Phat Quarter "Living In the 80s" Swap

This is the piece I made for Lisa Leggett (check out her blog here  - she has some really gorgeous projects) as part of the latest Phat Quarter swap. I really struggled to think what to make this time. I have learned that in future I should find some waste canvas before attempting freehand cross stitch, and I am crap at cutting circles! I originally wanted the aliens to glow in the dark, but Hobbycraft doesn't sell anything that exciting... I'm really enjoying forcing myself out of my comfort zone and designing things from scratch and I love the overall effect of this piece.

Party Squid!

I made this for Em's birthday. The squid pattern is by Sew Lovely Embroidery (available on Etsy here) and I added seaweed embroidery and sequin bubbles. The backing fabric is Makower Full Moon Lagoon. I used water soluble crayons for the squid itself and mostly satin stitch for the rest. I have now learnt that doing long satin stitch invites disaster (middle balloon, some of it is a bit loose) but I haven't used long & short stitch enough to get the other 2 balloons looking, umm, balloon-like. Overall I really like it, I still can't work out where his missing tentacle is (count the ones above the ice cream and the ones below it), or whether he is actually a squid. Or male.

The embroidery pattern has loads more that I want to try, including a ship being wrecked by a giant octopus and several mermaids. The iron-on worked extremely well and I think I could make several more squids from it before it fades too much. I am very tempted by the Space Case sheet by the same company with retro robots.

Fire! From Stonehenge Fire Garden 2012

Evil Burny Daystar

I really don't cope well with the summer. I have weird sun-sensitive eczema so have to stay nearly completely covered up, and my general body temperature seems much higher than other people. It's about 32 degrees in the south of the UK, eurgh. I'm currently hiding in a darkened room with a sequined fan, designing monsters and trying to decide if the last season of Spartacus is worth the effort (I'm suspecting not, which is a shame as I used to love it. Maybe I'm bored of gore and nudity? Doubt it).

There's supposed to be an appropriately firey picture here, but mobile Blogger seems to hate me again. You'll just have to imagine it.

City & Guilds Level 3 Embroidery in Eastleigh

Putting this on here is a really long shot, as I have no idea who reads this. Eastleigh College do level 3 City & Guilds Embroidery during the daytime. They might also run it on a Thursday evening next term if enough people are interested, but it's not on their website. If you are interested, email and let them know. I really want to do this course but if no-one knows it's on, it won't happen :(

Jani Franck e-courses

I've done a few of Jani's e-courses, and I don't think I would have got as far as posting any of my craft work in public without them! They've helped my confidence with drawing and with seeing myself as an artist. I'm about to start on the "Blooming Creative" course that will hopefully force me to start selling my work online, as I have been wildly procrastinating for several years...

Click on the pic to look at the courses. Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link, so I will get some money if you sign up to the paid courses.