Friday, 31 July 2015

A New SAL for 2016!

Just a quick post to let you all know about a new SAL coming out in 2016 that I have been anticipating for a while and will be very excited to join!

Anyone who has followed my stitching knows that I am a huge fan of Mabel Figworthy and her beautiful hardanger designs.  In fact this year I have been stitching one a month, each of which was formerly a design from her 2013 Songs of the Weather SAL.  I am so excited to report that Mabel will again be releasing another SAL for 2016:

Although sign ups are not being taken yet, you can find more information on the SAL here
I have stitched several of Mabel's charts over the years and I cannot stress enough how amazing they are!  There are full instructions and clear diagrams for every stitch and if you are still stuck Mabel is always happy to help via email in any way she can.  If you have always wanted to try Hardanger, or even if you are a Hardangerista - beginner to advanced, this will be a fabulous SAL for stitchers of all levels!
I can't wait!  For purely selfish reasons of course it means that I will continue to have a little hardanger slot each month in my rotation in 2016!
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

July Operation Threadporn Report

The results are in, the threads have been counted - here are the designs for this month!

First up July's SOTW Hardanger design by Mabel Figworthy.  I chose another unusual colour combination, until you actually stitch with a thread it's hard to know how the colour variation will stitch out.  I'm quite pleased with the results and who knew how easy it is to add beads to hardanger:

July SOTW Hardanger
Introducing ermine stitches!
A slightly more summery feel to my chosen freebie for this month, a design by The Snowflower Diaries, who incidentally posted a new freebie design to her blog this past week.  For this one I chose a OOAK hand painted sea effect jobelan that Sam from Chromatic Alchemy very kindly gifted to me last year along with cottons and silks from Nina's Threads that Chiara gifted to me via her Enigma (it has just occurred to me that I really should have used this finish for a Gifted Gorgeousness post..........muppet!):
Sweet Summer by The Snowflower Diaries
Yes I know, epic fail on the finishing front but I'm just not in the mood for it at the moment.  If I force it, everything will just get finished for the sake of it into pillows or something easy that I can do - I have better ideas, just lacking the inclination at the moment :).
I am ecstatic to report that I have this month hit the magic number as far as thread usage percentage is concerned - probably helped out by the lack of thread buying going on here at the moment!  Here are the monthly totals to date:
Percentage of hand dyed thread stash used to date: 15.51%
Number of different stitches used to date:     48
Number of finishes to date:                          24  (9 of which are FFOs)
So seven months in and my target of 15% has been reached!  Maybe I could reach 20% by the end of the year - but a thread binge could strike at anytime.......vigilance must be maintained!
In other stitching activities this past week, I've put in few stitches on Sleeping Beauty by The Primitive Hare - she is no longer levitating:

Sleeping Beauty WIP 2

I also completed Part 4 of Milady's Blossom Garden by Abi Gurden which came out on Sunday:
Milady's Blossom Garden Part 4
Loved stitching the drawn thread bands with all those coral knots!
Hoping I can stitch a word or two on my L*K before the month is out and then 1st August sees the release of the final block for Box of Delights!
Happy Stitching!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Emma and Eliza in the Garden

I figured this one would be the first of my finishes for my Summer Starts - it was just too darn cute and I adored the theme and colours!

Emma and Eliza in the Garden by Just Nan complete!
Spot the hedgies and the incy wincies!
I can see why these designs are so addictive and I expect there will be more like them to follow!  I changed a few of my original colour choices as is my prerogative - but still another 8 threads to add to my threadporn totals so it's all good :).
This brings me to finish number 22 for 2015!  I know I drive certain stitchers to distraction over the fact that most of my finishes end up in "The Drawer", I've always been more of a process stitcher than a product stitcher.  I do have five pieces of my stitching hanging in my house, two of which are huge Chatelaines - there really is only so much stitching I can take hanging in my house, otherwise it would be a "can't see the wood for the trees" situation!  I just love everything about the actual physical stitching, from picking colours of thread and fabric to deciding on which individual stitches to use for a piece.  Once a piece is finished, I'm ready to move on to the next one, taking what I've learnt from all my finishes and putting that experience into a new start, whilst always being open to learning new things along the way.  I've always been about the journey and not the destination.  Stitching for me is like the colouring in "Art Therapy" that so many people are in to nowadays.  No one asks them what they are going to do with all the colouring books when they've completed them, the act of colouring means it has served its purpose - that is like me with my stitching :).
I've finally got around to picking my threads for my Hardanger and Snowflower Diaries freebie for this month (no prizes for guessing which design I'm doing lol!):
Threadporn Choices for July
Nina's lovelies put to use!
Lastly on the subject of freebies, if you love history and stitching, then head on over to the Stitchory FB group (it's public), where Chase has flexed his designing muscles and created a beautiful Aztec inspired turquoise mandala design - educational AND fun, would more could you want!
Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

My Wimbledon Fortnight!

It was a fantastic tournament as always, the best man won on Sunday, I just wish that man had been Roger Federer :).

Anyway I managed a fair bit of stitching in between all the excitement - four new starts and two parts on my SALs, here are the pics!

Firstly I completed Block 5 on Box of Delights - the colours:

Thread choices for Block 5
Top L-R: Hearts and Flowers Ltd Ed PB24, Argentine Tango PB59, Clockwork Orange PB49
Bottom L-R: Rainforest, Blue Morpho Butterfly PB18, Over the Rainbow
The "sweets":

Box of Delights - Block 5
One more block to go!
Box of Delights Blocks 1 - 5
Up next was Part 3 of Milady's Blossom Garden:
Milady's Blossom Garden Part 3
Hello coral knots!
Then on to the new starts, firstly Living with Charm by Lizzie*Kate:
Living with Charm - WIP 2
Slightly wishing I'd chosen my own colours on 40ct but still enjoying stitching it this way!
A levitating Sleeping Beauty by The Primitive Hare:
Sleeping Beauty WIP 1
I changed the colour in her dress from GAST Banker's Grey to an unknown GAST Ltd Ed
Just Nan's Emma and Eliza in the Garden:
Emma & Eliza WIP 1
Absolutely adore this one!
I changed my choice of purple Mo cotton with a Dragonfloss one

And finally The Butterfly Garden by The Drawn Thread:
Butterfly Garden WIP 1
I just have to remember to add in the French knots to the Tansy.
I'm stitching this one in hoop and didn't want to squash them!
It was great to get back to regular stitching after quite a few months where it's been a bit hit and miss.  Unplugging from social media was definitely a bonus and is something I will be carrying forward.
In exciting international post news, I had a wonderful parcel of joy from Chiara over at The Grey Tail when she sent me the prize for winning her Stitching Enigma.  To say I was thrilled with the contents is a complete understatement and I cannot thank Chiara enough for her generosity (as well as the time and dedication organising the Enigma took!) and also Nina who chose and included the beautiful silks.  Despite knowing about Nina's Threads since 2011, I'm ashamed to say that these are the first in my collection - but after a bit of shuffling they now have their own dedicated drawer as I plan on adding to their number next year when I'm back on the thread wagon :).

Stitching Enigma prize from Chiara
Behold the Beauty!  Purples!
That's me all caught up!  I haven't pulled my Threadporn threads for this month's projects yet.  I'm feeling uninspired for Summer themed projects courtesy of the dull, grey, damp and misty weather we're currently experiencing - I can't believe it hit 30 degrees a few weeks ago!  I'm sticking with my Just Nan for the minute, maybe I'll be OAATer for a while, well at least a few days ................
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

June Achievements and July Goals

I've updated the tabs above with the evidence for the below, some of the things I stitched I didn't get around to showing as they are yet to be fully finished :).

June Goals
  • Complete Block Four on Box of Delights  - DONE!
  • Complete Part 3 of Milady's Garden (Part 3 due out towards the end of the month) - DONE!
  • Stitch the June Hardanger square for Operation Threadporn - DONE!
  • Stitch and finish my Operation Threadporn freebie for the month  - Stitching complete but not yet finished, gathering supplies :)
  • FINISH Golden Daisy - This one may well be on hold for the Summer, we'll see how it goes
  • FINISH Confetti of Hardanger (only 1 part left, a pretty big part though!) - DONE and HURRAH!
  • FINISH Jodyri Butterfly - will be made into a cushion, fabric has been bought and tassels need to be made :).
  • Then and only then can my care free easy summer stitching plans be embarked upon! - Paid notattention to this and started L*K's Living with Charm :)
  • June will be a NO SPEND stash month, I was lucky enough to be the winner of an awesome needlework prize in May so there is no excuse (unless I use the last needle I have on the planet of course!) - NOT A PENNY was spent on stash, although a few new needlework books found their way into my collection courtesy of some Amazon vouchers = FREE STASH :)
The graph representation:

June's Progress
12 days with no stitching!

July Goals
  • Complete Block 5 of Box of Delights
  • Complete Part 4 of Milady's Blossom Garden
  • Stitch the July SOTW square for Operation Threadporn
  • Stitch and finish freebie project from Operation Threadporn (an obvious choice from The Snowflower Diaries )
  • Start any or all of my Summer Starts and stitch as much or as little as I like :)

If you haven't already done so, please check out Chiara's post here, where she suggests a small way that we can show our appreciation for needlework designers by using #realstitchersdontsteal and including the original hardcopy chart in our WIP pics (pdfs are a bit more tricky but totally doable for me).  As it is something I feel strongly about, I have chosen to apply this to all my WIP pics wherever I post them.  Whilst it won't stop stealers from stealing, I hope it will help designers to realise that genuine stitchers do exist and that we greatly appreciate the time, effort and love they put into their creations and that we don't want them to give up the fight!

Now back to the tennis............................

Happy Stitching!