Sunday, November 29, 2015

So much easier

I cannot believe how much easier it is stitching Christmas Presence by column!  I have finished another page, a small page, but a page none the less, which brings him to half done.  Here's where he was on Wednesday:

And here's where he is today:

He is put up for a few days as I would like to make some progress on the Plum Street Samplers SAL piece and do need to put a few stitches in Secret Victorian Garden but I expect he will be on the frame again soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A small WIPocalypse

The house is full of the scent of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg - I do wish I liked pumpkin pie as it smells so good.  I normally host Thanksgiving, but this year DMIL didn't feel up to the drive over, so they are hosting and I am bringing the pie.  It does feel strange not to be spending the day in the kitchen prepping but I did buy a turkey that I will cook this weekend as we like the leftovers so will still get to cook the big meal.

As we're getting towards the end of the year, I am deep in the planning stage for next year's stitching - yes, I do go into each year with a plan, I just tend to get waylaid - and was pretty happy with what I had come up with, when I got a text from DNephew's girlfriend showing a very pretty engagement ring.  No date set, but do have to get started on some sort of wedding sampler and a Christmas stocking.  I also expect that DNiece will be engaged in the not so distant future so another stocking is in the works. I already purchased the materials and pattern for her sampler (we all thought she'd be engaged long before her brother worked up the nerve).  So while my original plans are out the window, I'm not terribly upset.  I will use the rest of this year to try to finish up the things I'm close to finishing and next year will be primarily stitching for the soon-to-be families.

But all of that is in the future and right now, I have stitching and SALs to post about.  While it has been cancelled, a quick Stitch From Stash update, I spent $7.64 for floss to finish kitting Its About Time this month. That keeps me in the black, but as I will be purchasing fabric and floss for stockings before the end of the year, my budget will be completely blown.

One I have done a little better with is Smalls SAL.  The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus and is an incentive to give some of those smaller projects some love.  I am using The Sampler Life's SAL as my smalls piece each month. This month's is Sampler Motif from Wendy KC Designs:

and here is the entire piece:

I also jumped onto the Plum Street Samplers 2015 Sunday Mystery SAL and they are smalls if stitched individually, so I am counting each finish as a small finish.  As of today, it is here:

Stitched on 40-count Vintage Autumn Gold from Lakeside Linen with Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe threads
I am having a terrible time getting a good picture of this one but will keep trying.

Assuming Heather continues hosting this SAL, I will definitely continue with it into 2016.

The next SAL that I will continue into 2016, again assuming hosting continuation, is WIPocalypse  WIPocalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings and reminds us to love the projects we've already started before we start a new one - that is really so much harder than it sounds. While my 2016 will have several new starts, I will also keep working on those WIPs.  Melissa provides us with topics or questions each month and this month's is: Which designer has inspired you to stitch the greatest number of designs and why do you think that is?   That isn't as easy an answer as I first thought and it really depends on when in my stitching journey you look.  If you look at completed and kitted/stashed, it would be Just Nan. I enjoy her use of color and her designs but I haven't bought a new design in 15 years, so she isn't my current muse. My current inspiration is Chatelaine.  I also enjoy her use of color, but where Just Nan stayed within a certain palette, Chatelaine changes hers to best reflect the theme of the design. Her designs are still very unique in the market.  I have seen a few mandala style pieces, but none with the amount of detail, specialty stitches or beading that Martina puts into hers. Finally, it is a thrill to finish one of her pieces.  With Just Nan or others, it's more "I'm done" and on to the next. With a Chatelaine it's "I did it" and you just sit and look at it for days.

Since my last WIPocalypse post, I have had progress on all three pieces that I showed in October. First up is Shakespearean Fantasy.  In October it was here:

and today it is here:

I am thinking of putting this on the frame and finishing that column of black this afternoon.

Christmas Presence has been the most problematic WIP for me this month. It was here when I showed it in October:

and today it is here:

Yes, rather than throw it out, I finished the page! I downloaded EZPdf reader and spent several hours, highlighting all the stitches that were missing and then filling them in. It proved MUCH easier digitally than on paper. I will most likely go back to paper for the rest of the design, but will keep the digital option open. I do hope to finish the bottom page this week.

And my final WIPocalypse is Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine,  In October, it was here:

And today it is here:

I need to get this one back on the frame and really make a push to finish it.  I am off today and tomorrow, working a half day on Friday and off next week. In between Christmas baking for DSon and card making, I hope to make good progress on this.

Happy stitching.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November Gifted Gorgeousness

Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is wonderful way of saying thank you to the generous people that have gifted us with stitching wonderfulness.  As Jo says, the best way to show our appreciation is to stitch and blog about it.  There is a list of things that count as gifted and also the ever popular "whatever you can shoehorn" category.

I have two pieces that fit in the "regular" list very easily.  The first is Shakespearean Fantasy.  The pattern was gifted to my by Pull the Other Thread.  I made great progress early this month, but haven't put a stitch in since the last picture:

Stitched 1 over 1 on 28-count antique white Jobelan with DMC
My other fits-the-list piece is Its About Time.  The pattern was gifted to me by Kate at Needles and Haystacks.  As of last night, I have done 600 stitches:

Stitched 1 over 1 on 28-count antique white Jobelan with DMC
I am really enjoying this one.  I think part of the enjoyment is that there is a design to watch develop rather than just a black blob. I'm sure I'll start thinking the same thing once I get out of the black on Shakespearean Fantasy.
The next three I count as gifts, but are in the "shoehorn" category for the SAL, as they are freebies, which I am counting as gifts from the designers.
The first is 2015 Sunday Mystery Sampler from Plum Street Samplers. I am very behind on this one but very much enjoying the time I do spend on it.  As of this morning, it is here:
Stitched on 40-count Vintage Autumn Gold from Lakeside Linens with Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe threads
I do hope to get a bit more done on the tree this morning.  My next shoehorn is:
Christmas Presence.  I am on the verge of throwing in the towel on this one.  Trying to fill in all the missed stitches has become more irritating then enjoyable. I do love the way the finished bits look but I'm not sure I have the patience to spend another lots of hours filling in the rest.
And the last shoehorn is the piece for this month's The Sampler Life SAL.  I showed the completed piece in my last post, so I'm not going to show it again. If you missed it, it's here.
I also did a little bit on Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden. It went from here:
Stitched on 32-count Carol's Meadow Jobelan from Silkweaver Fabrics with called for threads
To here:
I am having the same issue with this piece that I do with all my large pieces, the closer I get to a finish the more I drag my feet stitching it.  I do not really understand why.  I want to see it finished.  I want to move another piece into the rotation, but I find anything but it to work on (as you can see above). 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Stitching bug is back!!

After months of feeling rather "meh" about stitching, my bug is back! I'm not sure why, but I suspect it has something to do with a challenge I joined on the HAED face book site, but whatever caused it, I am thrilled. All I know is that as soon as the day-to-day stuff is done, stitching is on the top of my list of things to do, so lots of stitching has happened the last week.

I do have a couple of SAL check-ins, but there is cross over in my projects so you'll be getting a twofer.  The HAP SAL is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches and is designed to help us focus on those huge projects we may be stitching.  YOTA is hosted at Pull the Other Thread and is a WIP focused SAL.  The piece they have in common is Shakespearean Fantasy by James C. Christensen as charted by Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED). I am very pleased to say that I have a page finish!!

Stitched on 28-count antique white Jobelan with DMC 1 over 1
If you take all the stitches I have put in, I probably have two pages done but that block of black (with a few other colors) is a full page plus a couple blocks from the next.  My stitching style with this type chart is changing from cross country to parking so the next few pages are going to be a little strange looking as I make the transition.

Part of the reason for the transition is Christmas Presence.  I have spent more time than I care to think going back and filling in stitches that I missed while going cross country. I have finished two columns and hope to finish another one today.  When I put it up last night, it was here:
Stitched on 28-count antique white Jobelan with DMC 1 over 1
Because I am normally a one-color-at-a-time stitcher, I am using a low-tack tape to mask off the columns to the right of the one I'm working on so that my eye doesn't wander.  It looks funny but it does keep me focused and has the added advantage of pulling off the cat hair that has worked its way into my stitching.

The other reason for the switch is that I started Its About Time (the lack of an ' in the title is driving me crazy as I don't think the "its" is really supposed to be a possessive) by Ciro Marchetti and, again, charted by HAED using the parking method and it is sooooo much faster and easier than cross country. I was able to finish this:

Stitched on 28-count antique white Jobelan with DMC 1 over 1
in a little less than an hour with no missed stitches. I also saved time on the gridding as I am only doing the horizontal lines. I figured that if I was working on one column at a time I really didn't need the vertical lines.

Other than working on the three HAEDs, I also started and finished the November block for The Sampler Life's SAL.  It's Sampler Motif from Wendy KC Designs. It was charted for, to me, very spring time colors, so I switched them up and went more fall-ish. The colors are more muted than the photo shows.

Now that I have finished my small for the month, Sunday mornings will be devoted to the Plum Street Samplers Sunday Mystery SAL.  The HAEDs are put away for a while and I will be spending the rest of today and tomorrow afternoon working on Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden.