Donnerstag, 14. Dezember 2017

Upside Down Update

Just in case you have been wondering whether I am still alive...I am! But I am currently about as far away from home as I can get without leaving the planet, attending a conference in Melbourne. Before my flight, I was frantically trying to get things done - both for the journey, but also a few Christmas things I had to finish and/or send off before I left. Quite a few things I can't show yet in fact - but soon! And there were also two things I can show, so I'm going to do that now.

First, I finished another two-weeks block on Snowwhite. I finished the next shade of yellow, and as I treat I decided to work on her sleeve after that. I think I will finish that very early in the next rotation, and start the next shade on her skirt then.


I also finish-finished my Snow Bird ornament! I did a flat ornament finish using mounting board for the same time, and used some salfmade (second try - much better than the first time) cording around the edge and for the hanger. The bow is from grandma's stash, and I am pretty content with the end result :)


So that's it for now...I'll be home again next Tuesday, but maybe I can get another remote-update up before that!

Samstag, 2. Dezember 2017

Online Advent Calendar 2017 - December 2nd

I have the honour to be the second poster in Jo's Online Advent Calendar :)

The stitching I want to show you today still needs to be finished into an ornament - it's Snow Birds from Country Cottage Needleworks and my entry for this years Stitching Pirates Ornament Exchange.


How do you plan to spend Boxing Day?  Do you have any traditions associated with this day?

Here in Germany, 'Boxing Day' is called 'second Christmas Holiday' - our actual Christmas celebrations are on the evening of the 24th, and then we have to holidays on the 25th and 26th to finish that of. So many people will spend Christmas Eve with their 'core family' and use those holidays to visit extended family. We are with my grandparents on the 24th and then drive to Felix' family on the 25th. On the 26th, we are mostly lazing around and digesting the good food - but for the past few years, Felix' best friend has been starting a tradition of having a Christmas party with friends, food, Feuerzangenbowle (mulled wine with a rum-soaked suger loaf lit above), and christmassy movies.

That boxing day tradition of giving gifts/money to postmen and refuse collectors that Jo mentioned happens before Christmas usually. It's a dying tradition here as well, mostly older people still do it.

Donnerstag, 30. November 2017

Zodiac SAL - Scorpio

So before the month it's over, it's time for the Scorpio-installment of Jo's wonderful Zodiac SAL! I was really aiming to get this up earlier this month and here I am, sneaking in at the very last minute. Oh, well...

This month, I have again prepared three small finishes for this. First one is a disney princess fob - this month I made a little biscornu, and the princess my friend picked for Scorpio is Snow White! I'm working on the big version of hers as well so this was extra fun to make. So looking at some of the supposed character traits of Scorpios - reserved personality, a tendency to gather cultlike followings - I think she's a good choice too.



Do you see all that sparkly? Between this ornament and Jasmine from last month, I used almost a whole spool of Kreinik! Sooo worth it, though.

I also had to new birthstone ornaments to stitch for November. I already had the front of Citrine, so I added a backside, and then I had to stitch up both sides of Yellow Topaz (I sooo adore those spirograph-style stitches - so much fun!) and then I finished both into ornaments the same way I did with last month's two.





December has not just two, but three birthstone ornaments...with how busy this month tends to be (plus, a ten day mostly-business trip to Melbourne I have coming up) I don't know how much of that I'm going to get done, but I will certainly try!

Dienstag, 28. November 2017

November WIPocalypse

Just a dew days late this time...at least it's still November! I've had a great crafting weekend, finishing a few things (I'm almost ready for my Zodiac SAL too...so much for being earlier this month!) and I also have a few things I can show here, mostly progress on my ongoing BAPs.

But first, the question of the month: What finishing style have you never tried but would love to do?
An honest answer to this would probably be 'almost all of them', since I haven't done anything but framing and whip stitch ornaments/biscornu so far. I am, however, in the progress of doing some more sewing intensive finishes (well, I've been working on that for two months on and off since I'm terribly slow with these things) and I also really want to try those no-sew boxes Jo did last year with some of her SALs!

So for stitching, I finished another rotation on Snow White (actually, she's up again this week already...once I get some SAL stuff done. Maybe I'll have to play catch up later.). I almost finished the current shade of yellow, maybe I'll work on her sleeve of bodice for a bit before tackling the next massive block of yellow afterwards!



This weekend also brought a new page finish on Fire and Ember - this is page 15, but the 17th page I've stitched. This was just background, but the next page will have some dragon again.


Another 'pagefinish' happend on the Puppeteer. That was page 10, so on to page 11 it is.


Last but not least, I finished knitting Felix' hat. I still need to weave in the lose ends, but that's one point down on my way-to-long to-do list.


On the topic of to-do lists...I've decided I want to try a "18 in '18" list of projects to work on next year. I've started working on my list, but still need to add pictures, and I might switch out one or two projects as well. I'll consider it 'work in progress' for now :)

Dienstag, 21. November 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness & IHSW

For the sake of somewhat staying on top with my check ins, I think I'd better summarize those two to one post! With most of my GG qualified projects being 'not yet ready to be shown here', I don't have much to report anyway.

I did make progress on Felix' had - could be finished if I wasn't that easily distracted, but I'm getting there!






Also, I've been starting to update my finishes (don't get excited just yet, I'm still behind by a fair bit) and realized I never shared Felix' socks when I was done with them! That was some months ago, mind you. So I called in my favourite foot model for a shooting session and here we go:


For IHSW, I focused mostly on my Zodiac SAL (2/3 smalls are done, one of which still needs a little finish-finishing) and also Fire and Ember - I stitched just one colour this weekend (600 stitches of that one colour, though), but I didn't show my favourite dragon last week, so there's a bit more new to you I guess!


Samstag, 11. November 2017

A very yellow princess and a very green shawl

So, while I feel terribly busy in my life once again, stressing out usually leads to me using every free minute for crafting, which leads to quite a few things to show, actually - interesting correlation, isn't it? I've even worked on my long, long to do list for a bit! First, I finished the second sleepy blanket bunny for my coworker's son (I just never felt the inclination to finish this since he has yet to introduce us...).


Next up on my list was knitting a hat for Felix - I did the matching ones for my and my grandparents last winter, so it's high time he gets his as well! I made a good start so far, but it's still a bit more to finish it.






I did my usual 'work' on Snow White - another two weeks worth of stitching. There is so much yellow! I think it will be at least another month until I finish this particular shade. I think when I have, I'll work on another section of hers for a bit.





We weren't home last weekend, when I was supposed to start the next page of Fire and Ember. I still found a little time to work on it and since, after finishing a row, I have moved back to the huge colour blocks of the background on the left edge, Is still got more than 500 stitches in - not too bad!





And then I also started a new crochet project since finally, my yarn arrived. This is supposed to be a christmas present for a friend, so I better chopchop! It's another one of these self-colour-changing yarns with a lovely gradient from light green, two different dark greens and blues. Although the first few rows looked very violently green before the darker greens came in! The pattern is called Saffron, and a similiar shawl is apparently worn by someone on Fire Fly (admition time: I have yet to watch that!). So, a bit over 20 rows in, there's still a lot of work to do.





Last but not least, I started this cute little Mill Hill kit...I kept stealing its beading needle for other things so I thought I might as well stitch it! Not much to see yet, but it will be a nice distraction if my other projects ever go on my nerves.





I don't have a lot of plans this weekend, so hopefully, this means a lot of stitching time! We'll see what I can get done...

Mittwoch, 1. November 2017

October WIPocalypse

It's been a while since I posted about what I've been working on aside from the Zodiac SAL projects, so WIPocalypse is just the occasion to catch up on everything!

But first, the question of the month: How did you begin stitching?

We did a little needlework in elementary school and I liked it, so I kept pestering my grandma until she bought me first a little stamped bread cloth and than my first supplies and kits for counted cross stitch. It didn't take a lot of pestering though, she's always been very supportive of my crafty endevours :D 

So...I mostly worked on my usual. Putting two more weeks worth of stitching into Snow White:



Finishing the October page on Fire and Ember - which was also a row finish, so I took a picture of the whole thing, and for once managed to both get a clear picture and colours that are close to reality!


I also had another 'page finish' on The Puppeteer


And then last weekend, since I had already finished the current page on Fire and Ember, I pulled out Kitsune for the first time in a while and finished the border across one page and then an entire column as well:


It was fun to work on her again, hopefully I can get this page finished soon :)

So that's about it...I'm having a bit of a finishing bug lately, and I'm slowly working my way through my lists and boxes of stuff to do. Most of it is just sewing lose ends in, but maybe I'll have something more fun to show soon as well.

Dienstag, 31. Oktober 2017

Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2017

As usual, Jo is hosting her yearly spooky Halloween Blog Hop and as usual, I wanted to be a part of it! I had actually hoped to have some new Halloween Stitching to show you today, but life happend to by busier as planned (so, business as usual!) and all I can show you is a shot of my current Halloween-y stitching project that hopefully will soon be finished.






The letter I  get to share with you is M, and you now can hop over to The Crafty Princess for your next clue - or head over to Jo's place to find out what this is all about!

Samstag, 28. Oktober 2017

Zodiac SAL

The month is almost over, but finally I get to present you my first editin of Jo's new Zodiac SAL! I apologize for taking so long, but first I had no idea what to do, then I had one idea, then I had another idea, then the first idea exploded (in the sense that it became more and more elaborate!) and then I still had to stitch all of it. And life (or rather, work) has been really busy those past few weeks, which is also why I haven't posted anything else in a while...you get the drift, but here I am.

My first idea - you know, the one that blew up - was to finally finish-finish the birthstone ornaments my friend Magical designed and that I stitched up over the last two years or so. At first, I wanted to just put a pretty fabric on the back, maybe doing flat ornaments or something - but it just didn't look right, the fabric was too stiff, and then I really liked the garland finish Magical had done with hers...so back to the drawing board I went, and then I came finally up with an idea what I could put on the back for a regular pillow-ornament finish. And then I thought I could stitch up the missing ornaments as well - there are some months with more than one birth stone and I only stitched on ornament for each month so far.

So for October, I stitched the back for the 'Pink Tourmaline' ornament, and then also the front and back of the 'Opal' ornament, and I finished both of them using beads from my stash and a braid of the three DMC colours used in each ornament, doing a short and a long loop so I can use them both in a garland or on their own:







My second idea also bases on Magical's patterns - what can I say, I do love her work! You might already know that my friend Ashley made a series of patterns based on Hannah Alexaner's Mucha Disney Princesses, and Magical made a series of fob or ornament patterns, going with the colour theme and style of each princess, to help her promote pattern sales. I had that vague idea of mapping the princesses to the zodiac signs, so I asked a freiend of mine who knows both her disney and her zodiac, and together we came to a mapping we both agreed with. For Libra, we chose Jasmine - I think she's even one of the few princesses that has an official birthdate - and I think she really fits nicely. Her ornament was a super pretty oriental star - I stitched the front with a lot of beads and kreinik, and then I did the backstitch again for the back because it was sooo pretty and I wanted to feature it a bit more, and then I nearly knotted my fingers doing a slightly shapped ornament, and my first ever selfmade cording. I only stuffed it a little bit because I did not want to disort the shape too much, but it's still a bit big and arkward as a fob, so I'll just use it as an ornament.






You know I don't usually do a lot of smalls, and even less finish-finishing, so working on these was very interesting and also a lot of fun this month, and I am quite proud of myself! I already started on the ornaments for November, so hopefully I won't be as late as this month.



Montag, 16. Oktober 2017

October Gifted Gorgeousness

I'm having kind of a dilemma here...I am almost not late for my checkin, but I hardly have anything to show! Which is not because I didn't work on any gifts or freebies (great shoehorns for GG!), but because I can't show any of those yet. So...oh, I do have one thing to show, and that is an updated picture of those blue socks I'm knitting for Felix' dad. They are a bit shorter than the last ones I made for him, so I already reached the heel.


Now for my non-GG stitching, I did make some progress on my Halloween Cat - the first pumpkin is no finished and I love those vibrant colours! Also, a cat leg has appeared and is waiting to be attached to the rest of that spooky feline.


And then, of course, the dragon made a comeback last weekend and saw some progress as well. I might even finish the page next weekend, if I can find some time!






In the end, one last thing I wanted to mention for a while, but I keep forgetting - I usually 'deal' with the comments I get as they come in as emails and I answer them (more or less straight away), but lately I have noticed that some comments are not coming in as emails for some reason. So I don't know if this problem lies on my side or on yours - and if anyone can enlighten me in that matter, shine away! - but if you've felt ignored by me in the past, I am really sorry and I promised I was not doing it on purpose!



Mittwoch, 11. Oktober 2017

The dragon and the kittycat

This time, the title sounds a little like a children's book...in fact, I am sure it would be an awesome book if a dragon and a cat were the protagonists! Nevertheless, what I am actually talking about is my weekendstitching, and that was yet again two projects. My main focus was, as usual, the Fire and Ember SAL. I did not get a whole lot done - Felix had to work Saturday, so I was doing other things than our usual 'Netflix and Stitch' routine, and Sunday we went to my grandparents to celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary - but I did make some progress after all. I really enjoy filling those scales in, they are turning out so lovely!






And then I was also doing a little stitching on my Halloween Cat - I have not given up on her yet! Over the weekend, I stitched the left kitten, but I forgot to take a picture, so now you will see the kiten plus a bit of the pumpkin I am working on this week.


Sonntag, 8. Oktober 2017

The Princess and the Puppeteer

What sounds like some kind of new-age fairytale describes, in fact, pretty accurately my stitching progress over the last week or so. I worked on Snowwhite - in fact, I made quite a bit of progress. I was a little bit behind on my 'one length a day; so I got caught up, andadded an extra week for good measure. In that time, I got to the upper edge of the skirt, and then stitched the first colour of the bodice, because I really needed to see that the yellow ends somewhere! This part was a bit slow, since there is a ton of quarter stitches around the edges. I then went on to start the next shade of yellow (you can see just a little bit of it in the bottom right), which is a really lovely shade, and there will be a lot more of it in the coming weeks.


I also continued my daily work on the Puppeteer, plus a little extra, so I am almost caught up now! I do have another 'black-page-finish' to report:


Montag, 2. Oktober 2017

September WIPocalypse

I am late...because I almost fell into that 'want to do everything at once' trap again. I did get out of it, however, and packed away everything that was threatening to distract my, and I am back and ready to focus!

The question of the month is Which floss (or color of floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly? I don't really have an answer for that. I do own a full set of DMC because it's just so convenient to have. I will buy extras if a project requires a whole skein or even several skeins. I love all colours, and while I do love overdyed flosses and hand dyed silks and the like, I don't usually buy them 'just in case' since I am always afraid that, once I find a project I want to use it on, I won't have enough to finish! I'm trying to build a little stash of metallics, though, as for small project the exact shade is often not so important, but they still deserve that little extra bling.

Now for my progress...I did finish that page of Fire and Ember I was working on, which means my dragon now has an almost complete face. Reason enough to snap a quick overview shot when moving the frame for the next page!


I also did a little crochet this weekend to do part 2 of the pineapple CAL. I like how the pattern is coming out, but this will have to go away for a while so I can focus on a few presents that need to get finished.


Halloween Cat did see a little more love and I finished the first of the trees. I plan to keep focusing on her, although at this rate I am not sure I will be quite done by Halloween!


Lastly, I had a start on the October page of Fire and Ember just yesterday, and so I only finished one colour so far (though it is 817 - my favourite shade of read on this project!)


Samstag, 30. September 2017

The Alphabet Club - Z

I put so much effort into catching up with this SAL and then I almost miss the very last check-in...sounds right like me, doesn't it?

So for Z, our last letter, we have Link from the Legend of Zelda:


And for our German word of the month, we have 'zwölf' - twelve. Nothing fancy, or funny, but a wonderful bridge to the next monthly SAL, recently introduced by the wonderfully creative Jo: The twelve Zodiacs. Each month we are going to target one, with stitching appropriat to either the zodiac directly, or the birth stone/flower, element, or whatever else we see fit. I, for my part, have a few ideas I think you will like, and I am currently busy preparing my first post for October, and I hope it will be finished soon to share with you!

Sonntag, 24. September 2017

All the crafting we missed...

I have a bit of crafting progress to tell you about that kind of fell through the net with all the traveling and other stuff going on, so let me just quickly sum that up.

I managed to stay on top with one of my one-legth-a-day projects - Snowwhite. She's almost two months in now and I have decided that I'm going to stitch up to where her skirt meets her bodice, then continue with the skirt all the way to the bottom.






On The Puppeteer, I am still not quite up to date, but I actually managed to catch up a bit more and am now less than two weeks behind. What's more important, I had another page finish, which brought me to a full row finish across the width of the design!





In the weekends (not including the one we spent in Ireland and also not the current one - because that brought more progress I will show you soon) I continued working on Fire and Ember, and the face really starts to fill in now - I do love my little red dragon!





Last but not least, there are the two projects I brought to Italy with me. For conference itself, I brought some knitting - Viajante, that huge knitting project. I made some decent progress - about 40 rows, but I decided to stop counting them and just knit, so I'm not quite sure. I'm also not sure this will ever be finished! It's going to be huge, but so far it's still pretty tiny.


For the train and hotel, I brought my Halloween Cat with me, and made some pretty nice progress - I finished the head and hat and also the moon and clouds. Next up I'll work my way down the left side and then across to the right. Maybe I can even still finish her before Halloween?


Samstag, 23. September 2017

How to take a vacation

I still owe you some stories and pictures from Ireland, and now I finally have the time to write about it. Being on vacation was kind of a 'new' experience for Felix and me - we never had been away together, not for more than a long weekend and without work (in fact, it was about ten years since anyone of us had done that without the other as well), and when we have time off to stay at home, there's usually so much to do we hardly ever get into that really nice, relaxed state of mind - so we were really due that vacation!

We flew to Dublin on Monday morning, got our rental car and on the road we were (after some initial confusion about driving on the right (the left) side of the road) we were off to our first B&B in Kilkenny. On the route we made a stop at Glendalough National Park and took a walk in the beautiful landscape. The next day, we explored the town a little, then went to the Dunmore Cave and then on to Killarney via the Rock of Cashel. On our first day there, we drove down to Kinmare and took the beautiful coast road of the Ring of Beara. Next day, we went to Kinmare again, this time to take the boat - the offer a beautiful cruise around the bay to watch the eagels and seals, which was really awesome. On the last day before moving on, we went to see Mukross house - only the outside, which is a beautiful park full of really big trees and plants. Our next stop was in the Galway region, but a little farther out. Our fist big trip there, we went up to Galway (were I visited a lovely little craft shop - can't have a vacation without a few souvenirs!) and then on to Kylemore Abbey with its beautiful Victorian walled gardens, from where we drove home via the stunning Sky Road. The next day, we had planned to take a boat out to the Aran Isles and to see the Cliffs of Moher from the sea side, but thanks to a storm warning, that wasn't happening. Instead, we visited the cliffs from the land, and then drove around a little, until I saw a sign 'Craft Fair today'. Of course we had to stop for a bit - it was a tiny fair, less then ten stalls, but on one a lady sat hand spinning, and I bought some beautiful onion dyed yarn from her. Turns out she comes from the same corner of Germany that I come from and lives in Ireland now! The next day, we went back to Dublin (via Trim castle) and did a little sightseeing there. Sadly, the exhibition with the Book of Kells had already closed for the day when we got there, so we couldn't see that, but we did see a few other things.

So much for the short version of what we did, now let me just do a big picture dump (in roughly chronological order) to share the gorgeous ;)