Final recap of WIP progress to date

While I’ve managed to get a few finishes under my belt in the last six months or so, I’ve also chipped away a tiny bit at a couple more WIPs.  The first one is “Quaker Christmas II – Songs of the Season” by ByGone Stitches.  This is how it looked the last time I took a progress photo:

Quaker Christmas II - Songs of the Season by ByGone Stitches

And how it looks now (or at least how it looked a month or two ago anyway – there’s only been a tiny bit more progress on the right-hand motif since the photo was taken, but I’m too lazy to take an updated piccie just for those few stitches):

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After I finished off Lizzie*Kate’s 2007 Special Edition Christmas kit, I wanted to stitch on something easy to work on – my choice at the time was the “Paris” kit by Country Threads. I was fully intending to finish off the letter R if nothing else, but in truth I’m not enjoying stitching with it in the scrollbars I’ve got it in, so I’ve since shelved it for a while until I find something else to pop it into.  As it is I’m having to stitch it sideways so I could get it on the scrollbars in the first place … that feels really odd in itself really. I’ve actually done quite a bit more than what is showing in the piccie – and I think with a concentrated effort I’d get this letter finished with a good week of stitching, except my efforts have moved on for a wee while to something else.

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I did a bit of online shopping and bought some lovely (balsa probably) wooden crates from Briscoes online (Australian version of the NZ store).  I thought they’d be great to put my UFOs/WIPs into to keep them in one place … except I found that in fact I could probably fill 3-4 crates once I included my older unloved UFOs.  It has made me more determined, though, to get some more of those WIPs whipped into shape and into the finishing pile.  I’d dearly love to get that pile down into just the one solitary storage crate … perhaps by the end of 2018 it may be doable … or 2019 … OK, 2020 if I’m truly realistic 😉 So yes, these are probably just half of the WIPs I have around the place, although they’re all on frames so they up a lot of room and it looks worse than what it is (that’s my excuse anyway).

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In an effort to start whittling the contents of one crate down, I’ve opted to go back to working on a Christmas SAL I started in January, where we stitch a selected Christmas ornie each month from the 2015 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue.  I have all the fabrics chosen ready to go for each month’s project, and I’m way behind in the SAL, so I figured it could be quite a quick thing for me to go through and get those out of the way.  Therefore my current WIPs will be, for the foreseeable future, various Christmas ornaments.  I managed to catch up and stitch April’s ornament, and I’ve made a (very) small start on the May one.

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“Very Merry Christmas” by Medina Originals
(from the 2015 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue)

Started some time in April 2016 – Finished 3 September 2016
Stitched on a mystery 32ct fabric that I can’t remember
with recommended DMC threads

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Well I did say it was a small start … haha.  I’ve actually done a wee bit more since then, although at my current rate of progress it’ll probably be another week away before this one is finished.  It’s stitched on 36ct hand-dyed linen with one strand of thread, and I’m feeling my age when I’m stitching this one at the end of a long business day staring at a computer screen …

And that, I think, is all the stitching updates I have for now!

Crazy 7 Challenge & First finish of 2016

Well so far the year has started really well – I had a last minute invitation to a New Year’s Eve party very close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge with friends up from Melbourne. It gave a great chance to get up close and personal with the awesome fireworks display … Sadly the friends are moving shortly so it’ll be the last time – but it was a really great way to kick off the new year getting to bed finally at 4.30am!



I was feeling decidedly seedy on the morning trip home so opted to walk a couple of extra kilometres instead of catching the bus – it gave me some much needed fresh air and exercise and I enjoyed the beach walk immensely 🙂



Then in between sleeping the day away I managed to kick start my stitching plans and achieved very small starts on all my projects:

First up the Mirabilia SAL:


Then the first 3 days of the Crazy 7 (7 new starts in 7 days):


  
I also started my first Christmas ornament for an ornie SAL on 1 Jan then finished it off today for my first finish of the year.


“Beyond Cross Stitch – Level Three – Blackwork” by The Victoria Sampler

Sadly it’s back to work again tomorrow so my stitching will no doubt slow up again – but I want to get back into the habit of stitching most days/nights even if it’s just for a few minutes. Having some gorgeous new projects to work on will keep the motivation up I think 🙂

2015 Smalls SAL – February

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This month I decided to work on one of the pieces from Grandma’s Stitching Treasures by The Cat’s Whiskers.  This is the scissor pocket from the set … or at least it will be once it’s finish-finished 🙂  It was really enjoyable stitching this one … now I’m looking forward to stitching the remaining two pieces – the scissor fob and the needlebook.  I think the scissor fob will be the next one to be stitched.

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February WIPocalypse

It’s been a reasonable month for both stitching and blog posts … probably the most regular I’ve been in quite a few years!  Who knows how long it will last for, but I’m enjoying it so far that’s for sure!

As for my stitching progress, here are the progress piccies from the last month’s efforts, and comparing how they looked last time vs this month:

First up is a new start, which is a gift for someone if I can get it stitched up quickly enough!  Unfortunately, though, I just noticed a mark on the fabric so it’s off to spend some time in a tub and hopefully it will come out … if not, I guess I’ll be ironing up some new fabric and starting again …

Fern by Nora Corbett

Fern by Nora Corbett

And my other WIPs/new starts were:

And then there were a couple of new starts that were also finishes:

All-in-all it was a pretty amazing month of stitching … my work department moving closer to home again is doing wonders for my productivity, that’s for sure!!

And now this month’s topic:  “Topic: How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time?  Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!”

I have to admit the high number of UFOs I have has started to bother me in recent years, so I’ve been making an effort to slowly work through them.  I’m starting to become more of a one-at-a-timer, but then when I get bored with a project I tend to just stop stitching, or I put it down and never come back to it again because I feel burnt out with that particular project.  This year I’ve tried to be more disciplined and have gone back to a formal rotation once again, and it’s really working on the whole.  I have 10-11 project slots, with a Focus Piece slot every 3-4 slots so that I can focus on one project to get stitched up more quickly (generally assigned to one of my BAPs or SAL commitments).  I’ve managed to stick to my rotation really well so far, although I’ve just decided to start a new gift for someone that needs to be stitched up really quickly before we meet up in early March, so my rotation has been temporarily put on hold.  It’s funny, though, I already miss my rotation and the discipline I’d built up, and I’m almost ‘resenting’ this project because of it … isn’t it funny how our minds work?  So far I’ve managed to finish up one old UFO this year thanks to my rotation slot and being disciplined … I’d like to see another 1-2 of my UFO list joining the finishing pile this year, but either way I’m just doing to enjoy working through my stash pile on a regular basis! 😀

As a matter of interest, here is my “rotation tub” … all of my projects are on their own scrollbars or Qsnaps, and sit in order of being stitched, along with their chart/threads in a plastic envelope or mesh project bag … this really helps me to keep organised during the rotation and I’m not running around each 10 hours trying to find the next project kit …

My rotation 'tub'

My rotation ‘tub’

March WIPocalypse … a teensy bit late …

Since I last posted there were substantial changes to Dad’s status, and over the Easter weekend I returned home and back to work once again.  Dad was still struggling to eat in the hospital, and really wasn’t improving greatly, and since he had proven himself a little bit with a 6-hour home visit they opted to let him come home.  His surgery wound is still not healed properly so he has a District Nurse that visits every couple of days – he is managing to empty and change his bag himself, though.  He is still very weak and has dizzy spells when he stands up, so he has to go back to his GP tomorrow – he’s still not eating well, but starting to walk up the driveway a bit each day to build up his strength and get him walking again.  The Hospital provided him with a walker that he will now keep permanently, which is great – I could go on and on about what they did well, and in particular what they did poorly – I had my say to the staff at our family meeting before bringing Dad home and told them where I felt quite disappointed … but I won’t get started on that right now, or I’ll never shut up!  Let’s just say we’re still continuing to have a couple of unresolved issues and discrepancies, even after he’s come home … not helped by the fact he was let home a week earlier than planned …

As for me, when I got home I switched on my beautiful Samsung TV only to find smoke billowing out the top … which is out of warranty now … and then when I went to start my car the next day my battery has died, along with my car registration and insurance!!  So today I finally managed to get a new battery installed, then a Pink Slip (warrant of fitness), Green Slip (CTP/Compulsory Third Party insurance), Car Registration and comprehensive car insurance … a lovely total of $1,600 out of the bank account today, which means I’ll be living on whatever is in the pantry and freezer for the next fortnight until pay-day !  It’s not the first time, and it sure as hell won’t be the last, I’m sure.  I’m very very happy, though, that my car is now drivable and registered so that’s one HUGE relief and big stress removed from my shoulders!

Since I’ve been home I haven’t managed to do any stitching whatsoever – after working each day I’ve been really exhausted, so I’m hoping that next week I’ll be ‘back to normal’ again and can get back properly into a routine.  In the meantime, though, I can share the tiny bit of stitching that I have done since the last WIPocalypse update in February – starting with the final Round Robin piece in our group of 4:

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Dyah’s Round Robin – Elemental Dragons by Dragon Dreams

Then I made a very small start on Little Blue Potting Shed by Brown House Studio.  This is a chart that was gifted to me by Barbara years ago, and I’ve finally managed to get around to stitching it.  This was on my list of 2013 Crazy January Challenge pieces, and I fell in love with it years ago when I saw part of the design stitched over-one for an exchange gift.  How can I NOT love it when it’s stitched in exquisite blue shades (well, at least the shed is anyway!).

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That’s all the ‘new’ stitching I completed since the last blog post – of course I had also completed some other stitching efforts, which were shown in my previous blog post, but which I’ll post again here for the purposes of this little WIPocalypse update for the month …

And now I think it’s time to actually drag out that stitching for a short while … it might just help to restore that sense of peace once more, and make better use of my time while I catch up on more recorded TV …

Time for a Rotation again?

I have signed up for so many different SALs and challenges this year that I think the best way for me to devote time for each one is to set up a rotation once again – the first time I tried a rotation it was amazingly successful, but later attempts have been disastrous … perhaps this time it will work … perhaps …

Then again, I also want to continue concentrating on older UFOs/WIPs to finally get them into the finished pile and not languishing around making me feel guilty and gathering dust bunnies …

I guess the first thing to do is to work out what SALs I have coming up this year, along with noting if any of those projects could be combined with the Crazy January Challenge or using existing WIPs/UFOs … then work out a schedule that could possibly work on a 10-hour slot basis.  Rightio then, let’s start by noting all the SALs coming up (including those already started while I’ve been in NZ) … here goes:

  • November 2012 – Quaker Christmas II SAL
  • 1 January – Nora Corbett’s Bluebell Pixie SAL
  • 1 January – Drawn Thread’s Sampler Gameboard SAL
  • 1 February – Aussie Round Robin
  • 14 February – Ink Circles Cirque des Coeurs SAL
  • 1 May – Teresa Wentzler SAL

Add to that the list of potential new starts for me this year as part of the Crazy January Challenge (the only difference is that I’m making up my own rules by choosing and kitting up 15 projects but not starting a new one every day, just rather working my way through the list).  I have to admit I grabbed a handful of my chosen 2013 new starts when I did a rushed packing job to come to NZ and ended up already starting and finishing two of them, so I definitely need to re-do that list of projects once again.  I am tempted to add the Quaker Christmas II sampler and Sampler Gameboard to the challenge list, but I’m not confident I can see either of them being finished by the end of the year and happy to just have them ‘in progress’ throughout the year.  My CJC pieces will be as follows (there are only 2 relatively large pieces in there, so I’m hoping it won’t be too unachievable, but that could be famous last words, if this year’s crappy stitching time is anything to go by!):

  1. Bluebell pixie – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
  2. Little Blue Potting Shed – Brown House Studio
  3. Blue Bayou – Northern Pine Designs
  4. Christmas Elf Fairy – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
  5. Bluebeard’s Princess – Mirabilia
  6. Moon & Stars – Little House Needleworks
  7. Trousse aux Fleur Bleues – CMon Monde
  8. Spooky Scissors Fob – Shepherd’s Bush
  9. Little Witch – Shepherd’s Bush
  10. Trick or Treat Box – Just Nan
  11. Acorn Hill – Little House Needleworks
  12. Valentine Fairy – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
  13. Christmas double flip-its – Lizzie*Kate
  14. Ebb Tide – Northern Pine Designs
  15. Sky Blue Accent – Periwinkle Promises

As well as these projects, though, I’d dearly love to continue working on some of my older WIPs/UFOs, namely:

  • With My Needle – The Goode Huswife
  • Flight of the Bumblebees – Ruth Schmuff
  • English Garden Sampler – Teresa Wentzler
  • Enchanted Mermaid – Mirabilia
  • Egyptian Garden Mandala – Chatelaine

Taking all that into account, let’s see if I can work out a suitable rotation … hmmm, this might need a few days to think through, but easier putting it ‘in print’ and then reviewing again … and seeing as I don’t have any software loaded up on Mum’s computer at the moment, this is kinda my drawing board for now …

  1. Nora Corbett/Mirabilia
    (Bluebell pixie, Christmas Elf Fairy, Valentine Fairy, Bluebeard’s Princess, *Enchanted Mermaid (UFO))
  2. Halloween
    (Spooky Scissors Fob, Little Witch, Trick or Treat Box)
  3. Quaker Christmas II SAL
  4. Christmas Ornaments & Charity Quilt Squares
  5. Canvaswork
    (Blue Bayou, Ebb Tide, *Flight of the Bumblebees (UFO))
  6. Other Crazy January
    (Little Blue Potting Shed, Moon & Stars, Trousse aux Fleur Bleues, Acorn Hill, Christmas double flip-its, Sky Blue Accent)
  7. Sampler Gameboard SAL
  8. UFOs/WIPs
    (With My Needle, *Flight of the Bumblebees, English Garden Sampler, *Enchanted Mermaid, Egyptian Garden Mandala)
  9. Christmas Ornaments or Free Choice

That actually seems quite ‘do-able’ … but I guess the proof will be whether I manage to start it when I get home … which is now at least a week later than expected, depending on what Dad’s doctor has to say tomorrow.  I got the go-ahead from my boss to work over here ‘remotely’ for a while, so that’s good news and takes the pressure off a little bit 🙂

Plus Mum and I placed a small order with 123stitch to re-order the missing threads I need that are waiting for me back home – at least that way I can still continue to do some form of stitching over here, which I have to admit I’ve been loving at the moment … I can’t remember the last time I stitched every single day for over a week at a time … sheer bliss!!!