Thursday, January 28, 2010

Testing my new signature

Not sure why it looks a bit washed out though....
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Just trying another one too..
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A different stitching project

Yep, you read right! No more cross stitched cupcakes for the time being. I need to buy some matching fabric for the last few different coloured holders, so I've moved on to something different. Just to be sure it will be finished in time, I've started a Christmas kit! Yes, I am aware it's still January, LOL. This is a design I saw finished on a message board post at 123stitch and thought it was cute. Did some asking around and found the name of it, and another board member even posted links to some for sale on various auction sites. There were 2 for about $25-$30 US and one for $5. Guess which one I chose? LOL. I think I had it in my hot little hands for a grand total of $11US.

The other night I started to sort the threads and remembered one of the many reasons I hate kits!! It took me forever to work out what they meant by their list of colours, turns out some appear to be blended threads. Of course it didn't help the sorting when I discovered I had an extra 2 skiens, and that I find it hard deciding which one is super mega ultra very light brown and which is just plain mega ultra very light brown. GRRR. Anyway, I've sorted them out and made a start, time will tell whether I sorted them correctly!
Here's what it will look like:

And here's the small start I've made:

The name of the kit is "Claus and Company banner" by JCA Needle Arts. It was produced in the '80s I believe but there are still kits out there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New blogger template

Ok, so you might have noticed the new look blog. I decided it was time for a change and googled free blog backgrounds. Found a heap of pretty ones, and the instructions sounded easy enough. Problem is, most of the pretty graphics are lost off to the side, I don't know why you can't see them. Sure, I can shrink my screen to 50% to see them, but then you can't read the blog.

Well, after a bit of investigating it seems it might be my tiny pre-historic screen that's chopping off the sides. Oh well. Guess I'll just have to play some more and find the right background for my screen. Another addiction in the making??

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yet another one!

I think this is #11 of 23.

  • Name of the design - Harvest time blackwork
  • Chart is a freebie from needlework tips and techniques
  • Fabric is a unique piece of 28ct hand dyed fabric
  • Thread is a silk, "Golden Nectarine" by Hand Dyed Fibers
  • Stitch count is 30 x 30
  • Completed in January 2010 for my cupcake stand. I added some flower motifs for interest

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sick of cupcakes yet?

I'm not. Obviously, LOL. I need to buy some cross stitch fabric to match a few remaining cupcake holders, that will be interesting trying to get it right - I'm buying online. The fabric for this cupcake really doesn't look that mottled and washed out in real life, it's actually quite vibrant. Anyway, here it is:

  • Name of the design - it's the inner part of a design called "Hearts & Flowers"
  • Chart is a freebie from Cross stitch directory
  • Fabric is 28 count monaco called "pumpkin pizzaz flair" from Enchanted Fabrics
  • Thread is a stranded cotton called "Firecracker" from Stitches and Spice. I cut out the lighter parts of the thread as they looked odd.
  • Stitch count is 29 x 29
  • Completed in January 2010 for my cupcake stand. I added a berry head pin for interest.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A REAL cake this time

This is the yummy looking cookies and cream cake I made for my son's birthday. It was a recipe printed in a supermarket catalogue of all things and looked really scrumptious. Problem was it had gelatine in it and I'd sworn off gelatine, having had no success in the past. Every time I used it the texture was always stringy and unappealing. However, ever the optomist, I decided to give it one last go and finally, SUCCESS!! It was pretty nice too.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy birthday to my baby boy, he turned 8 today. He awoke all excited about what the day might bring. He enjoyed all his presents, even though I struggled with what to get him and in the end rushed out to get a few small bits and pieces just to pad things out. He ended up liking all the items I got him, even the fillers! My family came over for a smorgasboard lunch and gave him more gifts, he loved them all too! He requested a shop bought caramel mudcake (I'm not THAT bad a cook!) which I decorated like a cricket pitch, which he wanted. I also took the opportunity to make a yummy looking cookies and cream cake I'd been eyeing off since I saw the recipe in a supermarket catalogue. We were planning on eating out at a smorgasboard restaurant tonight, just the 4 of us, but we are all still full so have postponed that until lunch tomorrow. I will make him his favourite meal tonight instead, fettucini carbonara. Then we'll watch a movie of his choice or play a game or something.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A pretty find

I was out and about the other day, looking for a few little extras for my youngest son's birthday tomorrow. I found a cute little box which had either a button or spool of thread embroidered on top. I bought the one with the spool, thinking it was an empty box which I could use to store needles. Turns out it's a cute mini sewing kit with little pockets, all ready for my needles. Now I wonder what's inside the one with buttons on top, another sewing kit, or a stash of buttons?? Hmm.......

My cupcake stand

I thought I'd take a picture of my cross stitched cupcake stand to date, not quite half full. It holds 23 and I've completely finished 9, need to turn one finish into a cupcake, and have a few more stitches left in the 11th one.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A cupcake dud :-(

I'm really not happy with this one, I'm not sure what will happen to it. It's a bit like a baked cupcake where you're a bit careless with the measuring. It's cooked OK, isn't burnt or spilling over the top or anything, it's just a bit bland.
I think my first mistake was the choice of design, a bit too big and no real definition to it. The choice of thread is right up there too, it blends into the fabric far too much. The fabric itself didn't help either, as it's leaning towards an aida feel which is thick and hard to mould into a cupcake shape. I'm also not happy with the embellishments, they do nothing to add to the overall effect. Anyway, here it is:

  • Name of the design - it's the inner part of a design called "The Three Emblems"
  • Chart - original is a freebie from Papillon Creations
  • Fabric is Zweigart 25ct lugana in "Ash rose"
  • Thread is a silk called "Attar of Roses" from Hand Dyed Fibers
  • Stitch count is 35 x 35
  • Completed in January 2010, it was going to be for my cupcake stand. Not sure where it will end up now. I added some berry head pins for interest and a matching button.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another cupcake finish

Here's the pic:

Here's the details:
  • Name of the design - adapted from a design titled "Blackwork Tulips" (I realise there are no tulips in sight, LOL)
  • Chart - original is a freebie from Solaria Gallery
  • Fabric is a unique piece of hand dyed 28ct green opalescent fabric
  • Thread is a silk called "Isle green" from Hand Dyed Fibers
  • Stitch count is 29 x 29
  • Completed in January 2010 for my cupcake stand. I added some berry head pins for interest
I started out wanting to do the design in it's entirety, but it was a bit busy and fiddly and the design became lost in the fabric. Therefore I changed it as I went along, but now it looks a bit simple, or maybe just a tad small. Might have been better if I stitched the blank areas where the pins are, but it's done now. I'll just sit it next to one of the busier designs on the cupcake stand.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do you want the good news - or the bad news?

We went to the hospital as planned today, thankfully it was a quiet day in the outpatient fracture clinic as we went here, there and everywhere! Here's what we did:
  • Checked into the outpatients clinic, then got directed to another department to get the cast cut off
  • Waited our turn to get the cast cut off (we were barely in the door before the technician grabbed his arm and started sawing away. The look on DS's face was priceless!)
  • Went back to outpatients and waited our turn to see the doctor
  • Saw the doctor who decided we should get an x-ray
  • Waited our turn in the x-ray department
  • Waited our turn to see the doctor again. DS was still in pain and couldn't move his wrist properly so the doctor decided to get a splint put on for a week or so, whatever DS feels he needs. It's probably just stiff and sore because the joint hasn't been able to move for the last 5 weeks
  • Went back to get the splint put on
  • Went back to see a physio as the doctor felt he needed some exercises to strengthen his wrist.
All in all, he's lucky it's healing nicely (he hasn't been taking the best care of it) and doesn't need another cast. The bad news is it's still not 100% and he's bandaged up for another week or 2. We have another appointment in a month and hopefully by the time he'll have full use of it without pain. Fingers crossed! At least this time he's allowed to take it off for showers and to do exercises.

Third time's the charm - and DS's cast comes off today!

Yay! Not a day too soon either as it smells badly like foot odour. It stinks big time!! Now if only he'd wake up so we can get going!! Here' a pic I took of it yesterday, looking a little mangy:

Here's the next cupcake, this makes a total of 8 out of 23. I also picked up some more cupcake holders yesterday, there were purple ones in the set!

Here's the details:
  • Name of the design - Blackwork coaster
  • Chart - is a freebie from this website.
  • Fabric is a unique piece of 28ct opalescent fabric
  • Thread is DMC fluorescent effects E1040
  • Stitch count is 38 x 38
  • Completed in January 2010 for my cupcake stand. I added a glitter jewel to the centre for effect.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Frog-Free Finish - Finally!

WooHoo! I now have my 2nd finish of 2010. Was it worth all the effort? Um, no! Here it is, doesn't look like it should have caused so much drama does it?

Here's the details:
  • Name of the design - medaillons vogels 5 - with some changes
  • Chart - is a freebie from this website. The butterfly in the middle is one I created.
  • Fabric is 28ct monaco fabric, called "Fairy Kisses - painted" from Enchanted Fabrics
  • Thread is "Hibiscus" silk from Hand Dyed Fibers and a variegated pink cotton called "Cotton Candy", a limited edition floss from Carrie's Threads
  • Stitch count is 34 x 34
  • Completed in January 2010 for my cupcake stand

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 - The year of the frog!

So last night I spent an hour or more stitching the "cupcake from hell" after my earlier frogging attempts. Was looking good, or so I thought. Then when I was more than half way through, I noticed that I was half a stitch out somewhere. Not even a full one!! That was a sign it was time to go to bed. Have a guess what I've been doing this morning? GRRRR.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

^%#($ Frog!

I've spent the best part of the evening frogging my current project. I am trying to do a pink cupcake. I have the holder, some matching fabric and that's about it. I started a blackwork design in one strand of a silky thread I picked up at the LNS but it wasn't looking good, the thread was too thick for the fabric. Frogged that then I started said design with 2 strands of a slightly variegated pink thread from Six Strand Sweets. Just didn't look "right". Frogged again and tried the same design with one strand, still not what I had in mind. Then I tried a gorgeous silk but it blended too much into the fabric. So now I've frogged that and have jumped online and found an assisi design that I kind of like. Well I like the outside shape and some fancy backstitching around it, but I didn't take to the animal that was in the middle. I searched some more found a simple butterfly shape to make the centre piece.

Off to start AGAIN! Wish me luck!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

First finish of 2010!

My needle is smokin'! This was meant to be my last finish of 2009, a gift for my son's upcoming 8th birthday. However, he snuggled up to me on the couch last night as we watched the NYE fireworks so I stitched the cupcake project instead.

Here's the details:
  • Name of the design - Karate bear
  • Chart - is a design from the leaflet titled "101 bears with personality" by Lynn Busa for Leisure Arts
  • Fabric is a unique piece of 28ct opalescent fabric
  • Thread is DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 31 x 37
  • Completed in January 2010 for my son's 8th birthday.

Final finishes of 2009

Here's the details:
  • Name of the design - Aunts_attic_maart_0012_Esther
  • Chart - a freebie from
  • Fabric is a unique piece of 28ct hand dyed fabric
  • Thread is a silk, "Golden Nectarine" by Vicki Clayton
  • Stitch count is 33 x 35
  • Completed in December 2009. Finished off with a matching brad

Here's the details:
  • Name of the design - motif_10
  • Chart - a freebie from this blog
  • Fabric is a unique piece of 28ct opalescent fabric
  • Thread is DMC S995
  • Stitch count is 31 x 31
  • Completed in December 2009. Finished off with pins