2015 Projects: Cross Stitch edition

Once again, I’ve been neglecting my blog! I have been stitching up a storm though, so here’s some of my progress lately!

I’m trying to set myself a list of projects to work on this year – these are all projects that I’ve either started, or am planning to start sometime this year.  I’m not going to set myself goals like last year in terms of “finish x amount”, I would like a few finishes, but my aim is to at least make progress on every one of these and hopefully post a before and after at the end of the year with my progress.

I’ve got cross stitch, embroidery, and quilting projects, which I’ll blog about separately, but I’ll start with the cross stitch as that’s what drew me back into crafting again a couple of years ago. So, without further ado:

20150122-204356.jpg

2014 “Once Upon A Time” sampler by the girls at the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  I am abysmally behind on this one as you can tell – I’m really wanting to try and smash this out by the end of the year and try and work on it in between other projects. The blocks are so adorable, but I got behind and then just struggled to catch up and ended up bailing on it for quite a while.

Stitched 2 over 2 on 28 count linen from Picture This Plus (I forget the colour, but it’s the recommended fabric).

20150122-204413.jpg

The 2015 “Story Time Sampler“, from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I’m actually on track (if not slightly ahead!) of this one, as the first clue – Alice – was released on the 15th along with the frames, and then will be on the 31st and then at the end of each month. My goal for this is to get all of the frames stitched before the next clue is released, which, barring any major difficulties I should be able to do – I’m hoping having the frames will make it easier for me to keep up compared to last year!

Stitched 2 over 2 on 36 count linen from Picture This Plus in Crystal Storm.

20150122-204420.jpg

Remember my Grey Blob? Yeah. “Mini Watching It Fly” from Heaven and Earth Designs – I’ve been doing this one forever. I pulled it back into my rotation about a month ago, and I’ve very nearly finished the top page! The stitchy bug for this one has come back and I think a large part of that is finally being able to see the clouds form (even if it did take hundreds of stitches in B5200 to get there). There’s still a crapload of grey in this but once I get across to the next set of pages at least it’s got some more variety (and then I’ll start cursing all of the confetti).

Stitched 2 over 1 on 18 count Aida.

20150122-204456.jpg

My tribute to ‘Dogloaf’, my sausage dog who died late last year – he had an awesome life and was nearly 18, but it was still very upsetting as I’d grown up with him. When I found this pattern I fell in love with it as it looks so similar to my dog. As much as it feels like a couple of the colours are identical, I love the shading that’s going on here.

Stitched 2 over 2 on 32 count linen (I think?)

20150122-204502.jpg

This is a new kit which I haven’t started, but it’s a small one and the design is quite cute.  I don’t have any specific plans for it – maybe somebody will come along that I can gift it to, who knows – but I’ve had this kit for a couple of years and want to at least make a start on it.

20150122-204510.jpg

I started doing this one ages ago for a friend’s wedding, but circumstances changed so I shelved it. It’s still adorable and I’d like to finish it at some point, whether for someone specific or if I’ll just stitch it up and leave the name blank, but I want to pull it out eventually. This one has delightful blended stitches which is always fun, but I’ve made a decent start on it at least.

Stitched 2 over 1 on either 16 or 18 count Aida.

20150122-204516.jpg

So close on this one! The fiddly border was annoying me, and then I got distracted by something else.  I really should finish this – it’s so close that it’s on the list to definitely try and do this year which I should be able to! This is another one from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and is their 2014 Christmas Celebration Sampler.

Stitched 2 over 2 on 36 (?) count linen in Crystal Gingerbread from I think Picture This Plus – I purchased a kit on Etsy for this one.

20150122-204523.jpg

I have no idea where the front of this is! This is a set of Christmas ornaments that I bought as a Dimensions Kit ages ago, back when I very first started getting back into cross stitch. I haven’t touched this in about 3 years and have no plans for whether I’ll gift them or keep them, but I’d like to get at least a bit further on these!

Fairly sure this is 2 over 2 on 14 count Aida?

20150122-204530.jpg

Hogwarts! Another one I’ve had forever and sporadically pull out – one of my friends has just finished this and it looks amazing, so I’d like to knock a bit more of this out. Maybe finish the outline, or at least the middle part of the crest?

Stitched 2 over 2 on 18 count Aida.

298f6feb015d154623a95aab2a3e9e98.image.290x400

This is going to be another new start – Mini Red Riding Hood by Heaven and Earth Designs. I stumbled across this and fell in love – I’ve already got all of the threads, bobbined up and everything, along with the fabric, ready for me to make a start. I can’t bring myself to pull this out yet though until I at least finish a couple, or at least get up to date on a few, but I’m itching to start this one. Someone I follow on Instagram is stitching this up at the moment and I just ADORE it.

Well – that’s my cross stitch projects for the year, there’s a ton of them but I’m looking forward to trying to make some decent progress on them. I’ve decided that 2015 is going to be the ‘me’ stitching year after making so many gifts last year, and this year I want all that time and effort to go towards things that I can display – some people found it surprising how much time went into making things!

Advertisements

March WIPocalypse check-in

It’s that time of the month already! The March check in post for the 2014 WIPocalypse. This month’s topic is favourite places to stitch. Technically, we are meant to show it, but my craft room is a mess at the moment as I’ve only recently turned the room into a craft room, so I still need to sort it out.

I’ve taken over the front room, and have a desk set up there with my laptop as well so that I can watch things on my computer while I’m stitching. Multitasking is one of my strong points, apparently. I keep all my projects in individual folders so that I can grab them as I need them, and the current WIPs that I have in my rotation are kept there. It means that when I decide I want to change projects, they’re handy and everything is all together (fabric, patterns, threads) as I need them so I don’t have to go hunting.

March has been promising for my WIPs! Obviously, I knocked one off the list – the large latch hook that I posted about last week. Technically it should still be on there as I do need to finish binding it, but I’m waiting on some binding to be posted out to me as this one will be hung up.

I managed to finish the February square of the Once Upon A Time sampler:

20140315-175743.jpg

How aodrable is the happy little frog!? Sadly I haven’t made any further progress on either March, the border, OR January, but I’m hoping I can knock off most of March by the end of the month. I’m still tossing up whether to work on the border exclusively, or block by block when I have the time.

I pulled out “50 Shades of Grey” and while I’ve only done a little bit of work on it, I’ve been setting myself goals of 10×10 squares (eg. I’ll finish 3 squares tonight) and I’m hoping that will make it more manageable! I really do need to finish this page, as it’s the ‘worst’ in terms of absolutely nothing going on in the pattern, once I get across to the next pages I think this will keep my attention and stitching speed up as I’ll be able to see more of the actual design.

20140315-175754.jpg

So. Many. Similar. Shades.

My snowmen is going well, however! I’ve been taking advantage of being very quiet at work to stitch in the back office when all the work is done and I’m waiting for my late arrivals.

20140315-175807.jpg

I love these fat little snowmen. It’s currently on hold though as I need to work on another project, plus I’ve just about run out of the DMC thread and I need to grab another skein (and hope the dye lots match).

March’s Cottage Garden Threads club was delivered this week, as well. I just love these colours –

20140315-175857.jpg

The design is lovely, too. The design from last month was very intricate, but it didn’t call out at me to stitch it. This one is a completely different story! It’s definitely going in my ‘to stitch’ pile that keeps growing. I also need to sketch out the progressive sampler (and also get some fabric big enough) at some point and make a start on that too.

My other project is going well, the stitchery is almost complete however I can’t put a photo up just yet as it’s a gift for someone at the start of April.

20140315-180005.jpg

I did, however, get the mini charm pack in the mail (it was a good week for craft goodies) that I’ll be using for the outer border. Such bright colours! I just need to finish up the stitchery, and then pick out the squares I want, and sew it all together. The design calls for it to be framed, but I’m tossing up turning it into a wall hanging or wrapping it around canvas, so I may take a trip down to Spotlight on my days off and sort.

How is everyone else’s WIPs going? Hopefully it has been a productive month!

Wipocalypse: February check in

I’ve been busily crafting and have actually managed to make progress on three of my WIPs! Okay, technically two existing ones, and one which I’ve just started – but now it’s a WIP so it doesn’t really matter, does it?

It’s also time for the February wipocalypse check in (a few days late, because I’m shocking at remembering dates). This month’s topic is “How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time?  Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!”

If you know me, at all, you’ll know I’m hopeless with WIPs. I’ve currently got at least 9 on the go, although admittedly I’m only working on about 4 or 5 of them currently. I think this is my max – although having 3-4 is probably better.

Previously I’d struggled with keeping up with all of my WIPs as I tend to get sidetracked by the new shiny projects, but I’ve just come across a new way of keeping up with them – setting myself mini goals. I’m going to be aiming to get to a certain point on each of these projects before switching off to the next one. That way I’ll not only ensure semi-regular progress, but I’ll also be more motivated to finish them to move onto the next thing! I’ll be giving it a try for a month or so to see what kind of progress I make – depending on how I go, I may change up my rotation habits, or see if I can’t introduce a 4th WIP into the mix.

My progress, this month, on things has been decent – I’ve finally pulled out ‘Watching It Fly’, and I’m still trucking through the latch hook.

20140219-124610.jpg

This is the start I’ve made on my Once Upon A Time sampler. It’s my first time stitching on linen and took me a bit to get used to counting – I had to redo a couple of sections repeatedly because I kept messing up the whole ‘over two’ stitches bit. I think now I’ve got a bit more of the border out, that I shouldn’t have as much trouble.

I’m definitely not going to be caught up by the time March is released, but it’s surprisingly quick to stitch up now I’m getting the hang of linen, so maybe by the end of March I’ll be all caught up?

20140219-124644.jpg

The epic latch hook is making some more progress, too – I think I’ve actually done one more column but forgot to take a picture of it. I’ve been powering through and found that watching TV shows whilst doing it is really helping, because it makes me race against the clock to try and finish 3 squares (300 pieces of wool!) by the end of the 42 minute show. So far, I seem to be doing mostly okay with this target, so I think I’ve found something that works for this. It’s still just over half done, but I’m pulling this one out next from the rotation to make some more solid work on it.

20140219-124701.jpg

Just look at all this confetti in my ’50 million shades of grey’ (actual title: Watching It Fly’) cross stitch! I finished this section last night, and it did my head in having to stitch 4 or 5 stitches of the one colour. Knowing the Heaven and Earth Designs I am aware that it could be a lot worse, but it’s still frustrating. I do love how it turns out, though.

20140219-124711.jpg

So much grey and white! But I managed to finish the section I was aiming for, after pushing myself when the endless grey was driving me crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love this piece, but it can sometimes make me loopy when stitching it. I think once I get past this page it won’t be so bad, as the next ones have more in it to break up the monotony at least.

Here’s hoping by next month’s check in I’ve made some more progress to show you all! I’ve also received another block in the month in the mail yesterday which I’ll blog about later – gorgeous, but I am refusing to let myself start until I’ve knocked at least two WIPs off my list. More incentive, at least!

How are everyone else’s WIPs going? Are you as insane as me?

Watching It Fly – 6 months progress

I wrote about this briefly in my goals post a few days ago, but I’ve had a few people ask about my epic cross stitch, so I’m putting a post up in full explaining it.

A while back, someone got me onto Heaven and Earth Designs. They created a monster – aside from this project, I’ve got a bunch more charts purchased and printed out, for when the time fairy comes to visit.

I fell in love with “Watching It Fly”, although for the sake of my sanity I chose to stitch the “mini” version, which is the same chart, just condensed. Because they’re still so large, it means that very little detail is lost.

20140109-122919.jpg

I printed out the entire chart and laid it out – you can barely see the picture here, but this demonstrates how large the project is! I’m starting from the bottom left up, and have managed to do the bottom page, as well as the full page above that, and am now midway through the next page. This will take a while.

20140109-123259.jpg

I ordered all of my threads ages ago in preparation from 123stitch.com – as much as I like purchasing them here as it’s faster, it’s hard to justify when doing such large projects as it’s almost half the cost to buy the DMC threads from the US. As you can see, there’s a lot of colours in similar shades. I may go crazy.

20140109-123327.jpg

About 6 months ago, I began the first stitches. All of the fabric you can see here is the size of the eventual finished project – the fabric is a bit longer, but I haven’t cut the right side off for fear of cutting the wrong size!

20140109-123522.jpg

Here’s a look at the finished design, and what it’ll hopefully look like. I should point out, this is a colour print out! The final result will have 74,100 stitches. Yeah.

20140109-123547.jpg

I haven’t done much work on this for about a month, but this is where I’m currently up to. Despite the pain of so many different shades of grey, it’s coming up quite well and you can start to see the clouds in the sky properly forming (along with the tiniest bit of hair!) Page 1, which I’m currently stitching, has a lot of similar stitching in it, with a god awful amount of metallic thread. I hate that stuff. Luckily, the majority seems to be on the left half, so by the time I get halfway through, I will have finished the bulk of metallic threads.  I think.

I’ve been focusing on my stitchery lately, rather than my cross stitch, but I’m hoping to go back to this, or at least put it into my rotation and work on it at least once a week. After all, one of my goals is to finish 3 pages of this, so I can’t get too lazy!

2014 – The year of finished projects?

I’m not normally one to set New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I want to try and set myself some goals.  Most of them are craft related, however I’m throwing a couple of personal ones in here for good measure. And I’m posting them here so I’m not only accountable to myself (and the internet!), but also so that I can look back in 6 and 12 months and see how I’ve gone.

My crafting goals:

Finish at least 5 projects – at least 3 which I’ve started this year.

This seems relatively easy, but if you know me, you’ll know that I’m a fan of having a lot of projects on the go – and failing to actually finish them. I can’t recall how many projects I’ve got on the go at the moment – which is terrible. I’m hoping to give some craft presents for Christmas this year – I’ve ordered them, so now I just have a little under 12 months to finish them. It’s achievable, whether I get distracted mid-project is another story.

I have, however, made a start on “Enjoy Today” that I posted about a couple of days ago – not much, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

20140103-013404.jpg

Here’s hoping that the next post, there’ll be a lot more colour to show you all!

Finish all the cutting for my “Vignette In Stitches” quilt, and finish 2 of the 16 blocks

I have made very minimal progress on this one, but that’s because I’m a) new to quilting, and b) have been so busy with work and the lead up to Christmas that I wasn’t able to properly sit down and concentrate on cutting the fabric. I’ve seen how long it’s taken some bloggers to do their quilts, so I want to keep trying to come back to this semi-regularly.

20140103-013425.jpg

The fat quarters, pre-cutting. Isn’t the range gorgeous?

Finish at least 3 full pages of my “Watching It Fly” cross stitch.

Lovingly referred to as “50 million shades of grey”, I’ll be putting up a post in the future about this. The cliffnotes version – it’s a huge cross stitch with 75000 stitches and I’ve completed just over 12000, which is about 2 pages. I am aware that I am totally insane picking such a huge project with such a limited colour palette – and you still can barely see the progress.

20140103-013451.jpg

The grey blob is the cloudy sky, and you can *just* make out the first strands of hair. I have another 4 pages to go before you can even see the hair enough to work out what it is.

Finish my three latch hooks that have been ongoing for a number of months/years

Two of these are Christmas ones that I planned on finishing last year – one which just needs binding. The third is a latch hook that will actually be cut out and shaped into a lion, to give to my nephew. I’ve completed all the latch hooking and just now need to ‘assemble’ the lion – last time I tried I got halfway through the head, and got frustrated at how fiddly it was and put it in the “too hard” basket. For six months.

20140103-013626.jpg

You can see what is going to be the lion’s head in the picture. I’m hoping it turns out well; I have other kits similar with a bear and a frog which I need to make for other people, too.

Finish a wedding sampler,before the couple’s first wedding anniversary.

This was meant to be a wedding present, and I was confident as the piece was small that I would be able to frame this myself. Turns out, I’m rubbish at this. Another trip to the framer’s is clearly going to be in order.

20140103-013656.jpg

While quite a simple design, the final piece just pops when the back stitch is added. Once I’ve framed it, I’ll post up another picture.

I’m hoping that I’ll be able to complete some other projects, both from in my stash, and as I continue to find new things from designers. However, I’m trying to aim low at this stage and actually have some completions!

In terms of my other goals:

Blog at least once a week

Not only because this way I won’t be flooding my twitter feed from people who don’t care about the constant updates, but also so that I can have a record, and by going back and seeing the actual progress I’ve made. I’ve found that having multiple work in progress pictures helps, especially when it feels like I really haven’t done much more after stitching for hours!

Re-teach myself French

I did about 6 years of French in school, and promptly forgot the large majority since I stopped lessons. It’s always handy at least having basic skills in a language, particularly working in a hotel where we have a lot of foreign guests. I’ve come across a website/app called DuoLingo which is honestly the best I’ve seen so far. Amazingly, after only a couple of weeks, I can remember quite a bit. If I get a guest coming down asking about clothing, animals, or types of food, I’m set. The rest, not so much at this stage!

Read 20 books

I’m an avid, and quick reader, so this challenge shouldn’t be too hard – except that I discard books in favour of stitching and watching TV shows. My pile of books is overflowing and I really need to tackle this. I’ve got to track down a website or app to keep a record of what I’ve read – I believe I have a GoodReads account, but don’t really use it – any opinions on how this is, or any other other options?

Well – there are my list of goals. Hopefully achievable, but enough to make me actively work towards them. Let’s see how I did in another 12 months..