Thursday, August 29, 2013

Framing some hardanger!

I started my first attempt at hardanger embroidery way back in May and actually probably finished it sometime in June. But it's taken me months to find a frame the right size for it!! In the end I had one custom made online, one of those many little get-around-to jobs I've been getting around to while I'm at home after surgery. So here's how it turned out!

The hardanger itself wasn't to trying once I'd gotten used to it. The cutwork was a bit nerve wracking at first, but once you've done the first couple of cuts and confirmed that the whole thing IS NOT going to fall to pieces on you it's quite satisfying to attack your embroidery with scissors :-P

I framed it myself, using the walnut frame I ordered online (the company had GREAT service and prices for custom frames by the way, if you're a kiwi looking for frames, let me know and I'll pass on their details). I backed the cutwork with a piece of greenish-whiteish quilting fabric, which looks far better in real life than it does in these sun glarey pictures, I promise! To make it easy on myself, I used spray adhesive to stick the fabric straight to the matboard, then laced the hardanger over it.

The Details 
Pattern: A Precious Jewel, from 'Stitch' magazine no.76 (April/May 2012)
Threads: Caron Watercolours/Wildflowers Nefertiti
Fabric: 25 ct cream Lugana
Finishing: Walnut frame

So there you go! My first attempt at hardanger, with no major mishaps. I think I'll be doing more again in future. One tip - using white thread on white fabric is probably best for beginners. I spent about two hours poking away the ends of cut evenweave so they weren't blindingly obvious against the coloured threads. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I can't walk! (also IHSW August)

Last week the problem I mentioned a few weeks back resulted in surgery. Which was . . . an interesting experience? And also means I can't currently walk. Actually that's not true, I walked to the mailbox today and considered it a major victory. Here's my nicely bandaged leg a week post-surgery

You don't want to see what's underneath that. I mean it, I saw it yesterday and I wish I could unsee it! 
Anyways, being housebound is a good excuse for picking up the needle, so I made a new start over the weekend. Coinciding nicely with IHSW August 

This is the beginning of John Clayton's Tuscany. I haven't stitched on aida in ages, so it's been fun getting used to it again! When it's finished it should look something like this . . . 

I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of October, which will be just in time to enter it in the 'unframed' class at the local show, which I got the entry forms for last week. 

Hope all you IHSW ladies had a productive, hermity weekend (but not as hermity as mine!) 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cooking: Japanese Rice Balls

I love onigiri (japanese rice balls). When I was a uni student they were my favourite 'lunch on the go' treat. We had a weekend away last weekend in Queenstown, a gorgeous winter hub of activities, and while we were there I found a great sushi restaurant. It reminded me how much I love onigiri and inspired me to try them at home!

It was surprisingly easy! Even better, apart from sushi vinegar I already had all the ingredients at home. I used tuna, spring onion and avocado with a little mayo for the filling. Ideally I'd use capsicum/pepper as well, but they're not in season at the moment.

I used Just Hungry's great tutorial for easy shaping. I think they turned out pretty perfectly shaped, considering it was my first try! Next time I might have to try the traditional method and use my hands rather than plastic wrap.

Yum! They've been a great grab-and-go lunch this week.