Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Chrismassy HD

Lizzie*Kate 2007 Limited Edition Christmas Kit, started 7th November 2008 completed 23rd Decemeber 2008.
Finished just in time for Christmas (but not ironed since I am staying at my parents and my mother refuses to let me get the iron out as it does not go with the Christmas decorations). It was a really fun and, for me, quick stitch. I have a couple of other Christmasssy projects on the go but may not get them finished this year.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2009 Plans

I have been thinking about my stitching plans for 2009. Having once again said in 2008 that I wanted to reduce my stash and failing miserably. Despite finishing 30ish projects I have ended up with a couple of dozen more projects in my stash than this time last year. Almost all my 2008 finishes were of small(ish) recent additions to my stash and I hardly stitched on anything I have has in my possession for more than 12 months. Having spent some time reviewing the contents of my stash I have come to the conclusion that I love my stash all of it. So the idea for 2009 is to reconect with some of my larger and older project in my stash but also to enjoy my stitching. I am not too bothered about actually finishing anything but would like to make progress on some of my larger projects. Nor am I going to try reducing my stash but rather just practice a little restraint when going on shopping sprees. So here is the plan for 2009:
The Plan
Week 1 & 2 of every month work on any project from The Project List.
Week 3 of every month work on Monthly Musings
Rest of the month stitch on any project from either The Project List or anything else from my stash or RRs or exchanges.
The Project List
1. Noah's Ark by TW (started about 6 years ago and about one third done).
2. Angel of Spring by Lavender and Lace (started about 20 years ago and almost done).
3. Night by Maria Von Scharrenburg (can't remember when I started this but it must have been at least 5 years ago).
4. Growing Like a Tree by Moria Blackburn (not yet started but has been in my stash for years).
5. Summer Queen by Mirabillia (also not started but a long standing stash member).
6. Big Zipper by Bent Creek (a very new addition to my stash).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Stitching Report & December Goals

November from the A Year With Charm Series by Lizzie*Kate. Started and finished (just) in November 2008. I switched a few of the threads for ones that I thought looked more Autumny.

For November I said I would like to

1) Progress Bluebirds Message by Blackbird Designs - yes made some progress
2) Progress Their Song by Blackbird Designs - no
3) Progress Beneath the Sunlit Sky by Blackbird Designs - no
4) Progress Rose Bouquet by Derwentwater Designs - no
5) Make progress on at least one small project from my stash - definately yes I started and finished three, Tall Snowman, Celebration Winter and November
6) Make progress on at least one Christmas projct from my stash - yes started two Lizzie*Kate Christmas pieces (Ho, Ho, Ho and Just Be Claus).

3 out of 6 is not bad but I think I could have done better. I am not setting myself any goals for December since it is Christmas. The only thing I would definately like to do is make my plan for 2009 which I have already had some thoughts about but need to finalise.

Introducing Georgia

Georgia, Christmas Angel 2008. Created by me on the 29th November from a design by Pat of Totally Patched.

Totally Patched in Bewdley is where I go to learn how to quilt or to be more accurate where I go to learn patchwork since at the moment I am rather struggling with the quilting part. As a slight change of pace I made Georgia, named after my niece. I think I may well be making more of these angels in the future.

Stitching Pictures

Firstly my holiday finishes:

Tall Snowman by Heart In Hand Needleart, started and finished in November 2008.

Celebration Winter by Heart In Hand Needleart, started and finished in November 2008.

Secondly progress pictures:
Bluebird's Message by Blackbird Designs. I am really enjoying stitching on this piece but I think I am going to put it way for a little while to concentrate on Chritmassy stuff.

Ho, Ho, Ho by Lizzie*Kate, started while in Florida
and last but not least

Just Be Claus by Lizzie*Kate, also a new start while in Florida. I think it currently looks like a pink bat.

Finally Some Photos

My camera is totally and utterly dead and I will just have to wait for a new one, hopefully Santa will be kind. But Mum has a great camera so when I go visiting I shall be able to take, and post - if I remember, photos.

First a few pictures of my Florida holiday;Me on the boat trip that Mum and I took along the St John River at Blue Springs State Park.
The first 'gator of our trip together with a Great Blue Heron, again at Blue Springs State Park.

Spoonbills, I just thought they were the funniest looking things ever.

Mum watching the sunset at the beach in Naples.

And finally, at least for now, me in the Lue Gardens in Orlando.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Holiday Stitching Report

First I must apologise for the complete absence of photographs - my camera has totally broken down and is refusing to take even a bad picture. I am now asking Santa for a new camera. I will be visiting my Mum at the weekend so will try and remember to take my stitching with me to take a few photographs.
I actually managed to do quite a bit of stitching while on my travels - I took with me 2 WIPs 10 unstarted projects and have returned with 5 WIPs, 2 finishes and 6 unstarted projects. Yes, I went shopping and brought a new project - a Mill Hill ornament kit so at least it was not a large new project. I also bought several charts (26 if I must state a number) but not all the threads and fabric to complete them. As well as my new stitching stash I went to a delightful quilting shop and purchased a couple of jelly rolls, a bag pattern and a quilt pattern.

The finishes were Celebration: Winter and Tall Snowman both designed by Heart In Hand Needleart. The new starts were two Lizzie*Kate designs - Ho, Ho, Ho and Just Be Claus and Snowy Night by The Trilogy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holiday Report

I am tired, jet-lagged and feeling the cold after a wonderful couple of weeks in Florida with my mother. The first couple of days were spent in Orlando getting over the travelling and getting used to driving on the other side of the road. We then travelled down to Lake Worth to visit with friends before heading over to the west coast to visit my mum's cousin who lives in Naples then back up to Orlando were we managed to meet up with a couple of my internet stitching friends for dinner at Margaritaville on Citywalk.
Highlights of the holiday (other then meeting up with family and friends again) include a trip to Blue Springs National Park where we saw manatee, our first 'gator and tons of birds, a visit to the Leu Gardens in Orlando, a safari around the Everglades and the Space Center.
I did not take my camera with me since Mum's camera is far far better than mine so I will post some photos once I have managed to get her to email some to me.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Holiday Stitching and a HD

First the happy dance:

Celebration: Autumn by Heart In Hand Needleart
Started October 2008 and finished November 2008
I used hand-dyed threads but changed a few to ones I already had rather than buy the recommended ones. Button is also different to that shown on the original design.

When deciding on which project to take on holiday with me I did try to be sensible and only take a few projects, honestly I did. But after much deliberation and a sleepless night I have now packed the following:
Bluebirds Message and Their Song by Blackbird Designs
Snowy Night by The Trilogy
Celebration: Winter, Tall Snowman, Winter Bird and Christmas Bird by Heart In Hand Needleart
Here Comes Santa Claus, Just Be Claus, 'Tis The Season, Santa's Got the Goods and Ho Ho Ho by Lizzie*Kate.
All but the two Blackbird Designs are or will be new starts. I know that 12 projects is more than I will be able to finish or probally even start and that some will come home without a single stitch added to them but I could not decide which ones to leave behind. At least this way I have plenty to choose from and I do plan to spend the whole of the plane journey stitching. I will let you all know how I got on when I return in 2 weeks.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

October Progress and November Goals

For October I said I would:
1) Progress Bluebirds Message by Blackbird Designs - Yes
2) Progress Their Song by Blackbird Designs - No didn't even stitch one single stitch
3) Progress Beneath the Sunlit Sky by Blackbird Designs - Not even on stitch done
4) Progress Rose Bouquet bu Derwentwater Designs - Yes managed about 10 stitches
5) Make progress on at least one small project from my stash- Yes finished October by Lizzie*Kate and started Celebration: Autumn by Heart in Hand Needlearts.
(No photos because there has been no noticable progress since I last posted photos.)

For November I would once again like to
1) Progress Bluebirds Message by Blackbird Designs
2) Progress Their Song by Blackbird Designs
3) Progress Beneath the Sunlit Sky by Blackbird Designs
4) Progress Rose Bouquet by Derwentwater Designs
5) Make progress on at least one small project from my stash
6) Make progress on at least one Christmas projct from my stash

I am going away next Saturday for a forghtnight so should get loads of stitching done - tomorrows task is to decide which projects to take travelling it is tempting but not overly practical to take all of them with me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October HD and Progess

In between quilting sessions I have been doing a little bit of stitching. Also the weather here in the UK has turned very very wintery which has encouraged me to sit on the sofa in front of the fire and stitch.
October from the A Year With Charm Series by Lizzie*Kate, started and finished in Oct-2008. (Sorry about the wonky picture it is straight honest).

Bluebirds Message by Blackbird Designs
(I am really enjoying stitching on this and am having a hard time putting it down to stitch on the other pieces on my 'to progress' list).

Celebration Autumn bu Heart In Hand Needleart.
A new start to celebrate finishing October.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My First Quilt (almost)

Back in August I started quilting classes, which I am really enjoying and have managed to get my first ever quilt top finished. It is now sandwiched up all ready for quilting. It is by no ways perfect but I am very pleased with it. In the sort time that I have been quilting I have become addicted to buying fabric and already have a large(ish) stash which is growing faster than I can turn it into quilts.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Little Happy Dancing

Over the weekend I managed a small finish. September from the A Year With Charm Series by Lizzie*Kate. I mainly used the called for threads but did change the yellow and golden colour to one that I already had and used a fabric from my stash so I did reduce my stash even though I brought the chart.
Talking of stash the postman delivered one of my September parcels, all of it is gorgeous and I must finish other stuff before starting to stitch any of it. I am begining to come round to the idea of having a stash clear out and giving away some of the stuff that I know I will never stitch, not sure I will be able to go through with the idea though so watch this space.

Stitching wise I am going to work on Bluebird Message for a little while. This currently only has a few stitches done (see photo below) but hopefully will be a little better progressed by the end of the month.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

September Stitching Report

My aim for September was to progress five projects - Their Song, Beneath the Sunlit Sky and Bluebirds Message by Blackbird Designs, Rose Bouquet by Derwentwater Designs and a small project. I have to report that my stitching time has been somewhat limited by my recently aquired quilting habit but I have stitched at least one length of thread on each project. The progress is so small that I have not taken any progress photos but hope to be able to share some next week since I am planning on spending this coming weekend stitching, my sewing machine has had to go in for some repairs so I can not get distracted by my patchwork.

My October stitching goals are the same as Septembers were, I really want to finish several of my medium sized projects before the end of the year since I have been on a recent shopping spree which has added several projects to my stash pile. Once the postman has delivered my purchases I shall post a few pictures.

Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read and comment on my blog it is lovely to know that you are out there and I love reading all your comments even if I do not find the time to reply to each one. I am going to try and make a much better attempt at reading and commenting on other blogs.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Three Things

Firstly, as promised two belated happy dance photos:

The Littles Bunny by Bent Creek, started and finished in August 2008

Autumn ABCs by Lizzie*Kate, started and finished in August 2008

Secondly, I must confess to falling off The Wagon. After a very (well for me) restrained shopping experience at the Quilting Festival at the NEC last month and also a very good (for me) stitching month with several finishes I went a bit mad. I now have a small pile of Autumn and Winter small charts (I think I am going to be able to use threads and fabric from my stash for all of them), a couple of new Christmas stitching projects, all the 2008 Loose Feathers designs released so far (and I will be buying the rest and also be stitching the mystery sampler) and enough fabric to sew at least 3 quilt tops (still to finish my first one but a girl must have stash). When I fall off The Wagon I do it well.

Finally, I had been planning to start several of my Loose Feather projects this month and try to finish as many as possible before the end of the year since I am sure to want to buy the 2009 ones (assuming there will be some) and I still have some dating from 2006 to start. However while trying to decided on which of my UFOs to send out on the next round robin I was overcome with guilt about the UFOs so I have come up with yet another plan. I am going to set up a five piece rotation, the first 3 pieces will be Loose Feathers designs, the fourth a UFO and the last one a small design. I then will stitch on which ever piece is screaming the loudest with the only rule being that every month I must make some progress on each of the five projects.

To start with the rotation will be:
Project 1: Beneath the Sunlit Sky by Blackbird Designs, already started and pictured below;

Project 2: Their Song by Blackbird Designs, a new start;
Project 3: Bluebirds Message, by Blackbird Designs, another new start
Project 4: Rose Bouquet by Derwentwater Designs, a UFO of many years standing. As you can see from the picture below it was started and then put away for reasons now unknown with very few stitches added.

Project 5: Undecided as yet but I have pulled out the following charts: Lizzie*Kate's September, October, November & Autumn Basket, Heart In Hand Celebration Autumn, Autumn Bird & Halloween Bird and The Trilogy's Autumn House.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

More Happy Dancing

August from the Year with Charm series by Lizzie*Kate,
started and completed in August 2008

Snowbound by Bent Creek
Started and finished Sugust 2008
I have been very busy stitching this past month and have managed a few more finishes. As well as the two pictured I have also finished the stitching on several smalls but I will post pictures of them once the finishing has been completed. I have also complete Autumn ABC by Lizzie*Kate and The Littles Bunny by Bent Creek but my computer has eaten the photos I took of these pieces so I will post pictures late once I have got new batteries for my camera.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Trio of Happy Dances

I have been rather busy with my stitching and have managed to complete three small projects.

Awake the Dawning Day
by Blackbird Designs
Summer Bird
by Heart In Hand Needleart
From A Year With Charm series by Lizzie*Kate
Part of the reason I have been trying to finish a few stitching projects is that I had my first quilting lesson last week and think I am already addicted so I need to clear out some space in my crafting stash cupboards to make way for quilting supplies. This weekend I am off to the Festival Of Quilts at the NEC and I do not see myself coming away from the show without a few (well truth be told several) purchases.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Stitching Bug Has Bitten Again

I have well and truly been bitten by the stitching bug this weekend. The last few weeks have been rather frantic and stressful at work leading to me spending far too many hours in the office and several sleepless nights. So I decided to have a quiet weekend sitting on my sofa catching up with my TV watching. The end result is that I managed to stitch for 20 plus hours completing Spring Bird by Heart In Hand Needleart (just needed to add the button as I completed the stitching months ago but it is now ready to go to the framers), June from the Lizzie*Kate series a Year with Charm and the house from Awake the Dawning Day. I think I can now safely say that I am over my stitching slump.I also made a start on Summer Bird and sorted out all the threads and fabric for another couple of small designs which I hope to complete this month.
The only other thing that got done this weekend was a trip to my LNS to drop off a few things for framing. While there I purchased four new charts – September from the Lizzie*Kate series a Year with Charm, The Littles Bunny by Bent Creek, Autumn House by The Trilogy and Autumn Celebration by Heart in Hand Needleart. I was good and did not purchase the threads & fabric to stitch these just the charts and embellishments. Hopefully I will be able to kit them up using stashed fabric and threads.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Knitting HDs

Once again it seems that I have been too busy to post to my blog and this time I also have the excuse that my internet connection has been playing up. I am in a bit of a knitting frenzy at the moment and have managed to complete another baby blanket, several squares and a sock.
The baby blanket was knitted using a single 100 gram ball of James C Brett Magi Baby DK yarn. As I did not want to knit a plain blanket I added a border of feather & fan stitches to the short ends and a garter stitch border along the long sides. I love knitting but hate making up so a self-edging baby blanket is great since the only stitching needed is to finish off the ends.
The squares where a means to use up a ball of variegated DK yarn that I had no idea what else to knit with and will be sent along with the blanket to Loving Hands. I am very pleased to find a UK based organisation to send knitted items to for distribution to various charitable causes. I will definitely by sending more items to them in the near future.
The sock is just a basic plain sock knit from Rico Hobby Print yarn. I would not normally pick such a vivid colourway but love the way it has knitted up. The yarn came in a kit containing two 50 gram balls, a sock pattern (which I did not like the look of for some reason) and a set of dpns. I think I have enough yarn left from the first ball to knit a trainer or very short ankle sock, so instead of casting on the second sock to complete the pair I have cast on a sock to start a new pair just to see if I can knit two pairs of socks from 100 gram of yarn. I also have this yarn in two other colours and am itching to start socks in them as well but am trying to be good and not cast on more than one sock at a time. I just have this feeling that I could end up with a dozen unfinished socks if I am not careful.

I have not completely abandoned my stitching and am still working on Awake the Dawning Day by Blackbird Designs and hope to have made enough progress by the end of this week to justify posting a progress picture.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yarn Yarn and More Yarn

In order to help with my de-stashing I decided the other night to start a re-organsation of my stash. The first stage of which was to pull together all the knitting yarn and I was a little shocked at the size of the mountain (all the crates and bags pictured above are stuffed full of yarn, the lid on one crate only closes because the other crate is sitting on top of it). I have also put away all my other crafting projects with the exception of Awake the Dawning Day, Spring Bird & the UFO round robin pieces and I plan for the time being to concentrate on turning a few of the many skiens of wool that I have into something usefull. To this end I have started a baby blanket and some blanket squares. I have however decided to wait to count the skeins of wool until after I have finished a few since there are not enough hours in the day.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Flying By

For some reason this year is flying past, yesterday was the longest day of the year but it hardly feels like summer. Since my last post both my father and my friend are making good progress towards making full recoveries from their illnesses although the doctors are still puzzled over the reasons for my friends ill health. I have been busy both with work and my crafting (I have managed to finish the baby blanket pictured below) and have been away on holiday.
The first weekend in June was spent in a lovely cottage in Derbyshire in the company of several fellow stitchers. It was great to get away for a few days although spending a weekend in the company of other crafters has resulted in me gaining several charts to add to my collection thanks to the generosity of Sheila, Lindsay and Paula. As well as gaining stash the other problem with spending time with other crafters is that they bring along things to share and to show which results in the need to start new things. In this instance I have decided to finally give in to the desire to learn quilt making so on the way home I called into a quilting shop and have started my quilting stash with the purchase a three pieces of fabric and a book. Two kits to make chickens also decided that they needed to come home with me. Now all I need to do is find the time to learn how to make a quilt.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Lazy Sunday

I am having a very lazy day today, I am spending a lot of quality time with my sofa and doing nothing more energetic than a little bit of knitting and some stitching. The last couple of weeks have been a real rollercoaster ride and I need some down time. I finally got myself back to what passes for normal for me when one of my closest friends and neighbour became very ill - she still has not had a definate diagnosis but is scheduled for exploratory surgery this coming Tuesday. And then on Thursday my father was rushed to hospital in extreme pain, after a sleepless night for all the family he has been diagnosed with gall stones and an infection. Once the infection is under control he will need an operation but is feeling much better now he knows what is wrong.

All this has left me with little time for the internet but I have been crafting. Since I last posted I have completed several braclets (apologies for the poor photographs)
and have added a few personal touches to a plain plastic pot that I had lying around which I am now using to contain my finishing reward fund.

Yesterday I put in the last few stitches and added the buttons to Spring House by The The Trilogy but forgot to take a photograph before taking it to my framers. While at the framers which doubles as my LNS I purchased five charts by Heart In Hand Needleart, the border for their Monthly Markings series and the first four months. This is my first purchase since I started my finishing reward fund. I now just need to finish a few more things so that I have some money to spend on more stuff.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I've Been Thinking (again)

Firstly thank you for the kind comments on my last post, I promise to try and post more regularly from now on.
Secondly I have been thinking about my stash and have decided that being on the crafting wagon is not for me but on the other hand I really really want to reduce the amount of stuff I have lying around the house waiting for me to create something with it. Not only do I have loads of stuff for my long-term hobbies (cross-stitching, knitting and beading) but I also have a very bad habit of deciding that I am going to try a new hobby and then going wild buying supplies before actually doing anything. For example when my niece was born 5 years ago I decided to take up card making and scrap booking. I promptly went out and purchased 4 large crates full of supplies and to date have created 1 scrapbook page and about a dozen cards. So in order to help me stay focused on finishing projects and not buying large quantities of new stuff I have decided to set up a “finished it fund”. The idea being that each time I finish a project I will put aside a pre-determined amount of money. This will then be the only money that I am allowed to spend on crafting related purchases. The sum of money set aside following each finish will be determined based on the type and size of project plus time taken to finish but within the following limits:
Card – 25p to £1
Scrapbook page – 50p to £2
Gift Tag – 10p to £1
Gift box / bag – 50p to £2
Pair of earrings – 50p to £2
Bracelet - £1 to £3
Necklace - £2 to £5
Knitting or stitching projects – £1 to £10
Note: Stitching projects that are to be framed will count as a finish once all the stitching is complete. Stitched pieces to be finished by other means (e.g. flat folds, pincushions, bags etc.) will only count once stitched and finished.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

For Margaret

A progress picture of Awake the Dawning Day:

Sorry I have not been around much but I have been struggling with a neck injury which is resulting in loss of sensation or severe pain (I am unable to decide which is worse the feeling that the arm has been amputated at the shoulder or intense pain) in my left arm. This has led to, in part to a bout of the blues and a massive round of comfort eating which means my weight has sky rocketed and has led to me feeling even worse about myself. I have also had to restrict the amount of time I spend stitching, knitting and gardening as all of these become painful after awhile. However yesterday after months of seeing doctors and various consultants at the hospital I had an appointment with yet another specialist but this time came away feeling that progress has finally been made towards sorting out my arm and maybe getting back to normal. Last night I got a good nights sleep in for the first time in months and have woken in a much more positive frame of mind and really feel that a corner has been turned. So no more feeling sorry for myself just postitive thinking from now on.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

January Results and February Goals

January was a good month for stitching. I managed to exceed my goals and finished a total of 6 projects. The last of which is Spring Banner by Lizzie*Kate pictured above. I also managed to complete the first two squares on Springology by The Trilogy and to make some progress on the two Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers projects that are current WIPs.

Awake the Dawning Day by Blackbird Designs.

Stash wise I have managed to limit purchases to a new pair of scissors, a single skein of GAST thread, a packet of needles, some mount board and three fat-quarters of cotton fabric. The last two are to be used to finish the Lizzie*Kate months that I finished the stitching in January as flat folds. On the downside I have been seduced by the siren call of a new hobby. While in my LNS picking up some framing (one good thing about not buying stash is I now have money to pay for long finished projects to be framed) I purchased a needle felting kit. I made a start on it over the past weekend and think I am going to be addicted. However I have promised myself to only buy the supplies for one felting project at a time and not to build up a huge stash pile.

I have decided to leave February’s goals as originally planned (even though I have already completed one). If I finish Feb’s goals before the end of the month I will put in some extra hours on some of my WIPs.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Trio Of HDs

I decided to start on my spring stitching so that I have some pieces ready to go on display on the first day of spring. So far I have managed to finish these three designs from the Lizzie*Kate A Year With Charm series. At the moment I am undecided on how to finish them, originally I was going to get them framed but I am now considering turning them into flatfolds. I have never finished anything as a flatfold but I have found some very good instructions so might give it a go. Finishing them as flatfolds will give me a great excuse to visit my local quilting shop for some fabric.