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!

WIP Wednesday #281

Hey everyone! It’s a grey, humid Wednesday here in Auckland and I’m doing my best to be focused. I’m kind-of over work, from the POV it’s repetitive but then again, that helps with the anxiety side! There is a lot of noise as people return from holidays (we had two long weekends in a row) and of course, the issues that slow production and even slower shipping have in all retail businesses these days.

Stitching wise I am hitting the weekly #magicalstitches goals with even a little playtime mixed in. I didn’t stitch Friday/Saturday this last week as I had a migraine; but my week started with a small finish and #FFO so all is good!

My wee finish is an etsy seller’s adaptation of van Gogh’s Starry Night. This is one Mase actually chose for himself, and now I’m kitting it up to use as a teaching aid for a workmate who also wants to learn to stitch. I’ve purchased a copy of the Great Wave from this seller also – I might end up with a museum gallery on my work wall!

Last week’s challenges revolved around the first chapters of the book Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief. There was a beach scene, a WIP containing stockings, a WIP that is blue, a WIP that has an animal AND a human, a WIP that has a dessert and a WIP that has an activity I would do at camp. I chose new starts for all the options – Hands On Design’s Stitching by the Sea pincushion for the beach (350 stitches and super cute seagulls), Jim Shore’s Christmas Spirit Santa for stockings (320 stitches), and Mirabilia’s Athena (1249 stitches) for the remaining tasks.

Book one, Week one

This week’s challenge is a little less intense, with 1200 stitches divided between a WIP that’s plumbing related, a WIP that contains a flag and a WIP that has something I could give up. I’m already done with one set and half-way thru the second…

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!

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!

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.

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