Friday, 31 January 2014

Scout Blanket

With this grow your blog thing I find that I'm meeting and finding out so many interesting things about other people. One of them happened to be a lady named Melanie that has two daughters who are active in scouts (you can check out her blog its nice). That is music to my ears. In Australia scouts is very different to over in America we have boys and girls in the same troop. I've been in scouts since I was 6 and it's always been a big part of what I do.

I wanted to share something that I think you guys will like. I collect badges. Scout badges, travel badges even Disney badges :D I enjoy having reminders of places or people I have met through the years. I also hand sew all the badges on which I find kinda soothing while sitting in scout leader meetings.

For those that don't know a scout blanket is typically a wool blanket (so it can't burn around the camp fire) also known as an army blanket. And you collect badges and sew them on until you fill the blanket. It's that simple and that complicated.

Now for some photos. Please excuse the bad light we've had on and off rain for the last week so nothing takes a good photo at the moment.

I'm not really sure how many badges I have altogether but I have one of the old biscuit tins FULL of  badges. My partner sighs every time he sees it out because it doesn't have biscuits in it :D

 The last time I went to a scout activity the queensland badge club was there and I managed to snag some Canadian district badges. Plus other ones. You can see the badge in plastic is one from the war memorial its an army patch.

I love the fact popeye is on a BADGE!

Though on the subject of Canadian badges the one above was got for me by my sister. She was back packing through Europe and ran into a scout who had it in his hand luggage. He'd lost everything else on the flight but he still had that badge. So it's a Canadian scout district badge got I think from Egypt. (or over in Europe I can't remember which) It's funny how scouts brings the world together kinda like crafts. I was so happy she got it and I love the story. 

 
 When I started this blanket I was only about 8 or so and my mother crocheted around the entire edge in three colours of cotton. That is one if the best parts about this blanket.

Now I will show off some other badges because I can. :D

 I am not a purist when it comes to my blanket, I will have any badge I find that means something to me. Which could just be I managed to swap it and it has pretty colours. But above is a good example, my dad's tenpin bowling badge, a Cuboree cub camp badge set, Weipa North Queensland tourist one, and a couple of other camp and touristy ones. It is a mix of colours and badges that mean different things.

 This one is important. When I was 12 I went to an Australian Jamboree. I managed to swap/buy/collect ALL the contingency badges which means a badges from every state/territory in Australia plus New Zealand. So above is the photo of them sewn onto the blanket I put them kinda in the position that the states are but it's hard when the badges are all different shapes. ACT (the big red one) is meant to be in the middle of the NSWs one so it's kinda hard to put them in their correct place.

 Just to point out it's not only scout stuff. I saw this at spotlight (one of my favourite craft stores) while shopping with my mother and she got it for me for Christmas!


 You can't really see it but all the stitching on this badge glows in the dark. It's a special order district badge that I managed to get a hold of at one camp I went on. I also have their original badge somewhere too but that isn't as pretty :D


I hope you have enjoyed this kinda random post. If anyone wants to swap district badges with me please give me a bell. My old district badge (which I have about 10 to swap) looks like this

I haven't bought any from my new district yet but that is in my plans for sometime this year. So you could end up with a couple of badges from Australia if you want to swap (I would be willing to swap for a couple as my friends would kill me if I didn't get them badges too) Well not literally but if I managed to get them cool badges they would do anything for me. It's nice like that.

Anyway,
Happy Stitching,
Caitlin 



Monday, 27 January 2014

Happy Australia Day :D

Ohk so I'm a day late with my Australia day post because I wanted to show you a finish but didn't manage to get it done in time. So now I have finished it and finished the pattern and it's going to be up on Etsy very soon!

I am so excited to present to you...
Katniss Everdeen from Catching Fire!

I say catching fire because that is where the outfit is from... I just love the knit cowl. I will have to work out how to make one for myself... eventually... there are patterns appearing everywhere.

This is bigger than the angels pattern, a little over twice as high so I can add a lot more detail. I'm currently in the middle of making a set of disney princess patterns because I can't resist and more from catching fire. It was really quick to stitch it up. The longest part seemed to be the border because it kept going. Though I love how the orange pops against the green fabric.

I am so excited to make my own patterns I hope you enjoy this one. I am going to disappear into Winter Fairy for a while though so hopefully I will have some good progress on that one to show you soon. We shall see, the kids go back to school tomorrow so I'm feeling very hopeful but I need to get my assignment done!

Happy Stitching everyone,
Caitlin





Friday, 24 January 2014

Grow your blog 2014

2 Bags Full
I wanted to use this as an opportunity to introduce myself again. I haven't really updated people for a while. Its been a crazy year last year. I'm also trying to grow my blog and get to know some new blogs around the place. I always like to read new stuff.

About me
Hi my name is Caitlin and I live in Brisbane, Australia. I turned 25 last birthday so I can finally be called an adult though that doesn't mean I need to grow up yet. 
 
I'm a trained primary school teacher but worked out last year that teaching really wasn't for me and I wasn't helping the kids or me by pushing it. So I'm currently looking for work.
While I'm not working I am finding that I have a lot more time to craft and I'm taking advantage of it. I live with my partner and his two kids which is an adventure more often than not. It's only 4 days until the end of the school holidays ... not that I'm counting or anything...

My dream is to run my own craft shop and make money from what I love doing but we shall see how that turns out. Lots of things need to change to make that work, but in time I should be able to.

When I'm not crafting I also play softball during the summer and I'm a trumpet player in the Moreton Bay Symphonic Orchestra. I love the chance to play in a group again since I hadn't had a chance since I left school.

Why I Blog
I started this blog as a way to show off my finishes and encourage me to finish more and find it a constant inspiration. I love seeing other people progress so I can. Since I started this blog I find that it drives me to want to make progress so I can show you that I have actually done something. It is good to want to finish stuff.

I also find that I enjoy documenting what I have done and when I have finished something. It helps me keep track of everything. I'm very eclectic so I do things that tickle my fancy.

I love the people you meet that say I don't have the patience or the will to craft. Its always possible no matter how young and patience has nothing to do with it will does. If you want to you can.

My crafts
Sometimes with me its more a matter of what craft don't I do. I love to make anything though cross stitch is my main love. I have a couple of big designs going (two HAEDs, a Joan Elliott, and an ink circles design) you can find pictures for these in previous posts and a tonne of smaller ornaments.I started a pile for the crazy January challenge last year and finished only 4. 

I have also started designing cross stitch, I did a pile of little Christmas stuff but now I'm expanding to bigger stuff (check out my etsy store if you want). I'm having fun with Katniss Everdeen from Catching Fire. I love the knit cowl she wears but I'm too lazy/not sure how to make one for myself. So instead I decided to make a cross stitch of her wearing it. The words will be Let the Games BEGIN! There will also be an orange border. I am looking forward to finishing this for myself.



I also knit and crochet though mainly toys and small projects. I often have one or two knitting/crochet projects on the go to mix up with my cross stitch and to have a break. They're less strenuous counting. I currently have a simple scarf, doily and a couple of toys in various stages. I need to find them all again. They are buried somewhere with all the wool. 

My small doily I finished before Christmas. I just need to block it.

To top that off I also sew and quilt but not quite as often. My grandma is teaching me to make clothes. It's going alright. But I have to find the time without the kids. It will happen soon very soon.....

I used to do a lot of beading but I kept dropping them everywhere so I gave up. I think I just like to be able to make things and explore what is possible. 


Happy Stitching everyone,
Caitlin



Friday, 17 January 2014

My secret stitching

Well I have been hinting at a new start on the stitching front but never managed to get any good photos. That and I wanted it to look half decent before showing it to you.

I finally after a couple of years started baroque by Ink Circles. I had this ready and kitted up to start towards the end of 2011 but never managed to start it. I kept starting other projects and putting this off. I wanted to start this year on a new project. Something simple but didn't want to buy one, or do any of my smalls.

Here is what it's meant to look like after being finished. But of course I have changed the colours quite a lot!

I'm using plain old DMCs but I'm using 32ct opal Lugana - Sunset by Colours of the Outback. A lady over in Perth who hand dyes her fabrics. The fabric is so sparkly I wanted to keep the colours simple but I am mixing it up a little.

 I'm not doing it in one colour I'm doing the nine squares different browny/green shades. The middle is 814 so a browny red. The colours just pop on the fabric.

I'm hoping it will look all earthy when it's done. Only half the middle motif to do before I can do another colour. I am loving working on this piece but it will probably go down when I finish the middle and I will work on winter fairy. She hasn't had any love for a very long time. I will have to find a hoop or something for her as she doesn't fit on the millenium frame I bought for her ( that's the other reason baroque is on the frame now)

I was silly when I bought the frame. I bought 3 different sized stretchers but only one set of the winding things. I may need to put in another order of some more stretchers but the postage is so expensive, and the exchange rate is stupid at the moment. Everything from overseas is expensive again.

Oh I wanted to show you the other reason I haven't got much stitching done lately. My grandma promised to teach me how to sew clothes on my machine as she used to spend a lot of time sewing and has a lot to teach me. Since I'm not currently working and have days free I have been heading to my mother's to use her sewing area for Grandma to teach me. We're starting with a dress.

Being me the dress is purple. I'm testing the sizing here and couldn't resist a photo. I have sewed the panels together But we were testing the height of the dress here so the colours are being held together by tacking and grandma's hands she's hiding behind me so she can hold the dark skirt. I love how this is turning out and it will be a wonderful summer dress. I can also see it looking awesome in this pattern in something a little bit stiffer as a work dress. When I finally have some work! I really need to get a job soon I'm going stir crazy!

In job news still no good on the resumes but I'm halfway through my second unit and passed both tests which is exciting.

So this is full of a lot of stuff but if you're still reading I will have some knitting to show as well. I'm doing a lot of random projects at the moment. It feels great.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Sewing Designs for Sale!

I've finally got my sewing designs up on etsy to sell. Each set is 5 different patterns and separated into the threads and other supplies.

Link Here

Go check them out :D My tape measure design is in there as well as some buttons and other interesting designs. It's always exciting to see them on etsy each time. Now I just need them to sell.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Any ideas on things you would like to stitch as well would help me to find new designs and make them up. I like getting new ideas and finding out what people want.




Enjoy the designs!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 13 January 2014

My sewing machine is getting a workout!

I don't know what has gotten into me but since the other day I spent making up the tape measure holder I had he urge to stitch some more. So I was browsing blogs and found a link to a quilted fabric BOX!!!! I just couldn't resist.

Link Here

It's such an easy pattern and as I was reading something came over me. I went from feeling very blah. To going well I have the stash ... I have all that black and white fabric that I don't have a purpose for anymore but I love using because it makes colours pop... (I need to get a bigger collection of black and white and some plainish colours to go with it.) So out came the sewing machine ... which at the moment is a feat in itself as I don't actually have anywhere to put it it ends up on a stool and I have to almost sit on the floor! My table can't take the weight of the machine.

But I am getting distracted. I measure out the fabric and decided to make two at once and did two different sizes. A 12 inch and a 9.5 inch. I was curious how they would turn out. One is just the opposite black and white fabrics while the other is a black and white with purple to contrast.

I should show some photos now I've talked enough.
The two boxes and some other stuff I was coerced by my head into making. 
 My table looked a little bit messy, I had the iron set up there as well as I needed to iron as I went. The only batting I seem to have is the iron on pellon.
Though I like to use  this as I don't have to worry as much about the fabric bunching.
 Box number 1 the 12 inch box. It is using a purple fabric and the black and white flowers. I used a multicoloured purple/bluey/red thread to quilt it so it was a statement. I only made it two inches deep so I'd have a wide shallow box for storing craft supplies. It is already in use with my tape measure, scissors and new pin cushion. More to come on that later.

 The second box is the black and white contrast one. I quilted this one with a rainbow coloured thread. So it looks gorgeous against the black and white. I'm going to use this as an ORTs container for the foreseeable future until I find a better use for it. 

See the pretty colour?

 Now onto the stuff that after I finished the boxes I couldn't resist making. I have about 3 pincushions that I know of hanging around the house. But I just had to have one that matched the new sewing set it seemed I had to make. I also wanted a case to hold my scissors so that they don't cut open my new kit. I think I need to fiddle though because I don't quite like the design and I wanted to incorporate my stitching but because I'm not happy it will wait until I like the design.


 I made the scissors blue and the pincushion green because I wanted colours I hadn't used yet. (I already have yellow for the tape measure and purple for the box.)
 All together in their special home. They look so pretty!

See I'm already using it for orts, but I've got to get back into the habit of keeping them again instead of just throwing them on the floor. I got a bit lazy with all the moving.

So with all my wonderful work yesterday I actually have a lot to show though really not much stitching. I hope to have a stitching update soon but I just want to have a decent amount to show everyone then I can post it. At the moment it's not really worth it.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 10 January 2014

Maskerade Pale Dawn

I finally have all the threads I need to finish Maskerade Pale Dawn. I reached a point where I really needed to buy the kreinik thread and when I went back to my local quilting store they had stock of the colour I needed though only in blending filament but I don't mind that.

I'm using two strands of blending filament with one strand of DMC B5200.

I've finally reached the bottom of the page and filled in all the missing stitches in the middle that were the kreinik which is great! It's starting to look stunning! I'm so excited to work on it though I've now stolen the stretcher bars for my new start. I was going to be good and not start anything new for the new year but... I couldn't resist.

Photos to come later because it's too late to get a good photo.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Thursday, 9 January 2014

I've been designing again :D

I have a new design. Actually it's a series of designs though they're not quite ready to go up on etsy. I just had to show off this one.

I started stitching at 8 this morning and I finished the stitching and finish finished the piece in 3 hours. It's a new record I think for me to finish finish on the day I start! I usually leave that for months.

I did the stitching and was caught by the uses I could put this design to.

SO I grabbed out my collection of black and white fabrics and started fiddling 



For once I didn't measure ANYTHING! Sorry I lie. I measured the felt. It had to be a certain shape and I wanted it even. 

The bright yellow was so cheery and stunning against the black and white! 

 I didn't bother with wadding because I didn't want it to be too bulky and the felt looks nice showing through a little on the front.
 I folded it and sewed up the sides.

 Here is my finished product! A Tape Measure holder with a cross stitched tape measure on the front! Nothing is aligned in the middle buy I deliberately didn't measure so it all looks off so it all looks right :D

I even have a tape measure already inside. Though I still have to find the perfect button. 


To give you an idea on size, it's a little bit bigger than I wanted originally but the cross stitch is only about an inch across! 

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

It's RAINING!!!

Ohk I'm a little bit excited about the rain. It's been too long with the heat! Three days of annoyingly hot weather though only Saturday was really bad BUT... It's now raining and storming which means the oppressive heat we've had today is GONE!! :D It's just slightly exciting.

I do have some stitching news. I have been stitching a little bit but more importantly I have a new pattern ready to publish.

Unlike everything else I've done this is a biscornu, with NO cute characters but lots of purple. It's a break from my normal. I actually designed it a couple of years ago but never got around to publishing the pattern so here it is :D Check out my purple biscornu. You can buy the pattern at my etsy store.

Please tell me if you like it or not. I'm so excited every time I post a new pattern. I just need to sell some now!

I tried a new recipe for dinner tonight. I found it on facebook when one of my friends posted it and I always intended to make it. So I went looking for it and I ended up with a DELICIOUS dinner that the kids and man both liked as well!

They are potato puffs made with "left over mashed potato" if such a thing exists. I cooked  up the mash the night before for dinner and made an extra big serving so I'd have left overs for this meal!

LEFT OVER MASHED POTATOES PUFFS

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream, plus more for serving (I used greek yoghurt)
1 heaping cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
salt and black pepper, to taste 
3 cups mashed potatoes

(optional) Bacon
(optional) Onion
(optional) Mixed Herbs

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 8 - 9 of the wells of a cupcake pan - preferably nonstick.

I started by cooking the bacon and onion with a little garlic first.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs then whisk in the sour cream. Mix in both cheeses and the chives. Add the Bacon and onion to the mix.

Taste the potatoes and season them with salt and pepper if needed. Add them to the bowl and mix well.

Spoon them into the pan filling the cups just to the top or a little below.
Bake 25 - 35 minutes until they pull away from the sides of the cup and are golden brown all over.

Remove from oven and let them cool 5 minutes in pan. Turn them out onto a platter. Serve with sour cream and fresh cut chives

much more at http://.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/leftover-mashed-potato-puffs.html
 — with Nelly Petersen.

I just thought you guys would like this recipe and it only took about 45 minutes with cooking the bacon and onion. I was impressed by the taste, and they were devoured. It's always hard to get the kids approval.

Many happy stitches.
Caitlin

Saturday, 4 January 2014

I'm back from camping...

Well we came home early because the kids were coming down with something but it seems like its not them we should have worried about. Both me and James have been knocked for six! Though I'm finally getting better and feeling kinda human. It was just a sinus infection but.... with the heat we've been having as well we've both been dehydrated. It was meant to get to 34 yesterday and today is meant to top out at 41! (about 105 Farenheit!)

So basically I'm trying to stay cool and hope I can ride it out. So glad we got a pool yesterday. I may need to make a lot of use of it!

While we were camping I did actually get some stitching done. I took Maskerade Pale Dawn with me and I set up really well on my camp chair.

It looked like this:
And after quite a bit of work it became:

Once I got home I wanted to work on a small so instead of starting a new one which I was so tempted to do I worked on one of the Joan Elliott ornaments.

Its close to finished with the stitching but then I need backstitching and beads... I'll get there eventually!

But I'm turning my computer off because it's too hot and going in the pool!

Stay cool everyone!

Caitlin
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