Today I’m having a happy dance – yay !
I put the finishing stitches to “Polka Dot Matrioshka” by Madame Chantilly, and even gave it a quick iron before I took photo (however I think it needs to be dampened and ironed again because creases in aida won’t budge).
I stitched this over 5 weeks, on a 7 count blue-grey aida, using the recommended colours (except for the smallest doll where I used blue for the bottom half instead of green). It was a lovely design to work on because I was able to work on the line of hearts and the top border as I went. Very little back stitch too. Not sure what I’m going to do with it now that I’ve finished – might look out for a frame . . . but for the moment, my fabric will be going in my “to be finished off” drawer.
Also did a few mini blackwork projects . . .
just using up small pieces of leftover fabric, and stitching just part of a larger design. A few “medallions” from Valerie Warner’s “Tangled Frame” design and a couple of flowers from a Nancy Pederson bookmark chart. These are also going into a drawer and will probably be used to make up cards when I need any.
Am now going to measure up my fabric and begin work on “Au coeur de la nuit” which I will be stitching along with a French blogger who is leading the dance.
I just love making lists lol . . . I probably spend more time making them than actually doing the things on them ^^ BUT it does help me to see my multitude of plans in writing and give me a certain satisfaction when I can ticks things off as “done”.
Since it’s the school hols here, the coming week isn’t going to be ruled by the clock, so I am hoping to get a few crafting things done. One of my plans, is to try and stitch up a few small cross stitch designs with a view to making some quick and easy-to-post presents whenever the occasion arises. I do think it’s a good idea to have a couple of hand-made gifts in the drawer because friends’ birthdays or other occasions have a habit of jumping up on me without warning. If I can mange to fit in one pressie a fortnight, I reckon I’ll be doing well.
Last week, I printed out a very simple design for one of my English students (a lad who probably wishes to remain anonymous, so I’ll just call him “M”). He had admired my “Alphabet Sampler” finish, as he saw the last stages when I was making it into a wall-hanging (hard to miss really since it was usually draped over the back of a chair) and seemed keen to learn a little more about cross-stitch. So, I kitted him up with a simple chart, fabric, threads and even a pair of scissors . . . and sent him away to give it a go. I hope he’s enjoying it – I will know more tomorrow. Anyway, I decided to stitch the design myself too . . . a freebie by Liselotte and finished that off into a simple bookmark.
So that’s one little gift to put in the bottom of my new “gifts for friends” drawer ^^
On the patchwork front . . . the list of “to do” is long . . . I need to finish off my dog windows (quilting); finish my “Tangled Frame” (coming along well); trace quilting lines on my 9 block sampler (did some swirls, but I’m not happy, so need to put my thinking cap on some more); AND I also want to make a bag for eldest son’s girlfriend as it’s her birthday in April. I was a little unsure about fabric choice for that . . . wanting to make a bag she’ll actually use, so not daring to go for something too flashy. In the end, I took some photos of possible fabric combinations (13 in all) and sent them to her by email so she could choose. Okay, so it won’t be quite so much a surprise, since she now knows what I have planned . . . but since I won’t show any photos of the bag in-the-making, the final result WILL be a surprise since it’s one thing seeing the fabrics, but it’s another to see the fabrics come together.
I must say, I was 98% sure what fabrics she would pick lol . . .
I think it’s an excellent choice and will be tracing and cutting this afternoon.
Photos to share with you of my latest FINISH yay! Was very much a learning curve for me . . . my first attempts at machine quilting . . . my first session at making my own binding . . . it was all very exciting and I have to say that, while not perfect, I am very pleased with the end result.
Since this is for a little boy’s bedroom, I chose a nice petrol blue for the main colour and added a purple binding (my favourite colour at the mo’) that picks out colours from the cross stitch perfectly.
I tried to give it a “circus” feel with the shape of my loops at the top and five zany buttons
I now just hope that French and British posties do their job and don’t lose it, as it wings it’s way to England for my great nephew’s first birthday.
(btw – in photo there are two wooden toothpicks to stop the ribbon from sliding along the curtain rail at the top lol. When it arrives, my sister will be using a piece of wooden rod to hang it, and hopefully a small nail at each end will do the trick).
AND . . . while I’ve been busy with the needle, my sister and her other half were busy with the saw and sand paper making something extra special for the birthday boy. If I tell you my sister is about 5ft 5″ that’ll give you an idea . . . they made a “Ginette” to use as a growth giraffe for little Leo . . . I just love the eyelashes and the fur in the ears lol.
(Dig the slippers, sis lol)
and Ginette is to go with Leo the lion (yep same name as the baby lol) that they made for Leo’s first Christmas.
As usual, my evenings are spent cross-stitching in my comfy corner of the living room (arm chair right next to the radiator and cat on my lap lol) . . . averaging about 2 hours stitchng time per evening, here is the progress on my new Madame Chantilly project.
I am working to the right, so the second doll was slightly smaller . . . which meant I also had time to begin the row of little hearts which will continue all along the bottom.
Other photos to show you “the card that never arrived”
I stitched this for my daughter, who moved into her very own flat at the end of January but it got lost in the post. Which meant, I had to sit down and stitch another one but didn’t want to do something identical (naively hoping that the first one might still show up) . . . so moved from pink to GREEN and simplified the border because I wanted to get it in the post quickly.
No where near as pretty as the first, but at least this one arrived ^^
Oh yes, I’m having a happy dance . . . which might explain the awful weather we’re getting . . . since it could be misconstrued by the Great Spirits as a rain dance lol. I have put finishing stitches and back stitch to my “Indian Maiden” yay. I began in January and it took me 7 weeks to complete.
This is one half of a Janlynn kit with a design by Roger W. Reinardy, discontinued now, and a kit which I bought about 10 years ago on ebay.
Stitched on 14 count aida, my Indian Maiden measures 45cm x 13cm so she’s very majestic in stature. I will soon be starting work on her companion, “Indian Brave” who is slightly taller BUT I’ve decided to take a break from autumnal colours for a few weeks and begin a different project. This is it
This new start is thanks to Michèle (a forum stitching friend). She posted a photo of her stitching on the forum, which I admired greatly . . . and she offered to send me the second-hand chart since she no longer needed it. So, thanks to Michèle’s generosity, I will soon be having great fun stitching this cute set of whimiscal Russian dolls. My threads are all sorted, I just need to decide on my fabric . . . am thinking of using a grey-blue aida I have in my stash to because the white should really stand out well against it.
I have been doing some small project stitching in secret . . . to make a couple of cards for two very important people in my life. On 31st Jan it was eldest son’s birthday . . . and since he turned 25 (a quarter of a century lol), I thought it was an important enough mile-stone to merit a hand-made card instead of a shop-bought one. I did my own little “creation” with the wording and numbers and then finished off with a blackwork border that is part of a Nancy Pederson design I stitched last year. Finished it off with a little silver heart and then double-sided sticky tape onto a card. When calculating 25 years in days, I even thought to count the number of leap years lol. There have been 7 leap years since he was born ^^
Second card was for my daughter, aka Lindashee. She is studying in Lyon and spent the first 5 months living with family . . . however, we made plans over the Christmas break for her to move into her own rental bed-sit, to give her more independence (and also to be closer to her Art college) . . . she picked up her keys on 28th Jan and is now settling in. However, her card has gone missing . . . posted on the same day as birthday card to my son, it never arrived . . . so I’m going to sit down and make another one so you’ll have to wait a while before I can show you a photo.
Today is the day I post the last stage of a blackwork SAL over on my French blog. A freebie design by Valerie Warner, called “Simple Flowers”. Very quick and easy to stitch, and lots of fun seeing all the different colour variations by other ladies. I finished mine off very simply: laced onto a piece of cardboard with wadding and inserted into a small dark wooden frame which measure approx 14cm square.
Stay tuned for another article where I will post photos of coSALers finishes. And . . . if anyone feels up to it, I will be organising another blackwork SAL in February ^^
2013 is one week old, and I’m proud to say that I already have one finish – yay. Only a small one though. On the evening of 1st Jan, I decided to stitch a “laladoll” a monochrome design by Isabelle Vautier which is available to download for free on her blog. I just grabbed a piece of aida (lacking inspiration and energy to go and look in my fabric stash) and used a Threadworx thread for the body and Venus 2344 for the hair. I was originally going to use a blackish-brown for the hair but decided to stick with blues . . . and I’m rather glad I did because I think she looks pretty all in blue.
She now needs a good iron and to be finished off into something. I kept a really nice chocolate box from xmas, and am thinking about sticking her on the lid of the box and turning it into a little storage box . . . but that will need some thought before I tackle that.
No sooner had I put the last stitches to my little laladoll, than I was wondering what to stitch next. My mojo is feeling decidedly floppy since xmas and while I have loads of charts in mind of new projects, I still couldn’t find the energy it takes to go through my thread stash to sort out necessary colours. So, I took the lazy option and went for a rummage in my kit stash instead. Don’t have many kits, so it didn’t take me too long lol . . . to decide on one that I bought about 10 years ago (yeah, okay, I’m a hoarder).
Here are the first stitches
which don’t look terribly exciting, I have to admit. However, when I show you the cover picture from the kit, I think you’ll agree that I’m in for an enjoyable stitching time with this new start.
I have begun with the Indian Maiden but will, of course, stitch the Indian Brave as well. Designs are very tall and thin – each piece will be around 50cm tall – and I can already imagine them hanging together somewhere around the house, possibly with a “bell pull” kind of finish rather than framed.
This space has been rather quiet due to the Christmas period and the fact that our three adult children (and sons’ girlfriends) all came home for the week so I didn’t have much free time to sit down in front of my computer. Had a good week, catching up on all the chat, and it seems to have been non-stop eating too, but everyone left earlier today, so house is back to normal (apart from the pile of sheets, pillow cases, quilt covers and towels that need washing and drying). I didn’t find time to do anything crafty over the week either, as it seemed rather anti-social to settle down in my armchair with cross stitch when there was lots to do with family (including party games) . . . but I can show you something I made earlier ^^
Over on my French blog, I had organised a little giveaway just before the festive season, and there were three winners. Here’s what I sent
to Laurence, who collects thimbles . . . two from the UK commemorating the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, along with a little thread-holder that doubles up as a pin cushion.
for Sylvie G (who collects owls) 2 tiny owls for her collection and a handbag mirror
and for bbquenouille (who doesn’t collect anything specific) a cute pair of scissors and a handbag mirror
Two subjects in one post today . . . first up . . . a quick patchwork project.
A good friend asked me if I could make a padded pouch for her Mum: an elderly lady who can only move around indoors with two walking sticks and needed a little pouch so that she could keep the phone close by. Obviously, if she had a mobile phone, she could just slip it in a pocket, but she doesn’t, and it was for a cordless phone that she needed it. So . . . I decided to reduce the scale of the squares I made for my recent bag . . . make four of them, and then add a long strap in matching fabric so that she can either sling it over her shoulder or hang it round her neck. I made my squares 8cm x 8cm so pouch is 8cm x 16cm.
I’m not too sure about my choice of fabrics. They’re not what I would have chosen for myself, but my friend’s Mum likes liberty style print and pastel colours. Finished off with two mother-of-pearl buttons to attach the strap and hope that it will do the job.
And on a different note . . . Lovely Lionel dropped a nice plump enveloppe in my letter box the other day, from Stéphanie. More bookmarks for my collection (some in duplicate)
and also a Christmas card, some embellishments AND a lovely heart-shaped cushion to hang up.
So a big thank you to Stéphanie ^^