Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Mystic Stitch - Page 1 complete

Woop woop! Page one of my Mystic Stitch chart is complete!

Well, page one and a bit of page two as the last column went over onto the next page.

I'm so pleased with how this has turned out. And I really enjoyed working on it too. It got a little stressful when there was 900 colours in one square D: But yes, woohoo!

Now that I have completed one page I am going to take a break for a little while. It's going to sound a tad dramatic...but I don't want to suffer burn out with it. And ideally I'd like to stitch it in complete page blocks.

2013 - My year in stitches

I wonder how much stitching I have managed to do in 2013?
These are all the things I have stitched, or finished stitching this past year ^^

Flower Fairy card - cover kit from a magazine

Cat card - chart from Cross Stitch Crazy

Riolis kitten kit

'Welcome to Counted Threads' - kit from the Cross Stitch Guild

Blackwork Welcome sampler from Itch to Stitch magazine

Home is where the cat is - The New Berlin Co.

Sampler tote from the Cross Stitch Guild

Keyring kit and bumble bee badge both from CrossStitcher magazine

Bird House Sampler from Cross Stitch Gold

Antique Animal Sampler from Elizabeth Designs

Owl keyring kit from CrossStitcher magazine

Fairy Tale book by JCA

Stag tote from What Delilah Did

Vintage rose kit from Mollie Makes

Spooky the Cat from Just Cross Stitch Halloween Special 2013

Jackalope from Storyland Cross Stitch

Berlin Roses cushion front kit from Anchor

Ring O'Roses from Laa Laa Land

Laurence the Fox from CrossStitcher Magazine

**I think this was from The World of Cross Stitching**

Wow! A lot more productive than I thought! Let's hope I can do just half as much in 2014!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Feeling nostalgic

So, the other day I was trying to think of a way to make my stash a little tidier and not as spread out around the house...which resulted in me just looking through all my stash and dreaming of one day having the time to actually stitch it all ^^

I also 'found' my three UFO's. Even though I'm turning in to something of a serial starter I actually only have three UFO's, something I'm quite proud of. One is of Disney's Stitch (just need to do the background) and one is a HAED QS (so much to do!). The one that bothers me the most though is a design from Mystic Stitch...

When I first started getting seriously into cross stitch a few years back, it seemed as though everyone was stitching a HAED. I mean everyone. I didn't really follow any blogs back then, but the forum sites that I visited were full of HAED threads. It felt like you weren't a proper stitcher unless you were stitching, or had stitched a HAED. It was like a rite of passage. So I looked at the designs on offer...and none really appealed to me....what was I to do?! I also had the problem of no printer! So I would have to buy a physical chart and have that sent to me. It was as if the fates were conspiring against me. I would never be a true stitcher.

I finally came across a site that not only offered printed charts but would also 'kit-up' the chart for you. However, I could find still find no HAED designs that really appealed to me...and the thought of how much of a commitment stitching one of these was was a tad daunting... I did find a design that I liked though...it was by Mystic Stitch but it was still suitably epic.

It arrived and I stitched and stitched and stitched my little heart out for months and months and months and this is how far I got...

It was so disheartening :( It was also very messy on the back and the front wasn't that great either. I didn't have enough stitching experience really to take on something like this. But it has always played on my mind that I just left it and never even made an effort to stitch more...

So I decided that now was the time. I had another look at it...and it was just too messy to continue...I found stitches that I had only worked one arm of the cross and some of my stitches were not all going in the same direction..oh it was just horrible! D:

There was more than enough fabric for me to start over, and I was going to grid it all out and work just one 10x10 block at a time...but I found some magic guide aida that was sale....so laziness won out (as always...)

I've been stitching for maybe two weeks? And this is where I am :)

Not too shabby eh? It's also a lot neater and much more enjoyable that when I originally started it ^^
I will probably finish the first page and then work on something else for a bit so that I don't get bored with it.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Ring O'Roses - the saga continues!

Again, long time no post ^^;

I have finished Ring O'Roses, my chunky cross stitch cover.

On my previous post on this project, I mentioned about the trouble I was having with the background blue colour. Well, I ordered some more from Sew & So....and they were the same as the ones from Hobbycraft...that is to say different from the ones I originally got from Sew & So... D:

I carried on...and you can see how very, very wrong it is :(

So there was nothing to do but un-pick all the darker blue and stitch it all again with the new, lighter blue...

If I'm honest...I prefer the lighter blue so it's not that much of a disaster really ^^


I hope everyone has a very happy Christmas!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Made by mother

My mum is really good at making stuff.

Over the years she has made me many awesome cardigans.

Very recently she has gotten seriously into crochet and is forever making me little things - circles, mandalas, bookmarks, hearts, elf ears (she insists they are leaves, but clearly they are elf ears).

The other day she gave me something wonderful. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but my mother, she lacks the patience, so she 'had' to give it to me...

Isn't he fabulous! I think he will be called Francois.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Ring O'Roses

Of my two new projects, I decided to stitch 'Ring O'Roses' first.
It all came down to laziness in the end. To start the deer cushion meant that I would've had to get the sewing machine out to do the edges of the fabric...and I was just feeling far too lazy for all that ^^;

I had forgotten one very important thing though... I HATE attaching things to scroll frames. It is just the most tedious thing ever and it takes so long for me to do. But I got over it and this is where I'm up to ^^

Yes, so hold on ^^; I didn't start this yesterday...sadly I don't have magical stitchy powers. I started this last weekend, which is how I've managed to get so much done. My post from yesterday was a scheduled one... so the 'time-line' for this project has gone a bit messy ^^;

Anyway, it's coming along nicely. I'm not 100% happy with the coverage. I don't know if it's my tension or the count of the fabric...but it looks a bit 'holey' in places. I've used the count specified in the instructions so it must be my stitching. I'm sure it will look lovely at the end ^^

I'm finding it very enjoyable to stitch as the holes are so big! Very little concentration is required *lol*

I've come across a small problem though! I have ran out of blue wool T___T
Ahh, the very trauma of trying to get more of this blue. There is a wool shop near my nan's that sells tapestry wool, so yesterday I went there and they no longer had it on display. But my mother, ever one for a scene, asked if they still stocked it..out comes the shop lady with some crates full of little bags of tapestry wool that we had to search through...they didn't have the colour I needed, but after such a fuss had been created I felt obliged to buy some anyway. We then headed to Black Sheep and whilst we were in the area I asked to go to Hobby Craft as I know they sell tapestry wool. Success! I get home...and to my eyes...the new wool is a different blue to the blue I have been using even though they are the same colour code. This morning I stitched a few rows using the new wools...and the difference is minor...but I can tell. I would say they are two distinct shades of blue. Soooo I won't be able to finish stitching this today, which was my aim :( I'm going to order some more from Sew and So (which is where I got the original blues)...if they are different again..well I'm just going to lose my sh*t D: *ahem*


In other stitchy news! I have decided to join Zeb's (Keep Calm and Cross StitchJust Nan Stitch-a-long! I really like Just Nan designs and I've managed to amass quite a few this year (two more on their way!), and it was my aim to stitch one next year anyway, so joining the SAL will give me some extra motivation and I'll be able to see all the lovely things other stitchers do too! If you want to find out more about the SAL or to join please click the link above for more info. There is also a link in the side-bar too!

I have often seen the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe mentioned in blogs but I've never actually gone and had a look around. Kitten Stitching recently made a post about a give-away that was being held over at the Victorian Motto Sampler blog and a design caught my eye! Such pretty designs! I can't wait to see more of what they do *___*
I've entered the give-away myself - if you like what you see enter too! Maybe one of us will be lucky :)

Saturday, 30 November 2013

No self control

I just can't help myself. There is no excusing this type of behaviour. I simply have no self control.

Ever since last month's Cross Stitcher magazine, I have been on pins waiting for the new issue to come out. For one thing only. A cushion with a deer on it. A deer that is wearing a red bow. I have no defence against a design like this. So this happened...

(some threads and cushion pad not shown, because, in my excitement, I forgot them)

I cannot wait to stitch this. For some reason I was expecting it to be a large design, but the cushion pad is pretty small so hopefully it shouldn't take too long to stitch. I can't decide whether it needs a red pom-pom trim or not...

Whilst flicking through the magazine and advert caught my eye. It was for an online shop called Laa Laa Land. All I can say is, the lady who owns this shop certainly saw me coming *lol* Such pretty designs! I could stitch everything, no problem. I was going to buy a kit, but decided to buy just a chart and buy the materials separately. I actually ended up getting two charts, but this is the one I'm going to stitch first...

(naturally I had to buy a new tin to keep my wools in...)

The charts are sent to you by email as a pdf file that you can then print off or you can work directly from your computer/tablet. I'm so happy that I have a printer now (I've even bought some fancy paper especially for printing off charts)! It's not practical for me to work from my laptop so in the past I've had to give 'download only' charts a miss - now there are so many more things that I can stitch *yay*!

I also cannot wait to stitch this! I'm going to make this in to a cushion. I still need to decide on a backing fabric and to get some pom-pom trim and a cushion pad. 

I'll have to flip a coin to decide which one to start first!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Two finishes (that aren't quite finished...)

So, I finally seem to be getting my stitchy-bug back little by little.

First up, I have finished the Jackalope from 'Storyland Cross Stitch' by What Delilah Did...

(please excuse my bed cover showing through!)

He was really fun to stitch - a nice easy shape and no colour changes. It was a little hard going at times using three strands of thread (sore fingers!) but it was worth it as it looks so dense.

He's not quite finished though... I have to finish finishing him ^^; I'm going to mount the stitching in a wooden hoop using the method stated in the book. I'm also going to bind the hoop using a black velvet ribbon to match the plushness of the stitching.

Next up, I have finished my tapestry cushion front 'Berlin Roses' by Anchor. It has taken me so long to complete this! I thought it would be a super-fast stitch but sometimes it felt like I'd been working away for hours and made hardly any progress :( This has actually been away for a few months and I only brought it out of hiding because I was going to need the frame for something new :D I decided that I may as well try and get a bit more done...and it was like I was on fire! Unbelievable hyper-speed stitching! I had stitched two leaves in one day. All of the bottom leaves were stitched last week. And it was so much fun! I think after using such a thin needle on the Jackalope, the massive needle I used for this was so easy.

It's not quite finished though... I need to make it up in to a cushion! I had previously decided to use an old bed cover for the backing fabric - a nice blue and red checked cotton - it would be perfect! I've never made a cushion with a tapestry front before so I was doing a little reading in books and the internets for some tips - and they all recommended using a heavy weight fabric...my planned fabric is soft and thin! So I'm going to find a new fabric (I'm thinking of a red and white gingham)

I had planned to do lots of 'making-up' last weekend but as I didn't have the fabric that I needed I'm going to save it all up and have a mammoth making session one weekend :)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Oh poor neglected blog...

Yes, so I haven't updated in so long..sorry about that.
No TUSAL posts or anything :(

A few things happened.

I kind of lost my stitchy bug. I don't know whether it's having so many different projects on the go at once, darker and colder nights...I don't know, I just haven't felt like stitching at all :(

I was very poorly. Very poorly. I lost a week and a lot of weight. I slept a lot. At one point I thought Tar Valon witches were coming to get me...hallucinating is not fun.

Very Important Book came out after a Seven Year Wait. It was ok.

Harry (my cat) has had to have an operation on one of his paws...so I have been very worried about that. He has gone back to the vets this morning to have his stitches out, so hopefully this will be the last visit for a long time.


I have done a little bit of stitching ^^

I took part in the Halloween Blog Hop organised by Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching. I enjoy taking part in the blog hops. It's fun to have something to stitch for and I get to find a lot of new blogs to read :D And welcome to my new followers ^^ Sorry I've been an absent blogger ^^;

In an effort to motivate myself I decided to start a new project *bah*
I was going to stitch the Jackalope head from Storyland Cross Stitch with the free materials...but I knew that at some point I would want to stitch the full-bodied Jackalope...so I decided to just do the whole thing ^^

Here he is so far...

I am stitching him on 32count ivory linen (as recommended) from Permin using three strands of thread (as recommended)... it's quite hard going! The stitching does look nice and dense though...I think the gaps are only showing up on the photo due to the flash ^^; Trust me, it looks nice and plush in real life.

On the photo you can also see a fox brooch I made from a kit that came from Mollie Makes. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Foxes are the best :3

I'm going to try and do a bit more on the Jackalope today before I go and collect Harry.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Blog Hop!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Here is my entry for Jo's (Serendipitous Stitching) Halloween Blog Hop!

My letter is... 'N'

The next blog in the hop is Colourful Memories!

Happy trick or treating ^___^

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Poe Sampler update

Dearie me, it's been so long since I've updated!
I've not actually done any stitching this week so the progress photo I'm going to share is where I was up to last Sunday. I've completed all of the sky section now so you can see how my colour substitution has worked out ^^

It's not as subtle as in the original version but I'm still really pleased with how it's turned out ^^ I've also stitched the moon in silver metallic thread from Madeira. It's nice and sparkly but it's not very nice to work with...

As you can see, I have also begun to stitch the verse ¬___¬ I had stitched all of 'Once' and was having a wonderful time of it. I can't remember if I've ever stitched 'over-one' before but it was nice :) I started to stitch 'upon'... it was no longer nice. Yessss...epic miscounting. Unpicking over-one stitches is not a pleasant experience. I seriously expected to rip a massive hole in the fabric...it was very stressful T___T I still have to unpick the 'O' and then I can start again, counting very, very carefully. And then count again.


In other stitchy news, my copy of the Just Cross Stitch DVD arrived this week :D I got my copy from Crafty Kitten (which I highly recommend as Dawn is just lovely). I have spent most of my spare time this week looking through the issues. There are quite a few thing's that I'd like to stitch ^^; I love the technical articles, although now I'm in a state of angst as to how I use my thread...I think I've been scared off using my beloved loop-start *lol* I have also discovered that I have a major obsession with Gail Bussi designs. Every time I saw a pretty design that made my go 'awwww'...it was Gail Bussi o___o

You can get digital subscriptions for JCS quite cheaply, which I'm considering as you also get access to back-issues, however I don't know if you can just 'view' the issues or if you can download them to your computer to read whenever...

And YouTube! Gaaah. I love to watch YouTube videos but if I want to comment on a video it wanted me to make a channel (which I didn't want) using my real name (which I certainly didn't want - one of the main reasons I don't have a facebook). I've finally found how to have a username after much searching and getting needless upset with it D: Sooo...if you have a crafty channel and MissLillyStitches comments...'tis I ^^


I'd like to make a re-start on the Poe verse today but I'm quite into reading at the moment...and I have a deadline to finish my current book by...not enough time in the day ^^;

Saturday, 21 September 2013

And now for something completely different...

This week I took a small trip to York!
Initially we hoped to go abroad but I think we left it too late to book anywhere decent...

I thought I'd share a few photos of my trip ^^
(please note... I am awful at taking photographs ^^;)

First up, here is where I stayed - the Guy Fawkes Inn. A really pretty place with an awesome cooked breakfast :) When we arrived on Wednesday there was a man playing the piano where the man on the bike is. I could hear a familiar singing voice...it was only Jamie Cullen jazz singer :O

On Wednesday I forgot to take photographs of most places we visited :/ We visited the York Dungeon, the Yorvik Viking Center (very cool) and Yorvik Heroes. We also had a walk around Fairfax house. I did get some photos from the Merchant Adventurers' Hall..

In the evening we went on the York Ghost Hunt with a very snappily dressed tour guide.

On Thursday we were up early to admire the beautiful York Minster *___*

 After that was Clifford's Tower, York Castle Museum (not a museum about castles *grrr*) and then the Roman Bath - the guide for the Roman Bath was a really nice chap who knew his stuff and was so enthusiastic :D

I shall finish with a photo of a street called the 'Shambles'...

More streets should be like this :)

I hope you've enjoyed the photos from my trip. I know it's not cross stitch but I wanted to share my excitement :3

** There is a Crafters Trail that you can do in York if you ever visit - you can pick up map in the Visitors Center that takes you around the craft shops of York ^^ **

Friday, 20 September 2013

Petits Bonheurs part one!

At the weekend I completed the first panel of 'Petits Bonheurs' by Madame la Fee.

It's so dainty!
The blue dots were an absolute pain to do D:

I've had a few...issues with this :(

First, the colours aren't as vibrant as they look on the preview picture on the chart. They are much softer and muted and it was the nice bright colours that attracted me to this design in the first place. I was quite down about it at first *lol* but as I stitched more on this panel I became happier with it. Still not 100% but a lot more that I thought I would be at the start ^^;

Second, the back-stitch. In the chart there is a separate sheet showing the outlines for the back stitch and other details. I thought this would be like the one you get with Bothy Threads kits. Oh no :/ I got a little confused at one point so I consulted the main chart to see if it was a little clearer...and there was lots of back stitch on the main chart that wasn't on the back stitch chart D: At least a little disaster was averted before it became much worse ^^

Despite my complaining. I'm still enjoying this project. The next panel to be stitched is full of cakes! 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Edgar Allen Poe Sampler

Ahhh, I remember when I was a one project lady...and now it appears I've become a three-timer! There's just so many lovely stitches how can I possibly limit myself to just one?

I've decided to make a start on the Edgar Allen Poe Sample featured in the Just Cross Stitch Halloween Special 2013. I've also decided to be a little adventurous and make a few changes *eek* As much as the original design caught my eye, I couldn't help feeling that it might look even more awesome if the sky was blue-toned, rather than orange. I think the theme would suit blue a lot more and I kept getting drawn to the word 'midnight'... So, I turned to the internet for some help as I've never substituted colours like this before so I didn't know where to start! A few sites mentioned things such as tones and colour families...so I pulled up a picture of a DMC colour chart and located the colour family that the oranges were in and found the corresponding tones in a blue colour family...they looked all wrong! D: I used this theory anyway and found a really nice set of colours in the grey family. Perfect! Luckily I had most of the colours I needed so I only needed to order the fabric, the brown thread for the tree and some new needles. I felt so smart! *idiot*

Until last Sunday!!! *dramatic music*

My supplies actually came earlier in the week but I'd had a pretty nasty cold so I'd been going straight to bed when I got home from work. Sunday was the first day that I'd felt up to much of anything, so I thought I'd kit everything up for this project. As I was making my thread organiser I knew something wasn't right... the replacement colours I had chosen were far too light... they looked more like a cloudy day than a nice clear night ;___; Back to the colour chart. This time I just looked for a set of blues that I liked...I think I've come up with a nice set :)

I'm using the same fabric as in the magazine - 32 count natural linen from Wichelt. I've never used this brand before. The fabric is a lot stiffer than Zweigart, but it doesn't seem to fray as much and it smells really nice too ^^


I've actually made a start on this since I drafted this post ^^

The fabric is really a dream to stitch on *__* I can't think of any other way to describe it other than 'it holds itself well' :/

After I'd taken this photo this morning I started adding some of the sky. So far, it's looking good :)

Monday, 16 September 2013

TUSAL September

A little late as always, here is my TUSAL for September...

My jar is very nearly full!

I've taken to having a little tin to make my collection more portable and then filling my jar when the tin is full - much easier than moving the jar around all the time ^^