Monday, December 31, 2012

Last update of 2012

I mut admit, it's been a pretty good stitching year. It's very likely that because of all the pressure from participating in the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge, I not only got a lot of projects done but I stayed more focused than usual. Only 2 new starts outside of the challenge, and I finished both of those this year as well.

I am not participating in any challenges this year. No CJC, no TUSAL, no WIPocalypse. Just me and my stitching. I might join in on the occasional IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend), but only if it fits my schedule. I want to stitch with no pressure or constraints this year.

I still have a lot of projects on the go, so I'm going to spend most of 2013 working on getting that pile down to a more respectable (and manageable) size. I've divided my pile of projects into WIPs and UFOs. I'm just going to ignore the UFOs for now and not feel guilty about it. Instead, I'm going to try to finish a few of my bigger WIPs. I've decided to concentrate on Cirque des Carreaux (Ink Circles), Elizabeth (Mirabilia), Rules For Life (Kincavel Krosses), QS Blue Butterfly (HAED), and of course, Drama Queen (custom).

WIP Goals:

  • Complete 3 pages of Drama Queen.
  • Finish all other WIPs.

Don't think for a moment though that I won't be adding a few new starts into the mix! I have several new starts planned, but I am going to try and restrain myself and not start any more HAEDs (expect for QS Mystic Garden for the HAED BB SAL).

I really do want to start another HAED ... must resist!! (Though I will likely keep buying charts. I just love OWNING such pretty things!)

New Start Goals:

  • Start QS Mystic Garden and complete at least 1 page.
  • Start and finish Ice Blossoms (Just Nan).
  • Start and finish Tribal Butterfly (Sparklies) in rainbow colours for my mom.
  • Start Ciara Blue (Blackwork Journey).

I know I'm a little nuts for thinking I can finish so many "big" projects in one year, but I'll at least give it a good try. There is lots of variety and I'm going to stagger the new starts throughout the year, so I can revel in the excitement of planning and starting.

I do have some last minute progress to show you as well. During the last few days, I've put in some time on Cirque des Carreaux, and have managed to finish page 2 (and a little bit more)! 

It's looking good I think. :) Time to switch off to Drama Queen for a bit and get to work on some of those 2013 goals. 

I'm going to try implementing a small rotation for my projects. To start, I'm going to rotate a full page on Cirque with half a page of Drama Queen. Once I start QS Mystic Garden on January 4th, I'll add that in as a 1/4 page after every half page of DQ. Once I get used to that (and make some decent progress) then I'll add in some other projects. We'll see how well this works. It took close to 9 months to get over the 'switching bug' I got from all those starts in January. It's a miracle I can focus on any one project for more than two days.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and encouraging me during 2012. I really do appreciate it. Here's to a stitchy new year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Final WIPocalypse of 2012

Well, I survived - both the "real" apocalypse and WIPocalypse. Hard to believe it's been a year already.

Let's see how I did on my WIPocalypse goals ...

My WIP list for 2012:
Tree of Stitches DONE
Drama Queen (2 pages) 1 1/3 pages completed
Music Montage DONE
Crazy January Challenge
         - finish all ornaments/smalls DONE 
         - finish 3 medium projects DONE

Not too shabby!! I really didn't change my list much over the course of the year. I did start off saying I wanted to complete all 12 ornaments/smalls from UCJC, but I abandoned several of those projects in October and sent them to new homes to be completed. I believe I finished 8 of the 12 smalls. I finished my Tree of Stitches earlier in the year, then did a second one at the beginning of December. (I should have added that one to the list!)

The only thing I didn't do great on was Drama Queen. I admit I struggled to finish the fourth page, but once I switched to parking - wow what a difference! The page and a third I did finish (and count) for this challenge were all done since the end of August. Very fast compared to the other pages. The page I'm working on now is blissfully free of confetti, so I zoomed through the third of a page in a week!

Here's how Drama Queen looks now:

Finishing things feels good, but I've discovered this past year, through all the challenges I participated in, that I don't like feeling pressured when I stitch. Thank goodness the world isn't expected to end in 2013 - my stitchy fingers couldn't handle it!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

UCJC Wrap Up

It's hard to believe that 2012 is almost over! What a year ... what an array of projects! I remember last December when I was prepping and kitting up for 31 different projects. The planning was so much fun!

January was a bigger challenge than I anticipated. The frustration of having to put a project down every night and pick up a new one in the morning, the exhaustion from stitching and blogging daily, and the ridiculous pressure I put on myself to make decent progress every day that month. After a while, changing projects stopped bothering me, but I had no clue what I'd stitched in prior days or weeks. It all blurred together.

Throughout the year, I did a pretty good job of primarily working on my UCJC projects and I did finish  quite a few of them. I only had 3 non-UCJC finishes: Music Montage and two Tree of Stitches (one at the beginning of the year and one at the end of the year) with only 2 of those being new starts. I did manage some progress on Drama Queen as well, but only in the latter half of the year.

Let's have a look at what I managed to do for UCJC:

I had a pretty good finish ratio I think. Out of the original 15 projects on my list, I finished 10 of them (one of them was a page finish, but that counted for this challenge).

1. Snowflake - 2009 Ornament (Tor Rhuann Designs)
 3. Hardanger - Clover (Mabel Figworthy's Fancies)

4. Tribal Butterfly (Sparklies)

5. NATO Phonetics Subversive Sampler (Kincavel Krosses)

6. Swirly Snow (My Big Toe Designs)

7. Weiniec Korona (Penelopis freebie)

8. Metamorphosis (Ink Circles)

11. Austrian I (Bleu de Chine - JCS Jan/Feb 2010)

13. Diamond Holiday (Mill Hill)

15. Cirque des Carreaux (Ink Circles - page finish)

Out of all 31 projects, I finished 17 projects (two of which were page finishes). The rest of the finishes were:

17. Carolyn's Garden Poppy (Serendipity Designs)

19. Oh Bugger Subversive Sampler (Kincavel Krosses)

21. Catch a Falling Star (Julie Fain - HAED - page finish)

23. For Beauty Kimono (Joan Elliot)

24. Carolyn's Garden Violet (Serendipity Designs)

25. Carolyn's Garden Sunflower (Serendipity Designs)

28. Christmas Eve Flight (

Around October, I finally had to admit that I hated the pressure of trying to finish stuff for UCJC. I had included a bunch of smalls in my line up, so the challenge would be a tad easier to meet, and I just hated stitching them! I decided to abandon a few of the projects, and I sent them off to new homes around the globe.

12. Stained Glass Pansy (Solaria Gallery)

22. Snowflake Tree (Mill Hill)

26. Imperial Irises (Serendipity Designs)

29. Sapphire Snow (Mill Hill)

In early December, I decided I hated stitching on black fabric, so 31. SK Oriental Courage was abandoned as well.

Works in Progress
While I didn't finish everything, I did put stitches into a LOT of projects. The following projects were worked on during the year, but are nowhere near finished. They will end up on next year's WIP or UFO list.

9. Elizabeth (Mirabilia)

10. Rules For Life (Kincavel Krosses)

18. I Stitch Therefore I Stash (CSC magazine)

27. QS Blue Butterfly (HAED)

A few pieces never saw the light of day again after they were started. They have all ended up on my UFO list for next year. I doubt any of them will get touched next year either, but maybe the year after! LOL

2. Fractal 284 Bookmark (Cross Stitch Collectibles)

14. Welcome Sampler (Kincavel Krosses)

16. Woodland Enchantress (Dimensions Gold)

20. Oriental Orchid (Dimensions)

30. Lickle Bit Shy (DMC)

I can honestly say that the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge was definitely a challenge - both mentally and stitching-ly. I am proud to say I've attempted it and done quite well, but I will never do it again. Too much pressure (even if it is just in my own head) and not a lot of room for adding in new and exciting projects. It amazes me how much my tastes have changed over the year, and charts I was dying to stitch before, now bore me to tears. We'll see how many of the untouched ever get touched again!

Regardless, I look forward to another (more relaxed) stitching journey in 2013!!

Thank you all for reading my ramblings and encouraging me throughout. Cheers!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Minute Finish

A few weeks ago, I decided on the spur of the moment to stitch a last minute present for my mom for Christmas. She loved my Tree of Stitches that I finished earlier this year, but she wanted a green tree.

So I did a green tree. I used several silks - Carrie's Creations Foxfire and HDF Primitive Barn, BeLeaved, White Chocolate, and Old Maid of the Soil - stitched on 32 ct lugana hand-dyed by me.

I had planned on stitching half a section per day (there are 14 sections/types of specialty stitches), and this meant I should be able to finish it by Christmas Eve.

Well, I got a little carried away and finished it, beads and all, last night. A week ahead of schedule!!

My mom is a fan of sparkles and bling, so I used 4 different Mill Hill petite seed beads - Emerald Green, Bay Leaf, Ice, and Purple.

I'm going to swing by Michael's today and see if I can find some matboard. I might even get it framed in time!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crafting Trifecta

Three things to share today ...

First up, the last TUSAL post of 2012. It's incredible not only how much stitching I actually managed to get done, how many projects I put stitches into, but how full my ort jar is! Holy cow, I never thought I'd actually fill the jar. It's very cool that I can look at the different layers and recall which projects I was working on at that time.

Second item on the sharing list ... Christmas cards!  These two were specially made for two very dear friends of mine.

The white and silver card is for my friend Jordana of White Cabana. I challenge myself to make an almost all-white card for her every year. She loved this year's effort. :) Best compliment - she mentioned how much I've improved from when I first started papercrafting. That makes me feel good. Could you imagine if I had the time to papercraft more often?!?

Finally, some progress on the spur-of-the-moment Christmas present for my mom (aka her Tree of Stitches). Stitched on 32 ct hand-dyed (by me) lugana using HDF and Carrie's Creations silks.

She wanted a green tree, well, she's getting it!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Music Framed & My Christmas Present

First off -- welcome to my new followers! Up to 111 now, holy smokes!

Today I picked up Music Montage (by Stoney Creek) from the framers. I had dropped it off in early September (but told them not to rush), so I had kind of forgotten what colours etc we'd picked out. I think it looks fabulous! I almost hate to give it away -- but I know the intended recipient will LOVE it and it'll blow him away. He has no idea I've been stitching anything for him.

And a close-up so you can really see the design and matting colours. Look at the awesome corners my framer added! What a lovely unexpected touch!

Just minutes after I got home from the framers, there was a knock at my door. The FedEx man!! Woohoo! My Christmas present from my mom finally arived from the UK.

My very own beautiful Millenium frame ... I'm in love! Drama Queen just barely fit on the 16" bars. I'm glad I ordered an extra set of 24" bars for my big HAED pieces.

It looks lovely, it was super easy to set up, and the tension seems too good to be true! I haven't stitched with it yet, but I will certainly be sitting down later tonight to have a go.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Page Finish = Happy Dance!

I decided I needed some mindless, non-challenging stitching, so I worked on Catch a Falling Star (HAED) and managed to finish page 2!! You can see the beginnings of a big star!

This one is getting tucked away for a while. Not sure what's next though.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November WIPocalypse

I didn't work on any of my WIPocalypse goals lately.

I spent the last week or so stitching on Catch a Falling Star (HAED), but since I already reached my 1 page goal on it. These are just bonus stitches...

Then, because I don't have enough things on the go, I started something new. Can you guess what it might be?

Fingers crossed I can get it done (but not framed) by Christmas. It's for my mom.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Completed My Heart

Another finish!! This makes 17 of 27 completed for my UCJC.

I took Austrian I Heart by Bleu de Chine with me while I travelled for school, and managed to complete it the day after I got home. :)

While I love the pattern and the finished piece, I think I've had enough of variegated thread for a while. It requires more thought then it's worth sometimes.

I was going to pull out Cirque des Carreaux and put some time into that, but instead I think I'll work on something non-variegated. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TUSAL Time, Parking Progress, and More Charts

It's TUSAL time again! My mason jar of orts is getting incredibly full. I keep having to squish them down to make room.

This month there is a bunch of blue silk in there from ripping out the lettering from my NATO Subversive Sampler (which I replace with purple silk). On top of that are a ton of reds from Drama Queen.

Speaking of Drama Queen, I finally have a page finish!!

This was by far the most stress-free and enjoyable page I have done on this project so far. Parking is definitely the answer for me when it comes to complex, confetti-heavy projects. Now I just have to decide if I work on page 7 (the one below the page I just finished, which is more poppies and confetti) or page 4 to finish the top row (which is mostly blocky background). I'm leaning towards page 4, because I might just get another page finish in before the end of December this way.

Shamefully, I must admit to purchasing a few more HAED charts during the 50% off sale. I don't know what I was thinking, or when I'll ever get around to stitching all of these charts. Oh my goodness my stashpile is huge!! Here's what I just couldn't live without ...

China Lake (Gordon Fitchett)

Ice Palace (Ciro Marchetti)

Magikal Moment in Time (Ciro Marchetti)

I resisted buying Marchetti charts for so long, but I caved -- now I'm in trouble!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gone Parking

I don't know why, but after I put down Drama Queen last time, I got all weirded out and intimidated by parking. I couldn't make myself pick it up again. (I'm goofy, I know.) Anywho, after far too long a break (more than a month), I got back into parking and DQ is now zooming along! (Well, relatively speaking that is ... hehe.)

I have now completed 1/3 (or 33.23%) of the pattern. This translates into 25,674 stitches so far.

I like the above photo because it does a decent job of showing the true colours of this piece. Parking is chaotic but effective.

I like close-ups! Showing off some of the confetti intensity and the crazy parking!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stitching and Stash!

My ability to focus hasn't been that great lately, so I've been jumping from project to project. So I have lots of little updates.

First up ... I pulled out a UCJC project that I hadn't touched since I started it in January. I put in 50 or 60 stitches, then got bored. Anyway, my meager progress on SK Oriental Courage (HAED):

Then I pulled out Cirque des Carreaux again (I just love stitching this one!) and did 1/4 - 1/2 a page of stitching.

After trying (in vain) to find a blue silk that matched nicely with the variegated silk I had originially used in my NATO Subversive Sampler (Kincavel Krosses), I gave up and settled on a purple silk that doesn't quite match, but is as close as I can get. It certainly looks 100% better than the 2 or 3 blue options I had (and 1000% better than the original blue I'd used).

In my attempts to find the right blue silk (and because I needed another skein of Hearts on Fire for my Austrian I heart project), I ordered a bunch of gorgeous silks from Carrie's Creations.

From left to right they are: Electric Blue, Foxfire, Graphite, Plum Passion, Slate Blue, and Purple Pansy.

And finally, I am a sucker for HAED sales. During the 35% Hallowe'en sale, I bought the following charts:
Dark Angel


 Soul of the Masai Mara

Mini Asian Fantasy 3

I have more in my cart because of the 50% sale, but I haven't committed to anything yet.