Monday, 3 December 2012

Dilatory blogging - again!

Um, it looks like it's six months since I blogged here.  I seem to be getting more and more neglectful of my blogs yet I am getting things done.  I'm just finding it hard to put words down to describe what I'm doing.

 So here goes.  First up is Galatea.  I am soooooo hating this project and it's a crying shame.  It's a beautiful design, loads of sparkle, excellent chart, plus it was a gift from Mel so I'm not about to give up any time soon!  I know I'll love it once its done but for now it's the bane of my life

Next up is L'Epouventail.  This is a kit I bought in Brugge when visiting Mum 2.5 years ago.  I changed out the fabric to green from natural linen because it did the design no favours.

It's an old Jean-Louis Grandsire design for DHC that was in the sale section at Eurocrafts.  There were two Halloween themed designs but I could only afford one and this is it.

Third up is Chatelaine Desert Mandala.  I keep skipping onto more interesting bits on this which is inevitable what happens with a Chatelaine I work away from the online class.  I am not the most disciplined of people at the best of times and my stitching has  habit of bringing out the worst of my bad traits.  I need to go back and complete the two side flowers, then the cactus border.  what you can't see in this photo is the top most picture box is complete ready for the part 5 picture.
Last but not least is Skeleton Crew. I've loved this for an age but finally started stitching it months ago. Now it is in the when I feel like it rotation.  At least now the serpent, fish and waterline of the ship is complete.

Apart from that, nothing else is really progressing. It's frustrating but that is the penalty of my chaotic life

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

WIPocalypse - the never ending story

First update this time around is Japanese Mandala  Garden.  Not a lot of progress but I'm tackling the lazy daisy stitches by the bridge is a massive task.  I also managed some purple Jessicas and plum purpleJessica flowers as part of another challenge.  This months colour is green and it is on this project in spade loads.

 Second update is to Galatea. Loads of sparkly coral on this one and sparkly bits on the tail this time around.  I can't really sneak this one in as part of the colour challenge as there is no green.  Aqua, turquoise and teal but no green. The use of Petite Treasure Braid as blending filament is a good way to get shading and it gives really good coverage.  Also it doesn't disintegrate and fluff like blending filament as it doesn't fly out of the needle like it either!

Third update is Skeleton Crew.  This time it's hull fish and serpent time and this one has green on it so that can be worked on next month

Fourth piece of stitching is a start on Mystic Dragon and actually this isn't mine.  I have started it for my adopted daughter so that she can finish it. She isn't confident about starting so I start her projects for her and  provide her with the initial framework that she can work from.  It's a system that works for us. I can't find a photo of the finished project so that will have to wait. She's already had a great finish this year with a Pinn Stitch dragon that now hangs in the hall of her home and is much coveted by visitors.

That's it for this update and now I have to go and blog the charity quilts I'm making!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Deciding on a new start

I will shortly need another big project to work on.  I've now finished three Chatelaine designs and with another finish imminent I needed to select another Chatelaine to start.

I'll not beat around the bush.  Chatelaine's can be bank-breakingly expensive. The most expensive full kit listed on European Cross Stitch's site is $370 (£230).  This is way beyond my meagre allowance. I should add that I have a wish list as long as my arm, starting with Venice and Cuba but they shall have to wait until I can afford the charts!

I have 6 Chatelaine designs in my stash I have not stitched yet:
Persian Iris Garden

So, how to decide between these 6 projects. I decided against Watergarden because I'm not that in love with it at the moment. That left 5.

I then printed off the materials for those 5 and checked the conversions for each as this would have to be all DMC plus braids and beads. That took out  Persian Iris, Hawaii and Pompeii on the grounds that the conversions were incomplete, I needed to buy vast amounts of braid at £3.56 ($5.73) per card or how much the bead pack was going to cost me to buy from the US.  We pay a ransom of £8 and 20% VAT on anything over £18 ($28) and suffer at least a weeks posting delay!

This took it down to two.  Alhambra and Desert. After hunting though the actual materials, I only need 3 skeins of Black Marlitt and 10 DMC for Desert plus 2 cards of PTB.   The Bead pack is affordable too at $25.

So Desert Mandala it shall be.  I have a piece of blue-grey fabric that is just big enough as the blues in the border vanished on the piece of Amsterdam blue linen I have. Let's see how long this one takes me!

I should ad that I have a wish list as long as my arm, starting with Venice and Cuba but they shall have to wait until I can afford the charts!

WIPocalypse 5 - a huge finish

Well after a month of working solidly on a single project, I actually completely finished  Chatelaine Designs Holland Springtime Mandala.  I  Started this when the class began in 2008 and I keep getting sidetracked and starting something new.  It's among my worst habits and I have many!

I still have two long term Chatelaine WIP's - Japanese Garden Mandala and the Ostsee Mandala both of which are pretty close to completion.  I'm in the 'keep this far away from me' phase as it's been so recently finished but give it 6 months and I'll be back in love with it.

Next up on the Q-snaps is Japanese Garden which is only a few stitched further on than this and I need to print some enlargements for the corners today to stop me from going blind.  I need to find the Wintered Grass SNC that I hijacked for The Great Escape and have now misplaced. Most of the sparkle is already on the piece so there isn't a vast amount of beading to do either - just a million lazy daisy stitch bamboo leaves on the bridges and another million purple Jessicas in the border! I'll admit to starting this when the online class first started in 2005.  Yes I am hanging my head in shame!  7 years later it will be finished.

Apart from this I'm back to working on Skeleton Crew and Windmills to stop me from going cuckoo. I'm stuck in the house at present with a relapse and on rest mode so I need to do something productive.

Let's see where I get to by next full moon!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

WIPocalypse 4 - the endings and beginnings

First update this month is the one that I've worked on almost more than any other.  I've found that sitting in my workroom away from the TV and most interruptions works wonders and I can stitch for a it longer without being distracted!  It's Holland Springtime Mandala by Chatelaine Designs and to my chagrin, I've been working on this for 4 years.  For the record, it's not going into a 5th year because it is almost finished.  ALMOST!! 

Second update this time around is a new start - Skeleton Crew by Cross Eyed Cricket.  I've been holding off starting this because I really wanted the gorgeous proper linen for it.  I opted to compromise as being able to afford the linen any time in the near future is a non-starter.  It's on the same green evenweave that A Canadian Journey is on.  At least it gives a decent contrast.  I'm contemplating replacing the light green in the windows with light green beads to provide a little eerie twinkle.

Third update is PR Galatea.  I stalled on her because I kept finding colours were missing from her bag (my own fault) so I must knuckle down and work on her this month

I've finally finished Summer Queen for Hilary after promising to do so for an age.  i don't want to admit to how long but it is an embarrassingly long time.  That said, she is finished and awaiting a dunking before she goes back to Cambridgeshire as she is a grubby majesty at the moment!

I also started and stalled on Just Nan's Great Expectations.  I should admit that I had the chart for 6 years before starting it so a little longer won't hurt.  I just get annoyed with the confetti stitching and the constant stop/start of the process even if it will look fabulous when it is finished.

Last but not least is the Permin Windmill Sampler with two mills now complete bar for the back stitch.  I'm now working on the ribbon and heading down the side of the piece.

That's about if for this update.  Hopefully in 4 weeks time I might have another finish to report!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

WIPocalypse Update 3

So in the last 4 weeks, I've got The Great Escape up to date. Well apart from the latest part which I have not printed yet.  That's the next job. This is another all silk project with whatever I have to hand in my leftover silks box.

The think the latest colours used are SNC 101 Bear Brown and Watercolours Spring Grasses but don't hold me to that.

I've also started Great Expectations by Just Nan which is tiny so it won't take long.  It's only 3.5" square! It has a gorgeous enamelled bird nest charm for the centre.  I do live Just Nan designs and would love more but I don't see them often here and they tend to be extremely expensive.  I've had this one in my stash for 5 years - I bought it after prison visiting in Exeter hence me being able to remember when I bought it!

The current WIP in the rotation is one of my 4 remaining unfinished Chatelaines.  Holland Springtime Mandala.  I don't have an up to date picture as the camera needs to have its batteries charged but I'm now working on the final tile in the border and the outer border is awaiting its final stitched as the framework is in place.  I then have an acre of tulips and several hundred beads to attach.  that ans replace the green clouds in one of the images with blue ones.  My reason is that there are two very similar symbols on the key!

I haven't touched anything else.  I've helped Jo sort out her dragon cross stitch a few times.  I've quilted a bit, played a lot of games, twiddled my thumbs a lot. I'm also running out of thread which is also going to cause me problems before long.  But that's what you get for the situation I'm in!  No moaning, promise.  Off to the dentist in a bit for more fun and games.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

WIPocalypse 2 update

Well, as I thought, this post is late and the moon is waning.  This is a normal state of affairs for me but here goes.

1. Queen Mermaid is finished
On Sugar Maple Fabrics First Kiss, with the recommended DMC but with the Kreinik braid swapped for Petite Treasure braid.  the beads were bought for me in exchange for some wallpaper I had lurking in my store room since the last house (9 years next month).  I do love barter!

2.  I started and finished Tree of Stitches by Abi Gurden

This was on a piece of Wood Violet 28ct Jobelan with a riot of pink silks from my stash box plus a green , brown and tan to add an accent.  I was aiming for the amazing double pink cherry blossoms we will soon see here and that grow in profusion locally.  I think I pretty much nailed it.  This is about to be simply mounted and hung on my work room wall.

3. Started and got up to date 'The Great Escape' again by Abi Gurden.  This is not as technically accomplished as ToS but I was struggling with my eyesight and fatigue at the time so it is not that even.  Normally, I am pretty good technically but this year I've been challenged.
Wol is actually a lot further on than this photo suggests.  He now has his wings, feet and an escapologist mouse.  I'm waiting for the next part (12) as this is a real fun stitch.  I've gone for a greys theme on pink linen with SNC Mississippi Mud, Bronze Age Green, and Wood Smoke plus Waterlilies in Cocoa.

4. Permin Windmill Sampler has quite a lot done on it now with tulips, a ribbon and another windmill to show.  This is a fun stitch as well and simple to so even when my eyes play me up as I can see the holes easily!

5. Holland Springtime Mandala picked this up last night and should be joining the Chatelaine WIP-slayer on the Yuku board to get this one done.  There isn't enough progress to photograph yet.

6. Passione Ricamo Galatea (aka the Butt-crack Mermaid) She now has most of a tail and I've started on her tail flukes.  Photo next time but the camera has flat batteries and I don't want to wait on writing this post as I actually have words today.

I've been sort-of productive recently.  Despite the pain et al, I lose time on Pinterest regularly and have  finally started a lust list on there of projects I want.  It is started but by no means complete.  It's a bit eclectic to say the least.

That's all for this time.  More photos in a few weeks!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

WIPocalypse 2012

Thanks to Measi and a few others who shall remain nameless I have joined the 2012 WIPocalypse with the aim of actually finishing some of my older projects that are beginning to mutter and gang up on me.  There is a bit of a list coming

1. Queen Mermaid
2. Chatelaine Holland Springtime Mandala
3. Chatelaine Ostsee Mandala
4. Chatelaine Japanese Garden
5. Chatelaine Egypt Garden (bit of a theme there)
6. Mirabilia Blooming Bride
7. Mirabilia The Dreamer
8. Long Dog Samplers Time and Tide
9. Jan Houtman Liberation Sampler
10. Permin Windmill Sampler
11. Sue Hillis Pirates
12. Passione Ricamo Galatea
13. DMC Unicorn
14. DMC Lighthouse

There area few more that are lurking around like this and this.  There are a few more but these are the ones to be concentrated on this year.  The first finish should be Queen Mermaid as I am putting the beads on it now.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

New Year, New Blog

I've been longing to change away from my old Multiply blog for a while. Then I stopped blogging for other reasons but I need to restart for a couple of reasons. One is to give me a voice again and the second is to give me a timeline on projects.

I'm also going to try (bad word that) and blog on a regular basis again. This blog is solely to be for my stitching in its increasingly varied forms. The quilting and ranting will have separate platforms!

I'll try to include some cross over pieces to add interest like how come quilters are starting to stitch, knot and crochet as well and how we are becoming these crafting polymaths!

Right, that's a start. Off to join the WIP-ocalypse and get more finishes this year