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October WIPocalypse and a small finish (Updated)

Not much stitching was done on my WIPs this month … instead I was focusing on stitching a gift for Mum … but I’ve also just joined up for another smaller challenge which starts today and that is to complete 3 WIPs by the end of the year.  I may not be able to complete it entirely, as I have another couple of commitment pieces to work on before year-end, but I’ll try to focus each week on getting at least some stitches into those 3 selected WIPs … but the ones I’ve chosen are relatively small, so you never know your luck in a raffle, and I may be able to get them completed in time …

In the meantime, here is the only update I really have on my WIPs this time round – a couple of extra swirls put into With My Needle:

I started a page on my blog here to keep a track of the progress made during the year on my various WIPs – sometimes it’s hard to forget how much you manage to stitch over the course of a year when you put one stitch in here and one stitch in there, so I placed a progress piccie of how everything sat at the start of 2012 – once finished they get their final piccie added and get moved up into the “Completed” section … but for now I can easily see how my WIPs/UFOs currently stand, and it’s a reminder to pull my finger out and get some more moved into the finished section!  I think this will continue to be a feature on my blog until I start moving the bulk of my projects out of the In Progress section!

The other small finish I have is a little freebie that I started yesterday morning when staying at a friend’s place, and finished today:

“Jolly Pumpkin” freebie by Jodi Utter
Stitched on 28ct Mushroom Meran fabric
with recommended DMC threads
(The chart is still available from the Cyberstitchers website here)

Updated to add another finish:  Thanks to a public holiday in Sydney today, I also just managed to put the final stitches into my Halloween Fob by The Sweetheart Tree – it’s surprising how long that backstitching takes on these little projects, but it sure does make a massive difference to the end result!  One more WIP knocked off for the year, which is awesome! 😀

“Halloween Fob” by The Sweetheart Tree
stitched on 32ct Pipi hand-dyed Belfast linen by Countrystitch
with recommended DMC threads and Mill Hill beads

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Stitching for stress relief

Last Sunday I managed to start getting a mini migraine in the afternoon … stressing out about my 2nd interview on Monday, I think – which means most of the plans I had on Sunday afternoon went down the drain … which is where my day’s baking went as well, ‘cos it was a total flop!  We were putting on morning tea for a work colleague who left on Tuesday (this is the one I had issues with last year, although we actually get on OK now – we’ll never be the closest of friends, but we had a working relationship that was OK).  Anyway, I have to say my baking Sunday/Monday was a total disaster … I think my head was too stressed out about my 2nd interview that I had on Monday – I felt physically sick during the interview, and I know I didn’t do my best in there, but it’s too late for that now, and the chips will just have to fall where they may.  I was supposed to hear something back by last Thursday, but so far no news either good or bad.

I haven’t particularly touched a needle for the last few weeks, but this weekend I’ve made up for lost time – it’s all I’ve been in the mood for!   I’ve superglued my backside to my mattress, and sat up in bed with needle in hand and clearing old DVR recordings … it’s been really enjoyable.  Following are the results of my stitching efforts.

First up is a new WIP that I started a couple of weeks ago – it took me 4 whole nights just to stitch one pumpkin and the border, so this one has been sloooooow going – this is a 2nd hand chart so I don’t have the embellishment pack, and I can’t find my little black Mill Hill petite beads so this one’s now sitting in a pile waiting for them to turn up … I lost all motivation when I realised I couldn’t finish it quickly.  Never mind, it’ll get completed ‘one day’ …

P1050067

 

Next up is a piece that I stitched up slowly over the last week – an Indigo Rose freebie – not my usual style, but it was really enjoyable stitching it up.  I can’t say I was too thrilled stitching all the queen stitches (definitely not my favourite stitch), but eventually when I got into a rhythm with them it seemed to fly along (helped by watching Rescue Special Ops on TV to make the time go fast).

Indigo Rose-Four Little Strawberries
“Four Little Strawberries” freebie by Indigo Rose
stitched on 32ct Summer Khaki Belfast linen
with recommended DMC threads

Then there is this weekend’s productivity – three Christmas ornaments by Lizzie*Kate.  This is probably what has finally got me back into the swing of stitching again – it feels great, but I’m not sure how long it’ll last!

LizzieKate-Noel Tiny Tidings XIV
“Noel” by Lizzie*Kate
from the chart Tiny Tidings XIV
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Belfast linen by Silkweaver ~ colour Golden Harvest
with recommended Weeks Dye Works threads and embellishment pack

LizzieKate-Mistletoe Tiny Tidings XIV
“Mistletoe” by Lizzie*Kate
from the chart Tiny Tidings XIV
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Belfast linen by Silkweaver ~ colour Golden Harvest
with recommended Weeks Dye Works and DMC threads and embellishment pack
but substituted GAST Butternut Squash

LizzieKate-Christmas flip-it
“Christmas flip-it” by Lizzie*Kate
stitched on 32ct Summer Khaki Belfast linen
with recommended GAST threads except substituting DMC white for Whitewash
and using DMC 898 for bird beaks and legs instead of DMC 310

The rest of the weekend has been spent guzzling a bowl of Tiramisu that I made on Saturday night – I’ve been craving some for months, so I finally pulled my finger out and made a half-serving of it … and took a wee plate full down to my elderly neighbour yesterday.  I suppose all-in-all it’s been a productive weekend – not quite the productivity that I had planned for, but what my body and mind needed, I think 🙂

Dark Lover and a Simple Sampler

The joys of having a public holiday today means today I could be totally selfish and lazy and not get out of bed or get dressed until the afternoon!  Instead I spent the morning reading half of J.R. Ward’s “Dark Lover” and getting it finished … and have to admit I’m looking forward to book number 2 of this series, “Lover Eternal”.

After being relatively disappointed with the Twilight vampire series, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this book … although with the ‘adult’ scenes, it certainly isn’t comparing apples with apples with the Twilight series … I think the only similarity is that they both contain vampires!  It’s taken me literally a couple of months to read this book, mainly because I keep putting my stitching first – I get the impression from the end of the book, though, that my book reading may soon have to take a priority on the odd weekend and my stitching will have to take a back seat!  That’s the only downside to reading a ‘real’ paperback, I can’t do both of my passions at the same time 😛

The rest of the morning has been spent finishing off my Sweetheart Tree project that I started last night – it took longer than expected, as I’d forgotten just how much of a nightmare all that backstitching is … but worth it in the long run!  I managed to watch 4 episodes of The Ghost Whisperer (3rd season) while I stitched.  Sorry for the crappy photo, as it certainly doesn’t show up the nice warm buttery linen!

Sweetheart Tree-A Simple Sampler
“A Simple Sampler” (kit) by The Sweetheart Tree
stitched on 32ct cream Belfast linen
with DMC threads and Mill Hill petite beads

Offer:  Seeing as I’ll never ever stitch this one again, I’m happy to offer up the chart to anyone who wants it.  If you leave a comment in this post that you’d like to go into the draw for this chart, I’ll draw a name out at the end of the week.  I’ll also send the leftover beads – I’m pretty sure there are enough left over to complete the project again.

Now it’s time to finally shake off the cobwebs and jump in the shower and get dressed – I need to pop over the road to the supermarket to buy supplies to bake some banana muffins … then it’ll almost be time for bed again LOL.

Anne, the UFO Slayer

Thanks to my dearest flatmate leaving me her entire collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD’s to watch, my eyes are now square, and I think I have almost OD’ed on Buffy over the last few days (I’m now up to Season 5 – not bad going in two weeks!).  For someone who’s lasted 40+ years without having Buffy in her life, I have to say I’ve rather enjoyed it! I’ve shed tears over the ‘Angel-thing’, and laughed out loud at poor old Spike, and slobbered a bit at good ol’ Giles (who I’ve always adored as the Prime Minister in Little Britain – had I known he was in Buffy, I would have started watching years ago haha). Anyway, watching all this slaying has been good for the soul, and good for the stitching – I’ve been doing a bit of slaying of my own today, and managed to finish two old UFO’s – I’m not quite feeling up to tackling the sewing machine just yet, so the needleroll will get finish-finished later.

Sweetheart Tree-Wildflower Needleroll
“Wildflower Needleroll” by The Sweetheart Tree
stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
using recommended DMC threads and Mill Hill beads

This really, really old one just needed to have one heart bead attached for it to be finished (after unpicking and restitching some of the beads in the outer border), so within 1/2 an hour today this one is also finished.  Unfortunately it’s really hard to get a good photo of it, as it’s all pretty much monochrome.  I’m going to attempt to frame this one myself, I think 😀

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 1
“Love and Affection” by JBW Designs
stitched on 32ct antique white Lugana (I think)
using recommended threads and beads

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 2

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 3

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 4

JBW Designs-Love & Affection 5

This “rotation” business is really helping me to keep focused on my stitching goals – no more dithering between stitching sessions, I know exactly what I need to be stitching next … although right now I can’t decide whether to tackle the start of yet another UFO, as I have a few hours of my rotation left, or whether to just move on to my next slot, which is my Boo Club focus piece … ah, decisions decisions … 😀

Still not feeling 100% today, I asked my boss if I could reinstate the two days leave I’d just cancelled last week, so I have the next few days off to recuperate more fully … which means more stitching, yippee 😀

Missing in Action

I’ve been giving my computer a wide berth over the last couple of weeks … I’ve had a set-back with my health, after going back to square one with a viral relapse two weeks ago and feeling like death warmed up.  I’ve been struggling to get through work every day, and after a full 4 weeks of feeling like cr*p, I ended up back at the GP’s office this week after dislodging a rib from trying to cough up my lungs on Thursday morning.  After finding I had a temperature (which is totally unheard of for me), and kept bursting into tears all morning I’ve ended up off work again to try to recuperate.  My “immunity is knackered” (direct quote from the GP), so I’m taking it easy, and continuing to take some time away from the PC.

I think my Mum is missing my blog posts, however, so I’m making an effort to catch up quickly with my latest stitching before switching off again.  I owe some people emails, and will get on top of that shortly …

While I’ve been offline I’ve managed the following stitching finishes:

May Xmas ornie
“A Christmas Song” by Full Circle Designs (2008 JCS ornie magazine)
Stitched on 32ct Days Gone By Silkweaver linen
with a mix of threads substituting those of the
recommended threads I didn’t have

Chatelaine-Stitching Leporello 1
“Stitching Leporello” by Chatelaine

Chatelaine-Stitching Leporello 2

Chatelaine-Stitching Leporello 3

Chatelaine-Stitching Leporello 4

Sweetheart Tree-Snowflakes in Abundance 1
“Snowflakes in Abundance” by The Sweetheart Tree
stitched on 32ct white Lugana
with recommended threads,
but substituting the snowflake charm

Sweetheart Tree-Snowflakes in Abundance 3

Sweetheart Tree-Snowflakes in Abundance 2

WIP’s and UFO’s

This is especially for Kathy of the Blig Blog … here are photos of the current state of all my UFO’s (I could pretend that they were WIP’s but seeing as the majority haven’t seen a stitch put into them in over 12 months, 95% would definitely be deemed as UFO status!):

Macaw by Ross Originals Beaded Fish WIPs
Macaw -&- Beaded Fish

EG-01May07 TW English Garden Sampler
Egyptian Garden Mandala -&- English Garden Sampler

Le Jardin Silk Sampler 21Jan05 Flight of the Bumblebees at 2Jan07
Le Jardin Silk Sampler -&- Flight of the Bumblebees

TW Noahs Ark Winter Queen 01Jun08 1
Noah’s Ark -&- Winter Queen

Designs by Lena Rose-In the Dark needleroll 1 With Love & Affection
In the Dark Needleroll -&- Love & Affection

st-wildflower-needleroll Apricot Elegance
Wildflowers Needleroll -&- Apricot Elegance

Hussif by Monica Hunt XS Bookmark
Monica Hunt Hussif -&- Classical Garden Bookmark

Nature's Resting Place Beehive Needlecase
Nature’s Resting Place -&- Wool Beehive Needlebook

Oriental Poppy & Cornflower Summer Fruits
Oriental Poppy -&- Summer Fruits Pincushion

Pomegranates, Snail & Gold Bug HOCS Hussif
Pomegranates & Beetle – Martha Schmidt Hussif

Thimble Pipkin Thimble Pipkin Thimble Pipkin
Stumpwork Needlework Accessories

Goldwork Pea Pods Wool Embroidery
Goldwork Pea -&- Wool hot water bottle cover

Honesty & Heartsease stumpwork Bullion Roses
Honesty & Heartsease -&- Bullion Rose Facecloth

Frog Longstitch Butterflies & Hearts needleroll
Long stitch frogs -&- Butterflies & Hearts Needleroll

Dragonfly Common Hawker Dragonfly
Stumpwork Dragonfly

Berry Delightful Bag Mediterranean XS
Berry Delightful Bag -&- Mediterranean Village XS

quilting-ufo-2
Vicki’s Cot Quilt

Stitching Leporello isn’t included in the photos, as I’ve been stitching a complete section each time, so no individual section is in progress at the moment. And I can’t put my hands to either a photo or the actual project of GCC Ornamental Delights, so I guess that one won’t be getting stitched in a hurry haha.

Very sad that some of these projects are over halfway and never finished, however there are many there that are barely started … I’m sorely tempted to just unpick the bullion rose facecloth, for example, as I don’t know if I truly ever want to finish it, the same with a couple more projects in there … will see how I feel after one more stitching session on them, I guess, before I make the ultimate decision to turf out. It’s funny when you look back through the photos and remember why you stopped working on them … for example the Lorri Birmingham Butterflies & Hearts needleroll, I really hated the colours used, as I felt the wording etc just faded into the background, so no doubt that whole piece will be unpicked and started again from scratch with my choice of threads 🙂

I’ve already gone out and pulled numbers out of the hat for the first round, and highlighted the text in bold in the main list in the previous post … and I’m really looking forward to starting my rotation – I just want to finish my current piece first … although I guess I could just choose to start at the “free choice” slot and start counting my hours, that way I can continue with my current project and be starting my actual rotation at the same time – ooh, I like it when a plan comes together!!! 😀

That means my new current rotation is as follows:

  1. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  2. Medium/Large:  Lavenderblue Celtic Knot Quilt – From Nancy’s Needle
  3. WIP’s/UFO’s:  Berry Delightful Bag
  4. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  5. Small/Medium: Jumpin’ Jelly Beans – DKT Originals (freebie)
  6. Large/BAP’s:  Egyptian Garden Mandala
  7. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  8. Christmas Ornaments
  9. Finishing
  10. Free Choice