Saturday, 28 January 2012

Here Comes Treble!

I finished my Crazy #3 this morning!

Here Comes Treble

Ink Circles "Here Comes Treble"
32ct antique white lugana
Crescent Colours overdyed floss

All three, ready for framing!
(Sorry, not the best photo.  Looks a bit washed out.)


Thursday, 26 January 2012

You Enabler You! (and a Happy Dance)

Thank you so much for all the replies encouraging me to have a go at a Chatelaine.

I will be saving up my pennies to get the chart and supplies for Evening in the Park.

Now for opinions on fabric - 28ct or 32?  I prefer 32ct but have no experience with Delica beads or Swarovski crystals - how closely embellished does Martina design these? 

Ooo, now, just 'cause I feel the need to justify to myself that it's ok to add another new start to this year's list, I finished "Alto Gether Now" last night!

Alto Gether Now

Ink Circles "Alto Gether Now"
32ct antique white lugana.
Crescent Colours overdyed threads.

First Bass and Alto Gether Now
Here Comes Treble is on the same piece of fabric, off to the right...
I wasn't happy with the ends of the stave lines.  The chart has them
all uneven lengths.  I re-did the lines on First bass and changed them
on Alto, so they are all even and square off the designs.  Much
happier with the look now.  It didn't look finished to me before.  Now it does.
 I also made a little more progress on Here Comes Treble, so I'm anticipating another finish before the end of the month. 

Uh-huh, uh-huh, see, I can do enough to be allowed a Chat!


Happy Stitching


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Q's?? for "Chat" Stitchers...

I've been lusting after, drooling over, admiring the Chatelaine designs for a while now. I've seen so many incredible WiP's and HD's on various blogs and boards and now I think I'm going to take the plunge and have a go myself.

I've spent way too much time reading through old threads on the yuku board. I've googled and found umpteen bazillion blogs belonging to "chat" stitchers but I'm still left with a couple of questions though...

*  First one, specifically to those of you who have stitched Evening in the Park:
I'm intrigued... I love the stitched centres of the other mandala gardens and I want to know what's up with this one.  Does it come with an optional centre?  Is it 'cause it came out as a mystery?  Did it not have a centre originally and now does - or vice versa?

EitP is the design that's yelling at me most loudly but I don't want to spend a bucket load of money and not have a charted centre when that's one of the principal things drawing me to the Chatelaine designs.

*  Secondly, the yahoo groups.  Are the past groups still there and do you have to join the group to stitch the piece?  I can't get the hang of the yahoo boards.  I joined the Specialty Stitchers and the Crazy January Challenge but I just can't negotiate my way round the board.

*  Thirdly, There's no way I'd keep up with one of these and get it all done to a schedule.  For me, a "Chat" will be a long - very long - term project, so if there are rules and regs about stitching them, I probably shouldn't start...

*  Should I start with a "mini" or "micro" or is it ok to just jump right on in with a biggie?  I've never really been a "beginner" stitcher.  I leapt in at the deep end when I started cross stitching.  My first stitch had fractionals and tweeding, my second had fractionals, tweeding and blending filament and my third had all of the above and was on linen... I'm not overly experienced with specialty stitches but I don't have too much trouble learning something new if I've got decent written instructions or a good you-tube vid.


I know there's plenty of support out there if when I do take the plunge.  I just want to make sure I get it right from the beginning!



Monday, 23 January 2012

IHSW Sunday

and the end of SWAT too.

It was really hard to get the mojo revving yesterday.  I'm feeling the fatigue.  I've stitched every single day since Christmas Day - including Christmas Day - and I was stitching almost daily in the run up to Christmas.

The thought of achieving another Happy Dance before the end of the month is spurring me on, however, so I summed up my stitchy courage and got cracking on "Alto Gether Now."

This was my CJC day two start and it really does stitch up quickly. 

I love the Crescent Colours floss and I'm pretty happy with the 32ct lugana.  I did spend a little time wondering if perhaps I should have gone with linen after all but I like the heavier look of the lugana with the pieces.  If the clefs were delicate and lacy then linen would have been the right choice.  These remind me of  old Illuminated letters.  I think the lugana echoes the heavy parchment pages of those old books and scrolls...

I'm over half way with Alto... if I can get the mojo bubbling again, I might get close to finished.  I have a rehearsal tonight, so definitely not as much time today but enough to get close...

Alto Gether Now
Jan SWAT Day 9
Ink Circles "Alto Gether Now"
32 ct antique white lugana
Crescent Colours Cotton

I hope you have all had a thoroughly successful IHSW.  I'll head off and start stalking blogs from the list soon!

Have a fabulous stitchy day!



Sunday, 22 January 2012


I want to say thank you to all of you who have become followers of my blog.

I have just seen that there are now 100 of you...

When I started blogging, I didn't seriously think I would manage to keep it up for more than a couple of months.  I underestimated the level of support, the friendships and the sheer joy that could come from the blogosphere.

Thank you all. 


First Bass.

I said I was going to make it to a HD this week and by golly, for once I actually did it!


Appropriately, my first finish for the year and first finish from my crazy 15, is the aptly named "First Bass" from Ink Circles!

32ct antique white lugana. 2/2 with Crescent Colours floss.

*Happy Dancing! Happy Dancing*

First Bass
CJC #1 start and #1 finish!

First Bass
Ink Circles "First Bass"
32ct antique white lugana
2/2 Crescent Colours overdyed cotton floss

Friday, 20 January 2012

Celtic Christmas

Oh my!  I've gathered some new followers in the past week or so! 

Welcome, welcome!  It's lovely to have you here.  I try to keep track of everyone's blog, so if I'm not following you yet, please leave me a message and a link to your blog so I can become a follower asap :)

SWAT days five and six - I'm really seeing some shape starting to happen.  I understand now how some of you have been able to stitch multiple Celtic Ladies - she comes together fairly quickly!

I had a moment yesterday - I freaked Guy out, when I woke up, the first thing in my head and out of my mouth  was "It's all wrong, I've chosen the wrong red.  I'm ripping it all out and starting over."  Poor DH just rolled over and looked at me with a "WTH" expression as I flounced out of bed and down the stairs.

By the time I got to really looking at it in the light of day, I calmed down somewhat and eventually decided to keep going.  I think I'm ok now, the frogs have been banished for a while longer.



Anyway, here she is:

Jan 2012 SWAT Day4 &  5

IHSW starts tomorrow - I want to finish First Bass. Are you all signed up?  If not, head over to Joyce's blog via the Hermie linkie in my sidebar and you'll find the Hermit sign-up sheet.

Happy Stitching


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Not Starting, Progressing!

and it sure feels good!

As much fun as it was, starting something new every day, I was reaching that point of fatigue where all I wanted to do was see progress.

January 16th, I continued to work on Celtic Christmas - no photo for now, it's just more of the endless sea of red, LOL, and I went back to First Bass.

This is as I left it on January 1st:

CJC Day 1

 This was after a little more time on January 16th:

Jan SWAT Day 2

It's not going to take much more to get this one finished.  Yay!

I was picturing myself surrounded by a pile of UFO's at the end of the year but somehow, I WILL get these WiPs whipped into shape asap!

Happy Stitching y'all, don't forget IHSW coming up this weekend!


Monday, 16 January 2012

Fourteen and Fifteen!!!

These last two days have been the most stressful starts!

I had intended to start a Sweetheart Tree piece for day 14 but just could not decide on the fabric.  I know if I'd just settled for whatever I already had, I'd regret it.  So I set it aside until I find the right piece.

Whilst rummaging through my fabric I had a sudden lightning bolt moment and realised I have a piece of fabric that will look great for another piece I've got kitted up, minus fabric, 'cause again, I couldn't decide. I pulled out the chart and bits and bobs, found the fabby - checked the measurements, LOL, and then started pulling bobbins from my boxes!

It's another Stoney Creek.  If I get it done this year, that will be three SC finishes, three years in a row.  The amount of confetti and the sheer number of flosses in an SC is enough to rival an HAED - imho anyway.

Day Fourteen
CJC Day 14
O Holy Night: Stoney Creek
32ct Antique Ivory Belfast Linen
DMC floss

And now, for number 15....

The beginnings of my L&L Celtic Christmas Conversion...

Day Fifteen

CJC Day 15
Celtic Christmas (Conversion)
Lavender and Lace
32 ct Black Belfast
DMC floss

Stitching the fifteen has been a whole lot of fun.  I've stitched more in the past few weeks than I had in ages.  I think I'll spend some focus time on Celtic Christmas and rotate back through the 15 in short bursts for a while.

The fifteen now become part of my WiPocalypse, along with the L*K alphabet, the Advent Calendar, Queenie and JE's Little Summer Fairy...  My goal is to finish "Twelve in '12."  I made it past the "Eleven in '11" goal, so I should be able to get pretty darn close I think :)

In other news, it's SWAT time at - come on over and join us if you're keen to get some focussed stitching time this week and if I'm not mistaken, we're about to hit the first IHSW of the year too! Click the little "Hermie" linkie over there -----> if you need more info!

Happy stitching everyone.  I'm all stitched out for tonight.

I'm off to bed to dream about rainbows of little crosses!



Saturday, 14 January 2012

Number 13!

Nora's Lilly :)

She was going to happen back on day five but I was missing ecru (and several other colours as it happened!)  Lucky for me, my order from 123stitch arrived (Courtesy of Sharine's Gift Card, THANK YOU!) so I had everything I needed to start tonight.

I had to work today and take the kids to swimming and then Miss Lily to a picnic/playdate at the park.  Started stitching around 9pm I think.

Lilly was so easy after last night's crazy confetti.  A big block of ecru to start - so refreshing.  LOL.

The linen I'm using is a lovely buttery coloured, "ivory" Belfast from Permin.

Day Thirteen
CJC Day 13
Lilly Pixie.  Nora Corbett.
32ct Ivory linen (Permin)
DMC Floss

Two days to go!  Two choices for tomorrow... What shall I do?!?!?!

Night all, I'm off to bed.  



Friday, 13 January 2012

CJC Days 11 and 12

Just a quick fly by tonight.  Must go to bed.  I have a brand new clarinet student in the morning and it wouldn't do to appear hung-over in her very first lesson would it!

Yesterday, Day 11, I started work on Woodland Enchantress by Ruth Sanderson for Dimensions Gold Collection.

I love it!  I haven't worked on aida in yonks - this is 16 count, really stiff (feels like stitching on cardboard!)  I'm using a huge needle and the thread strand count varies between three and five!  One lot of tweeding so far combining two strands each of two different colours. All the background is done in half crosses.  It was a fun piece to get started on and difficult to put down!

I strongly suggest you stand back to look at this one - the percieved effect of distance in the picture is fantastic.  The dark strip on the right is a tree trunk.  The blue/grey on the left is a tree in the far distance!
Day Eleven
CJC Day 11
Woodland Enchantress.
Ruth Sanderson/Dimensions Gold Kit
16ct Cove Grey Aida.
Currently working only in half stitches.

Day Twelve.  Today, I started a piece that has been hanging out in the wings for years.  I bought a Charles Craft Baby Afghan before Jacob was born.  I never found just the right pattern to stitch on it and now, obviously, my babies though they still are to me, in reality they are big kids now and don't need a baby blanket anymore.  

One day a couple of years ago now, I discovered Ellen Maurer-Stroh's gorgeous (freebie) Garden Alphabet and that was that.  So now it's finally underway!  Yay!
Photo makes the flower look blue - it's actually the 300's shades of purples (333, 340, 341...)

Day Twelve
CJC Day 12
Garden Alphabet: Ellen Maurer-Stroh
Stitching 3 over 2 on18ct Afghan Cloth. 

Only three days left of the crazy 15... nearly there!  Oh my goodness...  Tomorrow, hmmm... stay tuned :)



Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Arriving on Platform Ten: Train of Dreams

Thank you so much everyone for your comments on my Crazy 15 so far and on my Wipocalypse too.

Gabi, you asked about The Basket so I thought I'd better explain for my followers that haven't heard about my sad case of Basketitis.

I am one of the unlucky Southern Hemisphere stitchers doomed to pay outrageously expensive prices for everything related to our addiction art but I am lucky enough to have a gorgeous (not so local) LNS that stocks many of the things that make our addicted arty little hearts so happy.  Now and then on my very rare free Monday mornings, I'll take a little drive just to experience the sheer joy that only you my fellow "floss fondlers" can possibly understand.

The only problem with this wonderful little shop - The Crewel Gobelin - is *cue drum roll* The Basket.

This is the account of what happened when I inadvertantly stumbled across said woven object back in April last year.

Now the last time I trundled off to have a little looksie, I ended up coming home with ten of the twelve Blackbird Designs: Anniversaries of the Heart charts!  Now seriously, I had NO intention of spending money that day.  But they were in very close proximity to The Basket (They're too big to fit in there, so they were in a bin close by...) and they were SO cheap!


I'd love to take a jaunt out there right now but it's currently our school summer holidays.  This translates as  "No $$$ to spend on anything that isn't rent or food."  I'm really, really looking forward to February and regular income... which translates as spending a whole lot of $$$ on stash once all the bills and kids school fees are caught up!  Yay!

Actually, I'm pretty thrifty.  The majority of my stash purchases come from 123stitch.  It's much cheaper to buy from the US, particularly with the AUD so strong against the USD.  Means I often get double or even triple the amount of floss or fabric that I would get at any store in Australia.  I try to support the LNS's here but it's hard when typically a Mirabilia chart that is say $13 at 123 could be anywhere between $22 and $40.  My Titania chart cost $35.00 - she was my first Mira purchase long before I discovered the joys of on-line shopping overseas.

Ooops... I've really wandered off on a tangent tonight!  Sorry about that folks.  We will now return to our regular programming!

Day Ten heralded the arrival of Randal Spangler's "Train of Dreams" from HAED.  I've put in a couple of hours during the day and a lot of hours tonight.  I think I stitched a total of six hours on this one and managed to get in just over 700 stitches... that's a lot really...

The thing is, it doesn't look like anywhere near that amount of work and typically, you can't see the colour changes yet, 'cause there's not enough of it done.

Day Ten
Randal Spangler: Train of Dreams
1 over 1 on 25ct antique white Jobelan
DMC floss

Yes, that really is 700-odd stitches.  Doesn't look like it though.

I thought I'd show you a snapshot of my chart - just to prove it.  LOL.


Night night all.  It's way past my bedtime... see you all tomorrow.



Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Nutty Nine and the WiPocalypse Begins!

I started my first ever Shepherd's Bush sampler today.

I'm in love.

I fell in love with the SB designs mid last year.  I was extremely lucky to pick up several kits, ummm... five...yes, five... at an utterly ridiculous price at my (not so local) LNS - you know, the one with The Basket that has trapped me more than once this past year... They were discounted down to $10. Uh-huh, yes, I said $10, each, for the chart, fabric, silk and embellishments. Actually, one of them may have been $30 but it's original price was $55.  One just cannot leave that sort of thing in The Basket now, can one?

So today I decided to start "Holly and Ivy."

It is the loveliest piece to work on.  The fabric is soft, the silks even softer! They are a mixture of Gloriana, Belle Soie, Thread Gatherer and another that escapes me right now.  The chart is so much fun - one over two on 30ct linen for the crosses.  I also got to do some Rhodes stitches for the holly berries.

The frogs came to visit yet again but I think they're getting the message (finally) that they are not welcome here.

Day Nine

Day Nine
Shepherd's Bush "Holly and Ivy"
30ct Parchment Linen, Mixed Silks.

Ok, so now I'm checking in for the WiPocalypse:

Before I got stuck into the 15, I managed to stitch bit on my Lizzie Kate ABC.  I really love this piece and I'm hoping to have it finished by the middle of the year.  It stitches up fast and is one I'm able to take to work.  It's surprising how much I can get done in the odd three minute window three or four  times a day.

January WiPocalypse
Lizzie Kate 
Progress from the Tent

Lizzie*Kate "ABC for Parents"
28ct linen.  Crescent Colours floss.

I'll head over to Measi's Blog now to post my check in - if you haven't signed up for the WiPocalypse yet or somehow you've completely missed what WiPocalypse is all about, then I strongly suggest you hit that link I just added and scoot over there yourself!

Even if it's just to drool over all the WiP's people are checking in!


Happy Stitching!



Monday, 9 January 2012

CJC 7 & 8

I can't believe it's already the ninth of January.  This crazy stitching caper is helping to make the days fly by!

Day Seven was pretty much a write off.  I think I managed maybe an hour, hour and a half perhaps.  We took the kids to see Cars 2 at the twilight cinema at Sydney Olympic Park.  Great fun.  If you've never seen Cars 2, it's well worth watching.  Only problem, most of my stitching is achieved at night after the kids go to bed and we didn't actually come home to put the kids to bed.  We all had a "sleepover" at the house of the friends we went to the movies with.  They live on the other side of the city and it just made more sense for us all to crash there.

Ok, here we go..

Day Seven
Joan Elliott "Hope"
Vintage Blue Whisper Belfast Linen
DMC floss

Day Eight
Joan Elliott "Imagine"
Vintage Blue Whisper Belfast Linen
DMC floss

Days Seven and Eight 
Hope and Imagine are vertically below
Believe and Dream on the same piece of

Hmmm, now on to Day Nine... I'm feeling spoilt for choice today.  Should I start a Shepherd's Bush sampler or a Nora Corbett pixie?  Maybe I could be brave and jump into Train of Dreams?  I need to find a piece of fabric for my Sweetheart Tree "Dragonfly Dreams" or I could finish sorting the thread for the Enchantress.  Oh what to do? *insert dramatic Scarlett O'Hara swoon* LOL

I'm taking my little fishies to their swimming lesson this morning.  They've had three weeks off over Christmas and New Year and now it's time to get them back in the water.  I'll decide what today's stitchiness will be before we go, then if I'm lucky, I'll put a few stitches in during the day as well as tonight.

Happy Stitching Everyone - I'll be back to make my first WiPocalypse check-in some time today too!  How exciting!




Saturday, 7 January 2012

Day Six Silliness

Day six... not so much stitchiness yesterday but still well and truly acceptable as  CJC start.

I didn't pick up my needle until 10:30pm!  

I wanted to start Nora's "Lilly" but discovered I am actually missing ecru!  What colour turns out to be smack in the middle of the chart?  Ecru of course.  I'd already kitted this up a couple of weeks ago but somehow missed this important fact.  


*smacks forehead*

I sat down with my box of crazies at 9pm and decided to do  couple of floss tosses with Lilly before I started.  I bought the chart and fabric (antique white, 32ct Jobelan) for Lilly ages ago, long before I discovered the Mira/JE forums and the amazing hand-dyed fabrics so many of you use.  I don't have a stash of hand-dyed fabric - yet - but I do have some other beautiful pieces of linen and evenweaves.  I settled on a lovely piece of antique ivory permin linen.  It's a gorgeous pale buttery yellow and sets off the colours in this particular Pixie beautifully.  

So I was all set to go...and then, no ecru.  Poo.

I could have counted across and started with another colour but the plague of rabid rip-its has been hovering so closely over this crazy 15 that I wasn't going to chance yet another miscount!

By this time, it was now after 9.30 and I was no closer to getting started.  I grabbed out the kit of the Enchantress instead.  Figured I could start a BAP.  It would mean starting with half stitches which would mean fairly speedy progress and then day six wouldn't be a total write off.


Forgot I hadn't yet sorted the floss bundles in the kit.  It's not difficult, just time consuming.  It's an excellent Dimensions Gold kit.  The floss comes in four bundles.  The floss cards make it very easy to sort them correctly but after one bundle, I checked the time and put it all away again.

Alright, I'm getting to the point!

I ended up starting "Dream".  Should have sat down with it from the beginning being that everything was there already, because I'd worked on "Believe" the day before.

Ahh well...  so 10.30 rolled around and I finally got going.  Stitched until 1.30am and this was the result:
Day Six
Joan Elliott "Dream"
32ct Belfast Linen Vintage Blue Whisper
DMC floss

There was a  minor amphibious attack around 1am but I was able to fix it with minimal trouble.  


I now have "Believe" and "Dream" on the one piece of fabric.

Day Five and Six

To minimise time wastage today, I'm just going to continue on with the theme and start "Hope."  Should be safe with that!  I have this whole piece on my small scroll bars.  They will all need beading before they're done so I thought the scroll would be safest in the long run.  I can bead from the top and roll each one away.  

Onward into another stitchy day - no stitching tonight.  We're going to see Cars 2 at the Olympic Park Twilight Cinema - but I'm hoping to get a couple of good hours in during the day.  I'm going to be a bad Mama and let my children be amused by electronic devices.

Happy Crazy Stitching all!



Friday, 6 January 2012

Crazy Day Five!

Today I started Joan Elliott's "Believe."

I wish the camera would capture the colours more accurately.  They are such jewel-like shades.  It's gorgeous.  I'm missing the two colours I needed to finish the letters.  I placed an order at 123 stitch before Christmas and a three week wait is usual before my package will arrive in Australia - so fingers crossed they'll arrive tomorrow, ready to work on day six!

These designs have plenty of beads but no braids or filaments.  I wanted a bit of sparkle, so I've started adding some Kreinik 032 BF to the stars.  Just one strand of BF with two strands of floss, I only want a hint of sparkle.
Day Five
Joan Elliott "Believe"
32 ct Vintage Blue Whisper Belfast Linen
DMC floss.  Kreinik Blending Filament

Well, off to bed.  Onward to day six.  I intend to start JE's "Dream"  but there will be far less stitching time tomorrow as we have visitors coming for the day.  I won't get to stitch at all until the kids are in bed.

Happy Crazy Stitching Everyone :D



Thursday, 5 January 2012

Attack of the Frogs!

OMG!!! There were swarms of the croaky pests last night!

I spent several hours on my Day Four start.  Was congratulating myself on making such great headway in one day when the chorus started: Rip-it.  Rip-it.  Rip-it.

I'd once again failed to double check the chart against what I'd already stitched and I ended up leaving  double coloumn of empty space where empty space shouldn't ought to be.

*insert rude words here*

Lucky for me, I realised sooner rather than later.  I lost about an hours work I think so it could have been worse. If it had been a mistake at the beginning of the day I think I would have chucked it and started over.

Well, without further ado, 'cause I want to get onto my Day Five start, here are my Day Three and Day Four starts:

Day Three
CJC Day 3
Ink Circles "Here Comes Treble"
32 ct antique white lugana
Crescent Colours floss

Day One, Two and Three
CJC Days 1 2 & 3
First Bass
Alto Gether Now
Here Comes Treble

Day Four
Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
Christmas Elf Fairy
32ct opalescent white lugana
Crescent Colours floss

I hope those of you partcipating in the CJC are having as much fun as I am!

Happy Stitching.



Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Stitching in the Tent: Thus begins 2012

Happy New Year to you all!

Party animals that we are, we were all in bed asleep by 10:30pm!  Boring!

I managed to stitch whilst away camping glamping.  Not great for the back or the eyes but sacrifices must be made after all, when one is afflicted with a stitchin' addiction!

We made it home today.  I have photos for days one and two of the Crazy 15 but I'll post today's with tomorrow's as I haven't taken the pic yet.

Day One

Ink Circles "First Bass"
32 count antique white lugana
Crescent Colours floss

Day Two

Lots of frogging.  Got pretty cranky before I downed tools for the day.  I'll blame it on bad lighting. (If I'm completely honest, I just didn't look at the chart properly and then lost the ability to count to four.)

Ink Circles "Alto Gether Now"
32 count antique white lugana
Crescent Colours floss

Lots of fun.  Looking forward to showing you day three - the colours are great.  My fingers are itching to get onto day four but right now, even though it is the early hours of day four, I'm off to my bed.  

Happy Crazy Stitching to you all!