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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Cross Stitch Collection 226

I`ve been so absorbed by my current project for Cross Stitch Gold that I almost forgot to show you another one that appears in the current issue of Collection (226). Although these three cute designs by Maria Diaz are small, I thought they wouldn`t be turned into Christmas cards as soon as I saw the size of the fabric I got from the magazine, and I was right: they became gorgeous little gift bags... I wouldn`t mind getting one of these, filled with sweeties, for Christmas! :)

The photo I took when I finished all three of them...
... and as they appeared in Cross Stitch Collection 226

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

ingenious husband turns wife into happy stitcher

And this is not the only headline for this week! After 86 hours of work, of which I spent the last 20-odd backstitching (and literally working my middle finger to the bone, so I had to use plasters to be able to finish the job on time), I finally managed to send the latest magazine commission back yesterday - hurrah!
So, today I`m a lady of leisure - which means I took the Dream A Little Dream sampler out again and let me tell you, words cannot describe how relaxed I feel while stitching it: the fabric`s light, the cross stitches are full, not a single backstitch in sight and I can pick it up/put it down whenever I feel like it, without having to make a note of the exact time.
Not that this is such a big deal, mind you, but it started to bug me a bit, especially at the weekends, when (sod`s law) as soon as I took a note of the time and picked up my stitching, I was dragged away and had no idea how long I`d been away looking for a toy or a spanner. Anyway, long story short, my lovely Hubby devised me a gadget to make my life easier: it`s an old wall clock that we never used, to which he added a switch and now all I have to do is flick the switch every time I start stitching and turn it off when I stop (a bit like a chess clock, just bigger, lol!).
Looks like I`ve been stitching for 4 hours - time for a cuppa!
Then last night I started to whinge again because I found the sorting cards that came with the DALD kit too clumsy for frequent colour changes - so my knight in shining work clothes rushed to my aid again and made this sorter for me out of some scrap wood and a (sadly, empty) chocolate box:
I just cut up the sorting cards and put the corresponding strips into the wee boxes
Now whenever I need a new colour, I just pick up the right one and off I go. I`m so much faster and, therefore, more productive this way - well, you have to trust me on this because I only started to use the new method this morning so you`ll not see too much progress yet:
I`ve done a bit above the black cat and some flowers in the bottom middle
And, as I`m writing this, postie`s just turned up with the next commission project so I`m afraid my joy over this clever thread sorting was short-lived - or, to be precise, my enjoyment of it. The poor sampler has hardly resurfaced from the cupboard but thanks to DH`s ingenuity, now at least I know that I`m going to fly with it the next time I pick it up! ;)

Monday, 12 August 2013

symmetrical cushion from Cross Stitch Gold 104

Well, well, where did this summer go? It seems like yesterday that school broke up and my Mum was coming, then we had the heatwave (yeah, I know, in Scotland!), and then I went to Hungary... and learnt what heat really meant, by the way... then Hubby followed and now we`re all back in our little house in Fife and part of me is wondering if it was really only a few days ago that I was suffocating in the 42 degree Hungarian summer...
I have to say, one of my favourite parts of coming back home is the Going Through The Piled-Up Mail. There were all kinds of goodies waiting for me on the carpet (as the bills are all addressed to DH), including the long-awaited prize books by Rowan that I`d won with my knitted sleeping puppy a few months back. I also got my Tesco vouchers (happy days!) and, most importantly, all my stitchy magazines - among them the latest Cross Stitch Gold, with my kaleidoscope cushion in it. 
This is the project I was working on around the Spring/Easter break, when my Mum was here and I did all kinds of naughty knitting instead of stitching - little did I know at the beginning that it`d take me 180 hours to finish this project! I had a wee giggle to myself when I read the magazine`s advice about taking regular breaks on a biggie like this - I still remember the weekend I finished the backstitch, working 15-16 hours a day non-stop, just so that I wouldn`t have to ask for a second extension on the deadline.
Anyway, enough words, now onto the photos - my favourite bit! Finally, I can share some progress piccies with you, yay!
Pic 1: Only a few hours into the project, still sailing through the symmetrical bits

Pic 2: A few days later, I was still lulled into a false sense of security by the symmetry, eliminating colours one at a time

Pic 3: Days/weeks/months/a lifetime later - yep, the 4 shades of pink were NOT symmetrical
(actually, their motif also repeats in the 4 quarters but you still need to follow the pattern closely)

Pic 4: After 30-odd hours of backstitching, finally the finished product :)

Pic 5: And finally, as it appeared in Cross Stitch Gold Issue 104