Monday, 28 December 2015

Star Wars Sampler Finished and Other Photos (Donna Nook and from around the Estate)

Well here is the Star Wars sampler by Cloudsfactory finished:

Original stitching
I thought I'd try out one of the effects of my camera - colour pop! I love how vibrant the colours are :)
Colour Pop effect added

I'm back to working on the JE SAL...hoping that I can get one more finished.

This week, I'm going to start prepping for planned projects next year so that it's all ready to go, I've gotten half way but have come across a snag. The fabric for the owl project is big enough for the design but not enough for framing, instead of 3 inches of fabric there's 1.5.

Here are some photos of the field trip to Donna Nook, it was great to see seals up close but damn they are lazy animals!

We had snow a couple of weeks back so I took a walk around the estate and the fields behind it...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas for those that celebrate it and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Cross Stitch Crazy 2016 and other plans

Hello everyone ^_^ I've decided that I'd like to set out some clear goals for next year.

Cross Stitch Crazy 2016

  1. HMS Victory
  2. Map of France
  3. Field of Remembrance
  4. Trio of Owls
  5. Lady on the Balcony
  6. Page of a HAED
  7. Hollyhock Cottage
  8. Vegetable Basket
  9. Page of Dark Force
  10. Little Frogs
I haven't decided on the other 5 yet so will update this post when I have.

Most people work on each project for the first 15 days of January but I'm going to do something different (as usual :P). As the first 5 on the list are gifts for birthday presents next year, I'll work on one of those each week of January and will write a post at the end of the week. Then how it goes after that will be random.

I'm running my own SAL next year - Daily Cross Stitch SAL. There will be a post on the last day of each month for this. I've set up a facebook group as well for those that don't have blogs but do have facebook.

I'm also taking part in a mermaid SAL on facebook and for this I'm going to work on the mermaid that I purchased for the Love Thy Thread SAL that or one of Joan Elliott's mermaids.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Small stitching update

Wow, I've got 61 followers...when did that happen? Thank you everyone!

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had done some secret stitching and here it is:
L*K Good things...
I stitched this for Steph's birthday using 28ct evenweave that she dyed for me. I asked for a huge amount of fabric for a big project so there was plenty left over once I omitted that piece.

For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to participate in a couple of exchanges/challenges...maybe not such a good idea with uni in full swing. I did manage to do the stitching for the exchanges, I just need to make them up now. The santa below took me two weeks to do!
Just Nan
I didn't get the Star Wars sampler done in time but it is looking good...4 more characters to go! I'm just going to put it out there that I think Battlefront is a fab game!

I treated myself to a new camera, I've been wanting one for a month or so now. Mainly because I have some field trips coming up in the next half of the year and wanted to take photos. We'll be going to Donna Nook next week to observe specific behaviour in Grey Seals. It just so happened Curry's had a deal on a few including one of the ones I had bookmarked. I got the Nikon D3300 and it came with two lenses 18-55mm and 55-200mm.

I've only used auto mode for now and the photos are beautiful but I'm going to read around and start messing with the settings. Here are some photos that I took using the new camera :)

Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral
Durham Castle

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Bucket List Friday - Never visited vacation destinations to see before you die

I'm sorry this one is so late, it's been half written since last Thursday. There's not much to say so I'm sorry if it's lacking.

1. Canada

Probably Ontario. To be honest some of the things I've read and seen, I wouldn't mind living there never mind just visiting!

2. Italy

I'm open to going anywhere in Italy.

3. Cornwall, UK

It looks so beautiful and peaceful there, it's just a bit of a trek from the North East.

4. Yellowstone National Park, USA

I'm studying Biology so this would relevant never mind fascinating to see!

5. Galapagos

I struggled for a fifth destination but then I thought about all of the nature documentaries that I have watched and decided on this. It would be such an experience although I'm not sure I could handle all of the creepy crawlies.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Bucket List Friday - Vacation Edition: Revisiting Places

Hi everyone! I thought I'd join Keebles this week on her Bucket List topic.

1. La Rochelle, France

 If I could live here I would. It has honestly captured my heart. There's a little spot we go to that no matter what is going on, I feel relaxed. I can't wait to go back.

2. Nazaré, Portugal

I spent a wonderful 3 weeks here in the summer and would more than happily go back. Even on the overcast days we could sit out on the balcony or go to the beach.

3. Norwich, United Kingdom

This is where I met my other half 5 years ago and we were sad to leave but we were moving closer to my family and we both got into Durham University (granted I started there a year after we arrived back in the North East but my other qualifications were not enough). We are planning an overnight stay there some time in January.

4. Disney World/Florida

I was there just last year but it feels like so much longer. It wasn't the best holiday it could be due to some of the company we had but I'll not go into that. I'm looking forward to the planned star wars and toy story lands.

5. Berlin, Germany

It was such an experience to visit here but as it was a school trip we had a strict itinerary. Hence, I'd like to go back and explore without constraints and spend more than a week there.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

I've reached 15!

Technically, it's 16 finishes this year but one of them is a secret for now.

I'm sorry he hasn't been ironed but I was just glad to get him finished. You may remember that I stitched two companion pieces back in 2012/13. I started this guy around then as well but as it wasn't finished in time, it was put in a box and forgotten about! 
I've also finished another trolley duffel from StudioCherie. This was one of the two that I had planned to start last summer but have just got around to finishing it now. My pockets have certainly improved but I still have trouble setting the sides in neatly. 

Here are my WIPs:
Star Wars
I did plan a new start but it was meant to be Mumma's Boy by Paine Free Crafts, not the Star Wars chart by Clouds Factory (oh well!). I decided it would be a good birthday present for my other half especially as he'll also be getting the Star Wars Battlefront game - which looks amazing.

Crafting will probably slow down as uni starts up again next week :)

Thursday, 1 October 2015

2016 Daily Cross Stitch SAL

As I have so many Daily Cross Stitch charts, I've decided to start a SAL in 2016. The idea is to stitch one of their designs each month* with posts going out on the last day of the month.

These are the 12 that I will be working on (not necessarily in this order):

1. Ain't nobody got time for that
2. Balloon house
3. Brick game
4. Cute-zilla
5. Gingerbread zombie
6. Nautical design
7. Nomnom cookie
8. Unstoppable
9. What the fork
10. Tea rex
11. Colourful phoenix
12. Cute chameleon

I can tell you that it was hard choosing 12 out of the hundreds I have saved to my laptop!

I hope some of you will join me :) Here's the link to the facebook group.

* You are free to choose the designs you would like to stitch.

I'll make sure to visit everyone and to mention all those participating on my blog posts. You can link up to your blog here:

I will provide a link up on each relevant blog post so that you can link directly to your post for that month.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

IHSW - September

I thought I'd get my post in early before I forgot about it!

Earlier this week I made a carrier bag holder for a friend's son as he was heading off to uni. My friend picked the fabric and ribbon which she bought from the local market.

Then I moved onto this fella and finally finished him in front of the England rugby game. The pattern is called "Whale hello there!" and is from Daily Cross Stitch.

I've moved onto some secret stitching but I'm itching to start a HAED stocking that I requested. Still managing to hold off... Looking forward to reading the IHSW posts.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Joan Elliott SAL - March and my Lowery stand

Well here it is at last!

Joan Elliott SAL March 08.09.15
This was a difficult month to work with as I decided to use my lowery stand (see below).

For this SAL, I decided to stitch all the months on the same piece of fabric to create a sort of sampler. Here is how the whole project is looking so far.

Joan Elliott SAL Jan-March 08.09.15
I decided to buy a Lowery stand as mentioned in my last post and it didn't take long to arrive.

Here's a photo of it in action and as you can see, March of this SAL was my first project to try out on it.

It was difficult project because I was trying to get used to two handed stitching, there are some stitches that are worse than others especially fractionals. However, I did find it was easier to do french knots and backstitch via the two handed method. I will practice more but I will need to buy the extra wide L-bar to be able to stitch comfortably. I think once I master two handed stitching then this will be my go to set up as I love it!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

3 small finishes

I have 3 finishes! I'm stitching Christmas cards for a facebook group I am in. I thought that I had better make a start since there are 21 members, I'm doing them in alphabetical order.

I've been itching for a new start but have already got too many WIPs so decided to just crack on with some of them. My focus has been Tiny Treasures Kitten 2 so here are the before and after photos...

TT Kitten 2 27.08.15
TT Kitten 2 01.09.15
For now I'm going to work on starting and finishing March of the Joan Elliott SAL as I've fallen behind on that one. I may come back to this HAED piece as it's just that page to do. 

I have scratched Around the World in 80 Stitches from my WIP list as I've noticed that it would be a bit snug on the fabric. Luckily I have only stitched one of the hearts and one set of the smaller flowers. I don't know when I will restart it.

I caved and bought a lowery stand last night. I decided to take advantage of sew and so's 10% bank holiday discount and I had a voucher so the final price was a bit more acceptable. Although it states that it is out of stock on the website, I have been told I can expect it to be delivered tomorrow! Guess what I'll be doing ;) 

Check out Sarah's blog before you leave as she has wrote a post about our annual exchange.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

McCall's 6569

I made a beach cover up using McCall's 6569, View H (size 20).

The fabric is white georgette. I found that this was a difficult fabric to cut and sew due to it's delicate nature. It slipped a lot so there was plenty of cursing from me. The seams are very frayed and will keep doing so until it has reached the stitching...I definitely recommend an overlocker for this type of fabric. 

The instructions were easy to follow and the finished piece did look like the picture on the envelope. I would make this again but with a different fabric.

Simplicity 1693

I made a top using View F from Simplicity 1693 (size 20).

The fabric is a turquoise cotton which was a delight to sew with. I used the same fabric to make the bias binding (I couldn't find a ready made one that was the same shade). This was my first time using bias binding as well. To keep the seams neat I decided to go for a French seam. I used a button that I received in one of my exchanges with Sarah.

The pattern instructions were easy to follow and it looked like the diagram on the envelope. I didn't make any changes to the pattern and would happily make it again.

Yves Saint Laurent - Style is Eternal

I went to see the YSL exhibition at Bowes Museum in County Durham and it was a fabulous afternoon! If you can, get yourself along as the photos do not do it justice. Ready?

Cake to start the afternoon

Before moving on to fabric YSL designed collections for a series of handmade paper dolls.

Examples of the design process

A toile of a coat including fabric buttons

'Soir Collection Board' Autumn-Winter 1978
Practice piece
Embroidered Evening Gown, Spring-Summer 2001
There were exquisite pieces of lace...

This was one of my favourite dresses.

Short Evening Gown Front, Autumn-Winter 1970
Short Evening Gown Back, Autumn-Winter 1970

Honestly, who has feet that are this thin?

I loved that we could see the inside of some of the dresses to see the stitches.

Some designs were risqué and I certainly wouldn't be brave enough to wear them. It must have been difficult to make a range with delicate fabrics like these!

Left - Evening Gown, Autumn-Winter 1968
I will leave it there so that I don't spoil it for those who will be paying a visit. Of course, there was a trip to the gift shop. I bought a beautiful catalogue which has information about YSL and some of the designs featured in the exhibition. I also bought a bookmark which has two sides to it and a fridge magnet to add to my collection.