Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 End Of Year Summary

Hello all!

As we say goodbye to 2016 I thought I would look back and summarise my stitching for the year. This record is for my benefit so some (most) of you will probably find this very, very, very boring.


Number of WIPs brought forward from 2015 - 5 suspended, 7 large, 42 challenge = 54
Plus number of new starts - 1 large, 31 challenge, 15 smalls SAL, 11 others = 58
Less number of finishes - 26 challenge, 15 smalls SAL, 11 others = 52
Number of WIPs to carry forward into 2017 - 5 suspended, 8 large, 47 challenge = 60


Now here comes the really boring bit.....

Here are the lists of projects which make up the statistics:

SUSPENDED LARGE WIPs BROUGHT FORWARD
1)  Mythical Dragon (True Colors)
2)  Rainbow Angel (White willow Stitching)
3)  QS Emerald Dragon (HAED)
4)  SK The History Of Chocolate (HAED)
5)  QS Fairy With Butterfly Mask (HAED)

LARGE WIPs BROUGHT FORWARD
1)  QS Come Softly (HAED)
2)  Mini Bookworm Fairy (HAED)
3)  Mini The Owrd Lord (HAED)
4)  Mini One (HAED)
5)  Dolphin Ruins (Rabnann - ebay)
6)  OMG Tigger Is Out (UnconventionalX - etsy)
7)  Dragon Eye (not yet blogged)

JANUARY/FEBRUARY CHALLENGE 2015 WIPs BROUGHT FORWARD
1)  Friends For Life
2)  Feline Groovy
3)  Loves Me ... Love Me Not
4)  Daisy Hugs
5)  Dreaming Of Dolphins
6)  Book Worm
7)  Carefree Summer
8)  A Tatty Friend
9)  Dandelion Time
10)  Flower Power
11)  All Aboard The Walnut Shells
12)  Christmas Wishes
13)  Daisy Umbrella
14)  Cuddly Feline Friends
15)  Choc-A-Holic
16)  I Love Butter
17)  Good Morning Nelson
18)  Winter Hugs
19)  Lickle Snooze
20)  A Windy Day
21)  Little Green
22)  Spring
23)  Coffee
24)  Gryffindor Crest
25)  Pretty Little London
26)  Start Trek TOS
27)  Summer
28)  Cream
29)  Canal Crossing
30)  Hufflepuff Crest
31)  Clue
32)  Red Foxes
33)  Sugar
34)  The Lock
35)  Pretty Little Paris
36)  Evil Minions
37)  Spotted Owls
38)  Winter
39)  Tea
40)  The Milk Train
41)  Slytherin Crest
42)  Pandas

NEW STARTS - LARGE
1)  Scarlet Macaw Preening

NEW STARTS - DEBBIES'S ULTIMATE CRAZY JANUARY CHALLENGE 2016
1)  Frankie Hedgehog - FINISHED
2)  Sally Squirrel - FINISHED
3)  Contentious - FINISHED
4)  Bert Badger - FINISHED
5)  Let's Eat Dessert - FINISHED
6)  Playful Puss 4 - FINISHED
7)  Autumn Alphabet - FINISHED
8)  Plant A Tree - FINISHED
9)  Contentious - FINISHED
10)  Molly Mouse - FINISHED
11)  Woolly-Hatted Snowman - FINISHED
12)  Summer Alphabet
13)  Save Water - FINISHED
14)  Toby Fox - FINISHED
15)  Balloon - FINISHED
16)  Sleepy Book - FINISHED
17)  Penguin - FINISHED
18)  Blueberry - FINISHED
19)  Black-Hatted Snowman - FINISHED
20)  Ollie Owl - FINISHED
21)  Keep Our Air Clean - FINISHED
22)  Spring Alphabet
23)  Santa - FINISHED
24)  Ride A Bike - FINISHED
25)  Be Kind To Animals - FINISHED
26)  Winter Alphabet
27)  French Country Witch - FINISHED
28)  Eat Locally - FINISHED
29)  Polar Bear
30)  Playful Puss 3 - FINISHED
31)  Bear

NEW STARTS - SMALLS SAL
1)  I'm On The Nice List - FINISHED
2)  Joyeaux Noel - FINISHED
3)  Joy - FINISHED
4)  Berry Christmas - FINISHED
5)  Noel - FINISHED
6)  Mistletoe Testing Here - FINISHED
7)  Heart Dolphins - FINISHED
8)  Dolphin In Hammock - FINISHED
9)  Dolphins and Ball - FINISHED
10)  Halloween Cauldron - FINISHED
11)  Witches Hat - FINISHED
12)  Snowman - FINISHED
13)  Mr. Daydream - FINISHED
14)  Mr. Jelly - FINISHED
15)  Mr Happy - FINISHED

NEW STARTS - OTHERS
1)  Humerous Alphabet - FINISHED
2)  I Solemnly Swear / Mischief Managed 1 - FINISHED
3)  Jersey Cow - FINISHED
4)  I Solemnly Swear / Mischief Managed 2 - FINISHED
5)  Ghost - FINISHED
6)  Summer Bird - FINISHED
7)  Seahorse - FINISHED
8)  Halloween - FINISHED
9)  Dolphin - FINISHED
10)  Mini Midnight Manor - FINISHED
11)  October Fairy - FINISHED


I'm really pleased that, with the exception of just one large project and five Challenge pieces (which I have still stitched on) I finished all of my new starts during the year. Numbering 52, that's an average of one finish per week - yikes!

However, this was once again at the expense of my larger projects and my 2015 WIPs.

Over the course of the year I stitched for a total of 703 hours over 365 days, missing out just one day when I spent a very long time in A&E with my son from early evening to the early hours of the next morning (it was only for a fractured wrist but there were a few more urgent cases). I was absolutely gutted to break my stitching streak, which was 540 days in a row at that point, but we had a laugh about it, despite the pain he was in!

As for my plans for 2017, I'll post about them tomorrow.

All the best and
Happy stitching :)
Rachel x

Friday, 30 December 2016

Smalls SAL - December 2016

Good morning all!

Here's my posting for the last Smalls SAL of 2016 run by Heather of Stitching Lotus.

Towards the beginning of the month I stitched one small project for this SAL. But after finishing my fourth Christmas Pals Ornament didn't want to start another WIP which I wouldn't be able to finish before the end of the year. So I opted for stitching two more small projects instead.

Mr Daydream, Mr Jelly and Mr Happy have been sitting in my pile of charts for quite a long time. The charts were freebies from my-cross-stitch-patterns.com There are a few Mr Men and Little Miss characters available (along with many, many other free charts!) so more may be making an appearance next year... or not... we'll see!

So on to the photos then:

Mr Daydream
Freebie from my-cross-stitch-patterns.com
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Spring Sky from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Started - 9th December 2016
Finished - 10th December 2016
Total stitching time - 4 hours 10 minutes

Mr Jelly
Freebie from my-cross-stitch-patterns.com
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Pink from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Started - 24th December 2016
Finished - 25th December 2016
Total stitching time - 4 hours 30 minutes

Mr Happy
Freebie from my-cross-stitch-patterns.com
Stitched on 16ct Sundrop from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Started - 26th December 2016
Finished - 30th December 2016
Total stitching time - 5 hours 15 minutes




Mr Daydream in particular has always been a favourite character, being the first Mr Men book I ever owned. The others aren't far behind.

To sum up my Smalls SAL for the year, I completed 15 projects in total and at least one per month. Out of those 15 projects, 9 (from January to August inclusive) have been made into ornaments or cards. Not bad considering I find the finishing off tedious!

I didn't stick to stitching 12 LK Tiny Tidings as planned, so next year I really have no idea what I will be stitching each month. Watch this space, as the saying goes!

Thank you to Heather for continuing to run this SAL and for everybody that contributes. I hope it continues to be just as successful next year.

Back in January then,
Rachel x

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Pals Santa - DUCJC 2016 Finish 26/31

Good morning all,

So, here I am back with yet another finish from my pile of January starts. This is the fourth Christmas Pals Ornament I have now completed, which has been finished just in time for Christmas Eve!

I left Santa looking like this on 23rd January:


And here he is all ready to deliver his presents tonight:

Dimensions
Stitched on 16ct Ice Blue aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 44 wide by 44 high
Started - 23rd January 2016
Finished - 23rd December 2016
Total stitching time - 13 hours 35 minutes
(estimated 14 hours)


I know I've only got two Christmas Pals Ornaments left to do but I can't say I'm enthusiastic about trying to finish another one just now. Instead I'm going to stitch a couple of little extra projects for this month's Smalls SAL. These will tide me over until New Year and my new set of stitching plans.

Happy Christmas Eve!
Rachel x

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Christmas Pals - Black-Hatted Snowman - DUCJC 2016 Finish 25/31

Hello all,

Another post and another finish. This is the third of six Christmas Ornament Pals I started back in January.

The last time I stitched on him was 19th January:


But I finally completed him last night:

Dimensions
Stitched on 16ct Ice Blue aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 44 wide by 44 high
Started - 19th January 2016
Finished - 14th December 2016
Total stitching time - 14 hours 5 minutes
(estimated 14 hours)


I was hoping to get the other three finished by the end of the year but that looks less likely now that the Christmas season is upon us. I'll be happy with one more.

Happy stitching,
Rachel x

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Smalls SAL - November 2016

Good morning all,

Here's my offering for this month's Small's SAL run by Heather from Stitching Lotus.

This was a freebie from the Durene Jones Facebook page (you don't have to belong to FB to access the charts). If you like smalls and you like freebies, go and check her out here. There are loads of free charts available in her albums, covering a variety of themes. Some have made it onto my stitching list for 2017 as potential smalls.

Anyway, I digress. Here's this month's offering for my Smalls SAL:

Snowman
Durene Jones Facebook freebie
Stitched on 32ct Snowfall evenweave by Sewitall.com 2 over 2
Stitch count 48 wide by 48 high
Started - 5th November 2016
Finished - 9th November 2016
Total stitching time - 8 hours 25 minutes


I made a couple of chart alterations. First I didn't stitch the snowflakes or falling snow as the snowflakes on the fabric were enough, and second I added some colourful Kreinik to the snow on the ground. I was going to use just silver blending filament but decided to make it a little more colourful. I'm not sure if I like it or not as it makes the snow look dirty. Oh well.

Currently in my Box of Shame it'll be made into an ornament... eventually!

See you next month,
Rachel x

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Christmas Pals Woolly-Hatted Snowman - DUCJC 2016 Finish 24/31

Good morning!

Another finish from my January starts. This is the second Christmas Pal by Dimensions.

I left him like this on 11th January:


And completed him yesterday:

Dimensions
Stitched on 16ct Ice Blue aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 44 wide by 44 high
Started - 11th January 2016
Finished - 26th November 2016
Total stitching time - 15 hours
(estimated 14 hours)


His eyes, mouth and the snowflakes required quite a lot of French Knots so I did think of using beads. But having decided they didn't all have to be neat and precise I ploughed my way through the French Knots quite quickly. I also changed the message on the sign from 'Peace' to 'Love' but may well change it to something else as I'm not entirely happy.

Now to work on the third one from this series. Can I finish the remaining four before the end of the year I wonder?

Keep stitching,
Rachel x

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Christmas Pals Penguin - DUCJC 2016 Finish 23/31

Good morning again,

Just a quick post today to show another finish. You must be getting bored of all these posts about finishes but at least it proves I'm gradually getting through my WIPs!

This is the first in a set of 6 Christmas Ornament Pals by Dimensions, all of which I started back in January as part of Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge.

In my usual tradition, here's how I last left him on 17th January:


And here he is now:

Dimensions
Stitched on 16ct Ice Blue aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 44 wide by 44 high
Started - 17th January 2016
Finished - 5th November 2016
Total stitching time - 12 hours 30 minutes
(estimated 13 hours)


I'm going to wait until I finish all 6 before deciding how to actually finish-finish them.

I loved watching this one come together, although he hasn't quite got me in the mood for Christmas yet!

Back soon, I expect,
Rachel x

Monday, 31 October 2016

Autumn Alphabet - DUCJC 2016 Finish 22/31

Good morning all, and Happy Halloween if you celebrate.

I've got a little celebration today - yet another finish from my January starts.

This is Lizzie Kate's Autumn Alphabet, topical for the time of year I thought. I put in a lot of stitching hours over the weekend whilst binge-watching The Man In The High Castle (for the umpteenth time). I honestly think it helped me stitch faster!

Here's how I last left it the last time I stitched on it:


And now it's finished and looks like this:

Lizzie Kate
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Brown over-dyed aida by Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 111 wide by 159 high
Started - 7th January 2016
Finished - 30th October 2016
Total stitching time - 34 hours 35 minutes
(estimated 59 hours!)


I'm so glad I greatly over-estimated how much time this would take to stitch as I will have a pleasant surprise when it comes to finishing the other three in this series, which I also started back in January. I did make a few small changes from the pattern but they're hardly noticeable so I won't point them out!

As for framing, it should fit in a standard A4 frame; I just need to find one of a suitable colour!

Next up, something Christmassy I think.

Have a good Halloween,
Rachel x

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Smalls SAL - October 2016

Good afternoon everybody!

Goodness me, don't the months just fly past?

It's the last Thursday of the month again so time to check in with the Smalls SAL run by Heather from Stitching Lotus. Welcome to my October offering. This is another Halloween themed design the same series as the cauldron last month:

Witches Hat magazine chart
Stitched on 16ct Lime over-dyed aida from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 48 wide by 48 high
Started - 1st October 2016
Finished - 10th October 2016
Total stitching time - 10 hours 20 minutes

As with the cauldron, I will not actually finish-finish it until I have stitched the others in the series. For once I actually have a plan as to how to finish them all off!

Back next month.

Keep stitching :)
Rachel x

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Charity Haircut - before, during and after

Good afternoon,

Well, Heather did it - she had almost all of her hair cut off for charity - the Little Princess Trust - and here are the photos to prove it:

All 28" of hair from crown to ends

After the plaits had been cut

The end result - an asymetrical Pixie Cut

I have to admit she looks absolutely fantastic! Everybody is so pleased with the cut and it really suits her (even if it is a bit too modern for me to understand!)

She's done her bit for charity and hopefully some little girl or boy will benefit from the wig made out of her hair. I'm so proud of her (and I only shed a couple of tears!)

Rachel x

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Let's Eat Dessert - DUCJC 2016 Finish 21/31

Good morning everybody,

The finish that I am showing you today is yet another of my new starts from January this year. Until I picked it up this month I hadn't worked on it since February. I was expecting to spend most of October on it but it didn't take as long to finish as I thought it would!

Here's how I left it back in February:


And now finished:

Artecy (via crosstitch.com) Designed by Ursula Michael
Stitched on 16ct Crocus hand-dyed aida by The Crafty Kitten 2 over 1
Stitch count 97 wide by 125 high
Started - 5th January 2016
Finished - 19th October 2016
Total stitching time - 19 hours 55 minutes
(estimated 40 hours!)


I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this piece, especially as the threads and fabric are perfect matches. It's funny, but the words definitely did not tempt me towards sweet food like I thought they would. Reverse psychology perhaps?

There's a lot of satisfaction to be gained from this type of pattern as each word is like a little mini finish and there's always a convenient place to leave off for the night. I will definitely stitch more Ursula Michael pieces and already have another two in mind. As to when I'll stitch them though.....

So, what's next on my frame? I still have ten more pieces (4 LK Seasonal Alphabets and 6 Christmas Pals Ornaments) from January to plough through so I'll go by which colours appeal to me the most. If I'm lucky I may just get another finish in before the end of October.

Take care everybody,
Rachel x

PS I'm now a whopping 5 months behind on blog reading. I've decided that the best way forward is to go through each one alphabetically. Maybe I will have caught up by Christmas!!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Charity Hair Cut

Good morning all.

Usually I don't post about anything other than cross stitch but in this instance I am making an exception.

On 25th October, my daughter will be having her hair cut for charity. Now, that doesn't seem impressive until you realise we are talking about cutting off a massive 24"!! It's a big undertaking but one to which she has been fully committed for a few weeks.

Her hair will be donated to the Little Princess Trust who make wigs for boys and girls who have lost their hair through treatment for cancer or other illnesses. Here is a link to her justgiving page where you can see the length of her hair and read her thoughts. I am not asking you to donate, just send her a few words of encouragement and think about if there is anything you too can do to help a worthy cause.

Having said that though, Heather would like to raise £300 (the minimum cost of making a wig) but I have agreed if she raises £1000 I will have about 15" of my hair cut off too (my hair's about the same length.)

I feel so proud of Heather wanting to do this although will, no doubt, be shedding more than a few tears on 25th! I will post before, during and after photos of the event.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post - you can get back to reading stitching-related posts now!

Rachel x

Monday, 3 October 2016

Blueberry - DUCJC 2016 Finish 20/31

Good morning all!

Even though small, I have yet another finish to show you. Afterall, a finish is a finish! This is Blueberry, one of Popcorn's friends from the Popcorn range of designs.

Back in January I left little Blueberry looking like this:


But after a few more hours work he was finished:


Not only that, but I have finish-finished him into a little card too:

Blueberry (magazine chart)
Stitched on 16ct Gold Lurex Aida by Zweigart 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 41 high
Started - 18th January 2016
Finished - 1st October 2016
Total stitching time - 7 hours 45 minutes
(estimated 10 hours)


Don't you just adore the way he's snuggling up to his comfy blanky?

The fabric was really stiff to work with but suits the design quite well I think. I do admit to "interpreting" the charted colours a little (i.e. blending colours instead of stitching the bottom arm in one colour and the top in another) but it doesn't really notice and I'm more than happy with the result.

Now to choose which piece which will become finish number 21!

Happy stitching :)
Rachel x

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Smalls SAL - September 2016

Good evening!

It's the last Thursday of the month so time for another Smalls SAL post hosted, as ever, by the brilliant Heather of Stitching Lotus.


This month I thought I would go a bit more seasonal and prepare something a little in advance of Halloween. It hasn't got a name so I simply called it Halloween Cauldron!


Halloween Cauldron magazine chart
Stitched on 16ct Azelea over-dyed aida from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 48 wide by 48 high
Started - 8th September 2016
Finished - 12th September 2016
Total stitching time - 9 hours 35 minutes


For such a small design I love all the little bubbles and swirls.

I didn't know what to do with it so have not finish-finished it yet. There are another three in the set so I might stitch those and then finish them together into a hanging of some sort. Probably.

Back next month with another small.

Happy stitching,
Rachel x

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Ollie Owl - DUCJC 2016 Finish 19/31

Good morning again!

And another finish rolls off the frames in September - my 40th finish this year!!! This is Ollie Owl.

I managed to stitch his eyes when I started him on 20th January:


But now he has all his body and feathers and a couple of flowers too:

DMC Woodland Folk
Stitched on 16ct Kelp over-dyed aida by Fabric Flair 2 over 1
Stitch count 75 wide by 49 high
Started - 20th January 2016
Finished - 21st September 2016
Total stitching time - 15 hours 55 minutes
(estimated 18 hours)


The completion of Ollie Owl means that the set of six Woodland Folk designs are all ready to be framed. I hope it's not too long before I design and purchase a frame as these are simply too cute to stay in my Box of Shame for too long!

Given my current run of finishes, I wonder if I can fit in another one before the end of September? We'll see.....

Take care everyone and thank you for your continued support, despite my lack of commenting and replying.
Rachel x

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Jo's Big Birthday Blog Hop

Hello all and.....

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY JO!


Image result for 50th birthday cake

This is my contribution to Jo's Birthday Blog Hop and the year given was 2010. In her own words, here's what happened to Jo in that year:

2010 - Jo was 44.  As the Small Boy grew up and settled into a routine Jo got more stitching time and also more computer time.  She had joined a Parenting Forum when she was pregnant and discovered there were cross stitching forums too.  She found the Yuku boards, in particular the Mirabilia forums and saw the links to the stitchers' blogs.  Her new career as a Blog Stalker started.  At this time Jo was still a strict OAAT stitcher.  Her finishes that year soared into double figures, mostly smaller projects but there were a couple of larger designs.  She discovered the world of online shopping too, which was a good thing because a Big Box Store had recently shut down her beloved LNS.


My anecdote/memory for 2010 - gutting and redecorating my daughter's bedroom.
At the end of 2009 we moved into a bigger house which was in need of updating and refurbishment. One bedroom stayed out of bounds for a while as it had a window that did not close, a radiator with a hole, a disgusting carpet, missing skirting boards, stunk of cigarette smoke and was stained yellow/brown with nicotine. During 2010 it was so satisfying completely gutting the room and working  hard to develop into a clean and refreshed white lilac and purple bedroom fit for habitation.


As for which of my pieces to show which would appeal to Jo, I was quite stumped as Jo has stitched such a range of projects over the years covering just about everything. In the end I opted for a small project from Dragon Dreams Inc called My Treasure. I know Jo's stitched a few small Dragon Dreams designs, so she should like it!




If you are following Jo's Big Birthday Blog Hop I hope you have enjoyed travelling through the years with her.

All that remains to be said again is Happy Birthday Jo. Have a great day and thank you for your hard work and preparation which has enabled us to delve into your life!

Rachel x

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Molly Mouse - DUCJC 2016 Finish 18/31

Good morning,

September has been a really good stitching month for me so far, meaning progress has been speedy and the finishes are rolling off my frames! And here's another one.

This is Molly Mouse, the fifth finish of the six Woodland Folk designs I started for Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge this year, and finish number 18 from that challenge.

Here's how I left her back on 10th January:


And here she is completed:

DMC Woodland Folk
Stitched on 16ct Kelp over-dyed aida by Fabric Flair 2 over 1
Stitch count 55 wide by 54 high
Started - 10th January 2016
Finished - 14th September 2016
Total stitching time - 10 hours 55 minutes
(estimated 15 hours)


As usual, I really enjoyed stitching her, especially the backstitching which made her tail stand out. I love the way she's holding it. So cute!

As soon as she was off the frame, the final Woodland Folk animal, Ollie Owl, went on so if my recent progress continues it shouldn't be long before you see him finished too!

See you soon, probably.
Rachel x

Sunday, 11 September 2016

October Fairy - started and finished

Good morning all!

Today I am showing you another finished project, this being my final planned new start for 2016.

Back in the spring I purchased the downloadable monthly set of fairies from Lili of the Valley, the company who produce the Odd Dog designs which some of you like. Originally, I'd intended to stitch them one a month during 2017 but I couldn't help starting one this year and October is the month I chose.

So, without further ado, here she is:

October Fairy by Lili of the valley
Stitched on 16ct Peach Cobbler over-dyed aida by Sewitall.com 2 over 2
Started - 4th September 2016
Finished - 9th September 2016
Total stitching time - 15 hours 10 minutes


She was absolutely adorable to work on and I am almost certain I shall finish the remaining fairies in this series before the end of next year (perhaps even another one or two this year?!) I have already planned which colour fabric each one will be stitched on so they are now just waiting for my attention. I wonder which one will be next?!

But first, I really need to get back to more WIPs with  no more new start distractions!

Back soon I hope,
Rachel x

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Eat Locally - DUCJC 2016 Finish 17/31

Morning!

I have another finish from my myriad of January starts to show you:

This is how Eat Locally by Lizzie Kate looked after my meager 30 minute January start:


And it now looks like this:

Lizzie Kate
Stitched on 16ct Muted Garden hand-dyed aida by The Crafty Kitten 2 over 1
Stitch count 40 wide by 63 high
Started - 28th January 2016
Finished - 3rd September 2016
Total stitching time - 8 hours 45 minutes
(estimated 11 hours)


This now completes my stitching of this set of Lizzie Kate Green designs so all six are ready to be finish-finished. I spent a fair amount of time deciding how to finish them off and in the end opted to frame them. I have already ordered and received the frame so it's just a case of putting them in, which I plan to do today.

Happy stitching everyone,
Rachel x

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Mini Midnight Manor - started and finished

Good afternoon everybody!

Despite the numerous WIPs I have which need finishing, I allowed myself a new start over the lengthy summer school holiday. I told myself quite severely that this had to be on the understanding that it was stitchable within the seven week time-frame and easy enough so that it could be stitched on for just a few minutes at a time if necessary. This is the pattern I chose:

Mini Midnight Manor by Waxing Moon Designs
Stitched on 16ct Lime over-dyed aida from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 80 wide by 80 high
Started - 22nd July 2016
Finished - 31st August 2016
Total stitching time - 16 hours 50 minutes


I made two main changes to the design:
1)  I moved the lampposts slightly so that the design would be an exact square (because I already have a square frame to put it in)
2)  I stitched the lights in the windows and lampposts as I thought it would give it a slightly more spooky feel.

Here's the original design for comparison:



I certainly don't think my changes have spoiled it but then I would say that!

Even though I used just over a skein of black I didn't get fed up of the one-colour chart - in fact it was quite refreshing for once not to have to change colours and carefully follow the symbols. This will definitely not be the only silhouette-type chart I stitch - there is a bigger version of this haunted house in my stash for starters.

Apart from my Smalls SAL pieces, I've got one more new start planned this year. Other than that, it's time to whip more of my WIPs and further decrease the number outstanding before the end of 2016. Best get on then.....

Take care everybody :)
Rachel x

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Smalls SAL - August 2016

Good afternoon everybody,

It's the last Thursday of the month so time for another Smalls SAL post hosted by Heather of Stitching Lotus.


For August I stitched another of the dolphin Beach Buddies to accompany the two I stitched last month. Once again the project was finished off as a small card with just a tiny bit of bling:



Dolphins with Ball by Dureen Jones from Cross Stitch Crazy issue 218
Stitched on 16ct Eastern Sky over-dyed aida from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 38 wide by 38 high
Started - 16th August 2016
Finished - 24th August 2016
Total stitching time - 8 hours 10 minutes



I have a feeling that another dolphin may make an appearance in September. See you then!

Happy stitching,

Rachel x

Monday, 22 August 2016

Contentious - DUCJC 2016 Finish 16/31

Hello All!

So finish number 16 of my 31 January starts has now been completed.

As usual she was an absolute joy to stitch, especially once I'd backstitched her face and eyes so that she could watch my progress. I'm impressed how Margaret Sherry never fails to get facial features spot on.

Here's how I left Contentious on 3rd January after just over 5 hours of stitching:


And here she is completed:

Featured in Cattitudes Calendar 2003 by Margaret Sherry
Stitched on 32ct Lime Murano evenweave 2 over 2
Stitch count 79 wide by 71 high
Started - 3rd January 2016
Finished - 20th August 2016
Total stitching time - 22 hours 45 minutes


For the time being Contentious will join her sister, Cantankerous, in my Box of Shame until I decide how I want to finish them. I hope it's not too long before I come up with a good idea as I definitely need them on display.

Next up, the Small's SAL on Thursday.

Happy stitching :)
Rachel x

Friday, 5 August 2016

Playful Puss 4 - DUCJC 2016 Finish 15/31

Hello again!

I really tried to finish the final Playful Puss WIP before the end of the July but without success. I still had the grass and backstitching left to do, so a few hour's work. But I've finished it now..... just four days later than hoped.

Here's how I left this piece on 6th January after 4 hours of stitching:


And here's the completed project:

Featured in ???
Designed by Lucie Heaton
Stitched on 16ct White aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 57 wide by 59 high
Started - 6th January 2016
Finished - 4th August 2016
Total stitching time - 16 hours 35 minutes
(estimated 15 hours)


It's strange, I'm not particularly fond of cats but I do seem to be stitching or have stitched quite a few cat/kitten projects recently. I guess I'm just drawn to them. My next planned finish is also a cat, but one with a bit more of an attitude!

This finish also marks the halfway point of my January 2016 Challenge pieces. I think I'd aimed to complete somewhere between 25-27 of the 31 new starts by the end of the year so I'm not doing too badly.

Best get cracking on working towards finishing number 16 then.

Take care everybody,
Rachel x

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Smalls SAL - July 2016

Good afternoon everybody,

It's the end of the month so time for another Smalls SAL post hosted by Heather of Stitching Lotus.

This month I opted for something completely different. When I saw a set of seven Dolphin Beach Buddies charts I knew I had to start at least one of them straight away. So the Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings ornaments I usually stitch for this SAL got pushed to one side and these cuties stitched in their place!

To my delight, I was able to complete two within the month, both finished off as little padded tri-fold cards using card and bling from my scrapbooking stash:


Heart Dolphins by Dureen Jones from Cross Stitch Crazy issue 218
Stitched on 16ct Eastern Sky over-dyed aida from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 38 wide by 38 high
Started - 15th June 2016
Finished - 16th July 2016
Total stitching time - 5 hours 55 minutes



Dolphin in Hammock by Dureen Jones from Cross Stitch Crazy issue 218
Stitched on 16ct Eastern Sky over-dyed aida from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 38 wide by 38 high
Started - 17th July 2016
Finished - 20th July 2016
Total stitching time - 8 hours 5 minutes


With the two-day heatwave we had here in the UK last week I expect a lot of people would have been dreaming about contentedly laying in a hammock in the sunshine like this lucky dolphin!

As I can't wait to stitch the remaining five in the set, I expect another one (or two) may follow next month. See you then.

Happy stitching,
Rachel x

Friday, 22 July 2016

Playful Puss 3 - DUCJC 2016 Finish 14/31

Hello all,

Just a quick post today to show you another finish from my myriad of January 2016 new starts. This is number 3 of the 4 Playful Puss designs I have stitched or am stitching. Here are reminders of number 1 and number 2 (if you're interested) which were finished 15 months ago.

This is where I left number 3 back on 30th January after 4 hours of work:


And here she is completed:

Featured in ???
Designed by Lucie Heaton
Stitched on 16ct White aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 57 wide by 59 high
Started - 30th January 2016
Finished - 22nd July 2016
Total stitching time - 15 hours
(estimated 17 hours)


The final Playful Puss is already on my frames with the aim of completing her before the end of the month. Somehow I don't think that will be a problem!

Back soon, hopefully!
Rachel x

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Ocean Critters Dolphin - finished

Hello all,

Well, another finish has been a long time coming but I can finally show you my latest completed project. It's the Dolphin from the Ocean Critters series and a companion for the Seahorse I completed last month.

I haven't taken or shown any progress pictures, so all you get to see is the finished piece:

Ocean Critters - Dolphin by Janet Morningstar for Moonlight Inspirations
Stitched on 16ct Sea Glass over-dyed aida by sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 92 wide by 114 high
Started - 14th June 2016
Finished - 16th July 2016
Total stitching time - 22 hours 25 minutes


As usual, I loved stitching this piece. The dolphin's so cute the way it's peeping through the seaweed!

With the 7 week school summer holiday about to start I'm hoping to sneak in some additional stitching time and a few more finishes before another new start jumps onto my frames!

Take care everyone,
Rachel x

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Smalls SAL - June 2016

Good afternoon everybody,

I can't believe another month has flown by and it's time for the Smalls SAL again, hosted by Heather of Stitching Lotus. As you are probably aware by now I am trying to complete a Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings Christmas Ornament each month. My success continues in June with Mistletoe.

Here are the usual photographs:



 Mistletoe from Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings XIV
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Brown aida from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 50 wide by 50 high
Started - 6th June 2016
Finished -  21st June 2016
Total stitching time - 7 hours 5 minutes
plus a couple of hours to finish


I'm not getting fed up with these Tiny Tidings ornaments but I'm planning on stitching something different for next month's check-in, just for a change. see you then!

Take care everyone,
Rachel x