Tuesday 31 December 2019

Happy New Year! Next Year's Goals

I didn't set any major goals for myself last year and I think I regretted it as I haven't had anything much to strive for because of it.  So as the year draws to a close I am reflecting on my progress and setting goals for next year. Because next year is going to be my best year yet!

What did I achieve this year?

I did a tonne of stitching and did some awesome finishes. This one isn't finished but I dragged out Baroque again and I have been working on it slowly. Though in the Christmas crazy it got put to the side again!

I did this cute little pattern and finished it up for my nephew who graduated this year.

And I think my proudest two finishes for this year and the Accountant or Magician and my Squat girl! The Accountant one is sitting pride of place at work and my squat girl is still waiting to be finish finished BUT I LOVE THEM! They were a new design style for me and everything about them just worked. They were based off drawings I did and I just love how they turned out!

This one is my favourite :D

So there are my awesome stitching finishes but I also had some other awesome finishes. I decided this year to knuckle down and put the time and effort into working on new designs and promoting my shop. And it's paid off. While I am still only small I am seeing a difference in the customers and the traffic through and the interest in my patterns. It has been a big boost. So I have lots of plans and goals for the coming year.

Stitching and Design Plans

 The main designs that I have plans to finish are the Deadlift and Bench pictures. I have the pictures drawn and digitised I just need to sit down and do the work to turn them into cross stitch patterns. The hardest part is making sure that the widths and lengths are the same as the squat girl so they look part of a set. 

I also a few more patterns that are sitting half completed or partially finished that I will be looking to release in the new year. So expect a big influx of pattern in January as I sort through and release a lot just to get them out of my archives!

Honestly that is my main design plan to get a better collection or patterns so there are many there for everyone's tastes.

Also in the new year I am looking at doing another Stitch a long this one finishing with instructions to finish your stitching as a flat finish. Which is a useful and pretty finish.

On the stitching front I plan to stitch a few other designs but the main thing I want to do is seriously participate in a crafteveryday! I LOVED doing inktober this year and it was great to have something to show for each day. So I am changing it up. FOR EVERY DAY IN 2020 I WILL DO SOMETHING CRAFTY!

So share this image above and join me in a craft a long experience. It will be challenging but I will count drawing, knitting, crochet, sewing and cross stitch or anything crafty! I just want to keep making everyday! It can be 5 stitches or it can be 100 but every little bit counts. You can post daily, weekly or monthly about this but it's about reminding yourself to enjoy that time to create no matter what.

What do you think of my goals? Do you think you would join me in the craft along?

Happy Stitching and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Snowman and Christmas Designs

It's been 38+ degrees over the weekend and I was hiding out in the Air con for as much of it as possible. That led to me wanting to make this little pattern.

So I feel happy to introduce you to my little snowman!

This design is the same size as my normal Christmas characters and I also wanted to tell you about the Christmas sale going on at the moment! 

ALL MY CHRISTMAS PATTERNS ARE 20% OFF including this newest one. This sale is for the month of December! So if you are in need of a quick little present now is your chance!

I hope you enjoy these patterns :D
Happy Stitching, 

Saturday 7 December 2019

Where to get Free or Cheaper Patterns


After the post from yesterday I wanted to talk about the places you CAN find free or cheaper patterns from designers to stitch. You don't always need to spend a lot of money to still support the designs. We don't all have a lot of money and cross stitch doesn't need to be an expensive craft. (honestly one of the most expensive parts is the framing which is why I rarely frame my finished pieces!)

So some places I have found cheap or free patterns are as follows:
  • On the Designer's facebook page or in their special group. I've managed to pick up a tonne of free patterns this way and I keep up to date with new releases and sales going when I'm interested in picking up a few more patterns when I have the money. 
    You can find my facebook group here and yes you will find exclusive free patterns there that you can't find anywhere else. But I also am a member of a number of designer groups and have a pile of free patterns from most of them!

  • On the designer's blog. I know this is becoming less popular but you can find a lot on their blogs also any social media they use like instagram. I have a few patterns that I've released on this blog for free! Some cross stitch and a couple of knitting/ crochet ones as well. A summary of my freebies can be found here
  • Cross Stitch magazine/designer/manufacturer websites. DMC have a tonne of free designs on their website and so does the world of cross stitching magazine. Look around and see what is available and you will be surprised. There is a lot out there you just have to look and these have all been provided with the designers permission.
So these ones above are the free patterns but also follow the designer groups/pages/instagrams/email lists etc. to see if there is a special or new freebie that is being released.

Outside the free patterns on the internet where else can you go?
  • Libraries - they don't have a full collection of every book/magazine available but particularly if you ask for it you may find them willing to start getting them in. It's a great way to find designers and see the patterns and to find ones you can work on. 
  • Thrift stores - it's amazing what you can find at these! Keep looking at these and garage sales and you will be surprised. 
  • destash or buy/sell groups - all sorts of interesting prizes can be found in these.

Also don't discount buying a couple of magazines. They come with 70+ patterns in them and that is hours of amusement and enjoyment. You don't have to buy a tonne of magazines to enjoy.
My local newsagent has a collection of the little freebie kits for cheap as well. When they send back unsold magazines they're not required to send back the little kits that come with them so they often keep them and sell them for $1. I once got a booklet of patterns and two madeira metallic threads for $1 so go check out if your newsagent does that? 

None of these ways hurt the designers. None of these ways harm anyone else and if you're out there stitching their designs whether a free one or not you are helping the designers keep their name out there. So please share below your favourite ways or designs you have found around and about.

 Happy Stitching, 

Friday 6 December 2019

Cross Stitch Patterns and Sourcing them Legitimately

There has been a spate of posts in face book groups talking about copyright and where you can find charts for free. Unfortunately, we are seeing too many comments from people in the groups recommending ways to get charts/kits cheap or free from aliexpress, wish or pinterest. I want to talk to you about the impact of these options and the REAL free options that are out there for you.

As most of you know I’m a designer. I draw and make cross stitch patterns from my drawings. Although I don’t make a living from my designs it helps to keep things happening and covers the costs of keeping the craft and designs coming out to you. But there are those that do make a living from their art. Whether it is the prints themselves or the patterns the money they get from you is money they need to function and keep producing. I’m not telling you this to say you must go and buy from people but to make it known that if you LOVE a design enough to follow the artist and to want to spend the time stitching it isn’t it better to know that the money you are spending is going back to the artist that designed the pattern and not to someone else that just took the design? If you want them to continue, then being aware of where the patterns and designs come from is important. 

So how do you tell? How do you know that you are supporting the designer and not someone who has just taken the pattern?

Where did you find the pattern/kit?

What website did you find the pattern on? If you have sourced the pattern or kit through ali express or wish there is a high chance that the original designer of that pattern is NOT the one that you have found the pattern through. Or if the design is of a piece of art there is a high chance that the art hasn’t been licensed to the person who has created the design. Aliexpress have it as a seller policy not to have branded items which will often mean that the designs are stolen.

If you found a chart on Pinterest? Who designed it? Does it link to the designer’s blog/group if so, it is likely to be a proper pattern that has been shared by the designer as a freebie. But if it doesn’t link anywhere or it links to one of those annoying image posts on a random website there is a high chance that the design is not theirs to share. You can often find a lot of cross stitch patterns shared from magazines. I can find full charts from many magazines and other places. Does this make pinterest bad? No it doesn’t! I use it constantly to search and find patterns and ideas on how to do techniques and finishes. I have a business pinterest page that I maintain. I go out of my way to make sure that I don’t share the random charts but I do share the pictures of patterns and links to charts that I am interested in. It’s about being a conscious consumer and not just blindly following because you can.

Is it a full coverage piece of art?

There are only a few designers that have the rights to reproduce a person’s artwork as a cross stitch. If you purchase any Heaven and Earth Designs pieces they always source the art from the artist and have the permission of the artist to turn it into cross stitch. This is the same for websites such as Charting Creations, Artecy and many others. They will have some information on the website as to whether they have the permission of the artist to reproduce the work as a cross stitch pattern. If you can’t find anywhere it says with the permission of the artist and you can’t find legitimate reviews about the site outside of the website be wary. Ask around and find out if they are actually legitimate.

How do you receive the pattern?

This one is one I’ve come in contact with before and one that I find is a big teller. You will rarely find a legitimate pattern (unless it is linking directly back to a designers blog) in the form of an image! You just won’t! So if you have found an image of a pattern on pinterest and it’s in jpg or png form … highly likely that it’s been photographed from a magazine or somewhere else and shouldn’t be shared in that form. The other way is does this designer even offer their patterns as PDFs? If it’s not available as a PDF normally but you find it somewhere that you can download it digitally … that is a big red flag. Designers like Inkcircles and Stoney Creek and Joan Elliott don’t sell their patterns as PDFs, you can buy their patterns from online sellers but you will get a physical copy of the pattern. So if you find these patterns out and about as PDFs they are definitely illegal.

 How do you know you're doing it right?

It’s about doing your research and knowing the designers that are out there and getting to know the people and the ways that they share their patterns. Any legitimate designer will be out there talking about their patterns they will answer questions if you ask them. They will talk about where they get their ideas or their patterns. They won’t hide. If the source doesn’t come from the designer the website should still be able to give you proof that they source their products legally. I’m not saying just because you like a design you must go and buy it from that designer now. All I’m saying is if you like a design enough to stitch it make sure you have sourced it from the people that matter because if you don’t they won’t be around later to keep making those designs that you love because people stealing from them will have put them out of business long before this! 

This is important that we support those who help us enjoy our craft because without them we don't have a craft! 

Happy Stitching, 

This has ended up longer than I was expecting I will do another post that I'm writing at the moment with the ways to source cheaper or free patterns in a way that doesn't hurt the designers.

Monday 2 December 2019

Baroque by Inkcircles

I know you guys haven't seen this project for WAAAY too long a time! I really am very naughty and don't bring it out enough. BUT I have a goal for this one. I intend to finish this one in the next year. It is easily doable all I need to do is actually keep focusing on it.

Just last weekend I managed to finish half of one of the squares though I had an overly productive weekend. There was a local cross stitch meetup so I spent most of the day Saturday stitching and then a fair amount of time on Sunday as well. It has also been the only project I've been working on at night so it's been getting a great bit of love.

I'm hoping to finish the square I'm currently working on sooner rather than later and then work out how to make this project a priority.

So without further ado here are some progress pics. Not the best but I struggle to get good photos at the moment. I think it's the sparkly fabric and the lighting. 

This one is showing off more of the sparkly fabric. It just makes me smile to work on it.

But these two books have just recently come out and I've managed to get my hands on them soooo.... see me in a couple of weeks once I've finished reading them a couple of times!

Though I was in a random mood on the weekend and instead of reading I cleaned and sorted my bookshelves. I've been like this for a couple of weeks it's like I can't sit and enjoy right now when the areas are an absolute mess!

Anyway I hope you enjoyed the update it's great to actually be working on this again. 

Happy Stitching,

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