crafting: barren fields

As soon as I showed this pattern to Don (just for the lulz) he was super-keen on having it for his music-listening-room. I was full of enthusiasm after the HP sampler, so got stuck in.

Pattern is Field of Fucks from FandomCrossStitchery on Etsy.

Purchased pattern: October 2020 | supplies purchased: October 2020 | started stitching: October 2020 | completed stitching: January 2021 | framed: May 2022

Pattern modifications: replaced the french knots with tiny crosses

Stitched on 32 count even weave of some sort – probably Zweigart again. The weave was very gappy so I had to be very precise – even stitching those dots in the letters individually because any carried thread would be visible from the front. Perfectionists R Us.

Completed! Unlaundered.

There was a long, long gap between completing stitching and framing because I couldn’t settle on a suitable frame. Fortunately unlike with Mr Sparkle, I’d left myself a goodly amount of room around the design which meant I could be fairly flexible.

The vision was for something bonkers-ornate. I expected to magically come upon the perfect thing in a charity shop, but nothing eventuated. Early this year I took it along to the framers and looked at their options, but nothing felt right.


Finally I took to eBay and found this frame. It looked to be exactly what we’d envisioned – though a little larger. After a bit of back-and-forth with the seller on size, I paid a lot more than charity shop prices, but less than professional framing.

regretting i didn’t snag bigger photos from the listing

extremely promising

The frame had no glass (or perspex) and no backing. So it was problem solving time! After a couple of false starts (non standard sizing challenges!) I remembered we owned a perspex cutter and had perspex in the garage from a broken ikea frame. This worked a treat.

I mounted the stitching on felt covered foam-core board (my preferred method), backed with very strong cardboard and secured with framing hardware (which was surprisingly easy to find at the Hardware store). Then I sealed it up professional-style with thick paper-tape.

And I got there!

Another finished product I’m ridiculously pleased with

not in situ

crafting: concrete concrete concrete

Time has really ceased to have meaning, because I’m astonished that my adventures in concreting update was in December 2021. I was absolutely convinced that I’d done that class this year.

According to my photos, the last time I made anything with concrete was back in February. This is also insane to me, as I imagined it was only a few months ago.

It is quite fun activity and gathering all the photos together has reignited my interest! I need to buy another bag of concrete so I can make some more things.

Moulds moulds moulds

From two separate sessions – I usually only make enough to fill that tub.

When I bought the supplies for my adventures in dyeing, I also grabbed some discounted periwinkle dye powder. I had no plans for it, but while I was mixing concrete, wondered what would happen if I added some to the mix along with the red additive. Prettiness is what happened!

Moulds = round plastic take-away containers

Planted gifts for Bessie. I think the Grand-cat has now made short work of these.

Mould = fabric soaker container.

I love the shape of this one. I have a couple more of these containers waiting for the mood to strike.

More pretty colours!

Moulds = (mostly) round plastic take-away containers. One on the right is from a plastic plant pot – not super successful.

Tiny house from almond milk carton.

The printing on the carton transferred to the concrete which I thought was quite cool (if back to front). Further experiments with other printed material hasn’t proved successful.

Candle plinths from tea containers – salvaged from the unsuccessful pile.

They have really misshapen holes in the centre – but those are disguised, so all good.

Tiny building selection. I’m keen to further experiment with a tiny factory shapes. This one is far too thin and the roofline not quite right

Moulds = milk carton

It’s very simple and quite fun and satisfying. You should totally try it!

worth a million in prizes

I’m loving framing random pop culture phrases and hanging them around ThePalace(OfLove).

I’m still ridiculously pleased with the bathroom art I made earlier in the year using an ikea pegboard with letters.

For a while I toyed with the idea of a cross stitch or mosaic with the same lyric (how fabulous if it was tiled into a floor?), but the pegboard won out. I do want to give mosaic a crack in 2023, but it probably unlikely to be this.

I now have a giant jar of letters hanging around, and will probably change the words up at some point, but I doubt I will tire of Iggy any time soon.

22for22: November

I have resolved to refrain from a 23for23 next year. I’m realising that I subconsciously find the monthly update so daunting that it prevented me from coming here and writing anything else.

Down with lists! Who am I kidding, I adore lists! I’m just really tired of this one, but I’ll finish the series because I like completeness.

On with the penultimate monthly review!

01. Use the things!
✅ This has turned into a use it or lose it item. Quite a bit more de-cluttering – including some puzzles and colouring supplies to colleagues. I swear I don’t live in a hoarder house, but we have been here over 10.5 years and things do accumulate. Especially when you hold hard to the “I’ll use thing when perfect conditions exist” mindset.

02. Put my feet in the sea
✅ Completed April – and lots of feet-in-Gulf of Thailand in November

03. Buy more indoor plants
✅ Completed: March | April | May | August | September | October
Probably best to have a wee break from the plant acquisitions.

04. 30 days of Yoga With Adrienne in January
✅ Completed January. I will definitely do January 2023 – you should too!
Did some resort yoga. I really want to get back to it. Health is a huge priority for me for 2023.

05. Achieve Big Financial Goal
✅ Completed August!
Next big financial milestone: December 2023

06. Use my dremel.
✅ Completed May! I will post about what I made. Really. No, really.

07. Choose the loving action.

+ Saw the GP about my niggling health issues like a grown up!
+ Holiday was definitely choosing the loving action.
+ Treated self to decent quality new keyboard and new bluetooth headphones to replace sad, old, partially broken, near-death ones
+ Bought amazing cobalt-blue** cossies for holiday – spending more than I ever have on swimwear (which was not a huge amount – but progress!)
+ I even spent money on kindle books which is something I’d not done for an age – mainly because I’ve been trying to avoid amazon, but sometimes all this hard-line position means is that I’m depriving myself of enjoyment.

08. Try/learn one new skill each month
I think I have to say NOPE for this one. No new skills in November.

09. More music through speakers in ThePalace(OLove) on working days.

10. Show support financially to creators I believe in
✅ Continued support on Patreon for Fran Meneses, A Small Wardrobe, The Last Homely House and DAS bookbinding. Renewed my Craig Mod special projects membership.

11. Take myself on an adventure in the goget (car share).

12. Attend another sound bath
✅ Completed March | June | August
I think I will be back for 2023. Must investigate more padding.

13. Take a photo of the sky every day.
✅ 14/30

15 november: 11:22am (from the plane window)

14. Stay in the country for a weekend

15. Update supportive footwear.
✅ Completed Completed January | August

16. Have a serious crack at meditation.
NOPE! I did buy an excellent meditation cushion, but then was distracted – which tells you everything you need to know about why I would benefit from meditation.

17. Go for a morning swim in the local pool
✅ Completed February. It’s been a little bit too cool in the mornings for another dip just yet. Lots of pool time on holiday.

18. Have a Reiki session.
NOPE! 27 days to make this happen!

19. Disrupt the daily routine at least once a week.

+ Thailand holiday was pretty disruptive to the routine.
+ I worked 4 days in office the week before the holiday – not super keen to repeat that one for a while.
+ Went to a ceramics market with Bessie and Don – bought lovely things – should have bought more.

20. Cultivate a healthier relationship with work
✅ There’s quite a lot of change and chaos happening after The Reckoning. I’m retaining my chill.

21. Get a haircut/trim
✅ Completed February | June

22. Experiment! Tiny experiments with all sorts of things!
I felt like there was real progress here, but honestly – what were those things? I have actually no idea. I should keep notes.

** “Penelope-blue” says my Imaginary-Internet-now-IRL friend Alice

crafting: sparkle

Next in relentless crafts sharing: my most recent completed cross stitch which is also my first full coverage piece.

Pattern is from Happy Sloth Patterns on etsy. The pattern is super clear and easily to read on my ipad – which is my preferred method.

We are big fans of Mr Sparkle in ThePalace(OfLove) and I adored the cheerful colour combination, so there was no way I was not going to stitch this.

Purchased pattern: June 2021 | supplies purchased: July 2021 | started stitching (maybe): May 2022** | completed stitching: October 2022 | framed: November 2022

Pattern modifications: I did not stitch the flipped box lid because I found the skewed perspective stressful.

I used 16 count white aida. I think Zweigart?

On with the pix …

Completed – before laundering:

how about that back?

I didn’t set myself up for framing success at all. I hadn’t planned what frame to use before I started stitching – and didn’t leave nearly enough border around the design to give me flexibility with framing selection. This is what comes from trying to split fabric purchased for something else across two pieces.

Fortunately I scored an 8×10 (20x25cm) frame for $8 from Kmart and made it work, but it was pretty tight and there was not a whole lot of overlap onto the backing board (thank TheUniverse for washi tape).

Once done, I was quite pleased with the results!

taken without the glass – because with glass there’s too much glare for a decent photo

Next up is this wave ball. I have the thread, but not the fabric. I think I’ll go for a vibrant white aida again. But I’ll be leaving myself much more space!

I’m not in a hurry to start another piece – it kind of becomes all consuming and I think stifles my creativity a bit in other areas. Counted cross stitch is mostly all about technique and skill, it’s very, very pleasant and comforting – but I’m in a place where I want to stretch myself a little!

(Of course after I wrote this, I totally went ahead and ordered some fabric).

** complete guess, I really have no idea – sometime in mid 2022
^^ though maybe it would have been if I’d stitched that flipped lid!

tiny craft project

Kicking off the craft blogging extravaganza with a pretty low effort craft.

Back in winter I made some wee toy mice for the kitties. I stitched them up over a couple of evenings while watching cosy YouTube vids.

No pattern or instructions involved, I just went with my instincts.

+ stretch fabric scraps
+ odd bits of string
+ shoe lace
+ dried cat nip

They were a very big hit:

it are my mouse

putting the yay in fri

I cannot even express how wonderful having alternate Fridays off is. Really the only thing more wonderful would be having every Friday off**. I’m hoping to transition to that in maybe 2024. Maybe. 2025 would be okay too.

Tomorrow I’m having the annual not-boozy lunch with Dishy Ex-Boss. I may go into the city early and buy that decent back-pack I’ve been over-researching for our week of Swiss hikes next year. Hikes makes it sound much more grand and active than it will likely be. I suspect they’ll more akin to lengthy strolls.

I have absolutely no plans for the weekend. Don is at golf both Saturday and Sunday mornings. I therefore will have much time available to me.

In those acres of time, I’ll finally attempt to wrangle photos and write some of those very much delayed crafting posts.

Otherwise extreme pottering and indolence will be my north stars.


** of course having Monday to Friday off would be the wonderfulest of all.

phoning it in

Brain a little overdone after an in-office day, so enjoy this small slice of pool from Thailand.

I really would like to do more swimming this year, but despite swimming competitively in my formative years have really quite dire form these days. I’ve thought for a while now that I’d benefit from a stroke correction class, but perhaps that would kill the enjoyment I get swimming with my lazy old-lady breast-stroke.

I will ponder.