Monday, July 20, 2015

IHSW and Stitch from Stash

Month: July
Spent: $0
Earned: $0

Two posts in a week? and I am (or will be when I publish this post) current on check-ins? Vacation is wonderful! 

I really did go into this IHSW (sponsored by Joyze at Random Ramblings) with hopes of sitting and stitching and possibly finishing Just Nan's Swan Lake. The reality was somewhat different. More reading than stitching and no finish, but it was very relaxing.

Swan Lake is now here:

It continues to amaze me how much detail a designer can pack into a small space. The fabric color is slightly off (it's a bit more green) but the thread colors are very accurate.

That little notation at the very top of my post is for Stitch from Stash.  Mel at Epic Stitching hosts Stitch from Stash and broke 2015 into two separate SALs. I took part in part A and decided to give part B a go. Stitch from Stash is a reminder to look at what we have before buying yet another pattern that will probably just sit in a file folder somewhere.  We get a very generous $25 USD each month (or your currency) so it isn't a fast, but a diet.  So, for July:

Budget $25
Spent $0
Forward to August $25

Hmmm, checking back it doesn't look like I had any starts from stash this month. I did pull a pattern, threads and fabric out of my stash to start Just Nan's Florentine Floral but no actual stitching happened.

 I will probably continue with Swan Lake this afternoon and maybe put a few stitches in Secret Victorian Garden but there is no hurry (and THAT is the reason I get so very little done while on vacation - I keep thinking that there is no hurry and before I know it, it's time to go back to work).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Progress, a finish and a check-in

Here I thought I was being good and back to a weekly posting schedule but I looked at my last post and it was more than two weeks ago! I honestly don't know what I am doing with my time although I do vaguely recall that I had to rearrange me work schedule and last weekend was just strange. Despite all that, stitching has happened and I even have a finish!!

I'll start with the finish, Just Nan's Spring in the Air

It is stitched on 28-count Natural Cashel with DMC and whatever beads came in the embellishment pack. There is also a very cute pansy charm in the middle. I am not sure what I am going to do with it, but it is hanging on my display curtain right now.  Florentine Floral was randomly picked to take the Just Nan slot in the rotation and is ready and waiting.

I also had progress on a couple of pieces, another Just Nan, Swan Lake went from here:

to here:

I was so pleased when the circle closed correctly!!!

And Christmas Presence from HAED went from here:

to here:

Interestingly enough, the detail shows up better in the photo than it does in person. That bit of beard actually looks like curls and hair, in person it just looks like a blob.

And my check-in is for Gifted Gorgeousness which is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is for us to show everyone that has gifted us with a pattern that we really do appreciate it.  I have counted Christmas Presence as a gift as it is a freebie from HAED and therefore a gift yes that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  My main gifted piece is Shakespearean Fantasy.  Pull the Other Thread gifted me this pattern (aren't stitchers the most generous folks?!?!) and I have been stitching away since the first of the year.  When I put it away last, it was here

I spent my last round with this stitching mostly black. That blob in the corner is just about 1/4 of page one!! I probably added a bit more green too.  My plan right now is to finish all the colors on these pages and then start on the colors on the right half (or so). Once those are in, it is just black to fill in the background and then onto the next two rows of pages.

You may have seen it in the background of Swan Lake, Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden is on the frame for a while. As of 3:45 this afternoon I am on vacation for two weeks and while I will be in Michigan for a bit of that time, I have nothing else planned for the rest of my time and hope to spend a good chunk of it stitching.  Here's where it was last time I put it up:

I hope to finish this corner and get the first band of the outer boarder that blue line done before I put it up again.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Three more check-ins

Well, I was caught up with my SAL check-ins for a couple of minutes days! Three more check-ins to catch-up with today, one on Saturday and I will be caught up for a while. I am starting to feel more settled at work which is, I hope, a sign that I will be more settled here at home.

So first up is DESIGN or Designers Everyone Should Instantly Get to Notice. It is hosted over at NCC. I have been very remiss posting to this SAL, but this month will recognize an "oldie but goodie" Just Nan.  According to their website, Just Nan started as a company in 1991 and I have been collecting and stitching her designs since right about that time. I have enough patterns and kits in my stash to almost be embarrassed as she was a must-buy for years.  My latest piece is Spring in the Air

Leonore gave us a list of questions to guide us for each post so...
-Have you stitched a piece by this designer before?  Oh yes. I have 20 or so pieces, mostly smalls and class projects hanging in my den/stitching room and I did five of her Christmas stockings for gifts one year. I also have a number of unfinished-finished pieces just waiting for me to get into a finishing mindset.
-Would you buy/stitch a piece by this designer again? Yes, although I did lose the "love" when she moved away from her sampler style, I have enough in my stash to keep me stitching her designs for a number of years.
-What made you chose this particular design/designer? Nan has a very distinctive style and color palette. I can still look at a stitched piece and pick her pieces out. For this particular piece? I love pansies and I am a sucker for seasonal series pieces. Unfortunately, I am not sure I will finish this series. I purchased this pattern and Strawberry Summer but when Winter Blues came out, I didn't like it. Nothing against the series, design or designer, it just did nothing for me.
-Did you notice anything that distinguished this designer from others? As I mentioned, she had a color palette that appealed to me and she was using unique, for me at the time, threads - perle cottons and silks.

From DESIGN to the HAP SAL.  The 2015 HAP SAL is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches and highlights all those huge projects, defined by Stacy as "the smallest of the dimension of the stitch count is 300", you are stitching or want to stitch and maybe even finish in 2015.  My HAP for 2015 and the next 10 or 15 years is Shakespearean Fantasy. When I showed it to you last week, it was here:

Sunday evening, I put an additional 400 (gridding is good for stitch counting) black stitches in and it now looks like this:

In addition to my HAP SAL piece, Shakespearean Fantasy is one of my WIPocalypse pieces.  WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musing and is another SAL to help us focus on getting through our WIP pile.  I think between last weekend's post and the pictures above, I have posted updates of all my WIPocalypse pieces. There is a complete list in the WIPocalypse and YOTA Project List and 2015 Stitching Plan tab up top there. Melissa also gives us questions for each month's post. This month's is Fantasy or Reality? Which do you prefer to stitch? Figures or abstracts? I lean more towards reality or at least someone's concept of reality!  The presentation may be abstract, the theme is usually based in reality.  It isn't that I don't like fantasy pieces and I have stitched a fair number of them, but it it more a function of my stashing habits or lack thereof. When the majority of my stash was purchased, there weren't a lot of really good patterns that I would define as fantasy.  There has been an explosion of designers in that area over the last ten years or so, but I haven't been buying a lot of stash in that time.  With unlimited financial resources, my stash would look much different today.

As WIPocalypse and YOTA have the same goals and pieces, I am counting this as my YOTA post and am now AHEAD!!! with my SAL posts. I am sure I will get behind again soon enough so I won't rest on my laurels for too long.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

So what am I catching up on this time?

Month:  June
Spent: $0

Yes, it has been a while. No, nothing exciting or earth shattering (other than some massively wicked thunderstorms), but before I get into anything more...


Here's a then:

and now (well a year or so ago):

Hard to believe it's been 32 years!!

Hope those of you that have been in the line of the storms the last week are all well.  I don't normally mind a good thunderstorm, but I have had enough for a while.  We've had more in the last week then we usually have in a couple of months.  There was a tornado (unconfirmed) just south of us, but we only had high winds. No damage, but I did take the lantern and sit in the basement for a while.

As the title suggests, I am AGAIN late for check-ins and updates. I have stitched a bit, but I haven't been reading blogs or even turning my computer on. I have; however, been reading a lot as I signed up for a month of Kindle Unlimited (all the books and audio books you can read or listen to - well there are specific books, but there are a lot) and I am going to get my $9.99 worth!! So according to my list, I am late for Gifted Gorgeousness, Stitch from Stash and the Smalls check-ins. I also signed up for IHSW last weekend and didn't post, so that one too.

So in order of check-in dates: Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is designed to say "Thank you" to everyone that has gifted us with stitching or to show a piece of stitching we intend as a gift.  My main gifted piece is "Shakespearean Fantasy", I don't have a lot of progress to show on it. When last I left it, it was here:

This is on the frame for some attention this afternoon, so slightly larger blobs of color next time I show it.

I had categorized two more pieces as gifted because they are freebie pieces and are therefore, gifts from the designers!

"Christmas Presence" is one of the designs in the HAED freebie SAL this year.  I put a couple more colors into him and he went from here:

to here:

I do need to get busy on this one. The last page was released this weekend and I would like to finish him this year. I stitched on this as part of my IHSW.

The next freebie is The Sampler Life Yahoo groups SAL. I did not care for the design released this month, so picked Chatelaine's "Debi's Roses".

I switched out the called for Kreinik braid (all those eyelets were charted for Kreinik) for plain old DMC and quite like it. This was part of IHSW too.

And this month, I have two pieces that are going to be gifts. The first is Ink Circles "99"

which will be for DNephew and for DNiece:

"Sentimental Heart" from The Sweetheart Tree. This is the order that I mentioned in my last Stitch from Stash update.

And speaking of Stitch from Stash it's time for the last check-in for 2015A!! Mel at Epic Stitching hosts the SAL and this year decided on two separate challenges each 6 months long. So my tally since January 1st is:

Total budget: $150.00
Total spent:   $  27.67
End balance:  $122.33

I have signed up for 2015B which starts July 1st and I believe sign-ups are still open if you are interested.

And finally, Smalls SAL, which is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus.  I am using the blocks from The Sampler Life SAL as my monthly small piece. This month's finished block is shown above and here they are together:

I was concerned that the new block would be too heavy, but it fits rather well.

And finally, a piece that isn't part of any SAL this year, Just Nan's Spring in the Air.  It went from here:

to here:

I really do love the colors in this one. I am going to put it back on the frame for the week and maybe, just maybe finish it in the next few weeks. This was IHSW too - really shows that my concentration is shot - three pieces in two days!

PHEW!!! I think that's everything!  A short week for work this week and an extra long weekend - Independence Day is on Saturday so I get the day before off and because that is my normal Friday off, I get to move that to the next regular business day, so I get Monday off too.  We are going to the in-laws one day but no plans for the rest of the time - maybe I really will settle myself down and get some stitching in.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Three for one

Once again, I'm late on check-ins. I was out of town for work last week - again - and didn't have access to my computer, so I am behind on my posting and reading. My next planned travel is the end of July so a few weeks to settle back into a routine - oh wait, you've heard that before haven't you?

Welcome to my new followers. Hopefully, I can add something to your day. And Thank You to all of you that have stuck with being a follower through the last few months of blah here.

We have moved from spring into early summer here in central Virginia.  Have been doing a lot of outside work that was put off and I think we are just about caught up. There are  a couple more things to get done before it gets too hot and humid to be out much, but I am really happy with what has been done.

The first batch of fledgling finches and sparrows have been into the feeders and it looks like the crows have added at least one youngster to the murder. I expect to see the cardinals and wren young any day now.

Besides travel and outside work and a bit of housework I have done a bit of stitching and I think each piece fits into one of the three SAL check-ins.

First is the 2015 HAP SAL. It is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches. Pick a Huge A$$ Project, stitch and post on the first Saturday of the month. I did all but the last.  My piece for this SAL is Shakespearean Fantasy from Heaven and Earth Designs.  Last time I showed it, it was here:

And now, it is here:

I do need to concentrate on getting a few more lengths of black in but otherwise, I'm happy with the progress I've made.

The second check-in is for WIPocalypse and the third is YOTA.  As I have the same project list for both of these, one batch of photos. 

 is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings and YOTA is hosted at Pull the Other Thread.  Both SALs are reminders to work with what you have first.  My WIPocalypse/YOTA project list is in the tab up top.   From that list I have stitched on Shakespearean Fantasy, Santa's Magic, and Christmas Presence.  Santa's Magic ended up here:

Just a bit more and the beard will be finished.  Christmas Presence went from here:

And before I forget, there is a question each month with WIPocalypse. This month's is:  Do you find yourself more productive with stitching in summer or winter?  I am definitely more productive in the winter. I have had a summer stitching slump for the last four or five summers which has kept my summer stitching progress fairly low - but my reading backlog is reduced so it works to a win for me.
I also stitched on a couple of piece that are not on the list.  Ink Circle's 99, went from here:

to here:

only 98 more to go.
And for my small piece this month:
This is Chatelaine's Debi's Roses. I didn't care for the design that was released this month, so went searching through my freebie files and found a couple that would fit.  The other was in blues and I wasn't sure if it would fit right here so will save it in case of another "eh" reaction to future releases.
Just Nan's Spring in the Air is going on the frame later this afternoon. I may leave it on until I finish it, but will see how much progress I actually make this week.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I don't know where I've been...

Month: May
Spent: $27.67
Earned: Not participating

It is Memorial Day weekend in the States, so I thought a collage was in order.  This is my family during World War II:

On the left is the home front, my Grandparents, my Aunt Linda and my Dad. On the right from top left to bottom right, are my: Aunt Hazel; and, Uncles Dale, Bob, and Dick (thanks to my cousin Dewey's Facebook page for the photos).  My Dad went on to a 30-year career in the Army.

So, when I last blogged (a month ago!!!), I had great hopes of keeping up with all my check-ins and tearing through the stitching. Um, yeah, not so much. I would love to tell you that I was working on something with great socially redeeming value, but honestly, I have no idea what I was doing that took all my time.  That is not totally true, my parents came to visit a couple of weeks ago - Thanks for coming Mom and Dad!!!

I will not be able to catch up on all the check-ins I missed, so will get the ones that are due soon. The first is
Simple and easy - try to stitch from your stash as much as you can. Each month you get a $25 budget (I'm tracking in US Dollars but you can convert to your local currency) and what you don't spend does roll over. Well for the first time in a long time, I bought something this month!!! It hasn't arrived yet, but I am going to count it and will show you when it arrives. So for May:

Balance forward: $100
Budget: $25
Available $125
Spent: $27.67
To June: $97.33

I had three new starts from stash:

This is Rosewood Manor's contribution to The Sampler Life's SAL. It is stitched with the DMC conversion:

A couple years ago, I stitched 99 by Ink Circles for my son. During the stitching I showed my DNephew the photo and h really liked it, so I started one for him this morning. It is stitched on 32-count Vintage Buttercream from Lakeside Linens with DMC.

And finally, while my parents were visiting, my Mom was going through her stitching bag and asked if I wanted to stitch this for her:

It is Just Nan's Swan Lake. It is stitched on a 28-count Dark Teal Green cashel with DMC and the included beads. Technically it's not my stash, but it is a start from stash.

On other stitching.  I didn't get Santa's beard on Santa's Magic by Mirabelia, finished as I'd hoped, but I did get from here:

To here - I very much dislike stitching with Wisper thread!!!:

I also put a bit of time into Christmas Presence from HAED.  He went from here:

To here:

And finally, I'll do my check-in for:

I am using my blocks from The Sampler Life's SAL as my Smalls SAL each month. I showed the finished block above, and here are all four blocks together:

The weather for this weekend is just too beautiful (upper-70s/low-80s, very low humidity, light breeze - pretty close to perfect) to spend much time inside, so I'm not sure I'll get too much stitching done over the next 2 days, but Monday is supposed to start being summery which means hot, hazy and humid - no fun for working outside, so maybe then.