Sunday, 12 February 2017

7 Box of Shame Finishes

Good afternoon all!

I've been a successful busy little bee again this week, rummaging through my and my mum's collection of previously used and/or "might-come-in-handy-one-day" frames and framing a few more of my Box of Shame pieces. It was so nice to find suitable frames and not have to buy any new ones. However, it does mean that all the glass is standard and decent photos were very difficult to get.

Here we go then:

April Showers
I finished this Lickle Ted piece in 2015 and have been procrastinating about framing him since. He looked wonderful with tan and red mounts, but equally good without them. So without them it was! It's a 7"x9" gold-edged mahogany-effect frame which came from a cheapy-bits-and-pieces shop a few years ago for about £3.

Friends Forever
Sam and Peeps were also stitched in 2015 and have finally come out to be displayed. This cheap 5"x7" teal frame was bought from Asda years ago for a massive 97p! I knew it would come in handy one day!

Let's Eat Dessert
I finished this in 2016 but was always wary of how I would frame it given the amount of colours in the fabric. Surprisingly, a gold-edged mid-wood frame looked really good, so that's what I used as that's all it needed.

October Fairy
This was a piece I stitched in 2016 and (obviously) one of a set of 12. I had no idea how I would frame the series but came across this wonderful bright orange 5"x5" frame in Tiger for a massive £1. I can't remember if they stocked colours that will match the other fairies in the series but then I haven't stitched them yet so will worry about that when it comes to it!

Cats In Love
You should recognise this piece as it was a new start and finish last month. I wanted a black frame but found this black and silver 8"x10" frame which came from Poundland. I wasn't sure if it would look right but think it works really well. And it's something different to plain black for a change.

And finally...

Playful Puss 3 and 4
The first two Playful Puss pieces were stitched and framed in 2015. The other two were finished last summer so goodness knows why it has taken me so long to add them into the frame! It's a simple black frame with bright green and pink mounts to match the grass and flowers. Unlike the other this was custom made so not cheap!

So, that's another 7 out of my Box of Shame... but still loads more to go. Hopefully I'll be back with some more finished-finishes soon.

Happy stitching (and finishing!)
Rachel x

Sunday, 5 February 2017

5 Box of Shame Finishes


During 2017 I am attempting to radically reduce the number of unfinished-finishes lurking in my Box of Shame. This week I've successfully eliminated another 5.

OK, it's not as impressive as it sounds as all five pieces were simply framed in aperture cards with a little bit of wadding behind them. But at least they are finished and crossed off my list. There was really no need to embellish the cards as the finished pieces speak for themselves.

Puddle Duck and Waterlogged were stitched at the beginning of 2015. I chose bright card colours to reflect the fun element of the designs.

Mr Daydream, Mr Jelly and Mr Happy were stitched for last December's Smalls SAL. Again I chose bright cards which matched their colours (OK, Mr Jelly should be in a pink not a red card but he doesn't look too bad). I wanted to write their names on the cards but didn't trust myself to get them right or neat enough. Maybe one day.....

I've already selected the next batch of pieces of finish-finish but when I'll get around to them is another thing! Hopefully it won't be too long.

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

January Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

Back in 2015 I used to do a post at the end of each month summarizing the progress I'd made on any unfinished pieces which had been started for Debbie's Challenge. In 2016 I had no need to do this as nearly every Challenge piece I worked on in any given month also became a finish.

This year, I plan to revisit some of my 2015 Challenge pieces and will once again be posting monthly summaries. It's a neat way of pulling together all the progress I've made on my Challenge WIPs in just one post.

So, as a starter, here are the pieces I worked on in January:

Little Black Cat Coffee by Heritage Crafts
started 2nd February 2015; not stitched on since then
worked my way down, stitching the background, the cat and continuing with the coffee pot

Slytherin by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 25th February 2015; last stitched on 31st August 2015
finished the name banner

Pandas by Gloria and Pat
started 28th February 2015; not stitched on since then
finished the first panda's head and started the second panda's head

Alongside my other stitching commitments, I'm hoping to work on a minimum of three Challenge WIPs each month but I expect there will be times when I concentrate on one and other times when I flit around between quite a few. Whatever the case there should be lots of progress and some finishes to see during the year. Wonder which ones I'll pull out during February? It's not as if I haven't got many to choose from!!!

Happy February everyone!
Rachel x

Friday, 27 January 2017

Smalls SAL - January 2017

Good afternoon!

As it's the last Friday of the month it's time to post my project for this month's Smalls SAL. Thank you once again to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.

My first project for 2017 is from a Facebook challenge run by Durene Jones in 2015. I don't belong to FB but after enquiring about the charts she emailed them to me! So thanks go to Durene for being such a good egg!!

January Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st January 2017
Finished - 6th January 2017
Total stitching time - 7 hours 10 minutes

This little squirrel was an absolute joy to stitch, especially his big swirly bushy tail! And how cute is the little robin? I hope the other months are as much fun to do. The only change I made (after deciding I was actually going to keep the months in) was to use two strands of black for backstitching the month instead of one; one just didn't look thick enough.

The whole calendar is going to be stitched on one piece of fabric so if I decide to make this my 12 Small SAL projects for the year I'll have only one project to finish-finish at the end. Result!

See you at the end of February with the next one.
Rachel x

Monday, 23 January 2017

Cats In Love - finished

Good morning all,

As expected, it didn't take long to finish Cats In Love. This is my fourth finish of 2017! Don't worry, there won't be any more for a while as my remaining projects are not as small and will therefore take longer.

After a good burst of steam ironing to even out and close the stitches, here's how the finished piece looks:

FluffyFuzzypatterns (etsy)
Stiched on 16ct Lavender aida from 2 over 1
Stitch count 100 wide by 137 high
Started - 1st January 2017
Finished - 22nd January 2017
Total stitching time - 26 hours 25 minutes

Requiring just under three skeins of black I'm really surprised I didn't get fed up with the monotony of going backwards and forwards row by row. But I thoroughly enjoyed not having to concentrate or count much and seeing progress with each line. Silhouettes really are a no-brainer! And, as an added bonus, it stitched up far quicker than I had estimated.

So, on my frames now (I'm keeping projects on three different sizes of frames) are two WIPs from 2015 and my new start. I don't know which project will appear on my blog next, so watch this space!

Keep those needles burning!
Rachel x

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Cats In Love - 20 hours

Hello again!

Well, doesn't time fly when you're having fun! So much so that another ten hours has passed on me stitching Cats In Love. Here's where I left them after 10 hours:

And now after 20 hours (with a much truer representation of the fabric colour):

My calculations tell me I'm about 75% of the way through, although I think I'm a little further along than that. Whatever the case, I'm sticking with this until it's finished.

Funnily enough, the WIP from 2015 I've chosen to work on alongside this contains a black cat too! Guess I'm either looking for some luck or am a closet witch!

Enjoy your little x's,
Rachel x

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Christmas Pals Bear - DUCJC 2016 Finish 28/31

Morning all!

So, here we have another finish from last year's January new starts. This is the final Christmas Pals Ornament - yippee! I stitched a fair bit during the final two days of 2016 so only had the background and backstitching left to do. I should have taken a photo at that point but didn't. Nevermind.

I left him looking like this last January:

And now he's all happily finished:

Stitched on 16ct Ice Blue aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 44 wide by 44 high
Started - 31st January 2016
Finished - 16th January 2017
Total stitching time - 11 hours 55 minutes
(estimated 13 hours)

Looking back, it did get a little monotonous finishing all six more or less in a row, but at least there were enough variations to keep them interesting. If I ever did a set like that again I think I'd space them apart a bit more.

Now to work out how to finish them off instead of letting them collect dust in my Box of Shame.

I've only got three projects from last year's January Challenge to complete now - Spring, Summer and Winter from the LK Seasonal Alphabets - but they are going to be put on hold while I work on a few WIPs from 2015. Back in 2015 I started 59 projects during January and February and still have 42 left to complete! I have prioritized 12 which I would like to finish this year, all I have to do is choose one from that list. Decisions, decisions.

Oh, and there's a medium-sized (about 180 hours) unplanned new start which has naughtily snuck its way onto my frames too. I just couldn't help it!! To be honest, it's the colours that caught my eye as it's not normally a palette or design I would work with. And it's one of a pair. No more information until after the first 10 hours though!

Take care,
Rachel x