Diana Lampe's Embroidery for all Seasons - A book review

Hi everyone,

Iam still in the floral embroidery mode. After embroidering just flowers for the past 6+ months, its a little difficult to come out of floral thoughts :) That's why this post.I wanted to share with you a wonderful book which is in my possession. Its Diana Lampe's Embroidery for all Seasons, published by Milner Craft Series ( Sally Milner Publishing,Australia)

I came across this book accidentally while searching around for Indian embroidery related stuff.The moment I saw it , I forgot all about Indian embroidery :) I loved it,I wanted it and I bought it. It costed me Indian Rs. 800+ (translated to about 20$). But, boy,its worth it. Even if you do not stitch any of the projects, you can still drool over the pictures inside...

Let me introduce you to this book and I'll tell you what I like and what I do not like about this book.
First, the stuff I love,

I LOVE the cover. People say, never judge a book by its cover. Its actually true. I've made some error in judging certain books previously. But not this one. The moment I saw the cover,I fell for it. You will too, especially if you love gardens and flowers. On the cover you can see the gardens for the four seasons. These are the major projects featured inside.

Now, let us move to the contents,
There are plenty of embroidery projects and ideas included in the book.And I love all the projects - the gardens,the embroidered initials,the garlands,embroidered cushions etc etc.

Does this remind you of my Embroidered Bedlinen? Diana Lampe too thinks like me,he,he.By the way, none of the flowers on the bedlinen are taken from this book.

Here's a part of the Summer Garden. Lots of French knots!! One will require loads of patience to complete a garden.

Beginner's beware!! - Don't straightaway attempt the gardens. There's a flower glossary aka sampler provided with detailed instructions for each flower on a separate page.Try some of those first.All embroidery is done with stranded cotton floss. So its not an expensive affair.

Each project has a separate chapter devoted to it with the thread colors specified.Basic instructions are also provided.

There's also a very basic Stitch Glossary for right handed and left handed persons.But again, if you're planning to learn the stitches from here and then try the projects, no, the glossary may not be that helpful. This book is not a step by step teaching book. It is meant for intermediate to advanced level embroiderers.Please don't assume that Iam discouraging beginners ,I just mean to say that a beginner may need a stitch dictionary along with this book.

Now, what I don't like about the book,

See the pic below,

For each garden,only a rough outline of the pattern has been provided.They are not the actual size. So its totally upto the stitcher to draw the bush or foliage and stitch.This will require some skill especially for those who trace patterns and strictly follow the lines and curves.

Secondly, none of the project photographs are featured alongside the chapters.The chapters are in the beginning and all the pictures are grouped together in the center pages.There is considerable turning of pages involved to connect the written matter and the pictures.

But,overall, I love Embroidery for all Seasons. I can spend hours just looking over the beautiful gardens and flowers.Hats off to Diana Lampe and Jane Fisk!!! Does anyone among you own a copy? Have you tried any of the projects? How was the experience - good,bad or difficult? Iam also planning to try a little something from here. But not now. :)

Love,luck and sunshine,