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Wren brooch – work in progress

I’ve promised a superb wren brooch to a work colleague months ago, and have only just set down to do it properly after some false starts. (“Superb” is the name of the wren, not what I think of the stitching haha).

So a couple of work in progress shots.

Just starting:

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Part way through (a bit of a funny angle going on here)

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And the wren bit complete. Still have to do a border and back him for the brooch yet though.

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Hopefully will finish him this week 🙂

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Pintangle: Take a stitch Tuesday

I just discovered this glorious embroidery challenge: Take-a-stitch-Tuesday. I know, I’m VERY late on the scene 🙂

For anyone else new, it’s run by sharonb over at PinTangle, and the idea is to create a space where embroiderers can try out new stitches or push the envelope a little on stitches they already know. It has a group on flickr that form part of the record of the group’s creativity, as well as a web ring and regular spotlights from sharonb on PinTangle. I recommend you check it all out!

I think it’s a wonderful idea, I’m inspired just by reading through the entries. Part of me is tempted to jump on board at week one and stitch up a storm… but I don’t want to derail my current project, I’m trying to be disciplined about how many things I have on the go.

So my plan is to refer to the challenge in bits and pieces on my side-cloth as I see the opportunity. And maybe when Jack’s complete I can throw myself at the challenge from the beginning.

*twitchy needle hand* 😉

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Embroidery, patterns and sight-seeing

Another little update of my stitches and life in general.

I’ve been working on Jack this week, but most of that’s not been on Jack himself but on the samplerish side-cloth where I’m testing out ideas:

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I’ve sketched out the colours and fill ideas for each area, but it’s not till I’ve tried it with different threads, strands, textures that I know which one has the best chance of working. While stitching my last project, I spent a lot of time unpicking and re-doing areas. I don’t mind that so much, but having a side-cloth to test things on gives me more freedom to try variations side by side and compare them, and then choose the one I think will work best. I still foresee some unpicking, but hopefully less.

Anyway, I’m having fun with the side-cloth as well, so it’s all goof fun and learning.

Here’s where Jack is currently at:

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I’ve settled on some larger fill areas now after playing on the side, so the next update should be a bit more colourful. Oh! And I did my first ever ‘laid work’ in the little blue triangle fill area, so I’m pretty proud of myself. 🙂 Even if it’s just a tiny bit, it was fun and something new. Jack might turn into a large sampler at this rate :-O

Out in the real world, we have a menagerie of creatures that inhabit (or visit) or bustling street: galahs, corellas, lorikeets, the occasional rosella, possums, bats… and over the last couple of weeks: ducks!

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I love ducks. They aren’t very exotic, I know, but we don’t see them often, and these ones are so tame! I had to step over this guy when I was going for a walk. Crazy!

I’ve been hideously busy with work. I tripped to Sydney and back yesterday for two meetings. The meetings went well and aren’t worth relating here, but I had two hours between when I had some time to wander the city.

My first meeting was down near the water somewhere. I don’t know the area, but it was beautiful in the morning sun:

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And then over the lunch break I wandered in the city centre.

The Strand arcade is beautiful:

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And then I had lunch at QVB, and took a few photos, but this one is the prettiest:

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And then off to my second meeting followed by a train to the airport and then home. It was a long tiring day.

I shared some of the silly patterns I’ve been making in my last post. I’m afraid to report that I’ve just been getting sillier and sillier with them. I borrowed a stylus from a friend, it’s made iOrnament a whole lot more fun 🙂

Interleaving fours:

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Girls with scarves and mittens (clearly the cold has been getting to me):

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Cat faces:

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Mooses (meese?):

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Ducks. Or rabbits. Or rabbitducks:

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That’s enough silliness from me 🙂

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Updates: knitting, embroidery, food!

I’ve been busy! But not posting as much as I’d like, so here’s a pretty huge dump of some images from my last month or so.

I’ve been knitting almost every day. Some lovely Kinfolk hand dyed yarn into socks:

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And some delightful squishy madelinetosh yarn into a beanie. This resulted in my man asking if he could put in an order for a black one. Which I subsequently knitted, but didn’t photograph, because … well… black knitting never photographs well.

Knitting a hat

I’ve also knitted another hat, and started a new scarf… winter is pretty much over here though, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have the knitting bug. Links to all my projects are in my Ravelry library.

Related to the winter weather, my man and I have been cooking lots of Japanese hot pots together. he bought a lovely book on Amazon (this one, I swear it’s not a sponsored link! 😉 The recipes are surprisingly approachable, so we’ve been making one every weekend. One hot pot feeds s for a couple of nights.

This is a duck hot pot:

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And this is a mushroom hotpot on the stove. Mmmm, mushrooms.

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And to go with our Japanese dinners, we’ve also bought a little batch of sake from this great Melbourne supplier of all things sake: http://www.sakeonline.com.au/

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And finally back to crafting. I’ve been playing with a couple of design/creative apps over the last month or so.

iOrnament allows you to make repeating patterns using all 17 of the wallpaper groups. (I’m a maths nerd, so I love this). I bought a little stylus for my iPad, and am having heaps of fun with this. Not sure how it will translate to embroideries yet, but I have some lovely screensavers and backgrounds I’ve made myself 🙂

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I’ve also downlaoded a cute isometric app called… Isometric 🙂 It allows you to place diamonds on a grid to create isometric patterns. I’m really into triangles at the moment, so my designs are tending to be not very isometric and more triangle-y. But I’m having fun:

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And finally, I’ve been working on my new big embroidery project. I’ve done a whole lot of history research, and looking at hundreds of examples of playing cards. And then sketching up and playing with my own designs.

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I’ve finished mapping out (mostly) what stitches go where, and have started the actual stitching. But photos will follow once it’s fleshed out a bit more 🙂

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