Freitag, 18. Mai 2018

May Gifted Gorgeousness

I've been back home for two weeks now, and thanks to my post-vacation mindset and a bit of free time, I'm slowly starting to catch up with things instead of things catching up with me, if that makes any sense. I don't think I will get up to date with all of my monthly goals anytime soon, but that's okay - my priority right now is to focus on and finish a few things, especially those with deadlines, to either reduce my WIP list or make room for new things, depending on how much discipline I can muster.
Anyways, it's time for the monthly Gifted Gorgeousness, and as usual, a few of the projects I've been working on fit this SAL wonderfully.

My focus piece right now (and in the foreseeable future) is 99. This week, I finished page 4, bringing the total bottle count to 66 - just 33 to go!

After that, I took a few days to finish my bookmark for the exchange. Well, it's not a total finish, but as far as I can go for now - once I know who my exchange partner is, I can add the Monogram, than go for a finish-finish.

While I'm still not quite impressed with the quality of the kit (it was okay, just not great), I think I might have enough floss to stitch another one, and maybe I will - it is quite pretty after all :)

Montag, 14. Mai 2018

Vacation Starts & Stash

While wewere traveling California, I wasn't only working on 99 (which didn't see that much progress anyways), but also on a few other things - and of course, some shopping happened as well! So I have quite a few things to talk about today.

My first vacation start already happend on the train to the airport (I wanted to get the counting out of the way while I was still fresh and the journey was quiet). You might remember the Pineapple Shawl I was working on a while back...well, I wasn't really happy with how that was coming out with the yarn I was using, plus, Felix fell in love with the colours, so it was decided I make something for him instead. Since I didn't think he'd want to wear a triangle shawl (I shouldn't have worried there...he keeps stealing my Arke now) I wanted to make him a moebius loop, and he wanted a 'pattern with not so many holes in it', so we finally settled on the Ambarussa by MorbenDesign. I worked on this on the train and then mostly while we were traveling in our rental car - the pattern is very easy, which makes it perfect for when you don't really want to focus on what you're doing! I really like it, especially since the dark colours started to come in on the edges. I love how with the moebius method you're working outwards on both sides, it gives a really nice effect with the colours. I'm close to 2/3 done now, and hope to finish soon.

Between this, 99, and of course the vacation itself,  I was kept plenty busy for the first week or so - which is when some shopping happened. I didn't make it to a proper, brick and mortar needlework store (aside from Needlework Inc, which was more eye candy than shopping since those hand painted canvases are insanely expensive and I wouldn't even know what to do with one yet), which was probably very good for my wallet. I did get to visit the famous Joann and Micheal's, and while both didn't have a lot of actual stitching supplies, I stilled loved seeing that much crafting stuff in one place. I got a small kit for making friendship bracelets, since it had a kumihimo disk, which is something I wanted to try for a while, a fancy notbook (not in the picture), and in a stationary shop in Japan town I found this cool Metal Star Wars kit and some tiny origami paper (also not in the picture).

When we left San Francisco, I went to two Hobby Lobbies, which had a bit of a better selection of stitching stuff, especially some very reasonably priced kits. None of the bigger once really 'stuck' with me, though, so I only picked up a few smaller ones - four bookmarks and a Dimensions Gold Mini - and two more of my beloved non slip hoops. I also saw two very cool stores in Mariposa, one for beads and one with local Alpaca wool, but despite going there during the posted times, they were never open when we went there :(

Despite my best intentions to not start anything new and worke on 99 more, I really, really wanted to play with my new I let Felix choose and he picked Charming, the cute blue eyed kitten. So in a hotel room in Mariposa, I started my first ever Dimensions Gold kit and got the first three colours in before putting it away for the time being. I was positively surprised by the quality of the material in the kit, the only thing that confuses me is the thread holder that comes with the heck are you supposed to but back partially used lengths?!

So as you can see, I picked the one of my new kits that was not a bookmark...and then I come home and see the Stitching Pirates group announced a bookmark exchange! Obviously, this left me no choice but to start another one of my new purchases - I picked the initial one, as it looks like a somewhat quick stitch. (I'm not very impressed with the quality of the kit though, especially the colours provided don't quite match with neither the colour key nor the cover picture...well, it'll do).

Dienstag, 8. Mai 2018

April WIPocalypse

So...we just came back from a two week vacation (well actuall, we came back on Friday, but wh's counting?) in California (Felix had to go there for a conference, and I came with and than we stayed for another week), so I'm a bit behind on reading, updating and checking in. Please bear with me as I am working me way through stuff :)

So one thing I am late on is the WIPocalypse checkin. Before I dive into my most current progress, here is this month's question: Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO. 
Technically, my oldest UFO are the ones remaining from the time before I started blogging - back then, I had yet to discover the glorious world of online needlework stores, and since stash was hard to come by, I usually finished what I did. The only things I did not finish are three tableclothes in stamped cross stitch, which I could never get quite into. They'd be rather pretty when finished, though, so I might try and get to them...some day.
But the oldest project I'd still classify as WIP, even though I haven't worked on it in several years, is my Peacock Tapestry, the first project I started on this blog (this just made me go through some of my old posts...I had such few WIPs back then, and made so much progress! Also, lots of typos...I like to think I have become a bit better on that front, at least.). I didn't even finish the border on this one...I think part of the reason I stopped is that this was only ever a replacement to begin with - I really wanted to start a TW on New Year's Day, and didn't have the fabric for my original choice. Anyway, it's a lovely project, and I hope to get it finished someday - here is one of the most recent pictures:

Now for my monthly progress...oh boy, am I behind on my monthly goals. I think I just have to accept that my ambitions are just greater than what my dicipline can keep up with in the long term, and that's probably okay. Everything will be finished eventually!

1) Fire and Ember SAL
I worked on the April page, but didn't quite finish it. I will try to get caught up, but as long as I can finish this by the end of the year, I will still be very pleased.

2) The Puppeteer
Due to being away from home that much, I'm a bit behind here as well...but I'm throwing in an extra length of black here or there hoping to get caught up. Almost another page done!

4) 99
 I am behind here as well...somehow, I onle got seven bottles done during our vacation. I think I will try to get back to one bottle everyday (most days) until I am entirely finished with this, I'd really like to cross it off the list!

16) Ornaments of the Month
Finished the back side for April. Finish-finishing is still waiting to happen, though.

17) Disney Princess Fobs
I did finish Pocahontas this month - added the back and finish-finished, actually.  Not sure if I'll get caught up here, but each princess is a lot of fun individually as well!

Sonntag, 29. April 2018

Zodiac SAL - Aries

Bussiness aus usual - am am busy as usual - so I just sneak in here on the very last day of the month to present you my Zodiac SAL update. Everything else should follow and be caught up shortly, I do promise!

This month's sign is Aries, which kind of make this an easy month for me as I am an Aries myself and therefore, everything I stitch could be shoehorned in here! Nevertheless, I did still stitch the backside for the April Diamond ornament, it's just the finish-finishing I keep not getting around to.

The princess for the month (even though I didn't get to stitch her fob yet, yet again...) is Belle, which pleases me greatly - she's one of my favourite Disney princesses, and I don't mind being compared to her at all ;) I think it suits her quite well, too - she's quite headstrong and stubborn and certainly an original!

Freitag, 20. April 2018

April Gifted Gorgeousness

I'm only a week later than the checkin date and still weeeell within the timeframge to sign up - yay me! I know I am notoriously late for stuff at the moment, but I think overall, I've done good this month. Still, I don't have a lot to report on the Gifted Gorgeousness front. It was my birthday in March, and I got some stuff for that - my best friend gave me this gorgeous yarn bowl, and a friend from work a knitting kit for a little fluffy dog:

For my own work, I have some exciting news that I can somehow shoehorn into GG - well, not that exciting on the grand scheme of things, but exciting for me! I got to do my first model stitching and crochet, and since I technically got those patterns for free, I am including it here.
One was a little stitch for my friend Ashley - she did a pattern with five little parts and asked each of our group to stitch and colour check one of them. She hasn't released the patterns yet, so I'm not going to share here, but it was a lot of fun!

The other one was a girl my best friend met when she was selling her art prints at the Leipzig book fair - she was selling amigurumi and they got talking and my friend mentioned that I do crochet as well, and then I was asked if I was interested in model crocheting and transcribing her hand written patterns. For now, she gave me a pattern she had already cleaned, probably to see if I can actually follow her instrictions - and so I made this adorable little sea horse:

I'm not sure yet if anything else will come of it, but it sure was fun!

Donnerstag, 12. April 2018

The great "Everything else" update...and a favour to ask

Looking at my post list, I realized it's been a while since I posted anything that hasn't been a SAL checkin or bloghop. But there actually has been some stuff going on that does not fit with any of these, so I think it is high time I got up-to-date with everything!

First, since I was on two work trips in March, of course I had to bring some knitting. I picked up my Smooth Berry Sailor that I started...sometime last year I think, but never got much work done on. The two trips saw quite a bit of progress - knitting in rounds was a bit fiddly at first, but got easier once I had a bit more done. I am actually more than half way in now - I think I have about 15g of yarn to go before starting on the border pattern.

Over the long Easter weekend (we get both Good Friday and Easter Monday off), my friend Magical held a Mystery SAL, releasing a new part of the pattern every four hours. She did this before an New Years Eve, and I didn't get to participate then (but I have the patterns saved and hope to get to them soon-ish), but it looked like a lot of fun and I was really hoping to be a part of it this time! Of course I was a little late - I only picked out my colours the morning before the start and did not do any of the given 'pre stitches' in advance - but thanks to the day off, I quickly caught up and finished on Sunday. After that, she also released a pattern for the back, for people you want to finish as a biscornu or two sided ornament, and I stitched that up last weekend. It was a lot of fun and I will try to be part of the next SAL, too. In case you are interested, you can join the group on facebook or get the pattern releases on Magical's blog.

Also on the Easter weekend, I finally got around to frame have Felix frame my Halloween cat! I had the frame sitting around for months, but now it's finally all done and ready to go up on the wall. I just love how this turned out!

Last weekend, we visited Felix' parents, and spent a glorious Saturday out on the balcony in the sun. What I had PLANNED to do was getting a good chunk done of page 20 on Fire and Ember, but as they say, the best laid plans...this one felt through when I realized that I had brought everything to work on the project but the threads. I even had the backup threads (of the colours that need more than one skein), but not my working threads. Oh well, good think I trend to overpack and brought a few different things to work on as well - so, on top of stitching most of the backside of the Spring Mystery, I also worked on Sophie Sheep from Mill Hill. I actually finished all of the cross stitching, so Miss Sophie is now ready for her beads, which will hopefully be added soon.

Lastly, I also finished the Pocahontas biscornu - I stitched up a backside with eight of the little green flowers and finished it off with a wooden button. I am getting better at this!

Soo, lastly, I have a favour to ask you. I'm a bit nervous to just go out and ask for this, but over the years I have seen how amazingly caring and generous the online crafting community is, so I thought I would just give it a try.
As some of you already know, Felix and I are getting married this year - October 6th, to be exact, my grandparents' wedding date. A lot of our friends and family will be there, but I am a little sad that most of my friends I met over the internet - friends all around the world, including many of you - wan't be able to be there. So I wanted to ask you if maybe some of you would like to send us something - something small, hand made, that we can put on the tables at the reception, so I can have you all there in thought and you can all be a part of the celebration? It could be anything - a biscornu, small flatfold, crochet flowers, or whatever else you want to make, and it would mean a lot to me if some of you considered doing that.

The colour scheme of the decoration will be white/cream with greens, and maybe some autumn colours (orange, yellow, brown) for accents, but I don't mind if you send me something in other colours, either. If you want to participate and need our address, please send me an email, and if maybe some of you send their things together to save on postage, please make sure to include everyone's addresses so we can send out thank you-cards after the wedding!

Montag, 2. April 2018

March WIPocalypse

So, March is over - after February seemd to be endless, March went by in a blink, and I just wasn't ready with my monthly goals at the official checkin date, but after a blissfully long Easter weekend I hae a few things to show. Actually, I have a lot of things to show, but let's start with the ones relevant for WIPocalypse!

First, for the question of the month: What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend?
Let me use this opportunity for a bit of a shoutout to my friends Ashley and Magical. Ashley aka PinkyThePink has been doing Custom Patterns and patterns from several smaller artists for a while, but since she started doing Hannah Alexanders Mucha-Style Disney princess redesigns, she's really been outsoing herself. She even started doing a few real Mucha's with permission of the Mucha Foundation! I'm stitching her Mucha style Snow White at the moment.
Magical is not really a new designer, she's done quilt designs before and has been doing her own patterns for years. But just a few years ago she started doing a ton of freebies. She's releasing one every Friday, plus the NFSAL on dA and she's running a big weekly SAL this year as well. I have stitched several of her patterns, including the ornaments of the month and some of her Disney princess inspired fobs. Most of them are small and so much fun!

So, for WIPocalypse I am working through my list of 18 in '18. Some of them are coming along well, others...not so much, but overall, I am content. Here is my progress for the month:

1) Fire and Ember SAL

Fire and Ember got his monthly page and finally has a whole muzzle. This page was really really fun and stitched up quickly too!

2) The Puppeteer

I'm stitching one length of black a day on The Puppeteer - in March I fell back by a few days because of all the not-at-home time, but I'm almost caught up. And I had a row finish!

3) Snow White

Snow too is supposed to get one length a day, but I'm quite a bit behind on her. At least I managed the equivalent of 34 days in March, so I didn't fall behind any further - finishing one shade of yellow in her skirt and one of beige in her bodice.

4) 99

I'm aiming for one page finish a month - since I did almost two page in February, I had my finish early in the month and haven't touched it since, but now that it is April, I will get back to my beloved bottles.

10) Arke

Arke was on my list to finish this year, with only a few rows missing, and when I finally picket it up it was a very quick finish too. I really love the colours and I've been wearing this a lot in the cold weather those past few weeks.

16) Ornaments of the Month

I wanted to finish-finish one of these every month. This month, I did good on stitching the back, but not on the finish finishing. But I did stitch one of the additional December ornaments that I had not stitched yet, so together with February, I have three ornaments that need finishing.

17) Disney Princess Fobs

I'm also very much behind on the one-a-month with these...but I did work on Pocahontas and finished the front! I'm adding a much simplet back now and maybe then I can stitch one of the others I'm behind on.