Category: Commissions

Happy 2015?

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time getting 2015 started.

Our goal over the holidays was to keep things simple, and we largely succeeded, thanks to a series of virulent colds which left us alternately in bed or collapsed on the sofa watching films.

I did manage to make the most obscene chocolate log (I should have read the recipe more carefully before I started) which was almost entirely butter and chocolate combined in ways I never knew were possible.

The best bit was the meringue mushrooms, the worst bit was the feeling of malaise and the guilt of Western excess that hung over you after you’d finished your slice. (Yes, that’s a massive Christmas cake in the background.)

When I wasn’t eating cake, I made a piece for the curator of Thrive Archive’s Away Being, and she very kindly hung it in the exhibition.

There was an awful lot of overambitious satin stitch, which was quite stressful at the time, but I’m very happy with the way it came out.

We went to the opening  which had live music and lots of lovely responses to the themes of the exhibition.

I’ll be doing my best to maintain some sort of posting schedule over the next two months, but seeing as it’s taken me about two hours to write this piece (most of it spent staring vacantly at the spot where the Christmas tree used to be), I’m not making any grand promises. I hope you’ll forgive me if it slips a little.

In fact, in lieu of proper resolutions this year, I’m trying to make my goals a little less relentless. The last six months have been more of a slog than a challenge, so I’m trying to adjust my focus to allow for some gaps in the schedule. Wish me luck!

Last Posting Date Today!

Today is the last order date for guaranteed UK Christmas delivery!

Hand embroidered punctuation badge - Misericordia 2014

My plan was to (re)shoot some work between the last round of craft fairs and today, but as I’d failed to allow for
a) the relatively narrow window of suitable light at this time of year and latitude
b) the fact that I’m teaching during much of the available daylight
and c) the fact that concentration and energy are evading my grasp as rapidly as my feet
and so, I can only show you a few pieces.

If you’re still looking for those last few gifts (or need something to reward yourself for all your hard work), I’d be happy to help!

Pendants - b, D, e, f, h, k, R Badges - C, N, t

Pendants – b, D, e, f, h, k, R Badges – C, N, t

In the absence of individual portraits, here’s a group photo – if you would like any of them, please let me know and I’ll make things all official-like.

There are also initial necklaces, initial badges and punctuation badges in their more official homes.

Hand embroidered necklace - Misericordia

I’ve got a few custom orders in various stages of completion, I’ll post photos when it’s safe to do so.

Hope you’re managing to stay calm, healthy and rested (we’re managing about one in three of those between the three of us)!

Festive Deadlines Fast Approaching

It’s a strange thing living on a crafting schedule…

For instance, my helpful notes (made many weeks ago as I badgered the bemused man at the Post Office for Christmas Posting Dates) tell me that next week, Saturday 29th November, is the last commission date for guaranteeing that personalised delights will wing their way to North America and (astonishingly) Europe in time to greet whatever gift-giving folk hero you love best.

Commission a Hoop from Misericordia

If you’re planning something, even if you don’t know what you want yet, please let me know so I can make sure I save stitching time for your order.

If you’re posting something a little closer to home, your dates to remember are:

  • Last commission date for UK postage or collection: Sunday, 7th December (I’ll be at Out of the Blue in Leith on the Saturday and Gorgie Farm on the Sunday if you want to order in person)
  • Last order date for UK postage: Friday, 19th December

If you’re in Edinburgh, I may just be willing to meet up for a top-secret handover of embroidered goods a little later than the 19th. False moustaches, pass phrases and furtive glances are a must!

Keep an eye out for some special offers coming up, I’ll be posting on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with details!

PS. New letter badges are now available!

Avast, Me Hearties!

If you yearn for adventure on the high seas, I might have just the thing for you.

Evie 's Treasure Map - hand painted and stitched - Misericordia 2014

I’ve been mulling this idea over for ages, but when I was spurred on by the need to create a really good first birthday present, it all came together.

This piece is even more personalised than usual, the Sea Monsters feature Steve the Octopus (a present to Dragon from the birthday girl’s parents) and Hugo the whale (childhood toy of her dad) and Jolly’s Cove, apart from being a truly awful pun, was named after her mum’s giraffe toy.

Evie 's Treasure Map - hand painted and stitched - Misericordia 2014

I really want to do some more of these, so I’m trying to think of ways to encourage more people to commission them from me. You can see more photos here and be sure to tell your scurvy crew!


I’m in the midst of designing and making two complete sets of Torah appurtenances – Torah mantle, ark curtain and bimah cover. As usual with these things, there is a rather pressing deadline so I’m in a bit of a scramble to get things ready before we go on holiday (where I am, hopefully stitching away happily, as you read this).

I thought it might be nice to see what it looks like when I work on a larger scale – I’ve got used to being able to work on a nice civilised kitchen-table scale, but this time I’ve got rolls of paper everywhere and I’ve commandeered the train sidings, much to the disapproval of the station manager.

kipling makes art

I’m sure I’ll be writing more about it, but for now, here is the first installment of the photo diary.

Nolan – Commission

Nolan - hand embroidery by Misericordia 2014

There are two ways to approach a name commission; one is to start with the name and find some history, meaning or aesthetic in it that inspires the rest of the piece.

Nolan - hand embroidery by Misericordia 2014

Another is to start with the shape of the letters, find a font that seems to make the shape sing and then see if that suggests the next step.

Nolan - hand embroidery by Misericordia 2014

This commission was definitely the latter approach, I felt really stuck with it until I hit upon a rather lovely font which then instantly suggested the Book of Kells.

Nolan - hand embroidery by Misericordia 2014

After that, it was just a case of finding my most jewel-like colours and setting to work!

Nothing to Report?

There are lots of reasons to blog – to reach out to other like-minded people, to carve a space in the vastness of t’Internet or just to have a place to express yourself.

Why do I blog?


I may not have thousands of followers hanging on my latest post but part of me refuses to acknowledge that fact. So as the week rolls on and I contemplate what to write about, there’s a certain element of deadline guilt that sets in if I haven’t quite managed all I set out to do.

This week has been particularly frustrating because I’ve got several projects in hand that I desperately want to talk about but haven’t quite got to the point where I can share them.

There’s this one, that I’m trying to finish up while experimenting with some in-progress shots which render most of my Hovel inaccessible.

There’s this one which is still very much sloshing around in the rinse cycle of my creative washing machine.

I’m hoping some communing with artists past might gain me some ground.

Finally, there’s this one which is very exciting… but I can’t reveal anything about it until Sunday.

So how about it, do I get a passing mark for this week?

The Satisfaction of a Job Well Done

I’ve finally ticked off my most long-standing item on my To Do List (that’s the worst of these electronic lists, they mock you with your own inefficiency).

Commission a Hoop from Misericordia

You can now place your commission orders directly from the website.

Commission a Frame from Misericordia

Choose your format – frame, hoop or mini canvas and your font style, add extra text if necessary, and head to the checkout page to add your text and colour choices.

Commission a Hoop from Misericordia

I’ll then email you with a PDF of your design so you can check the spelling and layout and then I get to work creating your masterpiece.

Commission a Mini Canvas from Misericordia

It was absolutely worth waiting 187 days for that, wasn’t it?

Commission – Madeline

I’m a wee bit behind on showing off my commissions, so here’s an update.

Madeline hand embroidery - Misericordia 2014

I really enjoyed this one, although it was meant to be ‘just a simple design’ it turned into quite a lot of stitching!

Madeline hand embroidery - Misericordia 2014

I do love a cherry blossom, Edinburgh is particularly blessed with rows and rows of trees (including one poor confused tree in the Meadows which always flowers on its own and at very strange times of the year).

Madeline hand embroidery - Misericordia 2014

Blossom trees always remind me of both Japanese and French Impressionist art, so I thought they would give a suitably Parisian flavour.

Almond Blossoms - Vincent Van Gogh 1890

Almond Blossoms – Vincent Van Gogh 1890

It’s not until I went to look for an image for this post that I realised how much I must have been holding that Van Gogh in my mind. There you are, another reason to expose small children to works of art.

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