Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Potting Shed

I hope everyone's having a wonderful week full of stitching and other exciting happenings. I'm now going to show you the next project I'll work on. It's the gorgeous kit from Shepherd's Bush called The Potting Shed. My mother did this one year's ago and I've always admired it. Again, like so many designs, the colours have drawn me to it. Have a look at the charms and beads that come with it too. I love these extra things SB add to their kits.

SHEPHERD'S BUSH - The Potting Shed

I have stitched a little the last two nights on Un ange passe.... but seem to be going slower with it. I will certainly get back to it soon.

In fact, after tomorrow I'm on my annual leave from work for four weeks! I have lots of tidying up to do around the house and garden, but I'm very hopeful I will mix in some stitching as well. I have to get in some enjoyment time too. :) Anyway, I'll catch up with you all next time and hopefully I'll have a start on The Potting Shed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cake anyone?

No, I haven't done any more stitching on this piece but I was able to take a few pictures this morning before I headed off to work. This one is hard to get a good likeness with the colour, so I've had to make a few adjustments on the computer. At least these are a bit better than the last scanned image. Woohoo! How bright was that pic? Almost needed sunglasses to look at it. :)

Un ange passe....

While I'm here, I guess you've seen LHN's latest releases? I just adore State Fair and will definitely have to get that one day. Anyone else feeling the same? I'm also loving Traveling Stitcher - so cute.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A progress pic

Un ange passe.... started 22 Feb 09

I could tell you were keen to see a start on this cute little freebie, so I thought I'd better get into it today. Just the way I like them, it will be quick to stitch. Although I'm doing it over 1 it's still fairly easy to do.

The picture above is done on my scanner because the light wasn't the best for taking photos, sorry.

All the colours you see so far have replaced the recommended ones in the chart. The brown is the same one I used in Chocolat (DMC 3860), then there's Crescent Colours Secondhand Rose (pink), Poblano Pepper (green), and Toasted Marshmallow (white), then finally Gentle Art limited edition Pale Aubergine (purple). I'm always nervous when changing colours, but so far I'm happy with how it's turning out.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Un ange passe....

OK, now that I've left you in suspense about my next start, I will finally show you what it is. It's from the French designer C Mon Monde and it's one of their free charts called Un ange passe.... I received the chart in with my order last year from The Thread Basket. It was only recently that I got it out and thought how nice it was. Then the next day I saw on Nancy's blog that she'd just completed it. I loved the look of it and the fact that she'd done it on a green fabric. So my mind went into overdrive about how I could stitch this up.

I've decided to use a Silkweaver fabric called Spring Garden which is a 28ct. I'll probably do it over 1 thread to give it a delicate look, and I've changed a few of the threads to include some Crescent Colours and a Gentle Art, but basically sticking to the same colour theme.

C Mon Monde - Un ange passe.... kitted

I'll also show you the last bits from my order through The Silver Needle. There's a brass measuring stick, 2008 Ornaments magazine from Just Cross Stitch, a pointed linen ornament pillow, a container of black pins, 32ct Flax linen, a crystal nail file, a couple of buttons, a pair of Putford scissors, and a few DMC threads.

This time of year I usually go a bit wild with my stash ordering. I've still got my birthday order to put in with Needlecraft Corner (you get a discount with them during your birthday month). The Rocking Horse just had a 20% off sale that I placed an order with, so I should receive that in a week or so. Then whatever I don't get this time, I'll wait for Stitching Bits and Bobs to have their next sale.

Can I just say before I go, thank you to those who wished me a happy birthday. It's so kind of you and much appreciated. :)

Hopefully my next post will have a new start to show you. Til then... happy stitching!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Birthday flowers and stash

Hi all! It was my birthday this week and I just wanted to show you these lovely flowers my sister gave to me. She showed up at my work on my birthday to drop them off, it was such a surprise. I absolutely adore Gerberas, they're one of my favourite cut flowers. I think they're a very happy looking flower. What a gorgeous colour these ones are too!

A bunch of Gerberas from my sister for my birthday.

I've been out for tea last night and tonight. Last night was with my other sister (the one I went to the Cook Islands with), and tonight was with a few of my work mates. I enjoyed both nights, although I admit I had a bit more wine to drink tonight. I'm feeling quite relaxed right now. I think I had one, two, or was that three glasses?

Now, onto some more stash. I can never buy one or two things when I do an order. So here's some more of what I got from The Silver Needle. All things are from my three favourite designers - Shepherd's Bush, CCN, and LHN.

Shepherd's Bush - Tending The Blooms, Keeping The Bees, Jolly Old Elf, and Bees kits

CCN - Bumblebee, and Ladybug threadpacks
LHN - Baking, Reading, and Gardening threadpacks

I want to try to start this next project I mentioned in my last post, over the weekend. Melissa, you seem to be on the right track. Yes, it is a French designer. Well done for guessing! I'll take some photos tomorrow in the better light and give you some more details. I've chosen one of my Silkweaver fabrics to do it on also. Don't forget to catch my next update for more information. Bye for now!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New stash!

A new stash order came in the mail yesterday. How excited do you think I was? Very!!! Yes, I tend to get a bit joyful when more goodies arrive. I ordered these through The Silver Needle's Superbowl Sale (20% off). Here's just a few of the items I got. Of course I must show you my Shepherd's Bush things. I'll be sure to take some photos of the rest of my order to show next time. Now let's see what there is...

Family Sampler kit, In A Stable chart, Spooky Sheep kit, Glad Tidings Fob kit, My Mom's Garden kit

I was so thrilled to get the Glad Tidings Fob. I ordered this last time and they had sold out. And I just love how it's packaged.

Glad Tidings Fob kit

Another thing I was happy I got was the mat for Life And Liberty. I so enjoyed stitching this up and will be excited to get it framed with the lovely Jill Rensel mat.

Life And Liberty - showing the Jill Rensel mat

I have no new stitching to speak of. There's a project I'm thinking of starting but I just have to work out the thread colours I'll be using for it. I'm quite looking forward to doing it and gasp, I'm even contemplating doing it over 1! Must be a sucker for punishment, but I do like the delicateness of stitching this way. Anyway, I'll leave you to ponder what on earth it is that I'm going to do next. You'll never guess, so you may as well give up. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Handmade with love

Thank you all so much for your help with my finishing woes. Your encouragement and advice has gone a long way. In fact it made me want to get back into it today and try to finish it off properly. I admit I was a bit deflated yesterday after things weren't going according to plan. I'm just like Tammy, whenever something doesn't turn out how I imagine I get a bit disappointed.

So what I ended up doing was to take out all the lavender (I'll use it for something else), I took Melissa's advice (thanks!) and cut into the outer fabric to the stitched line at intervals (which I hadn't done), then stuffed it with the normal stuffing. Chrissie has just informed me that fluffing the stuffing up a bit can cause less lumps which sounds like an idea I'll keep for future, so thanks Chrissie! This time though I got my iron out and ironed straight onto the front of the heart. Some of you may think this is a bit unconventional but you can understand, I was desperate. It actually helped funnily enough. My heart still has a bit of cleavage in the top area front and back, but hey, it is handmade. Overall I can say I'm a lot more happier with it than I was yesterday.

Stacy Nash Heart Pinkeep - finished 15 February 2009

Thanks again for all your encouragement and support because without it I would have put this aside and not got back to it for a while.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It was alright until the finishing

I had hoped to finish this off today but things didn't go according to plan. My finishing skills have shone through I'm afraid. It's turned out somewhat a disaster. I stitched my pieces together, turned it inside out, then saw that it was puckering up in some areas. I didn't worry too much because Stacy said this may happen, in her instructions, and that it would resolve itself once you stuffed it. I then started to fill it with stuffing and the puckering wasn't disappearing. Then my stuffing looked a bit lumpy, so I thought about the dried lavender I still had. So I took the stuffing out and replaced it with the lavender. But that didn't go well because I didn't have enough! I went up to the shops to get some more, but they'd run out of it. So feeling a bit disheartened I think I'll put my pinkeep aside for the moment and start on something else. I don't know what yet but let my rummage through my stash and see what jumps out.

Stacy Nash Heart Pinkeep - 14 February 2009

Before I go, I just wanted to wish everyone a lovely Valentines Day. Hope it's filled with love and joy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ready to be pieced together

What a fun and simple pattern this one was. I've now stitched the front of my heart pinkeep.

Stacy Nash Heart Pinkeep - 12 February 2009

I also managed to cut out the extra pieces of wool needed to make the scissor pocket on the back, and the little strawberry emery. I'm loving the colour of everything in this kit and can't wait to see it all finished. I'll try to work some more on it tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to complete the pinkeep by stitching the front and back together, stuff it, sew it up, then add the wool pocket on the back for some scissors to be placed inside. Can't wait!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My next project started

I'm really in the stitching mood lately and have made a start on the Stacy Nash Pinkeep Heart. This is the first kit from the 2009 Group I've joined. It's something completely different to what I've stitched before and also the first time I've done one of Stacy's designs.

You need to cut out templates and set it all up before you start the stitching side of it. So last night I did all that and then I started on the cross stitching.

9 February 2009

I did a little more tonight but didn't work on it for too long. It's a simple design and will stitch up quick I think.

10 February 2009

I also wanted to take the time to thank the people who have contacted me asking whether I was OK after the bush fires that ravaged our state last Saturday. The other members of my family and I live along the coast of Victoria and were not in the area of the fires, thankfully. It's just been so devastating watching the news on TV with all the heartbreaking stories, scenes of homes and even whole townships destroyed, and hearing of lives lost. My heart goes out to the ones that have survived and those who have lost loved ones.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Here's the end result

I said I was going to make it easy for myself when I finished this little piece, and I lived up to my word. No extras added, just made it into a mini cushion. I had a bag of lavender bought on one of my local stash outings, so I have filled it with some of this which gives it the most beautiful smell when you hold it up to your nose. For the backing I've used a small piece of floral fabric with a brown background. I was in two minds with how I should finish the backing. Another idea I had was to have a piece of Vintage Light Mocha linen as used on the front, and stitch in the centre the small flower buds either side with my initials and 2009 in between them. I opted for the easy option (as I often do in life). Hope you like the results.

The only other thing I've done which is similar in finish is the SB 2004 Fob. So I'm fairly happy with how Chocolat's turned out.

We're having another hot day today. Over 40 degrees and it's a dry, windy, oppressive heat. I had to hang some washing on the line before, and couldn't wait to get back inside again! I've got a wall air conditioner which makes things a little more comfortable. Wouldn't have been able to finish up Chocolat today otherwise. :) There's supposed to be a nice cool change later in the day, so I'm hanging out for that!

Friday, February 06, 2009

It's finished!

STARTED ~ 25 January 2009
FINISHED ~ 6 February 2009
DESIGNER ~ Creations de Chrystelle (French)
PATTERN ~ Chocolat
FABRIC ~ 32ct Vintage Light Mocha
Stitched 1 over 1

I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to get it all done tonight but I got there. Although I'm yet to become a fan of stitching over 1, I do like the delicate and detailed look it gives. Just loved the thread colours of this one too. Now I've just got to decide how to complete it. I think I'll turn it into a mini stuffed cushion. Don't want to make it too difficult since finishing is not my expertise.

I will probably end up stitching this one again some day. I'd like to see how it comes up over two. I also want to get the other chart which is a companion to this one called Tea. It's a similar style with the alphabet at the top.

I think I'm going to have a look at the instructions for this Stacy Nash pattern I've recently received. I'm thinking of starting it next. Don't you just love the excitement of starting a new project?

Have fun stitching and enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Progress update

This little Chocolat is taking longer than I would like. I think doing it over 1 takes at least twice as long as over two. There's a flower vine at the top, and flowers either side in the centre to do. Another stitching session and I think I'll have it done though. Then it's onto finishing it properly. Still deciding on that one.

Chocolat - 5 February 2009

Well, not much else happening here. We're in for another hottie on Saturday. Blah!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Hot Chocolat

The steam is rising from my cup of hot Chocolat.
Chocolat - 2 February 2009

Thanks for all your comments about the Stacy Nash Group (and my other stitching). I didn't put a link up about it because I don't know whether they're accepting any further enquiries from people who still want to join. They got more than their usual amount of up to 100. Jeanne from Country Sampler in Wisconsin is handling the group, for those with curious minds and want to investigate further. Be warned though, it may be too late to join. Good luck!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Stacy Nash Group 2009

Recently I got an email about a new 2009 Stacy Nash Group and inviting me to join up if I was interested. Well, just the thought of hearing something about Stacy Nash (one of my favourite designers) is enough to capture my interest. So after investigating and seeing a picture of what was to come, I immediately did what was required to join. The idea is that four times during the year you will receive a limited edition kit designed by Stacy Nash herself, through the mail. I received the first kit last week and it's in keeping with a Valentines theme being a heart.

I'd like to do these kits throughout the year, so we'll have to see whether I can achieve that. This one includes the chart (naturally), 32ct natural linen, a piece of tan cotton velvet, a bit of brown, red, and mustard wool, and three different colours of DMC thread. The major design is a heart pinkeep, and there's wool included to make a small strawberry emery. Since I'm not very experienced with finishing techniques, this will be somewhat of a challenge for me. I haven't had a chance to read through the instructions but I'm hoping they're easy to follow.

Stacy Nash Group - first limited edition kit for 2009

I've also been naughty and put some more stash on order. The Silver Needle has their annual Superbowl Sale and it's a good way to try to pick up some things missed during their New Year's Sale. I'm trying to get the SB Glad Tidings Fob kit I couldn't get last time, and I thought I'd try to get the mats for SB Life And Liberty. I've also got a few other things ordered but I'll have to wait and see what comes through. I should receive them in a few weeks time. You know I love my stash, and you can never have too much in my opinion. :)

I've been really lazy today and haven't finished all my housework, but I do want to try to stitch a little more on Chocolat tonight. The weather's more comfortable now and there's a nice breeze, so I've opened up the windows. Better conditions to do some needlework.