Saturday, 17 February 2018

2 Box of Shame Finishes - Birds

Good morning!

I have two bird-themed finishes to share with you today:

A couple of years ago I bought some seasonal-coloured Threadworx variegated threads on the premise I would "use them one day" but didn't have a clue on what! Then I found this chart by Hobikolik on etsy and thought it would be perfect stitched in the four colour-ways. So far I have stitched Summer (red/yellow/green) and Spring (pink/purple).

I found some suitable backing fabric:

And made them into little (they measure about 6.5 inches) pillows/cushions in my usual way. I wasn't sure whether or not to include a hanging loop but thought it better to include one and not use it rather than not include one and regret it later.

Although the fabric has no right-way-up I'm convinced the green fabric is upside down - or maybe it's just an optical illusion that's less pleasing to the eye (not that the back will be seen very often!)

At the same time as purchasing these fabrics, the backing fabrics for Autumn and Winter just happened to slip into my basket (you know how it is!) However, they are not on my stitching schedule until 2019 (yes, I'm sad (organised?) enough to have already planned what I will be stitching NEXT year... and even into some of 2020 if I'm being honest!) Having said that, though, I'm making fantastic progress this year so may find myself with a bit of spare time to slot an additional project or two into my schedule... :)

In the meantime, I think I'll have to make a little corner where all my little finishes can sit.

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Spring - finished

Good morning one and all!

I have this month's finish from my DSDUCJFC 2015 WIPs. This is Spring from The Four Seasons; a companion for Winter which I finished last month and for Autumn completed in 2015. It's finish number 28 out of the 59 starts for the Challenge so I'm very nearly half way there!

At the end of last month I left it like this:

And now completed:

Designed by Maria Diaz and featured in Cross Stitch Crazy issue ???
Stitch count 56 wide by 56 high
Stitched on 16ct white aida 2 over 1
Started - 1st February 2015
Finished - 7th February 2018
Total stitching time - 20 hours 50 minutes

And with the other two:

I will be finishing Summer this year, although not for a few months yet. Maybe that was bad planning but in the meantime I've lots of other lovely (in my opinion anyway!) pieces to work on and finish.

2018 has been good for me so far, stitching and finishing wise, and I don't often thank you for the wonderful, positive and encouraging comments you have been leaving. So, thank you one and all! Towards the end of last year I was seriously contemplating giving up on my blog... I'm so glad I didn't!

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 5 February 2018

4 Box of Shame Finishes - Halloween

Good morning!

In my continued attempt to decrease the contents of my Box of Shame, I have yet another four finishes. These are all Halloween pieces stitched in 2016 and are all finished off in my usual way.

For Ghost and Halloween from Lizzie Kate's Boo Club I found some lovely Ghost backing fabric on ebay in purple, orange and green (as yet I don't have anything to go on the green but I'm sure that will soon change!) Rather than matching barley twist cord I decided to use black to make them look a bit more Halloween-ish. Here they are before and after:

I also found some Spooky Eyes fabric from the same ebay seller in orange, yellow and green, although again do not have anything to go on the green yet. These Halloween charts are designed by Shannon Wasilieff  and from a Cross Stitch Crazy magazine:

I'm really pleased with how effective the backing fabrics are, although not so pleased with the actual finish of the hat as the corners are all wrong so I may redo it at some point..

I do apologise if you are bored of all of my ornaments being the same but it's a process and result I'm very comfortable with. I suspect it's almost become my trademark! Anyway, I'd rather they all be finished the same than sit neglected. Agree?

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday, 1 February 2018

January Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello there!

At the beginning of each month I like to post the progress made during the previous month on the WIPs started in 2015/2016 for Debbies Ultimate Crazy January/February Challenges. Although I was still stitching towards the end of last year, I failed miserably with these postings but, you know, new year, new start so let's try again.

My aim with my WIPs is to finish one and work on two more each month, culminating in 12 finishes by the end of the year.

During January I completed Winter from The Four Seasons (posted previously) and worked on the following two pieces:

Spring from The Four Seasons
started 1st February 2015; not touched since then
completed down to the horizon

Spring Alphabet by Lizzie Kate
started 22nd January 2016; last worked on March 2016
almost completed third and fourth rows

I'm a bit annoyed at the Lizzie Kate greens again - I had an issue with them when stitching her 'Green' series and should have remembered. On the picture below, look at the border around d, the letter G and the right half of each trefoil leaf - the recommended green I used (bottom picture) certainly doesn't look like the olive green shown, even taking into account the colour variations between the two photos.

So it looks as though I may be doing a bit of ripping and re-stitching with a better match. It's annoying but at least it's not a major problem. There are a few other bits sewn in the 'wrong' green (mainly leaves) but I'll probably leave them. We'll see...

During February I should finish Spring from The Four Seasons, make further progress on Spring Alphabet, and work on another project from my WIPs.

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

New Start - Haunted House Bell Pull - 10 hours

Hello all!

Each month after I have finished my compulsory stitching (one Smalls SAL piece, one finished piece and progress on two WIPs) I should, in theory, have enough time left to work on a new project. And in January I did!

I'm not really a Halloween person, although have stitched a few small pieces, but I fell in love with this chart (and its bigger sister piece) as soon as I saw them. Stitching away I managed to reach the ten hour mark before the end of the month:

 Haunted House Bell Pull by Stoney Creek
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Stone over-dyed aida from
Stitch count 50 wide by 200 high (I'm not stitching the full chart)
Started - 23rd January 2018

The final piece should look like this but I'm not going to stitch the words at the bottom and perhaps not at the top, although I've left enough room just in case I want to write something there.

And here is its big sister which I plan to stitch next year:

There are quite a few other Stoney Creek Halloween charts I like too, but that's a dangerous road to go down... !

I have made some thread substitutions - the chart calls for 5 lovely glow-in-the-dark Kreinik blending filaments. I'm not a big fan of Kreinik but thought I would give it another go so purchased the necessary spools. I stitched a few areas but think the threads are horrible (even with Thread Heaven) so happily ripped them out! The orange and pink have now been substituted for normal DMC 741 and 956 and the white, lime and yellow for DMC glow-in-the-dark E940, E990 and E980. I'm much happier now!

Which means, I have 5 spools of unwanted Kreinik to give away:

If you would like them, please leave a message when you comment and I will pick a winner and contact you by email on 5th February (I will post worldwide). All I request is that you only enter if you actually think you can use them rather than just hoard them. They'll suit someone with a bit more patience for using Kreinik than me!! Good luck if you enter.  :)

Back soon,
Rachel x

Friday, 26 January 2018

Smalls SAL - January 2018

Good afternoon everybody!

It's the start of a new year for the Smalls SAL and thanks as ever go to Heather at Stitching Lotus for running this SAL for another year.

After stitching on the same project each month for the whole of 2017, this year I've decided to stitch different smalls each month, just to give me (and you) some variety.

So here's my first project of the year. The chart for this cheeky chappy (sadly named Rupert the Raspberry) appeared on my blog back in April 2016 when I was stitching the April A-Z Challenge. I said he'd make an appearance one day and, almost two years later, here he is!

Raspberry from Fabulous Fruit
Designed by Jenny Barton in Cross Stitch Crazy magazine issue 192 (I think)
Stitched on 16ct Shrimp over-dyed aida from 2 over 1
Stitch count - 32 wide by 39 high
Started - 1st January 2018
Finished - 4th January 2018
Total stitching time - 6 hours 25 minutes

He was such a fun little stitch - really easy but also very effective. Even the backstitching was fun to do! I'm planning three more of these fruity-fellows this year but don't know when they'll appear.

And I've actually finished him off too! He's been made into a little hanging ornament which lives in the kitchen above the fruit bowl.

I hope you like him!

Back next month with a little tweety.
Rachel x

Sunday, 21 January 2018

6 Box of Shame Finishes - Christmas Pals

Good afternoon all!

I'm still on a roll making ornaments... so may I present another 6 finished Box of Shame pieces.

These are the Christmas Pals Ornaments by Dimensions which I stitched as part of my 31 new starts for Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge 2016. I finished the first four in 2016 and the other two in 2017.

Using my usual finishing technique, they are all the same, only with different colour marble-effect backing fabric and matching (or as near as possible) barley twist cord:

These give a better indication of the backing fabric:

And (because I'm feeling just a little bit proud of myself) I thought I'd show them all individually too:

I must admit, having finished 18 ornaments so far this year, I now find it hard to understand my previous aversion to doing them; there's nothing to it really except having time and a bit of patience for the fiddly bits.

I might take a bit of a finishing break for a while (I think I deserve it!) but, since I am also eager to continue and already have appropriate backing fabric and cord for all but one of my remaining ornament pieces, there could be more finished-finishes soon...

Take care,
Rachel x