Thursday, 30 April 2015

April Progress on DSDUCJFC 2015 Pieces

Hello all!

It's the end of the month again so it's time to report about progress on my remaining 53 DSDUCJFC 2015 pieces.

During April I had 3 finishes which I have already posted about.....

* Playful Puss 1 from 12th January
* Playful Puss 2 from 30th January
* Christmas Quacker from 2nd January

.....and I worked on 5 pieces:

Pretty Little London from 5th February
stitched the rain cloud, more of Big Ben and some of Tower Bridge

Ravenclaw from 18th February
almost completed the name banner

Autumn from 15th February
stitched the tree and some of the sky

Canal Crossing from 10th February
added the aqueduct and some foliage

Winter from 22nd February
started the tree and continued filling in the sky
(the aida is actually white, not blue as in the first picture!)

In May I aim to finish one Challenge piece and work on at least four more. As yet I have no idea which ones these will be so if you have any preferences please leave a comment and, who knows, I may go with your suggestions!

Love and hugs,
Rachel x

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Stitch From Stash - April 2015

Hello again!

Here are the financial details of April's Stitch From Stash:

APRIL BUDGET - $25 = £16.86 (at 01/04/2015 exchange rate)
EARNED - $16.00 = £10.79
SPENT - £66.40

* £20.95 on fabric (loads of 16ct cream aida)
* £45.45 on new charts (a one-off extravagance during my weekend away as I would not normally buy full-priced charts)

I also bought other items, which are exempt from the budget, including some Rit dyes for dyeing my own fabric, and some iron-on interfacing, wadding, fabric and fabric glue for finishing off some smalls. You will hopefully see these being used in the not-too-distant future.

Qualifying projects worked on: (post to follow on 30th April)
* autumn
* winter
* canal crossing

Non-qualifying projects worked on: (post to follow on 30th April)
* OMG Tigger is out
* pretty little London
* ravenclaw

Qualifying projects completed: (all $4 each)

Playful Puss 1                       Playful Puss 2

Christmas Quacker

  Lizzie Kate April flip-it stamp

Non-qualifying projects completed:
* none

I admit to having a high-spending month in April so hope my SFS account won't be quite so close to the red in May!

Love and hugs
Rachel x

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Challenge Finish 9

Hello everybody!

Good grief, I'm on a roll with my stitching at the moment and have yet another finish to show you! Thank you for all the lovely comments you left regarding my last finish - I hope you like this one just as much!

This one is from 2nd January and was my first ever venture onto evenweave. To make it more difficult for myself I was also stitching white on white!

Souffle - Christmas Quacker
Featured in Cross Stitch Crazy issue ???
Stitched on 32ct Antique White Opalescent Evenweave by Fabric Flair 2 over 2
Stitch count 59 wide by 47 high
Started - 2nd January 2015
Finished - 21st April 2015
Total stitching time - 10 hours 10 minutes

With hindsight I probably should have chosen a different colour fabric (but kept the silver sparkles which you can just about see in the photo). The white doesn't look wrong, but Souffle would have shown up more on something like a very pale blue. Nevermind. I'm still very very happy with it.

I've now finished the smaller challenge pieces so will definitely not have another finish for a while - although I suppose that depends on what your definition of "a while" is!

9/59 Challenge pieces down, 50 to go!

Love and hugs,
Rachel x

Monday, 20 April 2015

Challenge Finish 8

Good morning all!

I have another Challenge finish to show you!

Playful Puss 2 from 30th January is the companion to my previous finish. Well, once I'd finished the first one I just HAD to finish the second. This time cute little kitty has obviously worn herself out from mischief-making and is having a little nap. At least she hasn't squashed the flowers too much!

Playful Puss 2
Featured in ??? by Lucie Heaton
Stitched on 16ct Antique White Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 57 wide by 59 high
Started - 30th January 2015
Finished - 19th April 2015
Total stitching time - 15 hours 45 minutes

I don't know when I'll get round to stitching the other two in the set. Perhaps next year.

8/59 Challenge pieces down, 51 to go!

Love and hugs,
Rachel x

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Lizzie Kate April Flip-It Stamp - finished!

Hello all!

It's time to post another monthly stamp finish. I know I say this every month, but these stamps really are fun to stitch and, so far, I've stitched them all on schedule!

April Flip-It Stamp by Lizzie Kate
Stitch Count 47 x 47
Stitched on 16ct Rustic Aida 2 over 1
Started - 10th April 2015
Finished - 16th April 2015
Total Stitching Time - 11 hours 10 minutes

For the moment this project will join its siblings in my box of shame. I have ordered some small pieces of finishing fabric so once the Easter school holidays are over I may have a finishing-off day. Hope springs eternal!

Love and hugs,
Rachel x

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Chatting, Stitching and Stashing

Hello everybody!

Thank you for all the lovely comments wishing me a good weekend break. I had a fantastic time. Here's what happened.....

Ingrid from Mii Stitch, Justine from Justine's Cross Stitch and myself had arranged to meet up in Shropshire from where we would make our way to the Nimble Thimble in Oswestry for some chatting, stitching and stashing.

During our day there we achieved a lot of chatting, some stashing but hardly any stitching! I think we each managed about 50 stitches in five hours - how shameful! We also exchanged goody bags.

Justine had made a lovely little thread collector and coordinating needlework bag containing scissors, needles, hand cream and tissues. They were accompanied by a coaster picturing an uncanny resemblance to the three of us - yeah right... if only!

Ingrid's goody bag contained a beautiful pin-keep, some fabric, threads, charts, notelets, tissues and of course chocolates (not shown - yum yum!)

Thank you both so much for your lovely gifts.

My goody bags to them contained a chart, ribbons, buttons, beads, a needle minder and a key ring. You'll have to visit their blogs to see my gifts as I didn't take photos first!

Back in Shropshire we had an evening meal (with even more chatting over a rather fantastic bottle of French wine) before separating for the night.

We met up again in the hotel lounge Sunday morning where we just sat, stitched (finally) and chatted even more. The time went by so quickly and all too soon we had to leave. Saying goodbye was horrible.

Ingrid and Justine are two lovely ladies and I am glad I have met them. None of us knew what to expect but having only met 28 hours previously it felt as if we had known each other for years.

So, a good weekend all round and a much needed, albeit very short, break from our families!

I can't leave without showing you my stash. I have become a bit of a Lizzie Kate fan recently and simply couldn't resist the following items:

Lizzie Kate Spring Alphabet
Not my usual type of chart but it's really growing on me.

Lizzie Kate Green Flip-It Collection
I've liked these since the first day I saw them.
They will be stitched together using the free border pattern from the Lizzie Kate website.

Lizzie Kate Merry Christmas By The Letter Double Flips
I've never stitched anything Christmassy so am looking forward to starting these.
They will also be stitched together using the available free border pattern.

I'm not allowed any more new starts this year, other than those already planned, so these will all have to wait until next year. Perhaps they will form some of my 31 new January 2016 starts?!

Right, I'm off now to play with some fabric. That's a tease for another post!

Take care all,

Love and hugs
Rachel x

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Challenge Finish 7

Hello all,

Firstly, thank-you to everyone who continues to leave lovely comments. They are being read and will be replied to eventually. Secondly, I am way behind on blog reading again (about three weeks I think) so many of you will be missing comments from me. I promise to catch up next week. Right, housekeeping over, now down to business.....

I didn't think I'd have any more finishes for a while so it came as a bit of a surprise when I randomly picked up this piece and stitched on it until completed!

It's Playful Puss 1 from 12th January. She's such a cute little kitty with eyes full of mischief! I wonder what she's been up to in the garden before finding the watering can? I bet there's a trail of mess in the greenhouse and potting shed!

Playful Puss 1
Featured in ??? by Lucie Heaton
Stitched on 16ct Antique White Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 57 wide by 59 high
Started - 12th January 2015
Finished - 9th April 2015
Total stitching time - 15 hours 25 minutes

This was an easy piece to stitch and I even enjoyed the backstitching! I also like the "messy" look of the backstitching over the whole stitches. It adds that extra bit of character I think. And to top off the fun, there's another small $4 SFS bonus to add to my pot.

On another note, if you aren't aware, my mum lives with my family and I am her full-time carer. Although practically bed-ridden she is not hard work but it does mean I hardly ever get a break (outside carers and care homes are not an option). Well, this weekend for the first time in over five years I am going away on my own with no family members in tow. Just me! I won't say anymore now, except that I am really looking forward to a weekend of chatting, fun, food and spending - I might even *gasp* exceed my SFS budget!

7/59 Challenge pieces down, 52 to go!

Love and hugs,
Rachel x

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

March Progress on DSDUCJFC 2015 Pieces

Good morning everybody!

Although I'm posting my Challenge finishes as they happen, I thought I would also do an end-of-month posting about progress made on other Challenge pieces just to show (1) what I am working on and (2) that they are not being neglected.

So on top of finishing 6 Challenge pieces in March I also made the following progress:

Daisy Hugs from 6th January
continued down and backstitched the petals
and the mouse on the right has a tail!

Dreaming of Dolphins from 7th January
finished the first dolphin
absolutely adore this piece!

 Lickle Ted April Showers from 8th January
finished the umbrella hood

Cookie and Cream from 16th January
stitched some of Cream and backstitched the window
can't say I've ever seen a cat quite that yellow!

Lickle Ted Flower Power from 18th January
finished the flower (mostly) and started Lickle Ted's head

Winter Owl from 3rd February
finished the owl's head as far down as his scarf

My Treasure from 27th February
finished stitching the dragon

My original plan for the Challenge pieces was to work on one at a time until completed. This sort of worked for the first few as they were small and I was desperate to finish them.

Then I changed my plan to work on one focus piece but stitch on others as my mood took me. That way I would definitely be heading towards one finish whilst working on others.

But now I've decided to just stitch what I want when I want! If that means continuing with a piece until it's finished that's fine. If it means stitching for a bit then moving on that's fine too. I want to enjoy stitching these pieces, not feel bogged down or in a rush to complete them.

With so many Challenge pieces to choose from, goodness knows which ones will make an appearance in April. Will they be the same ones? Will they be different? Or will there be a mixture of both? Watch this space to find out!

Love and hugs
Rachel x