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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 – Creepy 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! 😉

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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 🙂  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’en 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 🙂

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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! 😉

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):