Monday, 31 December 2012

awwwww man! not Fair

 So I've nearly finished the reindeer and i got to wothin 6 stitches of the gold brder and RAN OUT OF THE THREAD PROVIDED!
I have another gold which I'll use to fill the gap, but it's not quite the same. I also ran out of the really light tan colour, but I have teh DMC number so I can get more of that. Then I just have a bit of back stitching to do.

Santa brought me an excellent set of pencils that you can draw on fabric with. You wet them and then they are permament. I've been doing some experimenting with them over the last few days and I'm nearly ready to show you the first finished project which I'm SUPER happy with. It was actually an embroidery design that I abandoned about 3 years ago because the colours looked washed out. With the pencils I was able to lift it with background colour. I added some lazy daisies on top and it looks lovely. I'll take a photo tomorrow.

I hope you had a merry Christmas and an exciting new year.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Saturday's Progress

Saturday 23rd of December
Sorry it's a bit sideways, I was trying not to get a shadow on it.
I was having trouble sleeping so I stayed up pretty late stitching. I think I did about 6 hours yesterday.
I'm not sure if I'll get it finished by Christmas day ... probably not. I always underestimate the time it takes to stitch something.

See you with an update tomorrow.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

yay, Holidays

Saturday 22nd December 2012

Yesterday was my last day at the OOSH (Out of school hours care - remember that term, I'll use it from now on as it's quicker). It was an interesting day with one horendously behaved 5 year old and another one causing a panic by choking on a boiled lolly. We had to call 000, but because he was breathing they didn't need to come out and just advised us over the phone. He coughed it up after about 15 minutes, but it was a VERY tense quarter of an hour as he was in quite a bit of ditress. Then, when it was out he ran around as if nothing had happened while we staff were still shaking from the adrenalin!!!!

Anyway, it's holidays now and i'm enjoying finishing a completely frivilous reindeer stitch from 'Simple Stitch' kits. Here's my progress so far.

 I'll post again on Sunday evening to show you how far I've gotten and then when it's finished.

See you then,

Sunday, 16 December 2012

IHSW December Achievement

Here's what I was working on at the beginning of the weekend;

And i finished it
 I had hoped to finish this AND work on the reindeer. But I really only had a few hours on Saturday, and as usual I under estimated the time it took to finish something. This gypsy (which I hope will appear in ECS magazine early next year), had more back stitching than I usually put in designs, as I don't particularly like stitching it. But I saw a very old post card of a gypsy with a scarf around her waist with stripes and I had to have it in this design. As it was such a small design (about 100 stitches high?) Back sitthcing was the only way I could really portray the stripes.

Anyway, I hope you like it. I'm very pleased with how she turned out. You can't really see the gold thread and beads I used to add dimension and sparkle to it in the photo.

See you next time (one more post before Christmas I should think)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


I'm going to participate in International Hermit and stitch weekend this weekend. I have a Christmas party to go to on Saturday afternoon, but the rest of the weekend is MINE!
I'm well into a gypsy cross stitch for ECS magazine. I may even get that doen by Saturday ... hmmm? Who am I kidding? But I will be close. So when that is done I'll finish the reindeer I started a few weeks ago. I took him away to the beach with me last weekend and managed to do a few threads.

Angie let me know that my love birds were advertised for the next WOXS mag. I'm very excited. I haven't seen it stitched yet, or made up into an item which is very unusual for me.

I'll post on Saturday for the IHSW.

Monday, 3 December 2012

More Than a week again

I seem to be missing a few blog entries. it's not that I'm not being productive. I just like to have photos to add, I'm getting a bit paranoid about designs being copied.

I've finished the pyjama bag and it's really cute. It's quite big too and I tested it to see if I could fit a bed pillow, a teddy and pyjamas inside, and they all fitted. LOL I had to re sew the handles on the bag three times as the first time one was twisted and the second time not all the raw edges were caught in. But it was worth the unpicking as it now looks well made.

I also finished a turtle soft toy for Patchwork and Stitches magazine. He is so cute that both the kids want him when he comes back from photography. Maybe I'll keep him myself. :) Suffolk puffs were involved in his creation and I enjoyed it so much I want to do more now.

Now the only WIP I have for magazines is a bag with an applique tree. The applique is finished and all I need to do is construct the bag (and write the instructions ... my least favourite bit). It's not due for over a month so I'm not rushing.

On the weekend I didnt' feel like working on any magazine pieces so I opened a really cute reindeer cross stitch kit I bought on special last year (after Christmas sale). He's not too big so I should finish him by Christmas even if I only work on him on teh weekends. Designers have to have a break too right?

I've decided on my next cross stitch design now too and I'll get cracking on that tomorrow probably. She will be a gypsy dancer for a note book cover (so not too large).

OK, I hope you are all well and happy.
I'll write again soon (I'll try to make my blogs at least weekly!)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

November 2012

Hi everyone,
sorry I've been awol again. Everyone here was sick for a week. I had a sinus infection, both kids had the vomitting bug and Mike had a touch of it too.

Everyone is mostly better now.

Actually it's been more than a week since I updated anyway. I finished the Chameleon quilt and sent it off to the magazine editor. At the moment I'm working on another applique comission. this one is a bag.

The picture above is a work in progress. her teddy needs some eyes and a nose, the words will be stitched down and I have some stars and a moon as decoration around her. It should be published early next year.

By the way, if you ever see anything I've designed as an applique and you think 'Oh I'd love to stitch that in cross stitch', please let me know and I can make it happen.

I've had another publication in Embroidery and Cross Stitch Magazine
My Fuscia Sampler appears in ECS Vol 20 No. 4 which will be out soon if it's not already hit the news stands.

I'm a little stuck for my next idea for Embroidery and Cross Stitch which is partly why I've been doing so much applique. If anyone has something they would particularly like, please comment. Embroidery and Cross Stitch Magazine has a sophisticated style, so nothing country or cute is likely to be accepted by them. But I'm still have plans for a web site over Christmas break. So all requests will be considered.

Oh yes, and I'm delighted to tell you that I'll be the profile artist in the upcoming edition of Patchwork and Stitches Magazine.

I didn't sell any of my textile art at the art show. I'm wondering if it's even worth doing any more. But I do enjoy experimenting. The trouble is, I have to pay everytime I enter one of those things. I was going to put some works in a gallery next year, but I don't feel like forking out money for no return. And if I have nothign to do with these creations once they are done, what's the point?

I think that's about all I had to mention.
Now that I'm part time at the child care centre I have less time for my creative work. But I fit it in where I can.

Thanks for hanging in there with me

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Hi Everyone.
I hope you saw the cross stitch gallery page I put up.
I'm currently working on a quilt which has confused chameleons on it. They got into my stash and didn't know what colour to change to ... so they went psychadelic.
There are 6 Chameleons in all different patterend fabric (you can just see the prurple and the pink one in this photo). And they are scampering around on a pieced background of 4 large blocks of different stars.
Today I'm quilting the layers together. It's coming up really nicely. I hope it will be published in April next year. It's kind of frustrating that it takes 6 months for things to make it out onto the news stands. But having put together an art book years ago (which took the best part of 10 months to set up) I understand all the organisation and work that goes on behind the scenes in the publishing world.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this little preview. I made a vlog showing the stitching of the applique around the lizards. I need to compress it, but once my son has shown me how to do that, I'll post a link.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Cross Stitch Gallery Page

Just letting you know the Cross Stitch Gallery page is up. It currently only has works that I've had published. I'm a bit slack with my records and some of them I couldn't find the issue it was in (or I never got a contributor copy). So I just noted the year and Magazine. There are more of them, but I also discovered that some of my photos were on our old computer which crashed recently. Hubby has recovered the data from the computer but it may take a while to get them from him. I may just take new photos. it might be faster.

I'll get the beading and quilting ones up next. And then I'll put up the textils art gallery.

Welcome to my new follower ... enjoy

Thursday, 11 October 2012

I Love This One

It probably doesn't get much girlier than this??? Oh well, I absolutely love this bag I made with the Rainbow Butterfly. I can't wait to get it back from the magazine so I can use it. It would look lovely teamed with a flowy summer dress.
I'm working on some gallery pages. So if you are relitavely new to this blog, you will be able to go to the gallery to see what projects I've made, rather than trawling through old entries. I'll le tyou knwo when they are published so you can have a look.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Something a Bit Different

Hi everyone.
I've nearly finished the butterfly bag adn I'll post a photo when I'm done.
But in the mean time, please enjoy these photos of some textile art I am entering into the local art Festival.
 Wisps of Cloud at Sunset 40cm square, mounted on a canvas. I still have a few embellishments to put on this one.
 Peacock Wall Hanging 40cm by 50cm
 Firework Flowers Wall Hanging 40cm by 50cm
Cosmic 50cm by 40cm, mounted on a canvas. It has beads sewn in the curly bits that aren't really visible in this photo.

I spend so much of my time designing patterns that I wanted to create soem things where I don't have to write instructions. So Textile art is my hobby. I don't expect to sell much (if any) at the festival. But I really enjoy creating these pieces. The abstract pieces are particularly nice because I can let my imagination run wild with shapes and colours.

Anyway, I just thought you might like a look.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A quick update with good news

I've finished the stitching of the rainbow butterfly and I think it looks lovely. I'll make it into a bag and then post a photo for you.

But the best news is that I got an email this morning saying World of Cross Stitch would like to publish one of my designs in their April edition next year. I have the contracts and everything, unlike last time when it fell through (with a different editor). So I'm very pleased to finally get a break through there. And I'm sure that is the kick I need to get more cross stitch designs under way (I've been fiddling with textile art for an art show in November over the last day or two).

Just wanted to share that lovely news with you

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Getting There

Firstly, welcome to the two new followers, thanks for joining.

In the photo above is my progress to date on the Rainbow Butterfly. The back stitching really makes it pop.

I've had a lot of distractions ... my brother and his family were visitng from Queensland and we did a few things with them, including visiting Jenolan Caves just the other side of the Blue Mountains where I live.

I might have gotten to go on the bush walk they took too, if I hadn't stuck a knitting needle about a half an inch into the top of my leg when we were getting ready to go ... ouch! Who knew knitting could be so dangerous? But it's pretty much healed now and i'm walking normally again.
See you next time.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Saturday's Progress

I had plenty of time to stitch yesterday and I thought you might like to see my progress.
I started designing something for the web site I'll be putting together with my husband at Christmas time and I'm looking for stitchers ... anyone interested? I'm afraid the only reward is enjoying the stitching and another free chart. The first design I need a stitcher for is a rainbow fairy which is about 250 by 150 squares (only about half of that area has stitches).

Please send me an email if you are interested.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Out Of Practice and Progress

The editor gave me the nod and I started work on the Rainbow butterfly. I must be out of practice because the first few rows were wrong. I didn't find out until I'd gone on much further ahead. But luckily it was easy to unpick. Then I made a major boo boo on the rainbow swirl and didn't find out until I'd already switched to a new colour. It was far too much to unpick, and the rows were four stitches out, so I altered the design. :) That's one of the advantages of being the designer I guess. It made hte swirl four stitches shorter ... I doubt you can tell. Anyway, here's what I've done so far.
I had a day off from the child care work today to stitch which is why I got so far. But it's back to work again tomorrow.

One more week until the staff member I'm replacing returns. I've now found out that I have only 5 permanent hours next term. There will be probably another 5 hours a week most weeks as long as the numbers stay high. But this is brilliant news. It means I can still count on some income coming in regularly but I'll be able to focus more on the designing (and blogging too, I realise I've slowed down a lot with my entries lately).

I'm pretty sure I've missed showing you some published photos so I'll go through my blog tomorrow and get you updated on what is available in which issue.

See you soon

Sunday, 9 September 2012

So Girly

I've coloured the butterfly ready to turn into a chart. It's so girly. But then I guess that's just me ... I can't help creating things that express my inner fairy.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Satin Roses

Work has been busy, busy, busy again ... 2 more weeks until it slows down (I hope).
But I've managed to get time to do this
Satin Roses is a pillow with orange applique roses at the centre. The applique is sewn down with a machine satin stitch (hence the name Satin Roses).
The briefing was for mint green and pale orange ... I certainly hope I have fulfilled that description.

That's my lounge in the background ... I really like the striped back on it. I was surprised when hubby agreed to it. :)

See you next time

Monday, 27 August 2012

Works In Progress

I've had a very busy weekend with my son's 16th birthday party, but I did a get a chance to work on some designs for up coming magazines.

The rose design will be applique and done in the fabrics you can see behind the blackline designs. They are teh colours requested by Patchwork and Stitching magazine, but it won't be published until 2013. It's not dues until mid October, but I like to get ahead on these things.

The butterfly is for a cross stitch ... finally!!! Of course I still have to colour it, but I'm thinking the magical swirl behind the butterfly will be a rainbow.

There are four more weeks until the school holidays, and after that my work load at the child care center should slow down with the return of one of their regular staff members. I'll be able to get more design work done. But the money has been so welcome. It's almost as if the universe knew our finances would be stretched the past few months and sent us a boon. So thankyou very much divine workings of the powers that be!

Today I need to finish the green quilt for my son. I would have had it done yesterday, but I ran out of the black mateial I'm using for the binding. Today is his actual birthday, so I'll get it done and give it to him tonight. I"ll post a picture of course!

Thanks again for reading

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Bare With Me

Excuse me for not posting in a little while. Life has been crazy busy. My job at the child care centre hadn't slowed down yet. I'm still working more hours than I wanted to. It might just be that way for another 6 weeks until one of the long term staff members comes back from her extnded absence.

I did get my quilting frame ... and here you see it set up with my first full sized quilt. I did some practice sandwiches to get the tension right and to get used to the movement of the carriage. This quilt is for my son's 16th birthday. His favourite colour is green and the backing is some Mickey mouse and Minnie mouse fabric that my mum donated. James likes Mickey Mouse mostly because of the Kingdomw Hearts game. It's a nice simple quilt which took only a day to put the quilt top together and it's a great way to practice while still doing something useful. I'm using invisibile thread because of all the different fabrics and the contrqast of the backing. It's comign up really well.

The frame sits nicely in our Playroom, and I can turn it sideways to extend and do larger quilts (no need to move it into the family room at all, yay!).

I haven't had nearly as much time as I need to do this quilt and all the other projects I have backed up as our hot water system packed it in on the weekend. So I've spent the last three days running around getting a new one organised. We switched from electricity to gas so it was a bit to organise. I had to do it all as my hubby was away in Darwin and Alice Springs for work. I'm proud to say I had it all fixed by the time he came back. But I'm VERY tired.

This weekend we are holding a birthday party in the palyroom for James and his friends. I have to move the quilt frame out to the family room as they plan to tunr the room into a movie lounge with projector, bean bags, mattresses and the couch. So i need to get the quilt doen by tomorrow at the latest.

Well ... I guess I'd better get back to it then!!!


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

My Monster

So this is the monstrous frame I am goign to order for machine quilting. But it's actually adjustable to two sizes. See the leg in the middle? Most of the time, my frame will sit at that width to fit in my room. But if I need to do a king size, double or queen quilt, I can bring it out to the larger size in my family room (where hubby says it is NOT to stay).

I can't wait.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Quilt Accepted (a quick one)

Well I was going to try and sell patterns of the French Butterfly myself, but on ebay there were no takers, so I offered it to Patchwork and Stitching Magazine and they were happy to accept it.

I'm not very good at selling my own designs to the public yet. Maybe I'll get better as I gain more experience. There is still the web site to be made. The problem is, I keep selling the patterns I'm making up to magazines LOL.

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Hi there everyone ... welcome to the new followers. I hope I manage to post something of interest to you.

Yesterday I was hunting down a fabric that I had run out of. I had already used a lot of it in the quilt I was doing and needed more for it to look right. The first shop I visited didn't have it. But I spoke to the owner at length. I mentioned I had sent him some images of art quilts and assumed he didn't like them as he hadn't replied. He told me he'd been really sick with pneumonia for 3 months and hadn't looked at his email in that time and could I please bring them in for him to see. We also talked about the quilt I'm currently working on - a mermaid quilt with an abstract landscape (colourwash style). Jeff (the owner) was quite pleased to hear about it as they had had good success with those kinds of workshops in the past, but the teacher had moved to Queensland.

So I'll be going back down to the shop (Folklore, Penrith Patchwork) next week to talk to them about workshops (and the massive quilting frame that I want to buy).

And the good news was that in the third shop I went to they had the fabric I needed and I can finish the quilt the way I wanted to. I've nearly pieced together the top, but I won't post pictures until it's finished as some of the fine work on the applique image will be done in the quilting stage.

I'm sorry to say I'm having a little trouble getting motivated to design my next cross stitch. My new job is manageable. It's no where near as stressful as my last job, but unfortunately my body is still letting me down. Even that little bit of work out of the home (with early mornings) is wearing me down. And when I'm tired I find it difficult to design. The creative juices just don't flow that well. It's been a bit of a struggle to motivate myself with the quilting too. And with paying opportunities coming up, I really need to keep cracking on.

Luckily hubby is being very supportive and even entertaining ideas of a a little machine quilting business. He's listened to my ideas about the quilting frame I'd like; with interest. Though the money needs to drop out of the sky pretty soon I think (or maybe I'll take out my own credit card or something).

Sorry this a boring one - no photos. If you've read this far, you are adored. :)

Friday, 3 August 2012

Butterfly Applique

A few days ago I finished this lovely little wall hanging that I've called French Butterfly. I've called it that because the fabrics used are from the French General series, the Pom pom de Paris collection. But you could use any lovely florals. The butterfly uses a store bought marbled collection. Again, you could use anythigng from your stash.

I used the iron on interface method and then satin stitched around the edges. It's really quick and easy to do.

The pattern and instructions are available on ebay

Today I'll be working on a mermaid quilt until I go to work at Pinaroo (the child care center) by 3pm.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Fuchsia Sampler

My newest design is this art nouveau style sampler. Pardon the slightly crooked photo - it is actually straight on the fabric, I just took the photo on my ironing board.

The editor I do most of my work for says she is always lookign for samplers, so I have a pretty good feelign she'll include this in her next issue.

It's stitched on a plain white Belfast linen. The other thing that is not tht obvious in this photo is the little pale yellow stitches at the end of the flower stamens.

I adore fuchsias, but I always manage to kill them because I'm not consistent with watering. Maybe this spring I'll have another go.

But anyway, I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse of my newest design,

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Dugga's Quilt

Last weekend my father in law turned 70. My mum (Sandra) and I got together to make him a quilt to mark the occaision. That's my mum on the left, then me, Dugga and Annalese (my daughter).
If you are wondering why he is called 'Dugga' ... when my son was a baby my father in law, Norman (Dugga) would go up to James ( my son) and go 'Dugga, dugga, dugga' like a plane coming in to attack and tickle him. Somehow James decided that this what what he was goign to say every time Norman came near. So he wasn't known as Grandad as we originally planned, but became known as Dugga.

The wording on the quilt refers to Dugga's origins. He is from Liverpool in England where the locals are known as Scousers. And the quilt is red and white squares to celebrate the colours of the Liverpool football team.

Each red square is actually a pinwheel block made of different red patterned material. Annalese sewed two of the pinwheel blocks and they are so good I lost track of which ones she had sewn. And the white material in between has little fleur de lis printed white on white.

On the back of the quilt I used polar fleece which is really soft and warm. It's only quilted in teh ditch of the square seams.

Dugga seemed to really like his quilt, though he said it could have done with pockets for his remotes!!!!

Now that Dugga's quilt is finished I had better hurry up and design some more cross stitches as my editor just informed me she used the last one I gave her in the next issue.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Free Fairy Chart For Followers in July

Hi Everyone,
as promised I have a free chart for everyone who came accross from the Crafty Princess blog.
This sweet little fairy is called Raven hair and I'm sure she would look nice on a card.And to reward my loyal followers, it's available to everyone who is following my in July. So if you know someone who would like a free fairy chart, why don't you suggest they follow my blog?
Of course this is a simulation, I havent' actually stitched her. If you do stitch her, send me a photo and I'll put it up on this here blog.

To claim the chart you only need to send me an email so that I have your address to send it to. It will come back to you as a PDF file which you can stitch from the screen or print out.

I will have a new free chart for followers next month. If you have a request you can add it in a comment and I'll consider it.

Thanks again for you support everyone,
XXX 000

Saturday, 21 July 2012

On the cover

Forgive me for not sharing this with you before ... I've been so busy.
The above image shows my quilt "Nouveau Crazy" (the quilt hanging at the back with purple and blue checks around the border) on teh cover of Patchwork and Stitching Magazine. This magazine is the sister mag to Australian Patchwork and Quilting.

I'm hoping that I can contribute to both magazines more in the future.

The center of this quilt uses needle turn applique, which is pretty slow. So I've started using the quicker technique of iron on (fusable) backing applique. I'm currently desinging another quilt with this techniaue (in between getting some work done on items with dealines, including a piece for a wedding whgich is nearly finished and my father in law's 70th birthday quilt which we are presenting tomorrow ... I'll post photos).

Thanks to the new followers who came across from the Crafty Princess Blog. I'll be designing the give away chart in the next day or two.

Busy, busyt, busy.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Future of Tapestry Moon

Hi there, and sorry for being away for such a long time. I've been sorting out some things which were important for me to continue as a desinger.

I have picked up some casual work at a local after hours child care place. It's only a few hours at the moment, but there is promise of more to come and it's just what I was after really. It means that I will have some regular money coming in to keep finances comfortable, but I'll still have plenty of time to design and create new projects.

The cross stitch magazine I design for is using my designs at a terrific rate, which means I stitch regularly to keep up ... exactly what I need. But it's not enough of an income. And as cross stitching doesn't require many skills, there is no room for teaching workshops in that area.

Luckily for me, one of my other interests is applique and patchwork. I'm gaining more success selling patterns to magazines and I hope very shortly to start producing patterns for sale in shops, online and to spark interest in workshops. An online shop will also be set up for my cross stitch patterns.

The bad news was that the magazine I was producing bead patterns for has folded. I will be winding up that part of my business as a result. So if you are a following me as a beader, I appologise. Beading will only be a rare hobby for me from now on.

The last two weeks has been school holidays here in NSW, Australia, which always means lots of disruptions for me running around with the kids and their busy social schedules. My husband has also been working from home to give hime a break from travel. It's lovely to have them all home, but it does also mean I have a LOT less computer time. And of course that means less time to update blogger, less time to search for inspiration and less time to use my designing programs. But hey! I started knitting a cardigan for myself, and designers have to have holidays and outside hobbies too right. :)

I have had a few patterns come out in magazines that I havent' shared with you yet, due to the reduced computer time. But that means great piccies next entry, so don't forget to come back and check in a few days.

Thanks for all your support,

Saturday, 16 June 2012

That Was Quick

I haven't even finished Breeze and she has a buyer.
I sent a picture of the quilt top to a new editor and she took it right away. So I have to finish her this weekend.

And when I've done that I need to do another elegant cross stitch for ECS Magazine. I like to get a few in front of what is currently publishing.

Yesterday I was looking for a black line of an angel I did years ago and I came across this scan of art work that I did when I was pregnant with my daughter (now 12).
I don't own this artwork anymore, I sold it to a friend.
It was the first watercolour/guace painting I finished after taking a pen and wash course in Katoomba. I still really like this one though, I think the skin tones are nice, especially on her arm. I called it Bella Donna Mariana. I did lots of portraits in those days.

And lastly (but not least) welcoem to my new watchers. Thanks for coming on board. I hope you enjoy reaing my blog
Jennidee Mills

Friday, 15 June 2012


I haven't had any luck with the Country Angel yet. The first editor decided it wasn't their style. The second editor hasn't gotten back to me and I have to mail it to the third as I don't have her email.

Meanwhile I've been working on an applique piece called Breeze

She is quite a complicated design with 40 individual pieces of fabric to cut and sew around. The background fabric is another one of my hand dyed pieces. But I'm very happy with how she turned out. And hopefully she will find someone to publish her quickly.
There is some talk of me doing workshops at a local patchwork shop. But I need to come up with some more designs for them. Breeze is too big. I can't find anyone to print the size of the pattern other than magazines. So I'll be doign some smaller designs that fit on A3 paper and making thme up in the next month.

There's still been no luck (???) on the part time job front. I was surprised I didn't even get an interview for the one I thought I was a shoe in for. Perhaps its all a sign? I continue to design and submit until something happens one way or the other.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Finer Points of Unpicking

OR ...

Frogging Woes

I had to do a some unpicking yesterday. Thos of you who cross stitch a lot will recognise frogging as unpicking because you 'rippit, rippit, rippit' out.

But actually while I was unpicking I was thinking I do it in two different ways and one is most certainly not ripping.

Here's the green I had to unpick;
I decided the outside green was far too dark to go with the rest of the piece. I thought long and hard about leaving it and then made the decision to just take the time to do it right.

As you can see the stitching is already touching other colours. What you can't see is how the thread laces through some of the other colours at the back. So instead of cutting each stitch (which I consider 'unpicking' I thought it best to 'unstitch' instead.

The way I see it, when you unpick, you cut the threads on each stitch and then pull them out in short lengths. When you 'unstitch' you pull the thread out in the recverse order to how you stitch it. I find this to be a much more gentle way to remove unwanted stitches, especially if you a) wnat to use the thread again, b) have other stitches around the area to be careful about not unpulling, or c) are undoing an area that won't be restitched as you have counted incorrectly.

I didn't want to reuse the dark green thread, so I was still able to cut it into shorter lengths as I unstitched it. If I do want to reuse the thread (usually if I've counted wrong), I'm very careful about how I pull the thread out. The I'll spereate the threads again before I reuse it.

 Here's the area after I unstitched the dark green. You can just see that the holes of the aida aren't pulled open or damaged in any way;
And here is the area re-stitched with a lighter green. I'm much happier with the result, and I hope you agree it blends better;

And lastly here's the area with back stitch nearly finished. The more subtle blend looks more like fabric and less like blobs of colour;
In case you are wondering, the item I was working on is a country angel which I hope to sell to Homespun magazine as a quilted wall hanging.
The toatl time of un doing and restitching took about 1 and a half hours, well worth it to get a better result.

I hope you've enjoyed my blog about unpicking ... I thought I might as well get something out of the process. :)

Friday, 1 June 2012

Circus Pony Finished

After a few weeks of on agina off again stitching on this one, the Circus Pony is done.
The fabric is called Purple Swirl (I can't imagine why) and is available from Sew it all Australia
It's not visible on their site, you have to ask for it. I got mine at the Stitches and Craft show in Rosehill.
I have a blue one as well that I'll do somehting nice with later.

Circus Pony will be published in Embroidery and Cross Stitch Magazine, probably later this year. I'll put up a photo of the magazine photo when it comes out (they always do a fabulous job of presenting the piece).
It comes with the circus alphabet that i have used down the bottom to spell the name of my friend's little girl, Monique. It probably doesn't show up that well in this photo. Monique will get this cross stitch for Christmas. I know her mum will probably appreciate it more though :)

Now I'm working on a Country Angel. I think she's going to be very quick to stitch up. Circus pony took me just under 40 hours. I think the country angel will take maybe 15 hours.
Unfortunately I won't be able to show you a photo of that one as I'm hopin to sell it to a magazine that I havent' dealth with before. Sometimes the editors get annoyed if you show the work before it's published.

Happy Stitching everyone

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Notebook Heaven

I adore notebooks.
And I've been making my own for about 18 months now. I'm getting much better.
Here are two I made this week. I positioned them like this so you can see that they are actually notebooks, not wall hangings.
The larger one is an appliqued exotic flower that I designer myself. My mum gave me a lesson on how to use Vliesiflex and machine applique to speed up the process. I usually use needle turn, but it's so slow. The flower was stitched onto one of my hand dyed pieces of cotton. I love how the colours worked together.

 The second, smaller one uses a painted background, free motion embroidery and suffok puffs. I have no idea why I had a sudden desire to use suffolk puffs. But they were fun to do and I'll probably do more.
I have no idea what I'll do with these notebooks. My original intention was to make quite a few and sell them at the Springwood Art show. But with going back to work I won't have the time ... and I find I am probably far too experimental when it comes to craft market production. This slows me down, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't stand completing repetitious craft work.

I thought maybe I'd see if Handmade Magazine would like them. It would be easy enough to write up instructions. But again, now that I've had to give up on the idea of desinging full time I kind of feel like MEH! What's the point.

Then of course I could put them on ETSY where they would sit forever and probably not sell. LOL

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Lovely Post

The parcel man drove up to my door this morning with a lovely surprise. Two of my cross stitches have returned to me framed (I sent them unframed). The frames are gold gilt, and just lovely. It was very nice of the magazine to let me have the frames.
Here's how Shhh looks in the Magazine;
It has been published in Embroidery and Cross Stitch Vol 10 No.10 which is out now. I like how it turned out.

I can't show you the other framed piece until it's published, but I'm pretty sure that won't be long.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Over my wobbly

I've had my wobbler about going back to work. Now it's time to move on.

Once I have found a job I'll still be stitching and beading - just in my own time.

I have circus pony to finish and then I hope to do one more cross stitch before applications close on June 1st. If I get none of the jobs I've applied for I'll just keep stitching and applying until something does come up.

My appologies if I put anyone off. I'm an emotional person ... what can I say?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

That's It, Back to work

well I tried ....

I haven't earned enough money and things kept breaking around the house (my house is working against me). So I have to find another job.

I've applied at four different places so far. None of them are very exciting, but they all have one advantage. A regular pay cheque.

I've totally lost enthusiasm for anything, so if you don't hear from me in a while, you know why.
I'm so sorry to be a downer to the 31 lovely people who follow this blog.

I hope to continue producing cross stitch, bead and patchwork projects in my spare time. But it's now just a hobby.

Oh well, at least I'll get to do some of that Joan Eliott stitching I've always wanted to do.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Textile Art

 I'm so sorry I have been absent lately. I was spending some quality time with my sewing machine making art quilts. Originally this was because I was going to take a place in an art gallery in Melbourne. Unfortunately lots of things have been breaking lately and now I don't hav ethe start up cost. But my husband convinced me to put the quilts up at ETSY until we can get back on track money wise. The quilt above is called Pearl of the Ocean. The face in the circle was painted with textile paints and then I sketched the details with my sewing machine.

The quilt below is called Flowers of Inspiration 2.
I have a painting I did years ago that I like so much, I reproduced it in this quilt (on a smaller scale). And I'm really happy with how it turned out.
The center panel was painted with textile paints, then embellished with thread sketching. The panels that border the flowers are my own hand dyed cotton fabric.
 The quilt below I nearly called Troublesome Mr Peacock. But in the end he's just 'Peacock'. My machine was playing up really badly on this one and the thread kept breaking. But after lots of unpicking he turned out beautifully. There is quilting in nice scroll pattern too.
They are all available at ETSY
and more will be available soon, so keep checking back!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


I had my first sale at ETSY last night while I slept.
I was beginning to wonder if there was any point having an ETSY store. Perhaps there is after all.
If you would like to have a look, it's here;

Friday, 27 April 2012


I had an email from one of the UK editors expressing interest in one of the designs I sent her. It's not a definite yes yet ... she has to take it to the editors meeting in a few weeks time. But at least I'm through to the next step.

I just sent another one today too.

Wednesday was a horrible day. I stitched for about an hour and then realised I had to unpick it all as I'd started in the worng place.
Then I burnt myself while making a lamb roast ... right across the back of my left hand.

It's better now though and I'll be spending tomorrow working on the Circus Pony.

Have a great weekend everyone

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Bad News and Good News

The circus Pony was passed up by the first magazine I offered it to. She said it was lovely bit it wasn't the right fit for the mag.
At least I didn't spend time stitching it (God bless computer simulations).

My husband broke his tooth last night (just to add to financial pressure). It's quite unfair. He takes really good care of his teeth and nags us all to floss. But this one tooth has been giving him trouble for years. I feel so sorry for him ... he just got over a really NASTY case of sinusitis (he's not even completely better).


I saw a wonderful quote on a cross stitch yesterday that I may design into something.

Make today count.

I have some errands to run today, but when I get home I'll knuckle down and design something else that will hopefully hit the mark.


I've just gotten word that my ever faithful, wonderful Australian editor will take the Pony (stitched with a girl's name and an alphabet ... I'll give it to my friend's daughter as a present).

So, no UK breakthrough yet.

I'm not working at Macdonalds though!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Circus Pony

Just a little design I'm working on at the moment.
I was going to do a steam punk victorian lady after talking to Miamina. But I'm not sure the magazines would go for that. It might be a bit radical for them. And then I had a dream about horses and had an urge to draw one. So that's how the little circus pony came about.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Viva Detail

So I finished Viva Las Vegas yesterday. It was actually 99.9% done on Monday night anyway - just had half an hour of beading to get done.
Sorry I can only show the detail shot so far. But you can see the beading on her corset.
Now I guess I'd better get busy and design something else.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


I wish there was a delete button on my cross stitch.
I had to unpick again today (only a small piece thankfully).

Three hours of stitching was pretty good today considering my family came over for my dad's birthday. Happy birthday dad.
I'm getting really close, but maybe Monday evening is was a bit hopeful. I forgot I still had one side of the metallic thread to stitch which alwasy takes longer to do small areas because of the care needed with unwinding and pulling the thread through. It took me about an hour just to do about 60 stitches.
Then there is the backstitch I still need to do (about half the design still needs that) and of course the beading which takes a few hours too. Hmmm, yes ... maybe tuesday evening?

I won't be able to post a full photo as i plan to pitch it to the UK mags. But I can show you a detail shot.

Thanks for your comments on my candle collar. It's safe back home now and in my display cabinet.

See you next time

Friday, 13 April 2012


My scrapbooking day was postponed as Nicole (my friend) came down sick. So I did 3 and half hours stitching instead. It's really coming along now.

Here's those pics I promised of the candle collar.

Of course the magazine did a nicer job of the photography (I've seen the pic already, Nicole found it in a craft preview magazine). But I do like my night time shot with it glowing (and the cool reflection on the table). They actually used a bigger white candle in the photo shoot. It does look classy,  though I personally like the tealight as it shines through the collar.

I'll be stitching, stitching, stitching today and I hoep to finish Viva Las Vegas by Monday evening ... maybe???

Thursday, 12 April 2012

School Holidays

Firstly a big hello to all my new followers who have come to me through Leibster awards. Thanks for joining. I think that award is a fantastic idea. It's a good way to see more blogs. I'm always surprised that there isn't a way to search for blogs in a certain theme at blogger. We all seem to find one another by following blog trails. Luckily that's fun too.

It's school holidays here in NSW Australia for two weeks. This means I have to to fight for the computer more often than not. I'm typing this at 7:40am when no one else is up .... one of the few times I can be assured of getting any computer time.

Today I'm scrapbooking with a friend who is a high school teacher. So this is one of the few times we can get together all day to indulge in our shared hobby. I don't know if any of you scrapbook as well as beading or stitching, but it takes a lot of time and money and space. So you have to organise a get together when you have plenty of all those things. This particular friend bought me a voucher for my birthday recently and I spent it yesterday on new papers.

As for my beading and stitching; I've made good progress on Viva Las Vegas, even though the Easter break meant lots of distractions. I'm so far into it now that I'm starting to think about the next design. If anyone has any suggestions or preferences, speak now!!! LOL I'm thinking of a pretty witch for Halloween ... or maybe a sexy devil. There are so many ideas to choose from.

I'm still trying to get into the UK magazine market. No luck yet. I'm having to alter my design ideas as I can't compete with Joan Eliott's fairies and lovely ladies. She is in every magazine now. Now I'm trying different themes. The last effort was a beautiful flamingo. Next I think I'll try some flowers in an art nouveau style or some exotic animals like a Lima or a red panda. I try to keep the design in my style (with a bit of a fantasy flair) as that is what I like, and that is what I'd like to be known for. Now that I think about it, I think I remember suggesting to one of my internet friends that I might try a unicorn ... but Joan Elliot has just done one fo those too.

A few weeks ago I thought I'd do a lovely butterfly with a kind of art nouveau flair. And then I picked up the latest issue of Cross Stitching and saw it had a butterfly on the front with a lace border. That's a bit too close to waht I had in mind. Damn! Beaten to the punch again.

Never mind. I'll keep working at it, and doing my fantasy ladies for the Australian mag, who seem more than happy to have them.

I have a beaded piece coming out in this months edition of Beads to Inspire (Express Publications). It's a wired candle collar. I'll post a picture tomorrow.

If you've read this far, you are a wonderful friend and I thank you for your support.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Show Girl Progress

First of all, thankyou to everyone who commented about my submissions. I'll keep working at it. I learned my lesson from giving up too quickly the first time I tried to have a career designing.

I got 4 hours of stitching in today already (maybe another hour tonight).
Here's what it looks like so far
I soooo want those boots, but I would look stupid in them. :)
I also spent soem time working on a drawing for a new design. So I'm busily working towards my goals. Thanks to everyone who has supporeted me this far.

Oh, and byt the way, I havent' decided on a name for the design above yet. Any suggestions, leave a comment. I've thought of Peacock Princess (but she is more a show girl) and Viva Las Vegas. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Better luck next time

Well, my last few submissions for the UK cross stitch market have been rejected.
They were very nice about it and wished me luck for the next one.
 But I'm hoping I'll blow them away with the lastest one.

Each time I design something I try to do a little better than the one before. I honestly think that the latest work was the nicest thing I have ever done ... so I hope the UK editors think it's good enough to publish in their mags. I wish I could show you guys.

I worked hard on that design all day and didn't get any stitching done. Tomorrow  for sure!!!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Back to stitching really soon

I've just finished stitching on the binding of the quilt that will be displayed at Springwood Quilt show at the end of April. All I have to do now is make a lbel for the back (mum's wonderful embroidery machine) and stitch on the rod pocket (also at the back).

This afternoon I've been working on a new design in the hope of getting a fott in the UK markets. It's lovely, but I probably won't stitch it. The UK mags have their own stitchers, which makes it quicker for me ... but a little less pleasurable too.

I spent Saturday finishing the quilt and Sunday beading. I entered the Australian Beading forum year of jewellery this week. The theme was midnight. Here's my entry

There is VERY good competition this week, so I doubt I'll win.
But tomorrow I will get back to stitching Viva Las Vegas.

I think I'll post a photo of some progress tomorrow.