Thursday, January 29, 2009

Summer is here with a venegance - and a new freebie!

and what a summer it is! Last night was the hottest night in over 100 years, and the 3rd hottest night in history, with the temperature not dropping below 28.7 C (about 76F). We have no air con, just a small portable unit that you have to sit on top of to get any relief. Our rooms are big, and the house open plan, so it has it's work cut out for it! Today the top is expected to get to 43C (about 108F). Wish me luck!! If I don't post to my blog again, you'll know I've perished in the heat!

Here's another freebie I designed, nothing flash but it's a start. I stitched these in variegated thread on a couple of pre-finished baby bibs. These were to sell at the craft market, but no-one wanted them either :-( Here's the finished product:

And here's the chart:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WIP Update

This is my progress as of January 27th. We just celebrated the Australia Day long weekend here and I managed to get in close to 800 stitches. I also did another 150 yesterday. I stuffed up somewhere around the bears legs, but I'm not sure where. I'll worry about it when I come to it, for now I'm working from the head down. I also have a smallish project started for stitching on the go. It's part of an ANZAC Day exchange I've organised for Aussie & New Zealand stitchers at . We are exchanging a small patriotic stitched item and a small gift, either stitching related or not. The kids start a brand new school year on February 2nd, so I'll take this project with me when I go to pick them up, when they have karate etc.
Not sure what's next for a bigger project. I am thinking maybe a beautiful blackwork butterfly design I bought a while ago. I can just see it stitched on some sort of deep mottled pink hand dyed fabric. There's pages and pages of instructions, so it's kind of daunting. I think it's actually designed as free hand embroidery as it comes with a transfer sheet. It mentions spangles, stem stitch, copper twist etc. I think I'm in waaay over my head. This is what it looks like:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blue Gingham Heart Freebie

Not sure if this is going to work or not. If you know how to make a design uploadable, please leave me a comment . I need all the help I can get!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This is my progress to date, January 20th 2009. Not only has the bear on the right got a head, he's got an entire body now, lucky him! I just need to finish the left bear, the balloons, a couple of ducks and then the backstitching and personal details. I might even get it finished while my son is still 7. Is that a record I wonder?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pretty in Pink

I really like how this turned out, very delicate and pretty. Too bad I live in a house full of males or else I might have kept it! I also stitched this for the craft stall. I had a price tag of $15 on it, not bad I thought. Oh well, I'm sure I can find a home for it somewhere.

  • Name of the design is "Flowers"
  • Fabric is a pre-finished cushion cover trimmed with lace and ribbon. I bought this on ebay, along with a pale blue one.
  • Thread is DMC, a light and a dark shade of pink.
  • Stitch count is 88 x 88
  • Completed in August 2008.

Breast Cancer Ribbon

Here's another project I stitched for the craft market. I liked the design, but had no-one to stitch it for but decided just to stitch it anyway. I eliminated the border around the design, I thought it looked a little too much. I used a cheap frame from The Reject Shop.

  • Name of the design is "Pink Ribbon" a freebie for message board members at
  • Designer is Ellen Maurer-Stroh
  • Fabric is 25 count white opalescent evenweave.
  • Thread is DMC stranded cotton.
  • Stitch count is 64 x 37
  • Completed in July 2008.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My baby is 7 today!

Happy Birthday Baby! We are going bowling later today and out for dinner. Yesterday my family came over for a celebratory lunch. I made a caramel mud cake and decorated it like an army tank, his choice. He went through a heap of different cake books, narrowing down his choice until the army tank won out. Although not a great result, it proved pretty easy to do. Of course it didn't help that it was a hot day when I decorated it, and the icing was setting before I could even get it on the cake! It's not one of my better efforts, I have made many fancy cakes over the years with much better results. Thankfully it doesn't take much to impress a 7 year old, LOL. Here's what it should have looked like:
And here's what it actually looked like, LOL:

And just to prove I can do better, here's one I prepared earlier. This was for the same son, when he turned 4. It's Humphrey B Bear:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Here Fishy, Fishy

This one is going begging, a result of the dismal craft stall. (That's another blog entry altogether!) I had it marked at $6, surely not too much? Especially considering the frame itself retails for about $3 or so. In fact, most of the items were probably on the cheap side, but still no-one bought anything. Is it my work? I know I'm not the best cross stitcher in the world, but surely not that bad either? Want to join my pity party? I'll bring the cake!

  • Name of the design is "Funny Fish"
  • Designer is Lucy who designs the
    "Challenge Lucy" charts in the UK magazine "Cross Stitch Crazy". As usual I forgot to take note of the issue number.
  • Fabric is an off cut of cream evenweave.
  • Thread is stranded DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 34 x 39
  • Completed in October 2008, using a flexi hoop frame.

"Blackwork" Stocking

Our should it be "red and green work"? I feel silly calling this blackwork, because I never use black thread when stitching these type of designs. There's sooo many pretty colours out there, why limit myself to black? This was another one of my first efforts at finishing my work into an ornament. I cut the fabric a little too small so that made it that bit more difficult.
  • Name of the design is "Christmas Stocking" (a freebie)
  • Designer is Karen at
  • Fabric is white 14 count aida
  • Thread is red and green stranded cotton, backstitched with gold metallic thread, all DMC
  • Stitch count is 40 x 22
  • Completed in November 2008.
Finished off with gold ribbon.

By the way, the bear on the right in my WIP now has a partial head. I'm sure he'll be pleased!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Another Day, Another Ornament

This one I stitched for my kids karate teachers who own and run the club. I do a lot of stitching during karate class, but this one I had to stitch at home. I had heaps of trouble finding the Santa hat button, and I was searching for it in November and December. Even Spotlight had a dismal array, and this was the only hat I could find. Thankfully it was roughly the right size. The club colours are red, white and black.

  • Name of the design is actually "Taekwondo"
  • Designer is ? taken from a spread titled "Olympic Sports -The Design Library" from a UK magazine. I don't know the edition or title.
  • Fabric is an off-cut of red aida.
  • Thread is standard DMC cotton.
  • Stitch count is 28 x 40
  • Completed in December 2008
Once again, edged in braid, black this time. (It's so easy! It lends itself to covering the join, where front meets back)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So much for a quiet day...

Yesterday was meant to be fairly quiet, that is until my 6 year old son broke out in a rash. It appears to be an allergic reaction to some type of plant, he's been known to get it before. In fact he's been prone to all sorts of weird rashes over the years. Anyway, I gave him phenergan and put some cream on and all was good for a little while. Later on he complained of a headache and feeling a little dizzy and tired, so off to the doctor we go. Turns out he had about as much of a clue as me, potentially less. So home we came, after getting a different cream, and we'll see what happens. The rash came up angrier today, but some cream took care of that. No more side effects, so all is good.

Purple Ornament

During my grocery shopping expedition the other day, I saw hot cross buns for sale. It's barely January and they're pushing Easter stuff. I must admit to shaking my head and groaning, yet I bought some! OK, so the kids wanted them, what's a girl to do? OK, OK, so I wanted them too. They're yummy, but we'll be SO OVER THEM by Easter!

Anyway, back to more stitching stuff. Here's a piece I did for the recent craft stall I had. I'm actually quite thankful it didn't sell, because I took a shine to it. I think this was the first ornament I put together, I don't sew and am generally not great at the finishing aspect of cross stitch. I have to admit to being pretty pleased with how this worked out. Design details are:

I mounted it on cardboard and backed it with sticky felt. To cover the joins around the edges, and to make the loop, I used a matching purple braid.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Blast from the Recent Past

Stitching wise that is :-) This ornament was made for the dreaded craft stall, the one where I sold nothing, but did take one order which I undercharged for. Desperation will make you do the craziest things! This one has a bit of a story attached. Back in early 2008, or maybe even 2007, I offered my services to a lady on the message board at who wanted model stitchers. I stitched a couple of her designs, very similar to this one, and mailed them off. The payment would be my ornaments finished and the set of charts once printed. Well this is one of the designs from the set, not one of the original model stitched pieces:

  • Name of the design is "Christmas ornament 17" from a set of cards with similar patterns. The set is called "Coloured Strings - Designs by Amy"
  • Designer is Amy Davenport (Ames). I'm not sure if these have been released as yet, or where you can buy them from. If you'd like to contact Amy, try posting a message for her on the message board at
  • Fabric is an off cut of cream evenweave.
  • Thread is silk and the colour is "Isle Green". I bought my first lot of Vikki Clayton silks when she had a great sale on in late 2008. This is one of those. Take a look at her website at
  • Stitch count is 42 x 42
  • Completed October 2008.
It's finished with a thin green cord around the edges and for the loop. I used half a finishing form for this, then backed it with felt.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Manic Monday

It's sure to be somewhat manic, I have to go grocery shopping, with kids in tow. That always makes for an interesting trip. First off, they need to clean their room. In theory, that should take maybe 10 minutes, but they've managed to take 1 1/2 hours so far. All they've done is clear the dirty clothes. It's going to be a lllooonnnggg day!
Anyway, back to my stitching. I took a pic yesterday of what I've done so far. It's not a great picture, but you get the idea:

Ok, now I need some input. If you look at the pic of the completed design, the bear on the right is holding what looks to me like a tin can in each hand, and backstitched on each is "kg", as in kilograms.  This seems a little odd to me, and I want to change it, but to what? The stitch count of each can is about 8 stitches down by 10 across. Not really big enough to stitch the weight in kilograms or pounds. What do you think I should stitch on them? I don't really want to leave them blank.  
UPDATE: Ok, someone with a brain and better eyesight than me (Thanks Mandy :-), has informed me these are weights. DOH!! Of course they are, hence the "kg" on them. However, I still want to make a change to them, any ideas?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

And no, my New Year's resolution is not to start a blog. Truly. No, I mean it! I don't do resolutions, I'm destined to break them by about midday on January 1st. I'm starting a blog to keep track of all my cross stitch projects, seeing as though my brain can't cope. There's far more bandwidth here than in my brain.

So on that note...... this is my current project. I think I started this in about August 2008 and put it aside so I could make some small items for a craft stall. Since Christmas I've started again with a vengance. Here are the details:
  • Name of the design is "Beary Baby Birth Announcement"
  • Designer is Ellen Maurer-Stroh from (I love her cute designs, especially the baby animal series)
  • Fabric is 28 count white opalescent evenweave from (great fabric, at great prices. Some pieces have a similar mottled effect to hand dyed fabric, but they are machine dyed. Email or call them about opalescent fabric as it's not on their site. They are situated in Australia too!)
  • Threads are regular DMC stranded cotton.
  • Stitch count is 207 x 98.
This is what it's going to look like:

So far I have stitched the middle bear, the rabbit and clock, half the grass, the ladybug and the welcome banner. I'll post a WIP (Work In Progress) soon.
Over and out.