Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Creative Space: Bear Bodies

At the moment my crafty life is dominated by bits of bears. . . . 

It may not look it but here you have heads, arms, bodies and legs all ready to be sewn together. I'm making multiple bears so working assembly line style. The wool is medium quality 100% acrylic that I got for next to nothing from a local discount chain. I think I'll be able to get two bears to a ball so total cost with eyes, embroidered features and stuffing will be less than $3 a bear.

They'll be jetting off to Uganda with a friend soon to leave on a short-term mission. I wish I could make dozens but my knitting isn't very fast yet. . . I'll probably end up with a relatively small number, but everything helps.

You can find more lovely creative people over at Kootoyoo

That's all for now,


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pizza and Crochet

Not much happening over here. . .  but what is happening is pretty cool, if I do say so myself. 

Homemade meatlovers pizza. And I mean completely homemade, the dough and everything. My university magazine has introduced a new cooking column and this week's contribution was a no yeast pizza dough. I thought I'd give it a go. . . so worth it, it was fantastic. You can find it here

In other news. . . I invested in some crochet hooks. Not these ones, because I couldn't get a decent photo of my ones, but you get the idea.

 Photo Credit Here

It's the first step towards learning to crochet. Who knows when the next step will be, I've found some videos online but right now my mind is taken up with some other wool-type things. More about that later. 

That's all for now,


Sunday, April 24, 2011

From the Archives

I started cross stitching long before I started blogging and have always taken photos of my work to record it. I think I have a photo of every cross stitch I've ever done bar two, though a lot of the photos were taken retrospectively. Anyways I thought I'd just share some of my favourites from before I was blogging today!

 "I Love the Holidays" by Patricia Maloney for New Berlin Co.
Stitched with aida and threads provided in kit. Finished as a bookmark with trims in kit.
Completed 2009.

 "Just Married" by Bucilla (with own alterations).
Stitched with aida and thread provided in kit, plus DMC 310.
Professionally framed as a Wedding Sampler for Ben and Lydia Ford.
Completed 2009.

"Butterflies and Buddleia" by Textile Heritage of Scotland.
Stitched with aida and thread provided in kit. Finished with materials in kit.
Birthday gift for a friend. Completed April 2010.

"Cragside Farm" by Derwentwater Designs.
Stitched with aida and thread provided in kit.
Gifted to a very special lady! Completed November 2009.

That last one is both the most complex stitch I've ever done and by far my favourite out of all I've completed. If you've never discovered Derwentwater Designs before, some of their stitches are stunningly beautiful. 
And now something just for fun. This was the first cross stitch I ever did way back in the day!! Believe it or not I still have the pattern, though I'm not sure I'll ever use it again :-P

 "House" by Little Folks for Easy Street.
Stitched with aida and thread provided in kit.
Completed approx 1999. 

I admit I'm glad my skills have progressed as I've got older! This is by no means the only stitches I've done, but it's a nice selection of my recent-ish favourites. I hope you've enjoyed it! 

As a stitchy aside I recently stumbled upon Bekca's blog. You should check it out! I love connecting with crafters my own age, stitchers in particular. There are so few of us out there in blogland. 

That's all for now,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm being featured!

Today I'll be answering some questions over at Jill's wonderful blog Creating My Way to Success

How exciting! So pop over and see me there. If you've come over from Jill's then welcome!! I hope you like what you see here in my little corner of the blogsphere. If you do, I'd love for you to click that wee button on the side there and become a follower :) Or even just leave a comment and say hi

While you're here, does anyone know of some good learn to crochet videos??

That's all for now,


Cross Stitch Blues

Last night I finished another of the one colour smalls I've been fixated on lately. . . 

 "Jeune fille au M√©daillon" by Corinne Leroy Cr√©ations, Free Pattern available HERE
Stitched on 14 count "oatmeal" aida using DMC 352

I have to admit this is the worst I've felt about a cross stitch for a long time and I'm so happy it's finished! I think that's partly because I've been trying to fend off the flu and concentrating on small stitching hasn't been helping. But this one just hasn't turned out like I wanted it too and even though it isn't blue I feel pretty blue about it! I was always dubious about the border and contemplated not stitching it. I wish I had gone with my gut. . . something about the spacing just doesn't look right. Oh well. Sometimes that's just the way it turns out. This one will be stored with the others until my plans for them can come to fruition!

I think it might be time for some knitting. It's getting cold here incredibly swiftly and I keep dreaming about cozy woolen creations. Or I could teach myself how to crochet. . . like I've been telling myself I'll do for a good six months now. Does anyone know of some good online tutorials? 

Hope you're all having a good day :)

That's all for now,


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brownie Goodness

Yesterday I had a real craving for chocolate brownie. Which is a bit strange, since I'm not really a chocolate person. I've never made it before, so I had to go searching for a relatively simple recipe. .  I found one here. It was worth converting the measurements to get these . . .

Oh so easy and oooohhh so morish. I could have easily eaten the whole pan in one go. As it is this photo was taken after half of it had already gone. Mmmmmmmmmmm is really all I can say. Highly recommended.

That's all for now,


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Something New! Making Bread

The entire point of this blog is meant to be me learning new skills. Which I've been doing, but on a limited basis. But this is entirely new. I made bread. I've never made bread before, but yesterday at around 5pm I discovered a strange craving for homebaked crusty mmmmm bread. And by 5pm today my dream was realised!! So here you go. . . a pictorial tour of my breadmaking experience. . .

Stage one: All the ingredients are mixed and it's a bit of a sticky mess. Good thing the recipe said it was meant to look like a sticky mess or I would have been getting worried.

A bit of kneading later and it's a sticky ball

Two hours in the sun and I had something vaguely resembling dough! (If you've noticed my saucepan mixing bowl . . . I live in a student flat, it's called ingenuity)

Another three quarters of an hour (this recipe called for a lot of rising) and it's ready to go in the oven. And 30 minutes latter we have. . . . BREAD!

For a first attempt I was pretty happy with this one. The first slice I had when it was still hot out of the oven was heavenly. It wasn't perfect though. On the whole maybe slightly to dense, in the oven just 5 minutes to long and dusted with too much flour. But it was still a resounding success with my flatmates and there is enough left over for toast and a sandwich tomorrow. 

I can make bread. . .my life (ok, maybe just my day) is complete.

That's all for now,


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Another Small Finish

Like I said, it didn't take me long to get back to it. . . actually this one has been nearly finished for a while, it just needed the final push.

 'Black Needles,' by Ravenelle, Free Pattern available HERE (website in French).
Stitched on 14 count 'oatmeal' aida using DMC 844. 

It will be added to my growing collection of smalls of which I have a vague idea what is going to happen to them . . . . in the mean time I've started another one, which I'm loving already. 

I think my crafting brain is in overload to make up for my lack of crafting time. . . . it's buzzing away adding project after project to the list. So we'll see what happens in the next few weeks. . . at the very least a friend planning a missions trip to Uganda in a few months has asked for help toy making. . . watch this space.

That's all for now,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Irrrrkkk. . .

I have a confession to make.  . .  I haven't been particular crafty lately. Not by choice I may add! But simply due to time constraints. This is the last year of my degree and I'm taking a higher than usual workload. . . add in an earthquake and you've got an interesting situation on your hands. So for the moment, this is my creative space. . . 

My humble desk has become my university, my space of creative outlet, relaxation and everything else all rolled into one. I find it kind of funny how one side is dominated by files and textbooks and the other side by sewing machine, pincushion (with the pins in the shape of a fish due to some moment of restlessness) and Edwin. But for the moment my creativity is less stitching and the like and more. . . xxx amount of words on whether we should consider the Renaissance to be the foundation of the modern age. I love them both in their own way, but rest assured I'll find my way back to the other side of the desk soon.

That's all for now,