Monday, May 28, 2012

Help! How to wash my cross stitch...

Hello to all in Blogland and a royal wave to my new followers. Thank you for your "squirrelly " comments. It seems that my blog readers like squirrels! And no, sadly there are no squirrels in Australia; just wallabies and lots of rabbits!

As I near the end of the Marjolein Bastin sampler my mind wanders to how I will handwash it.  It is a large cross stitch (see previous post) and as such it has some light dirty marks from fingers and the hoop.  So to you my trusted cross stitch friends I have some questions:

What is your favourite method of handwashing cross stitch?
Do you leave your cross stitch in to soak and if so for how long?
What water temperature do you use?
What do you wash it with?
Any other tips?

 Photo sourced from Old Picture of the Day

Thank you in advance of your fabulous tips!

So I have left the red squirrel to stitch on  a bowl of scrummy pumpkins and the lower border...

Don't you just love finding new cross stitching blogs? Check out this adorable German blog called Kissy Cross with some freebie cross stitch designs.

Thank you for soaking up the sun in my garden...
                                                                             Jan x

Thursday, May 24, 2012

All about squirrels....oh yeah and IHSW..and mustn't forget my TUSAL

IHSW provided some much needed stitching time to finally finish the squirrel.  Hooray I hear you say!!! Finally Jan will have new pictures on thread garden that don't feature a squirrel.

So close to this space over the next month (yes I will allow you to blogstalk)

Well I have learnt something whilst surfing for cross stitched squirrels.  There are squirrel haters. One blogger at Beware the Squirrel, even blogs about her love/hate relationship with them. Can you believe there is a whole blog dedicated to this?  I admit I don't live amongst squirrels (living in Asutralia would have something to do with that) but when I visited the UK I couldn't believe how utterly adorable they were with their little nose twitches and acorns between their tiny paws. 

So in the interests of the cross stitched squirrel let your mouse do some blog hopping:

1. Another Marjolein Bastin squirrel stitched by June King
2. The Victoria Sampler Winter Squirrel stitched by For The Love of Cross Stitch
3. A darling squirrel at pieKnits which is a freeie (link on the blog)
4. A cross stitch squirrel purse
5. A 3D embroidery squirrel at The Floss Box. I know it's not cross stitched but it is seriously impressive.

Finally...stitching means orts. So here's my TUSAL.  It was irresistable to little fingers.

Thanking for singing in the rain in my garden...

                                                                       Jan x

Friday, May 18, 2012

Theme-alicious update and GIANT cross stitch

My "May Memories" Theme-alicious involved working more on my Marjolein Bastin design. It doesn't fit perfectly into the theme but I figured why stop stitching when I am on a roll. That squirrel scene is almost done!

I plan to get back to the Christmas House (as Christmas evokes so many cute memories) so will hopefully post progress on that on the next update.
I've had busy fingers decorating these black tutus with feathers. I hope the costumes will evoke happy memories for the dancers wearing them at the Southern Tasmanian Dancing Eistedffod in June. My DD is so excited for the competition which runs over 9 days. She will be dancing in 11 items and that means 11 costumes (lucky me)! Did I tell you she was excited?  Dancing is about 90% of her conversation so I take it she adores it. As she put it "dancing is my life".
Have you seen GIANT cross stitch used as wall decor?  Take a look at these links here , here and here. I think it looks pretty cool. Tell me what you think?
                                                                     "Make it Rain" by Jessica Decker

And by the way the IHSW (International Hermit and Stitching Weekend) is on this weekend and I'm trying to finish that jolly little squirrel picture. There will also be some dancing costume sewing thrown in (if that counts).

Enjoy beavering away on your stitching!
Thank you for dropping by...
                                             Jan x

Sunday, May 13, 2012

An Australian Mother's Day...

Hi to all and especially a warm welcome to my new followers,

I had a day that made me feel loved and that is all any mum could ask for. It started with my daughter making me yummy pancakes using a Gary Mehigan recipe.  For those not in the know, he is one of the Australian Masterchef judges). Yummo! Then hubby and eldest son cooked eggs and bacon. Topped with two beautiful schoolmade cards, a bunch of flowers, chocolates and the 3am "mummy" call from toddler Tom it was a day that memories are made of.  SShhh... I also managed to do a sneaky coffee with a friend and listened to live jazz.

Being Mother's Day I had less after dinner duties so I started stitching much earlier than usual. I have so nearly finished the squirrel on the scrubbing brush.  Drats - I have run out of thread in one colour so will hopefully match it tomorrow. As there is no number or brand on the thread I will match it with DMC thread.

Thanks to those with advice about my HAED from my previous post. It's all food for thought...

Surfing can bring the most amazing discoveries.  Can you believe a little house like this exists? Isn't it dreamy? It would make the most perfect stitching place.  Where would you put it?  Somewhere in the hills near a river is where I would locate it.

Thank you for playing hopscotch on the stepping stones...

                                                                                      Jan x

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's "Super Moon" Wipocalypse Time...

Did you have the buzz talk about the "Super Moon" last weekend? Maybe this phenomena only happened in Australia. I had never heard this term before and suddenly I heard this term used the media 20 times in the one day! Well I wish this Super Moon had had some gravitational effect on my quickness with this squirrel picture, but alas it hasn't. It's just plodding along. The scrubbing brush is slowly appearing...I want to start on the pumpkins already! Yes I am being impatient.

Well I have come to a realisation.  I don't like stitching my HAED ("LOVE"by Marta Dahlig). Here are some reasons:
* it is really hard to get neat stitches 2 over 1 on 25 count (I am a perfectionist)
* my DMC thread gets very worn and breaks
* I cannot stitch it sitting on the sofa
* it is really hard to end the thread into the back of the tiny, tiny stitches

I think I will not continue it...convince me otherwise HAED lovers or offer any suggestions to get me back on track. I have done about 1/2 of the first page.

On a brighter note I have bought some patterns I have admired for a while -The Prairie Schooler Alphabet and have joined a blog site, The Prairie Schooler ABC Stitching Bee with fellow stitchers. I think I will stitch some of the letters individually especially the "L" featuring a deer - I am so into deers at the moment like the rest of the world. I also think I need to stitch a mermaid so "M" is on my list too. I don't have all of the letters but I am sure I will accumulate them over time.

Thank you for dropping on by and sitting in my garden...

                                                     Jan x

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Grandma's favourite craft projects...

Who did you inherit your craft genes from?  For me, I got them from Grandma. She was passionate about crafting! Here is the gorgeous lady pictured with my daughter as a 3yo.Wow, that photo is now 10 years old. 

Grandma was my Mum's mother. She lived to the ripe old age of 97 and crafted up until she was 94. If she wasn't click clacking with her knitting or crochet needles, she was making slice. You would have got on with her like a house on fire. Everybody loved her. Her chatter and craft brought smiles to many people's faces.

Living through 2x world wars and the Depression period she crafted to recycle. She was part of the Country Women's Association of Tasmania which showcased Handcraft and Home Industry. She had little spare money so she used what was around her. She was even a craft demonstrator teaching lots of women her craft. She taught me how to knit and could pick up a dropped stitch in a flash (there were plenty of those).

I hope you can imagine her knitting in this her knitting chair in front of the fire. You can even see a cushion she crocheted.

Top 5 Grandma craft projects:
5. Crocheted afghans (usually acrylic yarn)
4. Easter bunny rabbit made from a folded face washer
3. Knitted bags using plastic bread bags
2. Knitted Christmas tree stockings (always filled with a Santa chocolate)
and the most famous of all...
1. Knitted toilet roll doll (if only we had kept one)!!!

Who did you get your crafting genes from?

Thank you for strolling through my MEMORY LANE..

                                                                               Jan x

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's all about Marjolein Bastin for my Theme-alicious update...

Thank you so much to all that drop by especially those that say "hi". I am having trouble with my email at present so cannot reply to you in person. Fingers crossed this problem is fixed soon. I get a glow from your comments.

Theme-alicious' Amazon April is over but not out as I haven't posted my update yet. My Amazon BAP (and I could only have one as I had to take my stitching on holidays with me) was none other than my Marjolein Bastin design.

I felt this squirrel part of the sampler was sooooo slow. Was it because I was stitching in bad light in caravan parks or was I too chilaxed from being on holidays? Any hoo I am plodding on with it and only have the scrubbing brush the squirrel is sitting on to finish.

When I photographed the whole sampler today I shocked myself at how little is left. The end is in sight.  How long do you think? Please keep in mind the next month is crazy with dancing costumes. Three months? Oooh, I so hope so. What will I start on then?  Shores of HRH?

Here are some links to others in Blogland stitching Marjolein Bastin designs:
* Elisabeth is a kindred soul and is stitching the English Garden sampler like me! Check out her gorgeous pics.
* The Shabby Stitcher has stitched MB's Summer Fruits. I have photo envy on this blog!
* PocandPoch has stitched the cutest MB bunny ever. I haven't seen that design before.

The next theme is May Memories. I am thinking that I need to get back to my HAED (which is a distant March memory) so that will be the goal and aim to get the first half page done.

Thank you for tossing Autumn leaves in my garden...

                                                                           Jan x