Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Becoming Majestic

Sorry I've not been on here for ages, life just gets in the way sometimes! I've been steadily progressing with Peacock Majesty, and I'm now on the final quarter of cross stitch. I'm an annual leave this week, so I may even finish it soon! Here's a quick photo (sorry about the crumples):

I'm not sure what I'll pull out to work on next. I see some stash diving in my near future!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A fabulous summer of stitching

I can't believe how beautiful our summer has been so far. I've been in such a good mood. I have, inevitably, spent more time outside and ergo less time stitching, but I have been making great progress regardess. Plus the gorgeous weather means I could take some shots outside.

A few weeks ago I spent Sunday doing some actual finishing. I think I've shared all of the pieces on here in their happy dance but not yet finished state.  I've just realised they are all Blackbird Designs. First up is a group of pillows, the larger one is Summer Stars from A Stitcher's Journey, but stitched with floss I had to hand. The three smaller pillows are Small Tokens from My Heart is True. Really fun quick stitches :)

Next up is a piece - Bird in Hand - I finished ages ago, but wanted to finish as a flat fold. Having looked it up via the tags on here I've realised I finished it in July 2011! It took me ages to find the right backing fabric, and even longer to find the desire to actually finish it, but it has turned out just how it wanted, and I found the perfect braid in my stash to complete the project. I took several photos of it hanging off my rose arch, so please indulge me in a few photos...

I've also got two happy dances to share. First up is Raven's Roost and Curse of the Raven by The Gude Huswife and Carriage House Samplings respectively. It was a bit windy out, so I had to find some props to stop it blowing away (the Lille such ions were less fortunate).

Finally, this is Celtic Wreath by The Sunflower Seed, from the 2009 JCS ornaments magazine. I used 28ct fabric, and ran out of the Crescent Colours Bandana - which I bought ages ago and had little hope of matching a dye lot. Knowing I only needed three lengths of thread to finish I dug put the suggested DMC, used it in three different places, and I honestly cannot spot it. I was so delighted!

Since finishing these two pieces I've been working on Peacock Majesty again - I'll post a photo once I've completed the peacock, which is getting ever closer ;)

I hope everyone else is having a lovely summer, and finding some stitching time.  
Happy stitching folks x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tiny tombstones

I'm getting ever closer with my pair of tiny tombstones - The Curse of the Raven by Carriage House Samplings and The Raven's Roost by the Goode Huswife - I really can't wait to finish these. They have been great fun to stitch, and I love the echo fabric which is an off cut I bought (moderately) cheaply. If all goes well I'll have a happy dance before the weekend!

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Some old exchanges...

I've been meaning to post these for ages. Initially I needed to wait for them to arrive to their destinations around the world, but then I just kept forgetting. And just now I've had to look on three devices to find the photos that I took... Back in February!

Anyway, absolutely ages ago (in March 2011, eeeek!) Lindsay of Caring Stitcher ( won a giveaway on my blog. I stitched the piece up really quickly and then just never got round to finishing and posting it.  Mostly because I couldn't settle on backing fabric. It's Bluebirds Song by Blackbird Designs, finished into a cushion using the fabric it's sitting on.

For my more recent giveaway to celebrate my 300th post back in August last year, I stitched two versions of the same TW design, Greetings. The blue version went to Ana Christina ( in Brazil. The multicolour version went to Monique of Cross Stitch Ramblings ( in South Africa. It was fun sending the parcels out to two different continents :) the backing fabric is a remnant of fabulous Liberty fabric that I picked up cheap ages ago.

I'm beginning to get the hang of the blogger app on my iPad. I've FINALLY managed to set the picture size so they don't overlap with the menus on the side. But I can't remember how to code adding in a URL, and there isn't a quick button (that I can see). I'll get there eventually...

This weekend I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so am spending the days sat on the some doing very little. But a small amount of simple xs. I just can't not pick my current projects up!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Birds in the garden, birds in the house

It seems appropriate that I've finished Backbird Designs' Spring Song while all the birds have been scoffing seeds and fat balls (they are especially greedy this year!) at our feeding station and as the coal tits nesting next door and the many house sparrows in the area started to fledge. I really enjoyed this design, and the photo really doesn't do it justice. My only alteration was to add two extra rows of the blue 'training fabric' threads. I'm delighted with the result.

My latest new start is The Curse of the Raven by Carriage House Samplings. I'm stitching it in the suggested floss, but instead of the called for 40 count camofudge I'm using a piece of 28ct echo that I picked up in a sale. My plan is to stitch The Raven's Roost by the Goode Huswife on the same piece of fabric. Annoyingly only half my order of floss came in. And I placed the order in late April. After a quick call to the company I found out it was a delay from a US supplier when sending to the UK. I've just reordered with a different company, I hope the have the right colours in stock.

So this makes me wonder, where do people buy their stash from? I try to use UK sellers(avoiding the dangers of import tax and associated fees), but find many only have partial listings in their web sites, so it's hard to know if you've looked at all of the charts by certain designers. I used to use sewandso all the time, but find their range of charts don't really match my current tastes, and their over dyed floss is expensive. I've used Wye needlecraft, often in person if I'm in Bakewell, but less often by post (no idea why, and I always get the JCS ornies issue from them). I've been using Thread Bear recently, but have had a few supply issues (did I mention my entire Christmas present from Eddy, which he placed in November, didn't come in until the end of Jan - no presents under the tree for me, I was not impressed). So this time I'm trying The Patchwork Rabbit, where I have often browsed but rarely bought. I'd love to hear where other people shop!

I'm off work this week, so have been busy in the garden and just generally chillaxing. Today's rain has designated it a crafting day. So far I've browse the internet a lot, but at least I finally posted my happy dance. Time for lunch, then a good stash dive I think. Or maybe some finishing. Or...

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Beautiful birdie

I wanted a change from Peacock Majesty (NB: it is the TW petite, NOT the full peacock tapestry). So I decided to work on some Blackbird Designs pieces. After doing the simple Quaker pin cushion in my last post I decided to work on Spring's Song from the Mary Ann Blackburn booklet. I love that every tenth row, a length of thread is pulled put of the linen and replaced with blue, to mimic the 'training linen' in the original sampler. I decided to do this 8 times, not just 6 as in the model, so the pattern extends to the edge of the piece. It's been quite a quick stitch, and I kept forgetting to post pics. This is where I am up to, just the top border to go:

Sorry for the crumpled linen, I'm stitching this one in-hand!

I've also finished-finished Rose Garden (a while back, but failed to share), here's a quick photo. It's resting on the fabric I used for the backing.

I've just got back from an epic shopping trip to buy myself a new (slightly larger) ball gown. My friend Julia helped me pick one that's outside of my comfort zone but stunning. Can't wait for Friday now. Of course I'm now shattered so it's time to put my feet up, have a cuppa and do some stitching!

Happy stitching folks x

Monday, 21 April 2014

Night Happy Dance

I've been busy travelling with work again, hence the lack of posts. After the trip to Slovenia and Croatia I've been to a conference in York, a meeting in London, a PhD viva in Copenhagen and two conferences in Canada. Good job I love to travel!

I've been taking Peacock Majesty along as my travelling piece, but as you can imagine progress has been slow.  I have now finished the bottom half of the project though:

When I've been at home I've been focussing on Maria Sharrenberg's Night, which I finished just before the trips to Copenhagen and Calgary. I was so busy travelling I nearly forgot to happy dance!

I got back at 10pm Monday, delayed by 13 hours due to a cancelled flight. I did not expect to eat my dinner in Amtserdam on Monday! (London to Amsterdam to Leeds in neither logical nor fun, but it was that or spend the night at Heathrow).

I was back in work the following morning, but luckily the long day on Monday was a great way to get over the jet lag quickly! We get Friday, Monday and Tuesday off for Easter at the University. Friday I mostly slept, and Saturday I had a headache, but on Sunday I was sufficiently relaxed to start a new project - which I finished this morning. This is Summer Stars Pincushion from A Stitcher's Journey by Blackbird Designs. I substituted the pink from Woodrose to Antique Rose, as I didn't have the former in my stash. Caramel Corn was too close in colour to the fabric, so I switched that with Aged Pewter. I'm really pleased with the result. It's stitched on 30ct Sheep's Staw by R&R Reproductions.

I hope everyone is havinga lovely Easter break, and managed to find some stitching time :)