Friday, 31 July 2009

White Nights ~ Part 4

My splitting the day between two projects seems to have worked. I completed the cross stitch on the gate houses so next time it is the fancy stitches, backstitch and then the swag.

Simply Autumn also made good progress, in fact it is finished!

Simply Autumn
This week the house has also had a good clean achieved by the rotation method, one hour stitching, clean one room, one hour stitching, clean another room. I realised today that it is the first of August tomorrow so everything stopped so that I could mount the August Calendar ready to be put up on the kitchen wall. The staged photo of this to go in the sidebar has not happened as I was running out of time.

I also spent part of the week sorting out my holiday stitching. That's packed but no clothes yet. Well a girl has to get her priorities right. I will need to make a start on one, if not two of these tonight as starting a project in the car can often lead to centering problems, well that's my excuse.

Anyway off to clean the kitchen floor and pack some clothes, not necessarily in that order!

Monday, 27 July 2009

No stitching for four days, things must have been bad!

What with one thing and another last week I haven't felt like doing much stitching. So to get me out of the doldrums I decided to start something new.

Poor Jack
Called 'Poor Jack' this Just Nan freebie came from The Silver Needle with an order for 'Scream House', an early birthday prezzie from my Mum! This only took a couple of hours to stitch, if that, and I did it yesterday in between completing the backstitching on Ed Hedgehog, what is left of my Country Companions Sampler UFO (You can find out more about him here), and Mary Wigham.

Ed Hedgehog

Mary Wigham
Last week on the rotation it was the turn of the 'Pale Blue Santa'. I didn't pick him up until Thursday and did no real stitching on him until Friday. Four days without stitching, things must have been bad! Here he is.

Pale Blue Santa

This week it's back to White Nights but because it's the school holidays I'm going to stitch on something else in the day, up to 3.00 pm and then then the normal rotation project after that. So the day project is Simply Autumn form Waxing Moon Designs.

By the way, my Headteacher at school really liked the Hardanger Angel I stitched for her. By coincidence lots of the decorations on her Christmas tree have memories attached to them. She said that her children, now grown up, ask why she is putting some tatty old decoration on the tree and she replies, because they made it when they were five. So it seems I hit the nail on the head with my choice of leaving gift for her.

Happy stitching

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Totally Useless SAL

I have been thinking about how to display my ort jar for 'The Totally Useless SAL' this time round. What about this?

This is what it looks like in the usual pose. The white is from the Hardanger Angel.

I also finished the Peachy Biscornu this weekend.

Peachy Biscornu

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Hardanger Angel is finished

The Hardanger Angel, a leaving gift for my Headteacher at school, is finished. Her dimensions are 3 1/4 inches tall by 2 1/2 inches wide.

Hardanger Angel
I hope she likes it!

The next Hardanger Angel I will be attempting, hopefully this summer, is also by Ruth Hanke of Hanky Panky Designs. It should end up looking like this.

Millennium Angel of Mercy

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Biscornu and Hardanger Angel

Whilst playing around with the Mary Wigham charts I realised that some of the motifs could be turned in to a biscornu.

Mary Wigham Biscornu
The colours and the fabric used are those recommended for the sampler. I added some motifs used in other areas of the sampler in the corners and in the middle of the medallion.

Progress has been made on the Hardanger Angel. She has wings, which now require beading, and part of a body.

I need to get my act together with this one or else I will be doing it on the school trip to Alton Towers on Tuesday. Stitching and this will not go!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Some more MW symmetry corrections

These are re charts for Part 7, hopefully correcting the symmetry errors.

This is for the medallion done in DMC 3822.

This is the one for the medallion done in DMC 930.

This version of the medallion is 29(H) x 57(W). The original one is 29(H) x 58(W).

This is the chart for the medallion done in DMC white.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Mary Wigham went international in Wales!

This weekend was a 'Railway Weekend', as usual I took Mary Wigham, my Sunday stitching with me. However, this weekend was different it was the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. One of the slogans the town uses is 'Llangollen, where Wales welcomes the world'. So in the spirit of the Mary Wigham SAL being a truly international one I took a picture of her sitting on a bench on Platform 2 of Llangollen Station. In the background is the bridge which has been called one of the wonders of the Welsh world, flying from it the flags from other nations.

Here is a bad picture of me in my Guard's uniform. The shoes are Doc Martins with steel toe caps. When the photo was taken it was quite windy, Mary almost got blown into the river!

This is the progress so far! The 'Blue Lagoon' has almost been replaced.

Mary Wigham SAL

Those people who are in charge of the calendar have come up trumps again because July is five week month which means on a four week rotation starting on the first full week of the month,I get a spare week! And, yes I'm going to start something new, tonight!

In January the Headteacher at my school announced that she would be taking early retirement at the end of the school year (next Wednesday). I know she will be getting lots of gifts from staff, pupils and parents. I thought long and hard what to get her and in the end decided to stitch something. This

Hardanger Angel
designed by Ruth Hanke this Hardanger Angel is a freebie from the Kreinik website. I thought rather than have something on display all the time it might be nice to have something that comes out once a year. Christmas in schools can be really special time, and my school, although it is a secondary school is no exception, so I hope that when she hangs this angel on her tree she is reminded of Christmases at our school!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Summer Arbor is finished!

Here it is

Summer Arbor
The frogs were back with this one! On Tuesday evening I completed all of the dark green cross stitch in the upper border, then realised that I had stitched it two stitches too high, so it all came out and went back in again, in one evening. I blame Captain Jack myself (Torchwood).

Monday, 6 July 2009

An elegant but quick stitch!

I am referring to the Peachy Biscornu from Heirloom Embroideries. I first saw this on the Basket of Biscornu and it has been in the stash for a few months now. This is the first side

Peachy Biscornu
This was stitched over Saturday afternoon and evening whilst watching the various tennis finals at Wimbledon. I think I could have completed the whole thing in two days if it hadn't been for finishing 'The Gates' on Saturday morning.

White Nights in St Petersburg
White Nights Part 3 is now completed, except for the beads which I will put on when I have completed Part 4.

Now I don't particularly like doing backstitch and so tended to leave it to the end, big mistake! The backstitch on this, one of Michael Powell's Tuscan Gardens, took ages.

Tuscan Gardens
With 'Reflections' I had learned my lesson and did the backstitch as I went along. Why do charts tell you to complete ALL the cross stitch first THEN do the backstitch? It's tedious! I bet projects have become UFOs because of it.

Mary Wigham has no backstitch and this is my progress so far. This is also the other reason why I didn't finish the biscornu this weekend, maybe next?

Mary Wigham

Thursday, 2 July 2009

The Gates, the gates!

Ok, so a slight miss quote from 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', but this is all I have done for three nights now, backstitch gates!

White Nights in St Petersburg

So slight exaggeration I have also done four cross stitch trees and a bit of the corner border. So it's back to the forge, as it were, to make the remaining gates, and with temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s it feels like I'm actually stitching in one!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


"Exactly at 7.30 AM an uncanny silence fell over the battlefield. The British barrage suddenly ceased as it lifted from the German front line and gun-layers adjusted their sights for the next target. By strange coincidence, the German guns, too, were silent. It was eerie; the sun was shining out of a cloudless sky, birds hovered and swooped over the trenches, singing clearly. ... After a few seconds the quiet was shattered as the British barrage fell upon the next line of enemy defences. In their own trenches whistles blew, shouts came from the platoon and section commanders. The Battle of the Somme had started."

Beginning at 7.30 AM on Saturday 1 July 1916 The Battle of the Somme was probably the biggest battle the British army would ever fight in a single day. The human cost was staggering.

19,240 killed or died of wounds
35,493 wounded
2,152 missing
585 prisoners

Last year we went on a family holiday to the Somme region of Northern France, it is known as 'The Poppy Country'. Here are some of the photos taken of that region, it's memorials and cemeteries, not just those associated with The Battle of the Somme but the First World War in general. Many of these photos were taken by my nephew who was nine at the time and they reflect what was of interest to him.

Quotes and statistics were taken from 'The First Day of the The Somme' by Martin Middlebrook, published by Penguin. Poppies photo shows two panels of the Poppy Screen from Millennia Designs, stitched by my Dad!