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Lots of stitching finishes

Ever since I’ve been eating healthier, and sleeping better, I’ve managed to find my stitching mojo on a regular basis.  As such, it’s seen a bunch of finishes over the last two months – most of them new starts, with one UFO from the start of the year.

First up I was trying really hard to do a catch-up for a Halloween Ornie SAL I signed up for this year.  Unfortunately I found HAEDs at the start of the year and my sole stitching focus went into those for a while, then working life got turned on its head for a bit and crazy working hours became the norm once again.  I decided in October I really did want to catch up on the SAL, but I didn’t want to stitch a heap of ornies.  At the start of the year I’d planned on working on two larger projects, that each had a block containing something that would fit within the SAL monthly themes.  Because of me starting so late in the piece, I ended up just stitching one larger piece with a couple of extra ornies thrown in for good measure.  This is what I chose for the monthly SAL, which I stitched in strict order of the themes for the year (with the exception of the two ornies, which I stitched first):

  • January – Winged creatures (block 5, the owl and bat)
  • February – Mummies and Monsters (block 6, the Frankenstein head at the end)
  • March – Pumpkins (block 1)
  • April – Ghosts (block 2, the teeny weeny ghost hiding behind the tree)
  • May – Spiders (separate ornie, freebie by Lizzie*Kate)
  • June – Free choice (the geometric border)
  • July – Witches’ accessories (block 3, the witch’s cauldron)
  • August – Spooky words (the words in the border)
  • September – Bad fairies (still have no idea what on earth to do for that one)
  • October – Black cats (block 4)
  • November – Skeletons and Skulls (another separate ornie, Halloween Ornament 4 by The Floss Box)

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“Halloween Markings” by Heart in Hand
stitched on 32ct Steel Grey Belfast linen
with a couple of recommended threads, but mostly replacements from my stash
Stitched as an alternative to ornaments for a Halloween Ornie SAL

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“Eek” freebie by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct ‘mystery’ grey Belfast linen
with recommended threads

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“Halloween Ornament 4” by The Floss Box
Stitched on 32ct ‘mystery’ linen
with recommended DMC threads

After my Halloween stitching binge, I decided to drag out a UFO from the start of the year.  This was one of my Crazy January Challenge pieces (15 starts in 15 days, which I’ve decided really isn’t for me anymore – I want to spend my stitching time working through all those WIPs/UFOs cluttering up my stitching space instead of starting a bunch of new ones!).  Anyway, after a few weeks chipping away at her, I had a few days of work this week and managed some major progress, and finishing her a couple of days ago.  This was significantly helped by throwing a few seasons of Buffy into the DVD player, it was great mindless, and amusing, fodder for the brain while completing a stitching marathon 🙂

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“The Christmas Elf Fairy” by Mirabilia
stitched on 32ct natural linen
with kit threads (Crescent Colours) and beads

The last one, hot off the Qsnaps on Friday night was one I’d originally stitched as a charity quilt square a few years ago.  I’ve been wanting to restitch this for myself ever since, and still had the DMC sitting with the chart ready for the day when I found time.  I decided it was finally time to pull my finger out and get it stitched up so I grabbed some fabric and threw it on the Qsnaps – I love this one, and it’ll beautifully with my ocean/beach theme in the lounge!

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“Chambered Nautilus” by Green Apple Co (original watercolour by Janet Powers)
Stitched on 32ct off-white Belfast linen
with recommended DMC threads

And that’s all for now I guess … I’m not 100% sure what I’ll choose to stitch on next.  I’ve been trying to finish off a lot of the WIPs sitting in crates so that I have a few Qsnaps free to use for new projects, so no doubt the next thing I choose to stitch will be something already started … Mind you, I do still have four ornaments left to stitch to complete the 2016 JCS Christmas Ornie SAL challenge on Facebook – I guess that’ll probably be the first thing ticked off, then it’ll be time to grab one of my WIPs as my next focus piece.  At the moment I’m tossing up between the following WIPs/UFOs – I just may have to toss a coin, because I really can’t decide right now! 😉

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November visit home & stitching finishes

In November it was my best friend’s birthday – she’d begged me to fly over for the occasion, and after selling my shares and having a wee bit of a windfall I managed to get there for the big day.  It was wonderful hanging out for a few days with my bestie at her home just outside Nelson – we’ve been best friends since we were 10 years old, and even though we rarely stay in touch these days with visits and phone calls, it feels like the years disappear when we do manage to catch up again.  I love her dearly.  Here’s a photo of the two of us with her (and my adopted) Mum, Doreen.  That’s one huge piece of my childhood history in that one photo! 😀

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In November I also FINALLY finished my wedding gift for my dear friend Elie and his bride Caroline … their wedding was in 2012, so it was only three years {{cough}} overdue!! 😉  While I’m not 100% happy with it, Elie adored it when I gave it to him (but unfortunately forgot to snap a photo of it framed).  This was a very personal gift, as Elie’s favourite author is Kahlil Gibran, so I chose some pieces of his work for the top two quotes.  The colour of the roses was to match the wedding invitation, and the bottom quote is directly from their wedding invite as well.  The Arabic wording means “a thousand blessings”, and as they are both Lebanese it was another bit of personalisation (I charted that up myself).  I have to admit, though, that I’m really glad this is one is finished now, and even more so that all the effort was appreciated by the groom 😀  Sorry for the poor photos, for love nor money I couldn’t get a decent shot of it!

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Finally, I joined in a “Winter/Fall” Exchange with a Facebook group.  Following is the item them I sent to my exchange partner.  It’s been on my wishlist to stitch for myself, so I’ll definitely be doing this one again for me some time in the near future while the chart is still out … just need to decide on the fabric to use for my one.

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“Winter Needle Roll” by Heart in Hand Needleart
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Belfast linen by Countrystitch (colour TBC)
using mostly recommended threads

A male work colleague flew home to NZ for a flying visit, and ended up in a charity shop of some sort – he came home with a couple of little treats for me as he knows I love to stitch … I was a bit gobsmacked at his kind thought, and think I’ll leave these in the desk drawer to do a spot of lunchtime stitching in the office in the New Year 🙂

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Over the last month or so I’ve also been taking part in a Facebook ingredient cooking challenge – it’s been great fun trying to find recipes for the weekly main ingredient, and it’s been giving me a lot more confidence getting back into cooking again.  That’s something I want to do a lot more of in 2016 – cooking from scratch!  I’ve always enjoyed cooking when I’m in the mood, and oh my goodness food tastes SO much better when it’s cooked from scratch … so 2016 will see my cooking progress continue as I do the weekly challenges, if nothing else!

And the last photo I’ll finish this post with is me dressed up for a bit of fun in the office – I dressed up in my old Christmas tree dress outfit and handed out sweets/lollies at work … including calling into my favourite coffee shop where I have a great laugh with one of the baristas (who’s in the photo – and the photo is his, so you can blame him for the caption on it! LOL).

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Christmas finishes & Crazy January Challenge

As mentioned in my previous post, thanks to season 1 of Fringe and a very lazy day yesterday where I didn’t even get dressed, I managed to finish both of my WIPs from Christmas:

Heart in Hand Needleart-Wee Valentine Bird
“Valentine Bird” by Heart in Hand Needleart
stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with recommended threads except subbed DMC 926 for GAST Straw Bonnet
added a gold heart charm as I didn’t have a suitable heart button

Blue Ribbon Designs-Perched on a Pumpkin
“Perched on a Pumpkin” by Blue Ribbon Designs
from JCS Halloween issue 2010
stitched on 32ct Willow Green Belfast linen
with recommended WDW threads but subbed DMC 310 for Mascara

I also had time to start one more that I’m about 2/3 through (Autumn freebie by The Stitcherhood) – another few episodes of Fringe and I’ll see this one finished as well:

Autumn freebie 27Dec10

Then it’ll be time to pick up Bittersweet Seasons once again – although I now realise that I don’t have the Mill Hill beads for this one (I really am useless!!!!!), which means I guess it won’t be a 2010 finish like I’d hoped.

I’ve also been updating my stitching list for the Crazy January Challenge 2011 – I’ve decided I might stitch Jardin Prive’s Christmas chart for Brenda and Nigel one Christmas, so I opted not to start it on Christmas Day (which was my original stitching plan), and have added it to my January stitching list as well.  I’ve also added Katie’s Christmas gift (Prairie Moon’s Christmas) and a teddy bear group that I want to stitch for Brenda’s birthday this year … not entirely sure I’ll get all these done this year, but it’ll be fun trying!  I think the hardest thing for me will be to not start any other medium/large designs until I’ve finished these ones – there are still a good dozen or so that are screaming to be started on top of this 15 (not to mention the minimum of 12 ornies I want to stitch next year!!) 😉

1. Waxing Moon Designs – Halloween Short Stack
2. The Goode Huswife – With My Needle (modified, without the wording)
3. From Nancy’s Needle – Lavender Blue Celtic Knot Quilt (canvaswork)
4. The Victoria Sampler – Crimson Fire Sampler
5. Bent Creek – Winter Snapperland
6. Dimensions kit – Tiger Reflections
7. Judy Odell – My Treasures Workstation
8. Little House Needleworks – Ladybug, Ladybug
9. Jardin Privé – Christmas
10. DMC – Baby Lorikeets
11. Prairie Moon – Christmas
12. JBW Designs – Autumn Harvest
13. Shepherd’s Bush – Baby Bug Ball
14. Leisure Arts – Teddy Bear Reunion
15. Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches – Raphael’s Raspberries

And on that note, I’d better get my A into G and get my first load of laundry into the washing machine (as it’s washing day for me today), and pick up a few groceries, as it’s back to work for me tomorrow (no rest for the wicked) … then I think I’ll just have to finish off season 1 of Fringe and finish off that Autumn freebie 🙂

Murphy’s Law appears yet again

I decided to have a break from Halloween stitching this afternoon and picked up a half-kitted-up project … I thought I had all the threads for this one, but as luck would have it (Murphy, seriously, you’re a pain in the neck!!) my skein of WDW Cocoa has gone walkabouts and I didn’t have enough of the WDW Lancaster Red so I ran out halfway through.  Pfffft 😦

The good news, though, is that the missing threads are really common which means I’ve been able to order them from a local source – and Janine at Colours Down Under is usually really quick with shipping, so hopefully they’ll be in my hot little hands in a week or so, then I can finish this project off 😀

In the meantime, though, I now have to decide what to stitch on next … I’m thinking perhaps a bit of Sapphire Star is in order – it would be nice to get this one finished by year’s end, so I really should pull my finger out now I’ve decided on which substitute threads to use 🙂

Couple of small finishes

After having one whole half week of feeling fantastic and over my viral bugs, on Saturday morning I woke up with a sore throat, and have been a snot factory for the last 48 hours yet again … too much information, I know … fingers crossed this round won’t hang around for quite so long!  Having a ‘cold’ for the last 6 whole weeks was just a teensy tiny bit too much, especially when two of those ended up being without pay 😦

Anyway, over the last week or two I’ve been sitting and stitching a few tiny projects, and here are the results:

First up a freebie from IHLE-Design, stitched in a DMC variegated floss:

Scissor fob 2

Then a wee freebie from My Aunt’s Attic, stitched in a Carrie’s Threads floss:

Scissor Fob 1

Afterwards, in need to something else to stitch, I decided to finish off a Christmas ornament that I started when visiting Mum in Auckland back in April:

Christmas Cheer ornie
“Christmas Cheer” by Heart in Hand Needleart

Next up this weekend was Folk Heart Needleroll by Shepherd’s Bush:

Folk Heart needleroll 1
“Folk Heart Needleroll” by Shepherd’s Bush

Folk Heart needleroll 2

Folk Heart needleroll 3

And lucky last, Ice Blue Snowflake ornament by Mill Hill:

Ice Blue Snowflake 1
“Ice Blue Snowflake” by Mill Hill

Ice Blue Snowflake 2

Long weekends are great, especially when you sit up in bed all day with the sniffles!! 😀

A WIP and a finish

First up is my “In the Dark needleroll” – if I were to do this again (which I wouldn’t do) I would definitely make some changes!  Firstly I think I would squish the wording up closer together and have it more centred, then I’d bring in the stars closer to the moon.  The way this is designed when it is turned into a needleroll you won’t see the full wording and definitely won’t get to see the sparkly stars, which seems such a waste as they’re so lovely!  Unfortunately by the time I worked that out I was too far into the stitching to be bothered unpicking everything.  I think it would be much prettier that way, though (mind you, I haven’t done the finishing yet, so I could be wrong). 

One change I did make, however, was to leave off the ‘smiley faces’ on the stars so it didn’t look quite so ‘juvenile’, and because of that I left off the bead ‘nose’ on the stars and just used the metallic braid.  All-in-all not my most favourite piece to stitch, but I do like the finished product – the colours and the sparklies do look very very pretty in real life … my Mum kept ooh-ing and aah-ing over it throughout the stitching process 😉

Designs by Lena Rose-In the Dark needleroll 1

Designs by Lena Rose-In the Dark needleroll 2

It still isn’t finished, though – I need to find some beads to substitute for those listed in the chart, and I’ve decided to do the bargello and buttonstitch bands for the top and bottom hems … yesterday I’d decided to leave it and finish it with a normal hemstitched band, but today I’ve had a change of heart, so back on the Q-snaps it goes …

When I opted to leave the bead selection for the needleroll until today, I couldn’t just sit and do nothing, so here is a very quick ornie stitch that I managed to stitch up in a couple of hours last night.

Heart in Hand-Christmas Peace
Christmas Peace” by Heart in Hand Needleart
stitched with recommended threads (GAST)
on 32ct opalescent Lugana by Silkweaver (the colour escapes me right now!)

This fabric is one of the worst fabrics I’ve ever stitched on in my life – I truly detest this fabric, both the colour and the feel of it. I bought this originally to stitch Chatelaine’s Egyptian Garden Mandala on it, and hated it, so unpicked what I’d done and started again on a hand-dyed linen instead. Unfortunately I was left with all this revolting fabric and I didn’t know what to do with it … my idea to use for ornies instead – truth is I still hate it, and think perhaps I should try dyeing it myself. The photo gives no idea of what the colour is actually like – it is almost peachy/apricot in colour, yuk!!

I have no idea what will be stitched next … nothing is screaming at me right now …  I had the day off yesterday due to feeling crappy, so Mum and I sat in my bedroom and stitched all day – today I woke up with my mind turning about work issues, so perhaps I’ll go in tomorrow and try to get some work done, as obviously it’s preying on my mind under the surface hmmm.  I’ll see how I feel when I wake up in the morning … in the meantime it’s time to go stash diving for a new project I guess … or perhaps I should have a day at the sewing machine … or perhaps I should just have a day off … oh, so many choices 😉