Tag Archives: cross-stitch

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.

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.

A Wee Finish

Many moons ago, I made the Big List, coming clean about my WIPs. I also planned to start a Rotation in order to get my number of WIPs under 10. Ha! Every time the word ‘rotation’ is mentioned, I seem to run screaming. In fact, I’m convinced it’s what causes stitching slumps (for me)!

Nevertheless, I have managed to finish three from the list since then – Kaitlin, Bumblebee, and just yesterday I put the final stitches in the November Sampler Accent by Periwinkle Promises. See… Fridays the 13th aren’t all bad :giggle:

November Sampler Accent

Annette gifted me with this design in a Seasonal Exchange a while back. I’m so glad I’ve got around to finishing it, it’s lovely. I plan to finish this as described in the instructions – as a little tasselled cushion.

In a little bit of a departure for me, I actually stitched the personalisation details. I changed it a little bit, as I didn’t like the way the year was originally split. I think my way works nicely.

Now… would anybody out there like to have this chart and the leftover silk threads it came with? (The threads are probably not enough to finish the design a second time). Just say the word and I’ll drop it in the mail for you 🙂

Hmmm… what to stitch on next…?

Show & Tell

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:
Hardanger Exchange

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:

For Jenna
For Tash
For Jinger

Phew! I think that’s about it.

Big Hair Lady

Aka ‘Tigerfly’ from Fanta Cat Designs. This is Laura’s UFO in the round robin. I took her from this:
to this:
I felt bad that I didn’t do more – the stitching blahs hit me pretty badly over the time I had her. But seeing these pictures together makes me feel a little better, it does look like I achieved something.

A number of Fanta Cat designs have drifted on and off my wishlist over the last few years. I can’t figure out if I really like them as much as I think I do. I think this one will look great when it’s finished (it’s for Laura’s mother), but those featureless faces do kind of creep me out a bit.

UFO Round Robin Part II

Here’s the stitching I’ve managed since you last saw me. I put about fifteen hours into Juli’s UFO before sending it on its merry way. Unfortunately, I neglected to get a ‘before’ shot, and Claire’s website seems to have disappeared, so I can’t point you to her picture. You’ll just have to believe me 🙂 I stitched all of the tree (brown) you see here. Just tree. Treetreetreetreetreetree. Bo-oring, lemme tell you, but hey, I didn’t have to pull out too many colours of floss or learn too many symbols, so it was the perfect no-brain stitching for me. Plus, it advances the project (which will eventually look like this), and someone else will thank me that they don’t have to do that slab of tree!


Snippets and an SBQ

I finally finished the last of my marking yesterday. I think I had just about got into the swing of it, but still, I don’t harbour any desire to do it again.

I spent much of yesterday trying to decide whether to sign up for NaBloPoMo after all. In the end, I went to bed early instead, thus missing the signup deadline, and I’m probably glad of that. Also glad of the extra couple of hours of sleep, as Niamh woke up three times again.

In a case of “don’t count your chickens” (re. the camera purchase), my tax return arrived today, and somebody at the ATO has monumentally stuffed up, doing me out of a very substantial amount of family tax benefit. I spent an hour and a half on the phone and down at Medicare today trying to sort it out. We will get the money, but it may take another month. Grrr.

I’ve signed up for another exchange even when I told myself I wouldn’t. Hardanger. Scary.

Christmas is how close? 😮 And I’ve realised that I have to make Niamh a Santa Sack. Like this one of Finn’s. It’s an Ellen Maurer Stroh free design – I think I’ll use the reindeer design for Niamh.

SBQ from today:

How did you decide on the title of your stitching blog? Was it random, or does it have a special meaning to you or about you?

Erm… I think I was kind of trying to be clever. Or something. Something about “The journey of a million stitches begins with a single cross”. Let’s call it random, anyway. I’ve been considering renaming to “Stitched By Mel” to match the url, but I’m still not sure about that. I feel like this blog is less and less about stitching at the moment, so I’m not sure either the name or the address are particularly appropriate. I have therefore also considered moving the whole blog to a new subdomain and renaming it Blogged.byMel. But I’m somewhat loathe to change the address. I suspect everything will just stay the same… I’m a great procrastinator :giggle:

Edit: Clearly, this entry was written back when the name of the blog was ‘Million Stitches’, and clearly, I eventually moved and renamed the blog 🙂

Meet Kaitlin

I finally sat down this morning to finish off Miss Kaitlin (while giving Finn some lessons in addition, using poker chips – something about that seems not quite right somehow!) As I backstitched the white design on her dress, I realised why I didn’t finish this off before. That is the most finicky little bit of backstitching I’ve ever done – two strands on 32-count (I think), lots of odd little stitches in an area where there’s already a lot of stitching (and I stitched this in the days when I did ¾ stitches instead of half stitches, so there’s added bulk). Ick. Anyway, she’s done now. I ripped out the ‘Kaitlin’ beneath her. I’ll either stitch ‘Niamh’ later, or nothing at all, depending on what she ends up as.