Thursday, 28 February 2013

Treasury Tastic: Mothers Day

Mothers day is traditionally associated with flowers and florals, probably because it always falls in the spring, when many flowers are in bloom at their best. Flowers look pretty, they smell nice, and brighten up a room without fail. Flowers don't have to be given just as a bouquet however, as the lovely Etsy Crafters I have included in this treasury prove.

'Mothers Day Florals' by yousewshould

Mothers day is traditionaly associated with Flowers, probably because it always falls in the spring. So, here's a selection of some cute, funky, bold, subtle, pretty floral gift ideas!

Mother's Day Gift T...
Quilled mother's da...
Silver Lotus Flower Dro...
Mothers Day Gift - Choc...
Purple "special mu...
Paper Flower Bouquet Pr...
Patchwork lavender bag,...
Rose Blossom Flower Soa...
Pink/Purple Flower Moth...
Real Flower Red Necklac...
MOM Tissue Box Cover Pl...
Vintage compact lip bal...
Mother's Day Person...
Ribbon embroidery, home...
Mother's Day Scrabb...
Throw Pillow Cover Rose...
Which is you're favourite? I find it so hard to choose, but I love the Quilled card by Paper daisy, it's so intricate. The pillow cover by IrenGarden is beautifully bold, and the rose blossom soap by Love Lee Soaps look too good to use! I could carry on forever, but I'll let you come up with your own ideas instead!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Stitch Tutorial: Rose stitch

One thing I find hard to do is small flowers. As I make lots of small cross stitch and embroidery pieces such as jewellery, I find it hard to stitch realistic flowers. Either they are very simple and too boring for the main work, or I struggle to create one that is detailed enough. I discovered this Rose stitch in The Encyclopedia of stitches, by Karen Hemingway, which I briefly reviewed in a previous post. It was exactly what I was looking for, and is the first new stitch I've tried from her book. The best bit? It's actually very simple to do and looks really pretty. But don't take my word for it, give it a go!

Rose Stitch can be used in many ways to add detail to many types of embroidery. Adjust the thread used depending on the fabric/ embroidery you are doing, for example if doing Crewel work use the same type of wool as you would for the rest of the embroidery. In the images below I have used 2 strands of DMC embroidery cotton on 28 count even weave.

Rose Stitch

Start with a French Knot to form the centre of the flower. You can either use the same or a different colour to the petals; I have used a yellow for the centre.

Using the coloured thread for the petals, bring the needle to the front of the work near to the french knot and make a single straight stitch, finishing with the French knot next to the centre of the straight stitch.  Now bring the needle back through about halfway along the first stitch, on the 'outside' of the straight stitch. Take the needle to the reverse of the fabric over the end of the first stitch, keeping the second stitch next to the French knot. Begin a third stitch from about halfway along the second straight stitch, and again end the stitch at an angle to create a web of stitches around the French Knot. Continue doing this to form a flower head. It will look a bit messy at first but keep going until you have reached the size flower you want.

It is also possible to replace the French knot at the centre for a seed bead, and stitch the petals around it. This gives a more obvious centre, but it does protrude slightly from the rest of the flower. Be careful that the first petal stitches go around the bead and don't slip under it to prevent it from popping out further. The idea is to surround the bead with the stitches so the centre is nestled amongst the petal stitches. I've finished off this rose with a couple of leaves, using lazy daisy (detached chain) stitch.

It sounds a bit complicated, but is actually really easy, so have a couple of practises and give it a go!

Happy Stitching!

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Project Tutorial: Embroidered Mothers Day Card
WIP: Peak District Photo Conversion
Friday Finds: Seaside
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Sheftival Music Festival


Saturday, 23 February 2013

100th Post Giveaway Celebration

Hooray! This is my 100th Blog Post! I can't believe I've written so many already, so it's definitely time to celebrate, and to thank you, my dear readers, who have kept me going and encouraged me to write even more. So I am having a giveaway, with prizes going to 3 lucky winners.

It's all very simple, all you have to do is choose your prize from the photos of my cross stitch jewellery listed below, and leave a comment with the number prize of your choice and your email address. So what are you waiting for, give it a go!
Apologies for the poor photographs, I will hopefully have a new camera soon!

The competition winners will be announced on Saturday 9th of March, and winners will be notified by email.

England Flag: Option 1

Green Spiral: Option 2
Maroon Heart: Option 3
Navy Anchor: Option 4
Gold Spiral: Option 5
Pale Pink Heart: Option 6

Cupcake: Option 7

Gold Anchor: Option 8
Pink Butterfly: Option 9
Red Ladybirds: Option 10

Red Heart: Option 11
Red Anchor: Option 12

Pink Heart: Option 13

Red Ladybug: Option 14

Red Heart: Option 15


Friday, 22 February 2013

Friday Finds: Mothers Day

Mothers Day is on the 3rd Sunday from today. I always struggle with knowing what to get for my mum. She is a 'stuff' sort of person, some people always love more jewellery, stationary, books, clothes, (insert other). This can be an advantage as that person is almost certain to like what ever you get that fits into their favourite category. Then there are the 'traditional' gifts, such as chocolates or flowers. These are all well and good, but can be a bit boring if you give them every year, so here's few gift ideas from Etsy to give you some inspiration for Mothers Days gifts.

Oakwood Soaperie is the  perfect place to start for some pampering gifts. After all, mums work hard to keep their families happy, and are always there to turn too. I love these orange blossom bath bubble bars. It's a nice change from lavender or vanilla, but still soft and fruity. Besides, what's good for mum is good for daughters too, right?

This  shabby chic photo album by Crafting to Stay Sane is simply beautiful. It has such a  luxurious vintage style that your mum will leave it on display to show it off to all her friends. It;s a gift you can make extra special by filling it with photos, and one any mum will surely appreciate.

As someone who would love to try silk ribbon embroidery, and enjoys making cross stitch jewellery, I can really appreciate the work and thought that is behind this pretty blue rose brooch. Bean Town Embroidery are extremely talented to produce this unique piece of jewellery, perfect for the fashionista female.

Quilling is yet another craft I would love to be good at. Paper Daisy Card Design have excelled at this craft, as this gorgeous floral card proves. While you're looking, take the time to check out the many other equally beautiful quilled card craft creations!

Sometimes, a simple gift is the  best one to choose, which is why this hand painted mug by Sharon Bradbrook is so perfect. It's cute, it's useful, and it's always good to remind your mum how much you love her. And no, If you have big long arms, it does not mean that you love your mum more than those of us of the shorter limbed variety. It's all about the S-T-R-E-T-C-H!

Happy Shopping!

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Cupcake Decorating
Project Tutorial: Embroidered Mothers Day Card
Friday Finds: Knitwear
Treasury-Tastic: Mothers Day
Friday Finds: Masks

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Stitch Tutorial: Cross Stitch

For some time I have been promising more tutorials, and I'm ashamed to say I simply haven't had the time. Anyway, I'm hoping this will be the start of better things and that it's the start of actually managing my tutorial challenge!

I've decided on a simple start for my first ever stitch tutorial focusing on how to stitch a cross stitch.

Cross stitch is often used in embroidery as a filling stitch. It is one of the easiest stitches, and has the advantage of either being worked as a single stitch or in rows. Some patterns also require half and quarter stitches. It is normally used on aida fabric, but can be used on evenweave or linen. Normally 2 strands of a 6 stranded embroidery cotton is used. On aida, it is normally stitched over one thread, however on finer evenweave fabrics (e.g. 28count and smaller) it is often stitched over 2 threads. Always embroider cross stitches in the same direction to create an even finish. It is advisable to use an embroidery hoop or frame to maintain an even fabric tension, although it is not essential. (I tend to prefer not to use one when stitching on aida).

Single Cross Stitch

Starting at the reverse of the fabric, bring the thread up at A and diagonally down at B. Then bring the needle through at C and back down at D to complete the stitch.

 Row of Cross Stitch

To stitch a row quickly, first stitch one half of each cross and on the return stitch the second. Create the first half of the stitch by coming up at A and down at B. Then stitch the first half of the second stitch by coming up at A1 and back down at B1. Repeat until the end of the row. On the last stitch of the row, after going down at B bring the thread to the right side of the fabric at C and down at D, to create the first cross. Then return to the right of the fabric at C1 and back down at D1, repeating until the row is completed.

Half Cross Stitch

These stitches are often used in charts to create finer detail. First stitch a half cross stitch, bring the thread from the reverse of the Aida at A and back Down at B. Then stitch a small diagonal stitch that finishes at the middle of the first stitch by coming up at C and down at D.
Quarter Cross Stitch

A quarter cross is used least commonly, normally when very fine detail is required. It involves one small diagonal stitch from on corner of the cross to the middle. Bring the thread to the right side of the fabric at the corner of the stitch at A, and return to the reverse of the fabric in the centre at B.

Enjoy practising! if you want some ideas and inspiration then head over to my Free Cross Stitch Charts or to my Free Project Tutorials.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday Finds: Bunny Rabbits

Last weekend I made the train journey back to Rugby, to stay with my sister in her brand new house. The walls are magnolia, everywhere was spotless, they were still waiting for a sofa to be delivered. But she had found time to add a couple of little cute bunny rabbits (Pippin and Orlando) to her new house.

When we were children I had a Guinea Pig Rabbit and she had a Rabbit, (well, 2 actually, as 1 died so the 2nd was a replacement; my little guinea pig was so depressed after the first one died), so it reminded me of nostalgic our childhood and day's spent busy playing with them in the garden. If you had a pet, be it a rabbit, cat, dog, cockatoo or goldfish (OK, maybe not the goldfish) you'll know what I mean. Playing with pets and cuddling them is always lovely. As such, today's theme is for all those bunny lovers!

Half Penny Bazaar have created these cute soft fleece baby blankets. They look so warm and perfect for cuddling up a newborn in. Don't worry though, it's also machine washable for when your darling baby is being a little messy pot!

This monochrome Rabbit coin purse is very striking. It's a perfect grown up way to subtly show off you're bunny love. Head over to Handmade Rasberry to check it out.

If it's a certain Peter Rabbit that tickles your fancy, then look no further than this adorable illustrated pendant by Lauras Jewellery for some vintage Beatrix Potter inspired necklaces.

Something about babies and bunnies just works well. For a special handmade baby girl congratulations card take a peek at this pretty design by Fluffy Duck. Don't worry, she has a boy bunny card too!

Kiln Fired Art have created this beautiful hand painted boxing rabbits bowl would look perfect displayed on a wooden dresser in a country kitchen. Get back to the country bumpkin inside you. If only i had a little house in the country (or space for a fancy dresser)....

Happy Shopping

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St Georges Day
Friday Finds: Caves
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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Stitch Inspiration

As part of my birthday present from my parents I was given the Encyclopaedia of Stitches, by Karen Hemingway. For the last week or so it has been my 'breakfast reading' and is opening up a world of inspiration to me.

It is divided into several section, detailing the stitches used for certain types of embroidery. It begins as you would expect, with an introduction covering general information, before detailing several embroidery stitches. each section culminates in a project to help you learn the said stitches. While I want to learn the different stitches and techniques, (it includes bead work, shashia and shadow work) I like creating my own projects. However this book is excellent for project ideas and for inspiration. The pictures are fantastic with diagrams of how to create each stitch, and a photograph of the completed one. (sorry for the lack of photos from the book, my camera is no longer working).

It is definitely a book I would recommend to someone who wants to try different types of embroidery, I'm definitely going to take away new stitches and ideas and incorporate them into new projects, and hopefully tutorials. With a new laptop coming to replace my broken home computer, I just need to get a camera and find some time, and then I'll be well away!

Happy Stitching!

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Stitch Tutorial: Rose Stitch
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Friday Finds: Science Geekery
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