Saturday 27 December 2014

IHSW & Merry Christmas!

Sure, I'm a bit late for both, but with cleaning and laundry, last minute preparations, eating and celebrating and driving to Felix' parents and more eating and celebrating, I've been pretty much booked for the holidays, so I only get to write about stuff now. Not ALL the stuff, mind you, we still have plans this evening, but if you look out of our window:

wo won't be going far anytime soon, and I will post bout christmas presents, New Year goals and stuff at a later point. So, where to begin...last weekend was IHSW, and while hermitting happened, stitching didn't so much: Felix was finishing up his thesis, and I did my best to help him. What I did stitch was mostly on Lady, there was a Disney Dream SAL going on at the same time on facebook. I started of here:

Over the weekend, I finished the hose you see in the lower middle and filled in another color on the sky; but I somehow managed to forget and take another picture at the end of the weekend. I'm currently working on her again (still pushing for that pagefinish, although it's very, VERY unlikely to see it before the end of the year), and I'm to lazy to take her out of the frame, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait a bit mor for an update on her.

After that, I returned to CTC for a while: I really wanted to finish the next page before Christmas, because as we are spending the holidays at Felix' parents' and CTC is meant for his sister, I couldn't take it with me to work on here. I did, however, reach my goal: Cross stitching was finished on the 23rd, backstitching one day later. That page had a lot more stitching, it's one of (I think) 4 more or less 'full pages' out of 9, whereas the others are only less then half covered. 

Last but not least, I also managed to finish beading on Angel of Frost in time. Things got a bit close when the frame I had ordered only arrived late on the 23rd, but we managed to get things done. I'm not 100% satisfied how framing her turned out - neither Felix nor I had done anything of the size before, and stretching the linen properly proved much more difficult than we thought it would, so she turned out a bit crooked in the end. We might try to figure things out and fix her up at some time, but at least my grandma still liked her.


That's my progress for now; I'm still busy catching up with everything else that has happend, but I'm opptimistic to be able to post some more shortly, so have a good time until then :)

Sunday 21 December 2014

December SFS

It's the final check in of the year, which means that I can proudly declare that 'I survived SFS 2014!'

One of the other paticipants made this cool graphic for everyone to use, and I did the math: not counting the several exemptions over they year, I spend a total of $166.36 of my $300 budget. I had to months looged at 0, and a few other low ones, and I made my personal goal to stay underneath the $25 budget every single month. I also didn't used my splurge-exemption month, but logged all twelve months regularyly. In total, I have a good $140 left over that I might use to treat myself to a few things in order to celebrate, and because I have a few new things planned for next year ;) But let's not get ahead of ourselves, what did I spend on this month? 

Mostly, I got a few downloadable patterns - there are these strange new VAT-laws creeping up for the EU, and right now, it's still not clear who will and who won't keep selling digital goods to EU citizens, so I thought I should better get a few things I 'can't life without' :D 
First, I got those Endangered Young'Uns I had been eying ever since Carla showed hers to me. For some reason, I thought it would be about 15 patterns, when really there are 28 of them - so at $12.50, I got a great deal, and I hope to stitch a few of them next year.

Next, I did a little shopping at Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, and I bought Halloween Spooky Sampler, Christmas Celebration Sampler and Cherry Blossom Festival Sampler. Normaly, the puchase would have totalled at $38, but they were doing a Black Friday Sale so it only came to $30.28 total.

From Cloudsfactory, I got Winnie the Pooh and Little Indian Village - it was really difficult to decide, because they do so many patterns that I would love to stitch; and I really hope it will still be possible to get them next year. Total here was $10.80, also with a Black Friday sales code.

I also bought a few physical things because I had to place a few orders at my prefered ONS - framing and washing supplies, storage boxes and bobbins as well as a few christmas presents that I don't know anything about but had to order myself anyway.
The two magazines were discounted and cost 6.98€/$8.69 together. I checked them online, and both have a few really awesome patterns I'd love to stitch. The Lizzie*Kate pattern is one I instantly fell in love with the first time I saw it, and it was €3.99/$4.96. The two Halloween charts where added to the parcels as little 'thank you's, and I adore them, they are so very cute, aren't they?

So my total for the month comes to $67.23, but since I still had all of my $50 year's end bonus, that only comes to $17.23 officially.

Now as I said, I do hae a few things to celebrate - I handed in my thesis on monday, I survived SFS 2014 (and I posted all of my other monthly SALs in time each month as well!)...and on friday night, I finally finished Angel of Frost! Yup, that's right, all the beads are were they belong, and I lovelovelove her and am sooooo proud of myself! No pictures yet, sorry - I will only show her again once she's all washed and pressed and framed, which will hopefully be in time for christmas, when the frame arrives tomorrow (please let it arrive tomorrow).

Now for the usual stuff, I finally managed to finish my book (or rather, Felix' brother Max' book - he gave it to me to read): 'Götterschwert' (God's Sword) by Frederic Neuwald. I don't think there's an english version of this, sorry Carla - but it was really enjoyable; a bit like a young Indiana Jones on his first quest. The romance part was totally unrealistic and a bit unnesseccary, though. Apart from that, I did a bit of gaming to make up for the long times that I couldn't, and I watched a lot of Scandal while beading: S2, E17-22, and S3, E1-12.

Apart from that, I also did a bit of baking for our university christmas party last week...I really enjoy having my own kitchen for once! So let me end this update with a few yummy pictures, and bid you well, and merry christmas and peaceful holidays to all of you, in case we don't see each other again before that!

Wednesday 17 December 2014

2015 SALs

So I think it's time I finally sit down and write a bit about all those SALs I am planning to join in 2015. There are quite a few; and I thnk it might avaid confusion both for me and for you to have them all neatly together in one place :) I joined quite a few, hoping they will keep me in the routine of regularly posting to this blog - most of them are rather low effort though.

First, there are a few old friends that are back from last year: Measi is doing another round of WIPocalypse, a rather low-pace SAL where once a month, we talk about our progress towards our goals and also about a monthly theme. It was quite fun to take part in last year, so I'll be back in as well :) I'm still waiting for a new button for this one to add to my sidebar.

My good friend Carla is also doing another round of her The Magnificent Teresa Wentzler - I'm quite excited about that, as it was my very first SAL I joined last year. This one is easy as well, it just requires you to stitch on something designd by Teresa Wentzler, and I still have one started (PT - given I can finish AoF before christmas, what I'm still aiming for), two kitted up (12 Days of Christmas & The Enchanter) and quite some more planned.

Mel's Stitch from Stash is also back for another year, or rather for two half years. This one requires you to spend no more then $25 (or an equivalent in your own currency) on stitching supplies like fabric, floss, and patterns. I do have to admit that I'm probably quite the unusual participant for this, as of the beginning of 2014, I had no real stash to speak of. I'm using this a bit differently than it might be intended: Not to stop stashing, but to controll it. So - stash as much as possible for as little money as possible. I think it will be good for me to continue this for another year, because soon I'll start actually working, which means more money to stash, but less time to stitch; so it will be good to have that controll unit. A few of the rules have changes this year; and I will talk a bit more about how I'm planning to change my habits accordingly in the final report for this year, later this week.

I haven't had any word yet if ISHW will continue on into 2015, but either way I'm sure me and my girls will try to sit it anyway :)

Now on to the new SALs I joined for next year...first up, there's another one hosted by my dear friend Carla, called ToT (Tons of Tiny), which focuses on all those small and quick patterns most of us tend to hoard. The goal is to finish at least one a month, and I already have some plans and patterns laid out for this.

Then there is Gifted Gorgeousness over at Jo's place, which is a SAL focusing on projects that are either meant to be gifts or where some of the supplies have been gifted to you. I have quite a few things lined up that fit that desciption - most prominently, my Lady and the Tramp-WIP was a birthday gift, and most of what I stitch is meant as a present for someone anyway.

Stacy over at Crossed Stitches is hosting two SALs as well: Her New Year SAL is about making progress on a HAP (Huge A... Project), where the smallest dimension is no less than 300 stitches. As I'm planning to start my first project of the sort in January, that's a goo opportunity to get some motivation from the teamspirit. Here, I'm also taking part in my first 'proper' SAL, as in 'Actually stitch a part each month' - she's doing a band sampler, and I'm really looking forward to join that, I just need to get my supplies ordered before then.

In terms of my new, big project, I'll also be guest-posting at A Stitchy Start, which is about starting a not-to-small project in 2015 and posting aout your progress.

Last but not least, there's also my own DESIGN SAL, which I've told you about before: Each month, work on a WIP by a different designer, than post about both them and the piece at question. Sign ups are still open, by the way! ;)

So as you can see, I have quite a few things planned for new way. Details will follow in my start posts for each of those. I hope I haven't forgotten anything now, if I notice later, I might add it here, and mention in in a new post as well.

And to not end this post without a picture, have another sneak-peak at my beading progress on AoF:

Sunday 14 December 2014

December WIPocalypse

Oh my, has it been a week already? Despite me best resolutions to get a bit of posting done in between, this week has been incredibly busy - between finishing my Master thesis (gave it to the printer yesterday morning and will hand it in tomorrow), being away for almost two days because of a close friend's dad's funeral and Felix' band concert yesterday, it was positivly stuffed, and I'm so, so glad to spend a nice and quiet day hat home, with nothing to disturb me besides laundry.

So, one thing I really should get posting about is the WIPocalypse update for December. I'm actually lte by more than a week already, but Measi encouraged people to push it a bit further towards the end of the year, so we could do a proper recap. But I have time to post now, and I think I should take the opportunity, before life comes along and takes time away again...

This month's topic is Recap your accomplishments for the year!. I like what my friend Carla did for this topic - she just went through all her old blog entries and summarized what she worked on, month by month. I think I will do that as well, but first I'll go back to my WIPocalpyse introduction in January: Back then, I had only three (or two, because one just needs finishing) WIPs: Peacock Tapestry, which I started January 1st, and The Little Mermaid, which was started in 2013. Also a Tulip pillowcase that needed finishing, and, big spoiler: it still does...

January: In January, I worked almost exclusivly on Peacock Tapestry. I made I nice dent in that border too - finished the upper part and stitched the first section of the left side. I also started and finished Toby Fox bookmark, did a bit of stitching on the Little Mermaid and crocheted my Pop Heart.

February: I lost speed for a bit on Peacock Tapestry, finished only one section of the border in February. I nearly despaired over, but finally finished in time, Emergency bookmark, and crocheted a cover for my kindle. More importantly, I finished cross stitching on the Little Mermaid, so only a bit of backstitching was left.

March: In March, I started stitching the first (Tully) of the Game of Thrones bookmarks. I started and finished two small guinea pigs (Cavy and Lucky) for my grandma's birthday, which reminds me - I still need to do the other two of the set. I did the backstitching on The Little Mermaid, so that's another finish, completed the left side border on Peacock Tapestry, Started Lady and The Tramp, which I got for my birthday, and crocheted another kindle cover, for Felix (although his father has it now, he got a paper white in the meantime and it won't fit anymore).

April: More work on Tully and Lady, and another section done (top of right side border) on PT. Started the next section, and I think that might already be the last we saw of him last year. Crocheted an oven mitten and a (failed) smart phone cover. I started Cross Stitch Angel, and also another bookmark, TWs knotwork freebie.

May: Finished the Knotwork Bookmark, and a good part of the upper half of CS Angel's border. I think that's another one we won't see again this year. I started crocheting an owl tote, and started and finished my customized spring bunnies that eventually won me the Puppy Love Contest on Stitching Pirates :) I also had my first little start on Angel of Frost, but didn't get very far, and worked a bit on Lady.

June: Tiny bit more on AoF before I put it aside. Progress on lady, I finished Tully and started Arryn, the next in the series, and I worked some more on the Owl Tote. Also worked on a mystery project that I later revealed to be Pusheen Apron.

July: Finshed Owl Tote and Pusheen Apron, started and finished mystery project #2 (Felix' Pirates of the Caribean shirt). I also started and finished Two Kittens. I also worked some more on Lady, and took up knitting again with a sweater that has been in the works for years.

August: I finally took up AoF again and already managed a page finish. I also worked on Arryn, knitted on my sweater, and started & finished the first of a pair of wristwarmers (that I'm now thinking about redoing...).

September: Knitted the second wristwarmer (which still needs finishing) and started the matching scarf. I started Halloween Town Club and finished the first clue. More stitching on AoF and another page finish, Also, I started and finished Tiny Lamb.

October:  Focused almost entirely on AoF and got another one and a half pages down. Also, second clue of Halloween Town was stitched.

November: Finshed the stitching on AoF - cross stitch, backstitch, and the speciality stitches as well. Also, I started and finished Peter Polar Bear (which reminds me, I still need to ship him) and started Cut Thru' Cottage.

December: So far, I finished one page on CTC and worked a bit on Lady as well. Crocheted a pair of pot holders.

Wow, if I write it out like that is doesn't look too shabby, does it...It's fun how I was being super-productive until about the middle of the year, than got more and more busy with life and less and less stitching happened. I'm curious already how that will work out next year! By the way, you can find pictures of most of the projects mentioned either on the 'Finished: 2014' or the 'List of projects' page, though both of them are not quite up to date at the moment.

So, that much for WIPocalypse, now on to my usual ramblings, aka watching list...what has happend since the last time:

  • The other to parts of the amazonia documentary I started last time. I really love seeing that place...
  • Another documentary, but this time about Africa and called African Safari. The two prtagonists where talking a bit much useless stuff, but the landscapes and animals where really stunning.
  • A few more episodes of The Nanny: S5, E8-14 
  • Scandal, S2:E14-16. I had to rewatch E14 because I didn't know what was happening anymore after such a long time, but now I'm up to date again and still love it.
And after you made it this far into the wall of text, I even have a little treat for you:

I started beading on AoF today (finally got myself set up at my new desk as well!), and here is how far I got. It's really, really fun to add those beads, and way easier then I though, though there is a LOT of them so I will still need to hurry. But I feel much more confident that I can actually finish this by christmas! Time to go and order a frame for her.

So that's it, enough for today...I hope I'll find time next week to finally post about my SALs and plans for next year, and also SFS deadline is creeping closer. On to work!

Sunday 7 December 2014

Weekly Update, more to come

Hi my pretties, it's me again! My, that was another fast week...and then it feels like it's been ages since my last post! For sure I stitched like it has been ages; but then with all the sressful, busy stuff going on, it's really the only thing keeping my sane...on the bright side, just one more week of busy-busy writting, and I'll be ready to hand my thesis in (don't really have a choice, it's due monday in a week).

To break the 'bad' news first - I didn't start my beading yet. With everything that's going on right now, I just couldn't set my mind to start something like that. I hope I will be able to this week, otherwise I will have one hell of a beading marathong to get through before Christmas. Now what I did work on was Cut Thru' Cottage, and I really, really enjoyed it - I finished the first page in just a few days; decided to do the backstitch right away because otherwise I would have weeks of just that in the end. It's one of the designs that really gain a lot by the backstitching, don't you think?

After finishin this first page (out of nine) I decided to give a little love to my long neglected Lady & The Tramp project. I continued stitching on the sky, and did all that was left of the light dull purple on the first page - then I thought it would be nice to do something with less color blocking for a change, so I could alternate between faster and slower portions, and started stitching on another house at the lower border. Next time I pick her up, I'm going to finish the house, then put in the next color on the sky. I'm kinda hoping for a page finish before the year is over; I don't think I'll actually make it but I'll try my best.

I also did a little crocheting this week - I had started a pair of potholders from leftovers shortly after we moved in, but never finished them. But we could really use them, so I thought it wouldn't take to long, and really it didn't - I had finished the yellow part before, did the red and green this week. Yes, they are quite colorful - Felix is more a black, stainless steel and if it can't be helped white kind of guy, but I love colors and try to sneak them in whereever possible :D

In other news, there was also some watching stuff, of course. Quite some more of The Nanny, which is our usual evening-pasttime these days (S4, E9-26, and S5, E1-7). When I was watching alone, I started a few nature documantations because they tend to relax me when I'm stressed out, and there are quite a few of those on amazon prime - Turtle: The Incredible Journey, which beautifully narrates the journey of a turtle arond half of the world, from hatching until laying eggs of her own, and then the first part of a documantation about amazonia - really interesting. Yesterday, Felix and I took an evening off to watch A Knight's Tale - as usual he had seen it before, I hadn't, but really liked it. Heath Ledger was a brilliant actor even then, and I LOVED the use of music - every medivial Tjoust should start of to 'We will rock you'!
I even managed a little gaming this week - only two or three hours, but enough to start and finish the quite enjoyable Space Invaders-clone 'Titan Attacks!'. I hope I'll soon have more time for this kind of entertainment again...

So that's it for today, although I have a few more posts lined up that I will write when I find the time - something about next year's SALs, WIPocalypse and stuff like that.