Saturday, 18 February 2012

Out of the comfort zone

Hello from a cold & grey north of Scotland! It has been snowing on & off all day so far but although the hills have turned white, it isn't lying in the garden or on the road... yet... Definitely a day for staying inside, finding a job or two that can be done with a kitten curled up next to you! We have a brother & sister duo, Pippa & Felix, who came to live with us last summer from the SSPCA & are now around 10 months old. So while Pippa snuggles up on one side of me I will tell you about my latest crafty endeavor.
Sometimes when we try something new it doesn't go at all how we had envisioned it & that can either be a blessing in disguise or put us off ever trying that thing again (well at least that's how it works with me!). About seven years ago I saw a cross stitch magazine with a free cover gift that I instantly knew would make a perfect gift for my grandmother whose birthday was coming up. I couldn't wait to get the magazine home, get the other materials required & get started. The project called for 18 count aida which I had never used before, but I had been stitching on & off for years by then & I didn't think anything of it. Well - I HATED it! The stitched areas were very small but it took me a disproportionate amount of time to do & I couldn't wait to get it finished & get rid of it!
My grandmother loved them so the struggles were worth it & the rest of the 18 count fabric was promptly relegated to the bottom of my fabric stash.
Earlier this week a chart in a magazine caught my eye, it was stitched on 18 count & initially I had thought I would just substitute 16 count, but I have been having a bit of a tidy & a sort through some of my craft supplies & saw the 18 count lurking. I really should make a decision about it's fate instead of simply ignoring it - rehome it with a crafty friend or have another try? The chart was pretty small so I figured I would give it a go & if I still couldn't get on with it I would rehome the fabric & stitch the design on 16 count. So Thursday night I gathered what I would need & settled down to make a rather apprehensive start. In the last seven years as the children have gotten older my personal crafting time has increased dramatically, both the quantity & variety of stitching projects I have tackled has grown, & a few years ago my wonderful hubbie bought me a daylight lamp :-) It's a clip on one with a flexible neck so I can get it exactly where I want it & it was instantly a huge improvement over the daylight bulb in a floor lamp arrangement I used before. Probably due to a combination of these things I found myself working on the 18 count waiting for the other shoe to drop. You know that expression? The 18 count was definitely visibly smaller than the 14 count I had been working on earlier in the day but it was no problem, in fact I actually started to enjoy it! The design began to emerge finer & with a dainty look about it that I loved & six hours later I was done.
Yesterday I made it into a card for a friend overseas whose second child arrived last weekend, so soon it will begin it's long journey to the Pacific coast.

I hope she likes it, but I must admit I am definitely pleased with this one - I am very glad I gave the 18 count another try & am looking forward to using it for other card toppers in the future. One day I might even get brave enough to try a big project on it! Overall the lesson I have learned this week is give it another try - what's the worst that can happen? You probably still have the materials from the first attempt & you might pleasantly surprise yourself! I hope you all have a lovely weekend, the cat has moved so I'm off to make a cuppa & start something new...

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for visiting me!! I used to do this cross stitch...when we caravanned in Scandanavia I bought a very intricate set of projects from a wonderful shop in Denmark....but oh my were they all so complicated...but I did perservere at that time and finished all of them ( probably because they cost me an arm and a leg! LOL. My eyes just wouldn't like it now - I like to save them for calligraphy....hence I no longer read when I go to bed...I used to read and read and not want to put a book down but I've learned to value my eyesight. It's a lovely card and I'm sure your friend will love it. We've had a few snow/sleet/hail showers today after a very sunny morning but it is so much colder today.
    All the best!

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  2. You're very welcome;-) I look forward to seeing your creations, your cards are just beautiful! It's easy to bite off a bit much with needlework kits, as you can't see inside them & often have to make a snap decision, but I bet they looked wonderful when you had finished the last one. It's good to focus on what you love best though. Stay warm! Best wishes, Helen

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  3. Wow! Detailed indeed. That small cross stitch would make me cross eyed! Well done!

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    1. Thanks Doda ;-) I think the good light really helped.

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