Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Itch to Stitch - no more

After yesterday's rant about stitching shows - sorry everyone and then complaining about not stitching enough recently. I went home plonked myself down in the chair and managed about 4 hours of stitching. Even got DH & DS to cook supper - you should have heard the running commentary and it was only Tuna Pasta Bake!!!!!

Anyway managed to get a good start on part 3 of the Mystery Sampler 1 - duh just realised I completely forgot to take a picture - will have to post tomorrow after another burst of stitching tonight. Must just go and check some of the WIP pics on the board cos one of my inner borders looks a bit wonky...............


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question

What are your thoughts on craft and/or needlework shows? Have you one or are you planning on going to one this year?

The first needlework show I went to was the show in Harrogate last November. I looked forward to it for weeks - especially as I live in Harrogate and the venue was only a 5 minute stroll from my office.

Boy was I disapponted. I have never been in the presence of so many rude women in my life. I was elbowed and shouldered out of the way when looking at stands because somebody else wanted to look. No "excuse me please". People were just stopping in the middle of aisles causing big jams and then other people just barged through - at one point I was sent flying.

I was suprised at how many stalls appeared to have little if any connecion with needlework. Some stalls that I was interested in I was ignored by the stallholders and in one instance when I asked a question regarding a particular silk I was interested in I was give a very curt answer. This supplier I know imports these silks from the States but obviously they weren't prepared to talk to me at the venue. I came away having spent very little and immediately went online shopping in the States - much more satisfying.

It is for these reasons I am not going to Olympia. I haven't decided if I'll brave Harrogate again - it seems such a shame when it is so close.........................we will see.

I went to a Lace Day also held in Harrogate a couple of weeks ago. The venue was tiny and I did still get pushed about by people wanting to be where I was - but at least the stalls were relevant, the stall holders wanted to talk to their customers and there was room to move.

Waste of time

On a different note I've just had about 10 days away from the office. I did hardly any stitiching. Now I'm back at my desk and my fingers are itching to stitch I can't believe I 'wasted' so much time. I managed to finish part 2 of the Mystery Sampler 1 and am planning to start part 3 tonight.

I use stitching as my primary stress reliver so I guess when I'm not working I don't get stressed and don't feel the urge to stitch as strong. Still I feel cheated - only 2.5 hours until I can go home and stitch. My fingers really are itching to stitch..............


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question

On *average*, how many hours a week (7 days) do you think that you spend cross-stitching?

Lets see - I work full time so that's no stitching during the day. I do an hours housework before dinner, cook dinner - then get to sit down on stitch so that would be 2 hours a day except Thursdays when I go to my lace making class.

Saturday mornings are busy with football and cricket practice so I usually get to sit down about 2.30 - so that's about 4-5 hours.

Sundays are pretty much free time - I do lace homework in the mornings for a couple of hours and then sit down to stitch about 11 - probably do about 6 hours.

So on an average week I think I manage between 15 and 18 hours. I hadn't looked at it like that before.

Just think how much I could do if I didn't go to work..........

After my thoughts on my favourite designer one of the comments I received commented that Chatelaine designs seemed to be "a different league". Well Martina frequently although not exclusively designs using gorgeous silks - some varigated. There is also the frequent use of beading. However, in answer to your question Julianna they are mainly cross stitch with some speciality stitches included. There really is no need to be apprehensive about the these though because not only does Martina include excellent instructions the online community are very patient with those of us who constantly ask 'how to' questions.

If you like the designs give it a go you'll be suprised at how much pleasure they are to work on.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question

"Do you have a favourite designer (or designers)? If so, who is it and why is he or she your favourite?"

There is no contest my favourite designer is - Chatelaine - Martina Weber.

Her use of colour combined with the different types of cotton/silks/beads/crysals and speciality stitches always result in the most stunning designs imaginable. Personally I am not a fan of cartoon or character stitching and find many designs available in the UK a little twee and uninspiring - personal opinion only of course.

Despite the apparant complexity of the finished work the charts are always easy to read and the support offered from Martina herself along with the enthusiastic online communities found at yahoo and ezboard make stitching a real 'family' affair.

I'm currently working on three Chatelaines at the moment - the Mystery Sampler referred to below.

Mermaid Treasure Box - having a wee rest from this one at the moment to concentrate on getting the sampler ready for the Village Show.

Alpine Seasons - this has just started and I am stitching if for my Mother's 60th birthday.

The downside is that using such wonderful materials can make kitting up a little expensive. However, with Alpine I bought from European Crosstitch Company who not only offer a good price, they often allow monthly payment terms (that's how I afforded Alpine) and when the parcel arrives it is so beautifully packaged it's like recieving a present from a friend.

I wonder who everybody else likes? Better go read some blogs.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Stitching Hiatus - not

I feel as if I've had a stitching hiatus. Notice I say feel cos when I sat to think about it actually I've had two finishes. I finished stitching the name badge for the Aion get together in April. I then made it into the badge so it's all ready to go................which is more than I am there's a list as long as my...........little finger of things to prepare, pack, finish etc. Now where did I put that goody bag.

I also started and finished an Easter Ornament for the Easter Bunnie Exchange on Aion - better not say anything more than that......................................will post piccie after Exchange has finished. I was really please though cos for the first time I diviated from a pattern. Using the Silkweaver Stash of the Month from February I used both different fabric and different threads to the pattern and cos the fabric was so nice I didn't fill in the background.

I suppose what I mean by a stitching hiatus is that I haven't done anything on the Chatelaine Mystery Sampler 1 for about a week. I had a lovely time with my best friend over the weekend (thanks Julianna for your best wishes) although when I sat down to stitch while we chatted one afternoon she was almost rude humpf - no chance she was going to get the bug. Good suggestion though from my annoymous commentator.

However I now have the most wonderful incentive to catch up and finish in June. I got a sneak preview of the schedule of classes for our village show today (DH helps to organise it and as he hasn't got an e-mail address everything comes to me - he tells me he doesn't need one. After all he's only got 6 today!!!!!) Anyway there is a Cross Stitch and Drawn Thread class that I would love to enter this into. However the last part will be published June 1st and I need to finish stitcing and get it back from the framers by 10pm on July 29th!!!!!!! I've almost finished part 2 and part 3 was released March 1st so I can play catch up over the Easter break and provided I can motivate myself to stay on track I should be able to do it.

"The Mrs S B Ward Cup for best embroidery knitting or sewing goes to Sparkly Stitches"

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Don't get me wrong but.................

I really do love my best friend. She's witty, intelligent, fun, mischievous, can down many a G&T and simply adores chocolate. But - you just knew there was going to be a but didn't you - she doesn't stitch.

I moved 200 miles away a couple of years ago so see her infrequently and love her visits. She's coming tomorrow and leaving on Monday. We will have a lovely time, shopping, chatting, watching girly films, giggling, eating chocolate annoying DH and DS.

I will get zero stitching done for three days. Normally Saturday and Sunday are my main stitching days and I often do 5 hours on each day which means I make real progress on whichever WIP is in the frame. I get so little opportunity to stitch during the week that I'm feeling quite despondent about this weekend.

"Hi my names Sparkle and I'm obsessed with stitching"


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

How many.............................

..............magazines do you read.

I think I've got a problem. There was a time when I would buy one magazine a month - a quite grown up glossy full of home decorating, cooking and general well being advice.

Now however............................................

There's the World of Cross Stitching - a monthly magazine with a few articles - not bad.

Cross Stitcher (UK) - I like this one it seems to have more words in it than many UK ones and some of the articles are actually aimed at people who enjoy a challenging stitching project.

Cross Stitch Collection - not very many words in this one and only occaisionaly something I would consider stitiching.

Cross Stitch Gold - same as Cross Stitch Collection really.

Jane Greenoff's cross stitching - I like this on as it has a really personal touch and is written in Janes voice. I'm also in the Cross Stitch Guild so the two go together really.

New Stitches - this caters for more of a varied audience and includes some challenging pieces although again there is only occaisionaly something I would stitch.

There's another one I can't remember the name of that is similar to New Stitches.

Then there's a couple of American ones that I like to get when I can - Stitchers World - DH bought me a subscription for Christmas. I've also just subscribed to The Cross Stitcher which I really like but is hard to get here in the UK. Finally I buy Just Cross Stitch when I see it although I'm sure I'll take out a subscription to that shortly.

Now bear in mind I buy all these every month - that's approximately £40. I am a fast and impatient reader and although I read them at least five or six times the initial read through is usually over in 10 minutes.

I think I have to ask myself - "is this good value for money?"