Monday, 31 March 2014

2014 Goals - March Progress Report

It's hard to believe that we are a quarter of the way through the year already - just where has the time gone?  So it's also time for another update report on my 2014 goals.

1. Start and complete wedding present for my friend

Well, despite my good intentions, this still needs framing so I can't tick it off the list just yet.  Hopefully, I can get this sorted by the end of April.  Nag me if I don't get on with it soon.

2.  Complete April by August.

The cross stitching on Angel 2 is complete and the back stitching has been started.  It is complete up to her waist and the bulk of the watering can is done.  I haven't quite decided on the lettering yet, but I am determined that this will be finished, if not finished finished, by the end of April.

3. Start and complete Corgi by September

I've made good progress on this, but completing a whole page was only a pipe dream.  I think if you add all the stitches together, I've stitched the equivalent of half a page though.  I would like to complete this page by the end of April.  Once "April" is finished, this will get the morning slot in addition to the lunchtime slot, which can only be a good thing, because I don't always get any stitching in at lunchtime.

4. Complete Guardian Angels by Christmas at the latest

My goal for March was just to stitch on this piece, which I have done - once!  Nothing more to show from the last photo, I'm afraid.  This will be a repeat goal for April - stitch something on this piece.


5. Complete at least one page of Carnation

My goal for March was to stitch six blocks on this piece.  I've gone one better - although I only managed one block this week, it was block number 7 for March, so pat on the back for me.  I'm on to row 13 and another six blocks in April will get me on to row 14.  So for this one, it is rinse and repeat.

6.  Complete current pages of Train of Dreams

This is a repeat of last week's picture.  Unfortunately the combination of a late night auction on Ebay and the clocks changing on Saturday night/Sunday morning completely knocked me out yesterday, so I got nothing done on Train.  However I have achieved my goal of six blocks for March, having actually stitched six full blocks and one partial block at the bottom of column 4, and I'm into column 5.  Rinse and repeat for this one as well - six blocks to be stitched in April.

7.  Christmas ornaments for my nieces

As last month, far too early to think about this one.

Moving on to other matters, I lost another 1.5lb this week so am down to 11 stone 5lb, my lowest weight yet and just 5lb off target.  However, it appears that healthy eating may not be the only reason for my weight loss.  I went for my follow-up blood tests on Friday morning and today the doctor rang up and told me that I definitely have an over active thyroid.  Next stop is the endocrinology department at the local hospital.  I'm looking on the bright side - I've been expecting to develop some sort of thyroid problem for years now as it runs in my Mum's Dad's family and we've caught it early so any treatment shouldn't need to be too drastic.  Also as illnesses go, it's not too bad - I can think of a lot worse things to develop.

Right, I'm going to finish here and have my tea.  I might even get a bit of stitching done before bedtime.  So here's hoping all is well with you and yours, and may the frog stay well away from your stitching.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

IHSW - March Report

This week I have stash to show as well as stitching.  Yesterday I went to the NEC in Birmingham with my Mum and two other friends to visit the Sewing for Pleasure/Hobbycrafts/Fashion Embroidery & Stitch show.

 I didn't buy a lot, but thought that I would show you anyway.  The threads are for my Chatelaine Medieval Town Mandala that is on my To Do list - I need a lot more than this, but at least I've made a start.  I bought the evenweave just because, and it really does glow in the dark - now I need to decide what to stitch on it.  And the needle threaders - well, you can never have enough needle threaders.

And now for the stitching.  I have made good progress on April.  The angel now has a head and her wings are beginning to emerge.  I would like to get her finished and backstitched by the end of the month, so that I would only be left with the lettering to sort out.

Progress also on Corgi.  The faint line on the left hand side is the edge of this piece.  The halfway point on this page is 5 rows further up than the current grey area.  I also need to have a confetti session to fill in all the odds and sods.  I think that finishing the half page is do-able so long as I don't let myself get distracted.

Another 2 blocks on Carnation this week means that I have completed my month's target of 6 blocks, so I'm quite pleased with myself.  Anything more this month will be a bonus.

A similar situation with Train of Dreams - the 2 blocks completed this morning mean that my monthly target on this one has been hit as well.  So next week is bonus ball week.

In other news, I maintained at Slimming World so am still weighing in at 11 stone 6.5lb.  Just have to try harder this week.

Feeling tired - yesterday was a long day, especially as I drove both ways in my Mum's car which is very different from mine - so will leave you now.  All the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay well away from your stitching.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

2014 WIPocalypse - March Full Moon

And its been a lovely weekend again, so I'm feeling positive and I have a stitching show to look forward to next weekend, so all is well with my world!

For this month's WIPocalypse, Measi asked us to show our favorite stitching spot.

 This is my sofa where I do most of my stitching - the other end is covered in stitching clutter and is not fit to be seen.  The bluey-greeny fabric on the right is covering up Guardian Angels, and Corgi is kept in the dark blue bag below it.  My Lowery floor stand is on the right, holding Carnation covered in a spare pillowcase.  Out of sight is the folding chair that I sit on to work on pieces on my stand.  All my bits for Carnation are kept in the bag at the right.  Both bags come from family history conferences and Train is kept in another such bag.  I have two family history conferences this year so am hoping to come home with more bags to put stitching projects in.  The zebra cushion is made up from a piece of stitching which took me about 15 years to complete - my longest standing UFO.

This piece hasn't had much attention for a while, but now that Wedding is finished, I took Mouse & Robin to Patchwork Group and stitched the holly leaves at the bottom right.

April is working the headless horseman scenario.  Next up is the watering can, followed by her head and wings.  Then will come the back stitch and finally the lettering.

Corgi is coming on.  The grey stitching on the left is part of the background and there are less than 20 stitches to go before I hit the left hand edge.

Finally some progress to report on Angelique.  If you look very very closely at the bottom of her dress, you will see 34 one block Algerian eyes stitched with one strand of DMC white.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will show up better when the back stitching has been done.

Carnation has suffered from evening commitments this week - the ballet, Patchwork Group and babysitting for a colleague.  However I have managed to finish one block and therefore row 12 is complete!  I am also two thirds of the way to my monthly target - 4 blocks complete out of 6.

Train of Dreams got the benefit of the lovely morning sunshine today and is now two blocks further into column 5.  That makes 4.5 blocks out of 6 for this month.

In other news, I put on 0.5lb this week (Chinese takeaway etc) so am back to 11 stone 6.5lb.  However, easy on is generally easy off so I just need to try a little harder this week.

I'm going to finish now as this is the second time of typing (Blogger ate most of my first post), so all the best to you and yours and may the frog steer well clear of your stitching.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

And the sun finally shone!

What an absolutely gorgeous day!  The sun shone brightly and I went for a walk with my friend and her Mum through the grounds of Calke Abbey in Derbyshire.  We parked in the village outside and walked up the road through the grounds.  There were so many cars going past that we were convinced that there must be some special event on.  When we got to the place where you have to pay for parking, we asked the lady in the kiosk and she said "No, its Sunday and the sun's shining".  I took a few photos, but they aren't very good - partly because I don't take enough photos, but also because my transition lenses had gone dark so I couldn't see clearly.

This is a view of Calke Abbey through a large picture frame that stands beside one of the tracks for you to take photos through.  As you can see, I didn't quite get the frame squared up in my view finder.

This is a photo of part of the herd of red deer that live in the park.  It was such a nice day that they were having a little bath.  Apparently there are also fallow deer, but we didn't see any of them.

This week has been a good week for stitching.

Stitching on April, I managed to get the whole of the bottom section of the right hand angel's apron finished.  The next stage will be her arms and the watering can that she is holding.  In order to help with the lettering, I have bought a copy of "Alphabets Galore" by Leisure Arts, following a suggestion from Jules.  I have found a couple of possibilities already - just need to get this second angel finished, so that I can see how much space I have got to play with.

Moving on to Corgi, I just want to say how easy this chart is to use and how much I like the subtlety and shading that is coming through as I stitch.  However I need to make better use of my lunchtimes for stitching this than I currently have been.  I get sidetracked by other people's blogs and next thing I know, time is up and I have to get back to work.

Really pleased with my progress on Carnation this week.  I wanted to get six blocks done this month - well, I'm halfway there already with three blocks completed!  Just one more block on the current row to do and then I can move down to the next one.

And a mini happy dance on Train!  Two full blocks and one partial block later, and column 4 is finished!  Now I can feel that I really am more than halfway through these pages!

In other news, despite the non-slimming diet required by small people having a sleepover, I have maintained this week, so still 11 stone 6lb.  I am quite happy with this under the circumstances.

If I've counted my days right, this time next week is WIPocalypse, so hopefully I will have some good progress to show and lots to see on all your blogs.  So all the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay away from your stitching.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

2014 Goals - February Progress Report

I know that it is really March now, but I think that continuing to do an end of month progress report will help me maintain my mojo.  I did say in last week's post that I wasn't expecting to achieve much stitching this week due to evenings out and a sleepover, but I do have some progress to show you.

1. Start and complete wedding present for friend

This was my focus piece for the last week and, as you can see, this is an almost completed goal in that the stitching is complete.  I want to find a suitable frame, wash the stitching and mount it in that order - that way there will be less chance of it getting dirty or crumpled in the meantime.  Hopefully I can get this piece finish finished and wrapped by the end of March.

2. Complete "April" by August

I hit target for February's goal on this piece.  Angel 1 is complete, including the back stitching, and I have made good progress on Angel 2.  I would like to have Angel 2 finished by the end of March and a decision made about the lettering of the word "April" which is going to go between the angels.

3. Start and complete "Corgi" by September

I think that I can definitely call this started now.  Corgi has one eye, his nose and his mouth.  I'm quite enjoying this.  The chart is nice and clear, the shading is subtle, and I think that the finished piece is going to look very good.  If I could finish the current page by the end of the month, that would be very satisfactory, but I think that half a page is more likely.

The remaining goals have not made much progress this month.

4. Complete "Guardian Angels" by Christmas at the latest

Unfortunately this is the same photo that you saw in my January progress report.  I really have to be in the right mood to work on this piece, I have to have an adequate block of time and the light has to be good.  Mood, time and light have all been lacking this month.  For next month, I just want to be able to prove that I have actually stitched on this piece.

5. Complete at least one page on "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose"

This is the same photo as last week - focusing on completing "Wedding" meant that this piece went to the wall.  I completed 5 blocks during February, which is not very impressive.  There are 60 blocks left on the current page, which means that in order to complete this page by the end of the year, I need to stitch 6 blocks per month.  So my goal for March is to stitch at least 6 blocks, which will complete row 12 and start row 13.

6. Complete current pages of "Train of Dreams"

Once again, this is last week's photo, but I have a different excuse for lack of progress.  I had littlest niece for a sleepover this weekend, so there was lunch out, watching "The Lego Movie" and so on and so forth, and no stitching on Train.  Counting partial blocks as half blocks, there are 59 blocks left to stitch on these two pages, so again I need to stitch at least 6 blocks per month in order to complete this section by the end of the year.  So my goal for March again is to stitch at least 6 blocks, which will complete column 4 and move into column 5.

7.  Christmas ornaments for my nieces

Still far too early for this one!

In other news, I lost the 1.5lb that I put on last week - easy on, easy off.  I had a great time with littlest niece this weekend, and ate all sorts of non-Slimming World food, but who cares?  I just wish that the weather would sort itself out - I can hear that its raining again outside.  However it could be worse, so I'm sending my best wishes to you and yours, and may the frog stay away from your stitching.