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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Stitch from Stash May 2015

It's time for the May Stitch from Stash 2015-A check in.  Here we are at the second to last month, and I totally messed up this month.  So here is my post of shame.

Month: May
Spent: $75.81
Earned: $2.00

Oh yes, you read those numbers right.  I hang my head in shame.  I will now go stand in the outcast corner where hopefully they have chocolate so at least I can enjoy my time there.

So perhaps an in-depth explanation is called for.  Here's an item by item breakdown of my spending. 

15 back issues of CrossStitcher from eBay - $42
A Cross-Stitch Christmas Handmade Memories- $3.89
Soda Stitch Alice in Wonderland (kitted up) - $6.03
Soda Stitch Owl Welcome (kitted up) - $7.79
Bothy Threads Exotic Birds - $6.84
Frosted Pumpkin Sale: Summer Sparkler and Pinata Party - $9.26

eBay was definitely my downfall this month.  I have to grab those back issues of the UK cross stitch magazines when I can, because they are hard to find out here in Mississippi.  Plus, these were from the early 2000s, and I find some of the CrossStitcher patterns I like best were from around that time, so I had to get them.  I'm not as big of a fan of most of the patterns they put out lately, but the older ones, I love.

The Cross Stitch Christmas book was purchased exclusively for the Ursula Michael pattern I knew was in there, since I won the book for less than the cost of just the pattern download.  I ended up being plesantly suprised when I got the book though, since there's a few other patterns in there that I think will end up as WIPs that I really liked.

The two Soda Stitch patterns and the Bothy Threads were great deals I got from someone else, and again, since I've been eyeing those lately (especially the BT, which are REALLY expensive to get here in the US) I had to take a chance and get them.  I'm super excited to get started on the Exotic Birds pattern.  It is even more cute in person than I ever dreamed it was.  And fairly easy too, with limited backstitch and not a lot of fractionals and only a few french knots for eyes.  I love the "Cut-Thru" Bothy patterns a lot, but they are definitely a lot more involved than this little cutey!

As an English major, I love all things to do with children's lit, so the Alice in Wonderland pattern was a giveaway, and I've been wanting to try Soda Stitch patterns thanks to Katy's posts about them at her blog Just a Little Stitchin' this month.  And if I was getting the Alice pattern, the owl pattern just kind of happened as well, because, well, as I've said before, I do love owls. 

And finally, Frosted Pumpkin is having a Summer Sale.  They brought back a limited edition pattern called Summer Sparkler that I LOVED and the Pinata pattern just kind of fell into my cart at the same time.  I love patriotic/4th of July patterns, but don't like many of the ones I find.  This one has all my favorites (fireworks, watermelon, flags, ice cream) and so it was a no brainer to get it.  Besides, it was new to me, since I didn't see it last year.  By the way, in the name of all enabling, if you want to get 15% off the coupon code SUMMER is good for another week I believe.  

So, that was the spending.  As far as earning goes, my only finishes for the month have been my square for the last round of my Frosted Pumpkin Round Robin group on Facebook (which I don't count for SFS since I didn't pay for any of the fabric/floss/patterns) and my small N I showed off yesterday.  At 30 x 30 stitches exactly, it earns me an extra $2 to spend this month.

I've been working super hard on Tinkerbell, but she's not done yet, so I can't count her yet.  Luckily she will count for SFS next month once I'm done, since I'm going to need all the help I can get.  Since I went over budget this month, I won't earn anything next month except for what I stitch.  Which in the end doesn't make a huge difference since things will reset in July with 2015-B starting.  But my personal goal is to make up for all the extra spending, so even if it doesn't make a difference in the long run, I will feel better about it at least.

Here's the detailed breakdown of where I am.  Luckily some of my finishes from earlier this year gave me a little bit more room so I'm not as deep in the hole as I could be. 

Starting balance from April: $17.11
April budget: $25
Finish bonuses: $2   
Total:  $44.11 to spend in May
- Total stash purchases: $75.81

Ending balance: -$31.70

Here's to a better spending month next time...
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 2015 Smalls SAL Check-In and some Tinkerbell Progress

Whew, May has just flown by for me.  This month has been so crazy, I can't  believe it.  But it's already the last Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for my monthly check in for Stitching Lotus' 2015 Smalls SAL.

Most of my stitching this month has been pretty big projects.  My Frosted Pumpkin entry for the month was a little on the larger size, so I won't count it for this.  But I do have one finish I know counts as a small.  I feel like my monthly check-in posts can get repetitive picture-wise for those of you who are regular readers, so I purposely left off posting this picture before.  Here's the complete finish (with backstitching) of my Buzzy Bee N by Lucie Heaton:

This was for an initial exchange as part of a Lucie Heaton Facebook Fan Group I'm in.  It was stitched on a scrap of 14 count white aida I had around, 2 over 1 with charted DMC threads.  I started it on May 12th and finished it on May 15th.

After taking this picture, I finished it up as a bookmark, since my partner said she loved to read, and sent it on its way to Canada.  Sadly I forgot to take a picture before I put it in the envelope and sealed it up.  *facepalm* So hopefully my partner will let me borrow her picture when she receives it. 

So that's it for smalls this time around.  Mostly I've been working like mad on Baby Tinkerbell.  Only 2 days left to finish her!  I'm almost done with the stitching and ready to start backstitching (which will take forever I expect).  Sadly I don't have an updated picture (I thought I did, but I don't) but here's a peek at least at what she looked like Monday morning, which is almost recent. 

This project has been fun, but is totally tiring me out.  No more deadline stitching for awhile for me after this one!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May TUSAL and a Little Progress

Well, as usual I'm a few days late for Daffycat's Totally Useless SAL since the official check in day was Monday.  But at least I'm only a little late this month, instead of forgetting it together. 

Of course, I forgot Monday, so I had to snap a hurried pic that night, so it is kind of blurry, sorry:

I finally got a new ort jar, and I also found my "traveling" ort bag, so I was finally able to add all those bits and pieces I lost back in February to my jar.  Sad that that kind of makes me really happy.  Anyway, that's why my current green is more towards the middle, and a bunch of purple is on top.  That green is from my actual recent stitching, mostly from Baby Tinkerbell. 

And speaking of Tinkerbell, here's how she's looking today. 

Not much progress since this weekend.  Just finished up her bloomers and have started on her wings.  It's discouraging how much my progress slows during the work week.  I keep listing in my head all the things I have left to do (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 slippers, face, hair, ladybug...) and keep thinking that's not that much, right?  Then when I actually stitch it, it takes forever. 

I would so love to just stay at home and get paid for stitching.  Guess that's what retirement is for.  Of course, by then I probably will be half blind and arthritic and be unable to stitch!  Oh, and it's like 40 years away for me.  There's that too. 

Anyway, hope everyone is having great stitching progress!

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Baby Tinkerbell Progress 5.18.15

I stitched like a madwoman all weekend, so I got quite a bit of progress done on Baby Tinkerbell:

With the exception of her slippers, I'm completely done with the green, and you can see the place where she'll be eventually holding a ladybug at the end of that arm.  That random green blob above her collar is a pacifier.  This design is definitely one that will change much when the backstitching (of which there is A LOT) is completed.

Sadly, I didn't have time to finish the white on her bloomers last night, and was an idiot and forgot my scissors this morning, so couldn't work on them at lunch today either.  Grr.  

I'm very pleased with the progress, but at this rate, I need like 4 more straight stitching days in order to make my deadline for this piece (it needs to go out day after Memorial Day).  I feel like there is many late nights in my future...

On another note, I hate how stiff this 16 count aida is!  I've never had fabric that felt this way before, it's driving me bonkers. 

Also on another completely random note, I broke 4 needles this weekend.  4!!!!  That's a record for me.  I don't think I've ever broken more than 1 in like a month before, and this was over just 2 days.

Also, also, etc.... I hate quarter stitches.  Just saying. 
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Plans for the Weekend

Well, I'm planning on doing some stitching this weekend.  How about you?  I have about 5 projects that need to be completed and sent off by the end of the month.  Hmmm, I think I'm totally insane for signing up for so many things.  In fact, the other day my Mom saw me stitching, asked what I was working on, and when I told her, her response was "don't you ever stitch anything for yourself".  Guess I haven't much lately.  I will have to remedy that.  But in the meantime, I have deadlines to follow!

So I've got a bit more progress to show you on said projects.  I finished up the stitching on the N from Lucie Heaton's Buzzy Bees alphatbet for my intital exchange:

I actually kind of like it with the backstitching.  Actually, I've finished all the backstiching too, but I will be saving that finish photograph for the smalls check in at the end of the month.  I'm devious, I know.  But for once I'd like to show frequent readers some new photographs for my SAL check-ins. 

Anyway, I like it both this way and finished with all the detail, although I think if I stitch it again I might just backstitch the flower and bee and leave the letter un-outlined.  I plan to finish this up into a bookmark and get it sent off this weekend. 

Which brings me to the start of my newest project.  This is the Baby Tinkerbell pattern featured on my Turtle Trot list (Project 9). 

Just a bit of green so far.  This is strip of darker green on her dress caused by the shadow of her arm. This design has a TON of fractionals like the Friends for Life pattern did, and this particular aida is super stiff, so this one will present me with a bit of a challenge. Hopefully I will get much further as the weekend progresses. 

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Free Pattern Friday

Well, I've fallen off the Free Cross Stitch Pattern Friday bandwagon the past couple weeks.  Between being sick and the previously discussed shakeups at work, I just haven't gotten around to it.  So I wanted to make sure I actually posted one today.

Things are starting to get a bit hot here in Mississippi, but everything is still in bloom, and it really reminds me that May is still time for spring and flowers.  Of course I'm learning that here that also means tornadoes and thunderstorms, but I prefer not to focus on those.  Instead, this design of spring tulips from DMC is a happy reminder of why I like spring so much.

I absolutely love the colors in this one.  I've always wanted to stitch it up as a bookmark, but it's just a tidge too wide for that.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll find a place for it somewhere.  You can download this free cross stitch pattern via PDF from DMC's website

Happy stitching!
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If you ever come across one of my posts that contains a chart that breaks copyright law, please email me and let me know right away. In picking and posting my free cross stitch pattern posts, I make every effort to ensure the designs I share are legitimately free charts.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

April Turtle Trot, May WIPocalypse and more!

Well, with the continued craziness that I posted about at the end of last week, still not having internet access at home (living in the country is just great sometimes), STILL being sick with this stupid cold, Mother's Day on Sunday, etc. I missed the check in dates for both WIPocalypse and Turtle Trot.  But better late than never!

First of all, thank you to everyone who left well wishes on my post last week.  They were much needed.  My boss's husband had a major heart attack last Wednesday, leading to my rough week at work in trying to fill in for her.  Sadly, her husband passed away on Saturday, so Sat/Sun/Mon were busy trying to get things ready and settled for the funeral.  So that's over with, but things are still a little crazy as we try to adjust to the "new normal".

Secondly, I hope everyone who celebrated Mother's Day had a great weekend, and you enjoyed the time you spent honoring your mothers/sisters/aunts/daughters/etc.  I cooked up a storm last weekend, which sadly cut into my stitching time, but oh well.

Now, onto the updates I suppose.  First off, the May WIPocalypse check in as hosted by Measi.

May's question is: I would like to know if you look for LNS’s when you travel. What is the favorite shop you’ve ever found?

Sadly, I seem to never live in an area that has a LNS around.  I did find one in Placerville when up at Apple Hill when I lived in California, and one in Boise when visiting my grandparents (which sadly had gone out of business when I went back to look for it last year).  Usually when traveling I don't have time to explore for an LNS, I have a time schedule I need to keep to, but I want to possibly do it more often in the future.  Sadly, I have not found one near me in Mississippi yet either.  Anyone know of a LNS around the Jackson area?

As far as progress, I'm going to combine this with my Turtle Trot progress check-in, since some of the things I worked on this month were TT pieces.

Project 1: Halloween Quaker

Previous Progress:

How it looks now:

Projects 2-6: No new progress

Project 7: Flower of the Month SAL

I made more progress on January, but I can't find the progress pic I took anywhere!  I will have to update this post when I find where my camera stashed it.

Projects 8-10: No new progress

Project 11: Frosted Pumpkin Round Robin

Here's my latest finish on the FP Round Robin.  This is for Round 4, where I once again had Woodland Sampler to work on.  I finished the October block:

Made a huge counting mistake on this one (several times) so I had to frog a bunch and modify the pattern a bit (or risk having to frog the entire pattern).  I think it turned out okay anyway. 

Project 12: No new progress

So sadly, not a whole lot of progress going on there with those pieces.  Hopefully after June things will settle down a bit stitching-wise though. 

In April I also had two other non-Turtle Trot progress finishes, Easter Egg Topiary and Friends for Life, both of which were charity stitching donations.

I also managed to get a bit of stitching on this new project last night:

I don't anticipate this taking very long.  As you can probably tell, this is an initial, specifically a N.  It's for an Initial Exchange swap I signed up for on Facebook.  This is from the Buzzy Bees Alphabet by Lucie Heaton, I think from an old CrossStitcher magazine I have lying around.  Sorry for the wonky lighting, the fabric is actually regular white aida.  It's so hard to get good pictures of my stitching at night. 

Well, that's it for progress shots today.  Hopefully your stitching is all going better than mine!

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Latest Round Robin Progress

I guess I've been a little quiet lately compared to how busy I was in April.  Sadly, I've had a few personal issues going on the last few weeks, a rough week at work, and yet another cold, all of which have thrown a bit of a wrench in things lately.  In fact, I think this pretty much sums up the last two weeks:
This is from the wonderful Sandra Boynton's Facebook page by the way.

So yes, May Day, May Day, I'm going down...

I'm way behind on getting my stitching done for this month's Frosted Pumpkin Round Robin.  But I have made a little progress so far:

Just the owl to finish, 3 clouds, 3 leaves, 2 acorns, and the words to do left.  That's not much.  Right?  I really need to get started on my next Love Quilts square due at the end of this month too.  And I got a few other projects up in the air too.  I'm feeling a little stretch.  Hopefully I can find some time to myself this weekend, although I don't know how much that will happen, being Mother's Day for those of us in the USA and all. 

Since I don't have much in the way of stitching to show you, how about a photo of serendipitous timing.  We live out in the country, and there happens to be a barn cat that lives on the property we rent.  His name is Bella (yes, Bella is a fella, he was named by a 5 year old that didn't know better) and he is a sweetie who loves to talk.  He always comes over and greets me with lots of meows and loud purrs when I come home every day.  I love him almost as much as my Brownie baby.

Anyway, Bella found an earthworm on the ground on Saturday, and happened to look up and tell me all about it.  Well, I was trying to get a picture of him sniffing it, but snapped it a little too late, which meant he was already looking at me and in mid-meow.  Well, since he was in the middle of talking to me, it made him look like he has this disgusted look on his face.  Like "ooh, gross, it's a worm..."

I just thought it was a cute picture and had to share. 
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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April Check In for 2015 Flower of the Month SAL

This is several days late, sorry about that.  I had a rough week last week with some personal issues going on and then this week I've been stuck with a cold/allergies that are generally making me tired and grumpy.  So I regret to say that's made me a very bad hostess for this month.  In fact, I don't even have pictures of my progress, since I put my project somewhere while cleaning and organizing on the weekend and can't find it yet.  *sigh*

I'm so looking forward to seeing all the lovely progress everyone made during April, since I am going to have to live vicariously through you all this month. 

If you are not currently a member of the SAL and want to join us, remember it's never too late to join!  The rules and official sign ups can be found on this page.  

Important Notes For Current SAL Participants: 
To earn an extra prize entry for this month, you must submit a check in (even if it's showing only progress and not a finish).  Your check in can be about the April pattern, or any other month you are working on/have finished. 

If you have done a blog post showing your progress, please use the linking widget below to add a direct link to your check in post.  

If you're still participating but using a different way to check in, please send me an email to brownieschair (AT) hotmail (DOT) com with your progress details/pictures and I will post them here for you.

If anyone has any questions, please let me know.  I will leave the link widget open through next week (May 12th) since I'm a little late this month, so please check in by that date.
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