Wednesday, 29 December 2010

List of UFOs/WIPs and Stitching Update

Well, I've managed to get a bit of In the Arms of an Angel done this week, mainly due to Tommy watching Darts on TV all day, so I plug in my iPod, and sit stitching for most of it!

I've finished most of the blue in her dress, and also started on the 1 over 1 parts.  I've made a slight mistake in her arm, though, so will have to frog some of it.

I've signed up for a 'Crazy 2011 UFO Challenge' on Facebook, where we try to finish as many UFOs as possible over the next year.  Here are my pieces that I'm hoping to at least make a lot of progress with:

L&L: Song of Christmas

Mystic Stitch: Noelle

HAED: QS Scarlet Witch

HAED: QS Plum Gothic

Heritage Stitchcraft: Lancashire Map

Victoria Sampler: Heirloom Christmas Sampler

Heritage: Chorus Line

Margaret Sherry: Astrocats

My Big Toe Designs: A New Day

Julie Hasler: Wilbur Tapestry

Just Nan: Boo Tin

Maia: Dolphin Silhouette (actually red fabric...)

I also have a Mill Hill design - Toy Shop - that I have started, but I couldn't get a clear picture of the tiny bit that I had finished.  Along with my In the Arms of an Angel, I have 14 WIPs and UFOs...Think I'm going to be busy!

Have a great New Year, and Happy Stitching!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Stitching Update

I have been stitching over the last couple of months, but mainly on a Round Robin through Facebook.  We aren't posting pictures until it's finished, so I will have a few pictures to post at that time, but not much to show right now...

I have also been stitching and making an ornament for my Secret Santa partner at work - it is a Margaret Sherry mouse from the UK 'CrossStitcher' magazine:

I'll hopefully have more to post before Christmas, but to those readers who won't be able to visit before then, Have a wonderful Christmas, and a Prosperous New Year :o)

Happy Stitching

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Progress Update

I really like how I'm managing to stitch during term time at the moment.  In my last job, once I was back at work, I didn't have the time or motivation to stitch, as I was so stressed.  This time, as I'm working one-to-one with different children, I'm not stressed out, and I don't have all the marking to do! 

I've been stitching on two pieces this week:

This is Heirloom Christmas Sampler by Thea Deuck at The Victoria Sampler.  It is very detailed and has some intricate stitches, so I find that I only do a couple of rows before it goes back in the box.  (I think it's because it doesn't grow fast enough for me :o))

This is my progress on In the Arms of an Angel.  I love the range of bright colours in this, and find myself swapping from one area to another, although the bottom is almost finished now.

Have a good week, and Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Saturday Progress Update

Well, I've had a lovely week off work this week, and have managed to get quite a lot of stitching done.  I have only worked on 'In the Arms of an Angel', so have made good progress...

I have also booked our holiday for next year - a week in New York in August...I can't wait!  I've never been further than Amsterdam before, so going all the way to the US will be fabulous.  We are hoping to go and see a show and take a helicopter ride over the city whilst there...It will be our first holiday on our own, as the kids are staying at home that week.  We had to cancel our holiday this year, as the kids decided that they didn't want to go to Scotland and stay in a cottage, so it was cancelled.  As they will be 21, 20 and 17 by then, we decided it's about time we started going on holiday without them...

I'll hopefully update next weekend...

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Life and Stitching Progress

It's been a while since I updated my blog, so I thought I'd better get on here and do something!  I've been in my new teaching job for just over 7 weeks, and I'm loving it!  I am working with Year 2 (6-7 years) in the mornings, and Year 6 (10-11 years) in the afternoons.  I have a lot of paperwork with the morning job, but as it is one-to-one work, there is a lot of job satisfaction.

Rachel and Steven are back at Uni for their second year now, and I have spent the last three days reorganising the house - a 'spring' clean, so to speak.  Sammy has started studying in the Sixth Form for her A-Levels, and is looking at possible careers, ready for our tours around different Uni's next summer.

My stitching has taken a back seat recently - mostly due to work, but also because Sammy decided to 'sort out' all my stitching stuff, and therefore stashed all my work away - Out of sight, out of mind, as we say :o)

Anyway, I 'found' my Angel at the weekend (it's Half Term week this week, so I'm off work) and started working on her again:

I'll hopefully be able to continue working on her, now that she's back on the table...Time will tell...

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 23 August 2010

In the Arms of an Angel Progress

Here is my progress picture for L&L's 'In the Arms of an Angel':

I've stitched the beads and gold Kreinik braid on the blue section, and I've started stitching the Krienik braid on the red section.  I haven't stitched on her much over the last few days, as we went to stay at a friend's house in Rye (Sussex), and I don't think this will stitch up as quickly as my Mermaid, as I'm going back to work next week...

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Happy Dance!!!

My mermaid is finally finished!

She has taken about 5 months to complete, and there are lots of beads on her, but I'm happy with the result!

I'm now stitching on L&L's In the Arms of an Angel:

I started this last year, but she has been in my UFO box since last summer, so I'm going to work on her now.  I'll upload a progress picture at the weekend...

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Almost there...

Well, after thinking that my Mermaid wouldn't get finished by the end of the month, I'm on the last section.  All the stitching has been completed, and lots of beads have been added - I just have a lot of cream coloured beads to add to the 'froth' from her arms:

I'm already thinking that I'll move back to my Guardian Angel once this is finished...

Tom and I have decided to go on holiday on our own next year.  We are calling it our Honeymoon, since we haven't ever been on a proper holiday alone before (it will only be 21 years late!)  We have decided to go to New York City, as it is the main place that I have always wanted to go to (there are plenty of other places in the USA that we want to go to, but NYC is the closest, and we haven't been on a plane for longer than an hour before!).  We did want to book an apartment for a week, but I've been told by one of the landlords that there is a new law coming in to NYC, banning the rental of apartments for less than a month, so we will have to go to a hotel instead... You may wonder why we would want to go to a busy city for a holiday, rather than a sandy beach somewhere in the Med... Well, we hate beach holidays - we love sightseeing and going to different places to look at the culture and architecture, and lying on a beach somewhere would really drive us mad!

Have a good week, and Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

A Quick Mermaid of the Pearls Update

Here is an update picture of my Mermaid of the Pearls:
I have made a start on the rest of the beading, and have some stitching in the tail section to do, but I'm happy with how she's going...

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

A Late Update

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted anything - mainly due to being busy preparing resources for my new job, and through knitting a baby cardigan that I saw the pattern for at my local wool shop...

I've stitched another cat on my Astrocats piece:

This is Scorpio Cat, and I only have two more to do before the piece is finished: Sagittarius and Capricorn cats...

I haven't stitched any of my Mermaid for a couple of weeks...I really wanted to get her finished by the end of this month, but I can't see that happening now!

My daughters have had their pieces framed:

This is Rachel's 'Angelica', and it is quite large!  She is now stitching one of the L&L American Indians...

This is Sammy's Hummel design.  It was her first largish design, so I promised her I would get it professionally framed if she finished it...

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

An Update, and Yet Another Finish...But Not Mine!!!

A busy week...I went into work on Friday and was given a large bouquet of flowers and a gift card for M&S.  I'm going back in tomorrow to collect all my belongings (now school is finished until September), and that will be the end of working at that particular school.

I've stitched quite a lot on my Mermaid:

I'm hoping to have her finished before I start my new job in I'd better get a move on!

My youngest daughter, Sammy, has finished her first large(ish) design - a Hummel - and she is very proud of it:

I told her that I'd get it professionally framed when she finished it, so she has been working like a beaver at it - apparently she was up until about 3am last night, finishing the backstitching off!

Have a good week, and Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

A Finish....But Not Mine!!!

This is my daughter Rachel's second L&L finish:

It is 'Angelica', and it has taken her a couple of years, on and off stitching.  The face and neck is stitched 1 over 1, which she hated doing, but the effect is lovely.

She had previously stitched 'Catch the Wind', which now hangs in our bedroom, until she has a place of her own.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Busy Weekend...

A late update due to being on Camp with my Guides last weekend.  It was the Division Centenary Camp at Bowley Scout Camp in Great Harwood, and it went well.  We arrived on Friday to grey clouds and a bit of rain, but we managed to get the tents up before it rained too hard.  The only heavy rain we had was during Saturday night/early Sunday morning, which was great!  I was the designated First Aider for the Guides, and was completing my qualification at the same time.  I had to make sure I was prepared for any eventuality, so had plenty first aid supplies!  By the end of camp on Sunday, I had only had to deal with a cut finger (whilst cutting chicken for fajitas on Friday night) and a wasp sting on Saturday evening, but passed my Health and First Aid qualification :o)  The weekend was hard work, but fun...

As for stitching, I have stitched quite a lot on my Mermaid, but will wait until Saturday before I post a picture.  I also stitched another of Margaret Sherry's Astrocats:

And here is the whole design so far, with 3 cats left to stitch:

As you can see, the RR is from 2007!  When I've finished it, I'm going to stitch the names of the 5 ladies who stitched cats on it next to the respective cat.

Here is the card that I stitched for a friend's birthday:

It is a Lizzie*Kate design, and I stitched it a while ago, but couldn't post the picture until I'd given it to my friend...

I'm going to work on Friday for a visit on the last day.  It will be sad, but I'll be able to look forward to my new job once I've done it...My new job will hopefully be less stressful, but still rewarding, and it is much closer to home!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Mermaid of the Pearls Update

I've stitched a bit of my Mermaid this week:

There are lots of areas of one colour in the tail fin, so it is stitching up nicely.  I'm hoping to finish the tail fin this week...

Rachel and Steven have both had their first year results from Uni this week, and both have passed!  They can now go on to the second year of their courses in September.  Sammy officially left school this week, too.  She had her Celebration Assembly at school, where she received her leavers hoodie (with the names of all the Y11's on the back, in the shape of the number 10) and the dvd of her Prom.  I think I've seen it about 3 times now, as it was already on You Tube...
Have a good week, and Happy Stitching!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

I Got My Mojo Back...and Won a Giveaway!!!

After a couple of weeks of little stitching (mainly due to a swollen face), I have finally got my mojo back!  I have stitched a card for a friend (which I will post when it has been received), and I've stitched my Mermaid for a few hours:

I also won a giveaway on Pokua's blog, and received this ornament and postcard the other day:

Thank you so much, Pokua!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Another Update

This weekend has been one of those that I would love to forget...

My gran's funeral was on Friday, and that brought it's own difficulties.  It brought back lots of happy memories of when my gran and grandad used to take me out for days out in the red Vauxhall Viva that my grandad drove.  We went to Haworth one day, and went to look around the Bronte Parsonage.  My gran bought me a copy of  Wuthering Heights - I was only a young teenager at the time, and all the romanticism had my head spinning!  I also remember picnics by the roadside, and holidays in Scotland with my grandparents, parents and brother...Seems a very long time ago (probably is...!) and a lot has happened since those youthful days...At least I have those memories to keep...

On Saturday I had an operation on my nose.  I had a small BCC that had been biopsied, and so needed removing.  I had one removed from the same area about 18 months ago, so had an idea what to expect...The operation was done under local anaesthetic, and the injections were horrendous!  Needles stuck in the bridge of your nose are very painful!!!  Once they were done, I soon calmed down, and ended up having a conversation with the surgeon about how I'm going seeing Green Day on Wednesday, leading into what type of music we used to listen to when younger...Quite surreal when the surgeon is busy cutting into my face!  Anyway, this was how I looked yesterday, when all the swelling had come up:

As far as stitching goes, well, I haven't done any since about Thursday - I tried to put my glasses on this morning, but they won't fit on my nose yet...I now have a hands-free magnifying glass that I'm going to try this afternoon.  I only need glasses for close-up work...but only use them for stitching :¬)

This is my stitching so far:

This is My Big Toe Designs' "A New Day" (not a great photo...).  I'm stitching it on 28ct fabric, using WDW threads.  It's going to be gorgeous when finished, although it is bigger than I was expecting it to be!

This is a card that I made for Dusty as part of the Stitch and Stash Friendship Card Exchange.  It is a Lizzie*Kate design, stitched on 28ct fabric, using DMC threads.

This is my Mermaid of the Pearls so far.  Having frogged quite a lot of the lower section, I have lost a lot of my motivation to stitch her.  I have done a little of it, and I am really going to give it a go once the swelling on my nose goes down!  I really want to finish her...

Have a good week, and Happy Stitching!

Another Giveaway!!!

Just to let you know that Olenka is having a giveaway on her blog - click on the link to go to it!  She has some lovely designs...

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Recent Events...

Last week was a busy and emotional week. 

My 89 year-old grandmother was very ill in hospital all week, and she died on Saturday evening.  Even though it was kind of expected, it was still a bit of a shock when it happened, and my youngest - Sammy - took the news pretty badly.  The funeral is on Friday afternoon, and I'm trying to sort out with Sammy's school for her to go with us, as she has a GCSE exam at the time.

My close friend moved down south at the weekend, and we had a leaving party for her on Friday night.  She has had a tough time of it recently, and decided to sell up and move back to where her family are.  I'm going to miss her, although she will be coming back up here for particular things, and her two sons are staying in Darwen.

Rachel came home from Uni on Saturday.  My other half went down to Swansea on Friday and stayed at his uncles house in Port Talbot overnight, before loading the car with Rachel's belongings (everything but the kitchen sink!) and heading home on Saturday.  It was nice to see her again, and she is home until September, as is Steven, who came home the week before.

It was my birthday on Sunday, although I didn't feel much like celebrating... I spent the day visiting my mum and dad, shopping, and stitching.  I did go out on Sunday night with my mum, aunt and cousin, although that was more of a break from the events over the week.  Rachel and Steven had bought me a Maia cross stitch kit (giraffe silhouette), and Sammy bought me an Eeyore cup and a new t-shirt.  Tom (OH) bought me a bunch of carnations and roses.

As for stitching, I've not had much time this week, but I have been working on My Big Toe Designs' "A New Day".  I couldn't concentrate enough to do any work on my Mermaid, so I stitched the easier design...I'll take some pictures later in the week and post a (more cheerful!) update.

I hope everyone has a good week, and Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

News of a Summer Giveaway!

Just a note to let you know that Jennifer is having a giveaway on her blog to celebrate her first Blogoversary!  Head on over there now if you would like to enter...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Travelling Stitcher and Pesky Frogs

My stitching last week consisted of working on my Mermaid, and then having to frog most of the work I had done!  I was stitching the Kreinik braid in the tail, when I realised that something was wrong...It wasn't lining up with the green stitches that I had done previously.  I checked the Kreinik with the chart, and couldn't find any mistakes, so checked the green stitches.  Nothing wrong there, either.  I then checked the pink stripe that goes across the tail, and found that I had missed at least a row of that, resulting in the green stitches being out of sync.  I had to unstitch the green and pink - luckily the Kreinik was ok - it would have been messy if I had to frog that! 

All that frogging put me off stitching on her, so I picked up LHN's 'Travelling Stitcher' that I had started at the beginning of the year as part of a SAL, and managed to finish it:

It is straight - the photo made it look a bit curved at the top...

I've got some exchange stitching to do over the next few days, so I won't be stitching my Mermaid or Witch until later in the week.  Steven is also home from Uni for the summer now, so stitching time will probably be reduced (although he does stay in bed until about 2pm!)  Rachel comes home at the weekend, so we will have a houseful!

I'm having a minor operation in 2 weeks time.  I need a Basal Cell Carcinoma removing from under my eye, needing a skin graft.  I already have a graft in that area, so they need to remove that one with the BCC, and replace it with a larger graft from my cheek...It's going to be done under a local anaesthetic - not great, but once the injections are done, I don't feel anything until the anaesthetic starts to wear off later in the day...I'll have a lovely swollen and black eye for a week or so...which will be interesting when I'm going seeing Green Day a few days after the op!

Have a great week, and Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Organisation...At last...!

I have a new storage system for my threads, beads, Kreinik and needles:

I saw something similar to this on another blog (apologies if it's yours - can't remember where I saw it now...) and thought it was a fantastic idea!  

I bought the 44-drawer system from Maplin Electronics with a smaller version, just in case.  I then put my DMC threads, on bobbins, in the top 26 drawers (no more than 20 in each), then the few Anchor threads I have in another.  I used a small drawer each for Glissengloss/Madeira, Dinky Dyes and Caron threads (I don't have many of those at the moment), 7 drawers for Mill Hill beads (split into antique, seed, pebble, etc), and a drawer each for charms and needles.  The 3 larger drawers are for Kreinik braids/filament, Crescent Colours threads, and spare DMC skeins.  The large drawer at the bottom is split into two with a divider, and my WDW and GAST threads are in there, stored in Floss-A-Way bags on rings.  The whole cabinet sits on the floor at the side of my chair, within easy reach.  I keep the threads I am using for a particular project in a bobbin box, and they will be returned to the cabinet when the project is finished...I know, I know - too much time on my hands... :¬)

This system is much tidier than my previous 'system' - three bobbin boxes, 2 floss rings and a Really Useful Box crammed full of beads, charms and Kreinik braids!

I have also gone a bit crazy with stash-buying this month...I bought 5 lots of fabric - 3 x metre lengths of evenweave (25, 28 and 32 ct), and 2 packs of linen (32ct natural Belfast linen and 28ct ???)  I also bought a couple of charts, including some Bent Creek and Prairie Schooler ones, and these are the ones that turned up today:

The My Big Toe design is screaming at me to start it....hmmm...Watch this space!

I have done some stitching on my Mermaid over the last day or so, and will be doing more before the weekend.  I'm leaving the Astrocat until next week, with my Scarlet Witch.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Stitching (?) Update

Last week was one of those weeks that I didn't get much time to stitch...I had a headache for 4 days, so couldn't stitch while suffering with that, and I had various appointments to attend, then we bought a new carpet for the living room that needed fitting...hmmm....

I did manage to stitch the weekly Astrocat:

I took the photo before I had stitched his shoelace...This one has been more difficult than the others - I had to frog quite a few stitches on the first day of stitching...I've only got 4 more of these to stitch, then it's finished, but I'm going to catch up with my Mermaid and Witch this week I think...

I was offered a new teaching job the other day.  I have been off work with stress and depression since February, and had decided to hand my notice of resignation in, to finish at the end of August (notice periods for teachers are quite long...).  The original idea was that I was going to go on supply and look for a part time or temporary job whilst doing supply work.  However, a couple of friends gave my details to the schools that they work at, and I had a meeting with a Headteacher the other day.  He offered me a full time teaching post, teaching on a one-to-one basis, for 12 months.  I think that will do loads for my confidence, which has taken a serious bashing over the last 12 months or so... As I said in an earlier post, it's at times like these that you realise who your true friends are :¬)

Have a great week, and Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Weekly Update

What a week!

It has been my youngest daughter's School Prom, and the week has been taken up with preparations for that...nails, hair, etc!  Here she is with her friends at the side of their limo:

She had a lovely time, asking if she could have another Prom when she got home!!!

As for stitching, I've managed to complete my weekly goals:

Pisces cat is my completed Astrocat this week.  I'm moving on to Aries cat next week.

Mermaid of the Pearls has had at least 5 hours spent on her this week.  A section of the tail has been completed - lots of Kreinik braid in this!

HAED's Scarlet Witch has had about 5 hours spent on her - the last couple of days have been chaotic, so stitched on her when I could...

I've also been inspired to crochet after reading Lucy's blog.  I used to do a bit of crochet in my youth, but it went on the back burner when I started cross-stitching.  I pulled out some balls of Sirdar Denim Tweed DK wool out of my craft cupboard (from when I used to knit sweaters for the kids) and started some granny squares:

I was practising different colours for different rounds, and I have no idea what I'll actually make with them, but I'm going to do some more, and see where it gets me!

So...Next week's goals are going to be:
  • At least 5 hours on Scarlet Witch
  • At least 5 hours on Mermaid of the Pearls
  • Stitch one Astrocat
  • Crochet at least 5 granny squares
I think these are manageable whilst I'm off work - I'm basically stitching full time at the moment, which isn't good for my fitness levels and weight (I've piled weight on whilst off work) but I need to get 'better' before I can do anything about the weight problem.

Have a good week :¬)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Stitching Update

I've done quite a lot of stitching this week, on several designs:

This is Mermaid of the Pearls as of yesterday.  I haven't stitched on her as much as usual this week, so not much progress.

This is HAED's Scarlet Witch as of yesterday.  I've stitched around 1400 stitches so far.  Slow going, but seeing the picture come to life as I stitch is amazing!

This is Lizzie*Kate's 'Daughters', stitched on sparkly 14ct Aida fabric using DMC threads.  I've stitched this for my youngest daughter, Sammy, and I'm hoping to make it into a wallhanging for her.

This is Margaret Sherry's 'Cancer Cat' from the Astrocats calendar 2007 - it was a free gift with an issue of CrossStitcher magazine.

I chose to stitch these as part of a Round Robin with an old forum back in 2007, and five people stitched cats on it.  I was supposed to stitch the other 7, but this is the first one I've done (since about January 2008!)  I pulled it out of my UFO box the other day and started stitching...

I've decided to give myself weekly targets, as my stitching is a bit erratic at the moment.  Someone on Facebook gave me the idea, so here goes:

Week beginning 10th May:
  • Stitch at least 5 hours on Mermaid of the Pearls
  • Stitch at least 5 hours on Scarlet Witch
  • Stitch one of the Astrocats
The idea is that I don't stitch anything else until these targets have been done...We'll see how it goes...

Have a good week!