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!!!