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.

WIP Wednesday #257

Hello everyone! We had a full on end of week, with time playing at the museum (find me a little boy who doesn’t like dinosaurs), at the beach and game day on Saturday. The Massey team Mase played in won comfortably, but Sho won opposition player of the day with his beautiful tackles. Great day in our household! Sunday was very odd once we got home from the airport and had an emptier house.

The #magicalstitches homework was in three parts, to celebrate the restoration of Dumbledore to Headmaster of the school. Part one was 300 stitches on the 11th WIP in my list, as 11 Death Eaters were captured…WIP 11 was finished, so I rolled over into WIP 12, The Guardian. Part two was 300 in any colour but pink to celebrate Umbridge leaving the school. I skipped the bonus task to focus on a monthly task and knocked off 500 stitches and beads in my Christmas sleighs.

Have a good week everyone – let me know a little something you’re grateful for. Gratitude shared increases happiness all round J

WIP Wednesday #256

Hello everyone! Apologies for not posting last week – we had a lot going on at home. By the time I remembered about the WIP it was Friday… this week we have a Japanese billet with us for the week so it’s been an adventure! Sho is lovely, coming out of his shell & has a good sense of humour. We will miss him on Sunday when we put him on the plane home to his family.

Week 6 involved Professor Umbridge coming into power and we had to stitch on something that we really wanted to quit, like the students wanted to quit Hogwarts. I wanted to quit Coffee Quaker, as I simply got tired of the over-one. In the end, taking it everywhere, I managed 1024 stitches. I didn’t stitch on anything else this week tho.

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Week 7 was O.W.L.S exam week – ick! We had a choice of going for E (exceeds expectations) with 100 stitched on each of the 7 Core/3 Elective subjects for 2pts, or O (outstanding) with 200 stitches giving 5pts. I went overboard again, ignoring the monthly tasks that I hadn’t completed, and worked on getting all O levels. Luckily we had done some “subject” things earlier in the year, so it wasn’t so hard to match up WIPs and subjects.

I picked a Jeannette Douglas design to cover both Astronomy (the quaker star) and History of Magic (words) and got a start & finish with Peace. This is in the 2012 JCS Christmas edition (available on the CD at 123Stitch & other retailers).

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Using the Emma Congdon Austen quote, I covered Herbology (growing Hellebore roses) and Potions (Hellebore is an ingredient in several potions) – not a finish, but over halfway now.

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I used Mirabillia Shakespeare’s Fairies for two other Core subjects – Charms (they summoned fireflies to light their way), & Defence Against the Dark Arts (one wears a diadem, like what Voldemort used as a horcrux).

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The last Core was transfiguration, and as Professor McGonnigal is shown in both her forms in the first chapter of book one, the obvious choice was Tapestry Cat.

Electives – I ignored Arithmancy (would have had to use Coffee Quaker) and Divination (I’m with Hermione, that subject sucks) and chose Ancient Runes (completed all the lettering in Home*Stitch*Ness Four Seasons), Care of Magical Creatures (Mirabilia Mermaid of Atlantis) and Muggle Studies (I stitched the Mary Rose, the Tudor ship that’s in Mermaid of Atlantis as I’d been watching a doco about it while stitching Care).

Hope you all have a lovely week – I’ll be back for next week then it’s WIPoclaypse.

WIP Wednesday #254 & June 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.

I’m a bit time poor this week so it’s WIP Wednesday as well. Last week I was in Detention so it was 1000 stitches in either blue ink or on words. I chose to make a start on the Emma Congdon/Stitchrovia quotes that match one of my already FFO pieces & knocked that out fairly easily, especially as we had a whole work day waiting on the systems to get back online. It was a loooong day. This current week is in the “too hard” basket for me, so I’m doing penalty stitches on Shakespeare’s Fairies.

In July, I’ve tried hard to complete each of the weekly #magicalstitches homework tasks, and knocked out several of the monthly EC as well as two Ultimate on Mermaid of Atlantis:

  • Fairy Idyll 2049
  • Mermaid of Atlantis 4692
  • Shakespeare’s Fairies 744
  • Tapestry Cat 1049
  • Pumpkin Carriages 758
  • Stitchrovia There’s Always Time for Tea 230
  • Stitchrovia Shakespeare Quote 1479
  • Stitchrovia Austen Quote 320

That’s over 10K stitches for the month!

I also have two FO – I just kept working on the Stitchrovia Tea piece until I finished it. I am not sure how I will FFO it yet. I didn’t count the remaining stitches as they didn’t fit a homework theme at the time I completed them. I did count the ones for Shakespeare Quote, as they worked into one & a bit of the extra credit tasks. That one will be a hoop finish to match the Tolkien quote that is already on my wall.

Both of these are available in Emma’s Etsy shop.

July Goals:

  • WIPocalypse One-A-Day with a twist – just stitch every day SWEET AS
  • Hello May HECK NO
  • Don’t spend! DEFINTIELY NO

August Goals:

  • Complete the Year 5 Extra Credit homework (4/11 to go)
  • Complete Mermaid of Atlantis stitching (seriously possible if the weekly homework goes my way)
  • No Spend!

Question of the Month: How do you get yourself out of a stitching drought?

I’ve previously gone with finding a new start, just picking one WIP, ignoring stitching entirely & finding some SAL to check into. It is odd for me to go more than a few days without stitching now but last year there was a couple of sparse months. Right now I’m in a scrap drought that I can’t shake but it will pass.

SFS: even tho I didn’t manage a no-spend month (needing both DMC & Kreinik for MOA) I had those two Stitchrovia finishes and I’m in the black.