Sunday, 27 November 2011

What happened to the weekend?

It's Sunday night and very little has gone as planned this weekend!  It's fair to say that everything has got done, but not in the order that was intended.  I have a haircut and a new suit for my interview on Tuesday, I've done the laundry and the grocery shopping, but its all been a bit on the stressful side.

Anyway I do have some update photos to show you, including a finish.

This is the Christmas ornament for my eldest niece.  It was quite fun to stitch up and has come out quite well, I think.

This is the Christmas ornament for my littlest niece.  I'm quite pleased that I managed to get all the framework stitched so you could tell what it is going to be.  I'm going to be making some colour changes on this so that the angel has the same colour hair as its recipient.

The next deadline is a baby deadline.  I don't feel that I'm making enough progress on this, but my stitching time has been so limited recently and I have so many deadlines to hit that I'm starting to get a bit nervy.

With things not going to plan this weekend, I only managed to get an hour or so stitching done on the Beetle today.  I've been filling in with red round the orange wiggle at the top left hand side.

On the subject of cars, I went to a party last night and came away with some furry black dice to hang in my car.  This is a nostalgia thing - I used to have furry black dice in my first car until they had a close encounter with a small child.  Anyway, I'm going to call it a day before I fall asleep with my head on the keyboard.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Stitching for others!

As per last week's post, I have only been stitching for others this week - Carnation is on hold for the time being, despite my wish to get page 1 finished before Christmas/New Year.

Starting with the closest deadline first, here is my progress on this year's ornament for my eldest niece.  I completed the framework first and am now working on the filling in.  I hope to be showing you a finish next week, and the start of the ornament for my littlest niece.  It's been nice and straightforward, working on this piece in the quiet time between breakfast and setting off for work.

The next deadline coming up is my cousin's baby due at the beginning of January.  As you can see, I've opted to work on the elephant next.  There has been some frogging on this one and also an annoying tendency to miss the odd stitch and have to go back to it with a fresh piece of thread.  Work has been done on this at lunchtimes at work and in the evenings.  This will move into my sunrise slot once the girls' ornaments are complete.  

Finally, the Beetle.  This lost out last week so this week I've finished the pale pink section at the top and added the somewhat wiggly orangey (although it doesn't look it) section.  I still need to do the white line up the side, but the top of the orangey bit butts onto the bottom of the front windscreen, so I am getting there slowly.  This still needs a lot of work to be done by the end of February, and I also have the Jayne Netley Mayhew piece to start when the fabric gets here, and get finished by the same time as the Beetle.  However the JNM piece is smaller and will be more transportable.

Well, that's the stitching sorted.  How about life in general?  Well, I'm a happy bunny cos I have a job interview at the end of the month for what could possibly be the perfect job, so please keep your fingers crossed for me!

We celebrated Mum's birthday this week.  My Dad, my sister and I clubbed together to buy her two vintage dolls houses - one of which I showed here.  We also played Pass the Parcel and my sister baked a cake.  It was good to spend time together.

I also spent time with my nieces yesterday.  My sister was having a weekend away and my BIL was refereeing a football match.  The girls and I had a good time on the whole (a bit of poking each other and some tears), and my BIL had cooked sausage casserole for our tea which meant that I didn't have to cook when I got home and could work on the Noah's Ark piece.

Well, I'm going to finish here cos I need to make tomorrow's lunch and I want to get a fairly early night, so I'll see you at the end of the week.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Decisions, decisions!

Well, folks, I've been thinking it over and have finally come to a decision - Carnation is going to have to go on hold!  Christmas is just six weeks away and my cousin's baby is due early January.  Then I have to get the Beetle finished and framed for the beginning of March.  I also have the Jayne Netley Mayhew piece to get done for the same time, but had to order the fabric from the US this morning, so that isn't even started.  In order to hit all my deadlines, Carnation is dropping out of the list while I get cracking on ornaments for my two nieces.  I also have to get the beads on Poinsettia and some sort of finish worked out for that before 17 December.

I overslept this morning, so laundry and housework took precedence over working on the Beetle.  However I must get a grip with this piece.  Part of the problem is that because I taped all the sections of my working copy of the chart together, the only surface big enough to lay it on is my bed!  Therefore it is not easily transportable and can't be worked on elsewhere.

I did get another two blocks done on Carnation - top right, column 8.  This means that I have started page 2 already.  My plan for page 2 is to work across the page, left to right, one row at a time, instead of the current one column down, one row across method.  That came about because I started off dotting about, doing as much as I could of one symbol before moving on to the next.  Then I had to fill in the gaps.  I shall miss working on this - it has been my sunrise piece, the piece I work on between breakfast and leaving for work.

Next up is Noah's Ark.  The lion is now complete, apart from the backstitching.  He still looks a bit like a bear, but I'm hoping that once the backstitch is done, that will change.  I now have to choose between the elephant or the zebra.  You'll have to wait and see which comes next.

Last up is my new start, a Christmas ornament for my eldest niece.  The plan is to make them both an ornament every year.  This year, the ornaments are stained glass motifs from the Design Library in issue 144 of World of Cross Stitching.  As you can see, I've started on the framework of this spray of holly.  This is the second shot at this section - the frogs have already been out to play on this one!  These ornaments will be replacing Carnation as my sunrise piece.

I hope that all is going well with your WIPs - are you joining in Measi's 2012 WIPocalypse?

Monday, 7 November 2011

A new start for a new life

Well, I meant to post this last night but I got distracted, so here goes.

I know that it looks like a bear, but it is actually a lion without its mane.  This is the start of my Noah's Ark piece for my cousin's baby.  Getting set up was a bit of a pain.  It took me over an hour to get the threads sorted so that I knew what I was doing. They were already on a thread sorter but not numbered, so I had to count the number of threads in each colour and compare them to the list.  I've made my own numbered thread sorters to hold the threads I'm currently working with, but it was a bind to have to mess about with that when I could have been stitching.  In addition, Design Works have used the same symbol but at a different angle or coloured in several times, which means that you have to keep checking that you've got the right thread.  However, I'll give it a bit longer before I decide that it's a must do, rather than a want to do piece.

Then comes the Beetle - there is currently no light at the end of the tunnel on this one.  I filled in the empty space that I left last week on the bonnet, apart from the narrow band of white which runs up the side which is 99.5% fractionals and will take a lot of time for very little show-off value.  I've also finished the pink section and started on a paler pink section above it.  I'll get there in the end.

I managed to finish the bottom row of Carnation last week and have started putting stitches into the first square of column 8.   This has become my in the morning before work piece - my sunrise stitching piece.  It's coming along nicely.

I now need to buy fabric for my other friend's 40th birthday piece, but need to get it from the States as no-one seems to have it here.  I also need to get set up to do Christmas ornaments for my two nieces - I've chosen the designs from a back issue of World of Cross Stitching and now need to organise fabric and threads.

In other news, I went to my friend's Dad's memorial service on Friday.  Over 200 people attended and it was lovely to see what an important influence he had been on so many.  However I spent 30 years knowing the family man, rather than the academic, so it was his son's tribute to him that meant the most to me.

It was Bonfire Night here this weekend so I watched other people's fireworks out of my kitchen window on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night.  I'm sure that I've heard some tonight as well - surely enough is enough!