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! 😉

Missing a post about Halloween Ornie SAL 2015 + WIPocalypse

It appears I seem to be missing a post I could’ve sworn I’d made about joining the Halloween Ornie SAL for 2015.  I haven’t been accepted by the blog owners yet, but I’m still going to go ahead and do the SAL even if it’s just on my own blog for now 🙂  In fact I got so excited when I first heard about the blog that I went ahead and created my own button just for the occasion 😉

Halloween ornie SAL

And funnily enough, it seems that this SAL has spurred on my first finish of the year – the January theme is Witch, so here is my January finish:

The Floss Box - Halloween Ornament #5

“Halloween Ornament #5” by The Floss Box
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast linen
with recommended DMC floss (except I change the cat’s eyes to yellow)
Started 17 Jan 2015 – Finished 18 Jan 2015

2015 WIPocalypse

I also just realised that I haven’t managed to do my January post for the 2015 WIPocalypse, so here goes my first post for the year.  You’re supposed to introduce yourself and outline your plans for the year … well, I’ve already outlined my stitching plans in the last couple of posts, so I won’t repeat myself here.  For those of you who don’t know me already yet (if there is anyone else reading this haha), my name is Anne, and I’m a duck-loving stitcher … hence the name of the blog, Feather Stitching.  I’m … cough … 48 years old, single and working in a job with some really long working hours. My stitching time is much more limited to what it used to be, so at least one day a week you’ll find me playing hermit in my bedroom with stitching in hand trying to ignore the outside world and catching on a week’s worth of recorded TV.  Born in England, I moved to New Zealand when I was 5, and as an adult followed my job to Australia, where I’ve now lived for 11 years.

So what stitching have I been doing since the start of the year?  I’ve still been working on Prairie Schooler’s Autumn Leaves, which is relatively close to a finish really, but I put it to one side while I started my monthly SALs.  Unfortunately, though, my January Smalls SAL isn’t quite going as planned ‘cos I’ve totally stuffed up the border for my first project choice – I didn’t read the chart properly, obviously, and thought the little corner crosses were the same as all the other crosses around the border … I only worked out how wrong I was once I was stitching with that hideous DMC metallic floss and doing the beading on the back section.  Now I’m in a quandary what to do … either rip out the entire border (and the sunflower centres) and start again (which I’m kinda loathe to do, ‘cos I hated stitching that border!), or perhaps just unpick the bottom bee’s ‘flight trail’ and make it sit closer to the border on the right, which is how it’s supposed to look … that’s probably what I’m going to do, as truthfully I don’t love it as much as I thought I would, and now I just want to get it over and done with so I can move on to something I enjoy more (like the Halloween ornie I stitched this weekend).  The only reason I really pulled this one out of the ‘to-do’ pile is because it’s been sitting kitted up for too many years to mention, and I want to get as many of those part-kits completed this year.  The design is “Bee Keeper” by Cindy Valentine.  Anyway, this is where it’s currently at – if I leave it as it is, it only has the sunflower petals, backstitching of one bee, and the front piece border left to be done:

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And here’s the latest progress piccie of Prairie Schooler’s Autumn Leaves:

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And that’s basically my stitching summary for the last month or so.  I’m hoping I’ll still get the Smalls SAL finished in time for the end of the month, if I can summon up the ‘suck it up courage’ to finish it and not throw it into a corner where it will hide for the next two years … 😉

It’s a woman’s prerogative…

No sooner had I set out my stitching plans for 2012 that I started to realise I really don’t know how in the hell I’m going to achieve all of those finishes/goals when I really only get to stitch on the weekends (and not every weekend at that) … so I’m seriously thinking of throwing those previous plans out the window, and just going back to a rotation instead.  That means I’ll also be able to focus more on my existing WIPs which are actually starting to bother me, rather than trying to cram in those same WIPs (at a lot slower pace than I’d like) as well as meeting all the SAL and commitment deadlines at the same time … and probably not getting any of them done by the year’s end (but not stressing about it).

Perhaps it’s just that my head is in the wrong space at the start of the year with Dad’s health and some work issues that are still really bothering me.  Both of these issues are slowly getting resolved, with Dad seeing his surgeon this Friday, and I’ve started having dummy spits in the office to voice my frustrations at issues I’m facing (including telling a team member they’re doing my head in and they’re not helping my stress levels … yep, there have definitely been a few dummy spits lately in that respect, and probably a couple of months well overdue at that!!).  Anyway, maybe removing the pressure of having to finish all these projects will help to restore some sanity to my stitching – most of the projects in my list will still remain there as part of the rotation, I will just have no expectation to actually complete them by the year’s end … plus I’ll have the opportunity to change my mind at a moment’s notice, as I’ve also come across some other projects that I really wanted to stitch, but that didn’t make the cut for my initial 15 projects …  I think the stress of only limiting my stitching to a set group of projects also inhibits my sense of freedom, and as soon as that sort of pressure starts mounting I find I don’t end up stitching at all … so perhaps it’s for the betterment of my stitching this year to just ‘let it all hang out’ so to speak 😉

Tomorrow I’m off to the local GP to try and get some antibiotics for my bugs, which will also help to bring me back to a state of equilibrium (and probably less likely to have dummy spits at work LOL) … and perhaps feel more like stitching … but in the meantime I’m going to start my rotation guilt-free just as soon as I’ve finished my Round Robin piece that’s due out for mailing at the end of January … but not before I have fun by adding a few more rotation projects to the pipeline 🙂

And I’m not stressing if I change my mind a million times throughout the year … as the title of this post says, “it’s a woman’s prerogative” … as long as I enjoy my stitching this year I’m happy 😀

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Ooh, before I forget, I heard from Cindy that my little gift arrived safe and sound when she returned from holidays – so I can now share the full goodies … just as soon as I find the photos!!!  I think I’ve shown the finished biscornu before, but I’ve never shown the finished fob that matched it.  It feels good that this is now finished and living in its new home 🙂

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While I’m at it, I think there are also a number of framing jobs that I completed in November last year that I haven’t shared on here yet … the Tiger and Summer Snapperland are both for me, whereas the bears and the Letter S are both for gifts.  I did most of the framing of the Tiger 2 years ago, but couldn’t finish-finish it as the backing board was too high … he’s one of my first ever finishes (stitched on aida) and I love, love, love him!

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Finally here are a couple of yummy things I brought back from New Zealand with me on my last trip – the scrumptious blug electric kettle was compliments of Mum and Dad’s Fly Buys points in NZ, while the bowls are from my ‘glory box’ still in storage over there.  Both have already been christened, and I’m totally in love with the jug in particular!!  And I can’t WAIT to try out the new Orange Truffle Baileys over a bucket of ice … hmmm, in fact I just may choose that for dessert tonight, the ice will help soothe my throat and the alcohol will help to lull me into sleepy submission … hmmm …

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The final photos are of my frangipani plants on my balcony to show Mum – now both plants have finally flowered, although I’m disappointed to see the 2nd plant which has flowered for the first time has the pink frangipani … it’s still very pretty, but I do have to admit to preferring the white frangipani on the whole.

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And I think that will do me for another post … I still have some other things to post yet, but think I’m a bit photo heavy already … and it’ll give me something to write about later (if I get over the shock of having so many blog posts in one month!!!).

October 2012 WIPocalypse update

Not as much stitching done all up as I’d like over the last month, although I’d thrilled to show that I did manage to get one 2-year-old UFO out of the “hiding in shame basket” and back onto the Qsnaps … over the last month I not only managed to put the final stitches into it, but last night I even finish-finished it!  I also stitched a little scissor fob to match it yesterday, but it’s still not sewn together yet.  I hope to do that over the next day or so though 🙂

“Biscornu 458” by The Floss Box
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast linen by Zweigart
with DMC threads

Scissor fob to match Biscornu 458, personalised with recipients details (not shown)

The other stitching I did was to put the bi-cones onto Letter S … still have to add the name to this one, but I’ve bought a frame for it in readiness and need to get this one finished sooner rather than later, as it’s a gift for a work colleague’s daughter (instead of a birth sampler) who has now left work!

“Letter S” by Nora Corbett/Mirabilia
Stitched on 32ct “Secret” hand-dyed linen by Steph’s Fabbies
with recommended threads and beads

Mum came over to visit for just over a week last the week before last – unfortunately we didn’t have a great deal of time together due to not being able to get time off work, but the first weekend she arrived we had a wonderful time and got out and about quite a bit.  We took a drive to a picture framers about an hour’s drive from home, and came home with 9 different frames and 2 huge pieces of mat-board, ready to go crazy and do some framing jobs.  I’m still waiting for 3 of the frames to be made up yet, then I’ll go pick those up … but in the meantime I did manage to frame up the following:

I managed to get this framed while Mum was here so she could take it home with her – she was so thrilled she is going to take it into the rest home where she volunteers to show everyone – it’s lovely when your stitching is appreciated! Freesias are Mum’s favourite flowers, so I’ve always wanted to stitch this for her 🙂

“Trick or Treat Fairy” by Mirabilia
Technically not finished framing yet, as I’m waiting for spacers to be added beneath the glass, then the backing put back one … but I couldn’t resist sharing early, as I just love this one! 🙂

And that’s probably all I have this month for the WIPocalypse … while my fingers aren’t necessarily flying every night (usually just the weekends these days), my stitching still remains my most favourite pastime on the weekends for unwinding from a stressful working week – I don’t know what I’d do without it!  Sadly my hours mean the only blog reading I’m getting to do is on the morning commute, and it’s too hard to comment on my phone, but at least I’m still getting the odd bit of blog reading in – and the WIPocalypse is at least motivating me to post at the moment at least once a month … who knows when that’ll change, as work is particularly stressful at the moment, but “que sera, sera”, “what will be, will be” 🙂

Biscornu exchange and other bits

I’m working some really mental hours at work at the moment with a project not going so well that I’m supposed to be helping with the testing phase, plus another high profile project that’s just materialised where I’ve been asked to be the project lead, another two projects already underway for early next year, an entire overhaul of our main computer system we use (meaning training etc required along with the testing), and my main work colleague off on annual leave (who never provides a handover document) … my brain cells are in overdrive, but on the whole I’m loving it, even though I could quite easily leave the long hours for someone else.  So I apologise in advance for the crappy grammar etc that I’m sure you’re going to find in this post, but I’m about to fall in a heap and get some well-needed Zzzzzzzzz……

I don’t think I ever showed the finished version of my French design purchased on holiday earlier in the year.  Mum helped me by stuffing it with polyfil on her last visit, and I stitched up the seam to put the finishing touches into it.  I need to get a little basket to have it on display with some of my other favourite items in my bedroom.  I think I also need to stitch this one again in traditional red threads.

“Citation de brodeuse no.8” by Brin par Brin

Next up is the biscornu I sent to my partner in the Oz Cross Stitchers biscornu exchange (a Facebook group):

“Free Biscornu #30” by The Floss Box
stitched on 28ct white Cashel linen
with recommended DMC threads, with Mill Hill beads in the whip-stitched border

And here is the exchange I received from my partner:

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 🙂