March WIPocalypse

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a visit to Homestead Framers…

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.

March Goals

  • Bead & FFO Genoa Santa’s NOPE
  • Complete stitching on Wales Santa’s NOPE
  • Stitch & FFO Hello There April NOPE
  • Complete & FFO Kiwi 10 Cents FINISHED
  • Complete first fairy in Shakespeare’s Fairies ALMOST!
  • Work on Arezzo FINISHED

With most of my stitching working around the School of Magical Stitches group challenges, I haven’t worked on Shakespeare’s Fairies as much as I would have hoped in Feb. But, I have several starts, two finishes (one of which I am so, so stoked to get done), dropped three off to the framers & there are a few closer to a finish. Bonus points given that one of my “homework” pieces will double as my SIL’s present, as she loves cats.

Arezzo doubled as both my WIPocalypse “stitch every day” piece and for 1000 stitches of an Ultimate Challenge. I worked on her for 24 of the 25 days (the 25th was the day I finished) & honestly, don’t know why I didn’t finish her sooner. She’s so pretty & delicate that I am considering which Mira I will stitch over one next! But as I started Coffee Quaker over one, that won’t be for a while.

April Goals:

  • Use Genoa & Wales for Extra Credit piece (500 stitches)
  • Complete first fairy in Shakespeare’s Fairies
  • Stitch Hello April AND Hello May
  • Work on Quaker Coffee every day in April

Question of the month: What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend? I do recommend (new to me, anyway) Sirious Stitches & KiwiXCrossing designers, purely for the ease of their patterns (both are Etsy); and for fabric I always recommend Catherine at Countrystitch Fabrics – her shop is not new, but the range is ever expanding, the website is fantastic, service is great AND if you want to get an idea of the fabric/design combo, she’s listed on the Fabric Viewer website.

When it comes to Stitch From Stash, I’m a little bit in the red. This would fix with no spend/no finishes in April, but I got a wee bonus so had a binge. Mani di Donna’s Blue Quaker Sewing Basket, Mirabilia’s Mermaid of Atlantis (plus Waterlillies threads) and two Mill Hill kits, the Celestial Sleigh and Princess Carriage. I’ll show pictures as I work on them.

Mar-19
Country Stitch Fabrics Cloudburst -18.11
Country Stitch Fabrics Bourbon -17.39
Floral Cat (Etsy) -5.25
Spotlight DMC*12 -22.80
Spotlight Lugana FQ -15.00
123Stitch Binge -97.76
SamSarah Need to Read 4.42
KiwiXCrossing 10 Cent 13.92
Arezzo Conversion (over one) 32.44
Rollover + Budget $107.01
Total Available Budget -$18.52
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2019 & WIPocalypse Restarts

January 6 – Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Well. This is my fifth year of WIpocalypse. It’s the most committed I’ve been to any SAL & I put that down to the pressure free, encouraging environment that Melissa hosts. If you’re a crafter, please join up either on your blog or via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers!

If you’ve not read from my blog before, I’m in my mid-40’s, a working mum to four (ranging from 24-9) & partner. I am book-mad, often found stitching & listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and I wouldn’t mind winning Lotto so that I could stay home and stitch (but I’d have to remember to buy tickets first). We own our home near the base of Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges & can often be found working on it or a friends (my partner was an engineer, he’s bloody handy with a tool belt), walking on the beach or in one of the many beautiful parks Auckland boasts. I’ve been hand stitching since before I was 10, can’t knit an even scarf or crochet to save myself and don’t often pull my machine out (altho I brought a 1940’s Singer recently, purely on impulse as I love the look). I’m a whizz at curtains.

Goals for 2019 (I only have 9 WIPs right now & that’s about right for me) :

  • Finish SFS in the black
  • Complete & FFO the remaining monthly Hello There pieces (Mar-Nov)
  • Re-start Shakespeare’s Fairies & complete one fairy
  • Work on Tapestry Cat, Fairy Idyll, Arezzo, Four Season of NZ

Mini January Goals:

  • Finish Jardin Prive’s Eiffel Quaker COMPLETED
  • Mill Hill Golden Tannenbaum for my Small/Christmas All Year Round
  • Hello There March (& FFO)
  • 341 stitches in Shakespeare’s Fairies for the HP SAL

Hopefully with returning to work/school/other crap I will still feel stitchy most nights & achieve all these goals.

WIP Wednesday #235 & WIPocalypse catchups

I could quite easily copy/paste the same info as last time we met.

Still plodding away on the reno at MIL’s (deck done, but the weather isn’t conducive to concreting so Mase & I have been planting like mad things)…he took the photos from this last batch. It’s cool to have a gardening buddy. We knew the tags are unlikely to stay with the plants, so at least we have a rough idea of what we planted in this batch. His fav is the Fireworks.

Still radio silence from the SIL (I’m about ready to tell her not to come up, but that would hurt the MIL & actually, I need a break)…

Still working slowly on Fairy Idyll…mostly hour chunks when I can get control of the TV remote from Mum! We watched The Great NZ Bake Off last night, and the guy in the photo was eliminated. GF sponge cake is hard, y’all.

I did start and finish CloudsFactory’s The Princess Bride, as a tribute to William Goldman. If you haven’t seen the movie, you’re in for a treat. And it’s PG, so family safe. I think I want to add his name and dates to the bottom tho. Appropriately, this is on Cloudburst 28ct Lugana from Countrystitch. 

Now, because the stitchy bug has been gone, or superseded with all the other things, I didn’t post in either the Oct or Nov WIPocalypse pages. I’ve given up on Stitch From Stash, as I have been buying ALL THE THINGS and really gone ridiculous (for me. Maybe not if you’re Katy the Stash Queen). I am daily anticipating the first parcel from 123…and the fabric from Catherine at Countrystitch. I went for Urewera Mist (that mottle one). I’m going to return Gail’s Fairy Idyll chart as I have my working copy & will hunt out an original for myself. I really, really want to work on Shakespeare’s Fairies so I will, once the fabric arrives. Stitching & guilt shouldn’t go together IMO, & I also know that if I do park a Mira for a while, I will always return to it. 

So – here’s the Q&A I missed from the last two episodes.

October 28 – Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time? I’ve tried rotation and it doesn’t work for me. I prefer to leave a project out on the bars rather than pop on or off…& I usually have a car project with me to break up the monotony of being monogamous.

November 25 – What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year? Eh – nothing. I brought back some embroidery (two hoops, whoop-de-woo) & perfected my pin stitch, but that’s about it.

WIP Wednesday #229 & September WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Mel at her blog http://measi.net/measiblog/ ; it’s my favourite SAL, mostly due to the host organisation (which is spot on), the range of topics & the wide variety of stitchers participating. There’s always something to oooh over! Click on the link to the right.

September Focus:

  • Finish Persephone – YAY!
  • Bead the top third of Fairy Idyll – done, despite somehow losing two packs of beads.

October Focus:

  • Complete the wings, Rabbit’s Kreinik ball & face/neck/back over one stitching of FI’s skin – partially done as I completed the wings last night
  • FO the two Mill Hill Peridot ornies – up to beading
  • FO the Celebration Santa gift – found out I ripped the plastic canvas, so it may be a re-start.

SEPTEMBER QUESTION: How do you keep your stitching stash organised?

I have the Stash Cache app on my phone, so as long as I keep that updated, I’m sweet there. Most of my patterns are in clearbooks, except for my Mira & Nora stash – that’s in a basket I can pull out and play with (unless the chart is second hand & without the folder – those are in a clearbook to protect the chart). I have four thread boxes of purely DMC, with speciality threads in another; beads are in a Sistema plastic box. But my SIL found a replica stitching box that will soon become the home for everything! It needs to be pulled apart & re-painted, as that dark stain just won’t work for me, but it’s sturdy enough.

STITCH FROM STASH: This isn’t in as great shape as I had hoped, as twice someone’s pulled out from a purchase, and I still have a second Lady Mira + bead pack for sale. I also hit up every Op Shop between Palmerston North & New Plymouth last month & spent a bit (found an OOP Prairie Schooler that I am really pleased to have tho).

$25.00
Fox Rapunzel, Aphrodite & Bellas -29.43
Spotlight 13 DMC -21.97
Op Shop Finds -31.90
SOLD Biancabella (Shayla) 70.00
Mira Mermaid (round robin) 34.50
Stitchers Notebook 2.55
Persephone (conversion) 54.50
Rollover + Budget -$159.74
Total Available Budget -$81.49

WIP Wednesday #225 & August WIPocalypse

Hello lovely people! I am in a much better head space this week – had awkward convo with family member & hard convo with the boss out of the way, and on Sunday we (Si & I) completed the Loaded Tough Guy mud run. Exceptionally slow time, but we’d made a decision to stick together so that meant we were governed by my fitness – then on the first downward slide, T injured his back. This was maybe a quarter of the way in? So after that, it was Si, myself, T, Alvin, Mel & Ondrake working together. We picked up Kim (Mel & Kim earworm for you other 80’s survivors hehehe) who had been left behind by her team and while we were the last group to finish, we finished. My shoes are a write-off and my body isn’t that far behind. However – massive achievement, given the course conditions and the mental fortitude needed. My Samsung watch says I climbed 49 flights & did 9.6 km that day. And that won’t count the sliding downhill – I did a lot of that both on my arse and my feet! I recommend Magnesium supplement – it’s made a huge difference.

Stitching has been excellent. I have beaded Deepest Love & Renaissance Mermaids, and have started Waiting for Ships. My work project is two copies of Mill Hill’s Peridot ornament (long time readers will remember I did a lot of these a couple of years ago for family members who don’t appreciate, so now it’s one set for me & one for a gift to a stitchy friend).

As I missed the July WIPocalypse, here’s my answers to both questions (click on the icon on the side to take you to Measi’s site, where the main event is hosted. If you’re a stitcher, please join our motley crew).

JULY – Half Year recap – how are my goals for the year?

Huh. Looking at my points from January this year, not great at all …

So my focus pieces for 2018 (given that I want to end in the black for Stitch From Stash also) are in order of attention (bracket date indicates the start month & year):

  • Mirabilia Ashley’s Roses RR section (Dec 2018) FINISHED
  • Semco Toy Story Sampler (October 2013) – Zac will be 15 soon, & this needs to be done before then! But first I have to hunt it down… I KNOW WHERE IT IS, I JUST DON’T WANT TO DO IT
  • Mirabilia Fairy Idyll (September 2017) – Gail has loaned me the chart, & I want to return it this year MADE STEADY PROGRESS, ABOUT A THIRD THRU AND AM LOOKING FOR MY OWN COPY SO I CAN RETURN GAIL’S
  • TW Tapestry Cat (Dec 2006!) – because it deserves progress NOT EVEN TOUCHED
  • Mirabilia Persephone (May 2015) –because I want to get thru that skirt! MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS, DOWN TO THE LAST QUARTER!!!
  • Jane Austen SAL (December 2017) –because I want to keep up with the readings GAVE UP, I’LL STITCH MY AMENDED BOOKSHELF NEXT YEAR

Too many other things caught my eye! I’m still very pleased with what I have done this year. Not much chance of finishing in the black for this half (altho I did for the first half & should for the whole year) – those Mira 25th Anniversary purchases threw that plan out!

AUGUST – Which is more satisfying to you and why – the process of stitching a piece, or the finish? It’s both by turn – I enjoy the quiet of stitching, the achievement of the finish.

STITCH FROM STASH – thanks in part to some sales, I’m not in as bad a position as I thought. If the person who wants Biancabella does pay, and if I finish Persephone I will end in the black for both the half and (importantly to me) the year. At the least, I resisted spending more this month than just the DMC skeins I ran out of!

Aug-18
  $25.00
Spotlight 7 DMC -11.83
 
Portrait of Antique Vines 11.04
SOLD NC Snapdragon (Maureen) 15.00
   
Rollover -$223.95
Total Available Budget -$184.74

June WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Mel at her blog http://measi.net/measiblog/ ; it’s my favourite SAL, mostly due to the host organisation (which is spot on), the range of topics & the wide variety of stitchers participating. There’s always something to oooh over! Click on the link to the right.

I haven’t posted in WIPocalypse since the March check-in, so here’s some catch-up.

April Focus:

  • Finish the Mira RR piece – done, & mine has come back!
  • Continue with the Satsuma Stocking – yeah, nah
  • FFO a 2017 ornament into a flat fold – again, nope
  • March Flosstube update – even tho it’s going to be very short! – I *think* I did something

June/July Focus:

  • Celebrate the return of the stitchy bug by recording something every day (only missed one so far)
  • FFO Mill Hill honey pots (almost done) – DONE*
  • FFO Trinidad Santa (backing) – DONE*
  • FO Celebration Santa (with greyhound instead of cat, as this is for Becs)
  • Look to stitch last portion of my Mira RR – POSTPONED*
  • Look at available beads for Mira RR – POSTPONED*

*as you can see, I wrote this post a week ago in prep, so I wouldn’t miss it again. I’ve actually knocked out the two mini FFOs and revised my Mira plans. Jocelyn from the FB group Mira Madness has started an event – 50 Days of a Mira UFO & I broke out Persephone, who had been in storage since May 2016. I *think* #50daysofPersephone will get us to the finish, especially as I’ve sorted out what thread type I will use for the skirt hem. Here’s a start, then a shot from yesterday:

STITCH FROM STASH – I had my first “no purchase” month in quite some time in May. This has gone out the window as Nora Corbett is celebrating her 25th anniversary with her Mirabilia designs. There is the usual monthly release (Alice), then the 25th Celebration piece (Lady Mirabilia, complete with butterfly charm), a booklet with an exclusive design (cameo) and five re-released OOP designs, of which I have attempted to purchase Seaside Kingdom & Lady of the Flag (which I will convert to Zealandia).  However as I don’t yet know and haven’t been invoiced, I *might* finish this half in the black, but I’ll be so far out in July! Never mind, it’s the thought that counts…

April – Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO. For WIPs, that’s Tapestry Cat by Teresa Wentzler. At least three of my children are older, but I’ve had it a shamefully long time. I do still intend to finish it however. UFO – I have an American type village, Stoney Creek style, that I started on aida back around 1998/1999. Simon wanted it & but I lost the love. It’s languishing in a draw & my worry now is that my threads wouldn’t match. It’s about a third done, from memory.

May – Where do you love to shop for stash? This year I am trying to shop used or local. I am looking in Opportunity Shops, on stash clearance sites – I need to list the opalescent evenweaves that I know I’m not going to use. That might balance out my Mira spend too…

June – Tell us what you think the ideal stitching retreat would include. Food that doesn’t stain! Comfy chairs, heaps of light, unlimited stash fund. My children quietly occupied elsewhere on the cruise ship (cause I like stitching at sea!).

Hope you all have a lovely month – & I’ll see you Wednesday for my “normal” update.

March WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Mel at her blog http://measi.net/measiblog/ ; it’s my favourite SAL, mostly due to the host organisation (which is spot on), the range of topics & the wide variety of stitchers participating. There’s always something to oooh over! Click on the link to the right.

March Focus:

  • Mira RR piece – started, I hates it
  • CAYR SAL – started Satsuma Stocking #3, the reindeer one
  • Flosstube update – Feb’s uploaded in the first week of March

Yep. March came in and stole my stitchy bug. The weave on the RR piece is very tight (32ct opalescent that was then dyed) and I am not enjoying my progress. I have to wear the reading glasses and work short stints, or my head aches. And bc my reading glasses are so focussed, I can’t do my usual and stitch along to Flosstube, as I can’t even focus on the (very large) TV across the room. It’s going to be a daylight only, headphones on, gripping audiobook to get me to the finish line here. I managed maybe 5-6 thread lengths yesterday. Or the skirt train bit, if you’re more visual.

With our Sydney trip happening mid-month, most of my external, non-work, focus was on this. Extra grocery shopping, paying bills early, getting out of my laundry cycle – none of this helped with stitching! This trip was just Si & myself, and we crammed heaps into the two days in Sydney then tried to do a lot of the things on the cruise ship, so even tho I took Fairy Idyll, even she didn’t see much progress. Still, as Katy says, every stitch completed is a stitch closer to the finish. As always, hover or click for captions.

Coming back has been full on too, with a couple of work projects and the netball – Si & I attended night two of the Taini Jamieson Trophy games. Next for these teams is the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia – we’ll be there for Tag later in the year. FWIW Jamaica won the trophy this year.

April Focus:

  • Finish the Mira RR piece
  • Continue with the Satsuma Stocking
  • FFO a 2017 ornament into a flat fold
  • March Flosstube update – even tho it’s going to be very short!

 

SFS – still in the black! The Stash Unloading things I brought on 01/03 still haven’t arrived, so a refund has been supplied, but the Lizzie Kate charts I brought (Red White & Beach and Be Bold & Brave) did. I didn’t manage to carve out the time to get to Crewel Gobelin but as the bug is missing, I wasn’t too upset. Today I brought two “oddball” cuts from Catherine at Countrystitch – because they are unusual cut lengths left when processing orders, she sells the pieces at a discount. I’ll have about 4” to each side of the Renaissance Mermaid but that’s perfectly fine with me!

Mar-18
Budget $25.00
Jodi – HOD Latte Love -6.76
Jodi – Stitching Feeds my Heart -15.21
Countrystitch Orphan A6 Bourbon -37.67
Countrystitch Orphan A9 Cook Strait -19.93
LK Red White & Beach -12.43
LK Be Bold & Brave -12.43
Refund Supplied Jodi 21.97
Countrystitch Credit 6.09
Rollover $76.57
Total Available Budget $25.20

March 25 – What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend? I’m not sure I’ve discovered anyone completely “new”! For fabric dyeing, I obviously love Catherine’s products as the DMC comp is spot on to the actual fabric that arrives, and she allows for shrinkage when she calculates your actual fabric size. Try Countrystitch if you’re looking for something different.

On Etsy, I like Satsuma St, Jenny @ Home*stitch*ness & Stitchrovia. None are completely “new” either but one thing I know about stitching – my tastes change, & every designer has merit.