Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a free pattern!

Merry Christmas everyone.  May your day be filled with love, laughter, friendship, family, food and fun.  And the chance for some stitching and geeking.

We're having a very Whovian Christmas this year.  We made a Tardis gingerbread house (seen here), my mother (Ozzy Pip) received Season 8 of Doctor Who, my brother got a Tardis mug, and I received a Doctor Who calendar, Tardis-coloured table-runner and set of coasters my mother made, and an actual Tardis!  I asked for a shoe rack, and received this:
It's a Tardis Shoe Cupboard.  How cool?!
More pictures to come soon.
Now we are sitting around in the air conditioning with very fully bellies, watching "Into The Dalek".  What better way to spend Christmas Day?  Okay, watching the Christmas Special would be preferable, but Australia doesn't get that until tomorrow.

While you sit around with full bellies and fight the urge to sleep, why not stitch this Doctor Who Christmas decoration?

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Stitching!

- Fangirl Stitches

Monday, 22 December 2014

It's beginning to look even more like Christmas

There's only 3 days to go until Christams.  A little hard to believe it is so close already.

Time to fill you in on my latest holiday stitching and other make-your-own decorations.

First there is the Christmas Alphabet Cross Stitch.  I had a lot of fun coming up with this pattern - trying to find words for each letter that were a) Christmassy, b) relatively Christian, and c) not snow related!  Q was the hardest.  In fact, this was the only 'Q' word I could find.  If you can think of any others, let me know!  The pattern is now available in my Etsy shop.

My friend saw a picture of Ninja Turtle Christmas decorations and decided we should make some for my tree.  So we did.  They were surprisingly easy to make - baubles, ribbon, googly eyes and glue.
Turtles in a half-shell, Christmas power!
Then we were on a roll and wanted to see if we could make any other Christmas baubles.  Minion family anyone?  We even managed to find denim print duct-tape which worked perfectly.
Minion Baubles
Minions, Ninja Turtles, and a cat on the tree.
We have to work out how to make the Death Star next.  I think that may be a bit more complicated...

Our minister then sent us a picture of a TARDIS gingerbread house she had found on Facebook and challenged Ozzy Pip and I to make our own.
This is the picture we were sent.  The instructions to make it are here.
For some reason when we first followed the link we wound up here so used this was the recipe and instructions we used instead.  This is what we ended up with.  Not bad for a first effort, but I don't think we're giving up our day jobs any time soon!
Boo was the closest we could come to an alien invader.
Time for some flashback Christmas stitching.  I love this cross stitch design.  I found it in a pattern book at the library and originally planned on stitching it for my mother, but it took longer than expected so I ended up keeping it for myself!  It's hung in my parents' house every Christmas since I finished it, but this year Mum returned it to me to hang in my own house.
The name of the book this came from has been lost
to the winds of time, but it's a gorgeous pattern.
I've also uploaded a couple more geeky Christmas cards to the Etsy Store.  There is the Cel-e-brate Dalek Christmas card:

and the Pikachu Holiday card:

Two more days till Santa comes!

Happy stitching everyone,

- Fangirl Stitches

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Decorating for Christmas

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and the weekend closest to 1st December, which means it's time to put out the Christmas decorations!

I love decorating for Christmas.  I get it from my mum.  When we were kids there were decorations everywhere - in the kitchen, in the hall, in the lounge room, even in the bathrooms!  Hanging decorations was one of my favourite family Christmas activities - that and looking at Christmas lights.

It still is one of my favourite Christmas activities.  Finding unique or special ornaments on my travels, reliving the memories as I decorate, or creating something special of my own.  These are some of my favourites on display this year.

The cross stitch Nativity scene on plastic canvas.  I started this about 10 years ago, although it took me awhile to finish.  It was a 3-parter in a CrossStitcher magazine probably about 15 or 20 years ago.  We had one of the parts and Mum managed to track down the others so I could stitch the series.  There's also an angel, a star, and the Inn Keeper and his wife, but I need to buy more stands to display them!  I've used game piece stands which work a treat.

Blackwork Christmas Angel.  This one also came from a magazine, although I can't remember which one!  It was one of the patterns I stitched in 2012 when I lived in the UK. She was meant to have a border around her, but I didn't like it, so I left it off - after all, life's too short to stitch background.

My cross stitch advent calendar - another one from a magazine!  I think this was also from CrossStitcher.  There's a stitched picture on each reverse side.  4 and 15 are missing because I have to fix their hangers.  Mum made the hanging quilt.  It has tabs to hang on a dowel hanger, but I'm using a skirt hanger in the meantime.

Ninja turtle baubles.  They were surprisingly easy to make  - green baubles, ribbon, googly eyes and some craft glue.

My Christmas decorations from my travels in the UK and Europe.  They should be hanging on the tree, but my 7 month old kitten thinks the Christmas tree is her new climbing frame and that anything hanging on it is hers to attack by right.  So instead they are on sticky hooks on one of the high kitchen cabinets to keep them safe!  The teacup and crown come from the Royal Palaces in England, the shamrock from Ireland, the purple bell is from Germany, the man in the red circle is from Iceland, and the two on red ribbons are from Harrods.

My second advent calendar - Lego Star Wars!  Very excited to start this tomorrow. Each day you get a little thing to create or build.  I had to hunt it down online because the only one I could get locally was the Lego City one.  And Star Wars is so much cooler.

Discworld Christmas cards.  I bought a set of 4 one year, gave two away as presents, and kept the other two as decorations.  They did hang on my wall for about two years before joining the Christmas decorations box.  Artwork by the very talented Paul Kidby

The Willow Tree nativity scene.  I love Willow Tree figurines - they are some of the only dust-collectors that I own.  The nativity scene is just stunning in its simplicity.  There are a couple of other sets you can buy to build on it - the wise men, and a set of animals.  Maybe one year.

Do you decorate for Christmas?  Do you go all out, or only have a few special decorations?  Do you prefer to have colour themes, or do you keep and collect your decorations to use year after year?  Are you a geeky Christmas person, or more traditional?  Religious or mainstream? Or maybe you don't do Christmas at all - maybe you do Hanaka or forego religious celebrations. I'd love to hear how you decorate (or don't) for Christmas, or any other holidays.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Geeky Christmas Designs

The count down to Christmas is on.  Advent starts next Sunday, and the Christmas decorations will go up.  The stores have had them on display for at least a month.  Tuesday will be one month to go.

However, there's still plenty of time to start and finish your Christmas stitching!

I've designed a number of Christmas cards and decorations that are now for sale in my Etsy store.  As a true fangirl, these designs are all geeky in nature, incorporating as many fandoms as I could.

Ron and Harry wish you a very Magical Christmas.
The TARDIS Christmas set, featuring a pair of earrings, and two different cards.
How cute are the earrings?!
Why not say "Happy Christmas" in Klingon?  Perfect for any Star Trek fans
In case you were wondering, it says QISmas DatIvjaj 'ej DIS chu' DatIvja 
Death as the Hogfather, as portrayed in the film Hogfather
Death as a more modern Hogfather.  Both cards are available in the one set
On a side note, these designs also don't have snow.  My biggest bug-bear about standard Christmas designs is that they are predominately just snow scenes.  Being Australian, snow doesn't really feature in my Christmas celebrations, so it doesn't appear in my designs.  Christmas designs for the Southern Hemisphere.  But feel free to use a few white beads or extra white stitches to add some in if you're in the Northern Hemisphere! :)

Happy Christmas and Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Gotta Stitch'em All - Pokemon memories and a new cross stitch pattern

Pokemon dominate a lot of my teenage memories, in particular family holidays.  Bare with me - there is a stitch-y point to this blog I promise.

When I was growing up, my father's family lived an 8 hour drive north of us, and my mother's family lived a solid 2 day drive (as in 10 hour days) south of us.  So any holiday involving visiting the family meant a lot of driving.  Flying wasn't an option to visit Dad's family (cattle station in the middle of nowhere), and with a family of 6 it would have been too expensive to fly to visit Mum's family.  So we drove.  We got good at driving.  In my memories we were pretty good travellers - it was just what we did on family holidays.  We learnt to entertain ourselves.  I tended to stitch, my three brothers tended to read or play Game Boys.
Family camping holiday 2004
Mum, Dad, Grandma, three brothers, and exchange student
from Japan
 The game of choice tended to be Pokemon.

In fact, I don't remember their Game Boys being used for anything else.

One particularly strong travelling Pokemon memory is in 2004 when we went on a four-week driving holiday around Central Australia.  Dad had fitted cigarette lighters in the back of the Landcruiser and the boys (my three brothers plus our exchange student from Japan) had adapters so they could run their Game Boys through the cigarette lighters and charge their Game Boy at the same time.  This did mean though that as soon as Dad turned off the car, the Game Boy would shut down.  The catch-cries of the camping trip quickly became:
Family camping holiday 2004
All 8 of us (I'm taking the photo) crammed into the car
Game Boys were down long enough to smile for the photo!
"Don't turn off the car, I haven't saved yet" and "I can't save, I'm in the middle of a battle".

"I'm in the middle of a battle" is still the catch-cry of our family, particularly when someone doesn't respond immediately!
At Uluru (Ayre's Rock) 2004
Although they are now all in their 20s (or almost - 2 months to go for the youngest), Pokemon is still a favoured game amongst my brothers and I.  My eldest brother recently loaded a version of Pokemon onto my iPad... not a lot else was accomplished for a good few weeks!

To celebrate this awesome, long-lived, much-loved game I have designed some cross-stitch patterns (I told you there was a point to this ramble!)

It started with a Pokemon Alphabet.  This is the Pokemon Alphabet as determined by my youngest brother.  I tried to get my brothers and sister-in-law to collaborate on designing the perfect Pokemon Alphabet but that proved too much of a challenge!!  To make everyone happy though, custom orders are available for this pattern - choose your favourite 26 Pokemon and have an alphabet designed just for you - check out the Etsy page for details.

For all those people (like me) who never managed to catch all 151 Pokemon, there is now the "Gotta Catch'em All" cross stitch pattern, featuring the original 151 Pokemon.

It is a massive pattern, fitting into an A1 frame, but how cute are they?!

While I was looking out mini sprites to turn into cross stitch patterns, I became a bit overwhelmed with how big the Pokemon universe has become!  I tend to only think of the original 151.  No - now there are over 700 Pokemon!  719 to be exact I think.  Well, I can't stop at just 151, now can I?

So now there is the Generation II Pokemon cross stitch pattern, featuring the Pokemon from the Silver, Gold and Crystal versions of the game - numbers 152-251.  This also fits into an A1 frame.

Generations III, IV, V and VI are in the planning stages and will probably be finished over the Christmas holidays when I have 4 or 5 weeks off work :)

Happy Stitching, and remember - Gotta Stitch'em All!!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Oz Comic Con, Veronica Mars, and me

The Oz Comic Con is happening at the moment, with days in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and, for the first time ever, Brisbane!!

So I went.

Of course I went. Was there ever any doubt I would? 

With my brother, waiting for one of the Q&As to start
October last year I went to the London MCM Comic Con.  I had so much fun I decided I wanted to go to one in Australia with one or more of my brothers as there was a lot of anime and computer game stuff that they are into and which I don't understand. Found out it was on in Brisbane, gave my brother a ticket for his birthday present (which is in January, so he had a bit of a wait!) and booked my flights.

I had a great time.

In the lead-up when guests where being announced, there weren't any that I was really excited about. There were a couple of people from Stargate coming which was cool, but no one else. Sorry William Shatner - I'm just not a super-duper fan.

Nicholas and Emma in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".
Image from
This all changed about two weeks out (when I realised that I hadn't actually bought tickets, I just thought I had, but it all worked out okay), when I found out that Nicholas Brendon (Xander) and Emma Caulfield (Anya) were going to be guests.  I have loved Buffy The Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager.  The wit, the sheer cleverness of it, plus the great characters... What's not to love? Joss Whedon is a brilliant writer, and Xander was always one of my favourite characters. So I was pretty excited.

The cast of Veronica Mars.
Image from
But not as excited as when I saw that Jason Dohring (Logan), Percy Daggs III (Wallace) and Michael Muhney (Sherif Lamb) were coming to Brisbane. Veronica Mars, people.  Check it out.  Buffy was my high school show.  Veronica Mars was my uni show.  Intrigue, plot, characters, dialogue, one-liners, twists and turns, heartache, plus utter cuteness of the male cast.  I was sad when it was cancelled.  I backed the Kickstarter campaign for the movie.  I waited in anticipation for the movie's release and the book and enjoyed both.  It's not Doctor Who or Discworld, but it's pretty damn good.  And I was very excited to see the cast were coming to Brisbane.

Finn the Human

Oh, and Orlando Bloom was there too.  Quite a coup for Brisbane.  I was excited, but not as much as for Veronica Mars and Buffy. My brother was pretty excited about Orlando. And about the guy from Game of Thrones, Jason Momoa.  I don't watch Game of Thrones, so can't comment.

My Comic Con costume

I enjoyed Oz Comic Con. I loved looking at the costumes and admiring the cosplay.  I enjoyed wandering around the stalls and checking out the games and merch for sale.  Bought my brother's Christmas and birthday presents. I had fun chatting to other fans and getting the chance to wear my Harry Potter cloak.

I really enjoyed attending the Q&As with Michael Muhney, Percy Daggs III, and Jason Dohring. So much fun.
Percy and Michael's Q&A
But the major Fangirl, squeal-enticing, shaking-so-I-couldn't-sit-down moments: having a photo with the three Veronica Mars boys.
With Percy, Michael and Jason
Oh and one with Emma Caulfield and Nicholas Brendon.
With Emma and Nicholas
My brother went back on Sunday for a photo with Orlando Bloom and to listen to the Q&A with Jason Momoa. I had to fly back home. Downside of living in a small town in Central Queensland.
With Orlando Bloom!
But I got to hug Percy, Michael and Jason, so it all works out I guess!

Some more pics from our adventure:
My brother's Comic Con buys
I'm now a toy!

Facing off against the Black Knight
(Monty Python's Holy Grail)

My other brother posing
Finn and I in line
How do you finish up a day at Comic Con?
With Magic the Gathering and dodgy cartoons of course!
Happy Stitching and Geeking!!