April WIPocalypse

I’ve been such a bad WIPocalypser, totally MIA since the first check-in in January. And I don’t even have a lot of work to show from my long absence, my stitchy bug went away on holiday as well.

However I do have a few WIPs to show you, I even managed a few finishes but I can’t show them yet.

My first progress picture is of my Joan Elliott design, which I first show you back in January, and then again a few days ago. I’ve managed to work on it a little bit more since then.

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Joan Elliott – Victorian Christmas Lady
stitched on 32-count white linen using DMC

Back in January I started Abi Gurden’s The Great Escape, I’m still umm-ing and ahh-ing over where I will stitch the whole design. I’ll definitely finish the owl, but I’m not sure about the rest of it. I’m finding these stitches a bit harder too do than the specialty stitches for The Tree of Stitches (which reminds me, I should probably show you my finished tree), although not really because they are hard in themselves but because their placement is so important. I am enjoying it though and have recently finished Part III, which means the stitches I’ve learned so far are Montenegrin stitch, Feather stitch, Basque stitch, Sorbello stitch and Cretan Catch.

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Abi Gurden – The Great Escape
stitched on 35-count Sparklies Shades of Autumn
using Nina’s Threads Eggplant

My last progress picture is a small design I picked up at a charity shop. It’s quite an old design, from 1986 by Chloe Designs, and it doesn’t have a name just a number (I think) 0-18. The kit came with aida, but I prefer evenweave and used a piece which was teadyed at the same time as the one I used for LHN’s Two Sheep.

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Chloe Design – 0-18
stitched with 28-count teadyed evenweave
unknown floss

Baah, baah little sheep

I LOVE sheep, and I have a ridiculous amount of sheep designs in my stash, especially from Little House Needleworks and Shepherd’s Bush. But I haven’t gotten around to stitching a lot of them yet.
You’ve seen one of them partly stitched, well it has been fully stitched now

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Little House Needleworks – Two Sheep (freebie)
stitched over 1 on 28-count teadyed evenweave
using a mix of WDW, GAST and DMC

Another design I stitched from LHN was this one from the 2010 Ornament series.

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Little House Needleworks – Winter Sheep (No.5 in 2010 Ornament Series)
stitched on 32-count Sea Storm from Lakeside Linen
using a mix of Dragonfloss, DMC, WDW and GAST

My next sheep is one I’m particularly proud of, as the design was all me. I’d been toying with the idea of making some self cover buttons, but I hadn’t been able to decide what to stitch to cover them. Then I though a nice wooly sheep would be nice, particularly to use as a button a a cushion I have planned. And to give it some nice texture I decided to do it entirely in french knots. I basically just did an oval of french knots, then filled it in with more french knots, then did the black french knots (for the head) using 4 strands. I haven’t actually made it in to a button yet as I wanted to do a few more on that fabric before I cut them out. I’m not 100% happy with the design, he needs a few more french knots in his body and he definitely needs longer legs, but I’m surprisingly happy with the french knots in general, they used to be my least favorite stitches.

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My own design
stitched on 21-count Avocado Fine Ariosa
using DMC 310 and DMC Variations 4015

A couple of The Sampler Girl finishes

Way, way back in October 2011 I finished two of my The Sampler Girl designs into small pillows, but with my camera dying a sudden death I didn’t actually take pictures of them until Christmas when I got my new camera. I’m not sure why it took me from Christmas to now to post the pictures but there you go.

The first one was Fancy A Darcy Day? which you’ve already see the stitched finish of. I’m mostly happy with how it looked except the ric-rac was a real pain to stitch on the sewing machine so it’s not very straight.

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The Sampler Girl – Fancy a Darcy Day?
stitched on 32-count linen using Anchor variegated 1342

Then I did the companion design Fancy A Jane Day?, which I had some frogging problems with. I’m really happy with the finish though, by happy accident the lace was the perfect shade for it (I picked it up in a charity shop for 20p, still have about 3m left of it).

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The Sampler Girl – Fancy a Jane Day?
stitched on 32-count linen using Anchor variegated 1318

By the way, do you like my little Christmas decorations? My amazing mum knitted them, they are my favorite decorations that don’t go on the tree.

BACK…(again)… with a crossstitch finish and a WIP

I seem to be making a lot of these posts that start “Well it’s been a while” or similar, so I won’t make one again.

Instead I just wanted to pop by and show you what I’m working on at the moment and my most recently finished piece. I have a few other finishes as well but I’ll show you them later.

My current WIP is Joan Elliott’s Victorian Christmas Lady from Cross Stitch Collection issue 202.

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I’m stitching her on white 32-count DMC linen.I started her at the beginning of the year, but then I lost my stitchy bug for a while and didn’t do any stitching, so I haven’t made a lot of progress.

Here is my progress from a few days back, I have a bit more done now.
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My finish was just a random small project, I had ordered some samples from Kate @ Sparklies as I was looking for some fabric for a new start (more on that at a later date). One of the samples I’d ordered was Dark Goddess, and it just screamed out at me to e used for something. I had recently been looking through my The Gift of Stitching Magazine issues and added a few projects to my must stitch list. Of course the fabric was only big enough for a small design and I wanted it to be monochrome, so I decided on a beautiful rose chart by Kristin Edwards from Issue 4 of the magazine. It was designed to be done in pinks and green, but I decided to just do it in DMC Blanc as the fabric added plenty of color to the design.

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I’m not 100% happy with it, in the cut work areas and the other border I should have used perle floss for better coverage, also I think I would have done the outer border stitch over more than just 2 threads of the fabric if I had realized how hard it would be to poke the ends in. All in all though I do like it and it will probably end up as a card to someone.

WIPocalypse – The January Update

A few days late, but we got there in the end, 2012’s first WIPocalypse update. Sadly the afghan is taking forever, I just can get comfortable with all that fabric and as a result I get tired of it pretty quickly. The polar bear cubs are fortunately nearing completion, but after them there are 5 more animals. And less than a month left till the pink bump arrives. Luckily blue bump isn’t scheduled until the end of February, very lucky since I haven’t even started his afghan yet.

As you can see I mostly have filling left to do, the eyes and noses are being done next and then all the white. I’ve ran out of a color as well, DMC 415 so I need to pick up another skein of that to complete the shading on the cubs. Then I might got straight to the next one on the list and save the back stitch for another time, we’ll see.

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I also put some stitches in my Sleepy Hollow Sampler recently, and there really isn’t much more to do on it. I ran out of a color though so I’ll have to order that soon, and try not to order other unplanned stash at the same time.

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How did everyone else do with their WIP stitching?

WIPocalypse 2012

A few months back I signed up to Measi’s WIPocalypse 2012, which in her own words is:

“a stitch-a-long playing up on the joke that the world will end in 2012. It’s short for Works In Progress Apocalypse.
The goal of the WIPocalypse is to make progress on your projects. How you go about this is your choice.”

I’ve completely forgot o post a list of my WIPs, well I do have a constant list on my WIPs page here on the blog, but I wanted to do a post where I tell you which ones I’ll be focusing one each month etc.

So here we go:

  • Solo Brode SAL ‘En attendant l’été’
  • Jungle Scamp
  • RTR – Sleepy Hollow Sampler
  • Emily Peacock ‘KISS cushion’
  • PINN Stitch ‘Tranquille Valley’
  • Panda Baby
  • Stitcher’s Sampler
  • Lizzie*Kate – Summer Alphabet
  • Lizzie*Kate – Halloween Rules
  • Baby Afghan – Baby Animals
  • Joan Elliott’s Christmas Lady
  • Baby Afghan – Winnie the Pooh
  • Hot Water Bottle Cover
  • Wedding Sampler
  • Biscornu for mum
  • HAED ‘QS Rose Dreaming’
  • HAED ‘SK Blue Moon’
  • Abi Gurden – The Great Escape’
  • These are listed in no particular order. For the first few months I’ll be focusing on the two baby afghans, once they are finished (hopefully by the end of February I’ll get going on the rest. Apart from the afghans the main pieces I want to finish this year are:

  • RTR – Sleepy Hollow Sampler
  • Emily Peacock ‘KISS cushion’
  • Lizzie*Kate – Summer Alphabet
  • Lizzie*Kate – Halloween Rules
  • Joan Elliott’s Christmas Lady
  • Jungle Scamp
  • Panda Baby
  • Biscornu for mum
  • I’ll be back in a day or so for my monthly check-in to show you how I’m getting on.

    Until then, Happy Stitching

    Crazy January Challenge 2011 – Round Up

    As many of you will remember I started 2011 with the Crazy January Challenge, where I started 15 new stitching projects in 15 days, all to be completed before December 31st 2011.
    So how did I do? Do you think I managed to finish all 15 of them?

    Sadly, I did not. The challenge might have been a bit to ambitious for me, especially since I kept getting distracted by new starts all through the year. Our move in May which saw me leaving all my WIPs behind in Liverpool didn’t really help either, it was August before I had them back (well some of them are still up there).

    In the end I managed to finish 7 out my 15 projects. It was almost 8, but I still have some stitching left on the last one.

    And here they are in the order they were finished:

    Lizzie*Kate – Time for God finished in January
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    Valentine Biscornu – Own design finished in January
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    The Sampler Girl – Christmas Eve Flight freebie finished in January
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    La Fee Rie – Snowflake Biscornu Freebie finished in January
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    Lizzie*Kate – All you Need is Love finished in February
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    Crossstitcher/De Fil en Aiguille – Post Wall Hanging finished in March/April
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    The almost finished piece is my Sleepy Hollow Sampler, at least it will be finished by next Halloween. I’ll show you a picture of it and some of the other unfinished challenge pieces tomorrow.

    I am definitely not joining the Crazy January Challenge for 2012, one big failure is enough for me. Instead I’ve joined Measi’s WIPocalypse (more on that in another post) and I’ve joined Kell’s X-Stitching Xmas Challenge 2012, so I should be able to have some fun with those.

    How did everyone else fare with their Crazy January challenge and other 2011 challenges?

    A New Start

    Happy New Year to you all!

    I thought I’d start 2012 as I mean to go on, stop wasting time and doing the things I say I will do and the things I want to do.

    2011 was a horrendous year for my family, and just about the only thing that has kept us going is the hope that this year will be better, it has to be better.

    I have lots of things to look forward to, the two main events being the birth of my niece at the beginning of February and my nephew at the end of the month. I really can’t wait for the two little bundles if joy to appear.

    As for what I want to do in 2012, they can be boiled down to three main things:
    1. Reading
    2. Writing
    3. Creating

    1. and 2. are undeniably linked. For the past year I’ve hardly read anything new, I might have got through 20 books or so. As a result my writing has been rubbish, I’ve felt totally uninspired and I couldn’t even get to 50k for Nano this year. So in an effort to write more and better I’m going to read more, I’ve set myself a minimum of 50 books that I haven’t read before, which should be more than doable. I’ve already started my first one and almost finished, I’ll try to give you a review when I’m done.

    As for the writing I just want to get back to writing regularly, a few 100 words every day for the first few months at least. Then I can gradually up it and get back to the good old days of 3-4k in a sitting.

    The last thing on my list is creating, mostly stitching and then finishing the stitching into sell-able items like jewelry, stitching accessorize etc. I have a few ideas and I’ve collected so many extra bits over the last few months that I should be able to make quite a lot, then set up an etsy or folksy site to sell them.

    There is something that isn’t on the list, but is more important than any of it, family. It’s been 5 years since I last visited Norway, which is slightly ridiculous. I mean we were away from Liverpool for only 2 years and the city changed so much in that time, I dread to think what Trondheim is like now, maybe I won’t remember any of it. So in the year which will mark my 10th anniversary of moving to the UK, I promise, I will be going back for a visit.

    There is lots more of course, but those are my main to-dos for 2012, general ones at least.

    Do you have a goal, wish or resolution for the new year?

    Lizzie*Kate Exchange Blog: Exchange C

    In May I joined the Lizzie*Kate Exchange Blog and promptly joined in with the first exchange open to me. I had a really hard time deciding on which chart to stitch, and an even harder time figuring out how to finish it. I mean, my stitching is good, but I don’t have a lot of finishing experience since I haven’t been particularly adventurous when it comes to finishing off my stitching. To tell you the truth I was getting really anxious about the whole thing, especially as the standard of finishing amongst the rest of the blog members was really high. I finally decided on a pattern, Plant Love from issue 28 of The Gift of Stitching, which stitched up quickly. I used 32-count natural linen, and floss from my stash, a mixture of DMC, GAST, WDW and Dragonfloss.

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    Then I had it lying around for a few weeks before I figured out how to finish it. By coincidence I had picked up some paper mache boxes at a store near us, and had the bright idea of trying to mount my stitching on top of one. How hard could it be, right? As it turns out, not too hard actually, provided you have the right tools of course.
    Before mounting it I painted the box in white, then I attached the stitching to some mounting board, together with some wadding and finally used my dinky new glue gun to attach it to the box top. I trimmed the bottom of the box with some adhesive ribbon and trimmed around the top with some purple cord. All in all I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it looked, one of the favorite things I’ve made so far.

    Judge for yourselves 🙂

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    My partner, Conny, got it without any problems, and I think she liked it.

    Not long after I sent mine off I got a package of my own through the letter box, containing this beautiful ornament from Angela P

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    It’s so beautiful, and it really inspires me to keep trying new finishes, I’m determined that a few of my Christmas ornaments this year will be made up using this flat finishing. After all, with this perfect example how can I go wrong?

    Round D is getting close to send off dates and I have of course signed up, so hopefully you’ll get to see pictures from that in the beginning of October.

    Crossstitch WIP – Abi Gurden’s Tree of Stitches

    A few weeks ago I heard about this SAL called Tree of Stitches, intrigued I headed over to the The Stitch Specialist group, to have a look and I was instantly hooked. The SAL had already run it’s course when I found out about it, so I got to download all 15 parts at the same time.

    The tree is made up of 15 different types of stitches, a great learning piece, I’m having so much fun with it.

    When I heard about it and saw other peoples trees I got a very clear idea of how I wanted my tree to look. I had a piece of Polstitches fabric which I got in a large cuts grab bag, I think it might be The Deep, but I’m not sure, and I knew I wanted a white/gray tree, in the spirit of the White Tree of Gondor. At first I thought I’d just go for DMC color variations 4015, but then I was seduced by the wonderful Caron Waterlilies, and ended up going with Waterlilies Quicksilver, using anything between 1-3 strands to create different effects and textures.

    I wanted a clear difference between the trunk and the leaves as well when it came to texture and look, and decided to stitch the trunk in satin floss, I used DMC Satin 415 which was horrible to work with, but which looked just the way I wanted it.

    Here you can see it after part 1, the trunk, had been stitched using cross stitches.

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    I then stitched Part 2, Smyrna stitch, Part 3, French Knots, and Part 4, Algerian Eyelets, in quick succession, and here is how the tree looked once those were completed

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    Here is a closer look at those stitches

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    I then went on to stitch Part 5, Rice Stitch, and Part 6, Cushion stitch. The Rice stitch seemed to take me forever, but I loved the effect of the Cushion stitch. And this is how my tree currently looks

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    And a closer look at the stitches used

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    The next stitch on the agenda is Jerusalem stitch which I’ve never heard of let alone tried out before so we’ll see how it goes, I’m looking forward to it and the rest of the stitches though

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