Friday, 31 January 2014

Progress and TUSAL's

I worked on Winter Unicorn for an evening and was quite pleased with my progress.  It is certainly a lot quicker stitching with one thread than two.  I seem to be the queen of the twisted thread which really slows me down.  I love how delicate the background is going to look when it is finished.

A little bit of progress on Home of a Needlworker.  I discovered that I had used the wrong green for the border.  Never mind though, it makes it more personal!

As all that blue is from Cinderella, I thought she should make an appearance in my TUSAL photo too. I am amazed at how many orts are in my jar already.  I suppose though with having been off work for the last 2 weeks, I have had the chance to stitch more than I normally would.  Shame I have to go back!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Just Nan SAL

Not much progress made on High Hopes this month with the Crazy January Challenge but here is a reminder of what did happen!  Hopefully I will make better progress next month although I do need to mainly concentrate on Cinderella to get her finished soon.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Stitch from Stash

I have been a positive angel this month and haven't bought a single thing...not a skein of DMC, a magazine or anything!  I am VERY impressed with myself.  I have managed to dodge the sale and have started loads of things from my stash.  I am not going to list everything I started but if you have a look at the Crazy January Challenge tab at the top, you can see what went on.

I hope everyone else has done as well!!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Cinderella progress

I have FINALLY finished all the blue on the bottom half of Cinder's skirt.  WOOOHOOO.  I actually feel how I usually feel for a finish.

I am having a couple of days break from her and will get back to her next week.  I am determined she will be finished in the next couple of months.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


I have added a poll to the top left sidebar.  It's all about commenting and how you like to do it.  You see, I am yet again massively behind with blog reading and have been noticing that there seems to be a plethora of captura codes again.  I hate them with a vengeance - even the new ones that are all numbers.  In all honesty, I don't want to be wasting my computer time messing with them, especially if all I am doing is commenting on what lovely progress people have made, or the colour choice of fabric and threads.  I don't mind if it is in response to something more personal.  Now I definitely do no have the code on my comments but was wondering if you prefer how the comment box is displayed?

Rant over and back to stitching :) 

I have reached 2000 comments

So I think that calls for a giveaway.  Hmmmm...what can I do?  I know!  It's a giveaway to say thank you for commenting so I think I will put 2001 (because that's how many there are now) in the random generator and see what number it comes up with. (number 1 being the first comment ever received, 2001 being the most recent).

Just give me a minute...ok the random generator says 1815 but I can't work out how to get it here to prove it!

So the winner is JUSTINE with the immortal words 'What a great idea! I must admit I throw mine away as I go along'.  It might not be Shakespeare but it won more prizes than he did!  (Please don't tell me is Shakespeare won some prize...I haven't checked and have just assumed they didn't have ridiculous prizes like we have now!)

Right Justine, all I need now is your address and some likes/dislikes please!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Day 16 (because I can't count)

I admit it, I can't count!  I found that I had 16 projects to start instead of the 15.  I have been stitching on this a little bit today too as I am loving the fabric and the orange thread.

This is Behind the Gate by Blue Ribbon Designs and is a Halloween Countdown Calendar if you are not familiar with the design.  The fabric I am stitching it on is Sparklies 'Pumpkin Patch' on 28ct Jazlyn.  It is a gorgeous fabric to handle.

There hasn't been any photos of the two dopey felines lately so here is what they were doing the other night. Synchronised sofa curling up!  What a little pair of cuties!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Days 13, 14 and 15

These should be the last 3 starts, but I can't count to 15 it seems! I haven't taken a photo yet of my Day 16 start though so that is going to follow.

Day 13 saw Everyone brings Joy by Waxing Moon.

Stitched on SparkliesVireo 
Day 14 was Rosa by India Grace Designs.  Not much progress as the middle is all cut work so I had to count, recount and then double check that I was starting in the right place!

And what should be finally..but isn' Day 15's Halloween House by Ursula Michaels.  I decided to start with the border...don't know why, just did!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

WIPocalypse 2014 - January

This is my list of projects that I am focusing on as my WIPocalypse stitching.

Cinderella - Joan Elliott
Around the World - Papillon Creations
Cut Thru Stable - Bothy Threads 
Honeysuckle Courtyard - Patricia Ann Designs
Santa's Village - CCN

There is no photo of Honeysuckle Courtyard as it's not started yet.

For anyone who doesn't know me...I am really Sharon, 44 years old from Manchester, UK.  I have 2 kids - Rachael, 14 and Luke, 12.  They are both amazing (most of the time) and I am so lucky that they are 'mine'. I also have 2 demented cats - Biskey and Smudge who rule the roost.  Biskey is a soppy so and so and loves to be curled up on someone's lap.  At night, he sleeps on my feet although he often has more of the bed than I get!

I started stitching in 1995 when I wanted something different for my then boyfriend (now hubby) for our first Valentine's Day together.  I walked past a cake decorating shop every day going to and from work and noticed these cute little cross stitch cards they had.  I went in and the rest is history.

There was no charting for the initials in the middle.  I just decided to do them myself.  Thankfully my stitching has improved a bit since then!!

One thing that I am looking forward to this year is finishing my degree which will then free up around 20 hours a week for housework and jobs round the house stitching.  I am going to make up for the last few years where the coursework has stopped me from enjoying myself.

I have loads of favourite designers so won't bore you with them all.  Just have a look through my WIP's/UFO's list on the right hand side of my blog to see what I am into!  Favourite fabric is jobelan by a mile and discovering Sparklies, Crafty Kitten and Steph's Fabby's has greatly enhanced my fabric stash. 

One thing that I really love doing is being online and reading lots of different stitchy blogs.  There are several people that although I have never met them, I class as friends now who I have met through blogging.  One day I would love to meet up with them all!

Anything else you would like to know, just ask!!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Days 11 and 12

They might be small starts but they are starts.  This is one challenge that I am keeping up with for once ;)

First off was Mirabilia's Touching the Autumn Sky which is stitched on Sparklies glacier jazlyn.  It's a lovely fabric to stitch on but is quite a loose weave.

Today I started Penguin Parade on 18ct 'mystery blue' aida. (Thank you Jo for giving me the fabric.)  It was rather odd working on a piece of fabric 5 feet long.  I ended up draping one end of it over Rachael as we were watching a film.  She wasn't impressed!

Oh, and I seem to be unable to count to 15 and look to have an extra project put aside for the CCJ.  Oh well, I might as well start it anyway!  I'm just going to double check that I have counted properly!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Funny son moment

Colin, Rachael and Luke made up a huge pot of bolognese sauce today so we had some for lunch with the rest going in the freezer for the next few weeks.
When we finished, Luke and I had a mince pie.  After he had finished it the conversation went like this...
Luke: 'What can I have for dessert?'
Me: 'You've just had a mince pie for dessert.'
Slight pause
Luke: 'Well is there anything else I can have to eat then?'
Seriously?  This boy is an eating machine at the moment.  He had a big plate of spag bol first, I couldn't believe her could still be hungry.  So he had a carrot and an apple to eat after the first 'dessert'.  How long do boys eat you out of house and home for when going through puberty?  I might need to move near a Tesco's!

(It may not be as funny written down as it was at the time, but it made us all roar with laughter with the way he came out with it.)

Days 8, 9 and 10

Here are my Crazy starts for days 8, 9 and 10.  As you can see, there is as much amazing progress as all my other starts!

Day 8 was Footprints by Praying Hands. Why, oh why have I fallen for a design that it pretty much all backstitch?  Am I totally mad?  (Don't answer that!)

Praying Hands - Footprints
Stitched on SMF - Rhapsody
with recommended threads
Day 9 was Honeysuckle Courtyard which was also a Turtle Trot piece.  This is the start of band 3.  See yesterday's post for the reason I started there!

Honeysuckle Courtyard - Patricia Ann Designs
stitched on white jobelan
with recommended threads
Day 10 is a Mirabilia - Faerie Spring Fling.  I am starting at the bottom and working my way up to her face. It does mean though, that I am stitching the design upside down so that my hand is not touching the stitching more than it has to.

Faerie Spring Fling - Nora Corbett
stitched on Polstitches - Aphrodite
using recommended DMC

Friday, 10 January 2014

Turtle Trot for January

Well with all the new starts this month, there isn't a lot of progress on any of the projects on my Turtle Trot list.  However, there has been a bit on  Cinderella and Honeysuckle Courtyard.

First up is Cinderella.  I have finished the castle which looks better than I thought it would.  I have also started some of the backstitching on her dress as there is a fair bit and I am not over keen on backstitch.

Then is another massive start...not!  This is the start of Band 3 of Honeysuckle Courtyard.  There is a good reason for starting on band 3 - I couldn't be bothered to walk upstairs to find the threads band 1 and 2 needed. Also I am still undecided as to whether to add my parents-in-law details to the finished project and where to add them if I do!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Days 6 and 7

Day 6 was Witchful Thinking from Pickle Barrel Designs which I was lucky enough to win in a giveaway by the designer last year.  Over half way through I realized that I was one stitch short in the upright of the letters stitched so far.  I looked at it, thought 'shall I unpick?' Very quickly that was followed by 'nah, it's fine' and I finished the last few letters off the same.  Now the question I stitch the Witchful with one less stitch too, so they are the same height or as charted?

Witchful Thinking - Pickle Barrel Designs
fabric - Crafty Kitten, Bubbling Cauldron (second)
Day 7 was Winter Unicorn by Durene Jones.  As you can see I haven't had a lot of stitching time recently as there is an assignment due in.  2000 words on the depiction of the family in Peter Pan and 2 poems from 100 Best poems for children!  Thankfully that is now submitted and life can get back to normal for 2 weeks!

Monday, 6 January 2014

London, Richard II and David Tennant

We had a fab time in London.  On Thursday we did the bus tour round all the sights which helped us to get our bearings bit and had a Subway for tea before getting ready to go and see David Tennant in Richard II.  No photography was allowed, but they didn't tell me that until after I had taken this...

This is how the stage was as you came into the theatre.  The background is made of thin chain, a bit like your kitchen sink plug is attached with usually and they project the image of the scenery onto that.  It sounds a bit weird explained like that but the effect is stunning.

You need to get to the stage door a lot earlier than the end of the play if you want to see David come out. Sadly we were too far away to get him to sign anything although Rachael did get a 5 minute video of him signing things, having photos with people and generally being a pretty decent bloke at being mobbed by screaming women!

So on Friday I caved and agreed to take Rachael on the London Eye.  Oh my's high!  I don't like heights, I REALLY don't like heights.  Here is the photographic evidence of how high it is

On the Friday, we went to the Science museum.  This microscope was fantastic!  It was made out of solid silver by George Adams, commissioned by William III as a gift for William IV.  Why does no-one ever get me a gift like that?

There was also the Apollo 10 capsule - the original apparently!

Rachael absolutely refuses to believe that this one is a real car.  You can see her point really and as for moving a lever to turn left or right? No thank you, I will stick with a wheel!

The weather turned cold, windy and rainy on Saturday.  We were determined to make the most of our last morning though.  We got the tube to Mansion House (what a brilliant name for a station - ideas of grandeur that it really didn't live up to!).  We saw the monument to the firefighters who protected St Paul's Cathederal during the Second World War by sleeping in it to make sure it couldn't be destroyed.

This is me playing with the panoramic setting on my phone.  The tall pointy building in the middle is The Shard which you seem to be able to see from anywhere in London!

This was taken on the Millenium Bridge looking back at St Paul's Cathedral.

Finally this is what the view was like from the hotel window.  The building opposite was Armory House.

Oh yes...I forgot to mention what we did on Friday night.  See if you can guess...

We walked down to The Barbican again, getting there for about 8.55pm...and guess what?  The show didn't finish until 10.25pm...and we weren't the first there!

Look who came out...

...getting closer...

...OMG he's touched my shoulder (said Rachael!)

...and now he leaves us.

As a non-fan of David, I have to admit that he was amazing.  He took time to speak to people, albeit briefly. He signed Rachael's programme for her and had a photo with her.  Initially, Rachael had a mousemat with a photo of David on but he is only allowed to sign show things.  David waited around for her to get her programme out though which I thought was great of him.  When he was signing her programme he said that it was great to meet her (which he probably says to half a dozen people a night) but it absolutely made her day as she didn't hear him say it to anyone else!  He has definitely gone up in my estimation!! Rachael was so thrilled she started crying as we came away - bless her.

Crazy January Challenge - Day 5

Yesterday I worked on High Hopes which not only fulfills my Crazy January Challenge but also my Theme-a-licious and Just Nan SALs too.
I have only done a but of the white border which was frogged a couple of times as I'm not used to using perle threads for cross stitch and it looked a bit messy.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Days 2, 3 and 4

Oh dear...I used up my phone's whole month's data allowance uploading the video Rachael took of David Tennant to Dropbox in case I lost my phone whilst in London which meant I couldn't post to my blog.

So without further ado here are the missing days stitching starts.  I don't suppose it will surprise to learn that I didn't have time for much stitching?

So first is a start on Home of a Needleworker.

Then JBW's Christmas Tree.


And finally HAED's Santa ornament which I am doing over 2 rather than over 1 so that it is will be a bigger design rather than an ornament.  I am hoping that it is going to look ok but if not then I will restitch it over 1 instead.  I would like to turn it into a Christmas cushion eventually!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

More of London

I have no idea what order all the photos will appear in but here are a couple of shots of landmarks.  Tower Bridge looked lovely as the sun was going down.
The London Eye is our other destination tomorrow. I am terrified of heights but Rachael really wants to go. Arrrrggggghhhh!
Just down from the hotel is Hotel Chocolat...mmmmm is all I can say!


We have arrived safely in London and I didn't even get us lost! We are just waiting for Rachael's blood sugars to come up and then we can go out and explore.
This is our room.