feather & lace

A finish and a new start to share with you today!

First . . . a large diamond painting project, begun in April, and finished only the other day.

No idea how many hours I spent on this but it was very enjoyable to do. I now have to decide where I’m going to hang it. It’s quite big: canvas measures 80cm x 30cm with the diamond painted part measuring approx 75cm x 25cm.

That’s the feather, now for the lace . . .

After the success of learning the “lace” stitching in knitting, I rummaged through my yarn stash and went on-line to look for suitable patterns.  I had 10 x 50g balls of Rico Design Fashion Fantasy DK cotton, bought more than 6 years ago, and never used because I always felt my knitting skills weren’t good enough.   Anyway, I shopped online at Wool Warehouse and decided on a Sirdar pattern:  Beachcomber DK # ref 7283 which is for a summer cardie, in cotton.  Options are for short or long sleeves, and sizes from 61/68cm (child) chest through to 112/117cm.

I’m knitting this for myself, so am following the 102/107cm size, which (if my yarn knits up like the Beachcomber) will need 6 of my 50g ballls.  If all goes well, I should have enough left to knit the smallest child version too.  I always begin with a swatch, especially when not using the recommended yarn for a pattern. Rico Designs says to use a 3.5mm needle for 22 x 28 tension, so I cast on 22 and knitted 14 rows on a 3.5mm needle.  That came out spot on, 10cm x 5cm so I didn’t waste any more time before casting on for the real thing.

This is how far I’ve got so far after using the first 50g ball.  I am knitting the back, which has 2 bands of the lace pattern (18 rows repeat).  To make things easier for myself, I’m using 4 stitch markers, one either side of the 13 stitch bands which means I can knit mindlessly until I come to a stitch marker, slow down to follow pattern, then speed up again.

And another to give you a closer look at the band ((which would have looked better if I’d blocked but I’ll worry about that when all parts are knitted).

 

a bit of this and that

A bit of this & that today . . . I’ve been quite busy crafting for my dolls. Some sewing, knitting & crocheting going on for dolls in various shapes and sizes (over on Claire’s Collections – link in the blog roll).  My friend, Avis, has to put up with me sending her loads of photos by email, showing her what I get up to, hearing my success stories and also my fails.  She very recently sent me a surprise package

containing 8 FQs and 6 mini curly wurly bars lol.  The curly wurlies were because (living in France) that’s not something I can find in the shops and the other week our local ACTION store were supposed to be getting some in.  I went along twice in the hopes of nabbing some curly wurly bars, a souvenir from my childhood, but both times, there were none in stock.  Avis therefore surprised me by posting some out and I’ve been rationing myself to make them last as long as possible.  The fabrics are to give me incentive when making doll clothes, and for trying out new patterns.

I’ve also been making lots of progress with diamond painting.  You may remember, I’m working on quite a large project of a feather.  Last progress I showed, way back in May, looked like this

That was with 22cm completed.  Since then, working little and often, I have now covered more than 57cm of the canvas.

Lots of pretty pinks and purples as I work my way down the feather.

Not that much farther to go.  I wonder if I’ll be having a feather happy dance before the month is over?

 

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a bit of diamond painting, a bit of cross stitching

Variety is the spice of life, or so they say, so I’ve been varying my evening activities depending on my mood.  Sometimes, sitting out in the kitchen (because I need to work at a table) having fun sticking down drills on my current diamond painting project. And other times, working with needle & thread on cross stitch.

Aside from the unicorn design I’m stitching for the SAL, I decided to pick up something more relaxing to work on from time to time. And chose to make a start on one of my recently-bought bargain kits.

This is the one I picked up.  Not too many colours. Stitched on 14 count aida, so very easy on the eyes. And no backstitch – yay!  There will be French knots for dolphins’ eyes, but I can live with that.  Threads in this kit came in a bundle, not pre-sorted on a card, so it took me a little while to sort as some colours are very similar.  But it’s very relaxing to work on, and easy to concentrate on certain areas.  I began in the top left corner.  Here’s progress so far.

As for diamond painting . . . things are progressing well, and my canvas has evolved from this

to this

Have completed approximately 22cm so far . . . only another 53cm to go, since finished size will be 75cm x 25cm (the 80 – 30 specified on canvas is total canvas size, not finished picture size).

I have also been crocheting, and doing a few sessions of sewing, but that’s all doll-related, so it you want to know more about that, you’ll have to hop over to:  Claire’s Collections.

feathers and a thank you Flo

A couple of feather related photos today . . . first up, I finally got around to stitching a cross stitch kit, gifted to me for my birthday in 2020 by Yvonne!

Lovely bright colours, nice and dinky to stitch, and one very pretty bookmark!  Thank you, Yvonne !

Next up . . . I haven’t got bored yet of the newly discovered hobby, diamond painting, although I’ll admit to having slowed down a little because I’ve been busy with my crochet hook in the evenings.  Anyway . . . I’m currently working on a very large project. Not many colours appearing yet,

but that’s because I’ve still got a very long way to go.  So long . . . it doesn’t all fit into the photo!

Not to worry!  There’s no hurry to get this finished and it’s keeping me quiet!

And last photos for today, to say a public thank you to Flo, who sent me an unbirthday gift recently.

A seamstress project notebook – to keep note of clothes making project and body measurements. I don’t honestly do any proper clothes making for myself. Nothing “fitted” anyway, so I’m thinking this book will come in handy for my dolls clothes making!  I have dolls with varying body sizes in my collection and always seem to be trying to adapt one pattern to fit another, so this could be a good way of keeping track!

a bit of this & that

We’re back in lockdown again in this part of the world, which doesn’t make a great deal of difference to the husband and myself as we hardly go anywhere these days.  We’re happy to find things to keep us busy at home, and with Spring in the air, the husband is spending more time outside watching things grow.  He’s also been doing a bit of weeding and general tidying up, as well as supervising a worksite in our veggie garden (more on that another time).  While tidying up in the garden, he noticed an old plant pot he’d been meaning to repair but hadn’t.

I don’t know why, but the husband has a “thing” for crockery, china, and pottery.  A few years ago, there was a proper clear-out in the house opposite. Owner, very old lady, had died aged 96+, and her nephew was in charge of emptying the house so it could be sold.  The nephew was literally loading up the trailer to take most things to the local tip, when my husband spotted an old plant pot and asked if he could have it.  One thing less to take to the tip!  Said plant pot was just a very plain old thing and had probably been sitting outside for 60 years or so.  On arrival in our garden, it promptly got knocked over, by our very exuberant dog, and there it stayed for a few years, with broken pieces gathered together in a pile.

But no more!

The husband did his first attempt at “kintsugi” and plant pot has been replanted (with something or other) and is back out in the garden where, I hope, the dog isn’t going to knock it over a second time!

Gardening has never been my thing so, while I do spend some time outdoors each day, seeing to hens, walking the dog, and getting my daily dose of vitamin D, I prefer to keep busy indoors.  After a month of just lying around, my zodiac blocks have finally been sandwiched, pinned and are ready to be quilted.

Part of the reason for procrastination was: I couldn’t decide on what backing fabric to use.  I didn’t have anything suitable in blue in my stash, and I couldn’t find anything that caught my eye when browsing my favourite on-line fabric shops.  However, I did have a very sizeable piece of a plain “milky coffee” brown in my stash.  Not the obvious colour choice but it almost matches one of the browns in the xstitch designs, so I’ve gone with it.  Next job – decide how I’m going to quilt.  And also decide whether to make 4 additional blocks in same colours (without xstitch centre) to make this a 4 x 4 quilt, or to keep it as a 3 x 4 (or 4 x 3).

I have also been doing a bit of needlecrafting, and a small amount of patchworking (to be revealed on ScrapHappy day!) but my evenings have been spent diamond painting.  Have just finished my fourth diamond painting.  The husband doesn’t like this one but I do, obviously, or I wouldn’t have bought it.  Incidentally, bought on eb@y for 7.88€ including p&p.  Chinese seller, but dispatched from France so it arrived very quickly.

It looks really effective, from a distance, and reminds me very much of our cat, Le Bleu.  That will have to wait for non-essential shops to reopen for me to buy a frame.  In the meantime, I’ll be beginning work on a very big diamond painting project.

This is what the printed canvas looks like.  A very long, thin design which will finish up 24cm x 74cm.  I bought this one on eb@y also.  Cost, only 10.52€, including p&p, and I certainly feel I got my money’s worth here!

 

 

 

cluck cluck – new diamond painting

Evenings have been spent on diamond painting recently, and no, I haven’t grown bored of it yet.  After the pretty cat, wearing a floral crown, I started and finished this one.

Another small one, bought on @m@zon. Canvas size is 30cm x 30cm, finished design size is approx 25cm x 25cm. Didn’t take very long to do but the plain background does draw the eye to my sometimes squiggly wiggly drill sticking. Still, you all know how much I love my chooks. This design caught my eye while browsing, kept me out of mischief in the evenings, and . . . I’ve already begun work on my next diamond painting project!

diamond painting – happy dance #2

I’m having so much fun with the newly (for me) discovered hobby of diamond painting!  Before even finishing off the first project,  I was back on @m@zon looking for more.  And ordered in two small designs plus a batch of  100 mini zip lock bags to make life easier for storing drills once the heat-sealed sachets had been opened.

This is one of the kits I chose.  Canvas is 30cm x 30cm, design size is approximately 25cm x 25cm.   As soon as “the rose” picture was finished, I dived straight in with this one.  And after a couple of intensive sessions, I had a happy dance!

It was great fun to do.  Colours seemed a little “improbable” at times, as I was working so close to the canvas, but when you stand back, I think it’s a very faithful rendition of of the original artwork.  I paid 8.49€ for this kit, it gave me quite a few hours of fun.  I think it’s safe to say I’m well and truly hooked on diamond painting!   This floral cat is going to be hung in my sewing room, and I shall enjoy looking up and meeting her eyes, as she stares back at me.

 

happy dancing with first full drill DP

This is moving away from my usual needlecraft projects . . . but I wanted to share a happy dance with my first finished full-coverage diamond painting.   The husband might not have taken to this hobby, but I most certainly have!

I bought this on @m@zon on 19th Feb, it arrived on 23rd, which is the date I began.

Very pink, very girly, I know but I was looking for something as my first practice piece and this particular kit had really good feedback on the site, including lots of photos of the finished item, by thoughtful & contented customers.  For 9.99€ I decided it was well worth the hours of fun I’d have sticking down all those dots.   Above is what I got for my money.  Printed canvas which is protected by a plastic sheet, to keep the glued surface underneath nice & sticky.  This design has 30 symbols, so 30 different colours which meant 32 little sachets (because there were 3 sachets of the most frequent colour).  A plastic stylus pen, tray and square of wax, plus a few mini zip-lock bags.

I was quite surprised at how fast it worked up.

That was progress after my first session.  And after that, I just couldn’t wait to sit down every evening and do some more.

Until finally, I reached the bottom and had a finished piece.

If I counted correctly, this design is charted as  85 x 156  which means it containes a total of 13260 little “diamonds”.

Am now toying with either buying a frame, and putting it under glass or giving it a coat of varnish to make sure the dimaonds stay in place, then finishing with 2 rods (top & bottom) to be hung.  In the meantime, I’ve already ordered in the next project . . . and I’ve had a few kits sent to both Mrs Tattoo and Lindashee because they say they’re willing to give it a go.

 

Diamond Dotting, not the husband’s cup of tea

I recently bought in some small diamond dot kits thinking it was something the husband might enjoy doing.  Kits sat on the counter for days before he finally found time/incentive to sit down and give it a try.  Not a traditional diamond painting kit, this one, but a notebook with design on front cover, all ready to stick down gems.

I didn’t hear him cursing & swearing too loudly, but after getting thus far, he decided it wasn’t for him.  I, of course, took over and finished the design because I’m totally hooked!  The finished result looks like this.

What is the husband’s “thing” (when it’s not good enough weather to be out in the veggie garden) is painting his tiny 28mm military figurines.  This is one glass cabinet with some of them on display

He has more in the living room in two smaller glass cabinets.  Not only does he paint the figurines, but he’s also been having fun with modelling clay.

Making his own buildings, water well and tent for props (I think the tent is made with dried wet-wipes).

A wooden fence (made of tooth picks) . . . and sometimes he just cuts a nice slice of wood, to set up a mini diorama.

 

 

down a rabbit hole #1 “diamond painting”

I mentioned the other day, that I’d been diving down a few rabbit holes . . . spending lots of time on the internet, and checking out new (to me) occupations.  Which, of course, led to Mr Visa being waved about somewhat, but that couldn’t be helped lol.

Anyway, the first rabbit hole I went down was looking at “diamond painting”.  I initially thought the husband might fancy trying his hand at that.  Looks like a hobby where you need good eye-sight, a steady hand, and lots of patience.  He has all three.  I therefore ordered in a couple of small kits.  Sadly, he didn’t appear to be as excited about the idea as me, and kits sat on the counter for a while, with the husband taking no interest whatsoever.  I was itching to have a go myself, so . . .

I spent a very relaxing couple of hours, having fun, sticking down all these pretty gems, and made a bookmark.  There were actually two bookmarks to make in the kit (I’m still hoping the husband will be tempted to do the second one).  It’s quite “bling” but I love the colours, blues & purples . . . and the tassle is gorgeous!

Then, I opened up a second kit

And had more fun working on a mandala design.  The canvas is printed in such vivid colours and the gems make it lovely and sparkly.  This design measures 19cm square, on a 25cm square canvas.  I enjoyed myself so much, I’ve been and ordered a “real” diamond painting kit (which will be full coverage). More about that another day!