Author Archives: Elise

Chinese Traditional Folk Floral Mandala

Chinese Traditional Folk Floral Mandala is a cross stitch pdf pattern recreated from a museum piece which is believed to have been first created between 1850-1900 in Western China. Originally embroidered with blue thread on unbleached linen.

I’ve been coming down with a nasty fever, but as I slowly wait for it to past I have not exactly been lazy. I came across an embroidered panel at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and decided to see if I could make something out of it.

The different roundels on it are absolutely amazing and I hope I did it justice.

If you like this pattern you can find it in my shop.

Chinese Traditional Folk Embroidery Carp Motif

So I know I originally said “Scandinavian embroidery”, but there is so many beautiful things out there it seems like a shame to restrict one self.

This beautiful carp roundel was made somewhere between 1880-1920 as part of a wedding valance in the Yunnan province of China. It had four other roundel motifs on it which I might reconstruct as well.

Evidently, the carp lays quite a lot of eggs and are therefore a symbolism for fertility.

All the same, I’m quite happy with how it ended up and you can find it in my shop here

The Blue Fluted Mega Heart

My friend is getting married in two weeks and as a wedding gift I adjusted this beautiful picture for cross stitch.

The reason why I settled on this pattern is a bit silly, albeit with the best intentions.

In the mid-1700s Germany  a porcelain painter made what will be later called the “blue fluted”. It never really hit off much in Germany, but in Denmark it’s one of the most loved porcelainsets you can get. Royal Copenhagen has the copyright of their pattern, Bing & Grøndahl made their own version as well.  The pattern itself later traveled to Norway in the mid-1800s and are called “Bogstad Straw”. With various subtle alterations of course.

My friend is originally from Germany, who came to Norway a couple of years ago and since then gotten her citizenship. So I wanted to make something that fits the “something borrowed, something blue” and her story. As such the pattern itself fits rather well.

I don’t know who drew the original heart which I found on pinterest and that’s a shame. At some point I hope I come across them so I can tell them how amazingly cool it looks.

If you want to stitch this heart as well you can download the pattern for free here:

Please do not resell or redistribute. For private use only.

Back from vacation!

I’ve spent two wonderful (and exhausting) weeks in North-Jutland of Denmark.

My original plan was to draw up some new patterns and work with those during the evenings when we weren’t out exploring somewhere.  It did not quite work out that way and instead of doing all that, I ended up stitching the same pattern over and over but with different usage of the same colours.

My plate of biscornu pincushions can now welcome 5 new additions in various colourful combinations.

During the vacation though I came across various antique book shops and second hand shops where I was able to get my hands on various new books, patterns, kits and fabric I’m sure to put into good use some time in the future.

Norwegian Bunad Biscornu Pincushion

The Fourth Norwegian Bunad Biscornu Pincushion

I love the traditional Norwegian patterns for the “bringeduk” because they come in some many different shapes and patterns and on top of that, everything changes depending on the colours you use.

This one is very yellow and I stayed as true to the original colours as I could. Its a very good size and is slightly bigger than my hand. It was a lot of fun to make, although I did stitch like crazy to finish before I leave on vacation in three days.

As always, if you want to buy this pattern so you can make it yourself, please click here to get to my Etsy shop.

The THIRD Norwegian Bunad Biscornu Pincushion

It’s been made clear to me that the frameholder I bought long ago is not working well for me. It might be that my chair is all wrong or that the frameholder is just positioned wrongly regardless of my adjustments. Either way, making 4 different biscornu pincushions in one month certainly left its mark. Or should I say, left a constant pain in my back and neck.

So this will be the last biscornu pincushion for a while as I after all have a vacation coming up aswell. I plan on spending my vacation in Denmark going through antique bookshops and secondhand shops sweeping the kingdom clear of old embroidery work and charts.

So if you really like this pattern (or any of the other ones I’ve posted) you can find the pattern in my shop here

Swedish Rhombus Folk Embroidery pdf pattern with birds in cross stitch

Swedish Rhombus Folk Embroidery pdf pattern with birds in cross stitch

Instead of working on my next biscornu pincushion, which is halfway complete, I decided to take a nosedive into Swedish Museums. A bit for inspiration, but mostly to procrastinate.

Several hours later I suddenly found myself finishing up a newly drawn pattern from all the traditional headscarves I came across. They came in so many different varieties and all in some form of blackwork. And I love that because it’s also very similar to the traditional head scarves that some Norwegian folk costumes use as well.

I quite like the rhombus shape and for fun I also mixed some colours up to see what it could look like in a two-tone. I wasn’t disappointed. I think it actually looks best as two-tone. But that’s just how I feel about it.

Swedish Rhombus Folk Embroidery pdf pattern with birds in cross stitch

If you would like to buy this pattern please click here

The second Norwegian Bunad Biscornu Pincushion

The second Norwegian Bunad Biscornu Pincushion

My second pincushion in biscornu form is in beautiful shades of purple. Fun fact: My favourite colour is actually purple.

When I came across the original pattern which had been used as a breastcloth (bringeduk), or breastplate if you like, it’s alignement was slightly off and things just didnt not seem to add up in the repetitive pattern it’s supposed to have. That was the first thing I fixed.

I kept all the original colours as I thought they were quite beautiful already and needed “no fixing”. I dare even suggest that they are bold enough to almost make it appear like a modern piece of embroidery rather than a 50 year old one.

It’s size is just between the previous large and small at just 45×45 squares. It was a bit fiddly at times, but I got there in the end.

If you like this pattern and would like to buy it, please visit my shop here.

The basic biscornu shape is easily obtained, you can read the tutorial on how to get it here.


The Two-sized Norwegian Biscornu Pincushion Patterns

The Two-sized Norwegian Biscornu Pincushion Patterns

I wanted to incorporate some of the old traditional forms of embroidery from Norway into something fun and quirky. In my humble opinion, biscornu pincushions are loads of fun and quirkness!

So I dug out some old photos of what is called “breastcloth” that is worn with a specific type of folk costume that are usually covered in some kind of bead embroidery and started to reconstruct it piece by piece in order to make a pincushion from it.

The large piece contains all the original colours, which looks amazing. Clearly, I don’t use black often enough in my work. The smaller piece has the original colours, but shifted around in an attempt to give it a more fun / modern look with less black and more bright colours.

The patterns are for sale in my shop here complete with photos and DMC codes.

The small one later became a keychain decoration for my husband. He thinks it’s the cutest thing he’s ever seen.


The motivational reminder for my husband

My husband has had a lot of problems and such due to his  rather lacking ability of sticking to something because it’s not fun.  How often do we notice this about ourselves? How something we find dreary usually lasts for about two weeks (if even that) before we make the thousands of various excuses to never do it again. Against our better judgement of course, knowing there are reasons why we’re supposed to do this dreary thing and how it’ll benefit us in the long run as long as we keep up with it.

My husband has had a lot of problems with his weight, high stresslevels and overloaded with work. As such it made it difficult for him to find the energy and the “want” to start exercising so he could live a healthier life. And obviously, preferably not die of a heartattack before he hits 45.

I saw a TED-talk with Mel Robbins who essentially said that acknowledging your biggest obstacle is your first battle. And your biggest obstacle is essentially; You’re never gonna feel like it.

Which is my husbands biggest obstacle as well. He never feels like it because he’s always tired, overworked and stressed. Motivation only takes you so far, its not gonna help you out of a warm bed a cold winter morning at 5 am for your workout before you go to work.

And as such I made this piece for him to keep at his workplace as a reminder for whenever his head starts to come up with excuses for him.

So far it seems to be working.