Friday, September 28, 2012

Prairie Schooler ornaments

This morning I witnessed a really beautifull sunset = an orange sky with little white clouds. We call them "schapenwolkjes" or sheep clouds :-). This was on my drive to work, so I couldn't take my phone and take a snap :-) ... something like this but much more orange.

As for my "little crosses" ... I just love stitching smalls! In a couple of days (in my case evenings of 2 hours of stitching time) I've made quite some progress! I would like to make 6 out of 8 (I'm not a fan of the Santa with fish or pineapple) and I'll "try" to finish them in ornaments all at once. Here are the first two santas I've stiched. As you can see I already started the third one :-)

This weekend I would like to go to the "Foir' Fil" with our own Marie Suarez and a number of French designers. This is held once a year for a good cause.

I'm not sure if I'll go because it's quite some drive (and I've used my shopping budget for the crafts fair in Malins last Saturday :-).

Have a nice weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Crafts fair Malins

Hi all,

Yesterday I visited the "Hobbysalon" in Malins. They claim to be the largest crafts fair in Belgium and this year was special because they celebrated their 20th year.

The last years it was always the same shops/stands that were present but ... they made an effort and there were a couple of new shops (and the catering was much better - everything bio and natural).

My biggest discovery was a couple of German cross stitch designers called "Liebevolle Kreuzstichentwürfe". Just gorgeous! I would've bought everything but ... I decided to have a look at their website first because they have lots of different designs (more than displayed in their booth - which was really well decorated with lots of details).

I didn't buy a lot because I already ordered a couple of things via the internet. I just got me a couple of fabrics as backing for the Prairie Schooler santas I'm stitching, a book from Mango Pratique "Merry Christmas" and an Italian cross stitch encyclopedia about flowers.

I love craft fairs because it always gives new ideas, you're able to see cross stitch and quilt designs up close and so on ...

Next update will be a picture of the Prairie Schooler santas!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A little bit tired ...

... of always working on big projects and not seeing to much progress! Not an instant reward in sight for the near future!

As I've told you before, Serengeti is starting to "weigh" a little bit on me. So I decided it was time to take a little break and stitch an ornament. I knew it would have to be something from the Prairie Schooler and something Christmas so ... I chose the St. Nicholas II chart.

I found a piece of linnen perfect for it = it's very long and narrow and frankly I didn't know what to do with it (but kept it "in case of" :-). The first one I'm now working on is the Santa on the top right (holding the red cardinal).

I hope to show you a finished ornament soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Falling leaves - new to be projects?

Is it the change of the season = less sunshine and warm days, the leaves that slowly start to change colour and that are beginning to fall, ... I don't know why, but I'm already thinking of Halloween and - oh my - Christmas decorations!

As you can guess I've browsed around a little bit and here's another design I flashed upon immediately! It's from The Primitive Hare.

This one is on my "MUST HAVE - MUST PURCHASE SOON list" :-)

Wanna have it as well? Here's the link.

What are you contemplating for fall and winter? Old or new projects?

Monday, September 17, 2012

IHSW September 2012

Hi all,

I hoped to show you some progress on my Serengeti mandala but I must admit that I didn't even touch a needle this weekend!

On Saturday we had our annual fair with local and traditional craftsmen (beekeeping, basket and other weaving, folkloric dances, ...) and on Sunday we lunched at my parent's house. Afterwards I didn't have enough energy to stitch :-(.

Next weekend isn't looking good as well because I'll be heading over to a big crafts fair on Saturday and on Sunday we have something planned for the kids (zoo visit, ...).

On a merrier note ... I've just seen that Sara - one of my favourite designers - released a new fall piece. It's sooo beautifull! Here it is:

It has the same style as her SAL Sorpresa (on which I hope to subscribe next month - too many things going on stitching related).

Don't hesitate and just go for it! This is a perfect autumn piece (I hope she'll make other ones to cover the other seasons :-).

That's it for now!

Friday, September 14, 2012

My first quilt

Hi all,

Thanks for all your kind reactions on my previous mail about my uncle. They're highly appreciated!

Now a little bit more about what I've been up to the last couple of days ...

I'm going to try to quilt a little bit more (one of my good resolutions for this year), but I fear that I won't make it for 2012 given the large pieces I'm currently embroidering (being Serengeti Mandala and "Weihnachten steht vor der Tür").

Yesterday I collected a quilt at my mother's home that dates from the time that I was still living at home and when mom and I took quilting courses together. Those were the days! No worries, only make sure you had good school results :-)

This quilt is - ahem - almost 20 years old I guess (I think I've followed these courses when I was something like 18 -20 years). It's still unfinished :-( because I must admit that I'm afraid of the quilting itself! How to do this, with which colour of thread and so on ... (maybe I should give a try at machine quilting although I have zero experience with this).

I also had the plan to undo it and to use the fabric for another - to be made - quilt. Mom told me yesterday not to do this as it is my first work. However ... if I'm keeping it, I'm planning to change the direction of some blocks.

So here it is ... what do you think?

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

La rentrée - Back to school!

Hello to my new followers!

Slowly but surely I'm reaching the 50 milestone! ;-) Maybe I'll do something to celebrate this ... still pondering.

Last week and weekend (back to school etc.) were busy and ... it was once proven that life and death are close together. On Saturday morning we had to bury one of our uncles (due to an accident at work - not his fault) who was beloved by everyone ... Our whole family still feels numb.
This was followed by a birthday party in the later afternoon. Both of our daughters were invited and we didn't want to spoil their pleasure  (I wanted them to have a little fun after such a sad beginning of the day).
On Sunday we went to a book market in open air which is kept twice a year (May and September) in a pitturesque setting. My husband noticed a whole box of books "in my domain" as he called it and brought it to my attention. I bought five books craft books for a bargain (first book top left and all four on the bottom row):

I also purchased another book that has childhood memories "De kabouter" (The Gnome) by Rien Poortvliet (paintings) and Wil Huygen (text). I don't recall if mom gave it away or that I disposed of it at a certain moment, but I wanted it back :-)

Extract from Wikipedia:
Rien Poortvliet (August 7, 1932 - September 15, 1995) was a Dutch draughtsman and painter.
Born in Schiedam, he was best known for his drawings of animals and for "Gnomes" in the famous series of books by Wil Huygen.
Being a plasterer's son from Schiedam, making a living as an artist did not seem an option for Rien Poortvliet. His parents were strict Dutch Reformed and were opposed to the idea of their oldest son going to an art academy.
Rien's aptitude for drawing showed early on. After primary education the young Rien worked at an ad agency, where he could make some use of his talent. He unmistakably also had talent for the advertising profession, because after he had completed his draft time in the Navy he rose to senior manager at Lintas, Unilever's ad agency.

Yet Rien took more pleasure in the work he did on the side for several publishers. He illustrated various books. He was also a passionate hunter, which led him to drawing various nature subjects.

By the end of the 1960s, Poortvliet was able to make a living as an independent illustrator.
To supplement his income, he made a book out of his drawings and watercolours based on his hunting experiences. Later on, he also made a similar work concerning the life of Jesus Christ.
Poortvliet saw himself as a characteristic narrator. His drawings told the tale, and at most he added a short caption.

For years his works were published by Van Holkema en Warendorf in Bussum, where his "Leven en werken van de Kabouter" (co-authored by Wil Huygen, English title is "Gnomes") saw an astonishing 59 printings. With the Gnomes series Poortvliet acquired international fame. While he was alive, but more so after his death this series took on a life of its own, and was turned into an animated series.

His books were translated into English, French, German, Swedish, Finnish, Italian and other languages.

I really enjoyed this day and was happy as a child to find a couple of books that really compliment my library.

On the stitching front I worked some more on my Serengeti mandala but progress is slow gowing due to the different colour changes and quarter and special stitches. I've almost finished the first corner ornament but there are 3 more to follow and a third of the month has already passed! I fear that I won't be able to finish this part before the month's end.


The Zebra panel isn't finished yet

Other thing ... I really want to start stitching on a couple of ornaments for Halloween and Christmas (for the moment I'm still able to restrain myself starting something new).

Have a nice week!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New start!

July and August didn't show a lot of blog activity ... I hope to speed it up again for the rest of the year! Hope I'll succeed!

Yesterday it was back to school for a lot of children (including mine)! My two daughters each received a new schoolbag (a big "Disney Princess" one for my 6-year old who passes from kindergarten to the "big school" - and a smaller "Tinkerbell" one for my 4-year old :-).

But ... don't be fooled ... I kept stitching during the summer months on a couple of projects. The most important one being Serengeti mandala.

Here's where I'm at for the moment:

The Zebra panel (part 6) wasn't finished on time but given the short timespan I had (only 10 days) I think my progress isn't all too bad :-) ... I'll be jumping back and forth from the panel to the corner ornaments.

The first corner (part 7) isn't completely finished yet and has to be repeated on all four sides. I love the red/orange of the Firelilies! (pictures taken yesterday evening)

Something else that gives me a lot of joy for the moment are the pumpkins that are growing in my garden. It's the first time I've planted them and I didn't foresee that they would climb against the hedge :-)!
Bathing in the sunlight
Look at those big yellow flowers!
Other progress pictures (stiching and garden :-) will follow shortly!
Have a nice "back to normal" week!