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Category Archives: Debbie Draper Designs

Another Thursday another update.

We’re still a plague house here. it’s official that we have influenza. Mum’s been off work for over two weeks now. The weather has been appropriately grey and drizzly all week so there’s been a lot of time spent rugged up on the lounges between myself, mum and Tiger. The three of us have watched Murdoch Mysteries Seasons Two and Three and the second half of Season One of Alcatraz.

It also took nearly 48 hours to download the World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria Beta on the weekend, but it has been worthwhile in keeping mum occupied during the week 🙂  I’ll put up my thoughts on the Beta in a little while.

While the Net connection was occupied for the weekend, mum actually pulled out her stitching too.  She rifled through her stash until found her chart of the same project I was stitching Debbie Draper’s A Cat’s Life.  Mum’s chart pack was missing the floss, obviously having been removed for another project at some time in the past.  Mum, as is her usual wont, picked a fabric and a bag of floss and simply started stitching.  Not for her the agonies of finding the perfect fabric and floss combo.

Mum's Project

In this case mum selected 10ct “Starlight” Tula and her bag of assorted Anchor Variegated floss.  All of this stitching occurred on and off over the weekend.

Here’s progress on my own version this week. Mine is stitched on the recommended Lakeside Linen “Attic Lace” 32ct linen with Carrie’s Creations “Antique Slate” cotton floss.

26 Apr Progress

Hopefully the Plague will finally leave the house this week …


A Cat's Life by Debbie Draper Designs

Over the Easter weekend I started stitching the Counted Cross Stitch design A Cat’s Life by Debbie Draper Designs.  Debbie had recently died and I wanted to start the piece in memory of her art. I also had my nephews here at the time, Master 3 and Master 5. I tend to pack my stitching away while they are here because Nanny (my mum) has safety concerns about little boys and needles and embroidery scissors.

6 Apr 2012 Start

This picture here represents around two hours work. It’s the tail and the bottom of the haunches of the cat in the middle of the design sitting facing away from us. No I didn’t have that massive an attack of the frogs 🙂  My nephews were interested in my stitching.  They wanted to know how my 8″ Qsnaps worked. So they pulled apart my Qsnaps and put them back together again until they understood the mechanism.

Qsnap assembled

Then Master 3 went into my bedroom, found a set of my 6″ Qsnaps, brought them out, pulled them apart and fitted them with the 8″ pieces until he figured out how to make a rectangle. There’s something magical watching a child three years old looking at pieces and deliberately selecting a piece, carefully removing it, examining it, examining the other pieces and selecting a different piece. Now I understand why Lego is such a global empire! It’s not just the fun we had playing with it as kids, its the feeling the adults get from watching us use it!

Qsnap disassembled - no disassembe!

Master 5 quickly learned how to snap the covers on and off but then he ran off to see what Nanny was doing. It was Master 3 who decided to learn how they all fitted together.

When Master 5 returned, I told them to go and wash their hands and I would show them how the Qsnaps hold the fabric.  They did, so I did.  They both touched and tested the tightness of the fabric and then went and found more fabric (out of my stitching basket) for me to put in and tighten for them to feel. They watched me lay the fabric and then they snapped down the four covers for me and we all practiced turning the covers to tighten them.  We did this a few times before I returned to my original piece.

A different fabric in the Qsnaps

While Nanny was serving up afternoon tea, I loaded the needle with floss, found the middle of the fabric and put the first couple of stitches in.  Two boys raced off to the bathroom on their own accord and came back with clean hands wanting to know what I was doing, so  showed them the pattern and pointed to the middle motif I had just started. Master 5 wanted to pull the needle through for me a few times and put it back through and eventually he held the whole project and put a few wild stitches in it for me before getting bored and asking Nanny to play a game with him.

I didn’t think to take a photo of the stitches before I quietly pulled them out and went back to stitching the original motif.

Master 3 is quiet, reflective, and always knows and understands far more than he ever lets on.  Master 5 is loud, attention-seeking in every manner, has no focus or attention span and usually every topic is about killing or destroying.  Every moment he is interested in creation instead of destruction, in learning and helping and working as a team with his brother, I call a win.

Mum has some 10-count Tula fabric pieces here.  Next time the nephews visit I’m going to ask her if we can offer some to Master 5 with his own Qsnap and a selection of larger floss or wool to choose from (being mindful that it has to look like Aunt Missy’s) and letting him loose on it.  He doesn’t have the focus to follow a pattern, but abstract art is still art.

Mum is still unhappy about children being around needles and embroidery scissors so Master 5 would have to sit next to Aunt Missy so we would stitch together, and I would have to do the threading and cutting for him. But I think one large blunt tapestry needle should be alright for him to use?

OK I think I’ve turned this into three or four different posts – so I’m going to trim and edit and put this back to just a stitching update and publish it and then have a go at the other things I want to say in other posts – because it’s now Thursday late-morning and I still haven’t posted my Tuesday stitching update.  So KISS principle.

I didn’t get as much stitching done as I wanted this past week, but with the nephews here this past weekend that wasn’t a surprise.  I did learn this week of two designers passing away.  Debbie Draper of Debbie Draper Designs passed away on the weekend and Carol Bristow of Carol’s Needle Sketches passed away last month.

Debbie died of a heart attack and Carol’s blogging of her stitching projects implies that her death was also unexpected. It’s a sobering reminder that no matter how much we stash or plan or look after ourselves, we are not going to be here forever to complete all of our projects.

Carol’s blog particularly depressed me. Will mine look like that when I go? Will all of ours?  It reminded me of Kitt and Marc.

I attempted as usual to cheer myself up with a touch of retail therapy, just a little, by picking up a couple of Debbie Draper designs.  I tried to buy A Dog’s Life to match A Cat’s Life that I blogged about earlier this week. Other people must have had the same idea, as I received an email from the shop to say she has run out of stock and cannot obtain any further charts.  So it may be that Debbie’s family have decided to close down Debbie Draper Designs.

In other stashing news I did finally order the Splendor threads required for Carol’s Begin It design.

Now for the actual stitching:

Turple First Third completed

It wasn’t planned, but when Turple got picked as the Project-a-Day, I sat down, put my evertite frame together for the first time and began stitching!  Progress pictures in the relevant WIP page.

After all of my excited planning and plotting of secret stitching, mum’s hours were severely shortened during and after the Easter break, so no secret stitching so far this month.

I did start Debbie’s A Cat’s Life.  This picture here represents around two hours work. No I didn’t have that massive an attack of the frogs 🙂  My nephews were interested in my stitching.  I’ll talk about that in the next post 🙂 WIP folder is here.

A Cat's Life - after two hours with my nephews

This week has been pretty difficult with higher levels of migraine pain and more people in the house (I can only seem to concentrate these days in complete solitude – maybe I need a writing/stitching gazebo in the middle of nowhere like Neil Gaimen).

Hopefully tomorrow while mum is away for eight hours I might get a crack at her secret project and then over the weekend I will continue Mouse’s SAL. That’s the plan. Tune in next week to see which direction the plans get derailed this time 🙂




Due to many factors mostly stemming from my migraine still being with me (started late March and here still here) I have been very quiet on my blogs and with my stitching.

The treatment for my migraine revolves around short-term medication leading to regular sleep patterns and lifestyle changes (both work and at home). As part of this, I’m getting back into my stitching and  reconnecting with the world again.  Anyway enough whinging, onto the update:

Stitching update!


In June I finished off poor Jasper in Bloom.  Jasper was a project I cross-stitched in May-July 2008 as one of my train commuter projects.  Unfortunately the back stitching was getting me down so I put him away.  I found him last month while looking for a different project, and decided to “be good” and just struggle through the back stitching.  The struggle turned out to be a mere two nights in front of the TV, and he was done.

A lesson there in building molehills into mountains and the fear is worse than the event and a few other platitudes.

I then, flushed with this success, went back to New York and finished it off completely.  The silver scroll-work was a pain to do on Aida but well it always is 🙂  This Vervaco kit, unlike Moscow, contained enough fibres to complete the whole project.  I’ve included a photo of the finish here so you can see that Vervaco uses generous fabric sizes in their kits.  If only they included evenweave or linen as an option…

In late June-early July my mum visited for a fortnight. Mum brought over all of her finishes so we took them down for a Show and Tell visit to Colours Down Under 🙂

While mum was here, I mentioned that I had a “Fall limited edition” range of Carrie’s Threads that was released in a collaboration pack a couple of years earlier.  I hadn’t given away any of the threads because they all blended well together but I hadn’t found a chart that I could use them on.  Coincidentally, the next day Tracy released a new free pattern, Celtic Spiral, to those on the Inkcircles email list.  Mum and I pulled out those threads and some fabric and started stitching!


Unfortunately for the stitching, I introduced mum to World of Warcraft that night and no further stitching was done for the rest of the visit.  The day she flew home I sat and stitched the rest of this piece, all except for the last 10 stitches.  You see mum and I both chose one colour the same in our palettes and I gave the rest of the skein to mum to take home with her.  I was a) quite sure I had enough and b) given our history mum always finishes our collaborated projects months ahead of me. In this instance, I was wrong on both counts.

Mum has popped a length of the thread in the mail and when it finally arrives I will finish off this poor thing.  Or not.  I just found out that the direction of the project should have been reversed for the Southern hemisphere.  {insert expletive here}.

After that I became all enthusiastic about our private round robin group starting up again, so I pulled out the Historical Dress Sampler that went around last year. I had great plans to stitch up the rest of the grey border pieces to make life easier for placement for the others. In the next four weeks I stitched precisely 10 stitches on it.  I gave up and just sent it on as is.  I feel so ashamed that I just couldn’t motivate myself enough enough to stitch on it.

After it went, I started a new project, a piece for a friend’s birthday in late August.  So this is my focus piece for the next few weeks.  I’ll put up a separate blog with pictures and progress on this project on the weekend.  I was going great guns until I found one row of the wording was out of alignment, so I’ve unpicked it.  Hopefully I can have that area restitched before Sunday.  I will once again be using the Sunday updates to help keep up my motivation.

And that’s it – all my stitching over the past two months 🙂

Yes Don’t fall over in a faint – I know I haven’t posted a Sunday update in quite a while …..

While I was in Perth last month, I started Wizard’s Inkwell.  Thank you so much to Paula for the suggestion – this looks like a fun project and the colours so far seem to be working well.  I am waiting on some Kreinik braid to arrive before I move onto the next part of this one.


Also while I was in Perth, I started some of the masses of back stitching required for Jasper.  Two side of the frame have been fully back stitched.  the other two sides are barely started and the actual middle is barely started. I worked on this for about 15 hours ……

Finally this week I gritted my teeth, swore at my eyesight and did BoInk Part 7.  I loved this part – I love Celtic Swirls …..  This part’s photo was taken outside so the colouring is quite different from previous photographs.  The dark blue stands out so much more but the green looks muted and washed out ….

Anyway – that’s my progress.  Hope everyone else had a good week this week.

closeup (1)

Again with the stresses of work, the commute and internet mod duties I haven’t done any stitching at home this week.

I did however do quite a bit of stitching on the train – an extraordinary amount when you consider I cat nap on most trips.  Friday was the worst  I had to be woken when the train was pulling into my stop in the morning and I woke myself just as it was pulling into my stop Friday night. First time  I ever almost missed my stop on the way home. Even more extraordinary when there were monster children screaming in my carriage and I could hear drunks further down in other carriages.  I was just exhausted Friday.

The weirdest part was after I came home and started chatting on the email and then watching Eerie Indiana I stayed up until 1am !!!   Eerie Indiana is a kids show I watched nearly 15 years ago now.  You know those times when you are so sick that for nearly a week you just lie on the lounge and don’t move and nap and doze and eventually get up the energy to go and make another cup of tea?  I was home sick for one of those for about a week a while ago. Can’t even remember where or when.  Anyway this show came on and I really liked it.  Watched a couple of episodes over the week and then went back to work.

I’ve never found it since although I have looked and looked for it.  Finally found it (and at a reasonable price) at   last week.  It arrived Friday and I watch 4 of the 40min long episodes that night.  I love this show !!!  Pity they only made 19 episodes.

At the same time I also finally got myself a copy of the TV miniseries Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.  I have read at least three different novelisations of this and again have been looking for a copy of the original TV version.  I will watch this later – its one of those you have to concentrate a bit on ….

Oh and of course as soon as I rung Stephen to let him know my good news, I discovered he had obtained a copy himself the day before and was planning on lending it to me.  (The amount of times this happens between the two of us alternately amuses and terrifies me).

Anyway stitching.

All the cross stitching is now done. All that remains is the backstitching. I cannot backstitch over already stitched work on 16ct Aida on a train – so this one will go into the “wait till I get time at home pile”. Goodness knows when I will actually get to it – there is a fair amount of backstitching on this one and I haven’t stitched at home in weeks.


Something in Red.
Still don’t know what I’m going to do with Black Beauty – probably order a new skein of GAST Black Crow and start again. I *think* I have more of this Ivory linen. Its not good quality linen but I do want these two to match – so on the same exact piece of fabric would be good. This is again train stitching with just a wee bit on Friday night … No mistakes so far and I have finished the bottom half of the dress.

Red 22 June 2008

In other news, lots of chatting with my support network and dinner with my best friend last night has really cheered me up and lifted the malaise my emotion’s have been under over the last couple of weeks so I am back to being happy.

Now just to force myself to work through the blue on black problem on BoInk and to write a job application.  I detest writing job applications. I wasted all day yesterday because of the procrastination.  I didn’t want to write the application, but the guilt wouldn’t let me do anything else until the app was written so I cleaned house a little, bought unnecessary items for the dinner party etc etc until 5pm when I finally forced myself to sit down and start the blasted thing – whereupon I realised I need more information.  I need more info on the software packages the organisation uses and the layout of the hierarchy etc etc.  So I will talk to the official contact person for the job on Monday and I will also find out any goss from people at work.  The University Library sector is so small that surely someone knows someone who works there …

So today I am free from the guilt paralysation and I am determined (Oh I can’t used that word without thinking of the Gruen Transfer now!  One of our banks has adopted the new slogan “determined to be different”.  Wil Anderson asks “what would the bank say if I went in there and said yes I’m determined to pay of my mortgage”.)

Anyway I’m determined to make progress son BoInk today.  and watch a little more Eerie Indiana ….

Oh and finally – my backyard is “finished”.  I’ve uploaded pics into here.


Yes I have one – well actually its last Sunday’s ….

With everything going on and all the ups and downs I haven’t done any stitching at home for over two weeks now.

He’s a picture of Jasper.  I’ve been stitching him on the train and did a tiny little bit in Perth last weekend.

Off to dye my hair and hopefully get some stitching in on BoInk.  Who on earth was the bright spark who decided that stitching dark blue on black would be a good thing to do in Winter …. oh that’s right – me.

All the cross stitching is now done. All that remains is the backstitching. I cannot backstitch over already stitched work on 16ct Aida on a train – so this one will go intot he “wait till I get time at home pile”. Goodness knows when I will actually get to it – there is a fair amount of backstitching on this one.

My BoInk relaxation project

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