Tuesday 30 January 2018

Zodiac SAL - Capricorn

I am still very late this month, but at least it's not the 31st! Hopefully I can better myself by another two days, or I'm going to get a problem...

Here's the January ornament - garnet - with a backside added and fully finished. I had those beads left over from doing Angel of Frost a few years back, and they were just perfect for this!

Again, I did not get to stitch a princess fob, and Elsa has yet to be stitched as well...the ornament-less princess of the month is Cinderella. I can kind of see that, she definitely has the dream big, work hard mentally down!

Sunday 28 January 2018

January WIPocalypse

I can't believe January is almost over already! I had a good start to the month, crafting wise, but with grandma's visit to the hospital everything went sideways for a bit. She's been at home since Wednesday and seems to be recovering nicely, so hopefully, things are back on their way to their usual boring selves. Actually, boring sounds great about now!

What SAL’s are you participating in this year? and If you are participating in the Olympic Stitching Challenge, what challenge are you accepting?  What are your goals?

On SALs in the sense of 'stitching a certain part of a pattern per month/week', I'm only doing one this year - the Unconventional XStitch Fire and Ember SAL, which has been going on for almost two years now and which I will hopefully finish in October.
SALs in the sense of 'checking in on the blog every month', there's WIPocalyose, of course, and then also Gifted Gorgeousness (stitching on projects that either are gifts or use gifted supplies) and die Zodiac SAL (themed SAL to the twelve signs), both hosted by Jo. I'm also trying to take part in IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) every month and blog about it afterwards, and I'm doing Stitch from Stash in the group on facebook, but probably won't talk a lot about that here.

I also just spontaniously decided to give the Olympic Stitching Challenge a try this year, and I choose the Endurance Race. I need to seriously buckle down and make some progress on 99, and while I can't promise I won't work on anything else during the time - all those bottles are seriously boring after a while - I will try and focus on this project. Maybe I will try to stitch one bottle every day for the duration of the Olympics, even if I know that's not going to be easy on some days.

So now for my monthly progress. I'm doing the 18 in '18 this year, so these are the projects I'm talking about here- I've worked on 5 of 18 projects this month, and I think I already showed you all but two of the pictures.

1) Fire and Ember SAL
I finished my obligatory page on this after 10 days of stitching. Page 17 had a lot of detail on the dragon - two partial feet and a bit of his head scales - so it took a little longer to stitch than I anticipated. Here it is with page 17 all finished:

2) The Puppeteer
I was a bit behind on this starting into the new year - about two weeks or so - but I'm all caught up now and sticking to the plan. I finished the black on page 12, and am now a good way through page 13.

3) Snow White
I was about thee weeks behind on her when I started the year, did one good five day session and now I am *drumroll* five weeks behind! Well, it happens. I know I can catch up rather quickly if I can find the time...and she did see some progress at least.

4) 99
This really should be more of a focus project if I want to have it finished by August...but I only stitch on it for about a week and managed to finish four bottles. I should be at at least 30 bottles total, and only have 22...so I see some serious stitching in my future!

16) Ornaments of the Month
I just finish-finished the Tanzanite ornament I stitched up in December, and I will post the January ornament for the Zodiac SAL shortly. I am still behind by the two additional December ornaments I didn't stitch yet, but that's okay as I still have three 'free' months on this at the end of the year.

So to recap: one month in and I am behind on four of my monthly goals (fourth one are the Princess Fobs, I haven't stitched on of those in two months now). I had two finishes not on the list though, so I guess it's okay, but I will still try and change that next month. My goal is to not fall behind any further, and to catch up at least one, better two. Hopefully I can make that work!

Tuesday 23 January 2018

January IHSW

For the first time in what feels like forever, I conciously participated in the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, newly hosted by Jo in a facebook group with lots of lovely members. Felix was at his parents and I had to stay home because of grandma - but I had Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening AND all of Sunday (Mum took over the grandparents duties for that day while I had Saturday) for myself. I spent some of that gaming, but also a lot of stitching happend, and even a long overdue hangout/facebook video chat with all our girls. Which means, and this is very exciting, I can finally show you something I've made almost a year ago!
Back then, one of us (I think it was Krystal) discovered those cool dragon scale wrist warmers and commented that all of us totally need these. And Carla and I secretly started to hatch a plan to make that come true - we picked matching yarn in everyones favourite colours and decided that each of us should crochet three pairs. Mine were done pretty soon, but Carla had a busy year with moving over half of the US and job search and health challenges and also some good stuff, so she only got them done around Christmas. So we finally got to mail them and then, with all of us in the voice/video chat, we all opened them at  the same time, and it was great to see how everyone liked theirs! Funnily enough, I think Carla's are much better made then the ones I made, but she thinks the same about mine.

So here they are - the ones I made were for Krystal, Nancy and Carla:

And these are the ones Carla made for me:

Aren't they pretty?

Of course, I also did some new stitching over the weekend. I started page 17 of Fire and Ember and finished the first 3 colours, which is a majority of the page covered already, I think:

And then I also did a little knitting while visiting grandma...but I kept making mistakes and miscounting, so it's really just a tiny restart. I do prefer it to what I had before, though!

Friday 19 January 2018

A princess struggling to catch up

A had made such a good start to the year, but visiting grandma in the hospital everyday and taking care of grandpa, who can't quite look after himself (he can do a lot, but not everything) has taken its toll on my stitchy time. Mum, Felix and I try to split the work between us, but since we all work full time, it's not always that easy, and we are all a bit stretched thin. Grandma is doing really well though - she's looking much better than before the surgery already. No word of when we can take her home yet, but we're thinking it might be some time next week. For now, we hope things are going to calm down a little over the weekend - Felix has some important business to take care of in his home village, and mum and I will take care of things here.

Stitchingwise, I've been working on Snow White. She's very much behind since I couldn't bring her to Australia and was catching up on other things since, but here is the progress that should have been December 11th-24th. That sleeve-thing on the left is not finished since I could not locate the last colour I needed (and I was too lazy to look through all the projects), but I started a new shade of yelloy-orange and made some good headway on that.

I'm hoping to get back to her soon, but for now I have SALs and bottles to take care of. Next up is the January page of Fire and Ember, and maybe some knitting.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

January Gifted Gorgeousness

I didn't get quite as much done as I had hoped since the last time I posted - just when I thought things were starting to calm down, we had to take grandma to the hospital on Friday night. She had surgery right away, but she's doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

Meanwhile, I decided it's more important to be on time then to just maybe finish a little more, so I'm just going to show you what I got done since last time.

Earlier in the month, I finished my Morning Dew Saffron, a late Christmas present for a friend. I just managed to get it boxed up and will send it out today on my way to work.

I stitched four more bottles on 99, a birthday present for my almost-FIL. I was hoping to get at least six more done by the end of the month; we will see about that.

The headband I showed you last month was restarted; it was just a bit to slim and I didn't like the way the edges looked when following the pattern. I just have a tiny bit done bit hopefully there will soon be more of it.

I was also sent some awesome gifts!

This is from my friend Nancy in Canada - she mailed it in the beginning of December, but it got only here last weekend. The ornament was from the Stitching Pirate's ornament exchange, and than she also got me that awesome book with 25 very cute knitting patterns. I already got a few picked out that I want to make for my dog loving friends, so we have a GG win-win here!

Yesterday, I got a huge box from my friend Carla in Colorado. She had been collecting things to send to me for two years to make the most of the postage, and I had all but forgotten about a few of the things that would be in there!

There are two Dimensions kits, two TW patterns and one from Ink Circles. Also a lot of a very gorgeous yarn (Lion brand Homespun) she used to use to crochet bags, but she can't crochet a lot now because her hands are acting up, so she's thinning out her yarn stash. I already have some plans to bring it to use :)

Also, some non-stitchy stuff: Moose-soap and Alaskan Moosetard (she just moved from Alaska about half a year ago), some more soap that smells amazing, a very pretty drawstring bag, a bunch of needleminders from Jody (I now have one for almost every pattern of hers that I own) and a set of finger nail stickers - I will have to find out how to put these on and then wait for a good opportunity to wear them!

Also included in the box was a prize I had one in a Stitching Pirate's contest a while back, and almost forgotten about. There was that lovely pink-ish glass ornament, and then a travel stitching kit Carla made that is the most perfect thing ever. The little needlebook has a few needles and also a pouch with a pretty pair of scissors, the biscornu is sooo pretty and perfectly shaped, and then there's also a thread catcher cloth and a few small clips.

I had to take a closeup of the bag because that botton is the most pretty button I have ever seen! The bag is also lined with fabric and has a few handy little pockets inside.

An last but not least, there was also this secret box I am not allowed to open yet - I am very very grateful to both Carla and Nancy, your gifts cheered me up a lot when I was in serious need of cheering up, thank you so much :)

Tuesday 9 January 2018

The first finishes of the year

I usually start of the new year with a new start...this year, I didn't, and instead managed to get two finishes within a little over a week! That's not too bad a trade, is it?

My first finish is Satsuma Street's Halloween Cat - she was our Halloween SAL for 2017, so I started in August, but got distracted and haven't touched her since October, when she was about half finished. I actually picked her up on New Year's Eve, after finishing the December page of Fire and Ember, and worked on her for a total of eight days before putting on the last stitches this last Sunday.

I already got a frame picked out and ordered for her, so you'll see her again all nice and unwrinkled soon! She's stitched with all DMC on Opalescent 32ct Murano 'Evening Magic' by Crafty Kitten.

The second finish was my Saffron shawl and a very late Christmas present as well! I was able to complete a full pattern repeat, then do three rows of linen stitch on the long side (the pattern called for five rows, but I didn't have enough yarn for that, and also I prefer it like this). The yarn is 'Regentau' (Rain Dew) by Garnstube.

I have a hard time parting with this and will likely use the pattern again sometime!

You might notice that both projects are not part of my WIPocalypse list - both are things I really wanted to finish in 2017, and as you see, I just barely missed that goal. So having them off my chest I feel like really starting a new year now, craftwise. I shall now go to stitch a few bottles on 99, then try to do some catchup on Snow White, who is dreadfully behind (December 10th, I think).

Sunday 7 January 2018

2018 WIPocalypse Kickoff

It's WIPocalypse time - and I'm on time to post! Gasp! It's a new year's miracle.

It's the first Sunday of the year, and that means introducing myself and my plans. So here we go:

Hi, I'm Leonore, I'm 28 years old and from Southern Germany. I life together with my fiancé (yes, there will be wedding planning this year!) and my extended family includes my grandparents who life nearby and with whom I still spend a lot of time. In real life I'm a computer scientist working towards my PhD, which makes me travel around the world from time to time. I love cross stitch, knitting and crochet, and I'm also trying to learn how to sew. I also like to try out new crafts and have a few things lined up, we'll see if I can get to them this year! My other hobbies include reading and videogames, and I like to watch movies and shows while I craft.

Now for my plans - last year I decided to not make any plans, which was fun, but also lead to not having a lot of finishes. This year, I wanted to make things a bit more structured, so I made a '18 in '18' list like I've seen with some other bloggers. You can find the details as well as current picture in a tab at the tob of this blog, but here is the short version:

1) Fire and Ember SAL - one page a month, finish in October
2) The Puppeteer - one length of thread a day
3) Snow White - one length of thread a day
4) 99 - finish by August
5) The Mermaid - new start once 99 is finished
6) Cut Thu' Cottage - finish as soon as possible
7) Wacky Witches in Stitches - finish before Halloween
8) Viajante - finish
9) Baby Blanket CAL - finish
10) Arke - finish
11) BB8 Amigurumi - finish
12) Endangered Young 'Uns - start and finish one
13) Fans of the Far East - reach Halfway Point
14) Lizzie Wallet SAL - finish
15) Lady and the Trap - finish Page 2, start 3
16) Ornaments of the Mont 2015 - finish (finish) all, 1-x a month
17) Disney Princess Fobs - finish all, one a mont + extra
18) Blackwork Waterlilies - finish

So these are my plans for the year - quite a bit to do! 99 will be my focus piece for now. As it can get quite boring to stitch a lot of bottles back to back, I will try setting myself small goals on my projects, then stitch between one and three bottles (depending on the size of the goal) and so on. We'll see where that brings me in a month or two!

Saturday 6 January 2018

December WIPocalypse

I know, I know, it is not December anymore...but since December went by so fast (due to my trip to Melbourne, desperatly trying to get prepared for Christmas, and spending a week with Felix' lovable, but chaotic family) I am still not quite done planning and preparing for 2018! I should be caught up by the end of January though, since I am absolutely determined to not make any big plans before the winter (and the persistent cold I brought back from Australia) are gone.

So...trying to write this post, I realized I had to update my finishes page, and of course that meant I also had to update my projects on deviantArt and ravelry, but I got that out of the way and we are good to go!

Before I get into taking numbers, I have one last 2017 update to share: I finished my December page on Fire and Ember. For the end of the year, I also took a nice total shot to see where I am: 10 pages to go!

I feel like I've been doing a lot of crafting last year; but with some long term projects I have going on, I didn't really get a lot of finishes. I have plans to do better this year!
My finishes total is 20. Of these 20, 12 were cross stitch, but only one of these was medium size, all the others were smalls. Of the remaining 8, 5 were crochet (3 of them large-ish) and 3 were knitting.

I'm not mad at myself for what I got done, but I really think I can do better in 2018! The two positive things about my finishes this year though: I got a lot of smalls done, which I really enjoyed, and I am very proud to say that all of my finishes were also finish-finished! One was framed, and then there were two biscornu, one postcard, six ornaments of different types and two other finishes.

I'll be back shortly with my plans for 2018, and also the first stitching of the year.