February WIPocalypse

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

February Goals were:

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

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

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

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

March Goals:

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

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

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

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.

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.

WIPocalypse June 2019

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.

In June, I’ve completed the following stitch numbers – which would be a lot more, if it wasn’t for the Toy Car project taking up a lot of evenings:

  • Coffee Quaker 106
  • Celtic Winter 519
  • The Guardian 1291
  • Mermaid of Atlantis 3773 (two more Ultimate #magicalstitches completed & I am well into the bottom half of the design)
  • Shakespeare’s Fairies 1064 (that’s the half way mark appearing!)
  • Labyrinth 113 (Sir Didymus is about to appear)

Wowzers, this is 6886 stitches for the month. That’s more than last month, how did I fit that in?

I also have an FFO – my Cloudsfactory We’re All Mad Here biscornu! My first attempt, and it’s a bit lumpy & in retrospect, understuffed, but if I ever make one again, I know what to do.

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June Goals:

  • WIPocalypse One-A-Day with Coffee Quaker (also one of my remaining EC tasks of 500 stitches on a geometric) FAIL – I picked it up 3 times. Just did not have the feels for this piece at all.
  • Hello May & Hello June FAIL
  • Celtic Winter (the last EC task of 500 stitches) FAIL – got half way tho, so at least I did pick it up!
  • Don’t spend! ACHIEVED!

July Goals:

  • WIPocalypse One-A-Day with a twist – just stitch every day
  • Hello May
  • Don’t spend!

Question of the Month: How are you doing with your goals so far this year?

Goals for 2019:

  • Finish SFS in the black – HALFWAY MARK ACHIEVED
  • Complete & FFO the remaining monthly Hello There pieces (Mar-Nov) HMMM
  • Re-start Shakespeare’s Fairies & complete one fairy ACHIEVED
  • Work on Tapestry Cat, Fairy Idyll, Arezzo, Four Seasons of NZ ACHIEVED WITH A FINISH

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress for this year. My stress levels are well below where they could be, thanks mostly to Si’s understanding, help & affection; a bit of medication & a daily bit of “me” time. I’ve worked on every WIP that I had started, have got several finishes including Arezzo and some framing.

SFS: The one monthly goal I did achieve! No spend, no finishes but I am $17.80 in the black. Woot!

WIP Wednesday #244

20190513_134524Morning! Our week has been pretty good – MIL is back home (on oxygen permanently) but is more able to participate in family life, is great with her friends and we had a lovely Mother’s Day dinner (I cooked, but I left the cleaning J). Ms Louise chose flowers for both of us & did a lovely, slightly unconventional, job of it.

20190510_081046Mase had Book Week and on Friday, dressed as Calvin and Tiggr “dressed” as Hobbes. Yep, we’re all about the classics in our house! On the redeeming front, Zac is chosing to read & study To Kill a Mockingbird.

On stitching, I finished the second part of the biscornu but haven’t FFO’d it (insert chicken noises here). I did start another Mirabilia – Mermaid of Atlantis – and am planning to use this for most of the #magicalstitches extra credit challenges for the Goblet of Fire May/June months. I started with #2, as the shell chandelier/light was approved as something that might be at a fancy ball AND it was the middle of the top; now I’m working on task #1 (500 on something that could be found in the lake) with the fish, and I’m about 70 stitches off completing that challenge (I need to take an update photo), and combined with task #10 (200 stitches on a piece that has something that lays eggs) I’m working on the border, on the theory that fish lay eggs. That’s not quite at the half-way mark. Like a lot of people, I’m very motivated at the start of a piece!

This week’s challenge is WIP list based again – and as I have less than 20 WIPS, I’m allocated to option 2, 350 stitches each on WIP #1 & #7. Seven is actually the biscornu, so I have approval to jump the line to #8, which just so happens to be Raven Queen. Progress shots next week!

WIP Wednesday #243

Morning! There’s not much progress this week, a bit of reverse stitching (does that sound better than frogging?) and a few days where I was too unsettled to stitch.

On Friday, instead of talking to the hospice nurse, my MIL was instead hospitalised. It’s been and up & down week, and I am trying to focus on the good.

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This week, I’m also doing the Ali Edwards Week in the Life project so it’s bittersweet that this may well be the last week she is in.

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Anyway, here’s my We’re All Mad Here progress. Here’s to a finish this coming week!20190502_103737.jpg

WIP Wednesday #242

Morning! Winter is here, despite Arya stabbing the Night King, and I’ve pulled out the bunny slippers. Don’t mock me – it’s actually self-preservation in my house. Something pink and fluffy isn’t likely to get nicked by one of my lovely children! Next winter I’ll be even safer, as everyone now wears a larger size than me (including Mase!).

Last week’s #magicalstitches challenges were to stitch 300 each on a tree/plant and 300 on a building. As I said before, I started the LHS conifer on Fairy Idyll and worked on the balustrade for Raven Queen. I also have a small finish which I can’t show, as it’s intended for a present.

This week is a short “week” before the new school year starts (this one is based on Goblet of Fire, and runs May-June). The challenge was to stitch on the smallest WIP in our posted list, with points per 100 stitches and extra for an FFO. Like many people, I didn’t include my Mill Hills and travel kit into the WIP list – I left it for anything of a decent size. Whoops! So instead of finishing maybe 4 things, I’ve been working on We’re All Mad Here and by 6pm tonight, I should have the majority of the front side completed. This is my progress, with 1065 stitches completed so far.

Anyway, have a good week!

WIP Wednesday #201 + WIPocalypse

whoa – some lovely comments from post #200 & my give-away! This is still running; please click and comment on that post.

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WIPocalypse is hosted by the lovely Measi over on her blog. Please click on the icon to the right; it will take you to her blog. You can check out years worth of submissions! It’s fun (for me) to see the progress fellow stitchers make, & get haul ideas.

Stitching-wise, I am definitely in line with this month’s question:

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

Yeah. I’m there. I have ALL THE THINGS but ouch! wrist movement since that big BBM morning. I wear a brace to drive & stitching is so minimal. I have too many options too, which is making me pause.

On Nantucket Rose, I am maybe 8-10 thread lengths past where I was last week. It’s so minimal I can’t even be bothered to take a photo.

IMG_20170824_211656_040.jpgAll I have finished (& by finished, I mean up to the “cut out the backing & glue magnets on) are two pairs of Lucie Heaton Designs Chucks from the September Cross Stitcher magazine. Red for Louise, purple for Aliese. At least they will qualify for a Smalls SAL entry!

So stitch-from-stash, I’m still in the black & intend to be there, all going well & if Nora doesn’t release anything amazing between now and when I can legitimately ask for Christmas presents! YTD I am now -$48.40 but will be in the black by October, without any additional spend or finishes. I must look at the group & see if Stephanie (Ms Oh Sew Crafty, check out her blog for some serious stitchy progress!) has the check-in post up.

Stitch From Stash Aug-17
Budget $25.00
Expenses Lynne- Mira Mermaid -30.00
(Sunset Laguna + beads)
Finishes Plastic Canvas Chucks * 2 4.00
Rollover Rollover $57.12
Total Available Budget Total Available Budget $56.12

So August is a bit of a wash really. I spent, but only one piece. Even if I had full movement of my wrist, no way would I get to complete the top leafy portion, but at least I was close to monogamous for the month.

September Plans are to be in-line with Stitch MAYnia SALs, the Mira month & Return to Hogwarts. I plan to pull out either Mia Mermaid, or my Reindeer Parade; and the Clouds Factory Hogwarts banners to start (I have abandoned the initial 36ct start!). There’s also the 19th Pirate day, & I’ll pull out the Mill Hill Jamaica (mon) Santa for that one.

So, if you’re a regular reader, thanks for getting this far! And if you’re a WIPocalypse check-in-er, I look forward to seeing your progress too. Have a lovely month!

Back to your regularly scheduled programme…

Important bit – none of the links below are affiliate. Deerskin is actually to a review, not the purchase.

It feels so good to be back writing, and reading, and stitching, and (dare I say it) work! I spent a good portion of the last fortnight ill, five work days away from my desk, and it’s only yesterday that the sleep-deprived me felt kind-of-normal.

SO about the above..

  • I started & finished Deerskin, by Robin McKinley. I’d not read any of her novels but I got hooked in by the cover. And the price (it was free that day). Now I’m adding Sunshine to the Kindle, as @aragonsgirl72 recommended her on my IG post.
  • For those of you that liked my version of Not All Those Who Wander, Emma Congdon has now uploaded this to her etsy site.
  • I brought myself the Palace Cinema from Lego. Loving it. Construction kept my mind tired and from being overwhelmed with solo parenting & worry. I finished it and brought the Bank set. I might have started a new obsession…
  • Mase “helped” with the construction. Cars are still a little boy favourite. Look how long his fingers are now! I miss the true little boy chubbiness.
  • And last night was my first night at a stitch group in far too long. I laughed and really enjoyed myself. It was in Grey Lynn, an older established and PRETTY suburb of Auckland. Love the way the trees grew to form a canopy.

And stitch-wise, I am well into March’s Stitch MAYnia designer SAL, which was Teresa Wentzler. My goal was to back stitch and fill in a lot of the gaps in the top floral border of Tapestry Cat. I’m really happy with the progress.

And as for the other, that’s for an Instagram swap. My partner loves How to Train Your Dragon, so as one of the pieces I am making her a needlebook with the two main characters front and back. Cloudsfactory make such easy, cute designs for this sort of thing.

What have you been up to?