Sunday, June 6, 2021

Recent Finishes

 I'm back today with a few recent finishes to share. Of course, if you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen these finishes.

Friends and Family 2020 Mystery SAL


This sampler was the 2020 free design by Fox and Rabbit for the Linen & Threads Mystery Sampler SAL. I stitched my version on 40 ct Mallow linen using ThreadworX 1089 (Bleeding Hearts) over-dyed cotton. I started this piece on 1 January 2020 and completed it on 26 May 2021.

Stitch What You Love


This is another free chart. It was designed by Jenn Dewey (@theoilrainbows on IG). I stitched it as my June project for #CrossStitchCamp hosted by Sheri (@coloradocrossstitcher on IG). I was inspired by Brenda of Brenda and the Serial Starter on FlossTube. She loves red samplers and is going through some medical issues right now, so I stitched this in her honor. #fortheloveofbrendasal I started it on 1 June 2021 and finished it on 2 June 2021.

Midnight Ride


I stitched this piece over a total of three stitching days for the #bbdweekendsal organized by Brenda and Laura of the Brenda and the Serial Starter FlossTube channel. My version is stitched on 32 ct. Salt Marsh Green linen from R&R with the called for fibers. I started it on 1 May 2021 and finished it on 5 June 2021.

I'm hoping to have one or two more finishes this month, so I'll be back with photos when they're done.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

FlossTube #21 - Show Notes

After a 15 month hiatus from FlossTube, I'm officially back! I decided to step away from it last year right as the whole lockdown began due to the pandemic followed immediately by learning my dad was entering hospice. He ended up passing away one year ago today. Now that my life has settled down once again into more of a "normal" routine, I started considering making FlossTube videos again. After pondering about it for two or three weeks, I decided today was the day.



Show Notes:

Finishes:
  • Live Simply Sampler - Jeannette Douglass Designs
  • Count the Cups - Ardith Design
  • Spooked Mystery Sampler Part 1 - Lizzie Kate
WIPs:
  • Midnight Ride - Blackbird Designs
  • Jessie Watson c.1816 - Hands Across the Sea Samplers
  • Sunnyside Sampler - The Drawn Thread
  • Sally Spencer - Birds of a Feather
  • Friendship Sampler - Threadwork Primitives (Tomorrow's Heirlooms exclusive)
  • Jane Marshall 1857 - Hands Across the Sea Samplers
  • Bee Sampler - Lila's Studio (started on World Bee Day - May 20)
Haul Links:
Freebie Links:
Flosstubers Mentioned:

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Stitch Planning & Tracking

 I'm one of those stitchers who loves keeping track of all my WIPs, new starts, finishes, etc. I've been doing it since 2005 using a spreadsheet I initially created in Microsoft Excel, but then moved it over to Number on my Mac when that application was introduced in 2007. I've been pretty happy keeping track of things there and will continue to do so, but I decided I would also like to track what pieces I work on from day-to-day. Obviously, some type of calendar would be a much better fit for this purpose than a spreadsheet.

My initial purchase for my daily tracking was a Canvo bullet journal from Catherine Pooler Designs. That choice was mainly driven by the fact I had a $20 gift card I could use for the purchase. It arrived in just a few days after placing my order and I went to work creating my initial spreads. Since all the pages are just a plain dot grid, it's up to the individual user to create whatever types of layouts or spreads they want. It's literally a blank canvas.

After doing the spread for May, I quickly realized a few reasons why this wasn't going to be a good fit for me. Firstly, it took quite a bit of time to draw out the calendar and I still didn't get it 100% right. Secondly, it's much heavier and bulky that I really wanted. Lastly, I realized I'm just not a fan of spiral-bound planners. I use a disc-bound Happy Planner for work and much prefer that style because I can easily take the pages out to work on them on a flat surface and then just pop the back into my planner which just isn't possible with something spiral-bound.

Since I realized the Canvo just wasn't going to meet my needs, I decided to look at options from Happy Planner since I knew I liked the disc-bound system. After shopping around a bit, I ended up purchasing the Indigo Skinny Classic planner and the Blue Florals Mini Notebook at Joann. I'll use the Skinny Classic planner to track all of my day-to-day stitching and will be using the Mini Notebook as a project tracker.

Since the planner I purchased is for July 2021 - June 2022, I purchased an undated Skinny Calming Blue planner from the Park Lane line at Joann in order to have calendars to cover May and June until the dated version starts in July. Even though it's from a different company, it's the same size and layout as the Skinny Classic from Happy Planner and the blues work quite nicely together. 

Each month starts with a month at a glance spread. I'm using these pages to keep track of my planned rotation for the month, the called numbers for WIPGO, as well as any SALs or special events I'll be taking part in that month that take place on a certain date. Since May is one of the undated months, I just used a pen to fill in the dates in both the monthly and weekly spreads. I won't have to do that once we get to July since that's when the dated calendars included with the Happy Planner will begin.

After the monthly spread comes all the weekly spreads. There is plenty of room each day for writing down what I'm working on. In fact, there's enough room I was able to document two projects I worked on in a single day on May 6. In the notes section at the bottom right section of the week, I recap the number of new starts and finishes I had for the week, if applicable.

After the five weekly spreads comes a notes page and the divider for the following month. I'm using the notes page to do a monthly recap where I list any new starts and finishes I had as well as any SALs I participated in that month. I also include the number of days out of the month that I stitched as well as the number of projects I worked on during the month.

I decided I wanted to include my WIPGO tracker in my planner, but there really wasn't a good place to put it. I decided to just create one from scratch. I created my WIPGO list in Numbers (Excel would work fine, too) then printed it on some 32 lb paper on my home printer. I prefer using the 32 lb paper when printing pages for my planners because it's heavier than regular 20 lb printer paper, so it holds up nicely and has less chance of writing from the opposite side of the paper showing through. I used a paper trimmer to cut it down to 4⅛ x 9¼" which is the same size as the Slim Classic pages. I used my Happy Planner Punch to punch the disc openings along the left edge than popped it into the front of my planner. 

Even though the Mini Notebook came with ruled filler paper, I also opted to create my own pages for tracking my projects. I did this one a bit differently than my WIPGO tracker. This time I used the Pages application on my Mac (Microsoft Word would also work). I created both sides of the page in order to have the "ditch" necessary to accommodate the disc-binding since I wanted to print on both sides of the paper. I trimmed down a bunch of the 32 lb paper to 4⅛ x 7" which is the same size as the Mini Notebook paper from Happy Planner. I created a custom paper size in my printer settings with those measurements than just double-side printed all of the pages. Once printed, I used the Happy Planner Punch to punch the disc openings then put them into the notebook.

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my stitch planning and tracking idea. Do you track your stitching? If so, what method do you use? I would love to hear other ideas!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Lizzie Kate Spooked Mystery Sampler - Part 1 Finish

 Back in January, I decided to start Lizzie Kate's Spooked Mystery Sampler as my Dark 13 stitching project for this year. If you aren't familiar with Dark 13 stitching, it's when stitchers work on a "dark" project (Halloween, spooky, etc.) on the 13th of each month. It was started several years ago by my long-time online stitchy friend Michelle (@cozyegg) and Emily C. (@eclecticpossessions). If you would like to follow along, you can use and follow #dark13stitching on Instagram. 

Since there are three charts in the series, I decided to give myself four months to complete each panel. I only work on this piece of the 13th, but figured this plan will allow me to still be able to get the entire piece stitched this year. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. I didn't actually get the first panel done until this month, so I'm a month behind schedule. I hope to get caught up on panel two which is mostly words and less solid stitching.

All that being said, here's my finish on the first panel. 

Design: Spooked Mystery Sampler - Part 1
Designer: Lizzie Kate
Fabric: 28 count Ale Lugana (Picture This Plus)
Fibers: Called For
Started: 13 January 2021
Completed 15 May 2021


I'm counting each panel as an individual finish since they are each charted separately. I'll be adding the beads and buttons from the embellishment kit once I have all three panels stitched. I actually forgot to leave the spaces for the buttons and beads on this part, so I'll have to do a little bit of frogging when it's time to add the embellishments. The design is charted so you can stitch it with the embellishments or without. It's so nice to have the option to do it either way. 

If you are interested in this sampler, 123 Stitch has all three charts and the embellishment pack. Just search their site for Spooked Mystery Sampler and they will all come right up. Part 1 is currently out of stock, but I'm sure they'll have it again soon since they have exclusive rights to all of the Lizzie Kate charts now.

That's it from me for now. Until next time, happy stitching! 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Another Finish & Some Haul

 I can hardly believe it, but I've managed to get in a second finish this weekend! It's a pretty small design and I was already about halfway done with it, but hey, a finish is a finish. It was really nice to knock another item off my lengthy WIP list as well. 


The piece I finished is called Count the Cups by Ardith Design. I stitched it on 32 count Gold Rush Jobelan from BeStitchMe using DMC 815. I absolutely love the combination of this fabric and 815. I really wish the photo did it the proper justice. I started this piece on January 5 and finished it today, May 9. I think I only worked on it a total of three stitching sessions though.

Since I had slated this piece for the entire weekend, I'll pick up something else to work on tonight before my Sampler Maynia rotates again tomorrow. I have a couple of other samplers on my WIPGO board that I didn't put in my Sampler Maynia plans, so I'll probably grab one of those. I think my WIP of Sunnyside Sampler by The Drawn Thread has been called already, but I haven't worked on it yet, so that's probably what I'll stitch on tonight. 

Now that I'm fully vaccinated, I decided to take a quick trip over to Needlepoints, Ltd. which is my LNS (local needlework store). It's mostly a needlepoint shop, but I go there from time to time to pick up fibers since she carries most of the brands used for cross stitching as well. She does carry some cross stitch charts, but most of them are pretty dated. I think she stopped ordering new cross stitch charts when she had to downsize to a smaller space a few years ago. Even though I can't get charts, I still like to go in from time to time to buy fibers just to support her shop. 

Here's a photo of most of the items I picked up today. I also got some 32 ct Taupe Lugana, but it's not in the photo because she hadn't cut it for me yet at the time I snapped this pic.


I squealed a little bit when I noticed she still had a few pair of Dovo embroidery scissors in stock. Dovo stopped making embroidery scissors a few months ago, so supplies are now limited to the existing stock shops have on hand. I also picked up an older chart from Blackbird designs called Summer's Last Rose. It was a Loose Feathers release from 2012. I also picked up a few threads I needed to finish fitting up a few things.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Live Simply Sampler Finished!

I finished this lovely little sampler earlier today. It's the Live Simply Sampler from Jeannette Douglas Designs. This sampler is an exclusive design available only in the Cross-Stitch: Basics & Beyond class taught by Jeannette on the Craftsy platform. Here's a photo of my completed piece.



I stitched my version of this lovely sampler on 32 count Light Mocha linen from Zweigart using all of the called for fibers. The beautiful variegated silk used in this sampler is Cotswold Garden by Gloriana. It's absolutely gorgeous and the photos definitely don't do it justice. 

There are two versions of the sampler included with the chart. One is full crosses only and includes and alphabet. I opted to do the specialty stitch version which replaces the alphabet section with a few bands of specialty stitches. It includes Smyrna stitches, satin stitches, and some blackwork with beads. Here's a close up photo showing the specialty stitch section.

Completing this piece also puts me another step closer toward catching up on my WIPGO plans for this year. I did great in January, then fell completely off the WIPGO wagon. Well, I didn't fall completely off the wagon. I completed my 10 hour goal on a couple of pieces on my WIPGO board, but they haven't actually been called yet. Oops! LOL This piece was called in February so at least I worked on a called piece this time. Here's my updated WIPGO board which includes this finish ad well as the squares I've already completed which haven't been called yet. 


Thanks for stopping by today! I'll be back again soon.


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Catching Up & Maynia Plans

 Once again I have been woefully remiss in updating my blog. Life has been busy and most of the time it just seems easier to post on Instagram instead. Given we're already nearly a full week into Stitch Maynia, I thought now would be a good time to post an update and share my plans for Maynia.

For a bit of catch up, I've only had two finishes so far this year. My first finish was an ornament from the Merry Christmas Gingerbread pattern designed by AnimalsCrossStitch on Etsy. I stitched it on 32 count Antique White Lugana using the called for fibers. Here's a photo of my finish.


The second finish I've had this year is a gorgeous freebie by Hello From Liz Mathews. She is doing a series of freebie smalls this year in honor of her first anniversary as a designer. The freebie is posted on her website here, but to know whenever she has a new freebie available, be sure to subscribe to her email newsletter. I stitched this on 36 count Winter Moon linen by Zweigart using Bell Soie silk in Rouge. Here's a photo of my finish.


Now let's move on to my plans for Stitch Maynia. If you aren't familiar with Maynia, it's an event that takes place each May in the stitching community. The original version of Maynia was starting a new project each day in May to coincide with the last two numbers of the year. So, in the inaugural year of 2015, people started 15 new projects. In 2016, people started 16 new projects and so on. Since then Maynia has evolved and expanded to be whatever people want to make it.

I've decided to do a "sampler Maynia" this year. Instead of a bunch of new starts, I'll be working on seven of my existing sampler WIPs (works in progress) along with two planned new starts. I'll be working on two projects per week -- one during the week and the other on the weekend. Here's what I have planned for the month.

The first of my two new starts is Midnight Ride by Blackbird Designs. While Midnight Ride might not seem like a "traditional" sampler, I say it counts since the design includes an alphabet. I started it as part of the Blackbird Designs weekend SAL (#bbdweekendsal) started by Brenda and Laura from the Brenda and the Serial Starter channel on FlossTube. Since we're already several days into the month, I'll show the progress I made on May 1 and 2. I think I made great progress since this was a new start! The called for fabric is no longer available, but Jeannine at Acorns & Threads helped me find a great substitution when I was at her shop for the 2019 Fall Fling event. I'm stitching it on 32 count Salt Marsh Green linen from R&R Reproductions using the called for fibers.


The second of my two new starts will be Memorial Sampler by Midsummer Night Designs. May 23 will be the one year anniversary of the death of my father. I had Attic Needlework kit this up for me right after he passed away, but it's taken until now for me to actually be emotionally ready to start it. I'll be stitching it on 40 count Heartland from Picture This Plus as kitted by the Attic. Some of the called for fibers weren't available as the result of supply issues due to COVID, so Carolyn made substitutions as necessary. I think she did an amazing job!


That's it for now. I'll be back later in the month with more photos of my Sampler Maynia progress.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2020 Year in Review

I haven't done a very good job of keeping up with my blog this year. I started off strong, but then the whole pandemic hit. Soon after that, my dad entered hospice care and suddenly keeping up with my blog just didn't seem important any longer. After my dad passed at the end of May, I lost my stitching mojo completely and only recently picked it up again. 

With all that in mind, here's a recap of my stitching year:

Works in Progress (WIPs)

I went a little crazy with new starts during March Stitchy Madness, so my WIP count increased dramatically during 2020. I started the year with 15 WIPs and ended it with 47 WIPs. Oops! LOL Given I started two new pieces on January 1, that brings my total to 49 WIPs as of this writing. I'm really hoping to get that number down quite a bit during 2021.

Year of Smalls and Six

I started off really strong on this challenge with my BFF, Tracy. Sadly, after losing my stitchy mojo for several months, I didn't finish this challenge. That being said, I did manage to finish two of my six WIPs I hoped to complete. I also completed 12 smalls toward my goal of 20. While I didn't complete it, at least I made some good progress on it.

Stitch-a-Longs (SALs)

I participated in a total of eight SALs this year and actually managed to complete five of them. Here are the five I did manage to complete:

  • Pumpkin Farm SAL - done with my BFF
  • Suffrage Act - hosted by Stitching with the Sisterlies and 2 Martini Stitcher
  • Be Well and Stitch SAL - I completed a design by Erica Michaels
  • Merry & Minty SAL - hosted by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle & Thread
  • Berries in Bloom (Merry SAL) - hosted by Cathy Habermann of Hands on Design
  • A Christmas Carol SAL - hosted by The Stitching Book Club/Sapphire Mtn Handcrafts
Here are the SALs I didn't manage to finish:
  • Baby It's Cold SAL - done in memory of Leanne of the Lost in Floss YouTube channel
  • Family & Friends SAL - hosted by Linens & Threads
  • Jane Marshall 1857 SAL - hosted by Hands Across the Sea

Finishes

With all that in mind, I still managed to get in 20 finishes this year. The last one was completely with literally less than a minute to go before the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Talk about finishing by the skin of my teeth! 

Here is the list of my finishes for this year:

  1. January 3 - Two Turtle Doves - Prairie Schooler (Year of Smalls finish #1)
  2. January 7 - Caroling Cardinals - Blue Ribbon Designs (Year of Smalls finish #2)
  3. January 9 - Trimming the Tree - Blue Ribbon Designs (Year of Smalls finish #3)
  4. January 13 - Chicken Joy - Stitching with the Housewives (Year of Smalls finish #4)
  5. January 19 - Suffrage Act - Little House Needleworks
  6. January 25 - Be Inkspired - Stitchrovia (Stitch Six finish #1)
  7. January 27 - Pumpkin House - Shannon Christine Designs
  8. February 10 - Hello Spring - Stitching with the Housewives (Year of Smalls finish #5)
  9. February 29 - Dorothy's Red Shoes - The Little Stitcher (Year of Smalls finish #6)
  10. March 15 - Spring Hare Etching - Heart in Hand (Year of Smalls finish #7)
  11. March 24 - Bee Well Scissor Fob - Vonna Pfeiffer/Fiber Talk (Year of Smalls finish #8)
  12. March 26 - Stay Home and Stitch - Erica Michaels (Years of Smalls finish #9)
  13. March 30 - Pumpkin Patch - Shannon Christine Designs (Stitch Six finish #2)
  14. April 4 - Chocolate Bunny - Teresa Kogut (Punch Needle & Primitive Stitcher magazine)
  15. November 26 - Ladybug Santa - Just Nan (Year of Smalls finish #10)
  16. November 27 - PiƱata Party - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (Year of Smalls finish #11)
  17. December 5 - A Very COVID Christmas: Santa - Beverly Ellis (Year of Smalls finish #12)
  18. December 16 - Merry & Minty - With Thy Needle & Thread
  19. December 31 - Berries in Bloom - Hands on Design
  20. December 31 - A Christmas Carol SAL - Sapphire Mtn Handcrafts/Stitching Book Club

Stitching Goals


For the first time in many years, I'm not setting any stitching goals this year. I've reached a point in my life where I'm kind of over setting stitching goals. In the words of my friend, Abi, I just want to stitch what I want when I want (#swywwyw). 

The only real exception to stitching what I want when I want will be my WIPGO board. I don't think that will really be an issue though because I love each of the WIPs I've put on my board. My goal for each square on is a minimum of 10 hours of stitching time. These are the projects I've selected for my board.
 That wraps up my 2020 year in review. Here's to a very stitchy 2021. Happy New Year!