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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.

 

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April & May WIPocalypse

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Hmmm, it seems I’m more than a ‘bit’ forgetful these days … it seems even though I was posting to my blog during April I totally forgot all about the official WIPocalypse update post … doh!! April saw a wee bit of stitching, including the completion of Nora Corbett’s Miss Valentine fairy and Blue Bayou by Northern Pine Designs … it also saw a couple of small ornie finishes … so all-in-all probably a reasonable month of stitching.  The ill-fated Flossy has found a happy home with my Mum (the Dragon) … we were going to offer it to a very close family friend, but Mum made me laugh when she said she has it propped up on her computer chair in her bedroom so she can see her all the time and she says goodnight to her every night as she goes to sleep … bless her.  When I mentioned giving it to our dear friend, her response was “she can have it when I’m gone”!  She’s even got plans for how to get her framed, so I’m pleased she loves her so much that at least she will be treasured.  I do have to admit she does look very pretty, even though she is dressed head to toe in candyfloss pink! 😀

Mirabilia (Nora Corbett)-Valentine Fairy

LHN-The Merry Skater

Shepherd's Bush-Joyful Night

Northern Pine Designs-Blue Bayou

When it came to the end of April and then into May, my mojo kind of disappeared a wee bit when I came to the end of my canvaswork rotation and started my “finishing” rotation … for some reason I have to really be in the mood to sit down and do finishing work.  I think part of the problem these days is that I don’t have a dedicated area that I can start items and then leave them to pick up and finish later … with my current flatmate I don’t feel comfortable doing my needlework or finishing in front of him (aside from the fact he comes and puts the TV on as soon as he walks in the room, irrespective of whether I was enjoying the peace and quiet or not in there myself), and I just don’t have the space in my bedroom with all the other junk that is piled up in there …

Last weekend, though, I decided “bugger the flatmate” and pulled a small fold-up table into the lounge, did a bit of finishing, then pulled the little table out of the way at the end of the weekend – it was also still there for this last weekend when I did a wee bit more finishing yesterday while he was out (mind you I only did that because I’d figured out he was going to be away for the rest of the weekend and out of my hair!!).  So perhaps I have found a solution for when I come to my finishing rotation again – and in fact I could possibly pull it into my bedroom too on a temporary basis as long as I pull it back out again before sleeping … hmmmm, I like that plan! So, what did I manage to do with my finishing rotation over the last few weeks?  I managed to finish off the following – which really didn’t need that much done to them for them to be 100% finished … First up 3 ornies – these just needed the felt backings and hangers for the Prairie Schooler ones, and the hanger and little snowflake buttons for the Just Nan one

Christmas ornaments

Next up I stitched down the binding on my teeny Halloween quilt … I did a bit of a hash job on the corners, but it’ll have to do …

Quilted mat

And then my final piece for that particular finishing session was to stitch the cord around the edge of this wee freebie:

Every oak must be an acorn

This last weekend just gone I managed to finish off one of my favourite Halloween pieces into a flat-fold … I found a bright trim in my stash along with some bright ribbons, and pretty happy with the way it turned out 🙂

Just Nan-Frightful

Just Nan-Frightful

Just Nan-Frightful

Then I finished off yesterday by trying to finish my Bunnies in the Garden needlework set that I stitched a few years ago … sadly it seems I don’t have the ribbon needed to completely finish it, so I’ve got as far as I can go without it … hopefully I’ll get chance next week to pop into Spotlight and find a silk ribbon that will work (assuming Spotlight still SELL silk ribbon, that is!).  Here is how it stands so far:

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The only stitching I’ve done since the last stitching update is to start a charity quilt block with the theme of butterflies.  I bought about a metre of 14-ct white Aida a few years ago in readiness to do some charity stitching, but with my city commute I just never had the mental or physical energy to do it … now I’m working closer to home I figure it’s time I pull my finger out and get some finished.  What also gave me the final kick in the pants was searching for an old XS kit in my wardrobe and finding a bunch that I’d bought especially to use for charity blocks … so out they came ready to start stitching!  Here are the kits I have in the charity block armoury to work my way through:

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And here is where I’m at currently for my first butterflies block … once I’ve finished this block it’s time to get back into my formal rotation once again.

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I still have a couple of gifts to complete, but I work better when I’m sticking to my rotation properly so they will just have to find a rotation slot to drop into and work together with my other pieces 🙂 I’ve probably dribbled on enough for now, but before I hit “publish” I’ll finish off with the two WIPocalypse questions for April and May:

April:  How do you keep your stash organised?

Oh my goodness, I don’t know if I could truly say my stash is “organised” per se … although I guess to a certain extent it could be a lot worse!  My problem is that it is scattered all over the place and not all together.  I’m also a lazy git at heart, so often I can’t be bothered putting something away after stitching it (eg threads etc) and I end up with a dumping corner with threads and charts not put away … it’s no wonder I can often not find what I’m looking for when I just “know” I’ve got it “somewhere”!!  On the whole, though, it is kinda organised in a disorganised way …

  • Threads:  On the whole these are all stored in Flossaway baggies in numerical or alphanumeric order and on individual rings according to their brand.  DMC floss is all stored in numerical order in two plastic tubs so they’re easily accessible as I generally use those the most.  Overdyed threads etc are mostly stored alphanumerically by the colour name, but with the thread brands separated on different rings.  For example, I have separate rings for WDW, GAST, Crescent Colours, Needle Necessities/Threadworx etc.  All these threads are housed in a cardboard storage tub that sits in my Ikea ‘bookcase’.  Silks are stored the same way, and pearl cottons and other specialty threads (pearl cottons etc) are stored in another plastic tub.
  • Fabrics:  These are stored by thread count in two Ikea storage drawers – they used to be sorted in colour groups but I quickly gave up on that idea after I’d rummaged around a few times and disrupted it all!  I also have a ‘tub’ of fabrics sitting on top of my DMC that I’ve obviously pulled out at some stage for a project and never been put back …
  • Charts:  Generally these are stored by theme in ringbinders on bookshelves.  Most of these are housed in the kitchenette on my main bookshelves, but most of my favourite designs/smalls charts are in my bedroom on a narrow bookcase.  I have a couple of folders of “to be stitched ASAP”, but I’m trying to focus on those already partially kitted up first (see below).
  • Finishing fabrics/trims:  Truthfully these are all over the place!  Most of my quilting fabrics are in Ikea storage drawers in my wardrobe, with finishing trims etc in a little plastic storage system that has a few pullout drawers. Not ideal, but seems to work OK for now.

My projects themselves are in a whole world of their own where organisation is concerned!  I’ll try to differentiate the different types:

  • WIPs:  My current rotation projects are sitting in their own storage tub with the project on scrollbars/Qsnaps and sitting with their threads/charts etc in a plastic envelope.  That way each project is ready to go immediately when I want to drag it out of the tub.
  • UFOs:  Older WIPs that I haven’t touched for years are sitting in a cardboard storage tub in my Ikea bookcase in my bedroom – these are not stored on scrollbars etc and may/may not have threads with them … they just sit there forlornly at the very bottom of the bookcase feeling unloved …
  • Partial & full kits:  When I was housesitting in Melbourne I went a bit crazy and cut up fabrics for a few tubs worth of projects and put the fabric with the chart … these are now housed in two separate areas – some of these are sitting along with other full kits in two storage drawers in my wardrobe, and the others have all been split into cardboard storage boxes according to their size that will fit with my rotation.  I basically have one box each for “Large/BAPs”, “Medium” and “Small” projects.  I’m trying to work through those items first before kitting up new designs, seeing as the fabric is already committed and cut up ready for stitching!  That seems to work about 95% of the time, but ever now and then a new project seems to leap out of the chart pile demanding to be stitched first!! 😛
  • Canvaswork:  My canvaswork projects are sitting to the left of my Ikea storage bookcase in a shopping bag – these are kitted (or semi-kitted as far as I can for now) with their canvas and threads/charts all ready for when my canvaswork rotation rolls around.  This bag probably makes me drool more than the rest of my storage boxes, if the truth be known!

May:  What designs or themes do you really wish you could find?  What do you think is missing among stitching designs?

Truthfully I can’t say I really have had problems finding a specific type of design … I have, however, had problems finding a specific design that has since gone OOP and hard to locate unless you spend a fortune.  Those are the designs I wish would be more readily available, especially now that PDF downloads are widely available and don’t require a full print-run by a designer.  The other thing I find frustrating is the number of designs only available as kits and not charts, and how many are only available with Aida cloth as the fabric – the fact that I inevitably substitute the fabric in all my kits is not a cost-effective way for me to stitch a design … I really wish that all designs had the option of either having linen in the kit or to just have the chart made available (although I know this would diminish some of the designer’s/distributors’ profits to a certain degree).

The only other thing that has been happening over the last few weeks is something that I can’t talk about yet on my blog, but it threw me for a loop temporarily and my mind has been very very distracted over recent weeks, and I’ve been even more forgetful than ever, if that was even possible!  Hopefully there will be further news sooner rather than later and I can talk about it openly … for now it’s just a case of “wait and see” 🙂

Some more pre-biscornu finishes & some stash

Thanks to a little bonus from work, I spoilt myself with some stash as a treat before putting the rest on bills … here is the result of my latest mail run – Quaker Christmas II ready for a SAL starting on 1 November, along with a couple of potential silk threads for it (In the Burgundy by Silk n’ Colors/Threadgatherer, and Warratah by Dinky Dyes).  I also picked up a big piece of 28ct Lugana for my first HAED start, some 35ct Parchment WDW linen, 38ct Cream Bellazia linen, and a few replacement threads and beads I needed.  Then finally there is some 30ct Tin Roof WDW linen for my Lizzie*Kate Mystery Sampler which Mum has gifted me for Christmas (and the final instalment is here in this pile too).

As for stitching, I can show the previous biscornu finishes, although they’re still waiting to be turned into actual biscornus … I can’t show the final one, as that’s still waiting to be received by my exchange recipient.

Chatelaine-Kathys Violets
“Violets” by Chatelaine
stitched on 28ct white Cashel linen
with recommended threads, Kreinik braid and beads

Chatelaine-Kathys Violets

Floss Box-Free Biscornu 34
“Free Biscornu #34” by The Floss Box
stitched on 28ct white Cashel linen
with recommended DMC threads

And lucky last, I recently put the final touch to my Christmas ornaments by Paw Printings, by adding the little red beads.

Paw Printings-Golden Garland Ornament
“Golden Garland ornaments” by Paw Printings (from 2005 JCS Christmas Ornie issue)
stitched on 28ct mushroom Lugana
with recommended threads and beads

No more stitching done this week, due to some long working hours, but I did manage to be entirely lazy this morning and start putting some more Mill Hill beads into new containers … one more big batch yet to be done, but I need to get some more little containers before then (they’re hopefully due to arrive very soon).

Mill-Hill-Beads

 

Not much else to write about this week, really, so I guess I’ll leave it at that  for now 🙂

Beaded Easter Egg

After doing some exciting housework (cleaning the shower grouting and scrubbing the bathtub) I decided to treat myself with a little stitching time … I don’t normally “do” pastels nor Easter designs, but for some strange reason this one screamed out to me to be stitched, and seeing as the fabric was already cut out ready for it, all it needed was for me to track down the Mill Hill beads and start stitching (alas I didn’t have two of the colours, and neither did my local Spotlight store, so I ended up substituting the green beads for some other seed beads that seemed similar in pastel shades – thankfully they worked out OK!). Anyway, here is my Easter stitching from today after I just put the finishing touches into it (sorry about the shadows, but it’s a dark autumn night here in Aussie and the photo is taken with the lamp to the side of it):

Serendipity Designs-Beaded Easter Egg freebie
“Beaded Easter Egg” freebie by Serendipity Designs
stitched on 28ct white Cashel linen
with Mill Hill beads (except for the green ones) and DMC

Unfortunately it seems the website this was originally from is no longer in business, so I can’t provide a link for this one, sorry.

Sick flatmate

Alas, since lunchtime I’d ‘had’ to keep my flatmate and best pal Katie company in the lounge while she’s been suffering from a dodgy tummy from Vanuatu – it was a major hardship having to sit in my stitching chair for 8 or so hours while we watched all the TV shows that have been taping in her absence … which means there’s finally a stitchy progress photo!  Only one more week and this little puppy will be finito!  As you can see from the bottom piccie, I’ve now turned the corner for the bottom band of the border 😀

On Saturday morning I managed to get a couple of items into the post – my first PIF on it’s way finally … and this little gift to someone else – fingers crossed the recipients like their gifts 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll find out whether I have got the new 12 month secondment position or not … after I drop off my 90+ year old neighbour off at the airport for her next Queensland holiday … that’ll keep me in the good books for a while longer LOL.  And seeing as I need to leave home an hour earlier than normal to do that, I’d better get my A into G and get into bed!!! 😀

Trip to The Ribbon Rose

This visit home was quite rushed, so Mum and I only had chance to visit one shop while I was there, and that was on the afternoon immediately after I arrived (after getting to bed at 2.30am yikes) – we went to The Ribbon Rose in Ellerslie, and I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see it was now twice the size it used to be, and has the best range of threads I’ve seen in New Zealand!  I was originally going to do a quick drive-by on the way to The Embroiderer in Birkenhead, but we ended up spending all our time in just the one shop checking out every room, and every nook and cranny – and we ran out of time to head over the bridge to go to Birkenhead. 

I asked if I could take a few photos of the various rooms at The Ribbon Rose, so I could show you what a little treasure it is now – I did forget to take a photo of the fabric and quilting rooms, though!  The great thing about the line of threads that they carry is that they carry the ENTIRE range of colours – most shops over here carry the odd colour or five of most lines, but you VERY rarely find one that has the whole range (I remember years ago having a disagreement with another shop owner in Auckland that, yes, there were more Mill Hill bead colours – just because that’s all you stock doesn’t mean that’s all that exists – and because you won’t order the stock in, ‘cos it’s apparently non-existent, I’ll find another supplier … ah, memories! – The scary thing about the internet is that often you can be more knowledgeable than some shop owners – it’s nice to find a shop that’s as up to date as you are!).  Anyway, if you’re ever in the Ellerslie area in Auckland, I definitely suggest you take a trip out there, it’s worth it!

The Ribbon Rose entrance and counter 18Feb10

The Ribbon Rose leading to the kits room 18Feb10

The Ribbon Rose main threads room 18Feb10

The Ribbon Rose threads galore 18Feb10

The Ribbon Rose tapestry and kits room 18Feb10

The Ribbon Rose ribbons room 18Feb10

The Ribbon Rose beading room 18Feb10

The Ribbon Rose beads galore 18Feb10

The next time I fly over in October, I’m going to find out what classes are on – there are some beading classes on regularly, and some of the projects are seriously drool-worthy!!! 😀

I ended up flying home earlier than expected today thanks to high loadings on the flights – because I have to travel on standby, it was safer to take an earlier flight that still had seats showing available than getting stuck and not being able to get home (tomorrow’s flights look dreadful too, and that was my back-up travel day) … but at least I have chance now to have a good sleep and catch up on missing zzzzzzz’s, and I then have the day off tomorrow (instead of travelling) to do my washing for the week, yippee … that also means I just might have time to fit in a spot of stitching as well, although I may just do that this afternoon to keep me awake until a reasonable hour to fall over into a deep slumber!

Last but not least, I was asked by Mum why I haven’t been uploading my Scenic Sunday, Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday p0sts, as she’s missing them.  So, to please The Dragon, I’ll try to remember to keep up-t0-date with them again from now on … starting with a Scenic Sunday post shortly 😀

But before I find a Scenic Sunday post, here are a couple of photos of Mum and Dad’s fruit trees (Feijoas, Plums and Lemons) that I really miss having in my backyard (especially having a lemon tree right near your back door) – alas, it was too soon for the Feijoa season … these are only little baby fruit 😦

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Final fobs, Thanks, and a New Start

A quick note to thank everyone that bought fobs from my original request to donate the proceeds of sales to wee baby Timothy – I managed to send almost US$90 over to Coral towards his medical costs, so I thank you for enabling me to do that for them 🙂

And the final group of fobs today are brought to you by the colours Brown, Wine and Purple (unfortunately these ones didn’t photograph as true to the colours, so I think I’ll have to re-do them before I upload to ArtFire).

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And to finish off the post for tonight, here’s my new start for the evening while Katie and I caught up on a tiny bit of TV with Criminal Minds, Biggest Loser and Bones … alas I had a frog attack on the left hand side group of hearts and bottom border, but I quickly frogged the stitches and redid them, and I’m back on track once again.  If I don’t manage to get this piece finished tomorrow night, I should definitely see another wee finish on Saturday morning 🙂


“Random Hearts” by Erica Michaels
being stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen in
Carrie’s Creations thread “Scarlet”