Thursday, 30 April 2015

Slow progress . . .

Hi all!

This week has been frustrating for me as I have had such an urge to just sit and stitch and stitch and stitch . . . but sadly life and my health has gotten in the way and I have not had as much stitching time as I would have liked . Still , I have made some progress on the Lavender Fairy.

 
The skirt is really fun to stitch but I felt it was time to move onto other parts of the chart too , so today I began stitching the fairy's green top. I hope to be able to stitch much much  more next week , while I watch the Stanley Cup - playoffs and the IIHF Men's World Ice Hockey Championships . Yes , you've guessed it , I'm an avid sports fan as well as a dog-lover and a cross stitch addict : ))
 
I have managed to do some crochet . I'm making a poncho . . .

 
. . .using this free pattern. It's easy work for times when I cannot manage to concentrate on a cross stitch chart . This poncho is a gift and I am using acrylic yarns for this one, but I would also like to make a summer poncho for myself using soft cotton yarns in soft pastel colours. However , cotton yarns are expensive so it may never be more than a dream project . . .
 
Happy stitching everyone!
 
Annie

Monday, 27 April 2015

More Lavender Fairy . . . and more stash ( Oh No ) !

Hi all!

I had a nice time visiting my grandma over the weekend , but I am glad to be home again with my four-legged boys : )
Sadly my plans to do lots of cross stitching did not go as planned due to bad lightning at my grandma's . I stitched a little ( because I had such a stitching urge ) but it was hard on my eyes and I had to do some frogging at times too . . . Still , this is how far I got on the Lavender Fairy over the weekend . . .

Sorry the photo is so dark : (
Today I was so pleased to be back home in my usual stitching spot on my couch with my own stitching lamp , so I just HAD to stitch some more ! There was dishes waiting in the zink , a messy living room to tidy up , bags to unpack , but I just wanted to stitch some more on my fairy . . .

 
So this is as far as I got today : ) I almost always stitch by colour , and I move to the area that takes my fancy as I stitch . Stitching the beautiful skirt is what takes my fancy right now with all its lovely colours of purple , violet , and blues ! Gorgeous !
While I stitched , one of my darling boys buried himself in the doggy basket...

 
...while one of his 'brothers' kept an eye on me and my stitching !


I bought a new English cross stitch magazine ( Cross Stitch Crazy issue 203) during my trip , since I saw this lady . . .

Art Deco Lady by Joan Elliott

...and I just had to have her ! ! There are lots of beads added to this design which I love , as well as the lovely pinks and greens ! I also like the fact that the design is not too big ( 140 x 110 ) so it will not take too long to stitch ! I had a look through my stash today and I had about half of the threads , so I have to order the rest of the threads as well as the beads before I can start to stitch her . I cannot wait ! I just keep seeing more and more designs I want to stitch . . . which is lovely. . . but annoying!
How on earth am I going to stitch them all ? ? ! !
I am sure none of you have that problem. . . . ha ha ha !

Happy Stitching everyone !

Annie

Friday, 24 April 2015

A Quick Bloggy Query!

Hi all!

I LOVE reading all your cross stitch blogs , but for some reason I have not been able to read the posts on the blog http://thegirlthatstitches.blogspot.se/ lately ! This saddens me because I know she stitches beautiful pieces! Am I the only one having this problem ?

Annie

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Lavender Fairy takes off!

Hi all!

Finally I finished the gridding of the fabric for Joan Elliott's Lavender Fairy. Of course I couldn't wait to start stitching . . .


Sadly the photo doesn't do justice to the beautiful fabric and the vibrant threads. . . I must say that I just love everything about this project : ) The fabric is beautifully soft and smooth and the needle just glides through the aida. The colours of the hand dyed fabric are stunning and the colours of the threads are wonderful. My favourite colours are pink and purple so this fairy is simply a perfect stitch for me : )

I'm going away this weekend and I was not planning to bring any cross stitching, but now I have to bring this fairy in the hope that I can add some more cross stitches . She has certainly put a spell on me !

See you all on Sunday : )

Happy Stitching everyone!

Annie

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Lots of fractionals. . .

Hi all!

I have been stitching on the delicate 'headpiece' that the Daffodil Fairy has in her hair . . .


I find it a really fiddly thing to stitch . There are so many fractionals and I have to use a magnifier to make out all the different colours on the chart .

 
After being at it for a couple of hours I had done these stitches in different greens and was forced to stop since I was getting tired from concentrating so hard when reading the chart . This fairy will be a real LABOUR of love , but if I can put in a couple of hours of work on it most days, I should be able to finish it this year . . .
 
I'm almost finished gridding the fabric for the Lavender Fairy, and I can't wait to begin stitching it!  
The kit has some lovely green and purple threads that I cannot wait to stich with . . . !
 
Happy Stitching everyone!
 
Annie

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

My Joan Elliott Fairies!

Hi all!
 
Lavender Fairy by Joan Elliott
 
Oh well , I just couldn't stop myself ! I just had to get the Lavender Fairy Kit out and make a start ! Sadly the start so far means ONLY stitching grids on the fabric . . .
 
 
It is such a tedious , time consuming job and I sure wish I had a marker to do this with instead . However , I don't , and I need the grids so it has to be done the old-fashioned way . Saying that though , the fabric ( Polstitches hand dyed 14HPI aida called 'Snowstorm' ) that came with the kit is stunning with swirls of purple , pink and blue so the gridding is slightly less painful than normal . . . haha!
 
I actually managed to get some cross stitches stitched today too . I decided to pick up an old project that has been on the shelves for a couple of years . It is another design by Joan Elliott , The Daffodil Fairy.

Daffodil Fairy by Joan Elliott
 
This will be a gift for my very good friend T . It originally was intended for her 50th birthday but of course I didn't make the deadline , and then I ran into trouble when I was going to stitch the fairy's delicate skin and hands, and her foot and her hair . . . well , it just got too difficult and I had to put the project to the side . However , I feel I am a more experienced stitcher now - a couple of years later - and with my newfound love for Kreinik and beads I feel ready to tackle this fairy now ! It is going to be a slow process though , but I am determined to try to get it done this year ! Wish me luck !

Happy stitching everyone !

Annie

Monday, 20 April 2015

My secret projects are not so secret anymore!

Hi all!

The last few days have been crazy busy over here! It was my sister's 40th birthday and my mum and I worked hard to make it a great celebration for her , so Friday , Saturday and Sunday were all spent dealing with party business . There was no time for relaxed cross stitching on the sofa , or watching my favorite English murder mysteries such as Midsomer Murders or Lewis . . .

I made a birthday card for my sister . . .

 
 . . . using a cross stitch chart designed by Angela Poole from Cross Stitch Collection issue 200 , and I also made a little brooch/necklace for her using a self-cover button , felt and ribbons .


Finally I could also give my wonderful sister her birthday present that I have been working on for the last couple of months . Knowing that she likes unicorns , I decided to cross stitch Joan Elliott's beautiful design Magical Unicorn for her :

 
This was the first time that I stitched with Kreinik braid #4 and Mill Hill Seed beads and I absolutely loved using these embellisments . The Kreinik was soo easy to stitch with compared to other metallics and sooo sparkly , and the beads were so much fun to attach and made the unicorn look fabulous ! According to the chart I used (which came from The World of Cross Stitching magazine issue 189) the stitching time was 90 hours, but my own stitching time is normally double the time they state in the magazines so with the beading and the Kreinik I estimate that it took me about 200 hours to stitch this beautiful unicorn !

Close ups :
 


 
I made a couple of changes to the design compared to the original chart . I cannot afford the beautiful hand-dyed fabrics so I picked an blue marbled aida instead as an economy alternative , and I decided to use varigated DMC tread for the forest in the background . Both these changes worked out well I think .
Although this was a time consuming project I loved stitching it and I definitely want to stitch a Joan Elliott design with beads and Kreinik again sooon ! In fact , I have the Lavender Fairy in my stash . . . hm . . .

Yesterday I also visited my VERY good friend T who also celebrated her birthday this weekend , and for her I had made a big bag in which she can store some of her stash of knitting yarns : = )

 
I added two stitched decorative cross stitched patches . . .  


. . .using this wonderful little design by Emma Congdon from the Cross Sticher magazine issue 288 . I LOVE this stitching related design and have stitched it several times , although I have had to change the colours since I didn't have the exact thread colours from the original chart .

So . . . now I have to decide if I want to pick up a WIP. . .
or if I should make a new start. . .
or maybe two new starts. . .
or maybe all the above. . . ? ? ?

Such lovely stitching decisions to be made ! ! !

Happy Stitching everyone!

Annie



Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Stitching daydreams. . .

Hi!

So good news is that I have basically finished my secret projects , but the bad news is that I cannot show you yet . . . ( just a few more days! ) However , I'm starting to dream about the new projects I want to stitch for myself now that I can pick whatever I want again . Of course I have all the magazine charts and the kits that are waiting for me , but now that I have tried beads I want to do more of beaded cross stitch chart : ) Seeing all the beautiful beaded ladies that some of you stitch , I'm feeling really inspired to try out a Nora Corbett design . Of course I would have to order charts and beads online from US which is going to cost a bit , but I have a real strong urge to do more stitching with beads : )

Anyway, checking out online stores doesn't cost anything so I had a browse through http://abcstitch.com/ and found some beautiful Nora Corbett designs that I loved : )
How about . . .
 
Fern - Pixie Couture Collection
Jasmine - Pixie Couture Collection
Lilly - Pixie Couture Collection
Lily Of The Valley Spring Garden - Pixie Couture



Morning Glory - Pixie Couture Collection
Rose - Pixie Couture Collection
Sweet Pea Spring Garden - Pixie Couture
I tell you , I was just drooling over these designs . . .! A lot of you have probably already seen these designs or even stitched some of them, but for me this is a whole new wonderful world full of stunning fairies and pixies decorated with lots and lots of embellishments .
The questions are. . . do I dare to venture out into it. . .?!
And should I use some of my tax refund on one of these charts and the necessary beads . . .?!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Second framed picture in two days!

Hi!

Since I'm on a roll now I decided to frame my Spring Window too today . Whilst I stitched the Summer Window last summer , this Spring Window was a WIP for many years . . .


 I fell in love with the spring flowers on this design but this was way before I really got into cross stitching so it remained a slow-moving WIP for many years . However , last year I decided to get it out and finish it and by then I had cross stitched a lot so it didn't take me long at all to complete the picture . Then , of course , it stayed in a box for another year until today! So , you see , this finish has been a long time coming . . . : = )
Now I finally have these two pictures up on my wall and it feels pretty darn good!!!

 
Happy Stitching everyone!
 
Annie

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A Summer Window on my wall - YAY!

Hi!

Today I've been working on different finishes for my secret projects . While I LOVE the actual cross stitch process , I DREAD the bit where I have to turn the cross stitching into something 'real' . I cannot afford having my pieces framed professionally so I have to frame them myself . . . I cannot afford buying expensive frames so it is always a struggle to find a matching frame in the appropriate size that is also cheap . . . It is just a big hassle! Furthermore , despite having sewn my own clothes in the past I still question my ability to sew pretty things incorporating my cross stiched pieces . . . I have a very complicated relationship with my sewing machine to say the least , so every time I have to use it is a big mental struggle for me. . .

The really good thing about today though is that I actually managed to frame a piece of mine that I stitched last summer! YAY! I just couldn't face the washing , and ironing and framing part of it all , but today I got it done! I used a really cheap and colourful frame from IKEA, and this is what the back of the frame looked like when I was done . . .


Luckily you cannot see the back once the picture is on the wall . . . haha! And this is what my picture looked like from the front when I had finished the framing . . .

It's a bit uneven and slightly wonky but considering how little it cost me to do , I'm quite happy to put up with a couple of imperfections in the finishing touches . . . It still looks good I think .
This 'Summer Window' design comes from a Cross Stitcher magazine issue that is more than ten years old , and it is part of a series of four seasonal windows . I have stitched the spring window too and hope to have that framed soon as well.


I decided to use satin thread for the white flowers to make sure that they stood out and didn't just fade into the white aida fabric and I  think it worked out very well : )
It's a wonderfully satisfying feeling to be able to put your own stitched picture on the wall . . .even if it took me a year to get it done . . .!

Happy stitching everyone!

Annie

Friday, 10 April 2015

Cross stitch memories : )

Hi!
 
On my bed I have some cross stitched cushions so yesterday I took some pictures of them so I can document them on this blog . When I stitch a cross stitch project that I want to turn into a cushion I often stitch it on 11-count aida so that the motive stitches up slightly larger and more eye-catching . Stitching on 11-count aida I know that I should stitch with three threads , but since I prefer to begin with the loop method ( which you cannot do with three threads ) I almost always stitch with two threads anyway . Maybe my stitching doesn't pop the way it could with three threads , but I'm still quite happy with the results .
 
This first cushion I stitched from a chart in Cross Stitcher magazine .
 
 
I love the sew√≠ng theme of this chart and the slightly whimsical feeling that reminds me of Cinderella and the birds that helped make her dress . In the original chart there was some real buttons for decoration , but since I knew I wanted to turn it into a cusion I decided to cross stich all my buttons instead .
 
I think this pattern comes from Cross Sticher too .
 

I loved the big , bright and bold flowers and all the greenery surrounding them . I used some matching flowery fabric and turned it all into a colourful cushion and I am very pleased with the end result.

This smaller cushion was stitched by my maternal grandma Gerd . She used to cross stitch a lot when she was younger , and I remember this cushion on their sofa when I grew up .

 
These days she's in her eighties and sadly she can only manage long stitch due to her eyesight . It really is a charming cushion ; grandma wasn't a cross stitch expert and looking closely at the stitching I can see the top stitches going in different directions and the back isn't the neatest . However , that is what I love about this cushion ! It shows my grandma's love of stitching and her enjoyment of it , regardless of if it was perfectly executed or not : ) A lesson to us all , and me in particular !
 
The final stitched cushion is from my paternal grandma Mary . She REALLY was a cross stich wizard!

 
I remember her sitting on her livingroom couch with her huge charts on the table and her huge stitching in her lap . She stitched big , gorgeous pictures and the most impressive one is a panoramic view of Stockholm which now lives at my dad's place . I tell you , she would have LOVED to stich HEAD pictures! This particular project was sadly not finished before she passed away , and my mum very kindly finished it and turned it into a cushion for me . Now it has pride of place on my bed together with the other cushions and reminds me of wonderful stitchers in the family and the simple joy of stiching .
 
Happy stitching everyone !
 
Annie

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Some new charts!

Hi!
 
Yesterday I received two English cross stitch magazines that I had purchased online . One of them was Cross Stitch Collection issue 245 and as usual it had some lovely charts!
 
I really liked this cute little design by Emma Congdon .
 

 I love her use of colours and letters and the way she combines them : = )
Sadly I don't really have anyone special to stitch this for : (
 
This chart of a vintage sewing machine by Maria Diaz is also lovely .

 
In the magazine they have turned this chart into a cover for a sewing machine but I think it would look just as good as a picture or a cushion!
 
However , my favorite chart from this magazine is this picture of three adorable puppies by Jenny Barton .
 

It is soo cute , and as a doglover this is a must-stitch for me! Once I have finished my Jack Russell-WIP , I'm going to make a start on this one .
The last couple of days I have not stitched much . One of my dogs had a surgery and I have been too stressed and exhausted to pick up a needle . Still , I hope I can finish my secret projects this weekend so I can move on to my other not-so-secret projects soon : )
 
Happy Stitching everyone!
 
Annie

Monday, 6 April 2015

My first encounter with seed beads!

Hi!

I just had to laugh at myself today as I was stitching. . : ) I have read quite a bit about stitchers' trouble of keeping those seed beads contained during sessions of attatching beads to cross stitch projects. Having never used seed beads myself, I have wondered to myself : ' how hard can it be?! They are just beads, right ? '

Today it was my turn to stitch with those little Mill Hill sead beads for the first time and whilst I had full confidence in my ability to keep the beads safe and contained , I was more worried about attatching them to the stitched piece . I bet you can guess what happened next. . . ha ha !
Once I had opened up that tiny little plastic container in which the beads were stored in , it didn't take more than a couple of seconds before quite a few of those tiny little beads had landed in my lap and spread onto the sofa. . . and while I tried to pick those ones up , before I knew it more beads had escaped the container ! Hahaha ! By now I had realised that this wasn't going to be so easy , so I had to come up with a plan of attack ! I went looking through my freebies from cross stitch magazines and luckily I found a shallow , little metal box perfect for beads. . .



. . .and I tried to transfer the beads into it. Needless to say a few more beads escaped in the process , but I think I found most of them and finally managed to put them all in the box . With my newly found respect for seed beads , I was then terrified that my dogs would somehow knock over the open little box while I was attaching the beeds onto my project .


Luckily that did not happen thanks to a few shout-outs on my part : ) I could very easily see myself crawling around on all four in the livingroom searching for those blasted little beads. .  .haha!
Anyhow , it was soo much fun attaching beads to my project and I really loved the whole look of the stitching together with the beads ! I will show all of you the actual result later on in the month : ) I have a feeling there is going to be lots more beads in my stitching future , but from hereon I am treating seed beads with the respect they deserve : = )

Happy Stitching!

Annie

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Cross stitched gifts for my sister!

Hi!

Hope you are having a nice Easter:)
Yesterday me and my dogs celebrated Easter at my sister's house together with my nearest family . We had a lovely afternoon with lots of good food and good company :) Since I'm trying to document all the cross stitched pieces I ' ve done ,  I sneaked around with my iphone taking pictures of a couple of cross stitched things I have given to my sister in the last few years.

One of the things she has received is this little mini-cusion. . .


. . .designed by Joan Elliott. It was fun to stich, came together nicely and I am quite pleased with how I finished it too : ) Overall, I'm very pleased with this one  : )

For her last birthday I stiched her this picture ( I think the design is from Cross Stitcher magazine ).

 
It was a relatively easy project , and I loved the whole vintage vibe : )
 
The last thing I took a picture of was this little ornament that she received last christmas.
 
 
I love to give cross stitched gifts if I know that the recipient will appreciate my work and the time I have put in. . . and since my sister is also into crafts like me , she is one of my favorite people to stitch for : )
 
I ' m curious , who do YOU like to stitch for ??
 
Happy Stiching,
 
Annie

Friday, 3 April 2015

Surprises and organized stash!

Hi!

I'm soo frustrated right now !
I've realised that my timing could have been a lot better . .!!
I've just started a cross stitch blog when I'm at my busiest stitching SECRET projects for a couple of birthdays coming up in April . That means I cannot show you any progress pictures of all that I'm doing until I have given the items away ( the recipients know about this blog so I don't want to risk ruining the surprises ! ) . But believe me , except for working on the content of this blog I'm beavering away every day with lots of stitching. . .that I cannot show you right now. . . I hope you stick with me until I can start showing some up - to - date progress pictures of  what I'm stitching : )) All I can say right now is that I have recently stitched with Kreinik # 4 braid for the first time and I love it!! It is soo much easier to stitch with compared to DMCs metallics, and it is so incredibly sparkly! I've got a few kits to stitch that include Kreinik # 4 such as the Lavender Fairy by Joan Elliott. . .

 
. . .and now that I know how easy Kreinik is to use I cannot wait to use it in more projects!
Reading all your lovely blogs and seeing the beautiful projects you stitch really helps me to feel braver and venture out into different kinds of cross stitch material and charts . My sister would say  ' It's about time! ' LOL! She is totally different than me ; not scared to try new crafty things and with an unwavering confidence that she can do everything just as well as anybody else . Although she cannot see herself cross stitching. . .she fears all those xxxx 's would drive her crazy , haha! And I don't mind ; that means she's suitably impressed with my cross stitch projects!
 
Speaking of cross stitch projects , I have now finally documented most of my stash on this blog so please feel free to check out my WIPs and my charts-to-do and all the other things . I love having everything listed here , since it will make it so much easier for me when I find myself between projects or in a mood for change . Instead of digging through boxes and spreading out all my stash all around me in the whole livingroom , I can just klick a button and have all my various projects in front of me on the screen to choose from! My stash has NEVER been so well organized :)) YAY !
 
Happy stitching everyone!
 
Annie

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My Easter stitching

Hi!

Since Easter is coming I have brought out a few special cross stitched pieces at home.
First of all there is my little Easter table cloth that I stitched a few years ago.

 
It is not very big but I love the purple crocuses and the cute little chickens!
There is also this little Easter picture that I've stitched with some more cute chickens and some lovely tulips.

 
Both of these designs are from a Swedish cross stitch company. As you can see, in Sweden we have a lot of Easter chickens rather than Easter Bunnies, and we eat Easter sweets served in an Easter egg rather than actual Chocolate Eggs.  
 
My third piece on the other hand is from an old English cross stitch magazine, and it is actually a picture that I started to stitch while I still lived in London ten years ago. Nowadays I would not stitch a piece like this one. It is too simple for me and the design feels quite old-fasioned.
 

However, because of the history of it and the fact that it has come so far and I have come so far, this piece means a lot to me and it always comes out of hiding at Easter :)

Happy Stitching everyone!

Annie