A Summery Surprise

Soon after my last post, in which I decided to take a short break from cross stitch, I received a surprise parcel in the post. It seems that I am on a lucky streak, as I had won yet another subscriber competition from the World of Cross Stitch magazine! The prize was this absolutely wonderful ‘Flowers’ chartbook by Susan Bates. It’s one of a series, and I would also like to get the Vintage motifs one to go with this.

Flowers Chartbook

There are a ton of designs in here I want to stitch, and I really feel inspired to start sewing again. I did go out and get some quilling materials to give that a go, and also some more card making supplies and some model kit pieces and…well, to be honest, I spent a lot of money but didn’t actually do much crafting. Shame on me!

The designs are all bright and modern, and super clear to read with beautiful inspirational photos showing the finished pictures. The pages are thick and glossy and the whole book has a really high quality feel to it. Here’s the design I’ve chosen to stitch first – I want to sew this onto a little runner to go under my potted herbs in the kitchen, by the window.

Flowers Chartbook (2)

Happy Summer, everyone!

A Little Break

Thank you all for your helpful thoughts and advice on my Christmas ornament last week! I’m still a bit stressed about whether my decisions are really in the best interest of the project or if I’m just trying to rush through lazily so that I can move on to the next thing. With that being the case, I’ve decided to take a little break from cross stitch for a while and try out a new craft or two.

I’ve bought a book on goldwork (this one) and I’m feeling really inspired to try quilling from looking at the incredible pictures on Junoesque by Neha.

I’ve also got some old surface embroidery projects half finished, and a couple of barely started embroidered tablecloths that I inherited from my Nana and would love to work on.

I hope the change of pace helps clear my mind a little! Wishing everyone a crafty and relaxing July

x

June 2016 Update

I haven’t really been stitching this month. To tell you the truth, I’ve spent almost every waking moment playing a game called Overwatch, it’s probably the most fun I’ve had playing games online with my friends for years.

I did manage to complete most of a Christmas ornament:

Christmas heart oranment

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Unlike the Teddy and theĀ Tree, I haven’t included the border on this one. I think it looks fine without it and that the border doesn’t really ‘go’ with the picture, but I’m having doubts now that maybe I’m just being lazy!

What do you think? Should it have the border added or not? Should I do a different kind of border? I was thinking maybe a few star shaped sequins with the gold beads to hold them in place, perhaps. I think this one will end up as a card rather than a hanging ornament, as I have a specific recipient in mind.

Please lend me your crafting wisdom!

May 2016 Update

I achieved the goal I set myself last week to finish off Mr. Christmas Teddy, here he is with all his shiny details:

Finished Christmas Teddy

The couching on his scarf took the longest time, I tried to get a better photo of it to show it off:

Christmas Teddy Details

I won’t be making him up into anything for a while, I’m going to finish off the other 3 designs then, when the season is nearer, I’ll decide if I need ornaments or cards. I’ve made a start on Ornament number 4, but it doesn’t look like anything very much just yet!

Fourth Christmas Ornament

There are about six different shades of green in here so far, I’m glad to be stitching this now rather than in the rubbish light of Winter!

Also in May I’ve had a go at making my own teabags and tea blends, which has been pretty successful so far and very enjoyable! I’ll do a whole post about that next week maybe šŸ˜€

A Tapestry and A Teddy

I never did find a frame I liked for the tapestry kit I did last month, so I’m just going to post it here bare!

I haven’t done any tapestry since primary school, so this was a fun little project. My Nana has cleared out a ton of her old cover kit stash and turned it over to me, and I loved this little countryside scene so I stitched it up immediately. Obviously it’s much quicker to stitch than cross stitch or embroidery, but the quality of the wool was pretty poor so I didn’t totally love making it up. I’ll go have a trawl around some charity shops later this weekend to see if I can chance upon a correctly sized frame for it, I would like to give it back to my Nana to go on the wall of her new bedroom.

I’ve also been working on the third of six Beaded Elegance Christmas ornaments, which is this cute little teddy bear:

Christmas Teddy WIP

He needs some backstitch, couching and beading but I want to get him finished this weekend too. I’m not 100% sure yet if I want to make him up as another ornament or if I think he might be better as a card for a young neice – but then I’ll have an odd number of ornaments!

Trying New Things

A lovely friend at work gave me some of the cardmaking equivalent of magazine cover kits, to help me try out new techniques. A lot of these things were probably super simple to veteran papercrafters, but it was all totally new and exciting to me. I made this thing!

Easel Card

It’s an easel card, which means the recipient can pop it up so that it stands like shown above. I mostly followed the instructions, but as I do with cross stitch, I got a bit carried away and just went off in my own direction a bit with gems and ribbons and so on.

The main thing that came out of these experiments is: when making funny shaped cards, what are you supposed to do for an envelope? I ended up just using someĀ that were way too big, but it looked a bit scruffy and I wasn’t happy with this solution. Are there custom envelope sizes? Am I supposed to make my own? I never knew envelopes could be such a problem!

I’ve also been doing some tapestry this week, but I don’t want to show you that until I’ve found a suitable frame or finish for it.

April 2016 Update

I don’t have much to share this month, I spent most of April working on my Pokemon picture, which I talked about here.

The only thing I have to show for my labours this month is this tiny little Bluetit and his butterfly pal:

Bluetit and Butterfly

I adapted this cutieĀ from a much larger sampler from the book ‘The Countryside In Cross Stitch’ by Christina Marsh, which I found for the outlandish sum of 1 whole penny on Amazon.

Sampler Design

I was inspired by a recent family day trip to Wales, where several of my relatives spent the day exclaiming over the many (very many!) little birds visible on the farm, so I did a quick stitch of one of their favourites for a house warming card.

Bluetit Card

So there you have it – my one and only small project tackled this month!

Magnum Opus – Update 6

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? But finally I can say: Page 10 is complete!

Pokemon Page 9

This page was more scary and weird than cute, but I love the colours on the Seadra (the big blue seahorse-looking guy on the middle right).

Here’s how the whole thing looks now I’ve done 10 whole pages! I just love it so much.

Pokemon Whole picture Page 10

So I’m now 2/5ths done, with 25 pages to go. I’ve revised my ambitions from ‘finish before I’m 30’ to ‘finish…at all’ since the older I get, the more real life drama seems to get in the way of stitching time!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Spring and that your gardens are blooming and beautiful xx

Finished Mini Sampler

I finished the sampler I started working on last week, and am generally pretty pleased with it. Here it is before mounting:

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I’m just ever so slightly dissatisfied with the spacing of the words, I think they could have done with being one square to the right maybe? In any case, given the deadline for getting this done, I didn’t have time to mess around with changing it and then maybe changing it back and so on. I just had to mount it up and post it off, like so:

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I was trying to go for a sort of rustic / folk art kind of feel to go with the fairly traditional sampler, but as usual I got carried away and had to add something sparkly. Never mind, I know the recipient likes sparkles too!

And with this done, I’m back to focusing 100% on the Pokemon picture. Hopefully I can finish Page 10 this week!

March 2016 Update

As I promised myself i would, I’ve gone back to work on my Pokemon picture, and it’s coming along quite quickly.

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There are lots of largeish, solid areas of colour so i can really enjoy watching the picture appear as I stitch.

I’ve also started work on a tiny little sampler for a super secret wedding. I got the pattern from a World of Cross Stitching magazine, and tried various different thread and fabric combos out. I actually started and unpicked it three times before I decided that the designer’s choice was probably best! Here’s what I’ve doneĀ so far, it’s not much yet as I’ve only had one evening’s work on it:

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I think my lazy daisies are really improving from my earlier attempts! I don’t know what it is about this stitch that my hands just don’t seem to want to do. I can French knot no problem, I genuinely enjoy backstitching, but my lazy daisies look a bit lopsided and wilted most of the time!

And, just because i can’t seem to help myself, I’ve made a few more papercraft Christmas cards šŸ˜›