3 Year Blog Anniversary – My Top 5 Posts!

anniversary-1xA couple of days ago I got an unexpected notification from WordPress telling me that this week I should be celebrating my 3 year blog anniversary (blogaversary?). This is quite a significant milestone – this means that I’ve now been teaching myself to sew for THREE years. So, in celebration, I’ve decided to take a look back into the past. Here are my Top 5 Blog Posts for you to enjoy again!

felt robins1. Make Your Own Felt Robin Christmas Decoration
This post is the most popular on my blog by a long, long way. It seems you love making your own Christmas decorations! It’s actually one of my least favourite things that I’ve made but that appears not to have deterred my readers…

origami bow2. Origami Bow Tutorial
So popular I posted this blog entry twice! These little origami bows are so cute – if you’ve not given it a go yet I suggest you try now – all you need is a square of paper and a pair of scissors. I spotted the instructions originally on the fab papercraft site Paper Kawaii and never looked back.

felt decorations3. Felt Christmas Decorations
Once again it’s a Christmas post! This time around I found myself making a felt Christmas pudding and a felt Christmas tree. Both were super fun to make and took hardly any time at all. I definitely recommend making a few to customise your own tree this year.

cupcake cross stitch4. Cupcake Cross Stitch
This colourful cross stitch design is by a lovely lady named Lucie Heaton. I got the design from CrossStitcher magazine and used it to decorate one of the crafty canvases that I made. It took me a fair while to get it finished but the end result is so eyecatching! Check out Lucie’s website here when you get chance – she has some really cute designs available to download and print. I particularly love the little baby mouse, designed in celebration of the royal baby!

Needle Case5. Needles and Pins
And the final post in my Top 5 is this handmade needlecase. The pattern is from Cath Kidston’s Sew! book and it was one of the first items I ever made! If you don’t already own this book, and love making handmade homewares, then I suggest you get yourself a copy. I’ve sewn almost every item out of it! You can also check out all my Cath Kidston blog posts here.

Mum’s Birthday Cross Stitch

finished cross stitchLast week my lovely mummy celebrated one of those ‘milestone’ birthdays and, because you only reach that age once, my two younger sisters and I decided we would make her something a bit special. All three of us are crafty and creative in our own way yet are united by one particular past-time: cross stitch. So, after the exchange of countless Facebook birdhouse cross stitchmessages, we decided that this would be the theme for our present.

We each picked our own design to cross stitch – my youngest sister went for a birdhouse and flowers, the middle sister went for our two cats and I chose to do the Wimbledon logo and the Olympic rings. Perhaps a random selection of images but a collection of our mum’s favourite cat cross stitchthings nonetheless.

After stitching the designs (all of which I believe were done free-hand without a chart!) we then stitched on the lyrics to the Sound of Music along wimbledon cross stitchthe bottom. The birdhouse reads ‘raindrops on roses’, the cats read ‘whiskers on kittens’ and the sports logos say ‘these are a few of your favourite things.’

We also added our initials to the top and then framed the finished designs in a lovely, mirrored frame from Laura Ashley. We presented it to my mum at her family birthday party this weekend and I think we managed to move more than one auntie to tears! The perfect daughters? I think so.

Stitch Your Own Obama

As President Obama wins the US election and embarks on his second term, this seems like the perfect moment to celebrate, crack out the sepia-tone embroidery threads and create this masterpiece.

Courtesy of the UK’s Cross Stitcher magazine, here is President Obama in cross stitch chart form.

If the magazine was up for election, they’d definitely get my vote. Just stunning.

Birthday Cross Stitch

Since I’ve been away in France (if this is news to you, see my travel blog here) I’ve been very limited as to the sewing projects I can complete. Obviously – and unfortunately – I couldn’t bring my mound of material, my sewing machine or my sewing kit with me as they’re just too heavy for one lone Eurostar traveller.

Instead I brought with me my cross stitch, origami paper and the materials for my felt animals. These are what I deem ‘travel size’ crafts and no way was I going to leave them out of my suitcase. Whilst I’m babysitting for the couple of hours after school – and when the boys’ homework is complete – I need something I can do at the table so that I’m still within easy shouting distance of the children.

Throughout February I’ve had a few birthdays (and Valentine’s Day) to attend to back in Angleterre, so I’ve been putting my free time towards stitching little designs that I can easily post to my friends and family. I’ve done motifs of cats for my mum, a peacock for my friend and a guitar for my boyfriend – among various others. I’m currently stitching a bigger design featuring the Eiffel Tower which I hope to keep as a memory of my stay here. I’m not following a set pattern, just picking images from my book by Jo Verso and making them into a picture-frame size montage. Once it’s finished the end result will be featured here! With all these free days I’m sure it won’t be long.

Lucie Heaton Cross Stitch – 20% off code

A little while back I posted a blog about a cupcake design cross stitch I was doing (see the picture to the left for a little reminder). You can read about it here.

The design was created by Lucie Heaton, who has a fantastic website full of cross stitch patterns that you can download as PDF files and print off at home. You can get motifs, alphabets, samplers, kids designs and seasonal pictures all costing around £1 – £6 per chart.

There’s even a section of free patterns if you just want to try some out too.

What’s more, word got out that I’d completed my cupcake chart and Lucie got in contact with me. She’s been lovely enough to offer all my avid readers a brilliant 20% discount on all her designs! Just use the code FEB12 at the checkout and your discount will be applied. Have fun!



Cupcake Cross Stitch

Cross stitch may not be the coolest handicraft on offer – I refer to those autumnal-coloured images of bird houses, flower arrangements and pictorial alphabets spotted most commonly on the walls of generation upon generation of grandma – but it’s simple, effective and something to do to pass the time. And it’s quite fun.

I’ve recently finished stitching this colourful cupcake stand design found in May 2011’s edition of Cross Stitcher magazine. The colours are so cheerful that from a distance it almost looks like the real thing. Or at least like a painting by numbers rather than a cross stitch.

The chart is by a lady named Lucie Heaton – her website can be found here – which has some lovely free patterns to download or those to buy.

Originally I planned to frame the end result, but instead I’ve decided to attach the finished piece to one of my wall art canvases. Read more about that ongoing project here and here. Good enough to eat  – I think so.

Cross Stitched LDN & a Felt Dog

A couple of weeks ago I received, in the post, a beautiful invitation to my friend’s wedding. In Washington. I would absolutely love to attend but, alas, I cannot. Instead I’ve decided to create the bride and groom a lovely little home-made wedding present.
Enter stage left – 1x cross stitched London skyline.

The pattern came out of Cross Stitcher magazine (August 2011) and is intended to be made into a purse. I’ve made a few modifications to the design – instead of writing London I’ve put England (my friend, the groom, used to live over here so I thought it’d be a nice memento of our time together). I added in the royal guard myself too – the pattern and materials for this came free with the same edition of the magazine. I’m also planning on making it into a small cushion rather than a purse.

The overall project took me about 2 weeks (and 6 episodes of Dexter, 4 Project Runways, 2 White Collars, 4 Mad Men and a couple of films) to complete. Persistence really is key with cross stitch!

In other news, I also had another go at making a felt animal out of my Felt Friends From Japan book – see my review here. This time I chose a little felt puppy (even more adorable than the felt elephant?). He took me a couple of hours to stitch together and passed an otherwise uneventful Sunday morning. He is now residing at my lovely friend’s house – what a lucky guy