Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Yes, finally the King & Queen cross stitch design is completed. This is the design that I created myself. I was still pregnant with Kaitlyn when I did the draft. I simply took out a pack of playing cards and picked out the King and Queen. I did a simple drawing, and then substituted the crosses for the coloring. I was very pleased with the final outcome, and it only took me 3 weeks to complete. I will use this for the powder room.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Kaitlyn loves Heroic Rendezvous, so this is what I did for her. I especially like the clock, because it is made from my old clock that I've used for over 10 years. The other two projects will be hung in the powder room and Kaitlyn's bathroom, just to add a bit of an artistic interest.

"Hitomi no heya". This is going to be used on Kaitlyn's bedroom door in the new house. Hitomi is Kaitlyn's Japanese name. "Heya" means "room" in Japanese. I especially like this design, because it is both Japanese and Victorian-like, with the lace design (though you may not be able to see it in this photo). Special thanks to Heather Rivlin for giving me this mini collage of Kaitlyn. We love your work!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Since I wasn't able to finish Kaitlyn's cross-stitch birthday project on time, I had to do something else for her to celebrate her first birthday! Thanks to hot glue gun, I was able to create 3 projects for her. And all of them didn't cost anything over Cdn$5!

I got some artificial flowers at Lewiscraft at discount prices (because they now have a sale going on for fall flowers). I was able to get about 10 full blooms and some buds for the small flowers (as shown in the head band) for about Cdn$2 a stem. The pink sunflower as in the denim hat cost about $2 for two full blooms and one small bud. The accent pieces, such as the boa, ribbons, ... cost about $0.50 to 1.50.

It's a lot of fun making these pieces, and I can truly see myself making more accessories for Kaitlyn as she grows. I hope that by being creative myself, I can also teach her to be creative and be true to her sense of style.

Finally, Kaitlyn's 1st birthday is in the past now! The thank you notes had been designed and e-mailed. Most photos had been printed and scrapbooked! Presents had been exchanged for larger sizes (apparently, friends thought that since Kaitlyn is 1 year old, she wears size 12m clothing! Well, to their surprise, my little angel is already wearing size 3T!!!).

I now have more time to do my own stuff, like the cross-stitching project that I promised to be Kaitlyn's birthday gift! But to my surprise, after her birthday, I was not that crazy to finish it off. Instead, I started on another project (which I will post later on). It's a design of a King and Queen (like in the playing cards) merged together upside down from each other. I intend to use this design for my powder room, because people seldom have the luxury to have a male / female toilet at home; so this is the perfect design. I created it when I was still pregnant with Kaitlyn, and I did a trial finished piece a year ago, in the traditional red, white, yellow, and black colours, often associated with playing cards. But I wasn't pleased with it. So, I am now working on a "pastel color" design. I am loving what I see, and I intend to work with pastel floss more in the future. Mind you, I am still using the basic DMC Art 117 floss; so the pastel that I am referring to is simply what defines as "pastel" in my mind.

But before I show you this fabulous project of mine (which I intend to finish in about 2 weeks' time), let me show you my daughter's latest name card. I've been creating name cards for her since her birth. It's the best thing for me to pass out to friends, telling them the web address they can visit to see her latest photos. The new version has her Chinese name and Japanese nickname printed on it. I think that it is quite cool, don't you?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I've finally finished Kaitlyn's 1st birthday hat! I made it out of scrapbooking paper, furry boa, artificial flowers, ribbons, and tulle. With a little help from my trusty glue gun, it is put together perfectly. However, I think that it is a bit heavy for baby Kaitlyn to wear; so it's got to be held in place by hand when we take the photos of her cutting the cake. But I am sure that it's going to make a lovely display along with the other birthday hats that I am going to make yearly from now on. The entire cost of the project: approx. Cdn$6 (But I say it looks like it's worth a million bucks!) Wouldn't you agree that it looks like something that a Medieval princess would wear?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I had finally finished the back of Kaitlyn's 1st year photo album. As you can see, the two Chinese characters in the middle is her name. It is pronounced
as "Hei Tung" in Cantonese, and the last character is pronounced "Hitomi" in Japanese. So, we will also call Kaitlyn that name. As a result, she now has Chinese, English, and Japanese names.

The meaning of "Hei Tung" is "rare / special eyes". Some elders may think that there isn't much of a meaning in this name as compared with names that actually mean something good, like: handsome, pretty, happy, ... But for us, we like the name because it sounds really nice, it's also usable in Japanese, and most of all, it was given to us by a master (in fung shui). So, it's got to be good enough to protect our dear baby!

In terms of the arts aspect, you will find lots of cartoon characters surrounding the name. I decided to paste things that Kaitlyn loved during the year of the album, so that when she goes over them when she gets older, she will also see what her passion was.

Friday, September 02, 2005

It looks as if I am not going to be able to finish this project in time for Kaitlyn's birthday. But I will not give up just yet! I will do as much as I can. I really like how this project turns out. I didn't expect the Chinese characters to be so clearly presented once I fill in the colors. I used the PC Stitch software to map out the characters, and the result is fantastic.

Can't wait to post the next progress up-date.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I was pretty bored when I was pregnant with Kaitlyn. According to Chinese customs, I was not allowed to do lots of things. And cross-stitching is one of them. So, I focused on crafts like: scrapbooking, designing cross-stitch patterns, and "Baby on Board" signs. These signs are super easy to make, and they look great! All you got to have is a computer, where you design the lettering with fonts you like. And to save on the budget, I bought one yellow paper folder and a black paper folder (I believe, for a total of Cdn$0.50 or less; buying construction paper would cost about Cdn$2.), and started to cut the letters using a cutter and cutting mat. A trick I learned from teaching kindergarten is to have the letters printed out on paper, and then staple it onto the colored paper so that the design won't shift. Then, to embellish the signs, I designed some simple patterns and also downloaded some off the computer. Kenneth especially love the "monkey" themed sign, because our daughter was born in the year of the Monkey, and the monkey, banana, and banana tree fit the theme perfectly. Plus, it is 100% my own design.

As for myself, I prefer the cursive design, because it is more of a Art Nouveau themed pattern. I love doing the filligree design, but it requires a lot of skills to draw. But I am sure that one day, I will master that! When Kaitlyn gets older, I am sure I will have to change the signs to "Child on Board". I hope that the results will be as striking as this one. (Already, I have some people ask my husband where he bought these attractive signs! Can you imagine my excitement when I heard that?)