Mittwoch, 2. September 2020

WIPocalypse August (and July...)

 Ah it has been a while, I was in absolutely no mood to blog in July, so this is my update for July and August and I am even late for August. I am still buried in work, but I decided to get my butt up and write a bit here. Despite all my work I got a lot of stitching done. A good deal has been done in the second half of July, where I had two weeks off from work (and I really needed them). Since the beginning of July I am using Pattern keeper and I am really happy with it. I tried a different PDF reader some years ago and was very unhappy, so I continued to use paper charts. But int he beginning of July I finally decided to dig out my extra-old tablet and give Pattern Keeper a try. After I reset my tablet (it kept crushing when I tried to access my dropbox where I stash my digital patterns), things went rather well and in August I did not only purchase the full version of Pattern Keeper, but also a new tablet (one that has a battery that lasts longer then 3 hours and doesn't take 6 to reload...) and now I am only using the app. So far I imported patterns from Haed, Tilton and Goldenkite and it seems to work well. Unfortunately my Gecko Rouge patterns are all printed charts, so I need to look into that and see if I can get digital copies (at least for the charts that are still available) - especially since Gecko Rouge doesn't have overlapping pages and it's quite annoying to switch between pages.... Anyway, enough rambling, prepare for pictures!

The first thing I want to show is my now framed Cliffside Beacon from the Dimensions Gold petites collection. I am really not that good at framing, but it could be worse:

In July I did another one-per-day challenge, I did not manage to work on my Sloth (Gecko Rouge) every day, but I still got a lot done. I went from here:

To here

And I am at 7 743 out of 23 986 stitches now, so nearly 1/3 done now and added 4 350 stitches!

In early July I picked up Garden Gate by Dona Gelsinger (I had my nails done in lavender [dmc 26 to be precise] then and the color just reminded me of the hydrangeas in this piece...) and I stitched two columns on it. I went from here:

To here:

The second project I worked on Das Rheingold by Kinuko Craft - a project that I started some ages ago and did not work on for ages. But I love the design and hope it won't take another 3 years for me to pick it up again. I went form here:

To here:

I got 4 842 stitches done in July and I am more then happy with that =) I hope to get the first row done soon and that my mojo to work in this is back for good =)

Next I did some work on my Wolf Variant by Bente Schlick. I didn't work on it for a long while, I don't know why because it stitches up in no time and I love the purple colors. I went from here:

To here:

As you can see, a lot has changed. When I started this, I didn't zig-zag my edges (to avoid gridlines) and it has bothered me for a while now with this project. In the beginning I wanted to stitch 100 stitches across and then down (jut for a little change) and then I didn't want to start zig-zaging in the middle of the column, because I am weird. But not I just decided to add another column and now I have a proper zig-zag edge there. On top of that, I also filled in the gap and now I have a nice 110x250  stitches block done. That's quite a bit, but the design is huge and so there is still no sign of the wolf. The whole design has 409 500 stitches, so the 5 800 (!!) stitches didn't really move the percentage on Pattern Keeper ;-) but I thing the progress is more then visible.

After that I decided to work on Kriemhild again, I went from here:

To here:

I am now a bit more then halfway through page 42 and I plan to finish that page in September (and make a start on page 43). I did less then 10 000 stitches on her this year and want to focus on her a bit more. By the way, I did not only encounter the first flowers (very pretty), but I also found her helmet. I have been stitching on it for a while, but it was only in the full shot that I could recognize it (the typical haed-effect). 

Now this brings me to my current WIP, Supersized Ride of the Yokai by Ruth Thompson. Once again I must say how much I love Pattern Keeper, it just makes my stitching more organized and there are less ninja stitches now. Since I am working on 32ct here, organized stitching and starting/ending threads is important to me here. I went from here:

To here:

Since I no longer need to stick to my pages, I decided to stitch 50 stitches high and the current block is 333, so exactly 1/3, across. I already did a good deal on the next row and plan to finish this block before I switch to something else.

This brings me to future plans! I have 5 more Haeds on which I last worked in 2019, so I am on a good way there. Among those are Yule Angel and Noble Spirit, which are typical winter motifs for me, so I guess I will work on them in November/ December. QS Trapped and Whispers are a bit gloomy, so they really fit in autumn and then there is Starlight, which also fits the gloomy time of the year. Then I have 6 more other projects, which did not get any love this year (one is my Christmas Eve, she will come out for Christmas as usual and one was only used to show a friend how to stitch, so it's not really started). After all, I am very confident that I can get some love into all my projects this year. In September I definitely plan to pick up QS Trapped, I might  do some sort of one-per-day challenge on it (maybe not for a whole month, but 2 or 3 weeks also add up). I plan to do a bit of work on Kriemhild and then I will see what I pick up next.

I also have a new start coming! I decided to join the Pandemic by Longdog samplers stitchers! You maybe know that the pattern was available for free at the end of June, I then ordered some fabric (40ct Newcastle Linen by Zweigart in creme) and a couple of threads for teststitching. I decided to try the threads from a German company called Vaupel&Heilenbeck, they have hand dyed cotton and silk. Since the thread is expensive, I wanted to be sure with my choice.

The colors are really hard to catch, in real live they are really vivid. The smaller skeins are silk and the two bigger skeins are cotton.

In the first row you can see the two cotton colors, the others are silk. I am stitching over 2, so it is like 20ct. The cotton thread is a bit thicker and has a slightly better coverage. I was really torn between the red cotton (no 1, row 1) and the re silk (no 2, row 2). The cotton was a bit fresher, the colors reminded me of berries and it has a bit more variation, so in the end I went for that (I did a bit more test stitching with smaller designs from the pattern, but I did not take a picture of that). Testing the threads already was a lot of fun, so I guess this won't be my last time working with these threads. The silk was a bit easier to work with , it's very smooth and shiny. But the red silk varies a bit into brown (very good for autumn) and I decided that a pandemic a tragic enough, so I wanted to stitch the design with happier colors =) The whole process of ordering the threads took ages, but today I got an email that the rest of my threads finally shipped and they will arrive soon =)

Last but not least, if you want to see more updated for August, just take a look at this months (ah well last months) link-up page, where you can find all other entries and information regarding the SAL.

Happy stitching =)

Sonntag, 16. August 2020

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - August

 I know, I didn't make a post for July, but I was just super busy and didn't feel like blogging.

The last semester was very stressful (teaching online was a lot of chaos, especially since the person who was supposed to organize things prefers to "let people decide on their own" and that results in chaos... ah well... I'm glad it's over now). Apart from that I have been working on my phd thesis, I started to write all my stuff down, so I can hopefully hand the thing in this autumn. I had two week off at the end of July and I dearly needed them, I was really completely done, so I spent my days tidying up the house, stitching, audio books and reading. Hubby is currently writing his master thesis, he has until the middle of November, so there are two stressed out people in this house and the place is a mess. We decided that it*s completely ok to have more take-away food (expensive and usually unhealthy) in the next weeks, sometimes we just don't have the nerve/energy/time to cook and clean... And then we have a heat wave, I am melting and feel sticky all day and that doesn't help at all... 

Anyway, today I got my butt up to do a small update for the GG SAL here. I even have two projects to show you! A few people already signed up for August, so head over to Jo and take a look at this months link-up.

First I want to show you my progress on Middle Earth. You know I finished the first row of pages earlier this year and now I made a start on the second row of pages and did my first 2000 stitches (I am again stitching 10-block columns, so I technically made a small start on row 3 here). I went from here

To here:

Not much to see, but in terms of this project there was a lot of confetti in the second column ;-) I think I will pick this up in September or October again and hope to get a bit more done =)

What I am currently stitching on is my Candy Cane Santa stocking, I think by now my hubby forgot that I am stitching this for him because I am so slow with this :D I went form here:

To here:

Not terribly much, but I just started working on it and since I didn't stitch on this for like two years, this is a start after all. I am working on this for a few more days, so this will appear again in September (when I will hopefully also make a post).

I fear this is all I have to show for this SAL. I also skipped the last WIPocalypse, but I hope to make a post for it this month. Also I decided to join the masses stitching Pandemic by Longdog samplers (my first one). I got my fabric (40ct Newcastle linen in creme) and a couple of threads (hand dyed cotton and silk) for test stitching and decided on a color. I now ordered a ton of hand dyed cotton from a German manufacture called Vaupel und Heilenbeck  (it was very expensive but is pretty), but it will take 2 to 3 weeks to arrive. Apart from that, not much is going on here.

I hope you are all healthy, please sty safe and positive!

Happy stitching =)

Donnerstag, 2. Juli 2020

WIPocalypse - June

Hello lovely people =) Time for another WIPocalypse-update. The original posting date was on Sunday, but I did the one-per-day-challenge and so I wanted to wait with my update until the end of June to show my final update. So if you head over to the link-up page for June now, there are already a lot of entries there =)
I only have like one goal for this year - work on all of my projects! And I dare say, that I am on a very good way there =)
I even bothered to make a list with all my Wips by now, because I tend to forget some of them and indeed, I added a few to the list that I forgot about. So I am now keeping an excel sheet up to date with information like how far along I am and when I last worked on the project. Let's see how long I can keep this up to date ;-)
What I really wanted to say is that I have 31 WIPs on my list now, counting Cliffside Beacon (which I finished last month) I have 32 projects for the year and I worked on 15 of those (including Cliffside Beacon), so I guess that's a good quote. My stitch count so far is 46 142 and I am super happy with that as well =)

But let us now look at some pretty pictures because my stitching month was (somehow) very productive.
First I continued my work on The Potting Shed by Aimee Stewart. As of last month, I was halfway through page 3:
And I finished that page in June:
This is really one of the projects where I can't stop stitching, the colors, the little motifs, the whole design - I just love everything about it =) Even now I am so eager to pick this up again, but thinking of my rotation made me put this down and work on something else ;-)

I also did a bit of work on Kriemhild by Howard David Johnson. I went from here:
And I finished page 41, this also means that you are getting a full shot:
Oh I love her so much and we are getting closer and closer to a finish here! There was an awful lot of confetti in her shield and the thing looked pretty weird when I stitched it, but taking a look from afar, the shield looks perfect to me =)

And now the biggest update for this month! I did the one-per-day-challenge in June. I picked QS Paddys Luck by Joanna Bromley and my plan was to stitch one square per day.
Unfortunately, especially during the beginning of the month I really messed this up. No matter how hard I tried - and I did try everything from setting a fixed time to work on this to working on this for something like 30 minutes or so - I was not able to do this. I had no choice.... So here is my starting point again and I was hoping to get 4 columns done:

And then things just escalated and I could not stop stitching, that rainbow just stitched up in now time and so ended up with stitching all of page 5 - a total of 5005 stitches ;-)
So say hi to our new friend ladybird and Paddy is also getting his favorite shamrock now ;-)

So these are all the projects for June. Measi is suggesting to do another one-per-day-challenge for July and since my June was so successful, I am on for another round. I picked a new project to work further on my rotation plan. So it is well beyond time that I worked on one of my Gecko Rouge projects, so I took out Sloth by Eya Claire:
I really love the design because I love sloths (I even have a Slotherin t-shirt with a sloth on a broom....), but somehow I am struggling with this projects. I am not sure if this is the 18ct or if I just never really got into it. To investigate the last thought, I am doing this one-per-day and I started yesterday with my first square =)

So that's it for this month, I hope you are all safe and healthy,
Happy stitching =)

Donnerstag, 18. Juni 2020

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - June

Somehow we flew to the middle of June and it's time for another  GGSAL update. I did some work on Wolf Kiss by Dimensions and went from here:
To here:
 While I work on this, I don't feel like I am making a lot of progress, but then I look at the before and after pictures and it looks like I did get something done after all. Also I love how the fur is turning out =)

For more updates, head over to this months link-up page here =)

Happy stitching =)

Dienstag, 2. Juni 2020

WIPocalypse May and a bit of stash

Welcome to June and the WIPocalypse update that should have happened two days ago :D But this means that you are going to see two more projects here ;-)
10 people already signed up for last months update, you can find all the links here .

June is already the start of another of the monthly challenges for WIPocalypse. I had a lot of fun and got a lot done during the last challenges, so I am joining in again. For this month I want to work on QS Paddys Luck by Joanna Bromley this month, it's such a lovely and colorful project! Unfortunately I completely forgot that this challenge was scheduled for this month, so I am currently one day behind, but I will just make that up today. I am doing my usual thing, one square per day. Here is my starting point:
I am starting a new row of pages here, so my daily stitch count is 77 or 100 and I hope to get 4 columns done (meaning that I have to do 2 extra squares during the month).

As for this months question, we are to talk about a project on which me love to stitch. This is a hard question for me, because there are so many projects on which I love to stitch. I really enjoy working on the Mill Hill Buttons and Beads kits (reminds me that I should start another one soon... I think I have a companion piece to the Hydrangeas design I did a few years ago).

This reminds me that I should really get this framed, I actually found like 5 frames with a matching size (I think) when I tidied up the living room :D
I am currently working on The Potting Shed by Aimee Stewart and it's one of those projects where I can't stop working on. I love gardening, so I really love the design and working with all those colors is a pure joy. I especially love the designs by Aimee Stewart, they are so full of small details, I can't wait to get to all those lovely flowers on the potting shed:
So far I am in the middle of page 3, so I still have a way to go. This month I went from here:
To here:

The yellow thing seems to be a lamp and I found the first window, I am so much looking forward to stitching the ornaments there. I did 3 and a partial column so far (2640 stitches) and I already made a start on the next column. Since I can't put this down, I am staying with this project until the third page is done =)

Apart from this, I worked on two more projects this month.

First up is another column on Kriemhild, I wanted to return to her by the end of last month, but I was unable to put the potting shed down. So I only did one column, which is still better then none. But I hope to have a page finish by the end of this month. I went from here:
To here:
The red thing there is a flower by the way! And there are more to come =)

The third project I worked on is Cliffside Beacon from the Dimensions Gold Petites collection, I went from here:
To here!
I am done! Yay me! I am really no good at french knots, but some of them don't look so bad. The backstitching on the fence also took ages, but it adds so much to the design and I am happy with my result. I already ironed this and I ordered a frame for it, so I will hopefully have this framed for the next update.

While I was looking for a frame for Cliffside Beacon, I found a frame for another project! Some years ago I finished Gwen by Nora Corbett and since then she lay in my cupboard. So I took the chance to iron her, to frame her and to put her on my wall:

So I am very happy with my progress for May and hope to have another ffo the next WIPocalypse =) 

I wanted to do a stash update earlier in May, but as usual I just forgot about it, so I am going to show my new charts now =) I think it has been a while since I did an update on my new purchases, so this might be a lot now.

First up are a few charts I bought from Tilton Crafts. Shelly does a lot of limited editions, where she only gets a licencing for a small amount of charts (I think around 35). So I got
Hedwig (I love Harry Potter!)
One of the Mandalorian designs, because I love baby Yoda:
And I bought four of the Lord of the Rings charts:

And last but not least, I bought two WonderWoman designs (by Daniel Kordek)

Then I won a giveaway in Nene Thomas crossstitch group on Facebook (some of you know that after she left Haed, she did her own crosstitch charts). I think she still does the giveaways every few weeks (and one right now, until the 12th) and you can pick any chart from her site, so maybe some of you are interested in that. The group is called "Nene Thomas Art in Crossstitch" (you can also see a few of the stitched designs there, they look quite good). Anyway, I took the chance to pick one of her epic designs (the big ones, what else?). I chose Sekkerostoya:
I think it's amazing, but it's also huge (550x895), so I need to plan this before starting it :D 

And yes, I also got a few new Haed charts during their last sale =)
Here is QS Patchwork Quilt Room by Ciro Marchetti, I love the flowers, the color and that tea set!
 Gardeners Paradise by Dona Gelsinger (max color). I guess I don't need to explain this...
 And Ladybird in the Meadow by Lucy Pittaway, it's so cute!
So I think these are my new charts for now, I love them all! I don't even know which one to start next. I am drawn to the Patchwork Quilt, but I also love the second Wonderwoman or the Arwen&Aragorn  chart... Gardeners Paradise is great, but I am already stitching the companion piece (Garden Gate)...  Ah, we will see! I am trying not to start them all at once ;-)

I think this is all I have to show for now =)
Happy Stitching =)

Sonntag, 17. Mai 2020

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - May

It looks like we already hit the middle of May, so here is my tiny update for the GG SAL. I only worked on one project, but I am fairly happy with my progress. Since Middle Earth is taking a small break, I will rotate through my other projects.
As every month, there is a link-up page where you can see every ones progress.
For this month I picked "In the Moonlight" by Cindy Grundsten (Tilton Crafts).
I went from here:
To here:
And that's a total of 2 400 stitches and also, this is the first page! The grey stitches up quite fast, I did this in one week and I am super happy with what I did. Also, this is now officially well past the point where I had to restart this (due to wrong fabric orientation... due to stupidity...) and since I am making some "new" progress on this, I feel better working on it. I already made something like a plan how to stitch another page on this during the year.
As you can't really see anything in this picture and the chart seems to be retired, here is a picture of the original artwork:
First I thought that there might me the tip of an ear on the next page (looks like something pointy in the lower right corner), but looking at the picture, I fear the first row will be only grey background.

As for my further stitching plans... I have 3 bigger projects I stitch on my frame: Middle Earth, Wolf Kiss and In the Moonlight. I will either work on Middle Earth bimonthly and rotate between the two wolf projects in the other months, or I will rotate through them in a 3-month cycle. As for my Christmas stocking, I will try to work on it for a few days every month. This way I hope to make some progress on all my projects =)

And since I made such a great plan wo cope with all my projects, I have another chart to show, which I bought because my hubby is a huge Star Wars fan and I think he would love it:
This is "Star Wars - Past and Present" by Daniel Kordeck. The chart is available from Tilton Crafts. Shelly (the owner) is a bit in need, even thinking about closing her business, so I thought I might support her by buying a few new charts ;-) I bought two more, but I will show them in a separate post next week =)

Happy stitching =)

Freitag, 1. Mai 2020

WIPocalypse April

Welcome to May and this years edition of "WIPocalypse April", lol. As predicted (when I made my entry for the GGSAL on Saturday), I am late again.
Unfortunately, I started to play Skyrim and so I am not getting anything done during the weekend, which includes stitching and blogging. The week once again flew by (still working a lot) and now it's Friday afternoon. But better late then never.

This months topic is about our longest running WIP or UFO. I guess my longest running project is "Aurora Cabin", which is somewhere in my cupboard and it's hovering between UFO and WIP. Most of the time I just forget it exists. My longest running WIP is easier, it's my very first Heaven and Earth Design and it's an ongoing journey since 2011. You know I took a small break from her when I finished the 5th row of pages in December, but now she is back and I am so in love and so motivated!
I went from here:
To here:
That's 3 columns in just one week! I still use printed copies, on which I also mark where I park my threads, so I always print the row I am working on and the next row. So this was my time to print the pages of row 7 and that's the last row of full pages! I am soooo excited about that =) Also, whenever I start a new row and finish the first column, I take a look the original artwork to see which things will appear in that row:
So I am working on her shield now and we are clearly going to find that helmet and also a few of the flowers. In the lower right corner on column 3, there are a few read crosses and those might belong to the flowers! Only one way to find out ;-)

But I actually started the month of April with some work on my supersized "Once upon a Fairytale" and finished page 1, so I went from here:
To here:
I may just be 1 300 stitches, but with all the color changes, things just take longer to stitch and since the result looks great to me, I am fine with it =) By now I decided, that I will stitch the page below next. I want to stitch this shelf by shelf, I think the first shelf is about 180 or 190 stitches high, so it's about 2,5 pages in large format.

I also wanted to do another 1-per-day challenge to get some work done on one of my dimensions projects. I picked "Cliffside Beacon" and went from here:
To here:
My plan was to stitch on this for 30 minutes a day and my big wish (which seemed realistic at the beginning of the month) was to finish the stitching. Unfortunately, I did not stick to my plan. There were a couple of days where I was just to exhausted to stitch on anything, but I still think I did a lot stitching and I really enjoyed it. Since there is a lot of free space in the lower right area, there actually not to much missing, so I will try to work on this in May and maybe I have a chance to finish it this month (and then it will sit in a corner until I get my butt up to do the backstiching, after which this will sit in a corner until I get my butt up to frame it).

I even have a fourth project to show (this is starting to feel like I did get something done after all...), I worked on "The Eternal Promise" by Matt Stewart for a few days and went from here:
To here:
Once again, this is just 2 columns worth 1 600 stitches together, but it's still better then no progress at all and I just felt like it. Actually, I am feeling like working on this again, but I am forcing myself to rotate a bit more to spread my stitchy love as far as possible (there are also my Garden Gate and my The potting Shed, both a great projects for spring). At least I crossed the halfway point on the first row =) 

So this is all my stitching progress for this year, to follow are a few words on my other hobbies. If you would rather read about more stitching, feel free to hopp over to this months link-up to see more updates!

First I want to show you that gorgeous new bird feeding house thing (however you call them in English) I bought!
Isn't it pretty? This was taken a few weeks ago, when our fake cherry was in full bloom (it blooms like a cherry, but it doesn't bear fruit - at least none that I know of and none that you should eat, but the bees love it). Gardening season has begun, I bought a ton of stuff for the garden yesterday (we are not leaving the house to often, even though the shops reopened. So my husband I decided to go to a gardening center once this month and so I just bought all the stuff I need during the next weeks... Maybe a few more flowers towards the end of the month or the beginning of June). The weather is not to nice (well it's supposed to rain today, there are dark grey clouds outside, so I am sitting inside but there is no rain....), but it's supposed to be better on Sunday, so I will work in the Garden on Sunday.

 My reading has also suffered, but I decided to join a readathon in May and hope to get back on track, I have so many lovely books here and want to read them all. Just in case anybody is also into books or just likes to look at huge piles of books - the readathon is called "medievalathon" and you can follow that hashtag on twitter or instagram to see a lot of entries. The basic idea is to increase my nobility rank by reading a lot of books (7 to become Empress) and then there different criteria for the books to earn you different prompts such as outfits, weapons and pets...
So here is my super ambitious TBR for the medievalathon:
I plan on receiving two outfits, one demands a shiny book (I picked my edition of Nevermoor, it has a lot of gold foil detail and an extra shiny hidden cover) and the other for a book with green on the cover ("Die Elbenstifte"). I want to get three "weapons", for a pair of twin daggers I need to start or finish a duology (I want to read Shadow and Flame to finish one), for an axe I need to read a heavy book ("Die Elfen" has over 1000 pages) and to get a shield I need to read something for which I have high expectations ("Das Erbe der Elfen" - the first part of the longer witcher story, part three if you count the short stories as part 1 and 2, or part 4 if you count the first book of short stories, then the novel "Season of storms" and then the second book of short stories... Which is still not totally the right order, but quite close... anyway, I'm reading that witcher-mainstory-book-thing, because it has been on my tbr for years now). As for the pets, I want a chicken, so I need to read a scary book ("Ada - Die vergessenen Kreaturen") and a goat, so need to read something that is high up on my bookshelf (My throne of glass books are on top of my shelves, so I picked the next unread book from the series: "Crown of Midnight").
As you notice, I am including a lot of German books this year. The first three books are by German authors, so it seems natural to read them in German and since the witcher books are translated anyway and I got them for Christmas some years ago, I am reading them in German. The books have been republished last year and the new editions look really good, but then I have the complete series in the "old design", so I guess I will stick with then... But the new ones look really good and I am a bit jealous.
I already started with "Ada" to arm myself with a chicken. My current rank is "Prisoner", but I hope to break free with the help of my mighty chicken soon (the chicken has super-powers, it attacks people with mathematical formulas because it's a mathemachicken).

So this is what goes on here right now, I am now torn about what to do with the rest of the day. Read? Stitch? SKYRIM??

Happy stitching =)