The Elephant Festival is held in Rajasthan's Jaipur each March, where a procession of these majestic beasts precedes elephant dances. In the spirit of the occasion, Taetia McEwen created an embroidery pattern to resemble the intricacy of Mehndi skin designs traditionally worked on the hands of Indian women.
Full materials list included in instructions
Detailed step-by-step instructions, colour photographs and clear diagrams take you through the each step of this embroidery pattern.
Pattern sheet is included with a template for the elephant, ready for tracing
It is strongly recommended to use a hoop when embroidering. However, remove the silk from the hoop between stitching sessions to prevent permanent creases from forming in the silk.
Change the colour scheme to suit your taste, but Taetia recommends sticking to two colours. It gives the image a bold look, befitting such a creature!
Are you in an urban or rural setting? I live on the edge of suburbia in the Adelaide Hills, on four acres. Some of those acres are beautiful stringybark forests and bushland, which is also home to koalas and kangaroos, the latter of which love to nibble our lawns and loll about under our trees on hot days. Some of the property is filled with rhododendrons, oak and elm trees, blossom trees and ferns, with lots of meandering paths that hide shady little nooks — perfect for retreating to stitch in!
What is your home like? It has a definite Spanish villa feel to it; slate floors, textured walls, travertine paths and courtyards. It's filled with old rugs and deep-button leather lounges and velvet cushions, wooden tables - everything mismatching and eclectic. And, of course, the walls are filled with my favourite embroideries and a few photos from some of our travels. I love nature photography. My favourite is the huge canvas print of five photos merged together that I took in the middle of the Simpson Desert; such a magnificent and ethereal place. Another is the canvas print of an enormous old gum tree on the edge of a pool of water, echoed in its majestic reflection.
Any funny or memorable travel moments you’d like to share from any of your travels? See lots above, but on our half lap, we walked from the campsite on the Mitchell Plateau to the Mitchell Falls (a couple of hours’ walk) and took the helicopter service back. Probably my favourite experience was swimming with ‘my’ turtle at Turquoise Bay. He let me swim with him for ages; I was so close, I could see the ‘sleep’ in his eye. He was very placid, swimming along nonchalantly, not minding me at all. It was so beautiful.
What are the three travel essential you’d never leave home without?
* A camera - take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints!
* A needle, thread and a hoop, for when you find a quiet moment.
* A notebook and pencil, to sketch little ideas or inspirations along the road.
What’s the best thing about returning home?
The familiarity! And family. I always miss my four children so much. They range in ages from 27 to 5, and family gatherings are such rowdy affairs, but I wouldn't change it for all the tea in India!