Saturday, 26 January 2013

Another mystery update

It still doesn't look like much, so I'm going to hold off saying what it is for another week. However, the guess I had of Linda Ravenscroft by The Maiden I'm afraid isn't right though, but I can see the logic. She's very fond of 3770 backgrounds, which will be included in the shading here. I am enjoying working on it, unfortunately, there a lot of working happening at the moment (stupid jobs, taking up valuable stitching time) so there isn't as much stitching as I'd like.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

First International Hermit and Stitch Weekend of 2013

Well, here's my first progress picture of the new project, but I'm afraid that I'm not admitting to what it is (other than a cream shmush, obviously), until I've got a bit more to show and it actually starts to look like something.
I can think of a couple of bloggers who may well be able to work out what this is because they know me through facebook, and a few more that will rather like this once I give in and admit what I'm actually stitching on (for instance the lovely Joysze who always so generously hosts IHSW).
I have to admit that this pic looks more productive than I actually was, I did half of this during the week. I was hoping to get loads done this weekend but it just hasn't happened! I've got a couple of major stitching weekends planned already this year (whenever Ben goes away I hole up and work on my stitching), but none that close, so I'm (sadly), doing little bits here and there... especially with the second job. But I'm sure it'll start to look like something soon, and I'm quite excited to see what people think of it when it does!
Hope everyone who joined in had a lovely IHSW, have a lovely week.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Pride and Prejudice has returned!

I've started the second page of Pride and Prejudice and I love it, there's only 2 colours in and you can already see his head taking shape! (Okay, I know it's still a bit of a shmush, but humour me).
It's such a lovely project to work on, but I have an admission to make, I've been distracted by another project (yeah, like I needed another start). I started it this week but don't have much to show yet, so I'm going to wait to post an update. It's International Hermit and Stitch this weekend, so I'm hoping that I'll have a bit more to show and will be able to unveil my exciting new start on Monday!
Happy stitching all

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Birthday Cake - How to make a terrible Death Star

Step 1: bake two half spheres of cake (I cheated and bought a half sphere mould).
Spend a long time trying to work out why it takes twice as long to bake as the recipe said it would (I still haven't worked out an answer to that!

Step 2: create some grey royal icing - buy royal icing, keep adding black food dye until it's a particularly unappealing grey colour

Step 3: create lots of butter cream icing. Sandwich two halves of cake together, cover the outside in the remainder of the icing

Step 4: roll out icing, wonder how on earth you're going to move something that big and prone to stretching/breaking. Somehow manage it by draping over rolling pin, drop on to cake and hope for the best.

Step 5: Do your best to smooth royal icing round a (kinda) sphere, a shape that is not meant to be iced. Suddenly realise you can't remember what a Death star looks like, google death star, realise there's no hope because you're definitely not that artistic. Stick additional bits of icing on in attempt to make ball of grey look like death star. Consider using lego men to make it look more star warsy. Try to make a Millennium Falcon out of icing as another clue, fail, give up!

Step 6: Stick the candles in the top and hope for the best!

He worked out what it was meant to be, so I'm basically happy with the outcome, and it tasted a lot better than I expected it to considered how long it was in the oven for!

Friday, 11 January 2013

First full week of 2013

Here she is, I finally finished the top row of the Passione Ricamo SAL, I even finally got round to getting the colour that was missing from her wings! I've still got to do her beads, but I'm going to do those last as I don't want to accidently crush them with whichever frame I happen to be using at the time... I'm now only 3 pages behind, for now! 
And Heather, I love working on her... even after I had a major meal down where I'd done most of the page and realised that half of it was wrong and needed to be frogged... I seriously considered chucking her and starting again, but I was good, I unpicked it all, moved it one stitch across and stitched it again. This is the first page and the beginning of the second, and Hannah Lynn charts are just such a joy to stitch when you're working on the black, (I haven't tried colouring one in yet, so I can't really comment on that)!

It was Ben's birthday this week so I made him a cake (cake post to follow), and took him to Xscape which is a real snow slow not that far from where we are. I'd bought him a couple of hours on the slope and me a couple of hours of being made to feel stupid by a snowboard instructor. It actually went a lot better than I expected it to. Skiing was such a disaster that I kinda expected snowboarding to go the same way, but, while I was still pretty terrible. I was less terrible than I expected!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

First post of 2013

I said I was going to finish this page by the end of the year, as you can see, that didn't happen! However I am close, and I would have finished it by now, if I hadn't got distracted by my New Year start. I'm now 3 and a bit pages behind (chances of me ever catching up = zero) as the latest page was released on the 1st of Jan. I'm a little concerned as the latest page has the beginning of some writing on it, and I don't know what it's going to say, and I don't know if I want there to be writing on my stitching. I'll wait and see what it says, but it has put my off a little bit!
Secondly, my new start for the New Year, shes lovely! Another Hannah Lynn by HAED (as you can possibly tell by the bold black outline and nothing else). I'm tent stitching over 1 on 28, and had forgotten how fast that goes when you're doing blocks, I feel like I'm flying through this. I know it doesn't look like much, but I've only had 4 or 5 hours on it, and by my standards this is really fast! I've set myself the goal of the top row of black (5 and a bit pages) by the end of the year, and at current pace I might actually achieve it. It's not often I set myself a goal that's actually achieveable!
Now some other bits and bobs, I don't know how many people have heard of TiltonCrafts run by the lovely Shelley, but she does some gorgeous charts and has recently mentioned that she's found some lovely Sailor Moon inspired artwork that she's thinking about charting, but she didn't know how popular they'd be. I think they're great and said that there are a surprising number of geeky stitchers, but I'm curious, how many of you would be interested? Also, while I'm sharing cross stitch designers who are incredibly bad for my bank account also head over and have a look at Sarah's painefreecrafts who also has some gorgeous charts. Sarah's only been running for a month or so, so she hasn't got many up on her site yet, but she's got three that I'm going to end up buying pretty much as soon as they're on the site because I'm already absolutely in love with them, and many more that will make their way on to my bucket and wish lists.
Thanks also to those of you who showed an interest in a stitchers retreat and said you'd be willing to help me out by answering questionnaires and such, I'm really grateful and will contact you when I've got my butt into gear and started sorting stuff out.
Finally, there is apparently a slight issue with blogger at the moment where you can't upload pictures if you use Internet Explorer. Blogger are aware of the issue and are apparently dealing with it, but as it's now the weekend the general advice is to not hold your breath for it to happen any time soon. In the mean time, it's only a IE issue so if you're feeling brave download another browser temporarily and that works fine, I'm currently using Google Chrome. I know that may not be relevant to many, but it took me a while and a lot of getting frustrated with blogger to find out why it wasn't working and how to work round it, so I thought I'd share