Sunday, 31 January 2010

This week's round up

Earlier this week I finished Curious Cats by Just Nan. I decided to finish this piece as a pillow. There were enough beads supplied in the kit for me to add a beaded edge to it.

Curious Cats
It was the turn of the St Nicholas tree skirt in the rotation last week. This Santa has a rather fetching green outfit. He seems to be a woodland Santa as he has a rabbit with him. I have to tell you this because all I managed to stitch of the actual Santa were his boots!

The Green Sanata
Hopefully, next time, I will make more progress as having guests for dinner and a Parent's Evening at work meant that I only spent two evenings on this.

This weekend was a 'Railway Weekend'. I had an exam on Saturday morning, consisting of a written paper followed by a one-to-one question and answer session. This was my three yearly Guard's exam. It took just over three hours to complete. The good news is that I passed, achieving 92%. I have a practical, on train, exam still to do before July when my existing 'Guard's Ticket' runs out. The ticket is basically a certificate of competence showing that the Guard is up to standard, has a good working knowledge of the rules and regulations and what to do if something out of the ordinary happens, like a passenger train dividing on a journey.

Anyway, back to the stitching. I made further progress on my second Christmas decoration for Yoyo's Christmas Design SAL.

Timeless Elegance
In my last post I mentioned that I have indulged in some stash enhancement. I enjoyed doing 'A haunting we will go' by Shepherd's Bush that I bought 'Into the Night' and 'Happy Haunting'

I also made an impulse purchase having seen an item in the latest edition of 'World of Cross Stitch'. This was the limited edition Floral Travel Bag from DMC. It came with 10 skeins of DMC floss, 20 stitch-bows a packet of needles, a plastic stitch-bow holder and six floral charts to match the bag. I am really please with it. This is the best collage that Picasa could come up with.

This evening it's back to Mary Wigham, I have all ready completed my medallion for the day but I think I might be able to complete another, if I am lucky. That is after I have stitched next week's new start on to the rollers. Watch this space!

Happy stitching!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Simply Spring ~ finished

Last week I stitched on Simply Spring by Waxing Moon Designs. I thought that I would be able to finish it on Thursday evening, in time to post before the weekend. But despite stitching all evening the last little bit, which took about an hour, defeated me. I finished it on Friday in the car on the way to 'The Railway'.

Simply Spring
Over Friday and Saturday I was able to work, on and off, on the Timeless Elegance ornaments.

The cross stitching on the blue ornament is complete. There are beads and metallic ribbon to put on but I'm going to leave that until all the ornaments are done. On Friday evening, at 'The Railway' I realised that I had made an error in the WIP stitching packing for the weekend, if that makes sense. I had left Mary Wigham at home, just the work, I had packed the floss and charts, tragic! So instead I was able to progress my handbag project a little more. This is a Filagree Fancies kit from Just Nan called Curious Cats.

Curious Cats
There is probably an hours work left in this but when I got home I was good, I didn't finish it, very tempting though it was, I stitched on Mary instead.

This week I have indulged in some stash enhancement which I will try and show you next time. But for now it's back to Mary, with maybe a little bit more on the cats before bedtime!

Monday, 18 January 2010

More White Nights

I managed to finish the first building of eight (White Nights Part 5)on Saturday morning! So I'm still on target for a mid 2013 finish on this one. Here it is.

White Nights
My Mum has come up with, as they say, a cunning plan. I am actually going to stitch Part 6, the corners, at the same time as Part 5. This should add interest between the buildings which are almost identical to each other.

Here is a close up collage of the said building.

Last week my LED Twig Tree was delivered. This has been bought to hang my Just Nan humbugs off, as I have got them on series order from The Silver Needle. It could also be used to hang Halloween stuff from in October, Christmas decorations in December, in fact it could turn into a themed tree. It also sheds quite a lot of light! What's more it was a bargain, less than half price (The Other Half thinks I'm mad). The only problem is that the stand it comes with is not very nice so the search was on to find a replacement. I tried a £4 glass vase from ASDA (Wallmart) but smashed it in the process. My Other Half's Auntie's ancient antique copper jug was OK but did not hide the transformer. In the end I found a ceramic 'Wave Vase' at Dunelm Mill which is perfect. This is what it looks like in the corner of my living room.

I made great progress on Mary Wigham yesterday, I feel that the end is in sight with this one.

This week I'm going to have a new start with Simply Spring from Waxing Moon Designs. This is the last one in their Simply Series that I have in my stash.

I'm off to make a start whilst ignoring the Other Half's comments about how hideous and in poor taste the LED tree is, I know he will make them. This, by the way, might not be the end of the LED tree story, Watch this space!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Totally Useless SAL, some decent photos and maths!

Firstly here is my Totally Useless SAL photo for this month. For some reason standing it upside down makes it look less full than it actually is.

Totally Useless SAL
My camera came back from repair today, hooray! No more out of focus phone photos. This camera is able to take better close up shots than my previous one so there will be some experimenting along the way. If I manage to take photos half as good as Jane at Miss Jane's Stitching I will be happy.

So these are two in focus shots of my recent finishes.

Simply Snowdays

Icy Hill
So far this week progress on White Nights has been slow. At this rate it is going to take a week for each of the buildings in part 5. There are eight of them. This means that I might get on to part 6 by September if I stick to doing White Nights one week a month. So if each subsequent part takes half a year to complete and there are six part left, that will be three years. So estimated completion date 2013. Now that is scarey. Having depressed myself I had better get back to it, one more evening to go. Let's hope I finish the building or I might have to adjust my calculations.

Maybe it's best not to do the maths in the first place.

Happy stitching

Monday, 11 January 2010

Another finish!

I'm pleased to report another finish. The final stitch was put into Icy Hill on Saturday afternoon. However, the camera is still not back so here is yet another really bad phone photo.

This would not have been a finish last week if were not for the fact that school was closed, three extra stitching days was a bonus!

I stuck to my New Year plans and also stitched my Timeless Elegance Christmas decoration on Saturday. I had done quite a bit when I realised that I had made a major counting error. Despite best efforts at fixing it I ended frogging the whole of the dark blue border, some of which was done before Christmas, this almost hit the UFO pile I can tell you.

I'm putting this down to the frogs that normally live in my pond being homeless as a result of the two to three inches of ice that are on its surface. Anyway I managed to stitch to beyond where the frogs arrived.

Sunday really was a blue day. I did a bit on Mary Wigham, finishing two complete motifs. By this time I was fed up with her so went back to the Christmas decoration. I then got fed up of stitching in blue so started another ornament. I have worked out that Mary Wigham should take about nine more days to complete and then I am left with the problem of what to do with her. I do not want to get her framed as this will be very expensive as a result of the size. I might have enough fabric to handkerchief hem it. Those of you who have followed my progress on Mary from the start will remember that I made a massive error with the positioning. But then what do I do? Any ideas?

This is a photo of progress to date. Heaven only knows why it has come out yellow!

This week it is White Nights, a slight alteration to the original plan, as this weekend coming is not a Railway Weekend, meaning that I am at home on Friday so I get five evenings stitching, not four.

Fingers crossed the camera gets returned this week as I have made this purchase I would like to show you, it should arrive tomorrow. The Other Half thinks I'm mad but I think my Just Nan Humbugs, when I stitch them, will look great displayed on this.

Here's hoping the frogs stay away from all of us!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Icy Hill

On Monday morning it was back to work after the Christmas break. On the way the thermometer in the car registered the outside temperature at -6 degrees C. I don't think I have ever seen it so low. By the time I arrived at school the temperature had risen to -5! Inside the building you might have expected the temperature to be a lot higher, and in fairness it probably was, but did it feel it? No. As per usual after the Christmas break, there was a problem with the heating, something hadn't come on and the place was FREEZING. To make matters worse what little heat that was getting to my lab was switched off at 11.00 as the air handling unit in the ceiling blew a gasket and was shooting steam into the atmosphere. One of the joys of teaching in a science lab is that you can use Bunsen burners to supplement what little heat the main heating system is producing! However, despite this I wore my coat all day as did lots of others, staff that is, the pupils don't do coats and wear only their blazers to school, whatever the weather, and then moan that they are cold. Maybe they should follow the example of Margaret Sherry's Snowman and wrap up warm.

Little did I know when I started my latest Just Nan project, 'Icy Hill' that evening how appropriate it would be!

On Tuesday morning I awoke to snow, about 1.5" and it was still falling. This would not have been too bad if the roads had been treated, and I'm not sure they had been. So I set off to school. At one stage I nearly turned back, the state of the roads and the fact that the snow had started to fall really heavily made driving very difficult. My journey took 15 minutes longer than normal, some members of staff took over two hours to do a 45 minute journey! But guess what? At school, 19 miles away from where I live, there was next to no snow at all! This situation was to change during the morning and at lunchtime the decision was taken to close the school over an hour early at 2.30. Later that evening I got a phone call saying that school would be closed on Wednesday and yesterday teatime I got another one to say that school would be closed today (Thursday) too! So with two unexpected days off I have managed to do more on 'Icy Hill' than I would have hoped.

Here it is, another mobile phone photo I'm afraid.

Icy Hill
Now I know that if you are reading this in a country where thick snow is the norm you will wonder what all the fuss is about. The last time I was sent home from school because of snow was 15 years ago, and that was for half a day. The pupils always complain that it never snows where they live, and being on the west coast of Britain it rarely does, so this is the first 'real' snow fall the majority of them have seen in their lives. However, I think they will be very lucky indeed to get another day off tomorrow.

Added at 18.30 well I take it all back, we are closed tomorrow!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The first finishes of 2010!

This is my first finish of 2010. Started on New Year's Day, I finished 'Here we go a haunting' from Shepherd's Bush at quarter to nine last night, January 2nd.

Here we go a haunting
I also have the matching scissor fob to go with it. The little box also very nice. This is the first time I've stitched anything by Shepherd's Bush and I really enjoyed it. A good job as I have three of their snowmen in my stash!

My second finish is 'Simply Snowdays' by Waxing Moon Designs. By rights this should have been the last finish of 2009 but I ran out of one of the Weeks Dye Works colours and had to wait for some more to come in the post. This photo was taken on the phone so is not of very good quality.

Simply Snowdays
Recently my mind has been on my stitching plans for this year. So far this is what they are looking like. Starting with the first full week of the month
Week 1
Something from the stash, starting off with 'Icy Hill' or 'Barnabee's Quest' or maybe 'Lady Scarlet's Journey', any way something from Just Nan.
Week 2
Something else from the stash starting with 'Simply Spring' from Waxing Moon Designs followed by the Autumn and Winter Arbors from The Drawn Thread (Spring and Summer were completed last year)
Week 3
St Nicholas Tree Skirt
Week 4
White Nights in St Petersburg
Timeless Elegance Christmas decorations for Yoyo's SAL
Mary Wigham
Where the month has five weeks I am going to do 'Open House', which is nearly finished, followed by something that can be done in a week.
Well that's the plan, let's see what happens.