Monday, January 26, 2015

Not much progress this week

This week I didn't get as much stitching on Blackbird as I would have liked.  I didn't have the time to sit and work on this one as I had hoped.

One of the reasons for not getting time to work on this piece is I am currently working on a piece for an art show and that is taking my time right now.  I will show the completed piece once it is done because right now I want to keep it quiet.  The art show is in April so it means that for the next little while I may not be making as good a progress on the new patterns as I would like.

Besides working on the art show piece I also have a crochet project that I need to work on as a surprise for someone.  Thankfully the crochet project won't take too long to complete and will be able to show the pieces of it once the person receives it.

When I have had a few minutes to do something I have been working on a shawl that I started quite a while ago.  This one is using fine yarn so even after working for a couple of hours during the week it doesn't look like I have done anything on the shawl.

I have also been dealing with a couple of other issues that have taken some of my time away from crafting.  One of the biggest things is trying to find more work that I can do for our business.  I enjoy writing documents so now trying to find other companies and charities that need that type of work done.  I have been spending quite a bit of my time working on documents to show my writing style because I cannot show actual completed client projects because of non-disclosure agreements.

So today it is back to getting some work done for existing clients and then hopefully this evening I will be able to find a bit of time to work on one of the projects.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Progress this week

This week I was able to put a few stitches into two of the projects that I started last weekend.  Of course, I didn't get much of either of them done because of other things that came up last week.  Also I am working on a couple of other projects that I cannot show right now.

I was able to start working on the sun on the blackbird and started to see some progress on that area very quickly.  I hope that this week I will be able to do a bit more work on this project but it will depend on how things go.

Omi's Rose - Jan 11th
Omi's Rose is another project that saw a little bit of time this week which was great. No it didn't see as much time as I would have liked to spend on it.  I am still not sure if I like the colouring of this rose but am going to continue working on it.  I think part of it is I am working on the very center of the rose and of course it is darker than the rest of the rose.

Omi's Rose - Jan 18th
Currently I am dealing with a work issue that is taking quite a bit of my time and energy so that is one of the reasons why stitching hasn't been getting done this week.  Another reason is I am working on a couple of projects that I have to keep secret right now.  One of them will be able to be seen at a later date and the second one will depend on how it goes.

This week I am hoping to be able to find a bit of time to curl up and do some stitching and will see what project gets the attention.  I am trying to do a bit of a rotation on the projects right now so that they both get some progress.

Stitching is still my escape when I need even just a little bit of time to relax.  Of course when things get really busy with work and life my stitching doesn't get as much attention as I would like.

Off to get some work done and then hopefully tonight something will find it's way into my hands and a few stitches will be done.

Monday, January 12, 2015

New starts

What can I say other than the first week of the new year was a challenge for me as I couldn't think of what I wanted to cross-stitch.  The good news is I have almost finished the first cape that I have been knitting for myself.  I just need to sit down and sew the pockets on it and then I will be able to take a picture of the finished piece.
Mouth of Flower - Stitching Studio

So this weekend after a lot of thinking and rethinking I finally decided on what I wanted to work on.  Well it came down to three different pieces and I couldn't figure out which one I wanted to do so I ended up starting all three of them over this weekend.

The first start was Mouth of Flower by The Stitching Studio and as you can see I didn't get much done on it but at least there are a few stitches done.

The second start was Blackbird which is another.  This piece is a blackbird with a sun and some flowers.  I am looking forward to seeing how this one turns out so I am going to be busy working on it over the next while.

Omi's Rose - based on photo taken by myself
The third start which was yesterday was Omi's Rose.  This is based on a picture that I took of a rose that was in a basket that was received when my husband's Omi passed away.  I loved the colour of the rose and decided that it would be a way of always remembering her.  I had started this rose before but realized that it was way too dark so recharted it and the colours were a lot truer to the original photo.  Now to see which piece gets worked on during this week.

I have to admit that i didn't want to start all three pieces at once but when I couldn't decide which one I wanted to work on and which one was going to wait it was just as easy to start them and then figure out on a daily basis which one I would be working on.

Now I would have had a lot more done on both Blackbird and Omi' Rose if I hadn't run into an issue when I started them.  As these are other patterns that I may be releasing in the future I try and stitch the first version on 18ct aida cloth so that it is quicker and easier for me to see.  I had bought a piece of aida at a store and on Saturday I cut it to the size that I needed for both of the pieces.  I should have realized that there would be a problem with the cloth when I was fighting to even get it to stay flat instead of immediately rolling back up.  Well I was determined and figured that it was just me having a bad day so I put both pieces onto the q-snaps with help from dh.  Saturday evening I put about 10 stitching into Omi's rose and put it down for the evening.

Yesterday was the day I had planned on sitting and stitching for a few hours.  I did pickup blackbird and decided to start it first so that I could then have a choice later in the day.  Well, I threaded my needle and started to stitch and couldn't believe the noise I was hearing.  The piece of fabric sounded like a drum and every time the needle went through a hole it made a loud sound and even the thread going through was noisy.  I figured I was just being very sensitive to the noise so decided to try to work on Omi's Rose.  You can probably guess what happened, the noise was almost the same for that piece of fabric.  It was a little quieter but probably because I was using a smaller needle so it meant that both of the projects were going to be a major problem to work on.  I talked it over with DH and he decided that he would try and wash a piece of the aida that remained and see if it would get quieter after a washing but after it dried it still was nosier than it should have been.

So the results you see for Omi's Rose and Blackbird are on 22ct aida which I had at home and that fabric is a lot softer and easier to work on.  I don't need to wear ear plugs when working on these pieces now so hope that this week I can make some good progress on at least one of these projects.

I have been cross-stitching for around 30 years and have never encountered aida cloth that was as noisy as the piece that I had picked up recently.  I just hope that the package I got was a bad batch and I will be able to get some softer aida in the future.  Have you ever encountered a piece of fabric that was extremely noisy, and if so what did you do?

It is now time for me to get some work done and hope that tonight I will be able to find a little bit of time to stitch on one of these projects.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 in review and 2015 goals

It is that time of year where I look back at the goals that I set a year ago and see how I really did on reaching each of them.

2014 Goals and comments.
1.  Blog at least 4 times a month -- I had one month where I didn't reach the 4 blogs but overall I exceeded the 4 posts a month so am happy with this one.
2.  Complete 3 items for myself -- I did finish at least three things for myself this year which is something that is a major accomplishment because normally I focus on things for everyone else and I don't do things for me.
3.  Get stash to below 360 pounds -- Didn't get this goal done as I didn't do a lot of knitting or crocheting during the last half of the year.
4.  Start Cirque des Cercles on Jan 1/14 and finish it by Dec 31/14 -- Didn't get this finished and the reason for that is once I got the new program to assist me in designing cross-stitch.  I did designing instead so this project is sitting and maybe will see a bit of time in 2015.
5.  Get some of my craft items up onto Etsy and see if they sell -- Decided I don't have the time or energy for this.
6.  Complete 3 cross-stitch that I already have started -- Completed 3 cross-stitch but not ones that I had already started. 
7.  Spend more time writing both personally and professionally -- This was accomplished as I have been able to write a lot more in 2014.
For 2014 I am happy with what I accomplished from my goals and there were a few new things that got accomplished as well so now to see what happens in 2015.

2015 Goals 
1.  Blog at least 4 times a month
2.  Complete three capes for myself
3.  Get stash to below 360 pounds
4.  Stitch Blackbird design
5.  Complete 3 cross-stitch that I already have started
6.  Get craft items organized 
7.  Complete 2 Stitching Studio cross-stitch patterns

The goals that I have set for myself in 2015 are things that I would really like to get accomplished and hopefully I will be able to reach all of them.  The only one that I see as a big challenge is to get my stash below 360 pounds but I am going to really try to accomplish this one.

It is now time for me to to go and start working on some of these goals otherwise they aren't going to be accomplished.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Years

Happy 2015 to everyone