I did say I was itching to get stuck back into the dyes, didn’t I?! Funny how when I get something into my head, the priorities list has a way of rewriting itself! Last night I dyed a few pieces of 100% wool felt. It’s the first time I’ve done this – I’ve been meaning to try it for an age, but was finally spurred on when I saw a) the lovely hand-dyed felt Trudi has been creating, and b) the deliciousness out at Winterwood. Winterwood is where I picked up my base felt – it is so soft and lovely, and it thickens up a bit more in the dyeing process. The trick is getting it not to thicken up too much – I was scared to poke and prod too much once it was wet, and as a result there is a bit more mottling than I was after in two of the pieces. Now I’m a bit more familiar with the process, I’m sure the next time will be a bit easier.
Combined with a little bit of car-crafting from Monday (doesn’t this make a lovely knob-cozy for my stereo?)…
…I think you can tell what I’ll be making more of today 🙂
Visit some more creative spaces via Kirsty.
Oh, and also Speaking of Colour, it has recently been brought to my attention (when I switched to using the family Mac, with it’s whizzbang monitor, instead of my less whizzbang laptop) that on some screens, my blog and all my photographs look a bit… crap! So if you have one of those screens, I’m really sorry. It would appear I’ve been blasting your eyeballs with oversaturated colour for the past however-long-you-have-been-reading 🙁 For what it’s worth, the background felt in the above pictures should be a lovely creamy colour, not the light yellow it appears on my screen currently (of course, the problem could lie with the whizzbang screen I suppose!)
Look at all that lovely de-lurking down there! Thank you for all the kind comments on my birthday post. (Only one ‘You’re Ace’ though. Hmmmm.) I’m delighted to announce that the ten pretty flossies will be making their way to Valerie any day now.
I was going to give you photographic evidence of the name-draw as carried out by my barrel boy, Finn – but Melbourne winter evening + poor kitchen lighting did not permit. Besides – see above. It looked kind of like that! You’re just going to have to take my word for it 🙂
Valerie, if you would be so kind as to send me your details, I’ll have the floss off in the mail to you ASAP.
Oh, by the way, if anyone else is interested in what happened to my floss dyeing tutorial (I had an email a little while back about this), I do plan on getting it back up at some point – hopefully with accompanying photographs. In the meanwhile, I have the text of it available as a PDF, so just email me if you’re interested in doing some dyeing of your own!
… the blog turns three today!!!
By some odd chance of fate (the strangest coincidences keep happening to me lately – something in the air?), this lovely lady asked me yesterday how long I had been blogging. It occurred to me later that my ‘bloggiversary’ (cripes I hate that word!) must be sometime around now, and lo and behold, May 28 is it. Yep, I’ve been rabbiting on for lo these 36 months now. So Happy Birthday blog!
Now like all good crafty bloggers, I’m giving the birthday gifty to you 🙂 Readers-slash-commenters bring the life to a blog, and I am so grateful to those of you who have hung around, especially over the last angst-ridden, sparsely-updated twelve months or so. Niamh and I have assembled this pretty little palette of Sugarlemon hand-dyed embroidery floss. All you need to do is delurk, tell me I’m Ace (or not!), and one random person scoops the lot.
Also, we made Birthday Scroggin. I can’t guarantee there’ll be any of that left when the time comes to send off the floss though :giggle:
(Actually, the Scroggin has nothing to do with the bloggiversary, but it is very festive, don’t you think? Inspired by an old Kiddley post. Yum).
(Oh yes, and smilies still not fixed. Gosh I’m lazy!)
Well. Our Easter break was… slightly more than we bargained for, since our car ended up in parts in my father-in-law’s front paddock for several days!
When we arrived on Thursday afternoon, we had planned to do a fairly simple strut replacement job before heading off camping. As soon as FIL got a look at the underneath of the car, it rapidly turned into a drive-shaft-rebuild-needed-asap job. One of the drive shafts turned out to be a bugger to detach, so we weren’t able to get them into the rebuild place before everything shutting down for the long weekend. Nevermind… we loaded our considerable cargo into a trailer and FIL’s car, and took off from Friday through Monday for a lovely few days of riverfront camping.
On Tuesday morning, we had the drive shafts rebuilt, then FIL and OtherHalf spent the afternoon getting the car back in working order. And here we are, back again. Chocolate-bloated and laden with half a ton (it seems) of dirty laundry, but back.
Here then, are some promised catch up pictures. First, the two pay-it-forward packages I didn’t show you earlier:
Next, the final UFO that I stitched on for the round robin. This is Tracey’s Royal Holiday. It was nice to finish on another Mirabilia design:
And that, boys and girls, marks the end of so-called ‘obligation‘ stitching for me. For the time being, anyway. I joined this round robin because I knew I would go through a bit of a stitching slump while Niamh was little, and I figured this would be a good way to spur me into doing a little bit, better than nothing at all. But I have to confess, I’m not sad to see then end of it. I was growing a bit resentful of the time spent stitching on other people’s work (though I will no doubt feel differently once my own UFO gets home, and I see first-hand how much has been worked on it). Each time as the deadline approached, I felt pressured to stitch, even though I didn’t necessarily feel like doing so. I have done very little other stitching for the whole year so far – I completed the Hardanger exchange, I’ve spent a couple of hours on Lilly, and just in this last week I’ve come very close to a finish on one of my smaller pieces (hopefully I’ll dance this weekend). But that’s all. So I’ve decided to opt out of any more exchanges or round robins for at least the rest of 2007. How much or how little stitching I will actually do, I can’t predict, but I just don’t want to feel the pressure of deadlines for a little while.
Far overdue, may I show you in full the hardanger exchange which I stitched for Jenny. You can see it hanging on the wall in her post – here’s a slightly different angle for interest:
Or, you can get up close and personal with the stitching here. Although I thought finishing it as a ‘wall ornament’ was kind of uninspired (hey, I was really tired!), I was really happy with the quality of my finishing. I have a bag (or, um, three) of finished-but-not-finished projects which I’d really like to start making a dent in – Anne and Karen have started up the Focus on Finishing blog, have you seen it? That should provide me with some inspiration.
The reason I’ve taken so long to post this is because my ‘spare’ time (insert maniacal laugh here) has been taken up with Suz’s UFO for the Round Robin. She sent around Black Swan’s Lily Pond Dreams. Confetti stitching ahoy! It kicked my butt, and once again I didn’t achieve as much as I would have liked. Here are the before ‘n’ afters, clickable for biggering.
And, just in case you aren’t all pictured out, here are pics of the three pay-it-forward packages that I know have arrived. (Should check up on the other two – Angi, Debbi, are yours there yet?). I dyed a fat 1/8 of linen or evenweave, and some stranded cotton (plus a perle for Jenna) for each person in their colour preferences. So far, so good, everyone seems to like these:
Phew! I think that’s about it.
Posted in Counted Stitchwork, Dyeworks, Finished, In Progress, Other Craft
Tagged cross-stitch, embroidery floss, exchange stitching, hand-dyed, hardanger, Pay It Forward, round robin stitching
Heads up, Angi, Jenna, Debbi, Jinger and Tash… your pay-it-forward packages are in the mail:smile:. I hope the recipient of the particular items shown above doesn’t mind that I have appropriated their image for my new Yuku avatar :giggle: I had a lot of fun putting together five lovely packages of colour, and I hope you all enjoy them when they reach you (Tash, yours might be there by tomorrow, I’m guessing)
Thankyou for all the fabric-and-floss love. It’s very encouraging to know people like what I’m doing. I’ve more to show you, actually, as I’ve been playing some more over the last few days, dyeing my first opalescent fabrics and my first perle coton. The results of both are beautiful – I have modified my thread-dyeing method a bit, and I’m really happy with that now. I’m looking forward to stitching with some of my new pretties now. And when I get back, I’ll be finishing up a little bit more for my very patient pay-it-forward recipients, and hopefully getting those packages out.
Get back. Yes. I’m about to walk out the door and not return for six whole days. Yippee. We’re off a’camping. Niamh’s first camping adventure… should be fun! We’re going to a small music festival until Sunday, then most likely to visit my father-in-law. I may or may not have Net access in that time, and even if I do, it will be dial-up :yuk: ! So I’ll probably be back next Wednesday. You all behave yourselves while I’m gone!
Moods around here are very much improved following two days of steady rain. The drought (and it still is, despite the rain) has been very depressing on so many levels, and watching our garden wilt and die has not been fun. The ground is actually wet now, and I’m beginning to feel the mild stirrings of inspiration to plant for winter crops. We’ve never yet managed to have a winter vegetable garden – I think it’s because planting needs to be done while the weather is still sweltering, then tending/harvesting needs doing in the misery of late autumn/winter. Blah. But we’ll see. It would be nice to have soup vegetables at the very least.
Speaking of harvesting, we have managed to keep a few things going… on Saturday I picked beetroot, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and leeks. Then last night we had pesto on spaghetti, courtesy of our own basil and garlic. Yum. (We also opened wine, it was terribly civilised around here after the small people were finally in bed :giggle: )
Other delicious produce from the weekend:
Niamh was very accommodating with her naps, and I got quite a bit done, replenishing a few colours of my sale floss and dyeing some fabric for myself and others. There is one monstrously ugly piece of fabric hiding in that pile though… not sure what I’ll do with it yet. If you think you could use a fat quarter of Belfast that kind of looks like army-camo, drop me a line :giggle: (OtherHalf was more generous and said it looked ‘kind of foresty’. Yes. Like camo!).
Other people were busy on the weekend too… we found out this morning that my mother and stepfather snuck out and got married yesterday… finally legal after nineteen years together! Congratulations you two :drink: !
In the absence of much advice from you, dear readers, I had to make up my own mind on what to spend my recent earnings. I decided in the end to add to my dyeing stash rather than my stitching stash (is it actually possible I’m approaching SABLE with my stitching stash?) So I bought some more white fabrics (including opalescents), and have some new dyes coming to me from Kraftkolour. I’m excited about the prospect of returning to some dyeing, and I have some ideas brewing.
Which leads to my next item of business. I’ve spotted this ‘paying it forward’ concept on a couple of blogs lately, and tonight I decided to join in, on Christine’s blog. So here goes:
I will create some ‘piece of art’ for the first five people to respond to this post in the comments below. I’m interpreting ‘art’ fairly loosely here. Given my recent purchases (see above), you can probably guess along the lines of what I would like to create. So if you’re interested, comment away. Next, drop an email to me, letting me know your postal address, and I’ll be in touch 🙂
The catch? You need to blog this too, and ‘pay it forward’ in your own way. Go on… it’ll be fun!
The Hiccup Stuff
Or more accurately, the hiccoughs. They have started. Finn hiccoughed in utero for about the last two months. (Didn’t stop for about a month afterwards, either). Looks like Small will be following suit. I think it’s so cute! Much cuter than my abdominal bits are feeling and looking lately, anyway.
The Wall Stuff
The Wall, it comes down this weekend. Be afraid. Be very afraid. You know, I’d really like to take Before and After photographs, I would. If only I could get the kitchen and living areas clean enough to do so first! (Actually, I’ll probably have to, since the tearing down of said wall will necessitate some tidiness, after all).
The Dyeing Stuff
#1 – I’m very sad at the loss of my dyeing space, due to Wall-goings-on and the rest of the kitchen ‘rearrangement’. Am going to see if I can manage enough space in our stupid tiny laundry area to set up, but it may well be that my dyes go away for the forseeable future.
#2 – Hoping to squeeze this in before packing the dye-bits’n’pices away. Mum gave me some yarn to try dyeing. I picked up a couple of Landscape dyes (easy-peasy no-extra-acids-needed wool dyes) from Kraftkolour on the day they were closing their doors (sob! They went mail order only, how sad). So I’m going to try a couple of vareigated yarns. I don’t really knit – I can manage a scarf or a cushion though, so I’ll let you know how it turns out.
#3 – Also on the dyeing, I just wanted to remind those of you who’ve bought some floss that you probably should rinse it in cool/lukewarm water prior to stitching with it. I do rinse fairly extensively after dyeing, but there is always a chance of some excess dye left clinging. I’ll add this suggestion into my sale page shortly.
The Employment Stuff
You may remember a bit ago I decided not to take on the offer of a job, as documented here? Well, my lecturer has come back to me with a modified offer – would I like to do some marking? This can (mostly) be done from home, and it won’t begin at the very start of semester, so Small should be 2-3 months by the time I start. I said yes, I’m interested. I’m probably going to slap myself later – my university is not renowned for its generosity s’far as remuneration is concerned. Nor does the time allotted to mark assignments come anywhere close to the actual time that marking takes. But… I figure, it keeps my brain alive, keeps my toe in the water. It could be a good experience.
The Stitching Stuff
Um… no :blank: Must try harder.
Meep. Where does the time go? Finn has been at kinder all morning and I have acheived nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Except a very ordinary blog post. Sigh.