Sunday, 28 June 2015

Choose your faction - it's a new pattern!

It took me a while to discover the Divergent book series.  If you've read my 2015 Reading Challenge post, you'll know the story.  If not, let me share it again:
I avoided this series for a long time, book and film.  Some people were describing it as "the new Twilight" (which I refuse to read) and others were describing it as a poor copy of The Hunger Games (which I loved, so I didn't want to read a poor copy of it).  My housemate Bek had bought the book earlier this year and was telling me how much she'd enjoyed reading it.  Note: Bek doesn't read.  She just doesn't.  I can probably count the number of books she's read on my fingers.  For her to a) have actually read the book and b) enjoyed it made me think "I have to read this book".  I borrowed it off her and read it in about two days.  Great concept - a bit Hunger Games meets Brave New World.  The rest of the series has been added to my 'to read' list.
I've since read the second in the series, and watched the first film.  I'm still playing catch-up, however that didn't stop me designing a Divergent cross stitch pattern or 3.
I chose the wrong fabric colour so the white writing only shows up
in certain light/angles.  Whoops.
I went a couple of ways with this new pattern: there's a male and female version, and a combined version. To make things even more interesting, I've done this pattern in two different styles: the standard pixel style, and the more realistic style with quarter stitches, as seen in the Once Upon A Time pattern, so you can choose your favourite.
Male and Female Divergent factions - pixel-style
Male and Female Divergent factions - with quarter stitches
Combined Factions - Pixel style
Combined Factions - with quarter stitches

Happy stitching!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Throwback Thursday - 50th Whovian celebrations... and a new pattern!

Back in 2013, Doctor Who celebrated 50 years as one of our favourite fandoms.

There were mixed opinions about the various Anniversary celebrations, but I had an absolute ball.  I was living in England at the time, so had front-row seats to all the events and TV specials and radio specials and displays and all the rest.

One of the things I was most excited about was attending the Doctor Who Official Celebration in London.  It was amazing - I attended panels with Doctors 5, 6, 7, 11, Steven Moffat, and Nicholas Briggs (the voice of the Daleks); saw original costumes and sets from the original and new series; spent far too much money; and met people as crazy as I am.

I also really enjoyed the 50th Anniversay episode, The Day of The Doctor.  I've watched it so many times over the last 20 months I can quote it almost word for word.  having David Tennant and Billy Piper back was unbelievable, and John Hurt is a fantastic addition to the Doctor line up.

Today's new pattern features one of those throw-away lines from the episode that just stick in your head, as well as the three different Tardises (Tardisi?) as they appeared in the episode:
Which One's Mine?
I've also updated the Blink, Birthday and Anniversary card patterns to make them more streamlined, easier to stitch, and in a similar style to my other designs.

And because I'm talking about the 50th Anniversary episode, I can't not share the original pattern I designed for this episode, and one of the original patterns in my Etsy store, The Day of The Doctor:

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

WIP Wednesday

It's Wednesday which means it's time to update you all on my latest work in progress (WIP).

This is where I got to last week:
And tonight's progress puts me here:
"Rose Garden" 14 count aida from Sew It All
Hopefully it's becoming more obvious what it's of :)

I still need to work out the letter colouring as my original choice (green) I think will blend too much with some of the characters.  I'm going to wait until the rest of the characters are finished before I stitch the letters so I'll make the colour decision then.

Back to the stitching... if I can dislodge the cat who has decided to sit on my arms while I type!
Managed to free my arms so I could get a face shot - isn't he cute?
Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

House-warming new pattern - one for the readers

Just before Christmas, my brother moved into a new unit.  I knew I wanted to make him something for his new place for his Christmas present, but I was struggling to work out what to make him.

My brother has always been a huge geek.  In fact, he's the one who introduced me to most of my favourite fandoms - Harry Potter, Discworld, Star Wars, even (to some extent) Doctor Who.  He also introduced me to Tripod (Australian comedy trio), Lano & Woodly (Australian comedy duo), Umbilical Brothers (Australian comedy duo), Dresden Files (book series), QI (BBC TV show), and more.  G's three years younger than me but clearly has always had good taste.

However, he moved to Brisbane and then Melbourne a few years ago, and I move to England (and back to Aus), so I was a bit out of touch with what he was in to these days:

(I may have lied a bit about the "very cool idea" - not sure 'random cross stitch of some sort' really fits that description)

At any rate, reading I could work with and so I created the "A House is not a Home without a Bookshelf" cross stitch.

And now you can create your own because I've finally managed to get the pattern uploaded to my Etsy store!

What are some of your "a house is not a home without..." sayings?

Happy stitching!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-nana - it's a new MINION pattern!

You know the Minions, the cute yellow henchmen from Despicable Me?

Did you know they have their own songs?

Did you know they have a song about bananas?

Did you know this song has actual lyrics, so you can sing along?

Did you know that these lyrics are now in cross stitch form so you can create your own sing-a-long picture?

Now you do!

My ex-housemate and good friend is totally Minion-mad so for Christmas I designed her her own sing-a-long piece, and now you can join in the fun too.

Introducing the Minion Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-nana Cross Stitch Pattern

And because the piece is predominately back-stitch, it's very quick to whip up so you can make one for all of your minions.

I've got so many Minion-themed cross stitch pattern ideas racing around my head at the moment - I just need to find the time to get them down on paper.

Happy Stitching!

P.S. For those who haven't seen the Minion's song yet (or who want to sing along!):

Friday, 19 June 2015

I Know - it's a new pattern!

A good friend rang me up one night:

"I have an idea for a new pattern for you: you should do a Star Wars Wedding pattern" she said
"That's a fantastic idea!" I replied
"I know" she quipped.

I did run into a small dilemma - do I use Anakin and Padme, who actually got married in the films, or the cult classic Leia and Han Solo?  I put the question out to Instagram, and the response was unanimous. I don't even know why I asked really.

And thus (several weeks later) we have the Star Wars Wedding cross stitch pattern!

Now available in my Etsy store. :)

Happy Stitching, and may the force be with you.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

WIP Wednesday

This week I've started work test stitching a new pattern!  This one has been in the design stages for almost a year but I finally managed to finish the pattern last week with a bit of input from a couple of friends.

I started the piece on Friday, and this is where I've gotten to today:
I'm stitching this on "Rose Garden" 14 count aida from Sew It All
Not the fastest of stitching, but I've been working on a few other new patterns as well - which is why they take so long to design - I keep distracting myself!  On that note, stay tuned - I've added several new patterns to my Etsy store and will be detailing them in full over the next few blog posts.

Any guesses as to what this one might be? ;)

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Discworld Donations - a follow-up

After Terry Pratchett died, I wanted to make a donation to the Australian equivalent of one of Terry's favourite charities.  I decided that the proceeds from all Discworld patterns sold until the end of May would be donated to The Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation. (you can read more on that here).

Thanks to everyone who purchased a Discworld pattern from my Etsy store over the two and a bit months since.  We manged to raise $85, which for my little store is very good going!  Hurray!

I'm going to do another fundraiser later in the year, so stay tuned.

You can read more on my love of Terry Pratchett here and here and here.

Happy Stitching

Sunday, 14 June 2015

It's a Swap Finish

 Life has been a bit complicated and overwhelming lately and I haven't had a lot of energy/enthusiasm for stitching over the last couple of weeks.  However I managed to get my groove back this week (yay!) and actually achieved a finish - hurray!

This is the piece I've made for the #VivaLaVillainsSwap.  (The pattern is available from my Etsy store if you like it!)  I was very glad when my swap partner listed several Doctor Who monsters as their favourite villains of all time - I had the perfect pattern to stitch!  In fact, I'd seen their mosaic on Instagram and worked out the perfect design even before they were allocated to me - how's that for "meant to be"?!

If you haven't been involved in an Instagram Craft Swap before, check out my previous blog post.  I tend to stalk the hashtag even before my partner is allocated and try to work out what I would make if that person was allocated to me.  Given the number of mosaics featuring Maleficent (who I don't really know having never watched Sleeping Beauty, and only recently (this month) watching the new movie), I was very glad to receive a partner who liked Doctor Who!  This piece now just needs to be finished off (the wonderful Ozzypip is turning it into a wall hanging for me) and I can post it to my swap partner.

I originally designed this pattern in 2013, just before the 50th Anniversary special, and it features some of my favourite aliens/monsters from the series at that stage.  As I was stitching it I was wondering if there were any other aliens I'd rather include if I was designing it now... but I struggled to come up with any awesome new ones.  I enjoyed Missy in the latest series, but not in a "wow, she's now my favourite!" kind of way.  I did like the Zygons in the 50th Anniversary special, and I'm glad to hear they'll be making a reappearance in the next series.  I'm not glad to hear that Missy is coming back - sometimes I wish they'd just leave well enough alone.  Like the Daleks (over them in so many ways) and the Weeping Angels (who they just destroy each time they bring them back - they were terrifying and now they are just a joke).

In other Swap news, my partner has received the package I sent them for the #DoctorWhoCraftSwap2015 - this was the piece I made for the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I've also received my package for this swap - my partner made me a Weeping Angel mug-rug, a Gallifreyan hoop, a Tardis card, a Tardis tea-towel, and Weeping Angel earrings - how cool!  My swap partner is super talented. :)

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A Successful Year at the Show

This si going to be a photo-heavy blog - just a warning!

This week was the local agricultural show for our region, which is a chance for the young amongst us to make themselves sick on junk food and show rides, and all that.  It's also a chance for people to show off their skills and talents - whether it's show dogs, cattle, horse riding, cooking, flower arranging, or hand crafts.  

This year was the first year my parents entered anything in the show - Dad in the woodworking section, and Mum in the patchwork.  They both took home prizes in their novice sections, which was very exciting.
 Mum's quilts received a few awards, including the Debbie Bell Memorial Award.  Dad's "Retired" clock received a first in its section, and the Tardis cupboard he made me received second in the furniture section.
I entered some of my cross stitch in a few different sections, and some of my photographs, and was very excited/happy/thrilled to win several prizes of my own.
My Once Upon A Time design took out first place!!

Most exciting of all was that my own design won first prize in the cross stitch section!  In fact, I took out 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Highly Commended!  There may not have been anyone else in the section, but that doesn't matter - I still kicked butt!
 Scarlett by John Clayton took second, and another of my designs, Geeky ABC took third.  Woodland Fairie by Mirabilla received a Highly Commended.  Go me!

I managed to get my pieces entered into a few different sections too to spread the love (and chances of winning!).  I entered this cushion in the "A piece for the Lounge Room".  I can't remember who the designer was - I stitched it back in 2005, however it was only this year that I asked Mum to turn it into a cushion for me.  

 Oh, and my biscornu took first in the pincushion section.

Oh, and the wall hanging that mum and I made took out third in the special challenge Anzac-themed category.
I don't have a better photo as Mum took the wall hanging
home to her place

This is the first year I entered my photos in the photography section of the show.  Of the 10 photos I entered, I received a first, two seconds, and three highly commendeds!  These were much more competitive sections (quite a large number of photos in each of the categories) so I was really really chuffed!

A closer view of my pics:

Well that's it for another year.  Time to start stitching for next year!

Happy Stitching