Posted in Tips and Tricks

5 Things I’ve learnt about Flosstube as a content creator

Hi Everyone

For a bit over a year now, I’ve been regularly-ish (roughly every 2 to 3 weeks) creating content for my flosstube channel – The XStitching Runner. Similar to this blog, my channel predominantly is about cross stitch with some life stuff thrown in. Some weeks I’m full of enthusiasm and excitement. Other weeks not so much. But that’s life right!

As the title of this post suggests, this is all about the things I’ve learnt about Flosstube as a content creator. I’ve also published a video on my channel about these things as well. Check out the link at the end of this post for more!

1. It’s all about the numbers

To some extent, anything that goes up on YouTube is a popularity contest – regardless of what anyone else says. Over time, the more comments, shares and views you get, the more subscribers you get and the higher up the pecking order you go. Your content is recommended more to others who may not of heard about your content and there’s a chance they may be interested in it and become another statistic. All of this is part of the algorithms (I’m told) of how YouTube works.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

The other extent – in my view – is personality and what your intentions are for your channel. There are millions of wonderful creators out there and every single one of them brings a unique twist to the table because of who they are. It’s their personality we are engaging with, their life experiences and their ability to convey a message to camera. This – at the end of the day – is what the numbers are measuring, to enable your channel to grow and potentially make money out of it, if that’s something you’re interested in.

2. Personality and confidence

I have gained more confidence in presenting to camera since I started my channel and it’s had a positive impact on my professional life. Professionally, I spend 99% of my time in front of the computer and 10% of that time is spent presenting training via Microsoft Teams. I have become more comfortable in front of the camera and speaking up in meetings. I haven’t however, increased my conciseness. My flosstube episodes average 40 minutes – usually 60 minutes. I waffle a lot and I have a lot but not a lot to say about cross stitch. I have this feeling of needing to bring something different to the table nearly every time I sit down to film. I don’t want to get stuck in the ‘cookie cutter’ mode of the flosstube recipe of each week showing how much progress I’ve made on a project. What finishes I’ve done and any new starts made.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

My episodes are raw with limited editing. Which is probably why they go for so long! My episodes are an insight to who I am and what I have to say and share with anyone what I’ve been up to with my life and a bit of cross stitch.

3. Knowing my ‘why’.

The down side of trying to bring something different to the table nearly every time I sit down to film is that I have lost sight of what my channel is about. It’s still very much about cross stitch, but I’ve lost the focus of trying to promote my own patterns and my own business – Hot Cross Stitching. I’ve for a little while, forgotten about having fun and improving my ability to be concise and focus on the stitching.

Additionally, over the last month or two – perhaps longer – I’ve started to do a ‘welcome to Country’. It’s an Australian thing that is done at the start of many sporting events and meetings that happen in the public service. It’s possible that it happens in other situations as well that I’m not aware of. The welcome to Country is an acknowledgement of the Indigenous Australians who are the traditional owners of the land we call Australia and the region/area that an event or meeting is taking place. The welcome acknowledges their leaders and elders from the past, present and emerging. The importance of doing this is to aid in the reconciliation between the Indigenous Australians and everyone who has come after them and taken over the land.

Since I’ve been doing this acknowledgement, I feel like it’s unfortunately hurt my channel. I really hope it hasn’t been the case and that there are other factors that are contributing to the downturn in numbers I’m seeing for my channel. I also feel that it would be quite shallow of me to stop doing this, all because I’ve become so focused on the numbers instead of what my channel is really about. Cross stitch and trying to build my side-hustle!

4. Technology and lighting

I have a love/hate relationship with technology and related devices and my boyfriend has been fantastic with trying to help me out with it where he can. Over the last 12 months or so, I’ve had issues mostly with the sound and it not being loud enough. Depending on what camera and microphone combination I’m using, sometimes the sound will start to lag after a few minutes and I’m yet to figure out why. I want to know why, because the little camera I’m thinking of with this problem is really cool! It has a ring light as part of the camera. It’s compact and my eyes feel a little funny after looking at it for so long.

The funny thing is that at times I feel like it’s a huge production with all of this equipment and product around me to help make the magic happen – a little like the image below!

Photo by Brett Sayles on

Then there are times when I remember to try and keep it simple – to the point where I’ve contemplated filming from my phone. My biggest problem with this is storage and the joys of connecting my phone to my laptop to reduce the problem.

At the end of the day, I need to go with what works and pick my timing to do the filming!

5. Craft-avism and stitching challenges

It’s activism via the mode of crafting. As a viewer, I’ve seen this to be quite a fickle thing in the Flosstube world. Over the last 12 months or so, Flosstubers have:

  • Rallied against the owners of the platform Etsy because of the fees that sellers have to pay to use the platform. Resulting in minimal profit margins. The irony is that the people who talk about rallying against Etsy, tend to shop there exclusively if they’re shopping online!
  • Raised awareness of the importance of bees in the ecological system by designing and stitching many bee related projects.
  • Supported the LGBTQI+ community by stitching things designed by people in the community and talking about the challenges people in this community deal with and face daily.
  • Supported Australia’s black summer of 2019/20 by donating money, designing charts that have proceeds that go to specific Australian charities and stitching Aussie patterns, to name a few.
  • Participated in a huge variety of stitching challenges to keep motivated and see progress in the variety of projects we have.

I’ve even become a joiner in some of these challenges and been a supporter of some of these events. I’ve set my own challenge based upon the Australian Football League (AFL) for this year and some of my projects have gotten a lot more attention than I expected! I’m also participating in the 22 in 22 – 22,000 stitches on a specific project in the year 2022.


I still have a long way to go with this flosstube thing! At the end of the day I just need to be me and remember that I will never be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay! I will find my feet and have fun while I’m doing it. Because my main goals with this blog and the flosstube channel is to build a brand that is leading to bringing people together from all walks of life, who have cross stitch in common. Who find peace and enjoyment by siting down and stitching and connecting with others who enjoy cross stitching as well, and can learn organically from each other.

The biggest dream is to have two places where people can come to connect and stitch – in the country and at the beach. The places will be able to host stitching retreats that can be for a week or a weekend. People can come and go as they need and participate as much or as little as they want.

I hope you’ve found some entertainment in all of this and learnt something along the way! In the section below, there are some links to my channel and related topics that you may find interesting.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

References / Further reading:

Aboriginal Australia map – Shows the different countries that make up Australia. This particular blog is written in Canberra – Ngunnawal (pronounced Nunawal or Nunawol) Country.

Hot Cross Stitching website

What I’ve learnt from flosstube so far – my flosstube episode this post is based upon

Posted in Hot Cross Stitching Business, WIPGO 2021, WIPs and Finishes

Hot Cross Stitching Holidays and WIP Updates

Hi Everyone

It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve posted something to this blog – 20th June was the last time! Sooo much has happened since then!

Life update

My boyfriend and I were due to go on a holiday up to Queensland at the start of July and the pandemic had other plans for us. The short story is that we decided to cancel our holiday and we’ll reschedule for a later time either this year or next year. I was going to participate in the 5km event of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon weekend and the event got cancelled because of some outbreaks and lockdowns that were happening in Sydney and the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast areas. Before we were due to fly out of Canberra, the lockdowns for Brisbane and Gold Coast were going to be for three days and there was no guarantee that it would be for just three days. Brisbane’s lock down was extended for an extra few days and the Gold Coast was lifted on Friday 2nd July at 6pm.

We were relieved that we had decided not to go to Queensland for our holiday, as it lifted a lot of stress we were feeling about the unknown. We had decided to cancel the holiday before we knew about the running event being cancelled – though it looked like a sure thing before anything was formally announced. I’ve still taken my scheduled leave as I had been in the headspace for having a holiday for a set period of time and I knew that I wouldn’t be in the right headspace for work if I had made other changes.

It was also meant to be that we didn’t go on our holiday or for me to participate in any running events, because on Saturday 3rd July, I sprained my left ankle and I couldn’t properly walk on it for about 3 days. It’s still a bit swollen and bruised, but I can do most things on it now with minimal issues!

Because of all of this, I have been stitching and designing patterns for Hot Cross Stitching like there was no tomorrow!

New Patterns and finishes

Flosstube Made Me Do It

I have had the phrase ‘Flosstube made me do it’ in my head for a long time it’s taken me a while to find the motivation to stitch any of the designs based upon this phrase. I’m going to create a new series out of this phrase and my ‘stay-cation’ has helped me with this! The image below is my first finish for this series:

‘Flosstube Made Me Do It’ by Kristen Gawronski for Hot Cross Stitching

This piece is stitched on 14 count printed peach marble Aida, using DMC threads. I’ve framed it in a 16″x12″ black frame that I got from a dollar store from my local shops. I’ve removed the glass from the frame and it’s hanging up on the wall in my craft room/office (aka ‘Croffice’).

The chart for this piece is available for purchase via the Hot Cross Stitching website as a PDF download. It’s fully compatible with the android application Pattern Keeper. If you would prefer a paper pattern, you can contact me via the Hot Cross Stitching website.

Stitching Enabler

I have regularly heard on a variety of flosstube channels, that someone has been enabled by someone else because of an episode they have watched. This typically means that someone has loved a pattern or fabric, floss, frame or something that another stitcher has shared on their flosstube and the viewer ‘just had to have it’. I’ve definitely been enabled by a few flosstubers and I know it will continue to happen for as long as we all share our love of cross stitch! That is the inspiration for the next pattern and finish:

This pattern will be available on the Hot Cross Stitching website in coming days and it will be available as a PDF download. It’s fully compatible with the android application Pattern Keeper. If you would prefer a paper pattern, you can contact me via the Hot Cross Stitching website.

I’ve stitched this pattern on 28 count evenweave using DMC threads. It’s framed in a 16″x12″ frame from my local dollar store. I’ve left the glass in the frame for this project. That may change over time as I may change my mind regarding the way I have it framed.

Wattle Biscornu

The idea for this pattern has been playing on my mind for the last 7 to 8 months. My biggest struggle point has been getting the flowers to look like the image I have in my mind’s eye. To help with this struggle, I have drawn upon inspiration from nature and existing cross stitch patterns like the Australian native flower sampler by Fiona Jude from Country Threads. Below is my first Hot Cross Stitching biscornu finish:

I’m really proud of this finished piece. It is really cute and small and I learnt a lot as I was assembling it. You may notice in one of the pictures, that one side of it looks a little off. I made the wonderful error of not leaving enough of a fabric margin when I cut the two pieces in half. The images below will show you what I mean:

This project was stitched on 28 count evenweave and the fabric frays very easily. I could have used some form of adhesive to stop the edges from fraying and reduce the risk of the brown back-stitches from starting to slide off the fabric. I’ve also learnt that this is a potential flaw in my design as well and I’ve updated the pattern to prevent this from happening to others.

This project was stitched in all DMC threads and the pattern will soon be available on the Hot Cross Stitching website as a PDF download. The pattern is compatible with the android application Pattern Keeper.


For the month of July, the Black and White Rolled-up Daisy (designed by Kristen Gawronski for Hot Cross Stitching) and 12 Days of Christmas (designed by Rhona Norrie) have been called:

I’ve added some stitches to the 12 Days of Christmas project. I’d like to add more before July is over and I’ll share my progress with you in a few weeks time. The same goes for the Black and White Rolled-up Daisy!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Related reads and links:

Posted in Cross Stitch Haul and Stitching Progress

May stitching update and new to Flosstube!

Hi Everyone

It’s been a while! Since my last post, I’ve been working on a variety of projects and filmed two flosstube episodes – one of which is uploading today (29 May 2021)!


I’ve decided to start up my own flosstube channel on YouTube as a way of starting to promote my Hot Cross Stitching website and this blog to a new group of people to see how things go. My first introduction episode is very quiet, so you’ll need to have the volume up very high for it. I’m hoping I can upload a replacement episode with improved volume, so that when you go to watch it, you won’t be straining to hear what I’m saying!

Stitching update

Currently I’m at the coast and I don’t have all of my projects with me. Since the start of May I’ve been working on:

  • Ryan’s been a good boy (Christmas project)
  • Pisces
  • Jaffy – a new start
  • Gundaroo Mini Mushroom
  • Blue Mountains Walking Trail

Ryan’s been a good boy

I’ve made some progress with this project and I’ve made an error along the way. I’ve some how mis-counted a part of the project, which in some ways is a good thing, because it means that I’ve not got as much to stitch. It will mean that I’ll need to fudge things when I go to do the backstitch. I don’t have any pictures for this project to share at this point in time. Hopefully later this year I’ll have it completed!


I’ve run out of the DMC colour 3808, so I’ll need to get creative with how I stitch some some parts until I pick up a new skein. I’ve also come to realise with this project, that I’m going to run out of fabric because I’m stitching it two over two on 25 count fabric. I could get creative and stitch the fish two over one or one over one or adjust how much I’m stitching so that I still have enough fabric to frame it.


This is one of my own designs. At the moment it won’t look like much and I could have it sitting in any direction and it could look like it’s almost any part of the picture!

Progress of Jaffy as of 29 May 2021

I’ve started in the middle of the fabric and pattern because I don’t think I have enough for this project and I want to see how it will turn out on 18 count Aida. With this project, I really want to focus on Jaffy’s face and a little bit of the background.

Gundaroo Mini Mushroom

I’ve just started stitching this one again because it’s been too long since I’ve worked on it. I’ve probably not worked on it since some time last year. I’ll have to go back through my log to see when I last took a photo of it and talked about the project.

That said, this project has been called for the June WIPGO board! I’m really happy about this, because I’d really like to make some progress on it. The images below show my progress so far, where I’m currently up to and what it should look like when it’s complete:

Current progress
Progress from last time
How it will look at the end (something similar to this)

Blue Mountains Walking Trail

This is my own design and I’m stitching it on 25 easy count fabric. The pink squares are 20 stitches by 20 stitches, so I need to be careful and not have a lapse in memory, thinking that they’re 10 by 10 and misread the pattern!

Blue Mountains Walking Trail – how it should look when finished
Current progress as of 29 May 2021

I started stitching this two over one out of curiosity and I quickly learnt that one over one was plenty of coverage! It was also getting too thick and making life difficult to stitch. I have fallen in love with this fabric though. It really is easy to stitch on because the holes are easy to access with my needle and thread.

June plans

For WIPGO, the two numbers called are connected to my projects the Gundaroo Mini Mushroom and the Three Dogs (aka the Three Labs as I’ve nicknamed them). I’m hoping to make some progress on both projects that will be noticeable.

The Three Labs

It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on this project and as long as I don’t get too annoyed with it – mostly because of thread breakages – I should be okay!

The three labs – what it should look like and my progress so far

Related Links

Posted in How To, Tips and Tricks

How can board games help to prompt you with your cross stitch?

Hi Everyone

When I’ve been watching some flosstube clips, people have talked about homework and their involvement with an online group called ‘Magical Stitches’. My understanding is that the Magical Stitches group focus on certain authors or books throughout the year and they have prompts that come from those books that translates to their stitching. For example, a book may be Red Riding Hood and one of the prompts could be ‘200 stitches on a project with red in it’. Another prompt may be ‘work on a project that starts with the same letter/s of the author of the book’.

Similarly, I’ve seen some people use the decision maker app on their phones to help with deciding what project to work on next; especially during Stitch Maynia. I’ve considered using a similar app for the next time Stitch Maynia comes around, because it leaves a bit of mystery around what I’m going to stitch next.

More recently though, I’ve seen some people on Flosstube talk about WIPGO. The premise is drawing up a bingo card that has all of your works in progress (WIP’s) and potentially some new starts, depending the size of the board you want to have. The image below is a mock-up of what the board could look like. I’ve inserted my own WIPs and potential new starts. The new starts are in green and the blue squares are animal based WIPs.

WIPGO inspired board based upon my own works in progress and potential new starts

Monopoly as a decision maker?

The traditional game of Monopoly has been around for decades. In recent years, variations of the game have been created, including DMC’s version called Stitch-opoly. The premise for Monopoly – regardless of what version or variation you’re playing is to become a real-estate mogul and force the other players into bankruptcy. But what if you also used it as a way of deciding what you were going to stitch, when and how long for?

Classic Monopoly Board Game – image from website

How it would work:

Using the traditional board, each property represents different projects in your stash. The price to purchase each property is the number of stitches you need to apply to or stitch on that project. For example, one of the projects in my stash is the Gundaroo Mini Mushrooms. It’s a big, intense project that has taken me over a year so far to get nearly half way. Using the Monopoly board, I would apply that project to the Mayfair and if I landed on it and ‘purchased’ it, I would have to put 400 stitches into it because of its purchase price.

Alternatively, the colours used for each property series – red, green, dark blue, light blue, yellow, orange, purple, mauve, railway stations and utilities – could be applied to the projects in your stash. For example, you may have three projects that have a lot of orange in them or the name of the projects or the name of the artist/creator have a strong connection to the word orange and how it’s spelt. The idea behind this link to your projects and the colour is based upon a Facebook group called ‘School of Magical Stitches and Literature‘. Each year the theme changes and this year the group is for people who wish to read and Cross stitch the Disney Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson and the Villans series by Serena Valentio. A reading list is available for the group so that you can read along with your fellow group members and help you with understanding where the prompts come from for what, when and where you apply your stitches.

The additional variation to the Monopoly game and how you could apply it to your projects, is the meaning behind the roll of the dice. For example, you roll the number 3 and that could mean you have 3 days to complete the number of stitches required for the project (property) you land on.

What if I go to gaol (jail) or land on free parking?

If you go to gaol, then the following things could happen:

  • You work on a project you’re struggling with. The amount of time you spend on that project is based upon how many times it takes you to roll a double to get out of gaol. If you’re unable to roll a double within 3 turns, then you stitch an additional 50 stitches because the game traditionally requires you to pay $50 to get out.
  • You work on a project that is connected to reasons why you could go to gaol or the people or services who protect people from others who try do the wrong thing. For example, tributes to emergency service workers. The amount of time you spend on that project is based upon how many times it takes you to roll a double to get out of gaol. If you’re unable to roll a double within 3 turns, then you stitch an additional 50 stitches because the game traditionally requires you to pay $50 to get out.

Meanwhile, if you land on Free Parking, then you can do whatever you want. You can take a break or start a new project or purchase a new project. Or anything else you want to apply to that square.

Chance, Community Service, Taxes and Passing Go or Landing on Go

The Chance and Community Service cards could be awesome wild cards to make things interesting by helping or hindering the choices you make with your projects and how much time you spend on them.

Meanwhile, the taxes squares will remain as the squares you don’t want to land on because they are the penalty squares that will determine how much longer you spend on your projects.

Normally in the game of Monopoly, you get $200 for passing or landing on Go. This can be a blessing if you’re struggling and need the money to stop you going bankrupt. Alternatively, the additional funds can help you with purchasing more houses and hotels for the sets you’ve purchased. In the context of how this can help you with your cross stitch projects, this will depend upon how you’re progressing in the game. If you have a ‘set’, then your additional funds could be used to make your ‘competitors’ squirm. If you have a ‘set’ and someone lands on your property/project, they will have to stitch the amount of ‘rent’ allocated to that property that has however many houses or hotels on it. Alternatively, if you’re at the other end of the scale, the additional credits can help you with being able to ‘afford’ the ‘rent’ of the ‘property’.

What about ‘sets’ and landing on other ‘properties’?

Like the traditional game of Monopoly, how you obtain property sets remains the same for this style of the game. You can negotiate with the other players if they have a colour or property you need to complete your set. Alternatively, you can wait until you have landed on that square.

Meanwhile, if you land on someone else’s ‘property’, then you need to stitch the amount of ‘rent’ that would be traditionally paid to the owner. If another player lands one your ‘property’, then you receive credits or ‘rent’ and that player would have to stitch the ‘rent’ owed.

How do you know when someone has won?

Like the traditional game of Monopoly, it can be based upon the amount of ‘credits’ each player has left to the point where all players except for one has ‘credits’. Alternatively, before the game starts, all players can agree to a set period of time that the game lasts for. Another option is all players agree upon some modern rules that other varieties of the game use make it interesting.

What if I don’t have anyone to play with?

The beauty of technology means that the Monopoly game can be played on most gaming consoles. This means that you can play against the computer or you can play online with people from around the world.

It’s been a while since I’ve done any gaming, but I do love playing Monopoly on Playstation 3 and 4. If I were going to play Monopoly in the context of what we’ve talked about here, I would make sure I’m prepared enough for most of the scenarios that could happen in the game.

For example, I would allocate all my WIP’s and other potential projects to the different properties. Any properties I’m able to purchase I highlight and properties that are purchased by the computer, I cross out. Next to each property I do purchase, I note down what number I rolled to get there and what I paid for it. I also mark what is paid to me if any of my components/competitors land on what I’ve purchased.

PropertyProjectProperty purchase priceDice RollRent receivedTotal number of stitches
Old Kent RoadChristmas Cards$200 = 200 stitches5 = 5 stitches$2200 over 5 days and 2 days credit
MayfairHalloween$4004$1000400 stitches over 4 days and 10 days credit
Park LaneGundaroo Mini Mushroom$3506$500350 stitches over 6 days and 5 days credit
Bond StreetMoon Lit Waters$3002$200300 stitches over 2 days and 2 days credit
PiccadillyThree Puppies$20012$22200 stitches over 12 days and 2 days credit
Example of how to track actions taken during the came of Monopoly

Related Reads:

Posted in Uncategorized

How many secrets does your cross stitch hold?

Hi Everyone

I hope you’re all well.

As I’m writing this post, it’s Mother’s Day in Australia and restrictions are starting to be lifted a bit more and we’re starting to get some more normality back to our lives! If all goes well, hopefully by the end of July/early August, life will be as close to normal pre-pandemic as possible.

As a result of staying home a lot more, I’ve been trying to catch up on a lot of the Flosstube clips people have been posting and it’s been really nice seeing what people are working on and how they’re going. When I was partly watching and listening to a Flosstube clip, the person at the time said something that I thought was quite interesting and quirky. They are not a fan fudging their stitching. If they make a mistake in their stitching, they’ll frog it (undo the stitches) and re-stitch the correct amount. Because to this person, they see fudging a project as a form of lying and being dishonest. To me, this is admirable. They have the patience and integrity to correct their mistakes.

The biggest ‘secret’ of them all

Nearly every project I’ve worked on and finished has at least one mistake in it and I haven’t been bothered to fix it for various reasons. The biggest mistake I’ve made on a project has been quite recently and I’m contemplating whether or not to do anything about it. Below is the project that I’ve made the biggest mistake and when I realised what my mistake was, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself and wonder why I hadn’t picked up on it sooner! Can you see the mistakes I’ve made?

I can’t remember what the fabric count is. I used DMC’s varigated thread to stitch the project and the pattern was from …

The picture on the left is the finished project. The centre picture show mistake 1 and 2. The picture on the right shows mistake 3. When I was stitching this project – specifically the border, I made the novice mistake of rotated or turned the project based upon which side of the border I’m working on. So the picture on the right will show you that the direction of my stitches on the border is a different direction to the stitches in the centre of the project. You may also notice that the direction of my stitches at the top of the project (the centre picture) is different again and the width of the border is one row less than the other 3 sides. That’s because of my first mistake. When I started stitching the centre of the project, I had started it a row lower than I should have, which has thrown out the balance of how many rows I needed to stitch for the top of the border. If the rest of my stitches had been okay and the direction they should I have been, I could have added an extra row and some extra stitches to balance the border out.

How many secrets can a project hold?

If we don’t tell each other what our mistakes are and have a comparison picture of what it should be, does that make it a secret? Alternatively, if we show each other what we’ve done and show each other what it should look like, does it then become a ‘Where’s Wally?’ / find the mistake puzzle?

With my first HAED – ‘Moon Lit Waters’ that I’m working on, it will hold the largest amount of secrets and I’m totally okay with it! For anyone who’s been following my progress with this project, will know that it’s been a very slow work in progress! Over the last couple of years or so, I’ve been able to complete three pages and I’m starting on my fourth. The pictures below show my current progress, what it will look like at the end and the comparison shot of the cover sheet as a comparison of where I’m at:

Just before Stitch Maynia started, I downloaded the Moon Lit Waters pattern onto the Pattern Keeper app. I needed to purchase the PDF pattern to easily and honestly onto the app, as I’ve been working on the paper copy for too long and the edges are too awkward to send through the scanner.

One thing I had not anticipated or expected with this PDF is the updates and changes that the team at HAED and the associated artists have made to the pattern. I love that they have incorporated the new colours that DMC have released and I’m looking forward to incorporating those colours into the project when I get to it. What had me cursing and swearing as I was trying to figure out where I’m at on the pattern and marking off what I’ve completed. The symbols on the paper pattern have changed a little in comparison to the digital pattern and it means that I’m going to be doing a lot more fudging to make it all work!

When I’m done with the project, it will be for my sister and because of the nature of HAED’s, the odd colour being mis-stitched to me is not a big deal. I know that there are a lot of mistakes and fudging happening with the project and I’m okay with that. I’m going to continue using Pattern Keeper with this project because of the confetti in it and there being well over 100 different colours for it!

Now that I’ve rambled a bit about Moon Lit Waters and some of my challenges with it, have you found some of the secrets my stitching holds?

If you’re able to see any of the secrets, I am in awe of your eye sight! I know for certain where some of the secrets are, but my memory has faded a bit with what the exact secrets are. I’d like to think that I’ve blended them in well enough with the rest of the project, that it hasn’t thrown the intended design off at all.

What secrets do your projects hold?

As a stitcher, would you go back and fix it all up or would you leave it? Also, how honest are you with your stitching? At what point do draw the line and allow the mistake to remain in your project and you try to work around it?

Related reads:

Posted in Stitch Maynia, WIP's and Plans

Stitch Maynia. Big versus small projects

Hi Everyone

Since I’ve started watching Flosstube, I’ve become increasingly aware of Stitch Maynia and each year I’ve been increasingly tempted to participate. because it looks like a lot of fun and I’m really good at starting a bucket load of projects! My challenge will be to finish everything that I start!

Based on what I’ve seen on the ‘Net and Flosstube, Stitch Maynia had started in May 2015 and based upon the year 2015, Stitchers were encouraged to started 15 new projects. The projects could be whatever the Stitchers wanted them to be and the aim was to get as many of those projects completed by the end of 2015. If Stitchers hadn’t been able to finish their 2015 starts by the time 2016 rolled around, they would need to include those WIP’s (works in progress) and whatever new starts they wanted to make up the 16 projects for 2016 Maynia. If Stitchers had completed all of their 2015 Maynia WIP’s, then they would be able to have 16 new starts for 2016 Stitch Maynia!

If I participate in Stitch Maynia this year, it would mean that I would need to have 20 new starts and I could start these in any which way I want – as long as they’re all started by the end of May.

Big versus Small Starts

Considering that there are meant to be 20 new starts this year, having 20 big starts may be overwhelming because of the amount of floss each project would need, where to keep it all, how to manage it etc.

Big Project Starts

Working on a big project is a challenge within its self because of the shear size of it, the amount of colours it may require, the length of time you need to spend on stitching it and that strong sense of achievement when you’ve finished it. To me, a big project is something that will take years to complete – especially if it’s the only thing I’m focusing on. Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED’s) are the first thing that comes to mind when I think of big projects. In some of my earlier posts, I’ve talked a bit about my progress on my first HAED – Moon Lit Waters.

My first HAED

If you choose to do at least one large project, check out the Pattern Keeper app if you haven’t already. It will let you know which designers are compatible with the app and if you’re trying to narrow down what to stitch, its compatibility with Pattern Keeper may be the decider!

If you choose to do 20 big starts as part of Stitch Maynia, the awesome thing is that not all projects need to have a bucket load of colours to give it that wow factor. One of the trends I’ve noticed with a lot of the Flosstubers is the amount of people who are in love with samplers – especially samplers based on or inspired by ones from over 100 years ago. Many of these samplers don’t have a lot of colours in them. Some of which are just mono-chrome or use variegated threads and make the most of the different hand-dyed fabrics available.

Another option for your big starts is to be part of a Stitch-A-Long (SAL) that releases patterns at the start of each month and by the end of the designated time frame, you will have a beautiful large piece.

Small Starts

To me, there’s something exciting about starting a new project – once I’ve decided on what I’m stitching and I have everything kitted up (unless I’ve chosen a kit). The excitement is in the new beginnings, fresh starts and seeing something come to life on the fabric. It also has bit to do with my attention span and getting the itch to start something new every few months or so.

Therefore, to me a small start is something I can complete within a week or two – a month maximum. It may just take me a while to fully finish it!

One of the things I really enjoy stitching are cards for various celebrations – even though I don’t stitch them very often. Partly because I struggle with fully finishing them as cards. However, with Stitch Maynia I now have the excuse to stitch a heap of Christmas and birthday cards and related paraphernalia! It may also prompt me to start some Halloween projects that I’ve been eyeing off for a while now and talked about in some of my blog posts.

The other cool thing with stitching cards is that I’m able to use some of the off-cuts of fabric I have floating around the house!

A bit of both?

Since there are meant to be 20 new starts this year, there’s nothing wrong with mixing it up and having a combination of big and small projects. Which means that you should be able to get a sense of achievement by the end of May because of the small starts being finished or nearly finished. And you should also be able to see a bit of progress with some of your bigger projects.

Theoretically, this will satisfy my need to stitch a mixture of small, medium and large projects. I’ll be able to continue working on my current WIP’s and get some small cards done. My main challenge will be deciding on what to start and when. I can plan something to the last inch of its life. My struggle point is putting those plans into action! Mostly because I’ve put so much time and effort into the planning phase, that in my mind I’ve already put those plans into action and I feel like my job is done. Funnily enough, I’m not always able to follow other people’s plans as well. There’s something about my need for independence and flexibility. There’s also an element of trying to follow something exactly and then there’s a change to my routine and I struggle to get back to the regular program.

But I digress…I’m still hopeful that I’m able to stick to the plans and projects I’ve put together for Stitch Maynia and that I can keep it flexible enough to keep me happy. The other thing that I’ll be testing during this maynia month is the use of coloured pencils on my paper patterns I can’t load into Pattern Keeper. My aim is to use a different coloured pencil for each day that I work on those patterns so that I can see how much progress I’m able to make. My goal is to stitch a minimum of 200 stitches for each medium to large project before I can move onto the next project. I’ve found that for most projects this is achievable because I’m able to spend a couple of hours at least on them, and for most projects I’m able to easily get the 200 stitches in!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Related Reads:

Posted in Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

The Joys of More Stitching. What are you gaining?

Hi Everyone

I hope you’re all doing as well as you can at the moment. As I’m writing this post, it’s Good Friday and it’s been raining steadily for a few hours and it’s wonderful! I’m loving the sound of the rain and knowing that there’s barely a breeze to blow it all away. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is predicting a range of 8 to 20 millimetres of rain! This is where I’m so thankful to be home to enjoy the rain, have Flosstube playing on the tv, be surrounded with my cross stitch stuff and be writing this post.

Meanwhile, by the time I publish this post, we will have experienced Easter and Australia and New Zealand will have celebrated/commemorated Anzac Day on Saturday 25th April. It will have been the first Anzac Day that Australian’s and New Zealander’s will not have been able to have special dawn services and parades that are typically held at National/State and Territory memorials. Many people however, chose to stand in their driveways with candles to hear the last post and special service being played online.


I have a love hate relationship with technology. It has made life 10 times easier for many of us until it stops working and something breaks! When technology is working, I love that I can still talk with friends and family over the phone or by using apps such as Skype and Zoom. Technology enables me to find out what’s happening around me without actually getting out there and “getting my hands dirty”. There’s a time and place for that and Bear Gryles will always be in the back of my mind when it happens!

Technology also means that I can catch up on what’s happening in the world of cross stitch. You Tube and similar applications has for many years, been a fantastic platform for all crafters to share with each other what we’re working on, what we’ve learnt and how to do things. Flosstube has also helped me come across so many other designers that I otherwise would not have known about, based upon my own interests and Google searches. Because of Flosstube, my stitching collection will continue to grow and I’m going to need a number of companies and individuals to sponsor me so that I can stitch on all of the things full time!

Things I want to stitch because of Flosstube…

Because of Flosstube, I want to stitch:

  • Many of the Halloween patterns from Autumn Lane Stitchery (available on Etsy);
  • Sky Blue Street by Soda Stitch Canada;
  • all of the colourful cats by Kitty and Me Designs (available on Etsy);
  • Fight Like a Girl by Tanya Amity;
  • Halloween Night by Alena Koshkina;
  • Fright Night by Lewis T Johnson; and
  • Colourful Zebras by Artecy Cross Stitch.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There’s still so many more I want to stitch that many Flosstubers have shown and talked about. Let alone the numerous patterns I have had in my collection for years that I haven’t started yet and the projects I’m currently working on!


I’ve always had an appreciation for nature and what it can offer – even though it’s a struggle to get me out there at times! If I can’t leave my home or I don’t want to venture too far, I love being able to sit out in my backyard and enjoy the sunshine. Or on days like today, I love being able to sit hear the window and listen to and watch the rain coming down nice and steadily. Also, without nature, I wouldn’t have some of the beautiful photographs I have on my walls. More broadly speaking, as cross stitchers, we wouldn’t have some of the beautiful projects to work on that have been inspired by amazing landscapes, animals and gardens the world has to offer.

Right here, right now

Mindfulness has been a big thing for many years and is more important now than it has ever been. What are you thankful for right now? What did go right for you today? Do you have a roof over your head? Some warm blankets and a comfortable bed? Do you have running water – hot and cold – and food in your pantry? Do you feel comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing right now? What sounds can you hear right now?

These are a lot of questions, but ones that I ask my self a lot and very similar ones as I’m putting one foot back into reality, to test the waters and remind myself that life is still pretty good!

My other ‘right here, right now’ moments tend to come when I’m going for walks with my boyfriend or I’m sitting out in the backyard or generally chilling out at home. I’m really lucky to live near some bush land and we have kookaburra or family of them that lives nearby. Some days we can hear the kookaburra laughing away or we’ve spotted it as part of our walks around the block. We also have a number of houses around the neighbourhood who have dogs and early in the morning or early evening (the typical witching hours!), the dogs will have a howling session. It’s awesome! The howling sessions always make my boyfriend and I laugh and it reminds me of my family’s Jack Russell, Russell. In Russell’s younger years, I would get to have a howling session with him whenever I arrived home at my parents farm or would head out there to visit. If Holly the Blue Heeler was around, she would join in and howl along too. These sessions would always make us laugh and howl along with them.

Dream on

Many years ago I use to dream about what I would do if I won the lottery. Like many people, I would have done the standard things like travelling, buying a house, sharing it with family and friends and make some donations.

Now, I still dream of travelling, but it involves taking a year or so off work to do it and road tripping to many parts of Australia I’ve never been to or I want to see again. I’ll still have my moments of wanting to hibernate and needing a few days to recharge the batteries. Which will work out perfectly, because that would enable my boyfriend to go fishing and I can get a bucket load of cross stitch done.

Saving time and money

As much as I miss the freedom at the moment to be allowed to go out and do whatever I want (within reason), I am not missing the journey I have to take to get to work and paying for parking. On average, I pay $39 per week for parking and however much money it is for fuel consumption and the general wear and tear my car experiences when I drive it. Additionally, I’m not missing what my imagination does to me when I’m walking through Civic when it’s dark to get to the gym. In my mind, I worry about people jumping out at me from the shadows and being assaulted in whichever shape it may be. Civic is the centre of Canberra and a central location for many homeless and low income people to be, because of the services that are available to them. Towards the end of the working week, Civic is also known to be the location for people to go to unwind, catch up with friends at the pub or a food place. So, early Thursday or Friday mornings at Civic can be an interesting place to navigate (especially in the warmer months) because of the number of people recovering from the night before. Being a short female, and keeping an eye out for potential dangers isn’t fun! I’ve been lucky to not be severely impacted by this. I have had the occasional encounter with someone asking me for money and they’ve been good when I’ve told them I don’t have any on me.

That said, as you can see in the image above, Civic can be pretty at night if you forget about any of the dangers that the location may have. For about a week each year, we have an event called Night Fest, that encourages people to come out at night and experience Civic and nearby locations under different lights.

Because of this stress, time and money saving, I’m able to sleep in a bit and go for more shorter walks with my boyfriend and we’re able to meet in the kitchen for tea/coffee and lunch.

What about you? What are some of the things you’re happy to be missing out on? What have you been able to do as a result of what’s happening at the moment?

Until next time…

Happy Stitching!

Related Reads:

Posted in Uncategorized

Digital versus Stitched Pattern Cover Sheets… Does it matter?

Hi Everyone

I hope you’re all going well. I’ve been working from home for the last two weeks or so and I’m finding that I’m not as inclined to be in front of the computer as much. I’m also finding that I don’t even want to go near my craft room unless I’m working now. But I digress…

I’ve been watching a bit of flosstube and I’ve fallen in love with Autumn Lane Stitchery. Cassandra and her husband Aaron are awesome. Aaron’s the designer of all of their patterns that are available on their Etsy store. I absolutely love all of the Halloween themed designs they have and I’m keen to start stitching some of them when we get closer to October! Below is one of their recent flosstube episodes to give you a bit of a taste what they’re like.

Autumn Lane Stitchery Flosstube episode 5 – Uploaded to YouTube on 13 April 2020

One of the things that I’ve been mulling over for a while now, and Autumn Lane Stitchery have reminded me of this question – how important it is for the project cover sheet to be stitched?

Digital Cover Sheets

I’d never really thought about it too much until Java Girl Stitches talked about one of the patterns she stitched by Shannon Christine Designs (two examples are shown below that I’ve purchased).

From a design and small business perspective, I understand that it may not be possible for businesses to pay someone to stitch a model, or wait for the model to be stitched before the patterns are released . I’ve also found that from stitching perspective, if the cover image is really cool, then I won’t care if it’s not been stitched. I’m placing enough trust in the designer to convey the way the finished picture is meant to look, that I’ll purchase the pattern and stitch it.

A similar thing can be said about photos that have been converted to cross stitch. On some of the social media groups I’m part of, some people have shared their progress of projects from photos and they look really good! Jan Hicks is one example, where she has converted some of her travel photos to cross stitch patterns – aka Jan Hicks Creates. Other examples include Cross Stitch Collectibles and Mystic Stitch. The images below are from the Mystic Stitch website.

Stitched cover sheet

For the majority of the time I’ve been stitching, I’ve only known cover sheets to have a stitched image on it. For example, below is the cover of a pattern that’s currently in my WIP (work in progress) pile.

When I started stitching, seeing a stitched image would give me really good idea of whether or not I’d be able to stitch it. It seems strange to say that because in theory at least, any pattern can be stitched. It’s just a question of how long it will take to stitch it! What I’m finding as time goes on, is I’ll gauge a picture by how much back stitch is in it versus how big the project is and how much confetti stitching it may have – e.g. a HAED.

Being able to see the actual stitches (rather than the digital stitches) helped me in my early years to see how the stitches needed to look. Also, aside from following the pattern, seeing the finished picture helped to reassure me that I was on track, and that my finished project looked as close as possible as what it was meant to be.


I’ve found that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if the cover page is stitched or digital. The most important thing is what the picture is of. The picture needs to jump out at me and make me want to stitch it. It could be because of the colours or the theme – e.g. Shannon Christine’s Craft Room picture. It could also be because of the main subject – e.g. a cute puppy sitting under a Christmas Tree.

What do you prefer – a digital cover image or a stitched one? Does it matter? Why?

Posted in Uncategorized

Halloween Cross Stitch – Admiring from a distance

Hi Everyone

As an Aussie, Halloween has never been a big part of my life. I love horror and thriller movies, tv shows and novels. I’m facinated by ghost stories and urban legends. All of which has sometimes caused me to be a little scared a times, when I’ve needed to drive home late at night, the fog’s starting to roll in and I think to myself that this would be a great start to a ‘Supernatural’ episode!

Meanwhile, over the last few months when I’ve been watching Flosstube, a lot of Halloween themed cross stitch has caught my – especially some of the designs that the Sunshine Stitchers have shown as part of their WIP’s and finishes. In their latest episode (shown below), checkout the framed Halloween projects in the background.

Sunshine Stitchers – Episode #50 – 29 September 2019

Another flosstuber who’s caught my eye for Halloween things is Javagirlstitches – episode 15:

The awesome thing with flosstube is that everyone who shows us the projects they’re working on, also talks about where they got their patterns from and fabrics. I love this because I’ve started doing some searches on the Internet and it’s going to get me into a world of pain soon. All because I’ll want to buy all of the things and then want to stitch all of the things when they arrive in the mail and I’ve already got enough on the go! Or have I?!

The patterns that have caught my eye include (but not limited to):

The Cottage Needle’s petite cross stitch of ‘The Classical Sorceress Witch’ (loosely translated from the French title on The Cottage Needle’s etsy store. Les PETiTES CROiX De LUCIE Le Sorciere Classical Witch):

The Cottage Needle’s ‘Classic Sorceress Witch’ – image captured from Pinterest – pattern available from The Cottage Needle’s etsy site.

‘Halloween Balcony’ cross stitch pattern by Alena Koshkina, which is available from the Mybobbin Crafts Online store:

Image from Pinterest

I love the colours that Alena has chosen for this pattern and the colour of fabric just makes everything pop!

“Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow” by Carriage House Samplings, which is available from the Everything Cross Stitch website:

Image from the Everything Cross Stitch website.

“Halloween Night” by Alena Koshkina which is also available from the Mybobbin Crafts Online store:

Image from the Mybobbins Crafts Online Store

‘Sleepy Hollow’ by Glendon Place and it’s available from Sandra’s Stitch Stash. I saw this pattern as part of Gary’s (from the Sunshine Stitchers) WIP parade. He’s done a fantastic job on it!

Image from Sandra’s Stitch Stash

Last, but not least is ‘Fright Night’ by Lewis T Johnson and sold by Geko Rouge. My jaw dropped and my eyes widened when I saw this one! Just wow! The detail!

Image from Geko Rouge website

The awesome thing with all of this, is that this is just a sample – a tiny sample – of what’s out there! As I was scrolling through Pinterest and the different website I visited to put this post together, I came across more and more images and projects that I wanted to add to the list to share with you, let alone add to my collection!

Honourable mentions should go to Heaven and Earth Designs, 123Stitch and Hands On Designs. All three websites have some amazing Halloween themed pieces to work on.

Until next time, happy stitching!

Posted in Uncategorized

Some of My Favourite Stitchy Places and Things

Hi Everyone

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something and the last few posts have been a bit intense and not the usual light-hearted posts I’ve shared posted before. So my aim for this post is to bring back that light-hearted vibe that I hope you all enjoy, by talking about some of my favourite places to stitch and things I use while I’m stitching.

To kick things off, I’m writing this post at the coast (Malua Bay, NSW, Australia) and the weather is absolutely beautiful! Even if the weather wasn’t beautiful, I would still be really happy to be here. The house is located in short walking distance to two beaches, the local shops that has a fantastic butcher who also makes amazing coffee to warm the soul and local lawn bowls club that serves really yummy Chinese food. The two hard parts are walking back up the hills and going back home and back to reality. To me there’s something about the relaxed lifestyle of being at the coast and so close to the beaches that I love. Additionally, the coast is my third home (the second being my parents place in the country-side). For school holidays when I was growing up through to long weekends or short weekends away, the coast has always been the go-to place where a lot of my memories are from. Also, I’m very much an introvert and alone time is important to me. To escape from people and re-charge my batteries – especially before I moved out of home to my own place. Meanwhile, we’ve just had a new entertainment unit delivered to the house which is going to make it a lot easier for technology improvements and changes and accessing the power points that are behind the unit. Especially as televisions continue to get bigger, gaming consoles are updated and our tastes in movies and television shows change. Which will mean that I have yet another reason to sit down and do some cross stitch! **Sigh** First world problems ‘ay!

If the weather happens to be bad outside and I’m unable to be out there enjoying by sitting on the balcony (if I’m at the coast – see images below) or going for runs or walks, having the television on in the background while I’m stitching is one of the things I love to do. If this is the case, I’ve found having a movie or television show on that has a similar genre to the project I’m working on a real motivator.

Balcony View 1 – slight water view
Balcony View 2
Balcony View 3

For example, when I was stitching the Palamino by Country Threads or Midnight Glow by Dyan Allaire for Kustom Krafts (see below), I was regularly watching Heartland or McLeod’s Daughters.

Completed Palamino. I have used this as part of a country/outback/Australiana themed  quilt. I've used a navy blue trim around it with lime green or avacado green fabric to connect it to other cross stitch pictures.
Palamino by Country Threads
Three quarters of this image has been stitched. The nose and remaining part of the mane of the horse needs to be stitched. I may not have enough fabric to be able to stitch it all.
Work in progress – Midnight Glow – Design by Deanne Allaire for Kustom Krafts

If I’m not down at the coast, I’m definitely chilling out at home with cross stitch in hand and television in the background. If it happens to be a nice day outside, I’ll try and make the most of it by being out at the patio. Which is where I’ll have my earphones on and I’ll be listening to music or an audio book or something from Youtube like Flosstube!

I have considered taking my stitching public – e.g. going to a park or cafe and stitching whilst drinking a coffee or hot chocolate or even going to the library. I’ve been a bit nervous about it. Scared even! In my introverted way, I’ve been fearful of the fabric getting dirty or spilling something on it. But mostly fearful of what others might say – especially if I’m stitching at a cafe on my own and the staff getting annoyed that I’m sitting at one of their tables for hours on end and only drinking a coffee or hot chocolate, when they could have many people sitting at that table ordering drinks and/or food. Then there’s the sharp object thing in a public space that isn’t a knife if I’m at a cafe. I’d like to think that it shouldn’t be a big deal stitching in public – especially since there are knitting and crochet groups who catch up in my local area!

What about you? Are you a home body as well or do you recharge your batteries through your social interactions or being out amongst nature? Where do you like to stitch? Do you need peace and quiet or something noisy in the background?

I love needle minders!

Meanwhile, if I haven’t mentioned it before in my other posts, I’ll mention it here and quite probably in future posts too…I looooove my needle minder! I can’t believe I’ve been stitching so long without one! It has made the world of difference for reducing the amount of times I jump up from the couch cursing and swearing that I’ve dropped my needle and need to find it before anyone steps on it or sits on it. I love it so much that a few weeks ago at the Canberra leg of the Craft Alive Fair, I bought a few more and I wish I had them with me so that I could share pictures of them with you. Hopefully I’ll remember and share them with you in my next post!

Old school paper patterns

I’m old enough to remember very well the cassette and VHS tapes and the joys of batteries dying in diskman’s and walkman’s and the transition from cassettes to CD’s and VHS to DVD’s to streaming music and movies online. I’m also young enough to be championing the use of digital patterns, spreadsheets and apps on my phone or laptop to keep track of my threads, patterns, fabric and cross stitch related things. But there’s something about the physical marking off of an area of a pattern with a lead pencil that I can’t shake. I have purchased a digital pattern and I have briefly had the intention of trying to keep it digital as I stitch but I couldn’t do it. I had to print it off.

A comfy chair with my legs stretched out

Unfortunately I’ve managed to do something to my side of the recliner couch and I miss being able to have the foot rest up while I’m stitching. It was sooo comfy and it gave my legs a good work out when I needed to put the foot rest back into position. The couch still is comfy and I enjoy being able to sink into it while I’m chilling out. I just need to figure out how to re-establish the tension for the wire that normally enables the foot rest to go out/come out.

So these are just a few of my favourite stitchy places and things. I’d love to hear about your favourite stitchy places and things.

Until next time…Happy Stitching!