UFO no longer … Ecstatic Happy Dance!!!

I finally plucked up the courage to just “do it” and finish the hardanger band at the top of my Crimson Fire Sampler.  I wouldn’t go to sleep last night until I’d put the very last stitches into this piece, and just managed to put the last ones it before midnight … I’m so thrilled with this one, it’s not funny!  My lack of confidence saw this end up as a UFO for 3 years … crazy, because I used to be an incredibly confident stitcher and my learning knew no bounds.  Not sure what happened really over recent years, so it felt amazingly good to prove to myself that I really can still do new things, and to ignore my inner voice in the future!!  Anyway, this is finish #3 of the year, and definitely the finish I’m most proud of since finishing off my Enchanted Mermaid last year!

"Crimson Fire Sampler" by The Victoria Sampler Stitched on 28ct white Cashel linen with recommended threads and beads Started Jan 2011 - Finished 28 Jan 2014

“Crimson Fire Sampler” by The Victoria Sampler
Stitched on 28ct white Cashel linen
with recommended threads and beads
Started Jan 2011 – Finished 28 Jan 2014

Now I’m back to my “small projects” rotation slot to finish off the last 5 hours … but I won’t be stitching until midnight this time round and happy to stagger that one over a few nights! 😉

2nd Finish for 2014

In readiness for completing the hardanger band on my Crimson Fire Sampler, I decided it would be wise to do a ‘refresher course’ on hardanger first, seeing it’s been so many years since I did my actual beginners class!  I rummaged through my ‘small project’ rotation filing box and managed to find the appropriate Beyond Cross Stitch kit by The Victoria Sampler.  Added to that I also dragged out the book by Janice Love called “Hardanger Basics and Beyond” for some extra clear photos and descriptions.  This book is without a doubt an absolute god-send for the basics of hardanger!!

Anyway, I finally put needle to fabric, and managed to start and finish this little sweetie in a day (4 1/4 hours of stitching to be exact … gotta love the stopwatch function and a timed rotation!!).  My woven bars aren’t perfect, as I still need to work on my tension a tiny bit … but overall after not doing hardanger woven bars for about 20 years I can’t complain really, and I’m pretty chuffed with it!

Victoria Sampler-Christmas Heart Beyond XS 5-3
“Beyond XS 5-3 Christmas Heart” by The Victoria Sampler
Stitched on 25ct white Lugana
with kit threads and beads
Started 26 Jan 2014 – Finished 26 Jan 2014

I was getting a bit tired by the end of the day, so I opted not to do any more hardanger last night, but instead did an hour on another “small project” for my rotation slot … leaving me with another 5 hours to go.  This is the ‘pale colourway’ of the Thistle Needlerolls by M Designs (I stitched the vibrant colourway before Christmas).

"Thistle Needleroll (pale colourway)" by M Designs Started 26 Jan 2014

“Thistle Needleroll (pale colourway)” by M Designs
Started 26 Jan 2014

I forgot that I’d meant to stitch up Lizzie*Kate’s Cross Stitcher in Residence in my small project rotation slot this time round, so the poor old needleroll may end up looking like that until the next rotation.  I have to say I wasn’t enjoying stitching it last night, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing!!

ABC Wednesday – H … and some stitching

Here is my choice for this week’s “ABC Wednesday” – brought to you by the Letter “H” … Hong Kong trams:

And this week’s “one I prepared earlier, stitchy/crafty content” is a Hardanger doily from a class I took in Auckland (unfortunately the shop is no longer in existence, for I spent many an hour and many a dollar in that shop!!):

Photobucket

And just because I can’t be bothered typing up a second post ‘cos I’m getting tired (I didn’t get home from work until almost 9pm tonight), here’s my latest stitching update … one of my Crazy January Challenge projects … I’m loving stitching this one – the only problem is that once it’s finished I’m going to get a serious urge to start another canvaswork one straightaway, so it’s going to take some willpower not to! 😉  Alas the photo is washed out due to dreary non-daylight lighting, but what the heck …

Exchanges, WIPs and Finishes

In my overflowing mailbox this week I received an exquisite exchange from Elaine in NZ (this was an exchange hosted by the StitchNZ Yahoo Group).  I’m absolutely thrilled with this exchange – I really adore hardanger, although I still haven’t kicked myself in the pants enough to get back into it myself again … and this one is just gorgeous!  Elaine made it into a stitching pocket so I can hold my needlework tools and supplies – and sent along a matching wee pincushion (so gorgeous!) and packet of needles.  I’ve taken loads of photos so you can share in the beautiful stitching detail of this piece – while photos never do stitching real justice, I’m sure you can imagine that the finished piece is even more exquisite!  Thanks Elaine for a wonderful exchange! 😀

StitchNZ exchange 3

StitchNZ exchange 6

StitchNZ Exchange from Elaine July 2010

StitchNZ Exchange from Elaine July 2010

My exchange piece unfortunately left a little bit late (actually a whole week late, ahem!) … thanks to not being able to get to the Post Office.  As I’m pretty positive the recipient doesn’t read my blog, but perhaps I’d better play it safe and not post details about it yet … I’ll tempt you with a photo of the ‘backside’ in the meantime, and will post more when it’s received 🙂

P1030800

What’s next???  Oh yes, yesterday I sat in the lounge with Katie watching Dark Angel DVDs, and doing a teeny bit of finishing – I managed to get the Christmas Ornament tutorial photos completed (very basic ornie) which also means one more ornament off the finishing pile, my Just Nan Ladybug Santa is now in its little Whimzi frame, and I completed the Periwinkle Promises January Sampler Accent into its little pillow, complete with little corner tassels (I ran out of silk for the backing fabric/joining, but luckily had a skein or two in my stash that I was grab to finish this one off).

Christmas Cheer Ornament finished

Just Nan-Ladybug Santa framed

Periwinkle Promises-January Sampler Accent finished

Tassels

As for my WIPs themselves, I’ve done very very little stitching over the last week or so – I managed to put a handful of beads into Chatelaine’s Egyptian Garden Mandala (3 nights of beading and I’m still not even halfway finished the one band of beads – the row on the edge of the lotus flowers) – it doesn’t help that the beads don’t sit nicely with that poxy fabric that I’m using, so I’m having to squeeze the beads in and offset them every 6 or 7 beads:

EGM 23Jul10

Then yesterday I managed to complete some more of the border of the Quaker Huswif, and am now working on the bottom quaker band.  Once this section is finished, I’ll be flipping the design upside down and unrolling the scrollbars to work on the final two sections at the other end – I think at this point in time I’m pretty much sitting on the halfway mark of this piece 🙂

Quaker Huswif 24Jul10

And that’s pretty much it for now … not sure what I’ll be stitching on this week, if anything … I’ve got some big deadlines at work over the next fortnight, so I may be putting in some longer hours, which means less mental/physical energy for stitching …