Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A new dawn...

YES ! And again - YES !
Santa brought me a new camera for Christmas, so no more excuses for not taking pictures, not writing posts, not updating the blog - you get the drift...

Since, however, I still have to figure out a way of setting up a background that won't make all of the living room unusable for hours, I am just experimenting for the moment.

Never mind all this, here is the first of the new batch, reasonably current - Chester.

The name is original to the pattern, and somehow I found it a perfect match, so that's his name. His backstory (he would have a backstory, wouldn't he ?) is as follows:
We did a secret santa at work, and I wanted to give something I made myself, so Chester was the result. I then got a severe case of second thoughts, and made a second one, in green, without the ears and with fangs instead, more of a monster, really. So I kept Chester, and gifted the green monster instead, which was quite a good call, as the recipient was somehow less than impressed with my gift, not really knowing what to make of him. Turns out that these secret santa gifts are meant to be "hilarious" and provide entertainment during the Christmas dinner... before you ask - I got a pair of plastic Elvis shades with sideburns attached. Yes, I am aware that I need a new job...

Friday, 20 November 2009

Blooming Blossoms

Right, long time no update!
I have been surprisingly busy with work lately (Yeah-money! Booh-no posts!), but I thought I should put a few more pics up in the interrim. The below are both cross stitch on natural linen, done with two strands of MEZ cotton.
This sampler is mainly victorian borders from several old books and patterns I had. It was meant to fit into a frame I had (see inner border), but it just kept growing, so it turned out fairly big.

The second one is actually framed and hangs above my parents' sideboard. It's one of those victorian sentimental pictures with a hidden message. And no, it's not "Help me, I'm being locked in the tower and forced to embroider till my fingers bleed.". Starting at the bottom with F for Flieder (lilac) and going clockwise around the wreath, the initials of the flowers spell Freundschaft (friendship). Aw, bless...

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Rabbit, rabbit

Just a quicky now, I have been adoring the patterns of Barbara Prime, aka Fuzzymitten for a while, and I have populated my bookshelves (and a few of my friends) with some of the results. All the pictures that I have are still from my phone, but I felt an unstoppable urge to put at least one up for now, the rest will follow soon (-ish)...

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Total Rubbish !

I wish I had a camera, but for some reason I can't (or won't) get round to getting a new one. Which means that, positively speaking, there is plenty of time to post all of the backlog. On the down side, everything is fairly old. Or badly photographed. And mainly embroidery. *sigh*

Anyway, onwards and upwards. I have an old round foot stool (legacy of one of my flatmates), that is badly in need of recovery. Now, I always wanted to embroider upholstery, but a whole armchair or sofa is somewhat daunting, I'm sure you'll agree. So this was perfect, not bigger than a cushion cover. I was looking for something that would naturally sit with the circular shape, and I wanted it to be photo-realistic. I cannot recall exactly how, but I ended up with taking a picture of my rubbish bin, top down...
And this was the result:

I should also explain that I never got round to having the stool upholstered, so any ideas about what to do with an embroidery of a heap of rubbish, answers please on a postcard to the usual address.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

...somebody's watching me...

I know what you're thinking, but it felt like a good idea at the time, and now I feel weirdly guilty each time I try and pack him away in a box...

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The joy of sox

I have taken this one with my phone, hence the abominable quality, just to illustrate that I am mainly into knitting at the moment, and the embroidery is taking a well deserved rest.

They are self-striped, with half the skein re-wound into an extra ball. I tried using one strand from the outside with one strand from the inside, but because of the repeat, I ended up striping at least two colours onto themselves, which didn't look great. The fact that one of these colours was sludge didn help, either...
Wasn't keen on the variation of thickness in the yarn, and they look a bit scratchy and rustic. I wish you could get the colours on a quality like Regia...

Monday, 28 September 2009

Best foot forward

If all my posts seem to look like one long trip down Memory lane, that's just because I don't have a camera at the moment, so I can't take pictures of my recent work... so here's some more old stuff !

I always loved embroidered slippers that aristocratic ladies would work as Christmas presents for their husbands, but I wanted to do something a bit less stuffy, so I mutilated a worn-out pair of trainers (Adidas Gazelle as I am sure you will have noticed), and scanned them to convert into an embroidery pattern. They were rather expensive to have made up, but then again, I went to the best bespoke shoemaker I could find, George Cleverly in the Royal Arcade.
And no, I don't actually wear them.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Granny Square

Well, almost. It's a cushion cover I made for my grandmother some years back, showing her, my mother and my aunt. The original picture was taken as a souvenir for my grandfather to take with him as he left for WW2, and he never returned. I took some time to finish this, but I finally made an effort and gave it to her for Christmas, which she was very happy about.
I am glad I pulled myself together, because 2 months later, my grandmother had a stroke from which she never regained consciousness, and she died soon after.

Saturday, 26 September 2009


This is one for the truly dedicated (or 'anoraks', as they are more widely known...). It's a life size tapestry celebrating the genius that was STEPS. Who could forget lyrics such as "A smile's a frown turned upside down" ? Rumours of an impending reunion have so far proved unfounded, but the world still holds its breath in anticipation of Claire's solo album...

Ok, this started out as a joke, but I always wanted to work a really big canvas, and I couldn't think of a subject to suit me. For the techno freaks: it's a 10 hpi canvas, worked in cross stitch with Anchor wool, 250 x 400 sts, and I finished it November 2001. In December, STEPS split up, but to this day I refuse to accept responsibility...

Bloggo, ergo sum.

Right, then. This is what the world has been waiting for - somebody waffling on about their lives and hobbies to all and sundry. Let's see where this is going...