Monday, September 16, 2019

Finish, finished and a bit of progress!

I finally get to put on my dancing shoes and do my happy dance!

Here's my finish. It didn't take long to complete the little feather at the top....

The colours (just two) were gorgeous...

 ....and the little details, like french knots added visual interest as well as stitching interest. Yes, I'm one of those weird people who likes doing french knots!

The two smaller feathers were supposed to be done using two strands of thread, but I thought they might look too heavy so I opted to use just a single strand....I think it looks perfect.

 As for the 'Finished' part in the title, well I framed the Ice Cardinal design....

I thought the blue/grey mat went perfectly with the colours in the stitching and warmed the whole thing up compared to using a black mat. A simple black frame completed the look.

And onto the 'progress' part of the title, well I picked up the wolves design again. Since it's been a while since I worked on this design, here's the cover picture just to remind you of how it will look...

 ....and here's my progress picture...

Still lots to do!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, September 9, 2019

Getting my dancing shoes ready!

I've got my dancing shoes out ready to do a happy dance......I'm almost finished another design! 

I was hoping to finish it today and show you a completely finished piece, but I had a root canal done this morning and I have such a headache that I can barely see the needle let alone the tiny holes in the evenweave fabric. This is how close I am to a finish....

....there's a little feather at the top right hand side that's half done. Once that's finished, then I can start my happy dance. This is the cover picture from the kit....

I have been stitching up a storm, but unfortunately can't show you the designs as they are for publication in a magazine. I don't normally stitch for the magazines, but these designs I wanted finished in a particular way, so it's easier for me to do the whole, stitch and finish! Here's a sneak peek....

Could be anything, right? I promise to show it in all it's glory when it's published. And the second piece..... least there's a bit more colour in this picture! And the threads carefully placed to obscure the design :) The stitching for both is completed, so now it's on to the finishing process....time to play with ribbons and beads!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Doing my happy dance!

Yayyy for me! I have a finish....want to join me in my happy dance?

Ice cardinal is finally finished....

This one feels like it's taken forever to do....please don't look back to see the date that I started it as I'll be really embarrassed!

I'm still not convinced that the back stitching really shows up, especially round the bird's feet, but the yellow and white on his face  shows up well....

It's not easy to get a good picture of this finish and it really does look better in real life.

Here are the details of this kit - 

Dimensions kit #70-35292
Stitched on 14 count black aida
Finished size 11" x 14"
Design by Mark Mueller

Anyway, I'm glad this is finally done and I can get working on anything that's not stitched on black fabric!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

When the back stitching doesn't pop!

It's been a week of back stitching for me. I know some people hate it, others love it. I'm kind of in the middle, it's not my favourite thing to do, but I love the effect.....usually.

I finished the back stitching on the two little cards I had been working on and made them up as cards.... no more wasting away in my to-do pile!!!! 

The coloured back stitching on the butterflies really  made the design pop......

 And without the back stitching, the hot air balloons didn't look like anything, let alone hot air balloons, but now you can see what they are....

The back stitching on the balloons was a bit fiddly and I confess to not following the chart, but I know you'll keep my secret! ;)

Now the one design that isn't really 'popping' with the back stitching is the Ice Cardinal design....

I don't really know if it's making much of a difference. You really have to be quite close to actually see the back stitching. Because of this, it's not quite as satisfying to be plodding along doing the boring bit!

And more designs with back stitching.....

My pet library in this month's World of Cross Stitching magazine. Forty little designs of pets.....furry, feathery (is that even a word?) and slithery pets are all covered in this collection....

No mention in the magazine as to who stitched them, but they did a great job don't you think?

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, August 12, 2019

It's been a week for smalls!

Small finishes that is....not the underwear kind of smalls!  :)

I tried to get some of the back stitching done on Ice Cardinal, but the qsnaps frame and the fabric is rather large and the fabric kept rubbing against the poison ivy blisters that I have on my arm....not pleasant - or hygienic! 

I only managed a small bit of back stitching then decided to work on something else so that I didn't end up with an infection as well as the blisters. I finished off the seagull stitching from last week and now have another card to add to my collection...

This little kit from CrossStitcher magazine came with a small cardboard frame to place round the seagull. Originally I wasn't going to put it on as I thought it rather strange, but changed my mind once I had placed it on the stitching. I thought it was rather cute and quirky....

I then started working on another free kit, this time from Cross Stitch Crazy magazine..

....and now have a cute little luggage tag that should stand out at the airport when all those 
oh-so-similar suitcases come out on the luggage carousel...

And since I was on a roll, another freebie kit that I had tucked away in my stash was this little butterfly design....

....and if it looks familiar, it's because I have stitched this design before. I have no idea how or why I had two of these kits, but I'm not complaining!

And the last of the smalls for this week.....

....another freebie from this months CrossStitcher magazine - I do love those free kits, don't you? This shouldn't take too long to complete and then I'll have yet another card to add to my stash.

All in all, I would say it's been a good week for smalls!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, August 5, 2019

A seagull and chips!

Not much stitching getting done here unfortunately.

When we came back from Scotland, the garden was badly needing some TLC....all the rain and the sun had caused the grass and weeds to grow with abandon. Deciding to tackle it, I donned the gardening gloves and bashed ahead with the weeding. So what has weeding got to do with me not stitching? Well I am very allergic to poison ivy, so much so that I just have to go near it and I end up with that horrible blistering rash. And that dear friends, is what happened. The rash is very painful and the heat makes it worse. Medication from the doctor helps slightly, but it is so uncomfortable to do anything!  The little seagull was finished before my encounter with the poison ivy and will hopefully  be finished into a card soon.

You may remember the mess the back of this piece was when I was stitching on the plane and didn't have any scissors to snip the threads on the back.... awful! Well Rachel from the blog Ten Hour Stitcher  suggested a wonderful and simple solution.....just bring the threads back up to the front of the design so they don't get tangled! How simple is that - and definitely worth sharing! Thanks Rachel :)

Fingers crossed for a finish next week!

Until then....happy stitching!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Itching to stitch!

The last two posts have been brought to you by the magic that is Blogger's scheduling feature. I have been back in Scotland dealing with my late father's house - so not really a holiday, but nice to be back in Scotland all the same. 

I had taken some stitching with me but didn't have time to do any of it....yes two weeks without stitching - unheard of! I did manage to buy some cross stitch magazines (of course!) and was keeping them as a way to pass the time on the flight back to the US. As soon as we were on board the plane coming home, the stitching magazines had their plastic covers ripped from them and the contents devoured. Then it was time to start one of the free gifts that came with the magazines....ah, the heavenly feeling of threading the needle and starting a new project!

Of course, being on a plane meant no scissors allowed and so the freebie kit became a bit of a mess on the back since I couldn't cut any of the threads...

Oh my goodness....this drives me insane....the threads tangle up and get caught in the stitches....I'm sure you can feel my pain :)

Anyhoo, lots of turbulence meant that stitching was a bit difficult to do (that needle refused to go in the correct hole) so this project is in my current to-do pile and being worked on just now...

Being the queen of slow stitching, it's still not finished!

Coming back to all that laundry and the usual pile of bills and junk mail that always awaits you after a holiday, was made easier by finding this months issue of World of Cross Stitching sitting waiting for me. Issue 284 has my matching game designs in it...

A cross stitch version of the traditional game...

My kids adored playing this game when they were little and I love being able to use cross stitching for more than just pictures for on the wall!

Also in this issue is an interview with yours truly......

...with a very rare photo of me!

So now it's time to go visiting all your lovely blogs and get caught up with the backlog of blog reading. Thanks for visiting!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, July 22, 2019

Testing, testing!

I have a collection of various glues and tapes that I have collected over the years, some good and some not so good. I decided to test them all out and see which ones were best for  different types of projects.

Here's a collection of some of the glues etc that I have been testing....these were the ones that were in reasonable condition to photograph....I'm not the neatest person, so some of my glues are quite disgusting and I'm too ashamed to let you see the condition the bottles and tubes are in!

So, here's my question to you - what glues and tapes do you like working with? Which ones do you think work best? 

Please comment below and hopefully, with your answers, I can  come up with a list of best products that would help us all!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, July 15, 2019

How to make a tassel

I thought that I'd share with you how easy it is to make a tassel to add to your cross stitching projects. I added a tassel to the bookmark that I stitched and it really made the whole thing pop...well, I think it did anyway! do you make a tassel? It's so easy, let me show you. 

You will need 

  • a skein of thread in the colour of your choice
  • scissors
  • a needle
...and that's it! 

Here's how it's done. First of all, take out two lengths of thread approximately 15cm /6 inches long. To make it easy to see in the photos, I have used a contrasting thread colour. You should use the thread from the skein. Cut the skein of thread in half. Keeping the label on makes the whole process a bit easier ....

 ...take one of the 15cm/6"  long threads and loop it through all the threads...

...tie a knot..

...loop it through again and secure with another knot.

Do not cut this length of thread as this is what what will attach the tassel to your project.

Taking the second length of cut thread, warp it around the skein of thread approximately 1.5cm/1/2" from the top (just eyeball it, it doesn't have to be exact!), tie a knot and wrap around to the other side and tie another knot (you can add a small dot of fabric glue if desired)....

Thread your needle with the ends of the thread you just wrapped round and push the needle through the middle of the skein (you may need to do each length separately depending on how tightly you tied the thread)

Remove the label and then cut the tassel to the desired length!

Voila! You've just made a tassel....wasn't that easy? Here's what it looks like using the same colour of thread..

Now to start looking for projects that require a tassel!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Monday, July 8, 2019

Stitching up a storm!

When the background in the design is done in half stitches, it feels like I'm stitching up a seems to be growing so quickly! And being the queen of slow stitching you have no idea how wonderful that sounds to me! Just compare last weeks picture.... this week's progress picture...

Not too shabby...uh?

I heard back from Dimensions about the shortage of thread for Ice Cardinal. You may remember that I had used up all the threads for two of the colours in the kit, and you can see from the picture just how close I am to finishing it....

...yeah, just that little spot at the bottom to complete! I was emailed a conversion chart with the DMC and Anchor equivalents. I can't decide how I feel about this. On the one hand it's great that you can get the missing threads quite quickly, but on the other hand, it's costing  even more money to complete the kit which was expensive to buy. I'm also keeping my fingers firmly crossed that there won't be a noticeable difference in the colours with the DMC threads.  So, what do you think about having to buy threads to complete a kit? Should I be upset or not? Do you think the company should send some extra threads? Either way, it's time for me to stitch on black fabric again and get this cardinal finished....finally!

Until next time....happy stitching!


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

I broke the cardinal rule!

I learned the hard way to always put your stitching away when you're not working on it. Years ago my daughter accidentally dropped a plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce and the spaghetti sauce splashed over my stitching. Luckily for me that, although the stains did not come out even after several washes, the design was quit heavily stitched and the stains were covered by the stitching. Since then, I have been quite meticulous about always putting my stitching away.....except this week. I blame the brain fog on the fact that I had been feeling like I had been hit by a truck, thanks to the shingles vaccine. I put my stitching at the side of my chair and, yes, you've guessed it.....disaster! Yet another tomato sauce incident! Thank heavens that I had laid the chart over the main body of the fabric so only a small corner of fabric was splashed. The chart is now in colour....well, colour in some places! 

Image taken from Pinterest

The cardinal rule of stitching....always put your stitching away when you're not working on it!

Anyway, here's this weeks progress....minus the stains...

Last week my camera died before I could take a picture of the kit, so I left you wondering what the design was like - sorry! Here's what what it will eventually look like...

Luckily for me that the camera battery was all charged up when I spotted this little fella  hiding in the bushes right outside my front door...

Isn't he cute? Mama robin has been coming in regularly to feed him and they move hiding places so he's not obvious to predators.....or humans!

Until next time....happy stitching!