Friday, 29 November 2013

The ship is sinking...

Hello all

Hope all my American readers had a happy Thanksgiving.  I enjoyed reading all your blogs and learning about Thanksgiving traditions.  Those pumpkin pies looked scrummy!

Plenty of stitchy progress this week.  I've got my mojo back after feeling under the weather last weekend.  First up is the tall ship...


Sad to say I've stalled a bit with this piece.  My deadline for having it finished is my Dad's 70th birthday, January 27th.  I thought I would be OK if I'd stitched all the sails by the end of November.  Well, I've almost finished all of the cross stitch (just a bit of white missing on the waves bottom right) but the backstitch is awful.  The stitches are so long I have to break them up but it's impossible to see on the chart where they should go.  It takes me so long just to do a little bit, I'm really demotivated.

So instead I've been stitching on this...

 Bothy Threads Cut Thru' North Pole House

Close up of Santa's bedroom

I'm really enjoying this piece.  I've pretty much finished pages 1 and 2 and back-stitched them.  You can see I've started stitching the first floor (second floor for Americans!) where the elves are busy making and wrapping presents.  My boys are hoping this will be finished by Christmas, but I don't think there's any chance!

This weekend I will be busy making an ornament to enter in the ornament contest on the CCN Showcase and Stitch-a-long Place hosted by Vonna.  I've never made an ornament before so I don't expect great things but there's only one entry so far so I thought I would have a go.  The ornament I've chosen to stitch is lovely and will hang on our tree however it looks!

Hope you all have a lovely stitchy weekend!

Until next time,

Justine
Sunday, 24 November 2013

Stitching show but no stitching!

Sad to say this has been a stitch-free weekend.

It got off to a good start on Thursday when I visited the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate. There wasn't as much cross-stitch stuff as in previous years (quilters would have been happy with all the fat quarters though!) but I did treat myself to a few bits of fabric and ribbon for finishing, plus a couple of cross stitch pieces...

Buttons and fabric for Just Another Button Company -
The Boys Are Back In Town


Nora Corbett's Morning Glory
with Lorchen 28 count Cashel linen by Sparklies

I have never stitched a Nora Corbett or Mirabilia design before, but Kate from Sparklies had this made up on the same fabric on her stand, and it looked stunning. Kate assured me it will stitch up quickly and there is only a very small amount of metallic thread used. The fabric is a bit more purple in real life.

I have done very little stitching this weekend. I have been busy helping Santa with the Christmas shopping, helping the boys make Sparkly stars for their homework, and having our annual toy clear out ready for Christmas. I was so proud of my boys this year as they helped me choose toys they had outgrown, packed them up and delivered them to our local charity shop. Not bad for 5 and 4 years old.

I hope to have a finish to post this week on my tall ship but it will have to wait for daylight stitching time as the long stitch is crazy!

Hope you all have a lovely week, until next time,

Justine
Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Splice the mainbrace!

Can you tell I'm not a sailor?  But my dear Dad is, and he's going to be so pleased when he receives this for his 70th birthday in January...


I have finished the sails!  I'm really pleased as my deadline for the sails was the end of November.  So now I have a new target, to complete the whole piece by the end of November.  I just have to stitch the boat and the waves around it, and then do the longstitch for all the rigging and whatnot.  Since I started highlighting my chart as I went along, I've really enjoyed stitching this.  The linen and threads are both really nice to work with.


Some good progress made on my Bothy Threads Cut Thru North Pole House this week, even though I only stitched on Monday evening...





You can see Santa in bed now!  These are such fun to stitch.  Jan is about to complete a cross stitch toilet on hers here and also Linda has been cross stitching horsey poop here.  Jan and I are planning to stitch Cut Thru Pirate Ship together next year which I am really excited about.

I'm also very excited now about the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show which I am going to on Thursday!  It's only a couple of hours away by train on a lovely journey across the South Pennine Hills and the Peak District.  I am busy cataloguing my threads and writing a shopping list of fabric that I absolutely need!  No doubt there will be some wants as well as needs being purchased.

I received two lovely kits in the post from Nancy at Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe this week.  Nancy very generously included all the bells and her own hand-dyed floss to complete both the hangers, plus a smaller free chart that was included with the Jingle piece.  Thank you Nancy.  So you see, I need to buy some new fabric that is just right for these two pieces.

Hope you are all making good progress with your Christmas stitching!

Until next time

Justine
Sunday, 10 November 2013

What I have learned from sorting out my threads.....

1. It is possible to hate inanimate objects such as plastic bobbins.

2. I really did not need to keep buying skeins of DMC 3799 brown/grey.  I already had 5 of them.

3. I hate knots.

4. For someone who usually stitches from kits, I had a lot more threads than I thought (over 200 skeins).

5. I can now wind bobbins in my sleep.

6. I am so relieved it's over and I can start cross stitching again!

Well, it went from this....




to this....




which is a big improvement!

An update on tall ship which is my must-stitch piece as it has a deadline to be stitched and framed by January 27th.  I am really pleased with my progress and hope to have at least all of the sails done by the end of November.




And finally, a couple of fun giveaways I have come across...

Heather at Heather's Stitching Story is giving away some lovely charts and threads.

And Nancy at the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe is giving a Sewing Necessaire - your choice of colour. They are so beautiful I cannot choose which one I like best!

Thank you all for reading my blog and for your lovely comments and words of encouragement.  I would be a very lonely stitcher but for you all as I don't have any stitchy family or friends in "real life". It's a privilege to be able to share our hobby together.

Until next time

Justine
Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Cut Thru Update

Hello to friends old and new.  Here's a quick update on my Bothy Threads Cut Thru North Pole House which is part of a SAL I am in with Debbie, Linda and many others.  I am finally over my stitcher's block with this piece and am making good progress as you can see...



I'm almost done with the cross stitch on Santa's bedroom and will only have the backstitch to do to complete pages 1 and 2!

I ordered a gorgeous kit from Nancy at the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe (see her post of 3rd November). Nancy very generously is including virtually everything needed to complete this project. Thank you Nancy. I have only recently come across Nancy's blog which is lovely and seems to have lots of generous giveaways.

Well, that's all for now. I have a whole day's stitching planned tomorrow while the boys are at school. I can't remember the last time I was able to do that.  I am going to work on the tall ship piece for Dad's 70th so will put some updated pics on here shortly.  I really hope I can make some serious progress with it so I can stitch the Jingle Bells piece before Christmas!

Until next time

Justine
Saturday, 2 November 2013

Crazy January Challenge 2014

Hello all. Hope you had a happy and safe Halloween. Here in the UK we are now looking forward to Guy Fawkes' night on 5th November where we will enjoy bonfires, fireworks, hot potatoes and treacle toffee.

I recently signed up for the Crazy January Challenge 2014 For the first 15 days in January members start a new project every day and then try to complete them by the end of the year. So of course I have been looking through my huge stash of magazines for small achievable projects, right?

Well, no. Instead I browsed eBay and fell in love with this.


The kit is by Riverdrift House, a UK designer based in Cornwall. I hadn't come across them before. They have so many projects that I would love to stitch. I think this will look much better in our modern home than the antique samplers which I drool over on many other blogs I follow.

The best bit is that when you have ordered, the designer will chart initials of your choice for the line next to the bottom row of flowers, so you truly end up with a unique piece.

So...we have a winner! This is what I will be starting on Jan 1st! Only 14 more slots left. Who will be the winners and escape the dreaded stash cupboard?


Now I'm off to pick up the CCN Little Ballerinas for the very first CCN WIP-it weekend! So exciting.

Until next time

Justine