Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Knitting Progress and Board Games

My friend had her birthday over the weekend and it was kinda awesome to see her again. We played board games and had yummy cake! It was nice to enjoy games again. I realised how much I missed my monthly board game nights. 

I forgot to get photos of the games I made for the night but I have been having some fun and finding board games to print and play. It is awesome how many games are available to be printed at the moment. Some you have to buy some you don't.

Unstable Unicorns
This is unstable unicorns, this is a copy a friend had but I managed to download and make up a copy as well from the tee turtle website. 


No candles so we had sparklers :D 


Rainbow cake :D


And now to the knitting! I have done all the parts for my bunny and now I'm in the process of sewing it together. 


It looks so cute :D and very lopsided. I couldn't manage to get the eyes to look right.... I've never been good at embroidering eyes on. 


I think I have the legs in the right spot? They're just pinned at the moment. 


Last night the kids wanted to play games with us so we played Bananagrams ... James won which isn't really that surprising. Though I wasn't far off. It's kinda a scrabble type game. 


And also Princess UNO. Because who wants to play with normal UNO cards?


I'm down to just the last two exams and then I'm done with my Master's degree. I will have a lot more time. But I am going to plan another games night with my friends sooner rather than later because I am realising that I have missed this so much. I miss talking with my friends and the interactions that come from playing games together. The reasoning and the ruthlessness .... and losing. I seem to have an innate ability to lose games but I enjoy playing them still. 

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin

Monday, 25 May 2020

Crochet and Knitting Fun (also craft room sorting)

So it turned FREEZING this weekend across Australia! We're not even in winter yet and some areas of Queensland recorded their coldest days EVER! So the ability to actually stay warm was even more important and I cuddled up under my crochet blanket with my owl beanie on and I stayed there for most of the weekend! 

Comfy Granny Stripe Blanket
Comfy Blanket Anyone?? 

With a little break in the middle of the day so I could clean the craft room a little. Not being able to even WALK into the room was starting to make me feel bad but it had become the box dumping site... So NOT entirely surprising. 



This was at the start of Saturday afternoon...I was standing in the doorway of the craft room! 


By the end of a couple of hours I manged to get the room like this. Still a HUGE amount to do but I am currently happy with how it stands. I can walk in and out of the room and I can see the potential even if I can't currently get to everything because it's still in relatively neat boxes. 


But my bookcase is looking particularly neat and I love the cross stitches on top. They are a Faye Whittaker design that I stitched YEARS ago. They came from a magazine I bought not long after I first started stitching. I will probably move those from there and put some sort of hanger system down the side of the bookcase so I can have the three designs sitting there so you can see them as you walk up the hall. 

I made a promise when we moved to start being truly honest with myself about why I am keeping certain craft stuff and just because I spent money on it is no longer an acceptable excuse. Actually I'm making that promise with a lot of stuff around the house as we slowly go through stuff and sort it. Let's be real... if I haven't touched a craft for 5 years not just because I work and do uni but because in the small breaks I do have that craft is something I have no interest in spending my time on ... WHY am I keeping it? It's a hard question to answer because I spent money on that stuff and obviously I felt it was important at the time but now, it's really not. 

But ... it's not all doom and gloom



I was searching through the drawers and came across this toy... it's a knitables pattern for her bunny and honestly I'm shocked that it's still there. I found I had ONLY two arms to do then some sewing and stuffing and I'll have a finished toy! So I settled down to watch a movie with my knitting in my lap and off I went. I'm sure as I continue to sort boxes and drawers I'll find more projects like this that I started. Some I WILL finish because I still like them but some I know I need to frog or bin all the work I have done and start a different project because it's not my style or my interest anymore. 

I also found a new crochet technique that I wanted to try (well not a new technique .. just new to me!) and I started testing out some squares. It's called Mosaic Crochet and this pattern is the square from the Terrazzo Afghan by Tinna



I I really like how this square looks though it isn't finished in this photo. It is just a tester to try out the pattern and I found for this one at least I used slightly too small a hook for the yarn and it's a little too tight. I don't know if I am going to make a whole blanket but I think I will. It will be a great project to work on through the winter as it will be highly portable. 

So that is my weekend update... I'm hoping to finish the bunny this week and then also work out what I am going to actually do about making a blanket as I would need to go yarn shopping to make it actually happen. Hope you stuck with me this far :D 

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Moving Again and Crafting

So our lease is up at the rental we were in so we've had to move house. It has been an interesting adventure to say the least!



 and my craft room in shambles....


But what can you do? Keep going and do bit by bit. I need to have a serious look at my craft room because I couldn't keep it organised before but now I have NO cupboards to hide stuff in so I will need to really look at it and decide. My boss is talking about transitioning permanently to flexible work arrangements. With me working from home some days during the week. So I need a place that can work as both a viable office AND a craft room so it needs to be NEAT!! We shall see... I'm not the tidiest person but if I have a home for everything it's easier to keep it neat.

So my crafts will be few and far between over the next few weeks but I am still here and hopefully have an awesome craft room to show you soon!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Owl Tic Tac Toe


   Owl Tic Tac Toe Board Game


This one has been a while coming. Honestly I have been meaning to release this one for a long while but the last few steps to finishing the board were just taking me ages! Partially because l was getting bored with one colour and partially just because I kept putting it down. Amazing how easy it is to forget a project that is in a bag you haven't opened for weeks. Which is just what happened what little time I've had has been taken up by other projects and a whole lot of school and work.

On the board game front I designed and stitched up a nine men's morris board and you can find the info about that here.

Then I designed a checkers board to match the other game and it's available from my facebook group as well.

Now here we are. I have finally finished stitching the board and managed to get some photos of it which is often the harder part! They're even beautifully staged. Which took AGES !!! Do you know how hard it is to get a phone to focus and just take the photo? Particularly once I realised how dirty the camera was.


I love how this one has turned out. I still have a lot of stitching to do to finish the rest of the pieces but it looks so awesome!

Owl Tic Tac Toe

Just letting you guys know all my patterns come in Black and White and Colour versions. So they are easy to print out but also easy to use on a phone or computer. They come in PDFs and this pattern comes with instructions on how to finish the game board and pieces. 

I hope you like this pattern and that you enjoy playing the game. 

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin


Friday, 17 April 2020

Friday Finds: Australia declares war on a bunch of birds!

So now that I've picked myself up off the floor from laughing so much I will explain what happened. Apparently in 1932 Australia declared war on about 20,000 emus in Western Australia. After about 10,000 bullets and only 900 dead birds it was declared futile and it has been deemed that the birds won. This 'war' of course was never taught in schools which is why I'm only just learning about it now but I need to make this common knowledge!

The only war that has been declared on Australian soil and we lost to a bunch of birds!!!! hahahahahaha!!!  Only in Australia could this happen!Watch the video below to get some more information.

I hope you enjoy this laugh at our expense :D

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Easter Update

Nothing has gone to plan over the last month or so, but then again, I think that has been the case for everyone.

Fresh roasted marshmallow!
 I actually lost track of time and didn't even realise this weekend was the Easter weekend until it was almost upon us. This means that I forgot to say anything about my Easter patterns to anyone until Sunday. When I got bored and started stitching one up. I also didn't realise I had no model photos of these designs because... I really don't know. I'm sure I stitched them at some point...  or maybe not. Oh well I've fixed that now.


I will just have to get some really good photos once they are finished as little pillows.

I still had the gorgeous blue flower fabric sitting beside the ironing board and these two little bits were sitting there... well I know how I'm going to finish these! It is just perfect!! I just need to find the time somewhere in between uni and work to use the sewing machine.
 

 This little bunny is so cute!!! I just love how it turned out!

 And the little chick is just as cute!

I changed a few of the colours when I was doing this. I just picked two yellows out which turned out not to be as far apart as I thought they would be. And I also changed the black of the eyes to be a dark grey. I really like how it makes it just a little softer. As the pastel green background just needed something softer and now I've chosen the dark blue fabric I'm grateful it isn't black.


I've also managed to catch up with the peppermint purple SAL. I love how it is going so far and it's just stunning to see it come together. It is one of the few times I have ever managed to keep up with a SAL so I appreciate the awesomeness that is this piece. It's extremely small bite sized pieces that can be easily finished in a session or 2 if I don't have a huge amount of time. Also the patterns are repeating so once I get the gist of what is happening it goes smoothly.

I hope you had a Happy Easter and you are safe.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin




















Friday, 3 April 2020

Nine Men's Morris Pattern and Tutorial

With so many people all around the world working/living entirely from home at the moment I wanted to share a free pattern with everyone. It is a Nine Men's Morris or Mill (which ever one you call it) board and pieces.


 Because who doesn't need more board games to play with their family?

This one is special though, this game is really old and has been redone in so many different forms. You might even find it on one of those multi-game boards that you can buy. I know I think I have it in two other forms?? It was made popular in Ancient Rome and there is a reason that is stuck around and is still being played today. It's actually good!

To find out more about Nine Men's Morris and to get the rules follow the link here

 I designed this game as a cross stitch because it's something you can easily play with children (upper primary and high school) and I wanted something that could be fairly quickly stitched up and used.


I chose blackwork as the main component because of two reasons. The lines are best done in backstitching because it's simply quicker. And because it allows there to be a little bit of cute detail without overwhelming the whole piece.

The little pieces are stitched and then glued onto felt. I've got a video of how to do that in the group where you will find the pattern. To get the pattern you need to be on facebook it's the easiest place to share free PDFs. I have a facebook group called Beginner Cross Stitch Designs by Naughts & Cross Stitches and you will find this pattern in the files. Also a few other freebies are there as well.

Also I  managed to film how I finished it as a little mini quilt and all the steps along the way. So you can watch that below. I'm really proud of this little piece. It's such a simple design but so practical.



I hope you like this pattern and I'd love to see your board games if you make them!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin












Friday, 27 March 2020

Friday Find: Discussion about copyright and Fair Use

This video is awesome talking about copyright in such a way that is really useful and helpful to understand.




While he is particularly talking about youtube videos but the concepts can be put over to cross stitch patterns and art which is something that I have been particularly vocal about. I'm constantly arguing with people in groups about this.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Close To You Shawl - Finished


I think I can safely say that I am in love with this shawl! For all the time I spent agonising over actually doing it. Then choosing a pattern for such gorgeous yarn (it was a gift which made it that much harder). I FINALLY cast off on the weekend.

I honestly think I would have been happy living 200 years ago... at least fashion wise! When shawls and cowls and cloaks were a thing. Particularly cloaks. I love wrapping myself in a shawl rather than a jumper and I find them so much more fun. Though my partner calls them blankets and hates that I wear so many. Though this one is more of a scarf with a funny shape. It's not big enough to be a huge shawl.


You can see by this photo that it's not A particularly big shawl but the curved shape lends itself to perfectly wrapping around your neck!

Here is a close up of the cast off edge. It was this awesomely cute picot finish and something in all my years knitting I've never done. BUT I have never done much lace so not entirely surprising that I haven't come across this before now. I love that despite knitting for over 20 years I can still learn something new.

I honestly hope that in another 30 years when I'm still stitching I can still find things to learn.

I don't know what too me so long to finish this one but it was something that has been living in my bag and if I was to hazard a guess it's because as you go each row gets longer and it's harder to pick up quickly in the middle of something else. 


If you want to stitch one of these for yourself. The yarn is a 4 ply Merino Wool that my sister picked up from Tasmania when she visited.

The pattern is the Close To You Shawl by Justyna Lorkowska and can be found on Ravelry. 
It's a free pattern and it's so simple and beautiful and I'm so glad I did this one!

I hope that you are keeping yourself safe and looking after yourself in these turbulent times. Please stay safe and practice good hygiene.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 13 March 2020

Deadlift Girl Cross Stitch Pattern


And it is now released and available to be purchased. If you are knowledgeable about this series you'd know this is based off one of my drawings. Deadlift Girl. What you may not know is this drawing was kinda a picture of my sister. She is my deadlift muse, she is everything I want to be in the gym. It is one of two cross stitching patterns that are part of my fitness girls series. It will start with the three major powerlifting moves squat, deadlift and bench and include other exercises as I work out how to draw them.

Here is the picture I drew that it is based off. I'm really happy with how it turned out. A couple of cool details that you would like to know, the blue weights are 20kgs each and the bar is 20kg itself. So the weights in the cross stitch piece is 60kg.


Also the hands are in what is called an alternate grip. This grip is taught to a lot of women when doing a deadlift as it is easier to grip the bar with smaller hands.


It's been made to match with the squat girl pattern. The width is the same, and it's made to go together if you wish. It will eventually be a set of three with the bench girl making the set. It is the three major power lifting moves. I will add some of the other exercises eventually as I work out how to draw them.

So where do you find these awesome patterns? 

Well there are two ways you can buy it. If you just want the deadlift girl by itself you can find her at this link.

If you are interested in both the squat girl and the deadlift girl you can buy them in a bundle together that is slightly discounted. You can find the bundle here.

If you have already bought the squat girl from me I have a special code for you to use to purchase the deadlift girl. Message me and I will pass that onto you.

I really hope you enjoy the newest pattern in my collection.

Happy Stitching 
Caitlin

Monday, 2 March 2020

Craft Every Day week 9

Uni has started back so time has flown away! I have been stitching, but not knitting this week. Too hot and haven't quite been in the mood. I posted last week about my promise to publish 7 new patterns by the 21st of March :D well I have been working towards that with a few test stitches happening so I can actually make it happen! 

 Can you guess what pattern this thread is for?


 Did you guess the pattern right? I have to make a few changes to the pattern itself I found a couple of issues when I was stitching this up (which is why I test stitch these kinds of patterns) but overall I am sooo excited about this one. I will be doing a big launch with this pattern and a few others all at once when I have them ready. Maybe even on the 21st?


I did get a bit of stitching done on the peppermint purple SAL I'm not focusing on this one much at the moment because I'm focusing on my patterns but I still love picking it up and doing a little bit more in between other projects. But I'm not behind with this SAL. I think it is the first ever SAL that I have not fallen behind on... partially because it's such a small weekly commitment that it is easy just to work on.


Happy Stitching :D I hope you enjoy!
Caitlin

Thursday, 27 February 2020

On Patterns New and Old

I have a confession to make... I am hopeless at making sure I get these patterns out in a timely manner. I get so excited when I first draw up the pictures and then I digitise the drawings fairly quickly. That process goes generally quickly and then I pull them over into my cross stitch program. At this point it will go back and forth for a while and I will question my sanity multiple times! I will often have a pattern done fairly quickly though and then it just sits there.

And sits, and sits, and sits.... for me to remember that I actually got to this stage with a pattern and hey I really should release it because it's doing noone any good just sitting there. But then I start to question myself. Is it really something that people want? Will they actually like it... and it continues to sit there for longer than it should.

So I started combing through my pattern drive on Monday, and let's just say that this month is going to be a really productive month!


See that little girl at the top of the panel of Around the World characters? Yeah that one... well that pattern was created by me about 6 years ago. I don't know why I didn't release it. I don't know what was going through my head at the time. I don't know if I always intended to and just forgot??



And what about this cutie? I designed this seal as part of the Circus Collection below. (oh you haven't seen that collection before this either)

 This collection was done about 4 months ago when I got inspired by something. I completed it and everything but never managed to do any more with it.


Aren't seals with circus hats cute? 

I've also taken the time to reevaluate where I was at with the deadlift girl and found that I actually loved how it was sitting and I finalised it up and I'm stitching up a prototype! 


 *sigh*


Here is the current list though missing deadlift girl in this photo (now added to my list). And while a couple of these will need some mild tweaking with colours they actually are ready to release.  So please hold me to it but by the end of two weeks you should be seeing a few more new patterns from me.
-The Owl Tic Tac Toe is taking longer not because of the pattern itself but because of the instructions I'm writing for finishing it. 

So here is my promise to you guys (that I NEED you to hold me to!) By the end of Saturday the 14th of March I will have released 7 new patterns. I think that is perfectly reasonable and with a bit of fiddling 3 are already uploaded as drafts waiting for a couple more photos. 

Can you give me the encouragement I need? 

Happy Stitching, 
Caitlin

Monday, 24 February 2020

Craft Every Day week 6&7&8

It's been a bit of crazy 3 weeks and with going back to university I have kinda been avoiding my computer a little bit and have been delayed in posting this update. I go back tonight so I figured I had better get this update up ASAP!

I have been really good though I did have a couple of days off between James feeling sick and then I got sick and honestly just enjoying reading instead of anything else I enjoyed a couple of days without putting pressure on myself. But I came back out of that more energised and feeling better about creating. It wasn't that I didn't want to create I just think being sick meant I was worn down and just needed to not do at all. BUT the thing I find really interesting is although I wasn't creating I turned to books instead of my phone and I didn't just zone out into the TV which is kinda one of the things I'm trying to encourage in myself with this challenge so I count it as a win.

I'm just going to sum up my projects over the last 3 weeks as there are a lot of repeat photos of projects and some thoughts on new projects.


It's been three weeks with the peppermint purple SAL and I've made some great progress! I'm loving how it's turning out!




My shawl is coming along nicely and I am constantly drawn to it at the moment. Depending on timing I think it will only be a couple more weeks and I will get this one done. I think I have only another repeat or two of the pattern before I run out of yarn anyway!



You can see my book obsession coming out in this post... I've read this one Georgette Heyer book These Old Shades many times over the years and I still love it. Then I moved on to Stephanie Laurens, it appears I was in the mood for a lot of historical romance styles.



Each repeat of the pattern is 12 rows but each row is longer than the one before because of an increase on one end.


I'm working on the game board for my tic tac toe game and if I can get the stitching done ASAP I hope to have the pattern out in the next week. But as I mentioned earlier University goes back tonight so we shall see how I go with that one!

 Also got a few of my old patterns out to show off when I went to a cross stitch meeting over the weekend and realised that I had never released the norwegian girl. So I'm going to have to do some work and get this one ready to release. Hopefully *fingers crossed* in the next couple of days.

I also had a mild request for more jungle animals /faeries in this style of character.... so I may have to fiddle a little bit and make that happen. Again time and mood pending!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

p.s. I intend to make these posts weekly again but please understand that uni gets kinda crazy. If you do want to see more regular posts you can follow me over on instagram as @naughtscrossstitches.



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