Friday, 19 October 2018

Pretty Little Paris - finished and framed

Hello all!

So here we have this month's finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge 2015. This is finish number 34 out of the 59 starts and is, of course, Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street.

At the end of September I had made this much progress:


And now with final additions of Sacre Coeur and the Montgolfier Balloon:

Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street
Stitched on 16ct Apricot Sunset hand-dyed aida by The Crafty Kitten 2 over 1
Stitch count 111 wide by 104 high
Started - 19th February 2015
Finished - 9th October 2018
Total stitching time - 39 hours 15 minutes


And, continuing my fully-finishing-off streak, here it is framed. I really wanted a blue frame to bring out the Eiffel Tower but my usual frame supplier, easyframe.co.uk, didn't have the right shade, so I opted for the same as London - a 13mm red stain frame with non-reflective acrylic glazing.



Here are London and Paris together:



As it turned out, the two frames are slightly different in both colouring and texture, even though they are supposed to be the same. I guess, like most things, different batches are not exactly identical. Not that it bothers me; it was never my original intention to frame them as a matching pair anyway.

I really enjoyed stitching both Paris and London this year, watching landmarks take shape in weird in wonderful colours. It's no wonder the Pretty Little Cities are popular although, having said that, I haven't seen any around for a while.

I have a few others Pretty Little Cities I would like to stitch 'one day', the first of which will be  Toronto. But don't hold your breath waiting, I am fairly certain it will be quite some time before it makes an appearance!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 12 October 2018

French Country Snow Globe - started and finished!

Hi all!

So, here's a new started-and-finished project to show you, one that was sitting near the top of my to-do pile for quite some time and which filled the 'new start' gap left after I had finished Haunted House Bell Pull.

I was originally only going to stitch the snow globe, then decided I actually quite liked the border but not the background, then thought actually I do like the background after all so stitched it as charted! It was also a good excuse to also bring out some sparkly fabric and variegated threads:



After ten hours of stitching I only had some of the background left to fill in so thought that instead of showing a ten hour progress picture I'd just plod on to the end. And here it is:

French Country Snow Globe by JBW designs
Stitched on 16ct Tin over-dyed aida with sparkles 2 over 1
Stitch count 83 wide by 87 high
Started - 26th August 2018
Finished - 28th September 2018
Total stitching time - 15 hours


The variegated threads are by ThreadworX - the green is 1048 Woodland Green, the red 1089 Bleeding Hearts and the white 10302 Reflections, which has very very pale red and green running through it (so pale in fact you can hardly see them!) The variations are quite subtle, and hardly visible in the photos, but I didn't want distinct colour changes so were perfect in that respect.

The background is actually the repetition of the word 'snow' although takes some concentration to figure it out!

I didn't think this piece was important enough to warrant framing so, surprise surprise, have made it into an ornie. Naturally some of the sparkles have rubbed off, and will continue to rub off, but at least I found some suitable fabric and finished it off with red barley twist cord. It's stuffed a bit too much for my liking but it'll go down in time.





So, having finished this project, I had an empty 'new start' space again. In the last two days of September I made a fair bit of progress on my next new project although won't show a picture until I reach the ten hour mark, But, as a tease, I will tell you it's by Soda Stitch. ;)

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 6 October 2018

People's Choice SAL - Halloween

Hi all!

Apart from the monthly Smalls SAL I haven't really wanted to commit to any other stitching SAL for a couple of years... until now. The temptation to join in Jo from Serendipitous Stitching's People's Choice SAL was far too great, so here I am! Thank you, Jo, for this wonderfully novel idea!



I probably won't be stitching anything new for this SAL (and doubt I will be joining in every month unless my shoehorn delves into the realms of fantasy) but thought it would be a good opportunity to re-photograph and re-blog some finishes, pull out some outstanding WIPs and delve into my stash pile to see what other projects urgently need to be added to my already lengthy 'absolutely have to stitch' list. Perhaps someone somewhere may see something they might like to stitch too.

The theme for October 2018 is Halloween, and considering I don't celebrate Halloween I've got quite a few pieces to show. It's all to do with the colours I think; the combination of greens, oranges and purples just appeal to me.


Finished pieces - a few framed pieces and a few ornies:

Lili Of The Valley - October Fairy
Stoney Creek - Haunted House Bell Pull
Waxing Moon Designs - Mini Midnight Manor

Lizzie Kate Boo Club - Halloween and Ghost
Magazine charts - Cauldron and Witches Hat


Stash - erm... more than I thought, actually, and too much for me to show without feeling totally guilty or embarrassed! So I've chosen my top three must-stitch charts (subject to change, of course!):


Artecy - Halloween Banners (starting with the red one)
JBW Designs - Scaredy Cats
Stoney Creek - Haunted House Welcome

Two out of the three are already in my 2019 stitching plans, the other planned for 2020.


Wish List - surprisingly, not many (I'm seriously trying not to look!)

Haunted Library by Mill Hill

And these two pieces by LuckyStarStitches on etsy

I have a couple of other Halloween-themed Mill Hill Beads and Buttons kits already but Haunted Library appeals to me since being a librarian is one of my many jobs!


Fabrics - seeing as I now make all of my small stitched pieces into ornaments, where would I be without my backing fabrics? I have a accumulated a fair few which have already been or are waiting to be used. I absolutely love the spooky eyes fabric - very Scooby Doo!


One of the purples (bottom centre?) will be used to finish off this piece which has been sitting in my Box Of Shame for nearly three years:

JBW Designs - French Country Witch

My original intention was to stitch something on the other half of this fabric to create a double sided ornie but, thanks to being aired again on this SAL, I think I'll just make this into an ornie of its own.


And now I find myself wanting to go and start lots of new Halloween projects! Perhaps joining in with this SAL was not such a good idea after all, especially if I get ideas from other people's stitching!

Next month, birthstones. I already feel a shoehorn coming on.

Ideas for January - something along the lines of winter/snow/cold?

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 1 October 2018

September Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello there!

Another month gone and another month of steady progress to show you on a couple of projects I started for Debbie's Challenges back in 2015/2016.

During September I finished and framed Tea from the Little Black Cat range (posted previously) and made progress on:


Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street
started 19th February 2015; last worked on last month
finished the bridge and added the Arc de Triomph




Winter Alphabet by Lizzie Kate
started 26th January 2016; last worked on in March 2016
continued alphabetically, adding two more rows


In October I plan to finish Pretty Little Paris, make further progress on Winter Alphabet and bring the final Hogwarts House Crest, Hufflepuff, out to play. If all goes well, all three pieces will be finished by the end of the year.

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Smalls SAL - September 2018

Hello again!

It's the last Friday of September (well, it was yesterday!) so time for another check-in for the Smalls SAL run by Heather of Stitching Lotus. Continued thanks to our host for running this SAL.



For September I went all tropical and fruity and stitched another cheeky fruit to add to my collection:

Pineapple from Fabulous Fruit
Designed by Jenny Barton in Cross Stitch Crazy magazine issue 192 (I think)
Stitched on 16ct Peach Cobbler over-dyed aida from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 37 wide by 41 high
Started - 1st September 2018
Finished - 4th September 2018
Total stitching time - 4 hours 50 minutes


This one was finished off using spotty orange backing fabric and orange barley twist cord:





I've got one more fruit I am planning to stitch this year and then I'll show them all together.

For October I'm adding to my Parliament and stitching in a colour I rarely get to use.

Take care,
Rachel x

PS I haven't read any blogs for the whole of September so will be doing a bit of catching up soon!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Little Black Cat Tea - finished; all 4 Little Black Cats framed

Hello all!

Another month and another finish to show you from DSDUCFC 2015. This is finish number 32/59 and the final Little Black Cat to accompany the previously-completed Coffee, Cream and Sugar.

At the end of August I still had the bottom third to stitch:


Which has now been completed to look like this:

Little Black Cat - Tea
Heritage Crafts designed by Toni Goffe
Stitched on 32ct Light Blue Murano evenweave 2 over 2
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 23rd February 2015
Finished - 11th September 2018
Total stitching time - 31 hours 15 minutes


Here are all four Little Black cat pieces together:



But that's not all... they have all been framed too! It took a while to find the most aesthetically pleasing arrangement, but may I introduce....

Cream

Cream and Coffee

Cream, Coffee and Sugar

Cream, Coffee, Sugar and Tea


And in their frame:



The frame is from my usual easyframe.co.uk and is a 13mm black paint frame with a black bottom mount, sun red top mount and acrylic anti-reflective glazing. It wasn't easy choosing mount colours for these designs, as creams and blues also looked very effective, but somehow this combination stood out to me as more fun than the other options. I really really like it.

So that also means four less pieces in my Box of Shame, not that Tea actually made it in there since he was finished, ironed and framed almost immediately!

More finishes and framing still to come in the last few months this year...

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 1 September 2018

August Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello there!

So we're now 2/3rds of the way through the year and I'm slowly but surely keeping up with making progress on some of the pieces I started for Debbie's Challenges back in 2015 and 2016.

During August I finished Summer from The Four Season (posted previously) and made progress on:


Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street
started 19th February 2015; last worked on last month
finished Notre Dame, added the trees on the left and started the bridge
(much better representation of fabric colour)



Little Black Cat - Tea by Heritage Crafts
started 23rd February 2015; last worked on in December 2016
filled in some of the background
(much better representation of fabric colour)


In September I plan to finish Tea, make more progress on Pretty Little Paris and bring the final Lizzie Kate Seasonal Alphabet out of its bag for some much needed attention. Fingers crossed.

Take care,
Rachel x