Thursday, 26 November 2015

Lizzie Kate (sort of) November Flip-It Stamp - finished!

Hello fellow stitchers!

Goodness me, I'm very late finishing this month's LK stamp but at least it's still November!

Do you remember I wanted to replace the LK pheasant with either fireworks or poppies? Well, that was easier said than done! I scoured the internet for suitable free fireworks and poppy charts but didn't have much success. Then I thought about using autumnal icons such as squirrels, acorns and leaves but wasn't too lucky there either. Finally I decided to raid my mum's messy stash (which hasn't really been touched for five years) and I came across this poppy design. The poppy was perfect but I had to alter the leaves to fit in the allotted space.

I'm not that happy with it as it has more of a "flower-of-the-month" rather than sombre feeling. But at least you can (should be able to) tell it's a poppy! I'm sorry if redesigning the stamp upsets any LK perfectionists, but I tried to keep to her style as best I could.

Stitch count 47 wide by 47 high
Stitched on 16ct Rustico Aida 2 over 1
Started - 2nd November 2015
Finished - 25th November 2015
Total stitching time - 12 hours 10 minutes

Now for December's Stamp - yippee - and the last in the series - boo-hoo! Good job I've got more LK smalls planned for nearly every month next year!

Happy stitching everybody!
Rachel x

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Owls In Love - 40 hours

Good afternoon everybody!

Important things first.....

Wow! Heather and I are overwhelmed with the amount of fabulous positive and generous comments she has been receiving about her work. In fact she's getting more comments than I usually get! Thank you all so much. It really does mean a lot to her. Now, am I allowed to play the jealous mother and go sit in a corner and sulk??!!

Regarding Heather's stitching, there's been an interesting development.....

.....unbeknownst (posh word) to me, my darling daughter already has her own live blog! Of course, she wasn't going to tell her mum but as she has respected our strict on-line rules I'm OK with it. It's not been going long, only has a couple of posts and contains no cross stitching (yet.) But it is amusing. So if you're interested, pop over to All The Little Awesome Things and have a bit of a giggle. For a while I will link to her blog when she posts about her stitching just in case you're interested but don't want to follow her - afterall, we don't necessarily want to know what goes on inside the head of a 14 year old girl..... or do we??!!

So, now onto my stitching, which is obviously FAR less important!!

I have another Owls In Love update for you. Over the last few days I've been able to put in long evening sessions on Errol and Hedwig. As you can see, the second Owl (whom I am assuming is the female) now has the top of her head, but more importantly those very cute eyes! Even without a body, they've definitely brought her to life and given her a personality.

After 30 hours

After 40 hours
(and with more accurate colours of the fabric!)

I shall now put this project down for a couple of days while I finish Lizzie Kate's November Stamp. The outline and month have been stitched as charted, I just need to design and stitch the middle bit, although what that "middle bit" will be is still undecided. Seeing as Heather's so talented, maybe I should get her to design something for me?! Otherwise, fingers crossed I do a good job.

See you soon,
Rachel x

Monday, 16 November 2015

Heather's Wolf Head - progress 1

Hello all!

Heather would like to share her new project and progress with you.

Her new chart is called Wolf and charted to be stitched in one colour. But Heather wasn't keen on that idea and decided she wanted a variety of blues. She took most of my spares and is simply making up the colour palette as she goes along! I certainly wouldn't try that and don't think there are many stitchers who would. She's a brave girl! Here's the chart then.....

LudivinePointDeCroix (etsy)

.....and here's her progress so far on the eye, nose and forehead, full size and close up:

 Stitched on 16ct Rustico Aida

I have to say that, obvious bias aside, she's doing a fantastic job! I really hope she keeps up her enthusiasm and I can show you more of her progress soon.

Should her enthusiasm continue she may even set up her own cross stitching blog!

Until next time,
Rachel and Heather xx

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Owls In Love - 30 hours

Hello all!

First up, Heather says thank you for all the lovely comments you left regarding her Birds On A Wire finish. She has certainly been inspired to stitch more and is making good progress on her second project, which I'll post about soon.

As for my stitching, I have an update to show you on this gorgeous chart which so many of you seem to have fallen in love with:

After 20 hours

After 30 hours

As you can see I've filled in the owl's tummy, stitched the branch and made a small start on the second owl (which I think makes the first owl look as if he is wearing a little party hat!) This means two of the four pages have been completed so I am officially halfway through - yippee!

I'm definitely going to continue with this project for at least another 10 hours so I should be back with another update soon!

And, yes, I'm about 5 days behind with reading and commenting on blogs. Bear with me - I should be able to catch up this weekend.

Take care and happy stitching :)
Rachel x

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Birds On A Wire by Heather

Good morning all,

Thank you for all your lovely comments about Wilfred the Winter Owl. I'll be replying to them shortly.

But for now, it's down to business.

My daughter, Heather, is a very talented 14 year old who can draw, paint, knit, sew, quilt, make her own clothes and do countless other creative things..... apart from cross stitch! She has tried a few times in the last five years but never managed more than about twenty stitches as she found it "boring".

So you can imagine my scepticism when she asked a couple of weeks ago to have another try. Naturally she didn't want to stitch anything from my stash so she browsed etsy and (following my recommendation that she try to keep it small and simple) finally chose this one:

(picture shapshot from front page of chart)

She then rummaged through my box of fabric, choosing this:

16ct Setting Sun Aida by Silkweavers (expressions range)

And within a few days had put the two together to create this:

Birds On A Wire (our title)
Started - 31st October 2015
Finished - 5th November 2015

With the exception of cutting the fabric and ironing the finished piece it's all her own work. Now it just needs a frame - a simple black one I think. She is very proud of her first finished cross stitch (as am I of course) so asked if I would post it on my blog. I said yes - I hope you don't mind!

Close-up she needs to work on keeping the tension consistent but it's absolutely brilliant for a first attempt. And, yes, all of her crosses do lie in the same direction!

The trouble now is that her second project is bigger so she keeps sitting in MY stitching space using MY daylight lamp, MY frames and MY floorstand! Oh, the sacrifices us mothers have to make!!! Looks like I might be asking Santa for another daylight lamp for Christmas!

I'll be back soon, probably with an Owls In Love progress report (if I'm allowed my space back for a while!)

Thanks for stopping by,
Rachel and Heather xx

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Challenge Finish 16

Good morning everybody!

It's been a couple of months since my last Challenge finish but I am happy to report that Winter Owl has now been completed. Like all of my projects, Wilfred was an absolute joy to stitch, especially with those eyes watching me all the time! Here he is then:

Winter Owl
UAHomeMadeStudio (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Misty Blue aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 88 wide by 87 high
Started - 3rd February 2015
Finished - 8th November 2015
Total stitching time - 27 hours 5 minutes

To add some sparkle to the snow I used Kreinik #32. The snow on top of his scarf had already been stitched so, to save unpicking it, I simply added a cross of single strand Kreinik on top. It's very subtle but just catches the eye. The blue and white snow on the branches was stitched using one strand of thread and two strands of Kreinik. It's quite bold but gives the impression that there is at least some sunshine on what is obviously a cold winter's day. Naturally, none of the sparkles show up in the photo!

Wilfred will, for the time being, be going into my Box of Shame. But he shouldn't be there long - I just need to find a suitable 8" square off-the-shelf frame so that he can join some of my other projects on the wall.

I'm hoping to finish at least one more Challenge piece before the end of the year but am not going to rush or worry if I don't. Que sera sera is very much how I feel at the moment.

16/59 Challenge pieces down, 43 to go!

See you soon,
Rachel x