Brown/Blue Spotty

31 January 2014

TUSAL 2014 - January

I'm back on the case of The Totally Useless Stitch Along this year ~ hosted by Sharon we basically save our ORTs throughout the year and each new moon we post a picture of them ~ see, totally useless!

I missed the first new moon of the year on 1 January ~ I only had about 3 scraps of thread at that point and we were ensconced in a cosy cottage in the Lake District with Sis2 & McBiL, reading, watching movies, dozing, drinking champagne, playing Trivial Pursuit, eating delicious food and enjoying the company.  We are so lucky to be able to spend time like this together ~ it's food to my soul.

So back to TUSAL, I haven't decided on a jar yet so my Orts are currently homed in a small tin ~ not the most beautiful of recepticles but they aren't in danger of being mistaken for rubbish by any of the other residents here and removed to the bin!

Bit of a washed out photograph due to being taken before it was light yesterday.
The last day of January has arrived as quick as a flash as is it's way ~ I feel like I've hardly had time to draw breath.  I am, however, pleased with the sewing & finishing I have completed and also that I have managed to stick with my resolution to do something stitch related each day.
LM is off to Amsterdam later for a friend's stag weekend so it's just me and GB2 for the next few days ~ I'm hoping that I can catch up on some housey jobs, sewing and sleep, not necessarily in that order.
Happy Friday

29 January 2014

OPAM 2014 ~ January

I'm sure that many would agree with me that we all need a little incentive ~ or in my case a swift kick up the backside ~ to get things finished.  To that end I have signed up for OPAM 2014 hosted by Peg & Kris.
The aim is to finish at least one craft project a month ~ it doesn't have to be a start from scratch project, it can be a WIP, a UFO, a new start ~ pretty much anything goes as long as it is a soft craft made from fabric/thread/wool in any combination.  There are a number of guidelines which you can find via either of the links above ~ #11 is my favourite as it specifies that all participants MUST have fun.  At the end of the day that is what our hobby should be about.

So in January I had fun, unfortunately I can't share pictures of all the fun yet as some are gifts:

A tiny Christmas ornament

The Sheep Day by The Little Stitcher
January Challenge on Needlecraft Haven Yuku Group

I'll be trying to stitch the challenge each month so hopefully will have a new batch of ornaments ready for this coming Christmas.

I have also finished a couple of things that I can't share pictures of as they are gifts which haven't yet reached their new homes ~ 1 is a small pillow finish and the other a wall hanging.  I should be able to share these finishes next week.

Here's a picture of the back of my ornament.
I need to work out how to add a list of my finishes into the sidebar ~ until I do you can find my list on the OPAM 2014 page tab near my blog header.

I'm pleased with my three finishes this month and plan to have 3 more next month, possibly 4.  I know it's a long way off but I'm really looking forward to seeing the final tally at the end of the year!



28 January 2014

Stitch from Stash 2014

If you have been reading me recently you will know that I have joined Stitch from Stash 2014 which is being run by Mel at Epic Stitching ~ the general rules are as follows:

  • New starts in 2014 will be from stash
  • There is a budget of up to £20/month to top up with necessary supplies ~ thread/fabric etc
  • Post to your blog what you have been stitching on/new starts/items purchased
  • Email Mel your stats monthly
Now I tried, albeit half-heartedly, to stitch from stash last year and fell off the waggon with visiting 4 shows during the year, I didn't go mad but I did buy new patterns.  This year, with the aid of the other 129 participants of SFS2014, I will stay on the stash waggon ~ I plan on saving the balance of my budget each month and using it for a treat, not sure what yet.

So, here is my January report:

I made a couple of purchases this month ~ I visited Grace & Favour on Saturday and was looking for buttons and trim for a couple of projects that are at the finishing stage.
Budget 20.00
Buttons -0.60
Ribbon/trim -2.50
Thread -1.39
Fat Quarter -2.50
Balance 13.01



Home of a Needleworker by LHN
Fabric ~ Sparklies 28ct Brittney Gingerbread
Thread ~ recommended DMC 
This was my New Year's Day start and I am stitching 1/1.  I have completed a couple of other LHN designs over one and I like the way they turn out ~ I have a few more of their designs in my stash and I'm not certain I would stitch them over 2 now.

The Sheep Day by The Little Stitcher
Fabric ~ 32ct painted evenweave colour unknown
Thread ~ WDW Bark & Carries Creations Snow White
My first finish of 2014
This piece was stitched as the January challenge on the Needlecraft Haven Yuku Group.  Christine finds us a freebie to stitch each month and we submit pictures of our finished pieces to her.  Christine keeps a Gallery which is made public on reveal day.
Valentine stitching for an exchange on the Friendly Stitchers Yahoo group ~ secret until my partner has received.  All items used for this project were also from my stash.
La Pensee Positive by Jardin Privee ~ finished Part III & started Part IV, picture on my previous post.
Jolly Holiday by Lizzie Kate ~ small pillow finish with fabric from stash, forgot to take a picture!
I also worked on a couple of other items which I can't show as they are for gifts.
And that concludes my January report
So far I am enjoying the challenge ~ I have spent quite a bit of time sorting my stash which I believe will help me along in the months to come.  I have a App on my phone called Floss Checklist and I have started to add all my threads so I have an "at a glance" record.  The App covers about 20 different companies, so it's quite comprehensive, and is very easy to use.  I have an Android version ~ not sure if it's available for other systems ~ and feel if was definitely worth the sixty'ish pence outlay.
Till next time



25 January 2014

Secret Santa & Christmas Ornament Exchanges

We're almost at the end of January and it's only 334 days till Christmas ~ just thought I'd get that over with and I promise not to mention it again ~ if I remember!

Our Tuesday Stitching Group have had a Secret Santa exchange for quite a few years now ~ 3 years ago we changed the format and rather than buying a gift for our partner we now each make our gifts.  So for Christmas 2013 I was to make something for Doreen ~ I was organised early and gathered a pattern and supplies however project # 1 and I didn't get on so I abandoned the idea.  A new project search was started and I found something that I thought would be perfect ~ I had a great time working on it and was quite pleased with myself.  Then disaster struck when I somehow managed to scorch it with the iron!!!!!!   I have been ironing since I was 10, ironing was my chore at home from that age and I have NEVER scorched anything (other than myself on a few occasions) in my entire ironing career ~I was completely devastated and disheartened and running out of time too.

Despite the setback I managed not to either fall out with or destroy project # 3 and was really quite pleased with how it turned out ~ and Doreen was delighted with it which is the most important thing.

Eliza's Pyn Pillow by With My Needle mounted on a hand painted and lined box.

This is the gorgeous gift I received from Carol.  I love it  ~ there are a number of reasons:
It's gorgeous
It's a heart ~ well 5 hearts if you count the individual ones
It's made from remnants of the fabric that the group used to make a quilt as a wedding gift for myself and the LM
It includes pieces of the fabric from my wedding dress ~ Carol had a sneaky word with my Sis2 at our wedding party and DH was involved at some stage too
Did I tell you it was a heart?  What's not to love?  Oh, and it as lights too!

I should remember to take my camera to our Christmas dinner next time and photograph all the gorgeous gifts that were exchanged.

I joined two ornament exchanges in 2013 ~ one on the Friendly Stitchers Yahoo Group and one on the Needlecraft Haven Yuku Group.

These are the gorgeous ornaments I received ~ on the left hand side from Mary in the FS Group and on the right hand side from Clare in the NH Group.  I really enjoy participating in these exchanges and now have quite a haul of beautifully stitched pieces from stitchers from around the world ~ I omitted to take a picture of my bowl displaying them all.

My ornament to Mary on the Friendly Stitchers Yahoo Group ~ Noel 2013, a free design from Mamilou Creations.
This was stitched on 35ct Barely Bronzed from Sparklies with DMC threads - I made one substitution as I didn't have one of the called for colours.  The bottom of the design had some wording which I omitted and added a strip of lacy trim in it's place.  For the back I used some lovely green spotty fabric from my stash and the hanger is made from a couple of ribbons, one stitched onto the other.
This is Christmas Morning by The Stitcherhood, a design from the 2012 Just Stitches Ornament Edition.  Stitched on 32ct fabric ~ colour unknown, I must get better at keeping my fabric with better detail.  Just two colours of DMC were used for this design which I stitched for Becs on the Needlecraft Haven Yuku Group.  I used a fabric which had a wreath design in red/green for the reverse with a hanger made from the same DMC used for the stitching.

I'm looking forward to this year's ornament exchanges already!


22 January 2014

IHSW Update - January

Well I'm back to report on my January IHSW weekend and the first thing to note is that I have thoroughly enjoyed having time to set aside to make some stitching progress.
My goals for the weekend were to work on:

My French SAL piece - La Pensee Positive
The January Challenge on the Needlecraft Haven Yuku Group
Start an exchange piece for the Friendly Stitchers Yahoo Group

La Pensee Positive
Jardin Privee
My memory had lapsed and I thought I only had the last part of this 5 part SAL to complete - oops!  In reality I had a small amount to complete Part III ~ which I managed, that was the hare, sheep & a few tufts of grass.  I had problems with the charted colour for the sheep as it didn't show on my fabric so I had to substitute another colour ~ not sure I'm convinced about it but they remain.  I also started Part IV.  This is such a lovely project to work and is available here in several languages.  The crumpled look is not compulsory ~ I just haven't pressed my piece!

I stitched and finished the January Challenge piece from Needlecraft Haven ~ this year the challenge and monthly Christmas ornament SAL have been combined and Christine will be seeking out designs for us to stitch each month.  Christine collects all our finish pictures and on reveal day ~ Sunday 26 January ~ will post a link to the album on group.  I'll share my finish after reveal day.

Across on the Friendly Stitchers Yahoo Group the Valentine exchange is in full swing and this weekend I kitted up my chosen design and made a start on Sunday ~ obviously I can't share this until after my partner receives it.

I'll leave you with this picture ~ DH noticed that another heart had appeared in our house ~ can you see the red thread?  It's a complete fluke, a needle with a wee bit of leftover thread stuck in my pincushion (a gift from Mouse) and it has formed a heart shape.


ps excuse the messy storage ~ it sits on the table next to my chair and keeps lots of important bits and pieces close to hand!   

18 January 2014

A Few Firsts

Some great firsts have been recorded throughout history ~ my firsts for the beginning of 2014 are perhaps just a wee bit less noteworthy.

My first post ~ and hopefully not my last!
I have had things to report however with life being busy in the run up to Christmas, work, collecting GB1 from university etc my posts were sparse to say the least.  I guess I also got a little lazy ~ having the benefit of my ipad makes access to the Internet/social networking/emails etc very easy.  What I do not find easy is posting via blogger, either via the app or the net ~ in fact I find it a hugely frustrating event, am I the only one?  I can't manage to master uploading photographs as I like to have them, text decides for itself where it will reside and which font.  So the laziness comes in when I start to think about having to fire up the PC ~ which is in the conservatory ~ or dig out a laptop.  And to add to the frustration when I did get a laptop out on Wednesday night because it hasn't been used for so long it required 91 Windows updates ~ which I did ~ and then it decided that the version of IE was too out of date to be of any use.  I packed it away and went to bed!
This morning we have laptop #2 ~ which so far seems to be working ok!

TUSALWas actually 1 January 2014 ~ I had about 3 orts to show ~ please see explanation of laziness/ipad frustration above for why I did not share.
The next new moon is 30 January and I will curb the laziness to share a picture close to that time.  If you have no idea what this SAL is about you can read about it on Daffycat's Blog.

First 2014 Start ~ definitely not the last!
This is Home of a Needleworker from LHN ~ my New Year's Day start.  I'm stitching this 1/1 on 28ct Gingerbread Brittney fabric from Kate at Sparklies with the recommended DMC threads. The couple of threads on the LH side are actually my meagre pile of orts.

First IHSW
 Is this weekend and I have a date with a chair and my stitching bag ~ I hope to work on Home of a Needleworker, La Pensee Positive ~ a beautiful SAL from Nathalie at Jardin Privee (I have the last part to complete), Needlecraft Haven's monthly challenge which for January is a gorgeous freebie from Laura at The Little Stitcher.  I think that is plenty to keep me out of mischief.

In other news I signed up for this
Stitch From Stash 2014

which Mel at Epic Stitching is running.  The title says it all really ~ we do have a monthly budget available for supplies however I am going to try and steer clear of spending on any stash ~ as you may imagine I do have a fair bit squirrelled away to work with.  Wish me luck!

Aside from stitching I have a couple of housey jobs to complete and unfortunately the LM is poorly so a good dollop of TLC is in order.  The really bad news is that GB2 needs the rocket up the derriere again in terms of cleaning/tidying his room ~ oh boy!

Whatever your weekend brings I hope you enjoy it.