Tuesday, January 27

Cut Thru Cottage Update

Here is the update from the last week of stitching on it:


And as of 18th it looks like this:



In my dreams I would like to finish the kitchen this week, but considering all I have done in the last two days, is backstitched the flower basket and a bit of the roof, I don't think that's going to happen but lets see.

I have tried to teach the daughter to cross stitch about 4 times in the past but no luck.  She is a perfectionist which she didn't get from us, and we have tried to teach her that it's ok not to do something perfect when you learn to do it, she still has a hard time.So obviously her learning to stich would not look like the picture, mine certainly didn't, she has always given up after 2 or 3 days because she wasn't happy with her standard of work.

Well last night she asked me to let her try again.  So I first sat her down and explained very carefully that it won't be perfect, it won't be easy and she has to just be ok with it and just keep on at it and then I showed her designs that she could be doing in a year if she just keeps working at it as motivation.

Out came the magazines and patterns, fabric was chosen and we sat down for a few minutes where I had to refresh her memory on how to do things.  She only got a few stitches in before bed time and today was a long, busy day so no stitching done yet:-(  Here's hoping that tomorrow will be the day for her to feel like doing it again.  I would like her to learn so that at times where we are somewhere and she is a bit bored she can just pull out her stitching and have something interesting to do with her time.  I know I will probably regret it when I am hunting for fabric to use for a design, only to find out she took the last piece, or when I have to go thread shopping for 2 but until that happens I am excited for her to learn.

Monday, January 26

HAED Pure Nature Week 2

I seem to have skipped an update on Cut-Thru Cottage from working on it the week of 12th bu:t I did work on it and will take a picture today to do an update tomorrow.

Last week was Pure Nature's week and I did (or at least thought I did) a really good amount of progress.  Then I saw a lady who finished a whole column in one day and that really hit home how slow I stitch.

I kind of did my own hermit weekend so other than basic cleaning and cooking I spent every free minute in front of my stand, and on average a really good day for me is 300 - 400 stitches.  This week will be a lot less stitching time, as now I have to pay for my slack weekend in household work and it's also the week I need to wash all the windows and the curtains.

Anyway you didn't come here for all my rambling, but came for the pictures... so without further ado I present Pure Nature:

I realized that my stitching will never be tidy and I think I have to just get used to that.  I work down in columns while parking, but I park both down and to the side if needed and also start and end my threads in such a way that I don't ever have to flip my frame.  That means there are all the ended threads sitting there waiting to be stitched over and then only snipped off when I complete the square next to them.  That means threads everywhere but it works for me and makes life easier with the stitching, but doesn't make for a pretty sight.

HAED is having a 50% off sale and in a day or two I plan on buying Midnight Vigil.  It will be a start to kitting up, though I will only get it started near the end of the year due to the black threads will be bought as a birthday present to myself in August.

Thank you for the heads up about buying the cones, as I was not aware of it and have asked a shop to see if they can look into the cost and if they can buy some for me.  I liked the idea of using anchor black because it gives better coverage, but I have never come across a place here that sells the anchor.  If you are lucky to find a place that sells cross stitch threads it is always DMC.  Not that I am complaining as most designs use DMC but it would be nice to be able to also use Madeira threads once in awhile, as I love some of their colours.

Next design to start kitting up will be QS Blue Butterfly as I plan on alternating that one with Pure Nature for page finishes, and as far as I can work out Pure Nature Page 1 should be finished in another 3 weeks of working on her and that leaves me just over a month to get all the threads together for QS Blue Butterfly.

Monday, January 12

HAED Pure Nature Week 1

I think I did petty good on how much I managed to stitch this week.  A bit too much stitching if you ask the husband:-)

Excuse the mess of threads as I was playing around with different ways of stitching to see what I liked best.  It should be tidy by the next update.

I was super tempted to keep this out for another week, but I am still missing a few threads, that I ordered today and should hopefully get by Friday.

Back to CT Cottage for this week.

Saturday, January 10

Being a Floss Licker Just Saved My Backside

I always lick my floss before I put it through the needle.  I know some think it's gross but it just makes threading easier for me.

I picked up colour 150 and added 2 stitches when I noticed red around the second stitch.  I first thought it was some fluff and tried to pull it off, but when I pulled the stitch out, I saw that the red was actually on the fabric.

So I ran the tip of where I had licked over a different part and it left a nice red smear.  Don't worry it's a HAED so it will be covered but imagine what I would of felt like if I finished a piece like this and then washed it.  I always wash my cross stitch before it goes to the framer as he is a bit of a perfectionist and always frowns and moans at me if there is even the tiniest spot.  And he always sees them:-(

So I pulled out the 2 stitches and am just about to wrap the thread around something and leave it to soak in warm soapy water for a little bit.

Please excuse the messy threads.  I was experimenting the best way to stitch.  I first did parking across the page and by the third 10 x 10 block I got a little crazy with all the threads.
I then tried cross country but I don't like how it slows me down with all the counting and double checking.
I lastly tried parking while going down a column and it's much better and I'm only working with parked threads for that coloumn.  But I still have to tidy up the threads from my first parking attempt.  Hopefuly it will be done in time for the progress update.

Tuesday, January 6

CT Cottage and A New Start

I think I made a nice bit of progress last week on my Cottage:



I have decided to try alternate every week between Cottage and a HAED.  Not sure yet how well it will work but I'm going to try.

On my last post I spoke about the design I started on the wrong part of the fabric as the design is longer lengthwise and I had the fabric longer breadth wise.

I spent 3 years creating my Master Thread stash and every time I had to buy threads for a design I was stitching I bought a few extra threads to go into my MTS.  It got into a habit and now I buy about 2 or 3 random colours every time I have to stock up on threads that have run out.

So I spent yesterday going through the backup threads and pulled everything I had and then looked at all the symbols for the first 3 coloums and bought the missing threads from those.  I also looked at all the threads that were used for only 300 stitches or less and won't buy a whole skein just for those, as I can just use from my master threads for those.  Altogether I think I have just less than half the threads needed for the project but I have enough to make a good start.  I then spent the rest of the day and evening unpicking my oopsie on the fabric and grid the first page.

As of right now there are only 3 stitches on the project but I plan on remedying that very quickly today.

My project is Pure Nature by Little Fairy Art (who also has 3 other designs that I just have to stitch:-)

I just fell totally in love with the colours and just knew that I had to stitch it simply for that reason, though the design is also very eye catching.

I also did a post this morning on the HAED Facebook group asking them if theres any chance they could look into being able to do Paul Kidby's artwork from the Discworld Series.  Not sure how the logistics of that would work as I'm sure he has specific rules from Terry Pratchett concerning his art but a girl can always hope.  I specifically want to be able to stitch the following of his art but I would happily buy almost all of his discworld art that has my fav characters in it.

I showed my husband this pic and told him how much I would love to stitch it and he told me that I'm absolutely nuts:-)  But then again he never has liked the Discworld books even though I have made him read a few of my favorites.  I just don't understand how he can not love them and he doesn't understand how I do love them. 

Sunday, January 4

Have you got an ultimate cross stitch?

HAED designs and I have not had the best of a relationship.  All due to my fault unfortunately, but the first one I tried stitching I ended up using two of the same dmc bought at different times and there was a big colour difference between the two.  Then it languished and got a bit dusty so I decided to wash it.  Unfortunately I didn't think anything about the warm water vs the blue washable pen I had used to grid, and now the grid lines have set in.  Which is not a train smash as you would stitch over that anyway but I seemed to have gone slightly two high on lines and they will stick out slightly and I don't think I could live with that.

Then I decided to start another HAED and switched the fabric around when stitching and as it's longer horizontally than it is vertically, I can't get away with it and it now has to be unpicked.

I was browsing the new designs on the HAED site and just saw my ultimate stitch.  It's going to be a huge undertaking in the sense of how long it will take, the fabric (being on 18 count) will be over 1 metre long, the high cost of that amount of fabric, and not including the threads as I will make sure I buy all the threads needed in one go to make sure it will be perfect.  Oh and I don't even want to think about the cost of framing but at least that I can save up for as I am stitching it.

But every time I look at the design I just don't care about all of that and I just want to have it in my hands already, watching it slowly form.

It will take ages to gather everything needed to start but as soon as the next sale comes up I will buy the design and start saving money for the rest.

Here it is and isn't it absolutely goregous??

It's called Midnight Vigil by Lisa Parker and I must say that it's the most beautiful, stunning design I have ever seen and just has to be somewhere on a wall so that I can just sit and admire it's beauty.

Edited to Add:  Bugger!! Just did a quick glance at the floss usage information for said design and almost fell off my chair when I saw 310 Black = 55 Skeins!!! Nope I didn't do a typo there.  Ok going to take me a year to save up and I wonder where I can even find that many skeins of black but will it ever be gratifying when I do get to start.

I think I will buy a few skeins here and there through the year and will keep the black as my birthday present to myself.  R550.00 just for one colour *gulp I think I'm feeling dizzy at the thought*

Thursday, January 1

2015 Goals

I have never set goals before but due to how many WIP's I have got and how many I want to start, I figure instead of drowning in all the decisions, I would sit down and choose a few must haves that I want done this year and here they are.

1.  Autumn Fairy by Joan Elliott

I have started this one but barely.  Only one afternoons work so far.

2.  Spring Fairy by Joan Elliott

This will be a new start.

3.  Santa & Kitten by Design Works

This one will be for the daughter.

4.  Santa's Visit by Joan Elliott

This one will be for hubby.

5.  Cut-Thru Cottage by Bothy Threads

This one is my current project and am working on finishing the bottom rooms.

6.  99 Bottles by Ink Circles

I have already completed 19 bottles so far and plan on doing 2 bottles a week.

I won't stop from doing any starts that just have to be started but I do hope to look back at the end of 2015 and see that some, if not all, were done.

Edited to add:  My most important goal for 2015 is to become a better blogger and comment more on blogs that I enjoy reading.  Being a bit silent on that front in 2014 but I know that I love reading comments on my blog so it's important to return the enjoyment.