Sunday, 2 August 2015

Once in a blue moon WIPocalyse check in

Well it's been a long while since I checked in to WIPocalyse, and it seems apt that I'm doing it slightly late for a blue moon! The question for this month is 

What makes you pick up a long-abandoned UFO rather than beginning a new piece? 
I don't really have too many UFOs but what makes me carry on with a piece is that it just seem so sad when something is left incomplete. I think all pieces want to be finished, just like you get children's stories where toys just want to be loved! I picked up stitching again in my twenties as I found an old piece I started in my teens (I think, could have been even younger) and was sad it had never got to be finished. It's finished now, but still not framed- now framing is not something I am good at getting around to. 

The advantage of having been AWOL from WIPocalypse for a while is that I do have a couple of finishes to show off. 

First of all, here is my first finish of the year. It is a Belle and Boo design from Cross Stitcher magazine, which I stitched as a birthday present for my sister. This was a nice easy stitch and was finished and framed back in April.

The second finish is the Joan Elliott Faces SAL. 

This was finished in June, I think. I absolutely loved stitching this over the past year or so. The parts were released one a month so the piece built up over the full year. I also loved seeing all the variations other stitchers came up with on the Facebook group. Mine is fairly close to the original with only a few colours changed to similar shades I had, and the skin stitched over 1 because I am a sucker for punishment!

Finally, my focus for the past couple of months has been on Chatelaine's Tuscany Town Mandala. I want to finish the current part or layer of this before I take a break on that. Here's the current update:

Once all four corners are done I'll do some work on the birds and then allow myself a new start. I'm thinking either Joan Elliott's Canadian Beauty or Teresa Wentzler's Egyptian Sampler next. Comment if you have a preference! 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

WIPocalyse April Check In

So I completely missed March check in, sorry about that! It fell on my husband's birthday and the following week we were off to New York and Washington so I'd didn't have much time for stitching and blogging. Here's one of my favourite photos from the trip:

In the past two months I have worked on my Chatelaine a little more, and the Joan Elliott Faces SAL, plus I started a new project to take with me on our trip. This is the Chickadees design by Jody Bergsma for Dimensions, and this is where I am with it so far:

It has been really enjoyable to stitch, and I love the way the black fabric shows up the colours.

Here is the latest on Tuscany Town Mandala by Chatelaine:

And Joan Elliott's faces SAL:

I also have some good news in that I have a finish, but some bad news in that I can't actually show it yet! It is my 'gift project 1' and I'm not putting up a picture just in case the intended recipient should find this blog. I should be able to post it in a couple of months time when it will no longer be a secret.

Now, onto this month's topic, which is 'Which speciality stitches do you love doing on projects? Which do you dread?'
I don't dread any stitches at the moment. There was a time when I would have said French knots, but I've made my peace with them after foolishly decided to fill a whole section with French knots on one of my wedding centrepiece projects. I really enjoy all the speciality stitches on my Chatelaine, and I think my favourite so far are these Jessica stitches(I just did these ones last night). They are the round stitches with the bronze coloured beads above:

I also like the Rhodes stitches, although it took me a while to get the hang of doing the right variation (dense vs. normal ones etc.)

Saturday, 7 February 2015

February WIPocalyse check-in

So, I'm a little late with this month's check-in. I have a feeling it will typically end up being the weekend after the full moon for me, as it's hard to fit in both stitching and blogging on a weeknight.

The topic for this month is How do you overcome that feeling that you’re in a rut with a particular project?

I don't have any official rotation at the moment, so I just let myself work on whatever I feel like and at stops me getting into a rut. I only have to force myself to work on one project when it's gift stitching, and then the deadline keeps me going! 

This month I have mostly felt like working on my Chatelaine (Tuscany Town Mandala) and the Joan Elliott Faces SAL. I haven't touched any of the other projects yet as these two have been keeping me plenty busy.

On Tuscany Town Mandala, I stitched this gorgeous vine motif (I really love the colours of the beads):

 I also added another 'T' shaped motif on the left:

And finished off this Lily motif:

So here is the whole piece as it stands so far:

On my Joan Elliott Faces SAL, I have nearly finished the top right summer fairy and the unicorn - I can't completely finish them though as annoyingly I am missing some of the floss colours. Hopefully those will show up in the next week.
Here's the fairy:

She had so much skin showing, it took me ages to stitch her as I'm doing the skin over one! Luckily the next fairy is a bit more covered up!

Next is a unicorn:

He is only missing a background, backstitch and beads.

Finally, I made a start on the bottom right fairy:

I've done a fair bit more since but this is where I got to on the official WIPocalypse day.

Finally I just want to add the picture of the first diary again, as I love it so much!

Monday, 5 January 2015

First WIPocalypse Check in or 15 in '15

 So here is  my first ever WIPocalypse check in at last! I've been idling away Sunday mornings checking others' progress for the last few months and seeing all those wonderful projects has given me big ambitions, so I decided to choose 15 projects to work on this year as it's 2015. Likely I will not get to all of them (my eyes are bigger then my free time), but I'd like to set a goal of working on at least the top 10 and let's say (wild guess) at least 5 finishes.

1. Tuscany town mandala - Chatelaine
This is one of those 'big' projects. I started it sometime in mid 2014, and it's been on hold a while due to Christmas stitching. I will have an update on this for my next post though!

2. Joan Elliott faces SAL
I'm quite behind on this (there are 3 squares released I haven't even started). This is possibly partly because I decided to do all the skin over one for a challenge! I'm also missing some floss which should arrive soon.

3. Egyptian Sampler -Teresa Wentzler

I'm itching to start my first Wentzler design and I purchased all the materials for this a while back. I hope to start it after I'm a bit more caught up with the Joan Elliott SAL.

4. Canadian Beauty - Joan Elliott

This was one of my Christmas present from my Mum - I asked for the chart but got the whole kit including beautiful  hand-dyed fabric! So I have no excuse not to start this in the next few months.

5. Kings and Queens of England - Bothy Threads

This is also a kit and was one of my birthday presents from my husband. I already stitched it's partner history timeline in 2014. This time I intend to do the backstitch as I go along rather than all at the end.

6. Mystery gift project 1 - No pictures as it's a secret! This is already half done but won't be revealed for a while.

7. Dream Beautiful Dreams - Jody Bergsma (Heaven and Earth Designs)

Another thing I'm itching to try is a HAED. I expect it to take years and to look very much like a bluish/purplish blob still at the end of 2015 but I still want to start!

8. What lies within us - Dimensions kit with birds - Jody Bergsma
I've had this kit for years and only realised on taking these pictures that it is also by Jody Bergsma, the designer of the HAED piece above. I guess I've been a fan longer than I knew. 

9. Baa Baa Black Sheep Sampler - Historical Sampler Company

Another kit, which could be a nice quick one to break it up when it is hard going on the large pieces.

10. Winter Fairy - Joan Elliott
Winter Fairy
I stitched Autumn Fairy in 2014, and I eventually want the full set of seasons. Winter is my favourite as she is very much in my colours!

11. Mini Misty Hill Town - Michael Powell

Another poor neglected kit crying to be stitched. 

12. Barnabee's Quest - Just Nan
I own a 3rd of the pattern to this as it's in 3 parts. I've seen a lot of other bloggers stitching Just Nan projects and they look great but I haven't attempted one yet.

13. Gift project 2
Around October I will probably decided to try and rush through a couple of Christmas presents, so this and the next slot are reserved for that foolishness.
14. Gift project 3
15. Animals at the nativity picture - from an old cross stitcher I think?

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy new year!

This is a new blog for a new year! I'm mainly creating this so I can join in with WIPocalypse and other SALs and keep track of my progress. I have become an avid reader of many other stitching blogs in 2014, so my resolution in 2015 is to join in and share my own stitching. I'll start out with a few random snippets from previous finishes before I put down my plans for 2015