Ola and welcome!
What a month! How have you all been? I’m not sorry to see the back of January, I think it’s one of the hardest months for me at least! it’s that month where; if like mine, your organisation shuts down over the holidays, I find it hard getting back into the swing of things. There is this injection of energy into projects and it can feel a little overwhelming, but I’m all settled in now. Without any more delay let’s get started.
Name That Thread/Thread Launch
I’d like to start out by saying a massive thank you to all who submitted their responses to the “Name That Thread” competition. It’s was so much fun seeing the responses – This thread was calling out for a name, it was just known as Green and Purple- and whilst that is ok for some of the threads we’ll have in our shop (more on that later) to have a simple and obvious name it was such a shame for this particular thread to have a very generic name, so we decided to go to our trusted crafters and ask for help naming it. We battled between two names but in the end it was agreed that the winning name “African Violet” was to be its new name. The Winner is Latisha Beckett
Latisha was hot off the press and submitted several suggestions. I have never seen an African violet flower before so I Googled it! The result was me jumping around in surprise at how perfectly the name had fit this green and purple thread. Latisha has been informed and is extremely over the moon. By the time this blog goes out, her package will be in transit. Latisha also has a fabulous Podcast I’ll add a link in the “Useful Links” section, under the cross stitch drop down menu. Thank you so much Latisha!
On the back of Latisha’s winning name, I am happy to confirm that we will go live on Monday February 15th 2016 12pm GMT. With the launch of the much talked about silky hand-dyed threads, courtesy of De Haviland Embroidery, you’ll find these “Drool Worthy” threads under the De Haviland Embroidery Tab. What’s so special about them you may ask… 200 metres per hank, individually hand-dyed, they are ideal for so many of your projects such as :
Black Work, Cross Stitch, Bobbin Lace, Needle Lace, Hardanger, Quilting, Tatting, Gold Work, Canvas, Assisi, Silk Shading, Shadow Work, Prick & Stitch/Pinbroidery Cards and much more, the sky is the limit. Shade cards are not available as the colours are unique to each dye lot.
These threads will have a special introductory price for 10 days only so don’t delay! We look forward to seeing you soon.
You, Me, Help CHD!-
I was approached by a work colleague who has over the years admired my knitting. Her sister who works for the Children’s Heart FEDERATION wanted a knitted red hat, so my colleague asked if I could knit a hat small enough to fit a dolls head, she gave me a run down about a very worthwhile campaign called You, Me, help CHD!; I was sold. She had brought in a very handsome looking young doll I took his measurement and away I went to knit a hat.
The Children’s Heart Federation (CHF) is the leading UK children’s heart charity and the main umbrella body for British CHD charities and voluntary organisations.
Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect in the UK. Thousands of babies are born with a heart problem each year and hundreds of children develop a heart condition at some point after birth. CHF has emulated the idea of their Molly Dollies, wearing a red hat to remember all the premature babies out there needing our help; from the American Heart Association campaign called ‘Little Hats Big Hearts’.
For all you Ravelry account holders you can find my FREE pattern, donated to the Children’s Heart FEDERATION to raise awareness here.
A PDF pattern is also available here. Please take a moment if you can, to visit the CHF website for further information about their mission. You can also find a link to a pattern for full term babies.
Thank you to my colleague and her sister for involving me in such an amazing cause, and of course for the vino and truffles!! X
A labour of love, dear old Betty she has been in the project bag quite a bit, not because I don’t love this project but more because I have so many different things on the go and I like to dedicate a good couple of days to her because I often find I forget exactly where I was if I leave it too long. I stitch where the majority of colour is and then cry about the confetti afterwards, but then it doesn’t have the back stitch to define things so I guess I should be thankful for small mercies…
Betty is a present for my sister who loves to shop till she drops and I thought this stitch was just perfect. This is stitched on a Mottled Lavender 14 ct Aida that I got from Sewandso.
If you are anything and I mean anything like me, when it comes to podcasts – (YourTV programmes day in day out), then you’ll know that just about every knitter who has a podcast has some socks on the go…. all the time. It’s not as simple as “oh I need a pair of socks I think I will go and knit me some” it’s more like, “I’m going to see a movie, or I have a long drive (passenger of course) and If I’m sitting, I’ve got to be knitting, so the socks just get cast on. My reason for this pair of socks is because I genuinely needed some new ones, my funky “get well soon” socks that I knit when I was recovering from a rib injury, was on the verge of being hidden by my husband if I wore it one more time….(yes I washed them in between wearing of course)
Get well soon socks
All this podcast Sockery made me eager to cast one on.
I’ve almost finished one foot, I should get cracking on this really, but I know my fellow crafters understand. These are so comfy I can’t tell you! I’m following the German short row technique from the Guru of all Gurus’ Staci Perry from Verypink.com
Secret Knitting and Stitching
I’m one of those people that can keep a secret if you have confided in me, forever but if I know that eventually the news or “temporary secret “ (for lack of a better description) will be revealed, trying to keep things low key is hard!! So I am doing a couple of secret projects that unfortunately I cannot show here as it would not be a secret no more!
One of the secret projects is a glove; I can say that much at least, as I did have the person close their eyes and try it on for size, but they don’t know what the style is or the exact colour. I’ll explain in more detail when I’ve got this finished, it’s almost done.
The second one is a cross stitch piece for a friend, I really hoped I would be done by now, but I really want to make this as it should be, I don’t grid – I wish I did, but I’m an impatient crafter so I dive right in! As it is I might be playing “chicken” with the cloth, I’m not sure I’ll have enough room so may have to do some improvising. In case my friends are reading this, you are not allowed to ask who it’s for “Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lie”
Decoupage cards and boxes
I am very excited to talk about my new love; card-making with dimension. For most of you that have been following me on Instagram or following the blog, you will know that I had a little bit of an obsession with making “Prick and Stitch/Pinbroidery” cards.
I had made a few and went crazy on patterns that were about £1.00, along with card stock and stocked up on the hand-dyed threads from De Haviland Embroidery. THEN my friends I discovered Decoupage cards after stumbling upon (in my opinion) the most addictive TV craft show out there.
I was hand-cuffed and forced to watch Create and Craft TV. Those naughty people made me get my purse and buy buy buy!
I can’t tell you the complete amount spent but my husband did say to me one day when I’d causally asked “did anything come for me in the post” “yes…… you have a problem….. A serious problem man”! It ended with me having to write a letter to my pretty cool neighbour who for 2 days straight took packages in for me. It started with these cute 144 page books by Hunkydory.
There are 6 pages/copies of the same design in case you wanted to do a decoupage card and layer the images but if you wanted to use the removable pages to make individual cards, then you have 144 cards. I love these little booklets they measure 6X4 but of course you could add boarders or mount them onto co-ordinating card and build up the page topper to fit the card size you want –Hunkydory don’t scrimp – they produce quality.
I began to get the card making bug so I have a couple of examples to show you – these are not from the Hunkydory booklets. I found these online.
Above is a leaving card for one of the graduates we have in our department, she is about to do her next rotation. The little white strip needs to have the words “Thank You” neatly written on, but I am still counting this as a finished object.
This cutesy card is for my colleague who has been skiing since she was very young; she seemed to light up every time she spoke about her recent trip to see her parents in Geneva and of course ski, so I couldn’t resist making this for her.
To protect the cards as some will be quite 3D I started thinking about how I could keep them looking fresh whilst in transit – with the aid of a “Top Score” board from Crafters Companion I made some boxes. So fun and easy to make, I’m totally in my happy zone.
It seems inevitable now, that I will be expanding the site to showcase cards as I’ve invested heavily into card making so I think it deserves its own page and will be added to the useful links section in the coming months – stayed tuned.
Digi Stamps/Rubber Stamps and colouring
On my many browsing sessions, looking for inspirations for card designs, I came across rubber stamps! I then came across “Digi Stamps” Digi being short for: Digital. I’d need a whole blog if I went into detail about this so please get in touch if there is something I’ve not mentioned that you’d like to find out. What I will say is: I now have a mad stash of DS’s and this in turn has led me on to shaded colouring, the kind where you can see light and dark shadings; this will add dimension to my work. I plan to expand my card making designs by colouring in stamps and adding these to my cards, it is not as easy as I thought though; being a colourist is a real skill. I have purchased alcohol colouring pens as these help colours to blend. I have two brands: Spectrum Noir and Bic Mark it Markers.
I also have the clear glitter overlay pen that adds some Sparkle to the cards. You can see this on the “Ski” and “Thank you” card I showed you earlier.
Well I had to try this technique out, so I’ve been practising, here is an example using a Digi Stamp I am trying to add highlights, contours and sheen to this little girls hair. It’s not perfect, it didn’t help that I was also missing a couple of colours but I’m so motivated to do this well that I’ll keep doing it till I get it right, I may even attempt to get my colourist accreditation when I’m a pro watch this space. (Me Left, Professional Right)
I’m always looking to expand on my crafts and card making seems to be so versatile, so I’m already looking into die cut machines, dies and embossing…. I work to craft, so it seems. I have no idea where I will put everything… sssh don’t tell hubby!
Almost a project?
I am so eager to get on my sewing machine, the struggle is real! I have however purchased some fabrics to keep me happy.
I plan to start some projects in March so I hope I have something I can show you then. I’m going to attempt to make a pillow case dress for a bambina that will be born spring/summer and some project bags. I thought I’d share some of the fabrics I’ve bought. I’ve got a thing for fun print – can you tell??
I’m well underway with kitting up my Seven Dwarfs cross stitch,
On next month’s blog, I have a yarn I’d like to review and I’d like to introduce you to a little bear that goes by the name of Monsieur Bearlaymont!
Thank you so much for those who signed up to the blog after my shout out on Carolynn Mazzeo’s Recent Podcast. One of the most amazing, very kind and genuine person I have the pleasure of knowing, thank you also to the ones who’ve signed up and checked out the blog, it makes it all worthwhile.
Remember you can get in touch via the “contact us” section anytime.