Dienstag, 20. März 2018

IHSW and tons of stash!

Yes, you did not misread the headline! I managed to take part in the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, yay! I was a pretty good hermit in Saturday, where I spent all day stitching, and I was a fairly good hermit on Sunday, where besides stitching I went for lunch with a friend and had my first book club meeting (which was awesome), but before and after that, I stitched ;-)
The link-up, along with an awesome update on Joyszes "Yexian" can be found here.

I originally wanted to pick out my focus piece Kreimhilds Revenge, but since it was St Patricks day on Saturday, I decided to pick up my QS Paddys Luck by Joana Bromley and that was exactly the right choice, so much fun! Why didn't I work on this for so long? The last update is from the end of July last year!

Anyway, here is where I started:
And here is where I got by Sunday evening:
I added some 1 100 stitches, I hoped for more, but the confetti in Paddys head slowed me down. By now, I finished this column and there are 560 stitches left for a page finish, which I will surely get done for the WIPocalypse update at the end of the month.

And this brings us to the second part of this post! I went to crafts fair last week and bought some pretty goodies there and then also my Gecko Rouge Gold Club kits arrived. I chose the voucher as my half year reward, so I am able to choose various items instead of one kit. I got the following two kits:
This is "Paddy the Rat drinking Guinness in a Quiet Pub" by Tanya Bond - I choose 18ct for this one. I already have the matching needle minder. There is a companion piece called "Ronald the guard drinking Carlsberg", which I also find very cute. I was close to buying it ;-)

This is the second kit I chose "Lil' Hamster Playing Bagpipes" by Amy Lyn Bihrle. I'll do this on 25ct magic guide fabric. It's soooo cute =)

And here are the things I bought at the crafts fair:
This is a Maia kit called "Geishas". I am usually not into Geisha motifs, but this one was so beautiful and colorful, I could not resist. This is my first Maia kit, I think it uses Anchor floss (which is common in Germany, but I never used it before) and is worked on 18ct Aida. I feel a great itch to start this!

This is the second kit I got, another design by Eva Rosenstand. I have seen this design online and I absolutely loved it, but it was really expensive (I think about 190 Euro). And then I found this one on sale for 60 Euro, so I bought it right away :D It's very big and very pretty ;-)

These are two smaller kits I bought from a German designer called "Liebevolle Kreuzstitchentwürfe", they have a lot of seaside designs, they had a lot of stitched designs on display and so I decided to get two of them for a try. After all, some smaller finishes can be very motivating =)

I also got two magnets to make into needle minders:
And I also bought a pair of earrings:
This is from a German shop called "Schokoklunker" . They have a lot of amazing jewelry designs, most of them are chocolate themed items and they look so real! I was pretty torn between getting this one (Spekulatius is very famous for Christmas here - it's a sort of spiced cookie and I am not sure if it has an English name) and a pair of Oreo cookies ;-)

I also bought a couple of other things like wedding cards (I am invited to several weddings this year), a birthday present for my nighbor and a couple flowers for the garden (I have two weeks off around Easter and hope to get started on gardening - right now it's to cold for flowers). I am also expecting another pair of earrings, I saw it last year and was so much looking forward to getting it, but it was already sold. But it's already on it's way to me and should arrive here soon.

Well, this is a long post, longer than I thought. And I think I will try and not buy any more stitchy stuff for a while, I have sooooo many lovely non started projects ;-)

Happy stitching =)

Samstag, 17. März 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - March

Here we go for another GG SAL update. I could have sworn, February just turned into March, but it looks like March is already half way over! And I am two days late for the SAl, so if you take a look at the link-up there is already plenty to see ;-)
I was super busy during the last weeks, my students had their exams and we spent ages correcting them. Luckily only 540 students turned up for the exams (the students are signed up for the exam automatically and most of them don't turn up - our list had 1096 students on it), but it still took a lot of nerves to go through it all. Now there are just some oral exams to do, but we think we can finish them in one day. And after that, I have two weeks off from work, yay! I'll stitch and start working in the garden then =)

But back to topic - my progress for the GG SAL. I managed to work on two project and have some stash to show (I got some kits for my birthday and since I was to busy to drive to a "local" shop (80km one way), I order a few things online)..
Let's start with my actual stitching.
The first thing is - just as last month - my Map  of Middle Earth. I managed to get a page finish on this and went from here:
To here:
So I added 2 000 stitches since you last saw this one. 6 pages done, 54 to go.... I hope to be able to finish another page this year. If I stitck to my plan of doing roughly 1 000 stitches per month, this should not be a problem ;)

The second project I worked on is my Candy Cane Santa Stocking - yes, he's finally back! Not to much progress on him, but every stitch done is a stitch closer to gifting this to my fiance. I went from here:
To here:
You can see that I am now working on background now and since it's only half crosses, it stitches up rather fast. I just need to pick this up more often.

And since I don't already have enough on the go, here is some stash I got for my birthday =)

First up is a small kit by Dimensions Gold - it's from the petite collection. I think it's very pretty =
The second kit I got is also from Dimensions Gold. I loved this when it was released, but it was quite expensive here and then sew and so had it on sale, so I got it =)
The third kit I got is a Mill Hill beaded kit called "Geranium". I am currently stitching "Hydrangeas" from this line, I am close to finishing all the stitching and looking forward to get to the beading =)
And once I am done with my Hydrangeas, I will stitch this one =) It looks like so much fun =)

That's all I have for this month.
Happy stitching =)

Mittwoch, 28. Februar 2018

WIPocalypse - February

Ah well, it's time for another WIPocalypse and I am only two days late for it :D And it is still February, so I am getting better at this! Maybe there will come a month when I am on time for this ;-)
Anyway, this months reason for being late is that I really wanted to finish the 30th page on Kreimhilds Revenge for this post and I was some 500 stitches short on Sunday evening. So there is another full shot of Kreimhild here, which is something after all, right?

But first let me point you towards the monthly link-up here. This months question is on the one hand about our results for the Olympic stitching challenges, but I didn't do any, so I am skipping this. On the other hand it's about our favorite stitching gadgets. Ah, that's easy, since I don't use a lot of gadgets. In fact, the only thing I use are needle minders and I have a ton of them. I absolutely need some kind of magnetic board to store them all, they are just everywhere and I am sure I already lost a few. Here are all that I could find:

But now for my progress for this month!
First up is my promised update on Kreimhilds Revenge by H. D. Johnson. As I said, I finished page 30, which means I went from here:
To here:
That's a total of 3465 stitches since you last saw her, yay! I am back to my schedule with her and I am aiming for a row finish by the end of April.

The next one I want to show is a new start and it's not a Haed. I started my second Gecko Rouge project. It was so cold and I was in such a winter mood, I just couldn't resist starting "Across Winter Lake" by Jo Grundy.
Here is what I have so far:

Well, these are 1846 stitches and they took ages because it is soooooo much confetti. It looks really pretty, but in the end I was sort of happy to be able to put this down ;-)
In the end, I hope it will look like this:
You can see, that I still have a long way to stitch on this! But at least, not all of this seems to be as confetti heavy as those trees.

The last project I worked on is my Mill Hill kit called Hydrangeas. I stitched more green and went from here
To here:
I stitched all of the dark green now and I am already done with the very dark green. The other green shades are no as much as the dark green and since I have enough stitching done for orientation, I hope to be able to finish a few more of those for next month.
I have to hurry up with this one now, Mill Hill already published another design from this range (geraniums) and I already bought it ;-)

Anyway, I am off to my mother in laws birthday party now, my fiance is already waiting for me =)

Happy stitching

Sonntag, 18. Februar 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - February

Ah, it looks like we are already half way through February... I am 3 days late for GG SAL and don't have much to show, so everything is as usual here :D 
Work is still driving me made, I survived that exam we had in January (we were occupied with than until last Tuesday, since after the normal written test, some of the students (like 40) can do an additional oral exam and the whole process of correcting the exam, the students sign up for the oral exam and the oral exams themselves always takes ages...) and I am prepared for the next exam, which is next Tuesday (and those students also can do the oral exam stuff) and I finished designing the exams for my own students (the last two exams belonged to lectures from the last summer), which is at the beginning of March. Holy cow, sometimes I really hate how many students and how many exams there are! On top of this, I think that I am getting ill, I feel really done these days and by head hurts a lot, so I spent a lot of time sleeping and hoping that the flue won't visit me...

Anyway, back to topic! It's GG SAL! As always, it's worth taking a look at the monthly link-up here, 14 other people have already signed up, so there is plenty to see and - as always - Jo also has a lot of beautiful projects to show =)

Well, the first thing I have to show is a small update on my Wolf Kiss by Dimensions. I picked this up after my latest GG SAL update, I didn't work to much on it, but every stitch counts, right?
I went from here:
To here:
I think if I spent another day stitching this, I could finish the top half of the first page. Maybe I'll try this for next time. I originally wanted to start the owl from Eva Rosenstand, but the fabric is to stiff (can't get it on the frame and it's supposed to be linen), so I will wash it first. For this I need to surge the edges and for 4 weeks I have been planning to take out my sewing machine and do that (and maybe sew the last scroll rod cover I need). 

The second project I have to show is my map of Middle Earth. It is currently on the frame, I only did 500 stitches since you last saw it, but I am going to stitch those additional 500 stitches for my 1000-a-month-goal before I take it of the frame. I guess I should be able to finish the column tomorrow.
I went from here:
To here:
Taking full shots is starting to get difficult since the map is quite large and you can hardly see the column I started. Maybe I will only do full shots for page finishes from now on (doesn't happen that often..).

I must confess that there is still now further work on Santa. I am currently focusing on a smaller Mill Hill kit I want to finish, so whenever I sit down for a few minutes and stitch on a smaller project, it*s that one instead of Santa. But I will try again for next month!

That's already all I have for this month. 
Happy stitching =)

Donnerstag, 1. Februar 2018

WIPocalypse - January

Ah well, I was so happy to read, that the WIPocalypse posting date for this year has moved to the last Sunday of the month, so I can finally be on time for it. But look at me now, it is February and I am posting, lol. Well, it's the thought that counts, right ;-)
Anyway, here we go with my lousy update for this month. Work has been so stressful, I have often no energy left to stitch in the evening. But the semester is getting to an end now and I hope things will get better soon.
As I said, this SAL is usually taking place at the end of the month and is hosted by Measi. You can find the monthly link-up here.

I haven't made to much progress since last time, I only have two projects to show:

The first is my new year start called "The Silence After" by Chris Ortega, I added two more columns since last time. I went from here:
To here:
As you can see, I have a new needle minder, I thought it quite fitting for a viking :D This brings me to a total of 4 000 stitches on this piece. I must say, that in the end I got quiet tired of all the dark stitching and was rather happy to move on =)

The second project I worked on is my Kreimhilds Revenge, after taking a break on her during December, she is back in the game now. I only did one and a partial column, less then I wanted, but it's better than nothing. I went from here:
To here:
I hope to catch up on her for next month and I think I will stitch one or two more columns on her before I move on, so that is ensured. I am a bit tired of her dress, you know the fabric color is ivory and those light colors are not to easy to stitch on it. But you can see, that some of the background will appear in the next column and I think it will make a nice change. I will do my best to finish page 30 for the February update =)

This months question is about out goals/plans for the Olympics challenge, but I don't think I am joining this one. I like to watch the Olympics, but I don't have the head to do any SALs right now. I am entirely happy if I can survive the month of February without loosing my nerve over my students ;-)

Happy stitching =)

Samstag, 20. Januar 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - January

The GG SAL also continues in 2018 and once again I will do my best to post every month =) This SAL is (still) hosted by Jo from Serendipitous Stitching (fun fact: Serendipitous is a word I always have to look up, I just can't remember how to spell it). I will put up the link to the link-up here ever month, so you can join the ride or look at the other stitchers progress. Since I am usually quite late for the SAL, there is plenty to see there when I post about it. For example, if you follow this months link-up, you can already find a bunch of entries ;-)

Anyway, for those who don't know about this SAL: Its about sharing your work on projects that were a gift to you (the pattern was a gift, the fabric was a gift, you use gifted threads or so, the whole kit was a gift and so on) or that are meant to be a gift for someone.

My first project I share here is my Map of Middle Earth, the pattern was gifted to me several years ago. I fear I don't remember by whom, but it was part of those Haed Appreciation events on Facebook several years ago. Since I love Lord of the Rings, this was a perfect gift for me and I am working on this since August 2014 now (didn't know it was so long...).
Here is what the design is going to look like:
And here is my starting point for 2018, 43.000 stitches in:
And here is my current progress, 44.000 stitches:
The plan is to add at least 1.000 stitches per month, it doesn't sound like much, but I think it will add up. I did 11.000 stitches last year, so this should be an improvement and to me it sound much more doable to go for 1.000 stitches every month than to go for 2.000 every other month ^^

Then I am also stitching a Christmas stocking for my fiance , which didn't get any love since last month (mostly due to a pair of socks I had to knit for Christmas, which I finished late on the 23rd and gave away early on the 24th - I wrapped it up that morning and didn't get a chance to take a picture - and after that I had just so many other projects). But I hope to share something for next month.
Here is what it should look like - Candy Cane Santa Stocking by Dimensions Gold:
And here is where I currently am:
For those who don't know: My fiance is actually called Alexander, so the picture of the stocking if very accurate ;-) The next goal is to fill in that window section and then move to the section with the rest of the tree =) 

The next project I want to share for this SAL is another gift for my fiance, since he really loves wolves (me too). It's another Dimensions design called "Wolf Kiss":
And here is my starting point for this one:
The pattern has two pages and the line you see indicates how far the first page goes (just did a few stitches on the second page when I had a bit of thread left over). I would be super happy if I could finish that first page this year =).

Which brings us to the new starts for this year.
First is not a real new start, it's a restart. Stupid me managed to start in the wrong direction and so the fabric was to short. I didn't have a heart to restart last year, but I will do so this year! Another wolf design called "In the Moonlight" by Tilton Crafts:
The fabric is already cut and surged, I just need to reprint the first page. I did 3500 stitches last year before I noticed my mistake, so the goal is to catch up to those 3500 and add a few more to it.

The second one is a kit I got for my birthday in 2015 (gift from my fiance). I always said "ok I will stitch this once I am done with wolf kiss" but by now I still not done with wolf kiss and I feel sort of guilty for not starting this, since this is such a beautiful design.
It is a kit by Eva Rosenstand, I am not sure it has a name. I think the kits only have numbers and no names, which is weird (I have a couple of her designs). The thing with Eva Rosenstand is, that the pictures on her kits really don't so the design justice. You look at the picture and you go like "nah, it's okay" and then you look at the price (they are fairly expensive, her kits are easily above 60 Euro (a Dimensions Gold of equal size but in full coverage is mostly about 45 Euro)) and you go like "ok, for this amount of money, I expect something better". I came to really stitch one of her designs by chance, I was looking for a gift and found a small kit featuring a robin, it was on sale and not expensive. you may remember it:

And here is what it looked like when I did it:

I am no expert when it comes to taking pictures, it still look way better in real life, it's really really pretty, the threads the fabric are of high quality, you can feel it and you can see it (in real life), but my crappy picture still looks better than the one on the kit... I think it's a shame...  
Anyway, where I am heading is that I am really looking forward to stitching the owl, my robin sort of prepared me, that it will look amazing. I am sort of excited about the outcome for this one ;-) 

The list might grow - actually, it's my birthday today (another fun fact) and I got a voucher for stitchy stuff from my fiance and my mil (I already call her that, I don't always want to add the "to be") and we will make a trip to a craft shop soon =) so there would be more things to qualify for this SAL!

Big question is: I plan on stitching a ring cushion for our wedding, would this qualify as a gift? I mean it's a cushion for my fiance and me, so it's half a gift :D 

Well, those are my plans for 2018 so far, I am looking forward to a wonderful stitchy year and hope the same for all of you =)

Happy stitching =)

Sonntag, 7. Januar 2018

WIPocalypse Kickoff 2018

Hey everyone,
I hope you all made a great start for 2018 and I hope that this year will be full of love, laughter, health and stitchiness for all of us =)

The WIPocalypse - the great quest to finish our projects before the end of our days - continues also in 2018. It is hosted by Measi from Measis Musings and you can find the monthly link-up here.

This post is the kickoff post, where we are to introduce ourselves, projects and goals. After this, the posting will move to the last Sunday of the month (so the next one is on the 27th), instead of moving with the full moon date. I actually like this new schedule, I tend to loose track of the full moon date and the last Sunday is easy to remember und plan. So I hope to be more in time for the posting this month (better not make a goal out of it - I'm sure I'm going to fail sooner or later).

Anyway, I'm going to start with a few words about myself. My name is Johanna and I'm 26 years old (turning 27 this month). I live with my fiance in Kamen, Germany. I am working at the university in Bochum and I am doing my phd in mathematics there. I spent most of my free time stitching, but I also enjoy reading (I go to work by train and spent the time reading). Since I can't read while I stitch, I also listen to audiobooks. I am mostly interested in (high) fantasy and crime novels, but I am always open for new books and I basically read everything ;-)

I did a recap for 2017 in my previous post, therefore I am not going to show pictures of all my projects in this one. I am going to focus on my goals for this year and I think I will also add a new page for WIPocalypse 2018 (if I don't forget about it).

So the first goal I have is one for my focus piece, Kreimhilds Revenge by Howard David Johnson. Actually, there are several smaller goals.
Here is where I will start, at 129 170 stitches:
The first goal is to finish the fourth row of pages. The second one is to hit 150 000 stitches and the third one will be to reach 155 600 stitches (Kreimhild has a total 255 600 stitches, so it will be the 100k-left-to-stitch-mark). I guess I will be happy if I meet goals one and two, but the third one would be great =)

The next goal is for my Supersized Iris Keeper by Josephine Wall. I am currently at 20 080 stitches and there are 4 080 stitches left to finish the first row of pages. I really want to do that. Here is where I currently am:

Next up is my QS Trapped by Melanie Delon:
The first row is not done and that's what I want to do in 2018. It's a half page and a partial page to do, it adds up to 5 200 stitches.

The next goal is for my Gecko Rouge project Sloth by Eya Claire Floyd. The first goal is to finish the first quarter of the design - that's 3560 stitches and should not be to hard to meet. The second one is finishing the top half of the designs - 9 523 stitches. I'm not sure if this will work out, but I will do my best =) here is where I am starting:
Next up are a few projects I want to finish this year:

Hydrangeas by Mill Hill - I already did a few more stitches on it. here is the starting point for 2018:
And I added a few green stitches in the meantime:
Cliffside Beacon by Dimensions Gold petite. I am more than halfway done with this and I think a finish for this one is realistic.
Embroidered Morning by Dimensions - I found it in my cupboard, lol. I absolutely forgot about this WIP! Here is where I am and what it is going to look like:

Since this is not a full coverage, I hope to be able to whip this off the list by 2019. After all, it is really pretty.

I think those are enough specific goals for this year ;-) I have a bunch of other projects, where I just want to spent some time stitching them (so every projects gets a few stitches done). The projects on which I am going to show my progress for WIPocalypse are the following:

Aurora Cabin (Dimensions Gold)
Crossing the Stream (Golden Kite)
Danielle by Sarah Butcher (Haed)
Das Rheingold by Kinuko Craft (Haed)
Miss Christmas Eve (Nora Corbett)
Paris Market (Dimensions Gold)
QS Paddys Luck by Joanna Bromley (Haed)
Starlight by David Hoffrichter (Haed)
Supersized Ride of the Yokai by Ruth Thompson (Haed)
The Eternal Promise by Matt Stewart (Haed)
The Potting Shed by Aimee Stewart (Haed)
Whispers by Melanie Delon (Haed)
Wolf Variant by Bente Schlick (Haed)
Yule Angel by Anne Stokes (Haed)

Which brings us to the plans for 2018! I plan some new starts (not that I need any more projects).
First up is my annual new year start, I started a new Haed on the first of January. It is called "The Silence After" and is by Cris Ortega. I love viking motifs, but they are not that common in case of stitching patterns, so I was extremely happy when this was released last October.
Here is what the pattern is going to look like:
And here is where I am so far - 2 400 of 283 500 stitches:
I am stitching this on 28ct grey Lugana, as you have noticed by now, this is my favorite count ;-)

I must say, that I haven't so carefully planned my new starts this year. I have a few ideas what I want to start, but I didn't fix dates for them.
The first is another Gecko Rouge project: Across Winter Lake by Jo Grundy
I have chosen 25ct Magic Guide for this one, I think I will start this around February because it's a pretty winter design.

I think about starting another Haed, but I am not sure which one.
One would be a Max Color from Heaven and Earth Designs - Birds and Blooms Garden by Aimee Stewart. I think her designs really benefit from the color expanding, they are so full of detail. I'm not sure if I will like so many colors, so I decided to go for a "smaller" design before starting one of her supersized bookshelves (I have the secret garden one). Here is what it should look like:
The second choice might be one Wisdom by Cherie Gerhardt. I love Harry Potter and since I own a bunch of Harry Potter themed needleminders, I feel like I should start a matching project ;-)
I think my house would be Ravenclaw, so this would be the first one for me to start (I own all four designs).
The third choice is another Lord of the Rings/Hobbit shart: Bilbo Baggins by Kate Powell:

I might also start a non-Haed, I have a lot of kits (Dimensions, Marejka, Geckos,..) in my stash and I feel like I should work a bit more on them. But as said above, no concrete plans here, I will keep you up to date =)

The last project I want to show here is no stitching, but stitching related. I finally got around to sewing some covers for my scroll rods. I have done four so far (I need to do one more) and I took a photo of one:
I think the fabric is really pretty, I bought this at Ikea and I am super happy =) I'm not so much into sewing, so I am actually proud that I managed to stick with my sewing machine for a whole day =)

Wow, another super long post, but I think I am done now =) Now I am off to do some stitching on the silence after =)

Happy stitching =)