Wednesday, 10 August 2016

WIP Update and a Little Destash!

After Cinders I was craving my hand dyed threads and 36ct/40ct linens so I picked up Home of a Needleworker which had been neglected pretty much since March!  I am happy to report that it was finished last week and I really should get a frame for it and finish it properly!!!

Home of a Needleworker Too Complete!
Stitched on 36ct linen with my choice of Nina's lovelies!
Home of a Needleworker Closeup
I've now moved on to Stephanie, who I made a tiny start on back in May, here is a scruffy progress pic of her as I was too lazy to tart her up for the photo lol:

Stéphanie Desmidt 1844 WIP 1
Stephanie Desmidt 1844 by Reflets de Soie on 40ct linen with DMC
The thread colours remind me of cream, caramel and chocolate which is a bit of a shame considering I can't actually eat any of that stuff!  I'm going to stick with her for as long as I can and then pick up my other sampler for Justine's Solo September.  I would like to finish my 3 current WIPs and the 4 new starts I have planned for the remainder of the year in 2016.  I already have my projects for 2017 pretty much planned out including some projects from this book which I am very excited about!
You may have noticed that there is a new tab at the top of the page - I have had a bit of a destash, nothing too drastic though!  I'm running out of room and need to find new homes for a few things.  There are some charts, fabric and threads for sale if you wanted to have a gander and you know where to find me if you would like to make a purchase.
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

A Successful Just One July!

Thanks to Justine's Just One July SAL, I have finished Joan Elliott's Cinderella!

Cinderella by Joan Elliott Complete!

Cinderella Face Detail
Cinderella Shoe Detail

Cinderella Dress Detail

Cinderella Coach Detail

Cinderella Castle Detail

She was stitched on 28ct Brittney Opal in Speckled Egg by Jodyri Designs using all the recommended DMCs and MH beads and the metallic were swapped for PTBs.  I'll never be a 100% OAAT stitcher, but every so often it's good to stick with a piece until completion to ensure that it does get finished!  I love Joan's designs, but one a year would be enough for me and I will make sure I spread out the project for the whole year.
Eager to get back to my hand dyeds and 36/40ct after almost two months of stitching on Cinders.  Also considering having a little destash, so stay tuned..........!
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Just One July So Far.........

Stitching is done on Cinders, just the backstitch and beading to go:

Cinderella - stitching complete
Not sure if there will be a finish before the end of July - but the end is in sight!
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Cenerentola marches on!

True to my word since my last blogpost I have been working exclusively on Cinders when I have had the chance to pick up a needle and thread.

Here is where I started with her this month, I hadn't touched her since mid March:

Cinderella WIP 4
Here is how far I got with her this month:
Cinderella WIP 5
Just the castle, carriage, hair and skin to go and the small matter of miles of backstitching and a few beads!  I won't have the chance to pick up a needle now for a week or so, but I'm hoping I can carry on with her in July and at least get all the cross stitching done on her - if not push for a finish!
Happy stitching everyone and thank you for stopping by and for all your lovely comments and messages!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Sneaks back in..........

Whilst I've been silent on the blogging front, I have been stitching up a storm - just haven't felt like yapping on about it, though I always keep my Current WIPs and Finishes tabs up to date.

So here is a post about it all - brace yourselves!

Since my last post in April I have had 7 new starts, 4 finishes and now have 5 current WIPs to date, so let's start with the new WIPs that I've added to Cinders and my LHN:

Stéphanie Desmidt 1844 by Reflets de Soie - Materials
Stephanie Desmidt by Reflets de Soie on 40ct, which I decided to stitch using the DMC conversion making it a very economical project stitched from stash - though I must say the temptation to purchase the required AVAS was strong :).  Again another darning sampler, I'm having a thing for those at the moment as you will see later......
Margaret Woodleigh Band Sampler by Susan Haverson
Another sampler, this one is taken from SANQ and is just called Band Sampler and is designed by Susan Haverson.  It's not a reproduction sampler, more an adaptation, but it is based on a sampler stitched in 1656 by Margaret Woodleigh.  Another one stitched on 40ct with the DMC as charted all from stash :).
Antje Reints Darning Sampler (GOSM) - WIP 1
The final new WIP is yes you guessed it another sampler, but this is an almost 100% darning sampler.  It is taken from GOSM and is titled Antje Reints Darning Sampler.  It's being stitched on 36ct linen with my choice of Nina's gorgeous threads, so another stash neutral start :).
Now for the finishes!  First up were the next parts of Mabel's Hardanger SAL, Rounds Four and Five:

Round Four - Round in Circles SAL by Mabel Figworthy
Round Four - stitched with a variety of threads from stash including Jodyri Perles
Round Five Round In Circles SAL by Mabel Figworthy
Round Five - my very psychedelic version using Jodyri's Sunshine State perles

I also started and finished a Dinky Dyes Design that had been in my stash for years.  Slight sacrilege though as whilst I did use a few Dinky Dyes silks (from an oops bag so not the named colours called for), I did use a few other brands of silk as well......... 
It's Wave Dancer by Stacy Tippin:

Wave Dancer Details
Wave Dancer by Dinky Dyes
I think the design originally called for one colour of bead and 2 colours of krenik, but I used several different colours of bead and at least 5 different colours of Rainbow Gallery PTB and PSLB!
The last finish I have to share was completed over the weekend.  The designer herself actually sent me the chart as a thank you for talking about her designs in one of my videos.  I loved stitching it and was so pleased with my colour choices, although I don't want to see a Greek cross in quite some time!  The design is A Little Victoriana by Loopylou Designs:
A Little Victoriana by LoopyLou Designs Detail
A Little Victoriana by LoopyLou Designs Complete!
This one was stitched on 28ct using DMC 3033 and Jodyri Designs antique silk in Brighton Beach
So that's the scoop on what I've been up to, basically stitching from stash and having a lot of fun doing it!  I did purchase a few new blackwork charts from Banu though (Seba Designs) as she was having an amazing sale due to the very sad fact that she has to shut her Etsy shop for a while as Paypal doesn't want to operate in her country.  I look forward to picking out threads for those designs though settling on choices might take some time!
I think for the month of June I will focus on my oldest WIP - Cinders, I would like to get her in the finish pile even if 28ct over 2 isn't so much my bag anymore.  I love her, but may fiddle around with the fabric count on the next of Joan's ladies I stitch.  If Cinders gets too much and I need a change then I will switch to my LHN which is 36ct 1 over 2 with gorgeous hand dyed threads just to mix it up a little.
Let's see how much I can get done - though with the weather having been sizzling and gorgeous these past two weeks I'm not sure there will be much progress lol!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Big Berthe!

Justine and a few other bloggers are committing to stitching on the same piece throughout April and it seems I have unwittingly joined in!

Here is what Berthe looked like on 1 April, exactly the same as where I left her mid way through January:

Berthe Massiet WIP 2
And here is what she looks like now:
Berthe Massiet by Reflets de Soie Complete!
All finished!
As a side note I just have to mention every time I say Berthe I think Bertha, which reminds me of the children's TV programme in the 80s which people of a certain age will remember and then I get the little song in my head..........anyway I digress..........
I absolutely adored stitching this one on 40ct 1 over 2 with beautiful AVAS d'Alger.  For the sake of anyone that has visited this page as a result of searching for info on this piece, I will say that some of the lettering on mine may be in a different colour than charted - only because I was short on one colour of silk (I think it went walk about) so I just used an excess I had of another colour that was in the chart's colour palette.  Also of note is that, as is the case with a lot of repro samplers, the border is not symmetrical :).  All those cross shapes that make up the border are identical, except for one which has a "leg" four stitches long instead of three - always worth examining the chart carefully!
I particularly enjoyed working the pattern darning sections, and a few darning samplers have been pinned to my wishlist for a rainy day so there will definitely be more in my future!

Pattern darning on Berthe Massiet
I have at least two other Reflets de Soie samplers in my stash which I am now very much looking forward to doing.  They are the perfect project for when stitching time is limited as the colours used are minimal and you can quickly see progress being made even if only a letter or two is completed per session.  Stitching with 1 strand on 40ct makes for much faster stitching too - no railroading required!  A few years ago I'd always thought that HAEDs would be my easy stitching projects, but the thought of stitching one now makes me feel almost claustrophobic - I need my stitches to be able to breathe lol!
No idea what I will be working on next, I had started LHN's Home of a Needleworker last month so I might carry on with that.  Still don't think I can face Cinders just yet, so maybe an entirely new project is in order!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

A Change is as Good as a Rest!

That is certainly true when it comes to my stitching, as thanks in part to a Bank Holiday weekend, four of the seven new starts I had kitted in my last post are now finished and I even bought some new threads which I haven't done in months and months!

Firstly I started and finished a small that I just loved the moment I clapped eyes on it - it's a freebie from Hands Across the Sea Samplers which you can find on their blog.  So looking forward to future releases from Nicola and Sandra, but in the meantime I stitched this little design on some 40ct using AVAS silks from stash:

Hands Across the Sea Samplers Freebie 1
As is usual for me - pictured with its proposed finishing materials -
though has yet to be actually finished lol!
Next up was a design I've had in my stash for four years or so, as it was a spring design it seemed appropriate to finally get on and stitch it!  Initially I'd picked out Glorianas for this one, but I changed them out for Dinky Dyes silks and Caron cottons as I wanted a softer look to it.  The design is Spring Basket by Abi Gurden, you can see I changed the original design a bit as I swapped the jessicas for spider web roses to balance out the texture of the basket.  Here it is stitched on 28ct soft yellow (would you believe!) linen:
Spring Basket by Abi Gurden
Then I moved on to a band sampler by Alchemy Stitchcraft (AKA Christine) - again another design that has sat in my stash for years - why?!  It certainly feels good to get stitching on these!  Natasha's Violets was a pure joy to work on, I had forgotten how much I love whitework and pulled threadwork, so I've put projects containing them in the queue for a later date!  Again as I am stitching from stash I subbed out the silk serica with a #5 DMC perle and I didn't have the right shade of PTB, so used a strand of DMC with a strand of blending filament to create my own :) :
Natasha's Violets by Stitching Alchemy
This chart ticked so many of my favourite boxes: band sampler, purple, pulled work, white work, bargello - needless to say, more of Christine's charts will be making it in my TBS pile.
Finally another finish that it feels good to tick off my list!  The Mojo Sampler by Abi Gurden was a SAL on The Stitch Specialists Yahoo Group back in 2014.  I can't link to it directly as it has yet to be put on general sale and only 60 people have this chart - but you can see Abi's version here.  This design has been buzzing around my brain since its release as I could never settle on my colour choices.  Purple was a no brainer of course, but what would I use for the contrasting colour, green, blue, pink?  None of them were pushing my buttons until it came to me that I could use purple as the contrasting colour :).  So I chose light, medium and dark purple solid Dinky Dyes silk and 2 light and dark HDF purple variegated silks stitched on 28ct lugana and here is my version:
Mojo Sampler Close Up 3
Mojo Sampler Close Up 2
Mojo Sampler Close Up 4
Mojo Sampler Close Up 1
The Mojo Sampler by Abi Gurden
Now if only I was any good at cartonnage, that would make a very good box lid!
So that has been my stitching over the past two weeks - no idea what this month holds stitching wise but at least I seem to be back on track!  Hopefully as long as I can get the mix of projects right, size and content (even if it does mean abandoning Cinders for a few months) then business will resume as normal.
Happy Stitching!