Friday, 26 July 2013

Friday Finds: Vampires

Who doesn't love a good vampire story. Following the huge success of the Twilight Saga, and TV series such as True Blood and the Vampire Diaries, it's hard to escape from it. There is something dark and mysterious, scary and just a bit sexy about the thought of Vampires, and what you would do if you met one. I've read a book recently called 'Fat Vampire' by Johnny B Truant, about what would happen if there was a fat vampire (as there never is any in the films). I have always had a fascination with Vampire stories, and now is the time to realise all the awesome Vampire memorabilia that's available!

Fancy being nibbled? Then check out IM Creations statement scrabble tile earrings. Should you chance to come across a real vampire, you may just get what your earrings wish for!

If you prefer to think of yourself as a Vampire rather than ones dinner, then try on this fabulous handmade gothic renaissance dress by Camelot Costumes. Purple not your colour? Then take a moment to look through their other equally fantastic dresses.

Monster Minxx have created a prosthetic vampire brow to take your Vampire fancy dress outfit 1 step further.  Just don't go down any dark alleys in this, you might scare off the local 'hard' kids!

This Gothic Vampire Art Print by The Gothabilly Shop will darken up any room. Check out their other vintage style horror art prints so she's not left lonely.
 How about a handmade leather coffin journal to keep note of your vampire sightings/ tasty victims? The Victorian Vampire Society UK have made this beautiful one.

Happy Blood Sucking!

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Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday Finds: Mountains

As you read this I will be setting out on a 4 day hike in the Andorran/ Spanish Pyrenees. it's the first time I've been on holiday on my own (a whole 2 weeks of it, yay!) and while the first few night are fully booked, the next few (for my hike) roughly planned, and the last week Is complete unplanned, so I'll be winging it. However, my whole trip has been centralised for the hiking, and specifically, the beautiful mountains of the Pyrenees. I have always loved hiking, since I was little a day hike has been a regular feature of my holidays. I went to Switzerland a few years ago and was a bit grumpy for the first few days as it rained and the clouds were really low, so hiking wasn't really an option. This time my hike will last several days, which means packing light as I have to carry everything. Packing light however, still means a rucksack that weighs in at 10K, which will be heavier with food and water added to the mix. I'll have thighs like Xena the warrior princess! Anyway, before I make you to jealous of my holiday plans (or more likely, before you start think that I am actually really crazy) I think it's time to move on to some of Etsy's Mountain wonders.

This fabulous Print by Beloved and Co was a clear winning candidate for todays featured, because it's exactly how I'm feeling right now. I can' wait to be there, away from the distractions of modern life. If you have ever needed some encouragement to head to the hills, this is it.
 Alice Mason is the talented artist who painted the original of this bold and beautiful print. The contrast between the trees and the dark night time mountains is stunning, like all of her work.

This mountain themed iPhone case by Queen of Cases is perfect for the intrepid mountaineer. With this to look at each time you reach for your phone the mountains will never be far away, even if your stuck in a stuffy office.

Give your home a splash of mountain light with Sugar Lips Glass bright mountain sun catcher. I really like the use of the different colours, the purple reminds me of beautiful heather covered moors.

For a touch of the dramatic, (as many of us mountain adventures have experienced) head to JPicPhotography for this striking photograph. The looming craggy, mist shrouded mountain makes me want to head there to see it!

Happy Hiking! 

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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Cross Stitch Birth Samplers

My friend will soon be celebrating the 1st birthday of her cheeky little girl. She's the first of my close friends to have a baby, but I'm starting to know more and more people with a bun in the oven or a little sprog.

Having a baby is probably about the most life changing thing any one can do. Not having one myself I can't understand what it would be like to have one. My friend says she couldn't imagine life without her daughter, suddenly everything you do revolves around this tiny, delicate person that is a part of you. It is probably one of the most amazing things you could do, yet also one of the most everyday, after all, the majority of the population will have a child in their life time. That doesn't make it any less special, because someone else's child is not your little one, the child or children that you will bring up and cherish for the rest of your lives.

One thing I have learned since my friend gave birth is how quickly they grow up. When I was a child I remember waiting for ages and ages for Christmas and birthdays to come round (it probably didn't help that I'm a January baby). But now I'm older, the years seem to pass much quicker, and they're only speeding up as time goes by. It makes sense, as 1 year now is 1/26th of my life, but when I was only 6 one year was 1/6th of my life, a far greater proportion.

So to celebrate childhood and birth, don't miss out on the moment and celebrate the occasion by stitching an heirloom cross stitch bath sampler. Here are some of my favourite ones.

Felicity Hall Contemporary Needlepoint
Tiny Feet by Past Impressions
Bath Time by Atlas Crafts

Just for a Girl by Wye Needlecraft
Children of Bygone Times by Cottage Needlecrafts

 Happy Stitching!

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Friday, 12 July 2013

Friday Finds: Aliens!

Have you ever wondered what's out there, hidden amongst the infinite universe of stars and comets. The world is so huge we know hardly anything about it, let alone the universe. Could there be there other life out there?

Personally I find it hard to believe that there isn't some form of life out there. Who knows where or what it could be, maybe there are countless other worlds full of strange plants and creatures. Maybe there are worlds similar to Earth, and maybe there are ones so different that we wouldn't recognise that the life was even life. Who knows, maybe there really are the stereotypical aliens out that somewhere, maybe not, but here's a few aliens you could have in your home, so you appear alien friendly, just in case they ever come and decide to take over our world...

This friendly little Alien worm is perfect for keeping track of all your pens. S/He will be the perfect quirky accessory that will make you the envy of the office. If you fancy making your own you can even buy the pattern too! Get your crazy alien worm from Butterfly Love 1.

Who doesn't have a soft spot for ET, the friendly alien who just wants to phone home. I never had an alien friend when I was a little girl, but how awesome would that have been! Second Chance Jewellery will give you plenty to reminisce about with their geeky ET silhouette necklace.

Jupiter Moon have the perfect twist on a guardian angel, how about a guardian alien instead? The simple bold design is fantastic, even those who aren't sci-fi geeks will love this design.

Tea Parties will never be quite the same when served out of this alien tea pot. from Richard Symons Art. It's unconventional and unique, and will most certainly be the talking point when you pour the tea for your grandma.

I've only got eyes for you. With that many eyes it is indeed quite the compliment. Out from the Shadows card is a great way of showing your sentimental feelings to a loved one in a funny, geeky, science way.

Happy alien hunting!

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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Nice Ass Subversive Cross Stitch

Quite a while ago I fancied myself as a cross stitch chart designer. (Ok, I still do, I just haven't had the time to create many new designs recently). I was looking through my old patterns, and came across my Nice Ass subversive cross stitch sampler chart pattern. It's cheeky, it's funny, and best of all, it's a simple and quick cross stitch to embroider. With only 3 colours, and only full cross stitches, what more could you want!

This chart is now available on EBay, so if you fancy trying out a cross stitch then head over there because this design is perfect for beginners, and everyone else too!

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, 8 July 2013

Stitching Tools: The Humble Thimble

I very rarely write anything about the tools I use, or little tips and tricks that I've picked up during my cross stitch and embroidery years. However, we all have out little techniques that we learnt from some forgotten time and place, that we now could no longer do without. Or maybe for you it's a certain invaluable embroidery stitching tool.  After a year and a half of regular blogging it's about time I shared some of my knowledge with you. So, here goes.
This is the thimble I have
The humble thimble is one essential embroidery tool that I could not stitch without. Ok, aside from the obvious needle, thread and fabric. Mine is just a little ridged metal thimble, but it saves my fingers every time I push the needle through. When I first started to stitch several years ago I never bothered with one, and was constantly pricking myself (Ok, that still happens) but I no longer end up with a dent in my finger from pushing the needle through. It is invaluable especially with cross stitches with a small count (more stitches per inch) as the holes quickly become tight with previous stitches. I only have one, however, which means I have spent a fair amount of time searching for it when I've forgotten where I put it 5 minutes ago and have ended up on my hands and knees peering under the sofa for it.
I highly recommend trying out a thimble if you never have. They come in different sizes so get one that's right for you. I also recommend trying out different fingers. I have settled on using my middle finger of my right hand, but I'm sure that many other embroiderers use different fingers. They're cheap, they come in all sorts of different patterns too, so can be a pretty tool as well as a useful one!
What are your thoughts on the humble thimble? A stitching must have that you can't do without or a stitching miss that is left to gather dust wherever it ended up after rolling under the sofa?
Happy Stitching!
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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Hardanger Wish List

About a year ago I finished my first (and only) Hardanger embroidery. I really enjoyed stitching it although cutting out the squares was fairly fiddly. (It probably didn't help that I didn't have special hardanger scissors). However, at some point I would love to do some hardanger,  although I should wait until the next couple of months have gone by, as I've got to pack up to move house, (which also includes finding somewhere to live) and a 2 week holiday booked. When I do find the time I might try stitching an all white hardanger project, or something useful like a coaster or pincushion. Luckily there's plenty for me to dream about and browse in the meantime, such as these fabulous hardanger embroidery designs, all of which are on my ever growing wish list. Too many projects and not enough stitching time!

Kaleidoscope Coaster by Mabel Figworthy

White Diamond Pin Cushion from arts and designs

Black Hardanger Table Runner from Casa Cenina
Hearts and Flowers Biscornu from Aigullie Anglaise

Bookmark from Nordic Needle

Happy Stitching!

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