Friday, 31 March 2017

Feature Pattern Friday

Today's Feature Pattern is a new pattern featuring a blast from the past.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
I have three younger brothers: Gavin is 3 years younger than me, Colby 8 years and Stephen 10 years.  The younger two quickly learnt that what ever the older one was in to was 'cool'.  One such thing was Power Rangers.  We watched it a bit on TV, but it is the movie I remember most.  Gavin borrowed out the video from the local video shop a few times, then Colby discovered it and followed suit. But it was Stephen who fell in love with it, regularly choosing it as his treat (occasionally, particularly during school holidays, we were each allowed to borrow out a video on a Friday night).  The thing was, we only had one TV and it was in the family lounge room where we basically lived - the toys were all down there, mum's sewing machine, the comfy couches, and my bedroom was a sectioned off corner of the room (my walls were cupboards). So it meant that whenever Stephen wanted to watch it, I would watch it or listen to it as well.  By the time he outgrew it 1) my parents could have bought it several times over with all the hire fees and 2) we pretty much knew it word for word.
Did you know the original movie was filmed in Sydney?  A number
of Sydney landmarks can be spotted throughout the film, including
Sydney  Tower (which Ivan Ooze used as a sword), and the monorail.
My brothers and I used to have fun spotting them when we visited Sydney.
When I heard there was a new Power Rangers movie coming out, I messaged Stephen and said we had to go to the cinema together to see it.  He'd made me watch the initial one on repeat, he owed me!  I complain about it a lot - I actually enjoyed the ridiculousness of the original film and TV show - all the over-acted head movements, the sound effects, the dodgy special effects.  I wanted to see the new film because of nostalgia and to make sure they hadn't ruined the essence of it, and because I enjoy a good superhero film.  
The new Power Rangers
I really enjoyed the new film.  It was a quality superhero film. There was enough setup and information that you didn't have to know anything about the original to understand it.  There was enough new stuff (including the outfits) that it wasn't a straight remake, and plenty of nods/winks to the original so fans (like my brother and I) could squeal and cheer - which we did, in the middle of the cinema last Saturday night.  Important things like "it's morphin time", "make my monster grow", "aye aye aye", the original song (revamped) and a couple of cameos (like the moon).  There was even a hint at a sequel.

As you have probably guessed, today's Feature Pattern is the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Available from my Etsy store
This is will be my next stitching project.  Austin St. John (who played Jason, the Red Ranger in the original TV show) is coming to Melbourne and the Gold Coast Supanova at the end of April; and Johnny Yong Bosch (Adam, the Black Ranger in the original film) will be at Sydney Supanava. They weren't on screen together, but who cares - they're both "my" Power Rangers.

Guests for Supanova 2017
It's morphin time! Happy stitching.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

WIP Wednesday

As I type this the rain has started falling.  It's been stopping and starting all day, but I think the earnest stuff may finally be here.  Yesterday (Tuesday) Tropical Cyclone Debbie crossed the cost of Central/North Queensland (just north of Mackay) as a category 4 cyclone, bringing with it a lot of destructive winds and rain.  It has been a very slow moving cyclone, which means it's caused a lot of damage as it's sat over island and costal communities.  I've been listening to the news and spending a lot of time on Facebook making sure friends and family have been keeping safe.  Brisbane (where I live) was well out of the cyclone's path, so while we had blue skies we listened to the stories of broken windows, torn roofs and loss of power from the rest of the state.  Once it crossed land, Cyclone Debbie was downgraded to a Cat 3 then a Cat 2 (when they don't have the water from the sea to power them, cyclones begin to lose power) - don't get me wrong, Cat 2 cyclones are still very fierce and powerful, and I was very thankful to not be anywhere near it.  Now Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie tracked inland for a bit before heading south over Central Queensland where I used to live, and where my parents still live.  My mum (Ozzypip) reported plenty of rain today, and the strong winds are predicted to hit tomorrow - she talks about it in her blog post here.

Here, the rain has stopped again.  The ex-cyclone (now a low) is heading our way and they (the weather bureau) is predicting upwards of 100mls of rain for Brisbane over the next couple of days.  The weather forecast shows 100% chance of rain from about middnight tonight and right through tomorrow.  The winds follow the rain, so that may not reach us until Friday.  All in all it is going to be a wet few days - perfect stitching weather... although not the best weather for concentrating at work!
I think the weatherzone app is feeling a little stressed and in
need of a joke.  Today this was the forecast for Friday for
Brisbane.  Somehow, I don't think so
After finishing off my big piece for the A to Z Challenge last week, I've spent this week working on little bits and pieces for my stall at Supanova.  Earrings and keyrings, and putting together mini kits.  I need to sit down and write myself a job list for April.  The time is going to vanish and before I know it Supanova will be here, so I need to get organised!
Key rings and earrings for Supanova

Mini cross stitch kits
Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

WIP Wednesday

It's WIP Wednesday, which means it's time to check in on my stitching progress.  Actually technically it's "Running Late Thursday".  I was this close to finishing yesterday that I stayed up far too late to finish off the back-stitching, and didn't get this post written.  As a consequence I'm very sleepy and having trouble concentrating at work this morning.  I've stopped for an early morning tea (ie. coffee) and am writing this while I try and wake up (i.e. drink more coffee).  There's no one else in the office this morning (the other therapists who normally work Thursdays are coming in tomorrow instead) and I'm wondering if anyone will notice if I put my head on the desk and have a ten minute nap. 

It's all totally self-inflicted and no sympathy is deserved, however it was worth it because...

My piece for the A to Z Challenge is complete!  Hurray! And just in time too - it's a little over a week until 1st April so I still have time to get the blog posts written and scheduled before the madness that is April starts.
Last week vs this week - it's finished!  Backside view of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Alphabet
You're still only getting backside views.  Once the Challenge starts I'll begin sharing front-side photos.  I announced on Tuesday that my theme for the Challenge (and the title of this piece) is Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Many people had already guessed the theme from my photos - as one lady on Instagram pointed out, it helps that the first two letters are the main characters!

I've also started work on getting things ready for my Convention stalls - putting together mini kits, and finishing off new patterns to add to my catalogues.  There's still a lot to do (including working on piece to have signed), but at least this cross stitch is out of the way and I can concentrate on one less thing!

How are you going with your WIPs?

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

A To Z Challenge Theme Reveal: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

The day has finally arrived for The Great And Powerful Theme Reveal, as the hosts of the A to Z Blogging Challenge have named it.  Technically, the theme reveal was yesterday my time - but better late than never!

For those who are not aware, the A to Z Challenge runs throughout April.  Bloggers are challenged to write one post a day (excluding Sundays), gradually working their way through the alphabet.  1st April is on A, 3rd April on B, 4th April is C etc etc.  Most participants focus on a theme to help guide and structure their blog posts.  The other part of the Challenge is to then go and visit the blogs of other participants - which is often then most difficult as with over 1000 bloggers involved, there's a lot of blogs to visit, and I find I quickly run out of time in the day!  That being said, I have met some amazing bloggers and fellow crafters though doing this challenge and I do enjoy it.

But enough explaining - on with the Theme Reveal!

This is my third year participating in the Challenge.  Each year I stitch one of my alphabet patterns and share thoughts on the different characters.  Last year I was crazy and not only stitched two alphabets, but also wrote a second blog!  This year I'm keeping it simple and just stitching the one alphabet, and writing the one blog.  April is shaping up to be a crazy month (as I explained here) and I've opted for trying to keep as much of my sanity as possible!

I've already started work on my cross stitch piece (as I've been sharing on WIP Wednesdays) and I know a few of you have already twigged as to what it is )

So without any further ado, my theme for this year's A to Z challenge is....

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

The cross stitch pattern is available here if you want to stitch your own
Girl power action hero Buffy and friends.  I loved this show in high school, and have watched it many times since.  I've been enjoying a Buffy marathon of late while I work on my cross stitch piece and am looking forward to writing about some of my favourite characters.

There were a few things that influenced my choice of pattern, chief amongst them being that David Boreanus (Angel) is coming to the Gold Coast for Supanova at the end of April!  (excited girly squeal). I'm still deciding whether I'll ask him to sign the completed alphabet, or whether I'll do a separate piece because...

It's been announced that Julie Benz (Darla, the first Vampire to appear in the TV show) is coming to Sydney Supanova!  Darla isn't in this cross stitch pattern so I'm thinking of doing a quote piece with Darla and Angel on it... so many choices.

Are you participating in the A to Z Challenge?  Leave a link to your blog in the comments and I'll drop by to check you out.  I'm particularly looking forward to finding some other crafty blogs.

Happy stitching (and blogging!)

Friday, 17 March 2017

Feature Pattern Friday - Wicked

Today's Feature Pattern is from the hit West End show, Wicked.
Image from
I'm a huge theatre fan.  I love nothing better than going and watching a live show.  I don't care if it's a musical, a drama, a one-woman-show, a professional company or the local am-dram group around the corner.  Providing it involves people acting on stage, I'm there.  If I can afford it that is!  The two years I lived in London, all my spare cash went on theatre tickets.  I loved the easy access to a huge range of shows, with the added advantage of discount tickets.  During my last 8 days in the UK, I saw 14 different shows.  And I've seen Wicked 4 different times - twice in Melbourne, once in Sydney and once in Brisbane (which I wrote about here).  Did I mention I loved theatre?

Enough about me, here's the pattern!
Elphaba and Glinda.  Cross stitch pattern available from my
Etsy Store
Elphaba's hat was more difficult to design than I was expecting, as was her dress.  The hat is so point it's hard to achieve in pixles, but I finally managed it in the end.  The dress on the other hand... when you actually study it closely, the dress is made up of lots of different patches of colour - blues and reds and purples.  There are some blended threads in the pattern to try and achieve the look.  It was certainly a challenge.  Glinda's on the other hand was just blue and poofy.  It looks much more impressive in the images, but sure was easier to design in cross stitch!

Happy stitching.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

WIP Wednesday

Time to check in on my stitching project.
Last week vs this week's progress on my A to Z Challenge piece

I'm still working on my piece for the A to Z challenge.  I haven't made a lot of progress with it this week.  My mother came to visit this weekend and, although she's crafty and enjoys spending time sitting around sewing, we spent most of the weekend shopping, catching up, visiting my brothers, and going to the theatre.  It was a lovely weekend full of culture and socialising and general fun, but it did mean little to no stitching progress.  Oh well, still 2 weeks till the start of the challenge, and a month till it's over so I should have plenty of time to get it done! :)

What are you currently working on?  Anyone else joining in with a crafty A-Z challenge?

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

WIP Wednesday

This week I've been continuing to work on my piece for the A to Z challenge.  I'm determined to have it finished, and the blog posts written, before April even starts.  I've finished off the middle row, and have made a good start on the last two rows.  
Last week's progress vs today's progress
Do you know what it is?
I've been forced to stop and do a lot of stitching this week.  Last Thursday I slipped when getting out of the shower and fell head over heals.  My shower is a shower-over-bath so I fell over the top of that - I smacked my ankle on the edge of the bath, banged and grazed my knee on the floorboards, and knocked my shoulder on the wall.  My ankle swelled and started to bruise almost immediately, and is still rather tender to walk on by the end of the day.  I've been finding bruises everywhere.  The physiotherapist taped up my shoulder on Saturday after telling me I had a shoulder strain.  However, I did manage to not hit my head and didn't knock myself out when I fell - which I was very glad about as I live alone and was scared about how long it would have taken anyone to find me.  The result of all this is that I spent even more time than usual this weekend (and most afternoons) sitting on the couch and stitching.  My brother came over Saturday afternoon to make sure I was okay and helped do the washing, which was much appreciated.
Progression of the bruise and swelling.  Photos from Thursday morning, Thursday evening, and Sunday evening
An anti-slip mat for the bath is on the shopping list, as soon as I can find one!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Feature Pattern Friday - Game of Thrones

It's time for Feature Pattern Friday which today is the Game of Thrones Alphabet

Game of Thrones Alphabet
This has to have been the most requested pattern suggestion of the last couple of years, and it made it to my shop about 6 months ago.

I have a confession to make - I don't watch Game of Thrones.  I watched the pilot episode and decided it wasn't my thing - child murder, incest, rape... nope, really not me.  No judgement against those who do watch it (each to their own, and I've been told it improves a lot in later episodes) but I couldn't get past the pilot... which did make coming up with this alphabet a little difficult!  I had to make best-guesses for some of the characters and their outfits (all approved by my GoT friends and family).  However, don't forget you can always request a customised pattern if your favourite character or outfit is missing.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

WIP Wednesday

Checking in on my current Works In Progress.

I've continued to work on my A to Z piece for the April blogging challenge.  I'm making pretty good progress on it, and am about half-way through - first two rows are finished, and the middle row is about half finished.
A to Z Challenge piece

That's all I've been working on from a stitching point-of-view.

In other areas, I've had a couple of customised requests come in this week which I've finished and sent off - one was a sentence rework on the Star Trek Original Series pattern which was a quick thing to do.
Customised quote on the Star Trek piece
I love getting customised pattern requests - people have such amazing ideas, and sometimes what started out as a customised requests get added to my regular pattern line up.  Other times it's just nice to work on something different and unusual.  It can be a lot of hard work sometimes trying to understand what a client is asking for (particularly as everything is discussed via email, and there's usually a delay in communications due to time differences) but the end product makes up for it - when I print the PDF and can say "yes, that's something I'm proud of."

The first round of Conventions is almost here (April), and I need to get cracking on fixing/updating my stock, pattern catalogues, and mini kits.  I need to start pulling some of that out this weekend to have a look at where I'm at so I can put in orders for needed materials.  Only problem with getting ready for Conventions is that it eats into my stitching time.  Good thing I love doing them! :)

Happy stitching