30 January 2012

Project Update: Week Two

Well not a lot of stitching has been done this week - there seems to have been too much screaming going on...from the kids as well as me!!

Just to remind you here is week one...

Week One
Now this week I am this far along.....

Week Two
I am aiming to have it complete by Easter but we are moving house then so maybe I will aim for Labour weekend instead!

Hope all your stitching projects are going well.

Stay tuned for another enthralling update next Monday.

29 January 2012

Free Babushka cross stitch pattern

As I am busy stitching away on my new Babushka sampler pattern (full update tomorrow)....
I thought it was time for a bit of a freebie.....

So I have chosen one of the 'girls' for you to stitch....

Excuse the bad photo - I am stitching on waste canvas hence the blue lines and have just taken it out of the hoop!
Click here to get the free pdf pattern. It outlines all you need to get started - fabric, threads and cross stitch instructions for 14 count aida. Perfect for beginners.

This pattern is free for you to use on your own projects and you can even sell the stitched design if you fancy - but it would be great if you could include a link to my blog!

I know you wouldn't but I have to say it...please don't on sell the pattern. Freebies are so nice it would be a shame to abuse the privilege. Thank you!

Happy stitching!

23 January 2012

Project Update: Week One

For those just tuning in I have started a new craft project and to keep me on the straight and narrow I will be posting weekly updates of my progress. I hope this will stop me from putting it down and starting yet another project which will never get completed!

So here is the progress so far.....
Doesn't look much but for you cross stitchers out there you know how long it takes to complete a square inch. I have it on a high kitchen counter away from sticky fingers (only just!) and try and sneak a few rows in here and there between domestic & parental duties.

You will be proud to know I even spend a long time measuring and counting and marking to get my pattern in the correct spot.......
Here I have tacked the waste canvas in place and have used fading marker to work out where to start stitching. My fading marker lines are however still in place 3 days later...hmmmm...I am hoping they will eventually fade!

Whan I am stitching up one of my new designs for the first time I am always changing colours and layout....
This is what my work in progress looks like. For once I am really taking note of the exact cotton colours etc and writing lots of notes. Usually I rely on memory but after two children who am I kidding I need to write things down.

Pop by next Monday and see much more stitching has been done!

20 January 2012

New Craft Project

I love starting new projects but I am not that good at finishing them! I shudder to think how many half finished craft projects are packed away in the many boxes of craft stuff I seem to have. I must amalgamate them in one spot and see what the damage really is - scary thought. Anyway I will think about that another day.

So I am going to stitch up my new cross stitch/tapestry design (refer yeasterday's post).

Here are all the bits I have gathered up to get started....
Ideally I should be using 14 count aida but I don't have any and I am too cheap to go and buy some - it is so expensive these days!

Also one of my other resolutions is to use the craft supplies I already have and not purchase too many more.

So I fossicked (spelling?) around and came up with three options...10 count tapestry canvas, 18 count waste canvas or 28 count evenweave. I like working with tapestry canvas but the design would be enormous and who can even see the holes in 28 count evenweave so the waste canvas option it is.

I am going to stitch it onto a blank white tea towel and either keep it as a tea towel (one I will never us of course!) or stretch it over a canvas. I would probably guess it will be the latter as I would have to get the design perfectly centred and straight to look good on the tea towel and I am too impatient to start stitching to bother with lining it up exactly.

I am going to provide a weekly photo and update probably on a Monday morning (when I am down to one child!) and you can see how fast I am progressing. This way I might see the project to the end and not get distracted by too many new ones.

I would be really intersted to know how many half finished craft projects you have lurking in your cupboards - is it just me or is it a common affliction? Do tell!!!

19 January 2012

Sneak peek: New Russian doll cross stitch pattern

While Oliver was at daycare this morning and Madam was sleeping (we are having a good sleep day!) I thought I would get started on a new stitching pattern.

My original 'Two Little Babushkas' pattern....
...is still the most popular one so I thought I would add a few more 'girls' to the collection.

The pattern is a sampler of 6 dolls that can be stitched all together or used individually to embellish tea towels or bibs or anything at all.

This is a shot taken on my computer screen...

I am hoping to get a chance to stitch it up to make sure it works - fingers crossed for well behaved children with co-ordinated nap times!

18 January 2012

Time for a tea break

I had a hankering for something sweet so thought my one creative thing for today would be a spot of baking.

I had a tin of condensed milk in the cupboard so Aunty Marie's Tan Square it is...

Not many ingredients but you have to be a little organised. I thought I was doing very well with a toddler at my feet licking various spoons, and felt very pleased when I popped it in the oven.

Of course Miss 7 weeks woke up and wanted a feed so my tan square came out looking more like dark brown square but it is still delicious!


200grams unsalted butter
just over 1/3 cup of white sugar
2 cups flour(sifted)
1 tsp vanilla

25grams unsalted butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
tin of condensed milk

Set oven to bake 180 degrees.

Line a sponge roll tin with baking paper.

Gently melt the topping ingredients in small saucepan and set aside to cool.

For the base cream butter and sugar, add vanilla and flour and mix to combine.
Take 3 tablespoons of this mixture, wrap in glapwrap and put in the freezer to harden up a little.
Press the remaining base mixture into the tin. I find it easier to lay gladwrap on top and then press it in especially on a hot day - less sticky this way.

Pour the cooled (not cold) topping mixture over the base.

Retrieve the mixture from the freezer and using a sharp knife cut small lumps of it and randomly drop them onto the topping. You have to work fast otherwise your hands will melt the mixture.
You will end up with a series of little mountains on the top.

Bung it in the oven for approx 30 minutes.
Be sure to check it at 20 and 25 minutes as all oven temperatures vary.
I forgot my oven is hotter and left it the full thirty before checking.
You do want it to become a lovely tan colour though.

Let it cool, cut it up and hide it from your husband and kids!
In saying that it makes a lot and needs to be eaten in a few days otherwise it goes a bit soft.


17 January 2012


Oliver is back to daycare tomorrow after 4 very long weeks off and I just remembered I am supposed to write a story about what he did over the holidays and add it to his book.

I love that they have a scrapbook of all that he gets up to at daycare...adventures in the sandpit and the little friends he plays with. Us parents are supposed to add stories from home now and again - this will be my second story!

Of course the topic of choice at the moment is his baby sister so I wrote about her.

I set it up in Corel one handed while rocking the 'topic' in her bassinet with the other hand - it is offically a non-sleeping day!

I had fun finding fonts and clip art and laying it out.

This definitely counts as the 'creative project of the day' so I am averaging something creative every other day at the moment! (refer last blog post for belated resolutions!)

Sadly it would never have gotten done had the deadline not been tomorrow - I work better under pressure!

15 January 2012

Belated resolutions

I had wonderful plans for my blog in 2012. I thought it would be a great idea to do one creative thing a day and blog about it. Very ambitous considering I am lucky to get breakfast by lunchtime!

Clearly I have missed the first 15 days of the year so I am rethinking my plans.

Anyway while Missy Moo is sleeping...

I thought I would share with you my creative project for today.....


Very artistic I thought and it took Oliver about 10 seconds to destroy my creation...

Stay tuned for what enthralling creative project I can come up with tomorrow or the next day depending how many meltdowns happen tomorrow!

P.S I am working on more cute patterns but it may be a while before they are ready.

14 January 2012

Ridiculously belated Happy New Year!

Well I have officially survived the first six weeks and have finally surfaced back into the real world - a little bleary eyed.

Here is our new bundle of joy (not so new at six weeks old!)....
Gemma Lily Hirn
Gotta love my feet in the bottom of the photo!

Proud big brother Oliver can't get enough of her...

I am now trying to get them to nap at the same time so poor old Mummy can get some crafting done - will see how that goes!