Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Calm Waters in Progress


This is pretty much all I've been working on at the moment, my stitching time has been pretty limited (sad I know). But I'm making pretty good progress, I'm close to half way now! For those of you who are new, this is John Clayton's Calm Waters. I'm trying to finish it before fiance and I get married on December 29th

 
I've been busy clearing out my room at my parents. They've decided to turn it into a guest room. It's probably about time considering I moved out three years ago!! It's been both fun and sad going through everything and deciding what gets thrown out, what goes into the attic and what moves on with me into married life. I found this wee stitched piece today – I was so happy to find it! I must have stitched it about 7-8 years ago and it was originally a fridge magnet. The magnet had broken and I thought mum had thrown it out, it was nice to find that I must have squirreled it away! 

 
It was the only piece of my stitching I didn't have a photo of, until now! I also found a pretty stitched bookmark of acorns and oak leaves. I didn't stitch it myself and I don't even remember receiving it. I think my grandmother must have done it and given it to me at some stage – cross stitch wasn't really her thing, but she did some occasionally.

Happy Stitching everyone

Sarah

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Just a couple of Ornies


Told you I was going to try do some finishing in the weekend! I made up my Christmas ornament for myself and fiance and did another small piece as an ornie while I was at it. They are finished very simply, pillow style, but it's nice to see the progression in my finishing. I can definitely ladder stitch the openings closed far far better than I could have a year ago.

So here is the first ornie, pattern was a freebie from Gazette94. It was stitched using the recommended DMC on 28ct Antique White evenweave. The backing fabric is the one that you can see in the photo, I think the colours go so well, don't you? The ribbon for hanging isn't quite in the right place, because I positioned it using the snowman's head, forgetting that his head wasn't on centre! Oops!


Here's the second one. It was a freebie as well and I have the link to the pattern somewhere. . .just not sure where. I think it's a pattern I'll stitch again though, so I'll have to find it sometime. This one was stitched on 14ct oatmeal aida using DMC thread. It's backed with the fabric in the photo. For this one I got the ribbon in the right place!


The fabric for the first one was an agreed upon exception to my not-spending-money-on-craft-til-after-the-wedding rule. I had a coupon for the store it was from though, it came out much cheaper than I thought it would - so the fabric for the second one was a wee finishing uni celebratory splurge. It was only $3, so I think that's ok!! 

I will hand in my last university assignment today! I finished it yesterday. Haven't had any real celebrations yet, although two friends came over last night to say goodbye to me and brought chocolate things and a nice bottle of wine. Today I went out with some other friends for Yum Cha (sort of like Dim Sum), which was fun too. I tried chicken feet! It was weird, but pretty good. What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten? 

Happy Stitching everyone,

Sarah

Saturday, October 15, 2011

An update on where I'm heading (personal post)


Apologies for what is going to be a pictureless post! It's also going to be a whats-going-on-in-my-life type post (all good, I promise), so if you're not into that sort of thing then turn off now! This is really just an explanation of why things might be a little bit quiet around here for the next couple of months, and an update for those of you who have been requesting one.

Thursday was my last day of classes. I should hand in my last assignment on Tuesday, at which time I will officially be finished my degree! I don't graduate until next April because our University is weird like that, but I'm finished. So next weekend I am moving out of my flat, my stuff is being moved into mum and dad's back in my hometown, as am I for a couple of weeks. I fly to the UK at the start of November via 15 hours in Singapore Airport. I get to spend a week and a half with my fiance's family in Wales before journeying to France to rejoin the lovely fiance (on the 16th of November I will be in three major cities in three different countries on the same day, isn't that cool!). I will be living in small town France from Mid-November until mid-December, when fiance and I go back to the United Kingdom to meet up with both his family and mine for Christmas and . . . . drumroll please. . . our wedding. We will be getting married in a small civil ceremony in South Wales on the 29th of December. We'll be getting married again next August in a more traditional religious ceremony here in New Zealand, but the small ceremony first makes travelling together easier and means our European family and friends can celebrate with us without having to fly all the way out to NZ!

After the wedding, husband and I will be back to France until late February-early March, when all gets busy again as we move back to New Zealand. We will hopefully be moving to the small port city of Timaru, which is two hours drive South of where I live now and an hour South of my hometown. It seems like the perfect place for us to properly begin our life together.

So I'm sorry if it becomes quiet around here (it's been quiet already I know, end of degree and all that) what with my travelling and happenings! I'm already planning what crafty stuff I can take with me. It will probably be mostly stitching – easy to transport. That being said, does anyone know if you can take crochet hooks on planes in your carry on? I know embroidery and knitting needles are no-nos, but crochet hooks aren't pointy or sharp. If you can, can anyone recommend me a simple-ish pattern for something easily transportable (maybe a scarf?) that doesn't take a lot of yarn. It would be awesome to be able to crochet my way through all the long haul flights.

That's all for now, normal programming will resume shortly as I hope to get some stitchy finishing done this afternoon.

Sarah

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tidying up the place


So this week I suddenly got incredibly frustrated by having all my DMC threads loose in a snaplock bag. I've never had that many before, but over the last year or so the number has been steadily increasing. Which means they get tangled. Ugh. 

 
The solution? Bobbins. Every self-respecting stitcher uses them (apart from me up until now, obviously). You can buy them pretty cheaply from craft stores, but considering all they really are is a tab of cardboard I figured I could make my own. I went pattern hunting online because I didn't trust myself to draw the right shape freehand. And as it happens I found these cuties! Which immediately got pinned to my Pinterest before I gathered supplies.

 
Doesn't that look so much better? All it took was an hour or so of cutting and pasting. Anyone else would probably do it faster, but unfortunately for me a comment my kindergarten teacher wrote in my report when I was 3 still holds true: “Sarah struggles to master scissors.” Still, it was an easy project with supplies I had at home and I feel all organised and fuzzy now :) Just need to find a couple of old keychains so I can get them out of the snaplock bag.

In other news I forgot to tell you that my JCS Christmas edition arrived! I'm finding the recipes as tempting as the stitching, but here is my must stitch list: 


  • Noel Stamp Ornament, Jeanette Douglas Designs
  • Yuletide, Plum Street Samplers
  • Twinkle, Courtney Collection (want to stitch right now!)
  • Peace, Keepsake Stitches
  • Merry Christmas, Country Cottage Needleworks

Though I'm also loving a lot of other designs in there! To much choice! 

I'm liking this post up to:




That's all for now, 

Sarah

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A small stitchy finish


Just a small finish to show you today, the Christmas ornament that will hopefully start a tradition for myself and Ben's married life together. I still have to make it up, but will get onto that soon. I want to have it all finished quickly, because I won't really have access to a sewing machine from the start of November. 

 Bonhomme De Neige 2011, by Gazette94, free pattern found here (website in French).
Stitched on 28ct Zweigart Antique White, using recommended DMC threads.

Ben and I decided this would be an exception to my not-spending-money-on-crafts escapade, so that I could buy a few thread colours I didn't have. But it was still pretty thrifty because the evenweave was from my stash, as were just under half the threads. The pattern was a freebie.

Just want to say hi to all my new followers – I can't believe I'm up to 45! When I hit 50 I might have to think about putting together a small giveaway to say thank you. If you're new here and not up on all the exciting happenings, I finish university for good in a week and a half! A couple of weeks after that I'm heading to France to rejoin my wonderful fiance Ben. We're getting married in the UK in December. Look out for a fuller update soon as Kiwi Gets Crafty goes global!

That's all for now,

Sarah

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Free Cross Stitch Patterns


As an avid stitcher on a budget I know that there are a wealth of good quality free patterns on the net. My bookmarks tab is crammed full of them! But I often forget where I saw particular ones, get confused over the languages (so many great free patterns on French websites!) or have numerous other hickups. As an attempt to solve my problems I've started collating free charts via Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

For those of you that don't know Pinterest is basically like a visual favourites/bookmarks collation site. You 'pin' photos from websites to a 'board' to keep track of where everything is! I'm really enjoying using it and I'm hoping that some of you other stitchers might find my free pattern board useful too! You can find it at http://pinterest.com/kiwigetscrafty/freebie-cross-stitch-patterns/. I've tried to include website details, including language, with each pin. 

 Freebies by Marie-Thérèse Saint-Aubin via

Freebies from The Workbasket via

If you're on pinterest you can support my endeavour by following my board, if not then it's public access so you can see it and use it anyway (isn't that handy)! Now all of you stitchers out there need to spread the word, let me know if I've missed out any great patterns and tell me where to find them so I can pin them too! Hopefully I can make my board into a great resource for us all.

That's all for now and happy stitching,

Sarah