Monday 30 January 2023

One of my New Year's resolutions was to get back into blogging about my cross stitch.  I thought I would start with a review of what I finished last year.

This was the year of knocking out some long standing WIPs for a finish, even if they were small.

I'm not sure about order of things or dates but this year I completed:

  1. The Way to Happiness
  2. Hallowe'en SAL 2020
  3. She Sells Seashells
  4. Witchful Thinking
  5. Happy Hallowe'en
  6. 5 of the 6 Fat Men designs
  7. Christmas SAL 2015
  8. ...and I can't remember what the last one was but I know there were 12 altogether!!

I can't find the Advent SAL 2015 to take a photo of.

So let's see how long this resolution thing lasts for!!

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Why am I posting half a page of Poppy Dance?

So...why am I posting a photo of half a page 'finish' of Pappy Dance?

Poppy Dance - charted by HaED
Artwork - Mariaane Broome
28ct white jobelan
The answer is...

I am officially at 50%


Considering that I haven't finished half a page of any of my other HaED designs, I am amazed at this one.

Monday 29 July 2019

Poppy Dance latest and a new start

Helllllllooooo peeps!

How are you all this fine (and it actually is which makes a change for Manchester) day?

I joined Full Coverage Fanatics on Facebook recently and was just in time to be able to join in with the Tour de France challenge where you have to stitch the same number of stitches each day as the number of kilometres the riders are racing that day.  For once I kept up with it all the way through with there being quite a few days I was actually ahead of the pack.  I made brilliant progress on Poppy Dance and decided to keep going on it once the race was over.  Today, I finished off 2 pages of it (I was waiting for a colour for the end of one of them), which means there are now 10 pages completed.  In terms of stitches, I am 47.43% completed.  There are 72709 stitches completed, with 80591 left to go.
Poppy Dance charted by HaED
Marianne Broome

Although despite amazing progress on Poppy Dance, I also started Halloween by JBW Designs.  It is all Rachel's fault.  She is having some new starts this month and asked us to guess what they were.  I recognised this one immediately as I have had it in my stash for a while.  As you will know, I can always can never resist a new start and so found some Sparklies Thalia lurking in my stash and a nice Hallowe'en pumpkiny colour (Anchor 966 I think). Hallowe'en cats have GOT to be black in my opinion and so I changed them.

The fabric is looking really washed out in the photo, it is much richer in real life.  I think it is looking gorgeous.
French Country Scaredy Cats - JBW Designs
Sparklies Thalia 16ct aida
I have also been doing LOADS of finishing too. I have actually FFOed 7 things - that's right - 7!  I'm saving those to show you on the 10th for Rachel's FFOing challenge.

Saturday 6 July 2019

So what stitching got done...

Well, quite a bit actually.

I'm going to go right back to where I left off with photos.

I've been stitching along on Poppy Dance by Marianne Broome, charted by HaED.  I was working across 2 pages at one point but it felt unwieldy.  I have part of page 11 done and have nearly finished page 12.  I am using this one for the Full Coverage Fanatics facebook group's Tour de France Challenge and for the Q3 90 days Stitching Challenge.  Of course, it will soon be the summer holidays too so this one can get loads of attention. I am at about 42% finished with it.  The lines are due to QSnaps rather than stitching.

Poppy Dance (Marianne Broome, charted by HaED)
28ct jobelan - white
A good friend/work colleague was married last October and I stitched a ring cushion for her.  The design I chose for her was the same one that I did a few years ago (should have kept the chart!) but this time instead of white on white it was royal blue on white - not my taste but she was happy and it matched the bridesmaids dresses almost perfectly.

Col's Creations - 28ct Cashel linen

They had a lovely day.  The initials were a nightmare as I wanted to use the font that was on the invites but had to chart it myself.  I now remember why I am a stitcher, not a designer!  The best news is that she is due her first child any day now.  

I finished a Patricia Ann bauble for the JCS ornie group on facebook.  It is so pretty and delicate looking - I must make it up properly! Here it is, hot out of the hoop.

Patricia Ann
Just Cross Stitch ornie issue 2017
Then I finally finished this little one. Prairie Schooler's JCS ornie 2015?  It's on black - that is my only excuse. I did FFO it but the repositionable glue I used was rubbish and it all fell apart :(
I'm going to do it properly in the summer holiday.

Prairie Schooler
Just Cross Stitch 2015?
Now...finishing this next one nearly made me cry with happiness. It is smaller than I imagined but it is SO adorable.  Summer in Sussex was a Nutmeg Company kit that I started about a million years ago.  I just had the urge to pick it up and finish it one day.  The stitching that was left probably took about 2 evenings and then another evening to make it up into the little house. I didn't have a photo apparently and as I am currently phoneless (which is great!) I can't take one.  I will for the next post though.

Finally, the weekend before I finished off Summer in Sussex, I had a FFOing weekend.  I was up to 26 Christmas ornies that needed FFOing and so made a start on them.  I tried to make one up to look like a Christmas tree and am thinking of sticking a twig or something in it to look like the trunk.  What do you think?  Is that a silly idea?  All the ones I have seen that are made to look tree-ish are very pretty and primped.  I was thinking a bit more rustic looking. So, in no particular order, here they all are.

I know I said finally...I lied. After I finished Summer in Sussex, I was inspired to pull out Cut Thru Stable for a bit.  Linda and I started this as a SAL many, many moons ago.  Linda's has been finished so long that the girl in the picture has great-grandkids! Mine has grown a bit, well actually, I nearly managed a page finish.  I did the back stitching as I went too - Cut Thrus have SO much!

Bothy Threads - Cut Thru Stable

And now, that really is it.  Give yourself a pat on the back if you have made your way to the bottom.  That's impressive!

Sunday 23 June 2019

What a lot has happened...

Hello, hello, and welcome one and all/or anyone still reading blogs.

Rather than make this one huge, long post, I think I will break it up into several different ones. 
So!  What has been going on since last time?

Well...last September, I thought it would be a good idea to start another university degree.  I mulled over whether to go down the maths route or the science one.  Eventually, I decided to go for Natural Sciences with an Environmental Science specialism. However, I have since discovered that the biology bits (that I thought I would love), I hated and the chemistry (that I thought was scary), was absolutely amazing!  Anyway, still waiting for the results of the first module which might make my mind up for me.

In March, I turned 50.  I had a brilliant birthday and Rachael was a sneaky little madam and asked some of my favourite floss tubers to make me a birthday video, which all but one obliged with.  It was a brilliant surprise and just proves that Luke takes far more notice of who I watch than he admits to. Although, even he admits to enjoying The Addicted Sisters and Stitching Jules.

Kids...well I don't have any anymore apparently.  They are both now fully fledged and legal adults.  Luke turned 18 at the start of this month, has finished his A levels (and is also awaiting results) and has left college. He plans to go to uni if he gets the results he wanted but he was ill for the middle week of exams and so we are on tenterhooks.  He did sit the exams but had a bucket next to him for 3 days.

Rachael finished for the year - 2nd year of uni, I can't believe it! She has saved loads of her student loan and is off to Dubai and Malaysia for a few weeks.  Whilst she is there she is doing a research project which will make up part of her year 3 work.  She has been with her young man for 14 months now and seems happy with him.  He has been to stay with us twice (when she has been home or it would be a bit weird) and he is a lovely lad.  He looks after her and treats her well - what more can I ask for from him? 

Cats are still as doolally as ever.  Biskey, despite being 12 is as kittenish as ever and can be relied on to wake me at 6 every morning. Maybe one day he will realise that weekends don't count - but I doubt it.  Smudge is still allergic to life and needs a steroid injection every 6 weeks or so but other than that he is rocking along nicely.

In stitching, I have had a few finishes, a few starts and a few FFOs.  I will do a separate post to show you all that though.  I have been trying not start anything new and have definitely not been buying anything new - oh other than collecting the Letters from Mum series.  I did get a Lowery stand for a combined Christmas, birthday and Mother's Day present.  How on earth have I survived without it for all these years?  It is amazing!

Well...I think that will do for now.  Stitching stuff to follow in the next couple of days.

Friday 17 August 2018 update

Hello to anyone who is still around, the whole world seems to have switched over to Flosstube which seems to have become a bit of an obsession of mine!  There are so many talented stitchers out there showcasing their work. Even the stitch with me videos are great as I can stitch along and just listen to them talk about what's going on in their lives - but you know all this!  Rachael keeps saying that I should do my own flosstube video - honestly that girl is MAD!  Rachael is is a big fan of Flannel Jammies Farm and Luke will 'sit through' (watching but he'd never admit it!) The Addicted Sisters.

So...since I last posted I haven't really had any finishes.  I am in the middle of stitching a hardanger ring cushion for my workmate for her wedding in October.  I have just started the cutting - argggggghhhh!  It's scary!

I have stitched another page and a partial page on Poppy Dance and have now finished the top row of it.  When I pick it up, I find it hard to put it down again even if it is slow going to see any progress on it.
Poppy Dance
Marianne Broome
1 over 1 28ct white jobelan

And the whole thing so far :)
I have also finished February's part on the Under the Sea SAL from Lakeside.  Well I say finished but I need to get a thread to finish one of the fish but other than that, it's finished!  I started on May's design as that meant I didn't need to move the Q-Snap.

January and February
Under the Sea SAL
Lakeside Needlecrafts
I am still working through the focus pieces for the year for the rest of the year but I am planning on a new start in the first time for a long time.  I have started collecting the Letters from Mom (that will be getting spelt properly - sorry US readers) and plan on stitching one each for Rachael and Luke.  I'm not sure that Luke will appreciate it though. 

Saturday 5 May 2018

Cauldrons (aka Spell Check) is another cute little Hallowe'en finish that I can't for the life of me remember where it came from.  I am going to hazard a guess that it was from an old issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine. I'll have to go and have a root through and see if I can find it.  I do know that the fabric was Pumpkin Patch from Sparklies.

Cauldrons -
Fabric - Sparklies Pumpkin Patch

Sunday 25 March 2018

Hang on to your hats...FFOing in progress

Just to ease you into the shock of me FFOing, I will show you my latest 2 finishes first.

So first up is Lizzie Kate's 6 Fat Men which I originally started as a SAL - I have finally finished part 1 of it.  I do have 3 borders stitched too and when I got Luke to choose the next chart, he chose the biggest one with some cute little houses but about a third of the design is snow - boring, boring, stitches never look good snow.  Thanks Luke!

6 Fat Men - Snowed in - Lizzie Kate

Then I thought I might get another of the old Flip-It's done.  With August finished, I am now half way through the series.  Who knows, give me another 17 years and I may well have finished it!  Actually that isn't strictly fair as I definitely didn't buy these when they first came out.  I would still have been buying kits from Wilkinson's back then!

Flip Its - August - Lizzie Kate

Then onto the FFOs.  There is a bit of an odd reason why I did these.  One of my work colleagues, a lad of 21, split his pants the other day.  After I got over my giggles - well it was in front of 4 classes - I offered to sew them for him.  Fast forward to yesterday and I thought I would get my sewing machine out to do them and then thought I might as well make a couple of things up whilst it's out.  Luke was out at his first university Open Day (already?) so I could spread out over the dining area and the kitchen without getting under his feet.  

This first one, Boo, already had the front fabrics stitched onto it and so just needed the backing adding and stuffing. I think next time I might try a bigger fabric on the side and bottom but I like it and have added it to my hallowe'en display (yes, it stays out all year).  I can't remember who the chart was by for this so if you know can you tell me please so I can add it to the caption.

Boo - ???

Long time ago in...sorry I was about to burst into song then.  Once upon a time Gaynor of StitchersAnon was releasing a Hallowe'en SAL and gave the group loads of freebies beforehand.  This is one of them.  I kept the fabric plain and just stitched the ric rac on with a metallic green thread for the eyes of green in the design.  I also stitched the black fabric on with the same metallic thread. It needs a bit more stuffing in it and then the gap closing...but that's the easy part!

A Witch's Cat - StitchersAnon
Then we have another StitchersAnon piece which was supposed to be the Retreat piece that we all got to work on, but I couldn't make it in the end. I have always regretted not being able to go.  Still once I get another bag of stuffing, I will be able to add this to my finished pieces to admire.

Every Stitch is from the Heart - StitchersAnon

This is the backing fabric for it.  I thought the shamrocks were perfect.

The Key to my Heart - still true after all these years!  Again it needs stuffing and in real life it is straight.  I have no idea how on earth I managed to make it look SOOOOOOO wonky in the photo. 
The Key to my Heart - Sue Hillis

And finally, we have yet another StitchersAnon piece which I was apparently rubbish at taking a photo of today.  What it actually says is:

Whatever the distance
Wherever I roam
With needle and thread
I'll make it my home. 

I changed all the threads when I stitched it I think.  The bow on top was made from the ribbon of a box of posh chocolates that one of my colleagues bought me a few months ago.  It just goes to show that it is worth keeping things like that! The backing fabric was gifted to me a few years ago and although I loved the colour and design I didn't have a clue what to use it on.  It is actually absolutely perfect for the design.


Sunday 4 March 2018

3 finishes in 3 days

After finishing Oh Christmas Tree yesterday, I asked Luke to choose a number 1 - 16. I can't remember which number he chose but it corresponded to one of the designs that I had already stitched.  Therefore, I made the decision to stitch an ornie from last year's JCS ornie issue for the Facebook SAL. 

After stitching the silly thing twice with all the unpicking I had to do, it was finished earlier tonight.
I changed the threads to just random ones from my stash and the fabric is just the same random piece that I have used all for all my ornies this year.

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Snow Much Fun at the North Pole

Saturday 3 March 2018

Sit down before you read this!!!

Ok...this is a shock...please sit down...put that brew down...make sure the de-fib is close by.

Are you done? Ready?

I have another finish!!!  I would love to say I finished them on the same day but sadly I had to stay up until 1.30am to finish it so I suppose that isn't really the same day.  But...even better...I can say that I had 2 finishes within 12 hours!

So drumroll please... 

All Through the Night - Oh Christmas Tree

This is the 5th finish from my list of 25 that I want to finish or at least make a load of progress on (never going to finish a HaED or 3 in a year!)  There are actually 17 designs that I want to finish this year on the list so I feel like I am doing quite well so far.