Monday, 29 March 2010

WIP update and a finish.

As I predicted in the last post not much progress was made on the Green Santa last week, but at least, some progress is better than no progress.

 The Green Santa
We went to 'The Railway' this weekend so I had an opportunity to work on my handbag stitching project, the Santa tree skirt being too big to take with me. This is the Anniversary Biscornu from Just Nan. This biscornu is a shop exclusive for Country Crafts in Greeley, Colorado and has been in the stash since last June. This is the first side completed.

Anniversary Biscornu
The fabric is the suggested 28ct Zweigart Opal Rainbow Dreams Cashel Linen. The dimensions of this biscornu are 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches.

I managed to finish the cross stitching on my third ornament for Yoyo's Christmas Design SAL.

And finally... my Dad finished his Poppy Screen from Millennia Designs. This is a massive project as you can see from the photo here. The only place big enough to show it off is the stairs, hence the funny angle of the photo.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

A finish and frogs!

Yesterday I finished Open House!

Open House
This was stitched as charted with DMC floss on28ct lilac cashel linen. The buttons are from Just Another Button Company and are the ones suggested. The only button I've missed off is a pumpkin one which covers the stitched pumpkin by the steps. I have the companion piece to this, called Three Gables but I will not be starting it until the summer. Here is what it will look like. I will be doing mine on the lilac linen.

Three Gables
My next spooky stitching project is going to be this.

Witches Riding By
This piece is called Witches Riding By and is from Lavender Wings, it was a Christmas present from 'The Other Half'. It is stitched on 36ct linen using two strands of floss. I've not stitched on this count before. Will two strands make the work look bulky? Two strands have to be used as some of the colours are blends. So do I go with the 36ct or change to something bigger? Any advice would be appreciated.

I thought I would give you an update on my UFO. Michael Powell's Tuscan Gardens ll.

Tuscan Gardens
The backstitch really does make a difference. Next week it's back to the Green Santa. However, I know some evenings are going to be taken up with school stuff as it is the last week of term so I'm not expecting to get as much stitching in as normal.

Finally, spring has arrived and the pond is full of frolicking frogs!

Monday, 15 March 2010


Here is this month's picture for the Totally Useless SAL.

The threads are starting to go up the neck of the flask, but there is still plenty of space in the flask itself, maybe I should shake it?

This week's dilemma is what to stitch! Should I carry on with Open House, and hopefully finish it, or do the Santas? Strictly speaking it should be White Nights but we break up for Easter next Thursday so I'm going to do that during the first week of the holidays so that I can stitch on it during the day as well as the evenings to progress Part 5 a bit more.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Open House is almost there

This week I stitched on Open House. There's not much to do now, only the leaves, the gate and the white parts.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Five things and a finish.

This weekend I felt a little bit strange in the stitchy department, maybe it was caused by eating too much Five Minute Chocolate Cake (see previous post). As a result I actually stitched on five things!

On Friday evening I reached my goal for the week and finished Part 3 of Barnabee's Quest. In order to give myself a head start the next time this appears on the rotation I started on Part 2 on Saturday morning.

Barnabee's Quest
The finishing kit for this project, ordered from The Silver Needle, arrived last week and I have the Just Nan pull ware for it. I'm hoping to finish this before the summer. To tell you the truth I could have continued to stitch on this but no, Saturdays are Christmas Design SAL days and that is what I moved on to next. I'm now starting to think that when I have finished the cross stitch on this one I will have a go at actually finishing off both this ornament and the blue one.

Tuscan Gardens
Sunday was UFO day. I made a start on Tuscan Gardens and then got side tracked in the stash room, looking for my small hoop, as my next handbag project is going to be the Anniversary Biscornu by Just Nan. I actually spent an hour stitching on this but put it back in the handbag has I was feeling guilty because I wasn't stitching the UFO. Now I thought that Tuscan Gardens was the last one, WRONG! Whilst looking for the hoop I came across yet another UFO. So I stitched this one instead! Now there was a method in my madness. This newly unearthed UFO, although stitched one over one, was very small and actually took only a couple of hours to finish.

Ginger Cat Keyring
This keyring kit was on the cover of Cross Stitch Collection Jan/Feb 1996, although I'm pretty sure it's not been a UFO for that long. The picture of the finished keyring is in the 2010 Gallery in the sidebar.

I did eventually get round to stitching Tuscan Gardens and was quite pleased with my progress.

This week on the rotation there is a gap, so I could start something new. Instead I'm going to stitch on Open House, which some would class as another UFO as it's not been worked on since October/November. However, this is definitely a WIP in my book as it has never been 'put away'. I'm over two thirds of the way through with this one. This is where it was left.

Open House

Have a great stiching week.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Something completely different ~ a cake in a cup!

Apparently, according to one national newspaper here in the UK, this recipe for the Five Minute Mug Cake is doing the rounds on the Internet. We were talking about it at the end of school yesterday, does it really work, will all the ingredients actually fit into the average sized mug?

With a copy of the newspaper article in hand I made a diversion on the way home to get the ingredients I didn't have, I was going to give it a go. After all I am a scientist!

Here is the recipe.
4tbsp (tablespoons) of flour, I used self-raising
4tbsp sugar (caster)
2tbsp cocoa powder
Mix the dry ingredients in a mug.
Stir in an egg, I beat mine first, and 3tbsp each of milk and oil.
Then add a few drops of vanilla extract and some chocolate chips.
Make sure all the ingredients are fully mixed. If you use a mug ensure you get all the flour off the bottom and out of the 'corners' where the base meets the sides

Place the mug, uncovered, in a microwave and cook on high (1000W) for three minutes. My microwave is a 850W one so I cooked mine for three and a half to four minutes. I also checked it was cooked by using a skewer as you would with any normal cake. Let it cool, then tip out on to a plate.

In answer to the original question, yes it does work. The cake has the texture of a muffin or cup cake, funny that, and it tastes fine.

The answer to the second question? The cake above was done using an over large tea cup, holding about a pint of fluid, my first attempt was done in a standard UK mug. See for yourself.

Have fun!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Sunday post on Tuesday!

On Sunday evening I would, normally, have posted some photos of my weekend stitching efforts, but not this Sunday. I did, however, manage to email Yoyo the photos of my Timeless Elegance ornaments for the Christmas Design SAL. Here they are.

On Sunday I decided to delay posting until Monday to give me a full evening on my recently unearthed UFO. This is Tuscan Gardens II by Michael Powell. However, we had a disaster, so to speak, on the domestic front. My Candy washing machine packed up in the most spectacular fashion! There were no sparks and it did not 'blow up' as such, but it did make the most fantastic metal crunching noise and yes, it was part way through a cycle and full of wet washing. This machine was about 15 years old so I guess I can't complain too much. So, a good part of Sunday evening was spent sorting out the washing whilst trying not to flood the kitchen! By the time this had all been done the UFO was the last thing I wanted to stitch, strange that. Here it is so far.

Before Sunday all that was stitched of this were the two arches and the terracotta plant pots on the right. You can see a photo at this post. This will also be featured in my UFO blog, 'I've started so I'll finish ... eventually'.

In the small amount of time I had left on Sunday evening I stitched the March picture for Sylvia's 'My Little Heart' SAL.

My Little Heart SAL
I'm doing this on 28ct Lambswool Permin linen. I stitched the pictures for January and February over the weekend.

This week on the rotation it's back to Barnabee's Quest. Very little progress was made last night as the washing machine saga was still going on. On the way home from work I went to Currys to buy a new machine. The Other Half met me there with his van and we were able to bring the machine home. The next few hours were spent removing the old machine and plumbing in and wiring up the new one. Getting the new machine out of the van and the old one into it took a lot of effort as those things are heavy! As I've gone on about it so much I'd better show you a picture.

I hope everyone has a great stitching week with no domestic appliance disasters!