Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You know that feeling?

I wanted to start some crochet ! Well bummers ... this didn't turn out how I wanted!!!

I thought I had all the materials ready and when opening my goodies bag, I somehow missed the most important colour to start with = dark brown!

      Anna Burda - February 2012 issue - Look at all those gorgeous cottons begging "take me" :-)

So goodbye cottons and hello stitching!

I began with the biscofleur but didn't get far on the stitching since I started hesitating on the colour choice. I only use variegated threads in my larger pieces where they blend well with all the other stitching. This is different because of the use of only one floss, hence my douby! What do you think?

And the sampler also got a little bit attention. Unfortunatelly I cannot work very long on it due to the weight of the fabric. My fingers get cramped after one hour of embroidery (because it's sooooo big, I do hand stitching).

I'm currently on HAED Revelations. Page 3 is almost finished. I'll post a piccie once this is a fact! ;-)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Experimental stitching

This weekend I'm going to start stitching on a "biscofleur" (top right). I've seen in the Italian magazine called "Rakam" (December 2011 issue). It's really beautifull and filled with gorgeous models to stitch.
I have never stitched a biscornu nor any other form of those particular "cushions". Another new thing will be the blackwork part :-)

So I'm really curious to see how everything will be evolving. I'll keep you posted about my progress ;-)!

If everything goes well, this will be another model I'll start:

Just Nan - Merry Fifteen
Silver Needle (shop) exclusive

And yes ... I have those lovely pins as well!

Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My stitching after the IHSW weekend

I must admit that I stitched on the HAED Revelation yesterday (and I only took a picture today). But here it is in all it's glory!

Heaven and Earth Designs
Revelation by Sheila Wolk (retired)

The lighting was lousy, so I hope you excuse the poor quality! First one is true colours and second one is to show more detailes. I filled in the yellowish parts in the bottom half. The third page is now nearing it's completion!

Normally I should've finished 5 pages by now but ... I stitched two pages with a thread that's called "Venus" (Thai brand) which is half of the price of DMC over here (it is really expensive in Europe)!

After seeing colour tests of four different brands (including Venus) in my favourite needlework store, I decided "If I'm going to commit myself to stitching this piece for a couple of years, the quality of the materials need to be beyond doubt!".

So - call me nuts - I ripped two entire pages of stitching and restarted the piece. In order to have something different to stitch I started with page 1, followed by page 7 and now I'm on page 2 :-)

I also started a big sampler by a Belgian designer (see my previous post) called Mariska Vande Casteele.
What you see here is a fourth of the fabric (I folded it in order to take piccies) just to give you an idea of the shear size of this monster! Its stitched with a Caron Wildflowers called "Paprika" (number 195) and I'm pleased with my choice.

I had this design already for a certain time in my drawers. Because I wanted to participate in a yearly sampler SAL organised by Becky Bee's Stitching Hive, I decided to start it!

Monday, January 23, 2012

IHSW weekend

Every month stitchers from everywhere gather virtually to do an IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend). This event always takes place on the third full weekend of the month. Go to Joysze's blog if you're interested!

I subscribed for the first time, but I must admit that I didn't "produce" much stitching wise! Two lovely (but also very lively) daughters and house chores kept me from my beloved stitching :-)

On the cooking front, I made a banana cake. Fun, easy to do and ideal for using a couple of overripe bananas (I had three almost black ones in my fridge :-). I have the recipe from over here.

First time I made this cake it was a little bit "hard baked" at the edges (I had to put the cake too long in the oven because it didn't dry enough inside), so this time I used a normal form and not the traditional cake form! This is after the tasting session by other family members ;-) And yes, the darker colour on top is only the cinnamon sprinkling (not overly baked ;-)

with cellophane covering ;-)

Hope you stitched as well last weekend!?

Have a nice day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Sometimes I visit blogs where I'm impressed with the talent and creativity of stitchers and what they make from things that are old and sometimes in a bad shape. Sooo ... I've decided to search and try to make such things all for me, myself and I:-).

Here are the projects I'm planning to "beautify" ;-)

Two "letterboxes" I've bought this week Wednesday. They still need sanding and a new layer of paint. After that I plan stitching letters and small designs and insert them in the boxes ... although I still haven't any clue which designs :-). I think it should be fun having one normal that's kept the same all through the year and another one that can be changed according to the seasons (Valentine, Easter, Halloween, Christmas and NewYear, ...).

Inspiration came from:

    Celani                                                    Petitescroix 01

    Zephyr and co                                        Ktia

    Yakafaire                                               Ladieboop

     Toiledelinetpetitescroix                        Crosstitchfairy.canalblog.com

Second thing I'm planning on doing is repurposing an old sewing box.

Same thing with this oldie that's from around 1920 ... Sanding, a new layer of paint and then some cross stitch designs in the interior or just a new layer of fabric, or the two. I'm still indecided :-)


      Mamicoco                                           Argone

     Sakartonn                                            Les tresors de Phinel

    (two boxes from Phine as well)

 If you want to have more eye candy, you can find many beautifull examples in google. Just type "casiers d'imprimeur" and "travailleuse relookée" for the French sites and "sewing box/basket" for the English ones (I didn't find a lot in the "printer boxes" department :-). After that you click on images ... enjoy! 

Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Amazing crochet

I'm not only an avid cross stitcher! :-)

Occasionally I also like to take a crocheting hook and make something more elaborate ... but ... I've just seen a blog entry by Annemarie and this knitted construction completly blew me away! Talking about possibilities here!

Woods of Net Knitted Wonder Space by Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam
Hakone Open Air Museum - Japan

Thanks for sharing Annemarie! Just have a look at her blog!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Favourite designers - American ones

Well, if I'd have to put all the pictures of all the designers in one blog entry, you would have to read several pages - LOL!!!

I'm just going to give an alphabetical list of all my favourite designers (I know that there are lots more) and a couple of photos with my desired pieces (already bought or not :-)

Blackbird Designs
I already have two charts but would also loooove to do their stockings series (each month three stockings) and the newly designed Christmas Garden sampler.

Blue Ribbon Designs
Fun designs that you can use in different ways = stitch the entire samplers they propose or use parts of them as ornaments, box lids, etc.

Carriage House Samplings
I'm truly fond of their Hawk Run Hollow designs. I have two of those charts, but shall be adding others in the future ... I quickly ordered these two when I thought they were going out of business last year - luckily business has been continued by a family member!

Country Cottage Needleworks
Daughter of the designer of Little House Needleworks. I don't have anything from her - yet - but plan to buy her newly released monthly cottages.

Cross Eyed Cricket
Difficult to describe their style. There's always something that appeals to me in their charts :-)
In my posession :

Cross My Heart
Although my taste has evolved the last couple of years, I have around 15 of their charts in my bookshelves.
As I really like cats and their bigger brothers/sisters these are the two charts I would like to stitch (and finish). I only need time :-)

Dimensions Inc
They have lots of beautifull kits (a little bit more complicated due to the usage of colour blending). I find myself drawn to their oriental designs and have purchased some of those kits (of which I've only partially stitched the Samurai).

The Drawn Thread
Nothing to report there ... I think they have lots of lovely designs like their monthly pocket calendar covers or the different Tocatta's. If I would have to chose, I would go for Sanctuary, Marriage of Minds or Open Heart.

Glendon Place
They don't have a very large "oeuvre" yet, but I've got the impression that they're working hard to change this. Quite funny and intricate ... I have the "Murky Manor" chart but have my eyes on a couple of other
ones as well :-)

Heaven and Earth Designs
Do I still need to introduce them? It's for all the nutty stitchers that have serious problems and don't realise how much time such a BAP consumes!!! And yes ... I've got 6 charts (which I could easily multiply with 6 - only common sense is keeping me from stash enhancement).

I'm currently stitching on one (and only one) piece of them called Revelation by Sheila Wolk which is actually retired since a couple of years. As you can see, the work is well charted by HAED.

Ink Circles
I have a couple of their charts but due to lack of time didn't start one yet.

JBW Designs
I don't have anything from them yet, but I admit that I'm drawn to their ornament style designs! For instance the Christmas Collection (trees), Christmas Village  and Stocking series are wonderfull. Fun, not complicated and - a big advantage - they are finished in a breeze!

Just Nan
I admit that I wasn't drawn to her designs in the first place, but last year the bug bit me hard and I purchased a couple of her more rare designs (I have to admit that I went a litlle bit nuts :-)


Kustom Krafts
The only piece I've stitched from them has special memories ... I worked on it during my grandmother's deathbed.

Little House Needleworks
Mother of the Country Cottage Needleworks designer. She has sooooo many lovely designs that I would like to have them all. I've subscribed to a monthly program to receive all of her ornaments for 2012 (but I'll be acquiring the 2010 and 2011 series as well :-).

January 2012 ornament

Moira Blackburn
Has lovely samplers. Should buy some of them but have to finish lots of other things first :-)
To my likings:

Too many to name. Should really start to stitch on the charts I already have (kitted up and all). But then again ... lack of time :-)

Would like to get all the Reindeer + sleigh charts, the Snow Globe houses and the Season Queens, as well as the following ones:

Plum Street Samplers
I really like reading her blog. She's such a lovely and lively person and the love for her daughters and hubby is obvious. On my wishlist:

Prairie Moon
One of those "primitive" designers that have lots of funny charts and not too complicated. I adore their stocking series that reflect the days of Christmas ("On the first day of X-mas my true love gave to me ...etc.").

Prairie Schooler
I've recently started to collect their charts. They're fun, not difficult to stitch and ideal for ornaments. A couple of my favourites:

Praiseworthy Stitches
Also fall under the category of "primitive designs". What drew my attention were these three lovelies (I only have the first one = Ravenmoon Hall).

Shakespeare's Peddler
Teresa, the designer of da Peddler also has an online shop and is a really sweet lady, always ready to help. One of her specialties is the reproduction of old samplers. I have the following design from her and I think it's wonderfull:

Shepherd's Bush
Lovely designs, a little bit naive and what I would call "pastoral" ... Fun to stitch, not complicated and ideal for gift giving :-) I love their big - and I mean really BIG - stockings and also the "Scatter ..." line (of which I've recently added "Scatter Eggs" to my stash pile ;-)

Sweetheart Tree
Ah ... they have such romantic and delicate designs!
Although I would like to have lots of their designs, I have nothing of them in my closets. I think I would start small and go for one of their lovely biscornu (which I haven't tried before).

Victoria Sampler
I've got the same feeling for this one as for the Sweetheart Tree = feminine, delicate, ... More complex and difficult due to their use of Hardanger (but worthwile once finished). They've got a great series called "Heirloom" and one I'm certainly going to purchase and stitch is the Heirloom Stitching Sampler ... I've got two daughters whom I would love to pass my love for stitching (we'll see since they're still young = 5 and 3).

With Thy Needle and Thread
Primitive ... But oh soooo much fun! Once finished these pieces will surely draw the attention of everyone visiting your home (for sure)! My favourites:

Well ... that's it for now! Hope you liked our tour through Europe and America (don't forget your tour guide ;-) LOL!

I think you've got a good impression of the things I like by now :-) I'll talk more fun stuff later = plans and actual stitching! Yay!

Have a good night and see ya later!