Monday, 31 March 2008

Monthly Challenge Reveal - March

First of all: apologies to some of those who left comments for me recently, as I managed to accidentally reject them. That's what happens when you get clickitis or "bull in a china shop" syndrome! Thought I'd learnt my lesson the first time that happened but apparently not. :0(

It was Reveal Day on Saturday for the JA/S&S Monthly Challenge and there are some gorgeous finishes again. I seriously underestimated the time it would take to assemble my piece, so ended up missing the deadline. Then I had to have an unexpected visit to The Range yesterday to get some beads for it - all that stash and still didn't have the right colour or size! Still, I'm not complaining as I love going to that place: the crafts section is great and I ended up coming out with a lot more than was on my list (more later)! So here is my version of Alphabet Tree (a retired design) from Blue Ribbon Designs, finished as a mattress pin cushion:

I've used: 28ct Brittney evenweave fabric in cream and the thread is Kaalund silk Silky Oak. The ribbon was a find in my local sewing shop and the beads were from The Range. When I first saw this design it made me think of the Tree of Life. The Eureka! moment I had the other day had me developing that idea further: instead of backing the piece with fabric, as originally intended, I decided to turn it into a memorial piece by adding my Mum and Dad's initials and the years they passed. The colours will go perfectly with my DSis's living room colour scheme, so I shall ask her if she wants to keep it at hers. :0)

There was another steep learning curve: when I use this type of finish again I shall make sure the sides are done in one long piece of fabric, so there aren't so many extra bits of fabric at the corners to trim and squish in. I am also going to make sure I have some of that Warm & Natural cotton batting several of the girls on the Forum have mentioned - the synthetic stuff I had to use sheds bits all over and had me coughing like crazy and it was a pain to layer up. I also need to find somewhere that sells fine curved needles, to make sewing ribbons on much easier.

A BIG thank you to Karen for arranging it so we could use this chart and to the designer for allowing us to use it - it's such a pretty piece and I enjoyed stitching it. :0)

The weekend plans partially went to plan: Saturday was a wash out, literally, as it rained for much of the day - not the best weather to go out looking at cars. When DH asked if I wanted to go out I fixed him with a beady eye and, in best Compo/Last of the Summer Wine tradition told him to "Bog off" which he thought was hilarious. The fact that my back and shoulder were playing up, giving me a lousy headache, hadn't helped my mood none. :0I A couple of pain killers and a quiet sit down helped and once the worst of the headache had gone I carried on with the finishing on the Challenge piece.

Sunday I felt a lot better so we had the trip to The Range first. As well as the beads I got some more storage boxes: A4 clip-boxes for card and papers; rectangular boxes for storing ribbons and trims; a crocodile file for my 12x12 papers; a small compartmented box for storing brads, eyelets and similar small bits and pieces; some round and square glue dots; an A4 expander file for storing my ready-made cards in; three packs of Dovecraft small clear rubber stamps (only 99p a set - brilliant value) and, finally, a Dovecraft Goody Bag that has some really sophisticated 12x12 and 8x8 papers in it among other things. Not a bad haul that. :0)

After that it was on to a couple of big garages (car lots) to have a look at what they had on offer. Let's just say that an awful lot of cars were crossed off the list as unsuitable for what we need. We are now trying to decide whether to go for another (smaller/more economical) 4x4, an estate or even a 5-person people carrier. I did spot a little two-door Volkswagen Lupo I was half interested in, as a run-around for me, but when I sat in it I couldn't see the front bonnet at all, let alone the front end - if I'd raised the seat enough for me to see it I wouldn't have been able to use the steering wheel, as my legs would have been trapping up against it. How badly designed is that?! Most of the cars today seem to have such sloping bonnets you can't see where the front finishes - is it just me, or does that seem really stupid? I mean: how can you judge distances from other cars when you're parking up at the supermarket, parallel parking in the street or pulling up behind another car at traffic lights if you can't actually see where the car ends? Maybe I'm being super picky but I want a car with good all-round vision so I feel comfortable and safe driving it! Methinks this car search thing is going to take a while......... unfortunately.

As I'm now - for the first time ever - up to date with my three SAL's and the Challenge piece is completed (the next Challenge is still being voted on) I brought Night Watchman out to stitch on last night whilst watching the final night of Most Haunted Live. So glad I persevered with MH as the final night made it all worthwhile: it may just be my warped sense of humour but watching Yvette Fielding, little Kath and Lesley Smith on a vigil, getting unnerved and edging towards hysterical, was a laugh but hearing Yvette admit on national TV that she had snotted and slightly wet herself was priceless. I laughed so hard I almost had an accident too!
Not a lot of actual stitching got done with that going on, so no update pic yet. Will carry on and concentrate on this until another SAL part comes out.

Well I am off to do some more stitching on Night Watchman now before having an early night. I have managed to get behind with Blog reading/commenting again over the weekend, for which I apologise, but I'll start with the catch-up tomorrow and see what you've all been up to.

Hope you all had a good weekend and start to the week. Thank you for visiting. :0)


Julie said...

WOW your matress pincushion is stunning and there was you not so long ago saying you didn't make things up when they were stitched!!! and we all believed you as well LOL

UFO tomorrow night - with it be the ET belly dance?

Mylene said...

It is simply beautiful, Karan. So neatly finished, well done!

Sally said...

I love your matress pincushion! Something else I need to try soon!

Christine said...

Love your mattress finish!

Good luck with the car hunting

Anonymous said...

I love your mattress pinkeep, gorgeous, soft colours :)

Hope you manage to find a new car soon!