Friday, 30 December 2016

Reflections on 2016 we are again - end of another year and the New Year looming!.  And if you're like me you may well ask yourself just what you achieved this year.  When I checked my diary it turned out to be very quiet on the designing front - something which I intend to work on in 2017.  But I won't be too hard on myself because I achieved a lot in other areas.  

At the beginning of the year I was privileged to be accepted as a tutor with the Queensland Embroiderers' Guild for their children's holiday classes.  It was a most enjoyable experience as the two young girls in my charge were well mannered young ladies who were focussed and worked diligently enough to finish their project in the 2 day workshop and felt justifiably proud of themselves.  

Soon after, our neighbours were having a massive clean-out in preparation for a downsizing move and when lengths of fabrics, threads or craft of any type were found I was fortunate enough to be the lucky recipient.  But it was the plastic bag containing cut-out shapes for a large stuffed teddy bear that had already begun to be embellished with lace, ribbons and embroidery that caught my eye and I decided to surprise my lovely neighbour by creating a keepsake for her out of those pieces.  A crazy patchwork cushion came to mind and so I set about painstakingly sewing the fabrics together and then using the embellishments and varying stitches and techniques to create a proud masterpiece.  I can't begin to tell you how happy and amazed my neighbour was when I presented her with the cushion and the tears that sprang to her eyes were definitely appreciative ones .  I can tell you though that this cushion has it's own special place in her new home - that's reward enough for me.

For a while I had been entertaining the idea of updating my cross stitch software (cost was a major factor here) to enable the ability to provide symbol on colour charts with my kits and charts that I sell.  I finally took the plunge and set about the massive task of re-configuring instruction sheets for all designs.  I had under-estimated the time involved for the graphic and administrative work required and I am pretty sure that as a result of constantly using the computer mouse that I gave myself RSI in my forearm and elbow.  All is fine now but it took a little while to heal. Despite the time-consuming effort and injury sustained I am now so very happy with what I can offer my customers.

A new design - the West Australian Seahorse - was released and I set about stitching needlebooks for my Etsy shop.  Six in total have been stitched and proven to be quite popular with all needlebooks receiving good reviews.  

Early in the year my web designer wisely suggested the advantages of setting up an Instagram account to highlight my work which was met with a lukewarm response on my behalf (more technology to get my head around!!!).  But with the encouragement of my Gen Y daughter, I made the plunge and am now a total and utter convert.  I simply love seeing the work of other like-minded crafters and have followers from all around the world making for a wonderfully interesting network of stitchers and lovers of flora and fauna.  Instagram has also helped with my photography skills and of course, you can still follow me on Facebook.

Arguably one of the biggest decisions I made this year was to exhibit and sell my work by manning a table at the Brisbane Hustlin' Women's market.  In August I set myself a target and schedule of products to sell and stitched like a 'mad woman' to meet my self-imposed deadlines.  The products not only included what was already listed in my Etsy shop, but new ideas of framed stitched work and spectacle cases which required the tweaking of some of the original designs.  I am pleased to report that I was able to not only complete all of my targeted stitched projects but on market day covered stallholder costs and managed to make a worthwhile profit.  Woohoo!  The experience also gave me a good insight into customer interest of certain products which I can now use when planning for the next market which, at this stage, will be in April.  Spending the day with like-minded crafters just made the day so much more enjoyable too.

I've also been attending monthly stitching afternoons with the Guild and oddly enough tending to administrative work for Etsy and the website is something I don't mind.  It's where my articulate secretarial background comes into play, but I must admit though that if don't keep on top of it, problems can certainly arise.

Next year, I plan to make opportunities to pursue the designing of many more subjects as I feel I've set some very good foundations this year on which to continue.  Already I've looked into other avenues of community craft teaching or at the very least mentoring and sharing the gift of stitching and crafting.

For now my best wishes to everyone for a safe and Happy New Year.  

'There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind' - C.S. Lewis

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Market Preparations

Today is an overcast, gloomy and slightly showery day in Brisbane - quite different from our previous glorious Spring days earlier this week and so a perfect opportunity to spend some quiet time in front of my computer updating everyone on what I've been working on of late.  

A few weeks ago, I decided to take the plunge of manning a stall run by Brisbane Hustlin' Women whose next market will be close to Christmas on December 10.  Markets have always scared me just a little bit because of the amount of stock needed which of course means lots of stitching and which all stitchers know is quite time-consuming.  Throw pricing, table display, branding and marketing techniques into the equation and it's all enough for me to throw my hands in the air and claim that it's all too hard particularly when there's no guarantee of making any sales or a profit on the day.   However, the thought of spending a day with other creative ladies and coming face-to-face with prospective customers sends a certain thrill through me so with my family's encouragement, I've been beavering away and stitching like a mad lady to meet a personal schedule that I believe is doable (hopefully) without putting too much stress on myself.

I kind of figured that the items already in my Etsy shop ie. cards, magnets, keychains, bookmarks and needlebooks would all be great starters as well as selling charts but I've decided to add a couple of other items also.  Spectacle cases are something I have always thought would look special using my designs and will also be included in my Etsy shop.  But I have also decided to try something a little different by framing just a couple of designs and seeing how well they are received at the markets before deciding whether to include them in the Etsy shop.

My worktable at the moment contain works in progress -

The box on the right contains six finished designs all ready for framing -

The frames have been prepared by way of filling gaps with putty and sanding smooth - I can thank by husband and son for working on these.  It's now up to me to undercoat, paint in an appropriate contrast colour and clear varnish seal for each design before attaching the fabric, a protective sheeting over top and a hanging hook. 

 Below is the first of the spectacle cases - the Superb Fairy Wren - which is stitched on evenweave fabric in the colour Stone (really a fawn colour) which highlights the design beautifully.  I've loved working with this beautiful fabric and with seven other cases to make am really looking forward to seeing how they all turn out.  I plan to use a contrast fabric (much like the needlebooks) to line and bind the case and as this is the first spectacle case worked, I think I'll sew and finish it first to iron out any little problems before stitching the others first. Sound like a plan??

As well as all the stitching, I've also been gradually printing out and packaging charts of all my designs.  Yes I could do it all at once, but thought it would become very monotonous so I've just been doing a set few (or 10) each day or so.  That strategy also means that I'll get stitching in each day and my fingers won't suffer from 'itch to stitch' syndrome.

In the top photo on the right you'll also see my schedule listing of what needs to be stitched and crossed off as it's done.  No I don't suffer from OCD, but have found it really helpful to keep me on track and knowing that there won't be a mad rush closer to market date when there's still so much to do.  Also I'll be out of town a couple of times between now and December so I've had to factor that into my timeline as well.

The next big test will be a display table practice.  I have no real skills in this area but a wishy-washy idea in my head of how I think I want it to look.  My husband has kindly offered to make a couple of wooden display stands for the cards and frames so there's another job to do.  I am feeling rather confident at this stage that all will come together and be a success but for the moment it's head down and stitch, stitch, stitch.


'Live daringly, boldly and fearlessly.  Put forth the best within you.' - Henry Kaiser

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Design Release - Superb Fairywren

Today I am pleased to release a new design of one of Australia's cutest little birds - the Superb Fairywren - sometimes also known as the Superb Blue-wren or Blue Wren. Commonly found across south-eastern Australia, there are six sub-species groups recognised with three larger and darker forms from Tasmania, Flinders and King Island and three smaller and paler forms from mainland Australia and Kangaroo Island.  Their habitat consists of dense undergrowth for shelter in grasslands, woodlands, heaths and moderately thick forests but have, however, adapted to urban environments and can also be found in domestic gardens across Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

What is most spectacular about this pretty little bird is the male's bright blue almost iridescent blue plumage during mating season in order to attract a partner for breeding.  All other non-breeding males and females have brown/grey colouring.  Their height is approximately 14cm (5 1/2") from tip of claw to tip of tail with the tail alone being approximately 5.9cm (2 1/3").  With the Superb Fairywren's food source of mainly insects and seeds on the ground making them vulnerable to larger and more aggressive birds as their predators, they tend to forage in small groups under cover for protection and in winter when their food source is scare, ants make up the most of their diet.

My cross stitch design consists of eleven (11) colours with the finished sewn size being 40 x 85mm (1.6 x 3.4in) or 22 x 47 stitches and is available through my website in kit, chart or PDF format.  It would be an ideal design for any fauna enthusiast.

I really can't finish this entry without a story which 'tickled my fancy' a couple of years ago. My family and I were in Hobart at the famous Salamanca Markets in Salamanca Place. This view below is looking back up Salamanca Place with Mt. Wellington in the background.

Amongst all the craft stalls there I came across one of an Australian graphic artist featuring her beautiful work on postcards, greeting cards, magnets, etc.  At that particular time, the artist was absent from the stall and her husband was 'holding the fort'.  Her work really interested me and after checking what might be suitable to buy I came across a couple of small-sized flat compact/purse mirrors that featured artwork on the front and the mirror on the back.  But I had to decide which one (always an issue for a Libran!) and it was only when her husband mentioned that they lived at the base of Mt. Wellington and had little Superb Fairywrens in their backyard that I knew that that was the design I would choose. But then went on to say - in typical male Aussie style - that '...well they look a little bit scruffy right now but they'll soon get their act together when they need to look for a breeding partner'.  It just made me realise that all male Aussies - no matter what species - are all the same!!!

Anyhow, here is the compact/purse mirror which incidentally I use a lot.  By placing a couple of skeins of thread it gives an indication of how small the mirror is and how neat the artist's work is.


'Life if really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.' - Confucius

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Posing a Stitchy Question

At the beginning of the year my website designer suggested that I should probably be using more social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest to help gain followers for my designs as I have such a visual product and my first reaction was .... oh no more technology to get my head around!  It just takes me a little time to get the hang of it all.  My Gen Y daughter (who seems to be across all forms of social media) thought it would be a good idea too and tried to explain how it all worked, how to set it up, etc. and I was left with my head spinning and so the whole idea was put in the 'too hard basket' - at least for a little while.  But never let it be said that I don't give things a try.  With a bit of googling here and there I had soon set up my own Instagram account and posted my first photo.

If I can be totally honest I love Instagram because I am following some absolutely amazing stitchers and embroiderers and their work is so beautiful. From small and simple projects to large and stunning designs I feel like I am part of a global community where we share a common interest and gain inspiration from each other and that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.  One of the things I love in particular is seeing photos of other stitchers' WIP's (Works in Progress) of the larger projects as it's always lovely to watch the design come to life and I've been interested to notice how some stitchers work differently.  What I am talking about is the technique of 'parking' threads.  I've noticed how the stitching is started in the top left corner and worked either line by line or grid by grid down the design with the threads 'parked' or left loose on the front of the fabric ready to be re-threaded when needed again.  

This photo is courtesy of 

Now, I have worked on a number of large projects myself over the years and was always informed that it is vital to start your stitching in the centre of the fabric so as to ensure that your work has left an even border and sufficient fabric needed for framing or trimming.  And I have always worked with one colour at a time within a certain space and in a certain direction to help get the feel for the design whilst at the same time marking off the symbols on the pattern with a coloured pencil.  Perhaps I should have taken the time to grid the fabric but I managed quite okay working this way.   I understand that by gridding the fabric with thread or marking with a pen that it is possible to use mathematics to count up the design and match where on the fabric that the design would start on Line 1 and then logically work down from there.  That I get.  But I look at the technique of 'parking' the threads and I have to wonder how not only do they not become tangled, but if it really does save time if you are having to re-thread the needle each time and be careful that the 'parked' threads are kept out of the way. 

When I was stitching my large projects I had a cross stitch needle organiser which allowed me to thread all the colours required for the project on a needle and when not in use placed into foam which had been wedged on to a frame-like device against a very small window where the corresponding symbol for that colour could be written.  

Perhaps this thread parking technique has been around for quite a while and I've just not been aware of it, but I have to say that in all the workshops and groups of stitching that I have been a part of, this is something I've not seen before.

So I would be very interested to hear from anyone in the cyber stitching community with their thoughts on this stitching method and its advantages.  I would also be interested to hear of any other helpful ideas for working on large projects with regards to using different colours over a small area within the design.  It's always great to be able to help each other.


'Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens' - Jim Hendrix

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Needlebook Nostalgia

For those of you who don't follow me on Etsy or Instagram, you may be unaware that I am now stitching and listing needlebooks in my Etsy shop.   They are stitched on subtle coloured evenweave linen to match and highlight the chosen design and complemented with a contrast cotton fabric lining using an array of colours all with the intention to reflect Australia's natural beauty.  These projects have been really creative to stitch and sew, but I have to admit that I was unprepared for how I really enjoyed working my designs on evenweave and linen.  The plan is to continue so I guess that just means building up my stash of more coloured linens.  Oh well...what's a girl to do!

Research on the internet has revealed a plethora of needlebooks from the simply constructed using basic materials to the intricate and beautifully designed and exquisitely stitched works of art which seem almost too precious to use.  Check on Etsy, Pinterest and Google images and you will see what I mean.  So it was quite the coincidence when I was going through some paperwork the other day that I came across a torn out article from a craft magazine from years ago on needlebooks.  I have no idea how old the magazine and article are but the story outlines the history, inception, marketing techniques and nostalgic values which I found incredibly interesting and felt worthy of sharing.  

Between the 1920's and 1950's, advertisers used the marketing strategy of offering paper needlebooks as giveaways and a goodwill object (complete with company logo, contact details and graphics) as something to give to women which would be used on a daily basis to provide a constant visual reminder of their product.  Being approximately the size of a postcard, the lightweight cardboard needlebooks included sets of different types and sizes of commonly used needles and often included unusual needles which also revealed a lot about the period because housewives of the early 20th century often had to turn their hands to all sorts of running repairs around the home.  Whilst the assortment of needles attached to cardboard, foil or cloth inside the book indicated the items women were familiar with, just as important were the graphics on the outside such as hairstyles, fashion trends, leisure activities, world events, building and industry advances all which gave a reference guide of the social history at the time of production.  Common themes were used and it was interesting to note how a particular graphic of a group of women stitching, when reissued over a period of time, reflected current trends and created a time line of fashion styles.

Needlebooks of the previous century have become highly collectable items and depending on their condition and subject matter can range in price significantly.  They were never designed to be anything but a temporary or ephemeral object which means their conservation over the years have been compromised and despite the fact that thousands were produced, there are not many original examples.  Reproductions are easy to locate and obtain perhaps because of the popularity to recapture the nostalgic desire for the simplicity of the past.

The magazine article points out that women have always loved experimenting with designs and techniques and that needlebooks have always been a favoured gift for sewing friends as a token of affection - no matter what the generation.

My mother was a dressmaker by trade and still to this day sews and crafts, but I'm pretty sure I can remember seeing a couple of these needlebooks in her basket and top drawer of her sewing machine table when I was young ... make that younger.  Brings back wonderful memories.

If you would like to check out the needlebooks in my Etsy shop just click on the logo at the top of this page.


'Our life is a creation of our mind' - Buddha

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

New Design Release - West Australian Seahorse

Western Australia has always been known for its expansive coastline and marine parks, wildflowers, mineral resources and its rugged natural beauty but did you know that it is also the home of a delicate seahorse - aptly named the West Australian Seahorse. This special little fish is only found in this part of the country from Cape Leeuwin to Shark Bay and during summer in its breeding season inhabitats areas such as the Swan River Estuary and Cockburn Sound.


Once again I marvel at nature with this dainty creature which is not only found in a variety of colours of brown, white, red, orange and purple but has the ability to change colour as a form of camouflage in order to escape predators.  Just how great would that be!  As you can imagine growing to a total length of 25cm (and that would be with its long tail completely unfurled) its protected status is under threat not only from other larger marine life but from development and pollution of its habitat. It lives in sheltered reefs and sponge gardens clinging on to sea sponges and seaweed.

For my design of this sweet fellow I was spoiled for choice on which colours to use to portray him but decided on the purple hues to contrast against the blue water, golden sand and green reeds.  Ten (10) colours throughout have been used with four (4) for the seahorse for shading and highlighting and three (3) to blend the sand.  When worked on 14 count aida the design measures 64 x 82mm (2.5 x 3.2in) and uses 35 x 45 stitches.  

Hope your day goes swimmingly!


'Small kindnesses, small courtesies, small considerations, habitually practiced in our daily life, give a greater charm to the character than the display of great talents and accomplishments.' - Mary Ann Kelty

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Goodbye Cushion

The neighbours that live across the road from us are selling their family house and downsizing by moving into a smaller and more easily maintainable unit.  Consequently for the past few months they have had the arduous task of cleaning out 30 years worth of 'stuff' that is no longer needed with some items going to Lifeline, some being sold at a garage sale and a lot just thrown in the rubbish bin.  I was fortunate to be given some fiction and non-fiction books and fabric lengths but best of all a tangled mess of stranded and perle threads, ribbon embroidery threads and lace which I happily sorted one Friday night and spooled onto cards whilst watching a favourite movie on TV (mmm...that's how exciting my Friday nights are these days).  Anyhow, amongst the fabrics were cut out pieces (shown below) - some already partially embroidered and beaded - that apparently were initially meant to be made into a stuffed teddy bear for her three daughters when they were young.  With time constraints, lack of motivation and inclination over time, they were all but forgotten about until the big clean out and my neighbour (knowing that I was crafty inclined) thought I might be able to use them.  Well...was she right about that!!

However, it wasn't until I took a closer look at them that I realised the huge amount of work that had already gone into these pieces and felt that I shouldn't really be accepting this when she had done so much herself and it was then that I decided to create a goodbye gift for her.  My first thoughts when studying it was what a beautiful crazy quilted piece they would make and so I set myself the task of making them into a cushion.  

First I carefully washed the pieces individually to eliminate the musty smell of sitting in the back of a cupboard for so long before grouping the colours to work out how many pieces could be used according to their shape and embroidery keeping in mind to distribute the colours evenly for both sides.  Two pieces of calico were cut to a pre-determined size and both sides of the cushion were worked at the same time ensuring there would be an even amount of fabric pieces to cover both sides.  I was really surprised how after trimming to straighten the edges of each piece that the overall size needed to be decreased so it turned out to be a wise decision.  Where the off-cuts had beads, I kept these for use later on.

These photos show the almost completed patchwork for both sides and highlights the use of the embroidered and beaded pieces. 

Once all the patchwork was done, time was then devoted to embellishing the seams and/or any bare sections with either embroidery, beading or any other interesting form of embellishment.  My two main criteria right from the very beginning were to use as much of my neighbour's threads, beads, ribbons and lace and to also enhance her work by copying the stitches she had already used as much as possible so there wasn't a definite and obvious distinction between her work and mine.   Her use of basic stitches - herringbone, lazy daisy, feather, etc. - set a good starting point for me and these were incorporated as well as using some of my own.

After completing an intense 6-7 weeks of constantly working on the project at every possible opportunity, the cushion was bound with fabric (a piece that was given to me by her) and the insert sewn into the cushion before being slip-stitched by hand.  

One completed side of the cushion...

... and the other.

... and just a couple of close-ups.

I took the cushion to my neighbour last Wednesday and the emotional tears and impromptu grateful hug told me her true feelings of this gift.  

I will miss her and her family when they move on as she has been a wonderful friend over the almost 28 years that we have lived here.  We've had fun conversations, shared happy occasions like weddings and births of grandchildren (hers not mine), supported each other during sad times and given friendly waves to each other when in the yard watering our gardens.  I wish her and her husband much happiness and good health in the next phase of their lives.


'Friendship and support from friends is something which is a source of tremendous inspiration always and to everyone' - Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Colourful Coleus

This is a quick post to show the planting done on Sunday morning to brighten up our front and back verandahs.  I visited my favourite plant nursery with no particular type of plant in mind - just wanted something that was showy, created impact and relatively maintenance free - but I also knew I wanted a plant that would complement the two large copper pots they would be placed in on the front verandah.  These copper pots had belonged to my mother-in-law (who passed away some years ago now) and my husband painstakingly restored them for me.  

The lighting in the photograph doesn't really do justice to the shine that these copper pots now have but I thought the colouring of this particular Coleus (with a name of Sultana) suited it perfectly.  As you can see, the other pot has been placed at the far end of the verandah and both will receive good sunlight in the morning.  

I just love the frilly effect effect around the perimeter of the leaves and the lacy effect on the veins. My crafty mind imagines the colours have been crocheted together with a picot edge.

This other Coleus variety with a softer shade of green and cream and pink/red centre has been placed on our back verandah and blends well with our house colours.  

I've been so happy with the effect of these Coleus plants there's a good chance I'll be buying more varieties to place in other areas of the garden or to add to the verandahs. There are just so many different colours and leaf shapes to create interest.  


 'Life is about what we give, not about what we get' - Ken Duncan

Friday, 29 January 2016

Teaching Debut with Cats

Recently I was privileged and honoured to be accepted as a tutor with the Queensland Embroiderers' Guild to assist with the 2 day children's holiday classes during the final week of their school holidays.  The necessary paperwork was completed and all tutors handed the kit with explanations for the project that was going to be taught so we could stitch it up ourselves first.  It was an appliqued cat and mouse design using blanket stitch for the applique and fly stitch, stem stitch, chain stitch and french knots for facial and detail features.  The front, backing and wadding were to be then machine sewed around the edges, turned out, slip stitched and a running stitch around the border to finish off.

As you can see I worked my blanket stitch to match the stripes and also did a very, very small blanket stitch around the cat's eyes to hold them firmly in place - actually, they looked like pretty eyelashes.

So...the first day of the classes arrived and I was given two sweet and polite 11 year old girls (who were school friends) to help and found out that one of the girls had already taken a couple of QEG holiday classes previously, but for the other girl it was the first time she had picked up a needle and thread.   I helped them select their choice of background fabric, cat fabric and the threads to either match or complement their cat colour choice and I think they really enjoyed that part of the process.  I could see them using their visual skills to imagine the finished look.  We then set to work ironing the design on to the fabric and after showing them how to pull 2 threads from a 6 skein length of thread easily without it becoming knotted and a total mess (they thought that was really cool), set about threading up and learning their first stitch - blanket stitch.  

Now as can be expected - particularly with the first timer - the stitches were a little loopy and uneven to begin with and there was a bit of intervention on my part to help with tension and maneouvring corners and points, but I was really surprised at how quickly they picked up their skills.  By the end of the first day (about 4-5 hours work), one girl had completely finished all the appliqueing of her cat and head, bow and mouse and the other only needed to finish appliqueing the cat's head.  

On Day 2, I enlisted the help of another tutor as I was finding that both the girls were needing one-on-one help with the more finer facial details.  I must admit too that I felt this was quite intricate work for learners so it was important to help them as much as possible. By lunchtime their work was at the stage of machine stitching the layers together around the edge (done only by one of the ladies who had been delegated this job) which just left the turning out, slip stitching and running stitch around the edge to be completed before the end of the class.

I asked the girls' permission to photograph their work and because they were just so proud of themselves happily agreed.   

This first piece was done by the young girl who had taken classes previously.  I think she has created a very friendly looking cat with a rather lopsided smirk and kind eyes.

This piece is the embroidery done by the girl who was a beginner and never threaded a needle in her life before.  Her cat might have a slightly 'detached' head, but yet again a friendly and engaging face and smile.

What was so enjoyable for me was seeing the pleasure and satisfaction that both gained from these classes.  And what I also found interesting was that the beginner admitted she enjoyed Day 2 the best because she learnt different stitches and felt she'd achieved so much.  I could tell they were so, so proud of their efforts and have decided to use their embroidery pieces on their bedside tables as showpieces.  

Both girls want to attend the next holiday classes because they had so much fun and I can honestly admit that I found it a most enjoyable experience also.  It is indeed heartening to see young talent with an enthusiasm towards embroidery.  In this modern age these skills could be considered a lost art because of the younger generation's desire for instant gratification.


'A person can succeed at anything for which there is enthusiasm' - Charles M Schwab


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

New Design Release - Mountain Devil

Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to the release of my first design for 2016 - the Mountain Devil flower. 

I agree that the name is unusual and dramatic and perhaps conjures images of witchcraft but rest assured it is derived from the horned woody follicles which retain a seed bank in its canopy and released after bushfires.  What I find so absolutely fascinating with some of our wildflower bushes are their ability to regenerate and re-establish after the heat and intensity of our harsh bushfires. 

This showy flower, consisting of seven individual tubular flowers, has a common name of Honey Flower and produces an abundance of sweet nectar which attracts a variety of native birds, eg. honeyeaters, noisy miners, little wattlebirds and eastern spinebills. The multi-stemmed bush spreads to a height of two metres with stiff, narrow leaves and showy pink to red flowerheads.  It is endemic to New South Wales and found on or to the east of the Great Dividing Range growing in sandy or rocky soils of open forests.

My cross stitch design has depicted the colours of this wildflower by using 11 colours to match as closely as possible to its natural counterpart.  The design uses 39 x 48 stitches and when stitched on 14 point Aida or 28 count evenweave fabric measures 71 x 87mm (2.8 x 3.4 inches).  As with all my designs, it is available in kit, chart or PDF.

A Google search of Australian Bush Flower Essences found an interesting fact for the Mountain Devil flower.  It states that the essence from this flower helps to deal with feelings of hatred, anger, jealousy and the major blocks to expressing love and for people who tend to be suspicious of others by helping to develop unconditional love and acceptance.  It also states that it helps to express anger in a healthy way and develop sound boundaries and may open the way to forgiveness.

Whether you believe is up to you but what a magical flower if found to be the case.  We live in a world today where we certainly could use more love and acceptance of others.


'From a little spark may burst a mighty flame' - Dante