Friday, 21 December 2012

Happy Girl

We I put up the storage we bought so I had somewhere to put my stash instead of all over the living room.
Cupboard for sewing things and extras.
A set of cubes for cross stitch/knitting/crocheting.

Very happy, admittedly the living room is cleaner but also that extra storage is just adding a homely feel to our flat. Although we've been here a year we're still slowly adding to it after starting out with necessities, next on the list is a desk chair I think.

I had sewn a stocking for Ed about a week or so ago but never posted a photo so here it is although I'm not entirely happy with it. I have left mine to the last minute, I have half of my name embroidered but I've just sewn the stocking body so it can at least be used.

I also made two little purses, one from a magazine and the other a freebie on the net (sources in image captions) The only issue I had with the one from the net is although I followed the pattern for the larger purse mine turned out as small as the smaller purse and somehow I managed to make it wonky and went wrong somewhere on the bottom. 
Made using pattern and instructions from a magazine

This was made using
I received a Hobbycraft gift card from Ed' and these are 2 of the things I bought along with some aida, felt, zips, a set of how to knit books and blank keyrings.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Cross Stitch Crazy 2013

I found this group on facebook and for this challenge you pick 15 projects, they can be new, a WIP or a UFO. You work on one each day for the first 15 days of January and then you work on one at a time or in a rotation (whatever method you find best) and the goal is to have them finished by the end of the year. I think it's more realistic (for me anyway) to have 15 rather than start one every day in January.

E-type Jaguar
I have picked my 15 and here they are...unless specified they will be from a magazine:
Gorjuss Laundry Day

Map of France from Heritage Crafts

DMC's Lickle Ted Butterfly

Café de Paris
DMC's Vegetable Basket
London Sampler

HAED TT Kitten 2

Tea Cup Cushion
Paddington Bear
Anchor Tatty Ted Schoolboy.
HAED Mini Curl up with a good book.

Finish 3 parts of Papillon Creations' Around the World SAL. Continue working on Trio of Poppies and I'm getting a cross stitch kit for Christmas so that will be part of the 15. Alongside this I am participating in HAED BB's freebie SAL and I picked QS Mystic Garden, I'm hoping there won't be a long wait before QS Literate dragon becomes a mini. I apologise for the layout of the photos but they refused to co-operate. Anyway better get back to cutting and sewing these PJ bottoms.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A few finishes.

I've sewn two cuddly toys. One was an alien, we named him Mordin and a polar bear that hasn't got a name yet (I'm open to ideas). The alien was from a book called Bean Bag Buddies by Nikki Wheeler and the polar bear was from here.

Polar bear

I hope to finish a Christmas card this weekend. I was hoping to do at least 3 more but my stitchy bug hasn't been around much. I'll be working on 2 Christmas stockings and some pj bottoms for Ed' as well.

I've also completed the Battlefield 3 campaign on normal, it didn't take long to play through. Looking forward to getting stuck into the multiplayer which from what I've experienced so far its good. I should get back to playing Bioshock, I do enjoy it but the lack of ammo/cash for ammo is a bit of a problem mainly when it comes to trying to kill a Big Daddy. 

Sometimes I wonder what I'm trying to do to myself, in the past 24 hours I think I've clicked "follow" on at least 15 blogs...probably more. Well plenty of material to read, lots of crafty ideas floating around and with any luck make some new friends. Thank you to those who follow my blog, last time I had checked it was at 9 but it quickly went up to 15. I'll be doing the Crazy January Challenge next year so I'll write more about that next time and I think a "resolution" for 2013 will be to try and blog more. Oh and if I enrol on a course I would like to do, I WILL work hard on it, speaking of which I need to get into a working routine before hand to make sure it's right for me. 

I hope you're all having a nice weekend!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Excellent weekend

This weekend I did not join the IHSW as I was visiting my family in the North East of England. I had an excellent weekend, this time Ed' (my OH) came with me. He has never been to the North East before. I can't wait to go back again.

Ah! The coast, Seaburn.
I've not done much stitching lately but I did get the planned backstitch on the trio of poppies done and I started another Christmas card. Here's photos of a recent Christmas ornament exchange.

I made this, I know it's a bit odd shaped but it was my first "proper" finish on the sewing machine.

This is the lovely ornament I received. 
I bought 2 charts in the HAED 50% sale, QS Cherished Moments and Spangler's mini curl up with a good book. I absolutely love Spangler's dragons. I've signed up to HAED SAL, I chose QS Mystic Garden as I would prefer to wait for Literate Dragon to be released as a mini. For now I'll try to get as much done on the Christmas cards as possible.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sewing progress.

I deleted my last post as I figured out what was wrong. Numpty here forgot there would be seam allowances in the middle but I gave up on it as the instructions for the body were not clear. Therefore I will repost my photo of the finished Christmas card:

As I venture into sewing, I decided to place an order with a fabric shop so that I could practice. I placed my order with Online Fabrics, I bought around 5 metres of different fabrics. I placed my order around midnight and I received a dispatched email 12 hours later. The package arrived the next day. There was a slight mix up with one of them but they were quick with a reply to my email and the fabric was dispatched that day and again arrived the next, very kindly I was allowed to keep the other fabric. I would gladly place an order with them again.
The fabric arrived nicely packaged in a cellophane bag within the postal bag.

My lovely fabrics. 
I finished my cross stitch/sewing piece but as it's for an exchange I can't post a photo of that yet. I made my own headband to match a dress I have, it's a bit messy along one edge but it fits me and I like it :) I'm starting to get the hang of sewing in a straight line. I didn't use a pattern just made sure it fit around the elastic and my head.

Navy polka dot headband.

I also made the above carrier bag holder with my OH using a free tutorial. 

I hope to get the backstitch done on the trio of poppies so far then I'll stitch another Christmas card or two and then I'll aim to get the second poppy half done.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Christmas has come early!

My dad asked me what I would like for my main Christmas present, I finally decided that I would like a sewing machine. So yesterday I went out and bought it as transporting it 245 miles at Christmas wouldn't have been a good idea. I did a dummy run for a tote bag and found the handles were too close to the sides.

Brother LS14

Practice run of making a tote bag.
I'm looking back through all of my design & technology books/work from secondary school though I decided to go with product design in the final 2 years, I still kept some worksheets from textiles and it is included in my GCSE D&T book. Hopefully this will help when choosing fabrics etc.

Well I'm off to cross stitch and brain storm ideas for my next sewing piece!

Monday, 22 October 2012

IHSW October :)

Yesterday was Derby day for my football team (Sunderland) and we drew 1-1. It wasn't an eventful match but we didn't lose. I lost out on a Nando's, I had a dream that Sunderland won 1-0 (Sessengon to score) so my other half said if that was the case he would take me to Nando's. Well that deal was off within 2 minutes after kick off as Newcastle scored first.

I tried a row of double crochet and I hope it looks right.

I am happy as my stitchy bug turned up on Saturday so I got a nice small amount of a Christmas card done and I made some nice bread rolls!
Here is the result of this weekend's IHSW:

Saturday's progress.

Sunday's progress.
I hope to get this card finished today just as long as I don't spend too much time in Dunelm-Mill and Hobbycraft I should be fine.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Book finish

This is just a short post, honest!

Well I seem to be a little machine when it comes to reading as I've finished another. This one is called "The King's Spy" by Andrew Swanston, I found it intriguing but not gripping and by that I mean I didn't feel like I needed to keep on reading because of the events. It is about an ordinary bookseller who is a good cryptographer that is summoned by the King for his cryptography skills. He's led into being a part of a war he doesn't agree with and receives an intercepted, coded message that leads to betrayal and murder.

I've not got as much done as I would have liked regarding cross stitch though I have finally decided on an idea for the Christmas ornament exchange after I scrapped the original piece I started stitching. I'm also beginning to be organised with my projects by using PandaHobby which is a handy tool I must say. Anyway I better get stitching.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Cross stitch and a book.

Well this year I decided I would stitch Christmas cards for those nearest and dearest which is something I've not tried before. Here's one that I've stitched but I won't be making it into a card until I've done 2 more.

Design from issue 157 of "The World of Cross Stitching".
 I've also managed to do a lot of the sky on the poppies so now it's back to the stem which I hope will spur me on.

Design from issue 165 of "The World of Cross Stitching".

This weekend I had a lovely time in London and although there was lots to do I managed to read a book and start stitching a Christmas card. The book was Dan Brown's Digital Fortress, it was really good. Near the beginning I thought to myself, "I knew that was going to happen" but later on it turned out that I was wrong and there were a few more unexpected twists.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

2 book finishes!

I've finished two brilliant books, they were so good I struggled to put them down! The first was "Meridon" the last in the Wideacre trilogy by Philippa Gregory. Again as with the first two books, P. Gregory sent my mind into turmoil with the twists in the story. The second book I have finished is "The Queen's Secret" by Victoria Lamb and I'm happy to know she is working on another book featuring the prominent Lucy Morgan. I received this book as part of the Transworld Historical Fiction Reading Challenge and although I still have one more book to read, I must say I haven't regretted signing up to it.

Well it seems after setting the trio of poppies aside and working on a really small project, my stitchy bug has returned. Fair enough he's still a bit sluggish but I have my interest back at the very least therefore I'll be starting my Christmas stitching soon.

This is my finished piece from Donna Kooler's "555 Fabulous Cross-Stitch Patterns"
I have found that using metal knitting needles is a lot easier than the wooden ones provided in the magazine. I also invested in a 99p magazine called "The Art of Crochet" which came with a DVD. Although this is only part one it has already helped me in terms of holding the yarn and some of the stitches. I hope to have something to show soon in terms of what I have learned in both crafts.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Back in England

Well I returned just over a week ago now and already we've bought a few kitchen goodies in a quest to make more meals rather than relying on bottled sauces for pasta and quick make noodles etc. We also went on a visit to Ely which was small, quiet and absolutely lovely especially with their food market that was on.
The food market at Ely (my own photo).

After getting an idea on stitches for an occasion, I ordered some more DMC threads. I do hope this brings my stitchy bug back. However I feel like I need to make some progress on trio of poppies especially as it is to be hung in our living room. Therefore apart from my little idea I won't move on to any other cross stitch designs until I've finished the trio.
I decided to buy "Let's get Crafting!'s Knit & Crochet" and found that there are some good beginner designs in there though a lot of it seems to be a theme of stripes! I'm struggling with crochet but I seem to be OK with knitting. My only problem with the knitting needles provided by the magazine is that they are made out of wood and seemingly it is harder to slide the stitches. I had done some knitting as a child and remember it being easier to move the stitches up and down the needle when they were metal. For now I'll persevere with the wooden ones and we'll see what happens.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Having a lovely time!

I finished The Bleeding Land, like The Last Caesar I managed it on a long train journey. The battles were very detailed which gave you a good insight to what it looked like. As for the story I felt like it ended well although there seems to be a follow on in the pipe works.

I've started reading Meridon though haven't had much time to read as I've been busy here...
La Rochelle, France. This photo is one that I took from the top of one of the towers. This is my second visit and I don't think I could tire of the beautiful sights and buildings. There's only a day or two left of my trip here and I've loved every bit of it...well minus the itchy arms and legs from sunburn

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Trio of poppies

Well I've not stitched much these past 2 months but once I finish the lower part of the sky I will have the bottom half of the chart completed.

Currently my eye is on a chart in the Heaven and Earth Design sale...well there's a few charts but my wishlist went from 0 to 13 in the space of half an hour! Just one will do as I have plenty of charts sitting here but can't not take advantage of the 50% off. I'll sleep on it and see what I think in the morning. With the long train journeys coming up I hope to get through The Bleeding Land and start on Meridon.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Another good book by Phillipa Gregory

Well yesterday I finished reading The Favoured Child by Phillipa Gregory the second of the Wideacre trilogy, the series had been recommended to me and I have not been disappointed. I was expecting the story to be similar to its predecessor, Wideacre but I was wrong. The book dealt a twist to the story which honestly left me sitting with my mouth hanging open in shock. When reading I kept telling myself that one more chapter wouldn't hurt and before I knew it I had finished the book. Before I read the last installment Meridon, I will read The Bleeding Land by Giles Kristian as part of the Transworld historical reading challenge. On another note one side of my biscornu is almost complete :)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Hi there :)

I finished The Last Caesar not long ago which was a good read about the events to overthrow Nero with a great insight to life for Roman soldiers and the battles they faced. This morning I've just received the next book in the Transworld Historical Reading Challenge The Bleeding Land but that is on hold till I finally finish reading The Favoured Child....

I'm hoping to finish the biscornu I designed soon as it's just been sitting there while I worked on a Trio of Poppies by Maria Diaz, I've still got two thirds to go but I'm pleased with how it's looking.

For now I'm enjoying the Olympic Tennis match between Federer and Istomin.