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Thursday, 21 May 2015

The World of Cross Stitching 230 - Fathers` Day cards

Lol, please don`t ask about the granny square! Its growth can be measured in mm, rather than cm, since my last post. As always, Life has happened: am stitching 3 projects simultaneously, my own cushion idea and two commissions. The plan is to crochet at night, as a wind-down, but I`m at that early stage with the stitching when I do not dare to put it down, I just keep going until I fall asleep, because I don`t know how long each`ll take. Plus, with my usual acute perception of time - i.e. I never have any idea what day of the week, etc. it is -, the deadlines are not something tangible (yet) either, just random numbers sometime in the future. I was surprised the other day, when the librarian stamped the books and the return date is now in June - how did that happen? It was Christmas only a few weeks ago...? (By the way, am working on lovely Xmas pieces just now for the magazines, and being 6 months out of sync also doesn`t help someone as woolly-headed as me when it comes to Time - I usually tell what day it is by watching which bins the neighbours put out). #calendarbyrecycling
Anyway, I thought I`d better grab this opportunity to blog for a few minutes before the school run, since the latest issue of WOCS hits the shops today, and in it are the lovely Lucie Heaton cards I stitched. Actually, they`re not all cards - it was a great project to work on because all 4 classic car pics were of different sizes: a card, a bookmark, and two larger pieces. I started with the largest one of the lot (my DH would be shouting the name of this car now but he`s away to work) - shall I call it an Aston Martin DBXZ85874HKL? Whatever. Here it is:
Hehe, probably it`s a Jaguar. Anyway, here`s the whole lot of them together:

And this is how they`ve been made up in the magazine:

Well, the card and the bookmark were quite obvious, but I was wondering what they`d make with the other two - a glasses case and an iPad cover! I love this set, I think it looks awesome - as long as you don`t grab your tablet with gardening gloves or shove your glasses case in your dirty overalls pocket... but as hard as it is to find the suitable stitchy project for the men in our lives, I think these vintage cars are perfect. I remember thinking at the time I was stitching these, seeing Hubby`s eyes getting a bit misty, that I might stitch this... Aston-Jaguar-MG GT5XYZ (?) for him for Father`s Day - ha! Personal project?? When will I ever learn? ;)
However, on a more positive note: do you remember George, my cuddly knitted hippo?
You can read his story here, where I also promised to keep y`all posted: so the latest info is that George has moved to Ireland - the lady who`d originally commissioned him never got back to me, but last week a sweet Irishman bought George for his girlfriend - and, I hope, they all lived happily ever after! :D Happy stitching, everyone!

Monday, 11 May 2015

a crafty evening

Last Friday, my friend Jo took me to a craft event, organised by some of her friends from the East Neuk of Fife (we used to live in St Monans for a while too, hence the connection). It was a lovely evening, based on the idea of trying out various crafts "kids style" - you know the feeling, when you take your children to an event like this, and you stand there and drool while they`re colouring in, etc., wishing that you could join them because you love colouring, can even do it within the lines, but you`re not going to embarrass yourself (and your children!) by elbowing your way in at the kiddie table...? Well, Friday night was for us, frustrated big kids.
I had so much fun! Apart from meeting `old faces from St Monans` and having a good chinwag with them - and also with some lovely ladies I only just met but we had an instant connection, thanks to cross stitch -, I tried all kinds of crafts, old and new... not to mention the scrumptious selection of soups and cakes at two tables, where you could also grab a card and copy the recipes displayed. At the cakes table (first stop, needless to say), I managed to get my hands on the recipe of a most delicious Dundee cake - yay, my Mum will be so pleased, we`re both big fans since last summer, when we got a heavenly cake from the House of Bruar, near Pitlochry, the likes of which I haven`t managed to find anywhere ever since... until last Friday night, thanks to Lesley.
To my great regret, in the end I didn`t have time to colour in a single one of the beautiful mandala designs provided, nor did I have the chance to visit the knitting or card making tables, there were so many things to try and only a couple of hours - maybe next time! ;)
However, I did manage to give ceramic painting a go. There were these teapot `blanks` provided and glass painting pens in various colours - I drew a sunflower (what else?) and even got a gift bag to transport it in (which later I can also decorate, yay!). I think I`ll `cook` my artwork first, though, before I put the first soggy teabag on it, I just haven`t used the oven yet since Friday... but maybe, one of these days, I`ll bake a Dundee cake...? ;)
I know it looks like a gerbera, but believe me, it`s a sunflower :)
I took along some stitchy magazines as well, plus some of my stitched pieces that have been returned to me, and people were very interested in how and why I got into model stitching, and they also loved seeing the `real life` models of some of the magazine photos. It was a pleasure to see - the way I imagine it used to be - women sitting around a table, chatting, while their hands busy with the needle; some haven`t done any cross stitch for over a decade and were now happy to be reacquainted with the hobby... and of course, the real joy of seeing someone trying it for the first time.
Oh, and let`s not forget my personal Aha! moment for the night: after watching dozens of  YouTube videos and getting more and more frustrated because I simply cannot see the holes in crochet (I don`t always know what/where the chain is, so I stab my hook willy-nilly and end up with some shapeless thing, instead of e.g. the oval I had in mind). So anyway, thanks to the lovely Sue, I have FINALLY mastered the granny square!! Woo hoo! Last night I started a blanket with this sock yarn I`d bought ages ago from Lidl, when I wanted to try out knitting socks (conveniently forgetting that I don`t like the feel of knitted stuff against my feet, I barely put up with cotton socks), so anyway, I have 100g pale blue and 100g variegated, we`ll see how far I can go with these. At the moment, my blanket is about 10 cm square but now that I know the basics, the sky`s the limit! Happy crafting, peeps!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Cross Stitch Gold 120 - duck cushion

Uncharacteristically of me, I`ll keep this short and sweet - my back`s a bit knackered so I can`t sit too long in front of the computer. So here is the aforementioned Duckie, designed by Anne Mortimer, from Cross Stitch Gold 120 - first, as usual, my badly lit 3 photos, and then the magazine`s own bleached one of the finished cushion. Happy stitching, everyone!
I really enjoyed stitching this piece, the duck itself was a breeze and once I had the outline,
I sailed through the background as well

I don`t know if you can see it alright but both the blue background and sandy frame are stitched with variegated thread

Finished duckie - again, you probably can`t see but the wee flowers and leaves have lovely backstitch detail

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Cross Stitch Collection 249 and Cross Stitcher 292

Yesterday I went to town and bought my monthly fix of Suguru (my latest craze; first, there was Sudoku, then Kakuro, and now I`m addicted to Suguru). Anyway, while I was in W H Smith, I also purchased some stitchy magazines - it seems my pieces have somewhat flooded the market recently, rofl!
First up, issue 249 of Collection, a.k.a. Part 3 of the doll`s house:

Also, in the same issue there`s the Permin still life I stitched a while back:

As I say in the magazine (under the pseudonym `Our Stitcher`, lol), I love stitching still life because this is the closest I, devoid of all drawing talent, can get to producing a painting, and unlike seasonal or *shivers* cutesy things, these works of art look good on any wall, any time. Apparently, this is part of a larger design - pity I didn`t get the big picture, so to speak... I would`ve loved to stitch the whole lot! ;)

However, after this 27-hour project, I had another one to keep me busy for 18 - this gorgeous floral plate by Maria Diaz for issue 292 of Cross Stitcher:

I only have 2 progress pics - one `halfway through` and one `finished`... but at least both are badly lit, rofl! Thank you for stopping by, in a few days I`ll be back with my duckie in Gold 120, and then that`s my `market domination` over for another few months at least. At the moment, I`m working on a cushion but it`s hardly developed beyond the Fleeting Idea Stage and thus I don`t want to share... oh, and soon I`ll start a BAP for my parents for Christmas... but I won`t be able to share this, either, for obvious reasons. So please rest assured that I`m constantly stitching - and from time to time I`ll inundate you with photos, in between big gaps of silence. Happy stitching! :)