Sunday, 28 August 2011

Stitching and pickling

Thankfully my back is much, much better.  It's not quite right yet but I can move reasonably freely.  Standing or walking for very long is still difficult but I'm getting there!

This week I did something I've never done before - pickling!  We harvested some of the beetroot from the allotment.  Colin boiled and peeled them, so I pickled them.  The first ones we had were delicious!

Our first 2 jars of pickled beetroot!
Stitching wise this week - I have completed Libra for the RR but forgot to take a photo before I posted it.  I also did a little bit of stash shopping too - you know the way your finger 'accidentally' presses checkout whilst looking!!  I ordered 2 JBW designs: Plum Pudding and Christmas Bells and some new gold needles.  Once they arrived I couldn't help but have a look to see if I had some fabric for Plum Pudding...and then of course I had to check the threads too.  Well...whilst I'm getting everything together I might as well put a few stitches in as well.  So here is my 'few stitches'.  Oops - well at least it's not going to be another WIP/UFO lol.

JBW Designs - Plum Pudding
Fabric - unknown was just lurking in my stash
Threads - GAST / WDW as charted
I did a little bit on She sells seashells...but not much!

And that's it for stitching this week.  I'm going to pick up Garden Shed in a minute to work on.  My eyes are feeling a little sore so aida will not strain them so much!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Hurricane Irene

Just want everyone in the path of Irene to know that I'm thinking of you and hoping that you all stay safe.  Luckily we don't get things like this in England so I can only imagine what it is like for you but I hope you all come through it safe and sound.  Remember possessions can be replaced but YOU can't so do what you need to.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

This week's progress

This week has been a bit on and off for stitching.  I hurt my back earlier in the week - by getting washing out of the machine.  How ridiculous is that?  Honestly, who injures themselves sorting out laundry!  I have tried resting it and gentle exercise and so far neither have made much difference.

Colin took the photos for me this week and you can have a guess as to which one he described as "that's probably the most boring photo I have ever taken in my life".

I have worked on my RR piece this week which is now going to be the remainder of the Zodiac cats RR.  As it is just a blob of white on white, I spared Colin having to take the second most boring photo of his life too!"

I have worked on  started CCN "She sells seashells" but haven't made an awful lot of progress on it so far.  I am stitching it on Kiwi Illusions 'bourbon' which is gorgeous and has a lovely feel to it (I think it is Jazlyn).  It does look slanted on the photo but it's not really.
Possibly the most boring photo Colin ever took!
CCN - She Sells Seashells
Fabric - Kiwi Illusions Bourbon
Threads - CC called for
There has been some progress made on the Wedding Sampler this week but not a lot!  This design is really growing on me the more I stitch it.  It's still not something I would want for myself but I am enjoying it a lot more than I was.  Interestingly it made me realise the other day that I never stitched anything for our wedding day or for either of the children being born!

Helen and Kev's wedding sampler
Janlynn - Married this Day

Whilst blog hopping recently, I have seen loads of lovely "Tree of Stitches".  I am in love.  Thankfully Abi Gurden who runs/moderates/designs The Stitch Specialists yahoo group let me in!  I have made a start on my Tree of Stitches and so far I'm loving it.  I chose to go for a dramatic, contrasting look and am using a piece of  Sparklies fabric in 'fire' with The Thread Gatherer silk.  I am using another silk but the name escapes me at the moment.

Tree of Stitches - Abi Gurden - The Stitch Specialists on Yahoo
Fabric - Sparklies Fire 28ct lugana
Trunk - GAST Blackcurrant
Leaves - The Thread Gatherer Blue Violet and HDF unknown

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Small change to Rachael's westie

All week I have been looking at Rachael's westie with a sort of a hmmmmmm........not quite happy sort of a look.  I decided that I didn't like the puffiness of the cube or the way the fabric round the sides didn't look tight enough and the bow didn't look quite big enough either.  So I took it all apart and made another cube.  For the cube I used a piece of the insulating foam that came in Rachael's CGMS sensor box which is really dense although quite easy to cut.

2nd attempt at making a bow.  It's a bit bigger this time which Rachael said she wanted

Colin has said that he will take photos of me making a bow to show how I did it - so what this space for a "tutorial" if you're interested.  I have to warn you though I am left handed which will probably make a difference!

I will post some pictures of my week's progress later - the camera battery died after this photo so it's on charge at the moment.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

A new finish

This must be a record - 3 posts in one day!

This afternoon Rachael was having a root through my WIP/UFO box which I'd left out and discovered the Westie I had made a start on for her.  She was so thrilled with the progress so far that she gave me a big hug, big kiss and told me I was the best mum EVER! Well who could resist carrying on with something after that.  I knew that it wouldn't really take long to complete the stitching, it was only a diddy chart after all.  The funniest bit was the countdown from 36 stitches 27 to go, 24, 17 etc.

Cross Stitch Crazy magazine
Once it was finished she had a root through my fabric and ribbon boxes having decided she wanted it finished the same way as 'love you to the moon'.  The cube was one I had bought at some time and I didn't find it as easy to work with as the one I made.  It seemed much softer.

Rachael chose all the colours for this.
Incidentally the cushion behind is one Rachael made at
school last year.  Her first ever attempt!
I have never made a ribbon like this and although it isn't perfect, I am really pleased with how it turned out.  Rachael is ever so chuffed with it so I am glad I caved in to her and finished it.  Of course now I need to do something small for Luke so if you know where there are any free charts of Man Utd players or at least in red, let me know!

Progress this week

I have been concentrating on the wedding sampler for most of the week although saying that I haven't managed to get a lot of stitching done.  This is my progress so far.  There are constant colour changes in this - 3 or 4 stitches and I'm snipping the threads again.  It does seem to be stitching up quite quickly though once I get in the flow of it.

I mentioned previously that I was going to participate in a RR again for the first time in ages.  As there was only going to be 3 of us in the group, I chose a trio of sunset designs from World of Cross Stitch  magazine which are gorgeous!  We have now had another lady join us to make a 4 so it is back to the drawing board - what a hardship to have to go stash fondling!  This is how far I had got with stitching my part of the designs.  The colours are so vibrant and are a real joy to stitch.  I must make sure this doesn't become a UFO.

Last night I fancied a complete change from the wedding sampler and decided to root through the WIP/UFO box. Roots to grow, wings to fly caught my eye so I managed to put a couple of lengths of thread in that before needing an early night.  I can't for the life of me remember what the fabric is but it is absolutely gorgeous to hold as you're stitching.  Might be a Silkweaver possibly but no idea which one.

Scissor Update

'Spoke' to Jo and have got them.  Woohoo!  Thanks for the advice!  I'm a happy bunny.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Dinky Dyes Patriotic Scissors - UK

Arrrrggggghhhhh!  I have been trying to find somewhere that is going to order/stock the Dinky Dyes scissors with the Union Jack design over them.  I can't find anyone!  Does anyone know where I can get them from?  I don't mind whether it is UK or US.  Please help!!!  Thanks!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

WIP update

I have been working on the wedding sampler all week - on and off, in the hope that it may be finished soon.  It is driving me mad though with all the colour changes every few stitches.  The design isn't really my cup of tea (it was chosen bySIL and hubby) which I don't think is helping matters.  Still it's getting there slowly! If you compare it to the Wip's page it is possible to see progress.

Helen and Kev's Wedding Sampler
I have recently joined a RR group on facebook and will be starting that in September.  It is ages since I have been involved in a RR so I am really looking forward to it.  I haven't decided on a theme yet though so need to get my thinking cap on!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lyme Park and a finish!

Back in March/April we joined the National Trust for the year but so far we haven't been anywhere!  All that changed at the weekend when we took a ride out to Lyme Park which was only 30 minutes in the car.  It was a pretty hot day so we had a gentle stroll up to The Cage which is an old hunting lodge.  It was all boarded over so there wasn't much to see but the views were amazing!

On the walk up (and back) we could hear grasshoppers and Luke was desperate to find one.  We kept telling him how hard they can be to catch but he wasn't for giving up.  I was watching the path as I was walking as it was a little rough when suddenly one jumped across right in front of me!!

Rear of the Meadow Grasshopper

Front view of the Meadow Grasshopper

Meadow Grasshopper - side on

With Colin being the least squeamish of us all, (I don't mind looking but I'm not holding) he managed to catch hold of it.

The estate was used for Pride and Prejudice where Darcy meets Elizabeth.

On to cross stitch news.  As you may have noticed if you've visited in the last week or so, I have been tweaking my blog.  One thing I have added is a WIP/UFO page.  It was quite an interesting couple of hours sorting through my projects that have been started and taking photos of them all.  Hopefully I have managed to find them all from their hiding places!  Taking the time to do this has actually led to two small finishes.  One has been 'filed' for finishing up later but the other I got the urge to finish up today.  

Waxing Moon's "I love you to the moon and back" has been a WIP/UFO for...... errrrrrmmm.....well let's just say a long time and leave it at that.  As far as I could remember there wasn't a particular reason other than time/life putting a halt to it.....or so I thought!

Actually, once I picked it back up again I remembered that I hated the fabric it was on, hated trying to stitch neatly with 3 strands of thread and wasn't enamoured with the 'unbalanced' feel to the outer design.  I decided to persevere with the first 2 and ploughed on with it.  However, I really couldn't get over the swirls and stars not being symmetrical.  So I changed it!  Down the sides where the pink stars are should be a star at the top and a swirly bit underneath.  I recharted this to make it 2 stars instead.  I also changed over the colours.  The stars in the corners should have been stitched with the yellow but I thought they would match the moon much better if they were nearer that colour.  I was really pleased with how it turned out.

As for finishing it, I decided that I would like to do my first ever cube finish.  So armed with Hannah's finishing tutorial I got cracking!  I have to say I am really thrilled with how it turned out.

front view

I love this little moon button

Side fabric and ribbon

backing fabric
The other finish I had was a santa design that I was going to do for my first ever ornie.  Not sure how many I have made in the meantime but it finally got finished!

Should have been my first ever ornie...but wasn't to be!
That's all for now!  Congratulations if you have managed to read all the way to the bottom!