Saturday, October 30, 2010

My New Project

I've decided my next project will be one of the designs I just bought from 123 stitch. It's called "Christmas Calories" by Sue Hillis Designs. I've selected some 28 count lugana fabric from my stash to stitch it on, it's a pretty colour called "Strawberry Milkshake" from silkweavers.
FYI - and for my own information too - This photo collage was created at big hug labs, using the mosaic maker feature. If you host your photos with flickr you can access your pics easily and make a professional collage in seconds.
Off to stitch......
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Coat of arms is finished!

I put the final few stitches in this morning. I was planning on backstitching around all the black, but decided against it as I don't think it really needs it. Not to mention it would have taken ages and I'm itching to move onto something else! The picture is not the best, but I haven't washed or ironed it. Here it is:
Here's the details:
  • Name of the design  Nixon coat of arms
  • Chart is from Cross Stitch Heraldry
  • Fabric is a piece of white 28ct evenweave
  • Thread is DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is 84 x 98
  • Completed in October 2010. This will be for my Dad for Christmas, probably finished off in a simple white frame, or maybe a red or yellow one if I can find one and it looks right.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

A somewhat disappointing Stash Enhancement eXperience

What? Buying stash twice within a week? Who would have guessed? Well it's true! I decided to buy what appears to be a new design from Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks. It's a really cute cake design called "Sweety". This is what it looks like:
It cost $13.93 for the pattern alone, plus shipping on top. Oh, and this was on special too! From what I've seen it does appear that AAN designs are on the pricey side, perhaps because she is a European designer?? However, I wasn't really expecting the design to come in a plastic bag containing 2 A4 sheets of paper that look like something I could have printed off using my Canon Pixma printer. Even the picture of the finished design is just a coloured representation, not a photo. Granted, the design is very clear and easy to follow and it does contain everything I need to complete the design, but I just feel that for nearly $14 I should at least have some cardboard and something that resembles a professional leaflet. I realise some designers choose to print their designs in this way to save costs, but those costs really should be at least partly passed down to the customer. When buying designs, in the back of my mind is the resale value as I rarely stitch a design more than once. I'd have a hard time convincing some people that this is indeed the original if I choose to sell it later. I get that designers spend hours charting designs for us to stitch, and in turn I get hours of pleasure stitching them. Really, I do. I just can't help feeling that it should have been more, or meatier or something. Having said all that, would I buy an AAN design again? Probably yes, especially as I have about a dozen on my wish list! Just in future I'd perhaps be selective about what I buy, knowing what I'll get for my money.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

OMG!! I'm such a loser!!

It's time for glasses. Or maybe some sleep. Or maybe some sleep with glasses! I  haven't slept well the last few nights, dreaming about all sorts of horrible things. Last night I slept fitfully again, as I ended up sleeping with my younger son who's feeling sick. Anyway, back on topic: loserdom. As you know, I have been cross stitching away on the coat of arms design. I haven't been quite sure what the greyish "thing" is at the top. I'm so thankful I didn't voice my opinion online of what it was, as the whole entire world would be laughing their butts off at me right now. As someone with glasses (and probably enough sleep) pointed out, it is indeed a metal knight's helmet. Of course it is, duh! What else could it possibly be?

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Master Chef and Shopping Tour follow-up - and my WIP

Well, DS didn't make it through to the school Master Chef finals. There were about 30-40 dishes presented by the kids, and around 10 made it through to the finals. The cook-off was last week and some sort of chocolate dipped strawberries, or chocolate mousse with strawberries won. He was disappointed, but had fun making (and eating) his goodies, and it was great to see him taking so much care making & presenting them. Not to mention the fun and excitement he had presenting his dish at school and the anticipation of perhaps making it through. All in all, lots of fun and a good life lesson.

Well the shopping tour got off to a good start. I dreamt I was late and missed the bus, which was a little bit true as I was the last one to rock up and get on. Oops! I didn't spend too much but did get some bits and pieces, including some Christmas gifts which I won't mention on here :-) I got myself a New Balance windcheater and a black sequined dressy top, as well as a pink and grey Converse sports bag. They were all $20 each. I spent less than average, and the bus of about 39 people spent around $9,500. On the way home the bus did have to pull over on the freeway as there was a red light on the dashboard and a strange noise coming from "somewhere". We limped off the freeway and waited about 20 minutes for a back up bus to come and get us, which was pretty quick I thought. If we were going to break down anywhere/anytime, that was the place to do it. Imagine the chaos of breaking down during the day in Smith St Collingwood or Bridge Rd Richmond with a bus full of ladies itching to get to all the shopping outlets! Perish the thought!

Here's my latest pic on my WIP. I've done a bit more of the black outline but it didn't fit in the scanner. I'll also add a pic of what it will look like finished. Feel free to enlighten me as to what the thing at the top is.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Masterchef - and a shopping tour!

 Well, DS didn't get through to the final cook-off of Junior Master Chef at school. He was disappointed, especially as he didn't approve of one dish that made it through, LOL. Anyway, he had fun making the food, enjoyed the excitement of the contest and had some yummy things to eat. He also learnt that you don't always win, even when you put in 100% effort, good lesson there!

Tomorrow I am off on an epic shopping tour, about 12 hours in length. It's a fundraiser for karate, and I'm sure we'll all spend up big. I don't remember where we are going, so it will be a pleasant surprise. I have a few bits and pieces on my list, and of course Christmas is coming up so I'll keep my eye out for gifts. It's just too bad the weather is going to be cold and wet, the umbrella will get a good workout!

Oh, and I think I spoke too soon about Spring.....oops! The weather has been cold and WET lately, I think it probably rained for about 15 hours straight this time around. The ground is super soggy and the sky is grey. I think I'll keep my mouth shut next time :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spring has Sprung - and a Junior Master Chef Challenge

Well Spring has finally arrived. It's like Mother Nature was watching the calendar, just waiting for the right date to bring warmer weather, sun and flowers in the garden. Apart from a couple of days, the weather has just completely switched, which I'm thankful for. I need some sun! Anyway, I've had a couple of azaleas in a pot on my balcony for probably close to 2 years, they have looked healthy for the whole time, but just never flowered.  Just the other day I noticed quite a few buds forming, and now one is in full bloom, the other not far behind. Here they are:

We had another crazy busy weekend, filled with karate stuff amongst other things. Saturday DS #2 started his first XMA class (eXtreme Martial Arts) which combines karate with gymnastic type moves. He did really well. Then in the afternoon he went to pre-season kumite training for the state team. Then we went to the drive-in to see "Despicable Me". Sunday I had to head out early for calisthenics group photos, and once I got home DS #2 required my supervision to make deluxe choc chip cookies and cupcakes for the master chef challenge at school today. He did it all himself, all I did was get the ingredients down from the high shelf, and put things in the oven. I did offer some suggestions, and made sure he kept checking the recipe, but the end results were all his own efforts. He was justifiably proud of them too, and so excited about the thought of maybe making it through to the cook-off at school on Friday. x Fingers crossed x.  Here's what he created:

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Merry Unbirthday!

Well, I need to make up some sort of faux celebration to make it sound legitimate! The truth is I just treated myself to some new cross stitch stash. It's a few months past my birthday and a few months to Christmas, both of which are worth celebrating :-) That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it! I haven't bought stash for AGES (OK, so don't scroll down and see the post about the coat of arms ;-) ) so I deserve to splurge. Plus, the Aussie dollar is close to the American dollar, so it really was just meant to be I think. Convinced? I am! The fabric is for my ongoing cupcake stand project. They match the cupcake holders really well, I'm pleased. The charts are just because! All of the items came from 123 stitch. The charts are both by Sue Hillis designs, called "Christmas calories" and "Sweets for the sweet". The fabric is 28 count purple jazlyn and 32 count ruby rose lugana.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Budding Artist :-)

This is my 8 YO son's latest drawing. He is a keen artist-in-the-making and will often copy pictures and pause his favourite DVD's to draw a character he sees on screen. I like the detail he has gotten in this one:
On the stitching front I'm still going on the coat of arms for my dad. I got a few hours in on Friday while the kids played laser tag. I'm kind of getting tired of red and yellow blocks of colour though. Not sure what's on the agenda after this, probably sorting out my cupcake project and finalising the fabrics, cupcake holders, threads and designs. I have ordered some red and purple fabric to hopefully match the cupcake holders I have, so they will probably be the first ones I do after this project.
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