Thursday, 15 October 2020

Hogwarts In A Bottle - FINISHED!!!

Hi there!

Yes, you read the title correctly... Hogwarts In A Bottle is FINISHED!!! Oh Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Dance!

I'll waste no time and go straight to the pictures...

At 190 hours:

And now FINISHED... ta-da...

Hogwarts In A Bottle by CutePatternByMaria (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Lazurite hand-dyed aida by Chromatic Alchemy
Stitch count 119 wide by 233 high
Started - 7th January 2019
Finished - 9th October 2020
Total Stitching Time - 199 hours 5 minutes

I'm sooooo excited to have this finished, and will definitely miss it - even the backstitching! Despite its size (and if I didn't have anything else to do!) I would not hesitate to stitch it again, that's how much I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of the 25,000 or so stitches.

The only change I made was using 3799 for the backstitching instead of the suggested 310. Black can be quite harsh sometimes and I thought this needed something a bit more subtle. But that's just personal taste.

Talking of backstitching, I didn't keep a record of how long it all took but am guessing maybe around 30 hours. There's a lot of fine detail around the castle windows, bridge arches and train, some using one strand, some using two but, as with all backstitching, what a difference!

I've already ordered a frame so, assuming I frame it within the next couple of weeks (which I'm sure I will) the completely fully-finished Hogwarts In A Bottle will be ready for the big reveal in November's FFG SAL.

So what to do now that I've finished one of my bigger WIPs? Well, I am sorely tempted to start another Harry Potter themed design to replace this one but have (sensibly) decided against it for the time being; I have plenty of WIPs to be getting on with, and four more new starts planned for Naughty November, so really can't justify starting another one this year. Next year, however... well, that's a different story! ;)

Finally, here are all the progress pictures together so you can see how the picture grew with each 10 hours of work. I've tried to be all technical and make a simple slideshow. I don't know if it will work, so if it doesn't, or you don't want to watch it, I've added the pictures as well. The music is Ravel's String Quartet In F Major (automatically adjusted to fit the length of he slideshow) and was the closest Harry Potter type background music available with the program. Enjoy!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery SAL - October 2020

Hello all!

It's the 10th of the month so time for another Fully Finished Gallery SAL, the place to show your FFOing achievements since your last link-up.

The link-up for this SAL opens on the 10th of each month and stays open for 10 days so, even if you have nothing FFOd today, or tomorrow, or the day after that, you still have plenty of time to join in.

This month I only fully finished off the five advent calendar days I posted earlier this week. They are all FFOd to match the others, with felt backing and barley twist cord hanging loops.

Short and simple this month. Now it's over to you to show what you have finished.

Please link-up using the URL of your FFG SAL post and not the home page of your blog, adding a thumbnail of a finish and either your name or your blog name as the caption. The link-up will remain open for 10 days, closing at 6am UK time on 20th October.

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And please don't forget to follow other links and see what fellow fully-finishers have been up to; you never know, other projects may give you an idea for your next finish!

Next month's post will go live on 10th November at 6am UK time. Hope to see you there!

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

JBW Advent Calendar - Days 15, 17, 12, 14 and 18 finished!

Hello all!

This year I am hoping to stitch all of the 24 designs which make up JBW Designs' Advent Calendar.

On my previous Advent Calendar post, I'd finished 18 of the 24 designs. Now I've finished another five, making 23 in total. I ran out of time at the end of September to finish the final one so it will have to wait until November, since I want to dedicate October to as much Halloween-related stitching as possible.

Here are the five newest finishes:

Day 15 - bunny:

Started - 12th August 2020
Finished - 26th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 35 minutes

Day 17 - houses:

Started - 12th August 2020
Finished - 27th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 50 minutes

Day 12 - church:

Started - 13th August 2020
Finished - 29th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 2 hours 10 minutes

Day 14 - rocking horse:

Started - 13th August 2020
Finished - 30th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 25 minutes

Day 18 - sheep:

Started - 14th August 2020
Finished - 30th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 50 minutes

I made a couple of changes in that I didn't stitch the stripes behind the rocking horse (none of the other days have stripes) and the sheep is a very pale blue instead of the suggested white which wouldn't have shown up on the fabric. Well, there's a pink bunny so why not a blue sheep?!

I'm so looking forward to finishing the final one, and the additional one for Christmas Day itself, as soon as November appears.

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 3 October 2020

People's Choice SAL - Wizards

Hello all!

It's the first Saturday of the month so time for the People's Choice SAL run by Jo from Serendipitous Stitching. Continued thanks to Jo for hosting this unique SAL which has a different theme each month.

This month's theme is Wizards.

Given how it's October, and therefore the month of Halloween, I assume the timing of this theme was no coincidence!

Wizards haven't been a big theme for me so, as far as I know, I have only stitched one - the ridiculously cute A Little Wizard Of The Night by Soda Stitch:

And there's only really one in my stash too. I purchased Dimensions' Midnight Enchanter twenty years ago. It's always been near the top of my to-stitch list but keeps getting nudged back, usually because it's not a small project and I can't justify starting another big one when I have so many WIPs. Maybe I should just start him anyway? Those colours are gorgeous and so... so... tempting!

So, what else to show in the way of Wizards? Well, that's easy! Let's go internet searching and see what enabling I can do!

From what the search revealed, Wizard-related cross stitches tend to be either very small:

Lakeside Needlecraft Fantasy Wizard cross stitch chart
Wizard from Lakeside Needlecraft
(no designer is mentioned but I'm thinking Joan Elliott perhaps?)

Furry Tales Wizard Mouse / PDF Cross Stitch Pattern / Lucie image 0
Wizard Mouse by Lucie Heaton
from her Furry Tales collection

Modern Cross Stitch  Wizard Biscornu Cross Stitch Pattern by image 0
Wizard Biscornu by Tiny Modernist (etsy)

Or very big:

Scarlet Wizard Cross Stitch PDF pattern Fantasy Cross stitch | Etsy
Scarlet Wizard by Dimensions Gold
How gorgeous is he with all those floating candles?
(although he does look a bit like a magical Santa!)

A Little Bit of Magic
A Little Bit Of Magic by my favourite artist Randal Spangler
as charted by Heaven And Earth Designs

cross stitch pattern The Wizards Castle
The Wizards Castle by Artecy at
a more traditional oldy-worldy mythological type design

There are certainly a lot to choose from if you go looking!

Finally, love him or hate him, where would the world be (!) without a famous young wizard who arrived on the scene back in 1997? I love this one, showing how he grew up between the first and last books/films.

Harry Potter Cross stitch pattern modern.  Harry Potter cross image 1
Harry Potter by LenyBoop (etsy)

And that leads nicely into next month's Magic theme. Hmmm, wonder what I'll be posting for that?!

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

The Loneliness Of Autumn - 90 hours

Hi all!

We're now at month number nine of The Loneliness Of Autumn, a SAL I'm stitching with Leonore, and what an exciting month it was, because I completed my third colour dead on the 90 hour mark!

I'm about 10 hours ahead of where I expected to be at the end of the third colour, but then I have had lots of blocks so far, so I'm assuming it will even out in the coming months as the confetti increases.

Anyway, on to the pictures. Here are the end of second and third colour comparisons. This is now 12,952/66,600 stitches or 19.45% complete:

And the 80 and 90 hour comparisons:

All right, so it's difficult to spot the differences, but I know they're there!

Next month, there will be actual colour in the form of 817 red. Yippee!

Leonore's link for September will be added soon.

A couple of extra things:

Dark October
With the exception of my monarch and this piece, October will dedicated to Halloween stitching as I join in with Dark October. There should be a couple of finishes if I'm lucky...

Naughty November Mini New Start Binge
This will still be going ahead as planned with the idea of starting a new project each full weekend (7th/8th, 14th/15th, 21st/22nd and 28th/29th) during the month. I will be stitching on each one of mine for only the weekend in question, but if you want to carry on working on them that's fine; it might be a good time to get those little Christmas pieces stitched. There's no sign-up or anything, it's just a bit of fun, especially for those of us seemingly not satisfied with already having a million WIPs! See you there?

Take care,
Rachel x