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A visit from the frog
Even though I now only stitch my own designs I'm not immune from a visit from the frog - and it came hopping by this weekend.

If you're not a cross stitcher the frog is the name given to stitching that has gone wrong because you have to 'rip it', 'rip it' out.

This time round it was caused by colour - I'd been stitching up an area that involved depicting pleated fabric and was really pleased with the contrasting blues I was using. Unfortunately, I was less pleased by the contrast further down when the pleats softened into folds. As a result, I've had to unpick a little bit to add in a mid-tone colour. I reckon it's put me a couple of days behind where I wanted to be but as I've got a quiet few days coming up I'm hoping to make up the time.

I've discovered the hard way how important this is: some of you may have noticed there's a design on this website that isn't available in the Etsy shop. That's because I rushed it out and then realised I'd made a terrible mistake in not exploring the world of seed (and particularly bugle) beads as much as I should have done.

It came about because I emailed Mill Hill to ask if there was any chance of them introducing a silver-lined bright red size 6/0 bead. They didn't respond so I started looking around: talk about discovering a whole new world! This included smaller bugle beads than I thought I could get, loads more colours to choose from and all for about a quarter of the price, although they are sold in bigger packs which may or may not be a good thing if you don't need many.

The bugle beads in particular have caused a problem because they might have an impact on the whole design. I also need to check out accessibility. The end result is that I'm no longer happy with the little Christmas trees and, as I won't sell anything I'm not happy with, I've stopped selling them until I have the chance to check all of this out.

In the meantime, I've got loads of new design ideas so I'm starting to pull together a mini schedule of what will be released in 2015. Yes, there will definitely be more Lady Elinors!

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