Thursday, 30 August 2012

New blog

Rachael, my daughter, has Type 1 diabetes and has been asked by a nurse at the hospital she attends to write a blog to inspire other teens with the condition.  She is under the impression that Rachael manages her diabetes so well that having a blog could support other teens who struggle more with the condition.  Whether this would work or not I have no idea but Rachael is up for it.

So far she has only written 2 posts but I was wondering if you would be kind enough to pop over and just say hi and leave her a comment to encourage her a bit.  She does have the dreaded word verification turned on but as she is only 13 I would rather she keep it for now.  Her blog can be found HERE.

Thank you if you have the time to have a look.  She will really appreciate it!!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

2 posts in one day? What's happening?

Well after posting this morning, I worked on Abi Gurden's Confetti of Hardanger SAL and finished part 2.  It is looking really pretty and I can't wait for the next part to be released next week.  I think the biggest compliment I could have is when I gave it to my hubby and he carefully inspected it to determine the back and the front, not a problem he usually has!

I have some new followers - a very warm welcome to you all and I hope you enjoy my blog.

I'm just a butterfly

The title says it all really.  At the moment I don't seem to be able to settle to any one design so this update is photo heavy as there is a little progress on a few different things.  Before I get on to stitching, if you leave a comment can you mention whether the word verification thing is on?  I am sure I turned it off but just want to check.  I find that I am leaving less and less comments for people as I just cannot be bothered to fight with putting the random words in 2 or 3 times before I get it right.  If I used to comment on your blog but haven't lately this is probably why...but don't worry, I'm still reading!

Ok...on to stitching news...first up is Lizzie Kate's flip it series.  This is January and is either the 2003 or 2004 designs.  I have done a few of the outlines for the blocks but this one is the only one with actual stitching in it.

I have also worked on Papillon Creations Around the World.  I am only on part 2 and I am finding it really tricky.  I have lost the ability to count and read stitch instructions.  On the top tulip the big purple diamond should be all white with the middle in purple and the yellow heart in the bottom one should be white with a yellow middle.  I am trying to decide whether to pull it out or leave it.  It is a three layer stitch and it I take it out I am worried that the fabric may be distorted beyond use and also I really like the effect in real life.  On the other hand though will the colours be too bold to suit the piece further down the line?  I think I may leave it for now and see how the rest of the design pans out.  I can always change it if it starts to annoy me.  Part 2 isn't finished yet so I may pull it back out tomorrow to work on and yet done.  Hopefully part 3 will be easier!  (I am doing the cut version btw).

A happy dance!!!  I have finished Abi Gurden's The Great Escape.  I am really pleased with how it turned out and how most of my specialty stitches look considering most of them I haven't done before.  The colours have worked well I think.  I particularly like the little moths which have a string of beads for the body.  In real life they don't look crooked like they do in the photo.

I then picked up Abi Gurden's latest SAL which is Confetti of Hardanger.  There are already 2 parts out and some of the ladies who have posted their progress have picked amazing colours.  As you know I am a rubbish photographer and the fabric I am working on is nothing like the picture.  It is actually lavender with DMC perle 211 and 554.  The fabric is pretty much DMC 211 itself and looks gorgeous.  This is my progress after part 1.  I had a terrible job with the counting - apparently counting is beyond me at the moment - and have unpicked nearly as much as I stitched!

Another project I have worked on this week is CCN's A Place We Call Home.  I am really hoping that I have enough Cidermill Brown to complete the words.  I think I have but if I need to unpick it, I may not.  I do have another one but it is not a perfect match.  The fabric is really nice to work with and it is nothing special, just a piece of DMC evenweave in ivory.  This was another design that I lost the ability to count on.  The base of the house is 11 stitches and I only stitched 10.  I unpicked the pointed bit of the roof several times before I discovered it was actually the bottom that was wrong and that I had missed out a row.  

Here is where I am up to with Cinderella.  I love stitching on this one and the colours are so pretty.  I know I have to put it down though or I will get bored and never go back to it.  As it isn't for me, that would NOT be good!  In this picture the colours aren't far off being true.

During the week I pulled my sewing machine out and managed to make this.  It's a Q Snap cover in case you're wondering.  I found the instructions HERE which were clear and easy to follow. I only used a cheap piece of fabric that I had in my stash and had to adapt the design a bit as the fabric wasn't long enough.  I am pleased with how it turned out overall and will definitely make some more.  Whilst the machine was out I also took the opportunity to run a hem round all the fabric for my WIP's/UFO's so they won't fray.  I used to ALWAYS do it by hand years ago then switched to masking tape and then finally just didn't bother at all.  Now they all look neat and tidy and it was good practice at sewing in a straight line on something that didn't matter to much if it had a little wobble in it.

And to finish off with I have included a few pictures from the garden.  This is one of my favourite roses which has lost it's tag so I can't tell you what it is called.  It has the most wonderful scent as well as looking very pretty.  Then we have 2 of our gladioli followed by possibly my all time favourite plant, a fuchsia.  It tends to swap between fuchsia's and sweet peas as to which are my favourites!  I have quite a collection of fuchsia's although my best one died about 3 years ago and I have never been able to find a replacement.  It was a small bush type with salmon middle and cream outside called Anita.

Anyone who has made it to the bottom of this mega long post deserves a medal.  Congratulations and please leave a comment to let me know!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

playing catchup

Thank you for so many comments sympathising with the loss of my RR.  It is annoying and I believe what goes around comes around.

As far as Honeysuckle Courtyard goes, I will play around with the suggestions people gave and see which looks good.  Don't be surprised to see some mock ups and a poll here!  Now you know why I am NOT a

So on to progress with stitching.  First up is Horse Racing which is a John Clayton design.  It now has approximately 1200 stitches of DMC471 with a lot more still to go.  Once that is done though I will be nearly a third of the way through the design I think and at least whilst it is like this there is quick progress.  The fabric is a Silkweaver but I can't remember which one.  It is a really old one so the fabric is lovely to stitch on unlike their newer fabrics.

I decided that as I had managed to finish a few things recently, that it was time for a new start.  Rachael saw this stitched on a blog as I was reading one day and really liked it.  As it had been sat in my stash for around 7-8 years I decided to make a start last week when Colin took the children out for the day.  It is the first time in my life that I ever wished Henry VIII had been skinny!

I had originally started The Great Escape by Abi Gurden when it was first released but only got to part 3 before getting stuck on a particular stitch and putting it away.  When the Olympics were on I decided to have another read of the instruction and have a go.  Bizarrely I could do the stitch quite easily and then I have whizzed through the rest of it.  I just have some moths, stars and the moon to add to it but I am so pleased with how it is looking.


Now the reason I had to get The Great Escape finished is because Abi had released the first part of her new SAL.  It is called Confetti of Hardanger and is really pretty.  These are the threads I am thinking of using but the colours here aren't great.  The fabric is Lavender (not sure whose) and there are some DMC perles 211, 208 and 554.  The loose skein is Threadworx 81125.

I have also been working on Cinderella but haven't taken a photo yet of her.  The colours are gorgeous though and the fabric is wonderful to stitch on.  It is a Polstitches jobelan and is so soft and lovely to work with.

I am also working on part 2 of Around the World.  I had started that already but really hated the way my Mordvinian Star stitch looked.  I have redone it and am much more pleased with it.  Part 5 is already out so I had really better get a move on.

With the children being off school, we have been doing various things.  Yesterday we did some T shirt painting, which they really enjoyed despite the pens not working well.  I emailed sewandso about them and they refunded my money which I was really surprised about as I had ordered the pens over a month ago.  Fantastic customer service!  We have also been to Etherow Country Park for a walk round the lake and through the woods which was fun.  I took them bowling the other day and actually beat them in both games - without bumpers....woohooo!

Luke has been badgering me to play Donkey Kong on the Wii with him so I have played that a few times, or should I say that he has played and I have just lost all the lives.  Funny that, I've just realised that he hasn't asked me to join in the last few day...hmmmm....I wonder why that could be.

I think that's enough news for today....don't want to send you to sleep.  

By the way does anyone have any idea as to why my visitor counter is just showing a number 1 instead of an actual visitor from each country count?  It's been doing it for a week or more and I don't know why.  I have tried taking it off and putting it back again but it makes no difference.  It is starting to annoy me!!!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Stolen RR and a plea

I'm feeling pretty miffed today.  I have finally accepted that the woman who was stitching the last part of my RR has decided that she will keep it.....or should I say steal it?  I suppose I have been ever so lucky with RR's as it is the first one I have had go missing and I have done quite a few.  It seems to have been a rather jinxed RR anyway.  It was the third different RR group to work in it with the first 2 falling apart.  The designs were Margaret Sherry's Zodiac cats which were in old Cross Stitcher magazines so maybe one day I could pull them out and stitch them myself.   I suppose on the plus side at least it is one less WIP as there would still have been one design left to stitch when it came home.

Now I have a plea.  I have decided to do Honeysuckle Courtyard by Patricia Ann Designs for a 50th Wedding anniversary gift but I would like to personalise it for them.  Could anyone give me some advice on where I could put the wording and still have it all looking balanced.  What I want is one line with their names, one with 50th anniversary and another with the dates.  Would I put them as one block of writing or seperate lines throughout the design.  This is a picture of Honeysuckle Courtyard, I can't find a clearer one.

Is there a website anywhere where you can notify bad traders, exchanges or RR thieves?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

July Theme-a-licious and 1st August WIPocalypse

First of all a big welcome to all my new followers and a big thank you to everyone who comments.  I do try to reply to comments via email but not everyone has an address provided.  So if I done't respond, hopefully it isn't just me being ignorant, it's because I can't.

Well.......I've had a bit of a finishing frenzy over the last week.  I thought I would get some of my WIP's ermm that would probably be UFO's if I'm truthful.

First up is a Country Companions design from DMC which I think is called It Never Rains...  This may well be my oldest UFO.  I started this in our old house and as we've been here for 10 years, that makes it pretty old!  Anyway IT IS DONE!
It Never Rains...   DMC
finished 23rd July 2012
Next is a Mouseloft penguin.  Now seriously, who could EVER leave a Mouseloft kit as a UFO?  It's no bigger than 2" square.  Honestly!  Anyway it is done and will probably be made into a tree ornie.

Mouseloft Penguin
finished 23rd July 2012
Another long standing UFO but not as bad as the Country Companions one.  This is a little blackwork owl from X-calibre designs.  This was the first one I bought to learn how to do blackwork.  I believe that if you do it properly the back looks like the back...a bit like hardanger I suppose.  I obviously didn't do it properly as the back looks nothing like the front.  Thankfully the front looks ok though!!

Blackwork Owl - X-calibre
finished 25th July 2012
And finally, well for finishes at least, is this little anniversary card.  The writing was red but I thought I would change it so I can use it for Colin's mum and dad's wedding anniversary, which is obviously their golden one...hehe.  Again it was one of those pieces that should NEVER have been a UFO as it just wasn't big enough.
Anniversary card
unknown designer
I then used the random generator to choose my next WIP to work on.  It landed on this one.  I spent a little bit of time working on it but it is 18ct aida which is definitely NOT my favourite fabric to work on.  I am going to leave it out and put 1 strand a day in it to keep it ticking over.

Garden Tools
Fleur de Lis
I have been working on She Sells Seashells as well and hope that will be my next finish.  Watching the Olympics at the same time is not a good idea.  I am doing nearly as much frogging as stitching.

Other news....

********I PASSED********

I got my Open University module exam result on Tuesday.  I got a Grade 2 pass.  As the OU had already admitted that one of the questions was 'unusually difficult' and were 'standardising' the results, I knew it wasn't my imagination that it was a hard exam.  Now I am trying to decide whether or not to continue my degree or not.  I worked really hard with studying and revising for my last module and felt that the exam didn't allow me to show my knowledge.  There were many students who put in a complaint about the exam so it's good that the OU listened and investigated but it left me really demoralised.

That's it for now...Happy Stitching!!