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.

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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.

    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 #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.