Monday, 14 August 2017

1st July - 13th August 2017 Cross Stitch Update

Hi Blogger Friends,

It has been a long time since I posted a blog post. Have I stopped stitching - NO, but I have been posting my monthly updates since last November on YouTube. My You Tube channel is Loubie's Lot also so if you want to see what I have been up to since last time you can check that out. Far too much stitching has happened in the meantime for me to do an update here. So this post is just what I have been up to in July and the first half of August 2017. And if you really want to keep up to date with what I have been doing a post virtually every day on Instagram where I am loubieslot (trying to keep all my social media under the same name)

There are two reasons I have decided to come back to my written blog. Firstly, the initial reason for setting up a blog was so that I had a written record of what I have done over the years, secondly I am currently experiencing a Rosacea flare up and do not want to record a video with me talking to camera. I don't have a set up where I can record any other way so back to the written record. Also I don't really enjoy watching myself so as a record the written blog is preferable.

I know that many people don't have the time to read blogs and I am ok with that. I just want to have a record for my memory. If you do read my posts then a huge thank you and if not well I do understand, Flosstube is in that way far more convenient. I will be a written blog for the foreseeable future but I am sure I will do the odd Flosstube as and when I feel like it.There will always be  my daily postings to Instagram.

So after that ramble of an explanation as to where I have been for the last 9 months lets get down to what I have been working on in July and early August.

I started the month by working on the Strawberry Thief  by Barbara Hammet from her book William Morris in Cross Stitch. I worked on this project for 5 days spending 13.5 hrs stitching on it.

The first photo below shows where I started from and the second my progress after the 5 days
I am pleased with the progress. I am using the recommended 14ct Navy Aida and Anchor threads as per the book.

I then had my first finish of the month which was a freebie Cover Kit card. I have stitched this for my Mum's birthday at the end of July.

This took me 2 1/4 hrs to do over 4 days. I just picked it up here and there and did a little. I think it is quite sweet and I am happy that this time the aperture card has been cut correctly. Last year I did a robin and the aperture was upside down. I am also taking part in Stitch From Stash 2017 part B on Facebook and this little card earned me £2 credit. My monthly budget for this is £20 I will give a run down at the end of this post as to where I am with this.

I then spent some time working on a very old full coverage piece called Mime and Rose by Kustom Krafts.
The first image shows a better representation of the colour of the fabric. The second photo was taken at night under electric light. That said I got a page finish and this earned me £6.58 in credit for Stitch from Stash. I should point out this isn't real money but it increases your budget should you wish to spend. I am trying only to use my monthly allowance and hopefully come December should have quite a sizable end of year total.

I then pulled out an old start Halloween Cat by Lizzie Kate. This was one of three bonus projects that came with their Halloween Mystery Sampler a couple of years ago. I completed the main design then started this the first of the three bonuses. So I finished this off and although I am happy with the finish I hated the fabric with a passion, lovely colour though it is a real pain to stitch on.
This earned me £5 credit

I then dragged out another old start. Can you see this Stitch from Stash has really got me on a roll for wanting to finish things. This is a biscornu scissor fob in the Indian Twists range from the Cross Stitch Guild designed by Jane Greenoff, this one is the Taj Mahal
I have made another one of these a couple of years ago. This took me 6.5 hrs to finish off over 4 days and earned me £4 credit

I then spent time working on Parrot Tulips by Dimensions. I did not get too much done on this sadly only 7.5 hrs over 4 days
This project does take a lot of concentration but will look fabulous when I have finished it.

I then decided to work on some more smalls

I started and finished the freebie cover kit Katya Keyring from March 2017 Cross Stitcher Magazine
this earned me a £2 credit and I started and finished this double sided bookmark. Design by Kincavel Krosses and floss is Over the Rainbow by Jodyri Designs

as this was a really quick and easy finish I only allowed a credit of £6 (going by the design size and it is two pieces I could have allowed £10).

I have a medium sized project that I work on Sunday's with a view to completing. My current one has been Welsh Garden Blackwork by Just a Moment .below was my starting point on the first Sunday of July
and I finished it on the fourth Sunday
This project was stitched on 16 ct Aida using the recommended Anchor floss. For this finish I took £8.50 credit which is half what a cross stitch of the same dimensions would be worth in the Stitch from Stash group.

My next project and finish for the month was Prairie Schooler Alphabet Letter N. This one took me longer than usual and I am not sure why. So it took 27 1/4 hrs over 23 days. This finish earned me £10 credit.
The second photo shows the project so far. I am taking a break in August and will return to Letter O in September with P and Q also being done in 2017.

I then dug out another small started project and finished the stitching. This time it was Ink Circles Christmas Tree from an issue of the JCS Ornament Issue magazine. This gave me a £5 credit for Stitch from Stash.

And some more smalls were then completed. They are a Coloris Freebie design, Durene Jones Friday Freebie Russian Doll and Mill Hill kit Gaspar

These three finishes earned me £11 credit. I will fully finish Gaspar in the Autumn once I have completed Melchior the final of the Three Wise Men. I have already done Balthasar.

During July I spent three Wednesday working on Martha Jones 1792 from European Reproduction Samplers. This is where I got  to with her. I will be continuing with this project on Wednesday until she is completed.
I also spent some time on Snooty Parrots sampler by Barbara Ana Designs. This was a restart in June, changing the floss from Silk Mill which I sadly cannot work with due to rough hands to DMC. I am stitching it 1 over 2 on 40ct Rosewood Newcastle Linen.
I have completed page 1 of this design.

I also spent 20 days in July working on Orangutans by Jayne Netley Mayhew. I refer to it as Simon as it reminds me of my husband. This project was started on his 50th birthday 3rd Jan 2016, my intention is to have it completed before he turns 52, so this is a focus project one that will be worked on each month for as many days as I can muster ( or until I can no longer tolerate browns and greens or greens and browns). Here is where I have got to
This project is being stitched on 28ct Lightning Strike Jobelan from Polstitches using the recommended DMC threads.

I also spent a couple of hours working on Christmas in London by Mirabilia and this is where she is at

I also made a start on a project called Ogee Flower from Mary Hickmott's New Stitches magazine. This is an exercise is shading and back stitching and will take me some time to complete as it  requires concentration although it is quite small at only 48 x 48 stitches.

So my July for Stitch from Stash

Budget £20
Expenses : 1 skein of floss for Prairie Schooler Alphabet £0.98, Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine £4.99 and Joan Elliott The Time Traveller chart £15.99 - Total = £21.96
Finishes Butterfly Card £2 Taj Mahal Biscornu Scissor Fob ( 2 sides stitched plus a few beads) £4, Mime and Rose Page finish £6.58, Halloween Cat £5, Katya Keyring £2, Welsh Garden Blackwork £8.50, Read Bookmark (2 sides stitched) £6, Prairie Schooler Alphabet Letter N £10, Ink Circles Christmas Tree £5, Coloris Freebie £2, Russian Doll £2 and Gaspar Mill Hill ornament £7 - Total = £60.08
Balance carried forward = £58.12

I am very pleased with my first month doing this. Yes I spent more than my budget but a lot less than I spend most months.

So into August. This is sort of a break month from my usual routine as I am not doing a Prairie Schooler Alphabet letter and I had company for a week, so I decided to continue working on smaller projects.

And up to and including the 13th August I have completed another 6 projects which have earned me another £59 credit. Here they are Lavender Biscornu a freebie from Gazette 94 blog, Time for Tea Bookmark a freebie cover kit, Daydreams Biscornu from Polstitches, LK Things Unseen Bonus Sampler, Ladybird Biscornu from The Floss Box and Imperial Garden Mini Cushion from Sheena Rogers Designs.

 I have also worked on two other projects in August

The first I have completed side 1 of Walled Garden Biscornu from Polstitches, it was about half done when I picked it up again and I also have worked on Lilies of the Valley Pincushion from Sheena Rogers this was one of my purchases in August.
So this is where I am at the moment. I will not add any book reviews this posting as it is already very lengthy. But I read 8 books in the month of July  which 4 were really good reads. The other 4 ok no real duds just a couple that had endings I did not like.

My aim is to do weekly postings from now on with the first one being posted on the 21st August 2017.

So until next time

Bye for now

Lisa x

Monday, 24 October 2016

Update 24th October 2016

Hi Blogger Friends,

Thank you for the comments on my previous post.

So I decided from the 17th October until 18th December to work on some projects that are fairly close to being finished just so I can reduce my ridiculously large UFO pile. So although I will be continuing to work on Prairie Schooler Alphabet, Lakeside Fantasy SAL, Death by Cross Stitch and Viennese Waltz,  I will be working these Focus for a Finish projects and I have decided to pick one of my UFO's that are larger to be my main evening focus project and I have chosen to work on Mirabilia Christmas in London. Below is where I left it last time.
I am stitching her on 32 ct Heirloom linen from Polstitches. I was looking at the bead pack that I bought for her and she is going to be so blingy it is unbelievable.

So here is what happened over the last week.

 Monday - 17th October

I did lots of walking as it was a really lovely autumnal day, quite fresh but bright. So I took my dog for her regular morning walk, I then walked to and from town as I needed to go to the library and I wanted to browse around town and later in the day we walked the dog on the common and timed that just right as we could see the progress of rain coming up the Severn river, we had been home about five minutes when the heavens opened.

Stitching wise I worked on Prairie Schooler Letter H
and listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows whilst doing this. I am pleased with the progress. In my next session I am hoping to complete at least the left hand side Bee Hives.

After dinner I did my first session on Christmas in London and below is the progress made. I worked the green area to the left of the photo.
Viewing wise I watched the opening episode of Season 18 of  Law and Order - SVU, this is my favourite police procedural show and this first episode was a good one and I  caught up on last weeks episode of The Level. I then watched a programme  called Sleuths, Spies and Sorcerers : Andrew Marr's Paperback Heroes, the programme I watched was all about the crime novel and was very interesting. In bed I read from Victoria.

Tuesday - 18th October 

As it was a Tuesday and hubby goes to the office on a Tuesday we were up early. So after breakfast and before taking Lily for her morning walk I worked on my first Focus for a Finish project for about an hour below is where it was when I last worked on it followed by what I got done. I managed to stitch 3.5 colours onto the project and I am pleased with the progress
I did a lot of reading having had a bad reading week last week I thought it was about time I caught up with some of the books I have started to read recently.

After taking the dog for an afternoon walk along the canal I did an hours stitching on the Lakeside Fantasy SAL. I am now working on part 2 of the border and below is where I got to. Whilst doing this I caught up on last nights episode of Cold Feet.
After dinner I settled down to work on Christmas in London and whilst stitching on this I watched an old episode of  A Touch of Frost (yes a crime drama) before watching the new series of Ordinary Lies, although it has the same title as the previous series this is a new story with new characters. The opening episode saw a husband think his wife was playing away so installed cameras in their home. Only to find out at the end of the episode that she was actually trying to catch paedophiles. It is interesting in that I think if you go looking for something you will eventually find something that does not please you. Below is my progress on Christmas in London
I continued working on the left hand side and am pleased with the progress made. This project has such cheery colours, even the greens which are my least favourite colour are lovely shades.

In bed I made a start on a bookmark from the Bookmark for all Seasons leaflet I purchased recently
I am working on the first Winter one and have changed the floss from what is listed to DMC 4010 Color Variations (Winter Sky), I also read from both The Moving Finger ( and still Miss Marple has not appeared) and Victoria.

Wednesday - 19th October

As it was Wednesday that meant working on Death by Cross Stitch
Below is where I left it last week
my goal was to finish page one which I achieved

and I continued down into page 5 ending up here
I am very pleased with this weeks progress and it was over 7 hrs of stitching. It's quite a slow process as I am using a variegated thread which does mean I have to do the stitching as complete X's and not the quicker back and forth method which I would use if stitching with a solid colour.

I also did two dog walks today and watched The Great British Bake Off and The Missing - this weeks episode was easier to follow so that was good. In bed I read from The Moving Finger (Miss Marple still hasn't appeared but from the last line of the chapter I was reading I think she will be in the next chapter, there is only about 45 pages to the end of the book so I hope she shows up soon) and I read a sizable chunk of Victoria - it is quite a long book just under 500 pages and I am now just over half way through.

Thursday - 20th October 

As I was up early, I decided I might as well stitch so I first updated this blog for Wednesday and then settled down to watch some of my You Tube watch list, mainly Book Tube videos and stitched on my Scotland Santa. I managed to get quite a bit done and now only have the cross to add on the right before it will be just beading to do.

I had a real pottering day today and did not do a great deal. Normally I do some stitching in the afternoon but  I think I was suffering a little burnout from yesterdays session and my wrist was a bit painful too.

Any way after a lovely dinner of Veggie Stew with Olive Oil Dumplings I settled down to working on Christmas in London and I did just over 2.5 hrs on her
I worked the section on the left hand side, so we now have the full width of the design in view. I will continue working on this top half of the design until all the cross stitching is done and then scroll up and do the bottom.

TV viewing wise  I watched the opening episode of the new series of The Big Bang Theory, which gave us a good chuckle we love this show. An episode of Top of the Pops from 1982 and I knew all the songs so I was happily stitching and singing away. Because I could not be bothered to change the channel we then saw a programme on the railways and the development of a town specifically because the railway was built there. It was strangely very interesting. And as it was Thursday we watched this weeks episode of The Apprentice - a better one tonight but they still are a pretty hopeless bunch of candidates.

In bed I finished reading The Moving Finger and Miss Marple finally turned up on page 121 of 167 pages and solved the crime. It was an ok read not one of my favourites, I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads. It told the story well enough and I did like the final line of the book it made me smile. I also read about another 10% of Victoria, this is a very easy read as it is so in line with the TV series with a little extra flourish here and there.

Friday - 21st October

Up at stupid O'clock again (5am), I let the dog out into the garden and it was one of those very clear cold nights and I think we have probably  had our first frost of the autumn. I could see The Big Dipper and a half moon lighting the night sky.  So up early, got myself a cup of black tea and updated my blog for Thursday before settling down to work on Scotland Santa and watch some of my You Tube watch list. Because I subscribe to so many Book and Floss Tubers I always have a good selection come morning even if I have cleared my list the day before.

So my progress on Scotland Santa
I have now completed the cross stitch part of this project so just all the lovely beads to add and we will have a finish - Yay :-)

Because that only took an hour and as I was up on my own I decided to do a little more work on my HAED Capricorn. Below is where I left it last week
and where I got to today I did 1 hr and 45 minutes
on it. This is a very long term project and only gets worked on when I want a break from my main projects. So you may not see an update on this each week. We will see. I am currently enjoying it and I would like to at least get the first page finished before the end of the year.

In the evening I caught up on my crime dramas from Thursday and finished the stitching on my Daffodils Bookmark
I then made a start on the next one I am going to do and this was blind chosen by my husband - Mackintosh Rose
Only a little progress but a start has been made.
We watched some comedy together - Have I Got News for You and the new N series of QI now hosted by Sandi Toksvig  who I think is a great successor to Stephen Fry. In bed  read some more from Victoria and I do not have much to go in the book now so I think it will be completed over the weekend.

Saturday - 22nd October

I was yet again up at silly o'clock and spent around 5.5 hrs excluding having breakfast and getting dressed on finishing off my Daffodils bookmark and my Scotland Santa.
This probably would not have taken so long had I realised I had not done the back stitching on the Santa the beading was fairly straightforward and then I had a bit of fight getting the beard and moustache to an acceptable state. However, on the whole I am happy how it has turned out. I will back and attach hangers once I have the Ireland one done then all three Celtic Santa's will be done and three new ornaments for my tree this year at least.

In the afternoon my husband and I tackled some gardening and I think being in the fresh air initially and then bonfire smoke from another garden later tired me out a little. So I decided not to work on Viennese Waltz this weekend. I have decided that next weekend and on Monday 31st October I will do some stitching on this project to make up for my less than adequate efforts on this project recently. So in the evening whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing (on the whole a good show this week) I continued doing some stitching on Mackintosh Rose Bookmark. This one is just cross stitching in very pretty colours so should not take too long.
Later we watched some comedy show repeats before going to bed I think we were both tired after the gardening which was quite physical. In bed I did finish reading Victoria - it really did follow the series with a little extra flourish but stopped at the wedding proposal. I enjoyed it and would have enjoyed it had I not seen the series. I gave it 4 stars. Daisy Goodwin is a very competent writer, I have read her first book  which I enjoyed and have her second on my Kindle ( just another book that needs reading).

Sunday - 23rd October

As usual I was up early so I decided I would read. I had a book that needed finishing as it is due back at the library on Monday 24th and I cannot extend it as it has several reservations against it. So I finished reading The Girl at the Savoy. This is the third novel by Hazel Gaynor that I have read and I can say she writes great stories. This was 4.5 stars for me, only because a little bit toward the end seemed a little too convenient. That said if I see she has something coming out I will be reading it. And I have just checked her Goodreads listings and apparently her next book is called The Cottingley Secret - I do hope it is about the fairies as I have always loved that hoax and really loved the movie Fairytale - A True Story, fingers crossed, something to look forward to reading in 2017. I then picked up a thriller/crime book I started about two weeks ago called The Primrose Path and this one is getting better now I have got past the establishing of characters and situations. I should finish this one in the coming week and I also started another library loan that is due back on Halloween called A Rustle of Silk by Alys Clare. This is the first Gabriel Taverner mystery set in the early 1600's and he is a doctor or physician. So far I am only two chapters in, it seems promising. I have read books from Alys Clare before but from a different series.

After breakfast and walking the dog, my husband and I did some more gardening and dump runs to clear the mess. I made Roast Gammon, which was accompanied with cauliflower cheese, red cabbage, green beans, carrots, peas and  roasted new potatoes and it was delicious.

In the afternoon and evening I settled down to working on Christmas in London and whilst working on this I watched the first episode of an Amazon series called Goliath - it was ok. We then watched the second half of the first season of Stranger Things (having watched the first half a while back), we both thought that was good and in the evening I watched the more recent version of Far From The Madding Crowd with Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba. It was an ok film but for me it wasn't as good as the early 1970's version with Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Terence Stamp and Peter Finch in the main roles. I know the story reasonably well having read it for O level English Literature. I think the 70's film was more visually stunning and a young Terence Stamp was definitely more dashing as Sergeant Troy than the actor they have in this newer version. So progress on Christmas in London is below. I have done 13 hrs over the last week on this project so I am pleased with that as 10 hrs was my goal and the total project time so far is 38 hrs of stitching
In bed I read from a new book on my Kindle (well new as in fresh start I bought the book in 2014) and it is a romantic suspense/Gothic book called Cauldstane by Linda Gillard. I have read a couple of books by this author before both of which I really enjoyed so I have high hopes. I managed to read 30 pages before my eyes said enough, but I did enjoy the story so far.

So that's it for this week. Very pleased with both my reading and stitching progress over the last week. Since I started making rough goals at the beginning of each week  I do seem to be achieving more.

Bye for now
take care

Lisa x