The thread featured in this post was given to me by Aurifil.
The September Aurifil Artisan challenge is cross stitch and embroidery featuring 12wt or Aurifloss. I'd been feeling the pull toward embroidery and knew this was the perfect opportunity to finally get started on my Hanauma Bay embroidery hoop. I learned cross stitch when I was 8 years old, but I haven't done any in decades. My daughter has learned some embroidery stitches at school and recently I've been helping her to expand her repertoire of stitches.
In March 2018 on a family trip to Oahu I taught my kids how to snorkel. This is something that I really loved as a kid (and still do) and it was so nice to share my passion with them. I grew up vacationing to Kauai and had never snorkeled on Oahu. Our last day on the island we did the long drive from the north shore down to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. The parking is restricted so you either have to arrive early, or show up after lunch. As people start leaving the beach they open parking to let in a limited number of cars. The parking lot was closed when we arrived. That stretch of road is highway with one lane in each direction. We drove back and forth past the parking entrance for about 20 minutes, turning around in two nearly lookout points. We were about to admit defeat when finally the parking lot was open and we were able to enter.
What a view! And the beach was so lovely with super calm water from the protected bay. We spent a lovely afternoon snorkeling and then the kids played in the water while I read my book on the beach.
Fast forward, I've been following Rosanna Diggs, an embroidery artist from Alameda, California, on instagram for a while when she made her Hanauma Bay embroidery hoop. Her work is beautiful and I really enjoyed the nostalgic memories from our trip a year before. I really considered purchasing this hoop and had a little regret when it sold. A couple months later she put out a PDF pattern and two finished mini hoops for sale. I immediately knew that I wanted to purchase one of the hoops. She had made one with a cloud and one without a cloud and I elicited the help of my kids for which one to purchase. I mentioned that there was also a pattern to make your own and my daughter immediately indicated that the pattern was the right choice and that she was interested in working with me on the project. Rosanna sells a Hanauma Bay full kit now as well.
I used a DMC to Aurifloss conversion chart to select my Aurifloss colors. I love these wooden spools and how easy it is to keep the floss tidy.
My daughter helped with most parts of the project (though I did the entire mountain and cloud while she was at school or asleep). Either we sat together and passed the project back and forth to take turns, or if she happened across it left out on the couch she would add a few stitches. She's already talking about what to stitch next. I think she might enjoy picking a piece of printed fabric and using embroidery stitches to embellish it.
The project had a nice variety of different stitches (and oh so much satin stitch!). There were two different kinds of knots, couching, and the shrubbery in the foreground is made of little loops. Rosanna included detail shots and directions for each type of stitch in the project as well as a photo walk-through with directions and tips. (We improvised a little on the shrubbery. :-)) I especially love the texture of the cloud (fluffy 6-strand french knots) and the shrubbery.
We had a little disagreement about where this should hang in the house, but we've settled on it living in my daughter's ocean themed room. I'll enjoy visiting it. ;-)
The water was such lovely colors and I enjoyed the beautiful view!