Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Siberian Gold - Part Ten

Thanks to the miracles of modern blogging hopefully you will be able to see this post which I've scheduled to pop up while I'm away.
I've made a reasonable amount of progress this week which is great.
That was then.
This is now.

I'm not very hopeful of much progress this week. As well as the conference it's Mark's birthday Friday so I expect we will fit in some celebratory outings over the weekend. I don't see much stitching time until next week.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ready to Stitch

Well today is the last day at home and then I'm off to Torquay for a work conference for the rest of the week.
I doubt I'll have much time to myself while I'm away but I'm hoping for at least an hour or so of solitude in my room each evening. Of course I have to take some 'just in case' stitching. Remember this?
I wonder if there will be any progress by the weekend when I get back?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lottery Postcard

Just a quick post to share the card that I made for this months lottery on Artsnthemail. Not the best card I ever made but I challenged myself to use some bits and pieces that had been lying around on my worktable for a while and this was the result. 'Colourful' is probably the best thing I can find to say about it!

I think things on the blogging front will be a bit slow this week. I am away on a conference with work from Wednesday to Friday but I am going to try and figure out how to schedule a post for Wednesday so I don't miss my regular slot for the Siberian Gold update.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Well I have heard from the engineer to say that my machine will probably be with them for a week or so. In the meantime I am making do with my basic Brother. It feels very odd stitching on it, it's so clunky, lord knows how I managed to make a whole quilt on it.

Any how here is another set of postcards that I recently finished for an 'Africa' themed swap. I found this wonderful fabric in my stash that I had honestly forgotten all about.

Sometimes the fabric is just perfect and doesn't really need anything else to fancy it up. So with these I just added some seed stitching to various bits of the backgrounds and they were done.
The satin stitched edges are not as good as usual with my clunk machine but hopefully they will still make it through the postal system in one piece!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Black and White

Anyone who pops by regularly will remember the row of kitties that I made recently for a row robin swap. Well it's my turn now to work on my first row for someone else.

I'm working on Susan's row and she has decided on a black and white, any block pattern goes. I went and raided my stash for black and white fabrics in all their variations and my immediate thought was heck I'm going to need to go shopping.

But I'm proud to say that a little while later I remembered that one of the main reasons I wanted to join this robin was to try and help me in my long term goal of reducing my stash of fabric so I just got stuck in and yes I had more than enough already to make my five blocks for the row :)

Amish Diamond

Nine Patch Variation

Ohio Star

Log Cabin

Spinning Four Patch

I decided to stick to relatively simple block patterns as I thought this would suit the colour scheme. Here is a picture of my row added to Susan's original row. (Susan's row on top)

What a great quilt she will have at the end. I'm looking forward to getting the next one to work on too. I wonder what it will be......

Friday, October 24, 2008

Melt down (in more ways than one!)

Yesterday evening I went to switch my sewing machine on and nothing, zilch, zippo. It just won't power up. I tried changing the fuse still nothing, so it will have to go in for repair.

Had a moment of panic and then decided to breath and get my old machine from it's hiding place at the back of the cupboard. It will take a bit of getting used to as it's really basic, but it will allow me to keep working on some of the things I have in progress until my regular machine is fixed.

Here is something I did managed to get done the other day before the machine failure. A set of postcards for a 'layers' swap. I had loads of fun with these. I tried out a burning technique which I know is old news for many fiber artists but something I'd not tried before. First I tore some strips of cotton, over layed these with some organza and went to town with some loopy FME. Then it was out with the heat gun (I've had mine for ages from when I used to do a lot of card making and rubber stamping) for some melting fun. Well you may have figured by now that I love my hand stitching so finally a layer of fly stitch. I had four cards to make and I made the background all in one and then sliced it up, something else I'd not done before I usually make my cards individually. I think overall I prefer the individual way, but for some techniques like this it really would not make sense to make all the backgrounds one at a time.

Finally I couldn't resist sharing this picture of a part finished card sitting in the window. I love how the light changes the colours in the organza.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Siberian Gold - Part Nine

Wow I can't believe I'm just about to give the ninth installment on this one and it's not even half way through yet, I'd better stop thinking on this like that as it's enough to make me want to give up right now :)

I had a pretty tough week with this, it wrestled me all the way. I guess it serves me right for working on it with a fuzzy head. Part way through the week I ended up frogging a whole section as I'd stitched it up in the wrong colours, don't ask me how I managed that I have NO idea!!
Anyway you know the drill by now this is last week.
This is the now
Not as much progress as I had hoped but C'est La Vie!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Something Beginning with W

Time to share another set of postcards that I have been working on. These are for the Something Beginning with W swap on Artsnthemail. This time I decided W would be for White.Sorry about the picture, it's starting to get to that time of year; still almost dark when I leave for work and almost dark when I get home so difficult to get any good light for photos.

I love doing white on white work. For these I raided my scrap box for pieces of fabric and layered together some really scrappy backgrounds, then added a layer of this really fluffy net stuff (have no idea what it was just found it in one of the fabric boxes), then added a few embellishments and some hand stitching.

I really enjoy working like this, freely and having plenty of fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008


A few years back I was a bit of an eBay addict and bought and sold quite a lot of different things but after a while the shine wore off. It seemed to change quite a lot from a place to get rid of those unwanted items, like one big car boot sale to a place where everyone was just out to make as much profit as they could and become the next eBay millionaire.

Well while I wasn't feeling well and couldn't find the ability to concentrate on much I decided to have a little browse. Much to my surprise I did manage to bag a bargain.
19 Skeins of Anchor Perle thread for £4 (including postage). I love these threads for hand stitching but rarely buy them off the cuff as they are almost £1 each skein at the local store. Maybe I'll check out eBay a bit more often again.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some more holiday snaps

I don't have anything stitchwise to share today so thought I'd just put up a few more pictures from my recent trip.

This last one is Mark checking out some angles for his shots, as most of you already know he is the real photographer in the family, you can check out his pictures here. Boats at Windermere
Birmingham's iconic bullring building

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Laurel's Cats

Well first things first, I finally feel like I am coming out of the other end of this tonsillitis. This whole week has been a struggle but I'm finally starting to feel like me again which is great. I'm looking forward to catching up on all the emails and blog reading that I have been neglecting!

Secondly the winner of the drawing for the copy of Stitch magazine is Vicki W. Congrats Vicki, I know we chat a lot through the blogs but I don't think I have your snail mail addy so please could you email me :)

Thirdly, the main reason for the post os to share the last of the set of postcards that I started while on holiday. Of course I couldn't resist when the theme 'Cats' came up :)

My original plan was to design a few of my own crazy kitties but time ran out and I needed something that I could work on while I was away as the mailing deadline was immediately after I got back.

When Vicki's parcel arrived just before I left I found the perfect inspiration in a beautiful piece of Laurel Burch fabric she had sent. I cut out the motifs and added them to a plain black background. Then embellished with some hand stitching and sequins.

I love the fun, vibrant colours in Laurel's designs. Here are a couple of close up shots which makes it easier to see some of the hand stitching I added.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Orange and Black

Time to share another of the sets of postcards that I worked on while away last week. I didn't get them totally done but managed to finish them up at the weekend.
They are for a Black and Orange swap. I got the cute witch pattern here. I reduced the size of the pattern a bit to fit into the 6 x 4 format. Each one took an age to hand stitch but I loved the cute design so think the effort was well worth it. I hope my swap partners like them.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Xrays

I'm still feeling pretty ill. My head is fuzzy and I'm having difficulty concentrating on anything for more than a few minutes. I have plenty of things that I want to share (no not my germs I wouldn't inflict them on you all), but typing anything that makes sense to go along with them just seems too much like hard work at the moment.
So for now here are the rest of the Xray cards. They are all alike but each of the kitties has swallowed something different, naughty, naughty.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Siberian Gold - Part Eight

First off I want to thank everyone for their well wishes I'm feeling pretty rough at the moment and have the concentration level of a gnat which is really limiting the amount of time I'm at the computer so apologies that I haven't replied to everyone personally this time!

I was in two minds whether to post about this this week. I've hardly made any progress on this since the last update, as I think I mentioned before this one didn't come on vacation with me it would have been too unwieldy to work on in the tent!

In the end I decided that this was probably the best way to kick start me again. I know it's only been a few days since I've been back but as I'm out of the habit I'm finding it difficult to motivate myself to get back into my routine on this one.

As usual here is where we last saw itand this is the now. See, I warned you there hadn't been much progress. Still every little stitch helps. Hopefully this will have moved along at a somewhat quicker pace by the time of my next confession :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

X-Rays and Tonsillitis

Yesterday was supposed to be a stitching day spent with the other members of GWE but unfortunately I have come down with a case of tonsillitis. While I generally feel ok in myself I didn't really want to go and spread my germs around and my voice is pretty much lost. I did spend some time working on my Steam sketchbook and have an idea that I am happy with for my exhibition piece now I just have to get on and do it.

As my sketchbook is currently for my eyes only today I thought I'd share a picture of one of the sets of postcards that I stitched while on holiday.X is for X-Ray. I have been looking forward to the letter X almost since the beginning of this alphabet swap as I knew I had the perfect fabric to use. The wonderful yellow fabric in the background is from the parcel that I recently received from Vicki. I decided to add lots of little hand stitched X's to the background, the idea was to try and symbolise all of the X-rays flying at the kitties.

I am way ahead on this swap, and haven't done my W's yet but as I knew what I wanted to do and it involved plenty of hand stitching it was the perfect thing to take away with me last week.

Back to work today which I'm not looking forward too, fun things like stitching will take a backseat again, but thankfully I have a few more finishes from my hols to share yet so hopefully enough to keep me going for a few more posts.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mountain Autumn and a Giveaway

I was quite surprised by the fact that I actually did find a little time for stitching while away. I managed to finish 6 of the 12 postcard tops that I took with me and got stitching done on all of the others but not to finishing point. I don't have any pictures to share yet though.
However while on my travels last week I did manage to pick up another project to add to the To Do List. While in Penrith we came across this adorable little shop and of course I had to go in for a browse.
They had quite a good little range of cross stitch and embroidery kits and a few threads and accessories. I decided to treat myself to a little something which would serve as a reminder of our week in the Lakes so picked this little long stitch kit. I'm not sure yet when it will get started but I'm determined not to leave it in the packet for too long. Of course for the rest of the week while we were out and about I tried to look out for similar scenes which I thought could have inspired this design. There were plenty of stone bridges scattered in the landscape to choose from but this little footbridge was my favourite. On an entirely different subject I have ended up with two copies of the latest Stitch magazine so thought it would be fun to have an impromptu giveaway. Leave a comment on this post by the end of the week if you are interested in going into the draw for a chance to win this magazine.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back from the Lakes

I'm back from a wonderful week in the lake district, had such a wonderful (and mostly relaxing time). This has been my home for the last week. and very comfortable it was too. We stayed at this campsite next to the lovely Brotherswater. Here we are happily squinting into the sun!This was taken just after Mark finished a mighty trek up Scafell Pike the tallest peak in England, I have to confess I stayed at the bottom this would have been way beyond me but I had a great time stitching in the sun instead!

We had all extremes of weather mostly dry and fine but on the day we arrived and the day we left there was heavy rain all day. Look at the difference between this beautiful blue sky on Sunday over Tarn Hows and our poor flooded campsite when we left at the end of the weekIf you can make out that tent in the background I met the poor campers in that one and they had to evacuate at 2am when the tent flooded. Luckily we were pitched on some higher ground.

I have plenty more things to share about the trip but for now I have a mound of washing and catch up housework to get stuck into :( If you are interested in our trip I think Mark is going to put a day by day account on his blog highlighting all the ups and downs in technicolour glory.