Saturday, 22 July 2017

6 Box Of Shame Finishes

Hello all!

A while back I ordered a few frames from my usual and trusted ezeframe.co.uk in order to finish-finish some pieces and further reduce my Box of Shame. So far I've only used one frame but as it contains 6 pieces I'm counting it as 6 finish-finishes!

This set of Woodland Folk by DMC went down a storm when I stitched them last year and I have always felt guilty about them being in my Box of Shame. But now they're free and looking fantastic on the wall. So let me reintroduce Toby Fox, Ollie Owl, Bert Badger,  Frankie Hedgehog, Molly Mouse and Sally Squirrel:







The frame is an 18mm mahogany frame with a mid-green top mount, off-white bottom mount and anti-reflective glazing. Each aperture could have been individually sized to fit each piece but I decided to keep the four side openings symmetrical as it looked more aesthetically pleasing. I'm really happy with the result even if it does make the kelp fabric look a little bit blue-ish.

As it currently stands I've now finished off 32 pieces this year out of the 67 which need/needed doing. I'll be framing 3 more next month and also hope to complete some of the pieces which need making into ornaments. But hope springs eternal!!!

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 10 July 2017

Little Black Cat Cream - finished

Hello all!

So this is finish number 22 out of 59 from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015 and a companion for Coffee which I finished in March

At the end of June I left Cream with only a little left to do:



Five hours later, thanks to there being a couple of good tennis matches on at Wimbledon, he was all finished:

Little Black Cat - Cream
Heritage Crafts designed by Toni Goffe
Stitched on 32ct Light Blue Murano evenweave 2 over 2
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 9th February 2015
Finished - 8th July 2017
Total stitching time - 29 hours
(estimated 31 hours)


The remaining two in the series, Tea and Sugar are not planned for finishing this year but will be completed in 2018. So for the time being Cream becomes an additional piece in my Box of Shame. At least I know it won't stay in there forever though.

Now back to seeing how much more progress I can make on my other pieces. The Red Foxes are calling me!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 1 July 2017

June Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

Time for another month-end round up on the progress I've made on my Challenge WIPs. My plan for June was to finish one piece and work on three more. And, true to form, I succeeded yet again!

I finished Gryffindor (posted previously) and worked on:


Cream by Toni Goffe for Heritage Crafts
started 9th February 2015; last stitched on May 2017
continued the background and stitched some of the spilled cream



Red Foxes from the Young-uns Collection by Gloria and Pat
started 14th February 2015; last stitched on May 2017
actually started the first of the red foxes and really did not want to put this one down!



The Lock from the Silhouettes range by Heritage Crafts
started 17th February 2015; not stitched on since then
filled in some of the sky at the top and the lock on the right


So overall another month of keeping to my plans and making good progress.

July plans are to finish Cream and work on three more (again). I really do sound like a broken record but why alter plans that are giving me the monthly finishes and progress I crave?

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 30 June 2017

Smalls SAL - June 2017

Good afternoon!

As it's the last Friday of the month it's time to post my project for this month's Smalls SAL. Thank you once again to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.



So, this month brings us to the halfway point of the year (already?!!!) and therefore the halfway point of my calendar. For June we had a family of cute tortoises:

June Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st June 2017
Finished - 17th June 2017
Total stitching time - 7 hours


They were lovely to stitch, although I can't say I've ever come across tortoises this colour before, or wearing top-hats for that matter!

And another progress picture of the whole calendar:



As the months go past it's clear how the colours each month carry themselves through the whole calendar. Very subtle and very clever.

For July I'll be stitching some yummy looking strawberries so I guess we'll get another splash of red. See you then!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Gryffindor - finished

Good afternoon!

So here we have another finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015. This is the 21st finish of 59 starts and a companion for Ravenclaw which I finished two years ago.

Here's how I left Gryffindor at the end of May with only the name banner left to do:



And now finished with all the boring details:

From theworldinstitches (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Cream Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 95 wide by 117 high
Started - 4th February 2015
Finished - 4th June 2017
Total stitching time - 48 hours 50 minutes
(estimated 62 hours)


I like that I overestimated the stitching time so much! I remember doing the same with Ravenclaw and have probably done the same with the others. For some reason these designs obviously stitch up a lot quicker than expected - and that's a really satisfying feeling.

The finished piece has gone into my Box of Shame for the time being but won't be in there long. I've just had some frames delivered so hope to have another framing session soon to further reduce my unfinished-finishes.

As for the other two Harry Potter house crests, I plan to finish Slytherin towards the end of this year and Hufflepuff in 2018 - yes, my stitching plans for 2018 have almost been finalised!!!

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday, 1 June 2017

May Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

It's the end of the month so time for another update on my Challenge WIPs. My plan for May was to finish one piece and work on three more. And I succeeded. Again!

I finished Dreaming of Dolphins (posted previously) and gave attention to the following three:


Gryffindor by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 4th February 2015; last stitched on April 2017
filled in the lion, so just the name banner to do now



Cream by Toni Goffe for Heritage Crafts
started 9th February 2015; last stitched on April 2017
worked my way down, filling in the background and continuing  the cream pot
(and I gave the cat his eyes!!)



Red Foxes from the Young-uns Collection by Gloria and Pat
started 14th February 2015; not stitched on since then
finished the rocks and greenery, although ironically haven't started the red foxes themselves!


Once again I'm happy with my progress for the month, finding that finishing one project and changing the others every week or so is really keeping my interest up. For those of you familiar with the term I suppose it's a bit like Turtle Trot..... but on speed!

In June, keeping to my plan, I aim to finish Gryffindor and work on three more WIPs.

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Smalls SAL - May 2017

Good morning!

As it's (just gone past) the last Friday of the month it's time to post my project for this month's Smalls SAL. Thank you once again to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.



I continued with my calendar and had great fun stitching up this lovely little dog:

May Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st May 2017
Finished - 15th May 2017
Total stitching time - 10 hours 50 minutes


Yes, there were a million pink french knots in the flowers, no I don't like doing french knots and yes, they are really scruffy. But it doesn't bother me in the slightest... let's call it my "feature"! I did enjoy the backstitching though and watching each little flower come to life.

Here's the whole calendar so far:

.

I'll be back at end of June with a cute tortoise family.

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Dreaming of Dolphins - finished

Morning all!

It should come as no surprise that I've now finished this gorgeous project. It required only a few more hours of stitching, plus a tiny bit of backstitching. I actually finished it a week ago, just haven't got around to posting about it until  now.

This is another finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015 and is the 20th finish out of the 59 starts. So, yes, I've now reached the 1/3 mark although, to be fair, 17 were finished in 2015 itself and those I've got left are generally the larger pieces. I've obviously still got a long way to go but I'll get there slowly and surely.

Anyway, here's the last progress picture from the end of April:


And here's the finished piece and details:

Designed by Karen Couchman and featured in Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
Stitched on 32ct Atlantic Depths hand-dyed Opalescent Murano Evenweave
by The Crafty Kitten 2 over 2
Stitch count 211 wide by 122 high
Started - 7th January 2015
Finished - 21st May 2017
Total stitching time - 59 hours 30 minutes
(estimated 69 hours)


It goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed stitching the dolphins, especially on the sparkly fabric, which really doesn't show up in the photos. There are only 6 colours in the piece and probably about half of the stitches use blended threads, but there are huge blocks of colour so it was very easy to stitch. Oh and I left out the little fish as I didn't think they were necessary.

However, now that I have unrolled the fabric I am quite annoyed - if you look closely at the top and bottom you might be able to make out distinct stripes where the fabric has more colour. This is where it was rolled on the frame so obviously some of the colour, namely the blue, has faded whilst I have been stitching. It'll be covered by the frame so won't actually show but it is annoying that my finished piece is not on the colour fabric I started out with. I'm trying to remain positive that at least it didn't fade too much and is still a lovely backgound for the dolphins.

I've already ordered the frame for this, along with the frames for a few other pieces, so there will be another chance to see it, and some other finished projects, soon.....

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 8 May 2017

New Start - Birds With Umbrella - 10 hours

Hello all!

In between all of my Challenge WIP stitching I have managed to sneak in a couple new starts. They're very slow-going as they're the last projects on my to-do list each month but at the end of April I finally reached the 10 hour mark on the first one:


Birds With Umbrella
Free pattern from my-cross-stitch-patterns.com
Stitched on 16ct Tea Rose overdyed aida by Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count - 100 wide by 98 high
Started - 25th March 2017


I won't show what the completed pattern will look like but, from the title, I bet you can guess which part I'm stitching first and which parts are left to stitch! It's mostly big blocks of colour which makes it a pleasingly simple stitch. Sometimes less is more.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 1 May 2017

April Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

It's the end of the month so time for another update on my Challenge WIPs. My plan for April was to finish one piece and work on three more. And I succeeded!

I finished The Milk Train (posted previously) and gave attention to the following three:


Dreaming of Dolphins from Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
started 7th January 2015; last stitched on March 2017
worked on the final dolphin - not much left to go on this now



Gryffindor by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 4th February 2015; last stitched on March 2017
continued filling in the background and started the lion



Cream by Heritage Crafts
started 9th February 2015; last stitched on June 2015
started working my way down, filling in the background
(note to self... please give the cat his eyes!!)


In May I aim to finish Dreaming of Dolphins and work on three more WIPs. I may also reach the 10 hour mark on one or both of two new starts, depending on how I divide my time between each project. As always, I have an exciting and variable month of stitching ahead!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 28 April 2017

Smalls SAL - April 2017

Good morning!

As it's the last Friday of the month it's time to post my project for this month's Smalls SAL. Thank you once again to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.



I continued to carry on with he Durene Jones cute animal calendar and, boy, did I thoroughly enjoy stitching the little mouse and daffodil this month!

April Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st April 2017
Finished - 13th April 2017
Total stitching time - 7 hours 45 minutes


And the whole calendar so far:



Now that I've finished the first row I'm not sure if I'll keep showing the whole calendar each month. Maybe I show it again at the end of August and December when the second and third rows have been completed.

May's chart is very pretty so should be a lot fun to stitch.

See you at the end of May then.
Rachel x

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Milk Train - finished

Hello all,

Just a quick post today to show my latest finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015.

I started this for day 55 of the Challenge and finished it a couple of nights ago. This is the 19th finish out of the 59 starts.

This is how I left it at the end of March:


And now:

The Milk Train
Heritage Crafts Silhouette
Stitched on 16ct Cream Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 24th February 2015
Finished - 8th April 2017
Total stitching time - 29 hours
(estimated 34 hours)


I really enjoyed stitching it (no surprise there) and am so pleased with the result as it looked like a square of mushy colours whilst I was stitching it! The use of blended threads definitely highlight the subtle colour changes when looked at from a distance. All I need to do now is find a simple brown frame for it.

If I seem a bit quiet on the posting front at the moment it's simply because I've got nothing to blog about! I may soon reach the 10 hour mark on a new start, which will involve a post, but other than that I'm just beavering away on WIPs which will appear in my month end update.

Oh, and of course I'm failing to keep up with blog reading again. But I should be able to catch up over the Easter holidays.

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Back again!

Another month, another progress report on my Challenge WIPs. True to my hopes for March I finished Coffee and worked on three more.

These were:


Dreaming of Dolphins from Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
started 7th January 2015; last stitched on February 2017
finished the third dolphin and started on the final one who has both the tip of his nose and tail



Gryffindor by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 4th February 2015; last stitched on 22nd August 2015
started the red background



The Milk Train by Heritage Crafts
started 24th February 2015; last stitched on February 2017
continued working my way down and left


If things continue to go to plan, April should see me finish The Milk Train and again work on three more WIPs. Fingers crossed.....

Take care,
Rachel x