News

Hand-Dyed Cross-Stitch Fabric February 09, 2016 11:55

This past week I stumbled onto a website called www.dovestitch.com.  To my delight, I found a new treasure - hand-dyed AIDA cloth for cross-stitching!  Colors with sweet names like "Cotton Candy", "Tea Rose", "Cafe au Lait", "Caribbean Sea", "Seaweed Green", and "Damson Berry" inhabit the sixty-one hand-dyed varieties.  For an 18 x 19 inch (45 x 50 cm) piece it will cost you $15.95 plus shipping.   Dovestitch ensures the fabrics are colorfast.  Patterned and polka dot cross-stitch fabrics are in their selection as well.  I'll be sure to design new patterns on these fabulous fabrics.  Check them out!

http://dovestitch.com/categories/aida-fabrics/hand-dyed-effects.html?sort=featured&page=1


Cheers to the New Year! January 12, 2016 12:16

19 Raspberry Lane Crafts patterns designed in 2015 by Wendy Christine

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." - Oprah

In 2015, I designed 19 cross-stitch and quilt patterns and 20 pieces of art to make posters available for sale.  The DMC floss collection is about two-thirds complete.  Ultra-See-N-Side bags, Scarlet Today & DMC embroidery needles, Thread Heaven (TM) and several embroidery scissors are available to purchase.  I advertised cross-stitch patterns in three Just Cross Stitch magazine issues.  Every month I try to auction 20 items on E-bay.  There are currently 25 active RLC e-patterns on Craftsy.com.  At this site I offer 5 free e-patterns and one coloring page and have uploaded three videos. 

With a little faith, the grander goals I've set for 2016 with come true and yours will too!  To dreams coming true for everyone . . .  - Wendy Christine

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year" - Ralph Waldo Emerson


New Cross Stitches for Perforated Paper December 12, 2015 13:25

Sea to Garden Bookmarks, one of three new patterns coming out this December at Raspberry Lane Crafts, are four designs stitched on perforated paper.  Since stitchers cannot pierce in-between the main holes, I've designed three new stitches to solve this problem - see diagrams below.  Additional precautions must be made using the perforated paper:  

1.) Do not bend perforated paper. 

2.) Thread catches on the edges and pulls off the color (gold in my case) - that's why I suggest you trim edges at the end.

3.) When the holes are filled with many stitches be careful not to rip the paper - the paper is more like plastic than paper but still not invincible.

Overall, my first experience cross-stitching these bookmarks on perforated paper was great.  I even ripped the paper once or twice but stitched over it like camouflage - no problem.  Perforated paper is highly suggested by this long-time cross-stitcher!

 


DMC Thread Color Card November 12, 2015 13:12

 DMC Thread Card

Embroidery floss from DMC is dyed in an extraordinary palette of colors.  Seventy shades of red and pink.  Thirty-three shades of purple and mauve.  Seventy-four shades of green. Mentioning the variegated, metallic and neon increases the count.

Click on the above image to instantly download the DMC Thread Color Card.


Snow Leopards YouTube Video October 05, 2015 17:36

Trumpets please!  This is an exciting day for me.  Through a tremendous try-and-fail process I succeeded in uploading my first youtube video.  Learning new things seems to be an everyday occurrence for me - using a new camera, fixing sprinklers (always fixing sprinklers), using the chainsaw, endless computer programs, new websites.  What will tomorrow bring?  I'm always hoping for lovely outcomes...

Without further ado, I present your first free Instructional Video: Machine Embroidery Details for the Snow Leopard Block.

And she bows, if only to herself (ha, ha!)

 


Operation Yellow Sky Orbit September 18, 2015 13:48

Dear Agent:

In an attempt to jumpstart my business Raspberry Lane Crafts, I need your help. The following mission has been activated.

OPERATION YELLOW SKY ORBIT 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music):

            1) On Thursday Sept. 24th between the hours of 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. MST

            2) Go to www.craftsy.com

            3) Search for my e-pattern “Fruit Potholders by Wendy Christine”

            4) Buy the download for $9.99

 

Debriefing: This idea was given to me by the designer of the wildly successful “Bionic Gear Bag Notions Tote” & was the way her pattern appeared on the Leaderboard.   Glasses raised to a successful mission!

 

Your Fellow Operative,

 Wendy Christine Basham (Codename: Hummingbird) 

This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds . . . . . or not.


A Story from 9-11 September 11, 2015 19:36

In 2001, I worked at a day spa in Southern Maryland.  This is a story told to me by one of my clients.  From my journal:

March 11, 2002

D.P. relayed this story to me a few weeks after 9-11.  She worked in Navy advertising at the Navy Annex across the street from the Pentagon. 

D.P. was sent to retrieve a cell phone a general had left at National Airport (Ronald Reagan) before the planes hit in the morning.  She was driving on 395 when she saw the airplane come in so low that it hit a phone pole which fell down bi-secting a taxi cab between the driver and the passenger in back.  Fortunately, both people were unhurt.

She said cars were wrecking all over 395 and Route One because people did not know what was happening.  People got out of their cars and were staring at the burning Pentagon. 

D.P. drove on the shoulders and got away as soon as possible before the imminent evacuation of Washington, D.C.


Hispanic Heritage Month September 09, 2015 15:14

 
September is Hispanic Heritage Month which has had a major influence on my artwork - as evidenced in some of my newest pictures - the cross above is entitled "Cruzar Amarillo".  Below is a short biography requested by the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center as part of my submission for selling prints in their shop.
Biography:  Wendy Christine Basham is a pattern designer and artist from Pueblo West, CO.  As owner of The Raspberry Lane Crafts Company at www.raspberrylanecrafts.com, she stays busy designing and marketing her original quilt and cross-stitch patterns.  As artist for The Art of Wendy Christine, she draws South West original and print art of colored pencil on paper with black marker accents.  Inspiration for her art was childhood summers in San Antonio, Texas, loving the River Walk and El Mercado.  Wendy hosts, researches and records The Ocean to Ozone Show, a bi-monthly environmental news podcast site at www.ocean-to-ozone.org. Growing up in Colorado Springs with avid camper parents, she enjoys the beautiful mountains and lakes but loves civilization - especially theatrical plays.  Wendy was educated at Coronado High School and CSU-Ft Collins earning her bachelor's degree in Environmental Health with a minor in Microbiology.  Divorced with a teenage son, a Samoyed dog named Bailey, a parrot named Bogart (who can be heard screeching on some of her recorded Ocean to Ozone Shows), and pond fish, Wendy enjoys her stucco home near Lake Pueblo.

Coloring Book Craze August 11, 2015 17:23

Recently, I've learned that coloring books for adults are very popular.  Blue Twig Studio (a multi-media art store) in Colorado Springs has Coloring Book Parties.  Barnes and Noble has coloring books for adults in their entryway.  I know many people who loved to color before this craze hit - including myself.  In this spirit, I have decided to create my own coloring book based on my artwork - "the art of wendy christine".  I'm in the early stages but my goal is 6 months for the final book.  Until then, I've included one free downloadable coloring page "Liberty" on this post and on my "Free Patterns" page.  I hope you enjoy coloring, as much as I did drawing.  Have a colorful day!


Quilters Fabric Measurements July 27, 2015 18:40

Fabric Measurements Cheat Sheet

1 yard = 36 x 42 inches

1/2 yard = 18 x 42 inches

fat quarter = 18 x 22 inches

obese eighth = 9 x 22 inches

quilt backing fabric is 108 - 120 inches wide

(so one yard = 36 x 108 inches)


Elk in the Forest June 02, 2015 16:39

This is the essay I wrote that's included in the Mountain Habitats Block #3 Elk in the Forest pattern

The Magestic Elk

Scary Business

Overnight camping on Buffalo Peaks, Colorado, with my dad and brother was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I was ten and we’d hiked during the day and set up the tent near evening. Snuggled deep in my sleeping bag, in the middle of the night, I heard something moving outside - a lot of somethings moving right outside the tent. I was petrified but the terror started next. Loud animal sounds echoed in my ears – bugling it turned out. Elks bugling outside the tent made the entire night one shaking nightmare.

Mud Perfume

Bull elks (males) are the ones that bugle to attract the cows (females). Bulls also rub trees and will bathe in urine-soaked mud pits as attractants.2 In fall, harems of cows form during the rut or mating season. Bull elk may duel with antlers to take over another bull’s harem. Older bulls with the biggest antlers usually win. Harems are made of many females with just one or two bulls. In late May, the 35-pound calves are born spotted and scentless to avoid predators.

Frozen Lakes & Poisonous Lichen

Animal predators of elks include: bears, mountain lions, wolves and scavengers like eagles and coyotes.[1] Strange things kill elk, too. On March 21, 2015, thirty-one dead elk were found floating at the Snake and Greys Rivers intersection on the border of Wyoming and Idaho because they were trying to cross the ice, broke through and drowned. Local authorities estimate death tolls were more like fifty elk but they only found the thirty-one. In addition, Jackson Hole Daily’s Mike Koshmrl reports, “A toxic lichen that grows in the Red Rim area southwest of Rawlins has wiped out droves of elk at times. Fifty died from it in 2008 and 300 were poisoned and fell dead in 2004.”[2] Elk are also susceptible to chronic wasting disease and brucellosis.

What else eats elk? Why humans, of course! Hunting elk is big business for states. Hunters are beneficial to thinning out herds and state’s provide licenses for to keep healthy numbers. Of course, if you do not wish to hunt the 500- to 700-pound creatures and haul them out of deep woods, elk meat is available online. At elkusa.com, elk tenderloin is $34.95 per pound (minimum 2 lbs) and elk hearts are $4.79 per pound (5 lb minimum). At jhbuffalomeat.com elk jerky sticks are $9.25 for ¼ pound.

Burned Bark & Conifer Soup

Humans & bears eat elk, but what do elk call a meal? In summertime, elk eat grasses, forbs and aquatic plants. In winter, they also eat tree bark, twigs and even burned bark.[3] Burned bark and conifer soup is on the menu. Exactly how does one digest bark? Elks have four stomachs: the first for storing food and the other three for digesting.1

Even though all elks have stomachs, only the males have the distinctive antlers which have a story of their own. Antlers drop off in March. They grow back with a velvety coating which rubs off. Antlers begin hardening by late summer. By September, antlers are solid bone and can weigh up to 40 pounds.1

Antlers are so valuable that each May the National Elk Refuge near Jackson Hole, Wyoming has an Elkfest. Antlers are collected on the refuge and sold at auction. Only staff and Jackson District Boy Scouts are allowed to collect the antlers. Each year on overage 8,901 pounds of antlers are sold for about $101,798. This equates to $11.27 per pound.[4]

Where the Elk Are

National Elk Refuge in Wyoming is home to the Jackson Elk Herd made up of 11,000 individuals. Another spot to find massive elk populations is Yellowstone National Park which winters from 10,000 to 20,000 elk in six to seven herds. Gibbons Meadows, Elk Park and Lamar Valley are good places in Yellowstone for viewing elk.3 Distributed mostly across the western half of the U.S., elk currently number about 1 million.1

Historically though, elk lived all across the United States, Western Canada and down into Mexico. At that time, elk numbers were estimated at 10 million.1 Two of the six subspecies of North American elk are extinct: the Merriam’s used to be found in the Southwest and Mexico and the Eastern which was east of the Mississippi. Four species of North American elk remain: Rocky Mountain, Roosevelt’s in Coastal Pacific Northwest, Tule in Central California and Manitoba in the Northern Great Plains.2

Amber Elks

In 2012, Cambridge University archeologists in Northern Germany unearthed an 11,000 year-old amber figurine in the shape of a female elk. Experts claim the figurine was most likely attached to the top of a wooden staff.[5] Elk have been important for at least that long and another 11,000 years into the future if we learn to live with them and learn the way of the majestic elk.

[1] http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/elk.htm

[2] http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/elk-herd-perishes-in-palisades-reservoir/article_4862bab8-b58b-5bb0-be23-3939b8f01c01.html

[3] http://www.rmef.org/ElkFacts.aspx

[4] http://www.fws.gov/refuge/national_elk_refuge/

[5] Veil, Stephan, et al. Antiquity, Sept 2012, Vol. 86, Issue 333, p.660-73

 


The Soft Irish Rain ... May 05, 2015 15:21

Soft rain falls here in Pueblo West like the green hills of Ireland.  Usually, dryness cracks the earth around this high desert plain.  I'm replacing three dead bushes from this winter's dryness and my lack of winter-watering.

Yesterday at the post office, a plastic donation can was perched on the counter with a picture of my mail carrier who I haven't seen in a couple months.  The sticky tab next to her picture explained she has been diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer.  She cannot work anymore.  She is only 52.  Life is a precious gift.

"Night slowly passed.  The sun rose.  The hobbits rose rather later.  Morning went on.  People came and began (by orders) to clear away the pavilions and the tables and the chairs, and the spoons and knives and bottles and plates, and the lanterns, and the flowering shrubs in boxes, and the crumbs and cracker-paper, the forgotten bags and gloves and handkerchiefs, and the uneaten food (a very small item)." - Tolkien's Lord of the Rings

Color Descriptions for DMC Embroidery Floss Colors link - highlight, right click and go to address.  This address takes you immediately to download this table for Adobe Reader.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dmc-usa.com%2F~%2Fmedia%2FMedia%2FConversion%2520Charts%2FColor%2520Descriptions.ashx&ei=IC1JVdWbLciDsAX_1oGQBQ&usg=AFQjCNHa2ikI_Eun3cVEBMQJD-iNSW7ItA&sig2=0fLqwbAMAmYK6wESjNCBtw&bvm=bv.92291466,d.b2w


DMC Floss & Just Cross Stitch Ad April 20, 2015 15:35

As early as next week I'll be adding about 1/3 of the DMC six-stranded floss and bulk Darice floss spools to my inventory.  All the colors needed for Raspberry Lane Crafts cross-stitch patterns will be available - except the metallics in the Magic Butterfly Collection.

If you're a cross-stitcher the magazine Just Cross Stitch June 2015 edition contains my ad on page 33.  For those of you buying from a store, it is on sale April 27th.  I'm very excited about that!


Polar Bear & Cub Essay April 03, 2015 16:31

 

All Habitats patterns include an information page on the animal in the pattern promoting its conservation.  The following is the one from Polar Bear & Cub, Block #4 in the Ice Habitats Collection

 

Polar Bears and their Cubs

by

Wendy Christine

 

            Ursus maritimus, also known as the polar bear, is an amazing white giant of the Arctic realm. They spend more time in water than on land. Using only their front paws, they can swim 6 miles per hour. Numbers of polar bears range from 20,000 to 25,000 throughout their Arctic habitat in Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland, Russia, and Svalbard (Norway). These creatures are nomadic, following their food supplies (mainly seals) with the ice floes. Although polar bears do not hibernate, there is one time the females overwinter in self-made ice dens - to have their cubs.

                                   

            Polar bears can mate from March to May but females have the ability to delay gestation until the winter months. During winter, solitary female bears dig dens in the snow, allowing the snowfall to pile over them, until cubs are born. Newborns are about the size of a chipmunk weighing about 1.5 pounds and are usually born as twins, but can be born in litters of one to three.   Cub mortality rates are about 50%. Cubs stay warm in their mother’s thick fur and drink her milk, while the mother lives off her fat stores.

 

            In March or April, the snow white cubs and hungry mother emerge from the snow den. By this time, the cubs have grown to about 10 to 20 pounds and begin rolling around in the snow in play. When the cubs are strong enough, the mother and cubs begin their nomadic routine of finding food near the ice floe edges and cracks. Then, the cycle begins again when females begin mating at about 3 to 5 years old.

 

References:

http://library.thinkquest.org/3500/polarbear.htm                                   

http://school.eb.com/article

http://www.nwf.org/polarbears and global warming/                                   

http://www.nwf.org/polarbear/pdfs/NWFPolarBearBasics_1-28-08.pdf

 “On Thin Ice” by Daniel Glick, NWF’s National Wildlife, Dec/Jan ‘07, vol. 45, no. 1

 


Green Patterns March 09, 2015 10:29

How green is Raspberry Lane Crafts?  RLC patterns are printed on 30% recycled paper (except one printing job in which virgin paper was used).  This means 30% fewer trees are used, 13% less energy is used, 11% fewer greenhouse gases are emitted, and 14% less water is used in producing it.  One hundred percent recycled paper is a bit too floppy for use with patterns but maybe I'll incorporate it for something (perhaps for my revisions work at home). (Source: Environmental Defense Fund)

My Habitats series patterns really focus on conservation of endangered animals or general education about animals.  Since my B.S. from Colorado State is in Environmental Health, I'll always incorporate pro-environment strategies in my business as well as my home life.  

If you are interested, another website of mine is the Ocean to Ozone Show at www.ocean-to-ozone.org in which I record & post a six- to  nine-minute podcast twice a month about environmental news.  It is free with no advertisements and part of my giving back to the planet and all of you.  Thank you!


Batiks.com Review February 17, 2015 11:52

Batiks are really the only kind of fabric I use.  Most batiks are imported from Bali, Indonesia and Southeast Asia.  Flannel batiks are also amazing to work with.  Today I'm reviewing the website batiks.com.  Last month I made a significant order (over $200) at batiks.com.  Batik selection was incredible.  They probably have hundreds.  I browsed "batik by color".  Other categories included "sea life batiks", "flannel batiks", "sale items", and many others.  Prices range from $12.50 to $6.  When I placed my order, it seemed like they cut the fabric the same day and it was popped in the mail the next day - so great service!  Only two problems I found with this website.  One was batiks.com did not list the thread-count, which is measure of quality.  For high quality batiks the thread-count can be 600.  If your local quilt store typically only buys high quality batiks, you may be disappointed at some of batiks.com fabrics.  The second problem I found was that the minimum cut was 1/2 yard.  Many fabrics I selected were for 1/3 yard (.33).  I did not discover until the end that none of the 1/3-yarders I ordered were in my shopping cart.  (They give you a warning page but I did not notice it.)  Overall, I would recommend batiks.com!

Superbowls & Screaming Goats February 02, 2015 11:06

The great thing about not liking either team in the Superbowl is that whoever loses, I'm not heartbroken. When Peyton and the Denver Broncos lost in the playoffs this year, I was so heartbroken I almost swore off football. This is from a person who was photographed as a baby in 1972 watching football with her dad. Katy Perry's performance motivated me to watch this Superbowl, plus any opportunity to see Brady throw a fit (always amusing). Screaming goats in commercials make me laugh, too! At my parent's house, enjoying the seven-layer dip, I occasionally watched the game, but mostly focused on finishing a butterfly cross stitch in my new pattern the Mardi Gras Butterfly Collection. I'll be releasing that new set, plus two others in a next week or so. Stay tuned...

The DMC Shopper's Checklist January 16, 2015 14:43

Last night while "watching" the low-budget disaster movie "Polar Storm", I used a printout of the floss checklist to verify that I'm missing quite a few colors in my collection.  Seventy-four colors were absent to be precise.  "The DMC Shopper's Checklist" is invaluable to those of us who enjoy inventorying our collections.  Here's our printable DMC floss checklist download. 

The DMC Shopper's Checklist 2019


Valentine's Approaches January 06, 2015 11:28

Time for thinking about your special someone for Valentine's Day.  If you have no special someone, give love to yourself this season.  Chocolate & flowers go nicely with a new sewing project.  Quilters stitch away with the fun patterns featured this and next month: Heart Basket, Charmed Valentine, Black Cockatoo (with bleeding hearts), and for Easter the Flop-Eared Bunny.  

Have a Sweet Day this Valentine's!


Snow & the Ice Habitats Collection December 26, 2014 11:46

Snow covers the ground this day after Christmas in Pueblo West, Colorado.  Time to relax from the busy-ness of the holiday rushing around.  Maybe I'll go after-Christmas shopping some day this week, maybe I'll stay home by the pellet stove fire sipping hot green tea.  

Wintertime is so fun for sewing.  This week I'm featuring my Ice Habitats Collection.  Polar bears, killer whales, penguins, a narwhal, seals, a walrus and a Native Alaskan are featured in this series of quilt blocks.  Conservation was my motivation for designing the entire Habitats Collection - bringing the spotlight to our wonderful creatures on this Blue Jewel of a planet.  Aquas, greens, lavenders, and white batiks were a joy to play with in this series.  Pattern pieces need to be enlarged.  You'll get a chance to machine embroider the details or use a permanent marker.  Pieces are fused on.  Individual patterns are sold separately or you can buy the entire set for about half price of buying separately.  In addition to the 12 patterns, there is one "Habitats Extra" featuring how to make winter pillowcases and placemats.  Have a great time with this series!


Welcome to Raspberry Lane Crafts December 17, 2014 10:21

Thank you for visiting our site.  Raspberry Lane Crafts is new to the web as of Dec 19, 2014.  Currently, we sell original quilt, craft and cross-stitch designs you won't find anywhere else.  You'll find seasonal and everyday patterns to make pillows, bags, quilts, placemats, potholders, and more.  Cross-stitch patterns include Christmas, Halloween, and jungle designs (parrots).  You'll find flower and mushroom cross-stitches with included craft patterns like how to decorate a recipe box, pencil cans, and towels.  Please browse our shop as you're sure to find something really fun to create.  Our prices are great, too!

 

Our labels include: Wendy Christine's Raspberry Lane Crafts and Fran Basham's Limping Lizard.