' last weekend and we've still to adjust to our new time zone after a week.
Anticipation ... «Well,» said Pooh, «what I like best,» and then he had to stop and think.
Departing summer hath assumed an aspect tenderly illumed ... Welcome to the September newsletter!
The important thing in life ... Here in Britain
Summer's lease hath all too short a date ... Vervaco's summer Collection
A Light In The Darkness ... As you may have heard
The Month that May be Named ... Did you remember to wash your face in the morning dew on 1st May?
Soft in Flowered Languor ... April is
March marches in and the year marches on ... Welcome to our March 2012 newsletter.
A Whole New Day ... A huge welcome to February - which of course has one extra day this year.
... and gie's a hand o' thine! ... A warm welcome to our December newsletter.
December 2011 - Beads, Tapestries and Hotheads ... December is upon us again.
Transylvania and Turnip Lanterns ... Welcome to the end ...
Lanarte Autumn releases, Taller de Canamazo and Disney Dreams ... Welcome to October - normally a time for misty mornings and central heating.
Autumns and Advents ... Autumn has already started in our wayward Scottish climate - oh, how I wish I was in Australia or New Zealand now!
August - Be Creative, Extrovert, Enthusiatic and Generous ... Welcome to August - the month of
Quilting, Blackwork and Summer Designs ... Patchwork and Quilting
The Russians are coming! ... But before they get here, a couple of announcements:
Spring Into Life ... April has started with showers but we're hoping the sun will show up in time for the royal wedding (and for our daughter who's getting married a couple of days after).
March Winds ... The long awaited
Mothers, Maps and maia ... Mothering Sunday
January 2011 - New Kits and Patterns ... A very warm welcome to our first newsletter of 2011.
Needle Time ... As Christmas approaches, you may be looking forward to a frenetic few weeks of gift shopping and preparation followed by a few restful days of 'needle time' when the storm has passed!
Teenies, Birth Samplers and yes, ... more Meerkats ... Sampler Teenies
More Meerkats! ... We're well underway on the countdown to Christmas but there's still Hallowe'en to look forward to.
Fall of the Leaf ... Fall of the Leaf
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