Canvaswork, Cross Stitch, Finishes, Hallowe'en Ornie SAL, Halloween, Northern Pine Designs, Prairie Schooler, Uncategorized

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 🙂

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.

 

Mirabilia, Uncategorized, WIPocalypse, Works in Progress

WIPocalypse Jan 2018

All of a sudden I decided I’d attempt to finish Mirabilia’s Red (in blue) before I attended a Mirabilia retreat … considering I’m back at work full-time again after Christmas, this is possibly a very tall order.  If nothing else, though, it’s meant I have a WIPocalypse update so there’s something positive 😀

Here are my before and after shots … sadly I had to frog almost 2 inches of the dress two days ago, so that’s slowed progress down quite a bit.  Here’s how she looked at the start of January (and this photo shows the fabric colours more accurately than the other photos):

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Red (done in blues) by Mirabilia

And how she looked before the frog came to visit … darn you, you annoying frog!!

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And how she looks today.  I decided to give the bottom of the dress a miss for a while and work on the cape instead. I also can’t quite work out which stitches need to be done in 310 and which ones in 939 where the cape meets the dress, so I thought I’d stitch all the sections around there first, and come back to those to make a decision afterwards 🙂 Still not 100% sure I’ll be able to get her finished in time for the retreat, but I’ll keep going anyway just in case a miracle happens 🙂

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Hopefully in my February update I’ll be showing the finished version 😀  Now onto the monthly question:

27 January – What SAL’s are you participating in this year? and If you are participating in the Olympic Stitching Challenge, what challenge are you accepting?  What are your goals?

I’m having an easier year this year with SALs, and only intend participating in a few of them. I’m not starting until February, though, so I’ll be playing catch-up with the JCS and Halloween ones:

  1. Hallowe’en Ornie SAL – One of my all-time favourite SALs each year. I’ve got my January ornie decided, just need to kit it up with fabric and threads. I’m always a bit haphazard with these as life gets in the way, but the great thing is you can jump right back in when you’re ready, and Jo does an awesome job keeping the SAL active.
  2. JCS ornie SAL (Facebook) – Another SAL I ended up ditching last year as life got in the way, but I’m hoping to continue with this one again this year and using the ornies I didn’t stitch last year as my ‘wild cards’ for months I’m not too keen on the design. Often, though, I’ll still stitch designs I’m not keen on originally, as I’ve found the stitched version is a lot nicer, and it’s good to taken out of your comfort zone every now and then.
  3. Stitch from Stash – I’m not doing this officially with any formal group, just keeping myself honest and doing it on my own. I am in an Aussie Stitch From Stash challenge group, though, so that helps to give me a kick every month. My financial situation has changed dramatically since the apartment move late last year, so stitching stash is no longer a priority.
  4. Gifted Gorgeousness – Thanks to Jo for bringing this one to my attention. Once I manage to get back into some new starts etc this year, I’ll be contributing to this blog as I have a number of different charts etc I’ve received from friends over the years that I’d love to see finished.
  5. WIPocalypse – obviously 😛

I’m not doing the Stitching Olympics, as I’ve already got my rotation sorted for the year and want to get back into a routine again after Red is finished. I think doing the SO may derail me, so I’m going to forego it for now … but never say never haha.

 

Canvaswork, Needle Delights Originals, Stash, Uncategorized

Final stitching stash – it’s a goodie!

After being generously gifted a copy of Walking the Water’s Edge by Diane Herrmann, I needed a piece of vintage eggshell mono canvas so I could make a start. I didn’t know of any local suppliers (but now I do, woohoo) that sell coloured canvas, so I made a big enough order to warrant the postage and ordered from a US supplier. Not for the first time with them, I’ve had to wait for well over 4 months for this order to arrive – and even then I was contacted just before Christmas saying they couldn’t get the chart or three of the threads for Bora Bora and what did I want to do. I ended up cancelling all the Bora Bora part of the order and getting a refund, then jumped online and ordered directly from Needle Delights Originals (and managed to get a pre-Christmas discount too, so the savings paid for the postage – double score!!).

I have to say I’m REALLY impressed with the kit from Kathy that turned up today at the same time as the other order – the canvas is cut to size and already edged with tape ready to be put onto stretcher bars.  I have to say it’s the most excited I’ve been about a stash haul in quite some time … I’m sooooooo in LOVE with Bora Bora and all those scrumptious and luscious bright threads. I don’t think it’ll be very long before I cave into temptation and start stitching this one! I think this just might be the project of choice in my canvaswork rotation once I start it in February.

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I also ordered the kit for Double Delights – Charbleu while I was at it … another one with lovely rich colours that will be a really quick stitch.

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Next up were three more canvaswork designs – strangely enough also by Needle Delights Originals 🙂 I don’t have the threads for these ones yet, so it’ll be quite a long time before these are stitched unless I substitute from stash (although I’m not sure I have any threads I could use really). Anyway, I’ve got plenty to keep me going for now …

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This was the rest of the delayed order – some Congress Cloth, 30ct Legacy linen, the previously-mentioned canvas, and Floss-away bags primarily (and a few stretcher bars).

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The Congress Cloth, Legacy linen and AVAS threads are for me to stitch this little beauty I bought a few years ago from Gay Ann Rogers – Pride and Prejudice, the Needle Book Edition. Note this is NOT my work, but taken from Gay Ann’s website. The full range is shown at the link above, however not normally available for sale – I just bought the needlebook instructions, and not the bookmark. I couldn’t decide which fabric to use, so I bought both – if I don’t use the Legacy linen for this one, I’m thinking of re-doing my version of CA Wells’ Pyramid Etui so I’ll likely use it for that as an alternative.

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So all-in-all a very very VERY good stash day indeed! I’d better make the most of it, because 2018 is my year to stitch from stash … not that I’ll need any with this lot 😉

 

Mill Hill, Rosewood Manor, Uncategorized, WIPocalypse, Works in Progress

WIPocalypse September 2017

Thanks to my rotation ticking along swimmingly, I’ve had another month with relatively good progress on my WIPs 🙂

First up is where my latest start finished up at the end of my rotation slot – this is Mill Hill’s Starfish, which was technically a new start last month, but I guess has migrated into the WIP definition now … Here’s how it looked like at the end of August’s WIPocalypse, and how it looked at the end of the rotation slot:

Next up was my “Large/BAP” rotation slot, so I dragged out an older WIP to get a bit of love. This is Rosewood Manor’s Quaker Diamonds, and what it looked like before and after 10 hours of work on it.  Lots of colour changes in this one, but it’s quite enjoyable to stitch on the whole – at least it looks like some decent progress was made anyway!

And now for the question of the month:

Which floss (or color of floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly?

That’s a no-brainer for me … anything blue! Every shade and deviation possible!! And whenever I stitch I never seem to have just the ‘right’ shade of blue … but it doesn’t matter, just flicking through my blue silk stash in particular gives me joy. As for threads themselves, Gloriana and Belle Soie silks are probably my ultimate favourites to stitch with, followed by Au Ver a Soie d’alger, and Rainbow Gallery Splendor silks.

Finishes, Hands On Designs, Mill Hill, Uncategorized, Works in Progress, Works in Progress

A small finish Ahoy, and starfish overload

On Sunday I managed a new start, which also ended up being a new finish – gotta love those small projects and a good audiobook to keep the momentum going all day! 😉

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“Square.ology sandcastle.frame Ahoy” by Hands on Design

Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed linen by Countrystitch ~ colour Blue Ice
(the photo looks grey, but it’s actually a delightful pale blue!!)
with recommended threads – the felt star and button came with the chart

Next up is yet another new start – I only got one hour’s stitching into this one on Sunday night, and another 40 mins last night, but I have a feeling it’s going to be another quick one to stitch up as it’s nice and blocky on the whole! Hmmmm just realised it’s another starfish – there seems to be a theme happening this week! 😀

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ByGone Stitches, Canvaswork, Mill Hill, Mirabilia, Quaker, Ruth Schmuff, Uncategorized, WIPocalypse, Works in Progress

WIPocalypse August 2017

My goodness, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? I can’t believe it’s check-in time again for the WIPocalypse … although for once I finally have some decent stitching to share!

This month I’ve decided to go back to doing a formal stitching rotation, with 10 hours stitching in each rotation slot. The first time I did this religiously I noticed I got a heck of a lot more stitching done, and it seems like this time is no exception 🙂 My rotation contains a mix of old and new projects to mix it up a wee bit, with plenty of opportunity to give some older WIPs/UFOs a bit of tender loving care. It also now means I have a number of new WIPs to add to my WIPocalypse pile, as most of my projects are ones that will take a few rotations to complete. My rotation is basically as follows:

  1. Focus piece – currently Mirabilia’s Red (done in blue)
  2. Medium-sized projects – new start Jim Shore/Mill Hill’s Three Kings
  3. UFOs
  4. Focus piece
  5. Small to medium-sized projects – something to get a quick finish or two under my belt, and primarily new projects already kitted up
  6. Large and BAPs – currently Rosewood Manor’s Quaker Diamonds
  7. Focus piece
  8. Stitching smalls & Christmas ornies
  9. Canvaswork
  10. Non-cross stitch – to give myself a regular challenge

First up is my focus piece – this one appears in rotation slots 1, 4 and 7, so it will be getting lots of love regularly until it’s finished. My current focus piece is Mirabilia’s Red done in a blue conversion by Beverley and available here. Here’s the before photo on the left, and after two rotation slots on the right – it was very exciting to move the scroll bars up a bit!

Next up came a new start for me – Three Kings by Jim Shore/Mill Hill. This is stitched on the recommended fabric and has been kitted up for a wee while now. I figured it was time to get it started and some return on my hard-earned $$$ spent 😉 Here’s how it looked at the end of the rotation slot:

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Next in line was the UFO slot in my rotation – and the one slot that’ll likely give me lots of WIPocalypse fodder in the future. I summoned up the courage to finally get the stitching finished on a very old WIP – Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff. It’s not 100% finished yet, as I can’t find my Access Commodities gold spangles to finish it off. I also couldn’t find the bee charms, but managed to dig those up last week woohoo. Spangles are on their way from a US store, and it means that by the time the UFO rotation slot appears again, I can use it to finish this delightful labour of love. I have to say I never EVER want to re-do that drawn thread border ever again on canvas … that was a lot of love with not much love 😉 I really do adore this project, though, and so thrilled to see how far along I managed to get it this month! Once again a before and after shot:

Because I still had six hours of my rotation slot left over after not being able to finish Flight of the Bumblebees I dragged out another UFO – I really struggle with this one, so those six hours felt like forever. Not sure I’ll continue to keep this in the rotation next round, or maybe I’ll do half the rotation slot on something else and half on this one … I dunno, will see how I feel closer to the time …

Next up was of course my focus piece again, which I’ve already covered – and then it was into the small-medium sized projects, which are new starts, so I’ll do a new post to cover those. All-in-all though a VERY productive month stitching-wise, which feels awesome! Before I sign off, though, here’s the question of the month:

How do you get yourself out of a stitching drought?

Truly I don’t stress about it anymore – if anything I tidy up my stash, fill up my wishlist online, and just look through the pictures in online stitching groups. More often than not, though, if my stitching mojo has gone it also affects my energy for everything else. I always know, though, that it will return … so I don’t stress and just do whatever my heart tells me to do until my mojo returns – and it has always returned at some point 🙂

 

Hallowe'en Ornie SAL, Halloween, Prairie Schooler, Uncategorized, Works in Progress

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.

Chatelaine, Egyptian Garden Mandala, WIPocalypse, Works in Progress

WIPocalypse March 2017

2015 WIPocalypseNot much stitching done in general this month due to crazy working hours and just feeling generally exhausted all the time.  But these last two weekends I’ve made up for it a wee bit by plonking myself in front of the TV in my stitching chair, watching loads of Gilmore Girls episodes back to back, and finally getting needle to meet fabric once again.  The result is a reasonable update to Egyptian Garden Mandala.  It feels good to finally make some progress – I was getting bored with my least favourite border section, so I moved onto one of the corners to have a break on one of the pyramid blocks. Next session I’ll go back to finishing that dratted border until the bottom part is finished – then once that’s done I’ll be flipping the frame around again to finish those over-one fishies in the centre and working on the beading and backstitching from the pond outwards. Anyway, this is the progress that I managed in March (the only WIPocalypse project I worked on):

Before:

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After:

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I’ve also dragged out a pile of small and freebie designs that I’d love to work on in-between larger projects, so I may do that soon as well – in a rotation of sorts. Maybe 10 hours (or a full weekend) on a larger piece of work, then slot in a wee freebie that will only take me a few hours to finish. Hmmm, I like that plan! Either way, it’s likely that Egyptian Garden Mandala will remain a key focus piece for a while. I must say, though, it’s a lot bigger than I expected it to be!

I just realised I forgot about the monthly questions, so I’ll do February and March together below:

February 26 – What is your favourite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  (bonus points if you provide a how-to link or diagram it on your blog post!)
Let me think … I would probably say the various Rhodes stitches (especially hearts) and I also really love the look of Sheaf stitch. I really love doing canvaswork because of the interesting stitches, so there aren’t that many I really don’t enjoy.

March 26 – What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?
I haven’t truthfully read blogs regularly for a few years now, mainly because of my long work hours and not having as much free time as I used to … but in saying that I’ve been wasting much more time in Facebook groups, which seems so much quicker for me on my phone – I do miss reading my favourite blogs though, and every few months I’ll have a quick recap on some of my oldie favourites. I don’t follow Flosstube videos, as I find them too distracting and just generally not ‘my thing’.  Most of my spare time is now spent doing actual stitching rather than reading about it … a bit of a strange concept for me 😉

 

Beading, Easter, Finished Items, Scissor Fobs, Serendipity Designs, Uncategorized, With My Needle

A spot of finishing on a rainy weekend

I dragged out my box of items that need to be finish-finished a few weeks ago and it’s been taunting me ever since sitting open in the lounge room.  This weekend I decided enough was enough, and I plucked up the courage to do a spot of finishing.  My skills may be a bit rusty these days, but it felt quite good to get a few small finishes under my belt for the weekend.

First up was an Easter design I a finished a few years ago – this was a freebie by Serendipity Designs.  It’s very spring-like, even though Easter down under takes place in autumn!

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Then I managed to finish half of the Bunnies in the Garden set by With My Needle.  As you can see from the back of the scissor fob, the stitching on this one took place way back in 2006 … it’s nice to see it gradually being finished.  You’re supposed to use ruched silk ribbon as the edging on the pincushion, but I didn’t have anything in my stash that would work, so I changed it up and used the same DMC cord that I used on the scissor fob.  I’m quite pleased with the result.

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Next up will hopefully be the needlecase of the Bunnies set, and the final piece which is the wee carrot scissor sheath – the sheath is actually finished except for the greenery around the top of the opening.

 

Canvaswork, Christmas Ornaments, Hallowe'en Ornie SAL, Halloween, Laura J Perin, My Big Toe, Prairie Schooler, The Little Stitcher, Uncategorized

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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