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Friday, 27 January 2017

kingfisher cushion - The World of Cross Stitching 252

Subscribers have already got their copies of the latest issue of WOCS so even though it only hits the UK shops next Tuesday (I think), I can now show you pictures of this lovely kingfisher I stitched last May - yes, 8 months ago! :O Usually, we don`t work this far ahead, I think I only got this one so early because it is part of a quartet of `birdy cushions` designed by Amanda Gregory. As I happen to know her on Facebook - and I happen to NOTHING about botany -, I asked her to tell me the names of the flowers featured on my cushion, so that now I can look all knowledgeable and say: I hope you like the marsh marigolds (top left - oh and btw these grow in or near water *looks up from notes*), the reed mace (top right; these are often mistakenly called bulrush - may I just add, I would NEVER make that mistake! 😝). The mauve flowers are violets (which even I knew - yay, go me!) and the yellow ones in the bottom right corner are primroses (I thought these were the marigolds, just shows you how much I know about flowers).
So here they are, all these lovely blooms and paisley motifs, surrounding my gorgeous wee kingfisher. I really enjoyed stitching this picture, I love projects where you can get on `chunk by chunk` and as you`ll see from my mini-vid, the colour blocks are just so that you can get quite a lot done in five hours, which is always a good morale-booster when you work on larger projects. Hope you like this and the other 3 cushions too, happy stitching! :)

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Crazy 226 and some storage solutions

Yesterday was a busy day. Hubby took me for a day out: we had a round of bingo (he won £20! Friday the 13th and all that) and we did loads of shopping... well, it seemed a lot but not really, just the kind where you-hunt-for-school-shirts-in-every-shop-and-until-you-find-the-right-size-in-one-of-them-you-buy-a-couple-of-things-in-every-one-of-them. And so in my search for shirts for the wee man, I ended up, among other things, getting this new storage system for my threads - and I surprise even myself with how ridiculously happy I can get just looking at it! :D
OK, so this is how I stored my threads until now: lots of zippy bags in a large Ikea box.

I keep my threads in small zippy bags, which in turn are kept in larger zippy bags that are numbered by the hundreds, according to the DMC numbering system.

To be absolutely fair, this wasn`t a bad system - my biggest problem was that I didn`t like squeezing the air out and closing the zip every time I took a colour out or put it back. Erm, I probably need to revise what `problem` means but anyhoo, I was really chuffed when I saw this stackable drawer solution in Matalan yesterday: I`ve been looking for something like this for some time, I just never saw the right size, the drawers were either too big or too small. Not this time though, mwahahaha!

The units came in a 2-small-1-big arrangement and I bought 4 of them; luckily, the plastic frame comes apart, so I could rearrange the 12 drawers to build one tall tower - now tell me it`s not a thing of beauty! ;)

When we came home, the latest issue of Cross Stitch Crazy was waiting for me - love surprise Postie! :) - and I was happy to see the little wooden heart freebie that I`d stitched a few months ago. I loved working on these, they were such a breath of fresh air in between the other projects - usually I work on large designs and if you are a stitcher, you know how good it feels to sew something that you can start AND finish on the same day. ;)

By the time I sorted my threads last night, I admit I was too tired to go past the first page - which means I have the pleasure of reading through THREE magazines today, yesss! Yesterday I finally got round to buying the first issue of The Art of Cross Stitch (actually, I dilly-dallied so long that the 2nd issue is out now too). So I bought that one as well and now I can`t wait to see what they are like inside: I think I`ll give the no-brand threads to my friend`s daughter to make friendship bracelets with but the aida will come handy for cards and the hoop from issue 2 will be ideal for framing the flowery number I want to stitch for MIL for Mothers` Day. ;) And no matter what I find inside, I`m already happy that this magazine exists: anything that popularises our hobby is a good thing in my book. Happy stitching! :)

Saturday, 7 January 2017

4 seasons windows - Collection 271

In the UK shops now is the latest issue of Cross Stitch Collection and in it is the Seasonal Windows pic I stitched sometime before Christmas. It`s a Maria Diaz design and I enjoyed working on it a lot because one, I love her work, two, I love 4-seasons pictures and three, it is a really fast-growing project (once the walls and window frames are done, the middle fills out very quickly and there`s hardly any backstitch). The whole project took about 45 hours and as there are not too many colours and no fractionals or French knots, this could be an ideal `first big project` for somebody new-ish to cross stitch who`s ready to tackle something larger.
As I was working on this just before Christmas, I don`t have too many photos, I only took one at the end - but as the evenings were long and dark (they still are, by the way), my piccie turned out darker-than-usual too, so I took one close-up of each of the 4 windows too, these are a bit brighter. But I`ll add the photo from the magazine as well - not only is it much better lit than any of mine, it also shows the finished picture in its frame.
Hope your New Year is promising so far - happy stitching! :)