Wednesday, March 21, 2012

missing fishes

I spotted this sign as I walked home from the gym today.  I'm still trying to figure out if its serious, or someone's idea of a joke (I removed the ph# from the pic).  Fish generally don't go awol.  In any case the fish have great names.  Especially Dwayne. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

stitching up a treat: part two

GG's embroidery is coming along in leaps and bounds.  The space that I have left to embroider has shrunk very rapidly.  I challenged myself to add another motif- and perhaps on the tail end of making a felt cupcake, I decided to embroider a cupcake on felt.  This time I decided to keep it simple and not spend time embroidering a detailed fill.  My only concern is that the icing looks a little like pink poop (GG will probably pick up on this and find it hilarious). I also added some Trendy Triangles.  Because triangles are the new Diagonal Lines (I was using diagonal lines a lot as fillers on E's embroidery.  Very circa 2005) .  But really, it was nice working with a simple graphic element for a change- sometimes I get embroidery envy of those who can do simple but artfully composed work.  But most of all I liked working with the bright colours- I made a beeline for a clean bright turquoise, mustard yellow, coral pink and purpley blue.
At the moment I working on the fill for the sky, gradually increasing the intensity of the colour so that it is a decent shade of sky-blue.  I 'm wanting to tie up some loose ends and make sure that I have some of the bigger components completed before I move onto my next major motif- Fly the Border Collie, which will take up the majority of the space left on my fabric.  It will also take some thought in terms of composition and will challenge my (minimal) dog-drawing skills.  

Readers- I need your help..!  I added this rainbow thread butterfly at the beginning of the year, trying to replicate the success I had with the one on E's embroidery.  However this one has come out looking a little fugly and messy, so I think that it needs a little TLC to help realise its full potential.  So I'm open to suggestions as to how I can improve it.  At the moment my thoughts are to whip-stitch around the teardrop bits in single-colour thread, add more metallic thread to the lower wing, and to add a French Knot eye.  Hopefully that would work somehow...

Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2012


I'm loving all the old cast-iron signs that adorn the entrance to apartment blocks around here.  I really like the effort that goes into the typography.  You do see so much of the little details when you are walking around your neighbourhood. 

Earlier this week, in my plan to settle into Melbourne I went along to the famous Brown Owls (hope the link works), which I was hoping would be a little like Lucky Penny.  It was and it wasn't.  Even though it was the same kind of set up as Lucky Penny I didn't really feel any sense of belonging, or ownership there- obviously because I was new, but also perhaps a little because I've realized that I'm just not super comfortable crafting in public places. I'll keep my crafting at home, in front of the TV like it always has been.  So my next step in Getting a Social Life is going to book club.  Book club!  I'm hoping that it is a little more successful for me. 

 Today is a public holiday, so while I'm relaxing at the moment I do plan to get moving- go to the gym, clean my apartment and do some crafting.  I've had one of those really hectic weeks that involve long hours (work conference), so a long weekend is super welcome.  Unfortunately like a holiday or even a regular weekend I can feel it coming to an end very quickly!  I have some updates on my embroidery that I would love to show you- with some hope, later today.

Friday, February 17, 2012

stitching up a treat

Sometimes, you just need to craft something simple.  Sometime ago, I had brought felt donut and cupcake magnet kits from Daiso, the Japanese two-dollar shop.  Now my love of Daiso and its craft kits has been well documented, but has not stepped into kawaii territory- until now.

These two kits are ridiculously simple, quick and cute- talk about instant craft gratification!  My favourite has to be the chocolate-iced donut- simply because it is so donut-y.  And they look fab on the fridge! Cupcake cross stitch via Stitch'd Ink (also instant craft-gratification..!)
Hope that you have a lovely weekend.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

St. Kilda Festival

Today I went to the St. Kilda Festival.  Along with the rain and many hippy types. St. Kilda is the seasie suburb of Melbourne- I hadn't seen the sea since sometime in January,  so I was a little excited about that.  There was live bands, nausea inducing amusement park rides, trashy market stalls and food stalls (the best bit).  Look at how dark those clouds are!  It only got worse, believe me.  I was kind of relieved to get home, make a cup of chai (with honey and golden syrup in it..). I've got a little project on the go which I am happy to continue with, and hope to complete tonight.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

thread mess

I've found some new threads to work with.  A local art and craft store was clearing their DMC threads for 50c a skein.  Cheap!  Still no sign of the elusive fluro yellow thread though..! It is so hard to know what colours I have and haven't got, so I just grabbed a selection of blues that I thought would help with embroidering the sky on GG's embroidery.  I also got questioned by the shop assistant as to whether I was doing embroidery "like, from a chart or do you make it up?".  Obviously she was not accustomed to seeing embroidery outside of a kit...?  Anyway it was kind of funny.  I haven't really had the space to embroider much since returning to Melbourne, perhaps I overdid it a little over Christmas!  I might start a fresh motif on GG's Embroidery and see where that leads me...

Have a happy weekend!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

the country

Today I visited 'the country'.  I took a train out to Castlemaine, which is about an hour and a half west of Melbourne, and is where my sister lives.  Castlemaine is a pretty little town from the goldrush days, which now attracts arty/hippy types and has an abundance of cafes.  And since it was Sunday there was also art markets and farmer's markets.  It was nice to get out of the city, but unfortunately it was a rainy-ish day, so we couldn't get out as much as I had hoped- it looked like a great place to walk about snapping photos like my tourist self likes to do.  How was your weekend?  Did you get away to somewhere interesting?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

simple dinner

I was impressed at how picturesque my dinner looked, that I had to take a photo.
 Chopsticks would have been better, of course.  Miso soup with buckwheat soba, chicken, tofu and pak choi.  Simple.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


It's been very quiet on this blog.  Seriously, I don't know how many times I have lamented about my lack of posting.  Its too late for me to bother with the whole 'New Years' post thing.  Anyhow I have given the blog a much needed renovation- something that is clean and simple, and doesn't hurt my eyes.  Or yours for that matter. I had finally decided that I did not 'need' a patterned background- this idea was OK in 2006, when this blog was started, but not now. 
Did you have a lovely holiday break?  I went back home to New Zealand and caught up with my family and friends, and generally spent a bit (ok lots) of time lazing about.  Actually I think that I needed a decent break- moving countries, settling into a new home and re-learning your job is plenty to take in.
So in that lazy holiday time my embroidery certainly did not suffer.  Early in 2011 I had set myself the goal of Completing Georgie's Embroidery, which turned out to be a bit of a fail.  By the time my niece's birthday rolled around in late December the embroidery was still only partially complete.  Little girls do not forget things so easily and I was asked where it was.  Thankfully I could hint at the things I had added recently.  
Spending time in Napier with my parents brought on an embroidery blitz, which resulted in some fab additions:

The Cats.  Meet Putty and Pipsy, the two family cats- now in embroidery form.

The Kawaii Carrot.  GG loves to eat raw carrots all the time, so I thought that a kawaii carrot would be appropriate.  And this too.  It was nice to work with a simple and graphic forms, as opposed to the more finely shaded stuff that I normally do.  I also added the speech bubble above.

The Night Sky.  I guess that adding the Night Sky was the major piece of work here- all those teeny tiny stitches took ages.  I was kind of aiming for a 'Van-Gogh-Starry-Night' effect, which I partially achieved thanks to variegated yarn.  I'm planning on blending this more with lighter blue shades on the daytime side to achieve a brighter look.
I finally named the unicorn 'Aurora', which I thought suited.  I still need to shade the banner, but baby steps.

The Witch and The Moon.  Work on this piece has stalled as I'm now on the hunt for elusive DMC Flouro Yellow thread.  When I moved into my house it was the rainiest day possible, as in torrential rain rainy. The taxi dumped me outside my apartment block with my gear, and I then had to get my housemate to help me haul in all my stuff before it got completely soaked. When I got inside I was very quick to make sure I put the embroidery somewhere safe to dry.  However I had separated all the yarn I was using on the witch/moon into a red bag.  Which was not colourfast.  I discovered this about a week later.  Flouro yellow thread was now a bad shade of orange, glow in the dark thread was red-ish and anything blue looked distinctly purple. *sigh*  

So, overall (progress):

Since returning to Melbourne I have barely picked this piece of work up.  Perhaps I need a quiet weekend with decent light and a dash of motivation to make a little more progress.