Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Time for an update...

It seems to be a while since I posted an update.  I've been mostly working on this...


January's Snowdrop by Cottage Garden Samplings

and on this....

Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks

and a little bit on this...

Lizzie*Kate - Ready for Snow

I managed to stay under budget on Stitch from Stash and so far have had no burning desire to buy lots of new stuff.  Until I saw a cute Easter chart on Stitcher's Anon's blog.  I was so sad to read that someone has been stealing designs and selling them on Etsy.  Have they never heard of copyright?  A proportion of the sales of these charts are being donated to children's cancer charities too so it's in a good cause.

In other news, I have agreed to donate the babyish pictures I stitched while pregnant with elder son to a raffle being held to raise money for a local children's hospice, Clare House.  They cared for my friend's baby grand-daughter until she died last year and it's a great cause.  This means I will have to get some other pictures stitched up for the boys' rooms.  What do non-stitchers put on their walls I wonder?

Here are a couple of photos of the pictures that my "baby" is too old for at the grand old age of 5!




Hubby is at the football tonight so a peaceful evening with my stitching awaits!

Until next time

Justine
Monday, 27 January 2014

Stitch from Stash January 2014 update

Hello and welcome to my new readers.  I hope you enjoy my blog.  It's time for my Stitch from Stash update for January.


Stitch from Stash is hosted by Mel of Epic Stitching.  There are 130 of us planning to stitch from stash in 2014.  We each have $25, or similar in our own currency, to spend each month on stash.  Check out Mel's blog for all the rules.

I have seen lots of UK Stitch from Stashers saying that they are going to stick to £15 per month, which is roughly the equivalent of $25.  However, threads are so much more expensive in the UK that I plan to have £25 per month in my budget.  I've checked with the rules and this is OK.

Money spent in Jan: £19.36
Money to carry over: £5.64

I bought this gorgeous chart from another stitcher (keeping the cost down!)...

and I also bought the threads to stitch it.  The threads cost £15.26.  I checked online and from a US shop I could have bought them for $14.90 (equivalent of £9) which if my maths is right is a saving of around 40%.  So I feel justified using UK pounds rather than US dollars as currency (and am going to check the postage rates from the US as it may be cheaper just to buy from there!)

I had 14 new starts from stash in January, due to joining the Crazy January Challenge 2014.  I also started the piece above on Jan 15th.  Check out the Crazy January Challenge tab at the top of my blog for up to date pics.

I have been doing a bit of work on January's Snowdrop and on my Frosty Forest piece but I will do a proper update tomorrow.

Hope you all had a lovely stitchy weekend.  I am still catching up on reading the many blogs I follow, and finding new ones through Stitch from Stash and the Grow Your Blog party this weekend.  I do love reading other blogs, especially the finishes pages!  Very inspiring.

Until tomorrow,

Justine
Monday, 20 January 2014

First finish of 2014!

Hi everyone

I've got a finish!  And here it is...

Lizzie*Kate
Started 7/1/14
Finished 20/1/14

I had an incentive to stitch this one as I offered to exchange the chart with CJ.  It has been a quick stitch (10 hours in total) and I've loved every minute.  Can't decide what to do with it now, framing or maybe a pillow?

That means one down, fourteen to go from the Crazy January Challenge!  I think I am going to choose something else quite small as I enjoyed the sense of early achievement.  I will probably go for January's Snowdrop seeing as it is still January.

Tonight I stitched a bit more on my Bothy Threads North Pole House, seeing as it is Cut Thru Monday.  I stitched the world map on the wall on the first floor.


Hope you have all had a lovely stitchy weekend!

Justine
Thursday, 16 January 2014

WIPocalypse 2014 - January

OK, so not content with Crazy January Challenge 2014, I have just signed up for WIPocalypse 2014 also!  If you want to know more, head over to Measi's blog.

I am going to focus on two projects at a time, as I have fifteen others to worry about this year!  First up is this one, which is my oldest WIP so far and was started in August 2008 just after my 5 and a half year old was born...
Holiday Village by Dimensions

I love this piece.  My Dad saw it finished in a shop just after I bought it and said it looks incredible.  I don't expect to finish this year but would like to make some progress.

Number two is this one...
A to Z sampler by Historical Sampler Company

I started this one in December 2008 when I found out I was pregnant with younger son.  Elder son already has a similar sampler which was finished before he was born (apart from the birth details of course).  Poor Dominic has had to wait a long time for his!  I need to frog the "D" square as I tried to change Doll to Dinosaur and I didn't get it quite right.  I am going to aim for one square a month on this.

Measi would like us to share a bit more about ourselves this month.  So, here goes.  I'm almost 42 and live with my husband and our two sons in the North West of England, in between Manchester and Liverpool.  I work three days a week but would love to be a stay at home mum!

I started stitching in 1988 when my mum gave me a tapestry picture of a squirrel to complete.  I completed a couple more tapestries before moving on to cross stitch when I saw a picture of a stitched Valentine's card in a magazine.  The boyfriend and I parted company but happily I gained a new hobby!  I have stitched pretty much ever since, always on one project at a time until I started reading blogs in mid-2013 and I'm now up to 20 WIPs which is a lot for me.

I look forward to sharing in the WIPocalypse with you all.

Until next time, I'd better get some stitching done!

Justine

CJC Days 13, 14 and 15 and my plans for 2014!

Here are my last three new starts for this year, well for January anyway.  I have plans for later in the year (mwah ha ha!)

Day 13:

Only one hour's stitching completed on this one.  It's a lovely stitch but I think will take longer than I first thought (don't they all?!)

Day 14:
Little Cups of Friendship - Lizzie*Kate

This one only got an hour too.  I like how the variegated thread (WDW Begonia) comes out pink/red.

Day 15:

I put my Day 15 start to the vote.  Unfortunately the projects I selected got 4 votes each so I went with the smaller of the two.  This is February's Primrose by Cottage Garden Samplings.  My birthday is in February and I have always loved purples and lilacs so I'm happy with this choice.  This one only got an hour too but I managed to stitch two tiny motifs.

So...now the finishing begins!  In an effort to save splurging now I am stitching from stash, I've arranged to exchange charts with CJ from Tea n Stitches so I need to get this one finished first so I can send it off to her:

Which is good as it's a nice stitch and shouldn't take too long.

So...here are my stitching plans for 2014!

Bothy Threads Cut Thru Mondays with Debbie, Linda and many others - join us here
Frosty Forest Fridays with Country Cottage Needleworks Showcase blog - join in here
Finish all my Crazy January Challenge starts - see my progress on the tab at the top or here

One last thing I am super excited about is my new SAL! The lovely Jan and I have decided we are going to have Pirate Wednesdays and work on this beauty together...
Bothy Threads Cut Thru Pirate Ship

We both have young sons who will love this project.  Jan lives in Tasmania and I am in the UK so in actual fact Jan will be stitching while it is "my" Tuesday and I will be stitching on Jan's Thursday!  We also coincidentally decided to start in the same place, with the fighting pirate in the centre.  Here's my progress after 3 hours' stitching...

And here's Jan's after a bit less stitching time:

Thanks for all of your comments and support during the first 15 days of the Crazy January Challenge.  Good luck to those who are continuing on with new starts every day until the end of January in the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge.  I'm just not crazy enough!

Until next time, happy stitching!

Justine
Sunday, 12 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge Days 11 and 12

We're on the home straight! Only 3 more new starts to go and then I can start stitching whatever I like...with the intention of course by finishing them all by year end.

Day 11 was the smallest start so far. Only half an hour's stitching done on this one...
The boys are back in town by JABCO

This is the bottom of Dracula's jacket. I didn't have time to stitch more as we were out last night at my friend's 40th birthday party. We had lots of fun, caught up with some friends I hadn't seen for a long time and even managed to persuade hubby to get up for a dance! We didn't drink too much and were clear-headed for the drive home this morning. A great night. My friend looked stunning and it was lovely to meet some of her family who had travelled from South Wales to be there.

Day 12 got an hour and a half's love tonight..
Ready for Snow - Lizzie*Kate

Like many others I love Lizzie*Kate charts. They are simple and quick to stitch but so effective. My boys love snowmen so they will love this piece.

Well, my dreadful cough is back so I'm turning in for an early night. Hope you all had a good weekend stitching and hope to see you back he soon for the last 3 new starts.

Until next time

Justine

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge Day 10

Here is yesterday's start:

And here's what it will look like when it's finished:

Cute right?  I was lucky enough to win this chart in a giveaway from Heather and knew I was going to stitch it as soon as possible.  I ordered the recommended fabric (30 count Red Pear Permin linen) as I liked it so much.

I've had a bit of a rethink on the last few CJC projects as I really didn't want to stitch more than one Dimensions this year.  Check out my revised page and see what you think.  I am torn between these two for the final project:

Beach Hut Fun by Bothy Threads 

February's Primrose by Cottage Garden Samplings

Both lovely in their own ways.  Any thoughts?  I'm not clever enough to set up a vote in my sidebar as I have seen others do, but if you leave a comment on this post whichever one has the most votes by the 15th is the winner!

My dear friend is 40 today and hubby and I have a real treat - our second night in 5 years away from the children!  We are staying at a hotel not far away but far enough that I would have had to drive us home from my friend's 40th party tonight.  I'm very excited and so are the boys.  Grandma and Little Grandad are going to stay over tonight.  I am going to have to get my stitching in early today!

I am determined not to drink too much tonight as I don't want to be ill tomorrow - but we shall see!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

Justine
Friday, 10 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge Day 9

I'm in love!  With this beauty...

I was at home yesterday and managed to get quite a lot done while the boys were at school.  There is a total of 5 hours' stitching above.  The fabric is gorgeous to stitch on, so very soft.  I love the greens against the purple.

Today's project was going to be this..

but I have decided not to stitch this one this year.  One Dimensions kit at once is enough for me!  So I am going to rejig my choices yet again, and find something else.

Are any of you non-US stitchers doing Stitch from Stash?  I wondered what you are doing about the currency exchange rate?  I found out yesterday that DMC is about a third of the price in the US as it is here in the UK.  I think for that reason it would be fair if I stuck to £25 per month rather than $25 don't you?

I hope so as I've already spent £19.36 this month, on this gorgeous chart...

and the threads to stitch it.  I already have the fabric.

Stay tuned to see which chart makes it out of the stash cupboard today!

Justine
Thursday, 9 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge Days 7 and 8

On Day 7 I decided to swap the planned project, as I was too tired to be bothered to cut the fabric for the planned chart (I am kitting up as I go along).  So I decided to stitch this...

...which had the fabric ready-cut included with the chart.

And here's where I got to after 2 hours on the stitching sofa...

I was pleased with it especially as I decided to frog the "s" as for some reason due to the variegated thread it stitched up much paler than the other letters.

Day 8 was Clocks by Lanarte.  Here's where I got to after just an hour..

I was too tired last night to stitch very much.  This will be a watch face once it's complete.

I'm really excited about today's start which is my first Nora Corbett!  It's not as big as a Mirabilia but it still looks quite involved with metallics and beads.  It's Morning Glory from the Pixie Couture collection and I am stitching on Lorchen fabric from Sparklies which is gorgeous deep purple colour.


 Thanks for all your comments, I really do appreciate them and they have kept me going on the Crazy January Challenge, especially now I'm back at work after the Christmas break.

Until next time

Justine
Monday, 6 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge Days 5 and 6

I might be a day behind with blogging but I'm keeping up with the stitching!

Yesterday's new start was a Dimensions Petite kit, Overlook cafe. Here's where I got to after 2 hours of stitching...

You are looking at the darkest green in the path border and the bush in the right corner.

This is going to be a difficult finish this year. It's on 18 count aida which seems tiny and as I said in my last post it's got lots of blended threads and a mix of half and full cross stitches with many different numbers of floss strands. I am determined to finish as I think it will be stunning but am seriously considering swapping my other Dimensions choice for CJC to something a bit simpler.

Someone commented on my last post that this looked like a big project. It might be in terms of hours required to finish but it's actually about the size of a paperback cover.

Day 6 coincided with Cut Thru Monday so I decided to start my Cut Thru Pirate Ship which I intend to stitch along with Jan and Linda later this year. It was a hard day at work today and I was busy getting the boys ready for their first day back at school tomorrow so I haven't stitched much, but here it is...

That is a pirate's jersey and the top of his red pirate trousers. Like I said, it's not much.

Good luck to all the other CJC stitchers and please everyone keep safe in this terrible weather.

Justine

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge 2014 - Day 4

I didn't get as much stitching done on Day 4, only an hour and a half, but I'm pleased to say I think you can see the outline of the Snowman here...


The colour isn't great on this photo as it's a grey day outside, but this is stitched on lovely sparkly blue 14 count aida.  Nice and easy.

I've just opened today's start and had a bit of a surprise.



I thought this was going to be one of my easier choices, but not so.  It contains lots of blended crosses, crosses with one strand, crosses with two strands, half crosses with one/two strands, back stitch of course, but also lazy daisy stitch and French knots.  I know I can do all of those stitches, it's just the thought of them all in one little project that looks daunting!  I'm sure Mr Frog will pay a visit or two while this one is out.

Thanks for all your encouraging comments this year.  I am enjoying the Crazy January Challenge and especially because of all your lovely messages cheering me on.  Every day I feel sad to put each project away, and while I'm enjoying all the new starts I'm looking forward to January 16th when I can start choosing which ones to finish first!

Well, I'm off to find my stitching glasses and get that chart figured out!

Happy stitching and good luck especially to those other Crazy January Challengers who read my blog.

Justine
Saturday, 4 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge Day 3

Well, as you can see I'm already falling behind with blogging my CJC starts.  I tend to stitch in an evening after my boys are in bed, and I just can't face putting my needle away to write a blog post before bedtime. It seems to me to defeat the object of relaxing doing stitching. Though I love blogging, sitting in front of a computer is not very restful for me.

So here is yesterday's start, Lanarte Forks and Spoons..



I think this is the first time I have ever stitched a fork.

I did a couple of Lanarte kits many years ago. They are both up and framed at my mum's. I'll take pictures next time I'm up there. I remember that the fabric and threads were really good quality and I'm pleased to say they haven't changed. This is going to be a nice quick stitch.

Now onto today's new start, The Snowman.

I am going to reorder my CJC projects as when I chose them I didn't give a lot of thought to what I would be doing on each day e.g. work, meetings etc.  I am going to sort out the bigger projects for days when I think I will get more stitching time in.  That way I'll feel like I've achieved more!

See you tomorrow!

Justine
Thursday, 2 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Day 2

Day 2 brought not one but 2 visits from that mean old Mr Frog. I mean...how hard can it be to stitch a tiny reindeer with legs that actually join his body? Well, not as easy as you'd think my friends.

Despite the rude frog guy interruptions, after 3 hours stitching today I went from this...




to this...

I'm pleased with it. The fabric is lovely to stitch on (32 count pearl grey Permin linen as recommended) and the Crescent Colours/WDW threads are very smooth.

Tomorrow it's the turn of Lanarte Forks and Spoons. I just got my kit out of the stash cupboard and noticed there is quite a lot of metallic thread in it. Yikes! Metallic thread and I do not get on. Thread Heaven at the ready!

Hope you are all busy stitching new things for the new year.

Justine
Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Crazy January Challenge - Day 1

Happy New Year to you all. I saw in the New Year in bed with a lemsip. I'm feeling a bit brighter today and managed to make a good start on the Crazy January Challenge 2014.

Here is Day 1's progress..
Riverdrift House family sampler
Started 1/1/14

And here's what it should look like come December 31st...

I have to admit I cheated a bit and started this last night. I've stitched for 3 and a half hours so far. I was hoping to have finished the top line but I didn't quite make it. I didn't like the aida at first as it is a large and very stiff piece but it's softening up as I handle it. I'm quite sorry to have to put this away for my next new start tomorrow!

I managed to get in a last little order for some Crescent Colours threads before midnight last night but I am now Stitching From Stash! There are now over 100 of us joining in. Check out the button on my sidebar for more info. Closing date for sign-ups is tomorrow!

Please check in same time tomorrow for Day 2 of the challenge!

Oh, and did anyone notice the new background on my blog? I was playing around with it on my laptop this morning. I quite like it.

See you again tomorrow.

Justine