Freitag, 28. April 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - Q

Another try to catch up with TAC...Q is a difficult letter in all languages, I suppose, and German is no different, so I will have to do a bit of shoehorning. Take this WIP of Cut Tru Cottage (hopefully soon to be finished!). See that smoke coming out on the right? One word so say 'smoke' in German is 'Rauch' (probably the more common one), but you can also say 'Qualm'!

My word for this month letter is Quacksalber. A Quacksalber is a person who claimes to be able to cure diseases without actually being able to - I think the English equivalent would be a snake oil salesman. As I just learned, Quacksalber comes from 'kwaken/quacken' - today that is the sound a duck makes, but in older German it also meant 'to boast' - and 'salben', 'to anoint'. 

Sonntag, 23. April 2017

April Gifted Gorgeousness - and a TON of catching up!

Hello my lovelies...I won't go into a long introduction now and right into the post, since I have tons to show! That's what I get for already being late with my update when the internet goes out for over a week. Thankfully our landlady is sharing hers with us now, so I can finally post. I hope you'll forgive me for just mashing everything into one update, even though not everythings qualifies for GG - I'll indicate in the text what does and what not :)

First (and non GG-relevant) I finished the April page of the Fire and Ember SAL -  my 10th page in total. This is doubly nice, because a) I'm done with the fixing of my mistake (this page was especially easy to fix with all the black) and b) it left me with two (one of which is still to go) weeks to work on everything else before I have to start the next page.

 This is what the design looks like right now. The whole size is visible now, and even though I'm stitching on 18ct, it's quite a bit smaller than I thought it would be - just makes it easier to frame! I'll continue in the upper left with the second row, so officialle page 8, next month.

Next, I finished stitching the Bunny Biscornu over the Easter weekend. Aren't all those bunnies super cute?

I was a little nervous about the finishing because I had never done a biscornu before, but it turned out to be much simpler than I thought it would be, and also really really fun! I'm seeing more biscornus...biscornue? in my future. This is even relevant for GG, because Felix loves bunnies and I decided it should be his.

I took the bunnies to the hospital to stitch on, and I also finished my secret crochet project (that will stay secret for a while longer, but I will show you eventually!). So I could have been working on Felix' socks (and I did work on them...for a while!) but I also really wanted to start something new, so for the last day I took my first 'big' Mill Hill kit with me - Sophie Sheep. I really like how I don't need a hoop to work on those! I only got a little but done now, but I bet the next business trip will see some progress.

At home I started working on the 8th page of Cut Thru' Cottage. Felix' sister is already to starting to move into her new house, so I should really try to get this finished! I got a lot of the blue stripes done, and will soon start filling in the other colours.

But the most work in the past few weeks went into the Mermaid Tail blanket...I think this is about 20 balls since you last saw it (I had to order some more), but the body of the blanket is finally finished! 120cm long and 110 wide at the upper end, but pretty stretchy (Felix can spread it with both arms and I think it can still go wider than that). It still needs a bit of work to be fully finished, but it should be managble now.

I also did get a few gifts! First, there is this lovely little Smile chart that I won in a giveaway by the lovely Tiffstitch in March. I think I'll stitch it up sometime soon, which is why I already got the little button that goes with it.

 Of course, one can't order only one button, so I also got a few more things I needed, and since sewandso is having an offer at the moment where you get a suprise kit with any order over 25GBP, I got enough for that and a really awesome suprise gift! I never stitched a Kustom Krafts kit before, but I'm really looking forward to this.

That should cover everything that happend...I don't know what will happen until the next update though, being almost finished with the blanket I want to work on everything at once!

Donnerstag, 20. April 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - P

Hello everyone! I know I am terribly behind with posting, but this time, it's not so much my home Internet has been down since Friday evening, so I haven't been able to post or read. I can do a little bit here and there from work, but I don't have my pictures here, so my GG post will be a little more late still, until Internet operation resumes. For now, have another TAC catch up post and a quick health update: I'm feeling a lot better, thanks for your good wishes, and Felix, who seems to have caught the same cold-bug as me, just a few days letter, is getting better as well. Grandpa came home on Tuesday and is very happyly hopping around on his crutches, looking much better since he's out of the hospital - soon we will be hard pressed to keep him from doing too much too early again!

Now for 'P', some stitching I can share with you is this Pusheen the Cat I made on an apron for a friend a few years back. I made the pattern myself, using the facebook-sticker-gif and gimp.

I can't think of a good unique 'P' word, so again I'm going with one that is 'typically German' - one cliché about Germans is that we are always on time, and the German word for 'on time' or 'punctual' is 'pünktlich' - with our own fun 'ü' sound (we also have ä and ö - those three are called 'Umlaute' - you can also write them as ae, oe and ue, and following German pronunciation, that is also pretty close to how they are supposed to sound!)

Freitag, 14. April 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt 2017

Es each year, Jo vom Serendipitous Stitching is hosting her famous Easter Treasure Hunt, were you just follow through one blog after another, collecting letters and looking at pretty stitching on the way!

I was stitching Joan Elliotts Bunny Biscornu for this event, but sadly, with my grandpa being in the hospital and me being sick (he's getting better all the time and will hopefully be home on Tuesday, thanks for all your well wishes!) I didn't quite made it. I did finish the first on the bunnies yesterday so I'll have something to show, and I hope I will get it all done over the Easter weekend so I can update later, but for now there is one really cute bunny!

~ My letter to share with you is A ~

Now the next stop of the Treasure Hunt is over at ! I wish you a happy Easter weekend, and happy hopping!

Donnerstag, 6. April 2017

March WIPocalypse

Hallo, lovelies...I know I am being terribly late, but when I though my life would become a little quieter now for a few weeks, I was obviously wrong! We did spend a wonderful weekend with my best friend to visit the zoo and the book fair, and after that, things did return to normal for about a week (and a wonderfully lazy weekend at home!), and until here I might just have been to lazy to post. But then on Monday, my grandpa had a nasty fall and is in the hospital for about 10 days (hopefully a bit shorter), and grandma is alone at home, so we were kind of rotating between work and hospital and her home those last few days. I do have a few things to show, and I want to, just keep in mind that those picture are not all up to date, but have been taken at various stages throughout the last few weeks when I thought I was going to post them!

First, the question of (last) month: What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?
I follow a ton of blogs of people I enjoy reading from, way too many to list, and also a few 'official' blogs from designers. On facebook, I'm in a few general cross stitch or crafting groups, but mostly, I follow along with designers and SALs there. I do not watch a lot of flosstube, mainly because I don't have the time to (and way to many shows to catch up on as it is!) but I do try and follow my friend Carla on hers to support her!

No for stitching. On our weekend trip, I took Joan Elliott's Freebie Bunny Biscornu which I had kitted up (the pattern can be found on her facebook group), and I did finish the back (minus the beads which I didn't bring with me) and quite a bit of the front. I hope to finish and finish-finish this for Jo's annual Easter bloghop!

I can now also show you this iPhone case I have been working on for my best friend - she found the empty case in a craft store before Christmas and asked me to stitch something for her, and as she loves otters, I took this baby cub (and the reed) from a pattern by LittleBeachHut and also added a few waves to the empty looking background. I finally gave it to her and think she liked it! The phonecase was much easier to stitch on than I thought, but I still want to do the whole pattern on fabric eventually.

This last weekend (that I spent at home), Jody from Unconvential X Stitch called out a SAL to see how much we could stitch, and I participated by catching up on the Puppeteer for a a bit (about 300 stitches - I have now finished the first 10 metres of black, but I'm still quite a bit behind, and didn't get to work on him all week).

I also started the April page of the Fire and Ember SAL - which was also just black for now! But it's going quickly and soon I'll be done with the fixing all together, so I'm not complaining.

I also have some progress on the blackwork to report. Maybe, if I'm not finding much time for anything else, I can at least use the extra time at grandma's to make more progress here!

Freitag, 31. März 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - O

Another week, another letter to catch up on - I feel like i'm getting a bit closer now, but then it's almost April and everyone will be another letter ahead of me then. I better had get to it, right?
Here are a few Owls I worked on in the last years - I really do enjoy owls, sorry, Carla! Actually, in German it's 'Eule', but I just couldn't find something I had stitched that worked in both languages.

Now for ma word of the week, I think this is again something uniquely German, and as I just spent a wonderful weekend in Leipzig (which is in the former 'East Germany' or DDR), I think it is quite fitting - 'Ostalgie'. This is a combination of 'Ost' ('East') and 'Nostalgie' ('Nostalgia').
Now, as you probably all know, from 1949 until 1990, Germany was devided into a West (BRD) and East (DDR) part. And of course, quite a few things were different 'over there' - apart from politics, there were different products, different TV shows, even the people on the traffic lights looked a bit different. And while lots of stuff (again, politics...I don't really want to get into that here) weren't exactly handled 'well' in the DDR and I don't think many people actually enjoyed living under those conditions, nostalgia tends to shed a softer light on things, and today, many people who lived in the DDR (and even some who didn't!) are getting nostalgic for the positive aspects - and so we have a huge market for 'DDR products', shirts with the distinc traffic light guy, revivals of certain brands that were sold only there, TV shows on get the picture. For me (being just born about the time of the reunion) it's quite interesting to get this kind of 'living history' today! 

Donnerstag, 23. März 2017

March Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello my lovelies...I know it's been a while since my last update, and I'm especially late for Gifted Gorgeousness by more than a week, but I've been terribly busy at work - we had a paper deadline Tuesday morning, and I was working late hours and almost all weekend. Then it also was my birthday this week, and of course a bit pf celebration with my grandparents was due (Felix is out of town on a business trip...we'll get to celebrate together this weekend when we are going to Leipzig with my best friend) and after all the work and stuff, I needed a bit of time to myself to get back down to earth yesterday, so no is honestly the first time I can sit down and write this post - although I don't have that much to show either because, you know, busy!

Anyways, a bit of crafting did happen after all. For Gifted Gorgeousness, I've still been working on some gifts I can't show you just yet (but soon, I promise!), and also on the Mermaid Tail blanket. I think this is about four, maybe five, skeins since the last time I showed it. So, progress is being made, but I feel like it's much to slow...I can't take this with my this weekend (it's just gotten to BIG!), but I will have some serious crocheting to do next week.

I've also got some stichty presents for my birthday! I forgot to take pictures of the titles, but I'll link you to them. From Felix, I got the Japanese Garden kit by Dimensions, and my grandparents gave me the Blackwork Water Lily kit from Bothy Threads. I've wanted to try blackwork for quite a while now, so of course I had to start it right away, and it's so much fun! I've left it at my grandparents' house, though, so it won't mess up my rotation at home (I just know I couldn't keep my hands of it) and also because I like having something to work on for when I visit them. So I'll still have a little progress to show almost every week. Here's how far I got on Tuesday evening:

Now on the non-gifty side, I have finished the March page (page 21 in the pattern, page 9 for me) on the Fire and Ember SAL. There were less colour blocks on this page, so it was more difficult to line up both sides for the fixing, and it does show a bit more, but I still really really hope it will be okay in the end. The next page (and last page of fixing) is mostly black, so it will be easier to get is back to lined up and keep it there, I'm hoping.

Last but not least, I've also been working on my Puppeteer. I'm behind by a few days though, so I only added about 400 stitches. I'll catch up next week, hopefully.

Dienstag, 21. März 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - N

My last post has been a while, but I am back now with fun stuff, and madly trying to catch up before the end of the alphabet! This week, my letter is N, and since I didn't find a proper 'N' picture among my stitching, here is the November Ornament from the series my friend Magical did a few Years ago.

My word of the month is 'Nesthäkchen'. Literally, it means something like 'nest hooklet', but I've been told it actually originates from 'hocken' as in 'sitting' - so something or someone small, sitting in a nest. 'Nesthäkchen' means the youngest of a group (usually the youngest child of a family) and often, but not always, means being spoiled as well (as often happens with youngest children when everyone dotes on them).

Sonntag, 12. März 2017

Better late then never...

...I'm not just talking about another long overdue progress update, but also about a WIP that needs to be finished soon and that I see no chance finishing in time now that I picked it up again after way too long a break. In my defense (although it's a weak defense for getting distracted like I get all the time!) it's for a friend of Felix' and I didn't think we'd actually get to see her until about a month after her birthday, and now we are going to her party after all so I guess I just won't be ready. So now that I got you all thorougly confused, let me show you what I'm talking about:

Do you recognize it? It's the mermaid tail blanked I started back in January! Last weekend when we were visiting Felix' parents, I left my stitching at home and only took the blanket and a ton of yarn and I made some serious progress. I finished the fins (don't worry, they'll get folded and sewn together to look better in the end) and made a total progress of almost ten skeins now (I ordered 30, we'll see if that's enough), so I'm at least confident I can get it done until our 'about a month after the birthday' meeting.

I also started the next page of the Fire and Ember SAL. This page is a bit more difficult (with the fix going on and everything) since it has less colour blocking, but it's still going okay. I only have one colour finished yet, but I hope to get a good chunk of it done the coming week.

And last but not least, I also go some more black done on the Puppeteer - about 500 stitches. It's still a lot of fun watching this grow!

Mittwoch, 8. März 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - M

 Another catch up post, while the main bunch of participants has already reached the letter 'T' I'm still on 'M'. So here is some 'M'- stitching - a Meerschweinchen, German for guinea pig (Meerschweinchen literally means 'sea piglet', as in 'piglet that came from overseas'..but the animal is cute, in any case!)

I'm nor sure if the word I picked this month is actually intranslatable, but it is one I particularly like - 'menscheln' (literaly 'to human'), usually used as 'Es menschelt' (It humans). It's used when stuff happens that is especially human in nature, and can be used in both directions - both with stuff that leads to conflicts, like jealousy or envy, but also when showing empathy and warmth, especially in situations where those are not common usually. It's usually used to describe 'human weakness', but also in situations where this 'weakness' is positive in nature (like not making a tough business decision out of empathy).

Donnerstag, 2. März 2017

February WIPocalypse

Since I'm always a few days late with this kind of checking, and hearing the same lame excuses over and over is just boring, I decided that everything less than a week doesn't count, so I can just lunge right into the February WIPocalypse! The question of the month is What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  (bonus points if you provide a how-to link or diagram it on your blog post!)
Problem is, I don't have very much experience with specialty stitches. I love them when they come up, and I've done a few band samplers that did use a lot of them, but I can't really name them or decide on a favourite, sorry. I really need to work on that more!

Now for something I can show, that is progress! I did finish the next page on my Fire and Ember SAL, which was a bit difficult - somehow, the left and right side of the fix didn't want to stay aligned, and I had to work some serious magic to get them to comply - but I think it does look pretty okay in the end. I hope the next page will be more cooperative, so this won't take ages!

I also couldn't help stitching a bit on Fans of the Far East, despite all the other stuff I should be working on (I did work on some of it and even have a finish to report, but one of the can't-show-yet kind!). I finished the blue on the left (as far as it fit inside the frame) and also a bit more of the gold background of the first fan.

Next, Felix helped me to finally frame the Hobbits Mealplan for his brother - we'll be meeting him this weekend to finally give it to him, so it was high time! We picked a simple old-ish looking silver frame, and I think Felix did a marvelous job again.

Last but not least, I continued stitching my one length of black on the Puppeteer each day and finished the first page. There's actually a little mistake in there, but it's just background and it would have required a LOT of frogging (like, one week backwards) so I decided I'll either fix it when I get there or leave it. This first page has about 1.800 stitches of black, and the second page has even more as it's almost entirely black. So far, I only got around 125 stitches into that second page, though (I'm only doing the exact counting as I finish off a page, I was always off with the daily count anyways!)

Freitag, 24. Februar 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - L

And another week of desperately trying to catch up with the Alphabet Club SAL! First to the stitching part - the letter is L, and here is a little lamb, or German 'Lamm'.

The 'L' word I chose is another one that is...well, not exactly in-translatable, but I guess it's more picturesque than the English equivalent - 'Luftschloss', literally 'air castle'. Building air castles ('Luftschlösser bauen') means the act of daydreaming, and dreaming big - like, for example, dreaming about being a princess and living in a castle, which is where I'm guessing the word comes from. And people say Germans are to practical!

Montag, 20. Februar 2017

February Gifted Gorgeousness

A few days late (okay, almost a week) but that has become kind of the norm for me, so let's ignore the excuses (they are all lame anyway - I just got sidetracked by other stuff) and jump right into the gorgeousness!

The biggest event in the past month was Jo's Secret Sweetheart Valentine's blog hop. Since I used everything suitable I stitched in the last years already, I needed something new, and after a lot of going back and forth trough my patterns, I finally found this cuty in Cross Stitch Collection #232 that I bought used for another pattern altogether. I quickly (and secretly) stitched it up and made it into a simple card for Felix. The magazine has three more of these patterns (Elefants, Cats and Owls, all designed by Angela Poole) and I want to stitch all of them eventually now - maybe more cards for the next three years?

Of course I also worked some more on my fans, or on the one fan I already worked on anyway. I started working on the blues, and filled in some more of the gold, and I'm still loving it very much, but I think I need to put it aside for a bit or I won't get any of my other deadlined projects done! Let's see how long I can keep it up...or rather, down, I guess.

Not deadlined, but still a gift, I did work some on Felix' socks, and got the first one down to just a bit under the heel - smooth going to the toes now when I can just find the time!

And I also very excited and have to share with you that I also got a gift! The lovely Jo herself send me a price because I somehow managed to not forget to post for GG a single month in 2016 (I know bragging stinks, but I'm really kinda proud here!), and she picked up this wonderful chart from Shepherd's Bush (I've always wanted to stitch something from them!) and sent it to me together with this lovely duck card. Thank you very much, Jo!

And lastly, not GG related, but just my regular update on Puppeteer: I got another 520 stiches in and getting ever closer to the end of the page! (I'm going to have to double check that stitch count eventually, I don't really trust myself to count!)

Mittwoch, 15. Februar 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - K

Another week, another try to catch up with this SAL! Let's start with some stitching - here are some kitties, or 'Kätzchen' in German.

'K' is a somewhat easier letter for me since I consider it a very 'German' letter - in the sense that many words that start with a 'C' in other European languages, like English, French or Spanish, will start with a 'K' in German (unless they start with a 'Ch', we do keep that!). Examples for this are 'Katze' (cat), 'Kaffee' (coffee), 'Kerze' (candle) and 'Kakao' (cocoa). The word I'm choosing for today's post, however, doesn't fall into this 'Kategorie' (you can guess that one!) and is instead another one from my list of 'instranslatable' words, and it is 'Kummerspeck' - literally, 'Sadness Bacon'. 'Kummer' in German means 'sadness, sorrow, or grief', for example, when you are lovesick, you have 'Liebeskummer'. 'Speck' means 'bacon', but is also used (affectionately, in most cases) if someone put on a little weight. So if you are sad or heartbroken and grieving, and find comfort in food and it starts showing, you got 'Kummerspeck'. If only it went away as quickly as it came when the Kummer is over!

Dienstag, 14. Februar 2017

Secret Stitching Sweethearts Blog Hop

It's Valentine's Day and Jo is hosting her famous Secret Stitching Sweethearts blog hop again! Every participant was supposed to send a picture of something Valentine's related they made, then we were each randomly assigned one of those pictures to post. Here's the one I've got:

I don't know who my secret sweetheart is, so we'll have to wait for her or him to post here to find more about this! In case you want to look at more of the secret sweetheart fun, here's the full list of all participants on Jo's blog: click

Mittwoch, 8. Februar 2017

Some progress - just like that

It's been a while since I updated without having a SAL to answer to, but here I am, having progress to show and now check-in in sight - am I missing something? I think it's because WIPocalypse has moved to the end of the month instead of lingering around somewhere in the middle! In any case, let's get to that progress now.

With just being one day late, I finished page 7 of the Fire and Ember SAL on February 1st. This also marks the end of the first row of pages, and I'm still amazed by how awesome this looks when taking a step back - Jody is amazing with her charts! I also think my fixing is reasonably well hidden, so I continue working on this. Yay me!

 I have since started my 8th page (which is actually page 14, I'm working down the fixing-section on the far left) and made some progress, this should be done way before the end of the month this time.

Of course, I also worked on my 'mystery' start, and as of today, it won't be a mystery anymore! Jo got it right again, it's a fan, or rather, it will be three fans - Joan Elliotts 'Fans of the Far East', and I'm working on the middle fan right now. Here is where I am today:

I've also had a small new start...I got this awesome book with little beaded boxes for Christmas, and was just about to dive in and buy a lot of new beads, when I remembered that I actually bought a small kit using a similar technique a while back, so I might as well try that one out first. This is a little beaded pin kit from mill hill, also working with cylindric beads and peyote stitch, and I'm having a ton of fun with it! I got this on sale at sewandso for really cheap, but sadly, those kits seem to be out of production, so I can't easily get the other ones now...but that's okay, I can always start my boxes when I'm finished! I'm trying to pace myself and only work on this a little at a time, but I'm having so much fun it's difficult to put down.

Lastly, here's my current progress on The Puppeteer. 356 more stitches of black!

Dienstag, 7. Februar 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - J

I'm so far behind on this SAL it hurts, but I still believe I can catch up! ... hopefully. So, first step in the right direction, the letter is 'J' and my stitching is Magicals January Ornament from two years ago (I could have picked June or July which are also really pretty, but January was the first one and the one that made me fall in love with those, and still one of my favourites)

Sadly, I didn't find any good intranslatable words for 'J', so instead, I picked something that is, in my eyes, very, very German (also Austrian and Swiss, but I can't really speak for them) - 'Jodeln' (Yodeling). Now according to wikipedia, Jodeln is 'singing without words, using syllabels and rapid switches between high and low registers' and, also according to wikipedia, similar techniques have been used in mountain areas all over the worls to allow for communication between herders, gatheres, foresters and other people working in soltitude (the yodeling carries really far between mountains and makes it easy to send signals from one peak to another). Under the name 'Jodeln', however, this technique was first named in what is today's Bavaria and Austria, and it is still used in some forms of folklore music (if you are interested in that stuff, you should also look up the 'Alphorn') and it sounds something like this:

Or like this:

And this:

'J' is also for 'jolly', so let me use this post to thank the lovely Mii Stitch for this wonderful pattern she sent me after drawing my name in the giveaway:

I've admired Ursula Michael's charts from afar for a while now, but actually having one in my hands it's even better than I imagined and I can't wait to get to stitch this!