Tuesday, September 8, 2015

August WIPocalypse Check-In

Hi all!
A belated WIPocalypse post this month, but a bit of progress to catch up on!  I had a finish (previously posted), a new start, and worked on some of my WIPs.

I finished "Baby Girl Spring Sunshine Line" (Brooke's Books).  I posted a photo in my SFS post, but will post again here:

Because I finished the birth record, I got to start a new project, "Cozy Christmas Santa" by Jim Shore/Mill Hill.  Once finished, I will be turning it into an ornament:

I finished all the stitching and am about halfway done with the beading (which is much more sparkly in real life than is showing up in the picture)!

I also worked on "Autumn Sampler" and "The Balloon."

"Autumn Sampler" Before:


"The Balloon" Before:


She looks a bit creepy right now haha, but hopefully not for much longer!

Hope you all have a good rest of the week!  Happy Stitching! : )

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Stitch from Stash: August (and July)

Month: July and August
Spent: $55.00
Earned: $8 (I finished Spring Sunshine Line!)
Carry-Over: $3

Hi all,

I felt like I spent a lot the past two months, so I'm honestly surprised I'm still in the black!  A substantial portion of my spending was for finishing supplies, so I was happy to reread the SFS rules and discover that didn't count towards my spending. : )

As it is nearing the end of summer, I bought a couple patterns to try to finish before Christmas.  This will be my first Christmas at my home because previously I was 12 hours away from my family and would travel a week at Christmas to see them, so decorating at my own place felt unnecessary.  Now after the move, I am less than an hour from my family, so I get to decorate!!  To begin my decorating, I purchased a couple items at my favorite online stitchy store's Christmas in July sale.

The first is a Santa ornament, "Cozy Christmas Santa" by Jim Shore/Mill Hill:

Eventually I want to purchase and stitch the whole set, but I started with this one because I love the quilted look of his robes.

I also purchased another Christmas pattern by the same designer, "Snowman":

And, like the Santa ornaments, I would love to stitch this set as well (there are four in the set: snowman, Santa, reindeer, and tree.)

And my biggest purchase of the month, which I cannot believe did not end up breaking my Stitch from Stash bank, was an item that has been at the top of my wishlist for almost two years, and which I KNEW I would buy eventually, but it is a rather pricey kit (for my budget) and I had decided to wait until I finished another one of my bigger projects.  But then I found out two weeks ago that it was being discontinued, and luckily I was able to find it from a seller (with a discount!) before it disappeared from the marketplace completely:

This is "Art Nouveau by Mucha-primrose" by Lanarte.  I love love love this artwork, and this design.  I was also very excited to discover that although the kit lists 14 ct Aida as the fabric, it is in fact 28 ct evenweave inside.    I am trying to restrain myself from starting: I am trying not to grow beyond my 8 WIPs (which, let's face it, is what I said at 4 and 5 and 6), but 8 really is enough for me, and is the perfect number for my new rotation.

Speaking of my rotation, this week my focus piece was the baby sampler for my future niece, which I am happy to say is not only finished, it is a FFO!  I finished it on the day she was born:

Obviously, the pink ribbons in the center of the blanket are digital (covering up her name and birth date).  I really enjoyed creating this: I love the 3-D effect, and all the different special details made out of ribbon, beads, metallics, and memory thread.  I mounted the stitched "clothes line" pieces on a burlap backing I found at Walmart (already mounted on a frame), and used lace on the corners to fancy it up a little.  I have several of Brooke's Books Spirit Angel Ornaments, and I loved creating this so much (the final touches were almost even more fun than the stitching), that I will definitely be working on one of the ornaments in the near future.

And - whew! - I have written a lot!  Thank you all for reading and your comments, and I look forward to reading your posts this month!

Happy Stitching!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Late July WIPocalypse Check-In

Hi all,

I was bad and didn't post for the early July WIPocalypse (or July Stitch from Stash) this month: this summer has been jam-packed with an office move at work, housesitting for my parents for the past two weeks, and a vacation to the beach.  Despite the lack of blogging time, I have had a really fun summer so far, and I hope you all are having one too!

I have lots of updates from the last two months, so here we go:

3 New Starts!

My most recent start is "Spring Baby Girl Sunshine Line" (Brooke's Books).
I am making this birth record for my future niece: each piece will be cut out (after some embellishment with specialty stitches, memory thread, and beads), and hung on a mini clothesline for a 3D effect.  (A picture of the finished model is in my June SFS post.)

I started this on July 8, and hope to have it finished (except for the date of birth, etc.) before she is born. I have about half of the pieces stitched so far, so it'll be close: her due date is in late August.

I began my second start right before the baby sampler arrived. I wanted to practice stitching on perforated paper because I'd never stitched on paper before, so I decided to start my first Mill Hill kit, "Snowfall" on July 2:

This one got put aside once the baby sampler kit arrived, but I plan to continue working on it and hope to have it finished by this winter!

And the last start I announced in my June Stitch from Stash post,but I didn't show my progress:

This is "The Balloon" by Gorjuss Designs/Bothy Threads.

1 Finish!

I showed this in my June SFS post, but for those of you who only follow the WIPocalypse posts, here it is again:

"Tree Frog Trio" (Dimensions)

and progress on 2 WIPs!

Besides my 3 starts, I worked on primarily 2 WIPS:

"The Wave"



"Autumn Sampler"



Beauty and the Beast, my stocking and Quiet Time got about 100 stitches each, not enough to really see much progress on those particular pieces, so I'm waiting to take progress pics.  I'll try to put more time in on those three over the next month so I can show you all some more significant progress.

With the three new starts and only one finish, I am now at 8 WIPs total (!!) but I figure if they're in my stash anyway, might as well work on them! : )  I have a few that are really calling to me that I haven't started yet, but I'm going to try to force myself to finish a couple of these first.  Luckily my new starts are all small-medium sized, so they shouldn't take too long to finish.

Happy Stitching! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stitch from Stash: June

Month: June
Spent: $33.39
Earned: $0 (I had a finish, but it was from a pattern I bought in February, so not quite 6 months ago!)
Carry-Over: ($68.82 previous + $25 this month - $33.39 spent this month) = $60.43 left over from my budget from the last six months.  Not too bad: this group has really helped me keep track of and manage my spending habits!  My goal for the next half of the year will be to finish more projects. :)

This month's spending was entirely on a gift I will be stitching for my future sister-in-law and her second child, who is due at the end of August. (She isn't a blog reader, so I can share!)  I stitched a baby sampler for her first child, and decided I will stitch one for all future nieces and nephews as well.

The theme for the nursery is vintage, with pastels, and I found a lovely birth sampler pattern by Brooke Nolan (Brooke's Books) which fits the theme and color scheme perfectly:

"Spring Baby Girl Sunshine Line"

Just waiting for the chartpack to arrive in the mail!  Also included in the total spending listed above are the specialty threads I purchased for the pattern (some Kreinik braid and ribbon, and DMC memory thread) from my favorite online stitchy store.  I'm very excited to stitch this! I have a few Brooke's Books patterns, and I love how intricate and three-dimensional they are. I was planning to stitch one of her spirit angel ornaments this year, but it looks like that one will be saved for later so I can work on this and hopefully get it finished before the baby arrives!

In terms of stitching this month, I finished "Tree Frog Trio," (yay!), and therefore got a new start.

Here is my finish:

I started "The Balloon" (a Gorjuss/Bothy Threads design).  I only have a small portion of it stitched right now (I'll upload a pic in my WIPocalypse post), but this is what it will look like finished:

I love the look of all of the Gorjuss designs, and I really love all of the purple in this one. :)
I will  be back for Stitch from Stash - B, and I look forward to reading all of your updates!

Happy Stitching! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June WIPocalypse Check-In

Hi all,

It's the summer! Woot!  I graduated, moved, and just settled into a real-life, full-time job.  This is my first week working, but I must say I'm already loving having evenings free...no more homework or piles of grading waiting for me when I get home at night!

I didn't make quite as much progress as last month on my stitching, but I did have a finish and a new start. : )

I included this pic of my finish in my SFS post, but here is "Aurora Cabin" again:

I still love this piece as much (if not more) than when I first received the kit, and I'm so happy to see it finished...and it only took me six years haha!

Because I finished this, I got to start a new WIP to fill that slot in my rotation.  Since all my other projects are quite large, I chose "Tree Frog Trio" (Dimensions) to provide some variety, and so that I don't have to wait several months for another finish!  It shouldn't take me long at all; I've already gotten one of the three frogs completed:

I also worked a little on two of my other WIPs, and here is my progress:

Autumn Sampler:


The Wave:



Are you more productive stitching in winter or summer?
I am more productive in the summer, I think, just because I have a bit more free time without holiday traveling, etc.  Plus I have always been in school during the winter: this will be my first year since age 3 that I will not be in school, so I may end up getting a bit more cross stitching done, in addition to wedding planning! I actually don't think I have written about this in any of my previous posts, but my now-fiance proposed in March and we are looking at dates in fall of 2016 for the wedding...so excited! :)

I have decided to update my WIPocalypse goals from the beginning of the year to reflect the projects I have started ("Autumn Sampler" and "Tree Frog Trio," instead of the original projects I had listed.) I will post my updated goals in a day or two.

Happy Stitching! : )

Monday, May 25, 2015

May SFS: Happy Dance!

Month: May
Spent: $0
Earned: $15 (I finished "Aurora Cabin" (Dimensions Gold): I completed one page full coverage since January, about half of which was tent stitch, but I also stitched the backstitching, couching, and French knots for the whole design, so I figure all of that equates to $15? )
Carry-Over: $28.82+ $25 this month+$15 for finish = $68.82

And...here is my finish! : )

This was my oldest WIP (I started it in 2009), so it's very exciting to see it completed! I love the finished effect of all the french knot stars. : )   I will post an updated picture once it is framed!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, May 4, 2015

WIPocalypse Check-In: May 4

Hi all,

It's finally May: whew!  I graduate this coming weekend, have job interviews lined up (fingers crossed!) and move at the end of the month!  We are moving into a bigger place, so I am looking forward to having a designated space for stitchy stuff...I may post photos of it once I get it set up over the summer. : )

Despite the continued crazy, this month was a little less hectic than March, and I was able to stick to my rotation, working on all 6 of my WIPs!

My most recent start, "Autumn Sampler" (Janlynn), only had a few stitches in it at the time of my last post:

But after 5 evenings of stitching it actually is beginning to look like something:

I have never stitched a sampler style pattern like this before, and I love it!  It just seems to move so quickly because it is not a full coverage pattern, and each section is like a mini finish.  Really enjoyed working on this project this month: it was difficult to put it down!

Beauty and the Beast
This is one is actually starting to look like something too, now that I've completed the gargoyle and started on the column!

Aurora Cabin


The cross stitches and backstitching are complete: just need to finish the couching and all of the French Knot stars! Should be a finish by my next check-in. : )

Sleigh Ride at Dusk Stocking

The Wave


Quiet Time
You can't really see it in this picture, but I got to work with some Kreinik #4 braid for the first time, adding some sparkle to the edges of her tail: very pretty but I understand why people dislike working with it!  I think the final result will be worth it though. : )

Happy May (and early Mother's Day), and Happy Stitching!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Stitch from Stash: April

Month: April
Spent: $22.58 ($15.59 on "Orchids and Hummingbirds" (Dimensions) + $6.99 for Hummingbird Quartet Leisure Arts pamphlet)
Earned: $0 (I technically finished a page on "Aurora Cabin," but I'm going to wait to count it until I finish all the couching and French knots!)
Carry-Over: $26.40+ $2.42 this month = $28.82

What I got:
"Orchids and Hummingbirds"

"Hummingbird Quartet"

Sunday, April 5, 2015

WIPocalypse Check-In:April

Hi all,

Happy Easter!
Can you believe it's April already?! March has been a bit crazy with school and work: I picked up several additional hours at my second job, and was working like a madwoman on my final thesis draft (which I defended on Friday, and passed, whew!) Because I had such limited stitchy time, I abandoned my usual rotation and just stitched on what was calling to me at the moment, which ended up being 2 of my WIPs.  I finished one, so I also got a new start. : )  Hopefully this month things will slow down a little and I will be able to resume my rotation! 

The first WIP I worked on, "Winter Friend," I ended up finishing: my first finish of 2015!
I posted a picture of it earlier in the month, but here it is again:

I will post another picture when I get it framed. Because I finished this, I also put a few stitches in on a new start, "Autumn Sampler" by Janlynn:

This is what it will look like when finished:

I also worked on "Aurora Cabin," which went from here:

To here:

So close to completing the cross stitch on this!  Once that is done, there is a bit of backstitching in the cabin, rocks, and trees, and several french knots for the stars.  I'm hoping it will be a finish before I move in June! : )

The question for this post is: Which specialty stitches do you love doing on projects?  Which do you dread?
My knowledge of specialty stitches is fairly limited, and I plan to learn more: besides all the variations of the standard cross stitch, I know backstitching, french knots, couching, and satin stitch.  My favorite is probably backstitching simply because I like the way it can make a pattern like "Winter Friend" come to life, and it progresses so much more quickly than cross stitch!  I don't really have any that I dread (probably because I don't know that many yet): I know many people dislike French Knots, but I have never really had a problem with them, although I do want to improve my technique because my knots are not always the same size..."Aurora Cabin" should give me some needed practice. : )

Here's to hoping I get some solid time in on all of my WIPs this month!
Happy Stitching! : )

Friday, March 27, 2015

Stitch from Stash: March

Month: March
Spent: $12.98 (Kreinik and Mill Hill beads)
Earned: $0
Carry-Over: $14.38 + $12.02 this month = $26.40

I did have a finish this month: "Winter Friend" (picture is in my previous post), but I purchased it in October and started stitching it in November, so it doesn't count as a finish from stash.  But it is one more WIP complete! : )

I was lucky enough this month to be the winner in a giveaway hosted by Carolyn Mazzeo, a wonderful Floss Tuber who has some really helpful tutorials on parking and the pinhead stitch (if you're interested!)   The prize was a gift certificate to one of my favorite online stitchy stores, and I decided to use it to kit up the Spirit of Holiday Giving Angel Ornament (Brooke's Books):

I love the 3D nature of these ornament designs, which despite being labelled "ornaments", are pretty sizeable (5"x7"). I plan on stitching her this winter, and will probably use her as a windowsill/bookshelf decoration, rather than a tree ornament. I purchased the Kreinik, beads, and perforated paper for the design with the gift certificate plus $12,98 of my own (this is all I spent this month), so all I have left to purchase to completely kit this up is the DMC. 

I will post updates of my progress on my WIPs next week!  Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Dance! Winter Friend

My first finish of 2015! Started Nov 18, 2014. Finished today, just shy of 4 months old!
Please forgive the hoop marks, I was too excited to wait for the iron. : )  

This project had several firsts for me: it was my first Bothy Threads kit, my first time working with Lana and light effects thread, as well as using ribbon in a cross stitch design.
She is also the first project I have completed for myself. I will post another picture once she is pressed and framed!

A finish also means I get to start something new today (yay!), and I have chosen "Autumn Sampler" by Janlynn.  It will look like this when complete:

I really like the colors and detail of this design!  I will post my progress on it in my April WIPocalypse update.

Happy Stitching! : )