Saturday, 3 September 2022

WOXS 325 and Disney

It feels like it`s been ages since I last posted, and it`s because it has - usually, the publication of a new issue of WOXS triggers my memory and I haven`t had anything in the last 2-3 issues. However, the latest one (325) has not only my cute little 3D reindeer ornament as a cover gift, but there are also 4 blackwork Christmas cards in the magazine proper.
This adorable Rudolph, designed by Heather Nugent, started life as a `flat-pack reindeer` on plastic canvas:

But then as if by magic, he became a 3D tree ornament:

Also in this issue of WOXS, Fiona Baker`s four gorgeous Christmas cards are the perfect mini-break from cross stitch for those who want to try their hand at blackwork. 😊

While I`m at it, I`ve had a look on Hachette Partworks` website too to see where I left off: there have been a few of my pieces featured in their weekly magazines since my last post here, so I`m going to add my photos for issues 96 (Flounder and Sebastian), 97 (Goofy hoop), 98 (Mickey circus lampshade), 103 (Mickey road trip), 104 (Halloween Mickey & Minnie), and 106 (Cinderella clock). Hope you like them, happy stitching! 😊

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

summer cottage, unicorn, sunflowers and more Rome

You wouldn`t believe the last 2-3 weeks I`ve had! 🙈 It all started so well: I dug out Rome and enthusiastically threw myself into stitching, but I also wanted to make the most of being temporarily commission-free, so I equally enthusiastically started working on projects around the house that I never have time for, from going through drawers and cupboards to painting the bathroom and the bedroom... and then, just when I had the bedroom half emptied, the front door blocked by big bags and boxes of stuff ready to take to the charity shops, my few hundred magazines neatly organised and two of the three bookcases taken out... I first had a sciatica flare-up (piriformis syndrome, to be precise) and I couldn`t move for days, then out of the blue, first I got the dreaded lurgy (not covid, the other one that`s like flu) and now my two boys are sick too. 😞 Luckily, though, I`m well enough now to look after them and just as well because the `holiday` is over, and I thought before I get too absorbed with work again, I`d better post here re. the most recent publications, the first of which is WOXS 322, with Susan Bates`s summer cottage on the cover:

This lovely colourful project took 75 hours, and after finishing the XS on Pattern Keeper...

... I added the backstitch detail - and just in case the difference doesn`t jump out at you from the first two pics, I add a photo of my paper chart that I marked with felt pens, I think the amount of backstitch shows up better on that.

Also out this week is issue 20 of XStitch Magazine, with this magnificent unicorn by Climbing Goat Designs that was a joy to stitch - I love the clever colour choices, the confetti sts blend so well that there`s more glimmer to this design than to many projects I`ve stitched where I had to add metallics for some extra sparkle.

Apart from not being able to sit in my craft chair for many days, then having a fever, and now having this weird side effect of the lurgy that makes my eyeballs ache (#WTF?!?), a lot less private stitching got done than I`d have liked - but to ease myself back into `stitchy mode` gently, I finished this little cover kit because I needed a needle case...

... and pre-lurgy, I also added more to Rome. I`m actually quite pleased with how it`s coming along, the Spanish Steps are almost completely finished now, and once page 10 in the bottom right is done, page 5 in the top right corner should be a doddle, just a few vertical lines, basically. Hopefully, I won`t have to wait too long before I can work on this again - here are a couple of pics of where I picked it up at the end of May and where I am just now, happy stitching, peeps! 😊

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Rome update (mostly)

I`m tidying up my magazines and only just realised that last month I forgot to post about these wedding cards! 😳 Luckily, I have the time now to rectify the problem (hence the tidying of magazine shelves, etc. because I plan to repaint the bedroom). So:

These easy-to-personalise cards by Megan Caines of Meloca Designs were featured in issue 320 of The World of Cross Stitching, and I had great fun stitching them as they were just the right blend of get-on-with-it-quick-symmetrical (handy when time is of the essence!) and something-unique-to-this-particular-card-before-symmetry-gets-monotonous. 😊

So as I have mentioned, I`m trying to make the most of being between commissions at the moment, running around the house cleaning, painting, reorganising - but I also dug out some of my own projects that I hadn`t seen for months and months, e.g. this Autumn cottage by Carol Thornton from Gold 140:

My progress on this is frustratingly slow, not only because of work commitments but also because in my wisdom, I picked this pale yellow aida from my stash, and if you`d ever heard me moan about cardboard thick fabric that I have no choice but work on, you`d wonder why I put myself through this misery voluntarily, but waste not want not, amirite, and this freebie that came with a kit or a magazine was the perfect size for this project, so on I plod, I suppose... 🤷
However, just to give my poor hands a wee break, yesterday I also dug out my Rome stitching from under the bed - er, not that holding this rigid tube of linen is much easier after a while, but I desperately want to see some progress on this one too. I had to go back to a post in 2020 😲 to see where I last wrote about this Thea Gouverneur design - looks like the last time I took a photo, I`d just finished the first A3 page of 10:

This was in December 2020, and I must have picked it up at some point since then because I have some of the Spanish Steps done, so I`m just plodding on with those horizontal lines at the moment, hoping to reach the right edge of the design before I have to put this away again - I`m about to start Page 10 in the bottom right corner, I`m so excited! 😀

As I was reading this older post, I also realised that I`m mentioning there how I spent four days going through all the threads, matching them up to my DMC stash (in case I run out of a colour - I don`t like that kind of pressure when I`m stitching), but I never showed y`all the storage system I upgraded from 3 cushions to just one folder, and since I`m supposed to be giving some tips here 😉, I thought I`d share it with you, in case any of you finds it a handy idea.

So this was my original setup, something I just quickly came up with when I opened the kit because I wanted to start stitching straight away (er, and some think I have the patience of a saint?!? 😂). But I soon realised that not only did these 3 cushions take up a lot of space, there was also the danger of my needles with leftover threads disappearing into the cushion, so I needed another solution. Eventually, I ended up buying some of these numismatic sheets: there are various sizes of pockets, depending on what the coin collector wants to store/display in them; I chose the 12-pocket pages because these are small enough to store just a few lengths of threads but not too small so that my fingers would struggle to get the threads out (plus, the design uses 119 colours, so 10 pages worked out perfectly).

I decided that the easiest (for me) way to find a thread is to group the symbols by shape - I admit, this pic is not the best example, there are easier ones like squares or triangles... I guess this page is the `they have a dot somewhere in them` group 😂. Anyway, hope some of you will find this idea useful, thanks for visiting and happy stitching! 

Thursday, 31 March 2022

This month, there are two of my stitched pieces on the cover of UK magazines - a cute cat and mouse duo by Margaret Sherry in The World of Cross Stitching 319, and a musical wee number in issue 80 of Hachette Partworks` Disney Cross Stitch Magazine.

Margaret Sherry`s trademark cat and mouse illustration was converted into a cross stitch chart by the magazine`s Senior Technical Editor, Fiona Baker. It was a lovely quick project (35 hours, although the mag rounded it up to 50, which sounds more realistic if someone e.g. doesn`t use Pattern Keeper... or doesn`t cross stitch for a living like me, lol). What I mean by `quick` project is that it`s one of those where if you just do the odd colours on the outside first, then you can sit back and relax, load up a dozen or so needles with Blanc and just fill in the middle while watching tv or whatever. 😉

Hmm, that lovely sky blue fabric looks almost mauve/lilac in my photo - just shows you what a difference proper lighting makes! 😉 And talking about gorgeous fabric: I fell in love with this one with the music notes as soon as I saw it! 😍

First, I was a bit worried that the half-stitches-only background of the big pink heart around Berlioz would not cover the fabric sufficiently, and some of the notes do show through, but they all work well with the cross stitched notes that are roughly the same size too. 😊

And while I was looking up the covers on Hachette`s website, I`ve noticed that this adorable picture of Jock, also from The Aristocats, is coming up soon in issue 88, so I thought I`d better add his picture now 1. before I forget and 2. before I get too snowed under - er, I was referring to more stitchy projects that I`m working on atm but we actually did get snow last night/this morning, so nothing surprises me anymore. 🤷‍♀️ Happy stitching, peeps! 😊

Sunday, 13 March 2022

window CK, movie night and Disney: Let`s Celebrate!

Remember when last Autumn I said I was super busy working on a big batch of cross stitch projects? I`ve been itching to see them in print ever since, and yesterday postie delivered my copy of the book at long last, so I thought I`d share some (= looooaaaads) of pics of this special edition of Hachette Partworks` Disney Cross Stitch, titled Let`s Celebrate! 😊
But first, before I get too engrossed in attaching photos (lol, and before the next issue of WOXS is out), here`s the free gift from issue 318 of The World of Cross Stitching, designed by Fiona Baker:

Also out this week, in issue 19 of XStitch Magazine, entitled Yay!, is this cool movie-themed design by Sweet Annet:

So, as mentioned earlier, here is my copy of the Let`s Celebrate! special edition that arrived yesterday:

It is jam-packed with fab Disney designs to celebrate every occasion from birthdays to the arrival of a new baby to having someone as a friend. I stitched 24 of the 57 designs, some of which have been turned into cards, others into banners, cushions, or pictures framed in hoops, and some were sewn onto a bag or straight onto a Rico hand towel, like this first pic. I`ll add a few photos of the finishes from the book at the end, after the long, loooong list of my own pics. Hope you like them, thanks for visiting and happy stitching! 😊