26 January 2012

TAST Week 4 - Cretan Stitch

TAST Week 4 - Cretan Stitch

Knowing that I have a very busy week this week, I got stitching this Cretan Stitch on the Tuesday when Sharon first posted it on her blog.

I enjoyed creating these variations of the stitch and will definitely 'play' some more with it.

From left to right the stitches are:

Cretan Stitch in lilac

Various stitch lengths and widths in navy blue

Knotted Cretan in light blue
(this one took a bit of coaxing to get it right, and even then I had trouble getting the knots to stay in place, but I persevered with it)

Raised Cretan in green

Open Double Raised Cretan in green

And the reason I have a busy week this week is that hubby (that crazy-dooman) bought a boat last weekend and has given me a shopping list of things he needs for it and things to do to get it ready for taking out this coming long-weekend - and he also says I need to buy a life jacket and a wet-suit for myself (waaaahhhhhaaaahaaa). I have no idea where he got the impression that I would be accompanying him. He knows I love swimming and is trying to entice me to go out on the boat with him. But I have no love of the ocean and I hate (no that is not too strong a word for it) fishing.

Wish me luck, and I hope I return here in one piece to stitch TAST week 5.

25 January 2012

Cy - BJP - January

Yay!!! I eventually got around to finishing the top part of my 'teardrop' pendant. Not bad for a beading novice I think.
I'm happy with how it turned out.

I purposely left some of the orange showing through as it's a great contrast for the black, and it enhances the gold semi-see-thru glass beads.

And finally.............. drum roll please..........my first bead encrusted Teardrop Pendant on a gold chain.

I also tried it attached to a black neckwire which is shorter than the chain and for using as a choker pendant. 
The photo below was taken at a different time of day and the colours are more true without the glare of the shiny bits.

This was a big learning curve for me. 
When I next use this encrusted bead embroidery technique I will do things differently. But that is what this BJP is for ...... to experiment with techniques that I may have not tried before, or to play with and develop techniques that I have enjoyed using.

February's BJP will be the same shape as above but a totally different technique that will be such fun to do.



A link to the Bead Journal Project is in the right hand column.

22 January 2012

TAST Week 3 - Feather Stitch

TAST Week 3 - Feather Stitch

Here are my experiments with Feather Stitches for this week.

And here is the journal page so far, with three week of TAST stitches.

I feel sort of cheated, or hard done by, with this stitch because I was very short of time to do any stitching this week, and I don't think I have experimented with feather stitch enough for my liking yet.
I may have to come back to 'play' with feather stitch some more when I get some spare time, but at least I did manage to get a few rows done in time for my weekly reveal on

15 January 2012

BJP - WIP - January

BJP - WIP - January

My shape for this challenge has ended up a Teardrop.
The starting point for this piece is my own hand-made black and gold scroll bead that didn't make it into a necklace in it's own right (poor thing). 
I thought the orange felt background was suitable for showing off both the black and the gold. All other colours that I auditioned had a muted effect on one colour, and I want both colours to stand out equally on this.

And then I started the embellishing with gold beads.
When this pendant is finished it will be heavily encrusted all over and hopefully have the light reflecting off it in all directions. 
The bugle beads semi-circle are in two colours - gold and copper. I think they work well together. The orange background was a good choice here as it enhances the gold and copper beads.

I'm looking forward to working on the next section of it during this coming week. 
Very pleased with the progress made this week.

CQJP - January samples

CQJP - January

I still haven't got even one block made up yet. I need to find a whole day when I can get my sewing machine out and get cracking on this. But I have, at least pulled together all the parts to complete my project. So you can see that I haven't exactly been idle on this challenge.

The fabric I have blogged about before, so here are the
Threads - Beads - Buttons etc.

TAST Week 2 - Buttonhole (Blanket) Stitch

TAST Week 2 - Buttonhole (Blanket) Stitch

My experimenting with this stitch was good. Tried a couple of new (to me) variations, and I'm well pleased with the result for my journal page.

Stitches include - back-to-back buttonhole, 4 variations of wrapped buttonhole, V-buttohole couching, alternate sides buttohole couching. slanting buttonhole, length pattern, layered and graded buttonhole, outline buttonhole, wheel, ridged buttonhole, bar (or detached) buttonhole.
I have two favourites from above - the orange detached buttonhole flower was great to work on, and the wrapped buttonhole variation on the very left at the bottom of pic has an interesting look to it I think.


07 January 2012

TAST Week 1 - Fly Stitch

TAST Week 1 - Fly Stitch

I have decided to do my TAST stitches on 9" x 9" squares of recycled even-weave linen that I have hand dyed. These will then be made into a stitch reference journal and added to throughout the year.

I shall also be using these TAST stitches on my CQJP but my Crazy Quilt blocks will get many other stitches too, because I want to use more than the 4 a month TAST stitches on each block right from block one, so I shall be creating two separate challenge projects. 
  1. TAST - a stitch reference journal book
  2. CQJP - a Crazy Quilt Wall Hanging incorporating some TAST stitches.
I am expecting to get at least 4 weeks of experimenting with TAST stitches on each square, but I may alter that if I get carried away with some stitches.

I shall mostly be using up my stranded cotton thread stash 'left-over' from other projects. It's amazing just how many colours one person can collect, and it's even more amazing how many knots and tangles just suddenly appear in the threads in the bag.
It must be one of life's little mysteries - who puts the knots in the bags?

Anyway - on with TAST 2012.

Here is the first of my hand dyed 9" linen squares before the needle got to it.

And here is a bunch of threads from my stash bag (just a small handful of them).
You can see I tried to keep the threads in order on the project cards, but it seems that someone threw a bunch of knots in the bag too. Ah well, I'll untangle that lot as I get to it.

The purple thread in the following pic is where I randomly started stitching my fly stitch. 
I won't be using a doodle-cloth as my stitching samples will all go straight onto the linen so that I can keep track of any bloopers I make too.

And Finally my "play-piece"................. all my fly stitch samples for TAST 2012 Week 1

Bring on week 2


I'm Back. ...Time To Get Stitching

Well, I was a long time absent from blogging due to Christmas not leaving our household until today.

The last of my seasonal guests have now left me clearing up the mess, lol (thanks Emma!!!). The family and friends who spent Christmas and New Year with us had a wonderfully Jolly Season. The hangovers should just about be clearing by now (and there were many of them) and we are almost getting the farm back to normal, whatever 'normal' may mean.
It sure is quiet around the house now. No more cauldrons of food to make at dinner time, no more production line sandwiches for the masses at lunch. The turkey and ham have been consumed, the decorations have been packed in their little and big boxes, the spare bedrooms have been vacated, the tents have been packed up and taken away, and the caravan can surely wait a few days for me to clean it out properly, although I have removed anything from the caravan that could possibly grow life-forms over the next couple of days.

No time to take a breather.... I've got a lot of stitching to catch up with. 

Take A Stitch Tuesday............... here I come ............. watch this space.