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.

June is that time where we recap our stitching goals for the year.

  • Complete stitching Red Skies at Night; DONE
  • Stitch Autumn/Winter and Spring series from Hands On Design;  NO
  • Stitch couple of Sandra Cozzolino Santa’s; NO but I brought more, does that count?
  • Start a second full coverage piece; NO
  • Work a little bit on Fred (Tapestry Cat); NO
  • Learn some new stitches. DONE, thanks to a partially completed Chatelaine.

I’ve been letting my whims take me along recently; and since the Christchurch stitch meet-up I’ve continued to expand my stitchy horizons. I’ve managed to get to one of the monthly Auckland meet-ups at Te Atatu Library (next one is 17th July, from noon, come along if you’re local & crafty); started a stitch Te Reo class (Te Reo being the Maori language, Maori being the indigenous people of New Zealand) and have brought a few more things, including a reprint of a Dimensions kit, The Finery of Nature; and two recent Mirabilias, Ophelia and Twisted Mermaids. I think I’m reaching SABLE point!

This last month I’ve worked on my Te Reo piece, E pai ana au (I am good) which is the answer to another kit, E pēhea ana koe? These are designed by Gemma Steward, @gbsneedlepoint on IG, and most of the class has completed their design, which is a great indication of how good a tutor Gemma is, as most of the class hadn’t stitched before. I’m there for the language and people.

At work, I’m reading and working on the Mill Hill Sunday Night kit, one for me and one for Louise. For only the second time, I’ve run out of a thread doing the second piece, but as it’s all DMC I’m not fussed. Home has been Un Ricarmo per Rinascere, and I’m into the bottom half of the chart. I’d like this to be done before Ophelia arrives.

I’m going to set some goals for the last half of the year:

  • Complete Un Ricarmo per Rinascere (past half way mark)
  • Complete Bothy “Moonlight” (not yet started)
  • Complete the Chatelaine Castle I (at half way mark)
  • Complete Faby Reilly Fox biscornu (at back stitch mark) ALSO find where I put that, whoops

I’m not making any buy/sell promises or goals. We all know I’m not sticking to anything there!

WIP Wednesday #282

Hey everyone – sorry for the long delay in writing. We are into another lockdown, and this household is actually in isolation at home, due to sickness. I am hoping to get the covid swab results today for the three of us that had tests yesterday; and also hoping that Mase actually “just” has strep throat and nothing too serious.

I have been stitching away at the #magicalstitches prompts and getting in some finishes! I am ready to FFO both parts of the Hands On Design Stitching by the Sea, the pincushion and basket; and last night finished beading the Jim Shore Christmas Spirit Santa – he just needs felt glued to the back to FFO him. I think he’s super cute, very vibrant colours! Up to this point I have 18930 stitches for the year and am feeling quite productive!

Jim Shores Christmas Spirit Santa

I also started the next Hands On Design piece last night, Oh Say Can You Sea. I have altered the colours and am doing it on the same piece of coffee/tea dyed fabric that I did the other two on, as I plan to put them to work in the same area of my home. I will have to work on something else this week too, as it fits 6 of the 10 prompts and even if I have to stitch penalty stitches (which is on Tapestry Cat) I would still like to keep up with this weekly challenge. At least I am not bored!

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!

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

May WIPocalypse

Hello everyone if you’re still following! I have been deliberately limiting my web activity during the NZ lockdown (I worked thru apart from the one week of bereavement leave, and an afternoon where all I wanted to do was throw this !#$%*$%! laptop out the window) so I cut down on everything else. I read a lot (lots of romance, as I couldn’t follow non-fiction to save myself) and stitched and gardened and Lego. Nearly every cupboard has had a clean out, a lot of maintenance is already done and I’m ready for a long, solitary holiday.

Since I wrote the March WIPocalypse, I’ve had a few finishes. The Antique Celtic Sampler by Elisabeth Designs; Hands on Design covid freebie, Choose Happy; two Sandra Cozzolino Genoa Santas; a mash-up snarky hoop for a friend using a Brooke’s Books Elphaba and lastly, Nora Corbett’s Garden Party Cakes. I haven’t brought much, a Santa from Michelle Bendy that still hasn’t arrived and I spent a whopping buck fifty at the op shop in Paihia this weekend. I’m actually $20.30 in credit, so should finish the first half of the year in the black.

Currently I am beading Shakespeare’s Fairies, and I took Fairy Tales away last weekend. I have been more about finishing all the things rather than starting, although I would have liked it to be about working on 12 Days it’s nearly all Mirabilia. But I’m not beating myself up about goals or haul or tidying up or whatever – simply surviving without a breakdown is the short term goal, and measured daily.  

April’s question was Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO. My oldest WIP is still Tapestry Cat by Teresa Wentzler. It’s still about 75% complete and I don’t think I’ve touched it this year. It’s not something I can focus on as yet…

May’s question was Tell us about a piece that you absolutely loved stitching. For me, this was my first Mirabilia, Stargazer. I adored this piece from when I first saw an image but it would be 10 years before I came across the chart, and I only completed it 4 years ago. She is in my hall so I walk past her daily, and she’s one of the few charts I would consider stitching again.

All the best to you and yours – I’m not sure if I will rejoin as a weekly post yet but I will try to post for June WIPocalypse at the least.

January 2020 WIPocalypse & Intro

Hello everyone! This is my sixth year of WIPocalypse. It’s the most committed I’ve been to any SAL & I put that down to the pressure free, encouraging environment that Melissa hosts. If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

If you’ve not read from my blog before, I’m in my mid-40’s, a working mum to four (ranging from 25-10. I am book-mad, often found stitching & listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and I’m working more in my garden than ever before. We own our home near the base of Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges & can often be found working on it (new deck, gardens & a swim spa were added this summer) walking on the beach or in one of the many beautiful parks Auckland boasts. I’ve been hand stitching since before I was 10, can’t knit an even scarf or crochet to save myself and don’t often pull my machine out (not at all in 2019!!).

I didn’t do a December catch-up so here goes:

December Goals:

  • Keep up with weekly #magicalstitches homework YES
  • Plan January WIPs YES
  • No Spend! EH, NO

With Magical Stitches now finished, I stitched 5439 stitched in December, bringing my annual total to 77051 stitches (which I am certainly NOT counting in 2020!). Most of this was on Shakespeares Fairies, as this is my current favourite to work on, and is now about 2/3 complete after 12 months. I finished the year so far in the red for Stitch from Stash that I am a little embarrassed in myself, and have unsubscribed from a number of emails. This is not necessarily a bad thing; we crafters could all do with less time on the electronic things but a bit of a wake up. My One Little Word for this year is “reset” – and I’m applying it to my crafting as well as thinking.

January Goals:

  • Complete the first panel of Jim Shore’s 12 Days (new start)
  • Complete 500 stitches in Fairy Idyll
  • Christmas Ornament FO
  • Disney Cloudsfactory item for Aurora FO

Year Long Goals:

  • Complete all panels of Jim Shore’s 12 Days
  • Complete Fairy Idyll (I bead as I go with this one)
  • Complete Mermaid of Atlantis (which honestly is just the beading to go)
  • Complete the stitching on Shakespeare’s Fairies
  • Complete Tapestry Cat (my oldest WIP).

Let’s see how I get on!

WIP Wednesday #263

Hello everyone! Another week down, and as I write this, only a few more working days until a decent break. I need it; I nearly ripped my boss a new one Monday. Twice. Eep.

Last night we went to 7 Days Live. 7 Days is a weekly panel show of comedians who take the mick out of the current events but because this wasn’t a filming episode, there were no holds barred (I’ve been at a previous live show where the stage director came screaming onto the floor as Legal were vetoing one line of piss-taking). The opening half was individual stand-up and I was crying with laughter. My cheeks still hurt this morning!

Stitching wise I kept to the homework prompts. I managed a couple of EC credits but I am really looking forward to not being part of a SAL in 2020, and getting some finishes under my belt. I’ve changed my mind a few times about what my focus next year will be, and I really want a Teresa Wentzler finish – which means the border in Tapestry Cat and the last few hundred stitches in the cat. That’s also my oldest WIP, as it was my Christmas present to myself in December 2006. I think I might work in Big WIP/small WIP weekly rotation…oh goodness only knows. The “screaming” rotation doesn’t work for me, as sometimes what is screaming is a new start and I need one of those like a hole in the head.

Anyways, have a lovely week, don’t get too stressed about Christmas day activities, enjoy some time away from work pressures and I’ll talk to you sometime over the break. Here’s a “summer” shot for you – Mase the Ace enjoying a swim in the pouring rain yesterday afternoon. Kids!

WIP Wednesday #260

Hello everyone! This last week has been a bit quieter; the work fiscal month cycles down a notch (plus my boss is away, so there’s less interruption or change to my day). At home Mum has also cycled down a notch, and is now pretty much confined to the hospital bed or the electric Laz-y-boy I brought her last year. I am hoping we will be able to celebrate Christmas together, but expecting that we won’t. Mase decided not to play cricket this summer, and we were too late for summer soccer registration, so he’s doing golf lessons. So cute to watch him carefully line himself up!

Last week’s #magicalstitches homework was a bit savage – ended up being 1400 stitches required, which is a huge leap from month 1 (which was only 300 stitches in some weeks). I am evaluating what I want to do next year, and as I don’t particularly like the books this group is moving onto, I think I will mute for 2020 and do my own thing, getting my WIP count down to something manageable. I set up a project table, thinking that week one of every month would be a Mira, week two a small, week three a Teresa Wentzler and week four/five free choice. I have 26 WIPs right now. Some are terribly small, like a plastic canvas Clouds Factory Rapunzel (15*24 stitches) and some are massive, like Fairy Idyll (247*309 stitches). 26! Huge shock.

Anyways. Each of the prompts related to the Pensive and memories, and required 200 stitches. There was a bonus for a photo relating to prompt 5, collections. Mine of course was my Mira wall that hubs is carefully curating.

  1. Purple – I had nothing to hand, so I started two CF plastic ornaments for the gift box I plan to give Aurora – Rapunzel and Ursula
  2. My Best piece – Shakespeare’s Fairies
  3. A project with a house – new start again, the original Home of a Needleworker.
  4. A project with some food item I could give – this one could be controversial – I chose Prancer!
  5. Something I collect – Shakespeare’s Fairies again
  6. Something cursed – I chose Fairy Idyll, as that over one skin has been awful!
  7. Something I don’t want to end – Shakespeare’s Fairies. I love this design.

Anyway, take care & have a lovely week.

August & September WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. 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.

August Goals:

  • Complete the Year 5 Extra Credit homework (4/11 to go) LEFT ONE TASK INCOMPLETE
  • Complete Mermaid of Atlantis stitching (seriously possible if the weekly homework goes my way) NOT QUITE – BUT USED WHERE POSSIBLE
  • No Spend! NOPE – SPENT $10.40

September Goals:

  • Complete four EC NOPE, just two
  • Complete Mermaid of Atlantis (lined up for a few of the monthly Extra Credit) NOPE
  • Bead & FFO some Mill Hill ornies NOPE

All up, in August I didn’t stitch as much as in July. We finished the car & I spent a lot of time walking & listening to audio books rather than on my butt. Still happy with what I got done tho.

  • Fairy Idyll 231
  • Mermaid of Atlantis 435
  • Shakespeare’s Fairies 1957
  • Tapestry Cat 202
  • Stitchrovia Austen Quote 404
  • Coffee Quaker 1024
  • Jeanette Douglas 2012 Peace 417
  • Four Seasons in NZ 247
  • The Guardian 565
  • Erica Tui (new start) 506
  • MH Santa’s Sleighs 500
  • Un Ricarmo Per Rinascere 509
  • Reindeer Parade 213

That’s over 7410 stitches for the month.

In September I slowed right down (lots of reading & more time with Mum) and got in just over 6000 stitches.

  • Fairy Idyll 1353
  • Mermaid of Atlantis 868 (just beading to go now)
  • Fairy Tales, a new start 3141
  • Un Ricarmo Per Rinascere 321
  • Sampler House, a new start from Blackbird Designs 607

SFS: In August, I didn’t manage a no spend month (again) but it was just a few DMC & two charts at the Hospice shop. Turned out the person I picked them up for already had them, so if you’re into Paula Vaughan they are up on my @pauladestash IG account. I have ordered the new Mirabilia, Garden Prelude, but the bill hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t count it. With the ornie finish, I’m 30.85 in the black.

And then September turned to custard! I was given some money so went wild – $110.10 in 20 minutes at Ribbon Rose. Oops. Luckily I also sold Lady of the Flag for a reasonable (not eBay enormous) amount to a fellow stitcher, so that kept me in the black, at 26.92.

August Question: What do you have on your stitching bucket list? (for example, specific projects, designers, fibers, etc) I have two Chatelaine designs in my stash – but with a few large Mira’s on my WIP list either is a way away from starting.

September Question: What finishing style have you never tried but would love to do? More hand-finishing – Mase wants this Blackbird Designs stocking ASAP – so that’s on the list to knock off. Plus I’d like to take a framing course next year.

See you next week (hopefully!) or at the least, for the October WIPoclaypse.

WIP Wednesday #258

Hello everyone! Sorry for not posting last week – Wednesday got away from me.

The last calendar week of August had two sets of Magical Stitches homework – 6 days completed Year Five, and we’ve started Year Six, the Half Blood Prince. There were three potential parts of Y5W9 – we had to post 5 WIPs before the Sunday; then from the Monday stitch 500 on whichever was picked (for Gryffindor it was WIP 4, which for me was Un Ricarmo per Rinascere). The last part was bonus; do 200 on each of the other four WIPs to get a total of 13 points. I managed them all – chose all Nora/Mirabilia so that I’d be fully engaged.

Y6 day1 was simple – 100 stitches for 1 point on our latest start. Unfortunately I didn’t pick up a needle during that 24 hour period (it has to start at midnight CST time, which is 5pm my time). Too much going on getting the house ready for the week ahead.

Y6W1 had three parts: 400 stitches in something we’ve made a Vow or promise about (for me, this was Mermaid of Atlantis as I wanted to finish her this year); 300 stitches in a design that starts with a letter in DURSLEY (I did 321 stitches in Un Ricarmo Per Rinascere) & lastly 300 stitches in something that gives us FOMO (the fear of missing out) to note Professor Slughorn’s return to teaching (I did 310 stitches in Fairy Idyll, a design I was so determined to have).

I’m now at the bead stage with MoA!

We’re now in Y6W2, and have to choose which path we will take – Light or Dark? We have to write an explanation, do 600 stitches in our chosen path and 400 in the other. There’s a bonus of 200 stitches in our most blingiest project (which for me would be Mermaid of Atlantis, with her Kreinik & beads) but as we are travelling this weekend, I’m going to use my new start & focus on the week tasks and some monthly EC tasks.