Friday, 17 February 2017

Feature Pattern Friday - Suicide Squad

It's Feature Pattern Friday!

Each Friday I am sharing a pattern from my Etsy store - new, nearly new, and were-new-once.

Today's pattern is a new one (it was listed on Etsy over the weekend) and it was suggested by my three brothers.

Introducing the Suicide Squad cross stitch pattern!

Suicide Squad Cross Stitch pattern available now from Etsy
I haven't seen the film, so I don't have anything witty to add.  Apart from the fact that at the last couple of Conventions I attended every third couple cosplay was Joker and Harley Quinn.  Lots of shirtless guys and girls in short shorts.  More power to them.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

WIP Wednesday

I'm going to try and post on a Wednesday about projects I'm currently working on.  We'll see how long it lasts!
Pillar Box by Yvette Jordan
I recently pulled out Pillar Box, one of the London Ladies collection by Yvette Jordan.  I started this piece, oh, nearly 3 years ago I think.  I worked on it for a few weeks (maybe) before putting it away and working on another piece, (probably one of my own).  After working on so many of my own designs in quick succession (see my last post), I decided I wanted a brain break.  I wanted to work on someone else's design, a different style with different techniques.  More importantly I wanted to just be able to pick up a pattern and stitch without questioning if the pattern was right or if stitches were missing or if the colours worked or if I needed to alter the backstitching or the layout etc. etc.  I wanted to stitch and not think AT ALL for a change.   I should have taken a photo when I pulled her out of the packet again (not even half the first page was done).  In the last couple of weeks I've finished the first page, started on the backstitch for that page, and am about 1/8 of the way through both pages 2 and 3.  I'm working on stitching 10x10 boxes at a time, but because it's not a technique I usually use (no point with my patterns) I'm not very disciplined about it yet.

My secret project
I've ruled up the aida for a new project, and started stitching it.  It's going to be a friend's (belated) birthday present, and may end up my project for the A to Z challenge - still deciding...  I'll probably share backside progress shots, particularly once it becomes more obvious what this is meant to be!

Happy stitching!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Stitching Updates - some finishes

Since getting my stitching mojo back just before Christmas, I've finished off quite a few pieces, the patterns for which are all available from my Etsy store - follow the links below the images.  I'll let the photos speak for themselves. :)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Idris and the TARDIS

Juno

Tabletop.  This pattern isn't available on Etsy.  If you'd like it, let me know.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Rugrats Families

Charmed Alphabet

Phew.

Happy stitching!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Feature Pattern Friday - Dear Mr Potter

Welcome to the first ever Feature Pattern Friday!

On Fridays I am going to feature one of the newer patterns from my Etsy store.  The pattern may be a recently added one, or it may be one that has been in the Etsy store for a few months but, for whatever reason, hasn't made it onto my blog.  Or it may be one I just love and want to shout about.

If you follow me on Twitter (@fangirlstitches) you'll notice that each day I feature a random pattern in my feed (and occasionally on Facebook too).  That really is random.  I subscribe to this amazing service called Seller Tools which lets me schedule social media posts, keeping me active on those sites even when I don't have the brain power/energy to post myself.  I have it set to pick a random pattern to post each day, and I enjoy seeing what pattern gets picked and how many people respond.  I love it, and it's generated a number of sales (which I love even more!).

On with Feature Pattern Friday (which in my head is said by a game show announcer - it's a very entertaining place inside my head).

This week's Feature Pattern is the Hogwarts letter and ticket (sold as a pair).
Hogwarts ticket and letter available from Etsy
These patterns were originally a custom request from a lady in Melbourne - she knew a couple of people graduating (I never enquired whether they were going from primary school to high school, finishing high school, graduating from an extra-curriculum activity...) and wanted to stitch them a Hogwarts acceptance letter and ticket as a gift.  I loved the idea and it promptly became a listed pattern rather than a customised one.
My stitched version of the letter
I stitched the pattern myself on parchment-like fabric from Sew It All.  It was a great draw-card at the Melbourne Comic Con last year... until it was sold that is!  I'm planning on re-stitching it at some stage this year - at least, it's only the ever-growing list of to-be-stitched projects.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Finding my stitching mojo

I realised towards the end of last year that I had lost my stitching mojo.  I’m not sure whether it was all the work I had done in preparation for the Convention stalls in September and November, or something else, but I wasn’t really doing any stitching.  I wasn’t doing that much designing either.  I mean, I was coming up with ideas and starting patterns for a lot of them, but I wasn’t finalising the patterns and I certainly wasn’t getting any new ones uploaded to Etsy.  I’d come home from work and play on my phone (card games, SimCity Builder, board game style apps) and that was about it.  The stitching bug had vanished.

I’ve gone through periods like this many times over the 19 years since I first learnt to stitch.  Periods of time where I didn’t pick up a needle at all.  Maybe I had been working on a big project and gotten sick of it, maybe I didn’t have any new patterns that were leaping off the shelf shouting “stitching me now”. They’d last 6 months or so (longer if I was doing something else crafty) and then I’d pick up the needle again and start stitching.  I usually replaced stitching with something else – lots of reading (back in the days before I discovered audiobooks, and before they were so readily available) or scrapbooking or other creative pursuits. 

However this was the first time in a long time that one of these “lulls” had taken over, and certainly the first since I’d started designing my own patterns.  As I said earlier it was probably the result of feeling a bit burnt-out, both from Convention prep, and from my full-time job.  I just wasn’t in a productive, crafty mood, and I wasn’t sure how to get back there.

Thankfully, three things happened at the end of year which got me my mojo back:
  1. My brother sent me a message asking for a customised pattern
  2. A friend had a birthday
  3. School holidays started.
I taught my brother (now 29) how to stitch a couple of years ago.  We’re a pretty crafty family (mum quilts, dad does woodwork, my middle brother can paint and draw, I stitch).  The eldest of my three brothers had never really done any handiwork.  He acts and does improv., that’s his creative outlet.  However when he wanted to make a present for his new girlfriend, I taught him to cross stitch so he could stitch a pug dog face.  Since then he’s stitched a couple of my pieces which I’ve done up in kit-form for him (which I love because when we’re at Melbourne conventions I can say “cross-stitch is pretty easy to pick up - I taught my brother here to stitch”).  Before Christmas he sent me a message saying he wanted to stitch a Rocky Horror Picture Show piece for his girlfriend for her birthday (January) and could I design him something.  Which I did, and which re-kindled my desire to design, and finish off pieces (and get them listed!).
Rocky Horror Picture Show cross stitch pattern
available from my Etsy store.
The customised piece stitched by my brother.
He did an amazing job.
A friend had a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy themed birthday party.  Because she’s a new friend (we met at a couple of Conventions this year as fellow stitchy store-holders), I’ve never made her anything.  Because she’s also crafty, I knew she’d appreciate a hand-made gift.  So I designed, and stitched, her a Hitchhiker's piece (which is also now on Etsy), so some stitching and design mojo was located.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cross stitch
available from my Etsy Store.
The piece I stitched for my friend.
I work as an Occupational Therapist in the state schools.  As a public servant, I’m not entitled to the school holidays (just the regular 4 weeks everyone gets), however I am able to work additional hours to Accrue Days Off.  Between ADO and rec leave I was able to take the 5 weeks of the school holidays off, which meant I was able to stop, sleep, relax and recharge the batteries.  I went home to visit my family for 3 weeks which was lovely.  With nothing else to occupy my time, I was able to sit down with the laptop for hours on end and (finally!) list a whole heap of patterns that had been almost finished for months.  I was able to design a heap of new ones, and I was able to stitch.  So much stitching.  It was bliss.

And so I found my stitching mojo again.  I have finished so many new pieces over the last couple of months.  I have listed so many new patterns I’m going to have to re-print my Convention catalogues.  More importantly, I want to stitch.  Yes I still spend time playing on my phone (my mother got me addicted to PokemonGo over Christmas) but I’m also spending at least an hour (or 2 or 3) each night stitching, and I’m feeling happy and relaxed again. 

Now to work on my social media mojo… but that’s a whole other story.

Happy Stitching!