Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Milk Train - finished

Hello all,

Just a quick post today to show my latest finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015.

I started this for day 55 of the Challenge and finished it a couple of nights ago. This is the 19th finish out of the 59 starts.

This is how I left it at the end of March:

And now:

The Milk Train
Heritage Crafts Silhouette
Stitched on 16ct Cream Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 24th February 2015
Finished - 8th April 2017
Total stitching time - 29 hours
(estimated 34 hours)

I really enjoyed stitching it (no surprise there) and am so pleased with the result as it looked like a square of mushy colours whilst I was stitching it! The use of blended threads definitely highlight the subtle colour changes when looked at from a distance. All I need to do now is find a simple brown frame for it.

If I seem a bit quiet on the posting front at the moment it's simply because I've got nothing to blog about! I may soon reach the 10 hour mark on a new start, which will involve a post, but other than that I'm just beavering away on WIPs which will appear in my month end update.

Oh, and of course I'm failing to keep up with blog reading again. But I should be able to catch up over the Easter holidays.

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Back again!

Another month, another progress report on my Challenge WIPs. True to my hopes for March I finished Coffee and worked on three more.

These were:

Dreaming of Dolphins from Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
started 7th January 2015; last stitched on February 2017
finished the third dolphin and started on the final one who has both the tip of his nose and tail

Gryffindor by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 4th February 2015; last stitched on 22nd August 2015
started the red background

The Milk Train by Heritage Crafts
started 24th February 2015; last stitched on February 2017
continued working my way down and left

If things continue to go to plan, April should see me finish The Milk Train and again work on three more WIPs. Fingers crossed.....

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 31 March 2017

Smalls SAL - March 2017

Good afternoon,

As it's the last Friday of the month it's time to post my project for this month's Smalls SAL. Thank you once again to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.

This month I carried on with my Durene Jones cute animal calendar. The cake is supposed to have "best mum" written on it, but seeing as Mother's Day is not really an occasion in our house I decided to change it to simply "yum!".

March Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st March 2017
Finished - 17th March 2017
Total stitching time - 8 hours 5 minutes

And the whole calendar so far:

I have to admit I'm really looking forward to starting April's animal tomorrow. I think it's going to be one of my favourites!

See you with that next month.
Rachel x

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Blogoversary Giveaway Winner

Good afternoon all!

Sorry, I was supposed to post this yesterday.....

Thank you to everybody who left comments wishing me a happy blogoversary. Not many people seem to celebrate their blogoversaries anymore so it's nice to be different.

There were only 10 entries in the giveaway this year, giving you all a better chance of winning.

I found a free RNG, punched in the numbers, pressed the magic button and up popped number 10. Tiffstitch!

Please email me (address on left hand side) and let me know which store you would like the voucher for and I'll see what I can do.

Thanks go to the rest of you for entering, and if you didn't win, better luck next year!

All the best,
Rachel x

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Little Black Cat Coffee - finished

Hello all!

I have a finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015.

I started him for day 33 of the Challenge and finished him a few days ago. He is the 18th finish out of the 59 starts (so still a v-e-r-y long way to go!)

Here's how he looked the last time you saw him at the end of February with not much left to stitch:

And now all completed:

Little Black Cat - Coffee
Heritage Crafts designed by Toni Goffe
Stitched on 32ct Light Blue Murano evenweave 2 over 2
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 2nd February 2015
Finished - 3rd March 2017
Total stitching time - 29 hours 20 minutes
(estimated 31 hours)

I debated whether or not to stitch the blue background, bearing in mind the colour fabric I was using, but am so glad I did as it gives much more depth to the cat himself. Yes, it might have used a skein of thread (exactly) and taken about 10 hours but I do not consider it wasted time.

This project was one of my first ventures into evenweave and if any of you are familiar with Heritage Craft charts you will know how essential it is not to stitch the majority of their designs on aida. I am not usually a fan of evenweave (although I'm gradually getting used to it) but there are so many stitches that use half the depth or width of a normal stitch that I think I would have given up if I'd attempted it on aida!

I'm not going to do anything with him until I have completed the other three in the series (Cream, Tea and Sugar) as I would like to frame them all together, so I'm afraid it's into my Box of Shame he goes. One of the remaining three is on my list to complete this year, the other two will probably have to wait until 2018 before they see daylight; but they will see daylight and they will be finished.

For now it's back to more of my DSDUCJFC pieces..... I think.

Keep stitching,
Rachel x

PS There's still time to enter the giveaway on my previous post if you want to be in with a chance of winning an e-gift voucher.

Friday, 3 March 2017

3rd Blogoversary Giveaway

Good morning everyone!

It's the third of the third and I'm three years old today!! Happy blogoversary to me!

Goodness me, just where has the time gone?

I started this blog in order to keep track of the big projects I was stitching at the time, but during the past three years have basically ditched them all in favour of lots of smaller projects. I would not have predicted that back then. What a good/bad influence the blogosphere and all of you wonderful stitchers have been on me!

So, on to the point of this post. Each year I celebrate my blogoversary by rewarding one of my followers with a voucher. I was trying to think of something different to do this year but have decided to stick to the usual format as it's quick and easy!

Up for grabs is a £10, or local currency equivalent, e-gift voucher for the store of your choice. All you have to do to win is:

1) be a follower of my blog via the link on the left (email followers will not be included) and
2) leave a comment stating that you would like to be entered into the draw

It doesn't matter if you don't usually leave comments, as long as you're a follower you'll be entered if you wish.


You have one week until 9am GMT on 10th March 2017 to enter, after which a winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and a post made. I'll get the voucher out to the winner ASAP once we've exchanged emails and your store has been selected.

Good luck!
Rachel x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Good morning everyone!

Another month and another progress report. I'm sure that it's not going to seem like five minutes between these monthly postings.

For February I decided to carry on with one piece from January then pick out two different pieces for the rest of the month. I think that working on neglected pieces last month made me feel a little guilty that others also need to feel loved.

Here are the projects I chose to work on:

Dreaming of Dolphins from Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
started 7th January 2015; last stitched on 4th June 2015 (shame on me!)
almost finished the third dolphin - the pattern, fabric and blues are all lovely to work with

Little Black Cat Coffee by Heritage Crafts
started 2nd February 2015; last stitched on in January 2017
continued working my way down - so close to finishing this one

The Milk Train by Heritage Crafts
started 24th February 2015; not stitched on since then (shame on me again!)
continued working my way down, then in from the right as I needed a change from the really pale colours!

During March I am hoping to finish Coffee and stitch on three more WIPs. I already know which three they will be but you'll have to wait until 1st April to find out!

Back in 31 days with another month-end progress report.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 27 February 2017

Spring Bird - started and finished

Hello all,

In between all of my WIP and Smalls SAL stitching in February I managed to fit in my second new start and finish of 2017.

Back in the spring of last year I purchased some Threadworx hand-dyed threads in seasonal colours not really knowing what I was going to do with them. Then I found a simple bird pattern which I decided I would stitch four times using these threads. Last year I stitched Summer and now I have stitched Spring:

Bird by Hobikolik (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Dried Petal over-dyed aida by 2 over 1
Stitched in Threadworx 1006 Berry Nice
Stitch count 80 wide by 80 high
Started - 23rd February 2017
Finished - 26th February 2017
Total stitching time - 6 hours

Here's a reminder of Summer, stitched using Threadworx 11511 Jam Rock on Lime:

Looking back at my records I noticed that Summer took 7 1/4 hours to stitch compared to 6 hours for Spring. Why the difference? Because for Spring I was listening to music, for Summer I was watching TV. It just goes to show how distracting a screen can be!

Like Summer, Spring has gone into my Box of Shame... but... I already have the backing fabric to make them both into little cushions. Watch this space!

I say this about most of my projects, but I really did enjoy stitching this and am looking forward to stitching Autumn and Winter. However, they are not on this year's stitching plans so I'll have to pencil them in for 2018!

Back in a couple of days with a progress report on my Challenge WIPs.

See you then,
Rachel x

Friday, 24 February 2017

Smalls SAL - February 2017

Good afternoon!

As it's the last Friday of the month it's time to post my project for this month's Smalls SAL. Thank you once again to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.

Continuing on from January, this month's small is Durene Jones' February Calendar animal.

February Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st February 2017
Finished - 7th February 2017
Total stitching time - 8 hours 10 minutes

I have to admit the panda this month was not as enjoyable to stitch as the little squirrel last month, but with 12 different animals in total there are bound to be some I enjoy more than others. Here are the two together:

I expect I'll carry on with the calendar and do March next month.

See you then!
Rachel x

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

6 Box of Shame Finishes

Hello all!

I'm back with more Box of Shame finishes although, to be honest, it's really only one even though I've counted it as six! I started (and finished) these six Lizzie Kate Green Series charts last year as part of Debbie's January Challenge. They were quick and fun to do and I'm so glad they are no longer in my Box of Shame.

Lizzie Kate Green Series
This was a splurge frame which I actually bought last September. I spent a long time deliberating if this set was worth custom framing or if I should make them into ornaments. I decided that, as I would probably never get around to making ornaments, a frame was best. The muted greens and pinks of the fabric were quite hard to match to the available mounts but in the end I opted for a dark red inner mount and dark green outer mount surrounded by a mahogany frame and with non-reflective glazing. I'm absolutely delighted with the result even if it was extravagant for such small pieces.

Shame the photos don't do the pieces justice (the conservatory was too sunny!)

And individually:

I think I've done really well with my Box of Shame finishes so far this year but this one will probably be the last for a while. Apart from the set of six Woodland Folk animals, most of the remaining pieces are for making into ornaments and that is a task I am not overly keen about. I expect I'll keep putting them off and putting them off until one day I get the enthusiasm to start them and have an ornament marathon. Can't see it happening anytime soon though!!!

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday, 12 February 2017

7 Box of Shame Finishes

Good afternoon all!

I've been a successful busy little bee again this week, rummaging through my and my mum's collection of previously used and/or "might-come-in-handy-one-day" frames and framing a few more of my Box of Shame pieces. It was so nice to find suitable frames and not have to buy any new ones. However, it does mean that all the glass is standard and decent photos were very difficult to get.

Here we go then:

April Showers
I finished this Lickle Ted piece in 2015 and have been procrastinating about framing him since. He looked wonderful with tan and red mounts, but equally good without them. So without them it was! It's a 7"x9" gold-edged mahogany-effect frame which came from a cheapy-bits-and-pieces shop a few years ago for about £3.

Friends Forever
Sam and Peeps were also stitched in 2015 and have finally come out to be displayed. This cheap 5"x7" teal frame was bought from Asda years ago for a massive 97p! I knew it would come in handy one day!

Let's Eat Dessert
I finished this in 2016 but was always wary of how I would frame it given the amount of colours in the fabric. Surprisingly, a gold-edged mid-wood frame looked really good, so that's what I used as that's all it needed.

October Fairy
This was a piece I stitched in 2016 and (obviously) one of a set of 12. I had no idea how I would frame the series but came across this wonderful bright orange 5"x5" frame in Tiger for a massive £1. I can't remember if they stocked colours that will match the other fairies in the series but then I haven't stitched them yet so will worry about that when it comes to it!

Cats In Love
You should recognise this piece as it was a new start and finish last month. I wanted a black frame but found this black and silver 8"x10" frame which came from Poundland. I wasn't sure if it would look right but think it works really well. And it's something different to plain black for a change.

And finally...

Playful Puss 3 and 4
The first two Playful Puss pieces were stitched and framed in 2015. The other two were finished last summer so goodness knows why it has taken me so long to add them into the frame! It's a simple black frame with bright green and pink mounts to match the grass and flowers. Unlike the other this was custom made so not cheap!

So, that's another 7 out of my Box of Shame... but still loads more to go. Hopefully I'll be back with some more finished-finishes soon.

Happy stitching (and finishing!)
Rachel x

Sunday, 5 February 2017

5 Box of Shame Finishes


During 2017 I am attempting to radically reduce the number of unfinished-finishes lurking in my Box of Shame. This week I've successfully eliminated another 5.

OK, it's not as impressive as it sounds as all five pieces were simply framed in aperture cards with a little bit of wadding behind them. But at least they are finished and crossed off my list. There was really no need to embellish the cards as the finished pieces speak for themselves.

Puddle Duck and Waterlogged were stitched at the beginning of 2015. I chose bright card colours to reflect the fun element of the designs.

Mr Daydream, Mr Jelly and Mr Happy were stitched for last December's Smalls SAL. Again I chose bright cards which matched their colours (OK, Mr Jelly should be in a pink not a red card but he doesn't look too bad). I wanted to write their names on the cards but didn't trust myself to get them right or neat enough. Maybe one day.....

I've already selected the next batch of pieces of finish-finish but when I'll get around to them is another thing! Hopefully it won't be too long.

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

January Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

Back in 2015 I used to do a post at the end of each month summarizing the progress I'd made on any unfinished pieces which had been started for Debbie's Challenge. In 2016 I had no need to do this as nearly every Challenge piece I worked on in any given month also became a finish.

This year, I plan to revisit some of my 2015 Challenge pieces and will once again be posting monthly summaries. It's a neat way of pulling together all the progress I've made on my Challenge WIPs in just one post.

I finished two pieces:
*  bear
*  polar bear

And worked on:

Little Black Cat Coffee by Heritage Crafts
started 2nd February 2015; not stitched on since then
worked my way down, stitching the background, the cat and continuing with the coffee pot

Slytherin by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 25th February 2015; last stitched on 31st August 2015
finished the name banner

Pandas by Gloria and Pat
started 28th February 2015; not stitched on since then
finished the first panda's head and started the second panda's head

Alongside my other stitching commitments, I'm hoping to work on a minimum of three Challenge WIPs each month but I expect there will be times when I concentrate on one and other times when I flit around between quite a few. Whatever the case there should be lots of progress and some finishes to see during the year. Wonder which ones I'll pull out during February? It's not as if I haven't got many to choose from!!!

Happy February everyone!
Rachel x