Spooky time by Lizzie*Kate

I’m now all caught up with the Hallowe’en ornie SAL – here goes my choice for February’s theme of Candy corn.¬† I’m terrified of spiders, so stitching that charm on wasn’t much fun … I have a feeling that’ll be giving me nightmares in the future when it’s on display ūüėČ

Spooky Time by Lizzie*Kate

“Spooky Time” freebie by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast linen (no longer available)
with Silks4U silk threads

 

On a stitching roll …

I’ve had two major finishes this month for the February WIPocalypse, but you’ll have to wait until Tuesday before I show those (unless you’re friends on Facebook, in which case you’ve already seen them!).¬† The finishes are “Red” by Mirabilia, and “Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff – pictures will follow on 28 February ūüôā

This last month is quite possibly the best stitching month I’ve had in ages for finishes … after I finished Flight of the Bumblebees I decided to stick with canvaswork for a while longer and picked up a new start that was going to be my canvaswork choice in my upcoming rotation.¬† I managed to start and finish this one in a matter of days – and reminded me just how much I love doing canvaswork … the interesting stitches and all different thread textures never cease to amaze me and give me so much joy to stitch!

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“Earth Spirit” by Northern Pine Designs
Stitched 18ct Sandstone mono canvas
with recommended threads and beads
Started 17 February 2018 – Finished 18 February 2018

After Earth Spirit I decided to grab some fabric and start catching up on my monthly SALs – starting with the Hallowe’en Ornie SAL.¬† For the month of January the theme was “winged creatures”, so I chose this design by The Prairie Schooler.

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“Eeek” (from Bump in the Night chart) by The Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast linen (no longer available)
with my choice of threads: basic black silk by Hand Dyed Fibers and an amber silk by Silks4U
Started 19 February 2018 – Finished 24 February 2018

The next item on my list for today is to stitch the January ornie from a JCS Christmas Ornie SAL on Facebook … then it’ll be time to catch up on the February ones for both Halloween and Christmas.

 

Hallowe’en SAL – all caught up with Jul/Aug!

Halloween ornie SAL

Wow, I really got ‘in the zone’ this weekend with my stitching – I think I even surprised myself yesterday!! ¬†Here are my choices for July and August.

July – Ghosts

20638661_10154797585668148_4050567271399719620_n¬†“Happy Halloween” by Simple Stitches (freebie)
Stitched on 32ct summer khaki (or dirty?) Belfast linen
with my own choice of DMC threads (similar to the charted GAST)

 August РCreepy Trees

I once again went back to Prairie Schooler’s When Witches Go Riding to stitch the main tree – this is where I can see the colours are very different between the witch and the tree, so I guess I’ll have to re-stitch the witch etc before I’m 100% happy with it – will see how I feel at the end …

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Now that I’m al caught up with the Hallowe’en SAL, I’m about to start kitting up four months worth of Christmas ornament stitching – as usual I’m also behind on my Just Cross Stitch ornie SAL for this year too (using last year’s ornament issue).

Hallowe’en SAL – May/Jun catch-up

Halloween ornie SAL

I’ve been pretty useless keeping up with my SALs again this year – gee, what a surprise! ¬†Eventually, though, I do put needle to fabric and do a bit catch-up session. ¬†That’s what I’ve been doing this weekend, starting to catch up on my Hallowe’en SAL with Jo and the team.

May – Black Cats

For the black cats theme, I continued working on Prairie Schooler’s ‘When Witches Go Riding’. Unfortunately I’m chewing through the Crescent Colours Blackbird thread way more quickly than expected, and I only have one skein left, which isn’t enough to do all the dark areas … so I opted to use DMC 3371 instead for the top banner and the borders. Also unfortunately, the colour is very different to the Blackbird thread, which leaves me in a quandary … whether I should unpick all the other three elements I’ve stitched and re-do them all again in DMC 3371. ¬†If I do end up doing that, it’ll be at the end of the year, I think. You can’t even tell that the dark thread is an overdyed thread, so in hindsight I should have just used 3371 in the first place … but that’s the thing with hindsight, it only seems a good idea after you’ve already put the effort in! ūüėČ

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June – Something Green

Oh my goodness, it took me a very long time to decide on what to stitch for this theme. As it turns out I’d made my decision, but when I was in my stitching room I spied a totally different design, and ended up stitching that one instead. ¬†This was my chosen project, and I have to say I really love it! The colours are a lot deeper/brighter in real life, though.

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“Jack o’ Juggle Spell” by Cathy Dean for The Victoria Sampler
Stitched on 32ct summer khaki (or dirty, I can’t remember) Belfast linen
Stitched with recommended threads, with the exception of replacing Kreinik #4 braid 010HL with 011HL.
I also subbed the black beads with ones I had in my stash, and added two extra legs on the dangling spider.

Next up is July, and the theme is Ghosts – another theme with lots of project choices, but I’m opting for a very quick stitch option to help me catch-up. With any luck it won’t be long before that one is sitting in the finishing pile, as I fully intend to start stitching that one tonight ūüôā ¬†Then I’ll be all caught up, and it’ll be back to When Witches Go Riding for August’s theme of ‘Creepy Trees’.

Hallowe‚Äôen SAL – spiders and cobwebs

Halloween ornie SAL

After having an extra long weekend I managed to catch up on my Hallowe’en Ornie SAL by completing the missing March design. ¬†I ended up stitching a smaller ornament instead of starting a larger project, which was my initial plan. ¬†Anyway, here’s my final choice – a freebie design by Jacquie Morris. ¬†The March theme was “Spiders and Cobwebs”.

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“Owl” freebie by Jacquie Morris (design still available on her website)
Stitched on 32ct Frosted Pumpkin Belfast linen by Silkweaver (the real colour is more red/orange than the photo shows)
Stitched entirely with DMC 310

Hallowe’en SAL 2017

Halloween ornie SAL

Crikey, I’m not doing too well so far with my commitment stitching – I’ve just been plugging away at Chatelaine’s Egyptian Garden Sampler in the odd days when I haven’t been working mental crazy hours at work. ¬†This last week, though, I finally got my fabric gridded up so I can start stitching my focus piece for the Hallowe’en SAL this year. ¬†It’s my intention to find work on a larger design for most of the monthly themes, then I’ll do an individual ornament as well if I get time (or have the inclination).

Anyway, this week I’ve ¬†managed to catch up on 3 of the 4 monthly themes, with just March left to do. I’ve already decided which one to stitch on, I just need to get it kitted up and on the Qsnaps, and I should be able to knock it over in a few hours as it appears to be quite a quick one (although that could be famous last words!!).

Here’s my progress so far on Prairie Schooler’s When Witches Go Riding, and the monthly themes I’ve covered on it so far are:

  • January – The Moon
  • February – Witches
  • April – Winged Creatures

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I’ve decided to change all the colours around, and using a random selection of overdyed threads from my stash that are somewhat similar to the charted DMC threads.

Mid-summer stitching frenzy

This summer in Sydney has been unbearable with the hottest January on record since records began – which means you’ll generally find me indoors hiding from the heat and sitting in front of the electric fan the entire weekend. ¬†It’s been too darned hot to do much of anything else, and even my stitching chair is now covered in a towel to make it more comfortable and less hot to sit in … bring on Autumn, is all I can say!!

So what stitching have I managed to do so far? None of my WIPs have been touched since my last finish, but I have picked up some very small new starts to meet my SAL commitments in the two SALs I’ve joined this year. ¬†And here they are:

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“Blue Snowman” by The Little Stitcher (2016 JCS Christmas Ornie issue)
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Country Mocha Belfast linen
with recommended threads (DMC) but changing the brown nose to orange

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“Merry Christmas to You” by My Big Toe (2016 JCS Christmas ornie issue)
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana by Countrystitch ~ colour Limestone
with recommended DMC threads

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“Boo!” freebie by The Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 32ct sage green (?) mystery linen
with recommended DMC threads
For the Hallowe’en SAL theme of “Moon”

This next finish was so much fun to do, but it took me a couple of nights to get back into a good ‘canvaswork rhythm’ – now I’ve finished, though, I’ve got the bug back to do another one … I think I’ll be heading back into the stash pile this week to drag out a bigger one to work on very very soon! It’s so much fun to work with other threads instead of just DMC cotton floss, not to mention the amount of pleasure I get from working different stitches again – it’s so addictive!

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“Holly and Ivy” freebie by Laura J Perin Designs
Stitched on 18ct eggshell monocanvas

with recommended threads

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Lots of stitching finishes

Ever since I’ve been eating healthier, and sleeping better, I’ve managed to find my stitching mojo on a regular basis. ¬†As such, it’s seen a bunch of finishes over the last two months – most of them new starts, with one UFO from the start of the year.

First up I was trying really hard to do a catch-up for a Halloween Ornie SAL I signed up for this year. ¬†Unfortunately I found HAEDs at the start of the year and my sole stitching focus went into those for a while, then working life got turned on its head for a bit and crazy working hours became the norm once again. ¬†I decided in October I really did want to catch up on the SAL, but I didn’t want to stitch a heap of ornies. ¬†At the start of the year I’d planned on working on two larger projects, that each had a block containing something that would fit within the SAL monthly themes. ¬†Because of me starting so late in the piece, I ended up just stitching one larger piece with a couple of extra ornies thrown in for good measure. ¬†This is what I chose for the monthly SAL, which I stitched in strict order of the themes for the year (with the exception of the two ornies, which I stitched first):

  • January – Winged creatures (block 5, the owl and bat)
  • February –¬†Mummies and Monsters (block 6, the Frankenstein head at the end)
  • March – Pumpkins (block 1)
  • April – Ghosts (block 2, the teeny weeny ghost hiding behind the tree)
  • May – Spiders (separate ornie, freebie by Lizzie*Kate)
  • June – Free choice (the geometric border)
  • July – Witches’ accessories (block 3, the witch’s cauldron)
  • August – Spooky words (the words in the border)
  • September – Bad fairies (still have no idea what on earth to do for that one)
  • October – Black cats (block 4)
  • November – Skeletons and Skulls (another separate ornie, Halloween Ornament 4 by The Floss Box)

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“Halloween Markings” by Heart in Hand
stitched on 32ct Steel Grey Belfast linen
with a couple of recommended threads, but mostly replacements from my stash
Stitched as an alternative to ornaments for a Halloween Ornie SAL

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“Eek” freebie by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct ‘mystery’ grey Belfast linen
with recommended threads

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“Halloween Ornament 4” by The Floss Box
Stitched on 32ct ‘mystery’ linen
with recommended DMC threads

After my Halloween stitching binge, I decided to drag out a UFO from the start of the year. ¬†This was one of my Crazy January Challenge pieces (15 starts in 15 days, which I’ve decided really isn’t for me anymore – I want to spend my stitching time working through all those WIPs/UFOs cluttering up my stitching space instead of starting a bunch of new ones!). ¬†Anyway, after a few weeks chipping away at her, I had a few days of work this week and managed some major progress, and finishing her a couple of days ago. ¬†This was significantly helped by throwing a few seasons of Buffy into the DVD player, it was great mindless, and amusing, fodder for the brain while completing a stitching marathon ūüôā

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“The Christmas Elf Fairy” by Mirabilia
stitched on 32ct natural linen
with kit threads (Crescent Colours) and beads

The last one, hot off the Qsnaps on Friday¬†night was one I’d originally stitched as a charity quilt square a few years ago. ¬†I’ve been wanting to restitch this for myself ever since, and still had the DMC sitting with the chart ready for the day when I found time. ¬†I decided it was finally time to pull¬†my finger out and get it stitched up so I grabbed some fabric and threw it on the Qsnaps – I love this one, and it’ll beautifully with my ocean/beach theme in the lounge!

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“Chambered Nautilus” by Green Apple Co (original watercolour by Janet Powers)
Stitched on 32ct off-white Belfast linen
with recommended DMC threads

And that’s all for now I guess … I’m not 100% sure what I’ll choose to stitch on next. ¬†I’ve been trying to finish off a lot of the WIPs sitting in crates so that I have a few Qsnaps free to use for new projects, so no doubt the next thing I choose to stitch will be something already started … Mind you,¬†I do still have four ornaments left to stitch to complete the 2016 JCS Christmas Ornie SAL challenge on Facebook – I guess that’ll probably be the first thing ticked off, then it’ll be time to grab one of my WIPs as my next focus piece. ¬†At the moment I’m tossing up between the following WIPs/UFOs – I just may have to toss a coin, because I really can’t decide right now! ūüėČ

Very Scary Mystery Sampler – finito

Back in June I decided I needed to start working on a few of my WIPs and getting them finished, especially as the HAED I was working on was starting to give me headaches during a very stressful period at work.

The first WIP I decided to pick up and work on until it was finished was Lizzie*Kate’s “Very Scary Mystery Sampler” that I’d had kitted up for pretty much as long as the kit was first released. ¬†I didn’t like the recommended linen at all as it was too close to the browns in the threads, and totally different to the cover picture, so I subbed with something from the stash that would ‘do’. ¬†I was a bit worried the purple tones of the fabric would clash with the border threads, but I think it turned out OK in the end. The same as most people have done so far, I didn’t realise the ‘grass’ was all supposed to be done as satin stitch and not just the bottom section … but I couldn’t be bothered unpicking it all and it’s good enough for me ūüėČ

Halloween Mystery Sampler by Lizzie*Kate

“Very Scary Mystery Sampler” by Lizzie*Kate
Started 31 August 2015 – Finished 12 June 2016
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana by Countrystitch ~ colour Storm
with recommended (kit) threads and beads

The next project I finished was a huge achievement for me, and deserves a post all of its own … ūüôā

Latest stitching efforts (picture heavy)

As I mentioned in my first ‘return from the dead’ post last week, I’ve managed to do a spot of sporadic stitching here and there over recent months – often the sessions were weeks apart, and each spurt of stitching energy was short-lived. ¬†Anyhow, here are the updates and the WIPs and¬†finishes¬†that happened while I’ve been away …

It seems I never showed the final finish of this piece, which I finished back at the end of January:

Autumn Leaves by The Prairie Schooler

“Autumn Leaves” by The Prairie Schooler
Finished 25 January 2015
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with recommended DMC threads

Here’s one¬†I managed to finish in June – which now means I’ve stitched everything in that particular leaflet. ¬†I was going to on-sell it or use it as a trade chart, but think it may come in handy for any future exchanges that I do, I think some of these squares are really cute:

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“Autumn Leaves” by The Prairie Schooler
Finished around 14 June 2015
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with recommended DMC threads

At some point I decided a change of pace was in order, and I picked up a canvaswork project to stitch on.  This was my next finished piece, finishing it in early July Рand one of the first times in ages I truly enjoyed my stitching experience, even with all the metallic ribbons!  Unfortunately I had run out of the turquoise ribbon, or it would have been finished much sooner!

Navajo by Northern Pine Designs

“Navajo by Northern Pine Designs”
Finished on 5 July 2015
Stitched on 18ct eggshell mono canvas
with recommended threads

Next up are all the current works in progress … I’ve just signed up to a bunch of other stitch-alongs in one of the Facebook groups I belong to, so there will soon be a pile more WIPs added to the pile – I’ve chosen SALs where I already have a project that is high up on my to-do list, so it’s motivating me to start stitching them. ¬†Anyway, in the meantime here are the current WIPs:

“Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff – this one is a very old UFO that I’ve started making a conscious effort to get finished. ¬†Unfortunately, as per my normal luck, I’ve run out of one of the gold metallic braids, so I’m waiting for a stash parcel to arrive with the replacement (I had a splurge a month ago to finish kitting up some other charts that were missing threads). ¬†I”m pretty pleased with how this one is going, though, and it doesn’t have too much more to go before it’s finished.

Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff

“Blue Birds” by Laura J Perin – While I was on a ‘canvaswork roll’, I decided to drag out a freebie from Laura J Perin I’ve had sitting in my stash for many years. ¬†Sadly, though, I ran out of the navy Pebbly Perle that was used around the border, so once again another design sits unfinished. ¬†A wonderful fellow stitcher, though, came to my rescue quickly and sent me a card of the thread I need. ¬†As soon as I find my card of blue Tiara thread, which has apparently gone into hiding, I’ll be able to finish this one off pretty quickly. ¬†I just LOVE the colours of this one! ¬†If anyone is interested, the chart is still available for download at the Rainbow Gallery site.

Blue Birds by Laura J Perin

Wedding Sampler for Elie – This is a self-designed wedding sampler that I’m stitching for a close male friend. ¬†I struggled the whole way with this one, so I haven’t pulled my finger out and started it, and the wedding was nearly 3 years ago!! ¬†I’m still not 100% with the fabric and thread choice, but I’ve decided in this case I’m my own worst critic, and I should just continue on with it. ¬†I think the groom will love it regardless of how it looks – the contents of the sampler are very personal to him, so hopefully it will be treasured. ¬†I’ve shown a picture of what the whole thing will look like once it’s finished. ¬†The photo isn’t very good at all, the fabric is a buttery creamy colour.

Elie's wedding sampler

Elie's wedding sampler

“Halloween Mystery Sampler” by Lizzie*Kate – This one was a gift from my Mum for Christmas when the designs were first released. ¬†I also purchased the Tin Roof fabric that was recommended for this one, but really didn’t like it at all, so it sat in a box for ages while I found something else. ¬†I’m still not 100% with this choice either, but I certainly like it a lot better than the Tin Roof one! ¬†I started this one as part of a Sampler SAL, and really enjoying stitching it!

Halloween Mystery Sampler by Lizzie*Kate

“Quaker Christmas II – Songs of the Season” by ByGone Stitches – This is another one I’m really struggling with, as I can’t stand the fabric I chose to stitch it on. ¬†It’s on a 35ct Weeks Dye Works fabric, and it’s just dreadful – it feels like I’m stitching on an old rag! ¬†Anyway, the chart itself is at least enjoyable to work on, I just need to forget about the immense size of this one and keep focusing on one motif at a time. ¬†I haven’t worked on it for well over a year, then when Mum came to visit a month or so ago I sat and stitched on it while we were both sick and watching TV all day. ¬†It was a good design to work on when you didn’t have to concentrate too much! ¬†I actually managed to do a lot more than I thought I had … I’m now almost 3 pages down, and only about 12 left to go … haha.

Quaker Christmas II - Songs of the Season by ByGone Stitches

As to what’s coming up next, there are a lot of decisions to be made … lots of SALs and lots of designs to choose from that will fit within each SAL – some decisions are going to be easier than others, that’s for sure! ¬†I’ll do a separate post for my own sake so that I can refer back to it and help myself choose closer to the start times! ¬†But I’ll also be continuing to work on these as well, as all my SALs chosen don’t have set finish dates … that means I can easily slot them into my rotation along with these other projects as well ūüôā