07 Aug 2012
in Cross stitching
Tags: Anniversary Mandala, Chatelaine, cross stitch, crossstitch, European Crossstitch Company, Fairytale castle, Sleeping Beauty's Castle
In June I started the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Mandala (AKA the Anniversary Mandala AKA Fairy Tale Castle Mandala AKA Online 95) from Chatelaine Designs. I’ve been wanting to stitch one of Martina’s gorgeous designs for a while now, but this is the first one that screamed “STITCH ME! STITCH ME!”. What could I do but oblige?
I bought the kit (sans fabric) from European Crossstitch Company, once it was shipped it arrived very quickly from the states, excellent service all around.
I got my fabric from the always dependable Sew and So, 32-count Antique Blue Belfast linen from Zweigart. It’s a very, very pale, slightly mottled blue, as of yet none of the pictures seem to pick up the actually colour of it.
As I said, I started it in June after three parts had been released, but I’ve only just finished part 1. It’s been a bit slow going, the pure cross stitch part seem to take forever and it was super boring, I just wanted to get to the specialty stitches (patience is NOT one of my virtues). In the beginning I took a picture after each colour change, but towards the end I kind of forgot. I promise I will aim to do better for part 2.
But here is a slide show of part 1 so you can see the progress.
There is a part missing, the beading. I will bead as I go, but I decided to leave the beading in part 1 until I’m ready to start the part 2 beading as there are some bead heavy motifs there. I won’t be starting part two straight away, I have a small project I want to finish first. However, by the beginning of next week I think I’ll be ready for part two.
20 Jul 2012
in Cross stitching
Tags: Caron Wildflowers, Christmas, cross stitch, linen, SAL, Waiting for Christmas SAL, Wildflowers Flame, Wildflowers Holiday, Wildflowers Pine Forest
In June I joined Manuela from Le Crocette di Manu/The Shop Around The Corner‘s Waiting for Christmas SAL. I know, Christmas in July, am I going crazy? Well it’s not like we’ve had a proper summer here in Britain yet anyway so might as well get on with autumn and winter planning. I started this pretty much straight away and it was a quick and easy design to stitch, however I’ve been more than a little lazy about posting the pictures lately, so here they finally are.
I really love this design, not sure how I’m gonna finish it, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
Fabric: 28-count antique white cashel linen
Threads: Caron Wildflowers in Flame, Pine Forest and Holiday
I can’t wait to stitch the second part, as part 1 was so beautiful!
06 Sep 2011
in Cross stitching
Tags: 32-count linen, Box finish, Christmas Ornament, cross stitch, Cross stitching, crossstitch, crossstitching, DMC, Dragonfloss, Exchange, finishing, GAST, Lizzie Kate, Lizzie Kate Noel, Lizzie Kate Plant Love, Lizzie*Kate, Lizzie*Kate Exchange Blog, Lizzie*Kate Noel, Lizzie*Kate Plant Love, LK, LK Noel, LK Plant Love, Round C, WDW
In May I joined the Lizzie*Kate Exchange Blog and promptly joined in with the first exchange open to me. I had a really hard time deciding on which chart to stitch, and an even harder time figuring out how to finish it. I mean, my stitching is good, but I don’t have a lot of finishing experience since I haven’t been particularly adventurous when it comes to finishing off my stitching. To tell you the truth I was getting really anxious about the whole thing, especially as the standard of finishing amongst the rest of the blog members was really high. I finally decided on a pattern, Plant Love from issue 28 of The Gift of Stitching, which stitched up quickly. I used 32-count natural linen, and floss from my stash, a mixture of DMC, GAST, WDW and Dragonfloss.
Then I had it lying around for a few weeks before I figured out how to finish it. By coincidence I had picked up some paper mache boxes at a store near us, and had the bright idea of trying to mount my stitching on top of one. How hard could it be, right? As it turns out, not too hard actually, provided you have the right tools of course.
Before mounting it I painted the box in white, then I attached the stitching to some mounting board, together with some wadding and finally used my dinky new glue gun to attach it to the box top. I trimmed the bottom of the box with some adhesive ribbon and trimmed around the top with some purple cord. All in all I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it looked, one of the favorite things I’ve made so far.
Judge for yourselves 🙂
My partner, Conny, got it without any problems, and I think she liked it.
Not long after I sent mine off I got a package of my own through the letter box, containing this beautiful ornament from Angela P
It’s so beautiful, and it really inspires me to keep trying new finishes, I’m determined that a few of my Christmas ornaments this year will be made up using this flat finishing. After all, with this perfect example how can I go wrong?
Round D is getting close to send off dates and I have of course signed up, so hopefully you’ll get to see pictures from that in the beginning of October.
05 Sep 2011
in Cross stitching
Tags: Abi Gurden, Abi Gurden's Tree of Stitches, algerian eyelets, cross stitch, cushion stitch, french knot, padded cushion stitch, Polstitches, Polstitches Fabric Grab bag, Polstitches Hand dyed Fabrics, Polstitches The Deep, rice stitch, SAL, Smyrna stitch, The Deep, The Stitch Specialists, TOS, TOS SAL, Tree of Stitches, Tree of Stitches SAL
A few weeks ago I heard about this SAL called Tree of Stitches, intrigued I headed over to the The Stitch Specialist group, to have a look and I was instantly hooked. The SAL had already run it’s course when I found out about it, so I got to download all 15 parts at the same time.
The tree is made up of 15 different types of stitches, a great learning piece, I’m having so much fun with it.
When I heard about it and saw other peoples trees I got a very clear idea of how I wanted my tree to look. I had a piece of Polstitches fabric which I got in a large cuts grab bag, I think it might be The Deep, but I’m not sure, and I knew I wanted a white/gray tree, in the spirit of the White Tree of Gondor. At first I thought I’d just go for DMC color variations 4015, but then I was seduced by the wonderful Caron Waterlilies, and ended up going with Waterlilies Quicksilver, using anything between 1-3 strands to create different effects and textures.
I wanted a clear difference between the trunk and the leaves as well when it came to texture and look, and decided to stitch the trunk in satin floss, I used DMC Satin 415 which was horrible to work with, but which looked just the way I wanted it.
Here you can see it after part 1, the trunk, had been stitched using cross stitches.
I then stitched Part 2, Smyrna stitch, Part 3, French Knots, and Part 4, Algerian Eyelets, in quick succession, and here is how the tree looked once those were completed
Here is a closer look at those stitches
I then went on to stitch Part 5, Rice Stitch, and Part 6, Cushion stitch. The Rice stitch seemed to take me forever, but I loved the effect of the Cushion stitch. And this is how my tree currently looks
And a closer look at the stitches used
The next stitch on the agenda is Jerusalem stitch which I’ve never heard of let alone tried out before so we’ll see how it goes, I’m looking forward to it and the rest of the stitches though
05 Sep 2011
in Cross stitching
Tags: 32-count, 32-count linen, 32-count raw linen, Anchor, Anchor Multicolour, Anchor Variegated, cross stitch, Cross stitching, crossstitch, crossstitching, Fancy a Darcy Day?, fancy a Jane Day, The Sampler Girl, The Sampler Girl Fancy A Darcy Day?, The Sampler Girl Fancy a Jane Day
The Sampler Girl was having a sale back in May (or was it June) and I got a few charts I’ve been wanting for a while. The first one I stitched up was ‘Fancy a Darcy Day?’. Instead of the charted colors I choose an Anchor variegated thread, 1342, and I stitched it on to 32-count natural/raw linen. I’m also stitching Sampler Girl’s ‘Fancy a Jane Day?’, but when I was doing the last few stitches I realize I made a mistake and had to frog the whole silhouette and since then I haven’t wanted to pick it up again. It’s stitched on the same fabric as Darcy but with a peachy variegated instead, I’ll show you a picture when it’s done.
Anyway, here is ‘Fancy a Darcy Day?’
04 Sep 2011
in Cross stitching
Tags: 28 count evenweave, 28-count, cross stitch, Cross stitching, crossstitch, crossstitching, Evenweave, LHN, LHN Two Sheep, Little House Needleworks, Little House Needleworks Two Sheep, tea dyed, tea dyed evenweave, Two Sheep, WIP
Way back in April I made a start on a Little House Needleworks freebie called Two Sheep. I was given it along with probably 50 or more charts from a friend of mine. Lots of LHN, CCN, LK, Bent Creek and SB charts, I wanna stitch them all, and have managed to stitch a couple so far.
But back to Two Sheep, I’m stitching it over one on 28-count evenweave which I tea dyed, and when it’s finished I’ll have a go at mounting it on an altoid box 🙂 I’m using threads from my stash, a mix of WDW, GAST and DMC.
This was one of the pieces l left behind in Liverpool, but I have it here in Basingstoke now and will try and finish it in the next month. Here is a picture of it as I left it back in April
04 Sep 2011
in Cross stitching
Tags: 28-count antique white cashel linen, 28-count cashel linen, 28-count linen, antique white cashel linen, antique white linen, antique whte, Cashel linen, cross stitch, Cross stitching, crossstitch, crossstitching, Dragonfloss, Dragonfloss Sweetheart, Forgive Quickly, L*K Forgive Quickly, Lizzie, Lizzie Kate, Lizzie Kate Forgive Quickly, Lizzie*Kate, Lizzie*Kate Forgive Quickly, LK, Polstitches, Polstitches Dragonfloss, Polstitches Dragonfloss Sweetheart
This is one of the first finishes I had after we moved. I had some how managed to leave all my WIPs and all my fabrics behind in Liverpool, and all I had here was some charts and fabric. But after some eBay retail therapy I had more than enough to get on with some new projects and as I said this was my first finish back in May.
I love how this design combines traditional and modern, it’s so different from their other designs, but still very Lizzie*Kate-ish.
I stitched it on 28-count antique white cashel linen using Polstitches Dragonfloss Sweetheart, I left out some of the design on the borders as I was running out of floss but I think it looks nice like this, definitely my own.
Eventually I’ll make this onto a cushion or frame it for the bedroom
03 Sep 2011
in Cross stitching
Tags: cross stitch, cross stitch kit, cross stitch kits, Cross stitching, crossstitch, crossstitching, Gustav Klimt, Gustav Klimt Tree of Life, Klimt, Klimt Tree of Life, Madeira, Madeira cotton, Tree of Life, Yiotas, Yiotas Xsttich
A few weeks ago I was asked if I could review a cross stitch kit from online company Yiotas Xstitch who sell cross stitch kits and patterns. I got to pick any kit I wanted from their store to review and they’d send it to me for free. Choosing a kit was not easy, if you have look at their store you’ll see why, there is so much choice. In the end I went with Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life, I love Klimt’s art in any case an this one has some lovely earthy colors.
The kit arrived in the mail a few days later (super speedy delivery) and looks like this
The chart is printed on good quality paper and it’s printed over 2 A3 sized sheets so the symbols are nice and big, excellent if your eyes aren’t all that good or when your just tired.
Another great thing about this kit is how the threads are all sorted and wound on to numbered bobbins, it makes it so much easier to keep everything in order. The aida which came with it is nice and soft, it’s ecru or cream which is great for this pattern as that means you don’t have to stitch the background. The floss is Madeira, which I think always looks shinier than Anchor and DMC, but as I haven’t used Madeira cotton much I don’t know how well it stitches up coverage wise.
Don’t you just love the colors used in this one?
Not sure when I’ll get started on this one, I’m thinking next week, once I’ve finished a WIP which I’ll tell you more about later. I’m stitching a few smalls over one on 40 count as well soon and think this project, with it being on 14 count aida, will help me get through the tiny, tiny stitching relatively sane.
02 Sep 2011
in Everyday life
Tags: Catch-up, cross stitch, Moving
It’s been a while since I posted regularly, or posted anything of substance. Since April a lot has happened, there has been emotional and physical upheaval with our move from Liverpool to Basingstoke, and tragedy and devastating grief with the loss of a loved one.
There has been good things as well, the move wasn’t too bad and we’ve settled in to our new home and jobs (yup, that’s right, I am a lady of leisure no more). And more excitingly, come February I become an auntie to two more munchkins. It’s probably the only thing that has kept me sane through the last few months, that and stitching.
I’ve started and finished a fair few projects over the last few months. I still have a lot of challenge pieces left to finish, but half of them are still in Liverpool with the stuff we couldn’t fit into the van when we moved down. I also have a few WIPs and I’m playing catch-up on my ornaments and biscornus of the month.
Over the next few weeks I’ll attempt to catch you all up on what’s been happening in my life, my stitching etc, and so that it’s not all old news I’ll do every other post current and catch-up (as much as I can at least).
I’ll leave you now with a picture of me and my family during happier times, at a family party back in April (we all had to wear wigs)
Left to right:
My BIL Tom, Me, my SIL Helena, my MIL Ann (RIP), and my hubby Paul
06 Apr 2011
in Crazy January Challenge 2011, Cross stitching
Tags: 32-count Belfast linen, Blackwork, Christmas tree ornament, Crazy January Challenge 2011, cross stitch, Cross stitching, Crossstiching, crossstitch, flax linen, GAST. WDW, Gütermann Beads, Gentle Art Sampler Threads, March Christmas tree ornament, postaweek2011, Raise the Roof Designs, Stitcher's Sampler, The Sleepy Hollow Sampler, The Sleepy Hollow Sampler by Raise the Roof Designs, The World of Cross Stitching, Weeks Dye Works, World of Crossstitching, WOXS
Let’s start with the finish, really should have posted this last week, but just didn’t have the time. The Crazy January Challenge (CJC) finish is the cross stitched part of the wall hanging mail organizer I’m making for my mum. Now I just have to sew on to some fabric and make it into a wall hanging. Should have it in the mail for my mum next week (fingers crossed)
I also finished my Christmas ornament for March last week, it’s a Liz Almond design which was in the free Christmas design booklet which came with The World of Cross Stitch issue 170. I used Madeira Decora and Silk floss in green, red and gold, and some red Gütermann beads, and stitched it on plain old 16-count white aida. The pics aren’t great for this one, so I put in two (excellent logic, no?).
I’ve also been working on two WIPs.
Mostly it’s been my Sleepy Hollow Sampler by Raise the Roof. I really do love this one and can’t wait to finish it and frame it. There is still quite a bit to do, the story excerpt at the bottom and of course the border, but every single stitch is a joy!
This last one it’s been a while since I worked on, it’s the Stitcher’s Sampler. It’s a little slow going as I’m having trouble making the changes I want to it, but I’ll get there eventually. At least all the borders are done now.