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Thursday, 30 May 2013

sleeping puppy`s famous!

I`m so busy sharing this on Facebook that I almost forgot to post here: remember the sleeping puppy I knitted about 2 months ago? When I finished it, I sent an email to Knit Today with a photo of it attached and as it turns out, I was first past the post knitting this particular pattern. So they feature it in this month`s issue, which is great in itself, but! On top of that, I`ll get some Rowan patterns books too as a prezzie! Woooooop! I`m so happy about this I don`t even care about my tooth I managed to chip during lunch (with a pizza! How???? With melted cheese?). Anyway, back to the beautiful cottage I`m stitching at the moment - pictures of that in a few months` time...?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

time to tea

I`m so focusing on the Christmas stocking I`m stitching right now that I almost missed the publication of one of my other projects. After months of not being able to post a photo, now finally here`s a chance (all photos courtesy of Cross Stitcher 266 via The Making Spot):





Wednesday, 15 May 2013

La Scapigliata update

I was about to start with saying that `a good pattern is worth its weight in gold` but then I realised that talking about paper, that wouldn`t mean too much. However, it`s true: now that I have a more unified pattern to work from, it feels like I got wings and I`m flying through the wee crosses. 

Elsewhere, in my parallel universe: I finished the 3 Christmas characters for Collection, I posted them this morning, and last night I finished Six Feet Under (I devoured all 5 seasons of it in the past couple of weeks  in an intensive TV watching marathon). Strangely, I haven`t knitted anything for a while, although Gloria`s beckoning me but I`m so absorbed by my stitching at the moment that everything else has to wait. So back to it I go... Cheerio!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

WARNING: this will be a very long post, with lots of links and some photos :)

Before I say what I want to say, I`ve just got to say this: I won again!! Same as with buses and hedgehogs: now two wins come along at once (of course, entering competitions helps). Last night I got an email from Celtic Rose Needlecraft, with 4 PDF patterns attached - Dartmoor HeatherMoonlight On The ShoreCottage Garden Pond and Daffodil Wood. I`m so chuffed! I just wish I had more time... or more hands... or both... I think if I ever get round to do it, I`ll start with Moonlight On The Shore. (Note to self: Don`t forget to write Thank You email to CRN!).
And now, what I originally wanted to write about: visiting other blogs. The other day my dear friend Katya (http://astitchingtime.blogspot.com) has already touched on this topic when she apologised, unnecessarily, for leaving a longer-than-usual comment after one of my posts. Unnecessarily, because - don`t get me wrong, I`m, like everybody else, glad to receive any signs of appreciation, even if it`s just a four-letter word (I meant `Nice!`, naughty!) but I simply LOVE long, personal comments where we can engage in a friendly conversation. At the same time, I realise that that`s what emails and personal FB messages are for, and maybe not everyone`s interested in the above-mentioned conversation... luckily, this blog is MINE so I can do whatever I want with it, so here`s what I didn`t want to clog my friend`s comments with about her book review:
I`ve been meaning to read J. K Rowling`s `next book`, i.e. the one that came after Harry Potter for ages, just like one day I intend to read The Host by Stephanie Meyer, her `next book` after the Twilight Saga, because I`m always curious how an author is trying to break down the fences their epic first work has built around them. But I have to be honest, after reading Katya`s review of The Casual Vacancy, I might not rush too hurriedly into this novel - I tell you why. Because with every year passing, I notice that I`m less and less tolerant towards sad things. At the moment, I can (just) cope with watching the news every night but I can see a future where even that`ll be too much for me - if I picture my supersensitive, weepy future self, then look back at my Dostoevsky and Camus reading, Goddard and Becket watching teenage self, I guess I`m about halfway through the scale. The little time I have for guilty pleasures like reading, I try to fill with happy  and easy stuff, so apart from perennial favourites, like Pride and Prejudice, I read a lot of historical novels - do you think it`s cowardice that I seem to escape to bygone ages, when the world seemed a less complicated, nicer place? (I know it wasn`t, not really, but you still get the illusion).
Anyway, enough of the heavy stuff, back to other people`s blogs. If you haven`t visited Minnie`s blog (http://minnie-allxxs.blogspot.com) yet, do it now... I mean, after you finished reading this! You know how sometimes you regularly check out a blog and the person`s WIP photo never seems to change? (Like my DaVinci, lol!). Not Minnie`s, uh-huh. She must be stitching 20 hours a day and I love ALL her WIPs, which is rare but I guess we have a very similar taste, I`d gladly take on any of the patterns she`s working on. The other day she shared photos of some of her finishes and I cheekily tried to get her to give me her African ladies cushion (my attempts failed miserably, btw). Shame, it`d have looked so neat with my Joan Elliott design, which I managed to frame since I posted that picture:
And so as not to leave you without news of La Scapigliata: although I haven`t worked on it since last Friday (on the upside, though, I finished Santa so I only have a robin and a snowman to stitch - oh, that reminds me! Now that the weather`s getting summery and I`m stitching Santas, the Fathers` Day hot air balloon cards I stitched last Christmas are in the shops! Sorry for digressing but I have to quickly add a photo here):
Cross Stitch Card Shop issue 90
Where was I? Yes, La Scapigliata. The good news is, I had another look and I hope I was panicking for nothing because the way I calculate it, there should be at least a 2" border so that`s fine. And the teaser from my last post: once I finish this, I shall stitch another version of the same painting, this time designed by one of my fellow model stitchers, Pippa Slack from Stitching Dreams. Her chart contains 22 colours as opposed to Maria Diaz`s 8 - I can`t wait to see the difference between the two! It`s quite a while away yet but rest assured, there will be plenty of progress photos - I`m going to enjoy that, a nice change from all this super-secretive magazine stitching! Obviously, I have to finish the commission works first, then my own 1-year-old DaVinci - but after that I hope not to have too many distractions (luckily, I got a fairly lax deadline from Pippa: "sometime within the next couple of years", lol!). And talking about distractions: have a look at this!!! I can`t believe they didn`t give her a name, she`s OBVIOUSLY a Gloria?!? Can`t wait to knit her!!
Alan Dart`s Heatwave Hippo from Simply Knitting Magazine Issue 107





Sunday, 5 May 2013

timelessness

I have the weirdest `out-of-sync` feeling today. This is the first Sunday of May and as such, it`s Mothers` Day in Hungary: my Mum and Gran can finally see the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady cards I stitched for them a couple of months ago. I keep reminding myself to phone Mum`s house this afternoon, where my whole family will get together to celebrate - and all the while I`m stitching Santa Claus for a magazine! And as there`s no other imminent sign of this being anything else but an ordinary Sunday, I`m sitting here in my PJs amidst all these suggestions of special occasions like Mothers` Day, Christmas and May Day. (Even the latter only half-counts in our house: Gregory`s off school tomorrow but Hubby has to go to work :( So much about a long weekend!). And somehow I didn`t feel extraordinarily (intergalactically?) powerful yesterday either while shopping in ASDA, although I`d had several messages of the `May the Fourth be with you` kind.
On Friday I did get La Scapigliata out of its box (HA!!!!). I have to admit, after a year-long hiatus, I was struggling to find my place on the chart, especially as I was working from two photocopied halves on different scales... so I spent the whole day making a new, complete copy of the original* and then painstakingly transferring the squares I`d already worked. Now I have only one chart to work from but by the time I finished with all the paperwork, I hardly had time + energy left to stitch, so this photo will not be too different from the one I last posted about a year ago (still, who remembers that, right?). Oh, and I`ve just realised that I probably cut the fabric too small... happy days! Good job I`ll stitch another version after this - but more of that later... I`m such a tease, aren`t I???


*It is from The Ultimate Maria Diaz Cross Stitch Collection.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

pictureless post

This is just to reassure everyone that I haven`t disappeared completely - I`ve been rather busy the past couple of weeks... and probably before that too but that was so long ago, I can`t even remember that far back. Anyhoo, due to the Spring school break/Wee Man being home/Mum`s staying here/Easter/my general laziness, I was relly, REALLY behind with the cushion for Cross Stitch Gold. For some reason, I thought that after Mum flying home, Hubby going back to work and Gregory to school, two weeks should be enough to finish this mammoth of a project* - they weren`t. Even when I increased my daily stitching to 10 hours, I was beginning to see that I was running out of time. So for the first time since I became a model stitcher, I had to ask for an extension on my deadline - and when I got an extra week, what was the first thing I did? I decided to relax a bit after the last few days` hurry, only did 4-6 hours a day... then I started to panic as my second, amended deadline was looming. Again, for some mysterious reason, I first thought that a couple of days should be enough for the backstitch - and they were, in a way: last Saturday I stitched 15 hours, on Sunday 14, and on Monday 6, so I just managed to post it on the designated day, before I had to go and pick up the Wee Man from school. I`d used almost 2 whole skeins of 3799 for the backstitch but it was well worth it (you can see the result in issue 104 of Gold).
I thought that after this stitchy marathon last weekend I won`t pick up a needle for a long time - but by Monday evening I couldn`t resist any longer (obsessed or what?) and started another commission piece, a smallish beach sign. Sorry, I can`t show you a photo of this either but I`m sure you can imagine it, sailing boat in the compulsory nautical colours of red, white and navy blue, plus some beige for the sandcastles in the foreground. It was a nice and easy piece after the cushion and I took my sweet time with it (I only just posted it an hour ago).
And what now, you ask? Well, I thought about getting my La Scapigliata out of its box (don`t laugh! One of these days it`s going to happen!) but I`d better hurry because there`s already another project in the post from Collection (something Christmassy already! Oooh, and it`s by my fave designer, Maria Diaz) - plus occasionally I should clean the house too... but surely, that can wait...?

* it took 180 hours in total