a bit of this, that & the other (sept)

My time is often spent flitting from one crafting project to another, simply because I can.  So today, a little mish mash of photos of what’s taking shape.

A dolphin cross stitch design, kit by Royal Paris.  I don’t pick this up very often therefore progress is slow, but there’s no hurry.

A new crochet project.  I was going to jump in and start hooking a third doll, but after a rummage in my yarn stash, I came across a couple of sunglass-worthy coloured yarn that I’d bought in a local discount store a couple of years ago.  A quick flick through my big pile of crochet books and I found a pattern that tickled my fancy.  I’m not going to tell you what I’m making just yet . . . it will become more obvious the more body parts I make.  Let’s just say that shocking pink isn’t the colour one would expect, but I reckon the finished design will be very cute!

I’ve begun a new diamond painting project.  Working in various shades of blues & teals . . . overall picture will look like this.

Again, there’s no rush to have this finished.  It’s just a new hobby I discovered recently, and I enjoy putting in a few hours from time to time.

For those of you wondering how the husband is getting on with the mirror . . .

He has begun cleaning up the back (while still debating about how to repair the stucco on the mirror side).  Took out these short planks and discovered

This, stamped on the back of the mirror.  So, his original guess of approx 1870 was out.  Stamp reads 1897, 31st March, Paris.  Renovation work continues.

a WIP and a happy dance

I have some very colourful photos to share with you today!  First, a WIP with the beginnings of a new patchwork project. Inspired by the photo below, of a design in the book “Quick & Easy quilts for kids” by Connie Ewbank.

My version looks like this

As you can tell from my choice of fabric print, I’m making a baby quilt.  It’ll be a lovely “I spy” & rainbow coloured snuggle quilt when finished.

I’ve also been having fun in the evening with some diamond painting and have finished a very colourful unicorn.

Canvas is only 30cm x 30cm which makes the actual picture only approx 25cm x 25cm.  I’ll be buying a frame for this, and it will be wrapped & gifted to one of our little neighbours on her 4th birthday later this month.

 

knitting & diamond dotting

I seem to have being doing nothing but knit or diamond dotting this past week.  Sewing, patchwork, crochet & cross stitch all seem to have fallen by the wayside, but I’m sure I’ll get back to them soon.

Knitting is what I feel like doing at the moment, since I cast on a new project, to make a short-sleeved cardigan for myself.

The pattern is Sirdar 7283 and I’m knitting with a Rico Design cotton (which I’ve had in my stash for over 6 years).  Pattern has sizing from child through to XXL adult.

This is the back all done!  I have also completed the left front, and am busily working on the right front.  A little disappointed that I didn’t “react” when I saw a stretch of pale lilac appear in the yarn in the lower section of the back. I saw it, and carried on knitting, because I thought there would be more of the same as I worked my way through the ball. There weren’t.  There must have been a minor dye fault which has resulted in that horizontal row of knitting.  Oh well, I won’t see it when I’m wearing the cardie and I doubt anyone else will be looking too closely.  My other worry: tension on the lace pattern bands seems to be pulling up the ribbing (it’s happening on the fronts too).  I hope I can correct this with blocking once the cardie is finished.   Anyway, I am really enjoying this project (apart from the neck shaping on fronts which is confusing me because I have to decrease but keep in pattern – but I’ll get there!) and looking forward to having all pieces ready to assemble.

I’ve also been relaxing my brain with some diamond painting.  Only the other day, I saw this in a local shop, priced at 12.95€.

They did have A3 size, but I decided A4 would be big enough for my needs, ie, to use as retro lighting while diamond painting.

When switched off, it looks like this.  Just a white board.  It has a touch sensitive switch and 3 different light intensity options.  And I was pleasantly surprised to see how it does, indeed, make diamond painting much easier on the eyes.  Before, I was having to wear my magnifying glasses (on top of my normal glasses).  Now, just my normal glasses are sufficient to see symbols clearly.

After the really big feather project, I’ve just begun a colourful unicorn.  You can see here how the retro-lighting really lights up the area to be covered, and makes it much easier to spot the isolated vacant symbols.

With the brightpad switched off, this is what the current project looks like.  Canvas is only 30cm x 30cm, which makes the area to cover approximately 25cm x 25cm.  I chose this design with one of our little neighbours in mind.  Cléo’s little sister, Mona, will be 4 years old in September . . . and I’m pretty sure that she’ll love this rainbow unicorn.

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.