Cross Stitch Ramblings


Lots to say!

Here is Lady with Lilac Flower as at tonight. She doesn't look very different to the last WIP, but I am keeping a promise to myself to update my blog more often and entries always look more interesting with piccies!

I had some new stash arrive yesterday - Teresa Wentzler's Sampler collection and Christmas collection. Now I really do have enough TW charts to keep me going for 30 years! I'm especially delighted with the Sampler book which is kinda strange since the stitcher I was before I had my children wouldn't touch samplers with a bargepole. How tastes change! I bought these books through Amazon where they were significantly cheaper than the online shops - I ordered them about a month ago and wasn't expecting them until mid-July so receiving them yesterday was a nice surprise.

Stitching Blogger's Question"

When starting a new project, do you start in the middle? If you do,
once you've worked down to the bottom, do you turn your chart and
fabric around so that you are stitching the top section downwards
again or do you just stitch upwards from the middle?

I always start in the middle, and am equally happy working downwards and upwards.

Goals for June/July
June Goals
Castle Sampler - 1 side of the border - yes, plus some of all the other sides.
Taj Mahal - 6 blocks - yes, I did 12
Lady with Lilac Flower - 20 blocks - yes, I think so. I am no longer counting the blocks but I did quite a few.
Celtic Christmas - finish the lady. Yes, I did, but I'm going to unpick and re-work the face.

July goals
My slightly longer term goal is to finish all 3 large WIPs by the end of August, this would mean doing roughly half of what is left by the end of July, so .....
Castle Sampler - at least one and a half more sides of the border
Taj Mahal - 6 more blocks
Lady with Lilac Flower - Appx 20 blocks
Celtic Christmas - finish the lady, unpicking and re-working the bits I'm not happy with, and stitch at least one side of the border.
Blog - Update at least twice a week!!


Taj Mahal / Lady with Lilac Flower

I did a bit more work on Taj Mahal .... it probably doesn't look like it, but it is now one sixth done.

And a little bit more on Lady with Lilac Flower .... who is at a guess about 70% done now. She's proving quite hard on the eyes at the moment as the work is largely white on white. Its a good thing I am doing this bit in the summer when we've got lots of daylight hours!

I was looking back on my entries the other day and found that I'd received quite a lot of comments which I hadn't noticed first time round. So if I ignored you, sorry! One person was asking about the large Rose Fairy chart, which is now discontinued. Sew and So have got it in their sale section at the moment. Mine is next in line to be started once Lady with Lilac Flower is done, and once I've finished it the chart will be up for grabs to whoever wants it, assuming I haven't completely destroyed it! But I know its not going to be an easy stitch so it will be quite a long while off yet.


Castle Sampler/Taj Mahal

I've finally finished one side of the outer border. Its uncomplicated stitching, but there's a lot of it, so its taken a lot longer than I was expecting. The actual letters and the twiddly bits between the letter blocks are mostly one-over-one. I have stitched all of these the wrong way round, because they are sideways I was looking at it at a different angle, but I don't think it matters.

I spent a small amount of time last night and this morning on Taj Mahal .... my son also wants me to stitch the Eiffel Tower as well now .... we'll have to see about that!

Stitching Bloggers Questions

Do you feel the need to stitch a design from a specific designer just
to say that you've experienced stitching one of their designs?

Yes, I am the sort of person that would do that, although I would never feel compelled to stitch anything I don't like. I started Celtic Christmas when I did because I wanted to have stitched something by Lavender & Lace.

Are there any types of designs that you won't stitch?
All sorts. Pictures of people taken from photos, images representing war, religious images, over-cutesie designs, bowls of flowers, man-type themes such as golf, cricket etc., modern samplers, and, at the risk of offending 90% of other stitchers, anything with cats. Sorry!!


Castle Sampler

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments on my last two entries - I really do need to pour my little heart out sometimes!

I haven't totally made up my mind yet what to do with Celtic Christmas - she's going to remain put aside for a little while. I want to get quite a lot of work done on Castle Sampler, I feel this has been a WIP for such a long time, although looking back in this blog I found I only started it at the end of November last year, and then I did hardly any stitching on it for two months. I'd love to get it finished soon.

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I've put some sort of organisation into my Yahoo photo album.
There's most of my finishes in there and other stuff, if anyone's interested in a glut of Castle Sampler WIPs.


Celtic Christmas & Castle Sampler WIPs

Here is Celtic Christmas, (click for larger image) not looking nearly so bad as she does in real life .... although she does look like she's got a white beard....

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and Castle Sampler. The border is easy!! I never thought I'd hear myself using the word easy in description of anything by Teresa Wentzler...

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I'm a bit disillusioned with cross stitching at the moment. I'm not actually particularly good at it. As a result of which I have not been blogging for the past week or reading anyone elses blogs which is bad. Sorry!

Celtic Christmas is not going well.

(I'll add a picture in here later)

I stitched the face .... then realised it was one stitch out of line so had to frog it all. So I re-stitched it, now it is in the right place but doesn't look good. It is comprised of three different shades of pink - the darker 2 look exactly the same. I've checked them against my bobbins and I didn't make a mistake and use the wrong one, maybe one of the bobbins has the wrong shade on it? Who knows. I also think the face lacks definition, it would look better one-over-one. Not sure if the linen would stand up to another batch of stitches being frogged out, the holes are already on the big side. I'd have to be inventive if I did re-do it one-over-one, not an idea I relish, non-creative me - will have to dig out some of the charts from my stash & see if I can find a similar size & shape face that will help. I know that TW's R&J faces are over-one but they're pointing the wrong way. This one needs some thought.

The candle tips took forever .... I did them individually using loop starts with that horrible metallic thread. They simply refuse to lie flat and look terrible. I am going to pull them out and try a different metallic thread, just for the candle tips. I have some petite treasure braid I bought for Celtic Spring .... maybe that will be better.

My last point of discontent. The 'floating' beads .... the ones around the head I put on with the lightest shade of green thread. They look terrible, and need to come out. The ones around the candle wreath I did with invisible thread, which is the most horrible type of thread I've ever had the misfortune to work with - and I don't like the result, the holes in the fabric around them have been pulled too big. I am going to remove all of these beads .... the plan is to re-do them using the closest green I can find to the colour of the fabric.

But for now Celtic Christmas has been tossed aside ..... I simply don't have the patience.

The Castle Sampler seems suddenly uncomplicated. I'm on the large border now which so far is very simple, although there are some more tricky bits to come.

In better news ..... I finally got my ebay act together and now most of my unwanted magazines, kits and patterns are finally listed. Hopefully later I'll sort out the various bits of fabric I don't want and get them up too. Its clear-out time! Whether or not they actually sell is a different matter but at least I've made the effort.

In better news still .... the large town where I work, which has no stitching suppliers other than the woefully inadequate Coats Needlecrafts Bargain Basement, has a branch of Hobbycraft opening up soon! I do have a Hobbycraft locally, its in one of the 3 towns my village is equally distant from, but it does require a special trip since I don't have any other reason to go there. It will be very useful to have one near to work so I can go visit in my lunch hour. I rarely actually buy major stitching supplies from Hobbycraft since everything is full price but it will be very useful for the odd skein of thread or whatever I have run out of and nice to browse at something interesting in my lunch hour.


Lady with Lilac Flower/Celtic Christmas WIPs

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Here is the latest of Lady with Lilac flower, and Celtic Christmas, looking like Anne Boleyn. Hopefully she will have a head before the end of this weekend.

Taj Mahal
Ann - re your comment on my last entry. If I'd realised about the squashed stitches before I started on it, I definitely would have switched the fabric for evenweave. But I launched into it without looking at the instructions, I have a tendency to do that! Its a pain but I'm going to stick with it.

Stitching Bloggers Question
What do you like *least* about cross stitching?

Stitching large areas of plain colour. *Yawn*


Lots to say

I've been slack on updating over the past week so heres lots!

Celtic Christmas
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I finished up that little corner of the skirt last Wednesday. That meant my May goals were finished with a few days to spare!

Taj Mahal
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To replace Mini cottages in my rotation, I've started on John Clayton's Taj Mahal - a heritage stitchcraft kit. I had several different new projects to chose from but decided on this one because my 10-year old son loves this building & wants to go and see it some day. Its destined for his bedroom wall. Its a weird pattern, featuring elongated, or 'squashed' stitches which I've never encountered before, very strange! These kind of stitches would be much easier on evenweave, unfortunately the kit comes with aida which I decided not to swap out because the pattern is entirely stitched with no background left showing. I've only done a little bit so far, its low priority until something else is finished.

Lady with Lilac Flower
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And here is LWLF as she currently is. A couple more blocks to go on her & then I'm back on Celtic Christmas.

Stitching Bloggers Question
How do you deal with a stitching slump?

Setting goals and stitching in rotation definitely helps keep me motivated to keep going on projects I may otherwise get bored with, but if its a real slump, in which I don't want to stitch at all, then I just don't. Stitching is fun, but if I'm not enjoying doing it there's no point in forcing myself. There are lots of other things I am obliged to do in life which to be honest are higher priorities than stitching.

Movie meme
I was tagged by Carol (about a week ago!)
1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video: About 50 DVDs and maybe 20 videos, which are up in the loft. None of them are exclusively mine, they are all co-owned with DH and a good amount of them are kid's films. Quite a few are bootleg copies my in-laws brought back from Malaysia (I wish they'd stop doing that!), which don't work properly. I don't buy many DVDs, I always say we'll rent them from the video shop but we rarely actually do. Most films I watch are on TV.

2) The last film I bought: The last one I remember buying was LOTR boxed set for my husband, it must have been for his birthday in March 2004.

3) The last film I watched: Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (for about the 100th time!)

4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):Beaches, Rain Main, LOTR, Crouching tiger, Hidden Dragon (in original language subtitled), Harry Potter.

5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal:I don't know 5 people! So I will cheat and say anyone who sees this and wants to answer it in their blog, please do.

Goals for June
Castle Sampler - one side of the large border.
Taj Mahal - 6 blocks (low priority ATM)
Lady with Lilac Flower - 20 blocks
Celtic Christmas - finish the lady - bodice & head - if that's going well do the candles as well.