Sunday, 16 November 2008

A new free cross stitch pattern

Ok, maybe it's not 'properly' new - but there is now a green version of the free downloadable Mario Mushroom cross stitch pattern available to download (over on the right, there).

I have created and posted it response to a request via etsy from Rachel (Hi, Rachel!).

A request! Can you believe it? I'm so chuffed... :o)

I will probably expand the collection with a blue one and/or a yellow one in the following weeks, depending on time and stuff.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Things I did in November

Can you believe it's been nearly a month since I blogged? I have loads of stuff I could blog about, but I've decided that my blog entries are far too long, so I am limiting myself to a very quick overview of some of November's highlights. With pictures, because we all like pictures.

Handsome J and I went to Paris for a 5 day break. It was lovely, Paris is lovely, the food was lovely (with the exception of a tripe sausage - which I will never be ordering again) and even the weather was lovely. Here is a photo of the Eiffel Tower, taken from a boat trip on the Seine.

Since my visit to Paris I've become super-conscientious with my French classes and homework, I'm reading french magazines and even a french book (a kid's book - Le Petit Prince, but it has more words than pictures so you should be very impressed.), I'm listening to french radio in the office on the internet when the boss isn't looking, and I've even found some french penpals. I have come over all keen and enthusiastic and am making the most of it while it lasts.

I haven't managed to do any more cross-stitching since the last photo I posted, and I don't remember the last time I did any knitting or sewing. However, I have finished a few more items in pottery, including:

1) Four dark blue glazed earthernware buttons. I don't know what I will use them for yet, but they're gorgeous and completely tactile - like polished pebbles. I can't walk past them without picking one up to hold and stroke. I should make more. J made the dish that they're sitting in.

2) Fairy-cake stands. These were turned in a single piece on the wheel and haven't yet been glazed. I need to sand them down a bit before I can glaze them to make sure they're as lovely as they can be. They've been sitting around the house waiting to be sanded for the past 3 weeks though - I must try to do them this weekend.

The cake stand in the front is a bit lumpy because of a failed experiement involving slip and a doiley. I reckon it'll be ok in the end.

3) And this is my favourite - a hand-built (i.e. not thrown on the wheel) cake stand, glazed using paper dolieys for resists which was (frankly) a genius idea that I will doing again and again.
The dish warped in the kiln during the first fire, which I think adds to its loveliness. Also, I might have used a tiny bit too much blue glaze, which resulted in a very, very, very dark (almost black) colour, and a bubbling overspill into the middle.
The spilt glaze looks a bit like a man, so I'm claiming that it was intentional, that I'm a very clever, talented and intuitive artistic-type, and that the man in the middle is looking out towards the horizon over a choppy sea, pondering the meaning of life.
The combination of its wobblyness and the bubbly, super-dark glaze gives it a bit of a gothic, almost Tim Burton-y look, which I especially love. It's the best cake stand ever. And I'm very, very pleased with it.

And finally - here is a picture of me. I was trying to avoid posting pictures of me because I always think I look much better in my head than in mirrors, photos and videos. (In my head I'm a taller, slinkier, much more attractive version of me). However, J has told me that I have to blog this one. I don't really want to, but here it is.

This is me and L at the ice rink this morning, after a session practicing our backwards skating (did I mention that I've taken ice skating lessons?). I'm the one on the left that looks like a big, frumpy polar bear. Hmph.