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WIPocalypse 2018 kick-off and craft goals for 2018

I didn’t want to set too many ‘goals’ this year because I have a tendency not to meet them … instead I’m thinking of these goals being like the Pirate’s Code, they’re more ‘guidelines’ 😉 It’s my lofty wishlist, because it’s full of my crafty hopes and dreams for the year even though it’s unlikely most of these will be fulfilled 😉

Cross stitch and embroidery

I still have way too many WIPs not yet finished, so I’d like to whittle a few of those down by the end of 2018 – although I have a large number of new starts I want to do too. It’s going to be a fine balance of new fun projects as well as getting some older (and perhaps not-so-loved) ones done at the same time.  I won’t list out the new starts in detail (aside from a couple), but I’ll give details of existing WIPs and what progress I’d like to see on them.

Cross stitch WIPs:

  1. Starfish by Mill Hill – this is the first project I wanted to complete in 2018, and I put the final beads into the piece late last night, so one goal ticked off the list already – DONE √
  2. Red by Mirabilia (in a blue conversion) – I’d like to totally finish this, and it’ll likely be my sole project for January as I’m going to a Mirabilia retreat early February and I’d love to make serious progress by then (getting her finished would be even more amazing, but highly unlikely) – DONE √
  3. Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor – 20 hours (ie two rotation slots) or two larger motifs completed – DONE √
  4. Red Lace Sewing Case by The Drawn Thread – add the felt/beads and do the finishing … and finally gift it to the intended recipient
  5. Egyptian Garden Mandala by ChatelaineE – Finish the bottom half
  6. Quaker Christmas II by ByGone Stitches – Complete the motifs underneath Let There Be Peace on Earth (ie up to the three sailing ships) … but if not, at least finish the Let There be Peace on Earth motif in the centre
  7. When Witches Go Riding by The Prairie Schooler – I’d like to totally finish this, maybe doing some elements as part of the 2018 Hallowe’en SAL again
  8. Three Kings by Mill Hill/Jim Shore – I’d love to finish this … but if not, at least finish two of the three kings in the centre
  9. Progress on three other UFOs/WIPs, yet to be decided (but top contenders so far are Paris by Country Threads, Sailor’s Valentine by CA Wells, Cottage Etui by CA Wells, Pyramid Etui by CA Wells, English Garden Sampler by Teresa Wentzler, Raphael’s Raspberries by Forget-me-nots in Stitches, Starry Snowman ornie, and Hardanger scissor fob)

Other needlework WIPs:

  1. Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff – finish this by adding the embellishments – DONE √
  2. Hearts & Berries by Marg Low – I’d like to totally finish this into the bag
  3. Make a Christmas Wish by Marg Low – I’d like to totally finish this and get it framed before Christmas
  4. Travel Cord Buddy by Michelle Marvig – I’d like to totally finish this
  5. Stumpwork – choose one old stumpwork UFO and make some progress

New starts:

  1. Start (and hopefully finish) at least two canvaswork projects – 1/2 DONE: 1) Earth Spirit by Northern Pine Designs; 2) ???
  2. Start a new HAED (or maybe two – one mini/QS and one larger one)
  3. Choose a project (or two) that has specialty stitches – eg hardanger, band sampler

Crochet

My goals here are much loftier than the cross stitch goals – but probably important to keep the impetus up while I’m learning so that the lessons I learn are more ingrained into my brain cells!

  1. Finish my striped blanket – DONE √
  2. Make at least one (hopefully different) granny square or other blanket square every week
  3. Complete at least three months crochet projects from “Crate Crochet” (assuming I can afford to continue receiving them for that long and I deem them to be value for money) – DONE √
  4. Make a coffee cup cuff – DONE √
  5. Small granny square pincushion
  6. Make a shawl
  7. Start an Atlanticus (mandala) blanket
  8. Restart my Spice of Life blanket

Quilting

  1. Make some small pincushions
  2. A very simple goal here of starting a queen-sized bed patchwork quilt for myself
  3. Maybe start my Piece and Plenty quilt
  4. Maybe start my The Blue Collection quilt (but highly unlikely)

I’m already laughing at my wishlist for the year … but if you don’t dream, you don’t achieve 😉

Stitchalongs/Challenges

While my intentions started off great in 2017, my follow-through was woeful. This year the goals are essentially the same, but with everything else in the previous list taking priority, these may or may not happen this year.

  1. WIPocalypse 2018 – my favourite challenge every year, and probably the one thing that brings me back to my blog to post my update each month 😉
  2. Smalls SAL – time to start working through some of my folders bulging to the brim of small freebie designs from last 10 years and actually stitch a few!
  3. Hallowe’en Ornie SAL – I still have loads of Halloween stitch I want to do, including a bunch of new purchases last year by The Drawn Thread – even if I don’t manage the SAL all year, I’d like to make some progress here.
  4. Stitch from Stash 2018 – My change in financial situation this year means being very frugal with my craft spending. I did a big splurge in September, which is finally due to arrive this month, so that’ll keep me happy for a while. The only items I should be buying this year is anything Limited Edition (but unlikely), and any DMC etc I run out of that I need to complete a project.
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WIPocalypse 2017 – January

Time to start dusting off the blog once again, and at least attempting to post once a month if nothing else.  I’m hoping that signing up for the Measi’s WIPocalypse again will help with that goal.  Seeing as I’m doing a Stitching From Stash challenge on Facebook, an almost non-existent stitching budget this year, and a never-ending pile of WIPs/UFOs, I think it’ll be great to have another year focusing on getting some of these older projects into the finishing pile, or if not finished at least getting a few more stitches into them by the end of the year.

To start with, we’ve been asked to do the following this month: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

So, for those who don’t know me, I’m a single 50-year-old stitcher living in Sydney, Australia. I work for an airline where I look after a lot of the online content for our side of the business plus something else that takes up the rest of my working day and often leads to long working hours.  It’s also unfortunately meant less play time for my stitching over the last 2 1/2 years, but I’m hoping 2017 will see that changing if I get my way 😉

I have very eclectic taste in XS designs/designers, and have enough stash to keep me going until I’m 500.  I tend to use Facebook more than anything these days, although I’m also loving Instagram for posting of stitching photos.  Aside from stitching, I’ve also been doing a 365 Photo-a-Day Challenge, which has been a lot of fun.

As for the projects, brace yourself with the unveiling of my WIP/UFO pile … I know I’m missing a handful of projects, but I’ll add details of those when I get home again and manage to take a photo.  I won’t be attempting to tackle all of these, but I’ve noted under each photo which ones I’d like to focus on this year.  As for goals, I’d just like to get 5-6 existing WIPs finished this year, with some decent progress on at least one of the bigger projects … and I want to enjoy my stitching and not stress.  I’d also like to finish a few tutorials this year.

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  1. Topiary Garden(?) by Textile Heritage – I’d like to finish this one in 2017.
  2. Bluebeard’s Princess Mirabella by Mirabilia – I’m not 100% sure of the fabric choice for this one, which is why it didn’t progress further … if nothing else, I’d like to make up my mind on fabric – not sure this will get too much love this year otherwise.
  3. Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor – I’d like to get 25% of this one finished this year.
  4. Starry Snowman ornie by Homespun Elegance – this only has a bunch of backstitching and charms to be added, so it should be finished in an hour or two and is on the list to be quickly finished off when I get home.
  5. Bee Keeper Scissor Keeper by Cindy Valentine – the scissor case has the stitching finished, so I just need to stitch up the matching scissor fob … I’d like to finish this one in 2017.
  6. Red Lace Sewing Case by The Drawn Thread – I’d already make some progress on this one by finishing the 2nd side (alphabet) before Christmas.  I’ll be finishing this one as a priority on my return home this week – it’s a gift for someone, so it’d be great to get it finished!
  7. Celtic Summer by Lavender & Lace – truthfully another one I’m not thrilled with my choice of linen, so it’s unlikely to get much love for a while.  I may look at this one towards the end of the year, but it’s not a priority for me.
  8. Finch Song by Shepherd’s Bush – I don’t like how a couple of the threads ‘blend in’ to the background green grass, so I think I need to make some substitutions plus find another cream thread for the sheep. I’d love to make progress on this one and get it finished in 2017, but it’s unlikely … if I could decide on the thread replacements, I’ll be happy!
  9. The Tea Room by Country Cottage Needleworks – another one that’s not a priority to finish, as there is hardly anything started on this one, and other projects are calling my name more than this.  Will see how I feel later in the year, though.

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  1. Noah’s Ark by Teresa Wentzler – one of my oldest UFOs that got stalled when I tackled over-one stitching for the first time. As I’ve now completed a mini HAED over-one, there’s really no excuse not to pick this one back up again … except others are more on my radar than this one.  Maybe if I just get a couple more animals stitched that would be good progress?
  2. Topiary Tree Bookmark by Textile Heritage – I need to stitch the sides onto some calico so I can put this into a Qsnap … I hate stitching in hand and the quality of these stitches are proof that I can’t get decent tension – not sure this one will see any progress this year.
  3. Hussif by Martha Schmidt (class kit) – this is one of the class projects from way back in 2000 when I attended a HOCS in Sacramento, CA. I actually dislike my colour choices for the blue threads as there isn’t any contrast between the two colours, so if nothing else I’d like to decide on two alternate threads to use instead, and get it kitted up ready for 2018 stitching.
  4. Nature’s Resting Place by Stoney Creek – OMG where to start with this one? My first ever project (and probably my 3rd or 4th EVER stitching project) on evenweave and I made a total hash of it. The background stitches are all stitched with two threads instead of 1 and I’ve made a massive boo-boo on the tree trunk at the front which will probably mean having to rip out the entire stitching, including the Canadian goose and goodness knows what else.  While I’m tempted to just chuck it out, the stubborn part of me thinks I may as well suck it up and unpick it all and just finish it off … but it’s no longer my ‘style’ of stitching either, and I’ll never put it on my wall or do anything with it, so I’m not sure what to do with it … probably nothing will happen in 2017 anyway, unless I just do the unpicking in readiness for one day in the future to fix it all up …
  5. Paris by Country Threads – one of my Crazy January projects from last year, I’d like to see the letter R finished this year if nothing else. Anything beyond that will be a bonus.
  6. Daisy Blue by HAED – I’d dearly love to get this one finished ASAP, so I think this will be high on the priority list in the first half of the year.
  7. Egyptian Garden Mandala by Chatelaine – this poor thing has been a UFO for way too long. I’ve never been 100% sure of the fabric, and need to unpick all the centre over-one stitching … as much as I’d love to give it some love this year, I’m not sure it will.  Perhaps if I unpick all the centre stitching, it’ll motivate me to pick it up a bit more, so I’ll make that my challenge for 2017.
  8. Quaker Christmas II by ByGone Stitches – this is a monster project that I’d like to see reach the halfway point in 2017.  I have no desire to get it 100% finished this year, but I think 50% may be doable …
  9. English Garden Sampler by Teresa Wentzler – I stopped this one after not being able to decide what to put in place of the alphabet in the bottom section. Obviously this is a trend for me … as soon as I have to make a decision on something ‘out of the ordinary’ it’s like a major stumbling block for me and nothing at all happens! I want to put an inspirational quote in there, so even if I don’t get any stitching done on it this year, I’d like to decide on the quote and have it charted up ready to go in 2018.  In truth, though, I’d dearly love to get some more stitching done on this one in 2017!

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  1. Sailor’s Valentine by CA Wells – it’s quite shameful how long I’ve had this as a UFO, when all it needs is the outside bands to be stitched. Guilt will hopefully see this one pulled out of the UFO pile as I’d like to finish this one in 2017, even if I don’t get the actual finishing done on it (that scares the bejeezus out of me, as I can’t even remember how to do the joining stitch anymore!!).
  2. Pyramid Etui by CA Wells – my oldest CA Wells class project but it may not get any love in 2017. I’m not 100% convinced my choice of silk thread was the best for the dark blue, but I’m probably too far down the track to do anything else. I need to just suck it up and get it finished, and then if I want to stitch it again in a different colourway (as it is, I totally changed CA’s threads to match my love of blues).  The silk thread reminded me of Monet’s garden colours, but the finished version didn’t match my fantasy …
  3. Cottage Etui by CA Wells – my final class project by CA, and another one I’d like to make progress on in 2017 … or perhaps I should wait until 2018 and make it a 10-year anniversary stitching session? 😛
  4. Stumpwork Thimblepip by Jane Nicholas – this is supposed to be a full needlework accessories set, but I’m not 100% sure on the silk fabric choice anymore, and my tension was dreadful for the wee hedgehog, not to mention the thread colours disappear in the signature piece … plus the spider web needs to be tacked down. Maybe I just need to do these final finishing touches and get it made up … maybe.

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  1. Apricot (Blue) Elegance by Cindy Valentine – I kept stuffing up the buttonhole stitch border and frogged it so many times I lost count, and then lost my confidence with it. Not sure 2017 will be the year I conquer this one, but never say never!
  2. Schwalmwork Pinkeep by Moss Creek Designs – another one I’m not sure will see any progress in 2017 until I get my confidence back! Perhaps another one for 2018?
  3. Raphael’s Raspberries by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches – if I work on this one it’ll be later in the year. After I stitch this one there is a larger sweet bag that goes with it and uses the same fabric and threads, so I’d like to tackle them both at the same time if possible, and I really need my concentration and wits about me when I do that, which may not be 2017!
  4. Stumpwork Goldfish (EGA Group Correspondence Course) – this poor thing has been a UFO for way too long, but I’m not sure 2017 will see it get some love. I could surprise myself, though, as I want to get back into finishing some of my stumpwork pieces this year, and at least this one will be easier to see the stitches! 😉
  5. Hardanger scissor fob – I’d like to see this one finished quickly, as I intend it going as a companion gift with the Red Lace Sewing Case.
  6. Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff – I definitely want to finish this one early on in the first half of the year. I’d run out of one of the Kreinik #8 braids, but I recently bought a replacement spool so I’m ready to go again!
  7. Le Jardin Silk Sampler by Just Cross Stitch – not sure this will see any daylight in 2017, as I really hated working with the Silk Serica with a passion. I’ll review again later in the year though.
  8. Butterflies and Hearts Needleroll by Lorri Birmingham – I hated the thread colour in the kit, plus I’d managed to miscount on the fabric so it’s off-centre … all-in-all I need to unpick this in its entirety and start it again. My goal this year is to decide on a new colour scheme and kit up ready for 2018.
  9. Mediterranean Village Scene – still not convinced I should bother finishing this one off … I decided I didn’t like the blue colour used on the windows etc, and not sure what to do with it now as I’d never ever finish it into anything, I don’t think …

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  1. Beaded Fish – goodness I don’t think I could even remember how to do these now! I think most of these nine projects will end up being forgotten about in 2017, and I’ll see in 2018 if I can give them some love.
  2. Beehive needlebook – I don’t enjoy stitching in hand and was struggling with the fresh knots, so it became a UFO.
  3. Bullion knot facecloth – I hate pink with a passion, so it sits forever unfinished ever since I took the class to learn how to do bullions.  I’m tempted to just rip these out of the facecloth and forget I ever started it …
  4. Berry Delightful Bag – an old Embroiderers Guild project that’ll be finished eventually, just not in 2017.
  5. Wool hot water bottle cover – I fell out of love with the choice of wool threads I’m using, and would rather do again in blues and pale yellows/creams, but I can’t bring myself to start again … maybe in 2018?
  6. Frog longstitch – another project I think I may just throw out and give free to a good home to someone willing to stitch it. I don’t feel any love for this one, and it’s just sitting taking up space with no desire whatsoever to work on it.
  7. Goldwork Pea – I stuffed this one up with the pea facing the wrong way, so it put me off finishing it … but once I’ve built my confidence up with some of the other non-XS projects I think I’ll come back to this one again … in 2018 or beyond.
  8. Summer Fruits pincushion – Another one for 2018 or 2019 …
  9. Hussif by Monica Hunt – all it needs is the top attaching to the bottom piece by stitching Feather Stitch along both sides … considering the name of my blog you’d think that’d be a piece of cake, but for some reason it terrifies me and it sits as a UFO for that silly reason … especially when I’d managed to do the stitch along the shorter sides already!  Not sure 2017 is the year I’ll pluck up the courage though …

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  1. Honesty and Heartsease by Jane Nicholas – if I was to work on any of my stumpwork pieces this is one that would see the light of day first. I’ve noticed my eyesight declining a lot this last year, so I think I should do these sooner rather than later as the work is extremely fine … perhaps 2017 will be the year this one sees some love?!
  2. Dragonfly by Jane Nicholas – another one that is almost finished, it just needs the wings to be completed … it should be awesome to see this one done, but Honesty and Heartsease will probably win the popularity stakes if I had to choose one.
  3. Pomegranates and Beetle by Jane Nicholas – I stuffed up the direction of the stem stitch in one half of the tree, plus I attached the wrong half of the pomegranate slip to the fabric so it became a UFO. This was a class project with Jane herself, so I’d really like to get this one done one day, but probably after I’ve completed the others.
  4. Oriental Poppy by Jane Nicholas – yet another stumpwork UFO that has a lot of the pieces stitched and ready to go (not in the photo) … I really do need to pull my finger out and get some of these done, as they’ll be stunning when they’re finished!!

As well as the above, I have plans for a few more new starts, which are all kitted up and ready to go!  So far I’m keen to start work on Red by Mirabilia (but doing a blue conversion), Three Kings by Jim Shore/Mill Hill, and a couple of wee Mill Hill kits … but time will tell what I do actually start.  I’m stitching from my stash this year, so whatever I stitch will have to be kitted up already and ready to go 🙂

 

 

2015 Recap & 2016 Stitching Goals

Well my stitching finishes in 2015 were pretty paltry in comparison to other years, but I’m still proud that I managed as much as I did considering the exhausting year I’ve had at work etc.  Here they are all together (with the exception of one last finish coming tomorrow!):

I have a HUGE list of stitch-a-longs and challenges I want to join in 2016 – I have no real intention of actually FINISHING any of the SAL projects during 2016, but I hope to get a decent rotation happening again where I can give each piece a bit of love and dedication throughout the year.  Here is the planned list:

  • 1 Jan – Mirabilia SAL – my choice is Bluebeard’s Princess, which I’ve had kitted up for a couple of years now, the only problem is I can’t decide on the fabric … I guess I’d better make a decision over the next 24 hours or so!
  • 1 Jan – Ornament SAL (12 months) – my choice to kick this SAL off is Victoria Sampler’s Blackwork #3-4 … other ones throughout the year are ones that I already have the fabric cut up and ready for stitching.
  • 1 Jan – JCS 2015 Ornament Issue SAL (12 months) – The chosen design will be the most voted for design from each double page spread throughout the year.
  • 1 Jan to 7 Jan – Crazy 7 SAL – I haven’t decided 100% on all of my choices yet (or even if I’ll definitely do this challenge).  I have a couple of large projects I definitely want to include, but also wanted to have some smaller ones too, which would give me more of a chance to actually finish one of them during the year!  So far my choices aren’t looking too small though!:
    1 Jan – Lizzie*Kate’s Christmas flip-its
    2 Jan – Rosewood Manor’s Quaker Diamonds
    3 Jan – Shepherd’s Bush’s Here We Go A Haunting
    4 Jan – Mirabilia’s Christmas Elf Fairy
    5 Jan – CCN’s The Tea Room
    6 Jan – Shepherd’s Bush’s Finch Song
    7 Jan – Either Country Threads’ Paris kit, or Mill Hill’s Haunted Hotel
  • 10 Jan – Dimensions SAL – my choice is Weekend a Paris
  • 10 Jan – Teatime Stitchers SAL – we have a choice of 3 freebies charts, so I’ll be stitching on of the pansy freebies for this round
  • 12 Jan – Christmas Stocking SAL – I have a Dimensions kit Enchanted Ornament Christmas Stocking that I’ll be starting, but don’t hold out much hope of having it in use for 2016, maybe 2017 all going well!
  • 13 Jan – HAED SAL – I’m still dithering over which one to stitch – I have a choice of three (originally it was two, but I just recently splurged on a piece that I’m totally in love with … and had to choose the maximum colours, so I think I’m a bit insane with that one!!).  My choices are either QS Iris, Blue Daisy, or His Way Home.
  • 14 Jan – Valentine’s Day SAL – Still deciding on a chart to use, but it’s like to be Bent Creek’s Bliss or the Drawn Thread’s Love fob.
  • 15 Jan – 2016 Hallowe’en Ornie SAL – There’s no actual start date for this one, but I figure the first two weeks of the year are horrendous for new starts, so I’ll start my ornie in the middle of the month!  The theme for January is Winged Creatures (bats, owls, crows, ravens etc), so I’m really looking forward to that one 🙂
  • 7 Feb – Country Cottage Needleworks SAL – No idea which one I’m going to decide on in the end, but it’s likely to be one of the beach/seaside designs.
  • 17 Feb – St Patrick’s Day SAL – A nice small one for me this time round, I think I’ll be stitching Bent Creek’s Leprechaun, or Victoria Sampler’s Ireland from the International Hearts series.
  • 27 Feb – Easter SAL – Another nice small one, I’m going to be stitching Bent Creek’s Happy Easter.
  • 26 Jul – Specialty Stitch SAL – I have so many projects to choose from, and this is so far in the future, I’ll see what I’m in the mood for closer to the time.

And just for my own amusement, here are the planned new starts in visual format (and means I’ll have a truckload of WIPs/UFOs for 2017 LOL):

More stitching plans for 2015

After doing a quick rushed post the other day about my wishlist for 2015 stitching, I’ve had more time to think things through and formulate some more plans.  Other than working to a rotation of sorts, I thought it might be fun to join some other groups to give me more motivation to post progress each month.  As such I’ve chosen groups that already fit within my current stitching plans so it doesn’t become too much of a chore (although I’m shocking with deadlines/commitment stitching so it may do the opposite … in which case I’ll put the brakes on!).  So what have I decided to try for 2015?

2015 WIPocalypse

First up is the 2015 WIPocalypse challenge.  I’ve always loved this challenge, even though I haven’t always been good at posting on time over the last 12 months or so!   If nothing else, it reminds me to post a blog update once in a while, so it’s worth it just for that in itself! 😉

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The first new group is the Stitch from Stash group – sadly I missed out with the official sign-up for the group and can’t join properly until the middle of the year for round 2, but I figure I’ll just do it myself here every month in the meantime. As it is, my budget has been next-to-nothing (well in fact it has BEEN nothing) for the last few months, so it should be easy to maintain for a while longer 😉  The group lets you have $25 each month for stash which I think is very doable for replacing threads etc (I’ve got enough charts/kits to last me a few lifetimes).

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Then there is the Smalls SAL group – I’ve been thinking over the last couple of days whether to add a slot into my rotation dedicated to stitching smalls, so this could work out well.  I’ve already got a slot for small-medium sized projects, which could still remain, but I have so many charts for needlerolls and scissor cases etc that I think it could be a good idea to dedicate some time to them each rotation and get some of those smalls stitched up!  I guess that also means my ‘stitched but awaiting finishing’ pile will be building higher this year all going well 😉

That means my rotation will now look like the following (with some current and next-in-line projects included):

  1. Focus piece
    – English Garden Sampler by Teresa Wentzler
    – Egyptian Garden Mandala by Chatelaine
  2. Medium-large projects
    – Autumn Leaves by Prairie Schooler
    – Christmas Elf Fairy by Mirabilia
    – Coffee & Tea series by Little House Needleworks
  3. Stitching smalls & needlework accessories
    – TBC
    – TBC
  4. WIPs & UFOs
    – Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff
    – Cottage Etui by C A Wells
  5. Focus piece
  6. Small-medium projects
    – The Formal Garden by Heritage Collection
    – Bliss by Bent Creek
    – Christmas bird by Heart in Hand
  7. Large-BAP projects
    – Quaker Christmas II by ByGone Stitches
    – Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor
  8. Focus piece
  9. Canvaswork
  10. Christmas ornaments & freebies
  11. Finishing

2013 stitching in review

I had to laugh when I looked back at my stitching challenges I set for myself in 2013 … to say I was ‘less than successful’ is probably an understatement!  While I still managed to get a reasonable amount of stitching done, it just wasn’t on those items I’d challenged myself with.  So, here were my goals, and how I went …

SALs:

  • November 2012 – Quaker Christmas II SAL … No, epic fail – still not happy with my thread choice after ordering two separate colours of red silk, so it remains unstarted, although the fabric is cut out now and ready to go
  • 1 January – Nora Corbett’s Bluebell Pixie SAL … Yes, completed – she’s just waiting to be framed
  • 1 January – Drawn Thread’s Sampler Gameboard SAL … No, another epic fail – managed to cut the fabric prior to Christmas though so this will be worked on some time in 2014
  • 1 February – Aussie Round Robin … Yes, completed the full 4 rounds
  • 14 February – Ink Circles Cirque des Coeurs SAL … um, didn’t even give this a thought – Dad was in hospital at that point so I spent 2 months in NZ caring for him and Mum, and I still don’t really have a desire to start this one yet
  • 1 May – Teresa Wentzler SAL … Yes, worked on TW’s English Garden Sampler as part of the SAL – did well initially but then it fell by the wayside, but I’m determined to see this one finished in 2014!

Crazy January Challenge:

  1. Bluebell pixie – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett … Yes, completed
  2. Little Blue Potting Shed – Brown House Studio … Yes, completed
  3. Blue Bayou – Northern Pine Designs … I started it but realised I had a wrong thread and had to stop stitching
  4. Christmas Elf Fairy – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett … No, not started
  5. Bluebeard’s Princess – Mirabilia … No, not started
  6. Moon & Stars – Little House Needleworks … Yes, completed
  7. Trousse aux Fleur Bleues – CMon Monde … No, not started
  8. Spooky Scissors Fob – Shepherd’s Bush … Yes, completed
  9. Little Witch – Shepherd’s Bush … Yes, completed
  10. Trick or Treat Box – Just Nan … No, not started
  11. Acorn Hill – Little House Needleworks … Yes, completed
  12. Valentine Fairy – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett … Yes, but not completed as I ran out of one of the threads
  13. Christmas double flip-its – Lizzie*Kate … No, not started
  14. Ebb Tide – Northern Pine Designs … Yes, completed
  15. Sky Blue Accent – Periwinkle Promises … No, not started

Older WIPs/UFOs:

  • With My Needle – The Goode Huswife … Yes, completed
  • Flight of the Bumblebees – Ruth Schmuff … No, not touched
  • English Garden Sampler – Teresa Wentzler … Did a huge amount of work on this one, but didn’t quite get it completed
  • Enchanted Mermaid – Mirabilia … Yes, completed
  • Egyptian Garden Mandala – Chatelaine … No, not touched

Actually in hindsight, I guess I did OK – there were some large pieces in there that I did some substantial work on (Enchanted Mermaid and English Garden Sampler), and a number of teeny pieces inbetween the larger ones, not to mention managing to put together a few more finishing tutorials for the Focus on Finishing blog … so really I can’t complain!! … I just didn’t manage to complete the challenge projects, which is a lesson to me for my 2014 goals, which will be in the next post …

For now, though, here are all the projects I completed in 2013 – considering the crappy year I’ve had this year it’s actually a pretty reasonable list at 32 finishes! 😀

It’s a woman’s prerogative…

No sooner had I set out my stitching plans for 2012 that I started to realise I really don’t know how in the hell I’m going to achieve all of those finishes/goals when I really only get to stitch on the weekends (and not every weekend at that) … so I’m seriously thinking of throwing those previous plans out the window, and just going back to a rotation instead.  That means I’ll also be able to focus more on my existing WIPs which are actually starting to bother me, rather than trying to cram in those same WIPs (at a lot slower pace than I’d like) as well as meeting all the SAL and commitment deadlines at the same time … and probably not getting any of them done by the year’s end (but not stressing about it).

Perhaps it’s just that my head is in the wrong space at the start of the year with Dad’s health and some work issues that are still really bothering me.  Both of these issues are slowly getting resolved, with Dad seeing his surgeon this Friday, and I’ve started having dummy spits in the office to voice my frustrations at issues I’m facing (including telling a team member they’re doing my head in and they’re not helping my stress levels … yep, there have definitely been a few dummy spits lately in that respect, and probably a couple of months well overdue at that!!).  Anyway, maybe removing the pressure of having to finish all these projects will help to restore some sanity to my stitching – most of the projects in my list will still remain there as part of the rotation, I will just have no expectation to actually complete them by the year’s end … plus I’ll have the opportunity to change my mind at a moment’s notice, as I’ve also come across some other projects that I really wanted to stitch, but that didn’t make the cut for my initial 15 projects …  I think the stress of only limiting my stitching to a set group of projects also inhibits my sense of freedom, and as soon as that sort of pressure starts mounting I find I don’t end up stitching at all … so perhaps it’s for the betterment of my stitching this year to just ‘let it all hang out’ so to speak 😉

Tomorrow I’m off to the local GP to try and get some antibiotics for my bugs, which will also help to bring me back to a state of equilibrium (and probably less likely to have dummy spits at work LOL) … and perhaps feel more like stitching … but in the meantime I’m going to start my rotation guilt-free just as soon as I’ve finished my Round Robin piece that’s due out for mailing at the end of January … but not before I have fun by adding a few more rotation projects to the pipeline 🙂

And I’m not stressing if I change my mind a million times throughout the year … as the title of this post says, “it’s a woman’s prerogative” … as long as I enjoy my stitching this year I’m happy 😀

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Ooh, before I forget, I heard from Cindy that my little gift arrived safe and sound when she returned from holidays – so I can now share the full goodies … just as soon as I find the photos!!!  I think I’ve shown the finished biscornu before, but I’ve never shown the finished fob that matched it.  It feels good that this is now finished and living in its new home 🙂

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While I’m at it, I think there are also a number of framing jobs that I completed in November last year that I haven’t shared on here yet … the Tiger and Summer Snapperland are both for me, whereas the bears and the Letter S are both for gifts.  I did most of the framing of the Tiger 2 years ago, but couldn’t finish-finish it as the backing board was too high … he’s one of my first ever finishes (stitched on aida) and I love, love, love him!

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Finally here are a couple of yummy things I brought back from New Zealand with me on my last trip – the scrumptious blug electric kettle was compliments of Mum and Dad’s Fly Buys points in NZ, while the bowls are from my ‘glory box’ still in storage over there.  Both have already been christened, and I’m totally in love with the jug in particular!!  And I can’t WAIT to try out the new Orange Truffle Baileys over a bucket of ice … hmmm, in fact I just may choose that for dessert tonight, the ice will help soothe my throat and the alcohol will help to lull me into sleepy submission … hmmm …

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The final photos are of my frangipani plants on my balcony to show Mum – now both plants have finally flowered, although I’m disappointed to see the 2nd plant which has flowered for the first time has the pink frangipani … it’s still very pretty, but I do have to admit to preferring the white frangipani on the whole.

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And I think that will do me for another post … I still have some other things to post yet, but think I’m a bit photo heavy already … and it’ll give me something to write about later (if I get over the shock of having so many blog posts in one month!!!).

Planned projects in pictures & health issues

It seems that Mum and managed to pick up some nasty bug from the hospital while visiting with Dad last week – Mum managed to get away with just a handful of grotty days, but I seem to have picked up the full brunt of it … after struggling with just a head cold and a head like a tap for a few days, I started getting chills and a slight fever at the end of the week … thankfully I’m just starting to come through the tail end of it and just have blocked sinuses and feeling a bit run-down.  It wasn’t the most pleasant trip home this morning because of it, but because I hadn’t slept much the last 3 nights I managed to nap through half of the flight, which was great!

We finally saw the surgical intern at the hospital on Thursday … after waiting for 2 hours we were finally told she had been taken into emergency surgery and could we come back again in 2 hours time, only to wait for yet another 2 hours before she was ready to see us!  Anyway they are saying that his surgery may not take place now until late January/early February, depending on the surgeon who’s going to be doing the operation.  He’s supposed to send Dad a letter with his new appointment, with the surgery to follow approx one week after that appointment … but we don’t know when the letter will be coming (some time over the next 2 weeks).  As it was too uncertain when the surgery was going to take place, and Dad seems quite stable with the diet he’s been following over the last week, I decided to fly home and go back to work for the next couple of weeks … then I’ll return to Auckland again once we know the surgery date.  In the meantime, though, I need to pull my finger out and get a new passport issued, as it runs out on 7 February!

So all-in-all it’s been a really crappy visit, truth be told … I have to admit it’s been a little bit stressful, as Mum and I haven’t been able to leave home and get a bit of a break and 1o0% relax, especially with all the uncertainty with Dad – he started to feel like a Jack-in-box in and out of hospital for the entire two weeks.  While I’ve managed to get an awful lot of stitching done, it has been more as stress relief than enjoyment, and a way to fill in time at home – unfortunately all the things Mum and I had planned to do haven’t got done … so hopefully when I fly over the next time we may get an opportunity to do some of those planned fun things, and to catch up with people I had planned to see this time …  It also means that my heart wasn’t really in my stitching either, and I managed to totally stuff up my colour choices for a Lizzie*Kate commitment piece I needed to do (a travelling pattern that I’d been holding on to for way too long).  I might try to put the final stitches into this one tonight if I get chance, but I’m not entirely sure whether I’ll be keeping it or not.  I want to re-do it entirely in blues, so I may see if I can quickly kit it up again and get cracking on it, as I want to get the chart into the mail by the end of the week at the latest.

To finish off this post I’ve decided to upload piccies of all the upcoming projects I have for 2013 as part of my new rotation … plus other commitments I have to complete that aren’t in the rotation officially.  Mind you, I’ve already replaced one of the rotation pieces with another one I just remembered I wanted to complete, so you’ll now see Eiffel Quaker added to the list instead of the Periwinkle Promises one – I’d originally wanted to stitch this while in Paris but we were out and about so much during the day we didn’t get any stitching time!  Rightio, without further ado, here come the piccies … you may also see more blogging again from me this year as I try to wean myself off Facebook, but I know I’ve said that before so I wouldn’t hold my breath 😉

Crazy January Stitching Challenge:

2013 part 2

2013 part 1

WIPs/UFOs:

WIPs and UFOs 2013

SALs & other Commitment pieces:

2013 SALs and Others

xxx