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

Sunday, 2 June 2013

My Heart Bleeds

After the emotional destruction I went through watching Les Mis the other week I thought I'd done enough crying to last my heart a lifetime. But the heartbreak I feel tonight is one that brings no tears, just an empty feeling of deep sorrow.

Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who.

As a die-hard Whovian of just over 5 years, Matt Smith is the only Doctor for whom I've watched every episode when it was aired (or shortly after on iPlayer if I couldn't at the time). Whilst I will continue to watch Doctor Who religiously until the day I die, a part of my heart broke last night. I  was so upset that I even dreamt, for the hundred millionth time, that the Weeping Angels were going to kill me.

Accurate depiction of my feelings right now

Accurate depiction of the horror in my dreams

(Incidentally, that which holds the image of an Angel becomes itself an Angel... so don't blink!)

"What in the name of sanity does this have to do with stitching?" I hear you cry. Well, like fezzes, bow ties and Stetsons, stitching is cool. And I reckon it's about time I combined two of my loves in a way I have not yet.

Doctor Who stitching!

I've had my eye on several Who patterns for a while, mostly courtesy of Mr Etsy (which is just about the best place in the entire Internet to find anything). There's just one problem. I'm now under a self-imposed stash-building embargo until 2014, but I have yet to purchase my final "yay you finished exams without going completely crazy" present... which means I can buy one of the following. Stitchers, Whovians and other denizens of the Internet, I'm calling upon you to help me make this monumental decision. Here are my choices...

Are you my mummy? - Because zombie children are just a little bit creepy.
Keep Calm and Don't Blink - Because, frankly, I'm too scared to blink.
Ooh Wee Ooh - Because the theme is EPIC.
It's A Fez - Because fezzes are cool.
Weeping Angel A - Because sleep is for the weak.
Weeping Angel B - Because I'd actually like an Angel in my head.
Madman With a Box - Because he definitely is one.
2010 New Logo - Because a TARDIS logo is a pretty cool idea.
The Angels Have The Phonebox - Because it doesn't sound nearly as cool in Spanish (yes, I watched Blink in Spanish for "revision purposes"... It still counts if you can recite the entire episode back to front in English, right?)

Any other suggestions are welcome too, but these are just the ones I've seen. Let me know what you think!

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Holy Jesus on a broomstick, it's been a while. Remember how I was like, "Exams are coming up and I think I might actually do some work for them this time so brb while I stress over nothing"? Well, that sorta happened and I disappeared off the face of the earth for a month to work, stress and (semi-successfully) fight off a major mental health relapse.

I'd love to say, "It's been a great month and I've accomplished loads!" But that would be a complete fiction. Would you like to know how many of my nine (entirely reasonable) May goals I completed?


Yeah, it's not been a good month for stitching.

I bet you want to see what I did do, though, and it is good.

North and South, as of 8th May 2013
Well, would you look at that; it's Richard Armitage's face!

Yeah, I finished the first half of N&S. It got a bit confetti-heavy and that thing happened where I inevitably miss out a couple of stitches of some colours and then have to go put them in again. It really came together in the last few stitches, though - I was thinking how little it looked like what it should the night before I finished it...

North and South, as of 7th May 2013
Okay, so you can see most detail but I got a bit nervous that the rest wouldn't appear.

The other goal I worked on was the two Always Time for Tea stitches. One was on 14ct and followed the original pattern and threads (except for the dark blue because they forgot to put it in the kit, so it's a shade lighter and also Anchor). The other, which is unfinished, is on 18ct and used DMC variegated threads instead of the four main colours. It doesn't look quite as awesome as I'd imagined, but when I came back to it after a couple of weeks, I decided it actually did look quite cool. Picture time...

Always Time For Tea, nearly finished!

Cool, huh? I'm not sure if I mentioned but the 18ct one is going to be a bookmark for my sister for her birthday, to soften the blow of Nobody Loves You if she happens to be in a bad mood. Also she loves tea. I have until August to finish it, so that's puh-lenty of time.

Because I'm a bad child, I picked up H again instead of working on the goals as I should've been. I finally got that strip of black down the middle of the H itself for, though, and I polished off the black on page 2 pretty quickly. My aim is to have the black done mid-next-week...

H, as of 31st May 2013
I'm really enjoying this one, and it's been a great introduction to the world of HAED. They're having a sale at the moment, but I'm being good this time around (I also didn't get anything in the 45%-off Mothers' Day sale). I had a bit of a stash building splurge earlier in the month, but a lot of my stuff is at home, so I'll post about that when I get back on Tuesday.

I bought this kit part-started at the beginning of the month on eBay, and I just couldn't resist continuing it for a bit...

Orange Tree, as of 22nd May 2013
It's called Orange Tree, by DMC, and it's the only kit I've seen so far that features variegated threads. They haven't appeared yet, but I'm hoping they'll be pretty obvious when they do.

Now, the big news of the month is that I'm now officially Old. Yeah, I turned 20 on May 21st, which makes me no longer a teenager. Thanks to my dear Spanish teachers (hi Cristina and Marta!) I had an exam in the morning, which was not great. (Yeah, I know you don't organise the exam timetable, but that doesn't mean I'm not gonna piss and moan about it.) I did get a couple of stitchy things from my mum, of which I've finished one...

Mouseloft's "Cockerel", finished May 24th 2013
Yeah, I was quite tickled by the idea of stitching a cock. Just because I'm now Old And Boring does not mean that all things penile are no longer funny. It's the kind of thing my mum would do on purpose, actually, but turns out she just liked the idea of stitching a cute chicken-type. Oh well.

Last but definitely not least, there is a giveaway I meant to post about a while ago. The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is giving away some thready goodness soon, so go along and enter if you haven't already - and please mention that I sent you!

I'll be back post-exams for a "yay I'm home/yay I'm done/lookit mah new stash/waaah I miss Southampton/oh dear god I'm moving to Spain soon/I love my life/I hate my life" post, so stay tuned. I may even do a belated birthday giveaway once I'm back, depending on how nice and not depressed I'm feeling, so watch this space.

Happy stitching!

Heather xx