WIPocalypse August 2017

My goodness, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? I can’t believe it’s check-in time again for the WIPocalypse … although for once I finally have some decent stitching to share!

This month I’ve decided to go back to doing a formal stitching rotation, with 10 hours stitching in each rotation slot. The first time I did this religiously I noticed I got a heck of a lot more stitching done, and it seems like this time is no exception 🙂 My rotation contains a mix of old and new projects to mix it up a wee bit, with plenty of opportunity to give some older WIPs/UFOs a bit of tender loving care. It also now means I have a number of new WIPs to add to my WIPocalypse pile, as most of my projects are ones that will take a few rotations to complete. My rotation is basically as follows:

  1. Focus piece – currently Mirabilia’s Red (done in blue)
  2. Medium-sized projects – new start Jim Shore/Mill Hill’s Three Kings
  3. UFOs
  4. Focus piece
  5. Small to medium-sized projects – something to get a quick finish or two under my belt, and primarily new projects already kitted up
  6. Large and BAPs – currently Rosewood Manor’s Quaker Diamonds
  7. Focus piece
  8. Stitching smalls & Christmas ornies
  9. Canvaswork
  10. Non-cross stitch – to give myself a regular challenge

First up is my focus piece – this one appears in rotation slots 1, 4 and 7, so it will be getting lots of love regularly until it’s finished. My current focus piece is Mirabilia’s Red done in a blue conversion by Beverley and available here. Here’s the before photo on the left, and after two rotation slots on the right – it was very exciting to move the scroll bars up a bit!

Next up came a new start for me – Three Kings by Jim Shore/Mill Hill. This is stitched on the recommended fabric and has been kitted up for a wee while now. I figured it was time to get it started and some return on my hard-earned $$$ spent 😉 Here’s how it looked at the end of the rotation slot:

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Next in line was the UFO slot in my rotation – and the one slot that’ll likely give me lots of WIPocalypse fodder in the future. I summoned up the courage to finally get the stitching finished on a very old WIP – Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff. It’s not 100% finished yet, as I can’t find my Access Commodities gold spangles to finish it off. I also couldn’t find the bee charms, but managed to dig those up last week woohoo. Spangles are on their way from a US store, and it means that by the time the UFO rotation slot appears again, I can use it to finish this delightful labour of love. I have to say I never EVER want to re-do that drawn thread border ever again on canvas … that was a lot of love with not much love 😉 I really do adore this project, though, and so thrilled to see how far along I managed to get it this month! Once again a before and after shot:

Because I still had six hours of my rotation slot left over after not being able to finish Flight of the Bumblebees I dragged out another UFO – I really struggle with this one, so those six hours felt like forever. Not sure I’ll continue to keep this in the rotation next round, or maybe I’ll do half the rotation slot on something else and half on this one … I dunno, will see how I feel closer to the time …

Next up was of course my focus piece again, which I’ve already covered – and then it was into the small-medium sized projects, which are new starts, so I’ll do a new post to cover those. All-in-all though a VERY productive month stitching-wise, which feels awesome! Before I sign off, though, here’s the question of the month:

How do you get yourself out of a stitching drought?

Truly I don’t stress about it anymore – if anything I tidy up my stash, fill up my wishlist online, and just look through the pictures in online stitching groups. More often than not, though, if my stitching mojo has gone it also affects my energy for everything else. I always know, though, that it will return … so I don’t stress and just do whatever my heart tells me to do until my mojo returns – and it has always returned at some point 🙂

 

Latest stitching efforts (picture heavy)

As I mentioned in my first ‘return from the dead’ post last week, I’ve managed to do a spot of sporadic stitching here and there over recent months – often the sessions were weeks apart, and each spurt of stitching energy was short-lived.  Anyhow, here are the updates and the WIPs and finishes that happened while I’ve been away …

It seems I never showed the final finish of this piece, which I finished back at the end of January:

Autumn Leaves by The Prairie Schooler

“Autumn Leaves” by The Prairie Schooler
Finished 25 January 2015
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with recommended DMC threads

Here’s one I managed to finish in June – which now means I’ve stitched everything in that particular leaflet.  I was going to on-sell it or use it as a trade chart, but think it may come in handy for any future exchanges that I do, I think some of these squares are really cute:

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“Autumn Leaves” by The Prairie Schooler
Finished around 14 June 2015
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with recommended DMC threads

At some point I decided a change of pace was in order, and I picked up a canvaswork project to stitch on.  This was my next finished piece, finishing it in early July – and one of the first times in ages I truly enjoyed my stitching experience, even with all the metallic ribbons!  Unfortunately I had run out of the turquoise ribbon, or it would have been finished much sooner!

Navajo by Northern Pine Designs

“Navajo by Northern Pine Designs”
Finished on 5 July 2015
Stitched on 18ct eggshell mono canvas
with recommended threads

Next up are all the current works in progress … I’ve just signed up to a bunch of other stitch-alongs in one of the Facebook groups I belong to, so there will soon be a pile more WIPs added to the pile – I’ve chosen SALs where I already have a project that is high up on my to-do list, so it’s motivating me to start stitching them.  Anyway, in the meantime here are the current WIPs:

“Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff – this one is a very old UFO that I’ve started making a conscious effort to get finished.  Unfortunately, as per my normal luck, I’ve run out of one of the gold metallic braids, so I’m waiting for a stash parcel to arrive with the replacement (I had a splurge a month ago to finish kitting up some other charts that were missing threads).  I”m pretty pleased with how this one is going, though, and it doesn’t have too much more to go before it’s finished.

Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff

“Blue Birds” by Laura J Perin – While I was on a ‘canvaswork roll’, I decided to drag out a freebie from Laura J Perin I’ve had sitting in my stash for many years.  Sadly, though, I ran out of the navy Pebbly Perle that was used around the border, so once again another design sits unfinished.  A wonderful fellow stitcher, though, came to my rescue quickly and sent me a card of the thread I need.  As soon as I find my card of blue Tiara thread, which has apparently gone into hiding, I’ll be able to finish this one off pretty quickly.  I just LOVE the colours of this one!  If anyone is interested, the chart is still available for download at the Rainbow Gallery site.

Blue Birds by Laura J Perin

Wedding Sampler for Elie – This is a self-designed wedding sampler that I’m stitching for a close male friend.  I struggled the whole way with this one, so I haven’t pulled my finger out and started it, and the wedding was nearly 3 years ago!!  I’m still not 100% with the fabric and thread choice, but I’ve decided in this case I’m my own worst critic, and I should just continue on with it.  I think the groom will love it regardless of how it looks – the contents of the sampler are very personal to him, so hopefully it will be treasured.  I’ve shown a picture of what the whole thing will look like once it’s finished.  The photo isn’t very good at all, the fabric is a buttery creamy colour.

Elie's wedding sampler

Elie's wedding sampler

“Halloween Mystery Sampler” by Lizzie*Kate – This one was a gift from my Mum for Christmas when the designs were first released.  I also purchased the Tin Roof fabric that was recommended for this one, but really didn’t like it at all, so it sat in a box for ages while I found something else.  I’m still not 100% with this choice either, but I certainly like it a lot better than the Tin Roof one!  I started this one as part of a Sampler SAL, and really enjoying stitching it!

Halloween Mystery Sampler by Lizzie*Kate

“Quaker Christmas II – Songs of the Season” by ByGone Stitches – This is another one I’m really struggling with, as I can’t stand the fabric I chose to stitch it on.  It’s on a 35ct Weeks Dye Works fabric, and it’s just dreadful – it feels like I’m stitching on an old rag!  Anyway, the chart itself is at least enjoyable to work on, I just need to forget about the immense size of this one and keep focusing on one motif at a time.  I haven’t worked on it for well over a year, then when Mum came to visit a month or so ago I sat and stitched on it while we were both sick and watching TV all day.  It was a good design to work on when you didn’t have to concentrate too much!  I actually managed to do a lot more than I thought I had … I’m now almost 3 pages down, and only about 12 left to go … haha.

Quaker Christmas II - Songs of the Season by ByGone Stitches

As to what’s coming up next, there are a lot of decisions to be made … lots of SALs and lots of designs to choose from that will fit within each SAL – some decisions are going to be easier than others, that’s for sure!  I’ll do a separate post for my own sake so that I can refer back to it and help myself choose closer to the start times!  But I’ll also be continuing to work on these as well, as all my SALs chosen don’t have set finish dates … that means I can easily slot them into my rotation along with these other projects as well 🙂

Quaker Christmas II commences

I managed to complete my rotation slot for “BAPs”, and my project choice is Quaker Christmas II.  I’ve managed to finish almost 1 page of the design – considering there are 12 pages in total, it won’t be finished any time soon!  It would be nice to have it finished before Christmas, but it’s unlikely …  Here it is, though, at the end of the first rotation slot:

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It’s stitched on 35ct Parchment linen by WDW – can’t say I’m a fan of the fabric, and the silk thread doesn’t give the most perfect coverage, but it’ll be fine, I think.

My next rotation slot is m Focus Piece, so it’s back to Angel of Love for now … I still don’t have the mental determination to kit up the wedding sampler that I need to stitch, so I’ll just continue on Angel of Love until I feel motivated enough to finally suck it up and drag out the thread box and potential fabrics!

Quaker Christmas Exchange

I’ve heard from my very good friend Carol that she’s received the ornament that I sent, and likes it as much as I did … I really didn’t want to let this one leave home, so I’m definitely going to have to repeat stitch this one for myself.  I was really really nervous with the finishing of this one, but I just bit the bullet and stopped thinking it and just ‘did it’.  I just had enough thread in the skein to make some skinny cord and attach all the way around the ornie – and the end result is that it’s given me a bit of my finishing confidence back again, and hopefully that means that I’ll continue to push the envelope and tackle some more of those finishing jobs that I’ve been putting to one side because of losing confidence in myself!  Anyway, here’s the ornie in all it’s finished glory (the finishing isn’t perfect, but I’m still very pleased with it!):

Tokens & Trifles-Quaker Stocking
“Quaker Stocking” freebie by Tokens and Trifles
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana by Countrystitch ~ colour Limestone
with Carrie’s Creation thread in Plymouth Red (stitching & cording)
(The chart is still available HERE)

A finish!

It’s been a while since I’ve had a decent sized finish, but on Saturday night I put the final stitches into Quaker Huswif – yippee!! 😀

Sampler Cove-Quaker Huswif
“Quaker Huswif” by Sampler Cove
stitched on 36ct hand-dyed Edinburgh linen –
Moon Shadows ~ Dove Grey by Stitches and Spice
with Vikki Clayton’s Hand-Dyed Fibers Premium Silk Floss in Midnight

I’m sure whether to get this one framed, or to turn it into the Huswif it was designed for … seeing as I don’t have any wall space free, that’ll probably end up being the decider 😛

The only other news is that I had some great mail arrive, but I need to send a quick email of thanks before I post the piccie 🙂

And right now I have to run, because I need to pick up my laptop from the ‘doctors’ … it’s costing me a brand new hard drive, but it’s only $130 plus labour (total of $213, which is relatively reasonable, considering they also transferred ALL my old files AND programs to the new hard drive!!) … and I now have a 500GB had drive, compared to my old 120GB one!  Can’t grumble … and it means I can go back to blogging from the comfort of the lounge chair or my bed … which also means the likelihood that I can get back into the habit of regularly blogging and blog reading … add to that I have a trip back home to Auckland coming up in 3 weeks time for Mum & Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary (of which a company travel bonus of $250 pretty much pays for my ticket!) … life is kinda good right now 🙂

Sunday stitching & Scenic Sunday

No housework or excitement here today – just my little size 28 tapestry needle, Vikki Clayton premium silk floss, and Season 1 of ER on DVD … can you say “happy as a pig in mud?” 😛

Not a great deal of stitching done, but it’s still one step closer to an actual finish. With any luck I’ll be finished with this one by the end of next weekend, and then soon afterwards my missing threads will have arrived so I can go back to picking up some of my older WIPs once again (although the urge to stitch a million new things is still around!) 😀

Quaker Huswif 29Aug10

And I’ll finish with something I haven’t done regularly for a while … here is my choice for this week’s Scenic Sunday – a Parisian garden.

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Scenic Sunday

Is it Friday yet???

Let’s just say that ‘cranky’ is currently my middle name … alas, I still have one more week of testing left to go for my project launch, and testing isn’t quite going as well as planned, which is super stressful (not to mention the fact that I lost almost an entire week of testing time last week having to write test plans for the site testers … I cracked a wobbly and refused to work over the weekend, and thumbed my nose at the whole thing).  Add to that a certain time of the month arriving and PMT being today’s companions, I haven’t had much tolerance for anything today …

Anyway, this is what I decided was highly needed when we walked in the door from work … I made Katie and I super-alcoholic Frozen Mango Margaritas … took our heads off, but raised our spirits 10-fold!!!

Frozen-Mango-Margaritas-17A

And surprisingly enough I still managed to complete a few stitches while we sat and watched Criminal Minds and City Homicide … and even more surprisingly I didn’t have to frog everything at the end … which means Quaker Huswif is now almost 80% completed 😀

Quaker Huswif 17Aug10

And on that note, I think it best that I call it a night, ‘cos I might get up and go walking in the morning (I did that this morning, and it felt great to get some fresh air before work).

Quaker Update & Scenic Sunday

Just a quick drive-by with a Quaker Huswif update – Katie has her Mum and sister staying with us this weekend, so I joined them in the lounge last night for a pizza and DVD night … which meant a couple of hours of stitching time for me 🙂

Quaker Huswif 31Jul10

Oh so close now to finishing off this section – just that tiny bit of border left to go, then I can roll it up to start stitching on the final two quaker sections – over the halfway mark now, with 60% completed woohoo!  Have to admit I’m really LOVING stitching on this one – I’m not normally a huge fan of Vikki Clayton silks, but this Premium floss is really great to stitch with one strand on 40ct fabric … an absolute dream!  So much so that I’m considering getting some more for future projects … once I’ve stitched some more of my existing stash first LOL 😀

Now I’m about to wander across the road for a decent bucket of cappuccino and maybe some lunch ‘cos my tummy’s rumbling and I don’t have much food in the house!  Then when I get back home again I need to get my head back into work mode and pick up my project work documentation again for work – if all goes well, and I can get everything pretty much finished today, then tomorrow I may just have to go into the office to finish off a couple of screen shots that I didn’t bring home with me from the reservations system, and email the document off to all the key stakeholders so they have time to review and finalise by the end of next week.  While normally I’d be brassed off having to work during the long weekend, I have to admit I’ve really enjoyed working on it – and it’s been so much easier to concentrate at home!

And just because I haven’t done one for a while, here’s a Scenic Sunday post to finish off the day … from the coastal drive between Cairns and Port Douglas, Queensland.

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Scenic Sunday

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).

Quaker Huswif update

I’ve been sick all weekend, so my usual stitching time didn’t happen over the weekend, but I did manage to get a bit done last night while watching DVDs (Hostage with Bruce Willis, great movie) – after going to the GP today I’ve been given another 2 days at home while my infected sinuses and fluid-blocked ears are recovering, so today I’ve been making the most of it and putting my needle to fabric.  This is how it looked last night before I rolled up the scrollbars (love, love, love this project, and the photo in no way does it justice!):

Quaker Huswif 6Jul10

Then, this is how it looked at lunchtime today after a few hours decent stitching time:

Quaker Huswif 7Jul10 before

And this is how it looks now after I unpicked all this morning’s stitching thanks to having a blonde moment and starting the entire section in the wrong place … ho-hum …

Quaker Huswif 7Jul10 after

Now it’s a case of putting all those stitches back in again – I was originally hoping that I could finish off this entire block by tonight, but having to restitch everything again is putting that a little bit in jeopardy … oh well, tomorrow is another day … 🙂

And hopefully tomorrow there will be none of these … ‘cos I’ve done enough frogging for the week!