Live Long and Prosper

Live Long and Prosper

One of my very first attempts at making my own cross-stitch pattern resulted in a rather lovely (I think) piece of traditional redwork. Traditional Vulcan, that is.  My first rendering was very poorly executed, on teeny tiny even-weave linen. This reworking is somewhat larger, and neater, and hey, it’s for sale! You can own this for your very own, and help me pay my bills at the same time! What a very logical exchange.

Live Long and Prosper

Work in progress – winter tree

2015-02-23-15-03-43b

So, I’ve been snipping and stitching, and I’ve nearly finished the Winter installment of my ‘exceedingly large wall hanging trees’. I’m keeping this one much more muted, trying to stick to black and white as much as possible.

2015-02-23 15.03.43

I asked the client if there was anything in particular they’d like, and they sent me a picture of two metal bird sculptures they have in their yard.

birds_02

They said it would be nice to try and get the birds on the hanging, as it would feel like they’d been able to ‘bring them in for the winter’ 🙂  Not quite done yet, as I ran out of embroidery thread, so am waiting on an Ebay delivery before I can finish off, but here’s one to be getting on with.

2015-03-02 14.22.27

I am really enjoying making these, and am more than open to many more commissions – large or small.  So get in touch if you might be interested, and let’s have a chat about what can be done 🙂

Hello Monday

springdetail

Well, I missed last Monday’s ‘update on last week’s crafting’ because I was away, so sorry about that. I was away making things, but I was making things out of food, so it was a bit different.

Homity Pie
Homity Pie anyone?

But one thing that happened while I was away, was that the second of my large wall hangings successfully traversed the Channel to arrive with its new owners in Belgium. More details on the ‘making of’ later, but for now… The Summer Tree:

Summer tree wall hanging

It doesn’t really have a big crease on one side, that’s just the way the wind caught it. I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out 🙂

Embroidery commission – Buffy-tastic!

This piece is about 50cm square. A quote from Anya, to Xander, rendered in pretty autumnal colours and delicate Victoriana styling. Because of course it is. Please get in touch if you’d like to commission a stitching – I can do free embroidery, cross stitch samplers, quotes or pictures or anything you like really.

Lizzie06

It’s laid against the back of my sofa (one day I’ll have a studio, filled with indirect sunlight and inspirational artworks, and I’ll put pictures of it on Instagram looking all tidy, and make everyone bitter), so it looks wonky, but it does actually have straight sides!

Lizzie01

This is stitched on fairly thin cotton, because it was the only thing I could find in the right colour.  Next time, I’ll take more time and invest in good calico, as the heavier embroidery has caused slight puckering in places. I want my work to be perfect!

Lizzie04

Embroidery! I take commissions now

Irises in stem and seed stitch
Irises in stem and seed stitch

I was recently commissioned to make an embroidered wall hanging – the mission, once I chose to accept it, was “a smallish wall-hanging embroidered with suffragette theme/colours/design and the words “We Were There” (a song by Sandra Kerr, for whom this embroidery was to be a gift)”. So, after further thought, and discussion with the commissioner (customer?), it ended up like this:

Ready for hanging
Ready for hanging

It is approximately 35cm high, and I’m putting it here in the hope that somebody will see and and say “Hey, *I* would like a customised embroidery too!” – and if that is so, please do get in touch!  I will always send sketches first, and won’t start any work until you’re are 100% happy with the design.

And because it’s a great one, here’s the song that inspired it:

I’d like a vintage Cthulhu cross-stitch sampler please!

Longer ago than I care to admit, I received a request for an HP Lovecraft inspired cross stitch sampler.  The commissioner has seen other Victorian-styled samplers I’d done – mainly this one:

Redwork sampler
(From Joss Whedon's 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer')

and sent me a request that ran thus: “The main things I’d like is for it to look old fashioned, to fit in a space 12” tall and for there to be an octopus/squid hidden in it somewhere. The text I’m wanting is “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”. You can totally do what ever you like from there if its more fun.”

Cool! I totally did whatever I liked, and after an embarrassingly long time, I came up with this:

Let sleeping Cthulhus lie

I confess I was a little concerned at what I was being asked to realise here, so double checked this wasn’t an incantation to summon the great octo-thingy himself. Was assured: You can’t summon Cthulhu, you have to wait for him to awaken when the stars are right. That translates as “In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.” Phew.

I did have a lot of fun.  I managed to include the Elder sign, and applied subtle use of variegated thread,  inspired by the story “The Colour Out of Space” (a colour which is unrecognisable as any one colour).

I also filled in space with a lovely peacock – both a traditional sampler motif, and a bird of which I know this person to be particularly fond.  And here he is, the great squid himself, hanging in there at the end of the alphabet 🙂

Mr Squid

I love doing work like this.  To give an idea, this took me about sixteen hours to stitch, and probably at least two hours to chart up.  If you want to see what other geeky stitchiness I’ve been getting up to recently, check out my Flickr photostream, and if you’d like to talk to me about commissioning your own piece of antique pop-culture, please get in touch!  Past commissions have included a Neil Stephenson quote sampler, and a Nintendo birth sampler.  I believe anything is possible; challenge me 🙂

PS: This sampler was also blogged by the recipient, here.

Swings and Roundabouts.

Yes, I’ve been swapping again! I have been a quiet Picky Miss over the summer – on the blogging front, anyway; everywhere else it’s been chaos. But now school’s back, holidays are over, and it’s time to get back to work. Or play. Call it what you will (and I’m very lucky that those two words are interchangeable).

Mmm, yum. Can you tell what it is yet?

So, my first fun of the new academic year has been swapping stuff. I loves craft swaps, they are so much fun. You make something for someone, they make something for someone else, they make for someone else, and so on, until it comes round and someone makes something for you. I’m a member of the Phat Quarter Flickr group, and they run a themed swap every time there’s a fifth Friday in the month. In July, the theme was “food”. My swap giver contacted me and asked if I liked Mexican food, whereas I took the more indirect (and possibly sinister) route of looking through my swap receiver’s Flickr pics to guage what kind of thing she liked. It looked to me like she was a Doctor Who fan (all the best people are), so I set my geek brain to maximum and came up with this cross stitch sampler

And after several scintillating emails about Salvaged Mutiny‘s attempts to find a post office whilst cruise-ship-working her way around the Baltic (‘I went to the post office in Helsinki but it was closed; I’ll try again in Copenhagen’?!), I received this piece of Mexican craziness

I'm Nacho Mama!

I *LOVE* it! I confess I was a bit thick, and didn’t get the joke until my brother said it out loud, but it makes me smile every time I see it 🙂

And because I can’t get enough swappety fun, I signed up for a Facebook-based ‘handmade’ swap at the beginning of the year. I have to make five things, and completed numero dos last week: a Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) quote worked in cross-stitch. I think it’s a sentiment we can all relate to at some stage 🙂

Phantoms Siren has said she’ll hang it so it’s the last thing people see as they leave her house. Awesome.

Numero uno can be found on Flickr, but it’s a bit naughty, so I won’t display it here. I love the surprise element of swapping – you never know what you’re going to receive in return. I also love the challenge of being given a broad theme and just running with it (I made this for the last Phat Quarter swap – the theme was music

based on a bluegrass tune and my swap partner’s crows-in-flight tattoo). I especially love using the medium of a traditional cross stitch sampler to create something personal and (preferably) geeky 🙂 I do them to order, so get in touch if you’d like to commission a bespoke, unique gift – for someone else, or for yourself! I’m currently working on a C’thulhu quote sampler; I’ll let you all know when it’s done.

In the meantime, it looks like September has a fifth Friday! I’d better keep an eye on my Flickr and see what comes up 🙂

Pssst – want a cross stitch?

I’ve been stitching for a while now, just for fun, but recently people have been asking me if I do, or am willing to do, more custom stuff.  Well, you’ll be pleased to know, the answer is yes!

It’s easy enough to find a cute kitten or country cottage cross stitch, and if you look long and hard enough you may well stumble upon just the right ‘inspirational quote’ for that hard-to-buy-for relative.  But what if you want a present that’s just a bit unusual, for someone who likes… Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Super Mario, or antique typewriters?  Well, your troubles are over, because I *love*  what is affectionately known as “Geek Craft”.   I love it!

There are some stitchings already available in my Etsy shop, but if you’re after something more personalised, please get in touch.  I can do pictures

Ryu: always my favourite Streetfighter champion

 

or quotes

(From Firefly)

 

The thing I love most is

Read more…

Left on the shelf

I had to reassure these huddled monsters today, that just because nobody bought them at the Christmas craft fair, it doesn’t mean they are destined for a life unloved. Poor things, they do worry.

L-R: Slightly, Tiny Tim, Daisy, Bridale

If you wish to adopt one of these cuddlies, you’ll find them, and others, in my Etsy shop. Or I can make a special monster just for you (or someone else), just ask. Go on, have pity on their small and troubled minds.