Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Diamond Jubilee Stitching . . .

Finished ... Diamond Jubilee cross stitch.

I've never really thought of myself as particularly being a royalist. Although being a teenager in the era of Lady Di certainly piqued my interest in the royals. And how could you not be drawn in by William and Kate's wedding last year?

But I must say I've been captivated by the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I mean, how many people celebrate 60 years in one job? So while browsing the internet on Diamond Jubilee-related matters I came across this pattern by Nia . . .

I knew I wanted to stitch it, but I wasn't sure what to do with it once it was done. Well, since I've accumulated a few magazines about the royal family, why not make a bag to keep them in? ("Another bag???" asks my husband with an air of disbelief!!! At least this one has a purpose . . .)

I've used some wonderful felted wool fabric for the outer bag. And a cute little spot for the lining and handle (goes nicely with the spots in the letters, I think).

This pattern used some silk threads which, while I didn't love using them, look really rich when they are done - they have a lovely sheen. And a few metallic threads too. After all, what else would you use for a crown? And I really like the cute bunting . . . and the little Union Jack . . .

I'm really pleased that this piece is stitched up and will be useful - not just another unfinished project languishing in the cupboard. Happy Jubilee QEII . . .

Pattern: Diamond Jubilee
Designer: Nia Rhind
Publication: http://www.nia-crossstitch.com/

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Knitting . . . the Continental Way

Knitting face cloths using lovely organic cotton . . .

I should mention from the start that I'm not really much of a knitter. Don't get me wrong, I can knit a plain scarf (preferably in a textured fiber that's very forgiving) as well as the next person. But consistent tension is a technique that eludes me. So plain and simple knitting it is!

Recently I was browsing at Steph's in Moroya and on display was the most lovely knitted face cloth. I'm a tactile person, so the gentle feel of the cotton cloth won me over instantly. And I bought the kit (which included the pattern, a ball of organic cotton and a glorious handmade soap). But not content with the kit  . . . and not worrying about the fact that (as previously mentioned) I'm not much of a knitter, I loaded up with other colours, too. And visions of knitting up these glorious face cloths for Christmas gifts for one and all!

I am pleased with the end result (although I did change my knitting technique half way through after reading about the "Continental" method and watching this tutorial, which seems to suit me much better than the "English" method). I still plan to make a couple more, but I'm not willing to commit to which Christmas . . . I may be OK with the knitting, but I am certainly not fast!!

Pattern: Spa Day Facecloth
Designer: Anne Mancine

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Christmas Planner

Is it too soon to be planning for Christmas?

Inspired by Pinterest, I decided to make myself a little Christmas Planner/Organiser.

I'm a list kind of girl ordinarily, so this is an expansion on the list on a scrap of paper I might usually have in my handbag! It's a fair bit prettier than the scrap of paper. And it's not too big to manage - 4" x 6 12/" when it's folded up.

Using a sheet of chocolate cardstock I had on hand, I added papers from the Kaisercraft 6 1/2" Paper Pad. With it's gorgeous vintage reds, greens and creams (and I love the name "Twig & Berry"), it all came together pretty well. I can slip my lists - Cards, Decorating, Gifts & Food - into the pockets and carry it with me to make notes when inspiration strikes!!! With the stitched on button and twine to wrap around for a closure, it's easy to use.

Now all I have to do is make those lists . . . and plan the gifts . . . and write the cards . . . and  . . .

Is it too soon to be planning for Christmas?

Paper: Kaisercraft "Twig & Berry"
Twine: Maya Road TC2137 "Watermelon"

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Spring has sprung

Or has Winter returned??

These blossoms found there way into our house recently, being beautiful debris from the birds that love to feast on the ornamental plum tree in our front garden. The blossom's on the trees for such a short time - it seems we just notice it and then some wild weather or a storm and the blooms are gone for another year and the leaves start peeking through. We've been loving the glorious spring days, right up until a couple of days ago when we had snow!!!

Good old Mother Nature - it seems she loves to maintain an air of mystery . . .

Friday, 5 October 2012

Words . . .

I was inspired by "A Handbook of Lettering for Stitchers" to make something using different colours and stitches. So I decided to use some words that are meaningful to me . . .

I started by typing the words and playing with different fonts. Then I just arranged the words until they looked OK to me. Using a light box I traced the words onto a piece of linen that I had and set about choosing colours . . .

I really enjoyed the "freedom" of the different stitch and colour combinations. I like the various textures created by the different stitches and changing the number of strands of thread . . .

I was a bit undecided about what to do with this once I'd finished stitching. In the end I decided to frame it. I trimmed up the linen using large (7mm) scalloped fabric shears. And then added a freeform border, mixing some short running stitch and long straight stitches.

And the words?

Happy - happy with what I have, what I do, who I am
Healthy - in good health - balanced physically and mentally
Wealthy - having what I need, when I need it (which for me is very different to just having lots of stuff or money)
Worthy - remembering that I am worthy of living a good life
Wise - for me is about knowing myself well, therefore being better able to understand others and make sound choices
Kind - to myself and to others . . . always

Fabric: Linen
Threads: DMC 3340, 726, 316, 793, 326, 3766
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