Newsletter August 2018

Hello Stitching World! We are having beautiful weather in Cape Town and the days are a little warmer now, thank goodness. We’ve had the most wonderful rains, not enough though, we still need lots more, but Capetonians are so relieved that day zero has been averted. It’s been an incredibly stressful time with the persistent drought but hopefully, things will improve soon. I have not written a newsletter for a while because I’ve been working on a lovely new Mandala book with my friend, Hazel Blomkamp, along with the gifted artist, Monique Day-Wilde and our special publisher, Wilsia Metz of Metz Press. We all got together and with the help of some enormously talented South African embroiderers, our book: Freestyle Embroidered Mandalas, was born. It’s at the printers and this gorgeous book will be available worldwide very soon! Have a look here to see only some of the stunning projects featured in this book. In the book, you will find both line and colour templates of 25 different designs, with a detailed stitch diagram and list of threads and materials for every project. Some templates have been given two completely different embroidery treatments to illustrate how versatile the designs are. From simple, monochromatic line designs to colourful and flamboyant beadand-thread combinations, the embroidered mandalas will inspire and delight everyone from rank beginners to the most experienced. Freestyle Embroidered Mandalas is available for pre-order here. Choose the most convenient online store and voilà! Enjoy! Would love to hear what you think of the book.


BATB 2018

It is a great privilege to be invited to teach at the prestigious event, BATB 2018 which will be held in Adelaide, Australia in October 2018. BATB is a much-loved International Needlework Convention and embroiderers from all around the world, from the complete beginner to the advanced, look forward to getting together to attend workshops and special events. The accommodation is superb, the hospitality is excellent and this year is a very special one as it’s their 10th anniversary! Everyone is working extremely hard to make this a momentous occasion. I will be teaching three workshops there. Workshop number 52 is all about Fuchsias with silk ribbon, workshop 53, you will make a Medallion Rose Bracelet and in workshop 54, you will learn how to make all kinds of countryside flowers with silk ribbon and how to make a little Sunbird with needle felting. You are welcome to read more about BATB here. Hope to see you in Australia, it will be fun!


Our 30th Birthday!

Thirty years ago, in the little farming town of Molteno, my small business named Handicraft Designs or Dicraft was born. How time has flown! I have so many happy memories of places that I have been to, friends that I have made, talented embroiderers that I have met at the workshops in London and Paris, Kiev and Moscow and St. Petersburg and Adelaide and Brisbane and of course, the many cities and towns throughout South Africa and thirty years later, I am living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and… I still love what I am doing! I want to thank every one of you who has supported me over the years! To celebrate, we have some lovely birthday specials for you. Have a look here. And if the total sum of your order comes to more than R3400 (approx US$259) then you will receive a lovely Bonus Hamper to the value of 10% of your order. Or you can use the Bonus Hamper to pay towards the courier fee. We have an excellent rate with DHL Couriers and they will bring the parcel to your door within a very short period of time… and you are able to track your parcel all along the way. Read more about the Bonus Hamper here. Remember that presently the South African currency rate is very favourable for anyone living outside our country. For example, the US$ is approximately 13 to 1 (so divide the total of your order by 13), the Australian and New Zealand Dollar is approximately 10 or 9 to 1 (divide the total by 10 or 9). The Euro is 15 to 1 (divide total by 15). So it’s a good time to buy our products.


Birthday gifts for you.

Because it’s our birthday, you will also receive one or more of the cutest little rose trees printed on pure cotton voile — ideal for making Christmas or birthday or thank you gifts! They are petite size so won’t take long to embroider with thread or ribbon, or you can use the panel (unembellished) to make a lovely card or sachet. Enjoy!


Another gift for you. Downloadable gifts

And… there is a Birthday gift from me to you! I have three more lovely designs for your collection and you are welcome to download the first PDF with the Teddy Bears and the Blue Hydrangeas here. Enjoy! The Pink Rose pattern is available for download here. I wrote a blog about using the Twirled Ribbon Rose method which is an ideal stitch for making beautiful roses. You can also follow page 154 to 158 of my Roses Book. Do you have the book? It is a most useful teaching tool for anyone who loves roses! It is available here. Scroll down to the Roses book and click on the preferred online store.


What’s new?

There are some gorgeous new designs and projects to make for yourself or to make for that special person in your life.

Inspirational Quotes

There are lovely new panels under the Inspirational Quotes series. These are always popular as gifts and they are on our birthday special. Each design is printed on pure cotton or linen and is ready to embroider with thread or ribbon. They are fun to make and don’t take too long to embroider. A new Inspirational Quote kit is now available and at a special price! Have a look here. Enjoy!


I have also added a fabulous Felted Cushion kit. This kit is ideal for those who prefer to make a cushion instead of the blanket/shawl on page 142 of Art of Felting and Silk Ribbon Embroidery. This book is very popular with embroiderers and a big thank you to everyone who has written to tell me how much they are enjoying it, I do appreciate it very much. Mary Corbet of Needle ‘n wrote a lovely, detailed and insightful review and I would like to thank her for everything that she does for the embroidery world. Her expertise and her blog posts are invaluable. She wrote about Shaggy Dog/Dandy Dog too, one of my favourite pieces. Have a look here for her post and scroll down to read about this cute little boy. Mary has given a link to download the instructions.


Magical Gardens

The A3 (large) panels from this series are on our birthday special! They are very popular with embroiderers as the landscapes are simply perfect for ribbon embroidery. I am so looking forward to seeing what everyone does with them. Please, send your photos as soon as you can. Did you know there’s a fabulous competition with fabulous prizes? It ends 01 December 2018 so there’s still quite a bit of time. Have a look here for more details about the competition.


Blogs and Tutorials-teaching online

I am teaching the Pink Delight (from the Magical Gardens series) on my blog as one of the free tutorials. As I progress I will show you step-by-step how to go about creating a beautiful landscape. Here is Chapter 1 and here is Chapter 2. Enjoy! You are welcome to subscribe for free to stay up to date with new happenings.


Multipurpose needle pack

Have you heard about our very popular and useful NEEDLE PACK for Ribbon embroidery and stumpwork? The needle pack is available here. In this pack, we include all the needles you will ever need for any kind of ribbon embroidery, creative embroidery and stumpwork.


Stockists – shops and studios

I am always delighted when shops and studios approach us for our products and the good news is that Riana Auret, (my friend who co-authored the bestselling RES book with me) has moved to New Zealand and opened a shop in Christchurch. Embroiderers will be so fortunate to attend lessons there, that’s for sure! She also keeps my range of silk ribbons and panels and just so that you know, Riana is a multitalented crafter and ribbon embroiderer, we wish you much success, Riana! Contact details are Riana Auret, HANDZON, 402A Main North Road, Redwood, Christchurch, 8051. Tel: (+64) 3 595 2641

And if you read Mary Corbet’s needlework news snips page earlier, you would have seen the piece she wrote about Needlework Tours from Australia (but catering to people worldwide) who conduct luxury needlework tours all over the world. They too have bought our panels for creative and ribbon embroidery, so keep a lookout for them! There are quite a few stores in South Africa, in the UK (Tanya and Deborah and Susan often buy stock) and there are more shops in other countries. Have a look here for the updated list of shops and studios who have ordered from us recently. The rest of the world is anyone outside of South Africa and scroll further down to see stockists in South Africa. We welcome any shops and studios who would like to keep my ribbons, books and the ready-to-embroider fabric panels. Please contact for assistance. If you like, you are welcome to download my ribbon chart with the colour swatches and the numbers/codes from here.


Out and about

With a small group of friends, I hike in some of the most scenic areas around Cape Town and I thought you would enjoy seeing what we saw on our previous hike. Here is the blog with the pictures. Enjoy!


Share and Learn

I do love to share gorgeous pieces made by talented embroiderers across the world. It’s wonderful to be able to learn this way… to learn from one another. This masterpiece was made by my friend, Valentina Razenkova from St. Petersburg. She is an incredibly gifted embroiderer and has written a beautiful book that features this gorgeous piece. Thank you, Valentina, for sharing your amazing talent. Have a look at my Facebook page and scroll down to POSTS to see the gorgeous pieces that will inspire and delight you, of that I am certain!


More beautiful pieces to share…


I have written new blogs to show you beautiful ribbon embroidery by Leahu Marina Pavel from Romania and Marika Mamuchishvili from Tbilisi in Georgia and Renee Hatfield from Clayton, NC USA. Thank you for sharing your lovely work with all of us. I will add more pieces in the weeks to come and before I forget, you are welcome to subscribe for free and receive email updates as soon as I post something new! Be the first to know about our new releases, special discounts and free designs. If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend, click on share it with a friend.


Have a look on my Instagram page for lovely pieces too and soon I will show gorgeous Fairies by my friend, Karen Fraser, a gifted embroiderer who may be teaching the Fairies at Piecemakers in California. I will keep you posted. Until next time, take care, mooi bly.


and the team in Newlands, Cape Town


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