Sunday, 4 January 2015

I'm back (I think)

Yes, it's been a while.

I told myself at the beginning of last year that, since I had so much time off, I'd make an effort to do blogging and stuff. It didn't happen. So here we are, nearly a full year later, and I've posted a grand total of about five times. Oh well.

I haven't been unproductive, though. I had something like 11 finishes last year, and although they were largely small, I think I have something in the region of 18 largeish unfinished WIPs that were started last year (out of 30 or so total).

I'm in my final year at uni, now, and I'm approaching exam season for Semester 1, so I can't promise that this is gonna be The Return of the Blog, but I can promise that I'll try to make a comeback. I'm also gonna try to make an up-to-date WIP page and generally give the blog a bit of a makeover.

I try and check in to read people's blogs occasionally, but again, I've been pretty terrible at that recently. Just know that, when I do manage to check in, I feel inspired by everyone's amazing stitches.

I'll be back soon, hopefully!

Heather xx

P.S. I recently had an anonymous commenter tell me in an incredibly snotty fashion that cross stitch "isn't sewing", and that I should basically educate myself. I'd like to refer that commenter to this definition of "sewing" and 'educate' them on my policy towards rudeness.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

It's been a while since I last posted but I've just heard some terrible news: apparently Deborah of Debbie's Cross Stitch has had a heart attack and is in a coma. I've heard this through a cross stitching group so I have no further details, and I cannot be sure how accurate this information is. I do not know her myself but I have always enjoyed her blog and her stitching. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Late WIPocalypse and Post-IHSW Report

I'm a few days late posting the first WIPocalypse update, but after the hellish and emotionally exhausting few months that I've had, my brain got itself in gear and decided it would be great to get on top of all my work and then stitch a LOT. I'm very pleased with this development, so I'm just gonna roll with it and try and be as productive as possible.

The theme of this month's WIPocalypse post is introductions: "Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!" So, if you're new to this blog I'll take this opportunity to tell you about myself.

My name's Heather, I'm 20 and I live in the UK. I've been stitching for two and a half years and I've gone from softcore stitcher to addict to obsessive. I'm a student of Spanish and Linguistics at University of Southampton, and I'm on medical leave for my third year - I should be studying in Barcelona this year, but due to mental health issues (yay!) I'm at home for the year, studying under my own steam (which I am NOT good at) and writing my 6,000-word quasi-dissertation. Next year I finish my studies - and I don't intend to be a teacher when I graduate! I live with my younger sister who's terribly artsy, a crafting mother and a father who (fortunately) appreciates all of the creativity we spew forth between us. I stitch while watching Netflix, under a quilt in the library (which is actually a glorified study). I'm not religious, I'm a Grammar Nazi, my favourite colour is purple and I'm a stashaholic. I'm very bad at replying to comments, keeping on top of my Feedly posts and commenting on other people's blogs. I do love reading comments and blog posts though; I promise!

Here are the ten pieces I'm going to be working on this year...

1: An Important Flower by Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks

2: Mae Govannen by Hancock's House of Happy

3: H by Selina Fenech (Heaven and Earth Designs)

4: Into The Deep by Passione Ricamo

5: North and South by Serenity Cross Stitch Designs (photo is on its side!)

6: The Quiltmaker by Lavender and Lace

7: Tigger's Butterfly Days by Designer Stitches (on its side again - sorry!)

8: Day Trip by DMC

9: Orange Tree by DMC

10: Basilica Santa Maria by Anchor - I'm actually planning to restart this on a nicer fabby

My aims for the year are definitely NOT to finish all of them (I'm not sure that's even humanly possible) but if I could finish two or three of these I think I'd be happy. I've set myself goals for when I'd like to finish each one but I think they're all probably entirely unrealistic!

So that's my introduction post, and I'll hopefully be back in a month with some progress photos!

IHSW Update
This weekend was International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, and because I haven't participated in about forever, I figured I'd make the effort. I sat down to work on my YOTA piece this weekend (Mourning by Austitch) and got a good few hundred stitches in.



This piece is a major pain in the behind because there's so much black - and it's not even just pure black! There's actually a LOT of navy blue in there as well, and you can't tell at all from looking at it. I hope to have this top hand corner of black done by the end of the year, but if I steadily continue putting stitches in, I think I should actually get through this a lot sooner :)

I also worked on a little freebie kit from a magazine but I forgot to take a photo because I'm silly. Oh well, next time!

I finished a piece! This is actually Finish #2 of 2014 but I haven't taken a photo of the first one yet. This is TARDIS by Jodyri Designs, stitched in Dematerialising TARDIS (also by Jodyri Designs) on an unknown fabric. I would have finished this last year but my last two strands of thread went missing on Christmas Eve and I never found them, so I had to order a new skein which came last week.

I'm really pleased with how it's turned out! I need to take photos of Finishes #1 and #3, but I should have another post soon. Heh, maybe if I remember :/ Until then...

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Friday, 10 January 2014

Turtle Trot: Post 1 and New Stuff

It's only 10 days in to 2014 and I fear I may have already exhausted my stitchy bug. With my new start every day I think I need to take a break from stitching for a couple of days! So I guess it's quite fortunate that, to pass the time, it's time for the first Turtle Trot SAL post for the year. I've also got my Christmas goodies to show off, along with a few post-Christmas purchases.

Turtle Trot
Turtle Trot is the stitch-a-long where I hope that some of the pieces I've chosen might get done eventually. As this is the first post, I'll tell you what my ten choices are and show you where I am right now...

1: Millenium Angel by Mirabilia Designs

2: Red by Mirabilia Designs

3: Happy Halloween 2012 by Kit & Bixby

4: Paperwork by Kats by Kelly (the photo is on its side!)

5: Fairy Day Celebration 2013 by Passione Ricamo

6: Steampunk Cameo by Jodyri Designs

7: Butterfly Scroll by Dimensions

8: The Guardian by Teresa Wentzler
9: Lots of Love by Anchor

10: Holly and Hearts by Lizzie*Kate
(There's no photo yet because I didn't manage to get it started on the day - I worked out too late that the fabric was so stiff it would need a preliminary wash so I had to work on a different thing instead, which waaaaaas...)

BONUS: Flowers of the Orient 3
(Part of this had been started when I got it, so not all of this is my work.)

New Stuff
So because I like stash I've managed to acquire some new stuff:
-7 needleminders (a Weeping Angel, a candy cane, two fun stitching-related ones, Pooh, Serenity, and Battlestar Galactica - some are visible in the Turtle Trot pictures, and the BSG one appeard in my YOTA post)
-New scissors
-A Weeping Angel scissor fob
-A Sagrada Familia cross stitch
-Red by Mirabilia Designs (who appears in the Turtle Trot pictures)
-A new retractable measuring tape
-A sewing basket to store my bits in downstairs

And because we all love pictures...

On a related note, I HATE Blogger's image layout formatting capabilities. Well, that's all from me for now.  The first WIPocalypse is coming up, so I'll be back soon!

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Saturday, 4 January 2014

YOTA: Post 1

It's only four days into the New Year and I've already been making the most of this new beginning. For one, I've started five of my Turtle Trot pieces (which you'll hear about on the 10th). I've also just felt fresher and more content with both myself and my life. I'm still reading a lot, and I'm even quite looking forward to getting back to academic work and starting work on my 6,000-word mini-dissertation. I'm not sure I'll be saying the same thing in October, mind you.

At least I have stitching to keep me sane, right?

The YOTA UFO SAL is the stitch-along where I desperately try to stop some of my larger, more mentally challenging WIPs from becoming UFOs. (It's not cheating if I'm blurring an already fuzzy line, is it?) My chosen YOTA piece for this year is actually a fairly recent start, from last November, and I haven't posted any pictures of it before, so I'm looking forward to showing this...

This is Mourning, charted by Austitch Designs and drawn by my sister Fiona (more of her art can be seen at I'm privileged enough to be the model for much of my sister's artwork, and was thrilled to see it charted. Here's my progress so far...

It's a small amount but this is my first BAP so I don't expect it to speed past (and I also keep getting distracted, first by Tea, then by An Important Flower, then my January Turtle Trot starts). It's also quite a demoralising piece, at 300x300 stitches and a heck of a lot of black, so you can see why I'm worried about it becoming a UFO!

My goal with this is probably to finish one page by the end of the year. I have a lot of projects to work on this year, so I'm trying to be reasonable with my goals and not set myself too much. After all, stitching is supposed to be fun!

You can also see one of my new needle minders! The rest will be making appearances with my Turtle Trot starts. I'm a total convert to these, since they stop me from losing my needles quite so often. I totally recommend them.

I'll be back in a few days to show you my Christmas stuff and maybe even my knitting :D

Happy stitching!

Heather xx

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

TUSAL: Post 1 and Theme-a-licious: Jardin January

So today's check in is going to be quite brief because I'm tired (from stitching my New Year, New Mira starts!) and I've been busy watching Sherlock (which is REALLY good). But I'm doing it nonetheless!

The Totally Useless Stitch-Along, if you haven't heard of it, really is totally pointless. You collect the tails from your threads (ORTs = old raggedy threads) simply because you can. There's a link in my sidebar. I haven't really had much time to accumulate ORTs this year, so my jar is a bit empty. However, I thought I'd photograph my system anyway:

Left: Last year's ORT bucket. There's quite a lot packed in there, from a LOT of different projects. I could probably do a post just about this.
Middle: The monthly ORT bucket. This is where I'll put my threads since the last TUSAL post. It's transparent, too, so you get a better idea of how much is actually in there (and I've put a couple in already - but I'm not telling until the next check-in!).
Right: The 2014 ORT bucket. This is where I'll deposit my threads after they've been posted about.

Theme-a-licious is the monthly SAL where I have to try and make something I own fit the theme. The theme for this month is Jardin January.

I actually have quite a few gardeny pieces, but my main plan for this month is to get some stitches into my AAN "An Important Flower" that I started for a Facebook SAL in August last year. Given my 10 new starts, I'm not sure if this month will be terribly productive.

...and other stuff.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and are looking forward to 2014 with all its stitching potential. I got a few new stitchy things that excite me greatly and I can't wait to share them with you all.

Last of all, I can't wait to show you my new starts over the next month. I have a feeling 2014 is going to be a good year! :)

Happy stitching :)

Heather xx

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