Aug/Sep WIPocalypse (late as normal!)

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Only 2 days to go before the September WIPocalypse post is due … oops … life sure has a way to interfere with plans, and my memory is shocking, so yet again I’ve missed the deadline.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been stitched, although I have to admit I haven’t been stitching as much as I normally do.  Work pressures have yet again put a hold of any mid-week stitching, although each weekend I’ve made sure I’ve had one day dedicated to stitching my little heart out.

So, here goes … here is what I’ve managed to get up to stitching-wise over the last two months.  I figure I may as well just have this as my September WIPocalypse post as well, as I can’t see me doing any further stitching between now and two days time that will be worth shouting from the rooftops ;)

First up I decided to just keep on stitching on my Eiffel Quaker until it was finished – I just love this one!

Jardin Prive - Eiffel Quaker
“Eiffel Quaker” by Jardin Privé
Started 11 January 2013 – Finished 28 July 2014
Stitched on 36ct antique white evenweave from Sewitall
with French Au Ver A Soie Soie d’Alger silk threads
Stitch count 150 wide x 143 high

I then decided to be responsible (unusual for me!) with my stitching and get a charity quilt block out of the way that I had committed to – I absolutely adore this one, and I’ve left the DMC threads etc all sitting with the chart in readiness to stitch this one again for myself … I love, love, love it! :)

Green Apple Co-Chambered Nautilus
“Chambered Nautilus” by Green Apple Co (artwork by Janet Powers)
Stitched for Love Quilts Australia
Stitched on 14ct white Aida with DMC threads

Then last weekend I started back loosely with my rotation, and picked up my pastel needleroll to finish off:

M Designs-Thistle Needleroll pastels
“Thistle Needleroll – Pale Colorway” by M Designs
Started 26 January 2014 – Finished 31 August 2014
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with a mix of Olde Willow, Crescent Colours and DMC threads
(I had to substitute some threads and mix the colours as my Olde Willow threads
had faded so much over the years they were almost white!)

And then my final finish took place yesterday – I only had about 3 hours of stitching left in my ‘small/medium projects’ slot, but I opted to just keep stitching until I finished it (hence my comment about ‘loosely’ following my rotation!). This was a real joy to stitch, with some good challenges, and it just needs to be made into a little pincushion now.

Periwinkle Promises-Blue Bell Sampler Accent
“Blue Bell Sampler Accent” by Periwinkle Promises
Started 31 August 2014 – Finished 6 September 2014
Stitched using kit threads (AVAS silks) and linen fabric

Inbetween working on my rotation slots, I have opted to leave my current focus piece project sitting in the lounge on my floor frame. Every 2nd weekend I spend one day stitching my little heart out on her while catching up on recorded TV … which means I’ve sort of taken her out of my rotation, and I just stitch on her when I feel like sitting in the lounge. The rest of my rotation stitching is done in my bedroom sat up in bed stitching (my most common stitching location these days – I got into the habit of that with my last flatmate as I hated spending any time in the lounge when he was home). Anyhoo, here she is in her current glory (well almost anyway, I’ve actually done a bit more since this photo was taken – she’ll definitely be finished by the end of this year, which is awesome). Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace:

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After I’d finished my Victoria Sampler’s Crimson Fire Sampler, I needed to find another old UFO to take its place, and I chose this piece stitched on Congress Cloth. I managed to finally finish the darned bees on the left-hand side of the fabric, but my thread snapped while I was stitching the 2nd side of the hemstitching rows so I decided to give it a miss for a while and started stitching over on the main pain of the stitching. I hadn’t realised just how much metallic thread is used on this project, and it was a relief to finally get to the bee’s head and have something lovely and soft to stitch with. I opted to stop, though, at the end of the 10 hours rotation slot, but look forward to seeing that slot come around again in the future :)

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And next up in my rotation is Quaker Christmas II – this hasn’t seen the light since I did one rotation slot on it back in February, so it will be nice to add a few more stitches to this one … and that’ll give me something to show for my October WIPocalypse post :)

Talking of which, I guess I also need to answer the WIPocalypse questions for these two months as well, so here goes:

10 August:

“Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.”
Well, I guess my oldest one now is probably Stoney Creek’s Natures Rest. This is possibly one that will never ever be finished – aside from making a massive blue on the tree stump and the need to frog a huge section, because I can’t work out what was wrong and what was right, it was also using some older threads that I no longer have so there’s every likelihood that I will have mis-matched dyelots and this will show, especially with the greys. I don’t have too much love for this old project (my first ever on evenweave fabric, and I didn’t follow the instructions properly so I used 2 strands of thread in the background instead of 1 strand …). Whatever could go wrong with this piece, it certainly did – and it remains relatively unloved because of it!

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My newest WIP according to my rotation records is a canvaswork piece called Sand and Surf by Northern Pine Designs.  My canvaswork rotation is coming up soon, so I can’t wait to get back into working on this one again.  I have a feeling I won’t stop until this one is finished, as canvaswork tends to go quite quickly with some of the big chunky stitches.

Surf and Sand

9 September:

“Who is your favourite person to stitch for, or do you prefer to keep your stitching yourself?”
I have to admit over the years I’ve given most of my stitching away – over the last 10 years, though, I tend to stitch more for myself with the odd gift given out. I like to stitch gifts for people, but as soon as I make a commitment to do something my brain goes into meltdown and it removes the enjoyment of stitching for me – I’d much rather stitch something then decide after it’s finished to gift it to someone.

More beading on Angel of Love

During the week I managed to put in 3 hours of stitching, which seems me finishing my rotation slot for my Eiffel Quaker (by Jardin Prive) – one more slot will see this one finished, I think :)  The colours are actually darker in real life.

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This yesterday I decided to have an exceptionally lazy afternoon/evening and spent the entire day stitching my little heart out while catching up on some recorded TV shows.  I really loved stitching on my Angel of Love (by Lavender & Lace) yesterday … I’ve been enjoying stitching on her so much I’ve decided to leave her on my scrollbars in the lounge and will just keep stitching on her when I feel like it (mainly during the weekends) … and I’m not worrying about counting the hours on her unless I get bored and need to force myself to stitch on her (which will be wee while away yet I think).

Angel of Love 19Jul2014

Technically my next rotation slot is an old UFO, but I haven’t got the project decided yet, so I’ve been pottering around on my laptop instead updating picture files and reorganising my online stitching freebies etc … and that’s almost as good as stitching :)

 

June/July WIPocalypse

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If you managed to read my previous post, you probably have an idea why there was no WIPocalypse post for June … and I’m back online again just in time to complete my post for July … which means for the 2nd time in a row I’m well and truly late … c’est la vie, such is life I guess!

Anyway first up is the piece that I started stitching a week ago, that I managed to finish today.  I started kitting this one up a few weeks ago but couldn’t make a decision on the threads and fabric.  Last weekend I started it and still wasn’t 100% happy with my choices – I put the last stitches in today then opted to pull one colour out and re-do it, and I’m so glad that I did, because I absolutely ADORE this one now!  As you can see, it really doesn’t look anything like the original version … I much prefer my choice of threads for this one!!  I’ve listed below the threads that I ended up using:

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 “Dance in the Rain” by Lizzie*Kate
stitched on 32ct Shell Wichelt linen
with my choice of silk threads (see below)

The threads that I chose to use were:  Belle Soie Beanstalk, Belle Soie Ocean Tide, Silk n Colors Aged Plum, NPI Silks 471, 336 and 991BB, and Rainbow Gallery Splendor S870.

The other stitching I managed to do over the last couple of months was to finish my charity quilt block for Love Quilts Australia:

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“Butterfly Quartet” – a Stitch Simple kit by DMC

While I was trying to work out how the hell to pay the rent until I found a new flatmate I start making up stitching rolls to sell … I’ve managed to finish 6 since then, although still haven’t worked out how to price them yet – once I do that, though, they will go up for sale, and I’ll also start taking orders for people who want other colours etc (and different sizes).  I’ve been a bit tired the last couple of weekends, though, so haven’t taken photos and worked out the final costings yet (I also had to go back to Spotlight to price up the fabrics etc that I use).  Here’s the first one I made, though, as a sneak peak:

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For the last two Saturdays I’ve also managed to get a few more stitches into my L&L Angel of Love – she is probably what finally kicked my butt into gear and brought my stitching mojo back again to be able to stitch my Lizzie*Kate finish.  I was primarily beading the top part of the skirt this time round, and oh boy is she stunning!!  Photos will never do this baby justice, that’s for sure!!!

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Even though I was on a total stash diet (and still am effectively) for the last couple of months, I did receive a small amount of stash that I’d already ordered previously.  One was a kit that I’d posted about previously that I’d been trying to track down for a few years, and managed to find on one Ebay – don’t even know what made me go put the search words in, but one came up straightaway so I just had to buy it … I’m glad Ian hadn’t moved out at that point or it would have killed me not being able to buy it and knowing one was available!!  The other items were a drawn thread book from the Book Depository and a delightful French design, with the cutest little wooden hoop button.  I bought two copies because one copy is for a dear friend.

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And I think that’s probably all my stitching news for the last couple of months … really not too much to show compared to how I normally stitch, but I guess life became more of a priority for a while.  Hopefully now I’ve managed to put needle fabric semi-regularly over the last two weeks (even if it was just at the weekends), my mojo will continue and I’ll get back into it once again.  It had better do that, as I have another quilt block I need to stitch by next month now!!!

I’ll finish off with the last 2 WIPocalypse theme questions:

13 June – Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!

Yes I have – way back in 2000 I flew to Sacramento, California for a CATs stitching festival.  It was the most amazing experience where I got to meet some online stitching pals and had about 6 classes with well-known American designers/needle artists.  It was my first introduction to pulled thread (I thought I was learning drawn thread so I soon found out I didn’t know what I was talking about, and learnt a new skill I hadn’t expected to).  I went a bit crazy at the shopping mall, meeting some more designers face-to-face, and went to a local stitching shop where I was beside myself with all the thread choices etc.  I think I came home with pretty much an entire suitcase full of class projects and stash, along with my first floorstand and mat cutter!  It was an amazing experience that I’m ever so grateful I got to experience!!

12 July – It’s halfway to Christmas.  Do you start your holiday stitching this early?  If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

Truthfully I stitch my holiday stitching whenever I feel like it.  I always used to try to stitch a Christmas ornie a month, but now I just do it when I get the urge, or when I have a rotation slot dedicated to ornie stitching.  It doesn’t bother me stitching Christmas items throughout the year, although I have to admit the closer it gets to Christmas the stronger the urge to stitch something for the festive season!  This year I have no lofty goals, I just want to continue enjoying to stitch – and hopefully have a few finishes by the end of the year :)

Where does the time go???

It seemed like only yesterday when I was publishing my last post, but it seems that was a whole 2 months ago!  There has been so much happening over the last couple of months, to be honest blogging (and stitching) has been the last thing on my mind.

(UPDATED: To remove the information about my family member.)

Then not long after hearing the news about (my family member) my flatmate decided to move out, with hardly any notice, and in fact started moving out that same weekend.  Considering I get paid monthly, and I had just had some higher than hormal expenses that month, that put me into another tailspin as I had to find the rest of the rent prior to payday.  Since then I’ve basically had “zero” non-essential spending, and have been living out of my cupboard and freezer contents … which has actually been really awesome!!  Not only have I not been wasting food like I normally end up doing, but I’ve also managed to lose some weight by not having the money to buy “crap” and put it in my mouth!  In the last 2 months I’ve managed to lose 3.2kg (7lbs).  It’s been an extremely stressful time, I have to admit, as I honestly thought I would have to move out of my home and/or sell items to find rent.  I had adverts on 4 different websites, and it took 6 weeks before I finally found someone to move in.  She’s only been here for 2 weeks so far, so I’m still not spending money properly until I know she’s going to stay around for a while longer … but it was a huge weight off my mind to know I had the rent covered for the next fortnight!  She’s actually really lovely – she’s a nurse and only stays here when she’s doing night shifts at the nursing home she works at.  I had to adjust the rent down to accommodate the fact that she’s not here all week, but I decided it was better to have slightly less rent coming in than no rent whatsoever and have to move out!

Work itself has been quite stressful too … but in a different way.  While I was under so much stress at home it gave me time to really clear my mind and focus on what I wanted to do, and make plans to try to still retain my home etc.  While doing that it also gave me the time to understand to a certain extent why I’ve been so unhappy at work lately, and was able to voice that to my boss – I don’t know whether things there will change quickly, if at all, but it was to outwardly voice my concerns and my boss is happy to work with me to ensure that the work I’m given is rewarding and meets my needs as well as providing a challenge … so I guess that’s all good!  Plus I applied for a different role elsewhere for 12 months a few days before that discussion, so time will tell on that front too I guess …

Then I had my own personal health scare – I thought I was having heart problems when my left hand went numb out of nowhere followed by lightheadedness and chest pains.  The next morning I whisked myself off to see a GP to make sure everything was OK.  It turns out my blood pressure was fine, but the nurse was so lovely I ended up bursting into tears and being a blubbering mess – bless her she was so kind and compassionate.  She does my B12 shots every 3 months so I’ve got to know her relatively well now, and she really was a blessing to me that morning!  When I saw the GP (not my normal well as he wasn’t available), she re-ran a series of blood tests that my normal GP had run 2 years previously, plus added an Insulin test.  When I got my tests results back last week it seems most results were OK but my Insulin test came back to show that I have insulin resistance and I have to really be careful now with my diet as I’m more at risk to cross the line into diabetes country.  As it is my blood levels were right below the borderline for diabetes on it’s own, but this adds a whole new risk.  So now I’ve been ordered to have no carbs at dinner, and I’m trying to have low GI foods on the whole, and little to no sugar whatsoever.  Seeing as I’ve been so health-conscious due to money issues, it’s actually been really easy making the adjustment so far.  I’ll still continue to eat the foods that I have in the pantry for now, rather than throwing it all out and buying from scratch, but I’m just being very very careful about what I eat!  I’ve also been given Metformin tablets to take, but I haven’t started those yet … come this Monday, though, and I’ll start giving those a try, along with doing some exercise daily before work!

As for stitching, even though stitching is usually a great stress relief for me, for some reason this time it just hasn’t been giving me the sense of peace that it normally does.  In fact most nights I’ve been coming home from work so tired I’ve just been laid in bed watching TV without my stitching … and I’ve always watched TV with my stitching in hand, so that’s really unusual for me!!  I have tried to force myself to stitch, though, to try to get my mojo back again, and that’s worked for a short time, but as soon as the working week comes round again I’m back into the same routine of coming home, climbing into bed, and letting the world pass me by while I stare at the TV.  On the weekends, though, I’ve gradually started doing more stitching over the last couple of weeks – and I’m slowly starting to feel at peace at home again which I haven’t felt for an awfully long time since Ian lived here.  Maybe that’s why I’m not stitching as much, that I feel calm and at peace already?  Who knows?  Either way I’m not beating myself up for not stitching and just doing what I want to do every day :)

In saying that, though, I have managed to do a tiny spot of stitching since my last post … and in fact finally finished a very overdue travelling pattern today so it can get on it’s way to the next person on the list!  I think, though, that I should start a new post, as this will also be part of my WIPocalypse update for the last 2 months … enough woe is me for this post … and if any of you got to the end of this one, then you well and truly deserve a medal!!!

 

April & May WIPocalypse

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Hmmm, it seems I’m more than a ‘bit’ forgetful these days … it seems even though I was posting to my blog during April I totally forgot all about the official WIPocalypse update post … doh!! April saw a wee bit of stitching, including the completion of Nora Corbett’s Miss Valentine fairy and Blue Bayou by Northern Pine Designs … it also saw a couple of small ornie finishes … so all-in-all probably a reasonable month of stitching.  The ill-fated Flossy has found a happy home with my Mum (the Dragon) … we were going to offer it to a very close family friend, but Mum made me laugh when she said she has it propped up on her computer chair in her bedroom so she can see her all the time and she says goodnight to her every night as she goes to sleep … bless her.  When I mentioned giving it to our dear friend, her response was “she can have it when I’m gone”!  She’s even got plans for how to get her framed, so I’m pleased she loves her so much that at least she will be treasured.  I do have to admit she does look very pretty, even though she is dressed head to toe in candyfloss pink! :D

Mirabilia (Nora Corbett)-Valentine Fairy

LHN-The Merry Skater

Shepherd's Bush-Joyful Night

Northern Pine Designs-Blue Bayou

When it came to the end of April and then into May, my mojo kind of disappeared a wee bit when I came to the end of my canvaswork rotation and started my “finishing” rotation … for some reason I have to really be in the mood to sit down and do finishing work.  I think part of the problem these days is that I don’t have a dedicated area that I can start items and then leave them to pick up and finish later … with my current flatmate I don’t feel comfortable doing my needlework or finishing in front of him (aside from the fact he comes and puts the TV on as soon as he walks in the room, irrespective of whether I was enjoying the peace and quiet or not in there myself), and I just don’t have the space in my bedroom with all the other junk that is piled up in there …

Last weekend, though, I decided “bugger the flatmate” and pulled a small fold-up table into the lounge, did a bit of finishing, then pulled the little table out of the way at the end of the weekend – it was also still there for this last weekend when I did a wee bit more finishing yesterday while he was out (mind you I only did that because I’d figured out he was going to be away for the rest of the weekend and out of my hair!!).  So perhaps I have found a solution for when I come to my finishing rotation again – and in fact I could possibly pull it into my bedroom too on a temporary basis as long as I pull it back out again before sleeping … hmmmm, I like that plan! So, what did I manage to do with my finishing rotation over the last few weeks?  I managed to finish off the following – which really didn’t need that much done to them for them to be 100% finished … First up 3 ornies – these just needed the felt backings and hangers for the Prairie Schooler ones, and the hanger and little snowflake buttons for the Just Nan one

Christmas ornaments

Next up I stitched down the binding on my teeny Halloween quilt … I did a bit of a hash job on the corners, but it’ll have to do …

Quilted mat

And then my final piece for that particular finishing session was to stitch the cord around the edge of this wee freebie:

Every oak must be an acorn

This last weekend just gone I managed to finish off one of my favourite Halloween pieces into a flat-fold … I found a bright trim in my stash along with some bright ribbons, and pretty happy with the way it turned out :)

Just Nan-Frightful

Just Nan-Frightful

Just Nan-Frightful

Then I finished off yesterday by trying to finish my Bunnies in the Garden needlework set that I stitched a few years ago … sadly it seems I don’t have the ribbon needed to completely finish it, so I’ve got as far as I can go without it … hopefully I’ll get chance next week to pop into Spotlight and find a silk ribbon that will work (assuming Spotlight still SELL silk ribbon, that is!).  Here is how it stands so far:

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The only stitching I’ve done since the last stitching update is to start a charity quilt block with the theme of butterflies.  I bought about a metre of 14-ct white Aida a few years ago in readiness to do some charity stitching, but with my city commute I just never had the mental or physical energy to do it … now I’m working closer to home I figure it’s time I pull my finger out and get some finished.  What also gave me the final kick in the pants was searching for an old XS kit in my wardrobe and finding a bunch that I’d bought especially to use for charity blocks … so out they came ready to start stitching!  Here are the kits I have in the charity block armoury to work my way through:

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And here is where I’m at currently for my first butterflies block … once I’ve finished this block it’s time to get back into my formal rotation once again.

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I still have a couple of gifts to complete, but I work better when I’m sticking to my rotation properly so they will just have to find a rotation slot to drop into and work together with my other pieces :) I’ve probably dribbled on enough for now, but before I hit “publish” I’ll finish off with the two WIPocalypse questions for April and May:

April:  How do you keep your stash organised?

Oh my goodness, I don’t know if I could truly say my stash is “organised” per se … although I guess to a certain extent it could be a lot worse!  My problem is that it is scattered all over the place and not all together.  I’m also a lazy git at heart, so often I can’t be bothered putting something away after stitching it (eg threads etc) and I end up with a dumping corner with threads and charts not put away … it’s no wonder I can often not find what I’m looking for when I just “know” I’ve got it “somewhere”!!  On the whole, though, it is kinda organised in a disorganised way …

  • Threads:  On the whole these are all stored in Flossaway baggies in numerical or alphanumeric order and on individual rings according to their brand.  DMC floss is all stored in numerical order in two plastic tubs so they’re easily accessible as I generally use those the most.  Overdyed threads etc are mostly stored alphanumerically by the colour name, but with the thread brands separated on different rings.  For example, I have separate rings for WDW, GAST, Crescent Colours, Needle Necessities/Threadworx etc.  All these threads are housed in a cardboard storage tub that sits in my Ikea ‘bookcase’.  Silks are stored the same way, and pearl cottons and other specialty threads (pearl cottons etc) are stored in another plastic tub.
  • Fabrics:  These are stored by thread count in two Ikea storage drawers – they used to be sorted in colour groups but I quickly gave up on that idea after I’d rummaged around a few times and disrupted it all!  I also have a ‘tub’ of fabrics sitting on top of my DMC that I’ve obviously pulled out at some stage for a project and never been put back …
  • Charts:  Generally these are stored by theme in ringbinders on bookshelves.  Most of these are housed in the kitchenette on my main bookshelves, but most of my favourite designs/smalls charts are in my bedroom on a narrow bookcase.  I have a couple of folders of “to be stitched ASAP”, but I’m trying to focus on those already partially kitted up first (see below).
  • Finishing fabrics/trims:  Truthfully these are all over the place!  Most of my quilting fabrics are in Ikea storage drawers in my wardrobe, with finishing trims etc in a little plastic storage system that has a few pullout drawers. Not ideal, but seems to work OK for now.

My projects themselves are in a whole world of their own where organisation is concerned!  I’ll try to differentiate the different types:

  • WIPs:  My current rotation projects are sitting in their own storage tub with the project on scrollbars/Qsnaps and sitting with their threads/charts etc in a plastic envelope.  That way each project is ready to go immediately when I want to drag it out of the tub.
  • UFOs:  Older WIPs that I haven’t touched for years are sitting in a cardboard storage tub in my Ikea bookcase in my bedroom – these are not stored on scrollbars etc and may/may not have threads with them … they just sit there forlornly at the very bottom of the bookcase feeling unloved …
  • Partial & full kits:  When I was housesitting in Melbourne I went a bit crazy and cut up fabrics for a few tubs worth of projects and put the fabric with the chart … these are now housed in two separate areas – some of these are sitting along with other full kits in two storage drawers in my wardrobe, and the others have all been split into cardboard storage boxes according to their size that will fit with my rotation.  I basically have one box each for “Large/BAPs”, “Medium” and “Small” projects.  I’m trying to work through those items first before kitting up new designs, seeing as the fabric is already committed and cut up ready for stitching!  That seems to work about 95% of the time, but ever now and then a new project seems to leap out of the chart pile demanding to be stitched first!! :P
  • Canvaswork:  My canvaswork projects are sitting to the left of my Ikea storage bookcase in a shopping bag – these are kitted (or semi-kitted as far as I can for now) with their canvas and threads/charts all ready for when my canvaswork rotation rolls around.  This bag probably makes me drool more than the rest of my storage boxes, if the truth be known!

May:  What designs or themes do you really wish you could find?  What do you think is missing among stitching designs?

Truthfully I can’t say I really have had problems finding a specific type of design … I have, however, had problems finding a specific design that has since gone OOP and hard to locate unless you spend a fortune.  Those are the designs I wish would be more readily available, especially now that PDF downloads are widely available and don’t require a full print-run by a designer.  The other thing I find frustrating is the number of designs only available as kits and not charts, and how many are only available with Aida cloth as the fabric – the fact that I inevitably substitute the fabric in all my kits is not a cost-effective way for me to stitch a design … I really wish that all designs had the option of either having linen in the kit or to just have the chart made available (although I know this would diminish some of the designer’s/distributors’ profits to a certain degree).

The only other thing that has been happening over the last few weeks is something that I can’t talk about yet on my blog, but it threw me for a loop temporarily and my mind has been very very distracted over recent weeks, and I’ve been even more forgetful than ever, if that was even possible!  Hopefully there will be further news sooner rather than later and I can talk about it openly … for now it’s just a case of “wait and see” :)

Blue Bayou finished … and I’m in love with it!!

The title says it all … a few days ago I put the final stitches into Blue Bayou, and oh my goodness I am so in love with it, it’s just not funny!!  I ended up substituting DMC 991 pearl cotton for the charted Anchor pearl cotton, as I just couldn’t find it quickly locally, and I was impatient to get it finished!

Northern Pine Designs-Blue Bayou

“Blue Bayou” by Northern Pine Designs
with recommended canvas and threads
Exception: Substituted Anchor pearl cotton with DMC 991 pearl cotton

I still had 1 1/2 hours left of my canvaswork rotation slot, so I immediately put another Northern Pine Designs project on the stretcher bars and made a start on Surf and Sand … much more subtle colours on this one, and a little too much pink for my liking so far, but I’m hoping once the light turquoise blue gets added it’ll balance the colours out a bit more … it’s very pretty so far, though, even with the pink! :P  I’ve actually stitched half of the next bargello band as well since this photo was taken, but will show more photos later! Surf and Sand

As for the rest of the week, I’m finally starting to feel a bit more ‘normal’ after recuperating at home and being a hermit for a few days.  Today has been spent in the kitchen all day, which means I have a brown rice slice/pie (technically called “Ham Cheese and Leek Pie”) for the freezer for lunches, and a Red Wine, Beef and Mushroom Stew bubbling away in the crockpot for dinners this week … I still have a Pasta, Beef and Mushrooms dish to whip up for the freezer but my feet are killing me thanks to my stupid plantar fasciitis, so I think I’ll call it a day cooking-wise and finish the rest up tomorrow :)

And that means for the rest of the day I’m going to settle in and catch up on some more recorded TV in the lounge (thanks to the flatmate being at work), while starting on my next rotation slot … “Finishing”.  Hopefully by the end of the next 5 or 10 hour rotation (whenever I get fed up with it), I’ll have a few more finished items under my belt and out of the finishing pile, even if they’re just ornaments :D I also have some comments to respond too as well, which I’ll do shortly :)

Stitching Hermit

The title says it all really … in the last 2-3 days since being home I’ve locked myself away from the world and just stitched my little heart out.  It has really done me the world of good and today I feel a lot more relaxed and back to ‘normal’ again (what ‘normal’ actually is!).

I’ve tried to get back into my rotation slot once again, and it’s done me the world of good to have some sort of discipline again with my stitching – it really helps me to ‘focus’ and I get so much more one than I would normally.  The first rotation slot consisted of Christmas ornaments/freebies, and in my 10 hours I managed to finish 2 ornaments, and almost finish another one (I just had to put it to one side because I can’t find one DMC thread I need to finish it … yep, story of my life!!).  The two that I finished are as follows (I won’t show the other one until I’ve actually finished it!):

LHN-The Merry Skater
“The Merry Skater” by Little House Needleworks
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Belfast linen by Countrystitch ~ colour Haystack
with recommended threads, except substituting DMC 712 with 3865
Started 21 Apr 2014 ~ Finished 24 Apr 2014

Shepherd's Bush-Joyful Night
“Joyful Night” by Shepherd’s Bush
from the 1998 JCS Christmas Ornament issue
stitched on 32ct Lambswool Wichelt linen
with recommended threads, except substituting DMC Ecru with 3865
Note: the chart called for pink DMC for the sheep swirl, which seemed to be an error,
so I replaced with DMC 3865
Started 24 Apr 2014 ~ Finished 25 Apr 2014

Then I moved on to my Canvaswork rotation slot … the last time I started this one (Blue Bayou by Northern Pine Designs) I found the WDW pearl cotton that was supposed to be PC#8 was actually PC#5 (it was mislabelled), and it really showed up with my stitching … so my first job yesterday was to unpick the original pearl cotton stitching … which ended up being a challenge in itself!  Because the waffle stitch has so few threads on the back to weave into, I’d managed to thread through a few stitches adjoining it, and it ended up being such a tangled mess trying to unpick I just ended up frogging those as well … which left me with 3 very small bands of metallic threads left.  Once I started stitching, though, I set the stopwatch going and really got into the rhythm of this one.  It’s one of those projects when you wake up in the morning and turn over to see your stitching on your stitching stand and it makes your spirits soar straightaway!

Unfortunately, though, I hadn’t realised I didn’t have one of the pearl cottons for this design, so I’m a bit stalled now … I originally hadn’t worried too much knowing that I should be able to get pearl cottons locally, until I realised last night that it’s actually an Anchor pearl cotton that I need.  I’ve decided, though, to just try and get a DMC equivalent as I really don’t think it’ll make that much of a difference.  Today I’m going to head out to my local Spotlight to see if they have what I need (although truthfully don’t hold out much hope!!).  If not, I’ll just start up a different canvaswork piece to start work on for the remaining 3 hours of my rotation instead.  Here is how Blue Bayou looks right now, along with some close-ups of those amazing stitches in it so far:

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