Tuesday, 26 December 2017

My Epic Last Post of 2017

This will be the last post of 2017.  What a year I had, stitching wise.  As I'm now back to working full time hours, my stitching time has decreased dramatically, so I doubt I'll ever have as good of a year as 2016 and 2017, as I was, for lack of a better word, a machine.  But I will continue to just plug along with my projects and keep on keeping on.

For my past post I have an update on Wind Moon.  I had wanted to have 2 pages to show you, but alas, I ran out of time and I will not get this page done by the New Year, so I must admit defeat. 

Also, for ease of project, I'll take photos of the page finish with Wind Moon, but I'm only going to take her out of the frame when I have a row finish.  I think it will give it more of a oomph at the completing of a row anyway.  Worth the wait? Let me know if it isn't.

So here is Page 15 of Wind Moon. Like I said, I rushed forward to try and complete page 16, so about half of page 16 is done, but as it's not a complete page, I won't count it.

Not much to see, and kind of a boring update, but there you go.

Now for the really pretty reveal.  Remember the Snow stocking I did?  Well here it is, all stitched up.  I sent her off at the beginning of the month and the little girl I gave it to was able to enjoy her new stocking for Christmas.

She was beautifully sewn by my friend, Arwen.  We used a grey satin base and used a chiffon overlay that had sparkles sewn in to the fabric.  The result was stunning.  I think of all of my stockings, this is the one I'm the most proud of. 

I thought I'd share with you my page finishes for the year.  I don't know how many of you are on Facebook, but I belong to a group called 2017 HAED sal page count (now renamed to 2018) and I just edit my page finishes into the document that they have set up on their page.

For 2017 I had a whopping 28 page finishes.  Not all of these were full pages, but I kept track of the stitches per page. 

Page 33, 7315 stitches
Page 34, 7410 stitches
Page 35, (Partial) 1140 stitches
Project complete

Snow Stocking
Page 8 (Partial) 2583 stitches
Page 9 (Partial) 2782 stitches
Page 10 (Partial) 997 stitches
Completed January 15, 2017

Meeting on the Turret Stairs (Mini)
Page 1, 7840 stitches
Page 2, 7546 stitches
Page 3, 6764 stitches
Page 4, 7600 stitches
Page 5, 7315 stitches
Page 6, 6460 stitches
Page 7, 7600 stitches

Wind Moon
Page 1, 7040 stitches
Page 2, 7546 stitches
Page 3, 7546 stitches
Page 4, 7546 stitches
Page 5, 7546 stitches
Page 6, 7546 stitches
Page 7, 5782 stitches (partial)
Page 8, 7600 stitches
Page 9, 7315 stitches
Page 10, 7315 stitches
Page 11, 7315 stitches
Page 12, 7315 stitches
Page 13, 7315 stitches
Page 14: 5605 stitches (partial)
Page 15: 7600 stitches

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty darn impressed with myself.  When it comes to the year end, it doesn't feel like I've stitched this much, but here it is, in black and white.  For pictures and posts, just hit the 2017 tag and it will take you through my 2017 posts.

Well that's about everything, my kindred spirits.  As 2017 comes to a close, it's with eager anticipation for what 2018 will bring.

Thanks for being a part of my cross stitch journey and I look forward to seeing all of your beautiful projects in 2018! Until then! 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Meeting on the Turret Stairs, Page 7 is Done

7600 Stitches started October 26 and finished November 13th.  I'm 62% complete. 
I'm sorry this wasn't the clearest photo, I was holding it up by hand in not the best light while trying to avoid a cockatoo on the floor hell bent on biting my feet.  Apologies if it's a bit blurry. I had to be very quick and satisfied with whatever I captured.

I only have two more full pages and then 3 partial pages and this project is done.  I'm super happy with the quality of the mini and I will probably do Mini's from here on in. It's the only feasible way I will be able to stitch even half of the projects on my wish list. 

I can say without hesitation that I am absolutely done with Aida.  I find it so stiff and hard to pull my needle through, not to mention the thread I've wasted because of the fraying. I also find my hand and fingers get more tired working with Aida. So yeah, I'm done.  I just wish that Lugana did 20 count magic guide, because it's so convenient to just put your fabric into the Q-Snaps, or on to the frame and just start stitching.  I'm back to Wind Moon for a page, but I'll probably spend a good 2 hours gridding tonight, as I prefer to grid the entire row. But gridding by hand, I have to say that nothing beats Sulky Silver. That stuff is awesome.  It's so petite that you can't see where your grid was, which is something that the thicker red plastic grid would sometimes do.

Anyway, I'm glad to be back on Wind Moon for a few weeks, to give my poor, aching hands a rest, if nothing else.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Row 2 Finished on Wind Moon

I know, I know, I know, I have been missing in action since August.  I received my adjuster for my Lowrey stand to use with my Quantum frame, and my intention was to just do one page and then post a photo.  But the page was just all sky and the photo was really nothing special, so I kept going... and going... and going...  and now 3 months later I have a row finish AND there is actually something to see, as I have a good chuck of her face done.

I did keep track in my XStitch Journal as I stitched, so the breakdown went as follows:
Page 8:   7600 stitches: Aug 10 - Aug 24
Page 9:   7315 stitches: Aug 24 - Sept 8
Page 10: 7315 stitches: Sept 8 - Sept 26
Page 11: 7315 stitches: Sept 26 - Oct 6
Page 12: 7315 stitches: Oct 6 - Oct 12
Page 13: 7315 stitches: Oct 12 - Oct 24
Page 14: 5605 stitches, Oct 24 - Oct 27

I was also, aside from being over the moon happy with my new Quantum frame and general stitching area set up, which included a beautiful new recliner chair that I managed to buy from a former stitcher for $100, I was curious as to how long a row would take to stitch.  I came in at just over 3 months.  Not too shabby!

But I'm looking forward to going back to work on Turret Stairs.  I've only got one more full row of her, and then a partial row and then she's done, so the prospect of a project finish is exciting, because I won't be seeing a finish of Wind Moon for several years.  But I am loving her.  She'll just be a long term relationship, whereas my mini's will just be flings.  Just intense, and sometimes frustrating little flings.

So there you have it.  Not missing, not abducted by aliens, just been stitching and doing little else.

I should have an update on Turret Stairs within a few weeks.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Meeting on the Turret Stairs, Pages 4 and 5 - ROW FINISH

I know, I know, it's supposed to be a Wind Moon update, but I have a pretty good excuse.  I decided to purchase a Quantum Frame, one that would fit my crazy large Wind Moon. 
For those of you who don't know what a Quantum frame is, behold!  It's the same concept as the Millennium frame, but without the bad customer service and the year long wait.  I had my frame within a month of ordering.  I can personally say I recommend the Omanik factory.  Plus they sent me chocolate in my order. Seriously, who does that? 

Because my frame is so long (90 cm) I also ordered the extra long 14" adapter from Sew and Sew, which I am still waiting for.

When I received my frame, I got so excited to load up my project, so I did immediately.  Er... well, "immediately" might be stretching the truth by a bit.  I attempted  to load my project.  Several FlossTube tutorial video's later, I had it nice and even on my frame, but it was too big for my stand without my adapter.  So I'm waiting for that to arrive before I work on Wind Moon again.  I can tell you I'm itching to work on it. So much so I'm considering taking it out of the frame.  Please, somebody talk me out of doing this! 

But, Wind Moon's loss was Turret Stairs' gain.  I'm done another row and am now officially more than half way done the project. And as I'm off to Toronto on Wednesday, this will be the project I take with me, so there may be another Turret update before you see Wind Moon again. 

I think I also forgot to post a picture of Winter Hat Owl all framed up in his clever red frame. 

Here you go! 

That's about all I have to report at this time. Now I must run and do a marathon laundry/packing/cleaning because I fly out tomorrow at 5:50 am, which means I have to be at the airport at 4:50, which means I have to be up at 3 am.  *Insert not-impressed emoticon here* I think there is going to be some sleeping on the plane instead of stitching. 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Wind Moon, Pages 6 and 7, Full Row is Complete

 Pages 7 and 8.

And a full row is done. 

Thanks to my superior math skills (not) I am actually 12% done, not 1%.  There's a reason I'm not a mathematician. 

So, I posted an update on the Heaven and Earth page and someone pointed out to me that the colours on this seemed "off".  I've seen this project's updates on the HaED Yuku page and it seems just right. I remember when I first saw a wip, I thought it stitched up a little darker than the picture shows, but I still thought it was beautiful.  But this person tagged me to a finished mini where it was much brighter than this one.  So I went on a bit of a research mission, which is not easy, as this is retired from HaED. I found a comment where someone mentioned that this design was re-charted in 2013. 
I'm just wondering if anyone here knows more about that? I'm just curious as to what the difference is.

I bought Indigo Moon and Amethyst Moon when HaED retired Nene Thomas from their list of artists, and I thought I'd had Wind Moon in my stash, but it turns out I did not, so due to Nene just retiring from HaED, Ebay was chock a block full of patterns.  So I bought this one and mini Asaria, assuming they would be the latest copies. But now I'm wondering if my copy is an older copy?  Both patterns were in pristine condition when I received them, and show no sign of wear. I guess it's always possible that  it was someone's old stash, it just seems unlikely. 

At this point I'm only just curious, because A) the chance of getting my hands on the re-charted version is slim and B) I'm 7 pages in and not starting again. I don't really care if she's darker, I'm just going to enjoy the journey and see how she turns out.  The WIP I saw on the Yuku site was beautiful, so if she turns out half as nice, I will be happy.   It just made me go hmmm.

It's coming up to my birthday next month, and it's a biggie. So I've been spoiling myself rotten!  I managed to get my hands on a corner clamp for my Lowery stand (Thanks to Gemma at Lowery for that) and I've ordered a Quantum frame that I intend to use on Wind Moon.  I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait!!!!  Spoiled is me!

Well that's really all the news I have to share at the moment.   I hope to have an update of Turret for you in a few short weeks. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Meeting on the Turret Stairs Page 4 is Complete (and A Little Something More)

I am love, love, loving this project.  I'm especially loving how fast it's stitching up.  I now have 36% of the project completed.  I'm telling you, mini's are the way to go!  I kind of wish I had Wind Moon and my other Nene Thomas patterns as mini's, but there you go. I've already lined up my next two projects to stitch against Wind Moon, and now that I have an excellent and affordable framer, I can get these projects framed as soon as they are complete.

Speaking of excellent and affordable framers, just look at what my talented framer did with Adrift!

It's not the best photo because there was so much reflection in the glass, but it gives you the idea of the matting and frame.  I think he did a beautiful, beautiful job.  My one conundrum is where to hang her, though. She's really big and finding a wall that is appropriate is more difficult than I imagined it would be.  I obviously want her to be in the public area and not my bedroom, but I'm having trouble deciding where.  I think I just need to hold my breath, pick and spot and commit to it.

I also have Winter Hat Owl in getting framed.  I should have him back in a week or two.  I chose the reddest metal frame that I could find and it really pops the pattern.  I can't wait to see it.  I will, of course, share with you as soon as I get it back.

I'm off to work on Wind Moon and should have a row finish  for you in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Pages 4 and 5 of Wind Moon and a Little Something More

Pages 5 and 6. 

Completed so far. 

So I noticed a few lines in the project so far, so I'm not sure that my feathering effect is working on this one, so I've opted for the zig-zag style of page finishing. It's a bit more finicky than feathering, but not much.  Feathering seems to be working just fine on Under the Turret Stairs, so I'm perplexed why I'm seeing column lines on Wind Moon, but there it is.  I'm glad I caught it early.

When I went to update my progress bar, I notice my progress went down by 1%.  I guess I had the math wrong and I wasn't so far as 2% done.  I'm only 1% done.   That took a bit of the wind out of my sales, and it's definitely time to work on something else for a while. 

And now for something more that I promised you.

Guess who's this week's Blogger of the Week?  Why this stitcher, right here. 


Click here to read all about me!  (Insert Despicable Me soundtrack)  Thanks to Jo for running the Blogger of the Week. 

That's about all the news there is to share.  I hope to have an update for you soon as I start on row 2 of Meeting on the Turret Stairs.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Meeting on the Turret Stairs, Page 3 - Row Finish

Page 3 is complete and that's a row, folks.  I almost feel like a bit of a cheat that this pattern is so small, but it's a great feeling when I go to change my status bar and it jumps from 19% complete to 27% complete.  Go me!!!

So I can definitely see where some of the detail has been lost and that's her right hand. Maybe when more of the piece is stitched, it will look more like a hand, but right now it looks like a bit of a big white blob.  But overall, I'm really happy with how it's turning out, and the feathering effect, which doesn't seem to be working on Wind Moon, is working quite nicely here. 

I'm curious to know how many of you use apps to help organize your stash?  I was using Thread Tracker, but had had xstitch on my iPad for ages, but I'd never used it.  Finally I decided to give it a go and I'm so glad I did. What I love best about it is the notes section where you can be as descriptive as you want. 

I find it very helpful when I am working on two projects to know what threads are needed for which project and exactly where the extras are being housed - in my floss cabinet or in my plastic case where  I like to keep the extras for the projects I'm working on, so I'm not spending half the night looking for an extra skein because my inventory tells me I have one - somewhere

This is on iPad, I've been told it's also available for Android.  I find it works for me, does anybody have an app that works for them? I'd love to hear about it. 

In any case, I am now back to Wind Moon for one, possibly two pages.  Hopefully I'll have an update for you soon.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wind Moon, Pages 2 and 3

A little bit of moon and a lot of sky.  I don't like that I can see a little bit of column here.  I'm thinking it's because I'm actually gridding with Sulky Silver and not with a pen.  I may have to change up my tactics.   When I stitch in columns, I usually stitch 12 stitches on one row and then 10 on the next so I get a feathering effect.  It worked well on Adrift, but  find I'm still seeing the grids a little bit. Of course, this is only the first few pages of the pattern, and they should even out as I continue, but it still annoys me a bit. 

So this is two pages.  Page 2 started March 26 and finished April 5, and page 3 started April 6 and finished April 19. So just under a month for two pages. 

You know this is a big-ass project when you are 3 pages in and your status bar says 2% complete.  It's enough to make you cry.  But this is where the old 1 grid at a time, one column at a time, one page at a time, one row at a time comes in to play.  Baby steps!  I just have to keep telling myself that.  I'm not gonna lie, it's daunting looking at a pattern this big, and it does intimidate me a little.  But as long as I feel like I'm making progress on my other project, I think I'll be ok.  

I'm back to Meeting on the Turret Stairs.  And spring is FINALLY sprung. What a long, wet, crazy winter we had.  I have so many buds on my trees, I think they are expressing their own feelings at spring finally arriving.  It's going to be a beautiful spring!

Happy stitching, my kindred spirits.  I hope to see you all soon.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Page 2 of Meeting on the Turret Stairs


I'm super pleased with how well this is stitching up. I thought the detail might be compromised with being a mini, but so far this is not the case. I'm expecting the detail on the knight's tunic is where the biggest different will be seen, but so far I'm pleased as punch over this.   It has been a lot more confetti, and as a result, it really slows me down.  Plus, I have to say, I'm not a big fan of the pre-gridded Aida or Ziegert.  I find the fabric is so stiff, plus it's a little sharp. I really have to remember to cut smaller pieces of thread, as sometimes (quite often, actually) I'll pull the thread through, only to find it's snapped. Also, I find my hand feels more tired after stitching on it.  Perhaps it's having to pull the needle through the stiffer fabric, but I definitely suffer more needle fatigue with Aida/Ziegert than Lugana or Pearl.  For me, 25 count is just a bit too small, so if I want to work with pre-grid fabric, I'm left with Aida or Ziegert as my choice.  On an interesting side note, I found a whole bunch of 18 ct. pre-grid Aida that I had in my stash.  Who knew?!  So, even though it's not my favourite, I will end up using it, because I hate waste.  

I'm back working on Wind Moon.  How much faster she is, which is good, because it's page 2 of 65.  *headdesk*  I'm almost considering doing two pages of her to one page of Turret Stairs, I don't know, I'll just play it by ear.  It won't make stitching her up any faster, it will just seem like I am.  And that's almost as good, isn't it?

Thursday, 9 March 2017

New Project. I Can't Believe What I've Just Committed To.

Firstly, thank you all so much for your wonderful comments about Adrift.  I still can't quite believe that she is done. I'm saving up to have her framed and hopefully should have enough saved to take her in for April.  It's so exciting! One of the ladies that I stitch with wants to come with me and help me pick a frame and matting.

So, I have been sitting on this one for a while, and it's time I added her to the roster.  I have a few by Nene Thomas in my stash, but she is calling the loudest to be stitched.  So my new project is:

Wind Moon.

I thought Adrift was a giant with 35 stitched pages.  Oh no, it appears Adrift was merely the appetizer.  Wind Moon weighs in at a whopping 65 stitched pages.  Suffice to say this will be a multiple year project.  I'll just try to do mini's and smaller projects to avoid getting burned out.

That being said, here is page 1 of 65.

7040 stitches which equals just under 2% of the project.  My husband says I am a glutton for punishment.  There isn't actually horrendous confetti in this, aside from bits and pieces here and there, so apart from it being 65 pages in size, I think it won't be an arduous project.

I've got three of the big Moon fairies by Nene Thomas, and the goal is to stitch them and hang them as a trio.  No promises, we'll have to see how this one goes first.

So there you have it, the big unveil.  

I'm now back to my little mini, Meeting on the Turret Stairs.  

Saturday, 25 February 2017

It's Red Wine Time, because Adrift is Complete!

This is page 33, 34 and 35.  I got to the end of 33 and I was in such a groove that I thought I should just blaze ahead and finish her.  So I did.  I think the end result is stunning.  Maybe this is me being partial, because she's mine, but I just think she is so pretty. 

I think I may also be the first one to complete this pattern.  At least I haven't seen any completed pieces in the Facebook communities.  So for anyone considering stitching her, I can attest that she stitches up beautifully. 

It was a little dicey, though.  I ran out of 3371 last night after the craft store closed, so I had to send out an emergency SOS to my friend, Rika, who lives nearby. Luckily she had one on that that I could have.  (whew, thanks, Riks).  And even then, I finished this with the tiniest amount of thread left.

So now I'm drinking a big glass of red wine in celebration. (Although maybe it should be white, so I can rest my fingers against the chill of the glass - my fingers are aching!)  But I do have to say, I felt a little sad putting in the last stitch.  Journey's ends are always a little bittersweet.

This is the biggest project I've ever done.  She came in at a whopping 229,600 stitches. 

I will get her all washed and ironed and then she is off to the framers.  I will, of course, post a photo when she is framed and hung.  

So I have moved her status bar to black and listed her as complete.  Back to Meeting on the Turret Stairs, and I will unveil my next project with my next update. I don't want to take any attention away from Adrift. 

Thanks for everyone's lovely words of encouragement with her. She was a long, long labour of love, started in January 2014 and finished tonight. 


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Meeting on the Turret Stairs (Mini) Page 1

Page one of the mini has been completed. I was worried that she would lose too much of her detail, but I'm happy to say this isn't the case.  I'm extremely happy with the outcome. 

Well I am back from my cruise and am happy to say that I did get a bit of stitching done. There was a group of knitters/stitchers (although I was the only stitcher this cruise) who met on days we were at sea.  It was nice to sit with a group of ladies and see all of their projects.  Although there was one morning where people were coming up to me and saying I was famous and had been highlighted on the ships daily show that morning. As I had tied one on pretty hard at the pub the night before in a good old fashioned sing-a-long, my first thought ran to that, in a not so good, oh my god, what are they saying I did kind of way. But it turns out some sneaky camera person had filmed me with my magnifier glasses and my iPad that has my .pdf, stitching with the knitting ladies and mentioned it.  
I was both relieved and a little proud of that.  That day I had a few stitching ladies come down to ask me about the iPad and how to upload projects to it.  So it was nice to both meet new people and show them some of my tricks. 

I also had a nice little stitching nook out on our balcony.  Pina Colada, great view, audio book, and my stitching. Is this not the very description of paradise? 

But alas, I have returned home to snow, and the plague that I'm sure I caught off the person sitting next to me on the plane.  There is a winter storm blowing in and I'm going to just snuggle under a blanket and alternate between stitching and napping.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Snow Stocking is Complete!

So, because my Lowry had not yet arrived, I thought I'd just keep going on Snow.  I finished the last 2 pages over the weekend, the first of the two being 2782 stitches, and the second page being 997 stitches. 

She is done! Now all I need to do is purchase some fabric and get her sewn, which I will ask my friend to do, as she did such a beautiful job when she sewed the Treasure Dragon stocking, AND the Yule Fairy stocking.  I plan on finding a grey satin fabric for her back, and if I can find piping with some silver in it, perfect, but I think I may have to be happy with plain old white.  I'll be sure to post photo's when she is all sewn..

This was a pretty fast stitch. I started her in March, 2016, and finished today, January 2017.

And now for the big announcement for my next project - although you may have guessed, as I've already got a photo and a status bar up, but the next project will be Meeting on the Turret Stairs (Mini) by Fredrick William Burton.
I have a real thing for Medieval things, and if given the chance to do my life over, I probably would have moved to England to become a historian, with my specialty being the War of the Roses. As soon as I saw this pattern, my pupils dilated, I'm sure of it.

I've never done a mini before, so I'm interested to see what, if any, detail is lost.  If it turns out well, then the goal is to do a mini and a regular size and toggle between the two.  (Just wait and see what I have on deck for the replacement of Adrift. She's everso pretty!)

Oh, and my Lowry came! Oh my god, I love that stand!  It's brilliant!  A little easier to maneuver than the K's Creation and I find I don't need to tighten as hard to get the Q-snap to stay.  This company was brilliant and the stand came on Thursday last week.  So super quick shipping too!

Well, that's it. I'm officially announcemented out.  I hope to have Adrift finished some time in February.

I'll see you all after my cruise. 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

First Page Finish of 2017, Snow (Partial) Pg 8

As I mentioned in the heading, this is a partial page, of 2583 stitches. First page of 2017.
This is where I usually switch it over to Adrift, but since my stand is still broken, and my new stand hasn't yet arrived, I might just continue on with Snow, as she is considerably lighter and with the help of a couple of strong hair bands, I can rig it on to my broken stand in a way that works better than Cross Stitch Yoga did.  I'm not so sure this would work with Adrift, which is a shame, because I want to stitch her so bad, I almost feel itchy! 

I have decided to kit up my next project tomorrow, as I'm going on a cruise in 15 days, and I don't want to carry Adrift with me, although stitching a mermaid in the Caribbean seems oddly fitting.  I'm not sure with Snow that there will be enough work still to do on her to warrant taking with me.  So I will kit up my next project and take that.

The only fly in the ointment is I haven't quite decided which project to kit up.  It's down to three projects.  Two of them I have had for ages, and are both discontinued, and I have been dying to start both of them, and the third is one I found years ago and just recently commissioned into a mini. 

Decisions, decisions!  I suppose I won't really know myself until tomorrow when I actually flip a coin. 

I will let you know which pattern I kitted up, and which project I decided to work on with my next update - which will be hopefully before I leave. 

I do have a bit of good news for those of you who have a Lowry stand and missed out on the corner clamp.  I wrote to the manufacturers, who had discontinued the corner clamp a while back, but with Omanik and Millenium and Q-Snap frames becoming so popular,  they were found to work really well, but acquiring one was hard to do.  Well the manufacturers say they have received several requests as of late, so they are going to re-release them. I'm not sure if this is a one time release, or if it is going to stay on their list of things that can be ordered, but for those of you who felt like you had missed out, this is a great opportunity to get one for your very own.  This is good news indeed, and I'm very excited at this announcement.

I hope your 2017 has been good so far.