Cross-stitch, quilting, craft….

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Goodies, Goodie, Goodie Yum, Yummmmm!!!

Nope, not the Tim, Grahame and Bill type Goodies…..The crafty kind instead.  It was our annual  pilgrimage to the WA Craft, Quilt and Stitch Show.  It is my favourite craft show and I took so many piccies I ran out of memory on my phone!  When we were leaving, The Missus told me we had been there for five hours……it really didn’t seem THAT long!  It was quieter than previous years, which was fine, because it meant it was easier to walk around.  The Missus found some beady goodness and I found so much that I’d have to take out a personal loan to pay for it all!

This would have to be the find of the fair….The Missus and I are both left handed and even though she doesn’t do a lot of embroidery, she has seen me get frustrated when attempting to change a pattern for right handers to one for a southpaw.  The majority of books will say reverse the stitches for left handers and it is not always that simple!  We were at my favourite stall, The Thread Studio, which is an online store based here in Perth, when The Missus put the book in my hands and said ‘You HAVE to get it!”  I stood there with it in my hands looking at it like a stunned mullet….It was the first time I’ve ever seen a craft book for lefties by a lefty!  It has explicit illustrations and we both found it quite odd to look at, because it is the opposite to what we are used to seeing.  I’m not complaining though,  it is fabulous.  I have a little embroidery project in mind and will begin sketching it out this week, with help from the book.

The Missus and I have been known to while away an afternoon or two sitting at the kitchen table making an ATC or three.  I’ve seen this book so many times, thought about getting it and put it down again.  This time I thought why not?  So I added it to the ever growing pile.  There are thirty five different techniques, with nothing too complicated and oodles of examples.  The instructions are simple and not restrictive.  It is the kind of book which is great craft p*rn or as an inspirational jump point.

I’ve been stuck for a while on how to transfer an image for an Steampunk themed art quilt which I’m designing  for The Missus.  I can’t say any more than that about it, as she knows that I’m making it for her, but that is all……besides me racing around the house shouting, “I have another great idea for your Steampunk quilt”.  This book has techniques using glues and mediums, heat, solvents and everything else in between!  The hard bit now will be choosing which technique to use!  If that is as hard as it gets, it can only be fun, can’t it?  I can see applications in all sorts of other pieces, too!  I think this one will be a great learning aid and I’ll be able to explore and expand my skills until the emus come home quite happily!

I can see hours of fun making bags and journal covers coming out of this book.  Many moons ago, as part of my first university degree  I majored in art.  This book continues from where I left off.  Assignments and other constraints  saw me move away from art to craft for a long time.  Now I will be able to combine the two!

The Missus was happy to add the Steampunk stamp to her stash….I may have to borrow it to use on her quilt!  A knitting chicken wearing a Christmas hat?  How could I resist?  I don’t know about where you are, but Penny Black stamps are expensive here.  I occasionally find a bargain….like this one.

The “newspaper” fq made me laugh….which was a good enough reason to get it.  I don’t know how I will use it, yet.  Getting it out every so often and fondling it sounds fine for right now.  The other two, however, are destined for a square in a square throw.  I’ll be starting that after I’ve completed the project which incorporates……..

a bug quilt.  I had said no more bug fabric, until I saw these two.  Instead of a Bugs In A Bottle, I’m making snowball blocks and making it Bugs In A Paperweight.  I thought a pieced quilt would make a change, as I’ve mostly made foundation pieced and appliqué quilts.  Those cute little bug tiles are a pressie from The Missus.  They came from her stash.  She handed them to me last night and said she thought I’d be able to use them on the bug quilt.

The Missus found the black and white fabric and asked if I’d make her an i-pod cover….Which I’mhappy to do!  By the end of the day, we had found a different use for it.  I’m hoping to be able to squeeze out an i-pod cover, too.  However it works out, I will be able to practise my hand quilting…..which I’ve not done for a very long time.  The penguin fabric can rest in my stash for a while.

After I spotted a quilt which I liked on a stall using fabric similar to what I have in my stash from this line, I snapped a piccie on my phone then purchased the fq’s.  Gotta love serendipity.

Any idea what this……..

and this have to do with our trip to the craft fair?

If you guess they are the back of our e-readers and I’m going to use the black and white fabric to make a cover for the one belonging to The Missus annnnddddd I’m going to use the left handed embroidery book to help design a cover for mine, you are amazingly psychic and could you please tell me what the winning Lotto numbers are for next Saturday….I will split the winnings with you 50/50.

As part of The Great Cull of 2010, we decided that e-readers  are a much more realistic proposition for both of us than continuing to collect physical books.  The readers came preloaded with some awesome copyright free books from Gutenberg.  Some of them we already have as hard copies, which we will be taking to the second hand shop, then go out for coffee on what we get for them.  This will free up some room.  We’ve both started reading using them today and found them to be great.  The Missus is reading Phantom of the Opera and I’m reading Sleepy Hollow.  No guessing where our tastes lie is there?  lol

I’m off to make prawn laksa for tea and see if I can download yesterday’s piccies from the phone without deleting them!  If I can, I will post a few piccies next time, plus some progress piccies of my WIPS.

Here’s to a craft filled week!!!!


No Longer……


Yesterday The Missus and I had a once in a lifetime opportunity.  We saw SIR IAN MCKELLEN in the Absurdist play Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett at His Majesty’s Theatre…here…in Perth…!!!!!!!   Just in case you are wondering who/what I’m blathering on about….He is the actor who played Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, James Whale in Gods and Monsters,  also Magneto in  the X-Men trilogy…..and those are just a few of his roles!!!  The Missus and I have been admirers of his for many years, not only as an actor, but also as a gay activist.

We saw Miriam Margolyes a couple of years ago on stage (She played Professor Sprout in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) which was fabulous.  Even knowing that she is gay (her preference to lesbian) didn’t have as much impact as seeing Sir Ian on stage….Partly I’ve enjoyed seeing him in other roles,  partly because he is a magnificent actor, partly because even though he is a slightly built man who doesn’t stand out WAS Estrogen and a big part is because he is a gay activist and activism has always been important to me.

Before the show we came across a “here today, gone tomorrow” book shop….Nothing over $20…including the Greek Cookbook which retails @ $50 (the other books were a LOT less….except the Crobot book, which I purchased at another shop).  That is my kind of shopping!

This bodem cosie started out life as a pair of fingerless mittens…..until the pieces bloomed when I washed them.  It was either make an offer to Andre the Giant….or find another solution!  I must remember to swatch!!!

I finished the top for the tablecloth today.  It is a Chinese coin purse joined with black strips.  We both love the look of it.  Lestat shot on top of it as soon as it went on, then off just as fast when he saw the camera come out!!!  We put it on the bed to get an idea of what the design would look like.  Seeing it on there confirmed my idea about making a bedspread using the same design.  The Missus suggested cream on cream instead of black, which I think would look good.  More slicing, dicing and stash diving soon!

I finished a top for a Halloween table runner this afternoon.  I’m looking forward to quilting it this afternoon.   I dug out the Stargazey Saw Tooth pattern from my stash for the blocks.

Here’s to a crafty filled week!!!!

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!


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!


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… 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. 


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!


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!!!!


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.


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.