Thursday, January 21, 2010

little red stitches...

I am so completely immersed in the loveliness of hand stitching.

Here is the last cross-stitch that I finished from a pattern found in my new favourite book:

I also have an idea that I will stitch some lovely snowflakes and sew them into ornaments for Christmas trees. YES...I do know that Christmas only ended 3 weeks ago. If you are going to look at my blog (and I am so happy that you are!), you should know that I make Christmas things year round. I like to give hand made gifts whenever possible, and my husband and I both have a relatively large number of family members and friends that we exchange gifts with. I may also participate in a Christmas craft show again this year (which reminds me...I don't think that I ever did write a wrap-up post). I digress....wouldn't these look sweet stitched into an ornament (maybe with some ric rac tucked into the seams?)?

The pictures are all a bit dismal...and will likely be until April. What can I say? It's dark when I leave the house in the morning, dark when I get home and grey for all of the hours in between! I'm a Canadian after all...

You can't see it in these pics, but there is a pretty iridescent filament blended in with the white floss.

I'm not the only one who has been busy hand stitching. Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy is inspiring me to try stitching with waste canvas. Waste canvas allows you to have the nice even grid of aida cloth (which is the fabric used for the snowflakes shown above), but the flexibility to stitch on whatever piece of fabric passes your fancy. You just baste the waste canvas to the non-aida cloth fabric, stitch away, and then the waste canvas pulls away when you are done. All that will remain are lovely (hopefully even) stitches on the fabric. No grid looking aida cloth to mess with the aesthetic of your work. Check out the links in Alicia's post. I suspect that she explains it much better than I am.

Oh the possibilities!!! I don't actually own any waste canvas, so for now I will have to dream about the possible projects. I do however, have some lovely mushroom coloured linen. No doubt more photos of cross stitches will follow...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My next marriage...

....will be to this rug!

It is of course designed by a Danish company. I even looked up the price of it...y'know, just in case! If my calculations are correct, it translates to around $400 CDN for a 90cm rug and somewhere around $1000 CDN for 140cm (plus of course shipping costs). I didn't even look up the price for the bigger size. Our house was built in 1906. The living room is NOT large.

Don't worry...I'm not impulse buying a Danish rug...but it is fun to think about such a lovely bright item on a day that looks like this:

Grey...oh so grey!!!

Sara - thanks for bringing this bit of colourful loveliness to my attention (via this blog).

I stitched and stitched last night...I think that I should be done my next cross-stitch project by the end of the weekend to show...prepare yourselves to see some RED. It's another project from A Rainbow of Stitching...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why, oh why??

Am I just hyper-sensitive about privacy?? I know that in real life I tend to be a fairly guarded person until I really get to know someone. I'm friendly, but I'm guarded. I would love to be one of those people who is just more open, but not tooooo open - y'know the type of person I mean (the one who shares everything with the stranger sitting next to them on the bus).

This morning my work colleague is breaking up with her boyfriend. I am not close with this work colleague, I didn't even know that she had a boyfriend....but I am listening to her very calmly explain all of the problems in their relationship and why it no longer works for her. Really none of my business, but what can I do??? The irony - I work in an environment with closed door offices. Close your door people...close your door.

Some of my work colleagues didn't even know that I was a crafter until I "outed" myself by inviting a few the craft show that I participated in. They were kind enough to come...and it even helped spurred on a "stitch" group Tuesdays at lunch. I look forward to the restful break and shared stitching on Tuesdays. Good things (even GREAT things!) can come from being open...

here is a craft show project for your viewing enjoyment, because I hate to have an image free post!

Just need to find the balance between toooooo open (à la phone break up in the office) and tooooo closed (à la very private Holly, fish in the water).

Ahhh...the ever elusive balance. Where art thou?

PS - the break-up is no longer a calm conversation. YUCK. Am sorting out work to be done away from my desk for the next few minutes.

PPS - YES, I realize the irony of my musing about privacy in an open blog forum! Please note that I only have a few readers and please further note that I do not list my break-ups and details of my underwear on the blog either.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The GREATEST stitch book ever??!

Dunno...I haven't seen every stitching book ever made, but I have seen a good number of them and this is my favourite so far!

A Rainbow of STITCHES, Embroidery and Cross-stitch basics

ISBN: 978-0-8230-1478-1 (0-8230-1478-9)

I should point out that I might be biased. I LOVE hand stitching. I learned how to cross stitch when I was 7 and only stopped recently because I couldn't find any patterns that I wasn't embarrassed to make. This book takes embroidery and cross-stitch and turns them into beautiful patterns that I would love to have around my house (in fact I have already done a pattern from the book - and I just got it on Friday night!).

Here is a close up:

I'm not totally sure if I will just pop this into a little frame to have as a little surprise somewhere on the wall, or if I will build it into a cushion for the couch. I'm open to suggestions! It was so much fun to make!

I love the idea on this page of just taking the linen and wrapping it unframed around an artist canvas. I already had a similar project in mind for my living room.

The contents of the book are separated by colour (thus the RAINBOW part of the title). I adore the vibrant and fresh colours found in the book:



Be sure to take a look at the book and spend some time admiring the RED section!

My only complaint is with the book binding. The book doesn't really lay flat - a spiral binding would have been so much better, especially for cross-stitch patterns (you need to refer the pattern chart frequently!). I will likely just have to scan and print some of the patterns on loose leaf paper...but it is a bit of a hassle for an impatient crafter like me. A hassle, but not an insurmountable one for such a beautiful book!

Happy stitching!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye 2009...

Goodbye millions of woven ends...

Goodbye champagne (OK...really delicious Italian prosecco).

Goodbye 2009!