Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hop on over....

and check out my website!

Yes, finally, I have my website up and running. After all this time www.tangledthreadsonline.com is actually open for business!

So today I want to show you one of the designs that is for sale. This is one of the many projects that I have been working on over the last few months and it feels great to actually show you the finished project, so without further ado, here it is.

In this set, there is the chart for the sampler, one card design with four different greetings, one tag design and one motif design. A great gift for a fellow stitcher, or even for yourself. But what if you want to stitch this design for someone who has a hobby other than cross stitching? Don't worry, I've got you covered! If you know someone who loves to do any of the following - read, sew, quilt, craft, knit, bake or cook then you can easily stitch this design for their specific hobby as these words are charted too! All this for $5......now that's value!  Now wouldn't this sampler make a wonderful Christmas gift? Just  stitch the sampler then add a few of the bits 'n' bobs to go with the hobby (and you've got lots to choose from!) and that would be christmas all wrapped up!

So here are some close ups of what I've stitched and made up from this chart pack.

First of all, the sampler.

Then the card...

I've made this as a very basic card - stitched, backed with iron-on interfacing (so the colour of the card doesn't shine through) and glued onto a card. Simple!
And if you want to make it a little bit fancy, try adding some contrasting borders like this...

This was done by simply cutting some green card stock slightly smaller than the card size and then doing the same thing again with some darker blue card.

Here's a close up

All you need is some cardstock, a metal ruler and a sharp craft knife! I chose blues and greens as they were in the design but you can easily acheive a different effect, just by using different colour combinations.  Here's the same design done with lilac coloured card.

 Doesn't it change the way the card looks?

And here I have added the borders again. 

And now if you want to be really fancy, you can take the same stitching and make this...

A small design doesn't necessarily mean a small card!

And of course to make the gift giving ensemble complete we need a tag...

..or two!

Yeah, I was getting carried away playing with the cardstock! The small motif was actually supposed to be inside the card, but that's the beauty of stitching, you can change things around to suit yourself.

Wouldn't that make a wonderful (and co-ordinated) gift for someone? Of course, you could just stitch it for yourself!

So that's the first of many Tangled Threads designs I will be showing you. Please check out the website www.tangledthreadsonline.com  (just incase you didn't click on it earlier!) and remember I will be updating the website every month with new designs. Let me know what you think...I love hearing from you!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, September 26, 2011


Well this month my ort jar overfloweth! What a great feeling!

You can see all the metallic bits from the Samurai and the Christmas card...amongst many others!

Speaking of the Samurai...I think a big trumpet fanfare is in order because.....


Here are some close up pics of the last details that I worked on.

Metallic lazy daisy dragonflies

The beading at the hem.

The cording at his swords

Hope the strange angles don't make you dizzy, but I thought it was kind of arty looking at the time, and if truth be told, it was really the only way to show the details!!

And, ta-da.... here he is in all his glory.

So now, of course, I'm thinking about what to stitch next.  This is what I have had my eye on for a long time, but I think I may have to ask Santa to bring it to me!! I even know where I would hang it when it's complete! (how sad is that!!)

I also have some fantastic news which I will reveal...tomorrow. I know, I'm such a tease!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Ice-water bath

That's what my samurai has been having since my last post! And the good news is this......

barely a mark left!  The reds came out and only the gold/ochre colour is left and even that is much less than before (it doesn't look too bad in the photo, but sadly in real life it's a bit more noticeable). Phew! The ice water certainly took a lot of the colour away.

I'm not sure how I will feel about washing my finished stitching from now on though.

I do have to say that Dimensions does state on their instruction sheet that,

 "Because thread manufacturers have changed their dyes to make them safer for the environment, some colours may now bleed"

They also state that 

  "Cold water washes made for fine washables and wool garments may actually cause the thread to bleed"

I would have thought that a laundry detergent made specifically for delicates would have been more suitable for cross stitching ( I used a dishwashing liquid, which is what Dimensions recommends on their instructions sheet.)  I thought this might be worth highlighting so that you don't have the same heart stopping moment like me. 

Many cross stitching websites actually recommend that you wash your threads before stitching with them....reds in particular!

So anyway, all's well that ends well. I think I may give my samurai one last bath and see if the last of the gold/ochre colour will finally vanish - fingers crossed!

Thanks for all the lovely comments and suggestions about how to get the colours out. It was nice to know that others felt my pain! But I have to ask you this -  how many of you will think twice before washing their next project? I know I will!!!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, September 19, 2011

What to do?

So....I should be doing a happy dance as I have finished my Samurai (all except the cording).....but..... I guess the happy dance has been put on hold because after finishing the stitching, I did as I always do - I washed my stitching. And this is where the happy dance comes to a screetching halt. What's the worst thing that can happen to a stitcher when he or she washes her finished piece? Yup, you guessed it. The colours bleed. That's what happened with my Samurai. It's not too bad, believe me I have seen worse, but I'm just so disappointed that the colours on a Dimensions Gold kit would do this. Afterall, isn't that why these kits are more expensive, because they (supposedly) contain quality fabric and threads - well that's what I thought anyway. So today I have to take my courage in both hands and decide what to do with the Samurai....

leave it as it is (spoils the whole piece),

wash it again and hope that nothing else bleeds and that the stains fade (wishful thinking?)

or maybe try using some vanish and a little cotton bud right on the stains.

Oh, what to do? This is certainly not how I planned spending my day!

Wish me luck!

Until next time...happy (without washing it) stitching!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Almost there!

Can you feel the excitement? I’m almost there…it’s the home straight….all the cross stitching is done, just the details (but there’s lots of them!) then Mr Samurai will be completed!
But now I need your opinion. Here is a photograph of the cover of the kit….

And here’s my stitching…..

So, other than the details, can you spot the difference?  Let me give you a clue…it’s bright yellow and missing in my stitching. Yes, you got it, it’s the sun.  I have deliberately not stitched the sun as I’m not sure whether I like it or not! It seems, to me anyway, just like a big yellow blob of an afterthought, stuck in the design. It’s all one colour, with no shading or colour change, which is so unlike the rest of the design. So, my question is this….do you think my stitching works without the sun?
Here's the bottom of the design finally finished, well cross stitched anyway- still got  the back stitching etc to do!

Unfortunately, the replacement threads were a slightly different shade, so I had to be 'creative' to make it work! Ah, the challenges of being a stitcher!

Thanks for all your wonderful comments about me stitching with metallic threads – you did make me chuckle! You’ll be relieved to know that normal service has been resumed and I have been stitching with good old regular DMC once again!
Here are the colours I am using…

See, no metallics!
And this is my design so far…

I know, there’s not much to see. But all will be revealed soon. I’m almost there with the Tangled Threads web site….finally! lol I’ve been busy photographing samples and will be detailing everything here, so you will be the first to see the designs!
I also want to give a warm welcome to my new followers. Thank you so much for joining, and also a big thank you to everyone who leaves me a comment…I love reading them all.

Until next time…happy stitching!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Shock and Horror!

I do hope that you are sitting down to read this, as my news may come as a bit of a shock. Are you sitting down…are you ready for the earth shattering news?

Well as you all know, I have been complaining about the metallic threads involved in stitching the Mighty Samurai. You know that I hate them…well I love the effect they have, but I’m not so keen on actually stitching with them. Well this is what I chose to stitch…let me repeat that, I CHOSE to stitch this….

Yes, it’s metallic threads! I honestly don’t know what possessed me. Aren’t you glad I warned you to sit down?!!!
The picture isn’t very good as the camera can’t focus with metallic threads so I can’t get an in-focus, full on front shot - this is the best I can do.  Here is the detail looking at it from a lower angle. Aren’t the colours wonderful?

The metallic thread is DMC Jewel Effects E135 and the design is stitched on a very pale green Charles Craft 14 count aida called Light Seafoam. I thought they made a wonderful Christmas effect that was different from the usual bright reds and greens.

This is one of a set of six designs that will be for sale soon. I have used a variety of Christmas greetings in the set, and also included this one ‘Winter Wishes’ to extend the variety of occasions for giving these stitched cards. Of course I still have to make it into a card, but wanted to let you see the design as soon as it was stitched!

I have still been stitching the Mighty Samurai, I haven’t forgotten about him. I will show you an update of my progress in my next post. Hopefully there will be a much more noticeable change in him!
Thanks for dropping in today. Hope that wasn't too much of a shock!
Until next time…happy stitching!


Thursday, September 8, 2011


Part of the reason I was drawn to The Mighty Samurai kit was that the fact that his clothing had dragonflies embellished on them. I LOVE dragonflies. Funnily enough though, I have only ever stitched one dragonfly design. I think it's because I am so fussy about the colours and whether or not the dragonfly looks delicate enough! Yeah, I know...I'm a bit strange!

Anyway, I have been working on the dragonflies, and for the past few nights have been doing 'lazy daisy' stitches with....you've guessed it....metallic threads! There's no escaping them on this design! It's been slow progress, only because I was determined to have them done right as unpicking with metallics is a big no-no!

So here's the progress pictures. For some reason the camera is a bit like me and doesn't seem to like  metallics! It has a hard time focusing and then when it does eventually take a picture, it really doesn't capture the sparkle of the threads!

Some of the wings are done in two strands of metallics and the ones that are more in the shade or folds of the fabric are done with one strand. Sorry the pictures are so poor but you get the idea.

So now I'm off to work on the Tangled Threads website and decide which designs to put up first. I still have a few pieces to stitch so I had better get that needle warmed up!

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Itching to finish!

The Mighty Samurai is becoming all-consuming! I soooo want to get on with him. Isn't it funny how you're enthusiasm for a project changes? For a long time, the samurai was a bit tedious and almost boring. But now, even though I'm not a fan of metallic threads (you had guessed that...hadn't you?!!), I'm itching to finish him!

So, you may remember that I had run out of some thread for cross stitching the bottom part of his garment and that Dimensions very kindly sent me some replacement threads. This is what the bottom half looked like then...

And this is what it looks like now...

I still have lots to stitch at the base of his garment as you can see here...

And this is what he looks like out of the scroll frame..

Such a handsome fella!

There's still so much to do though....cross stitching, back stitching, couching, lazy daisy stitches, french knots, beading and cording. Phew, what a list!

And if all that wasn't enough, I'm still trying to stitch up samples of my designs for the Tangled Threads web site! Ah, no rest for the wicked! lol

So I'm off to thread up yet another needle and get back to stitching.

Until next time...happy stitching!


Thursday, September 1, 2011


I'm so unorganized that I have had to trained myself to write everything down. I'm the queen of lists and notes on the fridge! And thank heavens that I wrote down all the dates of the new moon, otherwise I would have completely forgotten about this....

Can you see all the metallic threads that I have been constantly moaning about? There's not many threads in this months jar, which either means I have been far more economical on my thread usage or that I haven't done quite as much stitching this month. Sadly, it's the latter!

Here's a picture of the total collection of orts for this year so far...

Quite a collection!

And here is the progress of The Mighty Samurai....

The photo doesn't really capture the sparkle of the metallics, but I have to say.....he's looking good! I found the couching a bit tricky to do, but the effect is stunning. I'm really enjoying working on him again. Who knows, maybe I will get him finished in time for Christmas!

Until next time...happy stitching!