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Monday, 14 January 2013

Crafty Challenge 2013 - A Craft A Month........

This year I have decided to take a new approach with my blog, as well as feature projects I’m working on for Camilla-Erika and DIY house projects I have decided to challenge myself to master a different craft each month.

With the inspiration of the 365 project, or the craft equivalent of 365 crafts a day I decided to set myself a challenge. With my Masters in International Marketing Management completed and a new job started I am now ready to get back to my crafting roots, experiment and learn.

A Craft a Month........

Each month I will take on a new craft, or a craft in which I have dabbled but not yet mastered. Maybe mastered is not the correct term, I want to try new crafts that are not necessarily within my crafty comfort zone and challenge myself to try something new.

My aim each month will be to introduce myself to a craft, try out a few simple designs and then produce my own design by the end of the month, or if not complete at least be underway. As an element of surprise I will not be revealing what craft I will be working on in advance, you will have to read to see. Each week I aim to give you an update of how I am getting along, struggles and all!
So let’s begin......

January 2013 will see Camilla doing.............................CROSS STITCH

Ok, so cross stitch, may not be the coolest or hippest craft, you may not even like the look of it. I have to admit I have never been a massive fan of this craft but recently I’ve started to change my mind. I want to demonstrate like so many others that cross stitch doesn’t HAVE to be old fashioned or something you wouldn’t want. Cross stitch can be whatever you want it to be. With a bit of imagination and some inspiration from magazines and designers you too could ignite the old craft you left back in the classroom.

Cross Stitch Design by Lesley Teare

So what made me pick cross stitch? I was scouring the newsagents for a craft magazine to read and having already bought all my usual ones (I’m obsessed) I came across “CrossStitcher”. With the mood for trying something different I had a look and saw the design by Lesley Teare of a bird. Being a fan of pastel colours and the vintage look this design appealed to me, I parted with my money and that was that, cross stitch had officially re-entered my life.

Now of course if I am going to take up a new craft I don’t want to fork out loads of money just to decide it will live in the bin of unfinished projects. Initially, I was determined to jump straight in and complete the bird design, unable to get the fabric I required I started to look around my local craft shops. Cross stitching kits were on sale but I didn’t want to spend £20+ on something I may end up hating let alone have the patience to complete. Something then caught my eye, tiny little cross stitch kits were being sold for £2.50. What a great way for me to try it out without spending too much money. Even better everything you required was in the pack!
Mini Cross Stitch Kits 

I bought three, but the design I chose to do first was a little cupcake. Not too many colours and a nice and small simple design. It was a modern design, in fact most of the designs on sale had a modern look to it, dispelling the myth in my head that all cross stitch was old fashioned and drab (sorry cross stitch!).
Cupcake Design Half Completed

I haven’t totally completed it yet, as you can see I am still working on the outline. It is a great little kit though, perfect for beginners and small so you can finish it relatively quickly and get the “I’ve done it!” satisfaction quickly.

Almost Complete!

As I am impatient I wanted to progress onto something bigger rather than do another little kit. I remembered a book I got a while back that I’d look at and said “wow I love this stuff, I will have to do something in here one day....” of which one day became never and the book ended up on my shelf. The book is Cath Kidston “Stitch” and this time when I picked it up I got all excited again, scouring through the different stitching projects and deciding which cross stitch design to do first. When I bought the book a freebie was included to allow you to cross stitch a floral design on some pre-printed fabric which you then make into a bag. PERFECT! It was decided, this would be my next project.

Cath Kidston "Stitch" Book

Instead of cross stitching straight onto Aida this requires stitching straight onto fabric, just like you would do if you decided to stitch onto a piece of clothing. Soluble cross stitch material was supplied to use to ensure that your design is evenly stitched and straight.  Excited, I launched myself straight into it, tacked on the soluble material and began the design.

Tacking the Soluble Cross Stitch Canvas and Marking the Centre

If you aren’t familiar with cross stitch then it is important to take time at the beginning to find the centre of your design and tack thread to mark the outline. This will ensure that your design is straight and will really help you with counting out the stitches. Start from the centre and work outwards.

This is what I have done so far. 

Progress of Cath Kidston Design 

I'd forgotten how simple cross stitch was, and although you need to concentrate to count out your stitches it really is a relaxing craft you can do in front of the TV. 

Have I managed to convince you to give cross stitch another chance????

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