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_____________________________________________________________________________________Second Prize. Goes to Karen Nell from Lyndhurst in Johannesburg, South Africa for her enchanting entry “Purple Rain”. Click on the images to enlarge. Karen's ability to work in miniature is amazing. Everyone just loved the little cushion and the hoop and look at the tiny little skein of thread and the tea cosy! One of the judges wrote: Her attention to detail is remarkable. I like that she has put in additional details such as a bit of texture in the grass, the embroidery hoop & cushion are embroidered - the little porcelain teapot milk jug and cup - the tea cosy cover and the chair backs are done with a woven effect which looks very realistic. Her colours are subtle and pleasing to the eye, but I would have liked to see more contrast as it is bordering a little on the flat side. I like that she has balanced the colours, for example, the navy blue is carefully distributed throughout the design. The darker colours are well set back to make the elements look as though they are receding into the background and the lighter shades in the foreground. I like the way she has bought one or two roses over the edge of the frame, a nice touch. Here are some close-up details. Look at the cushion and the chairs and the hoop and skein of thread and the scissors and the tea cosy! Close-up detail. Click on the images to enlarge... I love how she made the sun's rays with blending filament. Karen used Glamour Madeira - for the sunbeams. She says she pulled out all the glamour! Kreinik Blending filament in Pearl colour 032 will also do the trick! Look at the Wisteria... More close-up detail... Karen has written notes for anyone wishing the read how she went about making her masterpiece. You will be able to download the notes from my website when I send out my newsletter in February. Thank you, Karen, for inspiring us all! ♥ Read Karen's letter at the end of this post. _______________________________________________________________________________ Third Prize. Goes to Kitty Wong (WONG, Wing Lan Kitty) from Kowloon, Hong Kong for her outstanding rendition of “Purple Rain”. Click on the images to enlarge. The judges loved how she so artistically merged texture and colour in her design. One of the judges wrote: The top purple Wisteria flowers are beautiful, lovely contrast and I like the way she has used different shades of purple which stand out vividly against the background. Overall, lovely stitching. Close-up detail. Don't you like the way Kitty embroidered the flowers in front of the table? And I just love the backs of her chairs! More close-up detail... and her Wisteria... Thank you, Kitty, for inspiring all of us! _________________________________________________________________________ Fourth Prize. Goes to Barbara Allum from Roodepoort in South Africa for her gorgeous piece “Lazy Sunday”. Click on the images to enlarge. The judges loved the way she embroidered the deck chairs and the little scarf and the roof of the house. One of the judges wrote: The colours of the flowers are gorgeous, very realistic and nicely distributed. I love the two rose trees in front of the house but feel she could have added some embroidered leaves here instead of leaving it blank. The front beds are very beautiful and I especially like the white & plum rose bushes on the bottom right-hand corner. Makes me want to smell them! Close-up detail... Look at her deck chairs and the scarf! More detail: And more close-up detail... Thank you, Barbara, for this beauty which will inspire many an embroiderer! This piece I will turn into a Box Full of Lessons as soon as possible and I will let you know when it is ready! _____________________________________________________________________________________ And so the four winners have been chosen and each winner will have their masterpiece displayed, either as a kit (depending on whether the materials are available to make up a kit) or the written notes will be included along with the fabric panel which is available to purchase. Prize 1 and 4 will be turned into a Box full of Lessons over the next few months (after I have completed the Pink Delight Tutorial) and these lessons I will write by using the notes supplied. I will include detailed step-by-step photography. The winner’s name will appear on the kit’s cover, the colour pictures and on the instruction sheet/s that Di will write for them based on the list of what was used and the notes that each contestant supplies. Each of the four winners will each receive a certificate and a prize kit of carefully selected silk ribbons to the value of R1000.00. I would like to congratulate every one of you! Thank you for the love you put into your creation and thank you for sharing your talent with embroiderers across the world. May these be an inspiration to all who love to create with needle, thread and ribbon ♥ I would like to add Karen Nell’s inspirational letter. Karen is the winner who came second in this competition. Many an embroiderer will appreciate and understand… Hello. My name is Karen. I am South African, but African at heart having taught school here in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. I have had the privilege of experiencing the vast and contrasting African landscapes and I have had the excitement of having the tallest of pets, a giraffe. Craft has always been a hobby of mine. It’s brought joy, new friends and at times put food on the table. While paging through a magazine in Zimbabwe, I came across the pattern and instructions for a stumpwork flower-bordered with needle lace. It was so beautiful! I had to stitch it. Well, perhaps not the recommended or easiest project for a beginner. Perseverance paid off and three years later I completed the embroidery! In my defence, I did have hyperinflation, lack of materials, little knowledge of speciality threads, no internet, and was 200km from the nearest store that possibly stocked anything vaguely embroidery related, as a few obstacles. The beauty of embroidery is one of the reasons that I embroider. The next reason is for its healing and therapeutic qualities. A traumatic event in Zimbabwe resulted in me having to start my life anew and it was during this dark phase that I was introduced to embroidery classes. Stitch by stitch normality returned and then I married my wonderful husband. Our short bliss was rudely interrupted when my husband was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. During his three stem cell transplants, (five weeks each in isolation) embroidery again came to the rescue. It helped pass the hours at the hospital and kept the fear and anxiety at bay. We are now in a happy space and I embroider for pleasure, the third reason I embroider. I have a couple of projects that I am working on. One is my Wednesday embroidery project, a quilt that is reserved for weekly oncology trips. It is not only a conversation starter in waiting rooms but a means of helping others. A desperate husband once approached me and asked me to please provide some embroidery for his wife. They were from central Africa and in South Africa for his six months of treatment. His wife could not speak English, they knew no one and she had nothing to do to keep her fears and anxiety at bay. It was a pleasure to provide her with some embroidery. I now always have spare embroidery in my bag (thanks to my stitching friends’ and my family’s constant donations) so we can encourage and share with those who need it. There is not much that LOVE, embroidery and a big tub of ice-cream can’t make a little better! Take care Love Di van Niekerk PS. Please feel free to email us firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries or would like to order a panel or panels, the ribbon packs and the note of these winning entries.