Lovely Spring & Kawaii Cross Stitch

Spring has been warm and blustery and filled with activity. The nasturtiums have gone mad. They vine and bloom this way and that, over the Mexican heather, through the lavender and clover, and up the trellis. I found a new variety hidden behind a patch of knee-high rye grass. It’s yellow with burgundy markings – so lovely. The hummingbirds adore the nasturtiums, hovering loudly in and amongst them. Oh, if I cold be a hummingbird for a day…

Our blood orange tree blossomed this year! We’ve had it for over seven years and nearly gave up hope, when suddenly this March it was covered in nectar-scented blooms. I smoosh my face into the blossoms, which isn’t a good idea, as there are hundreds of bees about. But the scent is heavenly, and it fills the bedroom when the windows are open and the wind is blowing.

 
 

In typical spring fashion, I’ve brought out all our gardening books and spread them out on the living room floor. (That’s where I always sit, my back against the sofa, to read or crochet.) We’re planning on a small veggie patch this year – nothing as big or diverse as we’ve previously grown. The below photo is one of our garden’s past. Isn’t it lovely? It was taken around June. By the end of July, it was madness. We’re not doing that this year. This year, it’s going to be very small. (“You’ve said this before,” says Dennis. “This time I mean it,” says I.)

 
 
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Our Kawaii Cross-Stitch Kit was recently released! We designed this last year, along with our book, Kawaii Craft Life. It’s part of the Running Press Minis collection, which recently had its 30th anniversary. (They make the most adorable mini-kits – I was a fan long before this wonderful opportunity to design one came along!) The kit materials are oh-so-lovely. It includes silky-soft cotton floss, a lovely sky blue hoop with golden hardware, 3 aida squares, 2 needles, and a full-color mini book with instructions and patterns.

 
 

The ‘fruitie cuties’ are bright and cheerful and happy, and perfect for when you’ve had enough of digital technology and need to work with your own lovely hands. Pretty Pineapple was my first pick, but not because I was craving pineapple (okay yes, because I was craving pineapple!) I just adore their precious kawaii faces, and the way they stitch up so effortlessly.

 
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Kawaii Craft Life will be published on Tuesday, May 14th! We’re beyond thrilled! This is the inside front cover – isn’t it pretty? (The inside back cover has a bunch more project pics.) There are so many cute things to stitch in this book. Some of these projects are swift and only take a few hours. Others take a lot more time, and will definitely provide a satisfying challenge for your stitchy skills. No matter your skill-level, we know you’re going to love browsing this pretty book! Did I mention it’s filled with full-color illustrated instructions?

 
 
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In Trellis & Thyme news, we’ve been super-busy designing new cross stitch patterns! The one below is a perfectly cheerful ‘Happy Birthday’ design. (How precious is that slice of rainbow cake? I actually baked one of these years ago for a friend’s birthday, and pretty though it was, I prefer the cross stitch version. Takes a lot less time, too!) This design would make the cutest birthday card, banner, or ornament. As far as when it will be available, we’ve got some big news on that, which I’ll be able to share more about in the coming weeks. (We think you’re gonna like what we’ve been up to…)

 
 

There’s heaps more to share, but I’ll pop back later to catch you up on it. ‘Till next time!

Kawaii Craft Life (our book!)

Warmest hello to you! How has your winter been? (Or summer, for our dear friends south of the equator…?) We hope you’ve been keeping busy with all the good things in life: family, friends, work, play, naps, books, pretty magazines, daydreams, baking, decorating, and of course, crafting!

If you follow us on Instagram, you probably already know our big/exciting/awesome news: Dennis and I wrote, designed, and stitched a book! Kawaii Craft Life – it’s a sweet, sparkly, and utterly adorable collection of needlecraft projects! (Think kawaii sweets, adorable critters, rainbows, unicorns, and general super-cuteness.)

 
 

Projects in Kawaii Craft Life are divided into three needlecraft categories: feltcraft, cross stitch, and embroidery. And ohmygoodness, I can go on and on about how darling these projects are! There are 35 projects, with over 50 individual quirky-cute designs to stitch. And of course, lots of full-color step-by-step illustrations. (If you’ve ever bought any of our Trellis & Thyme patterns, you know this is how we roll; Love those full-color illustrations!) There are some pretty previews up at your fav online booksellers, so you can catch a glimpse of some of the projects in advance!

:: Pre-order Kawaii Craft Life here! ::

Dennis and I are literally skipping about these days, in anticipation of Kawaii Craft Life‘s forthcoming release. (We were walking hand in hand the other day, and Dennis, normally a try to act normal in public type, suggested we skip! I was taken aback, naturally, but I love skipping – why don’t people skip more?! – so I said, “Okay!” And so we did. And it was as ridiculous as you might imagine: two grown-ups skipping hand-in-hand. But it was serious fun, and I fully intend to do it again, even if D’s come back to his senses and tries to pretend it was the result of too-strong coffee with too much sugar. Whatever. The boy’s happy about his book and I love that.)

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Back on planet earth, I’ve been keeping calm(ish) with long hours of crochet. At this time I have, goodness knows, about 10 wips: the two delightful hexie throws I’ve previously shared (here and here,) and a few more projects at varying stages of progress. I love picking up an old project and adding to it (which is what I love about granny patchwork – just make new squares or hexies and join-as-you-go.) And I love starting new projects, and dreaming up new projects, and deciding on colors for new projects, etc. At the moment I’m into some modern eclectic doilies. You can never have enough doilies, I always say!

 
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It’s been raining a lot this winter. We’re grateful for it, of course. Rain doesn’t come too often to Southern California. The garden’s loving it, too. Nasturtiums are growing everywhere and climbing everything. Even though it’s quite cold at nights, the afternoons have become mellow, and you can feel that spring is right around the corner. Many of the trees in town are in full fluffy bloom. Oh, that reminds me – we have two beautiful ‘Welcome Spring’ cross stitch samplers coming to the shop! Very soon…

 
 

We hope February is being good to you. Remember to be good to yourself, always. Until next time!

PS: Cuddles sends his love.