Friday, 10 September 2010

Another Christmas Cross Stitch

This is my latest cross stitch for my Christmas Round Robin on Craftbubble, I am very pleased with this one, and it was an incredibly quick stitch taking me a couple of afternoons. I have stitched others in the set, published in Cross Stitch Crazy: Crazy for Reindeers. So off it will go with the post tomorrow, doesn't it feel great when stitching is done! I really need to get some of this sparkly aida, I think it is so awesome! Would love to do them all in this set for Christmas cards, if I have time!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Handpicked With Love

So...progress update, I have been a bad, bad blogger as of late, but have been madly stitching away for my Somebunny to Love round robin, luckily the date was changed in my favour, but still I'm not quite done and the posting date was mean't to be today!! Ah well nearly there! This is a pic of progress to date, just some of the ear and the rest of the flowers to stitch and then the backstitch, hope to have it posted by the end of the week.

In other news, I have become utterly addicted to beading and have spent too much money on beads, been to a bead class and have about four bracelets and one necklace in progress, I will post some pics in seperate posts. I have another class on Thursday, so no doubt will have more beads to add to my ever growing collection and a new project underway!
I have also recently (today) set up my own etsy shop, it only has a few things in at the moment, and there is a link on the sidebar if anyone fancies a browse. I plan to put some of my jewellery on there too. Finally, I had my results from college and got the A grade I needed to get into Royal Holloway to study Psychology so I am VERY, VERY happy :)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Poll Results

So the poll results were unanimous, my stitching budget is now to be set to £10-15 a month only so I will post progress on whether I have managed to stick to it or not, and what I spent my budget on! I'll start the budget from August 20th.

Still struggling on with my Cross Stitch Challenge and unfortunately due to a backlog of round robins, I have so far done zero stitching for my rotation or on any of my UFOs. Have started my first piece for a Somebunny to Love round robin, and I chose to do a design called Handpicked with love, as you can see the picture is lovely and I'm really enjoyed stitching with all the yellow colours. My progress so far:

I am very pleased with how it's looking, although I have a long way to go to get it finished and posted by August 30th. I was pleased that I also had all the threads but two, so this didn't cost me loads to stitch.The design is being stitched on really lovely aida fabric which has butterflies in the background, I've only ever stitched on plain aida fabric. I better get on with my stitching...I have a deadline to meet!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Socks, Socks and more Socks!

I'm afraid it has happened again, I have brought yet another sock book, 'Toe-up socks for everybody' by Wendy D. Johnson.

I have her other book as well and love both of them! I want to knit all the designs (still haven't), so I think a toe-up sock project may well be on the cards for my next project.
I did need this book though, it is a neccessary component to me, my life and my knitting. There are wonderful projects for cable, lace and colour work and I'm having a hard time trying to decide which design to knit first!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A roll in the Hay

Just to update, the cross stitching challenge is no go right now! Suddenly got sidetracked by my knitting and all my cross stitching round robins, but hope to start the rotations properly by next week. I have been organising all my threads, and have finally put all my DMC threads on stitch bows, all numbered and ordered, and entered onto an excel spreadsheet so I can check what I have and stop buying duplicates!!!

I have a KAL on ravelry for some socks called 'A roll in the Hay' from the knitting book The Joy of Sox by Linda Kopp, if anyone would like to join the KAL it is in the JOS group here. I have only done a little progress so far, but I am really pleased with how it is looking. These are some photos of the yarn I am using which is Regia Silk 4ply which I LOVE!

I had a few problems along the way, it's a hard pattern compared to just plain knitting socks which I usually do, but I think I will be really proud when I finally finish them, also I'm not allergic to this wool, so it's the first time I will be able to wear a pair of socks that I actually made!
I have been reading loads lately and finished another book Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine, which was another fab read, so I will review it soon, but right now I'm on Candor which promises to be a good one. I discovered the magic of Goodreads today...and signed up so I was busy adding books to my 'shelves' and scouting out books for my reading list. If you love reading then this is definitely the site for you.

On Craftbubble, I have joined yet another round robin themed Autumn, so I need to find some suitable charts to stitch for it so any suggestions are very welcome, they need to be 4x4". I hope I haven't lost my stitching bug, but I am finding my current round robin project really hard going, really I just to get on with it, finish it and post it, so I'm off to make myself do some of it and will post progress.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The Hunger Games

So I have finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and I am IMPRESSED! It is a young adult book but I think an adult would thoroughly enjoy this book also. It is a dystopian novel, where parts of North America have been divided into 12 districts each specializing in a different resource, and closely controlled by the Capitol.

Each year the Capitol holds the hunger games to remind the districts in Panem of their place and to warn them that the rebellion started by the now destroyed district 13 will not be tolerated. Since then the hunger games act as penance for the former district's rebellion, each year children aged between 12 and 18 have they names put into a lot, with two tributes from each district chosen to fight it out in the hunger games. The story follows Katniss Everdeen a strong and admirable character who lives in district 12 the coal district. I was gripped by her intriguing story from the start and by the end felt like I knew her inside out.

It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a book as much as this one, I had the wonderful feeling of literally not wanting to stop reading, and became so engrossed with Katniss and her world, something I have not had since reading the Harry Potter books.

The Hunger Games is one of those books where everything is believable, the Capitol, Panem and the gruesome games themselves. I would recommend this to EVERYONE, and would warn potential readers to not be put off by it's gory premise and arguably rubbish front cover, it is neither gory nor rubbish just A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

I was so pleased to discover that it is part of a trilogy, and after putting everything on hold and racing to the end I was astounded by the lack of resolution at the end of the book, and needed, yes needed to start reading the next book instantly...I was so worried about what was going to happen next! Needless to say I have now purchased the second in the trilogy, with the safe knowledge that the final installment to The Hunger Games is due later in August.

Let the 74th Hunger Games begin!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Projects, Projects, Projects!!!

I have had a very productive week and finished another one of my Christmas Round Robin pieces, which means I have caught up with the posting dates! The main theme for this RR was penguins as you can see from the picture, and I was very pleased with how this looks. Rather than sticking to the original charts, it is the first time I have amended them, using the two together, omitting the backgrounds and Christmas sayings.

I think the sparkly aida fabric looks great, and I'm on the look out for some of my own to use for my Christmas cards. I think these penguins would look fab as pattern repeats on an aida band for Christmas, maybe for a cake or as ribbon to wrap presents with.

I have also brought some new wool this week to start yet another knitting project! It's a Sirdar pattern using their Escape wool which I think is gorgeous, and I love the colourways. The pattern I have chosen is knitted all in one, and I also brought some new needles so I can knit in luxury.

As well as this lovely yarn, I also discovered some lovely cards this week; I seem to buy hundreds of cards, not just to send as correspondence or as a thank you, but for inspiration to put on my notice board which I love to fill with inspirational images. It is a UK based company called Stop the Clock Design. Their cards are beautiful and are all designed and hand finished by two designers.

I have brought a few to put in with my own round robins already! I'm making great progress with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and am thoroughly enjoying it! It is so un putdownable!!! It's one of those books that you simply can't wait to get back to reading, and I can't wait to get hold of the sequel.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Round Robin

Originally uploaded by bells9
This is one of my pieces for the numerous round robins (rr) I am involved with on Craftbubble, it is a Christmas themed rr as we need to start the robin now so they arrive home before Christmas.

It took me a couple of afternoons to stitch, so not too long, especially as I seem to be a fairly slow stitcher! It is from Cross Stitch Crazy Issue 67, and was designed by Durene Jones.

I did use parking in this project which I'm finding more and more easier as I use it, more so on smaller projects like this one, where the colours are not similar and there aren't hundreds of them.

For the first time in this project I did backstitch alongside cross stitching. Usually I complete all the cross stitch and then do all the backstitch after, only this time I was worried with how it was looking as it just looked like blobs of colour, so I decided to do a bit of the backstitch to see if it was going to resemble the picture in the magazine!

I think it looks fab, and I am really pleased with the result, there are six other designs and I think I'll stitch them all for Christmas cards this year if I can find the time. However, in the magazine, only after I realised the shopping list says to use pastel green and lilac aida fabric, which is hard to see on the pictures, but maybe I will give that a try when I stitch them next. So it's already to post tomorrow morning for the next stitcher in the round robin.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Just for fun

I saw this on
littlebird's blog, its a quiz with a twist! All you have to do is answer these 12 questions and then you type your answers into flickr and then choose an image, but only from the first 2 pages.

Then you upload your images on to
Big Huge Labs' mosaic maker, setting it to 12 images, 4 colums by 3 rows and it creates your own personal mosaic!

These are the questions if you want to have a go:

What is your first name? Clare
What is your favourite food? Steak and Chips
Where did you go to high school? Penair
What is your favourite colour? Cornflower blue
Who is your Celebrity crush? Ben Afleck
Favourite drink? Champagne
Dream destination? Paris
Favourite dessert? Chocolate Gateau
What do you want to be when you grow up? Elegant
What do you love most in life? Piano
One word to describe you? Creative
Your flickr name? bells9

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Cross Stitch Challenge

This is my cross stitch challenge for 2010:

1. Finish all current WIPs* and UFOs*

2. Put order to my STASH, sell them, swap them, give them to charity or even stitch them, just get them moving!

So I have come up with some steps to help this along, firstly a rotation of projects, by day or week depending on how I feel. Starting with projects that are nearest to completion, I will have categories too, so there will be small, medium and big projects in rotation.

I need to go have a root through all my stitching and make a list of my stash, UFOs and WIPs. Then I can update the list of current projects, and what projects will enter rotation.

Also I am going to try and stick to a few rules, but only if I can! So I'm imposing the one in - one out rule, which basically means when I finish a project I can start a new (if I really want to) otherwise I am going to try and aim for only 3-5 projects in my rotation by the end of the year.

The other rule is to stick to a monthly stitching budget...yet to be decided the amount! To help me decide I have put a poll on my blog so feel free to vote and I will trial the winning budget for two months to see if I like it! In light of the stash bust goal, I will try not to but any unneccesary kits/stash for as long as possible, if I can only buy essentials for the rest of 2010, I will reward myself with a large kit at the end. This will reduce my stash and save me money :).

I will post my progress and update lists regularly.If anyone else wants to join the challenge or offer any tips do comment and post on your progress!

*WIPs = Works in Progress
*UFOs = Unfinished Objects