Tuesday, 21 January 2014

A winter fox

I know Christmas is past, but winter is still well and truly making its presence felt! Here on the east coast of central Scotland, winter doesn't normally equal lots of snow fun (though the last few years have seen much sledging in our local park). Normally our winters mean lots of grey dull days, quite a lot of rain and those cold winds that go right through your clothes no matter how many layers you're wearing. Oh and the thought of it lasting more than another two months doesn't really bear thinking about! 

Probably because of this, my sketchbook has been full of cold looking animals these last few weeks. Some with woolly hats, some with wellies and others sporting toasty-looking scarves. One of these sketches in particular was just begging to be brought to life with thread, so here is my little winter fox, complete with warm scarf.
"My scarf is soooooooooooo cosy!"
I liked him so much, that I thought maybe some of you might like him too, so I've created a free pattern for him, including the details of what colours and stitches I used in the picture above, which you can download for free from HERE. The pattern comes as the outline pic below, so using a light box or bright window and transfer pens or pencils you can transfer to fabric and start stitching! Have fun with my winter fox, and if anyone stitches him up, I'd love to see him!
Sew Much Ado

Monday, 13 January 2014

January WIPs...

As I've been setting up my new craft room in my new house, I've come across quite a lot of unfinished bits and pieces of embroidery. Catching up on my usual blog list I found that the excellent &Stitches blog had started a Finish-Along, encouraging readers to grab those unfinished projects and finish them together. This was just the kick I needed to start some embroidery this year, so while organising I picked the following piece to finish.

I've had this white bear embroidery hanging around for a few months, and after stitching away for a while at it, any progress ground to a halt. The bear was one of my 'ad hoc' embroideries. For me this means I started out with little or no planning and just a simple sketch. I transferred this sketch to calico and just started to stitch, using whatever colours felt right. I start a lot of embroideries this way, and although it means I can get stitching really quickly, I often suffer from the lack of planning as I go along! 

For this bear, I couldn't decide what the embroidery would become when I was finished, and I also struggled with how to protray the water -  trying a few stitches, unpicking the lot and then popping the whole thing in a box for a few months, awaiting new inspiration. So, this is the piece I'll be working on in January. Do you have any unfinsihed embroideries you'd like to complete? Why not take up the & Stitches Finish-Along challenge and sew along with us all?

(Sorry for the poor photos, I got all ready to stitch and then realised I probably didn't have any snaps of this embroidery so grabbed a couple of 'before' pics on my phone! I'll take some better ones as I go along.)

(UPDATE: I've now finished this piece, you can read my blog post about the finished bear here )


Friday, 10 January 2014

2014 already?

I'm not quite sure how we managed to sneak into 2014 already, but my calender insists that's where we are, so I'd better get on with it! I do feel a bit cheeky writing a 'welcome to 2014' post when I failed to blog for most of 2013, but life seemed to drag me away from a lot of crafting and blogging last year.
One of the biggest distractions life brought to our family from late last summer was the fun and hard work of moving house! We'd been planning to move to a bigger house for a couple of years, and had been slowly working through the last jobs in our old house to make the move possible. All of a sudden we had the opportunity to sell our house, and buy a bigger house with a big garden in the same village we currently live in and love! We finally moved in on the 1st of November, but what with unpacking, and Christmas hard on the heels of that, it feels like we're only now starting to draw breath and look around us. We still have a lot of boxes to unpack, but the day to day living is finally working fine. So now I have a whole new house to decorate, and I'm already making a list of what sewing might need to be done. 
Here's a few pics of our lovely late Victorian sandstone cottage. Only the outside for now - believe me no-one wants to see piles of boxes stacked in a plain white room! At least not until I have some 'after' pics to show!
Looks like a tiny cottage, but is surprisingly large on the inside!
Love the stonework around the door, but we might go for a new door colour - blue perhaps?
Scrollwork above the door - so many details!
On another exciting note, I also have a room to myself for crafting! The novelty of being able to leave a work partly done on my work desk, and being able to come back to it at any time is AWESOME. This new space means I've found it easier to finish of some of the painting projects I started last year. I used to love painting, so I've been getting back into using watercolours and watercolour pencils, and so far I'm really enjoying using pencil and brush for a change. Here's a few sneak previews of what I've been working on. Mostly animals of course!

Now I must go and dive into a pile of paint charts and think about room colours! Woohoo!