Saturday, 19 November 2016

Castles in the Air

Come closer - I want to whisper.
There's a new Long Dog out today and if I say it any
louder tens of thousands of people might get injured
in the ensuing panic buying that is sure to occur.


It's called Castles in the Air.
Why?  Because there's loads of castles and they're
all in an elevated position.


But it's not exclusively about castles.  There's flowers,
grassy knolls, tiny flowers, butterflies and even an
ickle wickle spider too.


Now we're starting to get the bigger picture even if it is a bit
crumpled because I never bother to iron anything.
The stag was a bit camera shy but I managed to capture
most of him before he leaped out of view.


And here's little Bill again.  Some of you may remember
his last adventure when he was bobbing about in a rowing boat
all at sea.  This time he and his brother Alan (who's in a
castle on the other side of this piece) are standing their ground
against hostile crested woodpeckers which are far worse than
aphids, fighting off giant squirrels who are after his nuts and
keeping an eye on a blackwork elephant which has mysteriously
appeared on the scene.  It's all happening.



But I've kept you waiting quite long enough and this is what the
glorious Castles in the Air looks like when all stitched up and
ready for a trip to the framers.


This major work of art, which is much praised in woodworking
circles, is 209 x 285 stitches in circumference and is priced at
£16.20 so hurry and get a copy before the pound sterling begins
to rally again.  

Paper copies are available at all good LNS's globally and far across
the galaxy too and if you're an impatient little imp downloadable
pdf copies are available simply by writing a nice email to:

jools@longdogsampler.com


I
I shall be hanging about waiting for you to drop by
just like the aforementioned ickle wickle spider
but with more legs and much scarier.


Friday, 2 September 2016

Liquorice Allsorts

It's been a while since I've written anything on the blog
for which I am characteristically impenitent but today I do have
something worth my while to tell you about - so here I am with
details of a brand new design which should particularly please all you
OCD lovers of symmetry out there.

This is a "pop up" post.  Well if restaurants and hairdressers can do it
all over the place willy nilly - then so can Long Dog.


The palette is autumnal which is about right for September although
for some reason this photo doesn't seem to be doing the colours justice.


The style is Celt meets the Flying Dutchman and their resulting offspring
is called Liquorice Allsorts because it reminds me of the sweeties
of the same name.  


But please don't eat them while you're stitching because
liquorice stains something awful and one sneeze could ruin everything.


This must have new addition to the Long Dog stable measures a
modest 251 x 251 stitches and is priced at £12.75.  To obtain a
pdf version of the chart simply contact me at:

jools@longdogsampler.com

Or for a paper version go to your local needlework shop and
shout through the letter box "I want a bag of liquorice allsorts please."
but don't leave it too long or someone else will scoff the lot.


Friday, 17 June 2016

This is the moment you've all been waiting for .......

...... so please all sing together, and in tune if at all possible:

"Happy twentieth anniversary to you,
Happy twentieth anniversary to you,
Happy twentieth anniversary dear Long Dog
Please get on with it do!"


And so with no further delay that moment has finally come
for you to meet your nemesis - DEATH BY CROSS STITCH!


This is the first design in the whole history of Long Dog
Samplers which runs to 16 pages of chart.
It's vital statistics are 363 x 447 stitches and it can be
stitched in any colour of the rainbow your little heart
desires, including black.


I would advise you to take a seat before I reveal the
price - £22.50 and worth every penny.  It's available direct
from me as a pdf download via the following link:

jools@longdogsampler.com

or by simply banging on the door of your LNS and shouting
loudly through the letter box "Get me a copy of Death by
Cross Stitch lest I turn into a frog from sheer frustration.
My life will never be complete without it!"


So, you've all seen this eighth wonder of the world,
you all know how to get a copy which leaves me to ask
"What are you waiting for?"


Sunday, 12 June 2016

One week to go!

The countdown starts now to the biggest ever
Long Dog Sampler due to be released
in seven days time on Saturday 18th June 2016
to mark my twenty glorious years of cross stitch design.

This snippet represents barely a quarter of the actual design.
So make a note in your diary, finish off what you're working
on and be prepared to be captivated.  This one's got everything
you'd look for in a Long Dog - bright eyes, a bushy tail,
will take you a lifetime and, what's more, it doesn't shed.

Monday, 30 May 2016

The Poorly Finger

It's not until you lose the use of something, albeit temporarily,
that you realise just how much you need it.  In this instance it's only
the index finger of my right hand but it's day two without his help and 
I already have a very long list of things that are totally out of the question 
or extremely difficult to achieve.


It all happened in seconds.  One minute I was simply trying to open a
door with a rather stiff handle and the next there was blood gushing
out of my finger and a slicing cut right down to the bone of my
knuckle and I still can't fathom exactly how I managed to do it.

So, what to do about all the runner bean plants that need to go in this
weekend; how am I meant to prepare carrots without
causing myself a further mischief; why is it so difficult to wipe your
bum with the left hand; squeeze and twist bottle caps you can forget;
picking coins out of my purse requires patience and even texting is
currently something of a challenge.

But do you know what is the hardest thing to put up with -
I CAN'T HOLD A NEEDLE.
I   C A N   N O T   SEW!

Friday, 27 May 2016

Painted knitting?

Some people embroider, others quilt; some knit, others paint
but Pamela Swainson likes to mix her artistic metaphors
- Pamela paints knitting (but not exclusively)!

Pamela Swainson
Like so many creative people her heart lies in the countryside
as does her source of inspiration.  Her mantra for life is
"local livng and sustainability" all built upon a bedrock of the
quiet growing of the trees, sunrise, sunset and a menagerie of
furred and feathered creatures.

Pamela's free range chooks
Pamela lives with her partner on a small farm in the Cobequid Mountains
of Nova Scotia, Canada although originally from Manitoba where she
was born to second generation Icelandic immigrant parents.


Her work has been exhibited in a number of local shows in the region
including Tatamagouche and Truro both solo and alongside other 
artists.  Her portfolio is certainly eclectic and she has in her time
painted everything from figurative work to landscapes, streetscapes
and, of course, knitting.

A knitted landscape painting?
To see more of Pamela's work visit pamelaswainson.ca/

This one's my favourite - do you knit in bare feet?
I wonder if my LNS has a pattern for a waterfall?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

This and that ......

Where to begin, what to tell you - today I really have no idea.
I've been writing this blog since 2012 during which time I have
written 527 separate offerings ranging in subject from my flight
from France, life with my much missed long dogs Geordie and
Mouche, strange French customs and new designs to
English churches, talented craftsmen and women and life's
general buggerations which visit themselves upon me with
boring regularity.


This is the "lock-up" and the place which I currently call home.
Admittedly not so grand as Chateau Long Dog but sometimes small
can be good - less housework, less room to lose things and a good
reason to only keep those things that you truly treasure.


The countryside around here is beautiful and very varied.
Within fifteen minutes you can go from walking beside the sea
on a pebble beach, to wandering the marshes in all their
windswept desolation, to dappled bluebell woods full of
heady perfume and the hum of insects.  Not to mention the
odd midge bite or two as well.


My allotment is my pride and joy and as you can see
from the photo I have already put my mange tout peas to bed.
I even tucked them in and have promised to read them the tale
of the Princess and the Pea when they get a little older.


Fairhaven Water Gardens are just ten minutes down the
road from the Lock-Up and are where I take myself off to
when I want to daydream and forget about the world.
They're Norfolk's answer to the Everglades without the crocs.


This is Astrid my friends black lab and just one of the many
local dogs I have come to rely upon when in desperate need
of a big wet kiss and a bit of a cuddle.


Mr & Mrs Mallard who trashed my pond last year popped back
to say hello recently but thankfully they didn't stay for long and
they seem to have learned some garden manners since their last visit.

And that's about it really.
I shall try to come up with something rather more cerebral for
my next offering and - don't forget - there's an enormous
new 20th anniversary Long Dog getting itself ready for rehoming next month.
I don't think you'll be disappointed.