A lack of crafty updates

Sadly I became quite sick in early February with some virus that has had me nauseous and wanting to be physically ill on and off for six weeks. Sadly that meant a few weeks of annual leave were spent laid up in bed or on the sofa apartment-bound. This all coincided with the final visit from my Mum, which sadly meant no fun road trips for us on this trip, and our all travel plans had to be cancelled. On the positive, though, we had plenty of girlie one-on-one time at home watching TV and movies and just generally chatting. Mum has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and these types of days will gradually become less and less, and she’s no longer able to travel on her own. It breaks my heart to see her memories disappearing, but I try to stay positive and just respond the same way for the 5th time I’ve heard the same story on any given day – I still treasure the conversations and the laughter that we always have 🙂

As for crafts, my gigantic plans for the year became scuppered very early on, and I’m very behind with blogging and crafting. I did eventually manage a bit of stitching while I was on ‘holiday’ though once the nausea started to wear off, and this has been the result so far …

Dimensions: Stacked Tea Cups

This kit was a gift from a dear friend in the US, and I’ve been itching to stitch it ever since it arrived. I decided the colours were exactly what I wanted to work on and made a start on it before Mum arrived for our holiday. This was also my chosen project for “New start January” in an Aussie Facebook group called JK’s Groupies. Eventually I managed to finish it during my recuperation. I really need to take a better photo in daylight without all those ugly shadows! I also want to stitch this one more time but on a 36ct linen next time with DMC – I’d love to see the comparison, because I hated stitching on that awful cardboard-like Aida and I have more Dimensions kits to stitch up.

“Stacked Tea Cups” by Dimensions
Stitched on 18ct white Aida (hideous kit fabric)
with kit threads

Started 12 January 2019 – Finished 15 February 2019

Elizabeth’s Designs: Ladybug

This was a WIP from 2018, and all I had to do was to stitch on the ladybird charm … five minutes later and it was all finished! 🙂

“Ladybug” by Elizabeth’s Designs
Stitched on 32ct natural Belfast linen (I think)
with recommended threads
Started ? 2018 – Finished 15 February 2019

Keslyn’s: Santa’s Hat & Boots

Next was the April Christmas ornament in a Facebook JCS Christmas Ornament SAL. I really struggled with this one initially because of my ‘fuzzy head’, but I persevered and managed to finish it eventually – but oh boy it wasn’t much fun, and it took me a fair few days to complete it!

“Santa’s Hat and Boots” by Keslyn’s
(from the 2018 JCS Christmas Ornament issue)
Stitched one-over-one on 28ct white Lugana
with recommended DMC threads
but I attached small bells instead of the ‘Bead Landing Sticky Gems’

Laura J Perin: Flying Geese

After I finished all that over-one stitching, I started a new canvaswork project – Flying Geese by Laura J Perin. I thought the larger threads and canvas would be easier for my head to manage. It’s been a bit slow going, but hopefully this will be finished over the next couple of months.

Sweet Valentines

The great thing about taking an extra week off work after Christmas is having more time to stitch and have a general overdue tidy-up at home. I came across this wee chart that has been kitted up for about 12 years as I was tidying up a pile of stitching ‘stuff’ – I figured rather than putting it back in it’s storage box where it belongs, I’d just suck it up and get it into the Qsnaps to get it stitched up. It took me two days to finish, but I really love it. And that also means another new start and another finish ticked off my 19 in 19 challenge for the year … bonus!! 😀

“Sweet Valentines” by The Sweetheart Tree
Stitched on 28ct white lugana (I think!)
Changed the red thread colours to be 309 and 816 instead of the chart colours (which were 316 and 3726)
Started 6 Jan 2019 – Finished 8 Jan 2019
Stitch count: 40H x 40W

Last finishes of 2018, and first ones of 2019

I’ve come to realise today just how woeful my online activity has been over the last 12-18 months or so, and my online albums are missing a lot of information and projects haven’t been added at all … my blog used to be the ‘source of truth’ for all my projects and chart information etc, but not any more. After spending an entire day today doing a bit of a tidy-up (nowhere near finished yet though), and trawling through a few years of photos on my iPhone (!), it’s prompted me to add the details of my last finishes from the end of 2018, and the first finishes of the new year. So, without further ado, here are the details …

“Joy” by Rovaris
from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 32ct Belfast linen with recommended DMC threads
Stitch count: 36 stitches high x 71 stitches wide
Started and finished 28 December 2018

“Special Delivery” by Pickle Barrel Designs
from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 32ct Belfast linen with recommended DMC and Weeks Dye Works threads (except using DMC B5200 instead of WDW Whitewash)
Stitch count: 51H x 55W
Started 28 December 2018 – Finished 29 December 2018

Finished – Glendon Place: City Sidewalks ornament

“City Sidewalks” by Glendon Place
from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 32ct Blue Sky hand-dyed Lugana by Hand Dyed Fabrics with Stephanie

Stitched with a mix of Weeks Dye Works and DMC, using my choice of beads because I didn’t have all the ones as charted
Stitch count: 78H x 68W
Started 29 December 2018 – Finished 2 January 2019

“Two Stags and a Star” by Blue Ribbon Designs
from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 36ct evenweave from Sew-it-all

Stitched with recommended Weeks Dye Works, except using B5200
Stitch count: 57H x 37W
Started 3 January 2019 – Finished 5 January 2019

A canvaswork stitching spree

I’ve been on a recent canvaswork roll – a couple of smaller projects started me on the way to getting my canvaswork bug back in a big way, so I’ve been putting a few larger projects onto stretcher bars and making some good progress. I’ve really been enjoying getting back into the swing of things 🙂

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“Holiday Square” freebie by Laura J Perin
Stitched on 18ct mono canvas
with recommended threads
Finished 15 July 2018

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“Medley Miniature” (kit) by Anna-Marie Winter
Stitched on 18ct mono canvas
with kit threads (silks and metallics)
Started 15 July – Finished 16 July 2018

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“Double Delights – Charbleu” by Needle Delights Originals
Stitched on 18ct mono canvas
with recommended threads
Started 16 July 2018 – Finished 22 July 2018

As well as these smaller finishes, I’ve also made significant progress on another Laura J Perin design, Seaside Blues … I’m really loving stitching this one sooooo much, the colours are truly stunning and right up my alley!!

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Finishes from earlier in the year

Oops, for some reason I forgot to post the following Christmas ornament finishes from the start of the year … bad, bad blogger!!

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“Warm hands, warm heart” by The Little Stitcher
from 2017 JCS Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Belfast linen
with Gloriana silks instead of DMC
Finished 3 March 2018

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“Frosty Friends” by Blue Ribbon Designs
Stitched on 40ct hand-dyed Newcastle linen by Countrystitch
I chose random silk threads to use instead of the charted threads
Finished 25 March 2018

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“Very Merry” by Lizzie*Kate
from 2017 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
using my choice of threads
Finished 25 March 2018

WIPocalypse – May 2018

2018 WIPocalypseI haven’t been seeing much progress at all on my WIPs since I finished Mirabilia’s Red in blues – instead of working on my stitching I’ve been pottering along on my crochet journey and building my confidence a little bit with that. The highlight has been creating a blanket for my Mum, which I managed to finish and give to her on Mother’s Day during my visit home this month.  She was so thrilled with it, and has been showing it off to everyone that comes to visit. I’ll put photos at the end of this post 🙂

I have managed to wee bit of progress on one of my WIPs, though, and I’ve been making more progress on that since finishing Mum’s blanket. This one is Rosewood Manor’s “Quaker Diamonds” – I really love the colours in this one, but I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of the Valdani threads to work with, or the colour changes every two minutes. It’ll be worth it in the end, though, as I think it’s a lovely design.  This is what it looked like at the start:

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And how it looks now … I decided to scroll down and work on the bottom section after I got a bit bored with the middle bits 😉

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UPDATED TO ADD: Actually I just remembered that I did have one other small update – I managed to stitch the scissor fob for Cindy Valentine’s Bee Keeper Scissor Keeper and Fob. That means the stitching is entirely finished, and I just need to put them together 😀

Before:

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Bee Keeper Scissor Keeper by Cindy Valentine

After:

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And because I’ve been so slack with the WIPocalypse updates these last few months (because I had nothing to share), here’s a catch-up of the questions from the last few months:

25 March – What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend?
To be honest I can’t say there are any – maybe because I haven’t been looking at all. I like to stick to my trusted favourites if I can, and truthfully haven’t had the need so far to look elsewhere …

29 April – Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO.
My oldest UFO is definitely an old design by Stoney Creek – one of my first ever XS projects, and I’ve stuffed it up so badly over the years, I don’t know where to start to frog it – and if I frog it I’m going to have problem with the dye lots because most of the thread colours have changed (the tree in the foreground probably needs to be frogged entirely). Also I didn’t do the content in the ‘background’ with only one thread, so it’s a total disaster really. I don’t have any love for this one, so not sure if it’ll ever see the light of day as a finished piece. (This isn’t the most current photo – because the tree in the foreground isn’t in this one!!)

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Nature’s Resting Place by Stoney Creek

27 May – Where do you love to shop for stash?
I now buy locally if I can from a FB supplier – but I still struggle with getting Rainbow Gallery threads for my canvaswork projects and have to order from overseas for those on the whole. After a poor experience from my normal go-to place for threads, I’m on the hunt for another store – the next time I need specialty threads I’ll be trying some new ones out. Otherwise 123stitch is probably still a favourite if I don’t buy locally.

Now here’s my pride and joy for the month – my Mum’s blanket! I had literally just sewn in the remaining ends and handed it to her, and within seconds she’d laid down on the sofa to try it out – she looks so happy here, it really warms my heart!! ❤ Originally it was going to just be a lap blanket, but I thought if I made it bigger it would be more useful anywhere, especially when she’s laying on top of the bed watching TV. She adores it!

 

6-day Kid Blanket” by Betty McKnit
Using 6.5 balls of Lincraft Cakes in Lovely Lilac
(YouTube tutorial videos are also available, which is great!)

 

WIPocalypse – February 2018

2018 WIPocalypseAfter making the decision to try to finish stitching the blue conversion of Mirabilia’s Red in time for this month’s Mirabilia retreat, I really pulled out all the stops and smoke was coming from my needle! I managed to do it, but only just, and oh my goodness I was shattered at the end of it all!

I have to say, though, I’m so incredibly proud of her – she’s one of my favourite Mirabilia finishes (the other one is Enchanted Mermaid) – and I was very pleased to see that she took 3rd place in the unframed category voting at the retreat! Here she is in all her beautiful glory (albeit a bit wrinkled from the journey to the retreat):

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“Red” by Mirabilia – using Beverly’s blue conversion
Stitched on 32ct Haven by Picture This Plus
with Beverly’s choice of threads and beads (with a couple of small bead changes by me)
Started 30 April 2017 – Finished 4 February 2018

I then sat in a stitching funk for a week or two before deciding to finally put the finishing touches into this very, very old work in progress.  This has been a gradual work in progress over so many years it’s not funny!  It finally got stalled again last year when I couldn’t find my gold paillettes – I managed to find a supplier in the US and bought a few vials ready for any future projects.  This is probably the most challenging canvaswork project I’ve ever attempted, but it’s now done and dusted and in the finished pile.  I don’t ever want to use metallic cord for drawn thread ever again in this lifetime, but gee I’m proud of this one!

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“Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff
Stitched on recommended congress cloth
with all recommended threads and embellishments
Started 1 January 2007 – Finished 17 February 2018

28 February – Gadgets!  Show us your favourite stitching gadgets!
Oh my goodness, I have so many stitching tools that I love, I’m finding it hard to decide what to post. I guess the two things that I just can’t live without are my lap and floor stands and my OTT-lites.  I also find Thread Heaven invaluable for using metallic threads in canvaswork so I get less tangles.  I could go on and on … 😉

Oops, I just realised I never posted my first WIP finish for the year – I managed to put the final stitches into Mill Hill’s Starfish back on 10 January, so that’s another WIP crossed off the list this year!!

“Starfish” by Mill Hill (kit)
Stitched on 28ct Cashel linen by Countrystitch ~ colour xxx
with kit threads and beads