Sunday, 30 November 2014

MMMM post 4

Well today is the last day of Mega Mini Month Madness.  This fun SAL was hosted by Pull The Other Thread last month, and by me this month!  I haven't had anyone volunteer to host in December but I'm guessing everyone is busy with Christmas stitching so maybe someone will come forward in the New Year? (after all the Crazy Challenges are out of the way of course!)

Well, I do have two more finishes to show you, firstly this one which was my "train stitch" while commuting last week...

DMC "Make A Wish" Pirate kit
Stitched on 14 count white aida with DMC threads

and this one which is from the current edition of Cross Stitch Collection magazine...

Prairie Schooler ornament
Stitched on 14 count Zweigart "Dirty" aida
with DMC threads

There are two more PS ornaments in the magazine, I've already started the second and hope to have them all on the tree this year!

Speaking of which... HERE'S OUR TREE!!!!


Me and the boys decorated it this afternoon while hubby was at work, we also put all our nick-nacks out round the house.  You can see the Nativity advent calendar in the background with a door already open expectantly!  The first year we had these calendars, I put sweets behind all the doors when the boys had gone to bed on 30th November...well as you can imagine my 3 and 2 year old sons had the calendars on the floor and were stuffing sweets into their mouths so fast on the first morning of advent!  So now Santa's elves have to visit every night to put a sweet behind one door at a time ready for the next day.

I'm very happy with our tree this year and will be back tomorrow to show you a little handmade goodie I received this week which is already gracing the tree - can you spot it?

I will also be drawing the winner of a €25 voucher (or equivalent) for those who managed to complete four or more posts of Mega Mini Month Madness in November.  Drawing will take place tomorrow to make sure that November is over for everyone, wherever you may happen to be stitching!

Until tomorrow

Justine
Thursday, 27 November 2014

MMMM and Travelling Treasure Chest!

November is the second month of Mega Mini Month Madness!  There are 15 of us who have been stitching away on Minis throughout November, with a chance to win a voucher for those who have posted their progress four times.  I am hosting this month so have been following everyone's progress avidly.

I haven't made as much progress on minis as I would have liked this month as I've been busy with Christmas stitching but there are still four days left!  I hope to have another couple of small finishes to show off.

The Travelling Treasure Chest was a great idea by Kim of Wisdom with Needle and Thread (read all about it here).  The Chest set off at the beginning of October and so far it's visited :
Teresa of At Willow Tree Pond, Linda of Stitchin with my Furbabies, Shelly of An Arizona Stitcher, Dima of D1D2 and now it's in the UK with me!

There were lots of gorgeous things in the Treasure Chest but seeing as I am seriously trying to reduce WIPs I chose small...

The Queen Bee by JBW Designs

Flowers Limited Edition by Lizzie*Kate

I restocked the Chest and now it is on its way to Jacquie of My Journey.  I can't wait to see what she chooses!

Now I'm off to check on all the other mini stitchers for this month.

Until next time

Justine
Thursday, 20 November 2014

Mega Mini Month Madness Month 2 Part 2

Just in case you thought I had abandoned MMMM - I haven't!  I've been busy working on a biscornu for the Christmas Biscornu Exchange hosted by Mii Stitch.  It's now finished and ready to go in the post.  I'm pretty sure my exchange partner doesn't read my blog but just in case she does, I won't show it until I know it's been received.

I can show you however my latest CCN finish from the Classic Ornament Series.

Dear Santa by CCN
Stitched on recommended 32 count linen with DMC 
and Classic Colorworks thread

It needs a date with the iron, and some proper finishing off, but the cross stitching is all done.  It was a lovely quick stitch.

Not so my Red Dragon Bookmark, which is so hard I am having to do the backstitch in stages!

Red Dragon Bookmark
by Dracolair Creations
Stitched on 32 count grey linen
with DMC threads

Almost finished thankfully, then I will be searching the internet for tutorials on how to finish bookmarks.  And tossing the pattern into the bin!  It is very detailed and involves lots of fractionals and backstitch.  I'm sure it will be lovely when finished but it is giving me serious eye strain.

Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments on my last blog post.  If you didn't see it then please at least read the comments at the bottom.  It's really interesting how differently we all approach the same hobby.  Thanks too for sticking with me, I will try not to let my blog become too boring as I desperately try to reduce my WIP list!

Until next time

Justine

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My confession

Dear friends, I hope you will indulge me a little.

When I started this blog just over a year ago, I was pretty much a one at a time stitcher. I had one UFO and I hoped blogging would motivate me to complete it.


I quickly grew to love blogging and like so many was enabled to buy lots of stash. One of the first stitching blogs I came across was that of the late SoCal Debbie. I was in awe of her ability to work on so many projects at once and was soon part of her Bothy Threads Cut Thru Monday SAL, working on this lovely piece...


Soon I had signed up for the Crazy January Challenge 2014. 15 new starts later I suddenly had a huge pile of WIPs. Some of which were huge projects in their own right...

Then I discovered Heaven and Earth Designs and now have two HAEDs on the go plus another kitted up.

And then there were the exchanges...just the four of them this year...

And then I committed to 31 new starts in January in Debbie's memory...

Can you guess where this is heading? That's right. Burnout. I feel such guilt over my languishing WIPs/UFOs that stitching is becoming a source of stress rather than pleasure.

So, I'm saying enough is enough. I am going to work on one WIP at a time, with perhaps a mini project on the go for my train ride to/from work. I'm going to finish things I start. And I will be bowing out of Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge because new starts were Debbie's thing and not mine.

But because I miss her blog posts and want to honour her in my own way I'll be finishing the North Pole House and next year I will start and finish this piece in her memory, a project she encouraged me to buy as she shared my love of this story...

I hope all my readers will understand if there is a bit less variety on my blog but I hope you will stick with me and cheer me on to reduce my WIP list and rediscover my love of stitching.

Justine
Sunday, 9 November 2014

Mega Mini Month Madness - November part 2



I would like to start this post with a sincere thank you to everyone who commented or emailed me to offer the missing floss for the lovely chart gifted by Thoeria.  I thanked you all individually (I hope) but I just wanted to do it publicly too as I was overwhelmed by the generosity of so many.  Stitchers are really the best people!

I still haven't started Mini Christmas Mailbox (and here it is in all its gorgeousness just in case you missed it the first time!)

It is now singing Christmas carols to me from the bag I've kitted it up in.  Only the quiet ones so far but I'm sure O Come All Ye Faithful can't be far away!

Mega Mini Month Madness is well underway for November.  There are fifteen of us stitching along and you can find a list of blogs at the end of my post here.  Nearly all of the stitchers have posted one update and some are on their second.  Go and check out their blogs for some mini goodness!

I have of course been stitching on minis too and have a little finish to share with you...


This is a Helz Cuppleditch design which was a cover kit with World of Cross Stitching Magazine.  The backstitch is really effective but a nightmare to stitch on 14 count aida with split stitches everywhere!  But I think it's turned out OK.

Speaking of nightmares, remember my red dragon bookmark?


Here it is in all its fiendish glory.  This is most definitely the hardest piece I have ever stitched.  Almost every stitch was blended and I've never stitched a piece with so many different fractionals.  I had to stop with the backstitch as it was making my eyes squiffy even with my LED lamp.  I will be so glad when it's finished, but this could be a while as I'm waiting for some strong sunshine to stitch in!

I put it aside for a while to work on this...


The second in the new CCN Christmas Ornaments range.  As always from CCN this is a pleasure to stitch.

That's all from me for this week but I'll be back with more mini updates soon.

Justine

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A gift from Thoeria

I just wanted to share with you the lovely gift I received from Thoeria of My Little Corner of Cyberspace fame last week.

Mini Christmas Mailbox by Ruth Sanderson for HAED
[Picture from HAED website]

Isn't it lovely?  I had been admiring it on Tricia's blog The Stamper's Stitches and Thoeria noticed my comment and very generously gifted me with it.

Thank you Thoeria!  I will think of you with every stitch.

I already had a lot of the required floss as I am slowly building up my DMC collection, but I ordered the flosses where there was a full skein or more required, to make sure that there are no unwanted dye lot changes!  Elder son and I had lots of fun on Saturday winding the threads onto bobbins.  He was surprisingly good at putting the floss stickers on the bobbins and finding the correct thread!  Here is my box about three quarters done...

Neat floss makes me really happy!

Unfortunately the floss which is used in the very top corner, where I like to start, was out of stock when I ordered it, and now appears to have gone missing in the post!  So I'm not able to start yet.

I just noticed that the house number is 27 - I might have to try to change that as our house number is 127!  I'm sure I could sneak a one onto the sign.  Unfortunately it doesn't look anything like our house but I can dream!

I wonder if I could start it as part of Mega Mini Month Madness, well it is a mini after all!

Thank you again Thoeria, my friend.

Justine
Sunday, 2 November 2014

Mega Mini Monthly Madness - The Return! Post 1

I had so much fun with the MMMM SAL hosted by Pull the Other Thread in October that I am continuing into November - the only condition being that I host it!


There are eleven of us joining in so far, but there is still time to sign-up - just head to the bottom of this post before November 5th if you want to stitch along with us!  There is a prize on offer for one lucky stitcher at the end of the month.

I have changed the rules slightly as I was a bit late offering this SAL.  You now only have to post four times in November to be eligible for the prize draw, not five as previously stated.  One observant SALer noticed that you would have to have posted yesterday in order to fit five weekly posts into November.  Oops!

I will be emailing all the participants to let them know of this change.

Here's my ninth finish for October...
Decorating the Tree by Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe
stitched on 28 count mystery linen with VMSS threads

My plan for October was to reduce this bag of magazine cover kits...


There were 18 cover kits in there.  I've just recounted them and there are still 13!  I'm not sure how that happened as I had 9 mini finishes in October...

I've decided that I am only going to stitch the ones I really like and am going to get rid of the rest.  The materials included are not of great quality and I don't think I could take another month of stitching under stress, worrying if there will be enough thread included to finish the stitching!

Here's one mini that I will be pleased to finish as I have spent lots of time reverse stitching this one...
Helz Cuppleditch freebie from WOCS magazine
On 14 count white aida with included threads

I also started younger son's Christmas bookmark this week...
Red Dragon Bookmark by Dracolair Creations
Stitched on 28 count Cashel linen Pewter Grey
with recommended DMC threads

I think this is the hardest thing I have ever stitched.  It is full of fractionals and blended threads, and it is so difficult to count!  The linen is lovely to work on but I'm not sure the final effect will be worth all the effort.  It's good to challenge oneself every once in a while though eh?

Look what fell through the letterbox yesterday!
[picture borrowed from CCN website]

Isn't it gorgeous?  So that will be my next start for the month.

Why not come to join us stitching minis for the month? Sign-up here.

Justine