Thursday, 1 May 2014

A fishy finish

Here's a little happy dance I had last night. This little guy is so beautiful, with beads and shiny to add some glow to those colourful scales.

The pattern was a real pain though. I think it might have been hand made on a computer using Wingdings? There were lots of unusual (and fiddly) symbols like scissor and glasses that where challenging to read at a glance.

Yellow Faced Angelfish - Top of the Range Designs
Stitched with DMC, Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid (PH01) and glass beads on a lovely fabric
I really should've remembered the name of! I think it's called 'Atmosphere' but the creator and count completely escape me.

This fishy is the last of three that I bought many years ago. I'm looking forward to finishing them up as a little quilt hanging. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Northwind Owl... finished!

Here it is!

I'm not sure I like the framing, with the large patch of white up the top, but I'm leaving it like this and seeing if I come to like it. This was a fantastic pattern to work on, lots of variety in stitching and the couching at the end was definitely a challenge.

Now I just have to find a place on my wall... :)

Anyone else had some finishes lately?

Saturday, 26 April 2014


Well... things have been crazy. At the end of March my girlfriend got ridiculously sick and I spent two weeks looking after her. We were quite worried, because the first week in April we were booked to go on a trip to New Zealand, which we'd had to cancel last October because I got ridiculously sick and needed surgery the week before we were due to leave.

But thankfully she got well enough to be cleared to fly, and we left for a lovely stress-free holiday, right? WRONG.

Driving through the beautiful, winding Rai Valley we witnessed a car drive into a logging truck. The driver was terrified and in a lot of pain. Being the first ones there my girlfriend and I did what we could to help, with our little first aid kit. There was a rescue chopper there within fifteen minutes through, and we learnt from the news that the driver was stable and expected to make a good recovery.

Then two days later we ended up in the trail of Cyclone Ita, driving into an area (unbeknown to us) with no power or running water and debris everywhere. We spent a rather terrifying night amid the wind and noise at Cape Foulwind (quite aptly named, it seems) before moving on to find somewhere safer to stay. We had some luck for a time, with power being restored and road re-opening just as we were moving south towards Glacier Country. We thought we'd be okay. We'd booked a $~1000 guided helicopter scenic flight and glacier hike months in advance and were so thrilled we'd be able to make it. But, literally five minutes before we were due to get on the helicopter the tour is cancelled due to weather. ... Sigh.

But I'm home now, and drafting up some posts to show you all what I've been up to craft wise. I hope everyone had a lovely Easter. :)

Friday, 28 March 2014

Northwind Owl

I've been working exclusively on Northwind Owl, gunning for a happy dance. It hasn't happened yet and I seem to not make much progress. The couching is really time consuming, and I keep forgetting that I have yet to finish the stitching! My fault though, for racing ahead. I just want a finish, damnit!

Hopefully I have this done and dusted before I leave for New Zealand. I think I'll stitch a few smalls after this, give me some reprieve from this big projects. :)

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Stitch from Stash March

It's almost the end of March! Not that exciting in itself, but in early April I'm heading off to New Zealand for three weeks and I can't wait. I was supposed to go to NZ last October, but I had to cancel with a week to go because I needed surgery. Not. fun. times.

But this holiday is going to be even better than the trip I planned in October. I'm so excited.

Now, down to business. This month I spent $4.99 on a cross stitch ezine. A new publication, called New Age Cross Stitch.

I don't really like the charts on the front (I was kinda hoping they'd be more inside, but alas...) but I really like the idea of this style of magazine and I wanted to support it. :) You can buy it from Colour Cascade Fabrics.

So I spent $5 out of $25 allowed for this month, bringing me to $7 for the year so far.

No new starts, no finishes. But I do have a nice juicy happy dance brewing. :P

Monday, 17 March 2014

WIPocalypse March

Oops, I had a draft post ready to go a few days ago and completely forgot about it! I'm still plugging away on Snowy Owl (who's correct and more imperial sounding name is Northwind Owl). I've just started the couching.

 Ergh, couching.

Still, it really does make this design.
Some of those weirdly shaped gaps in the stitching make sense now. 

This month I also made it to 75% on The Lookout.
Their vacant little eyes look a bit creepy to me... 
So I'd say it's been quite a productive month! This month's WIPocalypse question is show us your favorite places to stitch.

Sadly, my favourite stitching place is not set up at the moment. My craft room is quite a variable beast, with a folding table, beanbag and bookcases lining the walls. I tend to shift stuff around as I need to, and at the moment my sewing machine is set up, and my stitching setup with beanbag and lamp is not. When I don't need my setup (which I really only require for over one stuff) I stitch on my couch, or in bed.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Snowy Owl

I've been working away on a Dimensions kit recently, Snowy Owl. 
I think it's a stunning design, but it's not the most relaxing thing to stitch. Most of the background involves dragging five strands of floss through stiff, starched Aida. You can really feel it in your hands and shoulders after an hour of stitching. So I'm looking forward to finishing this off soon! 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Stitch from Stash temptations!

Yesterday I was really tempted to splurge on some patterns. I discovered FireWing Designs and, well... they're stunning!

And then there's Ink Circle's new design Lunation.

I love it! Especially since there's an Australian Earth view (we often miss out... :()

But did I succumb? No! Well, not yet. :P

How is everyone else going with their Stitch from Stash resolutions?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The year marches on

How on earth is it March already? I feel like it was November just yesterday! I've been stitching a little on this guy lately. It's hard to tell what he is at the moment, but he's a tropical fish of some manner. I can't remember what exactly. :P Progress is a little slow, as the chart is difficult to follow. I think it was made by hand on a computer using Wingdings. The symbols are things like glasses, book, telephone... They're challenging to read at a glance and I'm constantly checking and double checking.
I'm not looking forward to the beads and metallic thread. Those do not frog so easily. :S

Enlighten has just started. It's a light-based festival in the heart of the city, where the major attractions are lit at night with beautiful, dynamic designs. Below is Questacon, the national science museum, in beautiful blue crystals.

And this is the National Portrait Gallery, in a lovely ruins style slowly being overgrown by greenery.

There's also lots of performances, live music, food and general frivolity. :)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Stitch from Stash February

I finally did, it woohoo! The Lookout is now at 3/4 finished. :D

In the last month I also had my first finish for the year.

And this month I spent $2 on stash. I found some lovely beads at an op shop that I just couldn't pass up.

I'm doing pretty well with this challenge. Only $2 spent this year. Lots of temptations though. :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Oh my stars and garters, she finished something!

Yes, that's right! Here it is!

A little owl from a kit that came with Cross Stitcher #270. I subscribe to CrossStitcher digitally so I don't often get the kits, but there's a newsagent in my city who (cough cough illegally) sells bits and pieces that fall off magazines, and they sometimes have crafty kits.

This was an interesting stitch. The kit came with water soluble waste canvas, which I hadn't seen before. I lot easier than normal waste canvas, but tricky to stitch on during an Australian heat wave! It started to weaken a little from the moisture on my hands.

No plans for this little guy. I'm too busy happy dancing. :D

Friday, 14 February 2014

February WIPocalypse

Here's some before and after photos for the WIPocalypse stitch currently in my Qsnaps.


As you can see... they're exactly the same! No progress for me. :P Maybe next month?

This month's question is: How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time?  Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!

I am.. a small scale rotator? I like having more than three but less than six largeish WIPs on the go at once, and up to three or so smaller WIPs for quick or in hand stitching. I get really stressed out if I have too many projects on the go (it's the control freak in me) and I get pretty disenchanted when I haven't had a finish in a while.

I used to be a hardcore rotator, with a stopwatch and printed rotation list, set time limits... but I don't have the energy for that kind of regulation anymore. So I guess that makes me a screaming rotator. :)

How about you guys? Do you have closets full of WIPs, or are you a monogamous stitcher?  

Thursday, 13 February 2014

A little experiment

One of the reasons I moved my blog is to re-purpose slightly. I'm planning on developing some hand dyed fabrics to sell on Etsy. I've really enjoyed the business organisation process so far, even setting up bank accounts and reading tax laws!

But the most fun part has been paying with paint and fabric. I made these three samples below, using the same paint but different techniques. Which one do you guys like?


I'm a fan of the bottom fabric, because I like gradual variations in my colour. But I can also see some patterns where the middle one might be great. I'm not sure on the top one.

Do you have a favourite? I'd love to hear feedback so I can keep experimenting away. :D

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

No nothing

Ah, it's been a while and still not much is happening. It's still way too hot. My city's had a record number of days over 35C/95F this summer. Work turned off the air con over the weekend and my lovely peace lily suffered. 

It's come right back after a day of careful watering, which makes me happy. :)

 I'm in the process of moving this blog to Blogger. Wordpress is a far better system, but all the stitchy bloggers are over on Blogger, and the system's no-reply comments thing is getting annoying.

I hope you're all keeping cool (if you're Australian), warm (if you're American), dry (if you're British) and sane (if you're human :P).

Friday, 31 January 2014

Goodbye January

My goodness, it's the end of January, how did that even happen?! So far this year I have:
  • Worked on two WIPocalypse pieces (The Lookout and The Witching Hour)
  • Started three new stitches (all smalls)
  • Worked on six projects all up
  • Had one finish (but it's a secret!)
Not too bad. I would've liked to stitch more on The Lookout, but it's been way too hot for serious stitching. I swear, as soon as it gets above 35C/95F I loose all mental capacity.

Ha, I'm sorry, I'm not a very good stitching blogger at the moment. I can't even show you pictures! :P

Friday, 24 January 2014

In the bin

I've given up on my new secret project start. The chart was just... bleh. If you want me to do over one backstitch, please make the backstitch lines different to the chart lines. *grrr* I also really didn't like the focus beads supplied. And I think I was in a huff in general, due to the heat. So the project is shelved.

Which is interesting, because I've had it for years and it's been in and out of my 'to sell' pile for a while.

So.. I'm stitching something else with the fabric, floss and some of the beads and I'm much happier. Still can't show you though. :P

So here's a photo from the archives. I finished this early this year and I'm contempating putting it in a show this weekend, if I can manage the iron the creases out of this rather stubborn linen.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Stitch from Stash January

It's time for the first Stitch from Stash report! I can happily say that I haven't spent a single cent on stash this month. (No thanks to you, favourite ONS that's clearing out Dinky Dyes cottons at half price... why do you tempt me?!)

I showed you my two big WIPs for this month last post, so here's the littlies from my stash I've been stitching on. I haven't made any progress this week on my big WIPs either, thanks to the heatwave. Five days straight over 40C/104F? Bleh! I couldn't bare to sit under my LED stitching lamp in that heat.

Funky Owl kit from Cross Stitcher

I like this kit and made a bit of progress this week, but it was so hot the soluble plastic canvas was weakening in my hands cause I was sweating so much. Yay.

Yellow-faced Angelfish

Now this really is stitching from stash. I bought three in this set in... 2006? I stitched the second one in 2008(?) and the first one before that. When I finish this one I'm going to turn them into a wall hanging.

And finally...

Mystery stitch! This one is a secret. :P

So for Stitch From Stash I've started two projects from stash and stitched on three WIPs. Not bad at all.

How's everyone else coping with the heat/cold?

Thursday, 16 January 2014

It's a full moon! (Again!)

Haha! Here's my first WIPocalypse post for 2014. I'm only working on four WIPs for this challenge, but I managed to stitch on two of them this month. As I mentioned in my last post I finished by first page on The Witching Hour HAED. So great progress there. I also put a bit of time in on The Lookout.

I've made really good progress on these guys too, stitching the half a 'kat you can see on the right. I started using a stitching lamp/magnifier/chart holder when I was working on my HAED and now I can't seem to stitch without it! Combine that with my new 'no turning' method for starting and ending threads and my needle now zooms along. I'm so chuffed with how The Lookout is going. My half-hearted goal of finishing it this year seems almost possible.

Now for the WIPocalypse introduction. I've already outlined my projects here. As you can see I tend to stitch realistic animal patterns; it's something I just adore. I also enjoy stitching smalls like ornaments, biscornus, scissor fobs... But my real love is animals. :)

I stitch on both Aida and evenweave, but can't stand linen. I love opalescent and hand dyed fabric and thread.

My goals for this year are
  • finish The Lookout
  • get some nice progress done on The Witching Hour
  • finish a page of Autumn Dragon
  • potentially finish Northwind Owl.
I'm ahead of the curve here (damn you Australia and your proximity to the international date line) and I'm so looking forward to seeing everyone else's WIPocalypse posts. :)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

It's a full moon!

I finished the first page of my first ever HAED. I feel like such a stitching master (even though I'm no such thing. :P) I'm blown away by how the colours are used. Black + grey + brown = windowframe, but then the same combo of colours is a cloud! And then the sky! Until now I've never understood why people were so impressed with the charting of HAEDs. And now I totally get it. I'm so looking forward to starting page two (which will in fact be page five, as I'm working downwards).

 Anyone else had some HAED successes this year?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Red walk

I haven't had much time to stitch lately. I'm not especially busy, I just lost my routine and things keep piling up (like dishes, cleaning... everything).

But I did go for quite a nice walk the other day on Red Hill. It's called Red Hill because, well...

It's a red hill.

Very red.

I saw a few birds, a blue tongue lizard and these lovely fellas.

I hope to get some stitching done tonight, so look out for a progress pic soon! :)

Monday, 6 January 2014

First challenge

What should arrive in my mailbox today but the Fox Collection catalogue. Temptation! Can my newly forged Stitch from Stash resolve resist this glossy-paged enticement?


Luckily, my little girl Watson whispered an idea in my ear. The catalogue was shreded to gaily coloured strips and playtime commenced. :D


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Take it from the top...

It's January again, how did that happen? I swear it was like August just last week. Welcome everyone to 2014! I have a rotation listed over at Rotation Stitchers. My focus WIP for this month is The Witching Hour. This will also be my WIPocalypse project for Jan.

I also plan to have a few small projects on the go for couch stitching, travel, stuff like that. At the moment I have Funky Felt Owl, a kit from CrossStitcher number mumbledysomething.


And I plan to start the last finish in a tryptic I've been working on for... oh, years. I'm actually a little reluctant to start this, because I plan to finish it as a wall hanging. Buying fabric for this will put quite a dent into my Stitch from Stash budget. But avoiding stitching it is silly, because this is is stash!


What's everyone stitching on in the New Year?