Sunday, 26 January 2014

Hitting those goals!

Hello hello!
Today I have two stitchy finishes to share with you. Both of them were projects I had meant to have finished before Christmas but neither of them worked out that way! The first one is the Mystery Sampler Stitch Along run by Paulette of Plum Street Samplers which I last blogged about here. By the end of November when all the parts were published I was *only* three weeks behind... 
 So here it was after week 6...Time to get a move on if I wanted this done for Christmas...
Here is week 7... 
...and week 8... and that is where it all came to a grinding halt again.
For a start I was seriously running out of time on two other projects intended as Christmas presents (yes, for my long suffering family). Also, much as I had enjoyed all the parts of this stitch up to this point, I wasn't really all that fussed about the border that finished it off. I am not really a fan of borders. Oh I really like the look of them but I don't like the repetitive actual stitching of them ;-) If it really has to be done, if it adds that final crowning glory to a piece then ok I will do it, but in this case I wondered if I could come up with something else that would work. I had a few ideas milling around in the back of my mind but for the time being this went on the back burner...
When I actually got the graph paper & pencil out it only took me a few hours to work out something I was happy with. Every part of the sampler had been posted with an accompanying Bible reference, mainly from Luke chapter 2, so I decided to use verse 14. I had to paraphrase it slightly to get it to fit but this is what I ended up with...
What do you think???
The second stitchy finish of this month is one of those aforementioned Christmas presents (neither of which got finished in time). Many of you know I try to stitch a Somebunny to Love in secret for Hubbie for Christmas/his birthday/ our anniversary. One year I even got one done in time for Valentines! Yeah four in a year! I was on a roll ;-) Well this year the Bunny was nowhere near ready for Dec. 25 but I carried on working on him when I could & finally finished him the other week. He is stitched on sparkly white aida (which looks lovely in real life but refuses to show up in a photograph!) & I already had the fabric picked out that I wanted to use to make him into a little wallhanging. I added a fabric pocket on the back to thread a piece of dowelling through so we can hang him up next December...
So these will be my January projects towards Christmas, and, as I got two already started pieces finished, I allowed myself a new start! YAY! I picked the Spring Fairy by Joan Elliott which has been sitting waiting for me to start for ... ummm.... well lets just say a long time! This is what she looks like... 
 This is how far I have gotten...
Not much, but it's a start :-) This week I am hoping to have a stitchy week, focussing on this apart from one day which I will spend working on a UFO project. I will show you my progress in my next post (and hopefully remember to photograph the UFO too!). I hope you have a lovely productive week however you spend it :-)   



Saturday, 18 January 2014

A fresh start...

Hello hello!
How are you? Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post, sorry I have been gone so long, but for a while there I wasn't really sure if I was going to keep on blogging... A lot has changed for me in the almost two years since I started writing here and in recent months I have been wondering just why I am trying to find the time to do this?! Last year I got ever so behind with my posts, there were a number of projects which never made it into a published post, for a while I was a lot more intent on actually producing things than documenting the process. A big part of this was down to having fewer headache free days, on the days I felt really good I wanted to be busy creating! I do enjoy the community I have found here in Blogland &, although I would like to spend less time in front of the computer & more on making things, I am not quite ready to walk away yet. I don't do New Year's resolutions but I do think that the beginning of the year presents us with an opportunity to re-evaluate a few things & make a fresh start. So....this year I am going to try to...
1) Finish off the various projects which are lurking in a half finished state around my sewing room. Each time I finish one I am allowed to start something else off my "wanna make list" :-)
2) Give myself more time to "enjoy the ride" on projects by (as far as possible) not setting deadlines, and where a deadline is inevitable giving that project a much earlier start date than I have previously! Instead of thinking "oh I should be able to finish that in a few weeks so I won't start it till x" I am going to try & identify anything which needs to be done to a deadline this year & then do them! Now!
3) Carry on making things for Christmas all year. Just a couple of small things per month but (if I can stick to it) I will have 20 things made towards Christmas by Halloween!
4) Lastly I am going to be a bit more choosy about who I spend hours & hours making handmade cards & gifts for. I feel really mean about this but it is a plain fact that some folks appreciate the time & effort way more than others do, and in this house it is also a fact that I have bumped projects hubbie & the kids have asked me to make for them down the list time & time again in favor of projects for other folks. For example I have two t shirts sitting under my bed which were bought for my daughter who wants specific things cross stitched on them. I have the charts, the thread, everything to get these done but they have sat there for 2 1/2 years so that last week when I thought "right I'm going to start one of them" she tried the shirt on & it doesn't fit her any longer! Oooops! Just because I can make cards doesn't mean it is a crime to actually go & buy one once in a while!
Well these are my four goals for the year, I am aiming to pop in here & share the journey with you as & when I am able.
This week has been cold & frosty here complete with freezing fog at times - yuck!- but I popped into the garden to capture some white rimmed plants with the camera...
Despite the cold, the days are gradually getting longer, we have noticeably more daylight in the afternoon than we did at Christmas :-) It might not feel like it out there, but Spring is on it's way - these little primulas are just waiting for it to warm up a bit! 
My first finish of the year has been very timely, a warm & snuggly cowl made with some lovely chunky yarn I bought on our trip to London last Fall (Patons Big Fab Color). I knitted it up on HUGE 10mm needles (which felt like telegraph poles!) using a free pattern from Ravelry found here.
 After a couple of false starts I worked out what I was meant to be doing & then it just flew by! I just kept repeating the pattern until I was pretty much out of yarn, then after blocking used the tail to sew the two ends together. I might be making another one in the not too distant future as my daughter has been trying to kidnap it ;-)
As you can see the January daylight has been really affecting the colors in photographs, I have a couple of stitchy finishes to share with you but need to have another try with the camera as they have come out really poorly!! Thank you for visiting me here today, I hope you have a lovely weekend :-)