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.

26169794_10155193918673148_239708897986428435_n

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.

26219949_10155193918628148_8228018787790122691_n

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 …

26229621_10155193918588148_5194789889855404353_n

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).

26230757_10155193918648148_316406856627759184_n

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.

nbook-bookmkopt

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 😉

 

June/July WIPocalypse

11402901674_5cd19d2dc5_o

If you managed to read my previous post, you probably have an idea why there was no WIPocalypse post for June … and I’m back online again just in time to complete my post for July … which means for the 2nd time in a row I’m well and truly late … c’est la vie, such is life I guess!

Anyway first up is the piece that I started stitching a week ago, that I managed to finish today.  I started kitting this one up a few weeks ago but couldn’t make a decision on the threads and fabric.  Last weekend I started it and still wasn’t 100% happy with my choices – I put the last stitches in today then opted to pull one colour out and re-do it, and I’m so glad that I did, because I absolutely ADORE this one now!  As you can see, it really doesn’t look anything like the original version … I much prefer my choice of threads for this one!!  I’ve listed below the threads that I ended up using:

10387059_10152213882063148_1703962831387006675_o

 “Dance in the Rain” by Lizzie*Kate
stitched on 32ct Shell Wichelt linen
with my choice of silk threads (see below)

The threads that I chose to use were:  Belle Soie Beanstalk, Belle Soie Ocean Tide, Silk n Colors Aged Plum, NPI Silks 471, 336 and 991BB, and Rainbow Gallery Splendor S870.

The other stitching I managed to do over the last couple of months was to finish my charity quilt block for Love Quilts Australia:

10404002_10152159384333148_2483909856577746882_o

“Butterfly Quartet” – a Stitch Simple kit by DMC

While I was trying to work out how the hell to pay the rent until I found a new flatmate I start making up stitching rolls to sell … I’ve managed to finish 6 since then, although still haven’t worked out how to price them yet – once I do that, though, they will go up for sale, and I’ll also start taking orders for people who want other colours etc (and different sizes).  I’ve been a bit tired the last couple of weekends, though, so haven’t taken photos and worked out the final costings yet (I also had to go back to Spotlight to price up the fabrics etc that I use).  Here’s the first one I made, though, as a sneak peak:

10259990_10152130355608148_6111087018119017293_n

10341648_10152130355663148_8733074153206237880_n

For the last two Saturdays I’ve also managed to get a few more stitches into my L&L Angel of Love – she is probably what finally kicked my butt into gear and brought my stitching mojo back again to be able to stitch my Lizzie*Kate finish.  I was primarily beading the top part of the skirt this time round, and oh boy is she stunning!!  Photos will never do this baby justice, that’s for sure!!!

10397258_10152200815558148_4535034112907708077_o

Even though I was on a total stash diet (and still am effectively) for the last couple of months, I did receive a small amount of stash that I’d already ordered previously.  One was a kit that I’d posted about previously that I’d been trying to track down for a few years, and managed to find on one Ebay – don’t even know what made me go put the search words in, but one came up straightaway so I just had to buy it … I’m glad Ian hadn’t moved out at that point or it would have killed me not being able to buy it and knowing one was available!!  The other items were a drawn thread book from the Book Depository and a delightful French design, with the cutest little wooden hoop button.  I bought two copies because one copy is for a dear friend.

10317682_10152106202763148_7584443236302228386_o

10357724_10152161662638148_2794807377349365045_o

And I think that’s probably all my stitching news for the last couple of months … really not too much to show compared to how I normally stitch, but I guess life became more of a priority for a while.  Hopefully now I’ve managed to put needle fabric semi-regularly over the last two weeks (even if it was just at the weekends), my mojo will continue and I’ll get back into it once again.  It had better do that, as I have another quilt block I need to stitch by next month now!!!

I’ll finish off with the last 2 WIPocalypse theme questions:

13 June – Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!

Yes I have – way back in 2000 I flew to Sacramento, California for a CATs stitching festival.  It was the most amazing experience where I got to meet some online stitching pals and had about 6 classes with well-known American designers/needle artists.  It was my first introduction to pulled thread (I thought I was learning drawn thread so I soon found out I didn’t know what I was talking about, and learnt a new skill I hadn’t expected to).  I went a bit crazy at the shopping mall, meeting some more designers face-to-face, and went to a local stitching shop where I was beside myself with all the thread choices etc.  I think I came home with pretty much an entire suitcase full of class projects and stash, along with my first floorstand and mat cutter!  It was an amazing experience that I’m ever so grateful I got to experience!!

12 July – It’s halfway to Christmas.  Do you start your holiday stitching this early?  If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

Truthfully I stitch my holiday stitching whenever I feel like it.  I always used to try to stitch a Christmas ornie a month, but now I just do it when I get the urge, or when I have a rotation slot dedicated to ornie stitching.  It doesn’t bother me stitching Christmas items throughout the year, although I have to admit the closer it gets to Christmas the stronger the urge to stitch something for the festive season!  This year I have no lofty goals, I just want to continue enjoying to stitch – and hopefully have a few finishes by the end of the year 🙂

April & May WIPocalypse

11402901674_5cd19d2dc5_o

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:

IMG_1797

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:

IMG_1748

IMG_1749

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.

IMG_1800

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” 🙂

I take it all back … sorry Flossy!!

I thought today I’d be stitching merrily away all day, but truth is I’m just not in a stitching mood … and seeing as my foot is only slightly tender today I decided to check my PO Box … also not conducive to finishing off Flossy!  You see the contents unexpectedly contained my last order from 123stitch – which means the missing threads I’ve needed to finish off two earlier (loved) projects that had to be put to one side until the threads arrived.  So now I’m REALLY torn between treating myself to some self-indulgent stitching with projects I love …  Perhaps I’ll quickly finish off Acorn Hill while I have the lounge to myself this afternoon, then back to Flossy this evening after the flatmate returns home … oh decisions, decisions!!

1402126_10151757749468148_451332717_o

The two projects I can now finish are LHN’s Acorn Hill, and Northern Pine’s Ebb Tide … plus I now have the proper beads for Victoria Sampler’s Fire Sampler, so I have no excuse not to go back and pick that one up again either … I now just have to suck up the mental energy and confidence to go back into that one and withdraw threads ready for the next drawn thread band.  This is how they all look now, while waiting to be returned to the stitching frame:

1185043_10151604537588148_1598849201_n

1403700_10151699598123148_1694795760_o (1)

P1060257

I really need to get my confidence back in my stitching, there are so many of the projects that I have to work on that I find intimidating now, and I NEVER used to let my stitching intimidate me … I really do want to get back into my non-XS stitching and back to doing some class pieces again.  We had a stitching get-together with friends on Sunday, and Rowena was stitching on a piece doing hardanger and whitework, and I had a real yearning to get back into it myself.  I think I’ve just got so over-tired and overwhelmed this year with work and home that I’ve felt permanently drained.  One of the things I’m really excited about is that the department that I work for is moving back to Mascot to join the rest of the corporate departments, meaning my 2-3 hours a day commuting will be reduced to 1 hour maximum.  That in itself is brightening up my mind, and it’s bursting at the seams thinking of all the possibilities that opens up and getting back into my old routines.

Hopefully the latest cortisone shot did the trick as well, which also means I can get back to walking before or after work once again and start burning off some excess weight and getting fresh air … there will soon be no excuses I can fall back on!!  So time to suck it up Shackles and get cracking on getting life back on track once again, both with my stitching and my health!! 😀

Stash galore – and a new start

Over the Christmas period while I was at my parents’ place Mum and I went a little crazy with some major sales (ie 40% or more off) happening.  In some ways you could say this was my Mum’s Christmas gift to me, as she gifted me with a “Visa card repayment” which meant I had some additional play money while I was there.  I hadn’t realised really just how much I’d ordered until it all started turning up last week! LOL.  There is still one parcel yet to see, as I sent it to Mum’s address, thinking I was staying there for Dad’s surgery – so I’ll have an extra little treat waiting for me when I return (assuming Mum hasn’t put it somewhere “safe” never to be seen again LOL).  Anyway, without further ado here is the MASSIVE pile of stash that arrived, which also managed to clear off a number of items that have been on my wishlist for years!

P1060685

P1060684

P1060683

P1060682

P1060681

As for stitching, my needle has been very scarce these days – I did have a sudden urge to stitch a few nights ago and opted for the first thing I could find that was already kitted up, was relatively small, and basically could be ready to stitch at a few moments notice (considering I made my “let’s stitch” decision at 9pm at night!!) … I ended up choosing one of the Shepherd’s Bush scissor fobs from my original Crazy January Challenge list.  I still haven’t finished it yet, but I was very good and marked up my rotation spreadsheet to make sure I’m still allocating the right times to each slot.  The front is completely finished, and I just have to complete the back and it’s done 🙂

P1060686

Next up, though, is to start (and hopefully finish) my Round Robin piece – which are the Seasonal Topiaries by Passione Ricamo.  This was originally published as a set of freebies on the internet, but I think they’ve been long since taken down, and the design has since been published in a magazine.  I’ve decided to stitch mine on a piece of hand-dyed Pipi Belfast by Countrystitch … and seeing as it’s due to be posted out on 1 February, you know what I’ll be doing the entire long weekend this weekend (thank heavens for that extra day so my goal feels slightly more achievable!).

And on that note, I’ve ironed my piece of fabric tonight ready to start, so I think I’d better so drag the tub of DMC out and start finding the colours I need.  Mind you, in actual fact it doesn’t really matter if I don’t 100% finish my section, as long as I complete all the border pieces … “she’ll be right”!  This is a link of what my round robin will look like – and I love the added verse at the top of the sampler so much that I’ve ‘stolen’ the idea and will be doing the same thing with mine too … the only difference is that I’m moving the Winter tree to be on the left to make the sampler a teeny bit more balanced 🙂

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 🙂

August WIPocalypse update – part 2

Not much stitching taking place throughout August on my WIPs where a finish was the result … although I did almost manage a finish of some ornaments that have been sitting around for months, and months, and well many more months – the first one below got put to one side ‘cos I wasn’t enjoying stitching with the threads … I decided to finally suck it up on 26 August and get them finished, until I realised I didn’t have the Mill Hill beads I needed to finish them!  Stitchy friends to the rescue, though, and some will be winging their way to me soon so I can get them finished next month 🙂  (Thanks again Amanda, you rock!!)

The “before” shot as they stood at the beginning of the year and start of the challenge …

P1040487

The “after” shot as they both stand now … just waiting for the beads to be added now 😀  Was hoping they’d be finished during the week last week, but I was working mental hours so too tired when I got home, then I was house-sitting the weekend just gone with an active border collie and 3 kitties, and decided not to chance beading!

I did manage to finish one other WIP, though, which was another small Christmas ornament – I don’t know why I put this to one side for so long … once I put my mind to it it didn’t take too long at all to add it to the “finished” pile on 20 August.  I really like the colours in this one.

Handblessings-Christmas Tree Ornament

“Christmas Tree Quilt Ornament” by Handblessings
stitched on 32ct antique white Belfast linen
with recommended Needle Necessities/Threadworx threads

Another WIP I worked on a little bit is a Sweetheart Tree scissor fob … another one where I’m missing some beads, but hopefully they’ll arrive in a few weeks and I can finish this one off before the next update is due 🙂  Once again I’ve put the before and after photos here 🙂

Halloween Fob - The Sweetheart Tree P1060407

The last piece of stitching for the month was actually a new start … it only took a few hours and this one was put into the finishing pile – I just love it, it’s so sparkly in real life! 😀

Mill Hill-Ice Blue Snowflake

“Ice Blue Snowflake”, Tiny Treasured Diamonds kit by Mill Hill
Stitched on kit fabric, with MH beads and DMC

And when I wasn’t stitching over the last month I was labeling beads, using what have now become my favourite bead storage units … so much so I’ve had to try and track down some more so I can finish the job 😀

And the other hobby over the last couple of weeks is increasing my XS stash (well, that of myself and Mum to be exact) … which is sadly a hobby that is short-lived and I’m back on a no-stash diet (although I still have a few things yet to arrive, such as those wonderful bead storage units) 😀

All-in-all a lot more productive this month than I’d realised … a few stitches here and there really do make a difference, it seems! 😀

No longer a HAED virgin

As mentioned in my previous post, I finally succumbed to starting a small collection of HAED charts … I’ll be lucky if I complete even one in this lifetime, but I couldn’t resist the temptation and fell in love with each and every one of these … plus a few that are waiting in the sidelines in my wishlist basket!  I was clever, though, and bought mainly Quick Stitches and Minis … although I still think they’re pretty massive in their own right!

Stitching update & Parisian stash

I’m still battling my flu bugs, so no big updates as yet from me – I’m sure I’ll get around to it over the next weekend or two, along with a write-up of our Paris and UK jaunts … but for now this will have to suffice 🙂

Following is the latest WIP piccie of my tiger XS – it’s been hard to see the black fabric when my eyes have been blurry anyway with being sick, so progress has been pretty intermittent and slow, but it’s progress nonetheless and it’s still closer to becoming a finish … for now, though, I may give it a break and try stitching on something a bit more enjoyable and easy on the eyes and come back to this one at a later stage.

Next I thought I’d show our XS stash spoils that Mum and I bought while we were in Paris recently – this is pretty much the only shopping we did apart from picking up a couple of pairs of Clark’s ankle boots in the UK, a new luggage back-pack with wheels, and a Parisian painting … and probably the only thing that we fully intended buying while we were away.  So, without further ado, here are our spoils from Des Fils et une Aiguille in Paris (we had such a lovely time during both of our visits there that Valerie and I are going to keep in touch via email – she’s such a lovely person to visit with!).  I’m sharing a quick photo of the outside shop-front and part of the shop interior – it’s a real treasure trove of French stitchy goodness, and I am guilty of spending some substantial Euros in there!  After going here we didn’t bother going to Le Bonheur des Dames, we were happy to just spending our money in this little piece of heaven! 😀

We also went to the Marais district one day and visited Entrée des Fournisseurs which had some wonderful ribbons and trims – I only bought a few pieces of scrummy felt from there, along with one length of trim that I couldn’t resist, and some ‘knit’ cotton for crochet in a yummy teal blue.

My dear friend Nicki kindly gave me a pair of her grandmothers crochet hooks and some wool to practice with to start learning to crochet while I was away, but sadly the lighting in the apartment wasn’t conducive to any form of crafts, and truthfully we got home too late in the evenings to really have the energy to do anything but fall in a heap and quickly upload the day’s photos to make way on the memory card for the next day … this is on my list to start trying shortly, though, as I have a beginners crochet book on my Kindle all set to work my way through – fingers crossed I’ll be able to master it, as it’s something I’ve wanted to try doing for many many years!

The last ‘crafty’ items that we bought were a couple of lace bookmarks from Bruges in Belgium (we took a day-trip there from Paris, which was wonderful).  Sadly Mum took hers home before I managed to take a photo, but I’ll try to get one next time I visit home, or I’ll get her to bring it back in October so I can take a photo of it then.  Here’s my one anyway 🙂

The only other stitching I’ve done lately I can’t take a photo of as it’s for an exchange, although I can show a little snippet, I guess …

And on that note, it’s time to take my snotty head (yeah, I know, too much information right!!) and ringing ears back to bed … with a nice simple XS project to cheer me up … I managed to go back to work for a day yesterday, but it nearly killed me, so I’ve decided to take one more day pottering around at home and resting up a bit more … what better way to cheer myself up than with a tiny bit of stitching 🙂

2012 WIPocalypse update for March

I started drafting a post during the week, but it seems that the WP app doesn’t automatically store a draft … so I lost the whole thing.  And today I’m fighting a dreadful head cold that I’ve been struggling with since Sunday, so it will be a lot shorter than originally planned.  But there are few things to write about, so I’ll try to get to the point quickly …

First up, though, is my stitching update for the 2012 WIPocalypse challenge.  As seems to be the norm these days, I have had absolutely minimal stitching happening over the last month – I almost need to continually do a ‘before and after’ shot so you can actually see what the progress is … I’ve always been a prolific stitcher in the past, so this is something I’m just not used to.  Anyway, here are the two pieces that have seen slight progress since last month …

First up is Bent Creek’s Winter Snapperland – the entire progress consists of two whole snowflakes and the wording … I know, hardly worth blogging about really, but I guess two snowflakes and some words are still taking it closer to a finish at some stage!

Then the other UFO/WIP to be dragged back into daylight is Mirabilia’s Enchanted Mermaid – this poor love hasn’t seen daylight for an awfully long time … I can’t remember the last time I dragged her out to be worked on.  Anyway, she’s had a tiny bit of love in February and is getting closer to having her backstitching done on her face so she doesn’t look so dreadful (her cheek looks like it has a terrible skin disease!!).  I may also start beading as I go, which just may give me a kick in the pants to stitch on her some more.

UPDATED TO ADD:  Oops, I forgot that last month I also put the finishing stitches into Jardin Prive’s Christmas, and I hadn’t posted a piccie yet.  So, here you go, here is my first big finish for the year …

The next news is that I finally managed to catch up with my dear friend Alison to pick up my Christmas gift to myself – I basically gave Alison $100 to spend during her USA trip last year, along with a huge wishlist to choose from, and I picked it up last weekend.  It was a wonderful treat to see what goodies she managed to find, and I absolutely adore the choices she made … I can’t wait to start on the SB kits, they’re awesome!!  Thanks once again Alison, I really really appreciate you doing this for me, it was a really nice surprise!

The next piece of HUGE news is that I’m heading off on holiday … not just anywhere, but we’re off here:

Well, OK, truth be told we’re not off to see the Doncaster Rovers, but rather just the Doncaster part!!  It was very hard to find a website image that actually has the word “Doncaster” in it!! BUT more exciting for me, we’re also off to visit here, and I’m just ever so bursting with awe and excitement that I’ll be going back to visit my most favourite city in the entire world to date:

Mum’s youngest sister is basically going through her final fight with throat cancer, and Mum and I have decided to head over to spend some time with her, and my other family members, before it’s too late.  Being blunt, it’s much nicer to be able to visit when she’s alive and not to be flying over to attend a funeral.  Then after a few days visiting with our family, we’re off to fulfill one of my dreams to return to Paris once more.  I have cheap airline tickets from my employers in celebration of my 10 year anniversary with them, so we felt it was a good time to cash them in and make good use of them.  The downside is that we have had absolutely zero time to get spending money together so it will be very very budget with whatever is available on the credit cards … but very very fun!!  And it’s all happening one week tomorrow, all going well (we’ll be travelling standby so we just have to keep our fingers crossed!).

Initially I thought of taking one of the SB kits with me to start on holiday, but now I’m thinking I also may take two Parisian charts to start as well … the freebie “Souvenir de France” by Blackbird Designs, which is still available for download here

And the other choice is “Eiffel Quaker” by Jardin Prive, which is available for sale directly from the designer as a PDF here … ah decisions, decisions.   Plus I have an exchange that is due for posting while I’m away, so I’ll be kitting that to be stitched while I’m in the UK visiting with my Aunt.

The other news that I haven’t mentioned yet is that along with my trip to see my Aunt in the UK, we are travelling by train back south to London and apparently have to pass by my dear friend’s home … which means we get to spend a night with Nicki, Martin and their lovely furbabies – it’s going to be wonderful seeing Nicki again after so many years 🙂