Saturday 31 December 2022

2022 End Of Year Summary

Hello all!

Another year gone, and another year of lists coming up!

2022 was definitely a year of two halves - the first being successful, the second rapidly slipping away. Here's a graph showing my declining stitching time as the year progressed. I think it's obvious stitching wasn't good in May or from the summer onwards!

Stitching time totalled 309 hours, or an average of 50 minutes per day. This may sound impressive, but over half of those hours were in the first three months and only 12 hours in the last three!

My Monarchs were the first to suffer, being unceremoniously pushed aside, then The Loneliness Of Autumn, my SAL with Leonore was guiltily put away.

A stint in hospital in September, and my stitching-days-in-a-row going from 2278 to zero certainly didn't help, and I've not really bounced back from those.

And then of course, there are all of your comments which are still in my inbox, and all of your blogs which I haven't read for months. I don't want to give up stitching or blogging, so please send positive energy my way for a stitchier and bloggier 2023!

Needless to say, I didn't achieve everything I set out to achieve in 2022. Here are my successes and failures:

A Monarch A Month - stitch 12 monarchs ❌ stitched 4, posted 1
The Loneliness Of Autumn - stitch for 120 hours ❌ stitched for 20 hours
Smalls SAL - stitch 12 small pieces, one per month ❌ completed and posted 9
Winter Olympics - finish Let's Be Frozen ✅
Winter Paralympics - finish 10 variegated dragons ✅
Mischievous March - start four projects ✅ and finish the four projects ❌ finished 1
Christmas In July - continue Merry Christmas By The Letter ✅
Dark October - continue (finish?) Haunted Library ❌ didn't touch
Naughty November - start four projects and finish the four projects ❌ didn't start any of them
Christmas Day onwards - continue (finish?) Merry Christmas By The Letter❌ didn't touch

SALs - each month join in with:
People's Choice SAL - ✅
Smalls SAL - ❌ January to October only
FFO as much as possible - ✅ well, not as much as possible, but 17 is OK
Finish lots of WIPs - ✅ finished 16 WIPs from previous years

My main consolation is that, for the first time since 2018, I had more finishes than starts so that in itself  is something I am proud of, and means my overall statistics now look like this:

Number of WIPs brought forward from 2021 = 88 (including BAPs I may never work on again)
Plus number of new starts = 22
Less number of finishes = 35
Number of WIPs to carry forward into 2023 = 75

Now comes the really boring bit, the lists of projects which make up those statistics. Those in red have been finished, those in black will be carried forward to 2023.

1) Mythical Dragon (True Colors)
2) QS Emerald Dragon (HAED)
3) SK The History Of Chocolate (HAED)
4) QS Come Softly (HAED)
5) Mini Bookworm Fairy (HAED)
6) Mini The Owrd Lord (HAED)
7) Mini One (HAED)
8) Dolphin Ruins (Rabnann - ebay)
9) OMG Tigger Is Out (UnconventionalX - etsy)
10) Dragon Eye (not yet blogged)
11) Magnolia (not yet blogged)
12) Tribal Dragon (Thread Geeks)
13) Kings and Queens
14) The Loneliness Of Autumn
15) Ballerina
16) Giraffe
17) Greedy Robin
18) Friends For Life
19) Feline Groovy
20) Loves Me ... Love Me Not
21) Book Worm
22) Carefree Summer
23) A Tatty Friend
24) Dandelion Time
25) Flower Power
26) All Aboard The Walnut Shells
27) Christmas Wishes
28) Cuddly Feline Friends
29) Choc-A-Holic
30) I Love Butter
31) Good Morning Nelson
32) Winter Hugs
33) Lickle Snooze
34) A Windy Day
35) Little Green
36) Start Trek TOS
37) Clue
38) Evil Minions
39) Pandas
40) Haunted Library
41) Grow Your Own
42) Pretty Little Toronto
43) Basket Case
44) Mouse Reading Book
45) Wonderful Fright
46) Happiness Delivery Couple
47) Pooh 3 - With Head On Ground
48) Pooh 4 - Standing With Pot On Head
49) Pooh 5 - Looking At Smashed Pot
50) Mouse With Books
51) Gatekeepers
52) Let's Bloom
53) Let's Have Fun In The Sun
54) Let's Breeze Into Autumn
55) Let's Be Frozen
56) Deathly Hallows In A Bottle
57) Golden Snitch In A Bottle
58) Merry Christmas By The Letter
59) Autumnal Baby Dragon
60) Burrow Snow Globe
61) Dragon Shelf
62) Godrich's Hollow Snow Globe
63) Mexico
64) Korea
65) Mouse Lighting Candle
66) Mouse Reading Scroll
67) Netherlands
68) Paris
69) Privet Drive Snow Globe
70) Rome
71) Russia
72) Shell Cottage Snow Globe
73) United Kingdom
74) USA
75) Witch's Hat Shelf
76) Dragon 9
77) Dragon 2
78) Dragon 11
79) Dragon 5
80) Dragon 4
81) Dragon 10
82) Dragon 12
83) Dragon 1
84) Dragon 6
85) Dragon 3
86) French Country Squirrel
87) French Country Pumpkin
88) Watercolour Dolphin

01) Snowflake The Cactus
02) Letter C for Clare's Tree (gift)
03) Letter H for Clare's Tree (gift)
04) Letter R for Clare's Tree (gift)
05) Letter T for Clare's Tree (gift)
06) Snuffles In Blue
07) Elixir Of Life
08) Elixir Of Luck
09) Spring Keyhole Stamp
10) Green Flying Dragon
11) Night Lantern Stamp
12) Snuffles In Purple (gift)
13) Crazy For Strawberry
14) Seahorses
15) Rainbow Lorikeet
16) Deck The Halls
17) Merry Christmas QR Code
18) Snuffles In Yellow
19) Biscornu (flowering cactus)
20) Gift (not been shown on blog)
21) Gift (not been shown on blog)
22) Snuffles In Rust

As for my Box of Shame, I started the year with 22 pieces in it, added 31 more (4 initials for Clare's tree don't count), fully finished off 17, so have therefore ended the year with 36 pieces. I'm not so happy with that, but at least it gives me lots of choice to FFO next year!

Here's another list of the the projects which were in and have been added to my Box Of Shame. As above, those in red have now been FFOd, those in black will be carried forward.

1) Piglet's Snowflake
2) Parrot On Parade
3) Green Halloween Banner
4) A Little Witch Of The Night
5) Let's Play
6) Chick Berry
7) Humming Along
8) Lady In Red
9) Going For Walkies
10) Simply Wren
11) Winnie the Pooh 1 (need the set of 5 before I can FFO)
12) Winnie the Pooh 2 (need the set of 5 before I can FFO)
13) In The Dog House
14) In The Bath
15) Resting My Eyes
16) Green Patchwork Hootie
17) Noel
18) Moonrise - Gravestone
19) Moonrise - Fence
20) Moonrise - Mansion
21) Season's Greetings
22) Moonrise - Memorial

01) Snowflake The Cactus
02) Mouse Lighting Candle
05) Let's Be Frozen
06) Snuffles In Blue
07) Dragon 9
08) Dragon 2
09) Dragon 11
10) Dragon 5
11) Dragon 4
12) Dragon 10
13) Dragon 12
14) Dragon 1
15) Dragon 6
16) Dragon 3
17) Green Flying Dragon
18) French Country Squirrel
19) Snuffles In Purple
20) French Country Pumpkin
21) Crazy For Strawberry
22) Watercolour Dolphin
23) Seahorses
24) Rainbow Lorikeet
25) Grow Your Own
26) Elixir Of Life
27) Deck The Halls
28) Merry Christmas QR Code
31) Snuffles In Yellow
32) Biscornu (flowering cactus)
33) Gift (not been shown on blog)
34) Gift (not been shown on blog)
35) Snuffles In Rust

03) Letter C for Clare's Christmas Tree
04) Letter H for Clare's Christmas Tree
29) Letter R for Clare's Christmas Tree
30) Letter T for Clare's Christmas Tree

And that's it!

As for my stitching plans for 2023... all will be revealed tomorrow!

All the best and
Happy stitching :)
Rachel x

Sunday 25 December 2022

Merry Christmas!

Good morning and...

Merry Christmas 2022 everyone!

Just popped in to say Merry Christmas. I hope you are able to spend the final week of 2022 relaxing with family and friends, and maybe stitching one or two goodies Santa left in your stocking!

Eat, drink, be merry but, above all, stay safe.

Love and hugs
Rachel x

Saturday 10 December 2022

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery SAL - December 2022

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.

And can you believe that this is already the last one of the year?!!

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.

I've got just the one again this month, another Snuffles which I haven't even posted about.

This is Snuffles In Rust, FFOd as usual with co-ordinating fabric and beads. And since he hasn't been mentioned on my blog, you get all the info about him too!

Snuffles In Rust
Stitched on 16ct Tangerine over-dyed aida
Started - 26th September 2022
Finished - 9th October 2022
Total stitching time - 4 hours 15 minutes

Now it's over to you.

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 December.

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I look forward to seeing your own contributions this month.

Next month's post, the first of 2023(!), will go live on 10th January at 6am UK time. Hope to see you there!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 3 December 2022

People's Choice SAL - Glitter

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 Glitter.

For me, there are three types of glitter in cross stitch - sparkly/opalescent/metallic fabric, metallic/Etoile threads, and glittery finishes. I was going to cover each one in turn, but discovered I've often used them in various combinations.

Sparkly fabric is a bit of a disheartening subject for me. My favourite fabric store is, and for a little bit extra they can add sparkles to the fabric. The trouble is, because these sparkles are sprayed on, the fabric looks fantastic at the beginning of a project but not so sparkly by the end, especially if the project is not stitched on a frame.

Luckily, Owls In Love was stitched on a frame so a lot of the sparkle remains (the picture doesn't really do the sparkles justice):

Whereas these three Christmas kittens were sewn in hand so, as careful as I was, by the time they'd been FFOd, most of the sparkles had rubbed off:

Opalescent or lurex fabrics, where sparkly metallic thread is woven into the weave, are a much safer option. I've stitched a number of projects on such fabric, such as Blueberry Bear on cream fabric with gold lurex:

And My Treasure on white fabric with gold lurex. I have said many times before that I am not a fan of metallic threads, so use them sparingly, but sometimes they are a wonderful evil to add a bit of sparkle:

Durene Jones' aptly seasonal Christmas cards were also stitched on white fabric with silver lurex and, to rather handily add to this month's theme, were FFOd with the addition of glittery tinsel wool and glittery fabric:

Snowflake The Cactus uses glittery tinsel wool too, along with glittery Etoile thread for the snowflakes:

But glitter isn't just for Christmas; I've also used it for Halloween, in this instance glitter felt used to frame these Spooky Hooties:

And Etoile used in the gates and moon of In The Gloaming:

And I think I'll stop there!

Next month's theme is Designer of 2023. With they way my stitching isn't happening at the moment, I'm not sure how this will pan out, but a girl can dream!

Take care,
Rachel x