My obsession with HAED and crochet and yarn and stuff . . . . .

Thursday, 2 December 2010

A small breathing space

.. away from FF88 this week. Tomorrow the Board SAL starts again and I think I will make an early start on Sunny today to get away from the total disaster that is my Faery :-( I have started to prepare a new piece of fabby and I've ordered a couple of threads to restock what I used on the other one. So, I guess I'm 99% certain that I will restart her. I just can't face it yet. Hopefully having a week on Sunny will help.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Or maybe not ..

I've had another look at FF88 and I'm just not sure that I can live with it. Every time I look at her I can just see a huge muckup. Quite frankly, if I stitch on her for goodness knows how many more hours and still feel like that, then it will all have been a total waste of time. So, it's looking likely that I will restart :-( I've got some more of the lilac 28ct and I've ordered the two threads that I've already used a fair bit of. I'm off to see Harry Potter tonight so no stitching for me .. maybe a break away from it will help me decide what to do.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Disaster avoided

... I think!

I was finishing off the column on FF88 last night and I found a hole in my fabby! It looked like the top bit of the weave going horizontally had either snapped from my gridding or I'd snipped it. So when you stitched over it, the stitches collapsed into each other.

At 1.15am last night, that was so not funny. Unpicking the bottom of the page was not an option. Nor was starting again, not now that I am nearly a quarter through!

I looked at it again this morning, and even got the magnifier out lol. I ran the same colour thread up down and across all the stitches at the back all the way round the broken one to create a sort of patch and to hold the stitches in. I then took out the piece of gridding that seemed to be supporting in and held my breath. Luckily the stitches seem to be holding and, when the underneath page is stitched, it should be even stronger.

Lesson learned! Do not grid so tightly and be careful with scissors!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Here's looking at you ...

It's been a while, but I'm back to stitching FF88. After the nightmare that was the confetti stitching on Sunny, I think that the last thing my needle wanted to do was Dragon Charmer! So FF88 it was. I am loving her! The eye has a ton of colours in it but it really was worth it. The eye just draws you in. From close up it doesn't look that great but from a distance, and in a photo .. well, you can see what I mean. There is just another three and a half partial columns and I will have finished the page. I am still parking amongst my previous cross-country stitching but the next column is the last one that should cause any problems.

Faces of Faery (JBG) 29 November 2010

I think I will stay stitching her for a while as I really would like to get something else finished this year or at least be near to it. Ideally I would like to get Sunny and FF88 done but it's not looking good! FF88 has three more whole and two partial pages, and I have only just started page two of three for Sunny. A bit over-optimistic as usual! And the trouble is they have started to release details of the next SAL and there is a Spangler draggie in there. It is going to be very hard to resist! Just waiting for details of the last two charts and then I will have to decide. I could do without another new start but hey, the more the merrier :-D

In the meantime, I've been buying again. This time another JBG - The Three Fates. I am going to reward myself by starting this once I have finished FF88 and Sunny.

(c) Heaven and Earth Designs 2010

I'm still waiting for the Snapdragon Faery QS to be released, but that will be another definite one to add to the stash. And then of course there will be a Christmas sale and I'll just have to pick up a couple of charts then, won't I? :-D

Friday, 19 November 2010

It's a little bit Sunny

It's been a while since I've been on here but I have been stitching - honest! I've had a couple of weeks on Sunny this time around, the SAL week and also an extra one to try and catch up with myself. I've now found that her hair is a right *whatsit* and is a pain in the parking! Sorry the photo is so messy, but I stopped mid-column (in disgust really) and so there are parked threads everyone. It really is a nightmare changing from cross-country to parking midway through a project so I really must make sure that I stick to parking from the start from now on!

Anyway, off her now for a while thank goodness. I'll get back to her in December for another week. I was going to go back to Dragon Charmer but I've got the urge to do FF88 so I'm going to work on her for a while.

True to form I am thinking about my next project! I've picked up some gorgeous hand-dyed lime green 28ct jobelan and I'm going to have a go at one of the Ink Circles patterns called Cirque des Carreaux shown here. I've ordered some hand-dyed threads to do it with. They are Carrie's Threads in Berry Swirl. I've got to wait a couple of weeks for the threads to come from the States so I am hoping the colour combination works although I am now wondering a bit about the blue! I went for a clash rather than co-ordination - can you tell!?

Friday, 5 November 2010

First picture

of Dragon Charmer. I have loved working on her, despite the fact that it really is all confetti! I must admit that I still can't see anything - it just looks like loads of blobs to colour to me lol. I was hoping to have finished at least half a page before the Sunny SAL but it just didn't happen, oh well :-)

Dragon Charmer at 5 November 2010

I am loving parking! I am really really surprised as I was very sure that I wouldn't like it at all. That said, I don't think I could cross-country a Wall - there would definitely be lots of frogging :-D I have had to frog a couple of times, but it was so easy to see where I had gone wrong, that I didn't have to spend too long doing it which is always a bonus.

This week it's back to Sunny for the SAL. I really want to get page one finished and make a proper start on page 2. Page 3 came through the other day - there are lots of nice blocks of colour on that one which will be nice after the confetti mess of page 2!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Just plugging away ..

.. at my Dragon Charmer. I've been working pretty solidly on her and I've got nearly three columns done. I am still enjoying parking (which I didn't think I would!). I like the fact that it is so methodical and you can just plod from box to box. There is definitely something satisfying about filling in those little boxes and knowing that there are 100 stitches in each. It also makes it much easier to count the amount of stitches done. I was tempted to post a picture, but I think I will wait until the end of the week when I take a break from her to carry on with Sunny for the SAL week. At the moment it doesn't look like anything except a jumbled up load of colours. I can't see any of the details in it - and I certainly can't see the castle that is supposed to be there! Hopefully once I have done the fourth column things will become more apparent!

Thinking about SALs, it looks like next year's HAED SAL will be a year long one, with a Quick Stitch rather than a Story Keep. It will be interesting to see which charts are going to be on offer - apparently fudgey is sorting this now and we should find out soon. I am sort of hoping that there is nothing that I want to stitch as I really do have quite enough on the go already but, chances are, there will be something that grabs me and I will have to join in! I don't think I will be able to resist temptation. At least if it is a year SAL I will have time to get Sunny done first! I'm not going to make any of my 6 month goals - one of which was to finish Sunny. I think I was a bit enthusiastic and overstretched myself lol, that's not like me is it?! I will have to try to make any new goals more achievable (yeah right) :-)

I've been enjoying working with my new Lowery stand as it definitely suits my style of working much more than my old stand. The QSnaps are better for me too. I like to have my work right under my nose and this new combination certainly achieves that. I'm looking forward too, to going to the NEC this weekend for the Crafts for Christmas show. I've got the money from selling my old kit to spend - lets hope I can find something to spend it on this time!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

My charming Charmer

I made a start on Dragon Charmer last night, just less than a hundred stitches but a start nonetheless. I am still waiting on most of my threads but I had the ones in the first block, less three colours. I have managed to do almost all of the gridding - the rest of it can wait until I have five minutes when the kids are quiet enough to do something, but not quiet enough to sit and stitch!

I have to say, already I am loving this and I am desperate to get on with it! The colours are great and parking seems to be working a treat. I say that now, but this is pretty confetti light at the moment lol! I am looking forward to seeing how this column turns out. I should be able to get a whole night's stitching in tonight which is great because I won't get any stitchy time tomorrow night or Sunday.

Don't you just hate it when your social life interferes with your stitching! :-D

Monday, 18 October 2010

I gave in (again)!

The HAED sale was just too tempting lol! I caved and bought Dragon Charmer by Josephine Wall. Another Wall, I must be crazy :-D I just couldn't resist her, I love her tattoos, the stars, the colours and the dragon .. and .. and .. and !! Here she is:

Josephine Wall: Dragon Charmer (c) HAED

She is going to be a new start (uh oh). I have the perfect piece of fabby for her, a really nice blue 28ct Jobelan. I'm going to print out the floss list in a minute and put an order in with Donna. Then I just need to grid and, fingers crossed, I can make a start. I hoping all of the pretty colours will cheer me up and help to chase my winter blues away! I think I might put Vanity onto a SWIP as I have been feeling pretty uninspired by her at the moment, poor Vanity :-(

Those HAED sales really are lethal!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Atchooooo !

Feeling a bit rubbish this week, even though I've had some nice stash turn up. I've had a cold and it's made my stitchy bug go to sleep :-( I haven't really stitched much at all. I just couldn't face any of HAEDs so as well as the snowman cushion, I've stitched up the owl cushion for DD3 ready for Christmas. I couldn't decide which HAED to rotate back to, so I went for FF88 as she is relatively new and I can practise parking on her.

I also got my new floorstand this week. I sold my Needleneeds and four frames to my sister - she is an on and off stitcher and has decided she wants to get back into it - and I got a Lowery instead. I really wanted the Lowery in the first place but the cost put me off. I should have bought it as I lost about £90 on what I had paid for the Needleneeds stuff. Ah well, you live and learn! Anyhow, I really love the Lowery. It is much less obtrusive and holds my Q-Snaps a treat. What I like best is that it brings my work really close to me but I can still curl my feet up on the sofa, which I couldn't do before. And, if I want to get up, I don't have to slide out from behind the stand, I just loosen it off and it moves away. Great!

I got an 11x11 Q-Snap too, for Vanity. And I've ordered a grimeguard and also the extension pack. I think I only have two more sizes to get and I'll have the full set.

HAED have a sale this week. I am very tempted to pick up the two charts on my must have list but I really shouldn't! One is Dragon Charmer by Wall - eek am I mad, another Wall! The other is QS Tag Alongs by Hannah Lynn - it's got some really cute baby penguins in it so DD2 would love it. The sale doesn't finish until the end of the month so I've got plenty of time to decide. And you never know, there might be some really nice new releases ....... :-D

Monday, 11 October 2010

It's been quite a Sunny week ..

Not only has the weather been surprisingly and uncharacteristically warm for this time of year, I have also been taking part in the Sunny SK SAL this week. I was hoping to complete the page but after finishing the confetti in the flower and the hat, I was burnt out! So I'm trying to decide between Aurora and FF88. Aurora is slightly more tempting as she has more done, and I really would like to get at least one of my goals done this half year. Whichever I decide on, I think that I am going to practise parking on it - ready for when Sunny comes back round as her hair is a nightmare.

Sunny after October SAL

I went to AllyPally this weekend and met up with T. We had a great time! I was very reserved and only spent a little, unusual for me. I got some more scissors (like I needed more of those!), a pretty pink needle keep, a flamingo kit (DD1 loves flamingoes) and one of the Pinemountain Designs pillows. I found the snowman one half price at the show, and it is the same style as the owl one I have ordered for DD3 from the States (which hopefully will arrive this week). I've done the snowman pillow already, it took about 3 hours :-) I would like to say that I made the pillow, but I would be lying! Here it is:

Snowman pillow stitched 10 October 2010

Thursday, 7 October 2010

No willpower!

Well I really have no willpower! After seeing Aquarius yesterday I've been doing my usual obsessing about it and so ... I've just bought it! It really is stunning, but at 41 pages (and most of those confetti) it is going to have to wait a while as Vanity must come first!

Here she is, isn't she a stunner?!

Josephine Wall: Aquarius (c) HAED

Stitching along ..

I've been busy this week on the Sunny SAL. I avoided the flower on her hat for so long but I finally had to tackle it. There are only a few more stitches to go and I will have done it. It has taken ages :-( But it does look very effective. I have decided that I will probably stay working on her for a bit after the SAL finishes - I want to get the first page finished and hopefully make a start on her hair.

Talking about her hair, when you look at it, it is obvious that I really need to get to grips with parking, and now. Luckily one of my fellow stitchers has a great guide to parking on her blog and that has been invaluable, as has the HAED BB. I just don't think that cross-country will work with it, there are so many confetti stitches that I will just get lost and it'll take forever.

I will have to post a picture of Sunny when I move on again. Hopefully I will be able to take some of the gridding out and have a proper look at her!

I've been adding stuff to my wishlist again lol. A Gathering of Faeries by JBG and also Aquarius by Josephine Wall. I'm thinking I could stitch Aquarius for DD3 as that is actually her birthsign but I think I will have to work up to it as Wall's designs seem to be notorius for confetti! No rush though as she is only 2 and I don't think she will quite appreciate it yet :-D

Friday, 1 October 2010

Replacing Alice

So here is my first photo of Faces of Faery 88 (FF88) by JBG. I started her to replace Alice on 18 September 2010. She is stitched on 28ct lilac lugana, one over one, whole crosses. She has quite a lot of large blocks of colour so she stitches up quite well, but I have had to make a start on her eye to relieve the boredom of all that 945 on her forehead! Isn't that eye great - it's not finished yet but it's effective already!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

So excited!!!

Just had to say, I've been accepted onto the HAED Our Friends SAL blog! I am so excited! I've just made my first post, I put up photos of Aurora and Vanity and I'll post a picture of FF88 when I swap over for the Sunny SAL which I think starts again tomorrow! OMG I'm a proper blogger now! :-D

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Catching up .. and giving up

This past week I have been back working on Aurora's Garden. I haven't done any stitching on her for quite a while but took the opportunity to do so with the HAED slow WIP stitchalong. There are some really odd colours in her face - like lime green! and her hair is quite bizarre too but they work. It's only when you stand back that you can see how it works. I'm really pleased with how much I got done, so here is a picture of her now:

Aurora's Garden as at 17 September 2010

Bad new this week though :-( I started to stitch again on Alice but I really wasn't happy with the coverage I was getting on the 25ct with one over one. There was just simply too much show through on all the dark colours, whereas usually this is only an occasional problem with black. So reluctantly I have decided to scrap her altogether for now. There is no point carrying on with her when everytime I look at her all I can see is the gaps :-( I can't face restarting her straight away so I am going to have a new start instead, something smaller to pick up and down between Vanity and the other SALs. So, I am going with Faces of Faery 88 by JBG. Purple again but quite a lot of large blocks of colours so hopefully she will stitch up quite quickly. I'm going to do her on 28ct this time, NO MORE 25ct for me!!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

It's been a long time baby ....

Well it has! Over a month since I last added anything to my blog .. not good.

It's been an odd sort of month stitchy-wise. I've either got loads or nothing done. I had a whole week where my stitchy bug just upped and left :-( by the end of that week the stress levels were sky high and I just had to get something done, even if it was just 10 stitches. I managed to stitch some of Sunny, making a start on that flower at last, and when I have been stitching I've been working pretty solidly on Vanity.

I got my first Q-Snaps this month too! I got an 8x8 set and wanted to try them out so I popped Aurora on them. She fits pretty good and I like the tension of them. Can't imagine using them on a bigger project though .. although I wonder if I can just rest them on my Needleneeds as I would any other frame? I guess so. I have to admit that is has been nice not being stuck behind a floorstand and being part of the family again .. I think that novelty will wear off soon enough!

I've also put Aurora into the SWIP SAL on the HAED BB this week so I'll work on her until Thursday and then rotate back to Vanity, although I might have a little go at Alice, not sure yet!

I have applied to join HAED Friends blog but that is full so luckily I have been accepted for the My First HAED blog. So, I will try and post on there, as well as here!

As I've been working on different things this month, here are all the update photos. I'll put up a photo of Aurora once the SAL is finished.

Sunny after the September 2010 SAL

Vanity as at 2 September 2010

Friday, 6 August 2010


I've made a start! Vanity was started on 1 August and so far I have put 2300 stitches into her. Not even 1% yet! Most of those stitches were the same purple. About 50 were another, lighter, shade of purple but not that different that you can see the two. I've got two pictures, one close up showing what I have done so far. The other is for scale, so you can see the whole piece of fabby with my small amount of stitches at the top lol!

2300 stitches done!

Not that much to see!

I have loved stitching this, and am pleased that my bars have now arrived for my Needleneeds frame. I can't wait to stitch on her again but it's back to Sunny again now for the SAL week on the HAED Bulletin Board. I have to say that after all that purple I am quite looking forward to the confetti stitches of the flower on Sunny's hat!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Busy doing nothing ...

Well I've had a week of just that! I managed just four hours actual stitching time on Alice this week, and then spent the rest of the week prepping up Vanity - sorting threads and gridding fabric. I think it took me the best part of four days but it is a large design. I've ordered threads but some are out of stock so I haven't quite got them all. I also ordered some new bars for my NeedleNeeds frame as I don't have any wide enough. They were out of stock too but should be with me at the beginning of next week.

So now I am putting Alice away for a while. I am going to make a small start on Vanity this week. T and I are doing this as a mini-stitchalong and we've even got our own forum on Craftbubble! Then the week after that will be the second HAED SK stitchalong, so back to Sunny for a week.

As it's all change, time for some more photos. The first one is Alice and the second one is Vanity, prepped and ready to go!

Alice at 31 July 2010

Vanity ready to start

Friday, 23 July 2010

Decisions, decisions

Tough decisions to make today .. the wonderful HAED site is having a sale and with 30% off it really is worth stocking up and adding to the stash! So far I have four charts in my basket two big designs and two small. Trouble is I just can't decide which to get!

Let's face it it's not like I really need to get yet more charts, after all I've got several on the go already and sooooo many waiting but I have to say that Vanity by Marta Dahlig is calling to me quite loudly. It would look so good on lilac 28ct evenweave, the purples in it are gorgeous! One of the Faces of Faery is also looking likely - really pretty electric blues and the eyes are so cute!

So after much deliberation, I got Vanity (Dahlig) Faces of Faery 14 (JBG) Afternoon Tea (Spangler) and Heart on her Sleeve (HL)! Vanity has now jumped to the top of my to do pile - over Pink Lightning which I was sure I wanted to do next. I've ordered my fabby, threads, a different coloured gridding thread and some bigger bars for my frame. I now have to wait until it all arrives to make a start. I will definitely have to grid my fabby and I think, given the size of Vanity, that will take a while.

It does mean that it looks like one of my current wips is going to have to take a backseat for some time. As Aurora seems to be out of favour at the moment, I think it will have to be her. So, one of my half year goals is out already :-(

I think I will slip Vanity in as my main piece, taking the majority of the month and then do a week on Alice and carry on with the stitchalong for this year. I will probably not be able to take part in next year's stitchalong (if they do one) that is unless there is a storykeep there that I absolutely have to do!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Don't you just hate it when ...

life gets in the way of your stitching? Well, that's how it has been this week and I've barely stitched poor Aurora. Instead I've seen Eclipse and I've also read the Twilight novella both of which were good. It's been a mad last week of the school term with stuff going on every day and I've had a great weekend in London seeing a show and shopping my socks off!

But, on the downside, I have totally lost my stitchy bug, I can't believe it :-( I've only managed 4 hours stitching this week and now I should be moving on to Alice again but I just can't summon up any enthusiasm at all. I've done so little stitching on Aurora it really isn't worth taking a picture!

Alice is still sat in my stitching bag, it's late and there is no chance of stitching tonight. Hopefully if it get her all set back up on the frame I'll find my bug again. I've got two weeks stitching on her until the next stitchalong, and back to Sunny again, so hopefully that wandering bug will be back soon.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The end of the first Sunny week ...

Thursday (the 8th) was the end of the first week for the Sunny stitchalong.

Basically, the HAED bulletin board put up five charts and I got to choose the one I wanted to stitch. I was sent the info for the chart I had chosen (Sunny by Myka Jelina) and then one week a month - from the first Friday to the following Thursday - I stitch on that chart. I have to put progress pictures on the board and, as long as I've put at least two pictures on between July and December this year, I will qualify to get the other four charts free! These get sent to me some time in January and I can add them to my (rapidly expanding HAED) collection!

I think this is a brilliant idea and the ladies that organize it are fab, it must take such a lot of work. It's amazing to think that there are stitchers all over the world stitching on the same chart as me! It has been really interesting to see how far everyone has got within the week. Some people have done a little, some a bit more and I think there is one poster who has done the whole page! I wish I could stitch that fast but you have to remember never to measure yourself against others! Everyone stitches differently and some have more time to stitch (time to stitch is pretty rare round here although I can usually get a couple of hours a night in).

I am pretty pleased with how far I have got. You can just make out where her eyes are going to be. I think I have got about a third of the page done although I do need to bite the bullet and stitch the flower that should be in the top right hand corner. It's got loads of confetti stitches in it and I think I'll come back to it next time - it'll help break up the monotony of stitching the white of her face. The colours are gorgeous though, so many shades of purple but it really is effective. The crosses you can see all over the fabby is my gridding - this is really useful on HAED designs as it is sooooo easy to lose your place and if you do you're in trouble! They are such a pain to frog as the count is so high the stitches come out really tight and you just can't get the needle in to unpick then without the thread fraying all over the place!

I think managed to get about 2300 stitches in and I spent about 19 and a half hours on her. It doesn't look much for that amount of time does it! It has been really hot though this week so it's made it really hard to actually just sit and stitch. And the bugs have been driving me crazy - I've got all the windows open because it is so hot but the daylight lamp seems to attract every bug in town! I've had to resort to a citronella candle by the side of me to try to keep them away - doesn't seem to be working that well unfortunately :-(

So, that's Sunny's week done. Back onto Aurora now for the next week, the greens and blues will make a change from the purples and black. I've not stitched on Aurora since 20th June so it will be nice to get back to her.

making a start .... with some half yearly goals

Well I've hit 40 and decided that I would do something a bit different this year. Quite why that means I've started a blog, I've no idea. Not normally the sort of thing I would do at all! I guess it is just an extension of the paper stitching diary I have already been keeping for a few months - just with more photos! Anyway, this is one first for me.

Another first is that I've set myself some half yearly goals on the HAED bulletin board. I've never done this with my stitching before, I've always just gone with the flow and picked up projects here and there as I've fancied. I've started things when I wanted to and that's probably why I have a box full of UFOs! I'm only stitching HAEDs at the moment, nothing else seems to be grabbing my attention. There are so many designs to chose from I don't think I will have enough time ever to do all the ones I want to. The tiny crosses are sooooo addictive and the satisfaction you get from finishing, knowing that you have completed over 25 thousand stitches, is great. I've already got a collection of charts waiting to be stitched but they will have to wait their turn as the
goals for July to December are:

1. Finish the Sunny SK
2. Finish Aurora's Garden QS
3. Complete pages 1-4 of Alice Descending (two whole and two partial pages)

I'm not sure how I will get on with these goals but I'll give it a go. I am fairly sure I will finish Sunny and Aurora, it's just whether or not stitching in a rotation of 3 projects will let me have enough time on Alice to get the pages in. I'm aiming to do a week on Sunny, a week on Aurora and then the other two weeks on Alice. Any fifth week in the month I will probably spend on Alice. I suppose if it gets near the end of the year and the finishes aren't looking likely then I can always drop Alice out so that at least I reach two out of three.

Here are all three projects at their current stages, they are all stitched on 25ct lugana, Alice on cream and Aurora and Sunny on antique white:

Alice Descending - HAED Jasmine Becket-Griffith

Sunny SK SAL - HAED Myka Jelina

Aurora's Garden QS - HAED BK Lusk

I'll probably post update photos at the end of each project's week of the month, but I'll see how it goes.

And of course I am already planning my next couple of starts, probably Pink Lightning for my main project (this will be the biggest HAED I will have attempted) and also one of the Faces of Faery as a smaller project. Whichever ones I decide on they will probably both be by Jasmine Becket-Griffith as I really love her stuff. I've already got some baby pink 28 ct for Pink Lightning (I've not tried 28ct before so it should be interesting) and I think I might get a bit of lilac as well as a couple of the Faces are quite purpley. I also need to get another set of bars for my Needleneeds frame as I don't have a wide enough pair but I think I will get them when I go to the Ally Pally craft show in October with T.

Right, enough waffle time to get on with it.