Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Mumblings

I don't have anything new to share with you today. Mondays is never a good evening, first day back at work blues combined with the clock change this weekend have left me feeling pretty tired.

As I have not a lot else to do today I thought I'd post my to do list for the week (yes I have gotten over last weeks huff and am going back to the list!)
  • Make Something Beginning with N postcards
  • Make ATC for Anna's washer challenge
  • Start BQL April bag
  • Start April TIF (I'm hoping to get started on this one straight away this month to make sure it gets done)
  • Add another kitty to the cross stitch (I've been neglecting this for a few weeks and need to get back on it before it ends up in the UFO pile again!)
  • Work on secret project two.

Yes as you can see I'm thinking big again this week, I know I will probably only get about half of these done but you have to reach for the stars right!??!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Today I've finished off another set of postcards, only a few more sets to do and I will be totally caught up with these yipee!

I went a bit silly with this set. I was sorting through a box of cross stitch paraphernalia that belonged to Mum the other week and came across this book.The cute Cow alphabet on the front caught my attention straight away. This in turn led me to think about a crazy cow pattern FQ that I was given as apart of a birthday swap (I think). I remember thinking at the time that I loved the fabric but couldn't see how I would ever use it. The combination of the two led me to this.
M is for Moo. Yes totally silly I know but it's fun to be childish sometimes, being a grown up can be so boring at times! I had to paint the cross stitch fabric as I didn't have any retina burning yellow lying around!
I don't really work with yellow much but it's such a great colour I'm smitten. Probably a good thing too as I have another yellow postcard swap coming up soon.
Just for fun I'll leave you will some yummy yellowness. Bits from my embellishment box...
And a peek into my thread box....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Secret Revealed

Now I know that Carol has received this I can share the secret project that i have been working on this last couple of weeks. A Padfolio for a swap on FAF that I was running extremely late on. Thankfully Carol has been vary gracious about the whole late thing.....

The front

A view from the back

Button and RicRac fastening detail

Oops I realised that I forgot to take some pictures if the inside, nevermind. I made this using the TimTex that I painted a while back and just added some seed stitching in a variegated embroidery thread.

The Padfolio is a great design by the very talented Sue Bleiweiss. If you'd like to make one for yourself Sue has very generously shared the pattern on the Fibre and Stitch website here. F & S is a great online publication if you don't already subscribe well what are you waiting for? lol

London Life

Yesterday I took a day off work and Mark and I went to London for the day. First stop was the Oxo tower seen in the picture below. This purpose of the visit and the trip was to see this photographic exhibition. It was well worth the visit as there were some beautiful and inspiring pictures on display. How lucky David Noton is to have travelled to all of the wonderful places that he has.

After the exhibition we just had a wander round. We carried on down the banks of the Thames and came across this chap making a sand sculpture. Here is a view of St Pauls from across the river, we couldn't believe how much development work is going on in the area, look at all the construction cranes!
This a picture taken from the now infamous wobbly bridge. As you can tell from the umbrellas and grey skies it was a blustery rainy morning.
A shot of the famous Tower Bridge with those marvellous grey skies.But lo and behold by the time we had walked over the bridge there were blue skies, can you believe these pictures were taken on the same day?
You can see in the background in the middle of the bridge above the famous Gherkin building, which was amazing to see close up.
I love how you get the mixture of old and new in cityscape's, and of course with all the glass towers there are plenty of amazing reflections. We also went to see the new station at St Pancras, the building is lovely with such beautiful light, difficult to capture on film (or should that be digital, giggle)

Before the day was up we made a visit to Regents Park to see the herons and other waterbirds. This goose among the daffodils was adorable!
The final shot of the day...taken as the tube doors were closing as we made the journey back to the outskirts where we left the car. That famous saying from our underground....
Hope you enjoyed this whistle stop tour of London. As we wandered past modern apartments by the river and grand houses by the park I had to wonder what would it be like to live the London life?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fairy Magic

So after my rant yesterday (apologies for being so grumpy) and professing that I would do nothing but tidy this week so far I'm motivated to do anything else but tidy, funny how that works ;-)

Today I finished a fabric page for a swap that is so far past deadline I'm too embarrassed to confess when it was due. Anyway this page is for Judith (as far as I know Judith doesn't have a blog but I'm a huge fan of her work). Her theme was 'Magic'

I made the front of my page from a block which I found in my UFO box. I originally made about 5 blocks like this for a swap back in 2006 but after taking part in another block swap with the group and being disappointed with the blocks I had received I decided not to take part in the end. Anyway I thought this was the perfect theme for recycling one of the blocks.
I've kept the back of the page quite simple, using a rubber stamp to print the background and a stencil to paint the letters. Judith wanted some sparkle on her pages, you can't really tell from this picture but i over painted the letters with a glittered fabric paint so when you move the page around they really shimmer.

I hope that Judith likes her page and won't be too mad with the fact that it's so late!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moan Moan Moan

Just a quick post today because I'm tired and want to do nothing but veg in front of rubbish on the TV.

I'm not even going to bother doing a progress on my to do list post today as after a very busy week I only managed to tick off the complete CyberFyber postcard and finish secret project one (I'm not going to post any pictures until I know it has been received).

I was going to be lazy and roll over the rest of my to do list to next week, but instead I've decided not to have a to do list this week I really want to concentrate on tidying up my sewing room which is a total mess at the moment so anything else I get done will just be a bonus.

Oh and I've decided that I don't have enough time this month to do my frog princess idea justice so I'm going to pass on this months TIF and will launch myself with gusto into next months challenge instead.

On a totally separate note yahoo currently won't let me check my emails which is totally frustrating and just about tops off a crappy day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cyber Fyber

Despite not finding much time for stitching this week I have managed to complete my card for Susan's Cyber Fyber exhibition.

This is the beautiful card that I received from Susan.
And this is the card that I am sending in return.
It's painted TimTex with lots of seed stitching. I'm calling the card Orange Sherbet.

As far as I can tell all the postcards have been traded but if you are an ATC maker there are still a few available for trade click here, to take a look and join this fun project.

It's bank holiday here today and I had planned to spend the day stitching but after all the boring household chores are done it's already half way through the day and I haven't so much as looked at a needle today let alone picked one up, I also have MIL duties this evening so I think I'll only be stitching a few hours instead of a whole day but we'll see how much I can get done...


I'm back.....
Sadly I've made very little in roads on my to do list this last week. After a busy few days at work I just didn't have the energy to do anything in the evenings, and then this weekend we went to Wales for a couple of days.
Over to Pembrokeshire one of my favourite parts of the country. Sadly I didn't realise before we left that my camera was totally out of charge so I was unable to take any pictures while we were there, so all I have to share from our adventure is this postcards picture of Carew Castle one of the many places we stopped by.

Mark has a couple more pictures on his blog but he hasn't put them all up yet.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Weekly Mutterings

I had hoped to be posting today or yesterday with my completed postcard for CyberFyber but when i was planning my to do list last week I totally forgot that yesterday was the Swindon Embroiderers Guild meeting and I wouldn't have Monday as a stitching night. Oh well we had a wonderful talk by Annette Emms (you might have seen her fairy shoe article in Stitch magazine not so long ago). Last night she spoke all about her series of work based on images from different parish churches around the country very inspirational.

So here is my progress report
  • Make CyberFyber postcard - It's not quite done but nearly there so I'm not shouting at myself this week, lol. Here is a sneak peek

  • Finish March Bag - Done
  • Start Something Beginning with M Cards - These are most definately started but are going to take sometime so I won't share any pics yet
  • Start March TIF piece - I have drafted a pattern for the doll form but that is as far as I've got but I will tick this as it is a start right?
  • Work on Steam sketchbook - I decided to scratch this one from the list. GWE have a sketchbook workshop coming up so I've decided not to do anymore work in my sketchbook until then.
  • Work on Secret project One - This one is definitely achieved if I hadn't run out of thread I think I would be well on my way to finishing this one.

So we have an extra long weekend coming up with Easter and although we are planning to go away for a couple of days I am going to be super ambitious with my list this week just to try and give myself an extra push so here goes.

  • Finish CyberFyber postcard
  • Finish Something Beginning with M postcards
  • Make good progress on March TIF
  • Make mysekf a pencil roll use Kate's great tutorial here.
  • Start on Fabric Page One
  • Finish Secret Project One (if I can get to the shop to get more thread)
  • Start on Secret Project Two
  • Make an ATC for Anna's challenge

If that little lot doesn't keep me busy I don't know what will!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This and That

No stitching got done yesterday as we had a bit of a movie marathon. We also went for a couple of walks in the rain. I love walking in the rain. We saw the films 10,000BC and The Cottage at the cinema, both were pretty average but watchable. We then went to see the old silent movie Nosferatu here as part of a local film festival which was just wonderful.

Today I have been stitching. I've made good progress on my hand stitching for secret project one. Rather annoyingly though I have run out of the thread I was using, the project will now have to go on the back burner until I can make a trip out to get some more. Mark took this wonderful picture (I think) of my materials for this project when I wasn't looking.
Now the hand stitching is on hold I've been at the sewing machine and have just managed to finished my March Bag for the BQL challenge. Can you tell by the bright colours that this one is going to be for me! I really loved this pattern and it was so quick and easy I can definitely see myself making more of these.
Finally I just have to share this rare picture of H & H together. Their new favourite place is in the cupboard with my craft supplies. It's pretty dark in there and if I try a flash photo they just end up with demon eyes. Here is one without hence the blur but I kinda like the effect and I love the way they are sitting staring intently in different directions.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Crazy Blue Kitty

I have been busy stitching the last few days but nothing much to show you at the moment. My hand stitching project this week is secret project one (secret in the fact that I don't want to show it here until it's been sent and received in case I spoil a surprise), but here is a sneaky peek As I haven't had much stitchy on here in the last few posts I thought I'd show you the failed CyberFyber postcard I mentioned the other day. I had planned to use one of the pieces of Timtex that I dyed back here. Immediately after it had dried I spotted an unintended shape in the dye and the idea for 'The Crazy Blue Kitty' was born.
I had intended to add some grass and maybe a couple of flowers but something just didn't seem right and when I measured the piece I discovered that its a quarter inch smaller than it should be. So I've given up on this one, though he is kinda cute so I'm sure I will find a way to use him somewhere else. Now for CyberFyber I will paint another piece and go for an Inksplat card similar to these and this.

Just before I sign off I want to thank everyone who left comments or emailed such nice things about Mark's frog photos he was really pleased to get such positive feedback. I thought I'd share a picture of the daft things that he puts himself through to get his shots.
Hmmm lying on the cold muddy March ground probably not everyone's idea of fun, I bet you can't guess which muggins ends up with the laundry to do?!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March TIF - Frogs

After being stumped by this months TIF for a fair while I have finally decided what I will be doing. It came to me when we were out walking on Sunday. We were ambling along the old canal path generally chatting and enjoying ourselves when all of a sudden we heard a strange noise. It turned out to be a chorus of frogs who had all of a sudden populated one of the many little ponds which run down the side of the track.

We spent ages watching their antics and listening to their fabulous song. I immediately decided that this must surely count as noticing the little things, after all we had witnessed quite a few people strolling by the same spot before us without stopping for a second glance.

I am going to try and stick with the dolls and this month will be aiming to make a froggy princess.

Mark took these great pictures, if you have enjoyed looking at them there are some more on his blog here. I love the one eyed frog that he has, looking at life through a lens really does make you see things that may otherwise slip by unremarked.(it's well worth taking the time to click on the pics for larger versions to see all the detail). If you do visit please take the time to vote in the little poll he has on the sidebar ......

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Weekly Mutterings

Well here I am a day late again with my to do list confession. I have decided that Monday is not a good day as I am usually very crabby after the first day back at work after the weekend and don't want to sit at my computer in the evenings so I think I am going to permanently switch my confession day to a Tuesday.

So here we go, please bless me as I have yet again failed to complete my to do list, it's been one week since my last confession, lol.

  • Make CyberFyber postcard - Failed. I did start to make a card but the idea was not working and I got totally frustrated, I then got hooked on making those mini log cabins and didn't start another card as I had planned.
  • Continue L cards - Continued and done as per last post :)
  • Start stitching March Challenge bag - yes that is underway too. Here is the proof
  • Think about March TIF - I finally have my idea for it and will post some more detail probably tomorrow.

This weeks list goes something like this;

  • MAKE CYBERFYBER CARD (yes I am shouting at myself!)
  • Finish March Challenge Bag
  • Start Something Beginning with M cards
  • Start March TIF piece
  • Work on my Steam Sketchbook
  • Work on secret project one

Who knows maybe this will be the week when my list actually gets completed (though I won't be holding my breath!)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Something Beginning with L

I can't believe how quickly this weekend has whizzed by, and not much stitching to show for it. Yesterday I spent most of the day helping at Wiltshire's first World Festival held in my home town of Chippenham. The festival celebrated world cultures with dance displays, traditional foods and music workshops. It was a fun but exhausting day.

Today was mainly spent out walking and then a trip to the movies and here we are approaching the witching hour on Sunday with just the prospect of work to look forward to tomorrow.

But it's not all doom and gloom for this evening I finally managed to put together all of the tiny logs cabin blocks I have been making into the finished postcards for my Something Beginning with L swap.
Red and Cream
Log Cabin Rainbow
Loud and funky Logs
Blue and orange
I'm pretty happy with the way these have turned out. As they were hand stitched some have turned out a little wonky but all part of the charm I think.
Today I also finally decided my idea for the March TIF challenge but more about that another time.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Crafting in the Bath Part II

It's almost midnight here and I'm heading for bed but I thought I'd stop by for a quick post first.

If you pop in to read my ramblings regularly then you might remember a few short weeks ago that I was looking for the perfect thing for crafting in the bath. I tried the knitting which worked fine for the small pieces that I was making for my knit postcards, but I think I have found the perfect thing.

I'm becoming slightly obsessed with making these little logs, which is probably a good thing seeing how I need 24 altogether and I discovered this evening that if you have all your little scraps cut and ready to go they are the perfect in bath project, lol!

On a totally random note, I thought I'd share another quick picture with you. Can you believe there is a workspace under here somewhere, me thinks it's time to get tidying tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

March - Take it Further

I just realised that so far I hadn't mentioned the March TIF challenge here yet.

This months concept;

Do you ever notice the little things, the small moments, the details in life? This months challenge is to do just that, pay attention to the tiny details. Sometimes the small things become emblematic for something larger. That is it! I am going to keep it brief.

This months colours;
For the last 2 challenges an idea almost immediately popped into my head and grew roots so that I couldn't shake it out. This time I'm pretty stumped neither the theme or the colour palette has triggered anything immediately.

I will have to sit down with notepad and pen I think to see if I can provoke my tiny brain into a spark of an idea. This will be a very different way of working for me than my usual approach so it should be interesting. Watch this space....

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Much TO DO About Nothing

I'm a day later than usual with my report on the to do list. After a long day at work yesterday I just didn't really want to spend too much time on the computer yesterday evening.

Anyway here is my confession as to how I got on with last weeks list

  • Finish TIF project - Well you know by now the doll is done. I'm still trying to choose a name from the fabulous suggestions so watch this space ...
  • Add another kitty to the cross stitch - yep I can check this off the list too
  • Cut fabric for march bag - another tick on the list
  • Work on secret project one - oops this was a bit fat failure I didn't pick up a needle on this one.
  • Make CyberFyber postcard - again a no-no
  • Start Something Beginning with L postcards. - A start has been made but a very slow one. I don't often give away what is happening with my postcards before they are done but as I don't have any other pictures to share for this post I will make an exception. I have decided L is for log cabin

Although this looks rather big here this log cabin is actually only 2 inches (and it's not as wonky as it looks on the scan honest!). I think I must be going made as I need 6 of these to make one postcard top so these will probably be slow to progress but they will be my hand stitching project this week.

So onto my list for this week

  • Make postcards for CyberFyber (this is going to be my priority as it's been on the list twice already and I still haven't gotten anywhere.
  • Continue with Something Beginning with L cards
  • Start stitching together March challenge bag
  • Start thinking about March TIF

That lot should keep me going for a while, well at least until this time next week ;)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Not a lot of stitching going on

Not much stitching going on here today. We spent most of the day out and about enjoying the mild weather we are having at the moment. First off to the woods, although the trees are still bare there is a wonderful carpet of green which in just a few short weeks will turn into a fabulous display of blue when the bluebells come out.
Then off to Butterfly world to enjoy a riot of colour on these exotic, delicate ethereal creatures.

Finally a quick visit to the Swindon and Cricklade railway for an exhilarating ride in an open carriage.
After such a busy day this evening has been spent relaxing but I have managed to cut a bunch of strips which welcome part of the march challenge bag. Can you tell from all these bright colours that I will be making this bag for me?