Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My 2014 Aims !!!

Well 2013 was quite a year and there's no point in going over my aims for 2013 because with all the upset I had at the beginning of the year, I didn't complete all my Crazy January 2013 projects or any of the other ones.  I didn't do too badly though and had 13 finishes and made progress on all of my WIP's. I also had quite bad luck with my stitching and caused damaged to two projects one beyond repair and one I was able to fix, that coupled with working on such a difficult project as my Butterfly one could have caused me to feel a little non-motivated but I am very excited for 2014.

I am going to be taking part in the Crazy January Challenge again which involve fifteen new starts on the first fifteen days of January.  However I am going to be doing it a little differently this year because of the second group I am joining.  I am including in my Crazy Challenge a combination of WIP's, UFO's and new starts from kits I already have.  This is because I am taking part in Stitch from Stash 2014 which you can read about here.  It's a brilliant idea as I, like a lot of you have so many kits and so much stash that I want to start.  The basic idea is to spend no more than $25 a month on stitching stash (it can roll over).  That works out as £15.10, which won't be easy as everything is so much more expensive over here but you do get a cheat month so I think I can do it, I'll try anyway.

It excludes magazine subscriptions, which I have a couple of.  One of which is a part-work which helps to create a quilt, and I am looking forward to showing how I am progressing with that one next year.

So, here is my list of aims for 2014:

Crazy January Challenge (not in order)

1.  DMC Christmas Dog (New Start, to complete)
2.  DMC Christmas Cat  (New Start, to complete)
3.  ANCHOR Backstitch Tree  (New Start, to complete)
4.  John Clayton Elegance:  Thomas  (New Start, to complete)
5.  LANARTE Butterfly  (New Start, to complete)
6.  Christmas Pudding  (New Start, to complete)
7.  Fractal Bookmark 322  (WIP, complete page 2)
8.  Fractal Bookmark 268  (WIP, complete page 3)
9.  Fractal Bookmark 292  (WIP, complete page 4)
10.  HAED Trick or Treat Freebie  (WIP, complete page 2)
11.  HAED Literate Dragon  (Restart, complete page 1)
12.  Kingfisher (UFO from last years CJC, to complete)
13.  Linen Butterflies (WIP, to complete)
14.  November (New Start, to complete)
15.  Dolphins  (WIP, FOCUS Project for year, to complete)

Other Aims:

1.  Secret project that will be revealed later in the year but I have already bought all the materials.
2.  Complete five parts of Around the World by Papillon Creations (I am woefully behind but some progress is better than none.

I think that's more than enough to be getting on with haha. I like to aim high !!!

Happy Stitching Everybody and a very Happy New Year !!

Finally !!!!!

I've finally completed the second section of my butterfly project. It's not perfect but it will do. On the plus side it looks amazing but using these threads has really put me in a stitching funk. Hopefully all my plans for next year will spur me on !!!! I will write a post later today with my aims for next year but for now here's a butterfly pic !!! And a warning, NEVER use DMC linen threads, it's a good thing they were discontinued haha ...

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Within Touching Distance !!!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and holidays , I had a lovely time surrounded by my family. I did get some Stitchy Stash but I'll share that next time.

First up I want to shares progress on the Linen butterfly project that is driving me mad !!! Haha I shouldn't say that as all your lovely comments has really pushed me along with this project and I am soo close to the end I can taste it. I have completed another butterfly and started the border. Actually it is not progressing too badly now although I don't know if that is because I am near to finishing this section ...

I also had a couple of new starts to share. I bought the latest issue of New Stitches magazine by mistake a month ago but I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at it. I saw one project and just had to stitch it right away. I am stitching it on 14 count red Aida (which feels massive after the 20 count I'm doing the butterfly project on). I am stitching with the recommend anchor thread (white) and using the charms that they use on the model. Here's a pic of the finished piece and my progress so far ...

I spent Christmas Day at my sisters and had lots of stuff to take with me so I didn't want to carry any of my larger projects with me but I needed something to do when I was lying around full of turkey and stuffing !!! I work next door to a Hobbycraft which has its benefits and cons, luckily for my bank account it doesn't have a large stitching section. It is useful for emergency thread purchases etc. I went in there on Christmas Eve to pick up a small Mouseloft-type kit to work on and found that they did their own version. This only took a couple of hours. I would recommend them. The kit was exactly what I wanted, no fuss, easy and cute. I had no complaints, the fabric was large enough and I had enough thread. Instructions were clear. Here is the cutie ...


My next post will be full of my sewing plans for 2014, as I have lofty sewing ambitions hahaha !!!

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!

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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas !!!!!!

I hope you are all having a lovely day !!!!!

I have got some Stitchy progress but that can wait till another post !!!!!

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Thursday, 12 December 2013

One to Go !!!!

I've completed another butterfly just one more to go and the border and then I can put this dreaded project away hahaha ...

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!

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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Over the Hump with Butterflies !!!

Well I've managed to break the back of this section of my Butterfly project, I'm over halfway now just two small butterflies and the border and I can put it to one side till next time !!!

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 28 November 2013

And Another Butterfly Finish !!!

I know I'm posting a lot on this but it's really keeping me motivated while working with these difficult threads. I've completed one butterfly and started the large one in the middle (spot the hand dyed stash !!!) ...

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Almost a Butterfly !!!

Well I've has a couple of days off from work and I almost completed a butterfly ...

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Be Warm in Your Heart finished !!!

You can tell I'm procrastinating over my linen butterfly project because instead of showing another butterfly finish I've sat today and finished off Be Warm in Your Heart !!! This was a cute, nice and easy design to stitch up. I used beads for the eyes and there was an option to add a button to the hat which I did but it does cover up the heart on the hat !!!

On Wednesday evening my mother and I went to our local Hobbycraft (a craft chain in the UK). We had see. An advert in a magazine for a wreath making class. It was only an hour but we had a lot of fun. We both choose twig wreaths to work with. Mine is the first one and my mothers is the second ...

Must do at least a couple of hours with the dreaded linen threads tonight !!!!

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Be Warm in Your Heart !!!

This is what I've been working on recently in the few minutes I get before work and when I get frustrated with the linen threads in my butterfly project !!! With my CJC I didn't allow for any holiday stitching so I thought I would choose a Wintery project. This is Be Warm in Your Heart by Alma Lynne Designs. I've had this design for a while. The fabric is a random piece of 28 count hand dyed fabric that I got from a Polstitches grab bag. This is with the cross stitching completed and a little bit of back stitching started ...

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

IHSW November !!

This is the first time I've kept up with IHSW since the stuff I went through at the beginning of the year. I managed to make some progress despite working all day Saturday and have completed two more butterflies ...

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Good Kind of Frog !!

Just a little small I have slipped into my schedule as I have been working lots and couldn't really concentrate on my butterfly project.

I also made a small stash purchase. I just couldn't wait for the new DMC threads to be released over here so I ordered them online from 123 Stitch. I got them in just over a week!!! Amazing Service !!! I love the colours ...

Here is my progress on my butterfly project. It's just so hard to work on, the threads itch and tear so easily I'm constantly starting and stopping, it's like one stitch forward three back. But the finished effect does look nice with the Matt finish of the threads and I do like a challenge, so I will keep plodding along but I might throw in a couple of easier projects to work alongside it, here is the progress when I left off last ...

And here's where I am now ...

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Happy Halloween House 2012 and November Aims !!!!

I have another finish !!! Halloween House went like a dream and it looks great on the glow in the dark fabric. The photo doesn't do it justice but it glows up a lot, especially at night when I'm trying to sleep !!!! (havent put it away yet !!!!). It was nice to do a simple project with no problems after the Victorian Dressmaker saga ...

Let's see how I got on with my October aims ...

1. Finish Victorian Dressmaker
2. Complete Heart of my Heart by Abi Gurben
3. Start working on Linen Butterflies Section Two
4. Secret Project on Glow in the Dark fabric

1. Completed it after a manic panic saga !!! (see last post)
2. Completed Heart of my Heart
3. Have started on this in the last couple of days and will share progress soon
4. Completed as shown above

So it was quite a successful month, although like most people I always think I could have done more and would like to be further on with my Linen butterfly project than I am.

November aims:

1. Finish section two of Linen Butterflies project
2. Do another part of Around the World in Eighty Stitches
3. Complete froggie project
4. Make a start on Kingfisher project

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, 28 October 2013

Victorian Dressmaker Saga !!!!

So I promised I had a long update with Victorian Dressmaker and here it is. In my last update pick I told you I was near completion on it and that was true but I had another disaster. When writing my aims for October I jokingly put the following comment at the end of my post ... “Fingers crossed that I don’t rip the stitching on any of these projects !!!” ... After what I did to Literate Dragon I was really upset but I couldn’t believe it would happen again. You can imagine my upset when being sooo close to a finish I noticed a mistake in the dress which threw the whole table leg to the left out. Well I know some people wouldn’t have bothered to alter it but it would bother me so I unpicked it. I was trying to be careful after Literate but when I went to resew the table leg I noticed I had cut a thread of the pink fabric. I was really upset (even cried), but after putting it to one side I managed to come up with an idea to fix both it and my sanity !!!! I am quite proud of myself so I thought I would share what I did (and some non-professional photos) ...

Firstly I unpicked the table leg and dress around the cut thread and then I unpicked the fabric threads so I had lengths of thread to work with ...

Then I pulled a fabric thread from the edge of the fabric and weaved it where the missed thread was. I then tied the new thread to the ends of the torn one ...

I secured the threads in the back of the dress and table leg and the fabric was almost as good as new. You can see the back of the knot slightly on the right side of the fabric but it is completely covered with stitches so that isn’t a problem. I’m really pleased with how the fix turned out and I have know been able to finish the whole project.

The beads were a nightmare to get on as the pattern called to attach them through the middle of the crosses which was a pain !!! However they look amazing and I am so pleased with the final result !!!!

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

An Unexpected Finish !!!!!!!!

Well I was expecting to have shared a picture of a finish on Victorian Dressmaker by now but I've have had all sorts of problems with it and I haven't finished it yet.  I have managed to sort everything now though so it won't be too long.

So to compensate for that I made some progress on another Crazy January Challenge.  This design is called Heart of my Heart and was a freebie designed by Abi Gurden from The Stitch Specialists yahoo group.  Having made a lot of holes in fabric when I didn't want lately I more than a bit nervous about the Hardanger involved in this design but it went really well as did the other speciality stitches.  I am getting more and more comfortable with speciality work now.  I stitched this design on a random piece of 28 count evenweave I found in a Polstitches grab bag that I have had for a while.  I really didn't know what to do with this piece of fabric but it suited this design perfectly.  I used Polstitches thread, The Crafty Kitten threads and DMC Perle threads in varying shades of pink with matching Mill Hill beads.  Considering I don't often choose my own colours for projects I am quite pleased with my combination that I choose.  Here is the final result ...

I have also made a start of my Halloween project for this year.  It's a small freebie that I got from the internet last year.  It's a simple design but I'm stitching it on my glow on the dark fabric I got in September.  Here's what it will look like finished ...

And here's my progress ...


 Happy Stitching Everybody !!!!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Nearing a Finish ...

I've had a day off today and spent most of it working really hard on Victorian Dressmaker.  The dressmaker has finished her dress !!!!!  I just need to finish off the legs of the mannequin and add some curtains to the side and the cross stitching will be complete. There is quite a lot of back stitching and a little beading but I still think I should have a finish in a couple of days, especially as I have Tuesday off as well this week and I always seem to make most progress when I'm nearing a finish (don't you hate it when that work word gets in the way of what's really important!!!!) ...

 Happy Stitching Everybody !!!!!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

October Aims and Dressmaker Progress !!!!!

Well I'm not going to write about the lack of progress on my September aims because after the disaster with Literate Dragon I didn't stitch on any of my aims.  I did make progress on Victorian Dressmaker and I've done a lot this weekend.   The dressmaker has now started work on her project,a beautiful pink and green dress !!!!! (Not sure I would wear it though !!!!!!) ...


I am not going to stop making aims and here are my ones for October:

1.  Finish Victorian Dressmaker
2.  Complete Heart of my Heart by Abi Gurben
3.  Start working on Linen Butterflies Section Two
4.  Secret Project on Glow in the Dark fabric 

Fingers crossed that I don't rip the stitching on any of these projects and that I get near to achieving them haha !!!

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!!


Sunday, 29 September 2013

My Special Day Out !!!! (stash pic heavy !!!!!)

I had sooo much fun this Friday.  I managed to get tickets for a crafting and sewing exhibition in Exeter. Creative Stitches is held every year in the Westpoint Arena.  I first went two years ago and loved it but bought so many projects I couldn't really justify going last year.  I jumped at the chance to go this year though !!!!   They have so many stalls of vendors and exhibitors it is a little overwhelming.  It is a little tough for me as I find crowds a struggle and it attracts a tremendous amount of people.  I got some really good stuff though and mostly stuck to my self inflicted promise of buying no projects but only other stitchy stash !!!!

One of the exhibitors was called Alison Murray and she had created these amazing textile books, one based on the seasons and one based on myths and legends.  Despite the size apparently the pages were able to be moved ...










There were also exhibits on handbags and hats and a selection of costumes from the film version of Les Miserables.

Well I said I bought a lot so here goes hahaha...

Silk and perle thread from RSN graduate Sophie Long's exhibit

 A bargain pack of random DMC threads that worked out 25p a skein 

This is the only project I bought, a beaded needle case kit from Spellbound.  Having looked at the pattern it looks really complicated so I am going to wait a while before I start it 

Some new cute scissors (like I haven't got enough !!!!!!)

These are grab bags of Evenweave fabric (although having opened them there are a couple of pieces of higher count Aida).  Last time I went I only bought one and I regretted it as there was so much fabric in the bag and if you bought three packs it worked out cheaper per bag.  It's hard to tell in the photo but there is some sparkly fabric, lots of coloured Evenweave and some black (which I've been wanted to use again) ...
And last but not least ...

Doesn't look like much does it !!! Just an ordinary piece of Evenweave !!!!  Well it's much more ... It glows in the dark !!!!!  I have used glow in the dark thread before but never seen the fabric.  I'm so excited that even though I haven't finished all my crazy January challenges yet I am going to make a new start as I just can't wait to use it.  I have the perfect halloweeny project for it that I will start towards the end of October!!!

All in all it was a lovely day, although I did feel there was a slight bias towards paper crafts even though the show is advertised as stitching and craft.  I came out sooooo inspired with lots of ideas, including a super secret one I will write about another day.

Happy Stitching Everybody !!!!