Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fourth Strip Done...

Wow, it's been a while since I posted about this particular WIP of mine, the gingham blanket I've been working on. If you'd like to see how it looked three weeks ago, you can click here. I finally managed to whip up another strip:

This is the fourth strip, so it's identical to the second one, knitted with Red Heart's Buff and Cherry Chip. I finished attaching it to the others this morning, so here's how it all looks together now:

I was honestly going to stop at this point, since it's now a nice even square, perfect for my little lap, but my DH has requested at least one more strip. You'll be seeing more of this soon, I guess!

I'm typing this up in a bit of hurry. As some of you may remember, my in-laws moved to Tokyo, Japan, last summer (my FIL is a diplomat). We've been busy with work and life and everything, so we haven't yet had a chance to visit. That all changes tonight! We're finally doing it! Unfortunately, it does mean that I have to wake up at 3 am to go to the airport, since our flight leaves at 5 am. My general philosophy when it comes to plane travel is to live in absolute denial while it's happening. I truly hate planes. But I'm excited about this trip! So we're going to be there for two weeks. No idea if I'll get any stitching done, but I think I'll pack something with me in case I get a few minutes alone.

Super excited!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Simplicity Sheep Update 2 and the March Gifted Gorgeousness SAL

Two SAL updates today! Firstly, because it's Sunday, it's time for the Little House Needleworks Little Sheep Virtues SAL update. Last week I started working on Simplicity, and here's my progress:

I'm at 400 stitches now. I've finished the birdhouse and the grass, and I've started stitching the word "Simplicity" along the bottom.

Secondly, because it's the 15th of March, it's time for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL March edition! This is Jo from Serendipitous Stitching's baby - we stitch on something that's been gifted to us through exchanges or giveaways, whether a pattern, kit, fabric, floss, whatever, and post on the 15th of the month (because it's 2015).

Since I finished the piece I was working on throughout January and February (Bent Creek's Free Betsy) I had a rummage around in my stash and came up with a new project. I'm starting Prairie Schooler's Two By Two, gifted to me last year in an exchange with Emma from Emma's Bloglet:

I'm starting with the ark, as you can see. I found a rather large piece of 32-count Lambswool Jobelan in my stash, and I'm stitching this with the required DMC colors. I managed 400 stitches - not sure why I'm counting, it might just be habit at this point...

That's all I've got today! I didn't get much sleep last night - my brain would not shut down, so I ended up lying in bed until 6:30, when I finally dozed off - so I'm taking myself off to bed early.

Happy xxx's!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Little Token of Gratitude

So a while ago I said I was going to take a break from the Sheep SAL we've been doing because I had to wait for the next few charts to reach me through the lovely international shipping process. I have since (finally!) received my package and we've commenced the SAL (see here). But before that happened, Kaye (from Kitten Stitching) was sweet enough to actually send me the next Little House Needleworks Little Sheep Virtues, Love! Here it is, with a beautiful card she added:

This actually reached me a couple of weeks ago - sorry, Kaye! I'm finally getting around to posting about it now. It just completely slipped my mind, what with everything going on here. But I had to share this. I could not believe that Kaye was sweet enough to send this to me, expecting nothing back, in the middle of what was a difficult time in her life.

I couldn't just let that go! I had to reciprocate. So I very quickly pulled a few things together and sent her a thank-you package in turn. I made her this bookmark from a pattern in an old Leisure Arts magazine, stitched on 14-count khaki Aida, finished with navy blue fabric and a bit of lace.

Then I decided to spoil her a little. I added a small Janlynn kit, a needle minder, a book from my favorite author, Sarah Addison Allen, and a bar of camel-milk soap. It reached her, safe and sound, a week ago, which is really when I should have posted about this. Oh well! Better late than never!

Thank you so much again, Kaye! I hope you like your goodies!

Lots of love,

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Simplicity Sheep Update 1

Hi everyone! How are you all doing? I hope your weekend was lovely! Mine went by in a flash, I can't believe it's back to work already.

Since my latest stash enhancement brought with it more sheep goodness, the Little House Needleworks Little Sheep Virtues SAL is back on track! It's been a while since we finished Hope and Joyfulness, and now we're starting Simplicity (you can tell we're not doing this in any order whatsoever!) If anyone has one or two or all of these cute little sheep designs and feels the urge to stitch them up, please join in!

So here's my first SAL update on Simplicity. This is my first 200 stitches. I've stitched the sun, nearly finished the tree (realized that there's still one DMC color I don't have - oops!), and started the birdhouse.

It feels so nice to be stitching these lovelies again! My Sundays have felt empty without them.

That's all for now!

Big hugs,

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Just a Little Stashing...

Yep, I've stashed! I haven't gone on a stashing spree in a while - I've been trying to behave myself - but I finally caved. I've been telling myself that I had to, that these things were necessary. Whatever helps us sleep at night, right?

First up, some sheep goodness! I've taken a nice long break from the Little House Needleworks Little Sheep Virtues SAL I'm part of. It's been nearly a month since I finished Joyfulness. And now, thanks to 1-2-3 Stitch, I have Simplicity and Faith, along with the buttons and fabric I need. PLUS, because I simply could not resist, I bought the cutest sheep needle minder from Kelmscott Designs. Isn't it perfect? I'm going to put it to work immediately!

Next, I've decided to try a new craft, one that I've been admiring for a while: punch needle. I went on Etsy to a shop called Fiddlestix Designs (awesome shop, by the way) and found these two designs, Notforgotten Farm's Grey House Needlebook and With Thy Needle & Thread's Silent Night. One already came with fabric, so I only needed to buy some for the second one. Can't wait to try these! I need to finish up a WIP or two first, so I don't feel like I'm losing my mind, and then I'll get cracking.

There we go! Not so much, right? Honestly, it's the international shipping costs that kill me. I have to do my splurging in batches just to keep the shipping costs down. Urgh!

Happy xxx's,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What I've Been Stitching (3rd edition)...

Hi everyone! Hope you're all staying warm/cool, wherever you are in the world. I'm enjoying the weather here in Dubai - the sandstorm is long gone and it's been lovely and windy. I'm praying for a little bit of rain, but other than that, no complaints.

So this is a fast update, considering I posted on my progress on this piece barely two weeks ago, but when inspiration hits you go with it, right? This is a sampler I've been designing as I go, and if you'd like to see my last post on it you can go here. And this is what it looks like now:

I've added the tree at the top and two little people on either side of it, who are of course Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. I'm going to be completely honest, the tree is not my own design. It started out life as a Little House Needleworks tree. I was squeezing my brain trying to design a tree, and then I remembered this one and thought, why mess with perfection, right? It had so many elements that are echoed throughout the piece, so it fits really well, although I did have to nip and tuck to fit it into this space. I also added E + D into the bark of the tree, as though they've carved their initials. Couldn't resist!

The people are my design, and they drove me nuts. I never really considered adding people at all, but it was like an itch in the corner of my mind. Here's a close-up of Mr. Darcy, standing with his hands behind his back. He's complete with boots, trousers, shirt, jacket, and top hat. I even added French knot buttons, because I'm a crazy person.

And here's a close-up of Elizabeth. She's holding a basket full of French knot flowers, showing off the backstitch detailing on her dress and the backstitch blue ribbon in her hair.

There's still that big empty space to fill on top of the sheep. No idea what to do yet. Just going to have to wait for inspiration to hit again!

Until next time,