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!

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

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.

WP_20160401_23_05_17_Pro 1

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 done¬†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 ūüėõ

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!

Unseasonable Stitching

Happy Halloween everybody!

This week, I’ve taken a break from Christmas stitching (even though I’m never going to hit my card making deadlines at this rate!). Instead, I’ve been working on this absolutely stunning Michael Powell design – nearly finished now!

Michael Powells Mini Greek Islands 2

This is the design ‘Mini Greek Islands 2’ by Michael Powell, which can be purchased HERE. I used the chart only rather than a kit so I could replace a couple of the colours for ever so slightly brighter ones. I want to make this into a little Christmas gift for my Mum, because we both have such wonderful memories of holidays on beautiful Santorini when I (and she! – haha! ) was younger.

As I stitch I think longingly of the Greek summer sun, and wish my fingers weren’t so numb from the cold that I can barely hold the needle! I think it will be done in one or maybe two more days, and then it’s back to the Christmas cards and the mad dash to the December finish line.

Here’s a little gallery I put together so I can keep track of how much progress I make in each stitching session.

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Oh, and one final thing –¬†Can anyone recommend to me some decent cross stitch charting software that doesn’t break the bank please?¬†I’ve become dissatisfied with KGChart, which is what I’ve used up until now, and I have a couple of new patterns waiting to be uploaded which I’d like to try a different program with. Thanks in advance!

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!

Skyscape Completed, Plus Kit Review

Skyscape is done, pressed and framed! Hooray!

Skyscape Finsihed

Admittedly, the frame is not a perfect fit, but it’s good enough for now. I found it lying around in a pile of spares, and I really can’t be doing with trying to get a custom sized one at the moment. Here’s a close up of the details in the beading and metallics to distract you from the poor framing ;D ¬†:

Skyscape Detail

I’ve put it up in a hallway with my Bioshock poster, and another print in similar colours, and I’m pretty pleased with how it looks:

Skyscape Hung

Please excuse the horrible wallpaper, my apartment is a rental so I can’t change it no mater how much I want to!

As usual, I’m going to sum up my experience with this kit in case any readers are planning to buy from the same company or designer. The kit is ‘Skyscape’ by Classic Embroidery, and the designer is Barbara Thompson

Here’s a look at the kit contents – Anchor threads, a silver metallic, some opalescent beads, 14 count aida and 3 needles, for cross stitch, backstitch and beading respectively:

Skyscape Contents

PROS –¬†

  • Really good quality materials, even the metallic thread was a pleasure to stitch with.
  • I adore the designs in the series, art deco is one of my favourite styles and I think they’re really unique and unusual. They look really modern and elegant displayed in a home compared to some of the more traditonal / old fashioned designs available.
  • Super simple to follow chart in a large print, with an easy-to-read key and symbols.
  • It was very fun to stitch and quick to complete, with lots of large areas of the same colour.
  • Very detailed instructions, ideal for cross stitch beginners
  • Great customer service from the team at Classic Embroidery

CONS –¬†

  • Nowhere near enough silver metallic thread provided, I ran out less than halfway through the project. However, one quick email to Classic Embroidery and there was a brand new skein posted to me free of charge. There was plenty of all the other materials.
  • Black and white only chart – not that colours would have helped me much, but I know some people prefer it!

Saturday Update – Nearly Done!

This week, I’ve made quite a bit of progress on my stitching, as I promised myself I would try to. I’ve finished all the cross stitches in both pieces that I’m working on, and only have the backstitch details and beads left to add.

Skyscape Progress Picture 10th October

Skyscape Progress Picture 10th October

Skyscape is really looking better now the art-deco linework is being added. I can’t wait to get this one up and framed with the Bioshock posters and things.

Snowman Progress Picture 10th OCtober

Snowman Progress Picture 10th October

I seriously love this chubby little snowman. I am genuinely excited to put the french knots in for his coal lump smile to go with his adorable rosy cheeks and carrot nose. It’s nice to be stitching this kind of scene when my house is so chilly that¬†I can barely hold a needle at the moment, it makes me think of the positive things about this time of year instead of whinging about how cold I am all the time!

Also this week has been the Star Wars Battlefront beta, (which for the non-gamers in the audience means I’ve been running around in a video game re-enacting some of the best bits of the old Star Wars movies), and I have to say it has been amazing fun. I don’t know if there will be enough there to convince me to by this game day one, but the sound effects are straight out of the movies, the graphics are gorgeous and it really does capture the essence of the films for me. I honestly feel like it’s a dream come true for the little kid version of me who ran around on the playground with my friends pretending to be Princess Leia escaping the stormtroopers, or piloting an imaginary X-Wing through outer space. In fact, I think I’ll have to go play some more right now, before they take it away and make me pay actual money for it!

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!

Floral Earring Keeper, or, More Things to Make with Cover Kits

After last week’s foray into Christmassy, wintertime things, I’ve returned to the land of bright, Summery florals, just in time for the English weather to perk up once again and bring a last blast of warmth before Autumn sets in.

I had a little root through the old cover kit stash to find something small enough to take to work and discovered a lovely padded ornament kit. I duly stitched it up and even managed to stick to the instructions this time, but when it came to making up the ornament, I just couldn’t do it as I was told! So, instead of a hanging ornament, I now have an earring keeper:
Earring keeper front

I added some sequins and beads, because everything has to be as shiny as possible or I am dissatisfied. I also did NOT add enough wadding – as you can see, it’s not the¬†most circular circle in the world! It doesn’t help that my sewing machine is AWOL being borrowed by a relative, so I stitched it together quite hurriedly by hand, but with the pretty backing fabric and the shiny sequins, I’m pleased with it nevertheless ūüėÄ Now it can hang on an arm of my jewelry tree and keep all my earrings in nice neat pairs¬†for me!
Earring keeper Side