Sunday, 31 May 2009

Nine days away from home

Here in the UK we are coming to the end of the May half-term holiday. The Other Half and me spent all of the holiday away from home, a few days here, a few days there, that sort of thing and very enjoyable it was too. I did manage to get some stitching done. Firstly I finished the Dutch Delft biscornu. The 'charms' are hand painted enamel earrings bought at a craft fair many moons ago.

Dutch Delft Biscornu
I also managed to complete the backstitch on one side of my Teepee Teddies UFO and all the cross stitch on the other side.

Teepee Bears Door Hanger
I also managed to complete all the stitching on the Boo needle book. This now needs finishing off properly along with a whole list of other stuff so my next weekend at home will be a 'finishing weekend' of a different sort.

Boo needle book
I will leave you with two holiday photos. On Thursday evening we walked to the source of the River Thames. I have been there a number of times before and have actually seen water bubbling up from the ground, but not this time. The pile of stones in the foreground is where the water usually comes up.

This photo shows what we had to cross to get there and yes, it is a high speed train and yes, the official footpath does cross a double track mainline railway (between Swindon and Gloucester).

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Totally Useless SAL ~ May

This is a picture of this month's contribution to the Totally Useless SAL. There is a large clump of blue floss created by the Dutch Delf biscornu. There are also some sparkly additions as Part 2 of White Nights used some metallic thread.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Part 2 is finished!

Here it is.

White Nights Part 2
The black lines form the gateposts and tree trunks which feature in the next part. There are also a number of backstitched wrought iron gates in part 3, mmm ... backstitch and lots of it.

Next week on the rotation should be the St Nicholas Tree Skirt but as a result of being out and about, it's Half Term here in the UK, I'm going to do other things. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Half way there or 48 more Algerian Eyelets to go! ...

... at least on Part 2 of White Nights in St Petersburg.

Here is a progress pic.

White Nights in St Petersburg
Each of the corner sets of tiles is taking just under an evening so with a bit of luck I should be able to add the beads on Friday. Well that's the plan, I will let you know my progress.

Simply Summer came back from framing this week. I am really pleased with how it looks. The frame is the bespoke one for this design from Poppy Kreations.

Simply Summer

Monday, 18 May 2009

A few spare days

For the last two weeks I have faithfully stuck to the rotation. The June Calendar was finished with a day spare and the Just Nan biscornu was finished with two days to spare. So what did I do with those spare days? Well I would love to say that I spent the time on my Teepee Teddies UFO and finished it, but I didn't. Instead I started and finished something else.

The something else was the 'How many UFOs are in your closet?' by Raise the Roof Designs. This is what it looks like if you follow the chart.

How many UFOs are in your closet?
This is my version

Stitched on 28 count Cashel linen (lilac) I made the following alterations.

  • Kreinik blending filament was used on the UFOs to give them a metallic sparkle

  • The purple parts were done in The Gentle Art 'Hyacinth' rather than the DMC floss suggested

  • Threadworx' Mythical' and Weeks Dye Works 'Mother's Day' (left over from the last two biscornu from The Sweetheart Tree) were used to make the fabric on the second shelf more interesting

  • Instead of having another brown box above the 'to do' box I designed a very simple straw hat, blending two shades of DMC to give a textured, 'straw' look and used more 'Mother's Day' for the hat band and the feather

  • I also blended the floss to make the basket and changed the colours of two boxes. The bottom right box ended up being stripped as I was running out of 'Hyacinth'
Let's say I had great fun!

Next job is to frame it. I'm going to have a ago at doing this myself. I bought a wooden 8" x 10" photo frame for £4.50, some wadding £3.00 a metre, and some spongy mounting board, sorry I have no idea what that is called, all I know is that an A1 size sheet cost £4.99 and they had it on offer, 'buy one get one free'! So at a rough estimate I should be able to frame it myself for about £6! Can't be bad. When it is done I will post the results.

Anyway, back to the stitching. After adding in this extra project, I still had some time left, Sunday afternoon and evening. So why didn't she frame it then? I hear you say. Well, The Other Half cut the board to size for me, so a start was made. Unfortunately, whilst stitching the words I stabbed myself and bled on to the linen, not much, but enough to show. So it was a quick soak in warm water, with a squirt of Fairy Liquid, which did the trick and the stain came out.

So to fill the gap I started the Boo needle book from the Just Nan 'Over the top and in the tin' range. You can find out more about the crisis I had with this one in my post on the Spooky Stitcher's SAL. This is as far as I got.

So this week it's Back to White Nights In St Petersburg. My aim is to finish Part 2! Watch this space.

Friday, 15 May 2009

An award, a finish and flowers!

Firstly, a big thank you to Mel for giving me this award.

Here is the meaning of the award ...

"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY, nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated."

The rules state that I am to pass this on to 8 other bloggers. I have decided to pass this award on to the members of my UFO blog 'I've Started so I'll finish ...eventually'. Now I know that there are more than eight of them but I think the sentiments of this award fit what we are trying to do.

Now for the finish. Hot off the needle is the 'When Barnabee Met Bella' biscornu from Just Nan. This is the top or lilac side.

This is the bottom or blue side.

When Barnabee Met Bella
And finally... the flowers.

Today was school leaving day for my Y13 students and at the end of their final school assembly they presented me with these.

The Other Half said that I should post a picture of them as the arrangement was 'unusual and arty'. It was also a total surprise!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

More finishes!

So today I can heave a huge sigh of relief! The last of the 75 pieces of A Level coursework marking I mentioned back in March got done today. The last candidate only gave their's in this morning! All 75 will be in the post first thing tomorrow to be at the exam board by their Friday deadline. HOORAY my office at work now has clear surfaces and there are no piles of work on the floor, on windowsills, under chairs or anywhere else I could think of to store them prior to posting.

OK, so back to the more interesting finishes of the stitching kind. Last weekend I finished the pin-cube, the latest SAL from Stitch Creations.

Pin Cube
I also made fantastic progress on the June Calendar. This is the first time I have posted a finished item without some other WIP photos as there wasn't much progress made at the time of my last post on this one, maybe one letter and part of the boat.

June Calendar
So back on the rotation this week is 'When Barnabee Met Bella' by Just Nan. Last night I managed to complete all of the green.

When Barnabee Met Bella
I also took the plunge and signed up for the Papillon Creations SAL 'Castles in the Air'. I am probably going to do it on 28 count antique white linen. This is my choice of colours.

Floss Toss

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Another finish, this time my Dad's!

Poppy Screen
This is the second panel of the Poppy Screen from Millennia Designs to be completed by my Dad. Holding it up from behind is my Mum! My Dad worked this design from the top down. When he started panel 1, not knowing what he was doing, I asked him if he was doing the title screen from 'The Simpsons'!
This image is enlargable so you can see the panel in all it's glory!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Rhodes Butterfly Biscornu

Rhodes Butterfly Biscornu
Well at last I managed it. The Rhodes Butterfly Biscornu, which at times had UFO potential, is finished.
This week it's the June Calendar on the rotation but there's not much progress on that one as Monday evening, being a Bank Holiday, was classed as a 'Railway Weekend Sunday' so I stitched on the UFO for my UFO blog (see top of sidebar for details). On Tuesday I finished the biscornu, just because I had to get it out of the way. Hopefully there will be more progress to report in the next post but with another 'Railway Weekend' coming up who knows?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Steam and Stitching

As I had hoped I managed a couple of 'finishes' this weekend. I finished the sewing on the Rhodes Butterfly Biscornu, and the pin-cube for Stitch-Creations' SAL all I have to do is put them together, hence the inverted commas. These are the sides of the pin-cube.

pin-cube SAL
As mentioned in the last post we were off to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) for the weekend, not for a bank holiday break but to work! We had volunteered to help out a friend who owns a couple of carriages, one of which contains a small bar and the other a kitchen from which tea, coffee and cake can be served. I ended up manning the bar car which for various reasons, too long to go in to, wasn't very busy. So when not serving or collecting the First Class Supplement payable to travel in the carriage I was able to stitch. Here are two photos showing the interior of the carriage and, I'm sure you'll agree, I spent the weekend stitching in what can only be called splendid surroundings!

The Rydale Bar

The Rydale Bar

The Rydale Bar - Saloon The Rydale Bar - Saloon

And this is what I managed to do

Dutch Delft Biscornu