Friday 28 February 2020

Smalls SAL - February 2020

Hello all!

It's the last Friday of the month so time for the Smalls SAL. Thank you, Mary, for continuing to host this fun little SAL. Pop over to Mary's Blog to see what other participants have been stitching in the way of Smalls this month.

Each month I stitch a small project specifically for this SAL which doesn't appear elsewhere on my blog (although you did get a peak at it if you read my #24 January post).

This month it was another Mouseloft kit, this one is called Chirpy Bird:

Chirpy Bird by Mouseloft
Stitch Count 25 wide by 28 high
Stitched on supplied 14ct cream aida 2 over 1
Started - 24th January 2020
Finished - 10th February 2020
Total stitching time - 2 hours 5 minutes

In this Smalls SAL I'm also re-showing other qualifying small projects I've stitched during the month. They are just two small Advent Calendar pieces by JBW Designs, days 4 and 5 the reindeer and candle:

That's all for this month; see you next month!

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday 26 February 2020

The Loneliness Of Autumn - 20 hours

Hi all!

The Loneliness Of Autumn is a SAL with Leonore, which we are both stitching extreme cross country one colour at a time.

I somehow managed to fit in the required ten hours during the month, so here's an update on what eventually be 5,718 stitches of black:

I'm not a page counter but, to put things in perspective for you, the design is 4 pages wide by 4 and a bit pages tall. I did start gridding the fabric but, as I'm not used to it, actually found the grid lines quite annoying so ripped them out! Instead, I've marked each page break with a little + for reference. You can see them if you look closely.

So far I have completed the black on 8 out of 16 pages, and am well into the ninth. This equates to about 3.75% of the whole project.

For those who wish to compare SALs, here's Leonore's post for February.

Next month... even more black!

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday 19 February 2020

JBW Advent Calendar - Days 4 and 5

Hello all!

So far his month I have stitched another 2 days from JBW Designs' Advent Calendar, continuing to adapt the colours and add beads and my own charms as I go.

I have recently found these designs to be really useful when I've needed a quick pick-up and put down-able project.

Day 4 - Reindeer:

Started  - 12th February 2020
Finished - 17th February 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 20 minutes

Day 5 - Candle:

Started  - 13th February 2020
Finished - 18th February 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 30 minutes

Both are stitched on 16 count silver lurex aida.

If you saw my FFG SAL post earlier this month you'll already know how they'll be finished off. But you'll have to wait until 10th March to actually see them!

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 10 February 2020

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery SAL - February 2020

Hello all!

It's the 10th of the month so it's Fully Finished Gallery SAL time again; the place to show your FFOing achievements since your last link-up, however long ago that may be!

The link-up for this SAL opens on the 10th of each month and stays open for 10 days, so you have plenty of time to turn those UFOs into FFOs and join in.

Still no new linky-picture I'm afraid. Maybe next month...?

So what have I achieved in the last month? Given the events of the last few weeks, I'm so glad I did a bit of FFOing very soon after the last link-up. I had more planned but they'll have to wait. At least all were tiny, quick and easy!

Robin On Postbox was January's Smalls SAL piece. Mouseloft kits are designed to fit into small Framecraft frames so that's what I did. All I had to do was trim the fabric and pop it in. Job done in less than 5 minutes!

The three Advent Calendar days from last month were also FFOd. For these, I cut two pieces of sparkly felt slightly bigger than the cross stitched design, stuck them back-to-back with a loop of barley twist cord in between and then simply stuck the aida to the felt. Quick, simple and quite cute, I think!

And that's it for me 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 February.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

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!

Once the link-up has closed I shall update the FFG SAL page with the number of entrants and entries. Last month there were 11 participants with 39 FFOs; a great start to the year!

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

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday 4 February 2020

#24HoursOfCrossStitch - January Challenges

Hi all,

Here is my monthly posting for the #24HoursOfCrossStitch Challenge, the brainchild of Jen from QuirksandStitches.

January started off really really really well but then, in the middle of the month, life threw me a curved ball (I am well overdue my share) and I had to go away a few times. I took a small project with me (there was no way I was not going to stitch every day!) but was lucky if I managed more than a few stitches each night.

At the moment I am back home and will do my best to catch up on replying to emails and commenting on blogs. However, I know I will have to go away again more than once during February so it'll be a slow process. It's a good job I am in the habit of scheduling posts in advance, hence how it appears I have not been absent and able to keep up with various SALs and other updates. Crafty!

Anyway, back to January and my contribution to this SAL.

1) Stitch for 24 hours during the month, including a minimum of 24 minutes each day

I stitched for a total of 49 hours 35 minutes during January although, as stated above, didn't manage even 24 minutes some days. Nevermind, at least I did stitch every day.

2) Fill in the acrostic READY SET XS!, explain the connections and pick a 24 minute, 4 hour or 8 hour goal for each letter.

11 letters meant 11 different projects. Luckily most of the goals were achieved very early in the month. The 12th project was the one I took away with me:

R - Robin On Postbox (new start)
Connection - R for robin
Goal - start and finish (about 3 hours?)
Actual - finished in 3h 5m

E - Advent Calendar Day 1 (new start)
Connection - the wreath is made from evergreen holly leaves
Goal - start and finish (about 2 hours?)
Actual - finished in 2h 10m

A - All Aboard the Walnut Shells (2015 WIP)
Connection - A is for All Aboard
Goal - at least 4 hours of progress
Actual - 4h 40m
Additional note: this was started on 19th January 2015 and hasn't been stitched on since.
I thought it was about time it saw daylight again!

D - Advent Calendar Day 21 (new start)
Connection - baubles are traditional Christmas decorations
Goal - start and finish (about 2 hours?)
Actual - finished in 1h 45m

Y - Kings And Queens by Bothy Threads (WIP)
Connection - I'm starting year 2 on this project
Goal - start and finish (about 5 hours?)
Actual - finished in 5h 10m

S - Hogwarts In A Bottle by CutePatternsbyMaria (WIP)
Connection - I've been stitching lots of steam
Goal - at least 8 hours of progress
Actual - 10 hours

E - Daisy Umbrella (2015 WIP)
Connection - last time I worked on this (5 years ago!) I commented how the daisy
looked like a fried egg. It still does, but not quite as much.
Goal - at least 4 hours of progress
Actual - 5h 15m
Additional note: this was started on 21st January 2015 and hasn't been stitched on since.
It's another WIP brought back out into the daylight because of guilt.
Two thoughts though... the background needs filling in to represent the sky and rain so,
 given my love of coloured fabrics, why on earth did I start it on white?
And... why didn't I think about restarting it on blue?
If I had, it would almost be finished by now!

T - Grow Your Own by Bothy Threads (2019 WIP)
Connection - the fabric is Tumbleweed
Goal - at least 4 hours
Actual - 45 minutes (a tiny bit on the bottom right)

 X - A Little Wizard Of The Night (2019 WIP)
Connection - this has now been x'd off my WIP list
Goal - finish (about 4 hours?)
Actual - finished in 4h 15m

S - Advent Calendar Day 9 (new start)
Connection - it's a stocking
Goal - start and finish (about 2 hours?)
Actual - finished in 1h 40m

! - The Loneliness Of Autumn (new start)
Connection - I must be mad to start this!
Goal - at least 8 hours
Actual - 10 hours

! - Chirpy Bird (new start)
Connection - emergency project!
Goal - none!
Actual - 45 minutes
This was the emergency project on the days I had to go away.
As selfish as it may seem, nothing was going to stop me stitching every day!
The photo shows the progress I made in 8 days!

3) Connect 12 or more of the given holidays to your projects and stitch for at least 24 minutes on each. Each of the 12 projects went on one holiday. See above for time spent on each one.

1st - Commitment Day - The Loneliness Of Autumn - because not only is it a long-term commitment but it's also a SAL commitment.

3rd - Festival Of Sleep Day - All Aboard the Walnut Shells - you can't see it in my stitching so far, but the mouse in the second walnut shell is fast asleep.

4th - Trivia Day - Kings And Queens - I accompany each monarch with some bits of trivia.

5th - National Bird Day - Robin On Postbox - unless I'm very much mistaken, a robin is a bird!

6th - Cuddle Up Day - Grow Your Own - my son's favourite cuddly toy was a bunny with big floppy ears and a cute bobtail.

8th - Bubble Bath Day - Advent Calendar Baubles - Christmas baubles look like bubbles from a bubble bath, right?!

10th - Peculiar People Day - Hogwarts In A Bottle - you have to admit, there are an awful lot of peculiar people at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

11th - Step In A Puddle And Splash Your Friends Day - Daisy Umbrella - this little mouse is stepping in a puddle but, although there are no other mice around, I'm sure he's too kind to actually splash them.

14th - Organize Your Home Day - Chirpy Bird - this little bird will eventually have musical notes accompanying him, which bring to mind Snow White singing Whistle While You Work as she tidied the dwarfs' house.

15th - National Hat Day - Advent Calendar Wreath - in Tudor times at Christmas, the rich often wore headwear resembling a wreath.

16th - National Nothing Day - Advent Calendar Stocking - because if you are naughty during the year, nothing is exactly what you will find in your stocking on Christmas morning!

26th - National Green Juice Day - A Little Wizard Of The Night - because the potion of witches and wizards often looks like green juice.

4) Additional 'Just For Fun' Challenge: list 24 favourite designers or 24 designers you would like to stitch.
I pick projects because I like them, not because they are by a certain designer, so you'll probably never hear me say that I have to have or want to stitch a project just because it's by 'so and so'.
However, there are some charts on my to-do list this year by people or companies I have never stitched before so I'll tentatively list those under the designers I would like to stitch. Most of these will appear during my Olympic Stitching new-start binge so I'm not going to give much away at the moment:

1 - Avrova CS (etsy) - a Harry Potter themed piece
2 - Cross-Eyed Cricket - a seasonal chart
3 - Crossed Wing Collection - 6 very similar bird pieces
4 - PatternNadGavr (etsy) - another Harry Potter themed piece
5 - Whispered By The Wind - 2 Halloween themed pieces

And that's it for January. Goodness knows how much I'll get done during February but I'll still be around as regularly as possible.

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 1 February 2020

People's Choice SAL - Penguins

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 penguins.

As soon as I saw this theme I knew I wouldn't have much to show. Penguins are cute, but I am not really drawn to wanting to stitch them. I've only stitched two, and that's only because they were parts of sets.

This penguin is from a set of 6 Christmas Pals Ornaments by Dimensions stitched in 2016/2017. I loved these small pieces, especially the fun backgrounds.

Durene Jones' Cute Animal Calendar, stitched in 2017, had a penguin for December. Along with the other 11 months, this is yet to be FFOd; I'll find the time one day.

The only penguins I could find in my stash are these Happy Penguins by Durene Jones (available in her etsy shop...). They're not on my to-do list for at least the next couple of years but we all know how plans can change!

I mentioned in the Smalls SAL that I would be stitching a few Mouseloft kits this year. One featuring a penguin is due as my March Smalls SAL piece, but you'll have to wait until then to see it!

So, with little of my own stitches or stash to show, I HAD to go internet browsing. Luckily I felt no inclination to purchase any but I thought I'd show some cuties which really tickled me.

These are Penguin on Holiday and Winter Teatime by Klart:

And this is Smiles In My Cup by Heaven And Earth Designs. If this was a much easier stitch it would definitely be in my stash:

Next month, the people have chosen coffee. The above chart looks like it could be an iced latte (?) so maybe I'm one step ahead with that theme already!

Take care,
Rachel x