Tag Archives: crossstitcher

Have yourself a very cross-stitched Christmas

20 Dec

Oh my goodness, time is whizzing by! It’s 5 sleeps ’til Christmas 2012 and I couldn’t be more excited about this years festive activities.

The husband and I are hoping to enjoy 2 weeks of home cooked goodness, his parents first, then mine, in a Christmas period that promises to be the most relaxing ever! I love Christmas, I love playing ‘teeth’ and ‘tip it’ with family, I love stuffing my face with all manner of waistband increasing treats, I love the St. Francis Christmas Eve candlelight service, I love singing the descant parts of Christmas carols really badly with my sister and I LOVE crafting lots of Christmassy goodness!

Christmas crafting is officially the best thing. Starting months before the big event it is sure to get me in the mood for the big day!

For this post I want to share with you how I have cross-stitched my Christmas: from candle bands to chutney labels, cake bunting to cards, I’ve somehow managed to incorporate cross stitch into every corner of Christmas this year (maybe not to my husbands delight!)
Have a gander, I hope that it may inspire you to pick up your needle and thread and have a go yourself. I have taken a lot of the patterns and inspiration from CrossStitcher magazine and have given the issue number where the pattern is from for all you fellow readers but have included links to The Making Spot website where you can also buy individual patterns if this is easier for some of you.

Decorations:

Our small flat is simply brimming with cross-stitched decorations. I love them because they are handmade and can hopefully last for years and years, maybe even become traditions and things I can show my children and grand children one day. Here’s what we’ve got this year…

cross stitched christmas robin

One cheeky little fella! The perfect quick stitch on plastic canvas to make a gorgeous decoration for any plant, we’ve spruced up Herbert the pot plant with ours. Pattern from Crossstitcher issue 258 (also available here).

cross stitched christmas wreath

A front door wreath that won’t be ready until next Christmas as I still have two more designs to add but this is how it’s looking so far! Using amazing patterns from issue 258 (available here), some plastic canvas and a £5 plain wreath from Wilko’s I’ve come up with a wreath I’m proud of and can’t wait to display next year (my favourites the gingerbread man… so freaking cute!)

crossstitcher star garland

A star garland hanging in the kitchen made using the free kit with CrossStitcher issue 257. Not sure how you can get your hands on this now but this free kit was amazing and had everything you needed to make this beautiful garland.

christmas cross stitch candle bands

And some candle bands, small motifs stitched in brown thread on a cream aida band (to match the colours of our living room!) to be wrapped around pillar candles. The top reindeer pattern was taken from the little booklet free with issue 257 of CrossStitcher and the bottom NOEL pattern was my own invention. These were a delight to stitch, so quick and easy!

Food:

cross stitched christmas jumpers

I literally squealed when I saw this amazing little jumpers in CrossStitcher issue 260 …. Literally. I also put down my needle on a big project and started these straight away. I just KNEW they had to be a part of my Christmas. These are going to be hung on string with little wooden pegs and attached to bamboo skewers before placing on Nigella’s spiced cake, the perfect Christmas cake bunting, jumpers on a washing line! (This is all happening this weekend, check my instagram for finished results!).

onion chutney labels

Another food-related Christmas cross-stitch is this one I am in the process of finishing. I am using some gorgeous veg motifs from CrossStitcher issue 257 (available here) to make labels for homemade chutney. These will be little gifts to our nearest and dearest and I’m hoping to get them all bottled and labelled this weekend… yes I know, lastminute.com!

Presents:

christmas cards

These Christmas cards were a joining of minds from the husband and myself. I did the cross-stitching and he made them look super trendy! I stitched two bauble patterns from the little booklet free with issue 257 of CrossStitcher. These gorgeous white and red motifs were the first stitch of the season and I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. (The pattern for one of them is available for free here).
The husband then scanned my two cross-stitches and used photoshop to shrink them and create a lovely patterned paper with the two designs. We then cut the paper into strips and attached a strip onto brown card to create our Christmas cards. Simple, easy and homemade with a modern twist.

cross stitched heart gift christmas

I couldn’t do Christmas without making presents for people. When money is tight cross-stitched gifts are an excellent solution. I love how personalised you can make them, choosing the right pattern for your recipient and filling each stitch with love. I made this heart-shaped design for some special people to hang in their living room (really, really hoping they don’t read this before Christmas day now!!). The pattern is from an excellent book ‘Made In France’ (available here) and I love how it’s subtly christmassy, great for the season but also can be left up all year. My father-in-law makes frames so he provided the white rustic frame to finish it off. I love giving gifts like this.

So there you have it. The Fordham Christmas in cross stitched fashion. I hope this post has given you some inspiration towards making Christmas 2013 a cross stitched one!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Emily

x

p.s you may realise that this blog has become a little neglected as of late..! I have now moved mainly over to Instagram where I photo blog my crafting and baking exploits. My username is emilyfordham and I have a lovely little community of fellow crafters over there. Come join us in sharing pure crafting goodness!

one big instagram dump…

7 Oct

(aka photobook 28/9 & 5/10 put together!)

Life in (lots of) pictures recently..

mama sends me regular gracie updates/8 free cookies- thanks O2 moments!/new clothes including winter coat/new clothes for husband too- looking fit as/lovely lady at church gave me LOADS of cross stitch thread/friend at work made amazing iced cherry ring biscuits/empty London buses/sausage and cider casserole for Great British Bake Off watching/the perks of my job/the paralympic torch came to visit/baked for the MacMillan Coffee Morning at school/work drinks at the Drunken Monkey in Shoreditch- mine was a drunken pear cocktail/YES Christmas CrossStitcher/my favourite IKEA purchase: chalkboard fridge magnets/films on the iPad in bed/winters just around the corner, wooly jumpers and scarfs ahoy/Broca loving with my bestie/lego minifigures/mickey mouse jumper/really loving Nigellissima at the moment on BBC2- this is her Italian roast chicken with risotto- Fordham Style

Instagram: emilyfordham

x

some recent cross-stitching antics (part 1)

1 Oct

No matter how busy I am I always manage to fit in some cross-stitching- whether that’s on the DLR on my way to work or zoned out in front of the TV after a long day (guilty as charged). It’s something I can do almost without concentrating, sometimes I freak my friends out by cross-stitching during a conversation- I can sew and chat at the same time.

Over the Summer and into this lovely Autumn I have managed to complete a few projects which I really can’t wait to share with you:

1. Herb Pots- from CrossStitcher Magazine (issue 254)

I started this little project way back in the beginning of summer. The minute I saw the idea in CrossStitcher I thought of one of my best friends (ex-housemate and bridesmaid) who loves cooking with fresh herbs and knew I had to make these for her birthday. I followed the magazine instructions to the t (even buying the exact paint they suggested) and have to say I was so pleased with the results! If I’m completely honest I didn’t want to give them away! I reckon the stitching took about 3 weeks on and off (some evenings and afternoons) and the tin painting and everything else was spread over two afternoons. All in all a delightful little project!


2. Bathroom Whale- from CrossStitcher Magazine (issue 255)

This pattern came in a set of three (other two ‘Beside the Sea’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’) but I was immediately drawn to the cute little whale. I changed up the colours so instead of navy thread on white aida I went for a navy aida with a cream thread the same colour as our towels. I wanted something to tie everything in our bathroom together and cross-stitch seems to have a way of doing just that! Sometimes I feel sorry for husband… I think the whole flat may be covered in cross-stitch soon!!! (frame from IKEA)


3. ‘Love’ Cards- own design

I spotted some heart shaped painted wooden buttons on a little card making stall whilst on holiday in Tavistock, Devon, over the summer. I bought them without hesitation knowing I could do something cross-stitchy (I’m making that a word now!) with them. I kept it simple, using thread that matched the colour of the button and stitching onto 14 count cream aida before fraying the edges and using a clear craft glue to attach onto brown card. I made about 6 in one go… hoping they’ll last me a while… I love not having to buy cards!

4. School Diary- from CrossStitcher Magazine (issue 256)

This project came about from my incessant need to actually have a project on the go! I had come to the end of some big projects and wanted to keep my little cross-stitchy hands busy… I had also just been given a lovely red school diary for work. Put two together, mix in a very appropriate set of school related charts from an issue of CrossStitcher and my rather over the top decorated school diary was born. I kind of love it though!!

So that’s 4 of my recent cross stitching shenanigans covered…

Yes there really is a part 2 coming soon… told you I’d been busy!

x

photo book 7/9

8 Sep

This week in pictures:

lovely leaving card and present from old job/some Saturday crafting/my prize for having a letter printed in CrossStitcher magazine arrived/strawberry lace race/friendly face/first recipe from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake- marble cake/bath the night before starting new job/INSET day and lots of new pens/lattice woven treacle tart from scratch/close up shot/gorgeously sunny mornings… summers not quite over yet/yay! fun things in the post

Instagram: emilyfordham

x

every cross stitchers dream

14 Aug

I got a letter printed in CrossStitcher Magazine!! I’ve only ever written in to one other magazine (my Dr Who obsession in my teenage years produced letters in not 1, but 3 different issues of Dr Who Magazine- I was such a little Dr Who geek!) and decided to email the team at CrossStitcher on a whim with a picture of my ‘deer cousin’ card. Imagine my excitement when I got an email back asking for my address and confirming it would be published!

Looking forward to receiving my free £20 worth of threads as a prize through my door very soon and already dreaming of all the wonderful things I can make with them!

The issue (256) is out in newsstands currently and is of usual top-notch standard! £3.99 for LOADS of amazing charts, ideas and inspirations and a free pair of embroidery scissors… worth every penny.

x

how to never need to buy birthday cards again…

12 Jun

cross-stitch… that is the answer. Learn how to do it and you’ll never need to buy a card again. Ever. For some excellent tips on the basics of cross-stitching and a guide to getting started I point you now in the direction of my dear friend Sophie Brown. Her post is so perfect I don’t need to do one! Hopefully together we can inspire you to pick up a needle and thread and begin your cross-stitch journey. Just think of all the wonderful personalised cards you can make, filled with lots of love and thought and home-made-ness.

Once you’ve decided that cross-stitch is your new hobby/love/passion/obsession (it quickly will become one!) and that you want to make your loved ones cards of all varieties than your first step is to purchase some blank card and envelopes. Husband and I had loads of brown paper card left over from DIY-ing our wedding stationary (invitations and thank you cards) so I’ve used those which you can purchase here (cards above made on ‘ribbed brown’ variety). Or just try online/ebay/hobbycraft/local craft stores to find whatever coloured/patterned card you fancy.

In terms of making a cross-stitched card I have two methods- fabric based and plastic based. The four at the top of this post are what I call plastic based. For these ones I pick a particular small motif/character/design that I think will work and stitch it onto plastic canvas. I purchase this from Sew and So (an excellent online cross-stitch shop which has literally everything you need and for cheap!) and it’s £1.50 a sheet. I can get about 8-15 motifs suitable for cards from one sheet (depending on the size). Most of my inspiration comes from CrossStitcher magazine- I got a subscription too it as a birthday present and it has amazing charts and ideas which I love to use. Once I’ve finished stitching the design I have chosen I carefully cut it out leaving a small border. This is the nerve-wracking part but if you take it slow and steady all should be fine! I love using plastic canvas because it is sturdy and doesn’t fray and gives a kind of solidity to your designs. I secure my finished bits to the card using double sided sticky tabs which I purchase off ebay. I then like to annotate my card with a white gel pen but that’s personal preference!

The second method I use is to stitch on fabric (aida) instead of plastic. There’s less cutting out in this one and it enables you to cross stitch words and phrases which is primarily why I use it. These two patterns above are my own designs and I want to inspire you all to have a go at making your own too! It’s so simple. I print off graph paper from the internet and use a pencil to draft ideas. For the letters CrossStitcher magazine give you an alphabet chart each issue or you could try searching online. Get creative with designing you own little logos and emblems, practice makes perfect and you can rub out any mistakes remember! Once I’ve finished a design I then either cut away the card and fix the aida onto it (like a frame- see ‘ring on it’ design) or fray the edges of the aida and just stick that straight onto the card (see ‘thank you’ design).

So there you have it… the FamilyFordham guide to cross stitched card making. Easy, cheap, fun and full of love.

x

(p.s. if you need any extra help/tips/links to make your own cards just comment below and let me know!)

%d bloggers like this: