Thursday, 28 February 2013

Day Two - Chrysanthemum Fairy

Today's progress :-)

I have now spent 7 hrs working on her and am loving how she is working up. Will hopefully complete the legs tomorrow and get on to the greenery and flowers in this section of the chart.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Change of Plans until Easter Monday (hopefully !! )

I have got into a bit of a stitching fug these last few days and the thought of working rotations just did not appeal. I want to see a project grow and get completed. The last and only real time I have done this was when I stitched Joan Elliott's Spring Fairy in 36 days back in 2009.

So I have decided I am going to try and do the same again. I have just over 33 days until Easter Monday so I might be pushing it, but I will give it a go.

For this little motivation challenge I have chosen another Joan Elliott project this time I am doing Chrysanthemum Fairy from the Flower Fairies series  that were in Cross Stitch Collection magazine.

I am using the recommended floss but have changed the fabric to Polstitches Tiger Lily 28ct Jobelan as I wanted a warmer look to the finished piece. Below are pictures of the fabric with the finished pic and my floss sorted and then a photo of my first hours work. I will be updating every day I stitch on her so hopefully my blog will see a true record of a project, not my usual jumping around with projects.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Leek and Potato Soup with a Kick

Inspired by Wilma's World who posted a recipe for Leek,Potato and Carrot Soup

Wilma's Leek, Potato and Carrot Soup

I thought I would post my recipe for plain old Leek and Potato with a Kick which I had for lunch today.

30 g  Butter
1 Garlic clove , finely chopped
A good pinch of Chilli Flakes
1 small onion finely chopped
1 large leek sliced
2 medium potatoes (fist sized) diced
450 ml Vegetable Stock made with 1 stock cube, I use Knorr reduced salt ones
1/2 cup 1% milk

Melt butter in a saucepan and cook garlic, chilli, onion, leek and potatoes for 5 mins. Pour in stock, bring to the boil and simmer covered for 30 mins.

Then add the 1/2 cup 1% milk and let heat through. Using a blender or blender stick puree and season to taste.

Serves 2

This is my adaptation of a recipe that is from The Really Useful Student Cook Book by Silvana Franco.

In my opinion it is delicious, I am going to try it soon by halving the fat content and also trying it with oil not butter as 30 g is about 2 level tablespoons which in my  mind is quite a lot. However reducing the fat might make it taste less good.

2013 Ornament SAL - February

This  month I chose to stitch the Mill Hill kit Woodland Santa - Holly and Ivy Santa.  As that is two months that I have done Santa's I have now decided to stitch a Santa each month for this SAL. I  managed to get it completed just in time, for posting my link to the SAL  page on the 27th.

I have not done much stitching on perforated paper and I think if I do some more of these I will mask the edge as my thread kept getting caught on it which was very annoying. That said  I am pleased with the end result. Again cutting out, putting  hanger on and backing I will do at a later date.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Another Card Finish

In a previous post I showed photos of all the cards I had received as part of the FWC Card Exchange. We are now onto the next person on the rota and I stitched the card below for Irene Turner who requested a general theme, so birthdays, new home etc. I chose not to put a sentiment on my card as this way it is applicable for many occasions. I really enjoyed stitching it, I don't tend to stitch many cottages these days so it was a pleasant change. The design is from Enjoy Cross Stitch Issue 3 from 2010. This magazine came in a plastic wallet with a few card blanks, aida, thread and embellishments, which I used for this. I finished this on the 15th February and now that Irene has received it I am able to post a photo.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Queen of the Fairies - Update 2

This weeks main rotation piece is the beautiful Passione Ricamo design Queen of the Fairies. Below are before and after photos of my progress. You will  notice there is a strand of thread sticking out on the left handside of the photo, this was where I left off last time and I know there is an error there. As I have done rather too much frogging of late on my stitching projects I decided to work on another area of the design and then work back toward the error. If it isn't too obvious when I get there I may just fudge it as all the colours are quite close. Clearly if it is majorly out I will frog. Back to this week though, I am really pleased with the progress made even though it was only about 5 hrs work. The Chestnut 32ct Jobelan is just gorgeous, one of my favourites from Polstitches

The top photo shows the fabric off more accurately.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

HAED Thursday - Ariadne - Update 2

As it is Thursday I worked on Ariadne and managed to get another 3 hours done on her. As this is a very large detailed project it will take time for a clear picture to show. At least I seem to have finally cracked my dislike of stitching on 25ct fabric over 1 thread. I think my lamp magnifier certainly has helped with this. I was going to do some more this evening but as I have a couple of smaller projects that need finishing shortly I will work on them whilst watching TV.

Sampler Wednesday - Martha Jones 1792 - Update 9

As it was Wednesday that meant stitching on Martha Jones 1792. From the photos below you can see how far I got this week. The first is a close up of the area I worked on and the second is the overall progress. I so love the muted colours in this design.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Rejigging My Rotation System

This weekend sees the end of my current round of Weekly and Weekend Rotations. Having concluded that some projects are not getting enough time spent on them as I would like I am changing the following:-

Week 2 Project - Michael Powell Up the Garden Path will be moved to Weekend 3.

Weekend 3 Project - Chatelaine Designs Sleeping Beauty Castle will move to Week 2.
Hopefully by doing this I should get a bit more progress on the Chatelaine design and the Michael Powell fits it better for a weekend stitching project.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Chatelaine Sleeping Beauty Castle - Update 2

This weekend it was Sleeping Beauty Castle by Chatelaine Designs turn in my weekend rotations. Sadly I only managed 3 hours on it. I just could not get motivated to sit at my big frame and stitch on her. However any stitching is progress in my book. The fabric I have used is Polstitches 28ct Regency Jobelan and I am using the recommended floss. I will try and get a little more done in four weeks time, I am still on part 1.  The photo below is where I have got to.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

FWC Card Exchange and the Generosity of Friends

I did a Card Exchange with Friends Who Count members last year and received some lovely cards and decided that I would rejoin the rota that started in February 2013. Irene Turner who runs the exchange allowed me to have first go, so I chose Birds as my theme. The cards can be either stitched or paper crafting and below is the selection I received.

 I think you can see I had a lovely little selection of cross stitched, decoupage, card embroidery and general paper crafting. I love them all. The last card the bird is a yellow bellied sunbird from N E Australia.
I mentioned the other day that I would like to have another go at papercrafting, to which one of my FWC/FB friends replied she might have a few bits and pieces I might find useful. A couple of days later I received two large packages which contained what is in the photo below. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of Stephanie Slack, so very thoughtful.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Mirabilia January Garnet Fairy Update 15th Feb 2013

This week I have been working on Mirabilia January Garnet Fairy as my main rotation project. I managed to get 8 hrs work done on her. I would have been working on her tonight but I am enjoying a glass of wine and am going to start on my Mother's Day card as it is quite a large design and I am fitting it in when I have a spare few minutes. The fabric used in the above photo is Polstitches 32ct Rustic rhubarb and its gorgeous :-)

HAED Thursday - Ariadne Update 1

I decided to move this HAED project to a weekly basis so that it can grow. A weekend once a month does not really do it justice and if I am busy on that weekend not much progress would be made.

The first photo is where I started from today:-

and the second photo is my progress on Thursday 14th Feb 2013. I did about 3.5 hrs actual stitching as I did had another visit from the frog, I really  need to learn to count !!!!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Monday, 11 February 2013

Valentine Exchange

I am a member of a group on Facebook called Hearts and Stitches. We send each other birthday cards and gifts of floss etc. We are a small group and as there are no birthdays in February we decided to have a Valentine exchange where we were paired up. I was given Stephanie as my exchange partner and I decided to stitch her the February design from the Stitchers Diary 2012 which contained Margaret Sherry designs. February is a cat with lots of hearts. I stitched it on piece of Aida hand dyed from Polstitches. This piece is from a grab bag so I cannot tell you its name. I then got some heart design fat quarters from Ebay with which to back it. As it is quite a large design I was a little unsure as to whether I would make it into small cushion or a hanging ornament. Because the whole design is stitched it did take me a little longer than I had anticipated I am really pleased with the result. In the end I decided to have my first attempt at making a pin keep style ornament.

From the photo below you can see that although it looks ok, it is not quite centred over the mountboard. I also managed to put the lovely backing fabric on sideways as the mountboards were not true squares. That said I am pleased with this first attempt.

Below is the pretty backing fabric I used how it should have looked on the back

In the second photo you can see the other goodies I sent to Stephanie, I hope she likes them.

I received a lot of stash from Pia Whitaker in this exchange see below. Pia was unable to stitch something for this exchange due to difficult personal circumstances, but she overwhelmed me with her generosity and clearly has paid attention to things I have expressed a like for on Facebook. I am so very grateful to her.

Returning to rotations after temporary break

Last week I had to take a break from my rotations as I had a project I had to get finished, so I took the whole week off. No Week rotation, No Sampler Wednesday, No HAED Thursday and No Weekend Rotation.

So this week my main project is Mirabilia January Garnet Fairy and my Weekend Project is Chatelaine Sleeping Beauty Castle both of which I have not worked on since early December 2012. My starting points for these rotations is in the photos below. I haven't posted photos of Sampler Wednesday or HAED Thursday as both  of these projects have had recent posts.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

TUSAL - Feb 2013

This is the link to the blog where the TUSAL is It's Daffycat: The Totally Useless Stitch A Long 2013. I started collecting my ORTS on the 22nd January 2013 so this is from then to today's date. I am going to do what I saw suggested on a Facebook post of using some at the end of the year to make a Christmas bauble with one of those clear ones you can get and glitter on the front 2013.

Stash add :-)

This week my 123stitch order arrived that had Little House Needleworks first offering in the new sheep virtues series - Hope. I also got the new Blackbird Design - Violet Blue and the LHN Season of Love ornament chart, which I have liked for awhile.

I will also soon be receiving the lovely new Tempting Tangles design Tempting Teas. I have been waiting for this design to be released and I emailled, to see if they could get this in for me as it isn't a stock item and they can. So I should have it within a couple of weeks.

I am thinking of stitching this on Polstitches Colonial Linen, just waiting for Jo (the owner of Polstitches) to get back to me to see if she thinks it will work. As the model was stitched on 40 ct Newcastle over 2, mine will be a bit bigger as I will opt for 32ct Belfast over 2.

Monday, 4 February 2013

My UFO's

My UFO's - January 2013

Hopefully clicking on the  link above will work. For anyone who is interested this is an album of my UFO's lots of small things but loads of larger projects too. I currently  have 142 !!!! Must try and get this number down this year, several of them are nearly complete.

HAED Ariadne - Frogged Argghh !!!

This weekend my rotation was to work on HAED Ariadne. When I put it away last time I knew there was an error on it and so I decided I would frog it. Anyway to cut a long story short coming back to the project I could not find the error and having a good look at my progress, I decided to frog the lot and restart it stitching it 2 over 1 in full crosses on the 25ct Magic Guide from DMC. My reason for this was not only knowing I had an error in my stitching but also the tent stitch I was doing 2 over 1 was not giving the coverage I want, I noticed that there was quite a bit of gapping and white spaces with dark colours on a pale background is not a good result.

Photo below is what she will look like complete

It took me over 5 hours to reverse stitch this project and I have vowed I will not be doing that again. That was on Saturday and on Sunday I managed over several hours to put 454 stitches on to the fabric, so only another 183,296 stitches to go. I am going to move this project to a weekly basis on a Thursday just so that it does grow, otherwise one weekend every 5 weeks is going to take me forever.

Here is my progress

Below is the project that will go into Ariadne's slot in the weekend rotations it is Poppy Lady from Barbara Hammett's Art Nouveau in Cross Stitch book, the first one published around 1999. This was worked as part of a round robin and did not come home completed as it ran out of thread. It has been in my UFO pile for far to long. I picked this using the random number generator. I currently have 141 UFO's and the generator picked 105 which is this project. I apologise for the blurry photo, I will take a better one when it comes up in rotation in March.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Michael Powell Up the Garden Path Update 1st February 2013

This weeks rotation has been this lovely design by Michael Powell. The first photo shows my starting point at the beginning of the week.

The Second Photo is the progress made

Sadly I only managed to work on it two days this week as my Dad went into hospital on Friday as he has been unwell for some time and I was not in the humour to stitch. Hopefully when I return to this project in March I will get a bit more done, however, I was happy with the progress made in two evenings stitching.

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