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!

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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.

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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 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!