Tuesday 17 December 2019

Fully Finished Gallery - December Edition

I can't believe it's been almost a year ago now that I pledged to do more finish-finishing by joining Rachels Fully Finished Gallery SAL. I think I managed to finish *something* every month since, although some were were quick finishes, and I didn't experiment nearly as much as I would have liked to. The SAL will continue into next year, so I will try to do better and continue to improve my finishing!

This month, I went for a finishing style I've used lots of times already, but first I want to show you what happend to my coaster from last month: As per Catherine's suggestion, I found a little frame (that luckily has the exact same measurements as the coaster) and put it in there. Now I can just use the framed piece as a coaster, which works splendidly! It's not quite what I imagined, but I'm happy with it.

Now for a new finish-finish this month, I put together the Autumn Mystery SAL as a biscornu. I've done this a few times before, using whip stitch and two different kinds of beads for the edge and center:

I actually have some more finishing plans this month, but you'll get to see whether those worked out in my January update!

Thursday 12 December 2019

Finish It In - December Edition

It's the last official Finish-it-n update of the year! Sadly, Magical won't continue this SAL into 2020, but I might just make a new list for the new year for myself. Or just continue with the old list, we'll see! My list has been the same for many months now:

1) The Mermaid
2) Reindeer
3) Wuffi the Dog
4) March Fobs
5) Viajante

It still won't change this month. In November, I spent about 20 hours on the Mermaid, finished the last of the over one cross stitch and three (out of eight, I think) colours of backstitch:

Viajante only saw a little bit of love - I used about 5g and got down to 145g left on the skein. I'll get their eventually, as I will with the other projects on my list!

Wednesday 11 December 2019

November Stitchy Pie

Work is still crazy, so I am still wildly behind on all my checkins - I'm getting there, though. Today, we're looking at my stitchy pies for November. Sadly, there were some technical difficulties, as for some reason TimeSheet won't let me export the graphs right now - if the problem persists, I'll have to look into it more closely when I have time. IF I have time ;)
So for today, we'll have to make do with crappy smartphone screenshots. Here is my pie for November, and as you can (barely) see at the bottom, despite being home sick for two days my stitching time has taken a light dip - a sign of crazy work time for sure!

I also figured out how to use tags this month, so I can now show you how my crafting time is distributed between my several vices - most is stitching, but I also did a fair bit of crochet this month.

Now I think all my November projects either have been posted, will be posted soon, or haven't seen a lot of progress since the last time, but one, and that is the Autumn MMSAL, which is all finished! Not during the weekend it was actually taking place, for after several massive frogging attacks (I think I need a frogging-tag! Why didn't I think of that earlier?) I decided to take things more slowly, and spread the parts out over a week or so. I also stitched the backside which was released all in one go:

Just for funsies, I also took a picture of my backs. That's the difference between stitching the single parts, sometimes just adding one or two stitches of a colour, or stitching it all in one go!

For December, I'm only at 23 hours so far...but I sure hope that after Christmas I'll have some time to make up for that!

Sunday 8 December 2019

November WIPocalypse

I'm pretty late this month, but in my defense, this time of year is just crazy, and somehow even seems to be more crazy than usual this time around! It feels like I'm only working and stitching these days, and both of these in abundance. So this update is not only late, but also incomplete, but we'll get to that in a moment. The question of the month is What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year? I actually did try a couple new crochet stitches, both in my rainbow blanket I did at the start of the year and on the Sekamelska shawl I've been doing, and the little beaded elephant I did a few weeks ago used a pretty cool 3D beading technique. Stitchingwise, there were the Sashiko coasters I did after my trip to Japan, that was a fun thing to try for sure!

Now, usually, this is the point where I show all my monthly SALs, but I only made one in November - the Mamluk. Here it is with just one part left to go:

The Blackwork and Temperature SAL have been put on the backburner in favour of a couple projects that reaaaally need finishing by Christmas. I have a week after Christmas to catch up on them, and I fully plan to, because my WIP count is up to 50 right now and I really need to get it down again before the new year starts kick in (and I do have some of thosep lanned, oh yes I do...).

So what has been eating away at my time? Mostly, Lettuce be Friends, a Christmas present for my grandma. I actually finished the first of the to cavies in the beginning of the week. Actually, I have since found my rhythm with this and stitched more than half of the second one as well, but I'll show that to you once it's all done!

Tuesday 3 December 2019

Advent Calendar Blog Hop - December 3rd

Can you believe it's December already? Just three weeks to go until Christmas! Are you ready? I sure am not - I still need to buy and make almost all of my gifts, not to mention the packing and baking and getting in some kind of Christmas mood!

I'm taking part in our dearly beloved Jo's Advent Calendar again this year, and I got this fine day close to the start of the month. This kind of got me on the wrong foot since I haven't finished my Christmas stitching, but will have to go digging for pretty pictures from the last years. Just means there'll be more Christmas posts yet to come, though! For now we'll go with this cute guy that I stitched for my very first Christmas ornament exchange some years ago:

Now the topic to talk about this year is Christmas movies. Again, I don't have a lot to say, since in my family, we didn't watch a lot of movies around Christmas (we used to watch The Peter Alexander Show, which was mostly music, but has been canceled twenty or so years ago). One movie I always enjoyed watching around Christmas, though not on Christmas itself, was the Disney version of A Christmas Carol. I generally enjoy Christmas movies, there's just not one I've watched every year or something like that :)

Don't forget to stop by Jo's Blog and check out what everyone else had to show and tell!

Sunday 17 November 2019

November Gifted Gorgeousness

We're getting closer to Christmas, and that's always the time when I get really busy making gifts...so I actually have lots to show you today! First (and, somehow, most importantly) I finally finished the over one stitching on The Mermaid, and even made a start backstitching! I don't think I've ever been this excited about backstitching before. There's still a lot of it, but I do feel a huge step closer to the finish now.

I've also made lots of progress on Lettuce be Friends. I quit doing it colour by colour but instead started filling in the left guinea pig, and I really love how it's coming along!

Then, I finally got around to making another pair of crocodile stitch wristwarmers. Carla's had the ones I made for her a few years back stolen, and I promised to see if I had enough left over yarn to make another pair, and I did! It's nice getting back to these, I think I have two more pairs to go before Christmas.

And last but not least, I pulled out one of those tiny beading kits I brought from Japan and made this little guy! His name is Nimphodemus Stubby-Trunks (since I accidentily left out a row on his trunk, so it's a bit on the short side), and he will go to my best friend's mum this Christmas! He was so much fun to make and so quickly done too. I have two more of these kits but now wish I had bought more!

Sunday 10 November 2019

Fully Finished Gallery - November

So mark this historic day, I am for probably the first and last time ever on time for this SAL AND actually have a new finish to show! You know a few months back, when I finished my Sashiko coasters, I said it'd given me an idea? After some planning and gathering supplies, I decided that today was the day I'd finally try it. Things didn't go exactly as planned, but I am still quite pleased with what I got :D

So you might remember (or maybe not? I'm not positive I ever shared the finish here) I was a model stitcher for this little tea cup my friend Ashley designed. I didn't really know what to do with it, so it's been lying aroung since, but now I added some cute lace to the borders to make it into a coaster:

I actually bought those clear acrylic coasters to put it in so it wouldn't get dirty, but obviously it's thicker than the photos they are meant to hold, so they won't close with this in it...now I have to figure out how to protect it, or I'll just end up with the prettiest coaster I'll never use! In any way, I think it's really cute, so I might end up stitching the other three cups too if I can figure out what to do with this one <3

Thursday 7 November 2019

The People Chose Autumnal Colors

It's November, so it's time for the monthyl 'The People's Choice' SAL, hosted by our lovely Jo! This month's theme, very fittingly, is autumn colours, which I personally love, so let's see what we can find in the trunk...I actually didn't find a lot!

There's my Halloween sampler I stitched a few years back, and this tiny design I made with one of DMCs colour changing threads:

 I did a little better in the knitting/crochet department - my big autumn shawl (not traditional autumn colours, but reminds me of the season none the less), one of my baby jackets, and the little pumpkin hat I just finished:

I just started another autumn-themed project, though, and I want to use this space to show you, and maybe advertise a little: My good friend Magical525 is hosting an Autumn Mystery SAL this year, on the weekend of th 15th to 17th. It'll probably be a biscornu-type project again, she's giving the front and back, with a new pattern drop every four hours. As usual, she gave two 'pre-stitch' patterns, so we have a little more time to make a base and get our counting right (good thing she did, because I massively misscounted on my first try!), and that is what I've been stitching:

In case anyone wants to join me (It's super fun!), here's the link to the annoncment blog: https://magicalquilts.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-next-mystery-sal-autumn-mystery-sal.html and the facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/172379333367463/

Wednesday 6 November 2019

Finish It In - November Edition

Another short update this month as I am still focusing on the same two projects off my list of five:

1) The Mermaid
2) Reindeer
3) Wuffi the Dog
4) March Fobs
5) Viajante

The Mermaid is coming along and I'm getting really close to finishing her skin (that's probably still a couple hundred stitches and TONS of colours, but I'm working on it!):

On Viajante, I used another 18g so I'm down to 150g left - that's actually more than halfway there! (the skein was sold as 300g but I think it was actually closer to 320g the first time I weighed it). My list remains the same - I hope to get the Reindeer out some time before Christmas, but the others will likely be carried over into the new year.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

October Stitchy Pie

So with October well and truely done, it's time for my monthly stitchy pie! As you know, October has been a bit of a hard month around here, so it's no surprise that, despite me being off work for over a week, my crafting time is a bit low (I wanted to say all time low, but I've actually had lower times in February and in Novemer '18). Still, I got over 20 hours on the Mermaid, which is nice:

As you can see, I put a little more time into Geostar, and actually managed to finish it! Here are the completed pictures (at 19:50h, since we are in a timer post here), but I haven't decided on a finish-finish yet - I'm thinking maybe hoop finish with a hoop either spray painted or wrapped in metallic ribbon?

So a rather short post today, but I have a couple more to make this week, and lots of stitching to do, so stay tuned!

Monday 4 November 2019

October WIPocalypse

October has come and gone, and once more I'm late for the WIPocalypse checkin because I needed the weekend to catch up on all my SALs. I'm all good and ready to go now, though, so no more dilly-dallying!

The question of the month is Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time? Well, I am certainly not a one-at-a-time stitcher, but I'm not a true rotation stitcher, either. I kind of change systems all the time - sometimes I focus on a project for a few days or even weeks, sometimes I change every half hour. This year, with all the challenges I've been taking part in, I've done a lot of jumping around, and it has been fun, but I feel I'm getting tired of it. I think I need some good focusing to actually finish a few things before the year is out, but we'll see how that goes!

I'm nicely caught up with my SALs - both the Mamluk and the Blackwork SAL have been stitched shortly after being released, and both were super quick and fun this month. Just two more parts to go each!

 The temperature SAL has been stitched as well - it's getting cooler, lots of green days now, and I don't expect to see any more yellow. I actually started the last regular round (the outer border is a little special), and I'm starting to make plans for next year's temperature project!

Last but not least, October was on other one-a-day challenge, and I stuck to working on the Mermaid. I still haven't finished all the skin, but I'm making good progress and still hope to see her finished this year, with the help of the aforementioned focusing!

 Oh, and I almost forgot - WIP count time! I finished the pumpkin hat yesterday, which brought me down to 46! Isn't that nice? I'm pretty sure I'll have another start or two this month, but hopefully those will be quickly finished again, so...yeah.

Thursday 31 October 2019

Trick or Treat! The Halloween Blog Hop

Spooky time! (Hopefully. This is my first time scheduling a post, so I hope everything works!) It's Halloween, and thus time for Jo's yearly blog hop. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please go to her blog here and check out the post she probably made about how this event works. If you do know what I'm talking about, here is my spooky stitching:

This is All Hallow's Eve by The Frosted Pumpkin stitchery. I bought the pattern years ago, and started it this month for a challenge on a fabric taster by Jodyri Designs (the colour is called Scatty Chick, but I don't think it's part of her main range right now). After the challenge (which was 'stitch 1000 stitches on a Halloween project over a weekend') I only had about 250 stitches left, which I added this week. I think it's very cute and now I just need the perfect finish-finishing idea <3

Buuut you're probably not here to hear me rambling about my stitching, you want the letter! The mysteriously-spooky letter I'm to give you is


and the next letter will be waiting (or be posted later today) here: https://twododo.blogspot.com/

Wednesday 30 October 2019

October Gifted Gorgeousness

I know I am - once again - super late for this SAL, but after a bit of a finishing-frenzy over the last copuple of days, I actually have something to show for it. I honestly can't remember whether I ever talked about this here before, so here we go! I've been making a lot of baby gifts lately, so I really wanted to try something new that wouldn't take a ton of time. I found these patterns for some really cute animal bibs and decided to give it a try. I chose the bunny, but wanted to go for more realistic colours, so I bought a light brown yarn and started. The 'body' of the bib was quickly done, but as usual it took me a while to work of all the small parts, and even more time to sew them all together. I didn't get the face quite how I wanted it to look, so I decided to not add the eyebrows. Lastely (and that took even MORE time...) I  bought some soft brown fabric to add to the backside (and make it more comfortable to wear...I hope). So basically, it took me two months to finish I project I spent a total of five hours working on - so much for quick and easy! Don't get me wrong, the pattern is great and I like the result, that's just me being strange and life getting in the way.

I also continued working on my Mermaid, and got a lot of her over one skin done, but there's still quite a bit left to do. Fingers crossed I can really stilly finish her this year!

Last but not least, I had a new start as well...this is Lettuce be Friends by Bothy Threads. As soon as it was released, I just knew I had to stitch the too sweet guinea pigs for my grandma, and bought the kit, but it's been collecting dust in my stash for the last two years. But after my grandpa's death I felt like I should finally start and stitch this as one can never know when it will be to late, so I decided to get stitching and hope to get this done by Christmas! It's stitching up fast, here is the first colour all finished (unless I missed some stitches, of course):

Sunday 27 October 2019

Fully Finished Gallery - October

I'm seriously late for this post (as for many others), but as you know my life has been a little...uprooted lately. As has been my vacation earlier this year - I had grand plans of tiding up my sewing corner and actually getting some serious finishing done! Well, I barely managed to tidy up but haven't even touched my sewing machine, so that'll have to wait for another time. So as plan B, I decided to finish and finish-finish an ornament I started stitching earlier this month - this is the June Pearl Ornament from the 2015 Ornaments of the Month, designed by my friend Magical! I started this series when it came out and still haven't done all of them. In fact, this one was the first one I stitched this year - and I so, so missed it!

Can you see it? I know it's hard to make out on the pictures, but it's so pretty in real life! I was arguing back and forth about changing the fabric or colours, but decided against it to have a matching set, and I'm so happy that I did. I finish-finished the ornament the same way I did the others, adding some creamy-pearly beads to the edge:

So, here we go. Just a small finish again, but finish is finish, even if I'm very late!

Sunday 20 October 2019

The all-metallic Geostar

I promised you this post a while ago, and I really only need to copy all the details from my deviantArt and add a couple explanations and pictures, so here we go!

A while back, I read about a pretty cool challenge on dA - basically, you chose a medium you wanted to work with, gave a couple constraints (like 'no nudity' or whatever), and then they gave you a prompt and you had one month to make something with it. Of course I chose needlework, and my friend Ashley, who's actually a community volunteer on dA, gave me the following challenge:
I challenge her not so much on theme as I do in execution: a 5x5 square on 14 or 18 count, it could be a mandala or other symmetrical pattern, but she must use strictly metallic threads to see it done. These could be DMC metallics, Kreinik in various weights, or any other thread manufacturer. It does not have to be a 'full coverage' pattern for the size but it should keep in the spirit of the challenge! 
Here's what I made, together with the decription I wrote:

As Ashley has obviously noted going through my gallery, I tend to shy away from using too much metallics in my work, so I decided to use this challenge to take the bull by the horns and experiment with a couple of different metallics. I dug into my stash and asked on a copule groups on facebook which brands people recommended. These are the five threads I ended up using (starting from the middle outwards, I stitched the 'frame' structure first and filled in all the little bits in the end):

Petite Treasure Braid (Copper/PB39): This one came highly recommended, and it really is a joy to work with! It comes as a one strand floss on a card of 25 yards and is a little on the expensive side, but so worth it. It's super pretty and has just enough coverage for 14ct stitching (but is probably better for for 16 or 18ct).
Ease of use: 5
Sparkliness: 4

Madeira Metallics No. 10 (Gold/325): A pretty traditional metallic I've had in my stash for a few years but never got around to using it. It comes in a twist of two strands I'm not entirely sure are supposed to be seperated, but I did so anyways as one of the strand had perfect coverage (I wouldn't recommend it for smaller counts, though). It was pretty nice to work with, but hard to thread a needle because the splitting of the strands made the floss super fray-y. It's EXTREMELY sparkly, nothing subtle about this one! It comes in a package (it's a little weird, not really a skein) of 20m and is one of the cheaper options for metallics.
Ease of use: 3.5
Sparkliness: 5++

DMC Light Effects (Silver/E168): I had actually used this before, but only on a little backstitching. For that it was nice; it's a lot less cooperative for cross stitching! It comes in six dividable strands, in skeins of 8m, just like the usual DMC, and just like that, I had to use two strands to get a decent coverage. It wasn't that hard to work with, but sometimes a little tricky to make it lay nice on the fabric. It's not super sparkly, but has a nice sheen to it that I really like. It's also on the cheaper side, and the six-stranded-ness gives it a lot of versatility.
Ease of use: 3
Sparkliness: 3

DMC Diamant (Gold/D3852): A newer thread by DMC. It comes as a undividable, one strand floss on a spool of 35m. It's a really nice gold colour and I bet it's super nice to use for detail work or even cross stitch on lower counts, but one strand is just not enough coverage on 14ct, and two strands are a little too bulky - my stitches with this floss are by far the least-neat looking ones I've made in years! It's a little pricier as well.
Ease of use: 2 (in this scenario)
Sparkliness: 4

Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid (Copper/3270): The classic of the metallics, at least for me! I've used my fair share of this one (although not as much as my friend Magical, she's the master of Kreinik!). It's pretty nice to work with, and the #4 had a nice coverage on 14ct (there's all kinds of strengths for different uses). It's not quite as metall-y as the others I've tried, there is a fair bit of some kind of nylon (I guess?) base in the thread, but it's still a pretty decent sparkle and comes in a huge range of colours. There's only 11m on a sppl, though, so if you need a lot of it, it can get quite pricy.
Ease of use: 4
Sparkliness: 3.5

So there we go...they are all pretty nice to work with, but I think my favourites are the Petite Treasure Braid and (surprisingly) the Madeira Metallic No 10.

Now to the specs of the design itself:
Fabric - Nevermore linen by JodyriDesign (I thought it was 16ct, so I was a little worried there, but turns out it's a 14ct after all so all is well!), a leftover from my Turtles all the way down 
Design: 'Geostar' by KLT Charting - if you now the design, you'll probably notice it's not complete. There will be a final round of 'spikes', bringing it to almost 8" spare instead of the 4.4" it is now (I'm calling this 'close enough' for the challenge requirements). I didn't have time to do the whole thing and it'd be too big anyways, but I will use my favourite two colours (the PTB and MM) to finish it of soon.

Total time (so far): 11h 24min
Of course I'll continue working on this now that the challenge is over (the results are still out, but there were so many awesome submissions I don't think I'll win - which is totally fine as I had a ton of fun!) and show you the result in the end.

Friday 18 October 2019

The People Chose Cats

In an attempt to not fall hopelessly behind on my blogging (because, knowing me, I WILL be catching up on all these posts eventually, and I WILL hate myself for it if there's 18472 posts to do), I'm linking up with Jo's monthly themed SAL today.

I went through my pictures looking for cats - and found a lot!

An apron I stitched for a friend with a self-made Pusheen pattern. All that gray was a little boring, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out!

A Vervaco kit I stitched for a friend of my grandma. She had to kittens (brother and sister) who looked just like this. Sadly Felix, the red one, has died since then, and Trixie is almost an old lady by cat standards now!

 I made this for Felix' mum, and loved the whole thing, but isn't that black kitten just darling?

 Halloween Cat by Satsuma Street. I loved the colours on this one, especially the trees and the pumpkins.

No stitching, but a knitted kitty! He's soooo fluffy.

 Last month I had you looking for bees, this time I'll ask you to count the cats in the Cut Thru' Cottage! Can you find all of them?

 A little Valentine's card I stitched for Felix last year. I'm sure I have some more cats, there are some Halloween projects I suspect feature a black cat somewhere, but I'll save them for another time. I also have two cat WIPs -

Charming, a Dimensions kit. I used him as a travel project last spring and he's been waiting for a new chance to shine since then!

And here we have my Pumpkin Doodle cats! I have since filled in the right side and the bird and I really need to take a new picture on this, don't I?