Tag Archives: meme

My Creative Space – Beauty and the Beast

In the left corner we have Beauty: crocheted ric-rac, inspired by Kate at Fox’s Lane; quick and easy tutorial found here. Fun, easy, and slightly addictive crocheting. No idea what I’ll be doing with it yet – I did threaten the bemused other half I’d trim a lampshade in it!


And in the right, the Beast: product of an impromptu knitting lesson with Mum yesterday. The change in the seasons has started up the two-needle-itch again, and I want to be ready for something a bit trickier than my one completed knitted thing.

Ugly, isn’t it?! But hey, there’s increasing, decreasing, short rows, a wee bit of lacy stuff, heel stitch, 1×1 rib, and picking up stitches along the edge, all in that little piece of ugly!

(Edited to say I realise that sounds like I meant Ro’s cardigan is ugly. No no, I actually meant the grey thing just up there. The cardi is still gorgeous, but I bet it doesn’t fit anymore)

Also in my creative space today are some little bits of not-allowed-to-show-you and a whole lot of nothing-to-see-here-but-supposed-to-be-finished-by-Sunday. (Because a certain wee someone we know is about to be one, and don’t mention it to me or I might just cry!)

My Creative Space comes to you courtesy of Kirsty!

You Make Me Smile

Whoops. I have had this post in the works since Gill generously gave me a ‘You make me smile’ award. Then when I got back from the weekend (miserable with hayfever induced sinus pain), I found Missy and J Rae also bestowing awards on me. Hmmm… maybe everyone has just run out of bloggers to award?

Hey, I hope this doesn’t mean I have to give out thirty awards now? Not that I couldn’t, just that I’m lazy :giggle: So here are my picks – in no particular order, ten bloggers who make me smile:

You Make Me Smile

Suse from Pea Soup
Pip from Meet me at Mikes
Christine, in her Material World
Hillary from Wee Wonderfuls
Erin the Expounding Movie Muse
Jenna the Shooting Star
Sooz and her Big Adventure
Marita of Stuff with Thing
Karen Cheng with her Snippets of Life
Amanda Soule, Soulemama

Go – enjoy their blogs. They’ll make you smile too ๐Ÿ˜‰ (And if I left you out, please don’t feel bad, you make me smile too ๐Ÿ˜Ž )

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? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

SBQ 25/10

SBQ: The Halloween edition

If you were to come across a sampler chart that caught your eye and appealed to you, would you or would you not stitch it if it had a morbid or โ€œcreepyโ€ saying on it? If not, why?

This question immediately brought to mind the Monsterbubbles design Lizzie Borden. Not a sampler, but definitely morbid! I remember a bit of a hoo-hah on the BBs when this came out – is it or is it not in ‘poor taste’? Personally, I find it kind of amusing. The Monsterbubbles designs don’t really appeal to me, but I appreciate their whimsy. Anyway, to answer the question… I’m not really in the habit of stitching samplers or anything with ‘sayings’ on. But if I did, I seriously doubt creepiness or morbidity would be offputting to me at all :giggle:

And, because I feel like answering another, this, from way back in April:

Do you do obligation or deadline-based stitching? Why or why not? If you do, do you tend to get in over your head and why?

I have done a handful of exchanges, yes. And of course there’s the UFO round robin I’m in now. I don’t really look upon these as ‘obligation’ stitching in a negative light though. Part of the reason I join these things is to motivate myself to stitch (and more importantly, to finish!). Also, I enjoy the community aspect of them. I don’t tend to get in over my head, I usually choose only one or two at a time to join.

While we’re on the topic, I recently relinquished my membership to the stitching bloggers’ exchange board. Amongst other reasons, I felt that I couldn’t really guarantee the required amount of participation while Niamh is small. There was a waiting list of people wanting membership to the board, so I hope whoever got my place enjoys it. So to all the SBEBB stitchers reading, thanks for making my stay there a good one, and… goodbye, I guess ๐Ÿ™‚ I plan instead to take part in a few exchanges on the Rotation BB as I find the time.

SBQ 19/10

Woah, I’m actually answering an SBQ on the day it appeared!

Which way do you stitch, i.e. do you stitch /// followed by on top, or the other way around followed by ///? Are you left- or right-handed and do you think that this affects the way that you stitch?

This has always been interesting to me whenever it’s been discussed on the various BBs I frequent. I stitch then //, and I am left-handed. I taught myself to cross-stitch, and that seemed the logical way to me at the time (and still does, actually). Later, when I found out many people stitch the other way, I assumed that it was based on handedness. The people I know personally who stitch (not that many, admittedly) all stitch // then if they’re right-handed, and the same as me if they’re left-handed. But I’ve seen this topic come up on the boards a few times, and the answers vary. It seems there are plenty of left-handers who stitch // then , and right-handers who stitch then //. So who knows why we stitch the way we do, I just know that when I tried, once upon a time, to change the direction I stitch, it was a complete disaster! For the Round Robin I’m in, I’ll stitch on any UFOs which have differently directioned stitches to me by turning the fabric and chart through 90 degrees, which works fine. For Claire’s Elizabeth, I was pleased to see she stitches the same way I do, so that made my first one easy ๐Ÿ™‚

SBQ 11/10

SBQ-ing along again:

As we all know, stitching in the winter can really be rough on the hands. What do you do to treat your hands well in the cold winter months? Do you have any suggestions for creams or soaps? Or perhaps a special regimen that you would like to share?

Dry skin is very much an issue for me at the moment, not because of the Winter (because it’s not), but the many daily nappy changes/ washing of hands that come along with a new kiddo. My hands got pretty bad a couple of months back (when it was Winter) – it was really difficult working with silks, I kept snagging them (so I put away Dragonfly Jewels for a while, remember). I’m using QV lotion (from Ego) pretty religiously now – I use it all over Niamh, too, and on a few dry bits of Finn’s skin. Eczema runs on my side of the family, so I really do try to keep us all moisturised ๐Ÿ™‚

I tried out that hemp hand cream from the Body Shop – OtherHalf likes it a lot, but it leaves me with too talc-y a feeling, so I don’t use it. I have a bunch of other creams and lotions too, but most are too scented or too greasy for my liking. Though the greasy ones are good to put on last thing at night before bed, I find. Like now!

SBQ 28/09

I should really start answering the SBQs again. I’ll catch up with some of the past questions later, but for now, here’s the latest one:

When you find yourself making a lot of mistakes in various stitching projects do you find it better to muddle your way through or do you take a brief break from stitching? If you do take a break, how long do you take?

If I find tricky little counting errors, I try and fix them or at least frog them on the spot. If I suddenly realise I have a bunch of frogging to do (the sort that usually stems from one particular error), I usually set it aside for a day or so later when I’ve got a cooler head. If I keep making errors every time I pick a piece up – like recently happened with Dragonfly Jewels, then I put it away and work on something else for awhile. Or even better, do something else for awhile.

Too Hot for a Title

Ugh! The heat is stifling. At least with the outside awnings down and the evaporative cooling on all day, we’ve managed to keep it about 11 degrees below the outside temperature. I even put in a couple of hours stitching on Petal Fairy. Three more hours to go before another progress pic. As I write this, the change is coming in (rather violently actually – it just dropped 10 degrees in 10 minutes), so we shall have sleep tonight!

I forgot to mention a couple of things this week:

I finally got around to doing sets of progress bars in a few different colours – pink, purple and green in addition to the blue I already had. They can all be found in the ‘Progress Bars’ page, see link at top-right. If you’re desperately seeking some other colour, email me, I’ll see what I can do for you.

(As an aside…you may also notice I got rid of my ‘Blogroll’ page. I never got it set up the way I liked, and besides, I’m now using ‘Sage’, an RSS reader that integrates nicely with Firefox, to check for updated blogs. I still like to read most blogs in their intended format, so the personality of the author shines through. A few I read via the feed, but I pretty much only use Sage to notify me of what’s new. A handful of blogs I read don’t have feeds, which is a bummer. Means I now have to rely on my memory to check them. Or other people’s blogrolls!)

Oh, and I’m moderating an exchange over at SBEBB – called, of all things, “Melanie’s Exchange”. Y’know, coz I’m so vain and all that :giggle: Actually it’s because I made the suggestion (I stole adopted it from the first back-tack exchange, which I watched in admiration). No one could think of a good name for the stitchers’ version of this three-way exchange, so it became mine by default. Anyway, if you’re a member of SBEBB, I hope you’ll check it out, and consider joining us, it should be a fun exchange.

OK… now. A half-arsed attempt at this meme of four-things which Laura tagged me for. (Half-arsed because I’m choosing not to answer some of the questions!)

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Veterinary Assistant
2. Piano Teacher
3. Research Scientist (the realest of all these jobs – with an actual salary!)
4. Sessional Teacher (Java)

Four movies I would watch over and over again:
1. The Green Mile
2. The Princess Bride (jumping on the bandwagon there, aren’t I?)
3. The Triplets of Belleville
4. The Fifth Element

Four places I have lived:
I lived in a few small country towns before the age of 2, and then just the one slightly larger country town until I was 18, then Melbourne, Australia, ever since.

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Scrubs
2. Coupling
3. The Amazing Race
4. Grey’s Anatomy

Four places I have been on vacation:
I’m so totally boring! The only O/S place I’ve been is China (well, and Hong Kong, for a stopover only). I’ve been most states in Australia though.

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Gmail
2. The Wagon
3. bom (Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology)
4. The ‘Moodle’ for my current uni course (kind of like a forum thingy)

Four of my favourite foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Lasagna (made with fresh pasta)
3. Figs
4. Icecream

Four places I’d rather be right now:
Actually, I’m good right here thanks! About 10 minutes ago I was all set to answer “SOMEWHERE COLD!” But this change is incredible.

Four bloggers I am tagging:
Nah… I’ve seen it just about everywhere, so I’m not sure who hasn’t had it yet. Take it if you’d like it ๐Ÿ˜‰


Last week’s SBQ was more about blogging than stitching. I’ve been mulling over my answer to the question since it was posted, and have been interested to read other stitchers’ answers.

Take a minute to reflect on your blog reading habits and preferences. What do you prefer to read in stitching blogs? (Progress, tips, family life, experiences, etc.) How much do you think you are influenced by other stitching bloggers?

Much as I expected, many answered that they like to see mostly (or only) stitching on a stitchers blog. I figured this largely because most of the comments I get here come in response to a post where I actually show some progress on a piece, or on a happy dance post (oh so rare!). For me however, I find most stitching-only blogs don’t hold my interest very long . Yes, stitching is a big part of my life, one of my dearest pastimes, but none of us are one-dimensional.

When I read a blog, I like to be able to feel I ‘know’ the person behind the blog a little better. A good deal of the blogs I read are not stitchers’ blogs. I like to people-watch, and that reflects in my online habits, I think. That said, many of the blogs I read are crafty in some way – either stitchers or knitters or otherwise. These are the people I share interests in common with, so it stands to reason that I will find them interesting. But I am most interested when the blog shares a little bit of this and a little bit of that, along with the craft reports. There are some stitching-only blogs that I check in with, and I have been inspired by some of the wonderful finishing techniques that I’ve seen lately, since discovering some of the bloggers on the SBEBB, but by and large, I want more!

I like witty writing, I like a little bit of fun stuff, a little bit of family stuff, a little bit of stitching, and a lot of personality. I aspire to write this kind of blog myself, and for my one or two readers:wink: to feel they know me just that little bit more (without getting creepy, mind!) That said, I do try and keep the depressing stuff out of here. Life isn’t all happy and shiny, but I would rather my blog be a place to laugh and sing rather than a place of misery. Sometimes the misery might creep in, but most of the time it won’t. I do admire people who can share more of themselves with the whole wide Internet and gain solace from doing so, but that’s not me.

OK, ‘nuf rambling from me now. I’m off to get some stitching pics off my camera so I can get me some more comments:giggle:

SBQ x 2

Two-by-two is the way I seem to be answering these lately ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s the latest:

Do you have rules in the way you stitch? (i.e., Do you start in the middle? Do you determine which blocks to stitch first? Do you always start from the top or the bottom? Do you have special paths to prevent wasting thread?)

I always like the ‘rules of cross stitch’ I read on some BB somewhere a while ago. Rule 1: Thread goes in needle. Rule 2: Needle goes in fabric. Everything else is negotiable! That pretty much sums up the way I stitch, though my stitching has changed slightly over time – I used to care about using the least amount of floss and having neat backs. So I would take a path to accomplish those goals. Now I care much more about neat, well-formed ‘x’s, so I don’t worry so much about the backs. As to where I start, I usually start somewhere interesting :giggle: Gridding allows me to start wherever I like, but lately I’ve been a bit lazy about gridding, and have only done a few lines. I started Petal Fairy in the middle because of that. See… no rules! Just whatever suits me at the time.

Have you done any charity stitching, been in one, or would like to organize one?


(That one was easy!)