Saturday, December 31

End Of 2011

I can't believe that this will be the last post of the year.  Wow how it flies.  Tomorrow will be the official start of the TUSAL and I have my jars ready and I also got a nice suprise in my inbox.  I signed up for the HAED Freebie Sal and the original date for the first page being sent out for the Storykeep was the 7th but there it was in my email today so yipee.  Hopefully I will have better luck.  My HAED experience has really not being so good up to now.  But all my doing and nothing to do with the charts etc.  I finally got 20count fabric the other day and had a firight when I worked out how much I would need for my Direwood as she is a bigger chart than most and it worked out that I would need a metre in one direction.  All I have to work with is a hoop and a q-snap frame so the idea of trying to work on such a huge piece without a floorstand etc just isn't possible.  Maybe one day I will have a floorstand and be able to do her but for now hopefully I will have better luck with the SK... we shall see.

After the pillow I started my roatation again and first on the list was my cat.  I started it end of September and it's actually sad how little progress I have made.  I worked on it for three days and am loving the colour choices in the design.

Heres the before and after pics:

I also worked on my lady and I finished her arms and did some work on her dress.  Before and After:

Please excuse the wrinkles.  I got some juice on her last night and had to wash her.  Hopefully next time the photo will look better.  I will hide my head now:-)

I got this idea in my head to make this set of four doors.  I loved them and made the first two and then the love fizzled.  I came across a design that is also four doors and I loved them so much more but I can't bring myself to chuck these and start those and so they sat in my basked for months now.  I want them to go on our tv cabinet (when it gets built) and so I knew that they would have to be in standing frames.  Everytime I saw frame that looked like it might work, it was always one that you had to hang up.  I was in Pick n' Pay and they had these two bundles of frames.  Each bundle had two frames.  I bought one bundle and brought it home to test if the size was right and after I framed the completed doors I rushed back to buy the other two before somebody else bought them.  Seeing them framed has made me fall in love witht he project all over again.  I was actually planning on working on the last two doors for the next few days but alas now that the HAED Kal has started I will have a decision to make.

I hope you will all have a lovely New Year Celebration.  If I am awake at 12 tonight I will probably make sure I have stitching in hands.  Sadly I have no wonderful lists of things I want to accomplish next year or projects I want to finish or any type of stitchy goals actually.  Which is sad as I have really loved reading other peoples things they want to get done in 2012.  2011 was a good year for me as I finally bought all the DMC colours so now (other than the metallics or variagated) I can always just start a project without having to wait to go to the shop first.  I think 2012 will just be the year to get my two oldes FO's framed and if my plans work out I will hopefully get the first one to the framer by the end of January.

 See you all next year....

Sunday, December 25

Merry Christmas

Just a very fast post, as we are hosting christmas lunch this year, the family should be arriving any second.  It's just that this is the first time I have had a chance to do this in the last two days.  The fairy is finished.  Just in time as I only got it done yesterday.  Here is a close up and the finished pillow:

Name:  Fairy Magic
Source:  Cross Stitch Crazy 142
Designer:  Adam Pescott
Started:  13 December 2011
Finished:  24 December 2011

Merry Christmas to you all and I will probably only do another update on New Years as I have no new stitching to show at the moment.  Hope you are all having a fantastic Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21

New Stash

Sadly this is not a post where I get to show off my Fairy finished.  I am way behind in schedule as I wanted to have the rocks and backstitch done by the end of tonight but I have only just started the rocks and no way that is going to be finished by tonight.

Scary because I bought the scotch guard yesterday (boy is that can expensive) and I read that you are suppossed to spray two layers and there is a 12 hour drying period each time.  So protecting it is going to take 24 hours out of the schedule.  I am going to be hand sewing the aida onto the cushion cover by hand because I don't have a sewing machine.  Hubby sais that it is not correct to get myself a sewing machine when I will only use it once or twice a year and unfortunately for me, he is right.

Now all who read my blog know about the mishaps I have had trying to make a HAED.  I just can't work on 28 count fabric with my eyes and I bought a magnifier only to find out, once it got here, that it is only X1.5 and my eyes still hurt when I used it.   My supplier only has 14, 18 and 28 count fabric and I just didn't want to do it on 14 or 18 count.  So my last option was to save up to buy a proper magnifier that is X5 and this was going to set me back R500 + !!!!  I went into the fabric shop in town yesterday to buy a small box for my WIP threads to be carried around in:

The owner and I got chatting and it turns out that she also does cross stitch.  So of course I asked her where she gets her supplies and she said that she buys kits and makes those but she herself sells aida.  She shows me this roll and tells me that her supplier told her it was 14 count but she doesn't think it is.  I looked at it and it definately wasn't 14 count.  I then asked her how much for a metre and wait for it..... she told me R60!!!!!  I almost swooned when she gave me that price because I pay R200 per metre for 14 count aida from the one shop.  Of course I had to buy one metre as it was a steal and when I got home I immediately checked and it turns out that her supplier must of been smoking something because it's 20 count.  I have never come across 20 count before so I immediately rushed back to her shop to buy myself another metre.  I asked her how much she has left and it looks like about 2metres and I have asked her to keep that for me and will go back on Monday to buy it.  So as soon as the christmas stitching is complete I will be adding my Dire Wood HAED to my WIP list and it will be bumped up to the first thing I start stitching.  I will have enough for at least another few HAED designs and if her supplier gets it wrong again I will buy a heck of a lot more 20 count from her and if he actually sends her 14 count this time I will still buy lots of it.  You don't let a good thing like this slip through your fingers.

Thoeria, another local Sout African stitcher ( ) was giving a few items away and I put up my hand in her comments section and my selection arrived in the post yesterday.  I got such a lovely suprise when I opened it as there was a Christmas Card in there and I felt so speciale as I have never gotten a Christmas Card before.  Isn't this too darned cute:

I just love it to bits and can't wait to make it and hang it up in my kitchen so that it will make me smile everytime I am in there.  I must say I looked at all the other yearly charts and the other one I would love to get my hands on is the August Cat.  For one it's my birthday month but it's a cat lying in a beach chair and the words at the bottom say:  I don't do busy.

Monday, December 19

Getting Ready For TUSAL 2012

This is how far the Fairy is:

My plan was to have her dress and legs completed by the end of last night but I underestimated how long the dress would actually take.

This is what NEEDS to be done to finish in time:

Monday:  Flower & Wings
Tuesday:  Rocks
Wednesday:  Rocks and Backstitch
Thursday:  Wash And Scotch Guard
Friday:  Sew on and Wrap

And inbetween all of that I need to find a bit of extra time to finsh the dress and legs.  My hubbies family is German so traditionally they open gifts Christmas Eve evening so it needs to be done on Friday even though I think we will only be exchanging this gift on Sunday when they come here for Christmas Lunch.  Better safe then sorry.

I never did mention that I joined the TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch Along)  hosted by  Daffycat

The small jar is for my monthly collection of threads and the tall one is where I will transfer them to after each month for my yearly collection.  It's going to be interesting to see just how it adds up.

Friday, December 16

Start Of Fairy

I asked my SIL for ideas on what to get her daughter for christmas.  She said that they are redoing her bedroom in fairy/pony theme and that anything to do with that would be great.  So instead of trying to run around town trying to find something that fits the bill, I decided to make her something and then sew it onto a scatter cushion cover.

I chose a fairy out of Cross Stitch Crazy 142 because she is pretty but also not so much work that I won't get it done in time.  I worked on my Cat for Tuesday and then that evening I started the fairy.  As of right now this is what she looks like:

The rocks that she is sitting on uses two DMC threads called Color Variations.  Now I just thought this was their fancy name for their variagated colours.  I was super excited about this as I have not worked with the variagated before.  We have two shops in town that sell DMC threads and I was confused when I saw that the numbers I needed were 4 numbers and the variagated at the shops only had 2 numbers on them.  So off I came home and browsed the trusty web and found out that they are not the same.  Being a week before christmas and today being a holiday I would only be able to order them online on Monday and chances of them getting to me before christmas is slim to none even if I was willing to pay R70 for overnight postage which I would never do for only two threads.  I will choose solid colours for the rocks and I just won't tell anybody.  Suprisingly I will have one last FO for 2011.

Monday, December 12

The Project That Just Won't Be Stitched!

(The above picture is not mine.  I saved it off of a blog once because I wanted to show hubby how stunning it looked completed.  If you know whose it is please leave a comment so that I can give credit where credit is needed)

This project will be the death of me!!!!

It is stunning and screaming my name but....

Take 1:  I started it on 14 count and did alot of the castle and then I got all perfectionist on myself and decided that why am I battling to get the fractional stitches neat on this count when it would be so much easier on 28 count.  So I go buy myself a metre of 28 count and start again.  In the meantime I use the fabric around the already stitched part to use for the table numbers.

Take 2:  Working on 28 count for the first time and a difficult design on top of it I know I should grid but heck I don't need to.  Make a huge counting mistake and after unpicking decide to grid.  Mmmm the count of the gridding is not working out according to the design.  Realise that I got the width versus the height mixed up when I started stitching.  Chuck the fabric in the bottom of my basket in frustration vowing that I don't have to do this project at all!!

Take 3:  I keep finding myself looking at the design over and over again.  Admiring how beautiful it is and how accomplished I would feel completing such a complicated piece.  Finally pull out the fabric again.  Unpick the previous stitching and actually grid the fabric right way round this time.  Tonight I finally sit down to start stitching and after doing part of the wing I realise I hate working on 28 count!!!

Now I am kicking myself having cut up my first attempt on 14 count because at least I would of being able to just continue with it and being happy that there was a bit of it done.  Now I have two big pieces of 28 count and I don't think I have any 14 count big enough for the design.  So will I try making it again or will I just give up on the whole idea.  I probably will attempt it at least one more time but I don't think it will be anytime soon.

I had alot of stiching time this weekend so I actually finished the whole circle round her head and all the flowers.  I physically stitched until my fingers hurt on Sunday because I was so close to completing the area.

I can't wait till I do the backstitch details as her face keeps on bugging me.

Friday, December 9

Obsessed With Joan Elliott

Lets get the bad news out of the way first.  In a earlier post I mentioned I tried to do a HAED but I found my eyes (I have had a few operations on them) just didn't like the fine work and I found they actually hurt after a few stitches.  So I put it aside for awhile and ordered myself a magnify glass.  It arrived and I thought it would help but when I sat down the other day to try I found that the magnify is not good enough and my eyes still started hurting.  Now possibly if I got a stronger magnify it would allow me to be able to do the designs but I am sure that it would be highly expensive and I just can't ask hubby to be willing to part with that kind of money.  So for a few days I sulked and felt sorry for myself and so I pulled out Lady and just carried on with her.  I must say putting her away is hard as I am really enjoying working on her.

Here is a before and after:

I am a stay at home mom and so any money I spend comes from hubby and I am open to him about what I buy and what the cost was.  Now he knows I bought a Q-snap Frame and how much I paid.
I walked past him the other night with it in my hand and when he saw it his eyes went all big.
Him:  But that's just pvc pipe
Me:  Yes I know
Him:  You paid that much for that?
Me:  (getting defensive)  Well I needed it and it was cheaper than buying a wooden frame
Him:  (grabs it from me and sits staring at it for awhile)  Do you know how much all of this probably cost to buy?
Me:  No but the workmanship on it wasn't easy, it must be hard to cut a pvc pipe in half
Him:  I could make you one of these in my workshop easily
Me:  (with a hopeful sound in my voice)  well... I do need a few different sizes
Him:  I would charge you for it though, seeing as you were willing to pay that much for this one

So I just grabbed it from him and went to sit down.  About an hour later he comes to where I am sitting, grabs it again and just stares at it.  I just burst out laughing when he told me that he thinks I am a bit crazy.

My sulks are now over because yesterday I started going through all my stuff and saw how many beautiful designs there are that I do want to make so inspiration juices are flowing again and I'm happy with the world once more.

Here is the latest adds to my To Do List:

Fire Goddess (Joan Elliott)
Earth Goddess (Joan Elliott)
Wind Goddess (Joan Elliott) Must buy chart
Peace & Goodwill (Joan Elliott)
Daffodil Fairy (Joan Elliott) Must buy chart
Iris Fairy (Joan Elliott)
Poppy Fairy (Joan Elliott)
Rose Fairy (Joan Elliott)
Chrysanthmum Fairy (Joan Elliott)
Lily Fairy (Joan Elliott)
Summer Biscornu (Polstitches)
Perfect Poise (Joann Elliott)
Believe (Gail Bussi)

Even I am starting to worry about my obviously HUGE obsession with Joan Elliott.

I have had to change my rotation due to a few changes in my list.  Firstly no HAED and then I was going to make christmas decorations with plastic canvas.  I know it's strange but I don't like doing small designs.  I will only do them if there is a good reasone.  I don't understand this myself as small means more FO's but I just am drawn to big designs.  So even though I spent money on the plastic canvas with all the best intentions I just couldn't find it in my to start.  And then all plans for the canvas went out the window yesterday when I cam across a 3D cottage that I fell head over heels for.  So now at least some of the canvas will be used for this.  I loved it so much that I have added it to my roation list and can't wait.

We are also going to a wedding in February for family of my hubbies.  I have never met them and also this will be my first wedding I have ever atteneded so I am looking forward to it.  They are really conservative so finding the right items took awhile but I found it and will be starting on it in a few days.  I will be stitching on it for three days instead of two and when I have a FO I will add this into that opening in the list to increase the days worked as I do have a deadline.

Lady - 2 days
Castle - 2 days
Cottage - 2 days
Wedding Sampler - 3 days
Cat - 2 days
Fairy - 2 days
Doors - 1 day

I am stalking the post office website as my "Overnight" parcel containing Merlin S2 and S3 was posted late Wednesday and left Cape Town that evening.  It arrived in Johburg (which is only about five hours drive from us)  at 1:00 yesterday morning.  And that is as far as the website shows me.  There have been no new updates on where my parcel is right now even though it should of arrived at our post office this morning.  Today is the perfect day for watching it as it's raining and cold here and my daughter has been invited to go play at spur with her BF and will be going at about lunch time.  So cold weather, blanket, stitching and Merlin would be so nice to be spending my afternoon with.

Thursday, December 8

Start of Stitching Bucket List

As the one stitching, I have the right to change my mind over and over and over.  Today I deleted my To Do List... mainly because I had lost the list that I originally had it written on , so I couldn't remember which mags I had already looked through but also as there was one or two designs that I have chosen not to make and obviously alot that I have added.

The list is not complete so more designs will be added in the next few days.

Fancy Fairy (Joan Elliott)
Story Time Bookmarks (Lisa Reakes)
Coming Up Roses (Maria Diaz)
Summer Cottage (Anchor)
Stitching Renaissance (Joan Elliott)
Castle Princess (Joan Elliott)
Renaissance Rose (Joan Elliott)
The Hunter (Anchor)
Summers Day Stitcher (Karen Brittan)
Christmas Angel (Joan Elliott)
Queeen Of The Sea (Joan Elliott)
Garden Paradise (Anchor)  MIL's Birthday Present
Spring Fairy (Joan Elliott)
Summer Fairy (Joan Elliott)
Autumn Fairy (Joan Elliott)  Must buy chart
Winter Fairy (Joan Elliott)  Must buy chart
The Time Of Your Life (Joan Elliott)  For a wedding in February
Country Cottage (Angela Poole)  3-D Cottage
Water Goddess (Joan Elliott)

Tuesday, December 6

Plastic Canvas

First part of my rotation is complete.  I worked on Lady for the last three days.  I planned on only two days per project but because my plastic canvas hadn't come yet, I carried on working on her.  I made alot of progress and am really enjoying working on her but tomorrow is another exciting day as I start my first LARGE HAED and am looking forward to it.  Anyway here is what she looked like just before I rolled her up and packed her away:

I just picked up the plastic canvas from the post office so I will at least start on a christmas decoration tonight once I have finished with making dinner.  I was rather suprised when I opened the package as the last time I saw plastic canvas it was clear and not flexable at all.  This is cream and can be bent.  Hopefully the stitching will stiffen it up as it will be decorations for the tree.

Next update will be progress on my HAED and I am interested to see how much progress I will be able to make in two days.

Friday, December 2

Advent Calendar Complete & Stash

Its been awhile since I did a post.  I was only working on the Advent Calendar and didn't think it was all that interesting to keep showing posts like... heres another three blocks finished.

But now I can actually show a finished object and let me tell you that I am sooo happy that this is finished.  Now don't get me wrong because it is a lovely design.  It was one of those that looked even better once stitched up than it did on paper and I loved every single block.  The only thing I didn't like was the choice of the colour for most of the backstitch.  Now I know some people think that black is too harsh for it and so a grey makes much more sense but this grey just didn't work for all of the blocks.  There were some parts that you had to look really hard to see the backstitch.  Now I know I could of changed it to a colour I liked better but I am no designer and I like to think that there is a specific reasone a colour is chosen.

Advent Calendar
Cross Stitch Crazy Issue 156
Designer:  Jane Henderson
Started:  29 October 2011
Finished:  02 December 2011

Sadly I think this will probably be my last finish for 2011 as the only thing that I have that is close to been finished is the doors and, seeing as I have fallen out of love with them, they will probably be slow going.

I got mail today:-)
Firstly I finally got one of these:

And one of these:

Plus a bit of stash enhancement:

Hehe yes I bought myself some early christmas presents with the excuse that I must buy them now while the postal service is still running.  And the last present I bought myself hasn't arrived yet and isn't anything to do with stitching but it will mean one (hopefully two) hours a night of stitching time that I have already prebooked.  I loved the first seasone of Merlin and so I now bought myself not only S2 but also S3!!
And no I didn't bankrupt my family in the process, this was my own money, so no hungry mouths this month.

I didn't allow myself to do my other projects because of the deadline on the Advent C but I did cheat a little and did this:

And finally here is my stitching roster that I am playing around with:

Art Nouveau Lady (2 days)
Christmas Ornaments (1 day)
SK Flower Bride (2 days)
Christmas Ornaments (1 day)
Perfect Pets (2 days)
Christmas Ornaments (1 day)
Fairy (2 days)
Christmas Ornaments (1 day)
HAED (2 days)
Christmas Ornaments (1 day)
Castle (2 days)
Christmas Ornaments (1 day)
Doors (1 day)

I should hopefully get the plastic canvas on Monday or Tuesday so I can start on the Ornaments.

Happy Stitching!!!

Saturday, November 19

No Crazy 15 2012 For Me

Just a quick update as things have been going slowly this week but at least steady.  I managed to finish 6 more squares on the Advent Calenday so I am now half way there.

I may have mentioned how I was really itching to start a HAED pattern after I bought Direwood.  Common sense kicked in and told me to start small before I go nuts.  I started the Freebie SK Flower Bride but not much progress happend.  I found out that my eyes don't like such small stitches and I was straining my eyes to do this little bit.

I have ordered one of those magnifying glass thingies that go around your neck and then rest on your chest so you can have your hands free.  It should be here by the end of next week so if I have a couple of late night next week maybe I can make enough of a dent on the Advent Calendar that I will be able to spend a few guilt free hours on Flower Bride once it arrives.

I also started one of the bookmarks for my daughters school.  It didn't get very far due to my guilt of working on another project even if it is one that also has a deadline.  Hopefully these will go super fast once I really dig in as I want to make four of them before the end of the school year.

I have had a bit of a bittersweet week.  We live in a town that doesn't have a movie theatre so I only got to see Deathly Hollows Pt 2 when it was released on DVD Monday.  It has been such a big part of our lives for so many years that I just can't believe that there will never be another one.  I felt the same way when, after three years, LOTR finished.  Luckily (and don't give me any flack for this)  I still have the two finale Twilight movies to look forward to.  It opened at movie theatres on Friday and *sigh* I will have to wait until maybe March / April to see it.
Although major watching plans in the hopefully near future will be the purchase of Merlin Seasone 2 as I am really looking forward to watching it.  I went online to view prices and was shocked to see Seasone 3 is already released and now to try figure out how I can get that too:-)

I have had to come to the decision to not take part in Crazy 15 2012.  I wanted to start kitting everything in preparation and realised that I just don't have enough fabric.  Whenever I have had a bit of extra cash I put it into dmc threads to try get all the colours  but it has meant that I have only bought fabric whenever I have needed to and I thought I had more than I do have.  There is no suppliers of cross stitch items in SA so most of the items we can purchase locally are all either DMC, Dimensions and Heritage.  All of these are imported and unfortunately for us that means it is pricey.  The shops have to cover the items cost, the postage and whatever taxes they have to pay when the item comes into the country and on top of that they have to make a profit.  DMC threads cost R9.50 each at my local shop and I had to pay R25 for one of the metallic threads the other day.

But I look at it in the sense of how many hours of pleasure I get making the items and I would never say I regret paying what I do.  I have about 70 more colours (excluding the metallics and variagated) to get and then I will have every colour so 2012 will be the year of buying fabric and then in 2013 I will join the group again, if it is still going, and I am okay with it.

I have joined TUSAL though and look forward to using my cut offs as a decoration in a pretty bottle/vase instead of vacuum cleaner fodder:-)

Saturday, November 12

The ABC's of Me

 I saw this on Black Belt Stitching Wizards Blog and it looked interesting so here goes:-)

The ABC's of Me

A - Age: 30, I think that's the first time I have every written that number down and it looks so strange.
B - Bed size: Double
C - Chore you hate: Washing Windows, although if you asked my hubby I probably am not over enthusiastic about any housework.
D - Dog's name: I am a cat person but due to hubby being allergic I have none, but my DD has a dog named Jack

E - Essential start of the day item: Coffee and about 30minutes to myself to drink it in peace.
F - Favorite color: yellow, it's my happy colour
G - Gold or Silver: silver
H - Height: 5'

I - Instruments you play: none but did piano lessons for a short while
J - Job: I take care of my family
K - Kids: one daughter who is 7.
L - Living arrangements: house in a small town with hubby and daughter.
M - Music you love: Rock and a bit of metal!  Favourite picks : Nickleback, Prime Circle, Cold, Evanescense etc
N - Nicknames: Micky
O - Overnight hospital stay at hospital: Oh I have had a few of those, one was to have my daughter by emergency surgery and the other few times were to have a couple ops on my eyes.
P - Pet Peeve: Not having all the thread colours in my stash yet, I hate wanting to start a project only to know I don't have all the colours and then only being able to start it once I have been shopping.
Q - Quote from a movie: Oh boy I love movies but a brain like a sieve, hence the liking to watch movies over and over again, so no quote comes to mind.
R - Right handed or left: Right

S - Siblings: Older sister by a year and a half.
T - Time you wake up: 6:00am in the week and if I am very lucky to sleep late on weekends then it's 7:00am

U - Underwear: didn't know it was optional, although I agree with Stephanie Pearl McPhee that bra's are sometimes optional, alright honestly very optional if the clothing I am wearing allows for it.
V - Vegetable you dislike: brussle sprouts
W - Workout Style: In my dreams.
X - X-rays you've had: dental,
Y - Yummy food you make: A chocolate Cake and yes I know it's not technically food but the cooking fairy missed me completely when they were handing out skills.  My cooking is still just as bad as it was 8 years ago when I married and cooking for my family became my responsibility.
Z - The best place to visit: Anywhere we go on holiday or for a overnight stay where the cleaning and cooking isn't mine to take care of... lots of extra stitching time!

Friday, November 11

Tooth Fairy Complete

Things are progressing nicely here even though I am so itching to start something new.  I hear a HAED calling my name... but I am resisting so far.

I finally found a few charts I like and last night I charted 2 of the 4 bookmarks I want to make for the teachers.

I also finally completed tooth fairy.  I finished stitching awhile ago but I never turned her into anything.  My DD decided she didn't want a pillow but rather wanted it to hang on the wall.  So a bit of eye searing pink felt, two buttons and a hanger later she is now the happy owner of this:

Her Advent Calendar is coming along well and I love how it's looking.  It's working up at a decent pace but not fast enough for me as I know I can't / shouldn't start anything new until this is done.

I have also changed my Crazy 15 2012 list as I realised that it's suppossed to be crazy and not irrational, and that there is a slight differenct in the two words.  My list was irrational because I had chosen 15 big projects to complete and there is no way I would ever meet the end of year and have all finished.

So I changed a few items to smaller projects and I am pretty sure I will be changing a few of the larger ones soon too.

Monday, November 7

First HAED Purchase

I have been trying to be good, really I have but I just couldn't resist falling down the rabbit hole.

I have just purchased my first HAED chart!!!

Due to the $ verus Rand exchange rate purchasing one is not cheap for me and thus I wasn't sure I wanted to start but after much thinking I realised that they are so worth the cost.  The art is beautiful and the amount of stitching that will be done to complete each piece is hours upon hours.

I also knew that having one design is not ever enough so I also made a promise to myself that I would not purchase more than one design every quarter.  Hubby gets notices when the credit card is used and he is not against my stitching but he is also not all for it so there is obviously a limit I could spend at any given time before it would bother him.

Meet  Direwood

Saturday, November 5

Blu Stitcher Blogoversary

Wow boy was I suprised today to see that I have 3!!! followers since yesterday.  And I got such a lovely comment.  It really makes one feel good to be complimented on ones work.

Blu Stitcher who is the person who commented incidently is having a her one year blogoversary and is celebrating by having a competition.  So pop over there if you feel lucky:-)

Friday, November 4

Blog Revamp

Today I decided to sit down and sort out my blog.  I don't know what took me so long to do it as it turned out much easier than I thought it would.

As you will see I have added a new list to my sidebar.  It's a SAL that I joined and am sooo looking forward to participating.  I have already chosen the fifteen designs I plan on starting but some of it may still change.  I am lucky enough to have found this SAL early enough so that I can spend the next two months making sure I have all the fabric, threads, enlarged patterns that I can mark on and then put them all nicely into ziploc bags in my basket and have them ready to pull out.

Now for what you actually want to see, my WIP's:

I won't post any pictures of my doors for now because they have not had one stitch added to them since the last pics.

I realised that I never did show the finished table numbers that I was doing.  I ended up making 36 of them and they were well liked at the dance.  I got a bunch of compliments and they have kept them to use for next years dance.  Luckily only one was taken home so I just have to replace No.  11:

Started:  05 August 2011
Completed:  12 October 2011

Sadly my dragon/castle has been scrapped.  Not once but twice.
The first time was because I was doing it on 14 count, which the design called for but there are so many fractional stitches that I felt it was looking extremely messy.  I bought myself 28 count evenweave and tried to work on that but my eyes just won't allow it for now.  I know a magnifying glass for stitching will help with that problem but the purchase will have to wait until next year some time due to the fact that christmas is just around the corner, we want to put up a higher front wall in December and my daughter starts her first year of school next year so right now its uniforms, sports stuff, stationary and all the other stuff that is needed.

Pefect Pets
Designer:  Joann Elliot
Started:  20 September 2011

Art Nouveau Lady
Designer:  Lesley Teare
Started:  October 2011

I also started an Advent Calendar for my daughter and I am going to give each kindergarted teacher a bookmark to say thank you for beeing teachers.  I have no photo's of them yet so hopefully next update.  These will be the only things I will be working on for the rest of November as the Calendar has to be finished by 30 Nov and the 4 bookmarks need to be finished by 4 December.

The rest of the year will be spent working on my three UFO's and some christmas tree decorations.

Wednesday, November 2


I was going to do a blog post concerning all the wonderful designs out there and how left out we are if we don't live overseas. As I was walking around the house cleaning I was thinking about what I would say. I came to realise that it just wouldn't come out in a way that didn't sound like I was moaning and I didn't like that idea.

I look at alot of blogs and have seen all the wonderful dyed fabrics out there and there are a few of Joann Elliot designs that I want to make but would of had to do them on white. We don't have the lovely fabrics in South Africa and I was feeling sad about that fact. Then I decided to do some research and found a youtube video showing how to dye fabrics with effects and then I pulled out some easter egg dye.

First I soaked a bit of one tablet in hot water with a little bit of white vinegar.

I then put my fabric in the "dye" and turned it over after a minute. I then put it in the microwave for 30 seconds because the water was already hot.

I then poured out the water and left it to cool. Once it was cool I rinsed and rinsed it under the tap and watched it become lighter as the excess ran out with the water.

I then dried it with the iron and this is what it looks like:

Now I just need to wait until I can go to the shop where one can buy the powdered food colouring and try the youtube video experiment and see if I can come up with some interesesting effects. From now on my fabrics will never be white unless they look better that way:-)

Thursday, August 18

Dollhouse?? Framed

I picked up my framed piece yesterday and am so pleased with how it looks:

The same framer did my other two pieces and luckily for me they do it for a reasonable rate. I know framing is expensive but I do think that if you put all the costs into the materials and then the time it takes you to complete the piece, it is well worth paying the extra and getting it framed. I have decided that at the end of the month I will get my oldest piece framed as it's been bothering me how the colour of the fabric has changed over time and it now looks like I used cream aida instead of the white. That will only leave one more item that is finished and needs framing. I just want to do it one at a time instead of giving my hubby a heart attack as I do love my cross stitch and don't want him to feel bothered about it it costing so much.

I also finished one item. Okay finished sewing but not actually complete. My daughter lost her first two teeth awhile ago and I wanted to do something special for her next ones. It's a tooth fairy pillow that will have a pocket for her tooth to go into.

Started: 30 July 2011
Finished: 17 August 2011

I need to make the pillow and as my hand sewing skills are really terrible, I will have to borrow my MIL's sewing machine. I have decided to wait awhile to do it as I will hopefully be starting an advent calendar tonight and it will also need sewing once done. I also have about four projects that I want to start soon, and as I always sew around the edges to stop fraying, I will use the opportunity of using the machine to do it alot quicker than it takes by hand.

My third door is progressing nicely but I have decided to put it on hold for awhile so I can concentrate on the advent calendar and my Dragon and Castle.

And here is the above mentioned Dragon And Castle progress:

It is the most complex design I have ever done and I have a feeling it will be a long WIP. It has alot of colour changes never mind the colour blending and then on top of that it has half and quarter stitches. The patten calls for 14 count aida but I think it would of been easier and neater if I had done it on evenweave. I have enver used it but I have got 1meter sitting in my basket for a few Joann Elliot designs I want to do. I have had to put them on hold as my glasses don't work well since my eye ops and I need to go for new glasses before I even attempt to use it. I have a feeling once I get the hang of it I will never use aida for any design that uses fractional stitches.

I am having difficulty with something I am wanting to make. It's my daughters last year in her kindergarten as next year she will be going to school. There are four teachers and I am wanting to make them bookmarks as christmas / farewell gifts but all the free patterns online don't call to me and I am looking for any recommendations of books that have good bookmarks patterns in them. Hope someone can give me some ideas.

Sunday, August 7

Much Accomplished

Boy has the last month been productive.

I finished the birthday cards for my daughters party. In total I made nine of them and I must say as much as I love the pattern I was rather glad to be finished with it. Not sure a pattern is suppossed to be done that many times.

I finished the backstitch on the Apple Harvest pattern:

Boy was it a lot of backstitch but I must say that I always think it's worth it in the end because it adds things that is needed to really bring out the details in things.

I also finished the backstitch on the two doors:

My daughters school has a fundraiser every year. I am on the decorating committee and I offered my services to make the table numbers. I designed this after finding a heart chart on the net.

I have handed in the sample and am waiting for a yes or no from the "bosses" and even though I have to do 31 of these, if they let me know soon, then I have worked it out that if I finish one every two night I will get them done with time to spare.

I also took two pictures of projects that I started but for some reason when I took the pics off my camera they weren't there. The one was quick and I only have the backstitch to complete and the other one is the biggest and most complicated project I have started so far. The pics will have to wait for the next blog post as it's too dark to take them now.

Hopefully I will also have a pic of one of my FO's framed too.

Saturday, July 2

Birthday Cards

I have been doing much stitching but not much progress it seems.

I have been working on a list of projects that I want to make and will sometime upload it to the blog but for now a quick update.

I am making my daughters birthday invitations. I have to make 9 and have finished 3 so far.

As I said not much progress and I am itching to start something new but the birthday is on 9 August and I need to finish these up awhile before so that they can go out in time.

I made the cards and envelopes myself so they are not perfect but I am pleased with them.

Tuesday, June 21

Progress Pics

I am so pleased with cross stitch at the moment. It's my daughters 7th birthday in about a month and a half and I had no idea what to do for it. We decided to do a party but that was all. Then yesterday I asked her if I should sew her cards and then we can make the cards ourselves with pretty board. We looked through magazines and she chose a picture of a tea cup. I asked her if she was sure that it was what she wanted and she was adament. I didn't think it was appropriate until I realised that she had just given me the theme for her party. We are going to have a Tea Party!!!

Now I just hope that I can stitch five invitations with time to send them out and get rsvp's back.

My main project at the moment is a set of four doors that I am making. I have completed one up to the point that I need to do the backstitch.

The following is a picture I took the day of my last post and the second one is the progress I made up to today. I would normally have finished it today or tomorrow but I think the cards are going to be keeping me busy for awhile.

I am also busy with another Smiley Bears that is almost finished. It is called Apple Harvest and I am just completing the backstitch and it will be finished and I can begin another big project.

And lastly here is a project that I finished about a year ago. It's a Smiley Bears and I think it is called First Letter. I really need to get it framed asap as I see the fabric is yellowing and it is looking worn.