Friday, 28 February 2014

Something New

I know a lot of people have joined a lot of SALs this year but I just don't have the motivation to cross stitch only or to get things done by a certain time. But because I haven't joined any SALs I've found that I do want something to help me to achieve. So I'm going to create my own linky party there could be just me in it or there could be lots of people we shall see.

One thing I've found myself doing this year is trying new techniques particularly with finishing. Because of this I want to make a point of each month doing "something new" it could be trying a new finishing technique for cross stitch. It could just be a new sewing pattern or it could be a new yarn. Something that challenges me and that I can learn from. I get stuck in ruts I like doing the same thing again and again. But I learn so much when I do try new things and I impress myself when I do.

This year I made myself a dress on my sewing machine not entirely by myself but I made it! Post Here


I made a book cover as a new way to finish off my small cross stitches into a useful thing. It was a bit of trial and error but I got something beautiful that I'm proud of.  More info here!

I've also started my first BIG crochet blanket which is definitely new for me so we shall see how that goes.

I've done amigurumi before but the face on this guy was a bit of an experiment. I hadn't done this at all before. It's a mix of embroidery, yarn and felt. Look Here :D

Because I haven't just tried to finish what I've already done I have stepped outside the box and tried things. Now I probably would have still done this having done the WIPocalypse but personally I haven't felt tied to only cross stitch. I want to cross stitch and to sew and crochet and knit and bead and and and. ... you get the point. Oh and it's been too hot to concentrate on cross stitch! 

It doesn't have to be only crafty. I have ventured out in cooking and made my first pie and tried other recipes. Find this yummy one here. 



Anything really that is something you haven't tried it could be as simple as a new recipe that had new techniques to trying an eyelet stitch for the first time. I want to start celebrating the achievements and working outside the box. Stuck at home most of the time with no job it does feel like the same old, same old. I don't want to be boring I want to learn and be challenged. I need to feel like I'm achieving something so I don't end up in a slump! 


So here is how it's going to work 

At the end of the month in the last week I'm going to put up a something new post. This will have a Linky thing involved.... I just need to learn how to create one for next month. You can choose to post up a link to a post you have written, if you feel you've done something new that was a challenge for you. It can be anything but its about celebrating the achievements however small. I'm doing this for me but invite you to join in too :D I will create a button for it to. 

It will start next month with something specific to March not a mix of January and February like this one has become. 

If you think you'd be interested please comment so I have an idea whether anyone else likes this idea. 

Happy Stitching Everyone, 
Caitlin 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Another Book Cover

I did say I needed to do another book cover and see which one I liked the best. I have found the one I LOVE! I'm going to be kinda sad to let it go tomorrow as it's awesome but I hope the person who gets it enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it.

 I've got a series of photos and a bit of an explanation but I forgot to take any photos of how you actually make it into a book cover as I was so excited about getting closer to the finish and I was kinda tired by that point.

This time I didn't want to have to fiddle with lots of random colours and make a picture so I pulled out a pile of blue hues from mum's stash and I visited sewco (the local quilting shop near my mum) they had a sale on and bought a couple more colours. I also added a watermelon pink which isn't shown in this photo to add some accent.


To make it I made a template by tracing the book and adding half an inch all the way around. Probably a little too loose but I wanted it to be able to be moved to other books.

Then using my kangaroo as the base I started adding little bits of fabric. This time I was really careful to make it bigger than needed to it would cut down nicely. If you have done any patchwork before you will understand how I have done this. The difference is I didn't bother to measure just made sure the fabric was bigger than the length I was sewing which sometimes meant sewing two bits together to make the length.




I also added trim into the middle to make it look more interesting.
I kept using the base paper as a guide to where I needed to add more colours.


Here is the top all ready to go. I only added the trims to the front I didn't want much on the back. I also added some decorative stitches which aren't here yet.
WOOHOO! A finish! It looks stunning. The first time I didn't add any wadding and the second time I just added a light wadding and the difference was awesome. Much better. I also added a ribbon to mark where you are in the book.





When researching how to make it I did search on google and I used a tutorial from somewhere to get an idea of what I could do to make it up. I've got no clue what I used now though.





I'm so proud of the finished piece. It just looks happy and pretty. SOO nice to see it finished. But I have to give it away :(

ETA:
If you want to buy this pattern it available from my etsy store for $1 AUD The link to my store is on the left.

Happy Stitching Everyone,
Caitlin

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Glasses are wonderful!

Last Tuesday I was driving to the shops when my glasses BROKE! I'm extremely blind without them! I can't see much past my face without them. It was the scariest time trying to drive to get home.  I had to hold one side up and balance them on my nose while keeping the other eye closed so that I wasn't seeing triple. I've only had these glasses one year.

broken glasses
Thankfully at home I did have a spare pair of glasses. It felt so weird to wear a pair with full rims, but it looked so much better than no glasses. It only took me a day to get down to the optometrist and order a new pair of glasses. I had so much fun picking out a new pair. Here were my final two choices. It was such a hard choice.
Glasses I tried on and decided against them
they looked nice but too big on my face.
I chose these glasses :D 


I ordered them early Thursday morning and Monday afternoon I got a text saying they were in. 

Here I am with my new pair of glasses and loving the new look. 


They're kinda purple but have more blue and sparkles :D It's always nice to have sparkles :D

Anyway Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

I'm slowly moving forward

I'm having lots of fun with my blanket I find it is easier to pick up when I don't have much time than cross stitch and a lot easier to do. It also is more comfortable at the moment in the heat to be not thinking about than anything else.

I'm almost finished the tenth colour so only two more before I will have used every colour that I have.

I was browsing blogs today and I came across one recommending an app called beautiful mess. It's a photo editing app and it's so simple to use to make quite professional looking collages and stuff to display my work. A plain photo is so boring.... and I'm too lazy to upload them onto my computer anymore, I take them directly from my phone so anything to help photos look interesting when I want is great. Even just an easy way to add simple text if I need. Basically I was looking for something to make my photos seem more professional without spending tonnes or having to use my computer.

It's meant to be used for project life so has a nice sizing that prints well too. Can you tell I had some fun with my pictures. It was soooo easy to play with and enjoy.

 It's so much fun to play with I had to play with all my projects. The colours are so pretty.




I had so much fun playing with my new program. The only problem is that it saves to my phones memory not into the pictures folder. So uploading them from my phone was a pain until I worked out how to move them around. :P

I just couldn't resist all the pretty photos.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Cute Owl

I am already thinking of Christmas and what I can make that won't take ages. I could do cross stitch ornaments but I won't have enough done in time for Christmas this year and it's always so stressful, getting them all done.

I have been looking at easy amigurami projects that won't take me ages to finish and I stumbled across this one. 

They are so cute and only take about 30minutes to make.


I did have a model to help me he wants to claim this owl as his. He also asked me to make one for his teacher. 
 I think these are a plus and they are so easy I will have a whole collection by Christmas!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Saturday, 15 February 2014

My special cross stitch finish :D

I am really excited to reveal this. I have been making a special project that's kinda a mix of cross stitch and quilting. I have an auction that I need to have something for on the 1st of March and I wanted something special.

So I have been working on my book cover. I bought some plain hard cover art journals and I wanted to make special covers to auction off.

It's been crazy quilted with one of my cross stitch designs mixed in.




 I love the way it turned out. It's bright and cheery and just plain gorgeous. I'm not entirely happy with the final finish to give it away. It was all an experiment. My sister has claimed this one as she loves it. I'm actually thinking of adding a moon on one side and a sun on the other to really show off the scene. But I'm still happy with how it turned out. It was all an experiment and it worked.

I will be making another one a little more planned out than this one was. Though it still took all day to do the quilting part!

Happy stitching,
Caitlin

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

I'm FINISHED!!!!

I forgot to mention this in my last post that I would be spending the day with my grandma and hopefully finishing sewing! It's soooooooo awesome :D:D:D:D:D

I now have a beautiful dress in purple that I have made myself!
Please excuse the photos I gave the camera to mum so they're not all in focus but you can see the awesome dress anyway.


 I love the cute little bow on the back it covers up the top of the zipper and just looks wonderful.
You can't really see it here but the edge of the hem is done in a decorative stitch with lots of little bows in a row. I couldn't resist it and once I showed grandma the bows neither could she. She was saying no to anything too fancy until she saw them... she loves bows!

I love the whole dress and it was very easy to make and sooo much fun! I will have to make another but not in purple this time. Something with a little pattern in it I like the idea of polka dots. Maybe pink and white polka dots?

My cross stitch project is coming together slowly but I think it will really work.
Happy stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 10 February 2014

I'm back to where I was

Actually I've finished the first blue row so I am now beyond where I was before I ripped it out! But the difference is stunning! I wasn't happy with the way it was pulling, but I kept ignoring it.

No more...



I pulled out all the stitches and made a pretty ball of yarn :D and I started again.

I used a 5mm hook for the starting chain and actually got the count right first time. Then I swapped to the 4.5mm hook from then on though I was very very very careful to be very loose on the DC row. I didn't want it pulling in comparison to the trebles.

I was at a special performance on the weekend and while sitting there waiting for things to start I had my crochet out on my lap. So much easier to put away compared to cross stitch. I can just place it straight back in my bag instead of having to resort out threads and stuff. I really need to buy myself a new trumpet stand my old one broke! It's dangerous having it sitting on my lap.

I used stitch markers to show each 30 stitches on the bottom row. It meant I didn't miscount! Look how straight that is sitting. I just laid it down I didn't have to force it to sit straight at all.

Close up of the stitching now. It just looks looser around the start and doesn't look as forced. I will have to remember to use a larger hook from now on. It has worked wonders.

I have a special cross stitch project I will have to work on in the next couple of days. I have been asked to make something to auction off for the band next month at our trivia night and I've been thinking of so many awesome ideas. At the moment I'm making a book cover for an art journal but that could all change. It depends how it works out. I'm still thinking but it needs to be finished by the end of the month and I want it to be something special to sell.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin




Thursday, 6 February 2014

I need help!!!!

Ohk all you crocheters out there! I have been wondering about my blanket's first row and I really had a look at it 5 minutes ago because it was twisting a lot. It's not really that noticeable though the first row is tighter until I out it on the floor.... then the rainbow appears.

 If I lay it how the yarn seems to want to sit it has quite a distinct curve! and I started that first chain really loosely for me!
I can make it sit straight but it does buckle.

So it's kinda a vote/questions....

Does anyone know a way maybe to pull out the green without pulling out the rest? because the tension is fine after the starting colour it's mainly the starting chain that's stuffing it up! I'm thinking of crocheting a chain to the bottom of the purple row or something something that catches the bottom of the stitches. I'm tempted to try it to see if I can before pulling it all out.....

Is it too much work to fix it? Should I just undo and start again this time with a bigger hook for the chain and dc row? or just the chain?

I love how the colours are working but the fact the first row is pulling makes it difficult. I want to do this properly I want to be proud of it!

I may have just answered my own questions but please any advice would be welcome!

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin 


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