Chatelaine, Egyptian Garden Mandala, Uncategorized, WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse – April 2017

The only WIP I worked on during April was my Egyptian Garden Mandala. Here’s what it looked like at the start of the month:


And what it looks like now:


Yeah, not that different really, other than a bit of work done on the pyramid in the bottom corner. I haven’t had much time or energy to stitch this month, and needed to spend some time catching up on my SALs for the year, as well as getting a new start kitted up – that’s Mirabilia’s “Red”, except I’m doing a blue conversion. I’m going to a local Mirabilia retreat where Nora’s attending, so I was hoping to have it stitched before then … but seeing as it’s not started yet, and the retreat kicks off on Friday 5 May, I think I’m a bit out of luck on that score 😉

Chatelaine, Egyptian Garden Mandala, WIPocalypse, Works in Progress

WIPocalypse March 2017

2015 WIPocalypseNot much stitching done in general this month due to crazy working hours and just feeling generally exhausted all the time.  But these last two weekends I’ve made up for it a wee bit by plonking myself in front of the TV in my stitching chair, watching loads of Gilmore Girls episodes back to back, and finally getting needle to meet fabric once again.  The result is a reasonable update to Egyptian Garden Mandala.  It feels good to finally make some progress – I was getting bored with my least favourite border section, so I moved onto one of the corners to have a break on one of the pyramid blocks. Next session I’ll go back to finishing that dratted border until the bottom part is finished – then once that’s done I’ll be flipping the frame around again to finish those over-one fishies in the centre and working on the beading and backstitching from the pond outwards. Anyway, this is the progress that I managed in March (the only WIPocalypse project I worked on):






I’ve also dragged out a pile of small and freebie designs that I’d love to work on in-between larger projects, so I may do that soon as well – in a rotation of sorts. Maybe 10 hours (or a full weekend) on a larger piece of work, then slot in a wee freebie that will only take me a few hours to finish. Hmmm, I like that plan! Either way, it’s likely that Egyptian Garden Mandala will remain a key focus piece for a while. I must say, though, it’s a lot bigger than I expected it to be!

I just realised I forgot about the monthly questions, so I’ll do February and March together below:

February 26 – What is your favourite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  (bonus points if you provide a how-to link or diagram it on your blog post!)
Let me think … I would probably say the various Rhodes stitches (especially hearts) and I also really love the look of Sheaf stitch. I really love doing canvaswork because of the interesting stitches, so there aren’t that many I really don’t enjoy.

March 26 – What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?
I haven’t truthfully read blogs regularly for a few years now, mainly because of my long work hours and not having as much free time as I used to … but in saying that I’ve been wasting much more time in Facebook groups, which seems so much quicker for me on my phone – I do miss reading my favourite blogs though, and every few months I’ll have a quick recap on some of my oldie favourites. I don’t follow Flosstube videos, as I find them too distracting and just generally not ‘my thing’.  Most of my spare time is now spent doing actual stitching rather than reading about it … a bit of a strange concept for me 😉


Chatelaine, Egyptian Garden Mandala, Textile Heritage, Uncategorized, WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse – February 2017

2015 WIPocalypseYippee, February seemed to be a great month for working on WIPs – in fact WIPs have been the only things I’ve worked on.  Not a huge amount of stitching has been done during week nights, as I haven’t been sleeping well thanks to the heat at the start of the month, but I often made up for it on the weekends.

First up was this one – I fell out with this one ages ago because I really hated how short the kit threads were, and felt like I was only getting a handful of stitches out of each length of thread before having to cut off and rethread the needle.  So many times I felt like dragging out the DMC and re-kitting it up myself.  Apparently I’ve got more patience this year – I just forced myself to ‘suck it up, princess’, not think too much about it, and just ‘stitched’.  After a few colours I got into a rhythm again with it and just kept going until it was finished.  It’ll never be my favourite piece of stitching, but I do like it now it’s finished.  I think it may get turned into a slip cover for a notebook or photo album of stitching … I’m not sure really.  Anyway, here’s the before (how it was when I picked it up) picture and the finish.  The finished photo is closer to the fabric colour, but badly out of focus … oops.



“The Formal Garden” by Textile Heritage Collection
Stitched on 14ct dark green Aida (kit fabric) with kit threads
Finished 12 February 2017

Then the next one I chose to work on is another older WIP – I hate this one with a passion for various reasons.  This one is Egyptian Garden Mandala by Chatelaine.

First of all I really hate the fabric choice … really and truly.  I love the colour, don’t get me wrong, but the fabric is quite closely woven thanks to the dyeing process and the opalescent threads make it even harder to see the holes.  Not to mention the beads are too cramped together and I keep having to omit and fudge the odd bead to get them to lay straight.  I’ve tossed up a few times whether to cut my losses and start again on a non-hand-dyed fabric, which I know I’d enjoy soooo much more, but I keep looking at just how much I’ve stitched in comparison to what is left to be stitched, and it does seem a bit crazy at this stage to start again.

As well as the fabric choice, I got fed up with the over-one stitching, messed it all up, and had to unpick it … at that point it got thrown into the ‘naughty corner’ before I turned it into a Mexican hat dance accessory.  Last weekend I bit the bullet and spent 2 hours pulling the over-one stitching out and started re-stitching it all again.  If I thought the rest of the stitching is difficult to see the holes, trying to stitch with metallic threads over-one is, quite frankly, a right royal bloody nightmare on this fabric!  I still have no idea how the hell I’m going to see to fill in the remaining stitches in those fishies!!

I spent so much on this kit, though, I just can’t justify throwing it out, and I really do love the design … so I figure I’ll just do little bits here and there in-between other more fun projects and eventually (some day before I retire and/or struggle with poor eyesight) it’ll become a finish … hopefully.

Anyhoo, here it is once again with the before and after photos.  I guess it’s nice to see a bit of progress, although I’m already getting the urge to move onto something more fun, so I think it may not see much more progress for a wee while.




What’s next on the stitching agenda?  Well, I still have my Hallowe’en SAL piece to work on, so possibly that one … but maybe a nice quick freebie or smalls piece to give me a quick and easy finish … maybe … to be honest I really don’t know what I feel like stitching, so it’ll be a surprise either way! 😉


Beading, Chatelaine, Christmas Ornaments, Finishes, Freebies, Lizzie Kate, Paw Printings, Stash, Stitch-alongs, The Floss Box

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).



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

Chatelaine, Cross Stitch, Egyptian Garden Mandala, Works in Progress

Egyptian Garden Mandala

The only stitching done this weekend was on EGM – I spent a reasonable amount of time on this one on Saturday, then had a break while I polished off book 4 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (Butch) … then managed a few more hours last night while Katie and I watched a few more episodes of Dark Angel.  TV viewing has been appalling just lately, with many of our favourite shows now off the air, so we’ve been working our way through our TV shows on DVD instead.  Initially we dedicated Friday night each week as our TV DVD night (and what felt like never-ending weeks of Dawson’s Creek initially) – but lately we’d rather watch our DVDs than anything on actual TV.

Tonight was no exception, and I managed to put another couple of hours into Egyptian Garden Mandala (“EGM”), bringing the latest stitching effort to look like this:

EGM 12Jul10

I can honestly and truthfully say that this is a true “labour” to stitch … not a labour of love, just a “labour”.  I truly detest the fabric I’m stitching this one on … I will never ever in all my days choose an opalescent fabric to stitch on again – and don’t get me started on trying to stitch little over-one fishes in metallic thread in the centre of this piece, ‘cos I’m seriously VERY close to ripping the whole lot out, filling in the centre with normal cross stitches, and stitching on some mother of pearl fish buttons or something similar!  I keep getting tempted to scrap the whole thing and start over again on a new piece of normal Belfast linen, but the fact is I’ve come so far with the stitching now, I don’t know if I’d ever bother picking it up again … so I continue to force myself to stitch, and hope like hell each time that I’m getting closer to the edge of the next section, as each section that gets completed takes me one step closer to ending this stitching journey (which will, alas, be quite some months in the future I fear!). 

No sign yet of my back-ordered threads arriving at the overseas store, much less leaving the US, so this one will continue for a while longer yet (even though I have to strain to see over the top of it a bit in my stitching chair) … unless the urge to throw it out the window grows so loud that I’m starting to take notice …

I guess the good news is that it’ll be like motherhood when it’s finished … all the pain of the actual childbirth will be forgotten, and the beautiful creation that remains completed at the end will wipe all the memories of pain and suffering away … and it’ll all be worth it in the end … especially once it gets is sparkly beads stitched on.  In fact, I tried adding some more of the shitty over-one fishies over the weekend, ‘cos once they’re stitched up I’m going to start adding the back-stitching and beads as I go … and I think once they start getting added it’ll add a bit more ‘spring to my needle’ 🙂

Chatelaine, Cross Stitch, Egyptian Garden Mandala, Quaker, Works in Progress

Egyptian Garden makes a come-back

Back to work again for me today – still not 100% healthwise, but I managed to survive one day at work before the weekend is here again … the bad news is I’m so far behind in some work it means I’ll probably be going into the office over the weekend for a couple of hours to catch up, because deadlines are looming and I’m in meetings most of the day on Monday … c’est la vie 😦

Stitching-wise I managed to re-stitch my Quaker Huswif section while I was off work, and am moving on to the bottom section … which means it won’t be too long before I’m at the halfway mark on this project.  Unfortunately I took the photo this morning in dark light without much indoor lighting and the photo is dreadful … c’est la vie once again …  Once I’ve finished this project I’ll try to take some decent photos during daylight that will show off the colour of the thread and fabric nicely.

Quaker Huswif 8Jul10

Then tonight, also in poor lighting but this time only using my daylight bulb immediately over the fabric, I managed to take yet another appalling snap of my stitching update with Egyptian Garden Mandala (this time totally washed out!) … but I can’t be bothered waiting until daylight to take another one 🙂

Egyptian Garden 9Jul10

Each time I look at EGM I think the little border of birdies just isn’t ‘right’ – the blue/green birds blend in too much into the border background, so I think at the end I’ll backstitch the tops of all the birds to add a bit more emphasis to their shape.  I almost didn’t bother taking a progress piccie because I don’t feel as though I’ve made much progress, but when I look at the last progress piccie I guess you can see some headway made … just 😛

Egyptian Garden is such an unwieldy project on its huge Qsnaps that it’s a right royal pain to handle, so I’ve decided it will be sitting on my lounge stitching frame for a wee while longer … at least until my back-ordered threads arrive to complete Halloween Fairy anyway.  Quaker Huswif, as much as I don’t want to stop stitching on it, will continue to be my sitting in bed stitching project, so it may now take a lot longer to get much further along with it.

Anyway for now it’s time to stop gabbing and take my ringing ears and blocked sinuses off to bed … maybe time to read a chapter or two of Book 4 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (Butch) … depending on whether the tumbler of port and brandy that I consumed this evening will allow me or not (for medicinal purposes, you understand LOL).

Canvaswork, Chatelaine, Cross Stitch, Egyptian Garden Mandala, Laura J Perin, Sapphire Star, Works in Progress

Resurfacing old U.F.O.

We spent the evening watching some TV and Supernatural episodes while I split my time between trying to resurrect my laptop (it keeps dying) and my stitching.  I managed to stitch as far as I could on Sapphire Star, and realised I am missing yet another thread somehow … will have to check my stash to make sure I haven’t just forgotten to add it to the ‘kit’.  Anyway, it’s looking great, if I say so myself!

Then I decided not to start anything new, but to pick up a very VERY old UFO that hasn’t been touched since … um … well … since April 2007 … yikes!!!  I haven’t touched any of my old UFOs since I finished Chatelaine’s Stitching Leporello last year, so I decided it was time to put a few stitches into it … I didn’t manage a great deal, but did manage to finish the stitching of the ‘bird band’ on the outside.  I still hate the over-one section in the middle, and would dearly love someone to wave a magic wand over it to make it be “finished” … perhaps I’ll make myself do one strand of over-one stitching each time I pick it up before I stitch more on the fun parts – but then again that may put me off picking it up full stop – hmmm, maybe I should just leave it until the end, so it has to be done before the beading, that should be incentive enough!  The “Before” picture shows the fabric colour more accurately.



Today I’ve been struggling on and off all day with a nauseous migraine, so have been in bed most of the afternoon.  I was getting restless so thought I’d tempt fate and sit up for a few minutes – but now I think it’s time to go back to bed again …

Chatelaine, Cross Stitch, Finishes, Stitching Leporello

Happy Dance

Yippee, I just put the final stitches into Chatelaine’s Stitching Leporello!!  (Sorry, the colours are dreadful in this photo!)

Stitching Leporello-Final piece

I shouldn’t get too cocky yet, though, as I still have the actual “finishing” to go yet! 😉

The only thing I did change in the above piece is the style of alphabet used for my initials above – unfortunately Martina’s chosen alphabet just didn’t appeal to me, so I found something a lot simpler to use instead – and I opted not to do the initials over-one, mainly because I’m not a huge fan of over-one stitching with variegated thread … but I think it worked out OK anyway 😀

Here are all the pieces together in one place (sorry, some pieces are a bit ‘cut-off’ due to the shape):

Stitching Leporello 1

Stitching Leporello 2

Stitching Leporello 3

Chatelaine, Cross Stitch, Finishes, PhotoHunt, Stitching Leporello, Works in Progress

No Photo Hunt this week

… Because the week’s theme is “Garbage”, and to be honest I don’t feel like taking photos of rubbish bins or its contents, and I can’t think of anything clever that’s not actual rubbish … so for me this week’s theme is garbage and I’m not playing …

Instead this weekend I took Thursday and Friday off, and caught up with a friend from Melbourne on Thursday night before she flew out to Tokyo – then on Friday I managed to pick up yet ANOTHER blasted viral infection and over the last 2-3 days have had a blocked nose, raging sore throat, and today have added sore ears into the mix … never ever in all my life have I had such a rotten run with viral infections – I’m starting to think the boy in the bubble had a brilliant idea!!!  At least I have plenty of cold & flu tablets left over after the last bout, so I’m well set up! 

Due to feeling not too crash hot over the last few days, while my stitching has been relatively non-stop during the day, my pace has been very very slow – I have, however, managed to meet my UFO challenge for this month by completing the final of the 4 larger pieces of Chatelaine’s Stitching Leporello.  I have to say this is definitely my least favourite piece of all of them – I really don’t like much at all about this section.  The colours, in my eyes, are quite washed out, and an odd blend, and I really detest the acorns and leaves – they seem almost ‘clumsy’ in the middle there.  Unfortunately I wasn’t clever enough to try to replace them, and by that stage pretty much “over” stitching it, so I just wanted to get the darned thing finished and off the Qsnaps to be replaced by something else.  Only two more ‘medium’ sized pieces to go and it’s all finished.  I’m a bit tempted to just keep stitching until it’s finished, but after the totally unenjoyable stitching session I’ve just finished, I feel like something simple to cheer me up in the meantime.

I’ll leave you with photos, before I head back into the warm cozy confines of my bed once again …

Stitching Leporello 1

Stitching Leporello 2

Stitching Leporello 3

Stitching Leporello 4

Ackworth Friendship Book, Chatelaine, Cross Stitch, Finishes, Quaker, Round Robin, Round Robins, Stitching Leporello, With My Needle, Works in Progress

A Little Bit of Quaker

After finally charging my camera battery up on my point and shoot, I can show piccies of KarenV’s Quaker RR – this is round 3 of our RR, which means we’re just over the halfway mark, with just 2 more rounds left to go. Unfortunately not true to life colour, but the best I can do on a dark winter’s night with no natural lighting. I have to admit I found this a challenge trying to work out which bits classed as which bits for the designated colours, and it’s definitely slower to stitch this way, but it really is worth it in the end result! Karen does an awesome job of selecting colours! This is one really pretty Quaker!! 😀

(Sorry, but it’s also quite blurry … my hands obviously weren’t entirely steady at the end of the day!!)

KarenV's Quaker Part 1

KarenV's Quaker Part 2

If you want to see the other finishes for this month and previous month you can check out our blog here.

As well as taking photos of the Quaker pieces, I also snapped a couple of new photos of Chatelaine’s Stitching Leporello, which are as follows (and shows the stitching and colours much more accurately):

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 1

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 2

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 3

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 4

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 5a

Chatelaine's Stitching Leporello 5

As for what project I decided to pick up next, I opted to make a start on the final ‘large’ piece of the Stitching Leporello as this month’s UFO challenge … which I think means after this one there are only two medium-sized pieces left … and then I have the major challenge of finding some lining fabric and attempting to put it all together – perhaps a job I’ll save up for when the Dragon comes to visit next month, with an excuse to go fabric shopping 🙂

Following is the paltry start I managed on the final large section tonight – woohoo, hold me back! 😛

Chatelaine Stitching Leporello WIP 06Jul09

At the moment I’m struggling to make a decision on my new start project, and the choices in the pile are currently:

  • LHN – Ladybug, Ladybug
  • LHN – Travelling Stitcher
  • LHN – Home of a Needleworker 2
  • LHN – Dear Diary, Abigail Winslow (I think – don’t have it in front of my right now – the one with the lighthouse/ocean theme)
  • Sampler Cove – Quaker Huswif
  • Just Nan – Winter in the Square (just need to coffee dye the fabric first)

Ah, decisions, decisions … Mind you, at the rate I’m stitching these days, I’ll be lucky to get my Chatelaine square finished by month end, never mind anything else … I’m feeling a “stitching RDO” coming up (and definitely a stitching weekend away at the end of the month – yippee!!).

Anyway, time to hit the pillows for the night before the alarm clock screams its head off at 5.30am (yucky!!) – I’m loving my gym workouts already … perhaps next week we may even start doing some of the classes like body pump etc … 😀