Saturday 31 July 2021

Tokyo Olympics New Start #8 - Korea

Hi again!

So today there was no gymnastics :( but there was a tiny bit of trampolining, so that sort of made up for it. And then I just caught snippets of whatever was on in the background; football, hockey and the start of the athletics.

I took a step backwards with my start today, starting the letter K project I skipped yesterday:

Korea from A Journey Around The World by Soda Stitch
Stitched on 18ct Around The World over-dyed aida
Stitch count 77 wide by 66 high
Started - 30th July 2021
Stitching time to date - 40 minutes

I love the little pagoda(?) and was really hoping to stitch more, but a tiny start is better than nothing.

The next two days will involve a little break from travelling around the world and consist of absolute cuties - what else!!!

Fun Olympic Fact
Detroit is the city with the most unsuccessful bids to host the Summer Olympics with 7 attempts between 1944 and 1972. Budapest have tried six times between 1916 and 2024, and Istanbul have tried 5 times between 2000-2020. Istanbul's continued determination to become host city must be admired, but since the Olympics for 2024, 2028 and 2032 have been agreed their next chance won't now be until at least 2036!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 30 July 2021

Smalls SAL - July 2021

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.

To accompany the idea of Christmas In July, I chose a small Lizzie Kate piece. I stitched some of these a few years ago and thought it was about time I stitched some more, even if it's only going to be one each year!

Merry by Lizzie Kate from Tiny Tidings IX
Stitch Count 50 wide by 50 high
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Brown over-dyed aida by
Started - 2nd July 2021
Finished - 5th July 2021
Total stitching time - 5 hours 35 minutes

As is usual with my little Tiny Tidings, I added beads, swapping out white french knots for the gold beads. Much easier and a little bling-y!

Next month... back to a cutie!

Take care,
Rachel x

Tokyo Olympics New Start #7 - Mexico


My Olympic watching yesterday was gymnastics from start to finish and then bits and pieces that were on in the background such as hockey, canoeing and even a bit of BMX biking! Can't say I'm a fan of the last one, but I still admire the competitors' fitness and commitment to their sport. Anyway, sometimes it's fun just listening to the commentators and how excited they get - when they crescendo, you know it's time to look at the TV screen!

To accompany the sports, I went to Mexico, which was a bit of a mistake as I'm supposed to be starting the projects alphabetically and realised too late that I missed out the one beginning with K. So now M comes before K in my alphabet! I didn't stitch for as long as I would have liked, just long enough to make a bit of a start at the top:

Mexico from A Journey Around The World by Soda Stitch
Stitched on 18ct Around The World over-dyed aida
Stitch count 78 wide by 66 high
Started - 29th July 2021
Stitching time to date - 1 hour 15 minutes

I thought afterwards I should have started with the lovely sombrero but it always makes more sense to me to work from the top down.

Fun Olympic Fact
With identical twins Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova winning bronze for GB in the women's artistic gymnastics team event (and there being another set of identical twins in the Italian team which came 4th) I wondered if they were the first identical twins to win an Olympic medal. The answer is, no!
In the 1980 Moscow Olympics, identical twins won both the gold and silver medals in the coxless pairs for East Germany and the Soviet Union respectively; do you think the bronze medalists, from GB, felt a little out of place on the podium?

More travelling around the world tomorrow, going backwards to the K piece I should have started today.

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday 29 July 2021

Tokyo Olympics New Start #6 - Italy

Hello again!

More gymnastics, more swimming and more rugby sevens was on my schedule whilst stitching start number 6.

This involved continuing my trip around the world with Soda Stitch and landing in Italy:

Italy from All Around The World by Soda Stitch
Stitched on 18ct Around The World over-dyed aida
Stitch count 76 wide by 66 high
Started - 28th July 2021
Stitching time to date - 2 hours 55 minutes

I was so enjoying stitching the Colosseum I didn't want to stop!

Fun Olympic Fact
Have you ever wondered how much it costs to host the Olympics? Estimates vary but (give or take a few hundred million) Sydney spent about US$5 billion in 2000 and London about US$15 billion in 2012. Tokyo are estimated to have spent about US$22 billion with, unlike previous hosts, no hope of recuperating costs via tickets, tourism and other financial income the Olympics usually bring. And with costs sky-rocketing as expectations and the number of events and athletes increases, no wonder fewer countries are willing to bid. At least we know we're going to Paris in 2024, Los Angeles in 2028 and Brisbane in 2032.

Take care
Rachel x

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Tokyo Olympics New Start #5 - Godrich's Hollow Snow Globe


Goodness me, these days are flying past and the Olympics seem to have continued without major incident, weather excluded. Love them or loathe them, I think the world needs this inkling of normality.

So my watching of diving, and swimming continues, as does catching a bit of rugby sevens - totally not my thing but at least it's less violent than usual rugby!

My accompanying start was another Harry Potter snow globe, this time depicting Godrich's Hollow, the village where Harry was born.

Godrich's Hollow Snow Globe by MIYAstitch (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Grey Swirl over-dyed aida
Stitch count 66 wide by 92 high
Started - 27th July 2021
Stitching time to date - 2 hours

I started with the outside of the globe again but this time carried on and completed the stitching of the stand. It doesn't show up that well but will once the backstitching's been added.

Fun Olympic Fact
The women's Olympic Triathlon, consisting of a 1.5km swim, a 40km cycle ride and a 10km run, was won by a Bermudan, making it Bermuda's first ever gold medal and only their second ever medal in Olympic history (the other being a boxing bronze in 1976). Not bad considering they're a tiny nation and only sent two athletes this year. Go Bermuda!

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Tokyo Olympics New Start #4 - France

Hello again!

On day 4 of the Olympics I managed to catch a bit of archery, diving, gymnastics, swimming and triathlon. I really like the archery, just a shame it's over with so quickly.

During the Olympics I thought it would be nice to go 'around the world' and contemplated starting a bunch of Satsuma Street's Pretty Little Cities. But they're far too big for a starting binge. However, the idea of going around the world stuck, and I found a smaller (and sickly-cute) set by Soda Stitch.

I also found some brilliant fabric to match, although it's well out of my comfort zone. I don't think I've made a mistake as Soda Stitch designs are quite colourful and should become prominent over the busy fabric.

I only started stitching late in the evening so didn't get much done, but even without the completed picture as reference it might be obvious which icon I'm stitching:

France from All Around The World by Soda Stitch
Stitched on 18ct Around The World over-dyed aida
Stitch count 76 wide by 72 high
Started - 26th July 2021
Stitching time to date - 40 minutes

Fun Olympic Fact
Ask people how long an Olympic-sized swimming pool is and the majority will answer 50m. Well, it is... and it isn't! The length has to be 50m between the touch pads so, since the touchpads are about 1cm thick, the actual length of an Olympic-sized swimming pool where touchpads are used is 50m 2cm.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 26 July 2021

Tokyo Olympics New Start #3 - Dragon Shelf

Hello all!

Day number three of the Olympic Stitching Challenge and my schedule included watching mainly gymnastics and swimming, although I did enjoy dipping into various other sports such as road cycling, rowing and taekwondo.

As for stitching, it was this lovely Dragon Shelf. This is one of many shelf designs which I came across by accident and fell in love with straight away. Needless to say, this is not the only one I own!

Dragon Shelf by CrossStitchAlexaKiss (etsy
Stitched on 16ct Fairy Dust Multi over-dyed aida
Stitch count 54 wide by 46 high
Started - 25th July 2021
Stitching time to date - 2 hours 15 minutes

Thought I'd work fairly logically on this one and chop and change colours as I went. Shame I didn't manage to get both books finished but that's OK.

Fun Olympic Fact
46 year-old gymnast Oksana Chusovitina has just competed in her eighth olympics! To put that in perspective, not only was she winning medals on the world stage before most of her fellow competitors had been born, but she's almost double the age that most gymnasts retire! That's sure some commitment to her sport!
As a vaulting specialist she was aiming to finish in the top eight in order to make the vault final, but she finished 14th, which was still an amazing achievement, but obviously not enough. As she left the arena in tears she was given a standing ovation by both competitors and judges. I think she deserved it!

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday 25 July 2021

Tokyo Olympics New Start #2 - The Burrow Snow Globe

Me again!

Day 2 of the Olympics involved me watching mainly archery, gymnastics and swimming. To accompany my armchair participation I started this lovely piece, one of a set of eight Harry Potter themed snow globes. This is The Burrow, home to the ginger-haired and rather numerous wizarding Weasley family.

The Burrow Snow Globe by MIYAstitch (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Grey Swirl over-dyed aida
Stitch count 66 wide by 83 high
Started - 24th July 2021
Stitching time to date - 3 hours 15 minutes

For this one I stitched the outside of the globe and then started filling in from the top. I'm again really happy with the amount stitched so far.

Fun Olympic Fact
South Korean women totally rule the archery - they have won every team gold medal since 1998 and all but one individual gold medal since 1984 (compared to the men who have won only 5 and 2 respectively). I guess each year there's more and more pressure to keep up the winning streak, and they started this Olympics well, winning the inaugural mixed team event. 

Day 3 tomorrow and another dragon :)

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 24 July 2021

Tokyo Olympics New Start #1 - Autumnal Baby Dragon


So the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are finally here, and that means not only can I be an armchair athlete for the next 17 days (as much as life allows) but I can also start 17 new projects to accompany my 'participation'.

I love the Olympics, and always have; it's an opportunity to watch the best of the best and see how the world can forget its differences by coming together under the flag of sport. The opening ceremony, I thought, was very respectful to the current situation, and it was lovely to see and hear essential key workers being thanked for their role in tackling the pandemic. My favourite part of the opening ceremony was the live performance of the pictograms. Some choreography to get that right!

I chose my 17 Olympic projects ages ago and decided to stitch them in alphabetical order.

So here's start number one, which just happens to incorporate three of my favourite things... autumnal colours, a dragon and cuteness!

Autumnal Baby Dragon by PatternsBySAstitch (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Tea Stain over-dyed aida
Stitch count 65 wide by 45 high
Started - 23rd July 2021
Stitching time to date - 3 hours 50 minutes

I decided to stitch this one colour at a time to avoid constantly changing threads whilst being distracted by the opening ceremony. I think the bit I've done so far clearly identifies the outlines of the wings and tail.

Fun Olympic Fact
Because the number eight is lucky in China, the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games in 2008 commenced at 8 o'clock on the 8th day of the 8th month (wonder why it wasn't also 8 minutes past the hour?!)

Back tomorrow with start number 2 and another Fun Olympic Fact.

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 23 July 2021

Christmas In July Update

Hi all!

Now that it's (finally) time for the (much more low-key) Tokyo 2020 Olympics, my stitching for Christmas In July is at an end.

My pace has picked up to an average of an hour a day, allowing time to finish one Christmas piece and make a good start on another, both by Lizzie Kate.

The finished piece I'll show in the monthly Smalls SAL, but here's the new start:

Merry Christmas By The Letter by Lizzie Kate
Stitched on 16ct Golden over-dyed aida

This is what it will look like when finished:

I will add the buttons after all the stitching has been completed, and finally (whenever that may be) create some sort of gold beaded border rather than the white stitched one suggested.

So now I have the Tokyo Olympic new start binge coming up, which is perfect timing as I finish work today for the six week school summer holiday. I'm hoping to post my new starts daily, but life is still very much up in the air at the moment so who knows. But 17 (more) new starts... I can't wait!!!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 10 July 2021

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery - July 2021

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 you can join in whenever you're ready.

As with the last couple of months, I again have only one FFO, but one is better than none! It's last month's Smalls SAL piece, the beautiful little Galah, finished as my usual ornie with co-ordinating backing fabric and barley twist cord:

(Between you and me, if you're a last minute FFOer, then take solace that this was only finished at 9 o'clock last night!)

Now it's your turn.

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 July.

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And please don't forget to follow other links and see what fellow fully-finishers have been up to; an encouraging comment can go a long way.

I'm aware I haven't thanked any of you for months for taking part; the emails are still in my inbox so I'll get to them, and others, at some point.

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

In the meantime, thank you if you're taking part in Christmas In July. I have finished a Christmas Small and have made a start on Lizzie Kate's Merry Christmas By The Letter so will post about those soon.

As for the Tokyo Olympic 17 day new start binge starting next Friday, well, with one week to go, it looks as though they're still going ahead, which means so am I! Apart from not wanting to let my startner-in-crime, Tiff, down, I think another 17 new starts is just what I need to help reclaim my mojo and stitching time. So watch this space for some new start goodies soon!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 3 July 2021

People's Choice SAL - Houses

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 Houses.

At first I thought I wasn't a big fan of houses - mention cross stitching and houses in the same sentence and I immediately think of red brick houses in traditional samplers. But then I looked through my lists and noticed houses do appear, usually for Halloween but also a couple of other times.

Let's start with the non-Halloween ones, which would not have been stitched were they not part of a set:

September Stamp by Lizzie Kate

Day 20 from JBW's Advent Calendar
(a teeny-weeny house!)

And then on to the many spooky Halloween houses which were stitched because I love the designs or colours:

Green Halloween Banner by Artecy
(more of a castle than a house, but still a home!)

Haunted House Bell Pull by Stoney Creek
(one of my top twenty favourite pieces)

Mini Midnight Manor by Waxing Moon Designs

Midnight Manor by Waxing Moon Designs

And one final one, because houses don't just have to be for humans:

In The Dog House by Durene Jones

In the way of stash, the houses waiting to be stitched include:

Yellow Halloween Banner by Artecy

Winter Silhouette by Imaginating

Haunted House Welcome by Stoney Creek

Out of those, the Stoney Creek is priority, but I really need to get my needle moving at an incredible rate if I'm ever going to stitch it, or any of the above!

Next month's theme is Books.

Take care,
Rachel x