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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 😉

 

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June/July WIPocalypse

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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:

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 “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:

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“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:

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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!!!

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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.

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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

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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 …

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

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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 🙂

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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” 🙂

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!!

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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:

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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!

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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 🙂

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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 …

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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 🙂

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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! 😀