Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Smalls Check-in

I am back from my trip to Michigan (thanks Nancy, Joe, Alex, Mom and Dad for a great time). For the first time in years, I didn't take any stitching with me. Between the catching up, reading and running around, I didn't have time to miss the stitching.  Just before I left for my sister's, I finished Just Nan's Swan Lake

This is my July  Smalls SAL piece. I, once again, wasn't thrilled with this month's piece for The Sampler Life SAL and didn't feel like digging around for a replacement, so gave the large piece a miss and focused on this one.  The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus. It encourages us to give the smaller pieces a bit of attention too.  I am a BAP stitcher and to often forget that these smaller pieces are just as beautiful and, in many cases, just as intricate as the larger ones.
I did all my running around this morning and just have a bit of housework to finish up and I will be done for this week. I hope to sit back, stitch, and enjoy the rest of my vacation. 
And just because it's been a while.  Here's a picture of Trouble that The Hubs sent a while back.
The cats love to hid behind the blinds and spy on you.

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.