Cross-stitch, quilting, craft….

Archive for the ‘Craft’ Category

Starting The New Year With A Giggle Or Three

I like to start my blog with a piccie….These are some ruby Swarovski Beads I’m adding to a Christmas wall hanging.

Do you ever have these kind of moments or is it just me????

Moment One

I was wearing a t-shirt with a line of glow in the dark writing the other night when I walked into a darkened room and wondered where the line of light was coming from.

Moment Two

I decided to make two litres of egg nog.  I used a measuring jug to measure out two litres of milk from a two litre milk carton.  This was the same night as Moment One…..No, the egg nog was not fortified.

Moment Three

A few minutes ago I was trying to figure out how to download photos from my new camera for the first time.  Up popped a picture of a very serious, familiar looking woman.   It was only when the image moved I realised that I’d turned on the webcam inadvertently and I was looking at myself.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and start to the New Year.  The Missus and I certainly did.  New Years Eve was particularly good, as we had both gone down a clothing size.  We celebrated with a new pair of bathers each.  (It was lovely to go swimming today wearing a pair of bathers which do not droop in inappropriate places.)  On New Years Day I completed a throw for the back of the settee……my first project for 2011.

I used a metre of cat fabric which I did not want to cut up….or leave in the stash.  A bit of cross hatching and that was that!

It is also part of a larger plan.  I’ve decided to give myself a shortish challenge to finish eleven UFOs in eleven weeks.  I’m almost hoping for some stinking hot weather over the next couple of weeks, so it will be too hot to go out anywhere and I can sit and sew all day.

I bought half a metre of the red fabric a few months ago without a project in mind.  I had an ‘aha!’ moment around Christmas time.  It was just what this small table needed to protect it from the budgie cage.

It was one of those fabrics which called out “take me home with you”!  It is not something I’d buy normally, but I just couldn’t resist.  I’ve always been partial to neutrals…black, white, cream, brown, tone on tone.  I took a guess that this one would work and I’m pleased to say it did.

The end of the year saw some therapeutic instant gratification with three simple mug rugs.  A simple project can really hit the spot sometimes, can’t it?

This mug rug for The Missus was a joint effort.  She picked the fabric and drew the swirls for me to machine quilt over.  When I first started quilting I hand quilted my projects.  I was also teaching myself how to use a sewing machine, so hand quilting was a good option.  I’m looking forward to hand quilting some new small projects this year.

I’m off to make tea….satay beef and rice.  I’ve only recently discovered how easy it is to make satay sauce……no more bottled stuff!  Have a lovely beginning of the New Year.



P.S.  This is potentially Moment Four –

One thing I can never remember is the name of Swarovski Beads.   I can see myself asking for some Schwarzkopf beads at the bead shop! lol



I can justify just about anything – including why I’d give up tonight’s jaunt to the hydro pool a miss…..

1.  It’s Friday.

2.  I feel like staying home to look at blogs and sew.

3.  I’ve been three times already this week.

4.   I’m tired……….etc, etc, etc.

All this completely ignores the fact that I feel both  invigorated and  relaxed afterwards.

I started thinking that I should come up with a few good reasons why I SHOULD go.  So I sat down with a glass of Bruce Lee….watta!!! and wrote a craft related list.

1.  Stamina

Being fit will mean I will be able to pull an all nighter.  Unfit, I’ll be a drooling, snoring, drooling mess slumped over the sewing machine or some kind of pointy sticks at 9pm instead of midnight.  The all important craft shop hopping would be affected, too….It is a cut lunch and water bottle job to reach more than one craft shop at a time in Perth, as they are well spread out across the suburbs…..which means I need to be on par with the Eveready bunny if I want to visit a few shops.

2.  Time

If I’m not  fit my immune system will not be at its optimum.  Who feels like crafting with a dose of the lurgy?  Or the amount of crafting time lost while recovering.   Not to mention what could happen to a piece of fabric if I happen to have a sneezing fit is potentially downright nasty.   Let alone the possibility of an inadvertent facial piercing if ANY kind of needle is involved.

3.  Strength

The stronger and fitter I am, the more supplies I can carry home from the local fabric/yarn/scrapbooking shop.


Have you seen the price of cold/flu tablets?  I can get 1 1/2 metres of fabric at Textile Traders for $7 or a metre of fabric from the discount table at my LQS for $12.  Medicine to ease the symptoms of the lurgy will chew right into my craft budget!

So here I sit, feeling relaxed and invigorated at the same time and feeling very glad that I did make the effort to exercise tonight and will tomorrow night, the night after that and the night after that etc etc.




The Heading You Have When You Don’t Have A Heading

After a nasty case of Blogger Block and the first thing that happens when I begin to write a post is I sit with fingers poised high above the keyboard ready to type out a witty and eyecatching title……nothing!!!  Now that is ironic. 😉 lolol

Earlier this evening saw a mad scramble before the light went to get photos of the projects I’d been  working on while being nonbloggusmentus.  Here goes………

No, we are not being taken over by strange alien creatures here in the west….It is an awesome, tiny tripod….a gift from The Missus.

Lestat sending up zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s on my computer chair.  He loves anything made of fabric and considers this chair his own.  It began its life as a Moda Bakeshop wallhanging design (I will have to look for the name of it) and because I ran short of fabric, it morphed into a throw instead.  It looks much nicer than the long strip of polycotton which was on it previously….and is much easier to get the cat hair off, too!

This scarf is maroon in r/l…amazing what the light and camera can do!  It is a wool k1, p1 scarf for The Missus when we go fishing.  It is Cleckheatons Country wool.  It is a fave of mine when I want plain yarn.  Knits up really nicely and wears well.  I’ve told her if she falls in she has to take off the scarf and let it sink, as I can always knit her another.  Her reply was she’d use it to fight off the great white shark which had pulled her in.  The way wool stretches, it would be long enough to mummify the shark by the time she had finished.

I spotted some face washers at Woolies recently and thought they’d make brilliant covers for heat/ice packs.  I think they will be much more practictical than having tea towels flapping about. 

The Missus said these decorated tea towels will give her something lovely to look at while she does the unpleasant task of drying dishes.  Gotta love that woman!

These started out as mug cosies from the Fall 2010 issue of Quilts and More.  The later the night got, the more tongue tied I became…..until I was calling them mosies….The name stuck.  The top left is mine for Halloween.  The Missus’ is on the right.  The bottom left is mine for fishing, the bottom right is The Missus’ for fishing.

About the fishing………The Missus has a tackle box full of all kinds of interesting fishing doohickies……I have a bigger tackle box….full of craft stuff!  We are going on our first fishing expedition next weekend….If she catches anything I will be running off screaming in the opposite direction. lol

This Halloween panel was the perfect size for a coffee tablecloth.  It was the year for Halloween panels.  I made a couple more, but the piccies will have to wait for the next post, as the ones I took were pretty gruesome.

Another Halloween panel which I sliced and diced and added to some Halloween fabric to make a nine patch throw for the back of the settee.  The little mats on either side are for the most spoilt cat in the Universe Lestat to sit on so he doesn’t leave fur all over the back of the settee…..Not that he sees any problem in that.  He has sulked in his basket ever since I replaced the ones that are usually there earlier this evening.  Gotta expect him to be set in his ways now he is ten….

This biscournu started life as an Christmas ornament from this year’s JCS Christmas preview edition.  I like the aida and the verigated thread, but not this design as a biscornu.

I cast on Stephen West’s appropriately named Boneyard shawl this afternoon….no piccie yet…I’ve knitting twelve rows……of the pointy end.   A nice bit of mindless knitting which you may enjoy, Miss 376!  If anyone does start it, K1 not K2 at the end of Set up Row 3 will save your sanity.

Have a wonderful Halloween and week.

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!!!!

Some PIG!

I decided today that it was about time that this project was something more than a PIG (project in a grocery bag).  It is morphing its way into a rag quilt.

Lestat thought he was terribly hard done by and was about to expire from loneliness as I’d given all my attention to slicing and dicing for at least 15 minutes before the piccie was taken.

These broaches were made by The Missus as part of my birthday present (a few weeks back).  I was totally blown away by them.  I love hand made pressies…..even something as simple as a cup of tea….It is a gift of time and we all know how precious time is!  The cushion I made last Sunday so I can display them.

I’d picked up a fq a while ago thinking I’d make “something” for The Missus “sometime”.   Sometime came about last Sunday.  I made her a lavender bag stuffed to bursting point with lavender I’d dried from the garden.  The scent is divine.

I also made a bag for my soldering iron, but the gremlins seem to have eaten the piccie.  When I bought some solder recently, the guy behind the counter asked me in a very condescending manner if I was making jewellery.  He looked rather stunned when I told him I was soldering the budgie cage.   It is a pity that kind of attitude is still around.

I took this the other night when I went for a walk just before it went dark.  The only time the water completely dries up is in the middle of summer.

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!!!!

Cooking With Gas

I’m blessing the fact that we have a gas stove………the power is going to be out for about three hours.  What’s a gal to do but make hot chocolate and blog???

Lestat is completely unphased (and unimpressed) by my go-go dancing to the theme music of the 60’s British production UFO, which The Missus is watching on the portable DVD player.  She is sitting shaking her head and laughing…..if nothing else I’m good for cheap entertainment! lol

I made a bag this morning for the portable magnifying glass I purchased yesterday at the craft fair.  It’s made from a tea towel.  The motif on it led to a very fast finish.

I finished May’s FOSAL ornament today.  It is a bit wonky on the top and bottom, as it didn’t want to behave…..It got to the stage where it was either finished wonky or was hacked to pieces…..I decided to go with the former lest The Missus have thoughts about calling the women in the white coats to come and get me…..That doesn’t bear thinking about…..All that “rest time” and not being able to play with needles and other sharp objects!

A couple of weeks ago a friend had a  bad case of the blues.  So I whipped up a dammit doll for her.  I picked the ugliest fabric in my stash….(It came as part of a fq pack so I am taking NO responsibility for picking it! lol)…..I thought it would be easier to bash if it was not pretty…..She loves it and says it is too nice to whack on a hard surface….Having something hand made had a positive effect, which is wonderful…..

I wanted to have a go at foundation pieced flying geese a couple of weeks ago, so made a runner.  The background colour blends in a bit more than I like, but I’m quite pleased with it….I just ignore the unevenness caused by sewing onto stretchy interfacing for the foundation!!!

There was a queen sized quilt at the craft fair yesterday that was made up of all small flying geese.  It was hand quilted… that would take patience!  It was in cream and a soft pink.  It would look stunning in a feminine bedroom.

Have a fab week!