Monday, 15 February 2016

Hello Monday!

It's not often that Monday brings good things, it brings the end of the weekend for most people, which means getting up at ugh o'clock if you are not fortunate enough to be an early bird, so I thought I'd brighten up the start of the week with something nice to embroider - not cross stitch this time but blackwork, using a traditional pattern worked in 3 bright greens which will brighten anyone's day!

The colours were inspired by another of Pinky the pink's newest princess patterns, this time Hannah Alexander's Tinkerbell (you can find the pattern here: Pinky the pink's Etsy )  The choice of a flower like shape was also inspired by this pattern as there is nothing that Tinkerbell likes more than flowers.

You can find the pattern here

You can finish this embroidery as a fob in 2 ways.
The first is done like this:
  • Do a line of back stitching all the way round
  • Turn it so the back of the work is facing up 
  • Fold the seam allowance down and finger press in place
  • Fold two adjoining corners towards the centre and whip stitch them together along the line that connects them
  • Fold the 3rd corner over and whip stitch it along the line between it and the adjoining two
  • Fold over the last corner and whip stitch one more side closed
  • Then stuff the fob through the last opening
  • Tuck a bit of ribbon or cord in the top of the corner and whip stitch the last seam closed.
Alternatively you can make it into a lovely biscornu by making 2 sides the same and joining them together.

Enjoy!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

A quick little something for the weekend

People who know me know I'm a bit of a fan of Pinky's work, even though I don't like stitching people, I do love the things she makes, and I admire them from afar. Last time she brought out a series of princesses I made some scissor fobs with the colours and this time I will probably do the same for all 3. I am however starting with just the 1 now - Princess Mulan - which Pinky made using original artwork by Hannah Alexander, you can find the pattern here: Pinky the pink's Etsy
Please note that as the patterns are limited to just 50 of each so you may find that the pattern is sold out.

For this one rare occasion I have not stitched the pattern first, I just don't have the time right now, but I know the colours work and the result will leave you more than happy.

Use any size fabric you like, just remember that the finer the fabric the smaller the result will be - I design using 18ct Aida as that is what I use most often so that is what the size shows on the pattern, if you use 14ct Aida or 28 ct linen over 2 then it will of course be bigger.

You can find the pattern here

The pattern idea was from the log cabin quilt blocks that make such wonderful patterns depending on which colours you use and, as you can see, I managed to create flower-like shapes with leaves on a pale green background.

The colours use normal DMC stranded cotton, and some blended colours taken from the colours used in the pattern itself. Remember blended colours are NOT scary or difficult! You just need to carefully look which colours you need and if you need more than one colour take one strand of each to thread your needle with - that simple.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

WIP Wednesday

I thought I'd use today to give a bit of an update as to what I'm actually working on, and also share a few recent finishes.

First of all I'll start with the photo at the top, it's Theresa Wentzler's Castle Ridge that I started last year on January 1st at the stroke of midnight. The last time you saw it it looked like this:
I picked it up again on Sunday and as you can see I have made quite a bit of progress since then - when I;ve finished the bit I'm working on now I'll have done ~1000 additional stitches. What I had done before was roughly 800 stitches. I plan on working on this till Saturday when I will pick up the next project, probably Mike's Mushrooms, but I'll update about that at a later date.

Before I picked this up on Sunday I spent around a week working on another project The "a border a week" better known in The Netherlands as "randje per week" I was planning on keeping up as best as I could but it wasn't to be, so many other projects pushed this out of the way. The last photo I have of this that was posted on the WIP page of the blog is this one: 
Made some time in the spring. I worked on and off on it in between other stuff when I needed something simple to work on. It now looks like this after last week's work on it:
The different motifs were ones I added myself, the butterfly and ravens are both from old magazine cuttings I have that were originally in other colours, the lizard I found on this site: amintkipattan.blogspot.com (linked to the page with the pattern) I'm not certain which language this is but the language of cross stitch is universal and I'm sure you will enjoy the patterns this designer offers too!

Another thing I have been working on recently is crochet. I am currently working on a purple and black hooded cowl for my oldest son. It doesn't look like much yet, but I'm only on the 4th round so that's to be expected.
I'm using Stylecraft DK special, the shade you see here is 1425, Emperor although it's a bit richer/darker in person. Purple is such a difficult colour to photograph. I'll be adding some details with the black I have of the same make and ending up with some rows of black too. It was mean and decided to be an infinity cowl, which I tried very hard to avoid, but somehow managed anyway. it has made the adding of the desired pattern more difficult but I'll muddle my way through. I started with a chain of 300 so it's pretty big.

Time for a couple of recent finishes!

First of all is the pesky backstitching issue I had with the spray of Jasmine when I used the colours in the pattern they just didn't show up at all, probably because I chose a green linen and not the asked for white Aida.
Ripping it out was so difficult it ended up in the drawer of doom and sat there till I unearthed it last weekend. I decided on the colours to use and I'm ok with the result but even now it's not as obvious as I'd have wanted, however I still dislike this piece as much as I did last time I worked on it, so disappointing. Interestingly enough the linen looks almost grey in this picture, which it definitively isn't in reality as it's a lovely pale green. This will now be moved to my completed list.

Then there is the ornament pattern I wanted to do for the Halloween SAL with Leonore and the gang, which didn't really go as well as planned due to the enormous amount of other things that needed to be stitched. When you last saw it it looked like this:
Some time in January I finally completed the last stitches, I'm not yet sure how i want to finish this so I'm leaving it as is for now.
Because I didn't want a stripy effect from the threads I'd worked the cross stitch area's in a circle instead of rows. I'm quite happy with the way this turned out.

That's all for now - see you next time!







Sunday, 7 February 2016

It's been a while

A long, long while. December was crazy busy and January somehow became the month of recovery. I don't talk about it much but my health isn't too brilliant so after crazy busy times I need recovery time and this time it took a whole month.

During the month I had time to reflect, as one does in January, on what I'd been up to last year and what I want to do this year. One thing I realised is that back to back stitching deadlines are not for me. Yes it's fun making something new every 2 weeks - the ornaments of the month that I posted on the Nerd Central Command International website and the fob a month I posted here but then stopped doing due to lack of time and energy, though I did plan on continuing with them it somehow didn't happen 3 months in a row. I'm going to continue giving free patterns here, but not on a schedule. This will give me more time to make things I want to make and not have to worry about specific things that people are expecting me to make.

One thing I have been playing with as a plan is making 3-D ornaments and this I really want to do as I think it will be fun. So look out for them, and the free patterns, during the coming year.

The other things I want to work on this year are my WIPS, With all the deadlines last year they got left by the wayside and some are in danger of becoming UFOs *yikes*

I will continue joining in with competitions that are hosted on the deviantart group #stitchingpirates. The current one is called Gamers Delight and I have a nice plan for my entry, which will be a creature from the Doctor Who: Legacy game I enjoy so much, but don't play as much as I'd like as I can't stitch and play at the same time. I hope to post almost daily updates on this project once I start it.

I will be blogging about how to make an almost T.A.R.D.I.S. like bag, a bag that can hold so much more then it looks like it should be able to carry, which the Harry Potter fans might see as a bag with an Undetectable Extension Charm, much like Hermiome Granger's beaded bag, but not as big on the inside. The important bit about this bag is that it meets RyanAir's rules about the second bit of hand luggage so it can carry extra stuff when travelling. This will be the first thing I blog about as I do have  deadline for it - in less than 2 weeks from today it has to be ready for the recipient to collect it.

After the wall of text it's high time I gave you something nice to look at so here are some pictures of things I finished but have not yet blogged about.

Ornament of the Month - October
Ornament of the Month November
Ornament of the Month - November


The last 3 are all Ornaments of the Month for December.

This was going to be the Fob a Month pattern for November but alas it was not posted in time for that, however I will give the pattern soon.

I don't think  I ever got round to posting this either but.. not only did I complete this but I also won first prize for finishing this first in the speed stitching contest!

I have a few more things to post but they are still on the way to the intended recipient and as they are a surprise and I know at least one of them reads this blog I'm going to wait till after they arrive to share them.

That's all for now.. I'll be back soon with the start of the bag project!