Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Garden Is In Full Bloom!

I've been stitching like a mad woman the past few days in a desparate effort to finish last year's Papillon mystery SAL How Does Your Garden Grow before the end of the month, and last night I finished it!!!! Stitching on that last bead was SO satisfying. I love the effect as a whole, am very happy with the colours I chose and am pleased with myself for trying such a big piece with so many speciality stitches, but I won't be in a hurry to do another lol. I love my cross stitch and this has definitely been out of my comfort zone. The frog visited several times and I had issues with beads working themselves loose when I was using nylon beading thread. Only halfway through did I find Nymo which I now LOVE. Now comes the hard part and trying to turn it into a bellpull once I get some ends lol. I pestered Sally on msn earlier for hints and tips on how she finishes hers, and think I have a bit more of an idea what to do now, it's just plucking up the courage to actually do it. So watch this space...

I've also been working on my HAED Cabin In The Woods on a Wed and Thur evening as part of the SAL with Sally and Claire and also the Our Friends HAED SAL . Last Wed and Thur I spent a little more time on it than usual and I didn't want to put it away after Thur, so I'm hoping I'm getting into it a bit more again and can give it some more attention and see some good progress soon.

I've also made a start on one of my PIF's and think I might do more on that tonight. They aren't due til November, but I had an idea for them and want to see if it works out. As it's hopefully going to be for a gift I can't show a pic unfortunately.
So the first three months of 2009 have been very productive for me. Two BAP finishes and one small, and I'm feeling really motivated to finish as many more wips this year as possible and reduce that list a bit. I'm not sure what I'm going to focus on next though so I think for a little while until I do decide I'm going to spend more time on Cabin, and work on my pif's or other small gifts I need to do when I need a break from it.
Thanks to all who visit and especially those who take the time to leave me a comment, it makes my day to know my stitching interests others.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting There!

Time has run away with me again and I realised it's over 2 weeks since my last post.
We've been decorating our hall and stairs in that time, well I should say DH has and I've been trying to stay out of his way so we don't end up coming to blows lol. I must say he's done a brilliant job and we are just waiting for the carpet to be fitted now, which is being done tomorrow. I love the smell of new carpet, am I strange? No, don't answer that lol.
On the stitching front I pulled out the Papillon mystery sal from last year, How Does Your Garden Grow. When I last stitched on this I'd just finished part 5, and I'm now stitching part 10! I took this pic after finishing part 9 at the weekend. Parts 6-9 seem to have stitched up very quickly, but these last few ones seem quite a bit more involved with lots of new stitches, so I'm thinking it's going to go slower now to the end.

I also picked up Cabin for a couple of days and did a tiny bit on it. The last time I worked on it it didn't go well and I ended up frustrated and with a headache which put me off, so I decided I needed to try again and see if it needed to go away for a while. I'm pleased to say it went okay this time and although I didn't manage much I enjoyed what I did, so I think it will be coming out again tomorrow for the sal with Sally and Claire and I might carry on with it for the HAED blog sal on Thursday. I'll post an update pic of it next time.
And talking of SAL's, I'm starting another at Easter hopefully, and another HAED one at that lol. Last week Claire rak'd me with the gorgeous QS Rae by Hannah Disney. I just love her colours, so bright and cheerful, so made a deal with myself that if I can finish HDYGG by Easter I'm going to start her. So then I decided I needed company and had to corrupt some other stitching friends lol. I think I've convinced Claire and Sally to join with Jasmine Beckett-Griffiths' TT Purple Dragon and Dawn with Molly Harrison's Pink. We're not doing anything structured, just using it as an excuse for a new start really lol. I know I need another HAED wip like a hole in the head, but hey, who cares!
Til next time, hope the stitching bug keeps spreading! x

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another Finish, An Award & My Interview

First of all I want to thank everyone who left lovely comments on my Cirque finish last week. I had a record number of comments which really made me feel glad that I keep blogging, even though I don't do it as often as I'd like to ideally. It's been wonderful recently to see more readers and commentors and makes it all worthwhile so thanks again, I hope to see many more of you pop by and say hello in the future.
The Cirque chart and remaining HDF silks have both been sold now, thanks for the interest.
So it seems that you all like to see finishes, and I aim to please! Over the weekend I finished my Country Cottage Needleworks/Crescent Colours Thread Pack "Cottage Garden" which has been my travel project since January. I tried working on Cabin for a couple of days after finishing Cirque but ended up with an awful headache and feeling frustrated, so decided to try Cottage Garden and loved every minute.
The fabric is Jayne's Attic "August" from 2007 I think and just made the colours pop when I did the floss toss. I don't yet know how I'm going to finish it, am considering trying my first mattress pincushion, but am a bit scared to try it, so we'll see. I'll be putting the gently used chart up for sale/trade on my Wish List & For Sale Items Blog which you can see in my sidebar after I've finished this post if you're interested.
Next, a couple of weeks ago Sally gave me an award on her blog.
These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. I am to choose eight friends to share this with.

I love all the blogs I read so this is difficult for me, but I will try. If your blog is not listed please do not think I do not love your blog, I wish I could nominate you all.
Next up Helen was interviewed recently and asked if anyone would like to be interviewed by her in turn. I have to reply to her 5 questions and then ask if anyone would like to be interviewed by me. Please leave me a comment if you would like to be interviewed. Here are Helen's questions.
1. How long have you been stitching and what got you started?
I've been stitching 13 years now. I started stitching after getting together with DH and going to visit his mum for the first time. She was a cross stitcher at the time and it intrigued me. So off I went and bought a magazine with one of the freebie kits on the front and I was hooked lol.
2. Have you got a favourite designer and if so what is it that appeals about his or her designs?
I don't have one favourite designer, but I do tend to lean towards a few like LHN, CCN, Just Nan, Drawn Thread and HAED.
3. Do you do any other crafts apart from cross stitch?
I did try card making and scrapbooking and for a while, but they've now fallen by the wayside and I'm left with drawers full of tools that are unused as my stitching addiction has decided it won't share me lol.
4. If you could choose to own a whole set of any kind of thread what would it be and why?
It would have to be HDF or Crescent Colours. I love stitching in HDF silks and I adore the colours of CC threads with their subtle variagations.
5. Is there any stitching skill that you do not have and would love to learn?
I've tried hardanger and loved it and would like to do more in future. At the moment I'm wanting to try needlepoint and have a small Sue Hawkins kit in my stash ready. I really would love to learn to use my sewing machine with confidence though so I could expand my choice of finishes.
Helen also let me know recently that my offer to run the Craft Shop in her Village had been accepted! I'm so excited as I've always wanted my own craft shop. I understand that Karan would like to work in the shop so if you're reading this and would like an interview please let me know.
And finally here is a pic of something I bought on a trip to Liverpool last month. I've been looking for something for ages to display my tucks and hanging ornaments etc, and when I saw this I just had to have it. I need to stitch lots of for it as you can see, and eventually would like to make it a seasonal tree, but think it will be a while.
Hope you all have a wonderful week and you don't have any visits from the pesky frogs. I'm back stitching on the Papillon mystery from last year, How Does Your Garden Grow, so will have an update on that next time.