Sunday, April 24, 2016

April WIPocalypse

I'm a few days late for the WIPocalypse check-in, but fortunately Melissa doesn't put a time limit on posting.  You can find out everything you need to know about WIPocalypse on Melissa's website Measi's Musings, but basically it's a reminder to give our WIPs some lovin' before we start something new.  Melissa also provides us with "Questions of the Month" so we can get to know each other.  This month's question is:  What do you listen to while stitching?  Most often I listen to audio books while I'm stitching.  I discovered them 18 months ago and love them.  If I'm not listening to a book, there is usually music on and occasionally the television.  If the television is on, it's usually on something that doesn't take a lot of active watching as I would rather concentrate on my stitching and not the show.

So WIP stitching...  three projects in my current rotation are on my WIPocalypse list - you can see the list in the "WIPocalypse Project List and 2016 Stitching Plan" tab up top there.

The three projects are:  Secret Victorian Garden; Shakespearean Fantasy; and, Christmas Presence.

I finally finished Secret Victorian Garden - I showed the finish photo in my last post, but I'll show it again.

Shakespearean Fantasy went from here:

I love how the black makes the greens pop.

Christmas Presence was here:

and today it's here:

Didn't quite finish the column, but will fill in those missing stitches and start a new column next week.
I also had progress on two other projects that are not on my WIPocalypse list, It's About Time and Christmas Soldiers.

IAT is now here:

Quite a few missing stitches in that column
and Christmas Soldiers is here:

Those stars in the middle are two different colors, they just aren't showing up too well.
All in all, it was a good stitching week.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

An IHSW check in and a finish

It was  this weekend and I officially participated for the first time in ages.  Joyce over at Random Ramblings hosts this SAL.  It takes place the third weekend of every month, so if you missed it this month you can catch it in May. 

My stitching weekend started Thursday night with It's About Time.  I added another 300 stitches.

The detail on this one still amazes me.

Friday's stitching was Shakespearean Fantasy

Not a lot of progress but I did finish all the green in the column and 150 or so more black stitches.

While I didn't get as much stitching time as I would have liked on Saturday and Sunday, I did finish
Secret Victorian Garden. 

I started this one on January 1, 2007 when it was called Mystery X.  I kept up with the monthly parts until August when I started packing for my move to Virginia.  It was in and out of the rotation, more out than in, for most of the next eight or so years, but The Hubs wanted me to enter something big in the needlework competition at the State Fair this fall, so out it came.
It is stitched on 32-count Carol's Meadow Jobelan from Silkweaver with the called for threads and beads.  I think I bought the kit from Drema at Needlecraft Corner (they don't carry Chatelaine kits anymore but are a really good source for materials). 
The random project picker picked Winter Watergarden to take Secret Victorian Garden's spot once I get back to my regular rotation.  I will be back stitching Christmas Soldiers next weekend and now have two wedding samplers to finish for next year as DNiece called a couple of weeks ago to tell me she's engaged. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

I took pictures!

Yes, pictures were taken last week of my stitching, but the blog was not written.  I am also behind on my blog reading and commenting - staying off the computer is giving me lots of time for stitching but it is putting me so far behind on what everyone is doing.  

The plus side of my blog slump is that I am right on time for the Gifted Gorgeousness check-in.  Jo at Serendipitous Stitching created and hosts Gifted Gorgeousness as a way for us to thank the people that gifted us with something stitching related.  I have three pieces this month that I fit into this SAL.  First up is Christmas Presence.  I count this one because it was a freebie from Heaven and Earth Designs for their 2015 SAL and therefore, a gift.

I am a couple of columns away from a page finish and then just a small page away from a finish.

The next piece is It's About Time:

The pattern for this piece was gifted to me by Kate at Needle and Haystacks. Another couple of column on this one and I will have a page finish.

Shakespearean Fantasy's pattern was gifted to my by Pull the Other Thread:

There are some single stitches in the green area to finish off before I have a column finish on this one.  It's on the frame for its regular Friday night stitch so another column finish is very possible.

I have been spending the majority of my weekend time stitching Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden.  Before ordering more dark blue beads, I decided to go through my beading supplies and was thrilled to find a large box of them. So the most heavily beaded part, the center, is done (except for the bicones and cubes).  All that is left is the rest of the border, one corner, and all the big sparklies.  

Speaking of a weekend.  It is  this weekend.  Head over to Random Ramblings to sign up.  You haven't participated before? You are missing out.  IHSW is the one weekend a month you are encouraged, by stitchers around the world, to sit and stitch all weekend. I don't know how much stitching time I will get in as the weather is supposed to be beautiful and I will want to be outside, but I am aiming for a finish on SVG, so I do have an incentive.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lost a Couple of Weeks

Hmmm, after being ahead of things the beginning of the month things fell apart and I lost two weeks somewhere.  I have been dealing with a medical "thing" and it's been taking a lot of my time and energy.  Fortunately, it's turned out to be very treatable - I have sleep apnea and it caused a heart rhythm problem - so once I start treatment not only should the heart thing go away, but the sleep specialist is saying I'll probably have an easier time losing weight, remembering things and just be generally more healthy - who knew sleep did so much?  Of course, once the bills start coming in, I may just have a real heart attack.

I have missed two check-ins but I have been stitching in between all the tests and appointments, so I do have things to show.

The first check-in is for WIPocalypse which is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings.  She created and has been hosting this SAL since 2012 when she decided that she should finish, or at least make a dent in her WIPs before the world ended in December.  Well, as far as I know, the world is still here (although I suppose in some parallel universe it did end) and, unfortunately, so are most of the WIPs on my list.   Three projects on my stitching list/plan for this year are in my current rotation and I do have progress on all three.  Before I get to the pictures, Melissa gives us a discussion topic each month and this month's is:  Do you use hoops, stretcher bars, lap stands or Q snap frames and why? For anything larger than very small pieces or those done on perforated paper, I use scroll bars.  My hands cramp if I stitch in-hand for too long.  I have used hoops, Q snaps, and stretcher bars, but I always come back to scroll rods.  I like the tension and the fact that once the fabric is squared off and mounted, I don't have to worry about it wracking or going off square, so no blocking is required once the piece is finished.  I stitch "in the ditch" so I am only touching a very small portion of the piece so don't worry about dirt or grime but just to sure, I do cover my pieces with a clean tea towel when I'm not stitching.  For smaller pieces, I have an Elan lap stand from Artisan Designs and for my larger pieces a Needlework System 4 floor stand.  I love them both as they allow me to stitch two-handed, are easy to flip to the back to finish off ends and keep my piece within easy reach at all times.  

And what has been on my scroll rods since my last WIPocalypse check-in?

Christmas Presence from Heaven and Earth Designs.  At last month's check-in, it was here:

And today it is here:

More stained glass.
Shakespearean Fantasy went from here last month:

to here today:

and my final WIPocalypse project is Secret Victorian Garden from Chatelaine.  It was here last month:

and here is the beading of the center portion that is finished:

here is a close up of one corner:

Unfortunately, my kit was short on the dark blue beads, so I have to wait a bit before I can finish the final checkerboard and corner, but there are plenty of other beads that need adding.

The other SAL I am late checking in for is the Smalls SAL.  Heather at Stitching Lotus hosts the SAL.  This SAL celebrates smalls in all their sizes - yes, you get to decide what is small.  All you have to do is post a picture on the last Thursday of the month.  This SAL really motivates me.  I have been using the blocks from The Sampler Life's mystery SAL for my monthly pieces.  Each one is no larger than 50X50 so a very nice size.  For March, I finished Susanne's Samplerlife Ornament from Susanne Schmidt Farbenfroh.  I used one of the new variegated DMC for it and like how it turned out.

The photo is very washed out.
The April block was released today so I am officially two month's behind, my March block was the February release.  March's block is from Thea Gouverneur and will require a bit of work as no color numbers were given, just a color chart.  April's block is a choice of three from Artecy Cross Stitch.  I don't think I will stitch all three, but it will be difficult to pick which one.

I have one more piece that I have worked on that does not belong to either SAL - well it will fit into next year's WIPocalypse...  It is It's About Time from Heaven and Earth Designs.

It was here last time  I showed it:

And tonight, it is here:

Not much time for stitching this weekend as I leave early Sunday morning for Alexandria, Louisiana for work.  I'll be back late on Tuesday, but I am teleworking on Wednesday and took Thursday and Friday off, so it shouldn't be to bad a work week (and I hope to get a LOT of stitching in next weekend!!).