August 2016 Update

I didn’t put a single stitch into fabric at all during August. I’m very disappointed with myself! Instead, I’ve been trying out new crafts here and there, and making up some old finished cross stitches into cards and hangings.

Most of these weren’t stitched by me, but were done by my Nana before she lost her eyesight. I couldn’t bear the thought of her throwing them out, so I’ve tidied them up as best I can and we’ve together made them into cards for her to send to her friends or keep for herself. I’ve been trying out a die cutting machine, which is pretty new for me as well – that was a lot of fun!

Here’s some of mine and my Nana’s joint efforts from this month:

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This is Mr. Christmas Teddy from a few months ago, made into a padded tree hanging.

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This was my first go at die cutting. The choices of embellishments were my Nana’s, as was the embroidery. I just did the cutting and sticking and so on!

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These cute little garden bird buddies were Nana’s embroideries too. I made them up into a sort of matching set of cards, because they were too small to really do much else with, but still too large for an aperture card.

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I hate how this one came out. The card stock was too floppy for the weight of the tapestry wool, the aperture is off centre and the picture doesn’t quite fit at all. I’m going to take it out and mount it onto a make up bag instead – but it’s important to record my failures as well as my successes in craft and in life I think!

I hope September will see me get back into crafting a bit more, as I start a new job (yet again!) with more regular lunch breaks for extra stitching time!

I hope everyone else has had a fun and productive month too!

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 the 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 😀

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!

Braiding – First Attempt!

I’ve just finished the second ornament from the Dimensions ‘Beaded Elegance’ kit, and I was looking for a slightly more professional looking finish than my last one (the Snowman, here). While hunting the internet for inspiration, I found Pinwheel Ponders, a blog almost entirely dedicated to a huge variety of cross stitched Christmas ornaments in dozens of shapes and finishes, with incredibly detailed instructions and helpful pictures for every step.

I followed  Ms. Pinwheel’s instructions to the letter, and was really pleased with how much better this ornament looks than my last one!

Finished Christmas Tree- front

Finished Christmas Tree (2)

Look at those sharp corners! Ms. Pinwheel’s instructions truly are foolproof if even someone as inexperienced as I managed to achieve these results! I even had a go at making my own braid to go around the edge and hide the seam, which was a bit of a trial-and-error sort of affair in terms of making enough braid to go all around. I tried triple, then quadruple the necessary length and still came up a little short. Unfortunately, by my third try I had run out of thread so I had to make do with what was left, and do my best to hide the joins with the big white ribbon loop.

Overall, I’m really proud of myself and I know what to improve for next time – there are four more ornaments to go and by the last one, I hope to be an expert! Many thanks to Ms. Pinwheel and her wonderful blog too!

Now, for a change, I’m going back to work on my Pokemon project for a bit – I’m really in the mood to get stuck back into something big and challenging for a while.

Happy stitching everyone!

February Update

As February comes to a close and Spring gives way to Winter, I can’t help but notice that I am STILL stitching CHRISTMAS things! What is wrong with me!? I don’t know if it’s because I love Christmas so much, or I just can’t work up the energy to go through the stash box and sort out something a little more appropriate for the time of year. Looking back though, I was stitching Summer holiday things in December, so maybe as a stitcher I am destined to always be working on unseasonable things!

Here’s a Christmas card I put together from a cover kit using some of the techniques my card making-sensei has been teaching me:

Christmas Teddy card (1)

Christmas Teddy card (2)

I hope for my next update to have done something more substantial, now that I am fully back in good health, and my Postgrad courses are coming to a close. I would love love love to be able to get back to working on my Magnum Opus, so please be patient with me while I write up my final essay- I can’t wait!

Christmas Odds and Ends

I’m still on the road to recovery, and it’s a slow one but I think I’m nearly there. I got back in a car yesterday for the first time since the accident, and I’m feeling better every day. In fact, I hope that by the end of next week I will be able to call myself fully recovered.

In the mean time, I wanted to show you a couple of the Christmas cards and things I made, or at least the ones I remembered to take photos of!

Santa Card

Victorian Style Santa Card

Victorian Style Angel Card

Victorian Style Angel Card

I got given a sort of starter-set of card making goodies in this Victorian Christmas theme, and had a fun few afternoons putting together as many cards as possible. I’m still pretty new to card making, and I think I went totally overboard with the glitter and ribbon and gems and whatnot! Even though it might not be what most would call ‘tasteful’, I had fun and I liked the end results because shiny things make me happy! Plus I enjoyed the thought of the card recipients opening their post and being showered with sparkles falling from the envelope.

I also started making another Christmas ornament from the Beaded Elegance set featured in a previous post, and I will try to get it finished for next Christmas!

For my New Year’s resolution this year, I have quit taking sugar in my tea and I am proud to say that 9 days and about 50 cups of tea later, I am sticking to it.

Has anyone else made a New Year’s resolution? Is this an English thing or does it happen in other countries too? Let me know!

Happy New Year and Happy Stitching to you all!

Card Making Lessons!

I’ve been so busy this week that I barely stitched a single little X on any of my projects! Instead, a very kind lady at my office has been giving me a sort of introduction to paper craft, and I’ve been trying my hand at something a little different. I’ve made a few paper craft cards before for Christmases past, but I’ve never had a proper lesson on the basics, I’ve always just sort of made it up as I go along.

So, instead of a stitching post this week, I want to proudly show off my first ever decoupage card!

Poinsettia Christmas Card 2015

I know that to my very talented and experienced readers, this is probably laughably simple but nevertheless, I’m really pleased with it! I spent so long with my little craft knife cutting around those petals oh-so-carefully, hoping it would turn out how I wanted. I have so much new found respect for papercrafters who make it look so easy to just swoop their knives around and produce perfect swirls and curves!

I hope with practice and a few more lessons I’ll be turning out a batch of beautiful decoupage cards to go with my stitched ones this year. And of course, as the weeks count down, I wish all my readers the very best of luck and speediest of needles for their own Christmas preparations!

Snowman Christmas Ornament

This week, I finished my first Christmas ornament of the year – late by a stitcher’s standard, but early for the rest of the world! Here’s Mr. Snowman

Snowman Ornament  Front

Snowman Ornament Front

My lazy daisy stitch hasn’t been used since, I think, Primary school – so I’m a bit out of practice with that and it looks quite messy. Other than that, I just love everything about this design – the gold couching for his tartan scarf, the shading on his face and the little stripes on his vest are all details that I think really make this guy something a bit special. I can’t wait to stitch the next five in the series!

Finished Snowman Ornament Detail

Finished Snowman Ornament Detail

And just look at this adorable fabric I found for the back of the ornament!

Snowman Ornament Back

Snowman Ornament Back

Festive owls! I am utterly in love with this fabric, it’s such a shame I only ordered a bag of off-cuts because now I want Christmas owls on EVERYTHING. Mr. Snowman and his owls will be taking pride of place on the tree in a few months time, and hopefully he will have a few matching pals to join him by then.

In a bizarre change of pace, I’ll next be working on a Summer vacation scene. In October. Yes, I know that’s ridiculous. I’ll show you next week, and hopefully there will be an explanation for this unseasonable nonsense!

September Progress Update

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about what I want to do with this blog. I originally started it as a way to share and catalog my progress with my stitching, so I can see if I am improving at all, and get advice from the community. When reading other people’s blogs, I really love seeing their progress updates and watching their beautiful designs grow.

Since I only felt it was worth posting when I started or finished a project, I have been missing out on that aspect in my little corner of the internet, so I am going to try and do a weekly post  regardless of how much or little I’ve managed to sew in that week. Who knows whether or not I’ll keep it up, but I just feel like trying something new!

So without further ado, here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

Snowman

Snowman Christmas Ornament

This cute snowman is about three quarters finished. He’s from a Dimensions kit with a set 6 beaded Christmas ornaments to stitch that I got from the lovely stitchingranny.wordpress.com.

Skyscape Kit - Progress

Skyscape Kit – Progress

This is the kit I talked about in an earlier post, the manufacturers kindly sent me more of the silver thread so I’m almost finished with this one too I think. Sorry for the terrible picture quality by the way, I only have time to stitch at night and the lighting plus flash is truly an awful combination!

Alright, well that was my week, let’s see if I manage another one of these next weekend! As always, I look forward to seeing everyone else’s inspiring updates too!