Monday, 31 December 2012

A Few Final Finishes for 2012

As I have stopped working on my rotations for the Christmas period, I decided to work a few small projects.

Below are what I have managed to complete since my last post on 23rd December.

The first photo is my interpretation of the bonus chart that came with Lizzie Kate Dance in the Rain. I have stitched it on a piece of Polstitches Opal Linen which came from a grab bag, I think it might be Tudor Rose. The threads are my selection of Carrie's Creations.

The second photo is Christmas Eve Flight which was a freebie design from The Sampler Girl. I have stitched this on the same Polstitches Opal Linen and used Carrie's Creations Olde Salem Red, Caribou Hyde and Moon Shadow floss.

The third photo is Life is a Stitch - Whimsy Thoughts by Helga Mandl as featured in The Gift of Stitching Magazine (TGOSM) issue 30. I have used the recommeded DMC and DMC Color Variations on a scrap of Polstitches Aida

The fourth photo is Patchwork by Blackwork Journey, this is a freebie chart on her website. It uses three colors two blues and black and I have stitched this on a piece of DMC opalescent aida.

The square I turned into an ornament by whip stitching the sides together see photo below

And my final finish for 2012 is one of the Angels that Joan Elliott designed for Cross Stitch Card Shop. This was started as a SAL with Polstitches earlier in the year. I used a piece of Polstitches Opal Linen and changed all the DMC to Carrie's Creations apart from the skin tones. I also changed the gold metallic to a rainbow kreinik thread.

In hindsight I think only one variegated in each colour group would have worked better, but if you dont try out things you will never know if it works or not.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

An Update

Well firstly after 22 days of no chocolate and eating sensibly, the last couple of days I have eaten like a little piggy, chocolate, biscuits , cheese. You name it, it has gone into my stomach. Well I know this side of Christmas there is absolutely no point in trying to revert to my healthy plan, but come the 27th that is what I intend to do, as that will see both Christmas Day and Boxing Day's Picky Tea (buffet) out of the way. I may even do a couple of porridge days to cleanse my system. (Porridge Day = 3 Bowls of porridge throughout the day which gives sufficient energy without adding to any problems and is what I do when I am unwell, and I have not come to any harm yet).

I have also not managed to maintain my 10,000 steps per day in the last week but that has been mostly down to the appalling weather. Although I did do a really good walk to town plus shopping and back home in under an hour, which is good going.

Now for the more interesting stuff my crafting. Well I spent the first couple of days this week trying to continue with my learning of crochet. Still cannot get past the third round on my granny square before going wrong, but I am improving. When I finally achieve a successful one I will post a pic, hopefully it won't be too long before I can do this.

My first finish this week was on a scarf that I started some time ago and then lost the pattern. So this week I finished it off and decided to join the short ends so it now becomes more of a cowl type scarf.

This is the finished scarf folded in half. The yarn was a cheap chunky purchase from Shaws the draper, cannot remember the make.

and here is me wearing it wrapped twice

The next thing I worked on was an old UFO called Blackbirds by All Through The Night. I am stitching it on 32ct Lambswool linen and using Glissengloss Colorwash Japanese Silk in shade 591 which has shades of Black, Brown and Dark Grey.

Here is what the finished design should look a bit like, although they used a Valdani thread in this model. A good cheap floss to use for this would have been DMC Color Variation 4000, but I did not have it when I started this.

and this is how far I have got

I managed a couple of hours on this project over the last week. I then turned my attentions to another UFO I have had for quite some time, having seen a completed version of this, which is Polstitches Designs Floral Needle Keeper

Below is my starting point this week

Next is where I have got to over the week

and finally a close up of the area I have been working on

I am hoping to return to this project over the next week before returning to my rotation system on the 31st December 2012.

Finally, this Christmas and New Year (which is also my birthday) are being quite frugal, that said my husband Simon did get me The Sampler Girl Valentine Booklet in download form and last night in between watching the wonderful Stitctly Come Dancing Final I stitched a Spot of Tea from this booklet. The materials used were a piece of Polstitches Opal linen from a grab bag, possibly Tudor Rose and Carrie's Creations Floss in Dried Sage, Dusty Rose and Tiger Eye. I really enjoyed stitching this and now need to decide how I am going to finish it off. Finishing is an area I am not so good at, but I think it is something I need to improve upon in the next year.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Around the World in 80 stitches SAL - Part One complete

This was my starting point for my weekend stitching session.

I am really very pleased with the progress I have made this weekend on this project from Papillon Creations which will travel the world in stitches. I am stitching it on 28ct Bone Jobelan. The first part of the project concentrates on stitches from England and Scotland and the speciality stitches used are Norwich Stitch, Berwick stitch (although I did back stitching here as could not get it to look right), Lindisfarne stitch (which I think looks really effective, it is the main stich on the right heart) and Scotch stitch. I also managed to start the border work for part 2.

For anyone who is interested the colours I am using are as follows: -

The greens - DMC 500, 502 and 504

Floral Colour 1 DMC Color Variation 4124 Bonfire
Floral Colour 2 Carrie's Creations Sorbet
Floral Colour 3 DMC Color Variatios 4170 Whispering Wind
Floral Colour 4 Dinky Dyes Tutti Fruitti
Floral Colour 5 DMC Color Variation 4077 Morning Sunshine
Floral Colour 6 Carrie's Creations Strawberry Shake
Floral Colour 7 DMC Color Variations 4126 Desert Canyon
Floral Colour 8 Carrie's Creations Twinkle

Metallic thread is Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01

Bead 1 is Mill Hill 00553
Bead 2 is Mill Hill 03036

I am using DMC 543 to attach beads as this is fairly close to the fabric colour. Below is a photo of the materials used

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Queen of the Fairies End of Rotation 1 and Weekend Rotation project

Here is my progress on Passione Ricamo Queen of the Fairies stitched on 32ct Polstitches Chestnut Jobelan. As usual I did not get as much done on this project as I would have liked, but some progress has been made.

This weekend I am working on Papillon Creations Around the World in 80 stitches, I am still only on part one. It is stitched on 28ct Bone Jobelan. See my starting point for this rotation below :-

This weekend also sees the completion of the first sets of rotations of the 8 projects I selected for the week and weekends. As Christmas is fast approaching I am going to suspend my rotation system until the 31st December 2012 when I will return to it starting with Joan Elliott's Pink Cinderella for the week and Passione Ricamo Fairy Mystery SAL for that weekend.

On a personal note I am also going to suspend my weigh-ins until the 31st December, this does not mean I am going to go silly and eat everything I fancy, but will not be hard on myself if I do have the odd treat over Christmas. There is no point setting myself up for failure.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sampler Wednesday - Martha Jones 1792 Update 5

To be honest I have not got very much to show for this week efforts. I just managed one small motif as I was quite tired by the time I got around to working on the sampler.

Here is the close-up of the little stitching I did do

And below is the whole sampler so far

My reason for not getting much done was due to the time I spent making myself a knitted twisted cowl as it has been so very cold here the last couple of days.

I had some Sirdar Crofter chunky yarn that I had bought to make a cardigan for myself only to discover that the pattern was too difficult for me. As I did not want the yarn going to waste at over £3 a ball, I have decided to make some small hats, scarves etc to use it up.

This twisted cowl which I stitched on 10mm needles with 25 stitches and the pattern being a knit row followed by a K1,P1 rib row until I got to the end of the 50g ball. The original pattern I found on the internet at by Anne B.Weil - Chunky Moebius Cowl states to knit until it is 54 inches in length. I think the yarn used in the original must have been a super chunky as my piece can only be about 28-30 inches in length. Anyway below is a pic of me wearing it.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Queen of the Fairies

This weeks rotation piece is Queen of the Fairies by Passione Ricamo. I am stitching her on Polstitches 32ct Chestnut Jobelan.

This is the completed design

And my starting point for this week rotation

I am hoping to get quite a bit done and will post an update photo on Friday.

Weekly Weigh In and Exercise Update 2

As it is Monday it is get on the scales day and I am pleased to say I have lost another 2 lbs so I am now 12st 6lbs on my bathroom scales. I have also managed to do at least 10,000 steps each day. In fact on Friday I did nearly 16,000 so a good amount of brisk walking done over the last week. I also managed to stay on diet plan all week and again did not feel hungry. Total Weight Loss so far 5.5 lbs. I have also gone 14 days with no chocolate which is my problem food.

Chatelaine Sleeping Beauty Castle Update 1

This weekends rotation was the Chatelaine Sleeping Beauty Castle or Online 95 as it is also known.

Below is the photo of what the completed design should look like.

Then the next photo is my starting point before stitching this weekend.

Finally the photo below is how much progression I have made this weekend on this rotation. The fabric used is Polstitches Regency Jobelan.

I am quite pleased with my progress having added the beads to the centre of the design and added the Dinky Dyes silk swirly border. Still only on part one but it is progress. It is a shame that the camera dilutes the sparkliness of the metallic thread and beads.

Also this weekend whilst I was not working on this I continued with working on January from the Joan Elliott/World of Cross Stitching Stitcher's Diary 2013 - a freebie with issue 198. I managed to get another hour done on this, here is the progress

I also started to knit a snood using Patons Trentino DK shade 85. It is the first time I have used circular needles or knitted in the round. I think I am getting there. The photo shows 4 rounds knitted.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Joan Elliott 2013 Diary SAL

I have joined the Facebook group SAL, to work some or all of the 12 charts that are in the free diary that came with the World of Cross Stitching Magazine Issue 198. See Below for cover of diary.

You can either stitch it as one piece or like me do them individually. There are 12 different fantasy themed charts all of which are great.

The other day I got my floss box ready with all the flosses required for all the designs. Here is my floss box, I doubt it will look this tidy come the end of the SAL.

As January is my birthday month and also the start of the year, this is the design I am going to work first. I will be working on this SAL on Thursday, which is my do what I like day and also anytime I decide to stitch in bed whilst watching TV and having Hubby snoring beside me. So I expect I will get them done in a reasonable amount of time.

This is what the January design should look like when finished

This is the Polstitches fabric I have chosen to work on. Cannot say which one it is as it is from my scraps pile, but I thought it was a good background for a winter sky.

Finally this is my progress so far

Friday, 7 December 2012

Mirabilia January Garnet Fairy Rotation Week 1 End and A Small Finish

Thursdays I work on whatever I want so yesterday I finished off a small cross stitch which I will make into an ornament. It is from The World of Cross Stitching magazine's Design Library, Victorian Christmas by Joan Elliott. I stitched a single colour house, trees and sledge on a piece of Polstitches aida, I dont know what colour it is as it was in a grab bag.

Then today I have spent my time working on Mirabilia January Garnet Fairy. I am pleased with the progress I am making considering I have not spent that much time on her this week. I am also posting my photo now as I am out this evening.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Sampler Wednesday - Martha Jones 1792 - Update 4

Well as yesterday was Wednesday, that meant I was working on European Reproduction Samplers Martha Jones 1792.

I am quite pleased with the progress that I have made this week. Completing three motifs and finally finishing page 1. I am now working on page 2 plus have worked parts of several other pages where there is overlapping and to complete motifs.

I really do love the muted colours in this design it is really pretty.

Below are photos of the whole sampler so far and a close-up of the area I worked yesterday again apologies for the poor photos, just dont seem to be able to get enough light on them will try for better next week.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Mirabilia January Garnet

So this weeks rotation is Mirabilia Garnet Fairy, below are the pics of what she should look like and where I have already got with her. At the end of the week I will publish how far I have progressed with her.

Weekly Weigh in and Exercise Update 1

Well I am pleased to say after a week in which I had the biggest shock,(I really did not realise that my body fat was so high) I have stuck to the WW Propoints plan and done my 10,000 plus steps each day, even over the weekend when I am usually less active.

The result is I have lost 3.5 lbs, so I am now 12st 8lbs. This is the first time in years that I have not strayed when following a diet plan and I can honestly say I have not been hungry on any of the days.

HAED Ariadne - A Non Update and a Pinflair Christmas Ornament

It had been my intention to make some good progress on HAED Ariadne this weekend in my SAL rotations. So I started on Saturday working happily away to discover I had made a mistake so ended up unpicking a whole colour block. I then started to restitch the section, but I am not as far along as I was on the photo that I posted earlier in this blog.  Hopefully in four weeks time I will have a bit more success on this project. I did learn one thing though, this project needs to be worked with my lamp both to help with the small count fabric and to distinguish between the colours of floss as they are very close.

So last night as I was a bit fed up with lack of progress, I decided to do a bit of pinning instead and in two hours I had made this Pinflair Velvetinies ornament that is below. I can only do one ornament at one session as your thumb starts to hurt with pressing the pins into the hard polystyrene.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Views from Rodborough Common and Up the Garden Path Rotation Week 1 End

I was up early this morning and after putting the recycling and bins out I sat down and finished off Eloise by Judy Finnigan. This is her first book and is basically a ghost story inspired by the early death of her friend and fellow TV presenter Caron Keating and their mutual love of Cornwall. I so wanted to love this book, having discovered lots of new authors and styles of novels through the various book clubs Judy Finnigan has been associated with. The book is not poorly written and her love of Cornwall is evident. That said I found the main character just had too much Judy in it and the fact that she kept putting book titles in as if to say I read a variety of books, was both distracting and slightly annoying. I also found the husband character a bit of a jerk. That said it was worth the read and hope her next book is a better more fulfilling read. I did so want to love it.

As it was a beautiful frosty morning here in Stroud today and as Hubby was working at home today we decided to take Lily our dog for a walk on Rodborough Common.

The above view is looking toward the River Severn, not a particularly clear view today, some days you can see quite far into Wales.

This second photo is looking toward Woodchester. I do think I am lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the UK.

Finally below is the photo of my progress on Up the Garden Path for this first week on this in my new rotations.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Bonus Finish :-)

As I managed to complete Lizzie Kate - Dance in the Rain earlier today, I had no stitching for tonight. So I decided I would do a bit of blackwork. I decided on this cute bird which is from a set of four charts originally published in Cross Stitch Collection magazine. To my own surprise I actually completed it this evening whilst sat watching TV.

Dance in the Rain - Completed

Yay Happy Dance, just finished Lizzie Kate Dance in the Rain.

Sampler Wednesday - Martha Jones 1792 - Update 3

As it was Wednesday I worked on Martha Jones 1792 Sampler from European Reproduction Samplers. I worked on the top border tulips and managed to complete 5 of them.

Below is a photo of the whole sampler as of now

And this is a close up of the 5 Tulips I did during my stitching session.

I apologise for the poor light quality of the photos couldn't get enough daylight to take good ones.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A Bit of Progress on Up The Garden Path

This weeks rotation piece is the Michael Powell kit Up the Garden Path. Below is the starting point for this rotation and what the completed kit looks like

So far this week I have managed to do about 3.5 hours stitching in the evenings on it and this photo below is where I have got to, I will return to this on Friday for my final efforts in this rotation and will give another update on this one then.

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