Create Timeless Keepsakes with Shadow Work - by Machine!

Shadow Work by Machine is a technique invented, perfected and patented by designer Suzanne Hinshaw. Patented designs created Suzanne are the only genuine, legitimate designs for shadow work by machine. That's fine - because her designs are timeless and elegant and are totally goof-proof. I promi... [More]

Contour Clock Apron

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alph [More]

Wrap up some Sweet Treats!

Seasons Greetings Everyone! If you happened to catch my blog around Halloween, you  may remember that I used the cutest designs from Amazing Designs---little candy corn characters dressed up for Halloween.  It was the “Sweet Halloween I” collection.  Well I had so much ... [More]

Free Slideshow Program and Alphabet Xpress Tip #3, stitch view

There are several very nice slideshow programs on the Internet, but I thought that this one was the best.   Most of the freebies are minimal and require that you download their data down to your PC.  As I have noted several times, more and more of the software will be purchased/used/a... [More]

Embroider Shirt Cuffs for Christmas

Do you love the look of monograms on men's cuffs? This is a stylish touch that almost any man can appreciate. The trick is to create these small wonders in the correct size, without bulky corners and with proper placement. You can get confidence to embroider cuffs by practicing on cuffs fro... [More]

New Holiday Designs from African Folklore Embroidery

Exciting New Holiday Designs from African Folklore Embroidery We have several new designs just in time for the Holidays. Some of these include the new Hanukkah designs (this year Hanukkah starts December 1st.) Two special designs that celebrate this holiday include the Hanukah Menorah; it is custom... [More]

Keeping It Simple - A Cute Christmas Stocking

I'm not sure why but I really enjoy making Christmas stockings.  I have made traditional ones, funky ones, country ones and elegant ones depending on who they are for.   We always make a stocking for each new addition to our family.  Some years, with weddings and births, we h... [More]

A Family Freebie, Scanners and Alphabet Xpress, Tip #2, Buying Fonts

There are many resources for looking for ancestors and relatives online. reviews a number of sites, speeds up your search and is free.  Good luck finding those who may be related to you. You may already own a scanner or just be considering one for your home use. ... [More]

Keeping it Simple - Easy Runners for Small places

A while back, our oldest daughter painted her dining area walls orange.  We all thought she was a little crazy but with her black furniture it actually looks very nice.  She has a small table on one side and has been looking for a runner for quite some time now.  She really didn't... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Specialty Pillowcases

Last week Emma and I were at the fabric store picking up some fabric for my aunt who is 94 and still sewing.  While we were looking Emma saw this horse fabric and went nuts over it.  "Meesy, we just have to make something with this!" she said.  Now, why this little girl is s... [More]

Speed Up Start Up of your PC; Intro to Alphabet Xpress

Most Help Desk people will remind you to do certain steps, depending on your computer, to help speed up your PC.  Vista does the Defrag and Check Disk in the background, so you can do those if you like, but it is not likely to make any difference in start-up speed. It is a fact that getting ri... [More]

Paisley Apron Embroidery

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alphabets andindividual designs can be found on my Stock Design Page.  My designs are also available inpacks, as described in this blog.  Those can be found here.  For designs and packs ava... [More]

Keeping it Simple - Easy Tutu skirts and Black Cats

Our family has been invited to several Halloween gatherings this year.  The first is this weekend - a whole week before the 31st!  This is Friday and the girls costumes are not quite finished.  But the girls are very excited about dressing up for  these events.  One dec... [More]

Christmas Stocking Embroidery

Christmas season always brings requests for embroidering names on stockings. This may make you wish that you could crawl into a cave and hibernate with the bears until Spring! Yet stockings can be conquered and in doing so, you bring happiness and create heirlooms. For this reason, I have always tri... [More]

Keeping It Simple - The Big Tote It

You can never have too many bags.  We use bags for everything from storing tiny toys to carrying our groceries in "green" bags.  But last week my daughter decided she needed a huge bag. She teaches science two days a week at a local Christian school.  But since she shares th... [More]

Skype and Catalog Xpress Tip #9, add Alphabet Xpress

If you have not yet tried Skype, you are missing one of the finest features the Internet has to offer. Most people know that you can call users worldwide if they have the correct equipment for free.  But did you know that: You can send files Send Instant Messages (IM) Create a conference... [More]

Winners in Creativity for African Folklore Embroidery

And The Winner is………   Over twenty thousand people viewed the African Folklore Embroidery entries at the International Quilt Show in Long Beach.  As many of my readers know I travel around the country lecturing and teaching African Folklore Embroidery. I am always a... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Spiders, Ruffles and Ghosts, Oh My!

Halloween is just around the corner and with so many costumes to make this year I decided two things: 1) They need to be fairly simple, and 2) I need to start earlier than I have in the past.  The two older girls each have a definite ideas of what they want to be.  But what ... [More]

Safety Information, Free Posters for your school and Catalog Xpress Tip #8, Printing Your Designs

We are all trying to be more ‘green' these days, but some things may remain in your home that you are uncertain about.  Green means more environmentally safe, but I use some items that I really cannot do without.   I want to know exactly what is in those products.  It m... [More]

Rise Above the Ordinary with Silk Flower Embroidery

It’s great to find a new embroidery effect, and it’s even better when it’s as easy as the silk flower technique. Jackie Woods of introduced me to the concept, and I found it absolutely stunning.   Jackie u... [More]

Keeping It simple - Frosty the Minky Pink Snowman

One of our granddaughters loves Frosty the Snowman.  We sing the song daily - even when it is 100+ degrees here.  We read the book almost as often.  So I decided to create a Frosty sweatshirt for her even though winter isn't here yet.  When I asked her what color sweatshirt s... [More]
Junk in my trunk - African Folklore Embroidery Elephants

Junk in my trunk - African Folklore Embroidery Elephants

 JUNK IN MY TRUNK and the African Folklore Embroidery Elephants

One of my favorite animals to observe while on safari is the elephants. I love watching the baby elephant walk in between his mom and dad and seeing how protective the moms are toward their babies. The elephant is the largest and heaviest land animal. These beasts can weigh up to 13,000lbs and grow eleven feet in height. Elephants eat grass, leaves and fruit. They have powerful trunks that can smash down trees, branches and other vegetation such as grass, roots, reeds, fruit, bark and flowers in their path.  Since elephants do not have sweat glands, water plays an important role in their lives in helping them cool down; hence they need sources of permanent water and abundant vegetation. Elephants have a total of twenty-four teeth.

Elephants are highly social animals. They live in herds, made up of the matriarch (the oldest animal in the group), her female calves and the youngsters. The herd can comprise between six and thirty animals, after which they split to form new herds, always maintaining contact with each other at watering holes and feeding spots.

At fourteen years of age, males leave the herd and associate with other bulls of the same age or older. Male elephants are much larger than female elephants with longer, heavier tusks. Elephants live for fifty to sixty years of age.

Female elephants are mature enough to mate from twelve years of age. Pregnancy/gestation is twenty-two months and a calf can weigh up to 260lbs. The calf will nurse for approximately three years.There are so many different ways one can stitch the elephant design. Threads colors do not need to be authentic, though you are welcome to use, but if you choose to stitch your elephant pink or blue go for it and remember while chain stitch is the dominant stitch, stitches do not have to be perfect to create a piece of art. 
If you live in California and would like to experience an African Folklore Embroidery . If you live in California and would like to go on a visual safari through African Folklore Embroidery THE MOUNTAINVIEW CHAPTER OF THE EMBROIDERERS’ GUILD OF AMERICA  will be presenting “RETURN TO SOUTH AFRICA”

Leora Raikin of African Folklore Embroidery, fiber artist, author and teacher,SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 2011, HOWARD JOHNSON’S (formerly ANAHEIM PARK HOTEL),222 West Houston Avenue, Fullerton, California,714-992-1700

MINI SAFARI:  9:00 am to 11:00 am - Coffee, Lecture, Exhibit and Opportunities - $10 ticket

MEDIUM SAFARI:  9:00 am to 1:00 pm – Coffee, Lecture Exhibit, Opportunities and Lunch - $25 ticket

FULL SAFARI:  9:00 am to 2:30 pm - Coffee, Lecture, Exhibit, Opportunities, Teaching for Beginner to Advanced Levels of African Folklore Embroidery, Complete Kit and Lunch - $69 ticket

9:00 am to 9:30 am – Registration and Coffee

9:30 am to 10:00 am - Lecture and Slide Show

10:00 am to 11:00 am – Exhibit, Shopping and Opportunity Drawings

11:00 am to 12:00 noon – Hands on Workshop Session 1

12:00 noon to 1:00 pm - Lunch

1:00 to 2:30 pm - Hands on Workshop Session 2 

Registration and Questions – Please Contact:  Sandie Cormaci-Boles 714-814-6935 or

I look forward to meeting you and teaching the techniques to complete an African Folklore Embroidery Design. 

You can view the elephant and other African inspired kit designs at

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