Wednesday, 29 July 2015

WIP Wednesday


My excitement is high this week. I love my cross stitch and this weekend I stopped trying to force myself to work on beacon at daybreak.... it takes too much concentration as it's small and complicated. Instead I brought out Afternoon Tea. Yes I know I don't understand how afternoon tea can be simpler... that said I park the threads and don't have to think about the colours that I need I just work on the next thread and then fill in the colours that are missing from the parking.

I love working on afternoon tea and I managed to finish a column. It was such a productive day.

Here is what it looked like the last time I showed you. I was almost half way down the column and about to enter the crazy confetti area.


 It doesn't look like that much different. But it truly is.



I love working on this piece.

Also I will leave you with an update of my granny stripe. I caught him pretending to crochet it over the weekend and he hid from me under it when he saw my camera. It was so cute.


Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 27 July 2015

Mount Gravatt Show

It's show time again :D

Many years I've spent getting excited about the Mount Gravatt Show and anticipating when it would be coming. Last year both Lana and I had cross stitch in the show and we managed to win a couple of prizes. This year I'm no where near that organised and really haven't been working on any cross stitch at the right size.

We go back and forth to the show every year and the last couple of years the kids have been introduced to the fun of the show. Unfortunately the kids don't get into the excitement of looking through all the displays and they can't think of anything else but the rides. It's slightly annoying because the displays are my favourite part.

So I want to share some of the beautiful stuff I found at the cross stitch and quilting displays.

I'm sorry about the quality of the photos but the Aztec design was gorgeous.

This quilt below has been cross stitched and then quilted into a quilt. It is beautiful.


It was 100 years for the show this year and they had a big display for 100 years in needlework. It looks absolutely amazing.






The needlework is amazing and the quilts look awesome. I loved this one below the pattern is amazing.


Each year they have a treasure hunt competition. The kids loved doing it. They had to go around all the displays and find the odd item out. In the quilts there was a great big number 1 balloon. They thoroughly enjoyed searching for all the stuff and I hope one of them wins the prize.


There was some awesome old machines, this one was running beautifully.


There was a hot wheels display. With this awesome little kid as well. He managed some awesome tricks and then his dad took over.




By the end of this trick you couldn't see a thing.



All in all it was an awesome day/night and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves and I loved all the crafts.
Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 24 July 2015

Blogger Meetups - I want to meet you!

I went to a blogging meet up today. :D

Can I say I was a little bit nervous and a whole lot excited. It's the second meet up I've ever been to and this one I consciously decided to go and network. It was an awesome chat that did highlight some things for me. I have to get my blog theme and logo sorted and then print up some business cards. That and there are a surprisingly large amount of bloggers that come out of the woodwork living not far from me.


That said, it's HARD being a craft blogger in Australia. There I said it. It's not because of the blogging, and no I don't live with the kangaroos, it's because I'm so far away from EVERYONE!! Even today, I was the only dedicated craft blogger, most of the people there were lifestyle bloggers with a couple of business bloggers thrown in. And although I do do some lifestyle blogging and I love to talk about achievements and life here the main focus is on my crafts. Always will be. It was great to meet and talk blogging and life with others who understand my need to share what I'm doing. They don't necessarily get my topic but they get the need to share.


I don't know where exactly all are you are from but I do know the vast majority of my readers are from USA and UK. Which I absolutely love. It is great being able to reach and share with so many like minded people all around the globe. It is such a great thing to share and be inspired by others. It's why I got into blogging in the first place. I wanted to share my projects and be inspired by others. But it has become sooo much more than that. I love to teach and share and I constantly find myself wanting to help others learn and love crafts as much as I do. This online community we have is wonderful as there is always someone to lend a hand or commiserations as the case may be.


I know I have a lot of readers that don't comment on my posts (I can read my stats). Sometimes it's time sometimes it just is hard to comment on my phone. I am very guilty of that more often than not.


So this is my call out to ALL of you.

I want to meet you too. 

Whether you are in Australia or overseas and far away, please introduce yourself to me. Tell me where you are from. Tell me what crafts you do. I want to share some of the support and love and want to get to know you guys. Join me for a cup of tea or something stronger and lets start some conversations going.

So Happy Stitching,
I look forward to hearing from ALL of you.
Caitlin

If chatting through blog comments isn't your thing then you can also find me over on instagram or facebook. 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

WIP Wednesday

We interrupt my regularly scheduled program with NOTHING. I really haven't done much of anything this week. I had a crazy weekend with a concert on and then I had to dash off to a show I was going to see. It was awesome. It's a production called Creative Generations which is a production with only state school (primary and secondary) students. It's like a variety show with music, dancing and singing but all done by kids. There are mentors and teachers all around but the ones doing the actual performance are the kids. I've been twice now and it was pretty amazing.

Evenings at the moment have been me sitting with my crochet across my lap but not achieving much of anything. I think I added one more colour from where I was. I do feel bad about my lack of progress but I did have a lot of progress the week before so it adds up.

Now I have a question for you. How do you tote your projects around? I'm at craft day today like every Wednesday and I've got my granny stripe sitting in it's special duffle bag. It has become the only thing big enough to carry the blanket and the yarn in at once.



Then all my other projects are mixed between pencil cases and bags depending how big they are.

So what do you use?


Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 20 July 2015

Fruity Hippo

I mentioned this Hippo on Wednesday but I figured that this gorgeous little guy deserved his own post. 

I signed up for the voodoo rabbit fabric toy club at the beginning of the year and it finished last month. This was the first kit that I received and within the first week I cut out the pattern and had it all on cardboard ready to go BUT for whatever reason and usually with me that can just be lack of motivation at the right time I didn't cut out the fabric and go for it. 


So over the next couple of months the pattern has been sitting there and last week I finally got myself in gear thinking that I would give this as a raffle prize for the upcoming concert, If you follow my instagram you would have seen that I was cutting out the fabric and on Sunday I sat down in the morning and sewed up the hippo. It was going great and thoroughly enjoyed it.

This is where some of the trouble started ... when I put the eyes into the seam I just cut some of the stitches and they opened up more than I wanted them to. I sewed them shut around the eyes but I realised at that point that I wouldn't be able to give this away as a raffle prize but I still loved it. Look at the cute face :D

Then before I sewed up the hippo I don't know if that was during the stuffing or before but that back seam was ripping really bad. When I sewed up the opening it was still pulling and looking quite messy. So I decided that I had to cover up the area and since the pattern came with a felt flower I made up one of those and sewed it over the opening. I think it looks so beautiful.


So despite everything that happened in making this hippo I just LOVE him. He's so cute and sweet and just scrumptious!



Such a lovely smiley face :D

So Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin

Friday, 17 July 2015

How to make French Knots

Now I know some of you know that I also blog over at AndSewWeCraft.com but for those that don't it's a great craft site where you get a variety of tutorials and different crafts all collected together at once.

The reason why this is important is I have been doing a cross stitch series over there for the last couple of months. I've gone into where to start and how to read patterns and all other interesting information. Basically all you need to know to start cross stitching all in one place.


So last night I did a tutorial for how to make French Knots. I'm one of the people who LOVE French Knots and I think the reason is I just found a method that worked for me. So I thought I would also share this here as you are all interested in tutorials and you may learn something from it.

I will also over the next couple of months spend a bit of time doing some finishing tutorials. Some may be published here but I think I'll post most of them over on ASWC but I will make sure that I mention when I do over here. I'm really excited to get into teaching how to really neatly and nicely finish your cross stitch. I will go into everything from pillow finishes through to framing. There is so much fun to be had.

Hope you find the tutorial useful,
Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

WIP Wednesday


I don't know what has got into me but I am ACTUALLY doing more finishes at the moment!!!! Lots of cheering happening here.


So I was asked if I had anything for my band raffle coming up this weekend and I was just going to finish up my hippo (more on that later) but it didn't work out for various reasons and instead of starting a whole toy I just used the other dog that I was intending to use for a raffle prize anyway.

I cut out this fabric LAST YEAR!!! I made up 2 kawaii dogs last year and got them finished but for some reason though the third one was cut out, the face put on it and the ears and tail all ready to sew on, it just didn't get sewn together.


See here is his beautiful face all sewn together in OCTOBER last year. I just went through my archives and found the original post in October last year. I guess that isn't too bad ... in the same box there is fabric partially cut out for another owl that was started at least 2 years ago. I will get that finished one day.......


I also sewed the tail on slightly oddly and got it back to front as I actually wanted the cream on the front but it still looks awesome. It is ready to give for a raffle prize which is all that is important. 


I will tell you more about the Hippo later it's another whole post on it's own and it's special enough to be all on it's own.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Pinterest Obsession and Etiquette



This is one of those times where I try to pretend I don't have an obsession with my phone and that pinterest isn't LOTS and LOTS of fun. Actually I'm not pretending really hard. I spend a little bit of time there browsing for thoughts and ideas.

MINI RANT

For a long time I didn't really like pinterest mainly because I went on there at first looking for cross stitch ideas and I realised how many people just share patterns on their without out thought for where they come from or if they should be shared. It made me kind of sad and it still does how many people don't pay any attention to what they pin or if they have the right to share it. I don't want to rant for a long time on this subject but it is a problem.

I love sharing crochet and knitting a lot because you can link to the patterns but more often than not the cross stitch you find on pinterest is stolen or illegally copied. Which I just hate because it takes so much from the designers. Please DON'T do this! Be aware of what you are pinning and make sure you're not pinning something that someone has just copied.

And if they're not sharing an illegal pattern they're sharing links to patterns that aren't a real link anymore OR it's to a random blog that doesn't link to the pattern either OR it links to the main page of the blog not to the post.

Raise your hands if you've tried to make something from pinterest and you can find no instructions because the link is a REALLY bad one and you can't find any instructions anywhere? That happens to me WAY too often.

PINTEREST RULES

So before I share some of the awesome stuff I've found on Pinterest I'm going to ask you all to be aware of what you share on pinterest and follow these rules.

1. Check that the link actually works and opens up to a page.

This happens more now I think because pinterest has been around for a couple of years and over time links stop working. It happens and it's a problem but just takes quickly checking if the links are still there.

2. Confirm you are linking to a pattern. If you aren't linking directly to a pattern know why.

Are you linking to a picture as inspiration?
Then say so. Say it isn't a pattern and what is cool about it. It is fascinating to know what can inspire people so share that it inspires.

Are you linking to someone who is linking to the pattern because you like their colours? Say so in the description so people know what they will find and that it isn't the original post/pattern but that they can find the pattern.

3. Make sure you link to the actual post NOT the front page of the blog. I get really annoyed at the amount of people who link to the main page instead of linking to the page and 1 year down the track you can't find the post or the tutorial that you actually wanted to know more about.

4. Particularly with cross stitch patterns but really with anything just have a read through to confirm that the person posting the pattern has the right to share it. Is it there own pattern? Have they asked the designer? It's usually really easy to find out whether it should be shared by that person and just takes some common sense.

If you follow these simple rules and really they aren't that hard to follow it means that everyone can enjoy your pins and get the same inspiration from them that caused you to pin them in the first place.

What's Trending This Week

So onto the pinterest fun. I have found all sorts of beauties around pinterest and facebook that I have been linking to and saving and I specifically want to share some of them with you. If you want to find me on pinterest it's HERE it's the only place where I am still called mangogirl88 I just can't work out how to change it to naughtscrossstitches. I have found a LOT more articles and pictures than I'm going to talk about here.

1. Oh gosh! I found this today! It looks absolutely amazing! It's a retro ornament crochet throw. It looks absolutely amazing and I really want to make one for myself. Check it out



It's by a lady called Jessie at Home and it's done especially for red heart yarns but I could see it looking awesome in anything. The picture has been taken from the page so all credit goes to her and I really want to make one now.

2. While we're on the topic of yarns I found a link to this pretty amazing website called Yarnsub. If you don't know what to replace a yarn with because you can't access it well here is a website to give you suggestions.

3. So I bought a new phone (actually my old one died so I upgraded my plan) and I have been thinking about phone cases. Oh gosh... search crochet phone cases and you end up in HEAVEN!!!! But there are a couple that really stood out. I am fairly obsessed with minions and with two young kids around the house the minions are really popular. Then I found this pattern for a crochet cover and SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!!!


Go check it out if you want to make it HERE

But I also found a couple more classy cases and some of them have really caught my eye as well.... They look nice without being boring. It's a design by moogly and just looks wonderful.




I don't know why but I really do seem to pin a lot of crochet stuff ... not sure why....

So I could keep sharing and sharing everything that I have posted on pinterest this past week but really go check out my profile for yourself. I share everything from various crafts to food to blogging and everything in between. I love crochet and have a couple of boards but I also have some cross stitch and other boards on the go. Just be warned... be prepared to spend MANY hours wandering the fields of cyberspace if you enter pinterest.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

WIP Wednesday



So for the first time in a couple of weeks I haven't been working on my granny stripe. I have been stitching.

I've been working on Beacon at Daybreak. It's an interesting one because I'm constantly having to change what I'm doing. Sometimes I'm working with three strands sometimes just 1 and then I'm swapping between full and half crosses. It takes a bit of concentration.


It's been really good to actually stitch and get stuff done. Back to my assignments. 

On that note before I go I have some great news. I managed to get my Diploma of Business and I've only got 3 units left before I am finished my Diploma of Management. I'm getting so excited I am really close to finishing... It won't be long now!


Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 6 July 2015

Christmas Ideas



Christmas is fast approaching, as much as we all like to ignore it. Only 6 mths and I need to come up with an idea kinda desperately!!!

Now for a couple of years I would make cross stitch ornaments, and one year I made crochet ones and although I kinda want to make some more I want to keep making something different. Below are some of the ornaments from two years ago.


Last year I made mug covers and dishcloths and I loved that idea and they were very well received.



But I still want to make something different.

So here are the ideas running through my head at the moment. I was talking to my cousin the other day and he said he was excited to see what they get this year.

So what should I do?

1. Cross Stitch or Crochet Ornaments

 Go with my normal idea and make some simple cross stitch ornaments? I don't think this is going to be the option. As I really want to try something different.

2. Cross Stitch Bookmarks

I really like this idea. Use my patterns and others to make some gorgeous bookmarks as these are something that people can use. I will need to buy more bookmark aida but I really like this idea. Simple and easy but they do look stunning finished.



3. Fabric Notebook Covers

I know my sister and mum are both using the ones I've given them and I could have a lot of fun making small cross stitch to go on the covers. This would be a great way to use my cross stitch and again make it usable.



4. Fabric Midoris

Along the idea of the fabric notebook covers create my own fabric midoris. The only problem with this is it starts to become a little time consuming and expensive buying all the parts because I don't have anything but the fabric. Though I would have to buy more fabric in boy colours anyway as I don't have many options.

5. Crochet Hats

I did joke with my cousin about making him  raccoon hat and I may just have to make him one on top of whatever else I do. He has a big bald head so it would really suit him. Repeat Crafter Me did a pattern that I may just need to use. The only thing is I have no worsted weight yarn? Can you use DK doubled?

6. Soft Toys or Amigurumi 


This is time consuming though. It took 1 day of solid sewing to finish that giraffe and I rarely have the motivation to batch sew at my machine. It's just too uncomfortable. But I know that the reactions I would get would be amazing. I know I love the little amigurumi but they take ages to construct.

7. WHAT OTHER IDEAS????


I don't know but I think I'm going between 2 and 3 and the more I think about it the more I like number 2 as it's easily portable and possible to get done. Can you give me more ideas? Or do you have a thought about the ideas I've mentioned above? Remembering I have a mix of females and males but no kids so it's all adult presents. I generally give one per couple though if it's bookmarks maybe I should do a bookmark and book cover per couple??

I have so many ideas running through and around in my head it is really awesome but I will have to make them into a reality somehow.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

WIP Wednesday


I really don't have much to show you at the moment as I spent the weekend either playing Oliver or working at Disney on Ice. 

I haven't had any chance to work on much though it's kinda cool that I was sitting in band performances and using my blanket to keep me warm and working on it in the gaps in the music. I had to play both a flugel horn and a trumpet throughout the performance. It was so much fun :D and as much as I enjoyed it I am glad to be finished with it and have my weekends back again!



Any progress is good progress but I really haven't made much yet since last week. And it's so lovely and warm :D 

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin
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