More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Slightly Obsessed

First of all Happy New Year dear readers!  I hope your New Year is off to a good start.  Mine is going well.

I have a couple of stitching New Year's Day rituals that I just look forward to every year.  Do you have any stitching related New Year's rituals?

My first one is always planned months in advance, its my New Year's new start/stitch along.  For many years now my best friend Christin and I start a stitch along, some years a few of our stitching friends join us and some years its just the two of us.  I start at midnight and Christin starts in the morning, I am always just too excited to wait until the morning after months of anticipation!  This year our stitching friends Bonnie joined us as well in starting Spring Quakers by Rosewood Manor, our friend Janice also joined us but she had already stitched Spring Quakers so she started Winter Quakers.

I had a bit of a panic moment with this piece, I had every intention to stitch this piece on 32 ct Queen Ann's Lace Joblean by Wichelt.  I had bought a 1/2 yard of it back in the fall.  In December I pulled out my fabric, cut a piece just the right size then I pulled out my little box of Valdani Threads.  That's when I totally panicked! This piece of Queen Ann's Lace was quite brown and muddy, several of my Spring Quaker colours just disappeared into it.  Total panic attack!  I knew I didn't have enough time to order a new piece of fabric.  Stash to the rescue!  I spent a good hour pulling out fabrics out of their bins to find a suitable replacement.  I started with my 32ct and had no success, oh no!  Next I was digging through my 28ct fabrics, I had really wanted to stitch this piece on 32ct ... oh well.  After a bit of digging I came across one of my last precious pieces of dyed fabric I got ages ago from Sugar Maple Fabrics which is no longer in business!  They had some of the best dyed fabrics I ever came across.  I mourned while I settled on this fabric, but its PERFECT for Spring Quakers and just the right size.

As you can see I was immediately obsessed by this piece!  Despite being obsessed I didn't have all the time I wanted to stitch it and I've had a hard time to settle lately getting easily distracted by things like Instagram (sigh, addict for sure).  When I have been able to sink my teeth into this it just goes!!!!  I'm now well into page 4 and hope to be into page 5 by the end of this weekend.

My second stitching New Year's ritual is the annual emptying of the ort jar!  I love seeing the wonderful layering of colours from projects throughout the year.  Its also a great measure of just how much or how little stitching I've done that year.

My final stitching New Year's ritual is turning a page on my stitching journal.  Well its not really a journal but a list of all the projects I finish that year.  I also keep a sticky note in there of projects that get carried over from one year to the next and cross them off as they become Happy Dances.  My ultimate goal would be to cross everything off and throw that note away but that hasn't happened yet.  In 2015 I had 54 Happy Dances!  A very productive year and some awesome big finishes in there too!

Cranberry Christmas
Prarie Schooler
Stitched on 40ct New Castle Linen, Mellow from Picture This Plus
Stitched with DMC

I did take a one day break last weekend from Spring Quakers to stitch up my January ornament, I am still sticking with this little goal of mine to stitch one ornament each month.  I've picked Pararie Schooler's Cranberry Christmas as this year's set to stitch up and I'm sure I'll stitch some random pieces through the year as well... when I'm finished with my current obsession.

One thing that has gotten put off to the side is my friend Julie's Round Robin.  In early December we had a stitching day at her place and we were going through her finished projects.  She showed us her Joan Elliott Round Robin, but there was one blank spot left.  I immediately offered to stitch it for her.  I did start stitching the silver Buddha she wanted in the last spot... but like I said I'm obsessed right now.  Once I get to it, I'm sure it'll whip up quickly!

In my last post I promised I'd share with you pictures of a few other items I had stitched last year.  Well I forgot, but I've made a copy of the list and hopefully I'll be back soon with those.  I also put some stitches into an old project, The Big Red by The Silver Lining  I hope to share that with you too.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Months Of Silence

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I've recently received a few comments lately on my last post which was the end of July asking if I was alright, and a few e-mail as well.  I wonder if at this point after so many months if I have any followers left.  I haven't planned on abandoning this blog, it would be such a shame as I was one of the early bloggers in the stitching community.  I also think of all the time, effort and heart that has gone into creating and sharing this blog.  I just lost the desire to blog for awhile, however my stitchy-bug was not affected at all I've got quite a bit of stitching to share with you from the last months.

In my last post from July I was working on Lizzie Kate's Be Naughty

Be Naughty
Stitched on mystery 28ct linen using recommended threads

In order of completion I've stitched the following pieces:

Ho Ho Ho Holiday - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

I've realized I've not photographed the following pieces and will do for my next post (I promise!).  Again this all in order of completion, I keep a little book listing all of my finishes since 2007!
  • Just Nan - Gingerbread Angel Mouse
  • Just Nan - Gingerbread Jingle Mouse
  • Just Nan - Little Princess Snow
  • Just Nan - Loreli Lamb
  • Just Nan - Oakley Owl
  • Hands On Designs - Year In Chalk : July
Here's a finish I'm sure you've been wondering about (unless you follow me on Instagram)....

 Fortunate Traveller
Teresa Wentzler
Stitched on 28ct Cream Lugana
Stitched with: DMC and Mill Hill Beads

Since finishing Fortunate Traveller I've worked on a lot of smaller pieces.

Wait 'Till Dec 25 - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

1st Christmas
32ct White Lugana
Stitched with DMC & Mill Hill Beads

Jeffrey's Christmas Ornament
Earth Threds
Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue 2001
Stitched on 32ct Iris Garden Opalescent Belfast Linen
Stitched with DMC, Kreinik & Mill Hill Beads

Merry - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

FaLaLaLaLa - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Joy To The World - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Silent Night - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Love - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Joy - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Let It Snow - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

 Red Threads
Rosewood Manor
Stitched on 32ct Raging Storm Belfast
Stitched with Threadwork

Red Threads
Rosewood Manor
Stitched on 32ct Silkweaver Solo Wexford Linen
Stitched with Six Strand Sweets Blueberry Grunt

Reflections of Canada
Ink Circles
Stitched on 28ct White Lugana
Stitched with DMC 498

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday, Summer Holiday Edition

Thank you everyone for the comments wishing me a speedy recovery from my dreaded summer cold.  I'm almost over it which is a relief I was feeling pretty awful for awhile!  While battling this cold we've been dealing with quite the heat wave.  I'm so grateful we have central air conditioning!  I could just imagine how awful I'd feel not only battling a cold, but the extreme heat as well.

Stitching-wise I feel like I've had a pretty productive week, when I wasn't sleeping!

Bluebird Tweet
Just Nan
Stitched on: 32ct Linen from Silkweavers
Stitched with: DMC & Mill Hill Beads

I started and finished another Just Nan critter.  I now have two stitched up for the JN Critter finishing day Kathy and I are going to have in the fall.  This time at the top of the pile was Bluebird Tweet which I picked up at The Attic back in March.  I have pulled out and kitted up a third Critter but I've not started it yet.

Instead I started this Lizzie*Kate, Be Naughty.  I kitted this one up in early June and its been in my basket waiting to be started.  I've been stitching up one or two letters each day before I pick up Fortunate Traveler.  Except for yesterday, I didn't touch it at all.  When I first posted my start on this on Instagram, I thought it would be best not to hashtag the name of the chart like I usually do.  Imagine the traffic I'd get with the hashtag "benaughty"!!??  Though I do have some fun coming up with some creative hastags!!! (don't forget you can follow me @tkd_chick and see stitching almost daily!)

I finally hit a milestone with The Fortunate Traveler by Teresa Wentzler!  Last night I finally finished the cross stitching on the border!  Of course as you can see there are miles of backstitching to be done now.  I like to get areas completely done on TW's before I move onto the next.  There's always a lot of BS on her pieces, and leaving it to the end could be overwhelming!

As you can see from this close up of the corner I've got a start on the BS, there will be a lot of work putting in the netting you can see started here as well.  It took quite a few hours last night and today to get the outermost line of stitching on the borer and the inner most line backstitched.  I'm not sure what section I'll tackle next, probably all the writing both the "Fortunate Traveller" which I will spell correctly with the Queen's English and the story before I get to the fun part... the dragon!!!

Calabogie Lake

 Water's Edge at Calabogie

Drgonfly On The Rocks

I managed to get out for a bit on Monday with my brother and Dad, I have to admit half a day out left me pretty drained by the time I got home.  My brother and I went in his sports car and my Dad followed on his motorcycle.  We drove out to Calabogie, through White Lake, a stop for lunch in Arnprior, and a final stop in Packenham before heading home.  It was SO nice to get out!

 5 Span Stone Bridge over the Mississippi River in Packenham

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wimpy WIP Wednesday

Greetings readers.

Remember last week how I had said I was hoping to finish the cross stitching on Fortunate Treaveller's border?  Murphy's Law came for a nice, long visit.  Initially I had a quiet weekend planned, just a baby shower to pop into.  Lots of stitching time right?  Well I was pretty run down by the latter half of last week, so Thursday and Friday night were both nights where I sat and played mindless games on my iPad and went to bed early.  I didn't touch my stitching.  My quiet weekend turned into being out and about with my friend Christin Friday night, Saturday I went to that baby shower for about an hour, then drove to Montreal (2hrs each way) for a birthday party, spent the night, drove back at lunchtime Sunday, picked up my friend Claire visiting from out of town, spent a few hours teaching her finishing techniques then took her back into the city in time for dinner.  I felt like I never had a weekend!  I had also taken Monday off of work to spend with Claire and her son who were visiting from out of town.  Today I was off sick with a bad headache and sore throat... totally run down.  Surprised?  Me either.

After last week's Wednesday post, I didn't pick my stitching back up until Monday night.  Really that was just a token effort to stitch, not much got done.  I finally really got some stitching done last night!

 Jingles - Cheer
Lizzie Kate
stitched on: 32ct lugana
stitched with: Weeks Dye Works

I decided working on a TW wasn't a good idea with how I was feeling so I pulled out the Jingles ornament I started last week.  I managed it to finish it last night as well.

Strawberry Bunny
Just Nan
stitched on: 32ct Desert Sunset Belfast by Zwiegart
stitched with: DMC & Mill Hill Beads

With a nice long nap, today I was able to stat and finish the stitching on this little Just Nan critter.  I'm holding off on finishing it until the fall.  Kathy and I are planning on doing a critter finishing frenzy in the fall.  I've got more to stitch before the fall!

Hopefully next week you'll find I've been more productive.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

WIP Wednesday, Rarely On Time

I have every intention of blogging last night, however my Internet Provider decided they needed to do maintenance on our network which could result in "reductions in speed or interruption in service"  well, my "interruption in service" last from 4PM to 10:30PM.  Awesome, just awesome.  So blogging just wasn't happening last night.

A Year In Chalk - June
Hands On Designs
Stitched on: 32ct Weeks Dye Works Linen, Gunmetal
Stitched with: GAST

Since last week's update I pulled out Hands On Designs - Year in Chalk series after finishing Mini River Cottages.  June whipped up really quickly from the small amount I had started.  I now have half of this series stitched up.  For the moment, I can't go any further in this series as I don't have July and August charts yet.  They're out, I just don't have them.

Stoneware Cat - Kit
Priscilla's Pocket

On Tuesday evening I went out and stitched with my good friend Janice, and I decided to work on this little cutie.  I bought this kit back in March during my trip to the Attic in Arizona.  I was a little disappointed with the kit because I ran out of thread.  I contacted the designer about this, it turns out it was supposed to be stitched over two with one strand of floss.  There were no stitching instructions at all included in the kit.  So like any good, experienced stitcher I stitched it 2 over 2.  Anyhow he's really cute, and he'll be finished into a little pillow with a nice blue pom-pom trim that came in the kit.

After some fairly straightforward/easier projects, I was still in the mood for more complex stitching.  Teresa Wentzler's Fortunate Traveler continues to hold my attention.  If I get in the stitching time I'd like to, I hope to have the border completely cross stitched by the end of the weekend.  I have I'll be sticking to this project to the end.

I have also started my July ornament.  I'm still working away on Lizzie Kate's Jingles series.  This month's addition is Cheer.  I love the wee cardinals!

Not only have I been stitching this last week, there's been more finishing!  They're all ornaments I've stitched up from the Rosewood Manor - Red Threads chart.  Again, rocking the beaded edging on all of these.