Monday, 14 April 2014

Art Dolls and other things

Dear all,

I am still here. Some of you might have noticed I had fallen behind in my emails, and blogging. Well here is the reason... We have been pretty busy in the last few weeks. There was a craft fair (as per usual I spent more than I have earned ... oh well) last Saturday which coincided with my sister's visit. She came for a week. So we were very busy crafting and creating. Very little cross stitch on my part, sadly. But in other words the two dolls we have been working on are now finished!

Some photos:

What do you think? 

I was in such a buzz after the fair that even our Etsy store got some love ... and is updated with more stock. Check the link on the right hand side bar.

The third doll that is still under construction has most of her body parts attached, and I am ready to start the long labour on the hair ... the only component that is missing is the thread. The hair is bright red and we do not have anything that is colour matching. Today, I returned some library books, went to the post office to post something I sold on eBay (probably another 11p profit!), and got on the wrong bus! It took twice as long to get to town and then it was too late and the shop was closed. Never mind, I will cross stitch tonight instead. I have started a new project from stash! (more on it soon).

Will try to post a belated (yet again) TUSAL update tomorrow... and see what I have been missing in the world of correspondence.

Till soon,

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Smalls #3 & Stitch from Stash #3

I cannot believe this ... I am actually posting a few days in advance, go me! I just thought if I get these two updates out of the way I might get a chance to write that promised update on hand dyed fabric (if you don't remember the promise that was probably because it was made many many moons ago).

First up is Smalls SAL (for more info check the tab).

I have finished:

biscornu #229
Well, this was meant to be a Valentine's style biscornu (for a case I had booked in February) hence in shiny pink ... but as you can tell I finished it a little late. Oh well, it is still a finish (which list I am not doing as well on as last year).

Biscornu #229
Stitched on 14 count aida
Threads: DMC E967

You have also probably guessed that I have done this design previously, and I have ... back in July 2013.

And onto my spending with Stitch from Stash (again check the tab for more info):

First up (this is not part of the official report) is the purchase I made last month from Cross Stitch Heaven which has finally arrived:

99 dmc colours

embroidery thread storage box

pre-gridded fabric

2 metal craft rings
This was the first time I shopped from Donna and I still haven't made up my mind about the experience.  The prices are good, but I guess one has to take it with a pinch of salt. I was very excited to get the package and it was very well wrapped and packaged, neat as well! Fabric with threads and the rings between the fabric folds. My first mood damper was to discover one of the rings being a bit rusty. Oh well, not a big deal, I can live with that. The other issue was one of my skeins was the wrong shade. I have emailed Donna today, and am awaiting the reply ... but it is making me feel petty and rather silly. It is only one skein worth 39p after all. And I can probably use it in the future. But this means that one of the projects is missing a colour ... I have not checked which one yet and for me to order that colour I need to pay postage again, and well probably buy more items to make it more worth while. 

See, I told you you'd think I am petty. After all she done pretty well to get the 98 out of 99 right. And I love my new fabric. I have rolled it onto my new frame (the one my mum got me for Christmas) for the new start heading this way. I just hate feeling guilty! What to do? Well one of my reasons posting early, I guess, is to start on the next month's spending. So maybe if I buy just that right shade and more fabric... and then there is that exclusive Fizzy Moon kit by World of Cross Stitching ... but I am saving for that printer so I should think twice. Like Scarlett O'Hara said 'I will think about it tomorrow'. I will! I will sit down and properly budget. I haven't been getting many additional hours, so my last two pays were a little tight ... and my guess the next one will be similar. It might be even time to drop another magazine subscription. And definitely more ebay listing. Although with an average selling price in the vicinity of 50p how much time can I dedicate to listing and going to the post office?  

Anyhow onto the proper update. I have carried forward $/£25.06 and added to this month's allowance that makes the budget of $/£50.06. Remember I left you on the cliff hanger of going to the charity shop ... well I spent quite a bit. More than I have intended to! I picked out a pile of Anchor and DMC (quite a few repeats) and at £1 per 5 skeins it all added up to £28. With about same amount still in basket though not Anchor or DMC ... the lady offered me the whole lot for £35! I am not certain whether this was worth it. As the rest I would have probably not bought on its own. I will aim to separate and catalogue my purchase for the next update ... and see whether it was a bargain or not. To put this sum in perspective ... my mum bought a large set of wooden drawers (gorgeous!) with delivery for about £20 from the same charity shop. We crafters are insane!

This then means I have $/£15.06 to carry forward.

Incidentally this is also happens to be my 100th post ... woohoo who would have thought that I'd be here blogging just over two and a half years later. When I started blogging I wanted to document my completions ... I thought how would I have anything to write about if I stitch a particularly large design. Who would have thought that SALs and Wips would take over.

Till soon,

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

TUSAL #3 and Wipocalypse #3 ...

Just sat down to do a belated (yet again) post and realised how long it has been. I am sorry for the lack of posting, but I am back now. Just had a few crazy weeks, so did not get much time to update anything (not just my blog). Sadly, I also have been stitching less and less. I blame the doll making personally.

Dolls you ask, it is a small project mum and I have been working on. She is in charge of the cutting and sewing them up, I am in charge of needle sculpting, face drawing, and hair at the moment. I am currently sewing hair on strand by strand, which I am estimating is taking me 15-30 hours per doll. I am almost finished the second. I will definitely time when I begin on the third to get a better number. Hopefully, I will feel confident to share some photos in my next post.

Anyhow, onto the updates, TUSAL:

last month

last month next to year so far 

2014 including last month

And Wipocalypse update seen me stitching:

Christmas Candle:

January 2014

March 2014
Oh dear, I felt I was doing great progress until I put these two pictures next to each other. Quite a few nights went into this one!

Lean on Me

February 2014

March 2014
It is not very noticeable but I have completed all the backstitching in light grey. Onto dark grey next.

QS Literate Dragon

February 2014
March 2014

March 2014
The project that has seen the most of the stitchy hours input. 

I am participating in a 2014 HAED goal challenge over at their official forum board. The goals I set myself for the year are:
  • Complete page 4 on Christmas Candle
  • Stitch approximately a page on QS Literate Dragon
  • Start and stitch 1 page on QS Poisonous Beauties
QS Poisonous Beauties will hopefully be my next start. I had the needed threads back since I purchased DMC for the dragon, but I decided to try some pregridded fabric for the project, which has recently arrived. More on that in the Stash update later in the month. 

Speaking of the delivery ... I have also bought the needed threads for some other projects, including the Margaret Sherry SAL I am participating in this year. The bigger question is: why do I sign up to so many things?

Also I solemnly swear that I will limit my spending on cross stitch and other craft supplies even further, as I am beginning to save up for a new printer. I know, there is nothing technically wrong with my current one. But once you spend about £160 in ink cartridges (and that is just the last 2 months or so and I do search for online bargains and rarely buy them full price) you realise that an inkjet printer is only suited for those that print less than I do. Laserjet is the way forward and although costs 5 times more to get, and ink cartridges same, it prints about 10 times more according to google. So not only I think this will be a great investment ... it will also be good to the environment (less cartridges and packaging material wasted). The problem is I need somewhere between £100 - £300 to get one, and then I'd guess about £200 for ink. The total comes higher than my standard monthly salary, most of which goes to pay bills, food, student loan ... So onto saving, and I do hope it will take less than a year to come up with this money. 

Anyhow till soon,

P.S. Thank you for all your lovely comments, sorry if I did not get around to personally responding to all of them.
P.P.S. To be updated with the photos of where I like to stitch.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Smalls SAL update #2

Oh dear, I am a little late ... only by a little bit this time. For Smalls SAL February update I have another witch by the Snowflower Diaries. Spring Witch, chart available free over HERE.

It was stitched on Zweigart 28 count Quaker Linen in Confederare Grey.
Stitched in DMC: 310, 3770, 738, 3833, 3364, 818, and Anchor: 8, 360, 128, and Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe: Heather A (a gift from Nancy ... the rabbit). Isn't it gorgeous! Speaking of Nancy and her floss. She is having another giveaway. Click HERE and enter by the 10th March 2014. 

Till soon,

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Reports, reports, reports ... Wipocalypse #2 and Stitch from Stash #2

Dear all,

I am as always being busy, busy, busy ... apologies for a belated (as per usual) update on Wipocalypse, but for one I really wanted to have some progress to show ... and not just a fabric with two extra crosses.

First up is QS 'Literate Dragon':

December 2013

February 2014

page done!!!

Well it doesn't look like much, but this progress took me about 4 nights. I have finally finished off the bottom right page properly (so many colours for so little! Each colour seemed to only have one cross or so). Yuppy! And started on the bottom left next.

My other progress is on the 'Lean on Me' that I started as part of Stitch from Stash last month:

January 2014
February 2014

I wanted to have this one done, but didn't quite make it before posting. Just the backstitching left. I was also going to start another piece from stash, but didn't get around. I have started the prep and all:

all colours for QS Literate Dragon and Christmas Candle

with those additional skeins and kreinik
I know this is for my current major projects, but now I do not have to be frustrated when I go search for some colour. Hence I was able to finish that page on the 'QS Literate Dragon'. I also now started to gather the threads for the next few projects I am going to start. I already bought threads awhile back for 'QS Poisonous Beauties', then I am starting a Margaret Sherry Sal as mentioned previously so I got the list of threads, put it together with that of 'Alice Enchanted' (gifted to me last year), and the list of LHN small projects. Then I got together all of the skeins I already had into a bag (well actually two, as half of them stink of cigarettes from when I bought them so continuing to get rid of smell through putting cloths for tumble drier in there). And ordered the rest ... so naturally time for my buying report:

Margaret Sherry had half price on her website (click here). The kits are no longer on sale, but the hen one is ridiculously cheap now ... as in 75% off! Wish I waited.



So that is a total of £21.44 spent.

Full report:

£/$21.50 was brought forward, then this moth's allowance is £/$25. This lets me carry forward £/$25.06! Go me.

But wait you'd say that I mentioned that I bought some threads too.

Well yes, I have. I bought 99 skeins of dmc, large bobbin storage box, 2 metal craft rings, 18 count aida (magic guide) for 'QS Poisonous Beauties', all for a total of £48.96. This was all bought from Cross Stitch Heaven. I was putting this massive order off for the next month, but that exemption/splurge weekend came in handy. Especially since I am planning a trip to a charity shop (I hear they have cheap floss at the moment).

And just before I go I will answer Measi's Wipocalypse question:

Topic: How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time?  Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!

A very hard question indeed. I have as you know 11 official wips and increasing, but then there are the smalls I no longer count towards wipocalypse too. I get a little panicky when I think about 'the number', but they are better being stitched on than waiting in the stash pile ... right? I do not do rotations per se, but I choose whatever I feel like stitching (sometimes I ask mum if I can't decide) and stitch till I get bored with it and then move on. Having said that if I have some SAL/exchange etc commitments, that would take priority over my random picks. I have also started making jewellery and art dolls, so that takes some time away from cross stitching too. 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Belated winner announcements ...

Before I start I want to state that the blog party giveaway winner was drawn on time, contacted, and should have the package somewhere en route now. I just was bad at blogging the announcement, sorry. I blame the cold and fever and throat pain. Yuk! Glad that's out of the way now. Although I still haven't recovered all my strength entirely.

Okay so onto the winner announcement ... as always with a little help from my seven year old brother. I printed all the comments, cut them out, and placed face down. Guess who he has pulled out?

It is Sarah of Sarah in Stitches. I am so happy that my little brother pulled out Sarah, whom I met through last year's blog party and I won that day's giveaway from. So I think very appropriate.

Also, I know ... I know my Wipocalypse update is extremely overdue (is it a week?). I will hopefully be able to post it in the next few days. 

Till soon,

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

TUSAL - post #2 and the giveaway announcement ...

Hello all,

I have finally made up my mind what I am giving away as part of the Grow Your Blog! party. So I thought maybe I should post a few pictures before the giveaway concludes. I am a little ill, headache, throat ache, leg pains, so apologies if I make little sense.

But before that let me show you my TUSAL jar:

jar #2 and 2014

2014 so far

Now onto the giveaway. To enter click HERE and follow the instructions at the bottom of the post.

5 threaders

5 charms

1 chart and a chart booklet

2 small kits

a bookmark and speciality stitch charts

Hand dyed fabric with logwood and aluminium mordant by my mum
Once the winner is picked he or she can pick what part of the giveaway they want: all or some (and whatever is unwanted will roll over to the next drawing). I might add more prizes in the next few days (or maybe not) but for now that is how the giveaway stands.

Till soon,