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!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Another Finish and Update

I only started stitching this design yesterday, and have finished it this morning:

The design is Margaret Sherry's 'Hiking Cat', and it was in CrossStitcher magazine (June 2009).  I stitched it on white 28ct evenweave (2 over 2) and used DMC threads.  A great design to stitch!

I have found that I have some fantastic friends over the past few days.  There are things going on in my life that I can't talk about just yet, and these friends are really helping me out with things.  It will become clearer when I can talk about it in the next week or two.  As they say, it's at times like these when you realise who your true friends are!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, 3 May 2010

May Stitching Bloggers Question

Lee, who has the Lake Stitcher blog, has started up a monthly Stitching Bloggers Question.  This month's question is:

Suppose we say that there are two types of stitchers.   

There are those who enjoy the “process” of stitching.  They stitch for stitching’s sake and if something gets finished, so much the better, but it’s not necessarily the end goal.   Primarily, it’s the application of needle and thread to cloth that makes them happiest.

Then there are those who are “project” stitchers.  They move steadily through their projects, certainly enjoying their stitching time, but finding their greatest joy in the completed stitching.  

If you had to pick one to describe yourself, which type of stitcher would you be?  I imagine that we could all say that we fall somewhere in between, but really think hard about this and try to pick just one.  And once you’ve decided whether you’re a Process or Project stitcher, tell us if your recognize that approach in other parts of your life.

My answer to this is that I consider myself to be a 'project' stitcher.  I love the end product, and if I'm stitching a large project, I make sure I do some small items to ensure I get that 'rush' that you get when a project is finished regularly.  As for whether I recognise this approach in other parts of my life, well, I think I do...but I can't think of any obvious events to highlight this at the moment...

Feel free to go to Lee's blog to add your own answer :¬)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

GOS Challenge 6 Entry

I've stitched the GOS Challenge 6, and made a small biscornu with it.  I added beads around the edge, and used red and purple ribbon to finish it off.

Stitched on white 25ct Lugana fabric using DMC Variegated red thread (115).  Stitched 2 over 2 and the letters are 2 over 1.  Beads are Mill Hill Antique Glass Beads (03003).  It's my first attempt at the GOS Challenges, and have enjoyed stitching it.

Halloween Fairy Framed!

I picked up Halloween Fairy from the framers this morning:

The frame and mounts go really well with all the browns in the design...I'm well pleased with it!  I got it with normal glass (rather than non-reflective glass), so the beads shine through, but getting a decent photograph was difficult - the reflections were ruining the shot!  This was the best one I could get.

I've managed to stitch the GOS Challenge design, and now need to make it into something...hmmm...I think I'll also stitch the Stitch and Stash Monthly Challenge design today, then I can finish both designs tomorrow.