January WIPocalypse Update

Hi everyone. Apologies if you’ve been looking for a post from me, I took several weeks away from most media. It’s summer here and while we’ve had a few crap days, on the whole it’s been good weather and good family time. Three of us went down to Rotorua; walked in the Redwoods forest, around lakes and did the gondola/luge (Mase loved the luge so much we are now the proud owners of annual membership passes, #facepalm) and ate like kings. Then back to work, in the horrid lead up to the fiscal year end, and I cannot wait for this to be over!

Up in the Redwoods

I made up my mind regarding stitching –following along with the Magical Stitchers group again. The group is following the Percy Jackson series, so lots of Greek gods and legends; it’s the series Mase and I planned to read together this year anyway. Last time I did this I did stitch a heap and on a wide variety of projects, and I wasn’t bored for very long at all. So far, closing week five, and I’ve got (to be precise) 9948 stitches in on my focus full coverage (Mirabilla’s Red Skies at Night) and so have a finish for 2021, and I only started it on December 27th.  Yes, I do have the “new start” buzz! It does mean that I will need to find another Full Coverage to focus on – I’m thinking a Christmas stocking as I’ve had a particular chart for years. All up for January I did 10128 stitches, so feel like I channelled a bit of Stephanie!!

Red Skies

My other goals are to complete the Autumn/Winter and Spring series from Hands On Design; and to get at least a couple of Sandra Cozzolino Santa’s done. That doesn’t seem too unachievable. I’ll measure the Stitch From Stash just for my own curiosity – it got very ugly in the last few months of the year as I brought all the things…so I have 25 smalls on my list which is far more than ever before. I have also spent quite a bit this month so…yeah. Without any further purchases (not likely) and any finishes (I’m sure I’ll squeeze in a few) I will finish the six months in credit, but just. Purchases included some silks and beads for Red Skies, two FQ from Countrystitch (Fern & Feijoa), a Nora Corbett chart and the etsy one I mentioned above.

This month I have also worked on Tapestry Cat (a massive 180 stitches) and kitted Mase up in an Etsy version of van Gogh’s Starry Night. He is doing this on plastic canvas and I think I’ll do one on gold perforated paper, and cut the result out like a frame. There’s a few more by the seller, Cross Stitch By Narnie (no spaces on etsy) including The Scream, American Gothic, The Kiss, The Great Wave off Kanagawa etc. I’m pretty happy he’s stitching again as it’s good to have a hobby that doesn’t involve his computer screen!

This month’s WIPocalypse question is: Tell us about a WIP on which you’ve really struggled to make progress. Explain its history. What appears to be the reason you’re struggling? Easy! Tapestry Cat is one I am definitely struggling to focus on. I brought Fred as a kit in December 2006 and he’s been in and out of rotations ever since. Part of that is that it’s the typical Teresa Wentzler design, with lots of blended threads and half/quarter stitches and a ton of backstitch. That top portion of the frame is just about complete! Part of the reason is that I need quiet to concentrate on him; and the other bit is that right now I have positional hypotension (low blood pressure) and he’s just too complicated. Sorry Teresa!

WIP Wednesday #279

Hello lovelies. I’m going to start today’s post with a bit from the wonderful, gentle soul that is Kristen Strong. Long time readers might remember me talking about her books Girl Meets Change or Back Roads to Belonging. I really do go back to these books, and Change in particular. I am NOT good at change.

Kristen has one passage today that really spoke to me. “This Christmas season may be the most difficult one you’ve experienced to date. If that’s true, then I’m so sorry. Like the people of Israel who didn’t receive what they expected but needed, I pray the Lord shows you today, even this hour, a glimpse of His Light telling the dark corners of your heart  exactly what it needs to know.”

If you want to read the whole blog entry, or see more from Kristen (who is also part of (in)courage) check her out HERE https://kristenstrong.com/letting-go-of-expectations-and-letting-in-the-light/

On Sunday Si & I went back up to Omaha and competed in the half marathon/10K distances. Both of us finished, both slightly slower than Devonport despite the fact the track was flatter as it was HOT! I ended up needing medical attention as (for the first time in my life) my blood pressure dropped like a stone. I don’t know why as I drank heaps during the walk; I can only put it down to eating breakfast which I wouldn’t normally do prior to exercise. I shan’t make that mistake again, as I’m still a little shady.

A sculpture I walked past about half way…

I am planning on scheduling in training times, adding in a few bootcamps, getting proper orthotics for my plantar (on-the-shelf product isn’t working as well as I would hope) and maybe doing a virtual event between now and Valentine’s Day, which is the next event on the calendar.

Stitching wise, I had a thread finish on the Barbados Santas but I didn’t want to take beading away with me, so I took the Hands On Design (Cathy Habermann) Well Rounded summer stitching away with me. I have completed the smaller design of the three and started the middle, which has the beautiful use of negative space that I like. I think I will hoop finish these then put Velcro on the back, so I can hang each season vertically down a wide ribbon.

The first Summer circle is stitched

I am still trying to think about 2021. Do I want to float from project to project as the wind or whim takes me, or be focused via the Magical Stitches list? Or simply pick 21 projects for 2021? That at the least might help reduce my WIP or stash pile, which has grown by a huge chunk (and is about to grow more, as I spent a ton on 123Stitch’s Pre-Christmas sale).  I wanted to stitch a stocking or two this year, but didn’t even start one. I have all those lovely charts that I picked up from Tina’s clearance, and most of the threads, so that would be inexpensive to roll out… decisions decisions!

November WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.  If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

Oh gosh. Here we go again with a catch-up post, as I missed October’s. Stitching without real goals means I am not at all as regular with posting as I would like to be, especially as I do use this blog as a form of a diary. Must do better, Paula!!

Since my last WIP Wednesday post, which would have been my last stitching update, I have finished Luce Mia, however she is quite converted from the original. Not so much that it’s glaringly obvious, but more so that she fitted in with the mermaid wall and our overall household aesthetic.

Converted Luce Mia
OriginalUsedfeatured
Luce Mia
722GAST Silver Fern2 skeins
3347987 
33483347body
898/4203078/3852hair
3347/3348987/3347tail
991924ribbon
958931ribbon
993932ribbon
9643752ribbon
1623753ribbon
MH 10030MH 42029ribbon
MH 42031MH 10030hair
MH 42031MH 02007body
3799356skin
3799898brow
3799310eyelash

I have completely given up on Stitch from Stash. I’m sick of feeling guilty about spending this year, and figure that my spend is helping smaller businesses and individuals who are finding it tougher than I am.  I am thinking about maybe next year trying to do it all from stash, as that could be a reasonable way to get thru my list and be a bit more productive than I have this year. I am toying with the Magical Stitchers group challenge, which will be based around the Percy Jackson books. Mase and I were planning on reading these anyway, so it could be a good fit. I’ll have to see which charts I can match to mythology – probably quite a few Mira’s!

At work I have been moving along on the Barbados Santa’s, and these are about three quarter’s done now. I will have new Santa’s for my tree this year! At home, I am working on a Faby Reilly biscornu and sadly, think this might be the first & last time I purchase one of her designs from Etsy. In the UK magazines, her charting symbols are quite clear and distinct from each other but I haven’t found this to be the case here. The actual result tho is amazing even without back stitching, so it might be something like childbirth, where you forget the pain and do it again anyway! I have also sent away for the teaching resources for the Embroidery Guild modules – OMG!! Scary stuff indeed.

October Question: How do you choose what you’re going to stitch on next? Right now, it’s all about what makes me happy. I’ve only got the backing to do for one of my Secret Santa presents; and this biscornu; then I can leap into something else. I’m thinking Holly, or Day Nymph (both by Nora Corbett) or finishing Fairy Tales (which needs those yellow roses frogging and re-doing, as the colours aren’t showing well enough). I just brought a hessian-like tree skirt from Spotlight and am thinking of doing some of Nora’s Reindeer around it…

Hands On Design altered for my Santee

November Question: What new discoveries did you have in the stitching world this year? I learnt that I like the DMC variegated threads when I use them in embroidery; and I learnt how to do French knots finally! Didn’t really venture too much out of my lane, except with the Sirens of the Sea piece and starting a Chatelaine banner. It’s enough that I want to learn more, hence applying to do the EGNZ modules.

I can’t believe that we are finally in the home stretch of 2020. I hope 2021 is a better year; that a validated vaccine against Covid-19 is available (and cheap for developing countries). That we all get to spend more time with family and friends than we do with fear. And so on… My list is growing!

WIP Wednesday #275

Hey everyone! Look at this, a post with stitching on a Wednesday. Wow.

This week I’ve only dawdled on Fairy Idyll, severely unmotivated as I was worried about the event last Sunday. I have finished around with adapting Cathy Habermann’s Year in Chalk December chart to fit a specific frame, so here it is:

The original, available from 123Stitch
My version, in GAST chalk on Jade PTP Belfast

As for the event, it was my first competitive 10k, based on the Devonport Half Marathon. Si completed the half, just outside the time limit, and I completed the 10k just inside that limit at 1:51. My plantar didn’t give me too much grief (it did hurt at times, and I did cry when the site physio manipulated it after the event) but I’ve pulled up okay. Roll on Omaha in December!

September WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.  If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

I am finally back in the office and thinking things should be back to “normal”, whatever that might be. It’s not as nice in the office as it is at home – I work better on my own timetable and without distractions – and I am struggling to find enough to do. The boss has suggested that I go out to one of the stores and work from there…which is always an option, except I couldn’t do on my feet all day like I have previously. But being back in the office has made me realise I’ve really let this blog go… so here’s a long post.

I didn’t upload July or August notes. I did create some July (points for me!!) so here’s a summary: My July should have been quiet, but we’ve had a rush of stuff on at work and in the weekends, we’ve had rugby or escape from Auckland on our minds. We’ve seen some lovely little spots in Northland but I’m ready for some time nesting at home.

My July plans were simple when I started out – beading Shakespeare’s Fairies, put a little into Fairy Idyll and start When Life is Done – but I made them even simpler. I’ve worked nearly every day on When Life is Done, as it feels so good to complete each word. I did take my Chatelaine Castle I with me to Out West (a guild meeting) so at least I picked up another project.

I also found, quite by chance, a framed Elizabeth and the Lavender Sky by Mirabilia. I wonder what happened to the stitcher or her recipient, but reaching out on FB hasn’t netted a result.

The question for this month is What new charts or designers are catching your eye this year? Well – I have brought a few more “new to me” things like a Hands Across the Sea sampler (the fundraiser Jane Marshall 1857) & When Life is Done from Silver Creek, and subscribed to the bi-monthly Sassy Pouch. I am turning to more of my previous favourites from designers and have managed to get my WIP pile back under almost control. My impulse to BUY ALL THE THINGS is really high and I am trying not to submit to that.

August, if I had created a post, would have been a confession that I did indeed BUY ALL THE THINGS. I finished When Life is Done, and that’s at the framers; then picked up several Nora/Mirabilia, so I have Holly and all her seasonal Queens now; plus Silver Moon Tea which I will reverse so it faces Elizabeth; I brought a Just Nan, Sirens of the Sea, and stitched this in September and then sold the chart this month. Shakespeare’s Fairies was completed, hooray, then my order of Princess Elliana +fabric + beads arrived as well as HOD December and the annual Just Cross Stitch Christmas magazine. I am so far in the red it’s not funny…but I don’t really care!

August’s question was Have you participated in any of the mystery SALs on Facebook (or other social media)? What do you think makes a successful mystery SAL? I am NOT a mystery stitch person. Either the designer has to be one that I enjoy or I have to know what the result might look like…so I haven’t done anything. However, if Nora Corbett or Dianne from Silver Creek or Cathy from HOD did one, I’d probably jump on in.

September’s question was Are you a seasonal stitcher, or can you stitch on any holiday/seasonal stitch at any time of year? I LURVE Christmas, and I could stitch on something every month. I used to do the Sandra Cozzolino Santas all the time but I am well behind that target this year. I’ve maybe finished two Wales? I am currently using the older HOD Chalk December and the Mill Hill Carribean Santa for travel/work pieces so yeah. Heading into summer season here in NZ and I’m so ready for it.

June WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.  If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

I had no real goals for June. I am still floating around, with little purpose. Work is work; there was Mum’s service; family discord with post service disappointments; more work & then I became very sick (as in covid tests, delays and now antibiotics & working from home when I should be resting). I’m not a happy camper overall. I would like to rewind 2020 and have a do-over, please.

I did a bit of shopping therapy and one chart has turned into a finish – I have amended some of the colours in Pohutukawa and changed the shore to fit the circle of the hoop finish that I intend to complete soon. I also brought Mirabilia Summer Queen as I have long regretted selling this one and Autumn on when I did. I’m waiting on two charts from 123Stitch – When Life is Done by Silver Creek Samplers, which I will do as a memorial piece for Mum and the HOD Stitching by the Sea. I’ve counted them in my June spend as they are charged & shipped, altho I may not get until July. I ended up finishing the half year in credit, $19.70, so that’s looking good.

My other finish was an Emma Congdon quote from the Pride & Prejudice movie. I know it’s not “canon” but I couldn’t get the brain space to re-chart it. This one is available on the Stitchrovia Etsy store.

June’s question is the Half-year recap:  How are you doing with your goals so far this year? Hmm. This is not going too well!

  • Complete all panels of Jim Shore’s 12 Days stopped in March
  • Complete Fairy Idyll (I bead as I go with this one) haven’t touched for at least 2 months
  • Complete Mermaid of Atlantis (which honestly is just the beading to go) YEAH
  • Complete the stitching on Shakespeare’s Fairies YEAH
  • Complete Tapestry Cat (my oldest WIP). Haven’t touched.

This week I start a course about Maori tikanga, or customs. That will take out a chunk of stitching time but I can listen to some of it while driving. I’m a little bit nervous about returning to semi-formal study (it is run by a tertiary institution and counts towards national standards) but I need to get over that. So for July I’d like to finish beading Shakespeare’s Fairies, put a little into Fairy Idyll and start When Life is Done. That’s it. Pretty simple!

All the best to you all. Stay safe, stay well, stay patient. God bless.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” 

– Leo Buscaglia

Friday Review: 10 Things

Hi everyone! Day 9 of official NZ lockdown, day 14 for us and things are pretty level. We are allowing the kids to do whatever today, although Si is now out with a drop saw, so good luck with the “sleep all day” goal that one of them set!

10thingsThis morning I have been listening to Laura Tremaine. I’ve talked about her work in the past and I’m sure I’ll talk about her in the future – I find her to be real, to show empathy, humorous and good-natured, and I think she’s probably a pretty awesome wife & mum too. This last episode was aptly titled : Marry The Person You Could Quarantine With & I think too, I’m fortunate in my choice.

Laura’s intro is:

 

I’m Laura Tremaine.

I live in Los Angeles. I’m a reader, a podcaster, a wife, and a mom.

At all times, I have (at least) 10 Things To Tell You. And I know that YOU have 10 Things To Tell.

This place is about connection, with each other and with ourselves. We can only do this by opening our eyes and seeing others and (even harder) by letting ourselves be seen.

Let’s tell our stories.

Let’s share our stuff.

I’ll go first.  

https://www.10thingstotellyou.com/podcast

March 2020 WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more. If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

March Goals were:

  • Finish the third panel in 12 Days – NAH
  • Start a Chatelaine – OH YEAH

I barely stitched any on 12 Days – we went into lockdown early (Mase is asthmatic & Grandma was seriously ill, as regular readers know, and then she passed very early on in official lockdown week). I didn’t get a photocopy of the chart prior to going into lockdown, doh, and my head simply didn’t follow the design very well, especially as I have made so many conversions.

20200325_091818.jpg

Instead I worked on Mermaid of Atlantis as my one-a-day piece. It was much easier as it was a simple random number generator, and I was only filling in the gaps with beads. There’s still a few errors, especially in the last week, but she’s finished.

In April, I intend to be very simple and just work on something every day. I would like a finish on Antique Celtic Sampler (this is very close. I stitched a dog butt yesterday, not often you get to say that!) and maybe some progress on Shakespeare’s Fairies or Nantucket Rose.

Obviously I didn’t get to attend my first Guild meeting but there was work on the Chatelaine. I stopped as I couldn’t focus even with a copy of the chart, but now that my brain is getting back online with work mode (damn internet) I’m sure I will be able to pick that up too.

Have you ever adopted a piece from someone else or gave up a piece to someone else? Which piece and why? I have inherited a few pieces when stitchers’ family members have passed them onto me but not really passed anything along. It’s rare that I will start something and not finish it (quiet over there in the cheap seats please!) but I am seriously considering passing along Mirabillia’s Raven Queen. I am not enjoying her much at all, and she’s been in virtual quarantine for close on a year now, more if you consider that I only pulled her out once I think for Magical Stitches.

Stitch From Stash oh boy, do we have to go there?

Bernina DMC 80C sale -52.00
Ribbon Rose -28.40
Stitch NZ -46.30
Sassy Pouch -98.12
Mermaid of Atlantis 40.22
Rollover + Budget $78.28
Total Available Budget -$106.32

WIP Wednesday #271 & whatever

Hey blog buddies! I hope you are all doing well, and have everything you need. Here in NZ, we’re about to go onto a State of Emergency and as of midnight tonight, everything non-essential will be shut. For our family, it’s kind of odd…

On Monday, my much loved mother in law Carol passed away in the early hours. She had fought her illness for so long & was physically ready to leave, but not mentally until this last week. Because of the situation we can’t have a funeral, so at this stage, we’re looking at church on June 19th, on what would have been her 74th birthday. I miss her already.

Stitching wise, plans are out the window. Work on what makes me happy is now my priority, so first up I finished Mermaid of Atlantis this morning. The fabric is Cook Strait lugana from Countrystitch.

There’s a number of changes:
  • The Kreinik 060 is completely omitted. In the border, I used DMC 3371 & Mill Hill 16609. In the tail, I used Mill Hill 00332. In the fish, I used 011HL.
  • In the garland, I used MH 00525 instead of 10036.
  • Skin bs is as always DMC 356.
  • The fish has a mix of DMC 2141, 2142 & 2144.
I’ve pulled out Antique Celtic as my next project, as this was the last that Mum had an influence on, choosing the fabric.
Anyway, time to go.  Please keep well, keep in touch, keep on praying.

February WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more. If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

February Goals were:

  • Finish the second panel in 12 Days – just scraped in
  • Finish the second panel in Celtic Sampler – done & moved well past
  • 200 over one in Fairy Idyll – nope, maybe I should rename her Fairly Idyll 🙂
  • Walk every day I don’t bootcamp – mmm, most days I hit goal. Just the one rest day each week, and I am noticing a lot of changes.

I also completed another of the Cloudsfactory Disney minis that I am doing for Aurora’s Christmas present – Belle is done now too. So that’s Ursula, Rapunzel, Lady T, Eric, Oscar, Belle, and half a Dopey and a bit of Mulan.

Celtic was my work (yay, aircon) and travel project. It got a bit of time in hospital, doctor’s surgery, waiting for dawn etc as it’s much, much smaller than 12 Days (and a different fabric too).

20200301_115210.jpg

It was sooo hot (most days it was well over 27/28/29 degrees Celsius, and a muggy hot too, and I didn’t want a lap quilt worth of floba anywhere near me! Some days I barely managed one thread length on the 12 Days, other days were a little better.

March Goals:

  • Finish the third panel in 12 Days
  • Start a Chatelaine – see below.
  • Late Edit: add March is the first one-a-day SAL, I’ll be working on the beading of Atlantis. Copying Measi & getting the wheel to decide how many beads.

In honour of “Leap Year,” tell the story of a time you had to make some sort of a “leap” in stitching – taking the chance on a new style of stitching, attending a meet up or class, etc. I’m not very good at leaping – hence the growing collection of Chatelaines in my basket! I’ve made it a goal for this month to at least start one of the banners (I have three of the Mini Mystery Castle range) and master some of those embroidery stitches. After all, I’ve attended a class or two AND I’m not that stupid. I will be using mostly DMC rather than the original silks tho. My budget simply won’t stretch that far! And due to the expected intensity of this project, I’m not committing to much this month. I have looked into joining the local chapter of the Embroidery Guild, thanks to Anne’s advice & experience, and I’m attending my first meet up next week.

Stitch From Stash: I ended up finishing January in the red, mostly due to a fabric purchase. I’ve pulled that back in Feb, as I sold the spare Lady Mirabilia chart/bead pack that I had (broke even too) and had a couple of small finishes. However I’ve ordered the Duchess of Rouen (companion piece to The Baker’s Wife, both by Nora Corbett/Mirabilia) and the Hands on Design Nashville release, Well Rounded (expecting both in late March, early April). I also brought a kit by Tis The Season, a new-to-me business that I found in Whitianga, a coastal resort town here in New Zealand.