Cross Stitch Ramblings


Mad about Mirabilia

I'm sticking with my rotation between the Castle Sampler and Lady with Lilac Flower. Its actually working quite well, I'm getting a break from both of them but both are progressing quite well. Lady with Lilac Flower is stitched on 35 count linen in a single strand - its going to be a long time before it looks anything other than a blob of stitches. If I was stitching this and only this it could be quite soul destroying. Similarly The Castle Sampler, although the immediate effect is rewarding, is getting monotonous. I can't wait to finish the vines and get onto the figures underneath the castle panel!

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I've been stash enhancing like a good-un on ebay over the past week. My new acquistions are the charts for L&L's Celtic Summer, which I've been after for ages, plus Mirabilia's Adia, the Garden Fairy, Cinderella, The Kiss, The Dreamer, and Sleeping Beauty. Now, looking at the material requirements some of these are going to cost me a small fortune to kit out! I already knew that Celtic Summer uses expensive needlepaints threads amongst other things, Sleeping Beauty and the Dreamer only use DMC threads and a couple of different beads, but the other 3 require copuious amounts of Kreinik threads, beads and treasures. I know they really give to the finished design but boy are they pricey! I'd better not kit these out all in one go but take it slowly.....

I've been thinking about joining a Fabric Club. Tandem-Cottage do one - £10 a month. But it doesn't say what you get for your £10. Bargain hunter that I am I would like to think its worth-while. Has anyone reading had any experience of Fabric Clubs?


Stitching news

I haven't written an entry for a few days so let's do several at once!

Castle Sampler
Here's an updated WIP
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The backstitch around the castle and border is all finished now - the vines so far are enjoyable to do but time consuming - it took me nearly all day to finish that little bit!

Stitching Goodies are here!

My long awaited stitching goodies finally arrived on Wednesday - the dusty green linen for Celtic Christmas - that is all now kitted up and ready to go - and my Lanarte Lady with Lilac Flower kit from Lanarte which I bought with my birthday money from mother in law.
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I've decided to start on this one straight away rather than putting it in the pile and not touching it for two years - I have this theory that I am more likely to receive stitching goodies for gifts if the people who buy them actually see me stitching them within memory of them having bought them! I'm attemtping to do this in a sort of rotation with the Castle Sampler. I'm not a rotation stitcher, I will have more than one WIP but I tend to shelve one and completely finish another before going back to it. I've already shelved Castle Sampler twice and don't want to do that again, it deserves better treatment than that! I can't do any sort of timed rotation because there are too many distractions in my life so my intention is to work on either one every other day. I worked on Lady with Lilac Flowers yesterday (no WIP pic yet - its just a little blob of stitches) and this morning its back in the drawer and the Castle Sampler is back out. A few entries ago I wrote I'd never worked a Lanarte design before, I'd forgotten about Maria Van Scharrenburg's Night which I completed last summer. This one is similar to stitch - mostly single strand, presorted thread and a large, clear chart. The fabric has a sort of died mottly yellowy wash over it, its more of a natural fabric than I'm used to, the fabric strands are quite uneven in thickness. Should be a challenge!

Stitching Bloggers Question of the Week

What is your favourite fabric to stitch on?

28ct evenweave. I'm largely unadventurous on my choice of fabric - I will use whatever the chart recommends or whatever comes with the kit. I'm not sure if I've ever stitched on any other count on evenweave, don't pay that much attention.

Back from the framing man

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For the first time, the framer did a less than brilliant job with the Apple Blossom Fairies. The dark border lines were all wonky at the top - my eye was immediately drawn to it as soon as I went in the room. As soon as I got it home my husband took it out of the frame and spent about an hour pushing and prodding it around to get it straighter - the framer uses sticky mountboard which fortunately was still tacky so it could be taken apart. It looks much better now. Next time my husband is going to have a go at putting it on the mountboard before it goes to the framer, considering the hours and hours of work that go into my stitching they really do deserve a good framing job.

And here is Numbers:

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I am completely happy with this one - now just waiting for the baby to be born so I can give it to the proud parents!


Castle Sampler update

Here is an updated wip (click on it for a bigger version)....
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As well as the castle border I've also finished the clouds - didn't like doing them much! there's about 10-12 different symbols in there only 3 of which aren't blends. I'm now backstitching and have done some of the castle roofs, for this I'm using the chart in the TW booklet I bought when I lost the instructions, instead of the one in the kit because the backstitch lines are a lot clearer which makes it sooooooo much easier. Now I'm vindicated in buying that book!!



Here is little Popcorn which I began stitching on Friday evening and finished last night. For a littly it took longer than I thought! It was a magazine free kit that I couldn't resist.

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I'm now on to the last bit of the border on the castle .... will post a picture when its finished.


Insert interesting title here

The border on the castle is now about three quarters done, I'll post a picture when its finished. I have no timeframe on when the whole thing will be finished, I guess it will take at least another couple of months.
I had 2 pieces of white evenweave arrive today which I will use to replace the aida in a couple of the kits in the stash. I only need one more. I'm debating whether to throw away The Daisy Fairy. This was a kit I bought through ebay that I was very disappointed with. I have a feeling the Craft Collection may have improved their designs over recent years but this is one of the old style ones, th chart is in colours rather than symbols which are a headache to follow, and the backstitch simply follows the outlines, it does nothing for the design. I have already completed one of these kits - The Pansy fairy, and was not happy with the finished result. The Daisy Fairy is worse because the chart is not an original - its a photocopy and several of the colours merge into one another. I love the actual Daisy Fairy but am seriously doubting whether the finished result will be worth the effort involved.
I finalised the purchase of Lanarte's 'Lady with Lilac Flower' today which is to be a birthday pressie from M-I-L (she's giving me the money to get it). Since its a gift I may start this one when I get it rather than putting it to the bottom of the pile like I usually do, but it all depends how I feel about it when it actually arrives. I've never stitched a Lanarte design before so we'll see.....


Backstitch as you go

The Castle Sampler is back on the go. The actual castle itself isn't quite finished. There is some more of the wispy cloud around it still to do, and it is my intention to do the backstitch on the castle before going on to the rest of the design. The reason I started on the border is because I haven't touched it for almost a month and I thought it would be easier to get back into it that way. It was, the border is enjoyable to do but comparatively simple. It gives, I think, a quality of depth to the castle which I really like. I think there's a strong case for backstitching as you go along where possible, and with this design as there's clearly defined sections I am intending to do this. Much better than leaving it until the end when I will have probably lost familiarity with the earlier stitched bits of the design making it much harder. I did the backstitch as I went along with 'Numbers' and actually enjoyed doing that more than the characters, because it brought them to life.

My goodies from Sew Discounted finally arrived on Saturday, so now Celtic Spring and Butternut Road's A Christmas Visit are now fully kitted up and ready to go. All I'm still waiting for is the Dusty Green linen from Tandem Cottage. There isn't any real hurry as long as it arrives eventually, I'm just impatient! When I was working out what DMC threads I needed for the Lavender & Lace designs I was surprised I needed so many since I already have an extensive thread collection, but now they have arrived I know why. There are some really rich, sumptuous colours in these designs which I have never worked with before, I particularly love the reds of Celtic Christmas. They make the colours in my thread boxes look very muted in comparison. I may have to start on one of these before finishing the Castle Sampler because, beautiful though it is it is all muted tones and may get a bit much for me. But for now it is the only WIP.



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It is finished!

Numbers is finished at last. It looks really nice, I'm pleased with the result. Its a bit grubby so needs a wash, I'll post a picture tomorrow if I get round to it and then its off to the framing man.

Really need to have a stitch free day as other things have been sliding (have you seen that huge pile of ironing in the corner???!!!) then I'll be dusting off the Castle Sampler and getting back to it again.

I've discovered I like Mirabilia designs, in particular Sleeping Beauty and Petal Fairy. Have been bidding away on ebay but as usual get outbid on almost everything but I will have to have them eventually, I really will have to. Its becoming an obsession!


The end is in sight

The end is in sight for Numbers. All I have still to do now is Piglet, a few bugs, owl and some grass. The framing man has been forewarned.

My husband was told he would be getting a bonus at work last week. Because he'd spent a third of it before he even told me about it he told me to treat myself. So I bought online the fabric, beads and speciality threads I need for Celtic Spring, Celtic Christmas and A Christmas Visit online. I also needed a few DMC colours for these 3 which I ordered as well. I ordered from 3 different sites, SewandSo, Sew Discounted and another one I can't remember the name of, Treasure House or something. So far, only the Sew and so items have arrived. They were really quick before when I ordered stuff but I've never bought anything from the other two before. Its going to be interesting howw quick they are because I'll see from this if I'll buy from them when I really need something!