Hoarding ALL the crafts

I know I’ve dropped a couple of grumbly winter comments in the last few posts but I don’t really mind winter.

I remember when we announced we were returning back to Wellington from Perth (the sunniest capital city in the world) everyone kept saying, “but it’s so cold there!”…yeah it’s not really.

Here in Wellington we have our fair share of amazing summer days and because we do know how cold (and windy!) winter can get (looking outside my window right now and shivering just thinking about going out for my next meeting) it means that when the sun is out us Wellingtonians (and Kiwis in general) know to get outside and make the most of it.

Also, who doesn’t love that the amazing ski fields are only a short (and beautiful) drive away?! Or if the weather people are right I might even be skiing in my back yard tomorrow!!

My only proper grumble with winter is the loss of light. I feel like it’s always dark. I know it isn’t really but as we slog towards the shortest day this month it’s dark when I leave for work and it’s dark when I get home again. I can’t remember what my garden looks like or even what colour my house is painted.

Ok, it’s not really that bad, but it can get you gloomy if you let it.

Until I address the lighting in my sewing room stitching dark items is pretty much impossible in the evenings. Instead I tend to watch TV after dinner – can you believe I have only just learnt about this thing called Game of Thrones? Don’t be a hater, I had to watch something while waiting for the new seasons of Falling Skies and Warehouse 13 to start! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Is my nerdyness showing? Good, because it will all make sense later on in this post

So while on the couch in the lounge I have re-discovered an old craft that I used to really enjoy when I was younger.

It’s cross stitch and since we are being so honest I can tell you that I also used to be a bit embarrassed about it.

I guess I thought that “proper” embroiderers must think cross stitch is the paint-by-numbers joke of the needlework world. You follow a chart, fill in the symbols and it’s not really that hard, even the fabric has the holes already in it but you know what, even if people do think that I don’t care because I enjoy the speed at which a cross stitch project develops and have you seen and the nerdy patterns you can get now?!

I was first introduced to cross stitch at Brownies. I am assuming Brownies is an international concept but I could be wrong. “Back in my day” Brownies was a fun girls only group where I got to meet other young girls my age (7-10 years I think) and learn some good morals and crafts and do lots of fun group activities. My younger sister started as a Pippin and after Brownies you move up to Girl Guides.

Anyway, at Brownies one of the leaders gave out those little beginner sampler kits that comes with a chart, the right sized bit of aida, a needle and thread. She taught us how to do the stitching and we all made up our kits under her guidance. Mine was a turtle and guess what, I still have it!

My mum chose the frame for me and I was super proud of it and immediately hooked. I made a few more of this style of kit and also moved on to larger charts where you bought the notions yourself but nothing much bigger than maybe 15cm across.

It’s all a bit cutesy huh?

When I moved up to Girl Guides I wanted to earn my needlework badge (or whatever it was called) so I brought my large collection in to show one of the leaders who was very much into her needlework. She promptly turned them all upside down and told me the backs of my works were too messy and that I should work harder at tidying them up. She lectured me that the backs of each work were just as important as the front and that I should bring in the next item I made and if that had more clean back then I would get my badge.

Now I know she was probably just trying to be helpful and maybe my childhood memory betrays me but it seemed like quite a harsh critique to place on a young girl and I was crushed.

I don’t think I ever got that badge since I stopped being a Guide soon after (not because of that experience) and it didn’t stop me cross stitching, I even got into designing my own charts but at some stage I did stop and forgot all about it.

Well, enter the amazing enablers that disguise themselves as the WSBN! If it isn’t fabric or pattern sales it’s ALL THE OTHER CRAFTS! Haha, love you girls!

So, back to the couch, and over the last few weeks this is what I have just finished:

Ohh nerdy deliciousness!

It doesn’t really come across in the photos but the aida is a light blue, a gift from Hollyย at one of our WSBN Mega Stash Swapsย and that was all I needed to get me started again.

Now I guess I better show you the back too, which has improved considerably but then I am older and more appreciative of these things, nimble fingers etc…

This pattern is by Nerdstitcher but I used designers-discretion and changed the thread colours, utilising some from my re-discovered stash and also I left off a lot of the back stitching. I feel like it maybe needs a bit of a boarder, what do you think? And then obviously it must be framed and hung up somewhere ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve already started my next cross stitch project, it’s along the same nerdy lines but different franchise, if that’s the right word…

Haha, not much of a clue huh? But this is what made me think my TARDIS needed a boarder, something kitschy-country perhaps?

As Sir JK says, “I am an active relaxer”, my brain or body needs to be busy to unwind, so in the evenings, when I can’t sew, I am glad I can pick up my cross stitch…well, after Harri falls asleep on my lap I can…otherwise it becomes a tug of war!

Anywho, Creatives tend to hoard crafts much like fabric and patterns so what other crafts are in your creative collection?

Do you cross stitch, or did you used to? How about knitting or crochet? I know lots of you do that.

Do you have to swap up your crafts when the seasons change? I couldn’t bear the thought of knitting at the height of summer!

Happy creative awesomeness xx

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41 thoughts on “Hoarding ALL the crafts

  1. Cross stitch has been in my craft collection for decades but given my predilection for complicated designs I’ve only finished a few. I also make jewellery, do silk ribbon embroidery, general crafting, and now I knit! Just need to win lotto…

  2. Iโ€™ve been following your blog for a whileโ€ฆ love it! Thanks to you I met Manequim magazine and I just subscribed to it, but Iโ€™m desperately trying to find some old issues, I would love to have Manequim August 639 and July 638, so, Iโ€™m trusting in your blogger superpowers: if you know someone who wants to sell it, giveawayโ€ฆ please let me know.
    By the way, very nice your work on cross stitch, although I donโ€™t think I will try it ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ohh… I love your work on cross stitch, they are so cute:)
    I used to cross stitch before I had a baby but now I don’t have time for that.

  4. Nice collection there, you have inspired me to have a go, I shall have a looksy at some modern/nerdy things to make. I used to do long stitch – now THAT was for beginners for sure.

  5. I like cross stitching but haven’t done so in 20 years or something – God I hate how that makes me sound old ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . My mom was the one who has taught me, the only craft she passed on to me, although she does know how to knit and do crochet – those I learned in school (all girls schools are good for something after all). My first work was a princess, with a purple dress, brown hair (I have brown hair) and a crown. I never shared my love for cross stitching with anyone as I didn’t think it would be seen as cool. I don’t think any of my early work survived :’-)

    I recently thought about picking up cross stitch again and even sought out a free pattern maker on the internet. You can find it here: http://www.myphotostitch.com – for simple projects this seems like a really good programm.

    Enjoy the winter months, and remember, after winter comes summer, except here in northern Spain, where the thermometer doesn’t go above 18ยบC for some reason… It feels like november here…

    • Ohh please please pick it back up, “cool” is all about perspective I think, in the right circles (and blogs totally count as circles of friends) anything can be cool ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I’m gone go for it after summer, when I have more time to myself and when the evenings are not so inviting to go out… And when we have cable tv again, so I can mindlessly watch bridal or make-over television while cross-stitching…

  6. Oh my, how funny we all do these odd bits of other things, which amongst the right crowd is cool! I went through a cross-stitch phase before I had my first child and made useable things like tea towel borders and hand towel borders, but my most pride of projects was a baby blanket for my first born with cute little dinosaurs in various colours (she’s a girl by the way), which I then backed with calico. I still have it! I begun a rules of the house piece and it’s about 3/4 finished and has been that way for the last few (I mean many) years. Otherwise I knit, having learnt how to knit when I was younger. Hand knitted items were really popular when I was in my late teens/early twenties and I was always in the wool shop. What I want to learn next is Taniko.

    • Whether something is nerdy or cool is all about perspective isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the sounds of these dinosaurs, cute!

      I had to look up taniko because I didn’t know the name, beautiful, I’d love to give that a go and I saw a quilt inspired by the patterns that was pretty neat too.

  7. Well as you already know – I’m a cross-stitch geek from WAY back. I did it when I was a kid then picked it up again with the help of subversive cross-stitch, which helped me realise you can actually cross-stitch awesome and hilarious things and not just cutesie things. I’m still working on my epic day of the dead cross stitch and I have an even more epic cross stitch burlesque zombie to do. All in good time!

    • Ohh that site is great. I used to follow Mr X-Stitich too but sometimes his stuff is very NSFW!! Makes me blush, haha! I have definitely moved on from cutsie too. When the weather gets better we should definitely do some lunch time crafting in the sun at the park(WSBN LTCITSITP meets?) ๐Ÿ˜€

      Ohh burlesque zombies? Can’t wait to see that!

  8. Omg Mel! I used to cross stitch when I was a kid too and guess what?? We are cross stitch twins! Yes, I have made the exact cross stitch as you- the butterfly sitting on the flower! How amazing/hilarious is that?? I wonder if it’s still hanging around somewhere…
    I think that lady criticising your work was dumb and completely missed the point of nurturing a kid. Also there is nothing wrong with cross stitch! I actually have an even nerdier one I was never blogged. We are kindred nerdy stitchers! ๐Ÿ™‚ this is awesome Mel! I wonder what your next one is??

    • Omg twinsies!! ๐Ÿ™‚ No way, what are the odds? That is amazing, I hope you find it one day and we’ll take a photo together – Ohh you should blog your nerdy cross stitch too.

  9. My mum knits, crochet and has done cross stitch but I just stick with sewing and jewellery making. Let’s be honest, winter isn’t the best anywhere in NZ. In Auckland, we get the relentless rain and hail (last year we got a pathetic bit of snow) all winter long. I agree with about about the darkness. I’m turning on the lights as early as 4pm some days!

    • Ohh jewellery making, I have always wanted to give that a go! I dabbled with beads and such when I was younger but I saw this amazing stuff called silver clay the other day, got me thinking…oh no, another craft to fight for my attention! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. A cross stitch TARDIS is the kind of cross stitch I can get behind! Love it! I’m cool with this modern embroidery trend. I’m very impressed by it, as well, since I in no way have the patience for needlework of any kind – I even find knitting tedious. And I really have to be desperate to resort to handstitching!

    • It’s funny that I also hate hand stitching, I’m always thinking “there must me a sewing machine foot for this!” I need more patience, maybe I should pretend I am stitching up a TARDIS next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. I miss Pete and Warehouse 13. Can you believe that the Brazilian cable networks are just starting to add Scifi to their offerings?? I am so excited but I am way behind. I have yet to watch the last few seasons of Dr. Who or anything from Game of Thrones, though I hear the latter is really good. Loving those embroidery patterns, I just don’t know anything about it! sewingforme.wordpress.com

    • I miss Pete too and Arty! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am enjoying GoT more than I thought I would but I am also behind, watching season 1 and trying not to see any spoilers on the internet or on TV while they advertise the premier of season 2! Ahh nerdyness, how is it that it goes with sewing and needlework so well?! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I have no idea, but I have so many friends who knit while watching the nerdiness! I have trouble with that because I have to look at my hands when I knit so I just lounge and then during commercials read sewing blogs or pattern magazines =D Good luck with avoiding spoilers. That is so hard. I have tried but given up since they aren’t even playing them here so I ask my friends what’s happening!

  12. Great post. I used to love cross stitching and did a lot as a kid; my mother had lots of stunning patterns from Holland and we had some large framed pieces my grandmother made. I also used to feel embarrassed by it when I was older; when I was at uni I was cross stitching before a lecture started and was trying to hide it, one of my fellow students saw me and asked what I was doing and guess what; she also enjoyed cross stitch!! I always felt a little out of place with my craft; as a gen x I was one of the few that loved sewing, knitting and cross stitch; it was ‘uncool’ back then and was seen as nerdy and boring. I also remember doing a craft course at Country Bumpkin in Adelaide (they publish Inspirations and used to publish the smocking mags) and one of the teachers described how she didn’t like cross stitch as it was ‘boring’. Needless to say I was not impressed with her attitude!

    • Your story gave me a good laugh. I used to be a bit embarrassed with my sewing too after a friend made some comments but then I found a whole new group of friends who love it as much as I do so let’s embrace our weirdness! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I never got the point of the back needing to look pretty. Yes you don’t want dark colour threads running across light coloured areas, but who’s going to see it?
    Love the finished tardis:) bring on the next one!

    • I can totally get leaving big runs all across the back, that’s messy and a bit of a waste of thread but yeah! No one really sees the back – Maybe it’s a metaphor for the whole beauty on the inside thing… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Oh, yes I cross stitch and have a few different projects on the go. My biggest hold-up on doing it is small children, rather than small furry kittens ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have tried knitting a few times, but I just don’t enjoy it enough to pursue it.
    For evening sewing, I crack out my camping head lamp. I assume I look a bit dorky, but no one can see me in the privacy of my own sewing room!

    • I bet your children don’t chew on the floss though!

      Knitting and I had words, we don’t get along either…but I like this idea of a head lamp, I might raid hubby’s work box and see what I can find! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I used to cross stitch when I was younger, haven’t done it in ages, I used to really like it though! Recently I got back into knitting, but you’re right, it’s more suitable to the winter months. I contemplated bringing my knitting with me on holiday, but I’m glad I didn’t as it’s 34 degrees over here in Italy!

    • Oh how I wish I’d learnt to knit when I was younger, I think I am too impatient now, I gave it a go but I want to be already at the stage where I can do it without looking, you know, while watching tv etc, hehe!

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