Thursday, 29 January 2015

1600 stitches in and looking much better!

Thanks to everyone who left comments giving advice on my HAED stitching on my last post.  I will be replying to you all individually but would just like to thank you all here.  It is very much appreciated.

A reminder of what it will look like when finished...


And here's my progress after 1600 stitches!

I found out I was doing a mixture of continental tent stitch and half cross stitch (thanks to Pull the Other Thread).  I have now switched to continental tent stitch all the time and am much more happy with the result.  Currently I'm only using two colours (DMC 819 and 3770) so I think any flaws show up much more easily.  Once I get into the confetti section where the house is I think it will look a lot better.

Here's a zoom-out shot.

As a thank you for all your advice, I put the names of all the commenters into a virtual hat, and comment number 17 from Katie was the winner.  I've sent Katie a little something from her wishlist as a thank you.  I wish I could send something to everyone and if I ever win the lottery, I will!

Until next time

Justine
Tuesday, 27 January 2015

HAED help!

Hi everyone

I've been in a HAED mood this week. I've seen lots of gorgeous ones on various blogs and it's made me want to pick mine up again.

In case you haven't seen it before, it's this one.
Mini Christmas Mailbox by Ruth Sanderson

I'm working on 25 count magic guide aida. Initially I started 1 over 1 full crosses but then unpicked and went for 2 over 1 tent stitch. I've put about 800 stitches in so far but am not happy with the way my threads are lying. What do you think?


I was working in hand but have switched now to my Millennium Frame which I think is making a difference. I'm just not sure it's neat!

What do you think? Am I worrying unnecessarily and it will all look great when finished and framed? Or should I unpick again?

Please be honest and if you have any tips for working on this size of project or stitching tent stitch I'd be very grateful!

Thank you

Justine
Thursday, 22 January 2015

First DCJC finish!

Last night I completed the first of my new starts for Debbie's Crazy January Challenge 2015.  Here it is...

The Wizard of Oz by The Little Stitcher
Started 1st January 2015, finished 21st January 2015
Stitched on 36 count platinum linen with DMC threads

A couple of close ups...



This was a lovely piece to work on.  The colours are beautiful.  I did think about using hand-dyed floss for the writing, but then decided to stick with the simplicity of DMC.  I'm glad I did as the rich browns and greens really set off the piece.

My new plan is to work on one of my new starts and one older piece at a time.  The older piece will be used for the YOTA SAL.  At the moment it's this one...
Clocks by Lanarte

I used the random number thingy to select one of my new CJC starts to work on next, and this one came out!
Autumn House by The Trilogy

Here it was when I worked on it on 11th January:

See you soon for another update!

Justine
Friday, 16 January 2015

Now the Challenge really begins!

I've completed my 15 new starts for Debbie's Crazy January Challenge. Thank you to everyone who left lovely comments cheering me on. There are some much crazier stitchers who are continuing the new starts for the rest of January and February too!

Here are my last 3 starts.

Day 13: Strawberry House by Little House Needleworks

I stitched some of the frame at the top:


Day 14: The Love Rain by Soda Stitch

I stitched the clouds:


And then I went really crazy on Day 15. Can you guess what this is?

It's the start of this!
Mini Christmas Mailbox by HAED

I've been itching to stitch this since Thoeria gifted it to me. I tried starting but wasn't happy with it so I picked it back and started again yesterday. I'm stitching 2 over 1 tent stitch on 25 count magic aida, for those who like to know these things.

I know I won't finish this one this year with all my other stitching plans but that's ok. In a way it's a fitting tribute to Debbie as she was ambitious with her stitching goals too.

So now the real challenge begins!

Good luck to everyone continuing with the new starts, I will be cheering you on!

Justine
Thursday, 15 January 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL 2015 - January

Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching had the brilliant idea of the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL, to help us celebrate giving in all its forms!  The idea is to use things that have been gifted to you, or show things that you intend to use as gifts.  I have only been blogging for about 18 months but in that time am lucky enough to have benefitted from the generosity of other stitchers, so I quickly signed up to share with you!


Regular readers will know that since January 1st, I have been starting something new every day in memory of SoCal Debbie.  I included some gifts into those new starts so I would have something to show you today.  Aren't I clever?!

These are my starts that qualify for Gifted Gorgeousness:

From my Secret Santa at work:

Progress after one evening's stitching:

This lovely chart was gifted to me by Mii Stitch as part of the Tutti Frutti Exchange she hosted last year:

And here's my progress:

This one was a gift from Heather in the first stitching giveaway I ever won!:

And here's where I got up to:

I can't wait to see what other stitchers' gifts have been worked on this month!

Today is the last day (for me) of Debbie's Crazy January Challenge, though some stitchers are carrying on with the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge (31 starts) or even a Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January Challenge (59!! starts)  I have had my own little moment of madness and will be starting something crazy tonight.  I know I won't get it finished this year but that's OK.

I'll be back later to show you my starts for Days 13 to 15!

Until then

Justine
Monday, 12 January 2015

Debbie's Crazy January Challenge Day 12

Not a good start for Day 12...I discovered I was missing most of the required flosses for this one! Today's stitch is Spooky String by Lizzie*Kate. Here's my "progress":
Part of a pumpkin

And here's what it will look like one day:

That's all for tonight, folks! I'll be back tomorrow with a really pretty stitch...

Justine
Sunday, 11 January 2015

Debbie's Crazy January Challenge - Days 9, 10 and 11

Here are my latest three starts for Debbie's Crazy January Challenge..

Day 9: Let's Do Coffee by Imaginatings:

Here's my progress for one afternoon.  I'm pretty pleased with it though I changed the floss colour as the recommended colour (DMC 814) looked very red to me.

This piece is one that I first saw on Debbie's blog so it seemed fitting to include it in the challenge in her memory.  You can see her finish and read about it here.  This post includes a lovely photo of Debbie stitching surrounded by animals!

Day 10: Garden Pleasures by Little House Needleworks:

Here's where I finished for now:

Not much done on this one as I was too busy finishing my first YOTA, Cut Thru North Pole House.

Day 11: Autumn House by The Trilogy:

Here's where I got up to:

I will tell you a little more about these last two on the 15th January for the first Gifted Gorgeousness post!

Four more new starts to go!

Until next time

Justine
Saturday, 10 January 2015

First YOTA of 2015

This year I decided to commit to the Year of the Acronym (YOTA) SAL hosted by Pull the Other Thread.  This is a UFO SAL, to get rid of those Unfinished Objects lurking around.

Officially I don't have any UFOs but most of the projects listed on the WIP tab on this blog are really UFOs as I'm not currently working on them.

I'm so excited to present to you, hot off the needles, a major finish!
Cut Thru North Pole House by Bothy Threads
Started 29th August 2013
Finished 10th January 2015

Some close-ups:



This is a very special piece to me as it was this project that kick-started my blog.  Debbie's Cross Stitch was the first cross stitch blog I ever found and she hosted the Cut Thru Monday SAL with Linda.  I loved all the pieces but thought they would be too much of a challenge for me.  I decided to give it a go and also set up a blog so I could stitch along.  I'm happy to have finished this one, as I really love it and want to have it framed on the wall next Christmas, but I'm also sad as it was my first real "blog start". It was also a WIP of Debbie's.

I decided to let the Random Number Generator choose what I'm going to stitch on next for YOTA.  It came up with this one...


For some reason the bottom of this photo is chopped off!  Anyway, it's called Clocks by Lanarte and you get the idea.  Here's where I was up to last time I touched it (a few months ago now)..


My plan is to spend half of each month working on the JEC SAL and my Crazy January Challenge 2015 new starts, and the other half working on YOTA pieces.  I may change the YOTA piece each month but I might carry on into the next month, particularly if I can smell a finish!

I'll be back tomorrow with three more new starts from Debbie's Crazy January Challenge.

Until then

Justine
Friday, 9 January 2015

Debbie's Crazy January Challenge Days 7 and 8

Here are my new starts for 7th and 8th January...

Day 7:
Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street

And here's how it will look when finished...

I was stitching on this when I heard the terrible news about the shootings in Paris.  So very sad.  I have happy memories of my one and only trip to Paris and hope to think of them rather than this tragedy the next time I stitch on this piece.

Day 8 didn't see much stitching action:


This is the finished article, the daffodil I stitched is the lowest one on the left hand side of the stems:

I am hoping to get some real finishing done today, as I want to display my January Robin before February begins!  Finishing isn't one of my skills but hopefully I will have something half-decent to show you later.  Plus I need to get started on my Day 9 piece, and catch up on lots of blog-reading!

Until then

Justine

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

CJC Day 6

Not much stitching done tonight but still a start! Here's the top of a red spotty umbrella..


And here's how it will look when finished.. (hopefully later this year!)


Thanks for all your tips on washing my Day 5 start. In the defence of my Secret Santa, you couldn't tell the kit had been started without opening it, and we were only allowed to spend £5 so he/she got a bargain!

I'm really looking forward to tonight's start but it's off to work for me now!

Until later

Justine
Monday, 5 January 2015

DCJC Day 5

A third of the way there already and what a lovely surprise! Today's project is my Secret Santa present from work, a gorgeous kit by Lanarte...

When I opened the kit for the first time this evening I found someone had already started it!

I stitched two lengths of thread and am satisfied that my tension is the same as the previous stitcher's and I don't think she made any mistakes, so I'm good to go.

I found myself wondering about her, who she is/was and why she gave up on the project. I'm pretty sure she was a she and not a he as she's written the symbols on the thread card and her handwriting is very feminine.

The fabric and threads do have a slight musty smell so if anyone can recommend a way to freshen them up I'm all ears! But overall it's great quality and I'm thrilled to be the new stitcher of this beautiful chart.

Until tomorrow

Justine 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Day 4 of the Challenge!

Today was Day 4 of Debbie's Crazy January Challenge.

I had to swap projects today as when I started stitching my planned piece (Singing in the Rain by Madame Chantilly) I discovered the fabric I'd cut wasn't big enough. Only a couple of stitches completed so no harm done.

I moved on to my planned start for tomorrow, Alice in Wonderland also by Madame Chantilly. It's a lot bigger than I thought!

I stitched the pink and white cake by Alice's left leg.


I'm back at work tomorrow so I'm not sure whether I'll be able to keep up the daily blogging but I will be keeping up with the daily starts!

Until next time

Justine

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Day 3 of DCJC

Day 3 of Debbie's Crazy January Challenge and I'm still having fun! Not much stitching time today as I had a major clearout of our office/library/craft room (a tiny room that serves many purposes!) and we visited my family this afternoon.

Today's start is this one from stitchersanon. No special reason for including it, just that I love it and have no Easter decorations whatsoever!


I stitched the cute chick hatching out in the Easter basket.


I'm stitching this on 16 count rustico aida with DMC threads. Great coverage and beautiful colours!

Tomorrow is the last day of my Christmas holiday and I'm thinking of swapping my choices around as I will have more time to stitch tomorrow than the rest of the week. I'll see how I feel in the morning!

Until then

Justine