Posted on Friday, January 19 2007 at 2pm
Have you seen Jayne Netley Mayhew's gorgeous big cat designs in issue 183? They come from her lateset book Cross Stitch Safari. Jayne stops by to tell Cross Stitcher a few things about the book and the designs...
"I hope my love of Africa shines out when you look at this book, whether it's the animals, the people or the land itself.
Every where I look out there I find inspiration, from the smallest blade of grass, seed head and flower. I could have filled this book several times over with designs that are in my head.
The lioness and the leopard designs are classic poses. The lioness is alert and ready to fly after her prey. The way she disappears into the grasses, colours blending perfectly, so the only way to spot her is by a twiching ear. To be in the middle of a lion hunt is amazing, watching them work their way around a herd of impala, carefully and slowly working their way in closer. You don't even notice the cats that have moved in to block off the escape route of the impala. You hardly dare to breathe, and then with a rush and a gasp it is all over and the lions have succeeded. You feel as if you have ran the race with then and left feeling elated and saddened all at the same time.
The leopard, the highest on the list of animals which you want to see when you are on safari, but one of the most elusive. Always one step in front or behind you. Straining your eyes, as you peer at trees and amongst the shrub and grasses, hoping to spot the a dangling tail or the cat itself. We spent hours looking for them, one time what we thought was a well hidden cat turned out to be a warthog. Another time after spending the afternoon looking for one, coming back to our camp in the evening, to find the baboons making a great racket and very disturbed, then a fleeting glance of the leopard as it left.
This book I think is my favourite of all that I have produced, also being able to have my husband (Ian) taking part in it with his photos, rather than just getting his views on a design."