Saturday, 26 August 2017

Saying "Hi"

Golly gosh! It's been ages since I blogged on here. Virtual dust settled down and cobwebs spread everywhere. Does anybody still come here? I wonder. 
I am alive. I still create, though at a more relaxed pace. Life goes on. It always does, doesn't it? There are good days, there are bad days. Gladly, there are more better days than bad days. Oh, and of course time flies...

It's hard to share all crafty news in one post so I'll stick to one at a time. This year I've been invited by a Polish friend of mine,  Monika, to cooperate with her and run a shop on Etsy for her. With this step I basically became a trend-spotter, Etsy account manager, translator, advisor, advertiser and an admin, all rolled in one. I hadn't had any experience with selling online especially on such widely known websites like Etsy, Craftsy and the like before and wasn't sure how marketing things are done. Neither hadMonika. So me and her are taking our first steps and learning as we go. The Etsy shop we have specializes in selling cross stitch charts in a form of digital pdf patterns (instant downloads) for stitcher of all levels. Monika designs the charts, I put them in her Etsy store. We enjoy our work and cooperation. 

Come and visit us in our Etsy store. You can always ask us a question or just say hi.


All stitchers welcome.

We keep adding new patterns regularly and frequently. Here are some of our newest charts.

The collections of seasonal trees:






Lots of Polish folklore - beautiful vibrant designs for all.
Polish "wycinanki" style




Polish folk embroidery in Kashubian style:



Kurpie region style:


Seaside themed cross stitch designs:


Gorgeous alphabets in various styles:


Fantastic Felines for cat lovers:


...and many more to discover and try. Do come over :)

The Little Polish needle is also on Twitter and Facebook:

Meet us on Twitter :)

Visit us on Facebook.

See you there! 

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Trick or Treat - finished

It's been a while since I was here. Again. Time flies, eh? I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Mine was brill and very busy too so I didn't have much time for festive crafts. Not long before Christmas I finished my cross stitched halloween project - Trick or Treat by The Prairie Schooler. It hasn't been framed yet and it's awaiting a right picture frame. I'm thinking of something dark, perhaps sculpted, embossed, textured. This detailed project definitely deserves a quality frame.


Details: 

Cross stitch chart: The Prairie Schooler, Booklet nr 188 "TRICK OR TREAT"

linen: 32 ct, antique white, DMC

threads: DMC

design size: about 22cm x 16cm


The beauty of this design lies in the detail. There are lots of tiny details that add to the overall halloween charm. Obviously, I'm loving the orange accents here too - the pumpkins, the jack-o-lanterns, the halloween sweets...


Lots is happening here. The witches and bats are flying, the pumpkins and cats are celebrating and trick-or-treating. the moon is chuckling eerily. Add the settings to this with the haunted mansion on the hill in the background, ghosts flowing out of chimneys, scary-looking owls watching from the dramatically twisted branches and voila! Halloween in full progress.


It's scary and spooky but in a friendly way, of course :)


I thoroughly enjoyed myself stitching this project.  I'm looking forward to more Halloween projects of this sort in the future. I also loved stitching with a darker thread on a white linen. It was like drawing with a black marker on paper :) You can see your progress instantaneously.


Well, that's it for today. Have a nice week everybody. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween

Oh dear. I haven't been a very good blogger this year being offline more than ever. I should really try harder to come online and update my blog more frequently. Sorry about that if you are the one to be waiting for a new After Hours blog note.
So....It's time for a catch-up. As it's Halloween today and I've been in that nostalgic autumnal mood for candles, pumpkins, spices and all, I thought I'd show you what I've been working on for the past few days: a Halloween project from the Prairie Schooler called Trick or Treat:


It's been taking me long hours to work the cross stitches on this very fine linen but I'm loving all the fine details cross stitch and blackwork create as I'm slowly ploughing through the project. This is how the stitching progressed:
I started with a little witch girl going trick-or-treating...


Then I gave her 2 companions, a black kitty and an owl :)


It is getting more and more interesting as more characters are popping up on the canvas :) Finally I've stitched the spooky haunted house on a hill. It took me two days to stitch it but at last all the details are in and it does look grand as it is a significant part of the project. 


I'm really enjoying this project. One of the things I love about The Prairie Schooler designs is that many of them require only a few colours to stitch and yet they achieve such great detail and originality. There's a little designing genius behind these designs, don't you think?


More work progress soon! Tonight I'm going to work a bit on the background :)

Today I'm celebrating Halloween with a glass of cold cider on ice and some spooky treats. Hope you have had a good one! :)
HAPPY HALLOWEEN and thanks for visiting and leaving a word behind x x

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Christmas in July

Did you know that LEON Day (Noel spelt backwards) falls on 25th July - and marks the halfway point to Christmas? For some crafters it's time to start thinking about what hand-made stuff they want to make / sell for Christmas. So I decided to do some pre-Christmas planning and reviewing. As a multi-crafter I usually have a few projects on the go and mid-summer is the right time for me to think and plan what I would like to create for Christmas. Lots of projects like cross stitch or knitting stretch over time and require some planning and systematic work so I will have to keep up a good crafting to complete them by December.
This year my Christmas crafting will mean finishing some old projects and trying a couple of new ones. Perhaps you remember me knitting all 55 Scandinavian Christmas balls by Arne and Carlos. Well, this year I would like to knit some more and they are going to make an Advent calendar. There are 24 balls to knit. I'm going to embellish them with some ribbons, little bells and hand-stitched cross stitch tags with numbers so they look like a calendar. I've already knitted two advent calendar balls that need stuffing. 22 to go :)



Next on the agenda is this beautiful festive sampler I started last year. There's still much stitching to go ahead and I'm looking forward to finishing it. It's going to look splendid with all that sparkly silver thread. Stitching it on a dark background slows it a bit though but it's worth in the end.


And finally the 3rd project to finish off is "Nordic Holiday" from The Prairie Schooler. 4 tiles stitched,  another 5 to go :) I'm really loving these primitive folk motifs The Prairie Schooler treats us to every year. 


So much for the UFO's (reads: UnFinished Objects). Now onto the shopping bit :) As a part of preparation of Christmas crafting, I've treated myself to some new cross stitch patterns I spotted online. Looks like JBW Designs released some new Scandi-style patterns. I'm hoping to lay my hand on them too!


Oh, and of course I still have the two sets of cross stitch cards from the previous year to make. That's my Christmas cards 2015 sorted :)


And here are my new Prairie Schooler charts I've bought this month. They came all the way from the USA. I've fancied these charts for a while and I'm dying to start them. The Reindeer Roundup and the Sleepy Christmas Village will have to wait for their turn though...


... because I'm so in love with this pattern - Evergreen. This is the newest release from The Prairie Schooler. I loved it this instant and I rushed to the shops to get my own copy. I also managed to buy a nice piece of sage-coloured linen in preparation for the project. Really looking forward to starting this one! Excited! :D


Evergreen is a beautiful collection of 9 festive tiles, each different, yet all coordinated in style and colours. You also get two extra tiles to stitch separately as add-ons. The genius of The Prairie Schooler designs is that details are achieved just by simple cross stitches, minimal backstitch and with only few colours of stranded cotton. Perfect for me! :) Roll on Christmas!


If you also like to think about Christmas in the middle of a hot summer, do tell me about. I'd love to hear about you future festive plans and preparations. 
Cheerio x

Martha

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Folky Eggs

Hello  my dear blogger friends. Hope you all are doing ok :) Been busying myself recently with some knitting and crocheting. Wanted something folky for the house decor so I knitted these:



Five knitted eggs with floral a motif :) I used the knitting pattern from Arne & Carlos book Easter Knits.


Originally it meant to be only 3 of the eggs -a red, orange and a yellow one. But they are highly addictive and I ended up knitting a pink and a blue one too!


I used Norwegian yarn to make them: Heilo and Falk of Dalegarn. These yarns are always a pleasure to knit with as they are 100% natural wool and they are good for smooth knitting and ironing.


I'm very pleased with how they turned out. Particularly I love their whiteness and freshness. Lots of Scandinavian artefacts features bright colours, white being most of them. 


Good weather and sunshine put me in a playful mood with a camera :)



Eventually I attached the crochet chains to the eggs and now they are decorating my seasonal tree :)


In the meantime I'm having a go at my first fair isle knitting on flat needles. It feels so different to DPNs I'm so used to. I'm knitting a cosy for one of my gadgets.


It is slowly coming on! :)


Have a good and creative week. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a trace behind. Always pleasure to hear from you. Love x 
Martha

Monday, 27 April 2015

Caspians

Tools of trade. We, crafters can't go without them and if they are somehow special to us, it makes the whole thing - crafting - even more pleasurable. Personally, I'm a real sucker for good quality craft tools. I'd rather have a few quality ones than a bunch of cheap and unreliable ones. It's not a secret that card makers have their own favourite papers, punches and stamps, crocheters have their own favourite crochet hooks and finally knitters have their own favourite yarn brands and knitting needles. I'm no different in this respect. Caspians from knitpicks.com  - is a luxurious collection of knitting needles and crochet hooks I've been wishing for months. Finally an Amazon packet carrying two types of Caspian knitting needles made its way to my door :) I'm on cloud nine! 


Naturally when buying them I couldn't decide which set I wanted more. I'm using DPNs (double pointed needles) more at the moment but I've always wanted to have a go at circulars too. So I gave myself a real treat and bought both :) 


They are beautiful and I'm so excited to use them. They arrived nicely packaged in the clear pouches with the American and European sizing on it. 


A nice surprise was also the fact that Knitpicks give you six dpns in each size set rather than 5 like most producers do. Just in case if you lose or accidentally break one ... somehow but it is rather unlikely to happen. These laminated birch needles are so durable and with a a bit of TLC they will last you a long time.


The circulars look really intriguing with all these extras included. Everything is nicely colour coordinated. I will have to learn how to assemble and disassemble them. The shiny metalic elements give the Caspians a nice luxurious finish. 


This Caspian wood is so nicely polished, warm and pleasant to the touch. The yarn doesn't slip off it easily yet it slides along nicely as you knit.  Oh and the colours! Gorgeous aquatic hues, just as I love!
This is how Knit Picks describe their product :)

Oceanic waves of sea green, teal and marine ripple across Caspian - the newest addition to the Knit Picks Options family! Boasting the same strong and smooth layers of laminated birch that you know and love, Caspian shows off a sea-inspired colorway along with a distinctive emerald cord to complement its oceanic hues.

* * *

 The burnished surface of Caspian delivers just the right amount of grip to easily manage slippery yarns while warming quickly in your hands for hours of comfortable knitting.

In a nutshell - poetry! :)


So below here is my little private premier league of the knitting needles :) KnitPro Symfonie and KnitPro Karbonz and now the Knit Picks Caspians too :) I just love the knitting / crocheting experience with these quality products. KnitPros are very similar to KnitPicks, I'd say, a kind of European equivalent of Knit Picks in America. Their range is great so do check their websites for some lovely knitting tools.


I couldn't wait and switched to my new needles straight away :D Now the pink bunny is being knitted with Caspians. Doesn't he look a bit creepy with his head open like this? ;)


Alongside I'm also knitting a beige bunny. Sometimes I need a rest from sweet pink colours :) It's coming on slowly :)


For this spring season I'd also like to knit some new spring eggs and balls :) Patterns printed out and ready. These are always joy to make. I'm hooked on knitting these balls and thanks to who? Arne and Carlos from Norway.


And here is my latest bargain shopping from The Works :) I love all sorts of craft bibles and this quilting one is a particularly tempting one. I'm not ready for taking up quilting yet but it's my dream to be able to quilt and patchwork in the future and of course a good reference book will always come in handy. As for the second book - Mollie Makes series of books I just love to have :)


Have a good week folks :)
Greetings x x x

Martha