Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bride's Tree Ornament #10

Yet another little finish for the month! Here's the tenth Bride's Tree Ornament, one of my favorites so far! I love the look of this pretty pinecone.

Sorry about the relatively awful photo, it's late here.

As always, I'll be adding the beads later on, so I'm calling this done for now! :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

four little finishes!

I haven't been posting as much as I'd like, but I'm definitely stitching! I've started and finished four small projects since the last time I posted, which already meets my monthly goal of finishing three smalls this month, so I'm pretty happy. :)

Here they are in order of completion!

Celtic Jewel Keyring (Textile Heritage)

Betsy's Butterfly (Elizabeth's Designs)

Charming Christmas #7 (Paw Printings)

Autumn Bounty kit (Mill Hill)

 At this point, I think I'll bounce back to my Brooke's Books ornament for the month and get that finished off, then I'll start on the next little kit in line.

Oh, but speaking of goals, I won't be keeping to all of them this month. I've decided to back the Ship's Manor Kickstarter project, so this won't be a zero spend month for me by any means. One of the rewards is a preorder for a fabric of the month club for next year. Ooh! :) If you want to check it out too, here's a sample image and a link!

I also joined the Ship's Manor Beautiful Sea Quaker SAL because... I can. :) I'll be making a start on it as soon as the thread pack arrives.

I've been selling stash on FB again (mostly things left over from my mother's stash, which I inherited over seven years ago), so I'm allowing myself to use those funds to pick up things from my wishlist. Now, before you think I'm going to go nuts, I already signed up for a Stitch from Stash FB group for the first half of 2017, and my budget is set to $0 per month! I'm only going to allow myself a small amount of credit for finishing pieces, and my ultimate goal is to buy nothing but DMC needed to complete active projects.

And, of course, I will carry on with my "go nuts and stitch a lot of smalls" project for the rest of this year, because it's already been such a success for me! :)

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Smalls SAL & monthly goals!

Going to roll a couple of posts into one to save some space! :)

First up, the 2016 Smalls SAL hosted by Heather of Stitching Lotus. I didn't quite manage to completely finish my small in September, but I just finished it up tonight, and that's pretty close! Here is the ninth Bride's Tree Ornament by Brooke's Books.

Er, that's an awful picture, I know, but it's late here and the lighting in my house isn't all that great (except the stitchy lighting, of course!) so use your imagination. :) As always, no beads have been attached, I'm going to add them all at the very end once all twelve ornaments are done.


Now, goals! Here's what I had for September:

- blog about progress once a week - YES!
- blah blah Ghost Story progress blah (possible finish?) - YES, finished!
- NO craft/stash shopping - YES!
- and a stretch goal: finish Wintry Blooms Biscornu - YES!

I think it's safe to say I'm fairly pleased with myself! And Solo September hosted by Justine was a big success for me - I finished four projects! Well, technically three, but let's pretend I finished this ornament yesterday as planned, okay? :p

So here are my October goals:

- blog about progress once a week
- finish Bride's Tree Ornament #10
- start/finish at least three other small projects!
- NO craft/stash shopping

I recently went through my entire stash and discovered tons of hidden gems I'd forgotten about, so for the rest of the year, I'm going to work on getting some of those small projects finished! There's no reason for so many cute things to be sitting around gathering dust, when many of them would only take a few days of stitching to complete. So I'm going to shop my stash and use the excitement of fun things I already have to squash the temptation to buy anything new. :3

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Wintry Blooms Biscornu - all assembled!

Here's the lovely biscornu all finished! I'm so happy I'm married to someone who actually enjoys assembling this sort of fussy thing, haha.

The pictures are a bit overexposed... my wife's phone tends to overbrighten everything, plus I tried out my new lightbox, which also has really bright lights, so the problem was compounded. Hopefully it's not too bad, though the first one here is pretty bad, haha...

As you can see, I decided to finish it with a pair of mother of pearl ornaments. The flower shape reminded me of the lilies (? I guess? I'm not good with flowers!) on the biscornu. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wintry Blooms Biscornu - Finished!

After a lot of specialty stitches, it's all done! Not assembled yet, but I'll have more pictures once that's all done too. :)

I'll just let the pictures do the talking for me...

Whew! I think it's safe to say that I'm pretty good at spiderweb roses now. :p

I'll be going back to my Brooke's Books bride's tree ornaments now... I haven't touched them in a while since I got a couple of months ahead, but now I'm falling behind a little! Maybe I can still get September's ornament done this month...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wintry Blooms Biscornu - Update #3 (& SAL idea)

Back on track! Thanks for all the kind comments on the last update. My wrists are feeling much better now and I was able to finish up the cross stitching on this piece over the weekend. :)

There's lots of backstitch and specialty stitches to add now, but I'm hoping for a finish by the end of the week! Well, at least a stitching finish... I'll leave it to my wife to assemble this thing! I'm not very good at patiently sewing things together. :)


Also... is anyone out there a Stitch from Stash veteran, or interested in the idea of working with the stash you already have instead of pursuing more? I'm starting to put together a short (maybe half a year?) not-quite-SAL with a focus on stash appreciation and use. :)

It will be more focused on thoughts and reflections rather than reporting on stitching and spending, though that can be included too if the participant chooses! I was thinking something along the lines of having a monthly theme or activity, and participants could also choose a personal goal for the challenge - like going on a no-buy, or setting a budget, or a goal of completing X number of projects before buying anything new, etc. That would be 100% up to you, though!

Here's some possible examples of monthly activities:

January: inventory your stash and post about it (not necessarily what's in your stash, but talk about any hidden gems you uncovered, themes you've noticed in your collection, where your "problem" areas are, etc etc)

February: identify bucket list items in your own stash and (if possible) begin kitting up one or two of those items with materials already in your stash

March: review your wishlist and compare to your inventory, identifying ways to edit the wishlist down to a smaller list (maybe you don't need the exact shade of fabric/silk/bead because you already have something similar in your stash, etc)

And so on. Basically, I'm thinking of organizing a short series of monthly mindfulness exercises that we can all share with each other. There's so much joking about "whoever dies with the biggest stash wins" and stuff like that, and while it's fun to amass a lot of stuff, it can also be wasteful. Supplies are meant to be used and appreciated, not stuffed into a box and forgotten.

I'm super guilty of being like a dragon with a hoard in many areas of my life, primarily stitchy stash and nail polish, and I'm working on being more appreciative of what I already have. I would love to have a few people join in with me! Please let me know if you're interested and I'll start getting these ideas into a more concrete form so we can start in January. :)

to clarify: This SAL does not involve a 'no-buy' or reporting on budgets - participants are free to set their own goals and to shop or not shop as they see fit, to meet those goals. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wintry Blooms Biscornu - Update #2

Whoops, it's been a week since my last update! Here's a new picture:

It's a small amount of progress compared to my usual pace, but I'm taking things slow for a while. I think I pushed too hard on Ghost Story... I had to bend myself into some weird positions to finish parts of her, and I think I put too much stress on my wrists and elbows. So I've been wearing wrist/elbow braces while sleeping and that seems to be helping, but I'm not 100% yet. Kind of annoyed and a bit worried about it, but I'm going to go easy for a while longer and see if that helps.

Okay, about "weird positions" and stuff, I basically use my body as a stitching stand whenever I use a 11x17 qsnap or larger. Generally I sandwich the qsnap between my legs and chest to hold it steady, which frees both of my hands so I can stitch two-handed. If it sounds ridiculous, it is. It also looks ridiculous, but I don't really care when I'm sitting on the couch at home. :)

Why not just use a stand? I've tried a few, but they're all in a jumbled pile of parts in the corner right now. None of them hold the stitching close enough to my face. (I'm nearsighted so I stitch without my glasses, but I need things to be relatively close or I can't see clearly enough!) I feel like I need something with two parts, like two separate jointed poles with a couple of clamps on them that would hold a qsnap firmly, and could also be rotated...

Hmm. Maybe I need to venture into the realm of design and construction!