Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Bead Embroidery - 'Tranquil Sky'

An acquaintance of mine was recently clearing out a large stash of craft supplies she had inherited. Within the bundle I claimed was this bead embroidery pattern. It is from the Mandala Series by Amaryllis Artworks, and little did I know at the time that they're actually quite hard to find in the UK! Not only that, but the previous owner had gone to the trouble of sourcing the specific recommended supplies to make the finished piece! I tend to just make do with what I've got if it's close enough, but everything included here was exact.

The embroidery is worked on lilac linen using various threads and beads, and the booklet not only contains the pattern but the instructions for each of the stitches used. I'm hoping to use and adapt both the pattern and the stitch instructions into further designs, as I really enjoyed working on this. It has sat around in the art studio for a while as I have pondered how to finish it off, until I noticed it was the perfect size to wrap round a small square canvas. I attached it to the sides with spray mount before tacking the back into place. I intend to hang it so it appears as a diamond, and hopefully I'll add more to the collection soon. Can anyone recommend any resources for embroidery designs and stitches such as this?

Friday, 16 February 2018

Pop-Up Sea Monster Card!

Yes - another Cricut card! In my wanders through the Cricut Design Space (their platform of designs linked with their machines) I found a collection called "Simple Pop-Up Cards". Some of them are more simple than others, though I probably didn't help myself by not having a scoring tool! But this design stood out to me as appropriate for my nephew's 11th Birthday...

It's called the "Sea Monster Pop-Up Card", and it has so much excitement and movement. To create such interesting tentacles, I took a free printable paper I had found online and manipulated it in Photoshop to fit this orange/green colour scheme. I then printed it out on white card, and my Cricut cut it into these amazing shapes! There is some freedom with where you place the tentacles too, depending on how much you want them to stick outside the card. The blue cut out from the back panel also made a nice feature on the envelope. I added an extra strip of paper at the front base of the card with the words "Happy Birthday!" because the card felt visually out of balance, but I'm pleased with the end result!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Spring Flowers Cross Stitch

Last year, I was lucky enough to win Pretty Stitches by Jayne Schofield. The inside is just awash with colours, flowers, and everything pretty. It didn't take me long to decide I would need to test a chart out for myself! I began with a piece of plain white aida, and went to town with my acrylic paint adding colour and patterns to it, and also splashed some sparkly gold ink across it.

Rather than buying the specific threads recommended in the book, I picked out appropriate colours from my stash, mixing things up where it seemed appropriate. I added some sparkly thread to areas, and used some Anchor Perle cotton thread to bring out the centre of the butterflies. I also added just a few sparkly gold mini gems to catch the light.

I mounted my finished cross stitch in an embroidery hoop that I had lightly painted in an off-white pearl paint, and attached some sparkly ribbon to hang from. I also wrapped some more Anchor Perle Cotton Thread (colour 1335) around a section of the embroidery hoop - I love adding details like this! I stitched a circle of felt to the back of my work just to finish it off neatly. This project took a bit longer than I had anticipated, but I love how colourful and spring-like it is now it is finished, and I would definitely recommend the book if you like your cross stitch pretty and colourful!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Crochet Rattle Bear

I wanted to make a small crochet toy for my new baby nephew, and I happened to find this adorable free pattern for a Rattle Bear! I don't normally make rattles, but I had some bells hanging around in my stash so I thought why not throw one in! This was quick and easy to hook up, with just bits from my stash. It's a cute bear and feels nice to hold, so I'd recommend it :) I added a tag made with my Cricut - of course!

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