Throwback Thursday – The Christmas Card Edition

Another break from blogging I know, but I haven’t done much stitching amongst getting a new job and moving house! Anyway, I figured I’d get back into it with a festive Throwback Thursday post. 

These Christmas cards were all created for family around 5 years ago. I haven’t had the chance to create more Christmas cards since then but I’m looking forward to it this year. 

These two were part of series in (the now sadly defunct) Cross Stitch Card Shop magazine. They were a really fun stitch with the backstitch, beading and metallic thread!

This set was from CrossStitcher magazine. I adapted the text for the Reindeer design as it was meant to say ‘Snow’ but you don’t get much of that here in Australia! I always like stitching on coloured fabrics as well. 

I honestly can’t remember where this cute teddy design came from – I think maybe Cross Stitch Card Shop! I can see now that the card itself should’ve been finished much better as well. We’re always our own worst critics aren’t we? 🙂 

This was a quick stitch from a Joan Elliott series of designs – I believe it appeared in Cross Stitch Card Shop as well. As you know, I’m a big fan of Joan’s designs and her Christmas ones are no exception! 

Do you stitch your Christmas cards? Have you ever stitched a full set for family and friends?


Five for Friday – Online Stitching Stores

Another week done and dusted! While it might have been a little slow on the blog front (sorry about that!), I’ve actually almost finished three projects since my last post! I’ll share pictures when they’re all done but today I thought I’d share my top 5 favourite online stitching stores with everyone! Because everyone loves a stash enabler right? 😉

It’s not always easy to get to my LNS (Local Needlework Store) and on the rare occasion that they don’t have what I need, I usually turn to one of these five online stores;

  1. Sew and So. This is an English company who have won many craft retailer awards and you can tell why! They have a massive range of cross stitch supplies but also cater to crafters who are into knitting, tapestry, embroidery and latch hook. They really do have everything you can think of; from hand-dyed fabric and silk threads to Even though they are half a world away from me, shipping is always very quick and I’ve never had any problems when ordering from them. A bonus is that I can shop in Australian dollars!
  2. 1-2-3 Stitch. This Utah based stitchy store is another one of those who have everything including the kitchen sink on offer! Besides carrying charts from just about every cross stitch designer out there, they have a huge scrapbooking range. I also get a lot of my rubber stamps (for my cardmaking) from here. Their customer service is awesome – even when I’ve forgotten or changed my mind about something just after I’ve ordered, they’ve always been so helpful.
  3. Etsy. I don’t think I need to explain this one too much! 🙂 You can buy fabric, threads, hoops and the like from a number of Etsy shops but the patterns and finished projects are where it’s at. There are so many awesome designers here doing amazing things – from the funky and colourful (like Stitchrovia and RedGate Stitchery) to sassy sayings and pop culture references (like tinymodernist), you have so much choice! A bonus is that many designs offer their patterns as PDF downloads, meaning you can be stitching away in no time.
  4. Linen and Threads. The online version of a bricks-and-mortar stitchy store based in the Blue Mountains, NSW; this site used to be part of The Stitching Post (which is the patchwork and quilting arm of their business). They specialise and antique/reproduction cross stitch designs and also have a range of crewel and blackwork charts too. I’ve ordered from the in the past and also recently been to their physical store and have had nothing but good experiences!
  5. The Fox Collection. My mum used to buy me kits from here when I started stitching at eight years old – it was through a mail order catalogue as they didn’t have an online store back then. The magazine used to come to my Nana’s house every month and I would read it from cover to cover, earmarking the projects I liked the look of! It’s still a great resource for cross stitch, papercraft and other general craft supplies – they have lots of nice birth samplers and beginner stitching projects.

Do you shop online for your stitchy supplies? What’s your favourite online store? 

Five for Friday: Stitching Must Haves

I’ve decided to start doing a ‘Top 5’ type post on a Friday and what better way to kick off the first one than with my stitching must haves! I might have to do another one in the future though because it was really hard to pick only five things. 🙂

1. A good quality pair of embroidery scissors. I can’t stress this enough if you’re new to the stitching game – embroidery scissors are a must! My favourite brand is Gingher. I have two pairs of Gingher scissors – the lightweight black pair and the gorgeous pink and white pair which is from their Designer Series. Next on my wish list is a pair of Gingher dressmaking shears (*hint hint* for my fiancée who is possibly reading this post!).

2. Tapestry needles. I use John James tapestry needles almost exclusively (I don’t have a picture of the packet) – either gold plated or platinum, although I prefer platinum because I find that the gold plating usually wears off after a few days stitching. I recently bought a packet of these Bohin tapestry needles that I’m keen to try out. Has anyone had any luck with these?

3. Q-Snaps. These are stitching frames made from PVC piping that you snap together and then clip your fabric into. They. Changed. My. Life. No joke. I find that when I’m using a hoop I can never get enough tension in my fabric or I lose tension over time. I never have this problem with my Q-Snaps. Another great thing is that the sizes are interchangable so you can make them work with almost any project. And yes, I do have them in all sizes available.

4. A good pincushion. I have about 3 different pincushions, all handmade by yours truly. My first pincushion was the blue and red heart design on the left and it’s a little flat these days as I didn’t stuff it very well to begin with. Now I’ve learnt that the trick to a good pincushion is lots of stuffing!

5. Needle Nest. This is basically a magnetic needle case. I love the fact that they have a white background so I can easily see my needles and because they’re magnetic – I don’t drop them all over the floor! I actually have four different needle nests – one each for my three main sizes of needles (24, 26 and 28) and one for beading needles and other miscelleanous needles.

So there you have it! My top five stitching must haves (for now)…

What are your must have items for stitching? 

Throwback Thursday – The England Edition

I was scrolling through my phone the other day and found some old photos of little projects I’ve finished and it gave me an idea for a fun throwback style blog post! A few of them are England themed, which I think is fitting, given the recent happenings in the news. So here we are:-

I Heart London Mini Cross Stitch Kit by Heritage Crafts

I made this for my fiancée as a memento of our holiday to England back in 2011. I think I created a monster though because now he wants a stitched souvenir from every place we visit! You can still find the kit at Sew and So if you’re interested. As it’s not specifically a coaster kit, I bought the coaster separately and fitted the design to it. They do have quite a large range of coaster kits on the website though.

Royal Guard Fridge Magnet Kit – CrossStitcher Magazine

My apologies for the blurry photo – it’s a few years old. This quick little stitch came as a free kit in one of my favourite magazines – CrossStitcher! I’m not sure which issue this came from (maybe some time in 2012 – if anyone can help please let me know!). This was proudly displayed on my fridge when I first moved out of my parents home in 2013. My fiancée and I are currently living with his parents while we settle back in to Brisbane life so this little royal guard is now safely tucked away in storage waiting to be displayed in our next home.

Do you ever stitch souvenirs or mementos from your travels? 

WIP Wednesday – Christmastown

Another Wednesday and it’s time for another WIP! I have two projects on the go at the moment – I would say I usually have two or three projects in progress at any one time. Most of the time it is a big project and a smaller project (like a free kit from a magazine or a greeting card).

Welcome to Christmastown – CrossStitcher #285 (designed by Emma Congdon)

I knew as soon as I saw this project that I wanted to stitch it – I was really drawn to the bright colours that Emma has used instead of your typical Christmas palette of red and green. I like a lot of Emma Congdon’s designs – think funky typographics and bright colours. She also has an awesome Etsy shop called Stitchrovia if you’re interested in looking at her other designs.

I started this project while I was still living in Canada late last year. It’s taken me almost eight months on and off to get it to this stage and I still think it will take me a good 12 hours or so to finish. It is meant to be an 88 hour project after all!

Now you might be thinking ‘This Aussie Crafter chick has lost her marbles! That project is actually finished!’ If you take a closer look at the first picture, you’ll see all that blank white space in the clouds and between the sections of the village. Yeah, that ALL needs to be filled in with white. <insertsadfaceemojihere> So once I get my fingers working and finish that snow, Christmastown will be ready to go!

This is the issue of CrossStitcher that this project came from. There’s quite a few other projects in there that have made it to my ‘To Stitch’ list – especially the cute little stuffed Nativity scene!

What’s your latest WIP? I’d love to see everyone’s projects! 

WIP Wednesday – Christmas in (almost) July

I’m making my comeback from a very very long break from blogging with a WIP post (WIP meaning Work In Progress for the uninitiated). To cut a long story short, I’ve moved back to Australia after two years living in Canada and not a lot of action on the stitching front. I’m aiming to post at least three times a week from now on – I’d love to use this blog as a place to look back on completed projects and even connect with other stitchers around the world!

Now, on to the fun part – my current WIP! I feel like I only ever stitch Christmas things but why fix what isn’t broken!? This is the Christmas Spirit with Charm series by Lizzie Kate. The series comes in six separate charts, with two designs in each chart. You can either chose to stitch each chart separately or join them together as one large design, which is what I’ve chosen to do.

I actually started this project before I left for Canada two years ago and then found it in storage a week ago and picked it up again, determined to finish. I just need to work on the last two panels and the border, then I’ll be done with the stitching. Borders are usually my least favourite part of a project so I’ll need to psych myself up for that!

After that it’s on to finishing – the ‘with Charm‘ part of the series! Each chart comes with two petite brass charms to be added after stitching is complete. I think they add a really nice effect and I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together.

A note about this designer – I love Lizzie Kate designs! I’ve stitched quite a few already. I really like her use of colour, cute characters and font styles. I follow her blog and I find myself wanting to stitch pretty much everything she releases! Hopefully you’ll see this current project in a post about finishes very soon.

Do you have a favourite ‘theme’ that you like to stitch? Do you have a favourite cross stitch designer? 

No, I didn’t drop off the face of the Earth…

I just moved halfway across the world! I’ve swapped beaches for snow and am now living in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

My backyard!

I had to make some tough decisions when packing up my life last year and couldn’t bring a lot of my stitching things with me. So the majority of my stash is boxed up in storage thousands of kilometres away – and I’m getting serious withdrawals!

I brought a couple of smaller projects with me but when I got here I kind of lost the stitching bug and didn’t really feel like doing them for a long time. Too much snowboarding I guess …

But now the bug is back and I’ve been working on a small Mill Hill Christmas ornament. Would you expect anything less of me?

This little ornament probably took me about three weeks to stitch, on and off. I had so much fun working on it and can’t wait to see it hanging up on the tree at Christmas time.

Mill Hill Charmed Stocking Holly Days – stitched with items included in the kit
I obviously have much less stash than I did back in Australia so I had get a little “crafty” so to speak! I ended up using nail scissors in lieu of embroidery scissors and stored the kit in a lunch bag when I wasn’t working on it. This made me a little fed up after a few weeks so I bit the bullet and bought some new stash …

Is there any sweeter sight to a stitcher than new stash? Didn’t think so! I bought plastic bobbins this time around for storing my DMC thread and I must say I really like them. I don’t have to worry about them breaking and not being able to hold the thread – they’re still fairly cheap too which is a bonus. And don’t worry … embroidery scissors are on the way!

Have you ever lost the crafty bug? Has anyone else bought new stash recently? I’d love to see some pictures!