Monday, May 16, 2011

Poppies for my Mom

My mother turns 70 in a year and a half, and it just dawned on me the other day that if I want to stitch something in time for the big occasion, then I need to start right now! After thinking about what I could possibly stitch for her that she'd go nuts over (and knowing that I didn't want to stitch any more butterflies for her) a perfect idea came to me. Poppies. My mom loves poppies. More importantly, my mom loves the way a certain artist, Angie Strauss, paints poppies.

Luckily, my mom happens to be good friends with the artist, and I know her as well. So, I immediately scoured her website to find the perfect painting that my mom didn't already own, and then I emailed Angie and enlisted her in my secret project. Being the dear that she is, she instantly gave me permission to have the painting converted into a cross stitch pattern. She even had a super high quality .jpg sent to me.

Once the perfect picture was in my grubby little hands, I emailed a lovely lady in the UK that I know from who does conversions for a small fee. I've seen some of her work and know she's very good, and she certainly didn't disappoint! We went back and forth several times -- on the first go the poppies looked spectacular but the background was kind of blah. Try two had the background really capturing the brushstrokes and complexities of the paint, but the poppies looked one dimensional. I asked her to see if she could combine the best parts of each. Lo and behold, third time was the charm! The poppies looked great and the background captured the brushstroke details without being too confetti heavy. In a word -- perfection!

I started it on Mother's day (how symbolic!) and decided to share the project with my mom that evening instead of keeping it secret. I was just too excited to keep it from her for more than a year, and this way I didn't have to have a cover project to hide what I was doing. My mom was speechless that I went to so much trouble for her (no trouble, really) and is thrilled to be able to watch the progress of the piece as I go.

Look for updates soon!


  1. That's totally stunning! Well worth the extra tweaking.

    I can't wait to see it stitched up now.


  2. Wow, your Mom will be very happy to see it stitched up for her.

  3. I have always tried to keep my projects as a secret from my mom. With my twinsister the situation is opposite. She tells me which designs she wants =D It is easier like that to know what she really wants. My mom has never said what kind of designs she likes so I have to figure out by myself....