Summer window – in progress

The reason this project is a bit all over the place is that I only had a quarter of the threads I needed when I started it, so I did what I could while I waited for my bank account to fill up a bit. Now I’ve got all the colours and I’ve just filled in some of the bits I missed.

I’m a bit stuck at the moment. Do I fill in the endless yellow curtain, or start something completely new? both ideas are unappealing. It doesn’t help that there’s so much random beige around the window. Sigh. This is where I end up starting a ‘mini-project’ and leaving the window for a year!! No, I’m moving house in October, and I want it finished by then. But sigh.

20150716 summer windowI’m saving the backstitching til then end!

Experimenting with chain stitch

These aren’t recent stitchings but I’ve just recently rediscovered them!

So I wanted to ‘draw’ an outline picture and after some googling I thought chain stitch looked the best to go for. I then tried to make something of this new found skill! At the time I was very into an anime series, Kanon! I think my aim was to make a full set, but they ended up hiding in my boxes of UFOs. They’re stitched with unbranded thread on a pair of old trousers 🙂 My big mistake (as I know now) is outlining in pencil. I have learnt from my mistake. If they look a bit tatty it’s because they’re been shoved at the bottom of a box for 2 years or so!

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For Makoto I did her hair in 2 strands, and everything else in 1 strand, to mix up the texture a bit. I picked out the colour of her skirt and ribbons by filling them in.

20150716_092229Mai doesn’t have a lot in the way of colour, so instead of filling in I decided to draw her hair using blue thread (because she has blue hair, duh).

I never considered myself an artist so I’m actually quite proud of these. The hardest bit for me was drawing the outline of the figure in the first place!

Having learnt not to use pencil I bought a water soluble pen from Hobbycraft. This is brilliant – not just for outlining embroidery but it helps keep me from making mistakes in cross stitch patterns!

This is an old fashioned Winnie the Pooh on felt. I thought he turned out pretty well! Practice really does help you improve! Maybe I’ll find some orange felt and do Tigger?

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Airfix issues – an update

So if you remember I had some issues building my landy, where I didn’t have the correct parts! Well as it turned out the correct back piece was on the normal sprue, where the hard top back was on the crystal sprue. I took it apart where necessary and put the correct bits in for a soft top. Airfix sent me the replacement parts – for the model parts I already had. Anyway it all worked out for the best. I might build a scrap yard to put all these spare back doors in.

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More chain stitching

So I got Pokemon X for christmas last year (OH got Y) which brought out my pokemon love! The best bit is that they’re released a new Eeveelution – Sylveon. This means there’s now 9 Eeveelutions… so of course my brain thinks, “Hmm that would be a perfect patchwork cushion!” I tried to match the fabric and the thread to the pokemon. I completed Espeon, Jolteon and Glaceon last January, but lost interest and did some cross stitching instead :$ I picked it up again recently and here’s what I have so far!

Espeon

Espeon

Sylveon

Sylveon

Jolteon - I used some long stitch to give it that spikey appearance

Jolteon – I used some long stitch to give it that spikey appearance

Glaceon

Glaceon

Flareon - I tried to make him look a bit fluffy

Flareon – I tried to make him look a bit fluffy

Eevee - the obvious centrepiece

Eevee – the obvious centrepiece

Here's them all together. I'm trying to find the best combination of colours so it's not fixed yet. Just working on Vaporeon up the top.

Here’s them all together. I’m trying to find the best combination of colours so it’s not fixed yet. Just working on Vaporeon up the top.

I’m not looking forward to Umbreon (on black) since I’m not sure how to mark on the lines. When I’m finished I will sew them all up into a cushion cover 🙂

Airfix issues!

So over the weekend my in-laws came to stay with us. We ended up in Hobbycraft and my FIL bought me a 1:76 land rover model to go with my two 101 forward control models! (He asked if I’d rather have a model or a bottle of wine – easy choice!)

On Sunday night after they’d gone home I eagerly opened the box and got to work! Ooh it comes with a trailer. Oh well since it’s late I’ll build the little trailer, because I can finish it tonight.

20150319_084948Very cute. So I get to work on the actual landy:

20150319_085000Looking good! Now here’s where the problem hits:

20150319_08512220150319_085112 Hmm the roof doesn’t fit with the back door! SO I go back to the instructions…

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The roof looks like the soft top version to me, NOT the hard top version from the kit I was given! Even if I put clay in the corners it won’t help because the door doesn’t fit in between the sides of the roof! I had a bit of a closer look at the sprue and found an extra piece which doesn’t appear on the instructions for the model! I think it might be the back piece for the soft top, which on my kit comes on the crystal sprue.

So what do I do now? I could rip out the crystal back door and build it as if it were the soft top model, assuming that my extra piece is the soft-top tailgate? It’s a bit disappointing because the other 2 JB models I have done were perfect!

For info this is a 1:76 LWB Land Rover and trailer (hard top) – formerly JB models and now sold under Airfix.

Birthday present for my mum – The Snowman

Ok so I’ve just finished my winter window which didn’t give me enough time to stitch this in time for a christmas present but my Mum’s birthday is February and she loves the Snowman (and who doesn’t love the Snowdog?). When I saw online that this pattern was in the new issue of WOCS I went around about 5 different shops trying to get my hand on the mag. All in all it took me about a month to finish this, stitching like a mad woman! I’m so much faster now than I used to be 🙂 I finished in time for her birthday (framed and everything) but I left this post til after she had received it. I’m really pleased with this one. What do you think?

snowman

Seasons windows – Winter

I used to have a subscription to World of Cross Stitching magazine, and there was a series of windows, themed around the different seasons (around issue 191). They’re designed by Susan Bates. As sson as I saw them I wanted to make them. I started about January I think, so I thought I’d do the winter window first so it should be finished by christmas.

Fast forward a couple of years… and it’s finally finished! I managed to get it done by this christmas. I think it needs a border in the frame but it’s already about 10″x12″. When I’ve done all 4 and I have a house of my own to put them in I’m going to get them all frames professionally anyway.

Winter window

This took me soo long but it’s my first big project. I’m starting summer next and hopefully it won’t take me as long!

Thankyou cards for the bridesmaids

To thank my bridesmaids I bought them jewellery but wanted to make a personal thankyou card. I found a wedding design library in an issue of WOCS and changed the colours to suit my wedding colours. I made a slightly different card for my maids of honour.

I even managed to finish them in time!

bridesmaids 1

bridesmaids 2

Planning a wedding – making sure your nails look nice for the ring photo

I got engaged last February, and for the past year I’ve been on the rollercoaster ride that is wedding planning. I’m getting married on Saturday and everything is coming to a head at the minute, and I wanted to share my ups and downs with you. I want to praise the wonderful people who have gone that extra mile and highlight the bits I wasn’t so pleased with. Most of all, I want to give reassurance to those who might be getting stressed out because it will be alright in the end! (We hope.)

The first post in this series is about nails!!!

ImageMy mum, 2 sisters-in-law and I have been looking for somewhere to get false nails on for the wedding. We trekked across 2 counties trying to find somewhere that could take 2 or 3 of us together and do us at the same time. None of us wanted to go alone, but it takes over an hour so doing them one at a time would be very boring!

I was trying my dress on for its final fitting about 2 weeks ago, and walking back to the car we walked past a beauty salon, ‘The Beauty Spot’ in Congleton! Huzzah! (we thought). We asked the lady and she could book all 3 of us in together for the Saturday before the wedding! We quickly booked in and took the appointment card away with us.

So the Saturday before the wedding came at last, the afternoon after a very messy Hen night (more on that later!). HTB and I had spent the morning with a pair of mutual friends who had come up for the hen do (quite far!) so threw them out at the train station and raced back to pick up my mum and SIL to get us all to Congy in time. HTB was driving since we were all feeling so delicate! We were only just in time, and all burst in through the door to find…

A lot of blank faces!

Turns out ‘someone’ had written our appointment in for THE WRONG WEEK! She didn’t even seen very contrite at all, and given that she could have lost (3x£36=) £108 didn’t even seem that bothered about keeping our business. These were the most expensive nails we’d seen but we booked it because we wanted to all be done together. I really wanted my nails doing in advance so I could get used to them and practice putting contact lenses in and out, since I’ll have to swap them during the wedding day. She offered us a new appointment on Thursday (the evening after a day at work when we’re running around picking things up for the wedding). Woo.

So we spent an hour checking at every nail bar in Congy that SIL could find on the internet but no such luck. Who closes at 2 on a Saturday???

Mum phoned a place in Biddulph (Biddulph Tanning Centre) on the off-chance that they had an appointment and HALLELUJAH they did! I went in and they sorted me out. Mum and SIL are going on Thursday! They do ‘backscratchers’ rather than acrylics, which don’t damage your nails as much. She tried to convince me to go with Shellac nails, since they’re very in fashion and that’s what all brides are having these days.

No thankyou. I stuck with my white tips falsies for that classy timeless look. I’ve never been one for fashion! The lady was lovely and very good and I am really happy with the result. (and all at a wallet-friendly £22!) I would highly recommend Biddulph Tanning Centre to anyone!

ImageWhat do you think?

Christmas cards!

I’ve been filling the time with quick christmas card designs. Most of these are from World of Cross Stitching magazine. I liked this because it didn’t take long to finish one, and I could do whatever colours I wanted. I know the red snowflake doesn’t seem very christmassy but it’s to go on a green card.

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You can see where I drew gridlines on – these need washing. I found them whilst digging through boxes for something else. They still need mounting on cards! The city scape is Edinburgh, for a friend who has made his life there. Santa’s reindeer need finishing but urgh metallic thread!