Thursday, 29 January 2009

Bits and Bobs!

I haven't got much to show for the week so far. I have been in a strange stitching mood and have only tackled little bits and pieces!! I have stuck to my rota but haven't any update photos yet.
1 - LK Housework - I have started and I stitched a few words so far.
2 - Dusky Dreams - I stitched some on Monday night - but have a load of french knots coming up!! Otherwise this is close to being finished!
3 - Warwickshire Map - I have started the Crest but it is in just red/yellow and white and very boring.... but I will persist!!
What I have had the urge to stitch is little magazine cover kits that maybe I have started a long while ago and then put away. Here is an example of 2 I have completed and can add to my list!! The first is a picture of some cute bunnies with their Easter Egg!! and the second is a very pretty little pattern to make a pin cushion with, although I may make it into a scissor fob!!

I also found an old Tinkerbell cover kit that I had used the chart to stitch the design onto some waste canvas to make Becky a t-shirt when she was about 8 years old!! So the aida was still in the kit.... so I started that!!
Last night I worked on my SAL, but at home not at stitch club as Stuart was out. I did ok but I was really tired, so could have done more - never mind.
Today my friend Julie at work treated me to lunch out.... we had a good old roast dinner, turkey, beef, roast pototoes and veg etc.... then followed with a lovely chocolate cake and chocolate sauce. It was lovely but I am so stuffed and tired now I can see there being little sewing done again tonight!!
Anyway I think I'll go and make me a cup of tea and see if I can manage some sewing!!!
Ginnie x

Monday, 26 January 2009

Henry and Jane

I found it very hard to put Henry away last night.... but I want to stick to my rota. I have managed to work quite a lot on Jane, she now has facial features, 2 arms, a hat and the top of her dress!! Anne Boleyn stands next to her and I will work on her next! I just love it!!
I spent some of yesterday finishing off Laura's L..... I just used some gold coloured felt to back it on and used gold ribbon to hang it up by. She has it in her room hung up by her TV.
My mom and dad have bought my birthday present today, even though it's not for another month!! I really want a little light weight sewing machine so I can do little bits and pieces at home instead of having to go over to moms and got my old heavy one out! They saw one in a shop today and thought it was just right.... so they bought it now..... sadly I have to wait until 28th Feb!!!! But it will be worth the wait!
Last year I signed up to stitch an ornament for Donna at I told Donna I would work on it in 2009 and I have stuck with my plan!! There is a choice of designs for your ornament and I chose the Blackwork one (or should I say pinkwork!!)

I have more stitching to do first, then adding beads, then finishing into an ornament. I will post a picture again when I have finished.

My rota this week includes - Dusky Dreams, Warwickshire Map and my new start from my Christmas stash - Lizzie Kate's "Housework". I hope to get a bit of each done and plan to do the crest of arms on the Map - I must finish this one soon!!!!!!
Hope you all have a good week......
Ginnie x

Friday, 23 January 2009

Henry meets wife No. 3!!

I'm afraid Henry gave me a bit of trouble on Tuesday... well more precisely his wife Jane! I stitched some of the top of her dress on Monday night, then her neck and face, but discovered on Tuesday that I had stitched it one stitch too many along the front!!! So Tuesday's first job was to unpick the whole blooming lot!!!
Anyway since then all has gone well, and Henry can finally have a chat with wife number 3 (well he could if she had a mouth yet!!) I love the shades of blue and gold in her dress! I have also completed all the red on the left side of Henry's coat! I intend to continue with her head and dress over the weekend so you may see more of her on Sunday!

Work has still been quiet, no official word on the paycut yet... just lots of discussion. The boss is back in the office the beginning of February, so may have more answers then.
I have also finished another card for my friend Aly. I can't show it yet though as she sometimes reads my blog.... it is very cute though!! My list of finished projects looks good... but don't be fooled, all but one are cards...small and quick!! I have made many cards over the last couple of years so it is nice to finally count how many I do!! Just started a daffodil one now!! I sell some on Ebay but don't make a lot of money out of it.... do it purely for pleasure. I have now added a link to My Ebay on the left sidebar, just incase anyone out there fancies a look.... or a bid!!!!
Infact as I love making cards so much......if you are one of my blogging friends and would like a cross stitched birthday card off me..... email me direct (see my profile for address) with your birthday date and address and I'll try to make a special one just for you!!! (Shellie - yours is already on the way!!!)
Right back to Henry....... Hope you all have a super weekend.
Ginnie x

Monday, 19 January 2009

Hold tight - Here's Johnny D

Thought I'd better warn all the Johnny Depp fans out there - I am revealing my progress on him!!! Oh he is looking good!!! Just the bandana/hat part to finish and some back stitch to add extra definition! I really like the way the sepia tones have come together, I still have the David Tennant one to stitch in my stash.... which I want to do sometime but not just yet!!
Next is my D for Dancer - Progess is all the parts above the deer and dolphin line. I am still loving the way this is going but sometimes it is hard work trying to look at the chart, then turn the page to look at the way to stitch that stitch, then look at the stitching!! I stitched all the duck then had to unpick him when I realised he was one stitch too low!!!!grrrrrrr.... The picture doesn't really show the Drawn Thread bit I had to do (above the duck!) this was scary as I have never done this before, it just felt so wrong getting my scissors and cutting threads on my fabric - there is no turning back once you make that first cut!!

I reckon I can finish this in another 2 turns of my rota, the last tricky bit will be the drawn thread parts all around the outside edge...... but I've done it once now!!!

Work has been rubbish today, we have been getting less and less work in and now the boss reckons to keep us all in a job we will all have to accept a 20% pay cut. So everyone was very fed up today.... although the one lad spoke to the boss and he said I wasn't included in it as I am part time and the lowest earner?? But until I hear that from the boss himself (he is working overseas until the end of Jan) I have to assume I am in the same boat. Only good thing is losing 20% is better than losing 100% but still it is hard to think where to cut back!! I do hope things improve soon, so many people seem to be in the same situation!

I have a meeting tonight at the girl's school then I will be working on Henry, looking forward to picking him up again. Good job I have got my cross stitch to cheer me up and keep me sane!!

Ginnie x

Sunday, 18 January 2009

How I make my cards!

I have just been making some more of my cross stitch cards this afternoon and suddenly remembered I promised to show you a step by step guide on how I make them. The one I am going to show is a basic simple technique, I do sometimes vary it but I couldn't possibly show every variation I have ever made!! So here goes -
1. First I fray the edges of my stitching, normally I fray just one of two rows. I then like to back my stitching on some pretty backing paper (used in Scrapbooking) as I tend to use just plain white or cream cards. I found a nice piece of backing paper that was dark red with the words I Love you written all over it.

2. I chose a blank cream card that measured 6 x 4 inches, I used to use aperture cards and mount the stitching inside but I was always having trouble keeping it fixed together..... so now I use just plain, blank cards. I then cut a piece of white card the same size as the stitching to mount the stitched piece onto, then cut the backing paper just a bit smaller than the card blank.
3. I use double sided sticky tape to stick the stitched piece to the card, then I use a glue stick to stick the backing paper to the card. Finally with the glue stick still I add the mounted stitching to the card aswell.
4. I then add whatever embellishments or peel off stickers would suit the card. Sometimes I leave it blank here as the person receiving it has the option of framing it if they want. But this one is for Stuart for Valentine's day so I added silver peel off's that say 'To my dear Husband'. Sadly they aren't as clear as I would have liked as the backing paper is quite dark, but I am happy with the overall finish. I sometimes add ribbon, bows, punched shapes, glitter etc etc.

I finished another Valentine stitching in the week in the same style as Stuart's. I have mounted that today. This time I have used a bigger white card and added a piece of white ribbon through the centre of the card on top of the backing paper. The mounted stitching is then raised above this and stuck with foam pads. I think I'll try this one on Ebay.
As to my non stitching life.... on Friday it was Stuart's Uncle's funeral, it went as well as can be expected and at least the weather remained dry and sunny although cold. Yesterday we had a nice afternoon out at our friend's Sarah and Neil. They live in a lovely part of Warwickshire called Shipston on Stour and it is always a nice drive there through the country side and some quaint little villages. We had a lovely lunch and good natter!!
I have taken my updated photos of Johnny Depp and D for Dancer (never touched the Ballerina one!) but will post pictures of those on my next blog !! I am very pleased with both. Tonight I will continue with some cards before getting Henry back out again tomorrow!
Ginnie x

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Family Tree Progress

As promised here is my progress on my Family Tree from last week. The border on the bottom left is almost complete, the grass to the left of the house is complete, just some back stitch on the children still to do. I have completed the writing for Becky but need to add the inside border and the house is nearly complete.
A close up of the house -
I will continue on the bottom part still when it is on my rota next time, but then I am going to roll up the bottom and do some of the top. I need to fill in 8 more boxes of names with all the great grand parents on.
I also have a confession to make..... I have started another quite large project! I couldn't resist once I had made up my mind to do it. It was after my mom saw the framing she said "you'll have to do us a nice picture again and frame it too!" So I thought about what they might like and looked around for a traditional sort of picture. Looking back through the Cross Stitcher magazine that had the placecard chart in I saw a lovely oldie worldie country scene. It is designed by Kevin Walsh of DMC and there are several of his range for sale in the shops, but I just thought this was so suitable. It is called Country Idyll and it is stitched using DMC thread on 16 count white aida. Here is the picture from the magazine.

I did try to restrain myself not to start it yet as I have so many WIPs, but it kept calling me....... I thought well I bet I have no 16 ct white aida in stock so I can't start it yet.... but guess what I had just the right sized piece. (I took this as a sign!!) Then when I saw the stitching time said 55 hours (!! gulp!!) I just knew I had to start it and aim to get it done by Christmas!! So it will slot into my Week 2 of my rota, I started a little bit yesterday but will then leave it until its own time slot comes around again!! Oh I am weak!!!!

First night back at Stitch club went well and I stuck with my SAL work! On my next post I will show the "How I make my cards" tutorial.

Until next time....

Ginnie x

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Framing success

I am so happy with my attempt at framing.... I keep looking at it and!! (Sad or what!) I took my time with it but in the end it didn't really take that long and I reckon it cost at most £5 compared to the £20 my local framer would probably charge. I can't take the credit for the technique - Cross Stitcher magazine gave tips!! So here is how I did it...........

1) Cut your backing board, I used Foam Mount I had bought from the craft shop. I cut it just a bit smaller than the opening of the frame as I knew the material would pad it out.

2) Using lots of pins, pin around the edge to hold the stitching in position. (sorry no photos yet got too carried away to remember to take a photo!!)

3) I intended to use just double sided tape to secure the back but the one vertical side had very little overlap (me being skimpy with the aida), so I actually laced the vertical sides together with normal sewing cotton.

4) I did use double sided tape on the top and bottom sides though and then I stuck masking tape around all of the flaps to secure it even more. -

5) The front then looks like this -

6) Now position the pre cut picture mount, this was 5 x 7 inches and was a bit of a tight squeeze as the 'n' in Thornton had taken up more space than I had hoped, so the mount actually covers 2 rows of stitches on the left. To keep the mount in place I also used some double sided tape on the back. -

7) Finally place in your frame. Because the Foam board was very thick I was unable to then put the original backing on that had included a clip for hanging. I used the little metal clips to secure the board and then used masking tape to seal the edges. So here it is complete -

I think it looks very professional even if I say so myself. I just need to get some small hooks and string to be able to hang it on the wall, but for now it is ok resting on my shelf!!

This really boosted my confidence and I will certainly do my own framing again. In fact I think I may do Laura's Summer Fairy myself as it has been waiting to be framed now for ages. I have plenty more foam board as I bought a pack of 5! Just getting the picture mounts proves more tricky but of course you don't have to have a mount.

I worked on some of D for Dancer last night, I thought I had done really well until I reaslied the duck I had just finished was 1 stitch too low..... so he had to be ripped out... start again tonight!! I'll post my Family Tree update on my next update.

Happy stitching everyone.

Ginnie x

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Am I jinxed??

For all of you who want to be cheered up skip the first paragraph!!! My week has not improved.... On Wednesday I had forgot to mention that my parent's little dog - Lucy (she was a 7 year old Yorkshire Terrier) had been very unwell and was admitted to the vets for monitoring. On Thursday she was still unwell so we were all a bit worried. To top it all I was unwell on Thursday night with a nasty upset tummy!! and subsequently missed work on Friday and stayed in bed. Friday afternoon the vet phoned my parents to say she had suffered complete kidney failure and the kindest thing would be to put her to sleep!!! So I spent the afternoon in tears as did my mom and dad. Saturday I felt better but so tired I have slept so much since Thursday!! My only mishaps that day was to burn my thumb on the grill and trip up the stairs and hurt my wrist....... So what does today hold?? So far so good. Anyone with any good luck charms please send them my way......
Now for more positive stuff - I do seem to have stitched a fair amount still considering I have also been asleep a lot!! Firstly here is Somebunny - complete with a head...... so cute. I won't finish him into his card yet until the baby is born.

I also completed a little Valentine card for Stuart yesterday afternoon..... it was very quick and simple and the design came from the latest Cross Stitch Card Shop magazine..... I may even stitch another as there were 8 similar designs..... Gill asked if I could give a tutorial on how I make my cards.... good idea I will use this Valentine one and post a tutorial later in the week..... It's not that hard but it would be nice for you to see how I do it and what I use.

Next is "I Do" off this weeks rota, I doubt I'll do anymore today so here is the update...... I am still waiting to double check their initials and I think the date is the 7th March, but I won't stitch it until I know for sure!! I love doing the letters etc but have got bored with the green leaves all around it!! I think they will like it.

Lastly I just wanted to show you the fab material I bought off Ebay to complete Becky's Pirate stitching. She has decided she would prefer it made into a little tuck cushion as she has no wall space (too many posters and pictures up!!) So that's what I'll do, the Skull on the material is just right to match the skull on the stitching. I will have to use the sewing machine for this so will probably make it up next Sunday over at mom and dads.

This afternoon I am going to try something quite new for me..... I am going to frame and mount my "Lest We Forget" all by myself!!!! I went shopping yesterday and bought some back board and a pre cut mount and a frame..... I have my pins, double sided tape and masking tape at the ready..... tune in later in the week to see if it works.... I do hope so.

I will update you on my Family Tree on my next post as I still want to work on it tonight, if I can stay awake..... black coffee - that may help!

Thanks for listening and for your supportive comments, they are much appreciated....

Ginnie x

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Little bits.

I actually wrote this post last night... but blogger wouldn't load my pictures so here it this morning.......... Since writing this I have now finished Somebunny!!
Just a couple of small pictures to show today. Firstly here is the little bear I stitched at the weekend to make into a Christening card, cute and simple.

Tonight was supposed to be my first night back at stitch club, but mom is unwell she has this flu/cold thing that the girls have had, so we decided not to go afterall. I did stitch on my Lilliput Lane though for my 2009 SAL, which I was proud of myself for doing.

Otherwise this week I have stuck to my rota and worked on Family Tree and I Do. It was nice to pick up Family Tree again I had forgotten how much I loved working on it, there is a house at the bottom of the tree that I would like to get complete by Sunday. I Do is also coming along well, I need to get in touch with our friends though to check what both of their full names are as I have to stitch their initials at the bottom.
Here is my Somebunny that I am stitching for Helen's baby card - sorry no head yet just a bottom!!! Should get this done by the weekend too.

Had some bad news when I got in from work tonight, Stuart's Uncle Martin died last week, apparently he had been ill with cancer for over a year and told no one but his 2 sons, he was only 64. Stuart was close to him and his aunt when he was younger but since his aunt died about 10 years ago we have seen little of them. Stuart was naturally very upset and shocked that it taken them a week to tell us and that Uncle Martin hadn't told anyone about his illness. So good start to 2009 we now have a funeral to go to next week. On a more positive note my Auntie has finished her radiotherapy and seems to be doing very well, she also loved her book mark I stitched her for Christmas, so glad!

So I'm going back to Somebunny now, I think he deserves a head, don't you!

Ginnie x

Sunday, 4 January 2009

New 2009 Rota.

Here is my new rota for January 2009. I have enjoyed just stitching whatever I want over Christmas but haven't touched any of my larger projects so I decided to start a Rota again but I am listing at least 2 projects each week and as always I will continue with my cards throughout. So here it is:
  1. Family Tree / I Do (5 - 12 Jan)
  2. D for Dancer / Johnny Depp / Ballerina (12 - 18 Jan)
  3. Henry VIII / I Do (19 - 25 Jan)
  4. Dusky Dreams / Warwickshire Map / Housework (Lizzie Kate - new start) (26 - 2 Feb)

I have gone back to my original plans of stitching the SomeBunny card for Helen's baby mainly because I have put the Bootees card somewhere safe..... and can't find where! Other cards I will work on include a Valentine for Stuart, a couple of friend's birthday cards and any others as extras to sell on Ebay as usual. Then I will work on my SAL - Lilliput Lane on Wednesday nights.

So that should keep me busy!!

No new photos tonight as I haven't taken any! What I did think I would show you is a great Maia Kit I have just found and that is now on the bottom of my wishlist. It is called "Rejoice" and I love it..... I would do it for Becky as they look like dancers to me..... I have my birthday coming up at the end of Feb.... maybe I could drop a few hints to my family??!!

It has been really cold here in the UK, not getting above freezing in the day.... so sitting and stitching at home with my new lamp has been great! Sadly it is back to the grind stone tomorrow! I just hope it isn't too cold at work as no one has been there over Christmas, I'll wear my warmest jumper just in case. Stuart is back at school tomorrow too but the girl's don't return until Tuesday.

I have completed a small finish today that I will add to my list (will post photo on next update) it is for a small Christening card with a cute bear on it ..... no real reason for stitching it just thought it was cute, it was from the new booklet that came with the new World of Cross Stitching magazine.

As it is back to work my stitching pace will slow down again, never mind, will post again later in the week. Hope everyone has a good week.

Ginnie x

Friday, 2 January 2009

First finish of 2009

I am off to a good start for the year, last night I completed Pirate's Creed. I am very pleased with it and stitched it very quickly but did get fed up of all the black writing in the end. Need to get some pirate fabric now to back it etc....
Pirates' Creed
Sue Hillis Designs
Stitched on 28ct evenweave with DMC threads.
I have made a new list on my side bar to detail all my finishes in 2009 because I have never really stopped and counted all that I do, especially with all my cards etc, so this is number 1!!
Now for all you 'Johnny Depp' fans - here is an update on him........... looking good!!!
Still a lot to do though - his hair and top of head, it gets a bit slow going at times as I get bored with the similar colours, but I'll get there.
Sorry on my last post with my Vintage Heart on I forgot to put where the design was from. It was designed by Brenda Keyes and was featured in issue 208 of Cross Stitcher magazine.
I have also signed up for Gaynor's 2009 SAL, I had already decided to work on a UFO on Wednesday nights at my stitch club.... after some discussion with Shellie on MSN she encouraged me to sign up..... So I am going to work on my "Kendal Tea Shop" the Lilliput Lane kit that has been tucked away in my drawer again for ages!! Hope I can stick to it and finish this oldie!!
This morning I have been to IKEA, we are lucky to have one in Wednesbury which is about 12 miles from us. I treated myself to a standing lamp which has a spot light on and I have put it by the settee I sit on to stitch.... Oh I can see so much better. I also have been looking for a 5 x 5 inch square frame to put Stuart's 40th Birthday card in... it is a really awkward size to find .... but good old IKEA had a pack of 2 for only a couple of pounds!! So that is framed now too and standing on the little TV in our bedroom.
Here's my final WIP update, my Bent Creeks 'I Do', it is coming along nicely and I think I will go and stitch on some more of that now.

I only have 2 days left now before I return to work, I am also re starting my stitching rota on Monday so I will list that on my next post.

Have a good weekend,

Ginnie x