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I'll keep you posted on up-to-the-minute happenings, talk about my approach to color, texture and design, organizing, interesting links, new books, and new threads and other mixed media materials. I'd love to hear your comments also.


Harlequin Hearts and Funky Rose return

We have had many requests for Harlequin Hearts and Funky Rose over the last several years. I kept dragging my feet for one main reason.....I have to set up a work station outside and layer 5 different colors using spray misters and then iron the canvases (as in Harlequin Hearts), or mix pigments with textile medium to make my own washes and apply to the canvas (as in Funky Rose). 

So, whenever I colored them I definitely want to do multiples.  Now with the Copic Sketch markers I can easily color each canvas, or as an option, add an optional marker kit so stitchers can add their own colors.   Here is a photo of a Harleqin Hearts canvaswith the background done with Copic Sketch markers.   Rather fun. I will be putting together a tutorial to include with the instruction books.  Here is a finished Harlequin Hearts: 

And here is Funky Rose.  You can see a lot of the background and this week I'll be working on the new background using the Copic markers, and post a photo.

SO, a few Harlequin Hearts thread, bead and button kits are ready to ship now AND the Funky Rose kits will be ready in about 10 days. It's kit includes lots of thread varieties, lots of beads many sizes, wire, needles, etc.  I will be updating the website ordering for these two shortly, but if you are interested in ordering now, just send me an email.  Both these projects are fun to stitch!


Secret Garden and Kit Inventory

Well, it has been awhile, but I'm now catching up.  Here I have been worried about not feeling well all the time and come to find out I "just" needed some root canals.   So now I feel like stitching again and have finished up the 2nd small geometric design I created using Treenway silk threads.  Secret Garden is only 5" square and was fun to stitch. I used some interesting small new triangle beads in the design. They have the two holes on the top and I could use a heavier perle thread to attach them.  I like the finished look of the heavier thread!

The instruction book, marked canvas and thread kit will be available in about 30 days and I will post an update when they are ready.  If you think you are interested, please comment or otherwise send me a note so I will have some idea how many kits to make.  By the way, it is on 18 count canvas, and is the same size as Autumn Arrows.  

Also,  we have been trying to build up an inventory of complete kits (all threads, ribbons, beads, markers, etc. included).  Here is our current inventory as of 5/8/15:

2 Monet's Garden

4 Mediterranean Squares

4 Harlequin Hearts

1 Leaf Collage

1 Images of India

2 Wild Roses

2 Sahara

2 Safari

6 Whirlygig (ready in approx. 3 weeks)

If you see a design you like listed in Designs and Kits for Sale, and there is not thread kit listed above, please let me know of your interest.


New Design - African Images - in Progress

I recently began working on a new design which is a little different from my previous designs.  In this piece I am trying to create images, just images, of Africa, particularly the birds and their environments.  There are forests, baobab trees, marsh and grasslands, plus feathers and nests.  The stitched size is 8 inches X 11 inches.

The above photo is created by stitching about 1/4 of the design, then I added colored pencils and watercolor pencils to complete the rendering to send as a proposal.  I plan to continue working on this project to have completed in the next few month, so will post a few updates.

To construct the piece, I have used Copic markers for layering the background color and a stencil and acrylic dabbers to add leaves.  There is texture in abundance using lots of Silk Raffia, Painters Thread, plus other perle threads. 

I have to say this is the most fun stitching I have had in a while.  I will be interested to hear what you think,




I am sure you have heard similar stories from other teachers/designers before, so you probably won't be surprised to hear I am having problems with obtaining supplies for Tropical Jazz.  It is a design that has been around for almost 5 years and is still requested a lot, but I am now having trouble getting the original embellishments. The stitching threads are all still available, but not the trims and some of the beads.  Among other things the design started with a flat braid with attached sequins and it was available in several different colors.  When they were discontinued I bought up any supplies I could find, but now..... all gone.  Here are several threads and a trim I have found to use instead.  Painter's Thread Ric Rac Can you see where they will be used?  The Ric Rac can be couched down in place of the sequined braid.  The Silk Boucle can be used instead of the Rayon 3-ply thread that as been ruched.  And, the Metallic Braid can be couched as is, or stranded, as you can see below and used added to other threads.

     Painter's Thread metallic braid               Stef Francis silk boucle 












Now the final item that is no longer available, that I am able to determine, are the resin beads used in two areas in the original design.  I am now preparing for two February workshops that will use up final supply of these resin beads. So after these are finished, I will no longer be offering complete thread kits.  Beginning March 1st, marked canvases, instruction books, and the basic thread kits will be available here......just no beads or embellishment kits. If I have any embellishment kits remaining after these last two workshops I will post them on the Tropical Jazz page here. 

It is interesting when one looks at the evolution of a design and it does seem that 5 years is about the average for availability of materials if anything other than our group of "core" threads is used.  Of course, other new things come is evidenced by the new threads shown above, so we must learn to be flexible and just think of designs as "Revisited".



The original Casbah was designed back in 2005. (Shown at right) It was stitched with dark, rich colors and was 5-1/2" square. Immediately below right is the original. I taught it at ANG Tucson 2006, as a one-day class, but that is all. Generally groups do not select a one-day class, choosing to do a two or three-day workshop.  I felt like this design has something to offer and, that combined with the fact I am now working with different colors, I decided to revisit the deisg.  In addition to changing the colors, I enlarged the design to 7" square, added another interesting wide band around the outside and made a few other small changes.

And, here is the new rendition of Casbah Revisited. The pilot will be taught in January in San Bernardino and I will be proposing it for future seminars.  

I would love to hear stitcher comments.