Thursday, 27 August 2015

Nice Xmas progress:)

Hi Everyone !

I'm still working on my Christmas pictures : ) It has been a busy week for me , and when I am at home I have been following the World Championship in Athletics on the telly . Therefore it has really suited me to stitch on my red/white Christmas picture : ) No time-consuming colour changes and an easy border !
After the first day's stitching on this piece - when I broke my own record for frogging - I started to get to grips with the chart , and I haven't had to do any frogging since. Yay ! ! ! There is one counting mistake , but I decided to leave that one as it was as it only made one of the houses slightly smaller and it's nothing that affects the rest of the picture  :)

So here is my progress so far :

As you can see I have decided to do half of the cross stitches first so that I don't have to refer to the chart when I stitch the second half of the cross stitches . I always prefer doing it that way when I stitch a big block of stitches in the same colour .
My other Christmas picture is coming along nicely too !

All this progress on my OWN pictures sadly means that I have not done too much on my Christmas gift stitching . . . But as soon as the Athletics are finished, I am back to my pile of  Christmas Gift projects . . . I hope, lol ! ! !

Have a good weekend and Happy Stitching !


Monday, 24 August 2015

Swedish crafts and Santas:)

Hi Everyone !
First of all I want to thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post! All your advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated and and I am very pleased that you all took the time to comment ! ! I am going to do what you all suggested and try to add the facial backstitch to my Swedish Santa's face , although I haven't been brave enough yet to do it . . . As for the sky issue I will come back to it later in this post : )
Speaking of my Swedish Santa , it occured to me that it would be nice to share my old Swedish crafty leaflet with you since you all love crafts : )
So this crafty leaflet is from 2003 and was published in a Swedish Women's magazine . It is full of Christmas ideas and Christmas gifts . There are crochet patterns to make these Christmas pot holders . . .
. . . and I actually thinking of making some of these since I love to have various pot holders for each season . I also like to give away pot holders as gifts , but I have made so many for everyone in my family that I fear they are a bit sick of pot holders . . . ha ha !
There are also other Christmas cross stitching projects (except for my Santa) like these aida band charts :
Although they are sweet they are not my cup of tea - the charts feel too old-fashioned to me .
However , the leaflet also included these two cross stitched mini tapestries which I really like !

I love the red and white Christmas designs ; they feel very much like old-fashioned Swedish Christmas , but in a GOOD way : ) ) I also like the fact that you only stitch with one colour since colour changes takes a lot of time . There is a problem though , and that is that the charts are very small . . .

I've added my hand to the charts so that you can see the dimensions.
 . . .and yet again they have no clear gridlines . And to add gridlines myself would be difficult ; the squares are small and I would risk not seeing the symbols if I try to add further lines to the chart . ( In fact , the problem is the same with the chart for my Santa picture . )
Still , I wanted to stitch these - and maybe turn them into cushions? - so yesterday I found a suitable red thread colour (the leaflet only said 'red' thread) and made a start on one of the charts .

I really could have done with those gridlines though , since it did not take long before I had to start frogging . . . and frogging and frogging . . ! The progress I have made so far included at least three times of frogging which must be a record for me . Still , I am not giving up , and thankfully , the more I'll stitch on it the easier it'll be to keep track of where I am on the chart .
I also have to show you the progress on my Santa from this leaflet : ) To remind you - and myself - this is what this 10-year-old UFO looked like when I picked it up again a week ago :

And this is what it looks like now :

I love having this blog to record my own progress ; it is really inspiring to see your own progress like this ! I'm chugging along with the sky - one row up and one row down etc - and it is still slow-going but I am almost getting used to it now : ) And all those dark tree siluettes - that I found so difficult ten years ago - are now done ! Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that my mojo will stay with this project so I can get it finished soon , at long last !

Oh , and I almost forgot to show you the ornament that I finished for the Christmas Ornie SAL ( and you can read more about it there too ) :

Nice to have a finish every now and then , isn't it ? !

Happy Stitching ,


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My Santa needs help!

Hi Everyone!

So , I am still working on my old-fashioned Swedish Christmas picture and this how far I have come in the last few days (I have been stitching on a few other projects as well) . . .

I am happy with my progress on this piece . However , I am now tackling that big blue sky - which put me off ten years ago! - and it is really slow going because of the many white empty ( snowflake ) squares that are placed all over the sky in a random fashion . I love the fact that it is 'snowing' but keeping track of the squares is a big hassle . I started off trying to stitch and count horizontally - which comes natural to me - but it just didn't work at all ! I kept loosing my place on the chart and on the fabric over and over again ! So annoying !
So then I decided to try to stitch and count vertically and that has actually worked a bit better - it is still slow progress but I only have to recheck the chart every tenth stitch . . : ) If the chart had guidelines I could have used them , but apparently they didn't do guidelines on Swedish charts ten year ago (and I don't know if it is any different today . . ) .

Another issue with this chart is the little cute Santa in the foreground , and that is where I need your help / advice ! On the chart there are very , very poor facial features on this Santa ; the eyes and mouth consists of three little backstitches . . . Absolutely horrible !

Being used to stitching Joan Elliott charts and beautiful faces nowadays , I am afraid that poor Santa's face will look horribly UGLY with those three lines ! When I stitched the skin colour and the beard , I decided to add backstitch to the beard to make it stand out more . . .

. . . and I am very pleased with how the beard turned out . So now I am wondering if maybe I should just leave the face as it is ( without distinct facial features ) instead of risking it looking dreadful and like a five-year-old stitched it . . . I have seen modern designs where the designer has left out facial features so it has been done before I guess . . .
Help! I need your expert opinions !
What do YOU think I should do ? ? ?

Anyway, it certainly is ' interesting ' stitching these older charts . . . ha ha !

Happy Stitching !


Monday, 17 August 2015

Do I ever finish anything ? ? ?

Hi Everyone !

Despite having about 15 cross stitch projects on the go , I found myself bored with ALL of them yesterday . . ! It would be simply impossible for me to stick to a rotation , or to stick to just one project at a time since I get bored so easily . . ! And the last thing I want is to be bored by my cross stitching , so then , of course , I HAVE to find yet another project that inspires me . . ! Sometimes - or quite often actually! - it feels as if I only START new projects , and never FINISH any! Then it is high time to have a look at my list of recent finishes just to remind myself that I AM capable of finishing things . . . sometimes : ) )

So , what did I decide to stitch on yesterday then, in the end ? ?

Well , I had been thinking of the gift tags stitched with white thread on red aida so I got some red aida and stitched some small white motifs . . . : )

It felt really rewarding to stitch something and to finish so quickly - maybe that's why I got bored with all my other projects . . ?

Then I decided to pick up an Christmas UFO that I started over ten years ago , when I still lived in England ! It is from a  Swedish women's magazine , and a project I got bored with back in the day when I faced ALL the evening sky stitched in blue . . ! However , everything with a Xmas theme inspires me at the moment so I thought, why not ? ?  So this is what it looked like when I started yesterday evening . . .

... and this is how it looked when I stopped stitching a couple of hours later:

It is stitched on 11-count aida , so it stitches up quite quickly : ) However , some of the chart is difficult to read and there are some faults so I am going to have to wing it a bit before it is finished .
However , I enjoyed stitching it and I will put in some more hours on it tonight : )

What I will feel like stitching tomorrow , however , is anyone's guess . . . ha ha !

Happy Stitching !


Thursday, 13 August 2015

A few of my WIPs . . .

Hi Everyone !

OMG , you should see the state of my livingroom table ! ! ! Or maybe not . . . ha ha !
It is totally covered with Zip Lock plastic bags filled with a variety of different cross stitch projects . . . One day I may be brave enough to share a picture of my own personal WIP chaos , ha ha , but today is not the day : ) )

I cannot show you ALL of my Xmas gift projects , but luckily there are still plenty of WIPs whose future recipients won't read this blog .

So here are a few of my WIPs screaming for attention on my livingroom table . . .

I have shown you these before . They are freebie gift tags designed by Fiona Crouch from Cross Stitcher magazine issue 286 . I have now finished these and I am in the process of thinking of how to use these charts again for more gift tags - hence the WIP status : ) I loved stitching these simple yet Xmassy  designs , but instead of stitching with red thread on white aida , I think I'm going to stitch them on red aida fabric with white thread . That should be equally Xmassy , don't you think ? ! Or I might stitch these designs using metallics . . . If I am going to make gift tags for all my Xmas gifts I still have about 40 to do so wish me luck : )

These strawberries ( designed by Lucie Heaton in Cross Stitcher magazine issue 239) you have seen before too , but now I have started the backstitch on the first few . And you were all right ; they benefited from some backstitch : ) I have now stiched 6 berries and I have at least 6 more to stitch . . . Boring , but I must say that they look yummie , so I am pleased with the progress :)

Those of you who take part in the Christmas Ornie SAL 2015 recognize this Prairie Schooler Santa , which is going to be my ornament for August : ) I love working on this Santa ( from Cross Stitch Collection magazine issue 243 ) and I am really looking forward to do the other two designs featured in the magazine : )

This ABC I found in Cross Stitch Collection magazine issue 246. I loved these pretty Zweigart letters, but I realised too late that I should have stitched them on coloured aida instead of the white aida band . . . I just wasn't thinking . . !  As this looks , you can hardly make out the pretty LITTLE flowers, nor the blue backstitch . Bummer ! However, I will carry on with this particular aida band , and maybe I'll stitch it onto a blue towel to bring out the blue in the letters . But next time I use this pretty ABC it will definitely not be on white aida !

At last I just have to show you my progress on Joan Elliott's Christmas Fairy ( from Cross Stitch Crazy magazine issue 159 ) ! I'm a huge Christmas nerd (I even have my own Christmas blog ) and in the evenings I have started to watch some Xmas movies and lit some scented Christmas Candles and then stitched on my Xmas Fairy . Therefore progress has been good : ) This is another project that I am totally in love with , so I am very happy that I have been able to find some special time in the day when I work solely on this Fairy , just for myself : )

That is all from me for this time : )

Happy Stitching!


Friday, 7 August 2015

I'm in love - again !

Hi everyone !

Whilst going through my old cross stitch magazines when planning what Christmas gifts to make this year , I came upon many lovely charts I had 'forgotten' about .

I found some adorable designs by Lucie Heaton in Cross Stitcher magazine (issue 246) which were a must-stitch and this week I got around to stitching them . . !

I just LOVE them ; they are sooo cute and Disney-like : ) ) I stitched them on 11-count aida and I made some minor adjustments when it came to the threads ( since I didn't have all the exact threads colours ) . I had so much fun stitching these quick charts and luckily there are still two more charts to stitch . . ! I might even stitch these two designs again ; that is how much I like them ! !

You'll have to wait until Xmas to see how I will finish them - I'm still thinking about the how-I-will finish-them and the who-will-I-give-them-to!

Happy Stitching !


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Aida band projects!

Hi Everyone !

The last few days I have started to stitch on my old unused aida bands . Since I find counts smaller than 14-count way too fiddly , I was a bit scared of stitching on the bands . However , it was much easier than I thought ; the needle just glided through the aida holes and it wasn't tricky to count the squares either : ) The only thing I found a bit tricky was fastening my threads since the stitches are quite small on the back . . . How on earth do you guys manage to fasten threads on 18-count ? ! !

Anyway , one of the projects I started are these strawberries designed by Lucie Heaton from Cross Stitcher magazine issue 239 . I have yet to add some little white backstitch on the berries to create some texture . The strawberries are also outlined with backstitch , but I am not sure whether I am going to add it or not . . . I kind of like how they look now : ) It's also quicker to skip the backstitch . . . What do you all think I should do ? ?

Once I had stitched two strawberries , I realised that I should have added a little bit more space between them than what it was in the original design . Now I have to stitch quite a few berries to cover the width of a towel . . .bummer!

I have also started on this ABC design by Lesley Teare in Cross Stitcher magazine issue 289 . I really like this alphabet because it is quick to stitch and doesn't use too many colours AND looks really swee t! I have a feeling I am going to be using these letters a lot this autumn...:))

I think the biggest issue I am going to find with the aida bands is that I do not like to stitch any design
more than once - it is boring ! However , I have a feeling I am going to have to ignore those feelings this autumn too if I want to get any Xmas gifts stitched . . .
I really wanted to stitch some Xmas designs today too , so I decided to stitch a bit on these gift tags designed by Fiona Crouch from Cross Stitcher magazine issue 286 .

A easy, quick Xmas project to pick up now and then in between all my other projects : ) )

While I stitch two of my furbabies almost always rest with me on the sofa .
One of them like to rest his head on my legs (whilst hiding under a blanket) . . .

...and the other one by my right side:))

It is very soothing to be surrounded by my babies whilst I stitch away:)