Thursday, 31 March 2022

This month, there are two of my stitched pieces on the cover of UK magazines - a cute cat and mouse duo by Margaret Sherry in The World of Cross Stitching 319, and a musical wee number in issue 80 of Hachette Partworks` Disney Cross Stitch Magazine.

Margaret Sherry`s trademark cat and mouse illustration was converted into a cross stitch chart by the magazine`s Senior Technical Editor, Fiona Baker. It was a lovely quick project (35 hours, although the mag rounded it up to 50, which sounds more realistic if someone e.g. doesn`t use Pattern Keeper... or doesn`t cross stitch for a living like me, lol). What I mean by `quick` project is that it`s one of those where if you just do the odd colours on the outside first, then you can sit back and relax, load up a dozen or so needles with Blanc and just fill in the middle while watching tv or whatever. 😉

Hmm, that lovely sky blue fabric looks almost mauve/lilac in my photo - just shows you what a difference proper lighting makes! 😉 And talking about gorgeous fabric: I fell in love with this one with the music notes as soon as I saw it! 😍

First, I was a bit worried that the half-stitches-only background of the big pink heart around Berlioz would not cover the fabric sufficiently, and some of the notes do show through, but they all work well with the cross stitched notes that are roughly the same size too. 😊

And while I was looking up the covers on Hachette`s website, I`ve noticed that this adorable picture of Jock, also from The Aristocats, is coming up soon in issue 88, so I thought I`d better add his picture now 1. before I forget and 2. before I get too snowed under - er, I was referring to more stitchy projects that I`m working on atm but we actually did get snow last night/this morning, so nothing surprises me anymore. 🤷‍♀️ Happy stitching, peeps! 😊

Sunday, 13 March 2022

window CK, movie night and Disney: Let`s Celebrate!

Remember when last Autumn I said I was super busy working on a big batch of cross stitch projects? I`ve been itching to see them in print ever since, and yesterday postie delivered my copy of the book at long last, so I thought I`d share some (= looooaaaads) of pics of this special edition of Hachette Partworks` Disney Cross Stitch, titled Let`s Celebrate! 😊
But first, before I get too engrossed in attaching photos (lol, and before the next issue of WOXS is out), here`s the free gift from issue 318 of The World of Cross Stitching, designed by Fiona Baker:

Also out this week, in issue 19 of XStitch Magazine, entitled Yay!, is this cool movie-themed design by Sweet Annet:

So, as mentioned earlier, here is my copy of the Let`s Celebrate! special edition that arrived yesterday:

It is jam-packed with fab Disney designs to celebrate every occasion from birthdays to the arrival of a new baby to having someone as a friend. I stitched 24 of the 57 designs, some of which have been turned into cards, others into banners, cushions, or pictures framed in hoops, and some were sewn onto a bag or straight onto a Rico hand towel, like this first pic. I`ll add a few photos of the finishes from the book at the end, after the long, loooong list of my own pics. Hope you like them, thanks for visiting and happy stitching! 😊  

Monday, 31 January 2022

Highland living, fame, free kits and Regency lady

Before I dive into details of my latest stitchy escapades, a warm welcome to anyone who`s seen this in WOXS 317 and thought of checking out my blog. 😊

You might need to dig deep for the aforementioned `handy tips`, but there are more pics of my recently reorganised threads in this post, and examples of my route planning - as evidenced in my progress photos, which I sometimes string together in mini videos - are abundant (as is my waffling, whenever I have the time to go on, and on... and on).
Case in point: now. Not only have I finished my 5th pre-Christmas commission (you know, those tasks trickling in at the beginning of Dec, when mid-Jan and end of Jan deadlines seem so, so far away, and the next thing you know, it`s Jingle Bells... Should old acquaintance... Oh, it`s 20 January!! 😨). Anyway, so not only have I finished those 5 projects but I finally managed to get back to my Mary Hickmott pic too - the second one after finishing this Rialto Bridge for myself. Only this morning, I added the last few clouds:

It`s called Highland living, available from Mary Hickmott`s Etsy shop, and even though the key calls for 16ct ice blue aida, I stitched it on 14ct so that it`ll fit nicely in this gap above the Monarch of the Glen (it`s about 60 x 10 cm on 14ct), whenever I get round to framing it.

Because of the mad rush of the past few weeks, I completely forgot to post here about the previous issue`s cover kit: the free gift with WOXS 316 was this cute little Emma Congdon design:

The magazine`s finishing team turned it into a banner, and this month`s free gift, Lucie Heaton`s leafy plants in macramé hangers can be used either as a card or as a bookmark.

Finally, here`s Heather Nugent`s Regency lady, also from issue 317 - I loved working on this! Not only because I`m a Jane Austen fan, but also because I love stitching big blocks of colour, and this project had not only those but a little bit of everything as well, from intricate backstitch detail to beads and petit point. It took just over 50 hours, and instead of unrolling the fabric for every progress pic, I took a photo of my Pattern Keeper screen at the end of each day. I put them in a mini film, together with my finished stitching and the framed picture as it appears in the magazine. Hope you like them, thanks for scrolling through and happy stitching! 😊

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Peter Rabbit, matryoshka, Christmas baking, pill boxes and Rialto

Last post of 2021 - where has this year disappeared?? 😲 Feels like we barely put the Christmas decorations away and it`s time to get them out again! Anyway, thought I`d better add one more update on what`s happening around here before the end of the year. 😊
In the UK shops now is the latest issue (315) of The World of Cross Stitching, and I have two projects in this one: the cute Peter Rabbit card as the free gift, and a Russian doll in shades of blue.

The classic Beatrix Potter illustration was converted into a cross stitch chart by the magazine`s multitalented Senior Technical Editor, Fiona Baker, who also designed this matryoshka doll that was a joy to stitch. I love nesting dolls anyway, but in this case it wasn`t just the subject that appealed: there are all sorts of technical challenges that kept me entertained. I enjoyed the straightforward, easy blocks of cross stitch, the elegance of the blackwork detail, the rare opportunity to work lazy daisy stitches, and adding the backstitch and beads.

Another magazine, Cross Stitcher (378) is also in the UK shops now, and I`ve spotted a surprise in it: this is an Emma Congdon design I`d stitched a good while ago but things must have got reshuffled and it`s only being published now. I`m pleased to see it in print - I seem to remember there was a therapeutic quality to stitching those Christmas lights. 🤣

In other news, after that big rush of commissions in Sept-Nov, I continue to make sure I take time to craft things `just because` - the first case in point being these pill boxes I spotted at our local post office. They were £1 each and I liked that they have 7 slots for the days of the week. I immediately thought of my MIL who`s always hunting for new/better pill boxes (at the moment she has a tiny one with two miniscule compartments), so I picked up 2 of these beauties, in case I muck up the first one (which is exactly what happened, so well done, Past Laura, for the foresight *pats own back*). 😉

Now, far be it from me that I should offend lovers of pugs, novelty hats or kitsch in general, but I felt these lids had to go and be replaced with a little cross stitch motif that MIL would appreciate more. Disclaimer: I got a lot of help with this project from DH - for example, after I`d attacked the first one with various sharp implements and broke the plastic into smithereens, he spent ages soaking the other one in hot water, until it came off in one piece. But then I found out that while the white background could be peeled off (in 1 mm segments of torn silk), the actual pug face - and hat, let`s not forget the hat - was part of a see-through plastic foil that was welded, or held by magic, to the perspex (I came to this conclusion after breaking 2 nails and 1 plastic spoon).

When DH saw that I was wheezing and about to attack it with sandpaper, the dear man must have thought, `Well, that`d knacker it anyway with score marks`, and he ordered new perspex from Ebay for me - and not only the perfect size, but he even made sure the edges were bevelled! 🥰 So I added my wee stitched rose to it and I think it`ll be a much more suitable pill box for my MIL: 

Finally, last week I also started on a cross stitch project just for me: Mary Hickmott`s `Rialto Bridge` (available from her Etsy shop). I thoroughly enjoyed working on this, brought back memories from 30 years ago (THIRTY?!?), and while I was stitching it, the fabric arrived for another Mary Hickmott design called `Highland Living` that I specifically bought to go in the long, narrow space on the wall above The Monarch of the Glen, so I very enthusiastically started on it last night (even though a couple of commissions have arrived in the meantime but January deadlines seem so far in the future atm). 😉 For the now, nothing else matters than the holidays - I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, all the best for 2022 and, as always, happy stitching! 😊