Cross-stitch, quilting, craft….

Archive for August, 2009

Gateway To The Weekend

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This week has been one of those crazy ones when both The Missus and I hit the ground running and didn’t stop!  I did manage to squeeze a bit of  stitching in….I finished the pressie for overseas….Then forgot to post it this afternoon…I wasn’t tired was I?    I did get the front of Ned Kelly Kitty finished and added mine and The Missus’ names.  It’s going to be a dangly thing for her car.  I’ve reserved Sunday for sitting, stitching/sewing and drinking many cups of tea, so I’m hoping to get it finished!  When it is done I will start My Needle’s Work….I’ve been itching to start it since I bought the pattern and floss at the craft fair.  There were just a few itching to start projects before it! lol

 Gail Pan, of A Christmas Wish free BOM fame is giving away two copies of her brand new quilting book Baskets In Bloom.  There will be one for you….and one for me!

 I’m off to Stitch and Bitch with The Missus….have a wonderful crafty weekend!

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Some Things Never Change

When The Missus and I lived in the country, to celebrate that we had survived until hump week of each term we’d jump in the car, take a two hour trek to the nearest large town and spend a weekend enjoying civilisation….Since we moved back to the big smoke nothing has changed…..we still like to celebrate…..without all the travel….and we also get to sleep in our own bed!

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I continued the tradition on Friday night after work as I trekked over to the (not so) LNS.  I jotted down black, orange and green fabric on a note for myself….orange and black for Count LeScarrot by Just Nan plus Boo To You and All About Halloween by Homespun Elegance.  14 count aida in green???  I have NO idea what I wanted it for…..but got a fq of it for when I remember!  No black….but I made up for it!

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Isn’t the raven in Nevermore delectable?  I didn’t even notice the cat pattern @ first.  I’ve been reading Edgar Allen Poe since I was in primary school….and The Raven is a firm favourite.  The cat is gorgeous too…..so I grabbed the grey fabric for that.  (The one in the middle of the pic that looks like khaki!)  Nevermore I’m going to stitch on some coffee dyed evenweave I’ve got in my stash.

The cat designs by Calico Crossroads are so much fun to stitch.  I couldn’t go past In Stitches. 

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The Missus and I sat down for a Stitch and Bitch on Friday night…..It was changed from a SAL, as The Missus reckons it is a real bitch when you keep stabbing your finger over and over.  She stitched the right hand cat on her WISP and I reckon she did a great job, as she is a beginner stitcher.  I worked on the hearts.  I hadn’t centered it properly when I traced it, so rinsed the calico and retraced it.  It felt peculiar stitching on something so floppy….even in a hoop.  I don’t prewash fabrics before I use them, as I like the stiffness the size gives. 

In a continued celebration of hump week The Missus and I had a scrumptious lunch @ our favourite café.  Then we wandered over to the bead shop where I found a cute cat on a broom stick charm.  I intended getting just one bead, but I reckon coming out of there with change out of five dollars was good!

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The next stop was our favourite book shop, where the damage was much more severe!  I did a shibori course a couple of years ago, that was worse than useless.  All the techniques we were supposed to learn (and didn’t) were in Shibori Designs and Techniques…..How could I resist?

There are over 20 project ideas in Mixed Mania.  I’ve dabbled in mixed media on and off for nearly ten years.  The two gals who wrote this book have both contributed to Cloth, Paper, Scissors and I really like their style.

The excitement of finding those two books paled in comparison to the giddiness I felt when I spotted The Winds Of Dune.  I thought this series was finished with Paul Of Dune….Joy of joys….The Throne Of Dune is forthcoming!!!!

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Here’s my progress on Ned Kelly Kitty.  I’m making it into a dangly thing for The Missus to pin up on her office board @ work.  It is more like the Cheshire Cat from Alice In Wonderland than a bushranger at the moment.

The OS gift is finished….but not photos until it reaches its destination.

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I’ve finished the dark brown part of the skirt of the TOT Fairy…..just in the nick of time, as I didn’t have much floss left!  After her dress is finished, I’m moving her up from being a weekend only stitch….I’d like to make more progress on her.   

Wishing you a happy and crafty week.

Chaotic Cupcakes and other Oddities

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This biscornu for the Missus I’ve named Chaotic Cup Cakes.  It is my second go at this pattern by The Floss Studio and I think the name is entirely appropriate.  The first one I made was on pearl linen.  It unravelled so much there was not enough seam left to stitch the two sides together.  That one went into the round filing cabinet and I ignored the pattern until I could look at it without feeling annoyed. 

This time I couldn’t put my finger on what it was that I didn’t like about it until I had finished stitching all the cupcakes….Then I realised on two of them the stitches were back to front…..It took me a few looks to figure that one out, as I was turning the aida as I scrutinised it….which made that particular cupcake look ok….I had also been turning the aida as I stitched each cup cake….Hence back to front stitching on two of them!  A quick frogging….a few evil looks at the frogs on the bookcase (which were sitting having a quiet chuckle)….a couple of nights stitching and all was fixed! 

Then it was time to write the finish date on the pattern and a few final notes…..and I realised that I had been making notes with the book upside down.  Definitely a chaotic design!

I added the beads as little cherries, as they stand out more than a cross stitch.  I have no idea what brand, size etc. they are.  They have made the colours come together and finish off the stitching.  I’ve been using them for quite a few years instead of french knots on cross stitch Christmas cards.  I filled it with white stuffing beads.  I like how these give a little bit of weight to biscornues.

During the week I also started a little gift for ?????????….no piccies of that one yet!

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I finished the Believe square from Gail Pan’s BOM (there’s a link in the sidebar) while having a cuppa tea with The Missus.  I’m enjoying stitching these.  I’ve picked out the block “peace” to do next.    These have become a Friday night staple.  At the end of the week my brain is too fried to concentrate on anything more complicated! lol  I’m getting extremely curious about how Gail is going to finish them off….even though I will probably be ready to finish mine next year sometime. 

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The Missus and I have decided to make Friday a SAL night.  This is Blessed Are the Cats designed by Barb Smith.  The Missus has started hers already and I’ll have, mine ready to go by Friday.  I’m thinking of using some of the leftover threads from Peaceful Forest for it.  I’m looking forward to us sitting and stitching together.  The ink which dissolves in water is a wonderful invention….but the fat nib on the pen I used to trace the design is not!

When I make deadlines I like to make them lllllllloooooooonnnnnnggggggggg…..like finishing the TOT Fairy for Halloween 2010 or finishing The Monolith for Christmas.  I’m up to the section on the TOT Fairy which I frogged a few times, so am quadruple checking that I’m following the pattern!  I’ve tackled it from the bottom up this time, which I think will help, too, as I hopefully won’t have a “memory” of it with mistakes! 

I’ve had a think about how I’m going to finish Four Fat Friends….and have decided to make a pin keep.  I’ve admired many on people’s blogs, but have never finished a cross stitch in this way before.  It will be fun…..and I will have a trip to the scrapbooking shop just up the road and round the corner for some lovely ribbon to use on it.  I wonder what else will follow me home?  *grinz*

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The pattern for this little beastie is from the book Softies.  It was fun to make and an easy first (finished) project on my new sewing machine.  Previous to this I’d been zooming up and down on a piece of homespun to check out all the stitches….kept me quiet for a few hours *big grin*.  After that I played around with a couple of Teapotz blocks thinking I’d make a bag or two to for the sewing machine foot and cord.  To cut a long story short….one block ended up in the round filing cabinet and the other in Coventry….again.  Softies are fun to make and I can see a few more being made from both Softies and More Softies in the near future….especially more owls for Halloween.

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This is the pattern I based my softie on….Notice the ears?  I made two lovely pink ears…the same colour as the face……then forgot to sew them on!  Nothing new…I forget to sew in bag handles on a regular basis.  lol  I plan on making another softie soon and will sew all the way around, then cut a hole in the back for stuffing….I find it gives a much rounder head.

 This week’s stitching will start with the TOT Fairy tonight….she has been a bit neglected over the last couple of weekends.  During the week I plan on making a  fob for my new scissors.  I’m leaning towards the Ned Kelly Kitty.  (One of the patterns I bought at the craft fair a couple of weeks ago.)  The other two I’m thinking about making into little door danglies for Halloween and Christmas, rather than fobs.  I may even be able to get a second one started…..after flipping a coin to choose which one to make first!

 Wishing you a safe, craft filled week.

Stitch Me! Stitch Me!

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Do you ever hear a design calling to you? Begging to be worked on? I gave into that voice last weekend and started stitching Four Fat Friends, a complementary design by The Drawn Thread. I finished it a short while ago while watching The Ashes…..COME ON AUSSIE!!!! It’s the lunch break now….so a good time to have a cuppa and write a blog.

I really couldn’t get the design out of my head and it was fun to stitch. The pattern recommended Weeks Dye Works threads, which I’m not particularly keen on, so used DMC instead. (The colours are at the end of the blog entry.) I changed the brown on the birds to black so they would be more like the robins which The Missus and I have seen down in the south west of the state.

I haven’t got a clue how I’m going to finish this one yet….but plan on having it as a Christmas design, so have a few more months to think about it yet! If I do tuck it away, I will need to make a note of where I’ve put it, as I have a habit of putting things away in a “safe place”, then forgetting all about them. It can lead to some interesting surprises!

I stitched the whole of the tree first and came to the conclusion that it would make a fabulous base for a Halloween design….an odd autumn toned leaf hanging from the branches and an owl or ghoulie or two instead of the robins…..It could be a summer holiday project!

Four Fat Friends DMC colours
Tree trunk and branches                DMC 3031
Leaves                                                    DMC 904
Bird bodies                                           DMC 816
Bird feathers, beaks and legs        DMC 310

Shiny Things

Yesterday was an immersion in shiny things from the beginning to the end.  The Missus and I spent a few hours at the WA Craft Quilt and Stitch Show.  This is the third one we’ve been to and each time has been lots of fun. 

 There was the Art To Wear exhibition – wearable art from textile artists around Australia, as well as local year 12 students…..It made me want to do the conversion to high school technology and design teaching….until I remembered I’d have to teach teenagers. 

 The WA Teddy Bear Challenge made me want to take up teddy bear making….even though a couple of days ago I was muttering about taking up no more crafts……

 The Australian Cloth Doll Challenge was inspirational….with entries from all skill levels….right from simple softies to sculpted dolls…..and had me digging through my cloth doll patterns last night.

 It is the Embroiderer’s Guild of Western Australia’s 40th anniversary this year and they had an amazing exhibition called “Through the eye of a needle” with all kinds of embroidery stitched by their members from 1969 until now.

 I loved watching the ladies from the Lace Makers Guild flicking the myriad of bobbins around to make delicate pieces of lace.  I thought about taking up lace making many years ago, but changed my mind when I found out how long it takes to make. 

 I did the same thing yesterday with spinning using a wheel….There was a lady there spinning some undyed wool….She made it look effortless and I knew then that one of my other hobbies would have to give if I wanted to take it up while I’m working full time….It is something to think about when I retire….along with teddy bear making.  Anyone know the winning Lotto numbers for Saturday?

 The Southern Country Quilters Association had an exhibition with hundreds of quilts….that was inspirational!  There were also some art quilts on display by professionals….but nothing beat the ones by the SCQA.

 No craft fair would be complete without a splurge or three……

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The first splurge was at Colours Down Under which is a Perth web based cross stitch shop…Lestat picked out which of The Cat’s Whisker’s Design Studio (based here in Perth…YAY!!!) Krazy Kitties patterns he thinks I should do first….He was most insistent that I drop all other craftprojects and work on these immediately….when I’m not fussing him, feeding him, or changing his tray….in those down times when he is asleep.

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I admired Jane’s The Rain Fell as she was working on it and couldn’t resist the pattern when I saw it…along with Home of a Needleworker and My Needle’s Work….which I was most excited to find with the threads, as I’m watching Coni’s lovely progress on the same design.

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While I was busy checking out which scissors to buy…..Aren’t these cute? 

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The Missus was looking for Halloween designs and found Pretty Wicked! with the magic mat and frame and Count LeScarrot by Just Nan  plus Boo To You and All About Halloween by Homespun Elegance.  She did a good job.

 My not so LNS had a huge stall there, which was great, because I could show The Missus what Shepard’s Bush stockings look like made up……I’m glad she liked them….otherwise I’d end up with two!  I didn’t get anything from their stall, as I was only there a few weeks ago.

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Logan’s Patchwork was there, with lots of scrummy fabric to drool over.  I’m purchasing wholly and solely from my stash at the moment….apart from the Laurel Burch panel I found.  It has two repeats, so I assume it is a cushion panel.  I will have a think about how I am going to use it.  I’ve been a fan of her fabric range (especially the cats) for many, many meows.  I think both the art and craft world lost someone special when she died.

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I thought this was the Be Attitudes book when I saw it, then just about jumped for joy when I saw it was a Christmas theme, as you know,  I’m in Christmas mode just now….and I was thinking a few hours ahead to a possible purchase….

 After the craft fair we zoomed onto the freeway and went to wave off a long time dearly loved friend into a new life of retirement and charity work.  She’s been a hard worker for many years and we have spent many joyful creative hours together…..but it is time for her to spend her remaining days doing charitable work.  Who is this wonderful creature you ask?  Here is a piccie of her fighting the good fight with a frog…..

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The Missus passed me a Janome catalogue on Friday night which came with the junk mail….which had a stack of brand spanking new sewing machines with a $200 cash back/trade back on your old machine deal.  There just happened to be a Janome stand at the craft fair…..right where we walked in the door….It was fate I tell you!

 While chatting with the ladies on the Janome stall at the craft fair we found out that Janome collects unwanted sewing machines and sends them to the Phillipines where they are donated to a charity that helps set up small businesses for women.….What better use for a sewing machine I have outgrown? 

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The Missus and I decided it would be worthwhile zooming over to their store after the craft fair to look at one of their machines (which was not on their stand).  The ladies in the store were extremely helpful and my eyes were apparently like saucers when I was watching a demo for a machine.  My old one was manual….and this one was computerised.  *swoons*   The Memory Craft 350 came home with me…..

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Along with some extras which were thrown in for nothing….A walking foot, a ¼ inch seam foot, a box of 25 bobbins and a pair of dressmaking scissors.  The scissors were an extra added bonus, as I was the first customer to mention the catalogue….and they are purple. *grinz* 

It was almost 2pm by then, so we hopped back in the car and zoomed over to Han’s Café (one of our favourite places for cheap, scrummy eats) for lunch….Then home to prune (too) many branches from a tree in the back yard using a tree lopper we bought at the craft fair.  The Missus lopped….I stacked loppings.  She was zooming along so fast I just about had to run to keep up with her!  It goes without saying that we both fell in a heap in front of a dvd last night (an episode of Red Dwarf and then the first half of the movie Big Fish.)  A great way to end a fabulous day.