Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bagged it!

My sewing bag I made in my sewing class at Quilt Gallery is done! Take a look!

I had fun sewing it up, though I broke the sewing machine needle in the process when I sew over the zipper! LOL!

I now have a better idea how to make this type of bag, though my initial design was a lot different, but somehow, the design changed as I started on the bag. I think Gill had something to do with the end result of the bag. She kept showing me samples of this bag and that bag that I had to incorporate some of the ideas into my bag! LOL!

I still plan to do up the bag I had initially designed and planned to do, but, I will have to do it on my own time. For now, I am very happy with my newly completed bag! So happy with what I have learned that I have actually signed up for another bag class! LOL! This time, the bag is going to be more like a shopping bag before I move onto bags that will look nice enough to pass on as an evening bag,….heheh…IF, I get through my second bag. *grin*

Here’s the fabric for the second bag. I will need to wash and iron it first before class. Hope to start on it next Saturday. Keep a look out! *wink*

A little progress report on my Sisterhood Stitching (SHS), I have started on the house already, and it seems to be taking me ages to get it done! The use of the same colour for a large portion of the house really gets to you after a while that I had to take many breaks and work on other portions of the chart to ease my boredom, but it’s nicely taking shape.

For the alphabets at the bottom of the chart, instead of using DMC as called for in the chart, I decided to try out my something different instead, and used Caron Collection 085 Antique Brass Wildflower threads for the upper case alphabets and used Needle Odyssey’s Dip & Twist DTN012 for the lower case alphabets.

I think I like the effects of the D&T more than that of Caron, because D&T is brighter, and further more, using Caron on aida, it tends to rub against the stiffness of the aida that after a while, the thread tends to get fluffy. Still, I like the way the colours of both threads changes subtly across the alphabets.

I am running out of time for this piece as each one of us has 3 weeks to complete it before we pass on the chart to the next stitcher in line. I am not even 50% complete, I think. I will have to work on it more and faster. I need to spend less time on the computer and get down to stitching!! LOL!

Friday, September 28, 2007

In the mood for bookmarks

Among the stash I bought at Spotlight on my recent trip to Singapore was a book of charts on bookmarks by the American School of Needlework titled Bookmark Greetings. The minute I saw the book I know I had to buy it! In the book contains three charts that I want to stitch for 3 close friends.

At NNC, we have always poked fun at Emily *wink* when it comes to food, especially ice-creams, so, I thought how appropriate this bookmark of an ice-cream sundae with chocolate fudge topping, whipped cream and cherry would be for Emily. Yum! Sounds delicious! Further more, Emily loves to read and she has formed a book crossing group online.

It did not take me long to stitch the bookmark. What took longer was putting it together to make it into a bookmark, because this is the first time I am doing up a bookmark this way. Usually I would sew a lace aound the egdes of the bookmark and iron on interafcing at the back. But, I thought I'd do something a little bit different this time around. Not bad, huh? *wink*

The second bookmark I did is for Margaret who is into tea and coffee. So, this bookmark should be appropriate for her. I took even a shorter time stitching this one up. I think it took me only 4 days, as part of it was stithed in the car while waiting to pick up my son in school.

Yeah, I had to get to his school early if I don't want to end up double parking and risk being given a summon by the police. I didn't want to waste any time, and so out came my stitching as soon as I managed to get a good parking spot. *grin*

I am in the midst of stitching a 3rd bookmark for another friend. I am not telling who she is just yet. *wink* I hope to surprise her when I send it out to her. But, for now, the bookmark has taken a back seat as I concentrate on my SHS.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The class begins.....

I started on my bag making class at Quilt Gallery yseterday. When I signed up for it, Gill (the owner) told me that it would take two classes to complete the bag. I told myself that the type and design of bag that I wanted to make looks pretty easy, and I am sure that I can get it done in ONE class! Heheh.....silly of me to think that I am such an expert! *grin*

There is a lot that I learnt in my first class, which, had I done up the bag the way I think I know how, I wouldn't have known that there is a much better way to do it to make my bag look even more professional.

I am glad that I decided to sign up for the class, though the initial reason why I signed up was because I needed a place or something to do while I wait for my son to finish his art class. I would usually sit at Starbucks, but, this being the fasting month,I definitely can't sit at Starbucks and not buy myself a tall glass of ice blended drink, right? *grin* The waitress will shoo me out of the cafe! LOL! Now the class serves two purposes - I have a place to wait, and I will definitely be learning something new!

Anyway, back to my bag class, yesterday was more of doing the preparations - planning the layout (how I want my bag to look like), the measuring, and the cutting. My bag is designed to the way I want it to be, and since I want it to be used for carrying my cross stitch things, I designed with that in mind - pockets for the chart, the fabric, the scissors and the threads. That should do it......for now. Maybe once I know how to do a bag the proper way, I can get more creative...hopefully.

On another stitching note, I have started on the Home of a Needleworker by Little House Needlework for the Sisterhood Stitching currently being organised at NNC. The design calls for 16ct aida, but, silly me forgot to check the fabric count called for and started on 14ct. I also forgot that I had just recently bought some 16ct aida from Jean. Silly me again! *grin*

It was only after I had done quite a bit did I realised that fabric count mistake. Oh well, not too big a problem actually, only that my piece will be a bit bigger than the rest of the members doing it. I can live with that, I guess. *grin*

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rest in peace, little girl

Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat keatas rohnya. May God bless her soul.

Each time I read the papers about her, about the way she was sexually tortured, about how her parents could not come to terms with her death, about the circumstances of her death, tears fell freely. It was hard to control the emotions that ran high in almost every Malaysian who are outraged by the way the little girl Nurin was tortured and sexually molested, and eventually murdered.

The New Straits Times, on September 19, wrote, "Even in death, her bruised and battered face is angelic". "Even the imam who lead the prayers cried", further wrote NST on the day she was finally laid to rest.

Said Nurin's father, "She came to us perfect and she returned to Allah perfect. She looked cukup sempurna (perfect) today...Find her killer and restore justice to my baby".

My deepest condolences to the family of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin. Al-fatihah.

note: above photo taken from The Star, Saturday, 22 September 2007, bottom photo, Friday, 21 September 2007.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Red Needles n' Craft Card Challenge

That was quick! I am surprised but glad. Yup, my card to Lillie sent on Tuesday, 18th September, was received by Lillie today. I can now heave a sigh of relief for this item. 5 more items to go which I sent on the same day. However, for some reason I still need to find out, my registered mail to Emily got returned to me today.

Could I have got the address wrong? I am glad that I had written my address on the envelope, so the item could safely be returned to me. I wouldn't know what will happen to it had I not written my addie on the envelope. I shudder to find out, since I had put in quite an effort to make the little item for Emily. It was supposed to be a surprise, but, I guess now Emily knows something was coming her way, since I had to ask her for her latest addie, assuming that it was the addie that I got wrong. It couldn't possibly be shortage of stamps since the postal clerk had weight the item for me. Well, I just hope my secong attempt to mail it out again next week will arrive to her safe;y.

In the mean time, here's the card I made for Lillie.

I have a feeling when Ying came up with the idea to organise the NNCC, it was to see how many possibilities one can come up with by using very limited resourses, with specific items in only one specific colour.

You will be surprised at how many creative ways one can create a card by using the same items. It challenges you to extend your creativity and make you think out of the box.

When I was doing up mine, because of the limitation (not that I am saying Ying should send me more things, of course not) of the things I had in hand, I had to get real creative to come up with a design. It forced me to try out something I have never tried before when I have loads of things to play with. It's a good challenge.

Thanks, Ying, for organising this challenge.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Works In Progress Report

It's that week again. How time flies so fast, and I have not progressed much from the last time I posted about my stitching progress just two weeks ago.

I was busy doing up the Artist Trading Card (ATC), Getting TO Know You (GTKY) card and Partner, Image and Envelope (PIE) Swap for an exchange at Stamping Addict due before the end of the month. I wanted to get it out of the way so that I can concentrate on others things, instead of having those exchanges hovering over my head. I was also busy creating a card using the items sent by Ying for the Needles n' Craft Challenge (NNCC) organised by Ying. That's done too and is already on the way to Lillie, my partner. I hope the ATCs, the GTKY card and the PIE Swap will all arrive safely as they are all going overseas. I am also hoping that Lillie would receive the simple card I made for her safely too. I will not be able to rest until everything arrive at their destiantions, which I hope, will be soon.

The mini burgundy cards you see here (above) are the ATCs, while the two cards are the GTKY. One has gone out - the brown one, while the blue one will be going out next month for next month's swap, but I decided to do them together while my creative juice was flowing! LOL!

I will put up a photo of the NNCC card I made for Lillie when she receives it.

On the stitching front, this is my little progress on the DT Game Board Sampler (DTGBS). Not much, huh? *sigh* Time is so limited these days. I come home in a mad rush to get food ready for the break of fast. By the time that is done, I am simply too tired to pick up the needle, especially during the fasting month when I am lacking in sleep.

By the way, the pincushion you see next to the DTGBS was given to me by Lene more than a two years ago in one of the exchanges organised at MYS some time back.

Today I received the chart, House of a Needleworker by Little Needle House, kindly offered by Jean, for the Sisterhood Stitching (SHS) currently being organised at NNC. I have 3 weeks to complete it before I have to pass it on to the next person in the rotation. This being the case, I probably won't be working on the DTGBS anymore until I get the SHS done and over with. I do so enjoy stitching the mini houses, and seeing them being `built' with your needle. Small achievements which makes up into a big achievemnt. Maybe the break would do me good. Like the LDSAL, I might come back to work on it with more enthusiasm and get it done faster. *wink*

Until then, it's the SHS for my current project.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finally, a start........

Friends at NNC have been encouraging to try out linen for some time already for they say that once I start on it, I might never want to work on aida anymore.

I have been putting it off since the tiny holes in the linen looks too intimidating for me. I just want to enjoy my hobby without having to end up with a headche. Working on aida is a breeze (if there are no 1/4 stitches) which I can even do while watching TV, and I can stitch stitches that are far apart because counting the holes are easy.

I have worked on evenweaves before as an alternative to working on linen if the design calls for 1/4 stitches or specialty stitches. I like working on evenweaves because my stitches comes out nice and square, just like on aida, as opposed to slightly rectangular stitches if working on linen due to the uneveness of the linen, and doing the 1/4 stitches or specialty stitches is a breeze, well, almost, a breeze, on evenweaves.

Recently, when I ordered some evenweaves from Jean, she gave me a small piece of linen to encourage me to try out linen. Thanks, Jean! So now, with the gift, I no longer have an excuse not to try it out, right? LOL!

Actually, I have tried out linen before for the Victoria Sampler cyberclass I took a year ago, but never completed it, when the project proved too daunting for me. But, since Jean had already gifted me a piece of linen, I thought that I at least had to apprciate Jean's gift and give it another attempt.

So, after much contemplation, I chose a simple design and gave it a go. So far, so good. *smile* This is a simple design by DMC stitched using Anchor 1305 multicolour thread. It's coming on nicely, don't you think so? *wink*

Ask me if I want to only stitch on linen from now on? My answer for now would still be a `No'. Aida, anytime for me for a relaxing hobby! But, I would go for evenweaves for charts that call for 1/4 stitches or specialty stitches.

However, I will not stop at this project to work on linen. I might still try out small and easy projects to work on linen so that I don't get too intimidated by the tiny holes. Once I have gained more confidence, who knows, I might actually say that I might never want to work on aida anymore! LOL! *wink* But, wait, I have loads of aidas before that to finish off first before I come to that decision! *grin* Also, I need to get back to the Victoria Sampler cyberclass project I started a year ago.

It's done! It's done! It's done!

It's done? It is? Really? I'd better check again to make before I start doing a happy dance!

Yup! Yippeee!! It's done! It's done! It's done! My Long Dog Mystery Sampler is finally done after four and a half months of working on it, with short breaks in between! It feels great, especially this being quite a big piece. I must give myself a pat on the back! LOL! *wink*

I had enjoyed doing this piece, although there were times that I was just plodding on, not because I was bored of the piece. It was too colourful to bore me, but, more because I was starting to get distracted by other designs I wanted to do, but, did not want to put this LDSAL down for fear that it might become a UFO (Unfinished Object) like so many of my other projects. So, I plodded on, though slow, just to make progress.

There was a time when I was starting to make mistakes in my anxiety to finish up the piece. BJ suggested that I give it a break, and come back to it when I am feeling less anxious. I took that suggestion, and on my trip to Singapore recently, eventhough I took the LDSAL with me, I did not touch it at all. Instead, I worked on the Cheryl's Bouquet. When I came back from Singapore, I started on 3 mini projects -a biscornu and two bookmarks. I completed the biscornu in a week, and the first bookmark a week later. I just completed the 2nd bookmark this morning. Yipee! Another reason for a happy dance!

I also started on another mini project which I will report separately as this piece is special and has certain significance to me.......*wink*

I think the break from the LDSAL did it. I came back to work on the LDSAL again last night, refreshed, when BJ asked us at NNC if we would like to bring it to a close this weekend. I thought I had a lot more to do, but, it seems that even though I was just plodding on to make progress, I had actually acomplished quite a lot already at the time I took a break from it!

At 10.45 pm last night, I put in the last stitch by stitching the month and year the piece was completed at the botttom right hand corner of the piece. That way, in years to come, my son can say that his mummy completed this piece X years ago. Who knows, it might just become a heirloom piece!

On another note, I am just showing off the magnifying glass or flexilens I bought from Jean a month ago, which I personally picked up when I went to Singapore recently. A good buy, in my opinion, for this old eyes. It's supposed to be magnifying my stitching piece so that I can see the holes better, but, instead I am magnifying my chart since I stitch without my glasses, and trying to focus back and forth between the chart and the stitching piece was starting to get more difficult with this aging eyes. Wait! Did I say aging eyes? Did I just admited to being old? LOL! *grin*

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It feels so good................

Yesterday I took the day off to run some errands, pick up my son from school and do some stitching and make up some cards for a card swap I am doing at Stamping Addict.

Despite feeling guilty initially for being on leave because work in the office is never ending, it feels good towards the end of the day when you realised how much more housework gets done when you are at home for a longer period of time.

Eventhough it was already a public holiday on Friday, coupled with the Saturday/Sunday weekend, but I was hardly at home the last 2 days due to family commitments (Aiman's art class on Saturday, and took my sis who came from Kota Bharu for lunch and some shopping on Sunday). On Friday, as usual, its a day for the clothes to be washed, folded, sorted out to be ironed, meals to be prepared, the fridge to be cleared out of any leftovers from the days before, if any, and a 1001 other things that a wife do on weekends. Usually, the husbands will ask, "what did you do today, honey?", or, "What are your plans for today, sweetheart?". Men! They always think that we just stay home and watch TV like them! LOL! *wink*

I am pleased that the house looks much more organised yesterday because I have more time to get things done and organized, and still have time to spend on my hobbies. What is more important is that I have more time to spend with my son as I pick him up from school instead of him taking the bus to my in-laws place, and I get to see him only in the late evening when my hubby picks him up from his mum's place. By then, usually, it's a mad rush to get dinner ready, have dinner, see to his homework and get his school things ready for the next day. Ended up, I would be shouting at him at times to get him to hurry up eating or do his homework, because I have so much to do but he has so much to tell me. *sad* Yesterday, my son and I had a good chat about what he did in school yesterday, including what he had for lunch, on the drive home.

It feels good! I think you tend to be more productive too coming back to work, after a well rested weekend or break/leave from work, despite having to do housework, because that JOB is never done! LOL!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Stitching Progress

Despite not being home much this weekend due to some family commitments, I am quite satisfied, craft wise. I managed to finished a biscornu while watching the Merdeka parade on TV in the morning of 31st August.

Later in the day, I completed a bookmark. I won't be posting photos of these two items just yet since they will going out to someone. Will have photos up as soon as they are received safely by the persons. *wink*

In the mean time, I started on The Drawn Thread's Sampler Game Board (DTSGB) on late Saturday night. I am sticthing this piece on 14ct mocha coloured aida. This is another piece I am sort of doing a Stitch-Along (SAL) with BJ. I have so far completed one mini house. I think it's cute! It's like a mini achievement to complete each block of houses. I am now onto the second mini house.

I am not setting myself any target yet for this piece. I will have to see how fast I can stitch this piece and gauge my speed before I can set a reasonable target date.

BTW, the pincushion you see in the photo is a gift from Rose. She gave it to me when Margaret, Rose and I, together with Jackie (Margaret's sister) met up for a stitching chat on Saturday as I waited for Aiman to finish his art class.

I am still planning to complete my Long Dog Mystery Sampler, which I am also doing a SAL with BJ and a few others, hopefully in the month of September. I have put this piece aside for sometime already as I work on the biscornu and the bookmark. I am planning to stitch another bookmark for a friend. I hope to finish that before our NNC anniversary meet in November.

Moving away from cross stitching, I made up a couple of cards prior to going off to Singapore, so that I have something to give to Jean and Zohrah, as a token of friendship. I made 3 each for them, but, shown here are only two of the cards, using my latest gadget, the multi-shaper I bought recently at Papier. I am doing up more cards using this gadget as I am involved in the Artist Trading Card (ATC) and Getting To Know You (GTKY) card swap at Stamping Addict. I will definitely post photos once the receipients have received them safely.