Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review Of Yiotas Cross Stitch Kit

About 10 days ago I received an email from Yiota about her kits that she does.  Yiota runs her own small online cross stitch business and asked if I would like to review one of her kits, free of charge.
I immediately went to have a browse through her site, which I found to be clearly laid out and I was able to navigate through all her kits without any problems.
As soon as I saw her Serenity Prayer kit I hoped straight away that I would be able to review it, and was really pleased when Yiota said that it would be ok and she would get it in the mail to me.
The kit arrived packaged very securely last Saturday, but as it was my Birthday weekend I didn't get chance to do anymore than open the main package and check that all was okay. It is only today that I've been able to get everything out and have a good drool lol. Here is the front of the package.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppAnd the back.Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
The kit comes in a clear envelope and contains the cover sheet with a colour picture, instruction page and key on another separate page, chart, 14ct aida, needle and Madeira threads pre-wound onto bobbins and clearly labelled. The quality of the paper is good and the print is very clear. This chart is over four A4 pages and whilst in some parts the stitching and therefore symbols are dense the chart has clearly defined grid lines for ease of work and for those who like to grid their fabric as well rather than stitch cross country.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
As most of my stitching friends know, I HATE kitting up projects, pulling all those threads, then winding them onto bobbins or putting them in flossaway bags, so this to me is a dream come true lol, all the threads ready to go, easy to sort etc. As I'm an evenweave and linen convert from a few years back, I will be changing the fabric before I make a start on this, but have to say that the aida is a lot softer than I ever remember it being when I used to use it which was a pleasant surprise.
At the end of 2011 I worked out my stitching plans for the first few months of 2012, which didn't include starting anymore large projects. At the moment I am holding strong, but I have to say that this kit as a whole, because of it's quality, is calling to me now as the verse is really something I need to take heed of, so you may be seeing some wips pics before too long lol.
After this experience with Yiota, her website and the kit itself I will definitely be keeping my eye on her site in future and would not hesitate to recommend that people go have a look for themselves and give one of her kits a try.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Whoohoo For Rotations!

I seriously can't believe how well my rotation and stitching in general are going so far this year. I know a lot is due to me being in so much less pain from my coccyx for now and it will probably not last, but I'm making the most of it lol.
Since my last post I've worked on all my rotation pieces, but have only taken pics of the ones I've not photographed for a couple of weeks.
Mondays are time for me to spend with my HAED QS Alisha and although progress with working on this just one day a week is very slow I'm really enjoying it. I'm not rushing, just enjoying each stitch. Although I'd love to get this finished sooner rather than later I think I'm finally realising that it's better to make slow progress and enjoy it than rush and end up putting it away again because I'm sick of it.
Tuesdays are my LK SAL of 6 Fat Men with Sally and this is so much fun to work on. Sally and I have veered off in opposite directions with this so it's nice to be able to see what the other has stitched each week. Again I've been alternating stitching snow and the house.
This week's final pic is of my Nouveau Encore Designs Personalised Sampler. I've only photographed the page I'm working on at the moment, but it's getting there and I think I can see the halfway point on the horizon!Prairie Schooler's September also had some attention the other day but hubby decided to scupper my plans and came home earlier than usual on Wed night so I quickly had to throw everything down the side of the sofa so he didn't catch me with my secret stitching!
And I've now finished the backstitch strips on Cottage Garden, have attached the interfacing, fraystopped the edged and cut all the pieces, so it's now ready for me to start whipstitching it into a mattress pincushion. Sunday is my free choice day and I'm keen to get this finished up as soon as possible so I think it might be coming out then.
Well I'm expecting hubby and DD home anytime to shatter my peace so I'd better go and look like I've been doing something useful! Have a great weekend and til next time, happy stitching!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year, Two New Starts, One Finish

I'm really pleased to say that so far 2012 has been a fab stitching year. On New Year's Day I had my first new start of the year and also my first finish! Sally and I had decided on a quick SAL for New Year, similar to the one we did last year. We both stitched Kelmscott Designs Miniature Monogram Hornbook. I stitched mine 1x1 on 32ct white linen using a HDF custom colour called Peacock Crowns. You can't really tell from the pic but the colour is the same gorgeous green/blue you see in peacock feathers and I love how it turned out. I'm hoping to get it finished finished over the weekend or early next week, and will post another pic then. The chart is now available on my For Sale page on the link at the top of the page. As I said in my last post I'm attempting to stitch from stash for at least the first half of this year, and will be using any funds I can make from the sale of stash that I'm parting with to either buy fabric & threads for charts I already have, or save up so I can make a dent in my growing wishlist when the challenge is over. I will be adding items all the time as I finish projects and also get the rest of my stash organised, so please keep checking for new goodies as they become available.
My other new start was Prairie Schooler September which is to be a gift for DH at some point when it's eventually finished lol. On Wednesday when DD went back to school I decided to finish kitting a few things up. I chose fabric for LHN's Quilting and for Gentle & Kind, and pulled the fabric and floss for September, intending to leave it at that. However the rotation I had worked out meant me stitching on September on a Wed night when DH usually goes out, so the next thing I knew I'd cut and prepped my fabby, found the centre and put in the first few stitches! This design is really not something I'd usually choose and it's also not my usual colour choice, but you have to do some funny things for love sometimes don't you lol. One thing I did make sure of was that I chose 40ct fabric so that I could stitch it 1x2 which is my absolute favourite, to make it more enjoyable.
I've also made progress on Alisha, 6 Fat Men and my Personalised Sampler but I'll save pics of those for next time.
I would like to start either LHN Quilting or Gentle & Kind soon. They are both for gifts and I'd like to make them into mattress pincushions, however I've never done one before! A long time ago I stitched LHN's Cottage Garden intending to make that into one, but I never got further than stitching the main design and starting the backstitch on the front piece. So I've dug that out again and have now done the backstitch on the front and back pieces and most of one of the edge strips. I need to either find some iron on interfacing which I THINK I have somewhere around here, or go buy some, so that I can starting trying to make it up into a pincushion once the backstitching is finished.
Well I think that's about it for now, can't quite believe I've managed to post again so soon after my last one lol, let's hope I've started as I intend to go on!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Year Ends, Another Begins

I know it's not quite 2012 here yet but my regular readers will know how rubbish I am at posting so thought I'd do it today while I'm in the mood lol.
First of all I have lots of updates on my life in general since my last post so here goes.
The day after I posted last I had an appointment with my doctor about my depression and we agreed to keep going as things are, taking one day at a time and hoping that the second operation on my coccyx would prove to give me some relief again, along with waiting for my counselling to start and also hoping to get approval from our NHS trust to be referred for a coccygectomy if necessary.
Anyway, I went home and a couple of hours later had a call from my doctor who said he'd just chased the trust again and they had given approval, so he was in the process of referring me for the coccygectomy! Then later that afternoon I had another phone call, from the counsellor this time, who said that she had had a cancellation and was I interested in starting my sessions on the Friday!!! So within 24hrs everything changed.
So as of now my pain after my second operation is greatly reduced and I'm taking it one day at a time and hoping it lasts as long as possible. I've had a letter from the hospital about the referral for the coccygectomy and will be making my first appointment in the New Year to start looking into that if it comes to it. I've also had a couple of counselling sessions which although so far I don't feel have had any benefit, I'm trying to keep an open mind about.
Now onto what this blog is meant to be about, stitching! One very welcome result of being in a lot less pain with my coccyx is that at the moment I'm able to sit comfortably for much longer than I was and so my stitching time has increased again finally!
I haven't been following a rotation, have just stitched on what I've wanted when I've wanted really, except for my SAL with Sally on Lizzie Kate's 6 Fat Men which we have been doing on a Wednesday night. Here is a pic taken this morning with it as it stands.
I'm really enjoying stitching on this although have to say everytime I stitch a snowy design I wonder why because I hate stitching with white lol! The solution I think I've found is to do a bit of white then when I get bored I move onto a different area with another colour, and so on.
I've also stitched some more on my Nouveau Encore Designs Personalised Sampler and have finally finished my 8th page out of 20. This page seemed to go on forever as it overlaps quite a bit onto the other pages, but hopefully when I get to those pages they won't take as long lol. I still can't seem to get decent pics showing the true gorgeous colour of the silk, maybe in the Spring when we get some brighter weather lol.And my final stitching has been on my HAED QS Alisha. I don't know how but I did finally manage to get a pic which shows the true colours of this one, they are so yummy!
I'm so happy that because I'm able to sit and stitch for longer at the moment I seem to have got my enthusiasm for my stitching back again, and so I'm hoping to work things out and get back to a rotation in the New Year. Sally and I were chatting a few weeks ago and if you read her blog you'll know that she has decided to try to stitch only from her stash for the first half of 2012, except for any fabric and threads needed to complete charts she already has, within reason. Well mad woman that I am I decided that this seemed like a good idea because I already have more stash than I and probably all my lovely blogging friends can stitch in our lifetimes haha! So I have agreed to join Sally in her challenge which will begin on 1st Jan. Funny thing is, I seem to have volunteered to start my challenge early as I saw some charts a couple of weeks ago that I would love to get. However when I was looking for my New Year's Day start which I'm happy to be doing with Sally again (Kelmscott Miniature Monogram Hornbook this year) I came across yet more charts that I'd forgotten I had, and it just reminded me how much stash I have and how much I'd love to actually stitch some of it in 2012 instead of just collecting it lol! I've also had some gifts half kitted up for at least a couple of years which I'd really like to get stitched so that I can give them to the recipients in 2012, so I've dug those out as well.
I was trying to see earlier by going back through my old posts if I'd recorded how many wips/ufos I started 2011 with, but I unfortunately I didn't. I do have a strange feeling that it was 11, and I currently have 10, so I'm going to say that that's progress hehe. So in order that I can keep track of my stitching in 2012 I'm making a list of those wips/ufos now. I've decided that my main goal for 2012 is to reduce that list by another one, so getting it down to 9 lol. Keeping this in mind will also hopefully stop me getting too carried away with new starts, although I do have several planned, but the idea is to keep them reasonable so they can all be finished in 2012. In my dreams I'd love to finish QS Alisha and my Personalised Sampler in 2012, but I'm sure I said that at the beginning of this year and it didn't happen, so we'll see.

1. HAED QS Alisha
2. Nouveau Encore Designs Personalised Sampler
3. LK 6 Fat Men
4. HAED Cabin In The Woods
5. HAED SK Moon Fantasy
6. HAED Romeo & Juliet
7. HAED QS Garnet
8. HAED QS Always Dreaming
9. Cross My Heart School Of Dolphins
10. L&L Celtic Autumn Alternative Colours

As for planned new starts, these are:-

1. Kelmscott Miniature Monogram Hornbook (New Year SAL with Sally).
2. Prairie Schooler September (gift for DH who really loves this design which means it's a must stitch as he doesn't usually show much interest in my stitching lol) Aiming to stitch this when he's on a late shift at work etc so that I can do it in secret.
3. LHN Gentle & Kind (gift for DH's Nana).
4. LHN Quilting (gift for MIL).

Obviously I have loads more ideas for things I'd like to start, but those are at the top of the list for now. Rotation wise I'm going to try going back to a rotation:-

Mon - HAED QS Alisha
Tue - LK 6 Fat Men SAL with Sally
Wed - PS September (DH is usually out on a Wed)
Thur - LHN Gentle & Kind/Quilting (haven't decided which to start first)
Fri/Sat - Nouveau Encore Designs Personalised Sampler (have decided to try to focus on this and hopefully make good progress by stitching on it two nights a week)
Sun - Free Choice (this way if I'm really enjoying one of my wips I can give it some extra time, or if I miss a night stitching on something because we're busy or whatever then I have a chance to catch up).

Well, that post turned into a bit of a marathon I'm afraid, congratulations if you're still here and still awake! lol I hope you all have fun seeing in the New Year in a couple of days, and that 2012 is everything you hope for. I'm nervous of what the year may bring with my depression, possible major operation, counselling etc, but also hopeful that it is going to be better than 2011 has been, and that I'll be able to do lots of lovely stitching along the way.
Til next time, hugs and happy stitching...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Don't Know Where To Start

It's been so long since my last post, although I've been wanting to blog for a couple of week just thinking about it has made me feel totally overwhelmed as I had no idea what to say.
So I thought the best thing would be just to do a quick post which will hopefully get me back into it a bit and I can then go from there.
The last couple of months have been really tough for me, my depression seemed to come back with a vengeance all of a sudden and nothing I tried helped. I did end up visiting my doctor who put me on medication but they actually made me feel worse, along with some unpleasant side effects, so I stopped taking those a couple of weeks ago. For now I'm just taking it day by day and hoping that one day soon things start to get easier. I'm seeing my doctor on a fortnightly basis to make sure things don't get out of hand and have also been accepted for counselling but unfortunately there's a waiting list so I have about another 2/3 months left to wait I think before that will start.
I've also been in a lot of pain with my coccyx problems again, the pain unfortunately had got to the point where it was a lot worse than before my first operation in April which helped me be more or less pain free for 3 months. Anyway, I'm pleased to say that my consultant agreed to do the same operation again, which I had done on 25th November, and although it's still early days I'm hoping that it's worked again and I might be lucky and get longer than the 3 months relief this time. I'm also waiting to find out if my local NHS Trust will agree for me to be referred out of the Trust to enable me to see if I can actually have my coccyx completely removed. It's a major operation with up to a year recovery afterwards, but my consultant thinks I'm an ideal candidate for it because of my symptoms and reaction to the treatments I've had so far, and as I can't have the op I've just had done again because of the long term side effects then it's really my only option. At first I said there was no way I wanted the removal because of how major it is, but then I got to thinking that I'm 38 now and in chronic pain on a daily basis, with maybe 40 years life left in me. I really don't know if I can handle the thought of another 40 years in this much pain, so maybe up to a year recovery for the big op if it works would be worth it. Anyway, the decision might be taken out of my hands if I'm not approved, so guess I'll just have to wait and see and hope for some relief from the recent operation for now.
Stitching wise I'm afraid I've managed very little over the last couple of months because of the pain. I can't sit in my normal stitching position at the moment and the position I now sit in I can't do for long as I get stiff and achy, so when I have stitched it's just been for a little while, and I've often had several days in a row when I've not even picked it up :( I use my stitching as stress relief and relaxation so it's really hard not to be able to fall back on it like I used to. But I have managed a couple of finishes. First up is the IStitch Mystery SAL which I was determined to keep up with. I stitched this 1x1 on a piece of 28ct unknown hand-dyed fabric using a skein of Vikki Clayton's HDF silk.
My other finish is my 2011 Christmas ornament for our tree. I've stitched an ornie for our tree for as long as I can remember now. This year I told DH and DD that I really didn't think I'd be able to do it because of how little I've been stitching, but when I saw their dismayed faces I knew I had to try. So as this Shepherd's Bush Merry Be came as a kit I thought it would be the easiest option. I really enjoyed stitching it as it turns out, but the finishing cause me a lot of stress! I've never done ribbon edging before and it took me about a week to work myself up to do it, but I'm ecstatic with the results and I've learned several lessons for when I do this sort of finishing again.
I also had a new start but haven't taken a pic yet. Sally and I began a SAL of Lizzie Kate's Six Fat Men a while back and I'm really enjoying it. I've stitched the first chart, Snowed In I think it is, and am about halfway through the next, Snow Friends. Last night I stitched on it for longer than I've stitched in one go in a good while and it felt so good, here's hoping things are starting to improve.
Well, if you're still here and made it through thanks so much. I hope to be back soon with a pic of Six Fat Men, positive news on the operation etc and talk of Christmas which will soon be here!

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Happy Dance & More Progress

I was determined not to leave it so long before blogging again this time, so am back with a few more pics for you.
First up is my finish of LHN's Travelling Stitcher which I've been stitching as a SAL with Sally. I've really loved stitching this design and it was really special as we started our SAL in person when we met for our stitchy day back in August. With this in mine Sally and I agreed that we'd like to stitch both our initials on the design to remember it. The chart is now available on my For Sale page at the top of this page, along with the A New Day chart which I finished recently. Please go have a look and see if anything takes your fancy, and contact me if so.
Next up is Part 5 of Carol's IStitch Designs Mystery SAL. Looking forward to seeing what Part 6 looks like next weekend.The final pic today is of my HAED QS Alisha by Hannah Lynn Disney. I've been working on this one night a week now for a few weeks and am really enjoying doing one night on it, but don't think I'd want to do more as the confetti is hard going. I've decided for now to stick with this as my only HAED wip as it's the closest to being finished, although it's still a long way off. Once that is done then I intend to pick Cabin back up again and focus on that. But I reserve the right to completely change my mind at any point lol.I've spent this morning tidying my stash by putting away threads from various finished projects and then pulling threads for Lizzie Kate's 6 Fat Men which Sally and I are going to start soon as our next SAL. Unfortunately I haven't got a suitable fabric big enough, so am going to have to order some from Sew and So this afternoon I think, just hoping nothing else jumps in the cart at the same time!
I'm not sure what to stitch on this weekend. My Shepherd's Bush Merry Be Pincushion is calling as it's getting fairly close to a finish I think, so I might give that a bit of attention, but I'd also like to try to get a bit more progress in on my Personalised Sampler. The page I'm currently stitching seems never ending lol.
I hope everyone in the UK is enjoying this gorgeous weather we're having this week and making the most of it. Erin is away in Southport with my mum til tomorrow so David and I are taking the opportunity to go out for an early tea tonight. I've got some laundry to bring in but then I think I might stitch or read sat in the sun for a bit! Til next time, happy stitching...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not Much To Say But Lots Of Pics

I'm afraid that I'm still struggling here, too long a story to bore you all with & to be honest I was thinking of stopping blogging altogether as I'm sure you're all sick of my long absences, but Sally convinced me to keep blogging for now, even if it's just to post pics of what I've been stitching on, so here they are.

My Big Toe "A New Day" Framed

Lizzie Kate Welcome Baby

Shepherd's Bush Merry Be Pincushion

LHN Travelling Stitcher

Istitch Mystery SAL Part 4
I'm sorry that a couple of the pics aren't showing correctly, I can't seem to rotate them on my phone for some reason. Please also excuse the creases on Travelling Stitcher.
I'll try to be back with more pics and a bit more to say soon, but until then happy stitching.

Lisa - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone