Monday, 31 March 2008

Wow Wow Wow I Did It

It's just after midnight but I had to share my end of March finish. Yes despite having a crisis and losing my mojo for a week or so I have finished Queen of the Needle by Just Nan on target. Thank you so much Sally for helping me to keep focused and encouraging me with this. I have made several changes, well I always do lol. The most obvious is the white lace perle work is now lavender and though it is not so noticeable i also changed the beads to match. I missed some of the beads in the body of the work out. The lavender beads I chose for their colour but they were a little larger than the white supplied with the charm so they looked bulky especially on the strawberry flowers, so i just did and extra little cross stitch where they should have gone. I am thrilled with the results and feel it was well worth the effort of frogging those top two corners to change the colour.

Right I am off to bed now before my hubby divorces me lol.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

March Challenge

It was reveal day at the Stitch and Stash forum today and so I can now show you what I did for the March monthly challenge. This was a retired design called The Alphabet Tree and I stitched it using a Dragon Floss limited edition floss which I love. I did make a couple of small alterations as I made the bar on the top of the T straight and I altered the shape of the X too. The date should have been to one side with initials on the other side but as I didn't want to add my initials I split the year either side of the tree. The little bon-bon basket / dish was something I first saw at Alchemy Stitchcraft and Christine was kind enough to explain very carefully how this was made, so a big thanks Christine for sharing your knowledge with us. I say us as Sally also did the same finish lol "Great Minds" and I am assuming that she too followed Christine's Instructions. The variety of both threads used and finishes produced seems to be greater each month as we are all becoming more adventurous.

We have been busy at my Mum's house today. Last weekend we cleared her spare room and stripped wallpaper, painted ceiling and skirtings etc and laid a carpet (it is a fairly small room). This weekend we are papering and sorting doors (which need a little off the bottom now that there is a carpet to go over). She is hoping to turn it into a hobby room where she can go to do her painting etc and not have to keep putting things away. We almost finished today so I am hoping by lunch time tomorrow that we can come home and do some sorting out here lol. We always seem to be solving problems at either Mums, our DD or DS's homes and ours always gets left to the last, I have told them all that I want to decorate my bedroom later this year so if they have anything that needs doing to tell us now and as that list is quickly growing I can see my bedroom decorating ideas fading further into the distance lol, oh the joys of family.

Friday, 28 March 2008

2nd Friday Update...

Well by the time I had my coat on and was ready to go out the heavens had opened so I decided a mornings stitching was a better idea. Now much as I have enjoyed stitching on Queen there has been a niggle with it since I started. That niggle was the white which just did not show up, not only on the photos but even in real life unless you were right on top of it then it was invisible. So I decided to take a chance and do the bottom corner in the same shade as I had done the other perle section in the main body of the chart. I am thrilled with the results and although it will mean frogging the two top corners I know I will end up far more happy with it. Here is what it looks like at the moment.
Now to the lovely chart I saw. Ahhhhh it is going to cost £12.75 rather a lot for a chart I thought. Aparently this is because it is actually for two charts but that is like making me pay for a chart I do not want and will not use. I am sorry but I sometime think designers take us for a ride. I try to be fair with them but I think they too should be fair with us. Some designers do beautiful complicated designs and charge a fair price but others seem to charge an awful lot for not much and whilst I would have been happy to pay about £8.00 for this chart (which is what most Ink Circles seem to cost) I think nearly £14.00 - with the postage and packaging is ridiculous. lol if there is anyone out there who only wants to buy Second Chances then maybe we could get together and buy this between us. Oh well sorry for having a moan but I really liked that chart and I was rather disappointed.

Quick Queen Update

I wont have too much time for stitching over the next couple of days but I am hoping I might not be too far behind Sally by Monday as I am about to start the bottom section next.

Reveal day at the attic tomorrow and looking forward to seeing what everyone has done with this months challenge.

Have seen a lovely chart on Dawns blog, it is called "I Still do" by Ink Circles and so I am chasing a copy as I think this is just ideal as a memento stitch for my Ruby anniversary next year. As its 18 months away I might just about get it done in time lol.

Well sorry this is so short but I have to get into town and as the sky is very grey this morning I am hoping I can be there and back before the heavens open.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


I think my mojo is creeping back - oh I do hope so. I have finished parts 1 to 3 (Jan, Feb & March) of the EMS 2008 Freebie SAL. As I was approaching the end I found I was making excuses to stitch and not as I had been doing excuses to avoid stitching. Even better tonight I have made a start on Queen of the Needle and I did the one over one ladybirds and the butterflies I had missed before, so keep watching Sally I might actually get to finish with you yet. I havent taken a picture of Queen as the bits done are really only that yet but here is a picture of EMS. Hopefully I will get a bit more of queen done tomorrow and maybe post an update pic.

Thank you for all your lovely comments, your kind words have helped so much to keep me going.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

EMS SAL update

Not a great deal of progress but I have still been stitching a little. Although the mojo has not really returned and I do not feel any great enthusiasm at the moment, I cannot sit down and do nothing, it just is not in my nature lol. I have to be twiddling my fingers all the time as my DH puts it, and yes even in the days before i stitched I would always be knitting or crotcheting or some such thing in the evening. So this one which hardly takes any counting, very little in the way of colour changes is what i have at the side of my chair to pick up when I feel the need.

Although I admit to losing the enthusiasm for stitching I am ashamed to say my enthusiasm for stashing has not diminished in the least lol. I have joined a monthly club at Jaynes Attic for collecting Dinky-Dyes Silks and will be getting 10 new silks each month which I know I will just drool over.

Also after reading my last post, Dani remarked that if I hadn't said it was an Elizabeth Design she would have thought it was by Jeannette Douglas. I had never heard of Jeanette Douglas so I googled it and went to look. Oh dear that was fatal lol and I have added 4 more designs to my wish list - they are the seasons of stitching and they are delightful. There are quite a few others I like too but I really do need to stop wanting charts as I have so many beautiful ones already waiting to be stitched.

Thank you for all the lovely and encourageing comments, and for those like me who have mojo's playing truant I promise I will send them all home with a sharp word if I find where they are hiding.

I am trying very hard to keep up with everyones blogs and I do try to leave comments as often as I can so please forgive me if I miss you sometimes. I go for my premed on the 10th next month and if everything is ok i will be having my op on the 19th. Hopefully after that my health will improve and I will be back to my old self.

Bless you all you have come to mean so much to me.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

A Nearly Dance

Here it is - my interpretation of October Sky by Elizabeth Designs. I need two more little charms to be able to complete it but I have nothing suitable at the moment. I thought maybe a tiny leaf for the small square and a butterfly or a wee bird for the larger square, but they will have to wait for a while until I am sending for an order from somewhere that sells charms. I have been delving in my stash and discovered a chart called Blue Sky which is by the same designer. I have a feeling that was an impulse inspired when I saw the design stitched by Jacqui quite a while back and it is a very similar sort of thing to October Sky. I have a feeling I shall be going to look if there are others in this set too though I am strictly on the chart wagon again at the moment.

I really enjoyed stitching this but having said that I am not sure that it has recaptured my "mojo". I finished stitching last night and have had no urge whatsoever to pick a needle up today. I have several things calling - the threads arrived that I was waiting for to carry on with EMS Rose SAL, part three of the beautiful Papillon Creations freebie SAL is out (and printed off all ready to go) and I want to get Queen of the Needle going again as I had thought that might be done for the end of the month. I also want to get back to my UFO which I had really felt was making some improvement before the holiday and so far it has not seen the light of day since I got back - Mr Stick will be beating me black and blue, oooohhhhhh I'm shaking in my boots. The trouble is though they are calling they are not really yelling me, me, me. Even the discovery of Blue Sky which is very similar to October is not actually calling to me. I do think that you should be able to get some professional help in recapturing your mojo when it goes missing. I do hope it returns soon as I could go into a serious decline without it.

Thank you all for visiting my little corner once again and for leaving your lovely comments which mean so much to me.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Cream Egg & Mojo Incentive

We have Ozzie staying with us this weekend and today we decided to go and do the Easter Egg Hunt at Sherwood Forest. He duly paid his £1 for the clue sheet which was not so much an egg hunt but a booklet of clues about Robin Hood and about the Forest past and present, which needed to be found and filled in. We spent about 2 and a half hours following the trail and as it was really a nice day it was very enjoyable. At the end we finished up back at the visitors centre where the sheet was checked and Ozzie got a Cadbury's Cream Egg. He also got his booklet back so he could remember what he had learnt. On the way home we decided to go via the Designer Outlet Village at Mansfield just for a browse around and while there we visited the Cadbury's Shop where cream eggs were 3 for 99p - lol we teased Ozzie that we could have saved a 1p and 3 hours in Sherwood forest if we had just gone there first - and we would have had an egg each.

This is Ozzie by The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest

I havent been here much this week as my stitching mojo did a vanishing act last weekend. I was not feeling my normal cheerful self but a dear friend stepped in by sending me a beautiful chart from Elizabeth Designs called "October Sky", which she thought might act as an incentive as it is all small sections. Well it seems to have worked and though I didnt have the fabric or the one special thread called for so decided to just go ahead with whatever I felt like and I have been having fun the last couple of days with this one just picking colours as I go along. If you want to see how it should look then just click here. I am stitching it on 32 count antique white evenweave and have used mainly Needle Necessities (now Threadworx) threads. As I am really enjoying stitching again - something I havent done for a week or two I am going to stick at this one for the now.

Part 3 of the Papillon SAL is now out too so I may do that before I go back to my rota and my SAL (sorry Sally) but I will see. At the moment I just feel that I am going to go where the mood takes me and not worry - I need to feel that I am enjoying my stitching again and not pressurise myself.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Whats In a Name

What Helen Means
You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Well I can agree with some of it but mmmmm other bits I think are wrong - wonder what others think lol.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Moody Blues

I got about 500 stitches done on the HAED piece. I wouldnt mind so much all the confetti stitches if it looked like something but as most of it is tree then i dont think that will happen very much. I wasnt looking forward to starting it and I very quickly got fed up with it but still its 500 less to stitch next time lol (only another 161,200 to go).

I think I have a touch of the Moody Blues at the moment as nothing much is holding my attention. After the HAED I moved on to Blackwork House which is the next in the rota and I finished the filling in on the left hand front, but although i cannot say that I didnt enjoy doing it I soon felt fed up with it and couldnt be bothered to make a start on the other side of the house so this is how that one stands at the moment.

This afternoon I sat down to start on the monthly challenge but then the family descended on us so nothing got done. Hopefully will get some more done later. We had a little run into the garden between the rain so that Oscar could see how much frog spawn there was in the pond. Quite a lot though it seems to be rather late here this year. Unfortunately the arrival of the frog spawn means the pump has to be switched off and the waterfall will not be working for sometime. One year we didnt bother and the frog spawn quickly disappeared and we had milky looking water as it all went though the pump - i felt like a murderer so now we have to manage for a few months.

I think at the moment I have so many big projects in my rota that nothing seems to be moving very fast. Also I have a load of new or newish charts that I had for Christmas and my birthday last year that I really, really want to start and I am having to be very strict with myself. I do know that I am going to stick to adding smaller projects at the end of each round for a while so that they will probably be started in one round and finished in the next and hopefully will boost me a little. I do know when I look at the photos Ive taken and compare them to the ones I did last time but oh i would so much like to see some of those BAPS finished.

On a more cheery note, Karen has kindly offered to fix my fob for me. I actually had a number of offers but Karens was the first and I accepted before any others came in so please dont think your offer was not most appreciated if you were one of those who offered later. It never fails to amaze me what wonderful people are out there. We so often read of the low life that are about that we are inclined to forget that for every one of them there are lots and lots of lovely people in this world.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Framed and things

Unfortunately I could not get a very good picture of this. When I switched the flash off I just got a blurred image, and of course with the flash on I got the reflection, oh well this was the best one of several I tried. Also disappointing is that the colour of the inner mounting looks red on my computer but in actual fact is a mid burgundy shade which is exactly the same as the darker shade in the stitching. It does look lovely in real life - honestly lol.

For anyone who didn't see this when I stitched it here is what it looked like before framing, and if you are wondering why it is called "bluebells" when it is so obviously pink ;0) thats me changing colours again.
I recently pre-ordered the seven new Dinky Dyes silks which were due to be released at the Nashville show. Yesterday morning I got that lovely little pink package through the door which meant a delivery from Jaynes Attic. I was thrilled when I opened it as I love the new colours, the two burgundy shades being my favourites.

Now I have an embarrassing confession to make. Some years ago someone made me a beautiful fob in lovely soft lavender colours. The trouble being that with my memory I cannot be certain who it was that actually made it for me, I have an idea but I am not certain so do not feel I can approach the person I think it is, if you see what I mean.
You can see it attached to my scissors on this picture of 4 Wishes.
Whilst on holiday the fob suddenly just broke, shear wear and tear I think as these are the scissors I use most of the time. I managed to save it before beads went in all directions but I was really upset. Since getting home I have looked to see if I could mend it but to be honest I just havent a clue where to begin. I am wondering if there is anyone in the UK who would be willing to repair it for me. I am of course willing to cover any costs, but I really would like to get this dear little fob paired up with its tiny scissors again. If you would be willing to help please would you email me. Thanks so much in anticipation of some wonderful person out there being willing.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Ooop's ......

I got sidetracked lol. Well I honestly did mean to get started on my HAED even if I was not looking forward to it. However before I could start I had to go and put some threads away. Silly me just getting the boxes out to put them in and i dropped them and some more threads came out so it was a bigger job than it should have been - but - and this was where I got sidetracked -
I went to pick a couple of colours up and thought "I like them two together" and well from there I ended up going to see how they would look together for my EMS 2008 Freebie and here is part 1 all finished lol.
The colours that had landed together were 3861 and 778 and I added 452 and 453 for the shading. Best of all though was the 778 was almost the same shade as the Needle Necessities 158 I had wanted to use originally, so I used the 778 on the outside petals of the rose and used the NN one for the centre of the rose giving just a little hint of shading which I like very much. I am really rather pleased with this and think I will like this choice far more than the one I actually have on order for this project. Not to worry I am sure the other will not be wasted as I have a couple of other large projects in the pipeline and I am sure the Organic Strawberry will be ideal for one of those. I am very tempted to carry on with this as part three is now out and it would be nice to get the three parts done before the end of the month however I am really beginning to feel guilty about this HAED project so I think I must make a start on that next - I MUST I MUST I MUST. Though I haven't done this weeks stint on my UFO piece yet lol.

I am popping over to Mums tomorrow and we are going to pick up The Sweetheart Tree "Sparkling Bluebells" from the framers. I had to go to the hospital for an appointment on Tuesday which is one of my normal days for going to Mums and so I visited her on Wednesday instead, unfortunately all the shops in the village close on a Wednesday afternoon and some - like the framers - close all day, so I was unable to get it earlier. I do hope I like it when I get it back, I hate trying to pick things in the shop its so hard trying to imagine what they will all look like when the framing is actually complete.

Happy stitching to one and all.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Home Again

Well doesn't time fly when you are enjoying yourself. It seems no time at all since I was saying that I was off on holiday and here I am back again. We had a lovely time but it just went too too fast.

Yesterday was Monday SAL with Sally, who has been very very good and not stitched on Queen of the Needle while I have been away so we should both be at about the same point still. I seemed to do an awful lot last night but disappointingly I just didn't manage to finish the whole of the section. There are some strawberry "satin stitch" flowers and a couple of "one over one" ladybugs still to do. I wonder if Sally managed to complete her section. Oops just remembered I still have the two butterflies to do that I forgot last time - oh well less rambling and let you have a picture to look at instead.
I am back to the beginning of my rota now and will be starting with a restart of HAED Such Is The Way of Fairies. Don't know how much I will get done on this as it really is not my choice of stitching but it is one of a pair that my daughter wanted and in a very foolish mood I volunteered to stitch one of them for her. Oh the things we mothers do!!!!
Thank you for all the wonderful comments about Friends are Treasures and thank you for the awards a couple of you have left me. I will have to go back and have a closer look at them and find out what I need to do.