Category Archives: Finished

Hearts & Flowers

There’s no escaping it – excluding January, 2-oh-oh-8 has been a pretty lean year for me, crafting- and stitching-wise. I’m a bit bummed about that, but as usual, when I’m feeling a lot of stress about other things, I find the urge to create falls in a heap. Instead, I’ve been doing a lot more reading than usual (the highlight of which has been the very beautiful Girl with a Pearl Earring – how, oh how have I not read this before?) More recently, I’ve developed an unhealthy addiction to Packrat on Facebook (and I’m going to go ahead and blame Annette for that, even though I know she will protest!)

All has not been completely lost though. Way way waaay back in February, I did actually do a wee bit o’ cross-stitchin’ 🙂 Can’t for the life of me remember where this cute heart is from (DMC??), but it was a freebie chart, and I stitched it with a pretty pink hand dyed silk from Jo.


Then, in March, I became a joiner-in-er! I sidled into a Brown Owls meeting one night, had a bit of fun stitching up my name and Tweenie panels, decided that a room full of crafty strangers wasn’t quite as scary as I thought, and became a Seconder that very night. What is Brown Owls? Why it’s ‘Brownies’ for Crafters, of course :giggle: (or ‘my weird cult’, if you believe my sweet husband!) Bunches of crafty chicks sitting around the clubhouse drinking tea, eating bikkies, chatting, and learning and sharing bits of crafty goodness. All thanks to the Good Lady Pip.

I’ve been to another two meetings since – in April we played with hooks and yarn. After the crochet class, inspired by Lara’s collection of flowers, I came home and puzzled my way through a few online tutorials to create this bunch:


At last night’s meet we had a bit of a Mix-up – everyone brought in whatever they liked to work on, plus some Show & Tell. I was so worried I was going to be the daggiest crafter there – because it has always seemed to me that even in this atmosphere of crafty revival, cross-stitch is still stuck firmly in the ‘Nanna crafts’ category. But surprise! and yay! I wasn’t the only one who brought cross-stitch. I know… I worry about the silliest things 😳

Oh yes, and on the weekend, one of my red flowers made its way onto a last-minute handmade gift for my Mum for Mothers’ Day (makes me feel like I’m back in kindergarten… in a good way!)



But the thing that is making me happiest of all today is a small but significant breakthrough in the Finn situation. We’ll get there yet 🙂

Windows, Lights… Pillows?

‘Tis late. We’re not long back from ‘doing’ the Myer windows and the Boulevard lights – two Melbourne Christmas institutions if ever there were. With a stop off at Haigh’s on the way. Yum. Two happy but tired kids fell asleep on the way home. I thought I’d show you a couple of recent finished objects before I do the same.

This cushion:
Finn's Cushion

which is a long awaited finish (remember the work in progress?) from Finn. He finished it in time to show his teacher last week at his (sob! sniff!) last Kinder session.

The proud boy (since having a new camera – early gift from Mum, thanks Mum 🙂 – necessitated taking new playground shots of kids):

And a finish from me, which I probably shouldn’t really be showing off yet, since it’s still en route to the recipient:
Ornament Exchange 2007

This was for an ornament exchange on the Aus Xers yahoo group. I joined up before I realised what a slump in stitching I was about to experience. Blah. So I have to confess… I probably broke the rules a little bit. This stitched piece (a Drawn Thread freebie) was sitting in my ‘to be finished’ pile already(!) When I realised I had zero chance of getting something new stitched for the exchange, I picked this out and finished it up as a pillow ornament. Is that bad? Anyway, I’m not counting it as a finish for the year, but I do plan to restitch it for myself, because I think it’s really pretty. If I manage to kick myself in the butt after Christmas is over, I might just get it done before ’08!


Ahem. Sorry about the unscheduled broken-time. A stupid mistake – I was upgrading my WordPress installation and then went to bed without actually testing it properly, and hey, turns out I missed that teeny tiny .htaccess file that makes it all work. So Million Stitches was broken good and proper this last 24 hours. Never mind. We’re back in business now. And I have part two of the Smalls Exchange to show you. Here are the pretties which Christine stitched for me – an Ellen Maurer Stroh biscornu (beautiful beaded edge Christine 🙂 ) and fob:


Aren’t they gorgeous? You can see more images on Christine’s post, including a photograph of the extra goodies she sent me – a lovely handmade card, highlighters (staple of any stitcher’s toolkit!), doggie post-its which Finn very much fancies for himself, and the very beautiful Drawn Thread Cloister Garden kit. This is me on opening my gifties: 😆

Smalls Exchange


Many many years ago, when I was in my early teens, I was the recipient of a chain letter which promised a ten-fold return in new undies (aka knickers/panties/smalls, take your pick) – you simply had to send the letter on to several friends, purchase a new pair of undies and send them to the person at the top of the list. Haha. I think this was the only chain letter I ever actively participated in. Can’t remember how many pairs I received, but there were certainly a few.

Every time I think of the exchange I just took part in, it makes me think of the undies chain letter and giggle :giggle: But this was not that sort of exchange! It was the ‘open themed small exchange’ on the Rotation Stitchers’ BB. We were to stitch up any ‘small thing’ for our recipient. I stitched these Indigo Rose pretties for Jen Harper. Here is the back of the fob:

(click pics for embiggening 🙂 )

This is the first time I’ve stitched the spider’s web stitch, the first time I’ve beaded the edge of a fob, and the first time I’ve finished anything as a needlebook. I procrastinated a little bit on that last thing, but eventually got the fiddly little book done, and I love the results! Happily, Jen does too 🙂

Now… time to drum up some motivation to work on my TW Storyteller, seeing as I have ‘committed’ myself to the October TW stitchalong on The Wagon.

A Simple Life – New Friends – And Old

Finn, Niamh and I spent yesterday morning with Marita and her girls, and Marita’s sister in law and her boys. There was playing, snacking, and even (shock!) stitching. Not much of that, mind you, but I gave a little bit of love to my Wee Beasties dragonfly. It was such a lovely morning, company and weather-wise, that I was reluctant to leave, but Finn needed to go to kinder, and Niamh to bed, so we had to head off all too soon. Hanging out for the next time! Funny, just a few short months ago, I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have any crafty friends who also had kids of a similar age. I guess sometimes the universe takes notice 🙂

Then in the evening I spent a good long time on the phone to a close friend who I have been woeful at keeping in touch with these last few years (since I had babies and she went off to other parts of the world – if that sounds a touch green-eyed-monster-ish, it isn’t meant to!). She’s now back home(ish)… in Tasmania, and (surprise, Mel!) expecting her first baby in December. I’m so excited for her, and hoping to make plans to get there for a visit sometime in ’08.

Today’s pic is finally the promised photo of Elizabeth’s Designs A Simple Life. The grass at the bottom was kind of tricky – I didn’t want the variegation in the thread to come through in vertical or horizontal stripes, so I intentionally stitched ‘blocks’ of the grass at a time, trying to emulate dappled sunlight coming through the tree. Not quite sure it was 100% successful, but y’know, it looks okay, I think. And marks finish number 9 for 2007.

Moving Right Along

Thank you all for your warm words of support and advice re. my last post. Virtual hugs are almost as therapeutic as the real thing 🙂 I have had a generally good week since. On the weekend, we got away for a couple of days, and the distraction of a grandfather and two uncles provided the kiddos some amusement while I managed to nap. Both days! And stitch! It was nice to break that particular 3-week drought.

The week since has been fairly uneventful, at least until today. It’s the second week of school holidays here at the moment, so no pre-school for Finn, but we’ve had some extra swimming lessons, trips to the library, trips to the park, and lots of mess-making (erm, and DVD watching) at home to keep us happy. Today I thought ‘hey, let’s venture further afield. Let’s have a day-trip to the Museum’.

I should’ve stuck with the DVDs. Not terribly far from home, we were rear-ended by Mr-Impatient-Guy. Dammit. Now the car needs repairing, and I suffered that lovely post adrenaline-surge hangover all day (we didn’t go to the Museum, btw. Finn was cool about it, particularly since he got to ride his bike down to the nearest playground instead). Let’s hope this vehicular incident doesn’t turn out like the last one two.

Okay. Moving on, and filling your screens with something far more interesting than my weepfest. These three wee little biscornu ornament/fobs (is biscornu the plural as well as the singular? Or is it something funky like biscornii?!) were finally sent out to their new homes, weeks after finishing them, so now I can show-and-tell:


These were to be ‘GTG gifts’ for Tannia, Anne and Junette, only I decided less than 48 hours before we met up that I wanted to make something, and so naturally, they weren’t finished in time. (Actually, the stitching was, but the finishing was not.) The fibres are all dyed by me. The designs are freebies from My Aunt’s Attic. Have you seen this project? A box of old hand drawn charts has been recovered in an attic, designer unknown, and this lovely lady is making them available for free. Many of the designs are quite lovely. My favourite (yet to be stitched) is the Butterflies chart in this post.

Oh, and yes, one of the biscornu/ii is slightly crooked. My advice? Don’t try making biscornu/ii with sides which are an odd number of stitches. You have to compensate at each corner, and while two of them worked out, for some reason I messed up that middle one slightly, and couldn’t make it come good (sorry Junette).

Question… do these three count as one finish, or three, for my 12-finishes-this-year goal, d’you think?

Later That Month…

The Blogger’s block continues. But I have been stitching. A few secret things – more on those later. And, surprise, surprise, I dragged something out from beneath the mountain of unfinished-finished-things:

I stitched this Teresa Wentzler freebie bookmark back in 2004. Finally, I actually made it into a bookmark! And used it, what’s more:

I used this stuff to fuse the fabric together:

I don’t know how kosher that is with regards to longevity of the stitching, but watch me not care. Also not caring about the lumpy seam up the back of the bookmark. The front looks good, and it does what it should, and that’s all that matters 🙂

Also in the interim since my last post, I spent a lovely afternoon meeting some fellow Melburnian stitchers – Junette, Anne and I descended on Tannia’s house where she plied us with food and wine, and we whiled a few hours away chatting and getting in some quality kitty time. Niamh came along, and made short work of befriending all and sundry, except perhaps Banjo, who remained unconvinced. It was lovely, and I hope we do it again sooner rather than later.

Then, we spent this weekend just past away for a couple of days with Dermot’s (large) family. Annually, on the weekend following Queen’s Birthday, we hire a school-camp facility (dorm rooms, communal showers and kitchen – you know the kind of thing) and spend two days eating, drinking and being generally merry, all in celebration of his grandmother’s birthday. She was 87 this year, and we all had a wonderful weekend. Here’s to many more like it 😆

Tranquil Sky

I’m finding myself struggling with the idea of blogging lately. So pictures, not words, today. A finish from Amaryllis Artworks – Tranquil Sky.

I like it, it’s pretty, but… 164 frelling eyelets? What was I thinking?!

Funny that I would stitch something ‘tranquil’, when I’ve been feeling anything but.

Niamh’s birthday on Sunday. Will report back with photos, hopefully.

Again with the Hardanger!

Be wary – the little people, they strike when you are least prepared. And nick off with your latest finish!

Haha. Moments after this shot, Niamh was ‘posing’ the ornament up against the wall, just like Mummy :giggle: I have photos of that too, but they’re just too blurry, and besides, this one captures that glint in her eye just perfectly!

So here then is my latest finish – Scissors Keeper (only it isn’t) from the book ‘Hardanger Embroidery’ by Jill Carter. It’s stitched with one of my hand dyed #8 perle cottons and a couple of DMC pinks which I don’t think were perfect choices, really. I just grabbed whatever I could find because I was itching to start this. Both sides are identical, and it’s finished this as a pillow-style Christmas ornament instead of a fob.

Can you spot the suspended beads in the Dove’s eyes? How about now:


Good trick, no? I like this a lot, and I’m planning to do another in a different colourway, and with larger beads (again, I just grabbed what came easily to hand). There are a couple of other pieces in this book that I’d like to stitch, too. Next up – the Pincushion, I think.


My Precioussss

Wheeeee! I’m happy dancing again – and this finish comes complete with sparkles and dragonflies. Allow me to present Dragonfly Jewels by The Cat’s Whiskers Design Studio:


So, so, so, so pretty. Technically not a complete finish, of course – the complete design requires four flaps to be stitched which are then attached so as to hide the message until they are untied. While I am fascinated by the 3-D finishing method, I just can’t see myself shelling out the $60 for the box to mount this in just yet, so it will have to wait. Also, I really love the design as is, so perhaps I’ll end up just framing it instead.

There is nothing I don’t love in this – the colours, the silks, the over-one words – and those dragonflies. The eyes! The legs! Look at them! They’re just so damn cute and sparkly, I love them to bits! This may well just be my favourite finish to date 🙂


These last few posts may have you believing that I have my stitching groove back on. I’m thinking it’s probably just a temporary thing, myself. There’s so much on the burner at the moment. Home improvement-y things we have to do; sewing I’d like to fit in; school selection/enrolment blahblah for Finn; a thirtieth birthday weekend to plan for OtherHalf and a FIRST birthday celebration for the littlest one. So I’m pretty sure the stitching is going to take a back seat again for a little while. But I have finally made myself a goal for 2007 (me – goal making – the horror!). I’d like to have at least 12 finishes – one per month. Small, medium or large, doesn’t matter. So far, I’m on track… we’ll see how the rest of the year goes.

And now… ahem. I am up really really late, and so there’s no one but myself to blame tonight for too little sleep. So g’night.