In early spring my mum and I received the most incredible surprise package full of treasure from friends in Canada. One of these treasures was a wonderful Kiriki Press embroidery kit for a Fiesta Cat (see my Raccoon and Bear from last summer).
I eagerly brought it to Canada with me this summer, and whiled away several long car rides stitching happily.
In my eagerness to progress I precut lengths of thread so that I could take it on the plane without scissors.
By the time I flew back into London it was almost done, and I therefore spent my first day back in finishing Fiesta Kitty off and staving off jetlag.
I was so tired that at one point I texted a friend to check what year it is. Yes, it is 2016 people. Phew.
Fiesta Kitty is pretty cool. Another winner from Kiriki Press.
I took three books to Canada with me this summer and read none. Instead I spent a blissful time in the Canadian wilderness in the company of this precious raccoon.
(It was the Canadian wilderness: there were of course bears too. Of which, more in the next post!)
Isn’t he so pretty? I’d forgotten how much fun embroidery is.
My Mr Raccoon kit was a Christmas present from my dad (except, really from me in that I chose and bought it and then he paid me back, but anyway…). I bought him from The Workroom, Toronto’s finest purveyor of haberdashery and raccoons; he was designed and printed in Toronto by a Toronto-based screen-printer, Michelle Galletta at Kiriki Press. So all in all a very, very Canadian pursuit.
I mentioned in passing the obligatory reference to bears in connection with the Canadian wilderness, in my last post. So this summer there were bears! Lots of them! All over the place. It was really quite wonderful.
Here’s one in a tree behind the laundry line:
Anyway, I got back to England and missed my bear friends, and missed my embroidery, so I finally got round to doing the one and only truly awesome kit to ever come with a crafting magazine (generally I despise crafting magazines, as they promote useless clutter, and are – I say this with full awareness of my snobbery – perpetually catering to the lowest common denominator in crafty skills. I get bored and frustrated. But I buy them anyway and weep).
This kit was another designed by Kiriki Press. The quality wasn’t as great as the proper kits (the cotton was a much heavier weave, and difficult to stitch); and after much shuttling back and forth from/to Liberty’s excellent new haberdashery department, I ended up completely changing the colours of the flowers to be less faddishly neon.
Why is this post such a rant?! Anyway – I love Ursa Minor, which is her name of course, and I love the colours I picked, and I love that a Toronto-born-and-bred kit made it into a British magazine, along with an excellent feature on scalloped edges. Perfection!
Some final pics of Ursa M hanging out with Mr R:
So loom bands are apparently popular this year. Since I don’t feel like buying various bits of plastic gizmo to create them, I’ve decided to rebel against them with embroidery floss, harnessing skills unused since the early noughties.
My quest has been aided by the discovery of my step-grandmother’s haberdashery stash. The colours are all a bit twee though…
Disgusted by the colours available, I went out to The Workroom on Queen Street West in Toronto, and bought some glorious byzantine colours.