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Autumn Stitching Club, The Finale!

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Do you remember I started Wild Olive’s Autumn Stitching Club back in September? Well I’ve finished! After stitching (and blogging about) thirteen autumn-themed patterns, I turned them into hexagons, made sixteen little hexagons from patterned fabric and sewed myself a cushion cover. A lot of work has gone into this little cushion, and I’m so pleased with it. It’s not exactly autumn right now, but I’m going to display it proudly on my armchair anyway. This was a really fun way to learn to embroider, and I’m so glad I took part. It always feel good to learn a new skill and have something to show for it.

Happy Monday! Don’t forget that you have until the end of the month to enter my giveaway 🙂

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January in Review

This month has been good to me. I started a new job at my old Students Union, moved into a beautiful new house (after lots of stressful phone calls) with James and became vegan! I’m planning to write about becoming vegan in a bit more depth, but for now I can say that I’ve really enjoyed it and have been pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of food I’ve been eating. Being in York, I’ve spent my weekends with my gorgeous friends, and enjoyed having visitors to stay. I even managed to write a couple of blog posts too!

I began the month (and the year!) with some resolutions. I haven’t achieved any of my goals yet but I’m getting there.

I wrote three outfit posts this month. January has not been a month of adventurous outfits – I have been reaching for simple and comfy recently, I think it’s something to do with winter. My favourite outfit is my blue velvet dress but I also wrote about my stripey trousers and my Zara jumper.

blue velvet 5I shared a couple of craft projects this month too! Hands down, my favourite was the Mario Mushroom Crochet Blanket that I finished and gave to my brother. I worked on it for so long, and it couldn’t have turned out better! I was also pretty chuffed with the lavender bunnies I made with my mum as Christmas presents, and I’m pleased to have embroidered my last two patterns (here and here) for the autumn stitching club.

mario mushroom 1My favourite post this month was my discussion of cruelty free beauty. I got some lovely responses, you guys are the best!

cruelty free beauty 7I finished off the month by interviewing one of my favourite ever bloggers, Helena! I loved finding out more about her, and I’m planning to share an interview with another of my blogger fave’s next month 🙂

Have you had a good January?

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Autumn Stitching Club #13

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while you’ll know that I’ve been working on my embroidery for the autumn stitching club for a long time. As you can tell, since autumn and christmas have been and gone! I can gladly say that this is my last embroidered pattern for the autumn stitching club. The next time you hear me talking about it I should have sew all my patterns together as a pillow! I think it’s fitting that the last pattern is a pumpkin. Pumpkin’s are the most quintessentially autumnal for me. As soon as October rolls around I’ll be stocking up on pumpkins, making them into soup and carving little faces into them 🙂 My stitched pumpkin’s a little jaunty but I think he’s cute. He’s characterful.

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I hope you’re having a beautiful Thursday. I’m looking forward to four consecutive weekends of visitors in our little house, starting this Saturday. It’s going to be busy but I’m so excited to see everyone!

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Autumn Stitching Club #12

I know what you’re thinking, Autumn was a long time ago! Yes it was but I haven’t finished my autumn embroidery project yet so let’s forget that it’s now January. This is the penultimate pattern for the Autumn Stitching Club. I’ve enjoyed it, but I will be glad to see it finished. I feel like I’ve been embroidering forever! This week’s pattern is a cute little smiley acorn.

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I hope your week’s been off to a good start. This is my second week of my new job and new house! I’m enjoying it, but I miss sleeping in. Oh well, there’s always the weekends! Happy Tuesday 🙂

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What I Wore: A Weekend in Oxford

Last weekend I drove down to Oxford to visit my brother and celebrate his birthday with him. It was really fun, and I loved seeing his flat and his favourite foody places. We ate lunch at Atomic Pizza – a  retro diner style cafe overflowing with comic books and pop culture memorabilia – I recommend a visit if you’re in Oxford! It’s such a beautiful city (although not as beautiful as York which I miss terribly, especially at this time of year.) On Saturday morning we wandered down to the river to watch some rowing, and Oscar took these photos of me outside Christchurch College. This coat is one of my favourite things that I’ve ever found in a vintage shop. The gold embroidery just kills me. It’s not super warm though, so I’m wearing two jumpers underneath. I decided to wear it with dungarees to make my outfit more casual!

oxford outfit 1oxford outfit 2oxford outfit 6oxford outfit 4My nail varnish is a silver polish from Nails Inc (It came free with Glamour!) with a sparkly Barry M shade over the top. They chipped really quickly but I think I might use this combination again anyway, because they’re so festive and sparkly! I’ve also bought a new pair of ear muffs. When I lived in York I cycled everywhere, and ear muffs were very necessary to stop my ears from freezing. They make me so much warmer, and they don’t make my head itchy like wooly hats do!

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Outfit details: Dungarees, Dolly Mix Vintage (Leicester) / Embroidered Coat, Dolly Mix Vintage (Leicester) / Roll neck jumper, Zara / Green Cardigan, Vintage / Ear Muffs, Next / Rings, H&M / Lipstick, Lush Confidence

This week I’ve started to think about christmas shopping. This is actually quite early for me – I’m usually a buy-things-the-day-before kind of girl but I’m going to be organised this year! Have you started yet?

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Autumn Stitching Club #11

Pattern eleven of Wild Olive‘s Autumn Stitching Club is this cute smiley leaf! Colourful leaves are probably one of my favourite things about autumn, although they are looking a little more soggy and a little less crisp at the moment. I don’t think it’s autumn anymore!

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I only have two more of these patterns to stitch until they become a cushion cover. At the moment, I stitch these in front of Homeland on a Sunday night. I’ll have to find something else to occupy me when both of those things are finished! I hope your week is off to an excellent start 🙂

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Autumn Stitching Club #10

My latest embroidered pattern for the autumn stitching club is this gourd! I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know what a gourd is. Is it like a funny shaped courgette? Me and James once bought a bitter gourd from the exotic vegetable section in Morrisons and used it in a curry – it was pretty gross but we could have been cooking it wrong!

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I can’t believe I only have two more patterns to go until I can sew all these smiley autumn objects into a cushion. I’m psyched to have the finished project on my sofa!

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Autumn Stitching Club #9

The first time I ever tried a piece of pumpkin pie was this autumn! You can’t be a real blogger unless you love pumpkin, right? I made a couple of pumpkin pies, and although I haven’t got the recipe right yet, they were pretty tasty 🙂 I just wish shops sold pumpkins in the UK for longer than two weeks in October. Anyway, here is my third pumpkin pie of the season, but this time it’s embroidered. This pattern is for the autumn stitching club, of which you can see more here.

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At least the garden is overflowing with apples from our trees, so I could always make apple pie! I’m excited to finish all my autumn embroidery patterns so that I can turn them into a cushion 🙂 Have a great day!

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Archie Embroidery

It was my Dad’s birthday at the start of the month, and he is so difficult to buy for. Instead of buying him something he doesn’t want or need, I decided to stitch a picture of our bunny Archie for him. It was a time-consuming project but not a difficult one. If you like the idea you could follow these steps to make an embroidered picture of anything – but pictures of pets are the best!

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I looked for some embroidery inspiration online and most patterns used solid stitching for the whole picture. I prefer embroidery that looks more like a drawing than a painting (if that makes sense!), so I stitched most of Archie using the spaced out stitches that you can see. I think it makes him look fluffy, and this method is much quicker! I just did some occasional solid stitching to emphasise his features.

You will need:
Linen
Embroidery Hoop
Embroidery Needle
Embroidery Floss ( I used black, white, light grey, dark grey, light orange and dark orange. It’s nice to have some different shades of the same colour.)
Scissors
Paper
Pencil

Step 1: Sketch out your design onto paper. Then put your linen in the embroidery hoop and pull tight (if you’re new to embroidery, check out these embroidery basics by Wild Olive for help!) Transfer your pattern onto the linen.

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Step 2: Start filling in the pattern using these randomly spaced stitches. I made sure my stitches went in the same direction as Archie’s fur. I overlapped the colours a little and made sure the stitches were shorter where his fur is shorter.

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Step 3: Fill in prominent features with solid stitching! Archie’s eye, nose, the inside of his ears, and his tail are all filled in with solid stitching. I also stitched a line around his four feet, his ears and his nose for emphasis.

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Step 4: Add some tone! At this point, I used my dark grey and dark orange floss to bring the picture alive. Right at the end, I also stitched his whiskers.

Step 5: Cut the linen an inch or two away from the embroidery hoop, and glue to the back of the hoop (I used my glue gun for this.) This way, the embroidery hoop becomes the frame for the picture.

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What do you think? Have you ever stitched a picture?

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October Has Ended

I like the title of my monthly round-up posts to have some alliteration but there are no “goodbye” phrases which start with O. I tried to think of a good title, I really did! Anyway, October has ended! (A while ago now I know, but I’ve been busy catching up on sleep.) It was a good month including my favourite holiday, Halloween! Here’s what I’ve been up to this month.

I shared a lot of my outfits this month. This vintage dress that I wore on a bike ride and these checked trousers were probably my favourite outfits, but I also shared a vintage mirrored velvet waistcoat (here), a 90s style dress (here) and my yellow polka dot rain coat (here).

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I’ve also been embroidering lots of autumn-themed patterns for the autumn stitching club. I think this loaf of bread is so cute, but I’ve also stitched a pumpkin spiced latte (here), a toffee apple (here), and some apple cider doughnuts (here) this month.

asc 14I’ve written a lot of Halloween themed posts! I shared four of my favourite Halloween themed films. I had a lot of fun sticking these cardboard bats to my walls, and I enjoyed making some ghosts to haunt my doorway. I shared a tutorial for my DIY bat costume, and a couple of photos from my Halloween weekend.

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Lastly, I wrote about four bloggers who inspire me to take better photographs! I hope you’ve had a brilliant month 🙂