Friday 31 August 2018

Smalls SAL - August 2018

Hello everyone!

Another month and another check-in for the Smalls SAL run by Heather of Stitching Lotus. Continued thanks to our host for running this SAL.

For August I chose to stitch a couple of sweety-tweety love birds.

Tweeties from Cute Critters by Rhona Norrie
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Summer Sky over-dyed aida from 2 over 1
Stitch count 40 wide by 25 high
Started - 1st August 2018
Finished - 5th August 2018
Total stitching time - 5 hours 20 minutes

I love the bright colours in this one, although didn't stitch the background and swapped out the bird on the left from being lilac to being blue - call me old-fashioned but I do like blue for a boy and pink for a girl!

And, of course, they've been finished off in my usual way, this time using royal blue Dashwood Dots backing fabric and yellow-gold barley twist cord; another ornie to add to my ever-growing collection!

Rhona's designed a few little cute animal card-sized charts and I may well find myself stitching a couple more over the next few years. I found them in the Pretty Springtime Cards booklet, free with issue 241 of The World of Cross Stitching.

As for next month, I'm going all fruity again!

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday 26 August 2018

Haunted House Bell Pull - finished and framed!

Hello here!

I was absolutely determined that I would finish Haunted House Bell Pull during August and guess what? I have actually finished it! So please feel free to join me in a Spooky Happy Dance!

At the end of July it only needed a little more work on the path to be completed. One hour of stitching and just under two and a half hours of backstitching later, it's gone from this:

To this:

 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
Finished - 26th August 2018
Total stitching time - 53 hours 20 minutes

I decided not to stitch any of the words (nor any bats which were suggested in a comment on a previous post - sorry!) so here's my version against what it would have looked like had I stitched it as charted.

I was never going to stitch the 'happy haunting' at the bottom but did originally intend to stitch the 'welcome' at the top but in less scrawly writing. Then I changed my mind and actually think I prefer it without anything.

So, then came the finishing off - decisions, decisions!

It was always my intention to finish it as a bell pull; it would be something different, something that I've never done before, and its name - Haunted House Bell Pull - sort of suggests that it's the right shape! But, despite various internet searches (in the UK) I couldn't find many bell pull hangers for sale, let alone any which were the right colour/design/size for this piece. I was actually quite disappointed. Making it into an ornie of some kind didn't seem right either, given its shape, which left framing as the final option.

There weren't any suitable brightly-coloured mounts available (not that I really think it needs any) but I did find a frame which coordinated perfectly with the fabric. So framing it was. This actually makes quite a lot of sense considering I am planning on stitching a matching but much bigger Haunted House which is definitely not suitable for a bell pull and which can be framed the same when the time comes.

So here is Haunted House Bell Pull in its 13mm Dark Grey Stain frame with anti-reflective acrylic glazing. Thank you again for coming up trumps!

I absolutely adored putting every stitch into this piece and am even more delighted with the finish. I hope you like it too!

Now that Haunted House Bell Pull is finished I've got a small gap to fill, which means a new start. I've already decided which one (and I'm quite excited about it) so have five days left of this month to start working on it. Let's see how far I get.

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday 19 August 2018

4 Box of Shame Finishes - The Four Seasons

Hello all!

So having finished the Four Seasons I had to frame them straight away. If you read my last post, you will recall I had a difficult time choosing whether to frame them together or individually. After much procrastinating I decided on together and, having now framed them, don't think I made a mistake. The frame measures 11x11 inches and is 13mm Walnut Stain with a snow-white mount and non-reflective acrylic glazing from my usual

I originally started this set back in January 2015 hoping to finish them and give them to my mum that Christmas. Well, 2015 came and went, as did 2016 and 2017, but finally in the summer of 2018 she's got them! Luckily she didn't know I was stitching them for her so it was a nice surprise rather than a very long wait.

My only small niggle is that yellow is a major colour in three of the seasons but not present at all in the fourth, so they look a little ... lopsided if you see what I mean. It doesn't mean I like them any less, just wonder why the colours weren't changed more for each season. But then I'm not a designer, so maybe it was tried but didn't work. Who knows?!

The Autumn piece was the oldest finish to have been sitting in my Box of Shame so it's also been pleasing to have removed that.

And for those of you that like the Box of Shame progress bars... they're continuing to fill up! I'm now seriously wondering if I can get get them completely full by the end of the year, but only wondering; I'm not quite up for it being a challenge!

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday 12 August 2018

Summer - finished

Good morning one and all!

This month's finish from my DSDUCJFC 2015 WIPs is Summer from The Four Seasons - the last season to be completed, and finish number 32/59.

I left it like this at the end of July:

And now all finished:

Summer from the Four Seasons
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 - 8th February 2015
Finished - 10th August 2018
Total stitching time - 20 hours 40 minutes

And to celebrate, here are all four seasons together:

It took me ages to choose how to frame them, procrastinating over whether they should be together in a multi-aperture frame with a white mount or individually with mounts coordinating with each season. I thank goodness that my usual online framing shop,, has a design gallery where pictures can be uploaded and framing options saved so that they can be viewed side by side and for as long as needed with no salesperson pressure.

Once I'd made my mind up I placed the order so you should see them framed soon.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 6 August 2018

Haunted House Bell Pull - 50 hours

Morning all!

Well, unlike previous stints at stitching on this design, this 10 hour stretch has taken almost four months! I know I've been stitching other projects in the meantime, but still... four months!! But I finally managed it which means that Haunted House Bell Pull has now gone from this:

To this:

As you can see, I've finished the fences and grass and have made good progress on the pathway, the last bit to be stitched. Here's the latest full progress picture at about 90% complete:

As I'm not going to stitch any of the charted wording all I need to do is fill in the remainder of the path and backstitch around all the paving slabs and it's done! I am determined to finish it in August so there will be a Happy Halloween Dance coming this way before the end of the month. I'm so excited!  :)

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday 1 August 2018

July Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello there!

Another month, another progress update on a couple of pieces I started for Debbies' Challenges back in 2015 and 2016.

July was another successful month, finishing Lizzie Kate's Summer Alphabet (posted previously) and working on:

Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street
started 19th February 2015; last worked on last month
finished The Eiffel Tower, stitched The Pompidou Centre, The Louvre and a bit more of Notre Dame

Summer from The Four Seasons
started 8th February 2015; not worked on since then
worked down one colour at a time

The gaps I've left are because I've found a mistake on the chart! I don't know about you but this is quite rare to me. Here's the original chart and as you can see the gaps should be stitched in a creamy-peachy sort of colour.

But this is the colour given on the chart, which I have a slight inkling is not quite right!

Actually, I think it's a simple typo and it's supposed to be 3771 not 3371 but seeing as I rarely pick up my stitching until after 10pm it's not something I can correctly check in artificial light (even with a daylight bulb).

If I actually remember to check during natural daylight hours, Summer will be finished in August (which means that all four seasons will have been completed) Pretty Little Paris will grow some more and the final Little Black Cat will make an appearance.

Take care,
Rachel x