Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Santa cross-stitch update

Have made a fair bit of progress on the Santa cross-stitch since my last cross-stitch post.  I am determined to get this finished as it has been a long while in the making.  Plus I have since purchased a number of other cross-stitch kits (yes I know I am a sucker, but secretly aren't we all lol) and I am not allowing myself to start any of them until this one is done, otherwise I know I will never finish it and it would be a shame to leave it incomplete.

I am so glad to have finished the greenery at the top.  There was so much of it!  And with up to 5 strands for some colours it seemed like it would never come to an end.  I must admit though, the dense tree effect does look impressive so it was worth the time spent on it.

Bears Paw finished quilt

Well, the Bears Paw quilt is finally complete!!!  The quilter did an absolutely amazing job!  The quilting around the applique in particular has really made it stand out.  Here's a few pics:

I don't know about everyone else but seeing one of your projects completed is always so motivating to start on the next one (of course I have already started on the next quilt, who could possibly resist :)

Monday, December 12, 2011


Hi everyone!  Didn't realize it had been so long since my last post. Those of you who follow Bec's Cross-stitch creation blog would have already seen pics of the Owls I painted for her, a little while ago now.  I know Bec is a fan of owls so I just couldn't resist the chance to paint a few for her :) 

Below are some progress pics of the paintings.  The owls were painted on a wooden door hanger.  These are always great to paint on as they are quite small, which means whatever design you choose will be very quick to paint, and you can have your painting up on display in no time.  The flat surface is wonderful also, no tricky corners to get your brush into when base coating the background colour or varnishing at the end of the project.  It is so much easier to be able to rest your hand on a flat surface also, unlike when painting a wooden tissue box cover for instance. 

I decided to paint one owl on either side, that way the door hanger can be flipped over at any time for a different look.

You will notice Baci is a fan of my paintings.  You can always count on him to supervise the latest craft happenings, gotta love our helpful feline friends!


Bec, I hope you are enjoying having the owl painting/s in your home.

In other news the Bears Paw quilt is now finished, quilting and all!!!  Will post some pics up shortly.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mini holiday in Sydney

My fiance Daniel and I visited Sydney 2 weeks ago primarily to attend a 3 day conference about wealth, success and happiness.  There were about 12 speakers who each told of their financial success and offered advice relating to business, internet marketing, real estate, stock trading etc.  It was eye opening to see what others have achieved in their lives and to see that this could be possible for anyone if they are willing to put in the time to see it through.

We went down a few days early so we could explore the city and visit Taronga zoo.  You would not believe the obstacles we came across on one of the days.  We headed out early (on a Sunday) with the goal in mind to go to Paddington Markets, as we'd gone past them the day before, and then go straight to the zoo from there, be there by 10:30am.  So we head out of the hotel and as we weren't exactly sure where to go and we didn't have time to waste, as we wanted to go to the zoo as well, we hopped in a taxi.

Well the roads we needed to go down were blocked off so the taxi driver took a detour.  We spent about half an hour going 200 meters.  Then a young lady ran in front of the taxi (she didn't look before running across the road) and of course the taxi driver crashed into her.  She was ok though, luckily he wasn't driving fast.  She would have had some nasty bruises though.

Then we get to the street the taxi driver was trying to get on since taking the detour and it was blocked off also!  We decided to walk the rest of the way, which was about 2 blocks, in the sun.  40 minutes later we reach where the markets usually take place only to find they don't open on a Sunday, oh my gosh!  This was now 10am already and we had just spent all morning trying to get to markets that were not open.

We hopped in another taxi to get back to the city as we needed to hop on a ferry to get to the zoo.  On the way back the roads were blocked still and we had to walk again (not as far this time) to get to the ferry but on the way we discovered the reason the roads were blocked:

There was a fun run being conducted through the city.  We of course were on the wrong side of the road and had to literally dodge between the runners to get to the other side that we needed to be lol.  We ended up making it through and jumped on the ferry, now off to the zoo.  Does anyone else have days like this?

Here's a pic of Dan and I on the boat, with the Opera House in the background:

And here's the Harbour Bridge:

Finally arrived at the zoo.  The animals were all gorgeous (I'm an animal lover).

I'm certain this lion just spotted lunch!:

There was a bunch of us standing outside the glass and the lion had her eyes fixated on someone because every time they moved the lion would move her head and stare intently.  Scary.

This was one of the most beautiful pelicans I have ever seen, the photo doesn't do it justice though.  It was immaculately groomed, definitely well looked after.

Giraffes, with a view of the harbour!:

Can you spot the Chameleon?:

This baby elephant was just adorable!  It was rolling around in the water having the time of it's life with the elder elephants looking on in awe.  So cute:

All in all it ended up being a great day, and week, out and about in Sydney.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shoe bag

I have been meaning to put together a bag for my work shoes for some time and managed to sew one up today. I found the pattern on the internet and found it difficult to interpret the instructions. After a few incorrect seams and a lot of unpicking I realised where I went wrong. Here are some pics:

The zigzag stitch was the most challenging. I've rarely ever used it before, as I'm relatively new to using a sewing machine, and it ended up bunching the fabric. I tried re-threading the machine but that didn't seem to make a difference. I think the fabric was too light and thin. In the end it turned out ok though and I can now carry my shoes in a much nicer bag than a spare plastic shopping bag :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I thought I should introduce you to the loves of my life!

This is Baci (pronounced Barchy, like the chocolates):

And this is Meeka:

They are three and a half years young and full of personality.  Baci is a Seal Point Siamese and Meeka is a Lilac Point Siamese.  Never a dull moment, or should I say quiet moment, with these two around.  They just love to talk to you :)  Baci is a bit of a sook and demands your attention often!  Meeka is more independent but my gosh when she wants a pat you'd better drop what you are doing and give her one or her meowing will get louder LOL.  It's true what they say, it is not you who owns the cat but rather the cat who owns you!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Santa cross-stitch

Have picked up the Santa cross-stitch again. Am currently working across the top of the design. This pattern is quite complex in the sense that many of the colours require multiple threads, up to 5 threads for half cross stitch. Some stitches also have two different threads for the one stitch.  It is a bit bulky because of the extra threads used but I suppose it gives it some depth. Will be so happy to finish off the greenery. Next cross-stitch will definitely be a simple one.


Can't believe I missed posting this pic earlier. It is hanging on the wall in our laundry so I see it everyday. Amazing how you can look at something each day and not really "see it" if you know what I mean.

This design was painted many years ago back when I was attending folk art lessons. I just love the pumpkin!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


The first two blocks of the Jitterbug quilt are now pieced together :) Was good to use the sewing machine again. The first block seemed to come out better than the second with the points all meeting up perfectly. 

Yesterday I was sewing together the second block only to finish then realize the colour pattern didn't line up (the same colour triangles are used in the opposite diagonal and I had them lined up next to one another).  I then had to unpick a few rows to re-position then sew together again.  I think the fabric stretched as a result because it was virtually impossible to line up the points accurately.  I managed to sew it together okay in the end and it should still look fine when the whole quilt is sewn together.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Now that the Bears Paw quilt is off at the quilters I have already started on my next one. Spent 6 hours yesterday cutting out the pieces for the next quilt. The assorted colours above are from one jelly roll so these came pre-cut at 2 1/2inches wide, I just had to measure the length to cut which was easy and fun.

Cutting out the white fabric was a bit more challenging though. It came as one big piece so it had to be cut down into 2 1/2 inch srips then cut to the relevant length. Turns out I didn't quite order enough of the white fabric, it is short by one 2 1/2 inch strip! I am actually planning on turning this into a queen size quilt though so I will need to buy more white fabric anyway. 

Below is a picture from the book I am working from which shows the overall pattern it will have when put together.

Mystery Folk Art

I have been itching to post about my latest folk art piece. Unfortunately I cannot post any pics as it is a Christmas present for my Mum, and I don't want to spoil the surprise :)

I have painted a few snow man designs for Mum for the last few Christmas's (she just loves snowmen!) so naturally I am painting another one. I am nearly half way through the design and I must say it is looking amazing. It's so surprising how the painting comes to life after just a few hours.

I have been taking photos after each day I spend painting so I can post pictures of the progress after Christmas, so you will all be able to see how it has come together then. I know Christmas is a little while away yet but I always like to make sure I allow enough time to finish a piece and avoid having to rush.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Candlewicking Cushions

Above are 2 cushions I made years ago. The technique is called candlewicking, which is basically a combination of colonial knots and stem stitch, at least that's what was used for the above cushions. The design came pre-printed on the fabric so it was just a matter of knoting and stitching over the pre-drawn dots and lines. It gives quite a nice effect. I rather enjoyed making these.

Buzzee Cats

I thought I may as well post up a pic of this embroidery I did a little while ago now. It's one of those projects that look involved, to those that don't know much about sewing, but it is actually quite quick to produce. It had quite a few french knots, which I always used to struggle with, but this design certainly gave me plenty of practice.

Bears Paw

Finally finished my quilt last weekend! Have been spending every spare minute finishing off the applique and sewing the buttons on for the eyes and bee hive. Admittedly it was a little more challenging than it should have been with 2 cats piled on my lap at the same time to keep warm! I'm very happy with the end result though. I chose the backing fabric (deep blue) and dropped it off yesterday to get quilted. Can't wait to see the end result when the quilting is complete and the binding is sewn on.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bears Paw

Above is the quilt I have been working on lately. This is the first machine pieced quilt I have done. I hand pieced a small quilt when I was younger but this one is a lot more involved.  The 'bears paws' in the middle are all machined together. The bears, flowers and bee hives around the outside have all been appliqued on. This pic was actually taken a few months ago. I've since made quite a bit of progress on this. Will post up more pics later on. Am aiming to finish this in the next month or so. It will look magnificent when it is all finished and quilted. Have already been thinking about the next quilt I want to make. Can't wait!

Completed cross-stitches

Above is my cross-stitch collection. I started cross-stitching when I was about 8 years old. My Mum has always been a crafty person so she was able to teach me a lot growing up. The latest cross-stitch I finished is the teddy bears picnic, I really love this one. Am now about half way through the Santa cross-stitch which I posted a pic of earlier.