Chatelaine Anniversary Mandala – Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Part 1 (beadless)

In June I started the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Mandala (AKA the Anniversary Mandala AKA Fairy Tale Castle Mandala AKA Online 95) from Chatelaine Designs. I’ve been wanting to stitch one of Martina’s gorgeous designs for a while now, but this is the first one that screamed “STITCH ME! STITCH ME!”. What could I do but oblige?

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I bought the kit (sans fabric) from European Crossstitch Company, once it was shipped it arrived very quickly from the states, excellent service all around.

I got my fabric from the always dependable Sew and So, 32-count Antique Blue Belfast linen from Zweigart. It’s a very, very pale, slightly mottled blue, as of yet none of the pictures seem to pick up the actually colour of it.

As I said, I started it in June after three parts had been released, but I’ve only just finished part 1. It’s been a bit slow going, the pure cross stitch part seem to take forever and it was super boring, I just wanted to get to the specialty stitches (patience is NOT one of my virtues). In the beginning I took a picture after each colour change, but towards the end I kind of forgot. I promise I will aim to do better for part 2.

But here is a slide show of part 1 so you can see the progress.

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There is a part missing, the beading. I will bead as I go, but I decided to leave the beading in part 1 until I’m ready to start the part 2 beading as there are some bead heavy motifs there. I won’t be starting part two straight away, I have a small project I want to finish first. However, by the beginning of next week I think I’ll be ready for part two.

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?

    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.

    Cross Stitch Finishes – The Sampler Girl ‘Fancy a Darcy Day?’

    The Sampler Girl was having a sale back in May (or was it June) and I got a few charts I’ve been wanting for a while. The first one I stitched up was ‘Fancy a Darcy Day?’. Instead of the charted colors I choose an Anchor variegated thread, 1342, and I stitched it on to 32-count natural/raw linen. I’m also stitching Sampler Girl’s ‘Fancy a Jane Day?’, but when I was doing the last few stitches I realize I made a mistake and had to frog the whole silhouette and since then I haven’t wanted to pick it up again. It’s stitched on the same fabric as Darcy but with a peachy variegated instead, I’ll show you a picture when it’s done.

    Anyway, here is ‘Fancy a Darcy Day?’

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    Crossstitch WiPs – Little House Needleworks Two Sheep

    Way back in April I made a start on a Little House Needleworks freebie called Two Sheep. I was given it along with probably 50 or more charts from a friend of mine. Lots of LHN, CCN, LK, Bent Creek and SB charts, I wanna stitch them all, and have managed to stitch a couple so far.

    But back to Two Sheep, I’m stitching it over one on 28-count evenweave which I tea dyed, and when it’s finished I’ll have a go at mounting it on an altoid box 🙂 I’m using threads from my stash, a mix of WDW, GAST and DMC.

    This was one of the pieces l left behind in Liverpool, but I have it here in Basingstoke now and will try and finish it in the next month. Here is a picture of it as I left it back in April

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    Cross Stitch Finishes – Lizzie*Kate Forgive Quickly

    This is one of the first finishes I had after we moved. I had some how managed to leave all my WIPs and all my fabrics behind in Liverpool, and all I had here was some charts and fabric. But after some eBay retail therapy I had more than enough to get on with some new projects and as I said this was my first finish back in May.

    I love how this design combines traditional and modern, it’s so different from their other designs, but still very Lizzie*Kate-ish.

    I stitched it on 28-count antique white cashel linen using Polstitches Dragonfloss Sweetheart, I left out some of the design on the borders as I was running out of floss but I think it looks nice like this, definitely my own.

    Eventually I’ll make this onto a cushion or frame it for the bedroom

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    Something new – Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life from Yiotas XStitch

    A few weeks ago I was asked if I could review a cross stitch kit from online company Yiotas Xstitch who sell cross stitch kits and patterns. I got to pick any kit I wanted from their store to review and they’d send it to me for free. Choosing a kit was not easy, if you have look at their store you’ll see why, there is so much choice. In the end I went with Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life, I love Klimt’s art in any case an this one has some lovely earthy colors.

    The kit arrived in the mail a few days later (super speedy delivery) and looks like this

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    The chart is printed on good quality paper and it’s printed over 2 A3 sized sheets so the symbols are nice and big, excellent if your eyes aren’t all that good or when your just tired.

    Another great thing about this kit is how the threads are all sorted and wound on to numbered bobbins, it makes it so much easier to keep everything in order. The aida which came with it is nice and soft, it’s ecru or cream which is great for this pattern as that means you don’t have to stitch the background. The floss is Madeira, which I think always looks shinier than Anchor and DMC, but as I haven’t used Madeira cotton much I don’t know how well it stitches up coverage wise.

    Don’t you just love the colors used in this one?

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    Not sure when I’ll get started on this one, I’m thinking next week, once I’ve finished a WIP which I’ll tell you more about later. I’m stitching a few smalls over one on 40 count as well soon and think this project, with it being on 14 count aida, will help me get through the tiny, tiny stitching relatively sane.

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