Monday, 23 December 2013

The 2014 SALs Post

I said I was gonna try and get my butt on here before the end of the week and work out what SALs I was gonna do for 2014, but due to emotional exhaustion and rediscovery of my love of reading (turns out The Hunger Games is a great trilogy, if you haven't read it) that never happened. But, it's Monday, it's two days before Christmas, I've just given blood and have no energy to do anything heavy-duty, so I thought, "Why not; it's about time I worked out what I was doing."

So, essentially, next year I'm doing EVERYTHING. No, seriously, I'm planning to do:

-Turtle Trot 2014 (10 pieces - more on this later)
-WIPocalypse 2014 (10 pieces)
-TUSAL 2014
-Theme-a-licious 2014 (mostly to focus my stitching!)
-YOTA 2014 (one piece)
-AAN Facebook Mystery SAL
-Thread Pickerz Facebook SAL
-A private SAL with my momma
-The monthly IHSW
-The hinted-at Passione Ricamo Mystery SAL 3

This looks like a hell of a lot more than it actually is. 10 pieces for Turtle Trot, 10 for Wipocalypse, one YOTA piece, and four one-piece SALs. Theme-a-licious will help me pick out the pieces I stitch each month, using the monthly themes to guide me, and IHSW will give me an uninterrupted weekend of stitchy time.

I won't tell you what I'm stitching for each SAL just yet - you'll have to wait until 2014 to hear about most of them! - but I will tell you about the SAL my mum and I are doing. She's going to be stitching Nora Corbett's Trick or Treat Fairy and I'm going to be stitching the Elegant Scarecrow from the JCS Autumn issue. They're gonna be companion pieces and hang next to each other, when they're done - and I'll try to keep you updated on both!

Now, Turtle Trot is what I'm doing instead of my weird Crazy January... thing. I'm taking the 10 pieces and starting one a day for the first 10 days of January, as planned - and then, by the first post on January 10th, I'll have my 10 UFOs to work on! It's a little less crazy that way, and Turtle Trot is just that bit more relaxed than crazy January. So that's less stress for me!

I decided not to do the Stitch from Stash 2014 challenge, for the one reason that I want my spending limit to be more fluid than the $25 set by the challenge (and stitchy bits are more expensive in the UK anyway, and converting everything is a bit of a nightmare... Essentially it's just not worth it). So, I'm gonna come up with and set my own challenge - probably a yearly stitching spending limit, or a specific limit on the number of patterns I buy, or something like that.

So, come January 1st, I'm gonna have a LOT of stitching to do! I also have a self-imposed work routine to get back into from then on, so it's gonna be quite tough fitting things all in. And I'm gonna give myself book challenges too, so it's gonna be a busy year.

Hopefully I'll be back within the next couple of days with a finish on TARDIS. It's looking great (though I have no photo because the current light doesn't do it justice).

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Monday, 16 December 2013

AAN "Tea"

Yup, I'm still here, and with a FINISH!

Design: Tea
Designer: Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks
Fabric: 28ct Beetle Shell (Jodyri Designs)
Threads: Oink! and Perfect Purples (Jodyri Designs)
Started: 7th November 2013
Finished: 10th December 2013

I really enjoyed this stitch, which I did as a SAL on Facebook with four other ladies. There's talk of doing Hot Chocolate and Coffee from the same series next year, which is very tempting, so this has gone to the side, in the hopes that I can afford one day to get them framed together. This is the first time I've tried railroading, too, and I've been pretty pleased at how easy it is.

I've moved onto the Jodyri Designs' TARDIS I started a while back, and I'm trying to get in a 10x10 square a day on Mourning by Austitch. Meanwhile, I'm still working out what SALs I'm gonna do next year, since new exciting ones keep appearing, and Jo who can't think of a clever nickname brought a few more to my attention. Hopefully I'll get my brain in gear in the next few days and work out my 2014 stitching plan!

Happy stitching :)

Heather xx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I'm back!

So it's been about 500 years since I last posted on my blog. Life's been quite complicated recently, as does happen sometimes, but I am definitely still alive and stitching. I'm hoping to get back to blogging regularly now, so if you don't hear from me again for a long time, I give you all permission to whip me into shape in the comments section! :D

The long and short of it is, I'm no longer in Spain, and I've recently found myself single (not by choice), so I've taken some time to just get my head back together. The good news is that that's involved a LOT of stitching! I don't have any pictures at the moment, but I'm currently working on AAN's Tea and Mourning by Austitch (the artist, Omnipah, is my sister, and I'm SO proud of her for getting herself signed as an artist at the tender age of 16).

I've also continued to read everyone's blogs, and I'm not all caught up as there were a few weeks where I got behind and I still haven't managed to make up for that so currently I have about 275 unread blog posts on my Feedly, but I've loved seeing everyone's WIPs during my time away, which has really kept me excited for stitching (and, of course, my wish list has grown a LOT in that time).

So, I've had a few ideas for SALs for 2014. Crafty Rahenna suggested something the other day that's been on my mind a lot, which is a "Stitch From Stash SAL", and given my current surplus of free time, I think I'd be happy to set it up and run it, at least for the coming year. The basic premise would be to limit the amount of stash participants buy, and everyone would be able to set their own limits - my own, for instance, would be that I'm only allowed to buy a new pattern when I finish a design from my stash, but you could limit yours to a pattern a month, or two patterns a month, or a fabric a month, or absolutely nothing for the whole year, or only buying things to kit up patterns you have, or... well, you get the idea. Please let me know if you're interested in the comments below!

I've also thought about starting a Dragon Dreams "12 Dragonlets of Christmas" SAL and a Mirabilia/Lavender and Lace Christmas Freebies Ornament SAL, but I'm less sure about these. I have about 20 WIPs at the moment and I'm not really sure I need to add too many more, but again, if you're interested, let me know.

Other than that, I have plans to take part in WIPocalypse 2014, and a condensed version of Crazy January (doing 10 projects instead of 15), but I've also thought about Turtle Trot, Theme-a-licious and YOTA. Are there any other SALs I should consider? TUSAL I'll definitely be doing too.

It's nice to be back on my blog again. I'm gonna try and comment more on people's blogs in the future, as I read them all but I'm very bad about actually commenting. Feedly + tablet =/= many comments from me.

Happy stitching :)

Heather xx

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hola from Barcelona!

I just wanted to check in to let you know I'm alive and well and living (more or less) happily in Barcelona! The experience is providing its fair share of stress, but hey, this city has more than enough culture to sink a ship, so I'm not gonna get bored while I'm here!

I've done very little stitching since I got here (maybe 50 stitches total?), and I've been here just over a week, so there're no updates there, but there is a giveaway you should definitely check out!

LindaLee is having a mystery giveaway over at Cross'N My Stitches, and it's open until 26th of September! It's not entirely stitchy, but hey, go ahead and enter anyway! :)

Hopefully the stitchybug will return soon (because I really miss enjoying stitching), and as classes start soon, I'll have a chance to settle back into a routine, and getting stuff done. I do have a tour to organise, though, as well as a a 6000-word research project to start on, so who knows...

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Oh God Oh God Oh God

So, in less than a week, I'm going to live in Spain for 9 and a half months. I'm absolutely terrified about this (which I think is sorta fair enough, especially since I'm going by myself and know only one other girl who'll be at the same university as me.

I'm currently planning what to pack, with the actual packing beginning tomorrow. The big question is, what stitching do I take with me?! My plan at the moment is to take my WIP bag (which has a fair few pieces in it), along with a couple of new pieces to start when I'm there. This shouldn't take up too much space, since all my stitching is in bags, so there are no bulky boxes.

I put about 50 stitches into An Important Flower over my holiday, so there's no real update there. However, I do have a couple of framed pieces to share - and I don't get to keep either of them!

The first, is the Dragon Dreams freebie I was stitching for my grandparents' 80th birthdays this autumn. The fabby is Aurora Borealis by Jodyri Designs, and I've not yet stitched on a fabby I've loved more.

The second is one you'll have seen before, if you've followed my blog for a while. It was a birthday present for my sister's 16th birthday (we frequently tell each other we're adopted, hate each other, are fat, etc.)

Soooo, that's all with me for the moment, except for the stress I've been under for the last week (I didn't recieve a blogging scholarship for my year abroad blog that I would've liked, and I spent Monday crying over that... and then realised on Tuesday that I'd completely overreacted. My emotions are everywhere this week.) But hey, in a week, I'll be in sunny Spain, and from then until my Christmas break I get to enjoy a little multicultural freedom!

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Friday, 30 August 2013


I did that thing again where I accidentally neglected my blog for weeks. Thing is, my blogging mojo just isn't quite there at the moment, and that's partly because, when I have heaps of free time, my stitching mojo is at its most shouty. Consequently I've managed to get a few finishes in.

First, though, I wanted to show off my gifts from the lovely Bernadett. I won a giveaway at her blog a month or so ago, and received some lovely bits and pieces...

The mug warmer is currently on the train mug the Other Half gave me last summer (my ORT bucket is there on the left and my Yoda USB stick is sitting behind). The tea bag pouch has carefully been kept away from any tea. It's too nice to get tea-y!

Now for my finishes...

1) Lesbian Love by Austitch. This was a model stitch, and it whilst it looks great, I got reaaaaally fed up of all the black in it. I'd have like to have done the lesbian symbol in a rainbow thread. I think this will be going to my sister, eventually.

2) Shower of Hearts by Anchor. This is one of the first kits I ever bought and I let it sit after the first Tatty Teddy kit and the backstitch was a nightmare, but I changed the needle from the one that was in the kit to a sharper one and it got much, much easier.

3) The unnamed Janlynn fruits kit. I finished the cross stitch on this a few weeks ago but finally did the backstich in an evening.

Passenger Train also came out while the Other Half was on holiday but I had to finish Lesbian Love in the first week, so didn't get as much done as I'd like, and then it went away as soon as he came back. Now we're going on holiday for a week together and I'm bringing a few projects with me.

(This update was brought to you with help from my new Nexus 7 tablet. This is so exciting!)

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Sunday, 4 August 2013

And the winner iiiiiis...

Well, you'll have to wait to find out for just a few lines of text longer!

Sadly my giveaway is over; thank you to all who entered. I don't know when my next giveaway will be, but in the meantime, there are always others going on in the world of stitching...

The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe giveaway. There are going to be a hundred winners, so go ahead and enter... and don't forget to mention I sent you! [Closes August 14th]

Chris of Always Smiling's giveaway. She's offering two charts AND a beautiful finished pillow. [Closes August 9th]

Also, for those of you who aren't Doctor Who fans, Peter Capaldi was just announced as 12th Doctor, so prepare to be drowned in "OMG DOCTOR WHO YAAAAY" stuff over the coming months.

Okay, okay, so you've all really come here for the giveaway. Thank you to all my entrants...

1: Gizzimomo
2: Lija Broka
3: Lija Broka
4: Bernadett Rauski
5: Bernadett Rauski
6: Stamatia
7: Stamatia
8: Катерина Нуйкина
9: Катерина Нуйкина
10: Daphne
11: Daphne
12: Kaisievic
13: Kaisievic
14: Kim M
15: Kim M
16: Gill
17: Phyllis
18: Eva
19: Monica Silva
20: Monica Silva
21: Katie
22: Katie
23: Kay Eyles
24: inga
25: inga
26: lapappilon
27: lapappilon

And since I have no furbabies or cute children to help me pick the winner, helped pick for me! The winner is...

11. Daphne of Daphne en de Wereld

Congratulations, Daphne! Please email me at with your address so I can get your gifts sent to you as soon as possible :) To everyone else, thank you for entering! I'm sure there'll be further giveaways in the future - and now I know to go follow your blogs too!

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

End of July Update

First of all, I want to say a huge welcome to all of my new followers. I'm now at 66 followers, and thank you to everyone old and new for reading my blog! I'm sure I've said this before, but I do read your comments and your blogs and I really appreciate your comments and being able to watch you stitch too. I do most of my reading on my phone, though, and the Feedly app isn't great for commenting, otherwise I'd comment more, but I do really love seeing your progress.

If you haven't already entered my giveaway then you have until the end of tomorrow (31st July) to do so! I'll get the drawing done as soon as I can - I've got a busy few days ahead.

Whilst I still have your attention, check out the first ever Snowflower Diaries giveaway which, frankly, looks amazing, and Cucki's giveaway which also looks amazing.

I've been remarkably busy over the past few weeks, particularly for someone who, nominally, isn't doing anything this holiday. I was doing choir stuff all weekend and other various things for the past couple of weeks. Most of it, actually, was stitching, but I sorta lost my blogging mojo. I have more pictures, though!

TARDIS by Jodyri Designs
No update on this one, but this is a better picture than the last. Really enjoying the colours on this one - Jodyri threads are gorgeous!
Clematis Bookmark by Textile Heritage
Started this on a trip down to the beach because it was small and easy to carry in the car with me. Loving the colours!

Unnamed by Janlynn
Only the backstitch left to go! I'm putting this to the side for a couple of weeks.

The Quiltmaker by L&L
Filled in another chunk of skirt. This one has also been put to the side for a while so I can take Passenger Train out again.

Lesbian Love by Austitch
Jody of Austitch asked if I'd do some model stitching for her, so I chose this one to start off with. She has a huge range of amazing and unconventional designs available, and I entirely recommend checking them out! This is done on 18 count cream aida in DMC 310.

Still Young In Dragon Years by Dragon Dreams
This will be a present for my grandparents who both turn 80 this Autumn. I was going to start in a couple of weeks by mum started nagging me to get on with it so she could get it framed before she gets out there. Fabric is Aurora Borealis by Jodyri Designs.

Into The Deep by Passione Ricamo
I picked this one up again after parts 3 and 4 were released. There's some sparkle in there too now, since my PTB arrived. This is going away for a couple of weeks.

So what now? I've got Lesbian Love and Still Young to finish, and my rotation (yeah, I've tried to reestablish some order to my stitching) for this week is H, so that's what I'll be doing now. As for the rest of my rotation? You'll have to wait and see ;)

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A Few Minor Updates

First of all, I'd like to say a big thank you and welcome to all my new followers! Welcome back to my old followers, too, of course - don't forget you can enter my giveaway, which is open until the end of July and open to new and old followers.

This weekend I ran (part of) the Race For Life, which you can read more about here. I'm (mostly) still in one piece, despite not being a runner. Maybe I'll actually train for next year's, like I'd planned for this year's!

I admit I've not done a huge amount of stitching over the past week - but there's a great reason. I've taken up knitting! I started off by finally finger-knitting the scarf I picked up yarn for during the Great Hobbycraft Expedition of May, and when I had most of the ball left, I figured I'd better do something with the remainder. Here's the finger-knitted scarf...

And I'm making a bear scarf with the remainder. It's a bit of a sampler scarf, by which I mean I'm using it to play around with (and subsequently cock up) stitches and stitch combinations:

Gotta learn to knit somewhere! I saw a free Despicable Me minion pattern which I want to be able to do eventually, so I have high hopes.

Here's what little I've done of stitching recently:

TARDIS, by Jodyri Designs, done on a blue evenweave I had lying around using Dematerialising TARDIS by Jodyri Designs.

Unnamed Janlynn Fruit Piece, done with bits from a kit. There're some marks on the fabric, as you may be able to see, but I'm hoping those will come out in the post-finish wash.

My stitching plans for the foreseeable future are:
1) Finish the "fruits" piece by the end of the week
2) Catch up with the PR Mystery SAL - parts 3 and 4 came out this Monday and I still haven't finished part 2
3) Work on H, in the hope that I might eventually finish it before I start wanting to burn it
4) Continue Passenger Train while the Gentleman Friend is on holiday
5) Begin Still Young In Dragon Years by Dragon Dreams - my grandparents in the US turn 80 this fall, and my mother thought this would be perfect to commemorate it

Hopefully there'll be more stitchy updates soon!

Happy stitching!

Heather xxx

Passing on Some Giveaways

I'm not the only one having a giveaway at the moment - the online cross stitching community is so generous, so I'm not surprised at all! I thought I'd share some of them...

DAPHNE of Daphne en de Wereld is giving away a gorgeous crocheted ice cream keychain and some surprises! This closes July 25th.

BERNADETT of Petite Armoire is having TWO giveaways - one is giving away a notebook and a lavender heart, which look lovely and very summery, and the other is a mug warmer, a teabag pouch and 4 teabags! This one cloess July 31st.

KIM of Wisdom With Needle And Thread is giving away some lovely stitchy treats...

Just Nan's "Queen of the Needle" with embelishments, and a scissor pouch. You have until July 25th to enter this one.

I should really start a "giveaway" box on the side of my blog and just update that periodically - the stitching community is alway so kind to be gifting things like this! :)

Stitching update is on its way...

Happy stitching! :)

Heather xxx

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Updates... and My Giveaway!

Once again my blog has been slightly neglected - I've been watching Wimbledon! I even, as I mentioned, had the pleasure of going one day, and managed to see Del Potro, Radwanska and Djokovic all play on Centre Court. For those of you who don't follow tennis, our British Number One defeated the World Number One in a stunning three-hour, three-set match on Sunday. It was beautiful.

The good news is, tennis is pretty good to stitch to! The bad news is, in the second week of tennis, I did a lot of staring at the screen and swearing loudly when things didn't quite go my way - and less stitching. (The saddest bit is, now that it's over, I feel like my life is empty - what am I going to stitch to NOW?!)

I haven't touched H. I'm a bit bored of her, to be honest, and just want her to be done. There's still work to be done on her, though. I also haven't done what I meant to on the latest part of the PR SAL. Instead, I've picked up a couple of new starts because my brain needed a break, and I'm really enjoying having something a bit different to work on. One's so close to done:

Heart Of My Heart, as of 10th July 2013; teal and DMC 310 on 28ct Waterlilies jobelan

This is Papillon Creations' freebie Heart Of My Heart. I'm doing it as a Facebook group SAL, and I'm enjoying having something smaller and un-complex to work on. Originally there was a blackwork Celtic knot in the middle, but the notes on the pattern also suggest replacing it with an initial to personalise it - which is what I did. It's also supposed to be two shades of the same colour - I used black and teal.

This is my second "start"...

The Quiltmaker, as of 10th June 2013

This is a piece very close to me, Lavender and Lace's The Quiltmaker. It was actually started by my mother about 20 years ago, but she then put it to the side and didn't touch it. It was always intended to be for me, since my mother is a quilter, and I was a young child at the time, so it was very symbolic of us, and when I picked up cross stitch a couple of years ago, she mentioned it and told me I was very welcome to finish it. I plan on doing Passione Ricamo's "Romantic Stitcher" as a companion piece for this, too. Just gotta wait until I'm off my stashban.

Which leads me (it doesn't really but whatever) to another point - I've finally reached 50 followers! So, I'm proud to announce my very first GIVEAWAY! Wanna see what's up for grabs?

Two very nice notebooks from my favourite stationery shop, Paperchase! Maybe you can document your stitching in them. One is intended to be a travel journal, but let's be honest - you can use it however you want; the stationery police aren't gonna track you down!

Some decorative tape, also from Paperchase. For if you enjoy making finishes up into cards and generally prettifying things!

And, because I'm British and drink an absolute tonne of tea, some tea! Calming Camomile, for those really stressful days, and Revitalising Lemon and Ginger, to bring you back to life to do that stitching you absolutely have to do when you find yourself exhausted.

So, here are the rules:
1) Be a follower - new followers welcome!
2) Leave a comment telling me you want to be entered.
3) If you share my giveaway on your blog, come back and tell me about it and I'll give you another entry. Don't forget to come back and tell me about it!
4) Entry closes July 31st, and I'll be picking a winner shortly after.

I'll post internationally, too! Now, go forth, my minions! *cackles like Wicked Witch of the West*

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

P.S. Here's a picture of the first ever cross stitch I did, at age 7 or something. Done on 7ct aida... my mum still uses it as a bookmark.

Monday, 24 June 2013

June IHSW Update

Well, it's been a less productive IHSW than I'd hoped it would be. I worked exclusively on H, but there was a lot less progress than I wanted to make. I was out a lot of Saturday for an unplanned visit to DB's house, which I spent several hours of sleeping, and Sunday I was out seeing Despicable Me 2 with my mum and sister - if you haven't seen it yet, I thoroughly recommend it. It's got the same sense of humour that makes Toy Story endearing to both children and adults, whilst somehow manage to be even funnier.

So here's how H is looking now...

H as of June 23rd 2013
It's mostly confetti at this point, but I'm hoping for a page finish this week. My week is fairly busy, with a MAJOR outing planned on Thursday... to Wimbledon! I want to take my stitching with me, but I'm not sure if my embroidery scissors would be allowed... Do any of you know?

In other news, check out Kaye's giveaway and Kat's giveaway. The stitching community is always so generous! 

I'm also still planning my 50 followers giveaway, but I should be putting up a post within the next week or so. Stay tuned!

And just for fun, here's a photo of me recording with DB on Saturday...

"Rolling in the Deep" at Cold Tea Studios
Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Friday, 21 June 2013

IHSW, Take 2

Well, IHSW has come to an end... but it turns out that actually, IHSW is this weekend! Head over to Joysze's blog (button to the left) to find out more about IHSW and to sign up.

So this has sorta turned into IHSTD (Internation Hermit and Stitch Ten Days), so I'm just gonna post my progress on my IHSW goals so far...

1) Start and finish all DMC on part one of PR Mystery SAL 2013

Progress, 15th June 2013

Done, 17th June 2013

= done!

2) Finish-finish Always Time for Tea (the original)

As it stands

= not touched :(

3) Prepare Always Time for Tea (the second one) for finishing

Cut down 15th June 2013
= yup! :D

4) Make significant progress on H (bonus points if I get a page finish)

As of 15th June 2013
= not touched :(

5) Work on one other WIP (undecided which as of yet) = Nope :(

So I have a fair amount of stuff to do this weekend, but as I have no plans, it's entirely doable! I also have a couple of happy bits to report...

My aunt gifted me a lap scroll frame for my birthday! I tried it out on Mini Transcendence, which I'm doing over one, tent stitch on Sparklies' Midnight 28ct Lugana, so it's quite fun and exciting (and the pattern is beautiful).

My shiny new lap frame <3
It's only a small start but I mostly wanted to try out the frame, so Transcendence is going away for a while until I've completed other stuff.

It also turns out that whitening powder and water soluable ink don't work too well together. You see the yellowish marks around the first "Always Time For Tea"? That's what happens when they mix. Mum and I tried a bit of bleach to get rid of it but the results were minimal, so I'm going to have to fudge it with a border to cover it up or something. I'm not too happy about this :(

On a non-stitchy note, look what showed up in my mail last Saturday...

I don't think I've ever been so excited in my life.

I'm swiftly approaching 50 followers, so I may have to follow blogging tradition and have a giveaway. Keep your eyes out!

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Pre-IHSW Update

I'm just checking in with my IHSW goals, so this post will be very short. I'll be back on Monday with updates and more news. Here are my goals...

1) Start and finish all DMC on part one of PR Mystery SAL 2013
2) Finish-finish Always Time for Tea (the original)
3) Prepare Always Time for Tea (the second one) for finishing
4) Make significant progress on H (bonus points if I get a page finish)
5) Work on one other WIP (undecided which as of yet)

And just because, here's the latest update on H...

Looking good, huh?

Happy IHSW!

Heather xx

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Progress on "H"

A week into the holidays and I'm still "infected" with the stitchy bug. Hopefully I'll have a major piece of good news about accommodation for next year soon, but other than that, I've been mostly focusing on stitching and a little bit of general room cleaning.

I used the HAED BB Freebie, Smalls, and Mini SAL as an excuse to continue working on H, and although that's now done and finished, I'm continuing to work on it because I can't wait to see the colours start to come together. Pics time...

"H" as of 04/06/13
"H" as of 05/06/13
"H" as of 07/06/13
"H" as of 12/06/13
I plan to move off of this and onto the first part of the Passione Ricamo Mystery SAL for IHSW, which is this weekend - the first part of the SAL is released on Saturday, and I've bought my fabric from Polstitches. After much debate, I decided on Mystic (about half way down the page). Now all that remains is to chop the edges off for future use and secure the borders. I am so excited.

I'm also being naughty and joining an AAN Facebook SAL of An Important Flower. It's naughty because I have to break my chart-buying ban to join it. But I still have a lot of free time this summer that needs filling., so that's legitimate, right?

I have a couple of finishes to show you but there's been a minor crisis, so those are going to have to wait until it's been sorted, unfortunately. I'll be back soon with more updates on H and, hopefully, a start for the SAL.

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Goodbye Soton...

...and hello leafy Surrey. Yeah, I'm done. More importantly, I'm home, ready for a few days of crafty goodness with my mother (Dad's away for a couple of days, so she and I can dedicate more time to our various needlecrafts). And oh my god, am I exhausted. I'm also very hungry, and given that my diet has been less than perfect for the last couple of weeks, I'm more than ready to see a couple of fibrous, green vegetables. Nothing's quite settled in, though, and the thought that I'm not properly going to be in Southampton again for well over a year makes me sad. My Soton peeps, friends and teachers alike, have become a second family to me. I hope I don't miss them too much, otherwise The Sad will overtake me and... well, that's never good.

The good news is, I have a way through this - I'm going to spend most of the summer stitching! My bank account isn't too happy about this, but given the self-emposed restraining order, I won't be buying any more charts until 2014 at the earliest. There are two exceptions for this - charts that are only available to me for a limited period (SALs, things only available in Spain, rare OOP charts on eBay, etc.), and charts that are Mission 101 rewards (though my progress on that has been so negligable so far that I reckon I'll be waiting until late 2015 before I get to purchase most of those.

I do have a lot of new stuff to share, though. A couple of finishes that I couldn't show you last time for Reasons, and the umpteen bajillion things I bought that I probably didn't need, as well as the other stitchy present from my mother for my birthday. But first, exciting news!

I'm doing a SAL!!! This excites me so much that I used three exclamation marks. Yeah, after about a week of considering it, I broke and joined the Passione Ricamo Mystery SAL 2013. For non-stitchers, a stitch along, or SAL, is where a group of stichers pick a particular period or day to stich on a certain theme, piece, etc., and everyone in the group acts as motivation for everyone else. My reasoning was, I have a metric fucktonne of free time over the summer, so I've got to keep myself busy - and I love the mystery aspect of it. So, in between going back to work at one of the charity shops I worked at last summer, organising my Year Abroad and organising a 6-day choir tour to Barcelona for 25 alcohol-loving young adults, I'm hoping to make a serious dent in my out-of-control stash, whilst simultaneously working on the SAL. The DMCs have arrived, the fabric is ordered and I'm waiting to get the sparkles for a while. And I'm very excited to get started.

So, finishes! Remember my Extended Soton Family? Well, of the teachers I've had the pleasure to be taught by over the past couple of years, three really stand out. My Spanish teachers, Cristina, Marta and Paty, are three brilliant women for whom I have a huge amount of respect, are wonderful people not only without whom would I not have a hope of being prepared for next year, but have also been amazingly supportive and friendly - perhaps more so than they even know. As a sign of my gratitude, I stitched them each a card...

I'm so pleased with how they turned out, and even more so that they were well recieved. I don't often stitch things for other people (I've sewn little things for my gentleman, my sister and my mother), but I forget how nice it is to see heart-felt appreciation for handmade creations. I was originally skeptical about whether I liked the patterns or not, but it's easy to forget how much things come to life when they're not just a chart, and I really like how alike yet different they are.

Now, for the stash. Just pictures and captions for this bit, cos there's a lot of it...
Basilica Santa Maria by Anchor
Birds of a Feather by Dimensions
Garden Beauty by Mirabilia
Waiting for Ships by Mirabilia
QS Wizard of Oz by HAED
Love Potion #9 by Ruby Slipper Designs
Night Train by Janlynn

Fantasy Fairy by HAED
Clematis Bookmark by Textile Heritage (birthday present)
My bank account is not happy. My stash, however, is. And that's all that matters, right?

Last but definitely not least, I came home to find I'd recieved a wonderful package from Catherine, who made everyone who'd entered her giveaway a winner!

Isn't it lovely? The colour isn't captured very well, but the fabric is a beautiful sage-like colour called "Water Lily" and the thread is "Faded Teal". Now I just need to work out a design to use them on - I love them both! The needle in the middle is just too beautiful to use, especially since I move around quite a bit at the moment and I don't want to risk losing it, so I'm going to see if I can work it into a piece. The generosity of the stitching world never fails to amaze me - thank you, Catherine!

That's it for now, but I'll be back with updates for H very soon and a couple of items for which I'm still waiting, so don't forget to subscribe over theeeeeere >>> or just keep your eyes out!

Happy stitching!

Heather xx