Monday, January 29, 2007

A little of this and that............

Work in the office has been hectic lately. When has it been otherwise? LOL!

So, while my hubby goes to the gym to release HIS stress, you guessed it, where else would I be but in MY stitching room! Yup! That's the best place to release MY stress! LOL!

So, what have I been up to? Not much, really. Just a little bit of this and that.....

I worked a little on my star project. I am about 50% done on the hardanger part, which I can now do quite fast, especially since I made lots changes to the specialty stitches which I am unfamilar with to those that I know I can do and know will look nice. Once the hardanger part is done, which is quite fun, actually, than comes the more difficult part - the cross stitch part because there are quite a number of fractional stitches. Doing them on evenweave should be easier, but, the counting part when it comes evenweave sometimes has its challenges. It is ever so easy to miscount! So, wish me luck!

Moving on to another project, the next one is a small one. I commited myself to doing a Stitch-A-Long (SAL) with Rose for a towel topper which BJ has been kind enough to do up a tutorial for these two amateurs....well, OK, I speak only for myself. Rose might be an expert, only she's not admitting it! *wink* ! LOL! Thanks, BJ, for the tutorial!

This piece if taken from Cross Stitcher Issue 180. It is a design by Lesley Teare, one of my favourite designers. The metal case you see featured next to the half completed stitching is a freebie Stitch Tin I got from Cross Stitcher Issue 183. I love it! I can use it for all my small projects. Very convenient to carry it around.

A pinkeep with a difference!

When I did up my pinkeep, I knew the way I was doing it was not the usual way that it should be done. I could not recall the link that BJ gave at NNC earlier that showed how to do up a pinkeep. So, using my own imagination, I did mine in a way that was different, but not that far off! LOL! The link which BJ eventually gave again (thanks, BJ!) needed some sewing to be done. Mine is sew-free! Just used craft glue. LOL!

It does not look too bad *grin*, although it does look kind of bulky. One thing for sure, since I used compressed polystrene in place of the should be batting, my pinkeep can actually be poked with pins even on the front, not just the sides. *grin*

Just in case someone should be interested *wink* to do one in the way I did mine, here are the materials, although I missed out the ribbons when I took this photo.

I wrapped felt material over the polystyrene board because I am uncertain as to whether polystyrene is acid free or not. By wrapping with felt material, I hope to protect my stitching from having direct contact with the board. Next, I wrapped my stitching over the felt material. After wrapping the cotton fabric over the backing board, I glued both front and back pieces together.

When that is done, the ribbon goes next around the almost completed pinkeep, using double sided tape. This is, of course, followed by the pins around all four sides of the pinkeep, and taa daaa! The finished pinkeep.....with a difference! See! No sewing needed! LOL!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thank you so much, Faizon!

I got a pleasant surprise in the mail yesterday. I came home on Friday to a red card in the mailbox informing me that I have a registered mail to be picked up. For the life of me, I never expected to receive anything from a stitching friend, least of all, anything in return for my very small gift I sent to a friend.

I initially thought it was the Valentine Stash Exchange (VSE), but then, I realised that it was much too early to be receiving it, since mailing out date is only on the 5th of February 2007. I thought it must be one of those bills again! LOL!

Faizon, thank you so much for the lovely tatted bookmark! It sure was a pleasant surprise! I am flattered by the compliments! *blush* I might still tat one day, you know, only if I can just find the time to squeeze in another hobby! LOL!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another finishing idea

I got this handphone bag/purse/caddy/ whatchamacolic from a non-stitching friend when she went on holiday to Bukit Tinggi, Indonesia. She knows I am into cross stitching and would appreciate the gift. Actually, any gift from friends are always appreciated! *smile*

This gift just gave me another idea on how to finish up a stitched piece. I might also try crocheting one too! Now, what I need to do is to find just the right pattern, and of course, the time to stitch or crochet it! LOL!

Errrr.....didn't I just committed myself to doing a pinkeep and towel topper with Rose? Opps! Heheh........

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stitching and beading update

It has been quite some time since I did any stitching, actually. It's been hectic since my son started Primary One, what with him coming home each day with something missing! I think I am more streesed out than he is! LOL! Or, was he stressed out at all?

Added to that, there were a few projects that needed to be tendered out by January, 2007, so I was way above my head with work. I have found myself falling asleep even as I try to watch the television to catch up on some news! LOL!

Today, I managed a little bit of stitching on my christmas star. Soon I might have to change the name of the piece at the rate I am making changes to the piece to suit my level of expertise! Mind you, it is not high *LOL!*, rather, I am struggling with some of the specialty stitches. I hope the original designer would not mind. LOL! But, before someone points out to me that I might be infringing some copyright law, no, I am not claiming authorship to the design. It still remains a design by Cross N Patch. *grin*

On another hobby, when I went back home to Kota Bharu recently for the festivities, my sister, who is also into beading, took me shopping to buy beads. Boy, I went crazy with the beads sold! It was lucky that I did not carry that much cash with me at that time, but, stash I still did! LOL!

I made myself these necklaces. I wanted to make a set containing a necklace, a bracelet and an earring to match, but, I simply never got down to it. However, I did managed to make at least a bracelet to match the purple set. Hopefully I can find time to make the earrings soon.

Basket of Smalls

We were talking about it at NNC. It is supposed to be a basket filled up with all the small and mini projects that you have stitched or intend to stitch this coming year. It all started with the 5 Mini Challenge that Margaret had initially organised at MYS. It got everyone excited because many projects could be completed in speed time compared to the usual medium to large size projects many of us, stitchers, are used to doing up. It gave us a great sense of accomplishment with each project completed.

I, for one, find the size of the mini projects easy to bring around on my frequent travels for work. It fits so easily in my briefcase in between the serious stuffs! LOL! I also find doing mini projects such fun! It was fun scouring through my never ending stash of books and magazine for just that right design for the next mini project.

So, when the group started talking about having a basket of smalls, I thought I would start with my basket of smalls filled up with gifts given to me by my great crafting friends. Just a `show off'! LOL! *wink*

I will soon make myself a basket of smalls filled up with the things I made. For now, I just want to admire the things I got!

BTW, the basket used to be a wedding basket I made which was filled with flower petals for my brother's wedding reception last year.

My very first Bircornu!

Now that BJ has safely received the FRE biscornu I made for her, I can now upload the photo and update my blog.

Boy, I have been containing the excitement to tell you all about it here because I wanted to surprise my partner. The reason for my excitement? The biscornu I made for BJ is my first ever attempt at making up a biscornu!

When I completed the biscornu, I almost did not want to give it away! LOL! I just simply love the way the shades of DMC 115 works on the piece. I might just do another piece! *wink* Same exact piece? I am uncertain just yet, but, one thing I am certain is that it won't be the first time that I'll be using DMC115 and it also won't be the first time I'll be doing a biscornu. It looked difficult at first, but, once you know how to do it, it was fun doing it up as the shape appears when you go around the edges putting it together.

A piece of art

Goodness, the packaging for the FRE I got from June has put my packaging... errrr....if you can call it packaging, that is, for my FRE to my partner *grin*, to shame! *blush*

A guy from June's workplace dropped it off all wrapped up in an innocent brown school book wrapping paper, but, goodness, the inside just made me breathless in excitement! LOL! The FRE was put in a very nice box, which I have a feeling June or her daughter made it up herself. It was quite a big box that I never expected it to contain the FRE (read: the FRE to my partner is SMALL. Sorry, partner! *wink*) When I opened the box, I could not help saying, "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! It is so lovely!" LOL!

Explaining the way June had finished the FRE and packed it wouldn't do justice to it, and, a picture paints a thousand words, so here is the photo of the piece of art. Did I get all my stitching friends envious? *wink*

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Finally! The 5 ...errrr.....6 minis are done!

Okay! Okay! Okay! I know I am late, in fact really late, in putting up my report for the 5 Mini Challenge, but, it has been one hectic week! Well, for starters, my baby, yup, he is still my baby despite being already 6 years old! *wink* has started Primary One! I never thought it could get me all stressed out tired! LOL! I will tell all about it in a later posting. For now, the priority is to report on the 5 Mini Challenge which I was supposed to have reported on January 1, 2007. Apologise, Margaret!

OK, let's see......

I had actually completed all my 5 Minis before Christmas, or the weekend of the christmas holidays. I would have updated my blog then, but I could only do it after my son has gone to bed. Lately he has gotten addicted to Dragon Boosters and I have to `fight' to use the computer with him! LOL! So, the best is when he has gone to bed. But, then again, after I had put him to bed and done all the household chores, I start yawning! So, what else is new? LOL!

Anyway, here they are........

First, is my Needlebook. This is actually not part of my 5 minis initially, so, I actually have 6 minis! *wink*

It is a freebie design by Ellen Maurer Stroh. Where I find the biscornu I did earlier, also a design by EMS, a little on the BIG side, I find this needlebook to be a little too small. It is only 2 1/2" x 3" when closed. It was a little fiddly trying to sew it up because of it's tiny size, or are my hands too big? LOL! I am not that happy with the finishing work. I could have done better, but I do like the design. I am thinking of also stitching up the big needlebook too.

Next is a pincushion. This design was taken from Mary Hickmott's New Stitches magazine. I am also not too happy with the way I did the finishing. I think I did the finishing too much in a rush. I also spent a lot of time being undecided in what I wanted to turn this piece into. Initially I wanted to turn it into a pinkeep, but decided against it when I could not find a more practical use for it besides it being an ornamental piece. But, after I turned it into a pincusion, I wished that I had went ahead and did it into a pinkeep instead. It would have looked better.... I think.

This next piece, I am really happy with! *grin* I think it is soooo cute! *wink* This altoid tin piece is a first for me. Though the size does not actually fit exactly, I managed to do it up satisfactorily. I actually glued and reglued and repositioned it 3 times before I could get it right! LOL! I am glad at the way it had turned out. One of my favourites for the Mini projects.

My 4th piece is a kitchen towel. This, I think I could also have done a better job of finishing it. I was just so excited to get it done, that I just rushed through it! See what happens when you keep everything till the last minute? LOL!

My 5th and 6th piece are actually ones that I have already reported on earlier, and they are my "BLESS OUR HOME" and the EMS biscornu. These two pieces I am very happy with because I had plenty of time to do them during my less hectic times. For one, I did not do the framing for the "BLESS OUR HOME" piece myself, and I did the finishing for the biscornu during one of the times when my hubby was outstation, so I had no outside 'distraction'. *wink*

So, that is it for now, until I report on progress of my other works!