Posts Tagged ‘cross stitch’

Zaum Christmas Craftin’ Projects

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Over the past few weeks I worked on two projects that have now been given to their proposed recipients as Christmas presents so I am therefore allowed to write about them. The first was a lino-print commission that a friend of mine asked me to do for her husband. She supplied me with a photograph of the two of them and asked if I could turn it into a print. As not all photographs are transferable and faces are particularly troublesome to do without making someone look like an alien, I didn’t promise anything but gave it a shot. The results were particularly pleasing.

The final print

The final print

This was the largest print I have ever done and showed me that bigger is potentially better. Before this I had been working to A5 sizes but I am now seeing that I could get some fairly impressive images if I started doing much larger prints. It obviously takes longer and my knives are now very blunt, but you can get some interesting details when working at a bigger size. I am keen to do more commissioned jobs like this as it becomes a one off piece that has more sentimental and personal value than something that is mass produced.

I also spent most of my train trip to Sheffield and lots of evenings before Christmas making a cross-stitch version of the Forge Bakehouse logo. I have been meaning to create my own cross-stitch patterns and this seemed like an easy project to start with. While I did draw a basic outline on the material to start with, I completed it mostly by eye, working it out as I went along. I learnt a lot in the process, mostly that my cross stitching skills are a little lacking and that I should try to be a lot neater before entering any country fair competitions.

Vintage Forge

Vintage Forge

The logo was well received and will hopefully be hung with pride in the Forge Bakehouse toilet, along side the lino-printed toilet sign that I made for the shop as well.

Cross Stitching Fun

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

I have been working on a project on and off for a few weeks now and am finally ready to announce it to the world. I didn’t want to tell people what I was doing in case it crashed and burned and I looked like an idiot. No one wants to look like an idiot. But, surprises of all surprises, I have managed to successfully complete – my very first cross stitch!

I would like to start by declaring that cross stitch should be made COMPULSORY for everyone. It is more fun than riding a bicycle upside down and it is relaxing and therapeutic. You can sit and make little crosses on a piece of material that will all eventually add up to equal one giant picture – who wouldn’t want to do that?!

I bought a cross stitch pattern from a little store in a Parisian arcade called Le Bonheur des Dames (The Happiness of Ladies or The Ladies’ Paradise.) It should be extended to Le Bonheur des Toute le Monde because the entire world can gain happiness from this craft activity. At first I was scared by what I had put myself up against – there was a pattern (in French), a few instructions (in French), the linen to put the pattern onto and lots of coloured pieces of thread. What to do?!

Thankfully, we live in a world where if you want to know how to do something, all you have to do is turn to YouTube and someone will have wasted their lives making “How-To” videos. So I learnt how to cross stitch with a lady named Vickie Pavone. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I complained to my running buddy, Becky, one morning about having a sore neck, blaming it on sleeping in a strange position. That evening I picked up my cross stitch and realised I had ‘Cross-Stitch Neck’ where you tilt your head on a slight angle for a few hours, trying to get the best light to tackle those crosses. I had a sore neck for days.

Cross stitch

What a lovely class room!

The great thing about cross stitch is that you can start it one day, stop for a while, and then come back later when you have more time. This week I put the final touches on my piece and am very happy with the results. I need to work on my backstitch technique as I find it very hard to make round corners. I’m sure there must be a trick to it. I’ll have to ask Vickie.

Now that I have mastered this piece I want to start designing my own patterns. I added a little bit of “Jess” to my school room scene – 10 points for the person who spots it first.

Chocolate stain

I also added a bit of chocolate for some extra flavour