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!

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!

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

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.

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

January WIPocalypse Wrap

Hello everyone! It’s a hot & muggy Auckland Anniversary Day here in NZ, and I celebrated the day off by running myself into the ground, lol! Bootcamp, a hospital visit to the MIL, finished loading the trailer then a dump run, dropped a dresser off & finally sat down. My arms hurt, my butt hurts & I really want a nap!

Anyway, let’s get into the Wipocalypse wrap. You can find our group in FB & in wordpress. Click the icon over on the right to be taken to Measi’s site.

My 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

I got EVERYTHING knocked out this month. I’ve stitched every day (although one day was only 39) & made huge progress in big parts of Fairy Idyll. I did avoid any over one, so that helped, but I can’t ignore that forever.I also started Antique Celtic Sampler on a piece of 28ct lugana that I dyed myself. I was going to do it on cream, but this is the fabric MIL chose.

February Goals:

  • Finish the second panel in 12 Days
  • Finish the second panel in Celtic
  • Another 200 over one stitches in Fairy Idyll
  • Walk every day that I don’t bootcamp.

  • The question of the month is about what SALs we are participating in and the current answer is – a big fat NOTHING. Hooray for gap year!

  • SFS is still going for the month, so I’ll update that later. Right now, healthy as.

    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!

    November 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.

    November Goals:

    • Keep up with weekly #magicalstitches homework
    • Finish some CF or Mill Hill pieces

    I managed to keep up with both of the above – 4 Mill Hill finishes (two each of the Celestial Sleigh and Pumpkin Carriage) and four Cloudsfactory items for Aurora’s parcel – Prince Eric, Oliver, Rapunzel & Ursula. All the weekly homework was done, some to the bare minimum, and I got one Extra Credit in. I’ve completely slowed down with regards to stitching.

    December Goals:

    • Keep up with weekly #magicalstitches homework
    • Plan January WIPs
    • No Spend!

    November Question: What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year? The short answer is – nothing. I didn’t take any class or attempt embroidery or anything else. A crochet class or at least the embroidery refresher at Liz’s is on my wish list for 2020, but I wasn’t in the headspace to try anything new this year.

    Stitch From Stash: I am so far in the red I won’t be climbing out this year. Even with a gift from Mum specifically for my stash budget, I have overspent on Miras and fabric that I may not even touch next year, & I’m a little horrified at myself. I have seven FO’s, but they are all relatively small. At least it’s only stash I have spent my feelings on this year, and not all the other things like previous years. Overall, fiscally I’m in better shape than previous.

    October 2019 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 didn’t set any real goals for October – just to keep up with the weekly prompts in #magicalstitches and try to stay sane. Achieved the first, will debate on the second!

    I managed an increase in stitching with 7841 stitches overall. 1520 in Fairy Tales, 1242 in Fairy Idyll and an FO in the Marauder’s Map (985 to finish) which is now framed and ready to go in Baby Bailey’s nursery. Three of my Saturday’s were spent with Mum, as she can’t be left alone, and as she naps more and more there’s more time to kill.

    SFS – despite having four FO’s I spent well more than I earned, and I’m now $76.72 in the red. If I get a couple of finishes in – or maybe 6 of the Clouds Factory people I’m doing for Aurora – I’ll finish the year in the black, even if I don’t finish the six months. I look at 2017 & 2018 and I can see the same pattern. I think as home and work pressures build, I go off and spend, altho this year I’ve been a lot cleaner than others. Or I was tighter earlier in the year, or Nora didn’t release Mira’s that I really liked earlier in the year. It’s probably a combination of all those things.

    November Goals:

    • Keep up with weekly #magicalstitches homework
    • Finish some CF or Mill Hill pieces

    October Question – Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time? Well, until this year and #magicalstitches I thought I was more a one project girl. But I quite like the rotation thing, so while I’m not going to re-join the group for 2020, I thought I would do a slower rotation (weekly rather than almost daily) and get some FO’s done. I am still toying with Stuart’s clever CYOA version of the Harry Potter books and might also start that.