Saturday, 24 September 2011

The things we do for love!

Somehow it seems to me that going that extra mile is always easier when it is for someone you love.  And today I did go that extra mile - in fact I went 100 plus extra miles - a round trip to Doncaster to pick up a birthday present for my Mum that I won on ebay.

This vintage dolls house is now residing in the bottom of my wardrobe where I am hoping that my Mum will not see it in the next six weeks or so before her birthday.  It needs a bit of work but that's fine because so do most of the other dolls houses in her collection.  There is no furniture with it so she is going to have to buy more furniture or we will have to buy her furniture for Christmas.  

So you do things for love and then other people do things for love of you.  Last Saturday I went to a combination birthday party (for the Patchwork Group) cum house warming (for one of the members).  I had a great time - lovely house, great food, fantastic company but the best bit was this:

This was an early birthday present from the Patchwork Group, who celebrate all members' birthdays ending with 0 with a group project.  It is a single bed size quilt, in autumnal colours, made for me to wrap myself up in when I'm on the computer or stitching.  

So there you go, a couple of the things we do for love!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Some progress made!

Today I'll start with another new start and then work up from there.
 This is another Mouseloft for Hobbycraft piece - this time of a Christmas tree.  This one might just get stitched as per the chart, rather than bits being left out.  I have another three of these small pieces to do.  I took Santa and Snowman along to the Marie Curie meeting, but although it looks as though we are going to have some sort of craft stall thing, I may have to make these into cards myself as I didn't get any volunteers.

Next up is my Eva Rosenstand robin - isn't he just gorgeous?  I've done the back stitch round the eye and for the beak, and he just looks so lifelike.  I'm really enjoying stitching him and may well do him again at some point.  If my friend doesn't like him, I shall start to think that there is something wrong with her.
Then comes Beetle mania.  Despite a home invasion by my Mum using my computer, I did manage to finish the second headlight and start the sidelight (?) above the first headlight this morning.  To be honest, I feel better about it when I look at the photos than when I've got it in my hands for some reason.  As you can see, I am now using a hoop with this rather than the square snap-on frame and I'm finding it easier - its not so bulky in my hand.  

Carnation has gone well this week, despite being out three nights in a row.  I've completed three blocks in the right hand column and gone into a fourth.  Mum said that it was coming on when she looked at it this morning.  

Back to work tomorrow and at least my colleague will have returned from her holiday so I will have someone to share the load again this week.  Sometimes the bosses seem to forget that one person doing two people's work is going to take longer to get stuff done!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Stash Alert!

At the end of last month, I blogged that I was going to visit Wye Needlecraft in Bakewell, and then nothing!  Well, the reason for that is because I was so disappointed in the shop.  Their website is great and I fully expected the shop to be crammed with lovely things and to come home with lots of goodies.  But it wasn't - downstairs there were kits, frames, lights, tapestry and knitting stuff.  The stairwell was full of beautifully stitched display pieces, and upstairs there were charts, threads and fabric.   There was only one chart that I fancied and they didn't have the speciality threads in stock to do it with.  They didn't even have many of the charts for the display pieces.  So I came away with empty hands.

I was so disappointed that I came home and went on the internet, which was fatal!  I ordered stash from two shops in the US, and then Hurricane Irene decided to put in her two pennorth.  Anyway, today the first order finally arrived at my office and here you are:
This little lot comes from Wyndham Needleworks in Connecticut - I think I've spelled that right.  I ordered last year's Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue and there is a very nice autumnal cushion in there which even my Mum likes.  I also ordered two charts from Long Dog Samplers - "All Things" and "All Things II".  These are samplers based on one of my favourite hymns - "All Things Bright and Beautiful" - slightly better picture below.
I may put one on my WIPocalyspe list but I'm still thinking about that, and besides I still have more stash to come.

And I've forgotten the goodies - Wyndham Needleworks didn't just send me my order - there were freebies too.  I got a free Halloween chart, a free size 26 needle, and 2 yards of The Thread Gatherer hand dyed silk ribbon in "Hawaiian Sunset".  That put a smile on my face!

That was a great start to the day , but it was all downhill from there as far as work was concerned.  Thank heavens it's Friday!  I'll be back on Sunday with my updates, but now I need to go and find something for tea.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Another little finish and a bigger start

Well, here's the other little finish - Santa himself.  I finished him off at Patchwork Group on Thursday, having polled the rest and decided not to add the Ho Ho Ho! in red backstitch.  I think that he looks better without it, just as the Snowman looked better without snowballs/snowflakes scattered round him.  Originally the plan was to carry on doing these little kits - I've got four more of them - but now I've changed my plans.

In my last update I wrote that I had a cunning plan for a 40th birthday present for a friend.  Over the past couple of days since finishing Santa, in between other things, I have copied the chart, sorted out the threads and cut myself some fabric.  Mum hemmed the edge for me today while I took Dad shopping and I put the first few stitches in when I got home.  And here he is, all kitted up! 

He's a very sweet robin designed by Eva Rosenstand which I am stitching on 27 count cream/off white evenweave using DMC threads.  Those first few stitches are a light blue (932) in the shadow of his wing.  I'm looking forward to stitching him, and if all goes well, there are three more bird charts in that catalogue and some more in the other ER catalogue that I have.
As you will see, I have made some progress on Beetle this week.  I didn't have to go out, the washing machine behaved itself, I just have to not stop and read my book now and again.  The front bumper is finished and I am moving up to the other headlight.  I'm feeling a bit better about this now, but there is still a long way to go so I need to keep plodding on.

However, progress has been slow on Carnation this week with only two blocks completed.  Quite a few stitches went into a third block but I was too tired last night to finish it.  This week is going to be a busy one again, with me out four nights from five, plus my colleague at work having the week off for her birthday.  I don't begrudge her at all, especially as I shall be having a fortnight off for mine, but it does mean that you have to work that bit harder to stay on top of two people's workload.

Well, Measi has accepted me onto her WIPocalypse list and I am now cogitating what else I want to put on my list.  I'm waiting for my stash to come from the US - I'll tell you more about it when it finally gets here, having been delayed by Hurricane Irene!  I also have a little list inside the front cover of my stitching journal, so I'm umming and aahing over what to add to the list.

Friday, 9 September 2011

2012 WIPocalypse

Well, I first read about this on one of the many cross stitching blogs I dip into and went straight over to Measi's Musings to find out more about it.  Having read the instructions and the FAQ a couple of times, I'm going to go for it.

Basically this is a stitch-a-long to get stuff done.  You sign up at Measi's blog, you post a list of stuff that you want to finish/start in 2012 and every full moon you post an update post and then go over to Measi's and say that you've updated.  Simples!

My WIPocalypse list will obviously start with the Beetle (which has to be done, framed and wrapped for 4 March 2012) and Carnation (which for obvious reasons may not get finished in 2012).

I've stuck a list of full moon dates to the side of my computer so I can't lose the piece of paper in the rest of the shambles which is my desk.  I'll start a new page for my WIPocalypse list and start thinking what else out of the multitude of projects that I have in mind I might do next year.

It's going to be such fun!  Thanks, Measi, for such a bright idea!

Monday, 5 September 2011

A little finish and a little start

Well, a day late but that's not unusual.  I do have a finish to show - I think my Snowman is quite cuteI didn't bother with the snowballs/ snowflakes in the end.  They would have been a pain to do without thread showing through from the back.  Hopefully someone will be able to make a nice card out of him for Marie Curie.

I finished the Snowman at my Slimming World class while waiting for everyone to get weighed.  I'd tucked a follow-up piece into my stitching bag and here he is.  When it's done, it will be Santa's head saying Ho, Ho, Ho.  This is another Mouseloft for Hobbycraft piece.  I bought a handful of them some time ago but never got round to them until now.

I do think that this Beetle is a bit jinxed.  I have made progress on it, but not a lot because I was fighting a battle with my washing machine on Sunday morning which distracted me from my stitching.  The far front tyre is finished and some stitching put into the far end of the front bumper, but still not as much as I had hoped.

I didn't get a lot done on Carnation either this week - only completing two blocks, leaving me with one to do on the bottom row before going back up to the top and working down.  However, as I was out every night from Monday to Friday, two blocks is a reasonable achievement.

Monday night was dinner with my parents and a family friend, Tuesday was Pilates, Wednesday was a meal out with two old schoolfriends (one of whom is the future owner of the Beetle), Thursday night was Slimming World and Friday night was babysitting.  I got home Saturday morning about 1.20am and the highlights of the evening were catching up on the episode of Who Do You Think You Are that I missed on Wednesday and my littlest niece falling out of bed!  Although she'd fallen asleep on the carpet by the time I got up the stairs and only needed putting back to bed, it did mean that I spent the rest of the evening jumping at any unexpected noise!

I've had a cunning plan for my other school friend.  She hits the big 4-0 a couple of months after me but doesn't want anyone to make a fuss about it.  However they both came back to mine for a cup of tea after the meal on Wednesday and she was admiring the birds in my Eva Rosenstand catalogue.  Well, there is a very nice little robin chart in that catalogue which comes out at just over 4" by 4" which, as she is also into bird watching, I think will do nicely.  I've done the conversion to DMC and now just have to sort out the fabric and threads and get started.  Hopefully I will have something to show you in my next update post.