Thursday 31 May 2018

May WIPocalypse

Two posts in one day...but I really wanted to get the WIPocalypse post out while it is still May! Can you belive half the year is almost gone already?
The question of the mont is "Where do you love to shop for stash?". Since we don't have any needle work stores around here (we do have some nice yarn stores, though!), I do most of my stash shopping online. I used to love sewandso for their huge selection, but lately, I feel like their customer service isn't quite up to par anymore and the shipping cost to Europa have increased quite a bit (actually, I think they just stopped offering untracked shipping...but tracked shipping is just so expensive when you're just ordering something small!) and at the same time, lakeside has started extending their selection and their customer service is so amazing and fast, so I think they will become my default go-to for a lot of things. I also love looking for needlework stores when I'm traveling!
(And then there are a ton of smaller online shops for patterns and hand dyed floss/fabric, but I think I've mentioned those a few times already).

Now, for my 18 in '18 projects, I worked on five of them this month:

1) Fire and Ember SAL

I finished the April page, so I am officially one page behind. But that also meant a full row finish, and isn't he pretty? I can't wait to have him done and framed and up on my wall!

2) The Puppeteer

I'm still a bit behind on this one, but I'm getting closer - and I had another page finish and it looks awesome! The next three pages don't have as much black, so this one should move quicker for a little while now.

4) 99

I finished the current shelf and right now, I am very motivated to work on it too. I'm hoping for at least a page, maybe even a full finish in June.

5) The Mermaid

A little earlier than planned, I had a start on the Mermaid, and finished the outer edge of the border. Now I'm slowly working through it one colour at a time. No hurry on this one yet :)

16) Ornaments of the Month

 I finished the May ornament, and finished finish the February one!

Zodiac SAL - Taurus

Again I slip in juuust in time, but at least, this month I have a finish-finish! I've been slowly working on finishing the ornaments, and now only March and April need to be done.

I have officially given up on stitching all the princess fobs this year (but I'm still hoping to finish at least some of them!) and I can't even find my handy note telling me which princess belongs to which zodiac...but I think Taurus might haven been Anna? Hopefully the note will be back by next month!

Friday 25 May 2018


Last weekend was the IHSW for May - coincidentally, it was also Pentecost, giving me Monday of for a glorious three days of stitching - or so I thought. Of course, other things kept getting in the way (some of them quite enjoyable, like visiting a flea market or dinner with my grandparents, others less so, like Felix working and being on the phone all day for several projects on Monday), so less stitching than expected happened, but still, progress was made.

I chose two focus projects for my stitching this weekend - one was my usual 99, where I had just barely made a start on page 5:

The other one was actually a new start from just last Thursday. I realized that I was becoming increasingly frustrated with 99, mostly because I just wanted it done so I could start with my next project that is also deadlines (for July 2019) and so complex that I wasn't sure a year would be enough time to finish it without going on full on OaaT-mode. So I thought I'd just give myself a break and start it right now, getting a bit of a head start while still working on 99 continuously - so far, it is working quite well. I am, of course, talking about Teresa Wentzlers The Mermaid, which was here at the start of IHSW:

Then I started by not working on one of my chosen projects, but instead finish-finishing my February Amethyst ornament, which was also a good thing to do:

I also stitched the backside for the May ornament and still hope to get that finish-finish in before I'm due for the Zodiac SAL checkin!

On Monday evening (most of my stitching actually happened on Saturday, I think), 99 was here:

Just three more bottles BUT that brings me down to just 29 left to do! Woo!

And the Mermaid was here (the picture is actually Tuesday morning, so maybe try to imagine 100 stitches or so less!):

Friday 18 May 2018

May Gifted Gorgeousness

I've been back home for two weeks now, and thanks to my post-vacation mindset and a bit of free time, I'm slowly starting to catch up with things instead of things catching up with me, if that makes any sense. I don't think I will get up to date with all of my monthly goals anytime soon, but that's okay - my priority right now is to focus on and finish a few things, especially those with deadlines, to either reduce my WIP list or make room for new things, depending on how much discipline I can muster.
Anyways, it's time for the monthly Gifted Gorgeousness, and as usual, a few of the projects I've been working on fit this SAL wonderfully.

My focus piece right now (and in the foreseeable future) is 99. This week, I finished page 4, bringing the total bottle count to 66 - just 33 to go!

After that, I took a few days to finish my bookmark for the exchange. Well, it's not a total finish, but as far as I can go for now - once I know who my exchange partner is, I can add the Monogram, than go for a finish-finish.

While I'm still not quite impressed with the quality of the kit (it was okay, just not great), I think I might have enough floss to stitch another one, and maybe I will - it is quite pretty after all :)

Monday 14 May 2018

Vacation Starts & Stash

While wewere traveling California, I wasn't only working on 99 (which didn't see that much progress anyways), but also on a few other things - and of course, some shopping happened as well! So I have quite a few things to talk about today.

My first vacation start already happend on the train to the airport (I wanted to get the counting out of the way while I was still fresh and the journey was quiet). You might remember the Pineapple Shawl I was working on a while back...well, I wasn't really happy with how that was coming out with the yarn I was using, plus, Felix fell in love with the colours, so it was decided I make something for him instead. Since I didn't think he'd want to wear a triangle shawl (I shouldn't have worried there...he keeps stealing my Arke now) I wanted to make him a moebius loop, and he wanted a 'pattern with not so many holes in it', so we finally settled on the Ambarussa by MorbenDesign. I worked on this on the train and then mostly while we were traveling in our rental car - the pattern is very easy, which makes it perfect for when you don't really want to focus on what you're doing! I really like it, especially since the dark colours started to come in on the edges. I love how with the moebius method you're working outwards on both sides, it gives a really nice effect with the colours. I'm close to 2/3 done now, and hope to finish soon.

Between this, 99, and of course the vacation itself,  I was kept plenty busy for the first week or so - which is when some shopping happened. I didn't make it to a proper, brick and mortar needlework store (aside from Needlework Inc, which was more eye candy than shopping since those hand painted canvases are insanely expensive and I wouldn't even know what to do with one yet), which was probably very good for my wallet. I did get to visit the famous Joann and Micheal's, and while both didn't have a lot of actual stitching supplies, I stilled loved seeing that much crafting stuff in one place. I got a small kit for making friendship bracelets, since it had a kumihimo disk, which is something I wanted to try for a while, a fancy notbook (not in the picture), and in a stationary shop in Japan town I found this cool Metal Star Wars kit and some tiny origami paper (also not in the picture).

When we left San Francisco, I went to two Hobby Lobbies, which had a bit of a better selection of stitching stuff, especially some very reasonably priced kits. None of the bigger once really 'stuck' with me, though, so I only picked up a few smaller ones - four bookmarks and a Dimensions Gold Mini - and two more of my beloved non slip hoops. I also saw two very cool stores in Mariposa, one for beads and one with local Alpaca wool, but despite going there during the posted times, they were never open when we went there :(

Despite my best intentions to not start anything new and worke on 99 more, I really, really wanted to play with my new I let Felix choose and he picked Charming, the cute blue eyed kitten. So in a hotel room in Mariposa, I started my first ever Dimensions Gold kit and got the first three colours in before putting it away for the time being. I was positively surprised by the quality of the material in the kit, the only thing that confuses me is the thread holder that comes with the heck are you supposed to but back partially used lengths?!

So as you can see, I picked the one of my new kits that was not a bookmark...and then I come home and see the Stitching Pirates group announced a bookmark exchange! Obviously, this left me no choice but to start another one of my new purchases - I picked the initial one, as it looks like a somewhat quick stitch. (I'm not very impressed with the quality of the kit though, especially the colours provided don't quite match with neither the colour key nor the cover picture...well, it'll do).

Tuesday 8 May 2018

April WIPocalypse

So...we just came back from a two week vacation (well actuall, we came back on Friday, but wh's counting?) in California (Felix had to go there for a conference, and I came with and than we stayed for another week), so I'm a bit behind on reading, updating and checking in. Please bear with me as I am working me way through stuff :)

So one thing I am late on is the WIPocalypse checkin. Before I dive into my most current progress, here is this month's question: Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO. 
Technically, my oldest UFO are the ones remaining from the time before I started blogging - back then, I had yet to discover the glorious world of online needlework stores, and since stash was hard to come by, I usually finished what I did. The only things I did not finish are three tableclothes in stamped cross stitch, which I could never get quite into. They'd be rather pretty when finished, though, so I might try and get to them...some day.
But the oldest project I'd still classify as WIP, even though I haven't worked on it in several years, is my Peacock Tapestry, the first project I started on this blog (this just made me go through some of my old posts...I had such few WIPs back then, and made so much progress! Also, lots of typos...I like to think I have become a bit better on that front, at least.). I didn't even finish the border on this one...I think part of the reason I stopped is that this was only ever a replacement to begin with - I really wanted to start a TW on New Year's Day, and didn't have the fabric for my original choice. Anyway, it's a lovely project, and I hope to get it finished someday - here is one of the most recent pictures:

Now for my monthly progress...oh boy, am I behind on my monthly goals. I think I just have to accept that my ambitions are just greater than what my dicipline can keep up with in the long term, and that's probably okay. Everything will be finished eventually!

1) Fire and Ember SAL
I worked on the April page, but didn't quite finish it. I will try to get caught up, but as long as I can finish this by the end of the year, I will still be very pleased.

2) The Puppeteer
Due to being away from home that much, I'm a bit behind here as well...but I'm throwing in an extra length of black here or there hoping to get caught up. Almost another page done!

4) 99
 I am behind here as well...somehow, I onle got seven bottles done during our vacation. I think I will try to get back to one bottle everyday (most days) until I am entirely finished with this, I'd really like to cross it off the list!

16) Ornaments of the Month
Finished the back side for April. Finish-finishing is still waiting to happen, though.

17) Disney Princess Fobs
I did finish Pocahontas this month - added the back and finish-finished, actually.  Not sure if I'll get caught up here, but each princess is a lot of fun individually as well!