Monday, 23 December 2013
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)
-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).
Monday, 16 December 2013
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 :)
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
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 :)
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
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...
Wednesday, 11 September 2013
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.
Friday, 30 August 2013
Sunday, 4 August 2013
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...
2: Lija Broka
3: Lija Broka
4: Bernadett Rauski
5: Bernadett Rauski
8: Катерина Нуйкина
9: Катерина Нуйкина
14: Kim M
15: Kim M
19: Monica Silva
20: Monica Silva
23: Kay Eyles
And since I have no furbabies or cute children to help me pick the winner, random.org helped pick for me! The winner is...
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
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|
|Clematis Bookmark by Textile Heritage|
|Unnamed by Janlynn|
|The Quiltmaker by L&L|
|Lesbian Love by Austitch|
|Still Young In Dragon Years by Dragon Dreams|
|Into The Deep by Passione Ricamo|
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
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!
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...
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! :)
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
|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*
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
So here's how H is looking now...
|H as of June 23rd 2013|
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|
Friday, 21 June 2013
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
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 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!
Saturday, 15 June 2013
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
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'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.
Tuesday, 4 June 2013
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)|
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!