Thursday, 30 December 2010

Shy Baby as of 30.12.10

Here's the latest update on Shy Baby.  I have now completed 15,102 of 164,850 which is 9.16% complete.  Still love stitching this as much as ever.  Only moving on so I can start on the 2011 SAL.

With regards to my 2011 goals I am about half way to completing the Shy Baby goal.

So here's the picture update.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that you have a lovely New Year.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

My Awesome Sister

This week a project I have been working on for a long time has finally been finished.  Unfortunately I cannot take credit for the finish.

In May 2009 I found out I was pregnant and began searching for cross stitch designs that I could stitch for my child.  At the beginning of September 2009 I found out I was expecting a boy and that helped me decide which designs I wanted to stich.  I decided to stitch the 8 animals in the Charlie's Ark series.  My sister also chose a bigger design that she was going to stitch as a birth sampler.  So about 15 months ago I started on these designs.  I found them very difficult to motivate myself to stitch and I think it is because the pattern is not the best quality.  It is difficult to see what colour some of the stitches should be because of the back stitch.  I wish pattern designers would provide two copies of a pattern, one without the back stitch and one with.  I am sure it would make it so much easier but probably more expensive.

Anyway I had completed all but two of the designs and they have been hung up in my sons room.  About two weeks ago I finally admitted to myself that I would probably never find the motivation to get these two projects finished so I asked my awesome sister if she would do them for me.  She hadn't really enjoyed stitching the birth sampler that she had done but she agreed to do them as she knew how much I had been avoiding completing them. 

So on Christmas Day we all went to my parents house for the day and my sister arrived with the two finished designs.  What had taken me nearly 15 months to do six designs took her less than 2 weeks to complete two.  I was so grateful to her for taking this project on for me and very happy to see them finally finished.

So here are the pictures of the two designs my sister completed for me.

And here is the whole display on my son's bedroom wall.

I am so happy that this project is complete before my son is old enough to say he doesn't want them on his wall anymore!!  I am sure as he gets older he will enjoy looking at them and I will love telling him that his Aunty Louise and I stitched every little cross with love just for him (I might not mention how much we hated doing it!!)

So this is just a big big thank you to my awesome little sister for helping me out with this.  She is the best sister in the world and also my best friend.  Love you Lou xxx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Second Finish for 2011 (yes I know it's still 2010!)

Well last night I finished the Christmas Card I previously posted about and started my first bookmark.  I couldn't do it straight from a pattern as the aida band I have is only 26 stitches wide and all the patterns I have are much bigger.  So I adapted two patterns and came up with this.  It is for my mum to sell at the next Church Fair so I hope people will like it.  I'm not sure if it is too simple but I think it's ok for my first try and it's another step towards completing my goals.

I have now moved onto working on Shy Baby which is one of my favourite projects.  I will probably work on this until I get the first page for the 2011 SAL which is January 1st.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

First Finish for 2011 (I know it's still 2010)

So I have been working on my first Christmas Card for 2011.  I know it's a bit early but I wanted to get a head start.  So the design I have done is called "Snowman and Deer" and it is from a pattern book by Leisure Arts called "Fast & Festive 50 Christmas Designs".  I bought it from a company called Sew and So.  I have ordered quite a few items from this company and they have amazing customer service and fast delivery.  I really like the designs in this book and can see myself stitching all 50 of them over time.  I normally find with a pattern book that I like about 50% of the designs so was very happy when I looked at this one.  So here is a picture of my first Christmas Card for 2011.  I have another 5 to stitch to complete one of my goals.

The pattern stated to do all the white in B5200 but for the white of the snowman I used one strand of B5200 and one strand of E5200 (metallic pearl).  I wanted to differentiate between the white on his hat and scarf and the white of the snow.  I'm not sure it shows up very well on the photo but I am pleased with the result.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Samuel as of 17.12.10

I started work this week on the photo of my son which I paid for Michele from HAED to chart for me.

Here is the original picture.

I didn't start in the top left hand corner as I usually do but actually started on his face as I want to see how well this turns out. I am a bit unsure about the colours so far as they have been quite dark pinks, salmon and terracotta. I have faith in Michele's work though and I am sure that once I get a bit further and see some details emerging it will be as amazing as the art she charts. Anyway here is my progress so far with this.  The blue lines you can see are the Sulky Metallic Thread which I am so far finding really great to use.  I have unpicked one row of gridding so far and it came out very cleanly and easily, I hope it continues to work so well.

So I have currently completed 2,516 of 87,953 stitches which is 2.86%.  My goal is to have completed 20% of this project by the end of 2011 so this means I have 17.14% to go which is the equivalent of another 15,074 stitches.  Another way to look at it is that I have completed 1/10 of my goal which I am quite pleased with (especially as it is still 2010!!).

I am super excited this weekend as tomorrow is the drawing for the HAED "lottery".  The winner gets to choose 25 charts, if I were to win I would be so happy but would also be sharing the prize with my sister to one of us would get 12 charts and one of us 13 charts.  Also all the participants get a free chart tomorrow regardless of whether they win so I'm really looking forward to seeing what the free chart is as well.

I'm also currently playing Christmas Bingo on the HAED BB and up to  now have 1 out of the 10 needed to win.  I'm not hopeful that I will win on this but it is fun taking part.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Stitching Goals for 2011

So I've been thinking recently about what I would like to achieve with my stitching in 2011.  I have 8 projects on the go at the moment and when I add in the 2011 SAL that will make 9.  I enjoy having lots of different things to stitch so I don't get bored but I do sometimes feel like I am not getting anywhere with any of the projects.  So the goals I am setting myself for 2011 are to:-
  1. Masquerade SK - complete - this was the June to Dec 2010 SAL and I have currently completed 61.83%
  2. Butterflies Galore SK - complete 75% - I have currently done 45.21%
  3. Christmas Stocking - complete by Christmas 2012 - I find this quite hard going sometimes as it is a very simple pattern and has huge blocks of the same colour so my goal is to have completed it by Christmas 2012 when Samuel will be nearly 3
  4. Hickory Dickory Dock QS - complete 50% - I have currently done 10.44%
  5. Christmas Cards & Bookmarks - I would like to have 5 bookmarks for my mum to sell at next years Church Christmas Fair and I would like to have 6 Christmas cards to be able to send to family members
  6. Train of Dreams - complete 1 page - I have currently done 3.51%.  I am finding this project quite hard to motivate myself to stitch.  It's a strange one because I love stitching it when I get started but I never want to start sewing it.  The really odd thing is it is one of my most favourite designs so I can't understand why I find it so hard getting started on it.
  7. Shy Baby - complete 3 pages - I have currently done 6.86%.  I love stitching this design and have to stop myself from stitching on it all the time to do some stitching on other projects.
  8. Samuel - complete 20% - I have currently done 2.63%.  This is a photo of my son that Michele charted for me.
  9. Blue Rose Fairy QS - complete 2 pages - this is the 2011 SAL so I haven't currently started it.
So it will be very interesting to look back this time next year and see how much I have accomplished in relation to these goals.  I don't know if they are realistic or not as I have never set goals for myself before.  If I complete half of the goals I will be very happy.

I have been working on the photo of my son this week and am going to work on it a couple more days before I post an update.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Masquerade SK as of 11.12.10

Well it's been quite a while since I last posted but this last week I have been working on the SK Masquerade for the July-Dec SAL.  I am sad to say that I still haven't completed page 1 (I have about 7 stitches left to do) but I have been working over the whole chart and have now completed 11,633 of 18,919 stitches which is 61.49%.  I always love stitching on this design and never get bored with it.  I don't know if it's because it is mainly purples as this is my favourite colour.  Anyway even though the SAL is over now I will continue this design until it is finished.  It may well be that this turns out to be my first HAED finish.

Anyway here is my progress picture up to now.

So coming up soon is the drawing for the HAED Christmas contest for the chance to win 25 charts.  Anyone who has entered also gets a free chart so I am looking forward to seeing the free chart and also hoping that I might be the lucky winner for the 25 charts!!  I've also just entered the Christmas bingo and selected my chart for the 2011 SAL so all in all lots of stitchy things to look forward to.  Not forgetting that Christmas is coming and it is my little boys first Christmas so I am super excited about that.

Can't quite make my mind up what to stitch next but I do have to finish a knitting project before Christmas so might concentrate on that first before picking up my stitching again.

So for anyone reading this just in case I don't post again before Christmas - I wish you a happy christmas and a healthy new year!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Two Updates in One

Well since I last posted I have been working on two of my projects.

Firstly I started working on QS Hickory Dickory Dock by Nancy Faulkner.  I managed to complete 2,796 of 26,775 stitches in one week which means I have completed 10.44%.  It was quite a lot of background using only 3-4 colours so progress was quite quick.  I am sure my progress will slow down once the confetti starts.

The second project was the SAL SK Masquerade.  I have now completed 10,613 of 18,919 stitches which is now 56.1% complete.  I still haven't completed the first page but I love how you can see the details coming through.  I haven't decided yet whether to carry on stitching Masquerade for the time being or rotate onto something else.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Shy Baby as of 19.10.10 - Page 2 Completed

So here's the latest picture of Shy Baby I have now completed page 2 (actual pattern page 24). 

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Just a little update

Well I've finished the birthday card for my niece and here is the finished article.

I've also decided to change how I work my rotation.  I found I wasn't getting enough accomplished in a week to see any progress which was getting me down a bit.  I have therefore decided to work on each project until I either complete a page or get fed up working on it - which ever comes first.  So the projects I have on the go now are:-
  1. Shy Baby
  2. Butterflies Galore - SK
  3. Masquerade - SAL SK
  4. Train of Dreams
  5. Christmas Stocking (Non HAED)
  6. Christmas Cards (Non HAED)
  7. Charlie's Ark (Non HAED)
  8. Hickory Dickory Dock - QS
  9. Samuel (Photo of my son charted by HAED)
So I probably won't be posting every week but will just post every time I change project.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Masquerade SK as of 07.10.10

Well here is my update this week on Masquerade following the October SAL.  I didn't get as much done this week as I would have liked to but I am now very close to finishing page 1.

I absolutely adore this design the colours are wonderful.

I am so excited this week as I have commissioned a cross stitch chart from a photograph of my son.  This is the image I submitted.  Can't wait to see the chart and start stitching on it.  Last thing I really need though is another project to add to my rotation but I just now there is no way I will be able to put off starting this one.

My son looks so different now.  His hair has gone very blond but one of the things I remember most about when he was born was how everyone commented on his gorgeous spiky hair.  That's why I chose this photo to stitch.

I've also been working on and off this week on the birthday card for my niece and this is the update.

Friday, 1 October 2010

New Starts

Well this is the first post for two weeks.  Last week I was away for a few days and the cottage we were staying in just didn't lend itself to stitching.  I couldn't find a comfy position to sit in and stitch and the lighting was awful so I didn't do more than a couple of stitches all week.

This week I decided I didn't have enough projects on the go and added another medium project and a small project.

The medium project is a Christmas Stocking for my little boy.  This is a picture of the final product.

And this is the progress I have made on it this week.


I decided I wanted something quite simple to work on as I want my son to have it for Christmas 2011 and if I did a HAED stocking he would probably be 18 before it was finished!!  My intention is to do stockings for myself and my husband as well when I have finished this one.  These will be HAEDs though, I want Cherished Christmas Stocking and I am going to do the Treasure Dragon Stocking for my husband.  If I get all these three done then I may at some point in the future do the Faithful Friends Stocking for my son.

I have also tried gridding for the first time with Sulky Metallic threads, will see how it goes before I try gridding one of my BAPs with it.

The second small project I am working on is a birthday card for my niece.  She is 5 at the end of October so I have just over 3 weeks to get this done.  Hopefully my son will let me get some stitching done during the day so I can achieve this.

I have also this week fallen in love with this Amazing Color by Needle Delight Originals.  There are lots of amazing designs but this is my current favourite.  It is so different from anything I have stitched before or have in my stash.  I have been restraining myself very hard so I don't buy it.  Really want to get a finish before I buy or start anything new.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Butterflies Galore SK as of 16.09.10

So I've been working on Butterflies Galore this week.  I was disappointed last week with my progress on Masquerade but this week I am really happy with my progress on Butterflies Galore.  Her face is nearly finished now and I am very close to finishing page 1. 

Friday, 10 September 2010

Masquerade SK as of 09.09.10

So here's my latest update of the Masquerade SK SAL.  We got page 2 this month and I started working across the two pages rather than concentrating on page 1 as I have been doing previously.  Anyway I don't feel like I have accomplished as much as I had previously.  I have now completed 6,480 stitches which is 34.25% complete.  I do like the way the hair shows how the rest of the picture is coming together and I cannot believe how amazing the cat's eye looks every time I see it I love it more.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Shy Baby as of 02.09.10

So this week has been my rotation on Shy Baby.  I don't know what it is about this project but I just love stitching it.  It's odd because the colours are so similar and what I am stitching is so abstract you really can't tell what it is you are stitching but I always look forward to this project and once when I thought about not finishing it I felt very very down.  Strange how much one project can affect you.  Anyway I have now completed 9,350 stitches which is 5.67% and here's the picture.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Train of Dreams as of 27.08.10

Here's my update for this week.  It was my second week working on Train of Dreams.  I've now completed 3,593 stitches which is 3.51%.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Pee - Charlie's Ark - Completed 20.08.10

Well this week has been my non-HAED week and I have completed another of the Charlie's Ark projects for my son.  I have to say it is nice to have a finish!

So I've just got two in the series left to finish Zeep and Putty and then my husband has said I can buy another HAED chart and some more fabric!!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Masquerade SK as of 12.08.10

Well here is my progress on the July/December SAL after the August SAL.  I love love love stitching this picture.  I love the colours and the fact that you can now see how amazing the detail on the eye is even though I haven't finished stitching it yet.  Can't wait to get page 2 in September and stitch more of this amazing design.

So I've now completed 5,097 of 18,919 stitches which is 26.94%.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Butterflies Galore SK as of 05.08.10

So here is my progress on SK Butterflies Galore after another week as of 05.08.10.  I've now completed 3,944 of 11,853 stitches which means I have completed 33.27%.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Shy Baby as of 29.07.10

This week I have been working on Shy Baby by Katerina Koukiotis (Copyright Heaven & Earth Designs 2008, Copyright Katerina Koukiotis 2008). I have been working on this project since around about October last year. I started sewing on 18 count aida 2 over 1 full crosses. I had completed 3 full pages but I really wasn't happy with what I had done. I had used two different skeins for one of the colours and because I was just sewing one full page and then moving onto the next one there was a major difference in the colours even though it was supposed to be the same colour and there was a definite line between the two pages. I had also started another project doing tent stitch which I am loving as you get much more done and the progress is fantastic. I decided that even though I had completed 3 full pages I had another 22 pages to go and if I wasn't happy with it now then I was never going to be happy with it. So I scrapped what I had and restarted on 20 count aida using 3 strands of floss over 1 but in tent stitch. I also decided to start at the bottom right hand corner so that I wasn't stitching the same section again straight away. This week I managed to do 5,471 stitches out of a total of 164,850 which means I have completed 3.32%. So this is my progress after 1 week and honestly I don't want to move onto my next project I really want to carry on with Shy Baby but it will only be another 4 weeks before I can work on her again. So here's the photo of my progress.

So my progress towards my goals:

  1. Finish two pages of SK Butterflies Galore - no progress
  2. Finish two pages of SK Masquerade for July/Dec SAL - no progress
  3. Finish two pages of Train of Dreams - no progress
  4. Finish two pages of Shy Baby - 1 page completed (3.32% completed of the total)

Saturday, 24 July 2010

My name is Nicola and I am a HAEDaholic!

What is it about a sale that makes me go completely and utterly out of my mind? It's not like HAED don't have a sale regularly, you would think the way I react each time they have a sale that they only have one once a year.

Well I am confessing that in the most recent sale I went completely and utterly overboard and bought the following:-

So I am confessing to my sin and hoping that one day I will stitch all these beautiful designs and have a house big enough to be able to display them all.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Train of Dreams WIP 22.07.10

So after my last post I decided that I would start Train of Dreams and restart Shy Baby.

This week I have been working on Train of Dreams by Randall Spangler. I love all his designs with dragons and am stitching this for my little boy as I hope he shares the love of dragons that his dad and I have.

So I am stitching on 20 count white aida 3 over 1 tent stitch. This is the first project I have done with tent stitch and I am really enjoying it. I started off using 2 over 1 but I didn't like the coverage but using 3 strands really does cover well and I certainly get a lot more stitched than I would doing crosses. So this week I have done 1793 of 102500 which is 1.75%. At this rate rotating five projects I should have this finished in about 5 years time!!!!

Anyway here is the picture.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to try and change the half year goals that I had set with HAED but unfortunately I was too late and the post was closed so I don't have any goals set with them. I have however decided to set my own goals. So by the end of the year I want to have completed these goals:
  1. Finish two pages of SK Butterflies Galore
  2. Finish two pages of SK Masquerade for July/Dec SAL
  3. Finish two pages of Train of Dreams
  4. Finish two pages of Shy Baby

I am not sure how realistic these goals are but I'll see how I go.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Restarting & Unpicking - Serial Starter or Sensible Decisions?

Well I had five projects in rotation:-

  1. SK - Butterflies Galore
  2. SK - Masquerade
  3. Charlie's Ark (3 left to do)
  4. Shy Baby
  5. Cruising the Information Highway

Last week I decided I wasn't happy with Shy Baby and I was going to restart it. I had completed three pages but the first two pages I had done I literally only sewed what was on those pages, so if there was a stitch of the same colour on the next page I didn't do it, I just stuck to the page. The problem with this is that two of the colours I was using ran out of thread part way through and started new skeins which were totally different colours. I don't think this would have been as big an issue but for the fact I had stuck to each page and therefore there is a definite line between pages. Probably anyone else looking at this wouldn't even notice there was a problem but I can see it and I don't think I would ever be happy with the finished product. I was also stitching on 18 count aida and I have now discovered 20 count aida and I thought restarting would also mean that the finished product wouldn't be quite so massive. So I decided to cut my losses and restart this project at a later date.

Earlier this week I decided to also restart Cruising the Information Highway, on this one I had only completed 600 stitches and I decided I was going to change to tent stitch instead of full crosses just so that I can get through projects more quickly. I also have the fabric for this on a floor standing frame. Anyway after working on this for a few nights I've discovered I can't sit on my sofa and sew on a floor standing frame. There isn't room in my living room to sit on a straight back chair to sew and the other alternative would be to sit in the other room and sew, which I don't think my husband would appreciate. Also unpicking those 600 stitches is proving to be a LOT more difficult than I ever thought possible.

So now I have to make some decisions. My first thought was to take Shy Baby off the frame and restart a new project but I was enjoying stitching her so much I am wondering whether to cut new 20 count aida and start here again but starting from the bottom this time instead of the top. My intention then is to purchase a larger clip frame and start a different large project and leave Cruising the Information Highway until I move house. I have so many gorgeous designs to choose from I am sure it won't be too hard!!

The trouble is I have set my half year goals on HAED so I will have to nip over there now and see if I can still change them!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Millie - Charlie's Ark

Last year when I was pregnant with my son I decided I wanted to do some cross stitch pictures for his bedroom. I decided on a series of pictures from Charlie's Ark. There are 8 smaller pictures which each feature one animal and then my sister also did one of the large pictures as a birth sampler for my son.

The picture my sister did is:

I started off sewing Emm as I have a definite thing for Giraffes.

I then went on to sew Spud.

Then Scrump & Joey.

Next came the bain of my life, Buss. This one really stumped me, I really couldn't get into sewing it. I think it was all the colours in his mane and all the back stitching (I hate back stitching!!). Compared to a HAED design these pictures are like children's colouring but as easy as it should be I just couldn't bring myself to finish this design. Because I couldn't finish this one I didn't feel I could start another one and the series was put on hold. My son is now 6 months old so probably 12 months after I started stitching this series my wonderful sister offered to finish Buss off for me. She took it home and literally finished it in two nights.

So that left me free to start a new design. So on 9th July I started on Millie and 5 days later here she is finished.

So that leaves me to sew the final three Pee, Putty and Zeep. Once I have completed the set I will put up a picture of all nine cross stitches as they are displayed on my son's bedroom wall. I hope he appreciates all the work I put in when he's older.

All the images on this page apart from the last one (Millie) are taken from pictures shown on a website selling these charts. If you are interested in purchasing any of these charts the website I bought mine from was from a company called Stitchability and there is a link to there site in my favourite website bar at the side.

So these charts are obviously not HAED charts and therefore this week I haven't accomplished anything towards my half yearly goals but I am glad that I have finally got back into sewing them before my son gets too old to tell me he doesn't want them in his bedroom!!

Friday, 9 July 2010

HAED Half Year Goals Challenge

Today I set myself some half year goals so I thought I should record them here to remind myself what they are!! So by the end of the year this is what I hope to have achieved:-

  1. Finish 2 pages of Masquerade SK SAL - currently completed 2,402 stitches (12.7%)
  2. Finish 2 pages of Butterflies Galore SK - currently completed 2,434 stitches (20.53%)
  3. Finish 1 page of Cruising the Information Highway - currently completed 600 stitches (0.54%)
  4. Finish 1 page of Steam Butterfly - not currently started

So I will try and keep track of how I am doing with these goals as I update.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Masquerade SK as of 08.07.10

Well this week I have been working on the July-Dec 2010 SAL from Heaven and Earth Designs. The story keep I chose is called Masquerade, it is a design by Ching Chou-Kuik (Copyright Ching Chou-Kuik 2010). I am stitching on 20 count white aida, 2 over 2, full crosses. I am loving stitching this, the colours are gorgeous, in fact I love it so much I have added the whole picture to my wish list to do at some point in the future.

This is what the finished picture looks like.

And this is my progress after the first week. I've completed 2,402 of 18,919 stitches which is 12.7% complete.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Butterflies Galore as of 01.07.10

Well this week I have been working on the Story Keep Butterflies Galore by the artist Jasmine Becket Griffith, copyright Heaven and Earth Designs 2009.

This is the original picture.

I've loved stitching this so far as the colours are so vibrant compared to the other projects I am currently working on. I'm using a different technique which I haven't used before. Basically for each colour I start I go through the whole chart and stitch every stitch (I can find) in that colour. This will hopefully cut out all that horrible confetti stitching and starting and ending threads all the time.

I started this project on 14.05.10 and initially didn't make much progress but this week I feel like I have really accomplished a lot. I have now completed 2,434 of 11,853 stitches which is 20.5% complete.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

My first blog post!

Well I have decided to start this blog to keep track of all my projects, those I am working on and those I have in my stash. I will try and keep it updated weekly with the progress I am making on each project.

This week I am working on the story keep Butterflies Galore one of the amazing designs from the Heaven and Earth Designs site. I am currently working on three charts from them and I have probably another 15-20 charts from them in my stash. I just love the detail of the designs without the hassle of cross stitching or fractional stitches!!

I will post a picture at the end of the week showing my progress.

I used to mainly stitch on 18 count aida but have recently discovered 20 count aida which is great. I have tried to stitch on linen but I don't enjoy it at all and for me the whole point of cross stitching is for the enjoyment.