Cross – stitch fever

I only bought one needle with me on my stint away from home, and I’ve lost it. However my intense desire / current enjoyment of doing my cross stitches means I’m not really feeling my knitting projects. I have needles being delivered tomorrow, so I’m going to sait my desire by writing  about my cross stitch instead.

As I mentioned last time, I’m doing a cross stitch along with friends. The pattern we actually chose was this very cute bookcase pattern. We chose it because it has a lot of potential for customisation.

Unlike the previous floral pattern, I basically did very little planning. I knew I found the pattern a bit too sweet for my tastes, so needed to keep that under control. Pretty much straight off, I knew I wanted to make the globe look like the old fashioned sepia toned ones – so I struck out on the idea of an antique themed bookcase. Like last time I then went on a google of bookcases, there are some beautiful shelves out there.

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This is my Daddy’s globe and was my first source of inspiration

As I spent a bit of money on colours for the other (polish flowers) cross stitch, I was determined to try and do this one, with the colours I had. Fortunately, the colours I had included quite a lot of muted and vintagey colours. I decided to go with a dark background – the pattern calls for 16 count, and I found a navy one (that could be delivered quickly). I may come to regret this decision as working with the dark 16 count aida is hard on my eyes – its the first time I’ve considered buying a daylight sewing lamp – guess I’m getting old.

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This is how I’m kept track of the length of the shelves

I started the pattern with the shelves. I free placed the first shelf and just worked relatively from there. I did all of the shelves as half cross stitches initally, as I needed to count a lot at that stage and I had a few days in one place. This meant once I staryed moving around I’d done the tricky counting and could just do mindless stitching while on trains. I was expecting the shelves to take much longer than they did but I raced through them.

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Once I started the books, I was enthralled. Having the small sections, means it’s easy to feel like you are getting somewhere. I also really enjoy the process of choosing the next colour. Something that apparently stresses people out. I know you are supposed to make colour decisions in day light but I rarely get to sew in daylight; which I figure also means I rarely see the objects in daylight so why shouldn’t I pick colours that look good together and like I want them to in artificial light. So I just make up the colours as I go along.

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I was in a rush to pack for my Easter travels, so I only took my embroidery threads. As soon as I saw the pattern I knew I wanted to include plenty of sparkly bits – like the embossing on old books. So I’ve left lots gaps, which I will fill in at some point – probably at the end.

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Some deviations have begun

 

I knew at the beginning, that I wasn’t going to do the pattern as is. Its a little sweet for my tastes, especially the hearts. Also who puts pens on the top shelf (you wouldn’t be able to reach) or leaves an apple on a book case (way to ruin your books). After some thought I decided I wanted to add some more plants and trinkets. So I had a google of cross stitch patterns, then used my beading software (easybeadpatterns – I really like it) to draft a few ideas.

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Also as I was going on, I decided that there weren’t enough series of books on the bookshelf. So I’ve slowly been adding some of those as I go as well.

I’ve had a lot of stitching time over Easter, but now I’m back to my daily routine so there’s a slow down in progress, but this is a relaxed project so I’m just going to relax and enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

Stitching Together; Falling apart

Recently my brain has been melting, and I’ve made a series of silly mistakes. Fortunately none have been serious or unfixable – but I’m left feeling more than a little silly and with more things to do. I am definitely in need of a break – I’ve got a few days off over easter, so hopefully I’ll come back a bit more competent.

This post is about a cross stitch along I’m doing with my friends. We took quite a while to choose a pattern – although we are close, we have quite different tastes. Eventually we narrowed it down to two patterns and then chose from those. We all went away and bought our pattern and supplies. I already had some threads so used those as my starting point. When choosing the colours I did a little googling to compare the design to other palettes that were of similar pictures and basically picked the combinations I liked most.

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Once I had chosen my colours and bought some extra ones, I spent a long while checking out different combinations. I took a lot of pictures – It really helps me compare combinations.

And then I drew the pattern – very roughly – with what ever was colour I had that was closest. I also labelled each part and took a picture of the colour combo I used. This isn’t set in stone but is a good starting point and should remind me what I thought.

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Once all of that was done I started stitching and got this far:

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Then I chatted to my friends and halfway through the conversation I realised I had bought the wrong pattern. I honestly don’t know what happened, because I used the link from the convo we had while choosing to buy the pattern. I must have been looking at the bit where we chose, while pressing the buttons to go buy the pattern.

Anyway after feeling pretty silly – I’ve now started collecting supplies for the correct pattern (so you’ll get another planning post), and now I have two great patterns to stitch. I’ve just added  another thing to my list.

A new craft – resin casting

For Christmas, I got a resin casting kit from my partner (I straight up asked for it). I’ve been itching to try it because as I’ve done more bezelling with my beadweaving, I wanted to be able to make my own cabochons. A bit to save money and bit to just be able to use different things in beading.

I did a bit of reading over Christmas, and there’s a lot of posts with all sorts of warnings about what can go wrong. Which was a tad worrying, but as the only real advice given was to measure everything properly and everything else was trial and error.

So, after finally having a day at home, I went ahead and just tried my hand. The kit, I had from the Bead Shop in Nottingham, included everything I needed and some great instructions. I just added some things to add to the molds : a bead and a leather flower (once upon a time it was from a flipflop).

The whole process was really quick, although I only made up a small amount of resin. I left my pieces for about 3 days before taking them out of the mold and they look great, really shiny surfaces and clean edges.

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My kit included some pigments, pearly white and purple so about half way through I added some of the white pigment and made some opaque pieces. These turned out lovely but I think I might invest in some translucent pigments as well.

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I really enjoyed the process and have loads of ideas for things I want to try adding, so you’ll probably see some more things being made. I do now need to consider what to do with these pieces, my kit contains some great findings so I will probably turn a couple straight into pendants.

 

April 2017

The last month has gone very fast or at least I don’t have very much to say about whats been going on. I’ve done plenty of stitching but mostly started new things so I’m not sure I’ve finished much.

  1. Fingerless Gloves – I’ve finished one and started the other
  2. Fringed Handbag – No change
  3. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  4. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – I’m still avoiding my machine
  5. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  6. Lip balm cozies – No change
  7. Wire wrapped seaglass necklace -No change
  8. EPP pillow case – No change
  9. A knitted cover for my hotwater bottle – I’m  still not sure about the sizing and might scrap it and start again
  10. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – It’s twice the size it was last month but still but lots to go
  11. A knitted scarf with beads – I’ve been meaning to try this for ages and finally got round to trying it. I’m really enjoying it so its coming along
  12. A cross stitch piece which I’m doing as part of a sew along with some friends

And finished pieces

  1. A beaded bead on a hair band for the tackle that bead stash challenge
  2. Various resin cabochons

 

April is busy with Easter in the middle so lets see what happens.