Monday, December 21, 2020

Can't believe Christmas is almost here!

Towards the end of November I "got serious" about the Rosewood Manor model that I was working on and was able to get it finished a week ago yesterday. I sent it back last Monday and it arrived safely in Florida, and now I already have another RM model! It's a fairly small one, though, and Karen is fine with me starting it later in the spring so if I get a Mirabilia model in the next month or so I'll work on that first.

After doing a bunch of housework, putting the Christmas tree up and wrapping presents I rewarded myself with another mitten from Cross Eyed Cricket. This one was a freebie called Cup of Cocoa Mitten, and it is stitched on Silkweaver's Days Gone By Belfast:

After the mitten was finished I was going to start a design called Christmas Ornaments by Nora Corbett which was in the 2012 CS&N Keepsake Calendar. I knew I had kitted it up quite a while ago, but I had to search out where I had stashed it. While looking for it I came across another of Nora's designs in the 1999 calendar called Doves of Peace. I had the calendar where I keep all of Nora's designs but I honestly don't remember when I got it or even knowing that the design existed! So I decided to start it instead of the one I originally meant to start:

As an aside, Christmas Ornaments and several other designs by Nora that have appeared in books, magazines and calendars over the years can be bought as downloads from Herrschner's. I have all of the original publications, and so far I've finished five of the seven designs--just need to stitch Christmas Ornaments and Holly Cherub. Here are the five I've stitched:

Victorian Christmas Eve:

Peace Doves Ornament:

Halloween Fairy:

Sunflower Fairy:

And Snow Queen:

I am happy to say that the temperature SAL is nearing the end. I'm hoping I left enough fabric at the bottom to stitch a chart key...

For those who celebrate it I wish you a very Merry (and safe and healthy!) Christmas, and hopefully a much better year in 2021!

Monday, November 30, 2020

It's that time of year

 About this time every year I have a really hard time concentrating on large designs as I'm constantly thinking of all the things I need to do to get ready for the holidays, and this year has been no exception. So I have mainly been working on small projects and enjoying some small finishes. The one exception was Cinderella Castle which I spent some time on last week because there was a SAL in the Disney cross stitch group on FB. The metallic floss in the fireworks is not the most fun to work with, as well as the counting being difficult on the dark fabric so I could only take a couple of days of it, but I did make some progress on them.



Those fireworks are going to take a while, but on the plus side once they're done working on the castle will feel wonderfully easy!

Last Friday the final part of the Victoria Sampler free SAL was released. The base was charted with an outline and the words "Gnome Sweet Gnome", but I decided to stitch it filled in and with the year on it--a memory of one of the weirdest years I've lived through! I wish I felt like finishing this into an ornament to hang on the tree this year, but since I still have to put the tree up I probably won't get to it this year:

The other small piece I worked on was Boo to You! by Lizzie*Kate, which I stitched on PTP Haunted linen using random colors from stash:

Finally, I just stitched yesterday's square on the temperature SAL--hard to believe we're almost into the final month. I've enjoyed working on this, but I'm definitely ready to be done with it in a month:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Another mitten and a snow globe start

 A couple of weekends ago I stitched one more CEC mitten, Tartan Scottie, which is found in leaflet 348:

I used the same Silkweaver solo on opal Belfast that I used for the Cardinal Mitten, as it was just big enough for two. There is a freebie chart called Sophia's Scottie Mitten that is very similar to this one; it has a bit of a different pattern in areas, calls for a few different colors and it doesn't have the cardinal. Maybe someday I'll stitch it just for the fun of comparing the two!

I swore I was going to be good after this one and stop taking the weekends off from the Rosewood Manor model but then another design called to me and I used most of Saturday working on it. Victoria Sampler has a group on FB and they are currently releasing parts of a free SAL every Friday; this Friday was part 3 and these two cute little gnomes appeared and I just really wanted to stitch them! The chart shows them in different colors, but you are supposed to choose your own so I decided to make the male a Santa gnome (he's not charted that way):

The fabric is PTP Crystal Shadow, and I love how the sparkle looks like snow in the globe. The outline of the base has been released, but I'm going to wait to see the entire part before I stitch it--maybe this Friday.

The temperature SAL has had some ups and downs lately, being below average for a while then wonderfully above average for a week and now right around average:

It's been a while since I've done an update on Roxie, so I am happy to report that when she went to the vet just over a month ago she was down to 33.5lbs and is now right around her ideal weight. This morning she was stretched out sound asleep on the couch, but of course as soon as I tried to get a picture she woke up and raised her head (which is why one ear is flopped over -- and her tail started wagging!):

I originally thought it would take 15 to 18 months to get her to a good weight, so it was a nice surprise to get it done in just about 10 months.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 2, 2020

A serious addiction!

 It turns out that the little mittens by Cross Eyed Cricket are even more addictive than I thought they might be, and I spent this past weekend stitching another one. This is If a Mummy Wore a Mitten (in leaflet 350), stitched on a Silkweaver Belfast solo:

I think he's so cute, but maybe a little sad, too. I have another mitten, Tartan Scottie, ready to go, but I probably need to spend more time on the Rosewood Manor model for a while. It doesn't have a set deadline, but I'd like to have it done (or at least almost done) before a new Wichelt model comes either next month or in January so I'd better buckle down and get it done!

The temperature SAL is now 5/6 complete and I am looking forward to seeing it finished in a couple of months:

The past couple of weeks have been colder than normal--the average runs in the low to mid-50s but it's been closer to 39F. I looked at the forecast for the week this morning and saw several 60F+ days ahead, so that will be a welcome change (if it actually happens!).

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Mitten fever

 A couple of weeks ago I stitched my first mitten by Cross Eyed Cricket and really enjoyed having a small, colorful project that could be finished in a few days. This past weekend I decided to stitch another one, which I finished up yesterday--it is Cardinal Mitten, and was a freebie handed out by shops:

There are a couple of new CEC designs that I ordered last week and one of them has what looks like a mummy mitten, so I'm already planning to have that be the next one I stitch.

Last week early voting started here in Wisconsin so on Wednesday I went with a couple of friends (in case the line was long, which it wasn't) and voted for the first time since 1992. Ink Circles has a little freebie which I stitched up last Monday, so I didn't even need a sticker:

The final part in the Quakers in Scotland SAL by Tempting Tangles has been released, so here are a few photos of the full design:

The charts will be available for a bit longer then will disappear for a time until the entire chart is released at some point in the future (usually at double the SAL price), so grab the charts now if you think you'll want to stitch this.

Finally, here is the up to date temperature SAL:

I had stitched the border last December and I've worked on it almost every day this year so it was surprising when I sat down with it one day last week and a missing half stitch just jumped out at me:

Of course it's at the very bottom so my eyes wouldn't have had much reason to stray down that far until recently, but I still thought it was surprising.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Starlet by any other name

 Just a quick post to share the newest Mirabilia release, Starlet (MD172). I was surprised to see the name, because when I stitched her the title was The Red Carpet-Violet, but there was already a Violet pixie so maybe they thought the original name would be confusing. Regardless, I think she's very elegant, and reminiscent of some of the earlier Mirabilia designs (especially Rose of Sharon and Rose Arbour):

She only uses DMC floss and one pack of beads; there are a few beads in her hair and then a couple of "strands" in the pink wrap on the right side and at the bottom.

This is one where Nora decided on some changes to the skin after it had been stitched, mostly on her face and her back. Here is the original version:

And after the changes: 

I wonder if some of the shading was a result of being on the red carpet, with flash bulbs popping...?

She was a nice one to work on after Princess Elliana, which had 63 floss colors and a lot of different beads. I'd like to stitch her for myself at some point, though I'm thinking I'd like to make her a redhead.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2020

A Little Sugar (Skull) Mitten

 Last Thursday I finished the Mirabilia model I've been working on; it was approved on Friday and I sent it back that afternoon so I thought I'd take the weekend to stitch for fun before getting back to the Rosewood Manor model. As it turns out there was a brand new free chart from Cross-Eyed Cricket last week (found here) so I printed it out, pulled the floss and some fabric and started it Friday night. I finished it yesterday and I think it's so cute!

The temperature SAL continues, with fairly nice weather still for almost mid-October:

The Mirabilia design scheduled to be released this Thursday is one I stitched, so I'll probably do a short post later this week to share those pictures. Until then hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, September 28, 2020

A few small finishes

 Wow, I didn't realize that it's been over a month since my last post--time is flying! I've been working on a Mirabilia model but having a bit of a hard time concentrating so I've also been stitching on some small designs. The first one is one that I started back in February, Lizzie*Kate's A Little Boo, which I was able to finish in a couple of days:

The fabric is a small Silkweaver solo on Belfast that I just love, and there was enough left over to stitch another small piece so I went stash diving and found another L*K design that would fit called Halloween Flip-it:

They have now joined Luna Biscornu in the "to be finished" pile, as I'd like to make them into ornaments at some point. I received a link to some great biscornu finishing instructions after my last post which I have already printed out, so now it's just a matter of feeling the urge to do the work. Speaking of the Luna Biscornu it's now available from Joan and is even being offered in pdf format (which I don't recall Joan doing before so maybe she's testing it out for future releases) and she has used my photos for the cover of the chartpack:

Joan's ordering page can be found here (there's a great Halloween design that was added recently that I've been trying to resist!).

There were three new Rosewood Manor charts released recently, one of which was one I finished and sent back just about a year ago. It's called Celtic Knot Challenge and it was a fun stitch:

The model was stitched with Sullivan's floss. It was the first time I had tried the brand and I found it just the same to work with as DMC. It does seem to have a more matte finish, but it makes a nice, reasonably priced alternative to DMC, which recently had another price increase.

I also have one more fairly small finish, Nora Corbett's Winter Owl:

This is from a new series called Holiday in the Forest and I am really looking forward to seeing which other animals will be featured. This one (and Winter Nest, released at the same time) is just 4" x 6" so it stitched up quickly and I'm looking forward to stitching the nest next, but probably after I finish the model.

Finally, the daily temperature SAL has remained up to date: 

I remember that yellow square (54F) back in March being so much fun to see and stitch, but the green square (48F) in September not so much! We've been warmer than average for the last little bit, but colder is coming now.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Summertime stitching slump

 August hasn't been a great month for stitching, and pretty soon the fall yard work/cleanup is going to cut into my time but for now I'm going to try to get back into the groove for a while! A new Mirabilia model arrived a couple of weeks ago, so that will be my focus for the next couple of months.

Speaking of Mirabilia I received an email from Amber at Rensel Studio with some mat/frame options for Princess Elliana. After a bit of shuffling things around this is what I chose:

Now the real waiting begins; I doubt I will see this again until the end of the year at the earliest as Jill and Amber are swamped with even more work than usual right now. I can't wait to see how they decorate the mats--so many fun elements in the design to play with!

I spent another weekend working on Cinderella Castle, and now I think I remember why I've put off stitching this for so long--the fireworks are a pain! They are done with two strands of Glissengloss Prizm Holographic thread; to avoid knotting I pull it through the fabric a lot more slowly than regular floss so it takes longer to see results. Add to that the counting required over the dark fabric to get the placement right and the size of the finished fireworks and I'm looking at several weekends just to get them done. On the plus side once they're out of the way the castle itself should feel like it's stitching up quickly! Here is my meager progress as of now:

My temperature SAL continues to grow, now almost three quarters of the way through the year:

I do have a small finish to share, which is Joan Elliott's Luna Biscornu. I chose black Belfast for the fabric and I love how it makes the colors almost glow:

Not sure when I'll feel like attempting to finish it into a biscornu as I've never done one before, but it'll be waiting when I'm ready. Or maybe I'll send it to SewMuch2Luv and have her use it in a stitching bag...

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, August 3, 2020

She's done, again!

The last time I posted I said I was hoping to finish Princess Elliana by the end of that week, but it turned out that was a bit too optimistic. It took until Wednesday afternoon of the following week to do, but she is finally done (for the second time)!

I knew that I wanted to send this to Rensel Studio for framing so I emailed them right away and heard back the next day that I could send it any time. So last Thursday she started her journey to Utah and should arrive today. Amber said they are even more backed up than usual, so I don't expect to see her again until the end of the year at the earliest.

I spent last Thursday putting things away in my craft room and running errands, and most of Friday was taken up with cleaning so it was Saturday before I stitched again. For the last couple of weeks of Elliana I hadn't been stitching a temperature square each day because I just wanted to get her done, so I was 15 days behind on my temperature SAL; it took most of Saturday to get caught up again:

We're only a couple of days into August and I'm already dreading the coming of winter! I've seen geese flying overhead, a few early leaves on the ground and the high temperature yesterday was only 70F--ugh! I'm not going to enjoy this SAL nearly as much as the cooler colors start to come back...

I was planning on starting a Rosewood Manor model yesterday but I couldn't quite get in the right mood for it so I picked up a project that I hadn't worked on since April 2019 and made a start on the castle:

I'd like to make this a weekend project, but I've said that before and it doesn't usually last very long so we'll see how it goes. It's such a gorgeous design and I've had it for close to 20 years now so it's really time to get it done.

Marilyn asked for pictures of Murphy and Roxie so here are a couple I took last week. Almost all of Murphy's pictures are taken in the chair behind my craft table because that's where he spends the majority of his time:

Roxie needed her thyroid medicine refilled early last month so we had her weighed and she was down to 37.3lbs. She had been losing 8 to 9lbs between refills but this time she only lost 2lbs. I guess it's just like with people--those last 5 to 10lbs are the hardest! The vet looked her over and said that she still needs to lose 10lbs, so the original goal of 28lbs was about right. Here she is as of yesterday:

This photo from early March has her in a similar pose and I think it shows a pretty drastic change:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!