Sunday, November 30, 2008

Coming to Life - New project

As the titles says already, I started a new big project. It was very tempting to start or the Holland Landscape Mandala - which is fully kitted up - or preparing to start the Cuban Mansion Mandala. But I decided to own up to my promise and to stitch "Coming to Life". Michael likes this one heaps and so I will stitch it for him. Doing it on 18 ct Aida - which feels a bit weird. I prefer to stitch on linen or evenweave.

First time ever I used a pen for gridding. Most often I skip the gridding because it's not only heaps of work but also because I have troubles to remove the thread OR it annoys me doing that while stitching. But I saw some while ago a nifty way of gridding and got myself a water erasable fabric maker with a fine tip. And it works great. The slightest bit of water removes the color...and it doesn't come back. I tried it for 2 weeks - and even touching the lines with a damp cloth does the trick. Personally I wouldn't use this if I would stitch with any hand dyed fiber or on not color fast fabric...but for stitching on white with DMC it's ideal. When I stitch these "paintings" I don't stay in a 10x10 square (although I concentrate on one for finishing) but move out of it to finish off the thread in the needle - as far as possible. Gridding helps a lot here. And best thing is, it took me only couple of minutes to grid it. Just a ruler and off you go. I love it.

Coming To Life

The only thing that bothers me a bit is that I can't figure out who the artist is. I bought that chart on Ebay 18 months ago. It was a case of browsing, and accidentally coming across it, and falling in love. Auction was almost running out - so I bought it immediately. The chart itself is not of the quality I would have liked and it comes with surprisingly little information. I even needed to grid the chart itself - the original is just a huge bunch of numbers without any gridding lines. Very hard to work from.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hawaiian Mandala - FINISHED

This month the last part of the Hawaiian Mandala got released. There were three little creatures to stitch in each corner. These got stitched over one, which makes them look very detailed. And in each corner there was a turtle - completely beaded - swimming in shimmering water (braid)

The stitching was already done for a while, but there was a surprise. You have to determine yourself which type of crystal you want to have for the middle of the beaded turtles. And for someone like me that isn't that I'm a quite visual type. I need to SEE.

Soooooo....I grabbed my collection of Swarovski Crystals to form a first opinion and then ordered several Swarovski pearls and crystals. When trying these out I knew immediately which one I want...but in a different size!!! Today the ordered pearls arrived and I could finally finish this mandala. I chose in the end Swarovski pears, 6mm in the color "Tahitian"

I have to take a better picture still...but that comes later. Soon I'll bring it anyway to the framer.

Hawaiian Mandala - finished

For people who are planning to stitch this mandala as well ... I made several example pictures of the turtle with different pearls/crystals. There are so much more choices, but it might give you an idea about light/dark colors, size and form. I uploaded them all to my Webshot album here

I would love to go on stitching on the Dragonfly Boudoir box, but the foot of my magnifier broke, and I'm not able to stitch on black without that. That has to wait until Mike finds the time to fix it, which might take some time. Oh well, good thing is that it won't run away.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Ornament from Becky

I got today a beautiful surprise in the mail. Becky stitched for me a gorgeous Christmas ornament. It's beautiful stitched and looks just lovely. She also sent some beautiful goodies with it.

It's a pity that a picture can't catch the sparkle. Becky added lots of sparkle to it, and it's absolutely lovely.

Sparkly - Christmas Ornament from Becky
Design by Misummer Night Designs
"Jingle Sparkle Joy"

Here you can see the adorable goodies Becky sent as well:

Christmas Ornament from Becky

I love it all. Thank you so much Becky and wishing you a Merry Christmas as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Absence - Christmas Ornament and being tagged

First of all, sorry that it takes me a while to post. I am/was terrible busy here, and that cuts down my internet time. Not only the garden, but also the house needed to get attention. There were some family events also that ate up some time. Plus daughters had their exams, Mike went through his back and girls are going to Europe next month, needing new passports, and so on, which means trips to Melbourne as well. And it won't get better until somewhere in February. My parents will be visiting us from Europe and we have planned a vacation and several trips together.

Christmas Ornament

Some days ago I got notice that Joan received her ornament. I chose a design from the 2008 issue for Christmas Ornaments of Just Cross Stitch Ornament. It's a design from Thea Dueck from Victoria Sampler, which is one of my favorite designers.

It started great, I ordered in several of the needed silks and had heaps of fun stitching this little house. However, I had REALLY troubles with the roof. It didn't fit, no matter what I did. To be sure to have the right fabric count I bought another batch of black Lugana, and stitched the roof again, it still didn't fit. Or the design is faulty - or - and that is more likely - I made somewhere a fault. I'm going to purchase the design for the other houses from Victoria Samplers and hopefully the more detailed description will enlighten me what I am doing If anyone knows what point I'm missing here, feel free to tell me, I would really love to know about it. Because everybody here agreed that the house still looks cute I sent it off to Joan. She seemed to be pleased with it.

Christmas Ornament for Joan

Tagged again

I got tagged again - this time by Sadie. The rules are as following:

Here are the rules:
Find the 6th folder in your photos folder and then the 6th photo in it.
* Pray that you remember the details *
Post it on your blog
Tag 5 others, leave a comment to let them know they’ve been tagged.

Candle Wrap for Lori

The 6th folder of my webshots is called "Finishes 2007" - and the 6th picture is a candle wrapper I stitched for Lori, a member of I Love Cross Stitch Yahoo group. The design is half made by myself and half from an old old magazine. I took the basic idea from an old old magazine, but charted it on the pc, changed it to my likings and added parts free hand. Was the first time I did a candle wrapper....was the first time I got to know that something like a candle wrapper exists


At least I finished weeding the veggie garden. Boy there are some weeds which I can't seem to kill no matter what I do. The higher ones aren't that bad. You just rip these out. But the deep creepers are the ones that are so bad. They are deep...they are lots, they work as an army. And they kill the plants you would like to keep. The slightest tiny bit of it is already enough to create another underground monster. You can even build a complete house over won't give up. It comes from under it. You can hear it giggles, because you can't even reach it there. And I don't feel like using poison in my veggie garden. Besides, I tried to poison it in other parts of the garden, doesn't do much anyway. It "seems" to kill it. You turn around, have a happy dance. A week later it's back.
But right now I'm a happy camper because the garden changed from this

to this

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

6 Things about me

Meari tagged me to share 6 things about me.

The rules are as following:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Ok we go:

1. I love hiking and we take every opportunity to do so. We take the car and off we go to a nice area, often mountains. All our holiday's are also based on that.

2. My other hobby is cooking. I love to try out new things, and also different styles.

3. I speak 3 languages (English, German and Dutch) and can sort of read French. But can't speak French. I grew up in Germany, lived for 16 years in The Netherlands, and am married to an Australian, who understands German and Dutch, but only speaks English. We are living since 2004 in Australia.

4. I didn't do any gardening for a year, which is pretty bad of me and I'm paying the price for that right now by cleaning up that mess.

5. We took a dog in who would have been doomed to get put down otherwise because she was biting. We took her in temporary but got then adopted by her. Lucy did need to be trained from the very basics. She didn't know how to "read" humans or other dogs, and was one little confused, afraid, agressive bundle. After 6 months, couple of bites, almost giving up on her, she turned into a delight. (Almost) She doesn't bite anymore, she doesn't run away (not even trying it), she listens VERY well. There are still some more things we have to address, but in general we are thankful how everything turned out. We decided to keep her because she is doing that well now that we don't want to risk it.

6. I don't like crowds. Events like concerts, bonfire, etc I avoid. I get very irritated when it's crowded, you get pushed and you can't understand your own word, let alone what others say.

I have tagged:

1. Gio
2. Sadie
3 Carolyn
4. Nancy
5. Kelly here or here (not sure which one you'll prefer Kelly)
6. Rene

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hawaiian Mandala - busy with part 12

As the title says already, I'm still busy with part 12. I'll show here one of the corners. Part 12 has 3 little seacreatures stitched over 1 and a fully beaded turtle swimming in shimmering water. There will be heaps of Swarovski crystals added when finished. Pity enough that has to wait until the end because I have the fabric on scroll rods.

The middle of the turtle is free to choose. Meaning, that there is no recommended crystal for it, but it's up to the stitcher to personalize it. I tried out several options, and have some more beads and crystal coming. After trying out I figured that I or want there a dark pearl - or a swarovski crystal in the color Montana AB. But not the 8mm cube. I ordered 6 mm round beads in that color and also 6 mm cubes. And I found a great deal on Swarovski pearls and got pearls in 8 colors.

Here you can see one corner of the mandala

Part 12 - first Corner

And here 3 examples of the turtle. The "circle" of crystals are not attached yet, but I simply laid them down and added then 3 different center pieces. I will do that a bit more serious after the crystals and beads arrived.

What else was I up to lately? I sent off a Christmas Ornament for an exchange. And I goofed around with my blog. Which was actually quite a lot of fun. And I am oh so tempted to sign up for another Christmas exchange - stitching a card and sending it off. I LOVE exchanges, but I promised Mike I would start "Coming to Life" as soon as possible. AND...grrrr....that garden is calling loudly. I really need to give that one my main attention. {sigh}

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Floss Tag from Carol

Today the mailman brought me a GREAT packet. I participated in a floss tag exchange from "Hooked on Echanging" and Carol draw my name. Carol stitched me the most beautiful Prairie Schooler floss tag which is one of my favorite designers. And I LOVE it. It's so beautiful.

Floss Tag from Carol S
Taken from "Garden Verses" by Prairie Schooler
Stitched on Silkweaver 32ct Belfast Linen Solo with DMC

And above that Carol also spoiled me by sending lots of gifts with it:

Floss Tag  and Goodies from Carol

This was such a wonderful exchange and I would like to thank Carol for spoiling me that much.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Floss Tag Exchange

I got the message that Staci received her floss tag, and thankfully she provided me also with couple of pictures.

Floss Tag Front
Design: a freebie from Prairie Schooler called
"S is for Spring"
slightly changed to personalize it for Staci
Stitched over one with DMC on 25ct Lugana

Floss Tag Back
The back is designed by myself to match it to the front.
Same material and fabric as the front

For the rest there is not much to report on stitching front. I didn't have the time to do much stitching anyway. Today I downloaded the last part of the Hawaiian Mandala, and that is what I will stitch next. After that there will be the Dragonfly Box waiting.

The reason I had less time for stitching was the mess our garden(s) are in. Because it's Spring here AND because the garden is a complete mess, we're pretty busy with getting that done.
The roses look great now...and busy with the vegetable garden. Give it another week or so and it will be