Saturday, 26 November 2011

TUSAL and naughty felines

I've signed up for next year's TUSAL but I'm getting into good habits so here is this month's
I only started it on the 1st so not bad going. It's not very colourful it's full of black mostly from backstitch and the start of the Starry night. My cat Dot is here 'helping' as she has been all day. She has ran off with threads, sat on my stitching and just generally made a nuisance of herself today. Love her to bits though.

I've also finished the X stitch for another of the christmas houses so just one more to do then I'm on with making them up.

While out shopping I saw the cutest advent calendar, it was a garland with 25 little stockings hung along it with the numbers on, so you could put your own little gifts in them. It was one of those moments I looked and thought I can make one of those but as the hubby pointed out its only 4 days till December. Not that that stops me with madcap spur of the moment projects normally lol.

Actually enjoyed being back at work for the half days but did miss my little man like crazy. Sure Monday will be the big test as I'm in whole days from then.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Festive Frenzy

Progress is going slow but steady on the Starry Night, I'm just working on the first page of four. I've had a busy week of stitching distractions.

I'm just starting back work after my maternity leave just doing a couple of half days this week to get back in the swing of things and then back proper next week. So that's gonna be a shock to the system I'm sure!

The other thing that is consuming my time is my DS has decided that crawling wasn't very exciting and is now pulling himself up to stand as well. I'm super proud of course but this comes with alsorts of new challenges especially bumps as he seems to think that he can just get up and walk off!! So nothing is safe now and I'm working on using those eyes in the back of my head lol!

I'm also getting distracted drooling over stitching stuff I want Santa to bring for me. It's a hard balance between getting charts and the stuff to complete them. So I've been looking at all my wish lists and had my threads out to start working out what I need to complete what. I have already ordered HAED Middle Earth which I was totally tempted to get thanks Ewa ( It'll go quite nicely with the anniversary editions of LOTR and The Hobbit that should also be in the big man's sack to go under my tree this year.

I'm totally in love with these little things too. I keep finding myself looking at the web page for ages!
Crimson Hearts and Silver Bells

I saw them in a magazine, there's a full range of different designs and they are just the cutest. It's just a question of what order the list goes in and how the numbers crunch to what I'm ordering lol.

So excited for Christmas it's unreal!! Can't wait to take my DS to see Santa!!

Keep Stitching...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

True love and tangled threads

I have made decent progress on stuff this week considering that I haven't done much the last couple of days as I have been away for my sister's wedding.

Here's the sampler I stitched for it, I did this at the beginning of the year to make sure I definitely had it done with not knowing how much time I would have to stitch with my son arriving in March.

I let my sister pick which kit she wanted as I had asked if she wanted a sampler. Sometimes I worry if people get sick of stitchy gifts. She's a huge Tatty Ted fan so this is one she picked. It was a pretty easy stitch (only took a week to complete) but is very cute and I'm sure it'll look great in their home.

I have made a start on my small project. It the freebie kit from Crossstitcher magazine 244 the little Christmas houses. I'd been dying to do them when they came but I decided to be focused and get other stuff finished first. I've stitched the cross stitch for the first one. So got 2 more to do and then make them up.

Progress is coming along nicely on Starry Night despite a few initial grumbles with the Riolis kit.

Even though its only 2 colours I'm loving the vividness of it so far. And it seems to be stitching up well as the chart is easy to follow.

When I first opened the kit I wasn't impressed with the thread being more wool than cotton. These were all in little bundles as well with just a shade card.
I ended up with a right tangle situation with the first bundle I used, spent nearly a whole day trying to untangle and I still haven't done it. I tried to wind another one onto a bobbin card that I use for my DMC cottons but that got tangled too. I was nearly cursing the whole kit and chucking it in a corner; when my DH gave me a hand so we sat side by side on the sofa watching TV with my DH with his hands out front with the loop of wool over his hands while I wound it onto the bobbin giggling at the sight of us. But ah that's true love!!

Seen as I'm still full of cold along with my DS and DH I think I'm gonna cosy up on the sofa and get stuck back in after my little break.

Keep stitching...sniff sniff

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Time is not on your side

Seen as I've started new projects the other day I haven't really much to show at the moment but watch this space. So I thought I'd post the first of my many archived pieces.

This one is a clock that I designed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of my father's priesting. I wanted to stitch him something special. It is probably the first time I had done a bit of designing myself. It started from seeing a clockworking in a NS so I picked it up and set my brain ticking thinking what to do with it.

I took some pics of the Cuthbert Cross which he likes and he was priested at Durham Cathedral where Cuthbert was buried. I also had a pattern template that my mother used to design the silk and gold work ones she stitched on his stoles.

 I then spent many painstaking hours hand charting it. I do have a computer software program but it never seems to make them how I would like. I hate the way that it pixalates the image and those type of charts do my noggin in. I spent many hours with the papers on the window tracing and retracing till I got it right.
 I then stitched the design on black Aida. Love the contrast it gives and makes the colours pop! I used gold metallic thread for the main outlines to give it a richness.
 The quote is from one of my dad's college lecturers when he was studying theology, one of those quotes that really stuck with him. And this was the perfect quote for my ambitious idea of finishing that I had had for this. It also is one that will resonate with every stitcher!!

I added a Celtic border from a book didn't think that designing that was a necessity seen as there are so many already out there. I also added the dates to and from in the top corners. And turned my piece into a wonderful clock that sits in my father's study.

Making the stitching into the clock was the scariest part of finishing a cross stitch I have ever encountered. In adding the clockwork you need to drill   - Yes I said it DRILL a hole through the middle of the stitching. If ever there was a time to not mess up it was now!! It was then housed in a box frame.

Luckily all went well and the finished clock is a thing of beauty!

I think someday I'll have to be brave and make another cross stitch clock.

Keep stitching

Monday, 7 November 2011

Another day, another finish..

I'm on fire at the mo lol. After finishing the Mr Men height chart I've now finished the Christmas bauble.

I'm really pleased with it. I think its much more special and personal than the bought printed baubles you get for a baby's first Christmas.

This is the final side that needed doing and then I've added all the trimming on. This was the second stitching of this as I had already started it before I managed to get coffee everywhere!!

So here's the full set of close ups.

The front piece of silk had got a splash of coffee across it but I used a bit of coffee to stain it an even colour so it just looks a richer gold than it did before.

The hardest bit of making the baubles is getting the hole through the middle of the polystyrene ball. It takes some effort to get it through and even more to get the hole in the centre. I use an 8 inch mattress needle from an upholstery set of needles I got. It does the job great but always seems a bit scary sure I'll end up with it through my finger!!!

 Here's a peek in my Christmas bauble box from my stash. This contains christmassy fabrics, floral pins, sequin pins, upholstery needles, polystyrene balls, trimmings, ribbon, tassels and bells.
So my house is slowly filling up with Christmas decorations but it would be no point putting them away so close to getting them back out now would it? At least that's my excuse anyways!!!

Keep stitching..

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Watching my Mr Small become Mr Tall...

Well today's been an exciting day of finishing!! So I've got a blog full of pics

Last night I finished the backstitch on the Mr Men Height Chart.

I'm really pleased with it and the characters look so cute. Here's a closer look at them all...

My husband always asks what Mr Tickle is doing to Mr Happy....I just shake my head lol

So today I have had the sewing machine out and backed it; I added an eyelet at the top (well the hubby did the hammering) so all that needs sorting is it hanging in my son's room. Then I can watch my Mr Small become a Mr Tall!!

It would have nice for the kit to have come with at least a suggestion on finishing it. But apart from that was a wonderful stitch and I just adore the bold colours.

In having all this on the go today, means that I have a good stash rummage especially in my favourite two boxes.
The top one being my finishings/ sewing machine type stuff and the bottom one is my beloved boxes of DMC cottons all organised and various bits of fabric ready for what ever the mood takes me. My mother started me out with the first one of the thread boxes and I have added and added to it over the years.

However I have found I have a massive amount of kits still piled in another box. Dunno how I'm going to ever find the time to complete them all and know that there will be more getting added with Christmas just around the corner!!! But it's too hard to resist asking Santa to add to the stash.

This isn't counting any UFO's, small freebie kits from magazine's and other charts I have ear marked,

 I know that I'm going to stitch the Van Gogh- Starry Night next. Love the design but it's from a manufacturer I haven't used before so we'll see how it goes.

Maybe I'll have a think and set myself some challenge for the new year? Any ideas for maximising productivity?

Keep stitching...

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Progress is going well on the Mr Men chart I'm on with the back stitch.
The backstitch has to be the most rewarding part of a project as it brings it all into focus.
The cross stitch was fairly straight forward with each mr men like a mini project so made for a satisfying stitch.

I did have to do a little frogging though as I ironically made my Mr Tall a little too tall!!!

The other great thing that backstitching means the project is almost complete so I get goosebumps with the excitement of thinking about what project is next.

The next thing lined up for my large project is Starry Night. Haven't done much on the bauble since coffeegate since I need to stash dive for a new bit of fabric for the last piece. I then should really finish the Hungry Caterpillar Quilt I'm making for my son. I started it at the beginning of the year but my baby bump was getting in the way so it got shelved for a bit.

I'm also thinking of going off and rummaging for a TUSAL jar and join you all in collecting up my ORT probably better than all over the chair arm as they end up currently lol

Keep stitching xxx