Sunday 31 January 2021

WIPocalypse - January


I'm quite exciting to be joining in with WIPocalypse this year. I posted all about this SAL and my 2021 plans in early January - My 2021 Plans

I don't keep any record of how long I stitch for or the number of stitches but I do have a page at the top of my blog showing my finishes, so far January has been quite good. Here's how I have done:

I am stitching two 12 days designs; Jardin Privé and Plum Street Sampler. I have stitched both but not yet finished them, partly because I have not quite decided on how I want to do them.

Jardin Privé - Day 1

I am stitching the Just Cross Stitch SAL on Facebook with Jo. This month was Poinsetta by Punochka, I haven't looked at February's design yet.

I haven't started either of the Seasonal Challenges with Needlecraft Haven but I have kitted them both up and I think I know what I will be using them for.

I have stitched and finished a Valentine's design for Needlecraft Haven's Exchange, it will be posting time soon. I'll be able to reveal this in February's GG post.

This month I have stitched and given two gifts, both for friends' birthdays. I have had this fabric coaster or mini mat in mynstash for a while and decided to stitch it for my friend Gill. 

My second gift was for my friend Mary who lives in France. I think, well I hope, I had read she was collecting scissor fobs so I stitched a small blackwork design and added a matching ribbons. 

I have not done any work on my Flip Its and I have not finished the flowers for my Bouquet, mainly because I have been stitching a very special gift that I cannot share just now. 

I hope I have understood WIPocalypse correctly and this post is ok. Each month Melissa poses a question, this month's is: 

Tell us about a WIP on which you’ve really struggled to make progress. Explain its history. What appears to be the reason you’re struggling?

I have a few items in my drawers that are stitched but not finished, that seems to be my issue. This is partly because I am nervous that I will make a mess of finishing (I'm never very confident that my finishing looks good) and some items it's because I don't know what to do with them. 

I do have two projects waiting for the stitching to be completed, one has been left because my original plan for its finish will not now work, and the other is because it's a bigger project than I thought and I don't have time or inclination for it ... maybe one day these will appear again. 

Here's my February plans: 

Day 1 ornaments for 12 Days of Christmas 
Flowers for Bouquet of Flowers

Day 2 for both my 12 Days of Christmas 
Needlecraft Haven's Challenges
November and December Flip Its
JCS Christmas Ornament

Friday 29 January 2021

January Smalls SAL

Mary at Mary's Thread hosts this great SAL. I really enjoyed taking part last year and I'm looking for to sharing my 'smalls' in 2021. On the last Friday of the month we share our small stitching items that we have completed but not necessarily fully finished. Mary has a link up post on her blog so we can pop over to see everyone's work. 

Thank you Mary for hosting this again. 

My first small finish is Poinsetta by Punochka, a design in Just Cross Stitch's Christmas Ornament 2020 magazine. I'm doing a Facebook SAL with Jo and many other stitchers to stitch 12 chosen designs from the magazine, a specific one each month. I have actually finished this but I'm saving my photo for February's Fully Finished post.

I wasn't too keen on the white, it only shows up in certain directions. I'm not so keen on off centre designs, I'm a bit of a symmetrical girl really, all my ornaments and objects around the house are balanced. Saying that it looks good now I've finished it, see what you you think in my February FFO post. 

My other small is being used for many social media link ups, hee hee lots of joining with other stitchers with one piece of stitching. This year at Needlecraft Haven we are doing 12 Days of Christmas for our SAL, it can be any design but we are not sharing our progress until the 25th of each month, my previous blog has all the details. 

I'm also signed up for Christmas Ornie SAL hosted by Kaye. There are so many things to join in with including 12 Days of Christmas and some JCS designs. 

And Jo has a 12 Days of Christmas SAL on Facebook that I also signed up with. I must admit there are so many great SALs and there is quite a flurry at the end of December/early January. Everyone seems full of enthusiasm and I did have to be realistic about how many SALs I joined, not just time wise but what I would do to with the finished items. I love the fact that this item can be used for more than one social media purpose.

This is Jardin Privé's Le 12 Jours de Noël and I've chosen to stitch the red version, it is also offered in brown. This was a free daily download before Christmas but if you missed it the chart is available as a download here. There is a beautiful border if you want to stitch the 12 days as one piece but I'll be doing them individually.

I am also doing another 12 Days design but as yet I haven't started, too much secret stitching ssshhhhhh! 

Monday 25 January 2021

12 Days of Christmas and a bit of snow

This year I'm doing the 12 Days of Christmas SAL with the ladies at Needlecraft Haven. We are stitching any design but we don't share our progress or finishes until the 25th of the relevant month. 

25th January - Day 1 - A Partridge in a Pear Tree

25th February - Day 2 -  Two Turtle Doves

25th March - Day 3 - Three French Hens 

25th April - Day 4 - Four Calling Birds

25th May - Day 5 - Five Gold Rings

25th June - Day 6 - Six Geese a-Laying

25th July - Day 7 - Seven Swans a-Swimming

25th August - Day 8 - Eight Maids a-Milking

25th September - Day 9 - Nine Ladies Dancing

25th October - Day 10 - Ten Lords a-Leaping

25th November - Day 11 - Eleven Pipers Piping

25th December - Day 12 - Twelve Drummers Drumming 

We are not sharing our photos on social media until the 25th so our SAL has a mini reveal every month. I am also taking part in a Facebook SAL hosted by Jo and Christmas Ornie SAL blog hosted by Kaye but I'll be posting after the Needlecraft Haven relevant date - it does make it exciting, different to posting as soon as something is done. 

Anyway I'm doing Jardin Prive's design and Plum Street Samplers design. As yet I have only stitched the Jardin Prive one, it isn't finished and the photo is a little dark.

We've had snow here, it fell most of yesterday and is still there today. I'm still building up my strength and was nervy about going out but it is so pretty. Hubby found out the wellies and we went for a 20 minute stroll, keeping to flat paths and avoiding crossing roads as they are packed ice. It was so refreshing and we made it back with no slips or wet bottoms ! 

It was nice to get home and sit in the conservatory looking out at the garden. Our Sam Toft cushion is so true especially with a marshmallow hot chocolate.

Stay safe everyone, keep warm and dry.

Friday 15 January 2021

January's Gifted Gorgeousness


Hooray hooray the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching is hosting Gifted Gorgeousness again in 2021. She started this super idea in 2015, it's great to see everyone's gifts, sent and received. Gifted Gorgeousness covers so many things - here's Jo's guidelines:

  • Any chart/kit which was given to you
  • Any chart/kit which you won in a giveaway
  • Any chart/kit which you bought using a voucher given to you/won by you
  • Anything stitched on fabric received in the above ways
  • Anything stitched with floss received in the above ways
  • Anything embellished or finished with items received in the above ways
  • Anything which is intended as a gift or prize for another person
  • Anything else you can somehow shoehorn with word "gift" into!

Today is the 15th so it's time to share my GG. I couldn't wait until mid January to thank my friends for their Christmas gifts so I have already blogged about them - you can read about them on my previous post Christmas Thank You

There is however one gift I have not shared as the post from US took ages. My super friend Cathy has woven this beautiful scarf for me, it is so soft and so so neat. I have not done any weaving but I am very very tempted; thank you Cathy.

I did quite a few gifts for Christmas, some were catch ups that I just couldn't do last year. The first two were for my favourite TV weatherman, we chat through Twitter and over the years have become good friends although we've never met. It all started with him being on the TV every time we went on holiday but never when we were at home. Anyway he has two lovely girls and each Christmas I send them something for Christmas. 

This year I used the Summer Challenge on Needlecraft Haven as my ornaments - a lovely design from Aliolka 

Last year our niece and her husband who live in the US finally had the adoption papers through for their little girl Blake. I stitched a name plaque for her which they have hung in her bedroom. It felt a little odd to be stitching for our great niece - great aunts conjure an image of old ladies smelling of lavender hee hee

My second gift also went the the US to our other niece. She got married in 2020, not quite the wedding they had planned as many things were changed due to Covid restrictions but they did tie the knot: wishing them a 'happy ever after'

My next gift also travelled to another country - Wales! I stitched this for our daughter's partner's family. This was another Challenge with Needlecraft Haven, this time the Winter Challenge, a lovely design from La Contesse & Le Point de Croix The full design is Joy but I used just the centre O. 

Closer to home for my next gift but again a gift I didn't manage to do last year. Our good friends became Grandparents for the first time last summer. I was a bit sneaky in asking questions about the nursery decor and was delighted to discover it was an owl theme as I knew I had the perfect design in an old magazine. 

Our Christmas was different to usual; it was just me, Hubby, our son who lives at home with us and our daughter and her partner who came to stay for a few days. As they live in Wales it was not really following the guidelines for them to travel and they did stay for more that the one day allowed. However they have been extra careful all year, they both work from home and only go out for shopping or a walk. They have done this so they were safe to come home anytime last year if I needed them or they were safe to visit his family with his elderly gran. It was certainly a time we all needed. 

Every year we give the 'kids' a tub of chocolates but as our daughter is dairy free I stitched a label for her own chocolate tin. For her birthday last year I had made a similar tin for her cake decorating things - it's in my GG for February

My final piece for the first GG of 2021 is a piece I stitched just after Christmas. One of my stitchy friends has a birthday very early in January and I do always worry about the post delivering a gift in time. I found this table top small mat in my stash and stitched this pretty pansy design from Stitched Modern.

I have a few more gifts that I am stitching so I'm already building my GG for February, thanks Jo for hosting this great blog sharing event.

Sunday 10 January 2021

Fully Finished Objects in Janaury

Rachel, Ten Hour Stitcher, is hosting Fully Finished Objects again this year for us to show and tell about the crafty items we have completely finished. FFO was a great incentive to me last year as I often stitch something and leave it ages before I actually make it up. That's mainly because I don't enjoy that part of stitching and I feel my finishing is not that great. 

My first finish is Mill Hill Winter Holiday; this was a gift from Justine as part of the Needlecraft Haven Christmas Exchange, there's more about it in my GG December post. 

I don't often do beaded designs but I really enjoyed doing this. It's a while since I worked on perforated paper and I really liked the neatness of it, I think I have some in my stash so I might do some more later in the year. 

There was so much thread left over in this kit, I did double check I was using the correct number of threads. I split the left over lengths into three colours and plaited them together to use as the hanging. 

Thank you Justine - it looked lovely on our Christmas tree and is safely packed away with our other ornaments ready for Christmas 2021.

My other finish is my Orts Ornament. At the end of each year I stitch an ornament and stuff it with the orts from that year's stitching. I have a beautiful bonbon jar my mother-in-law bought me many years ago from a charity shop we spotted when we were on holiday. I save my orts in a small pot in my sewing box and then put them in the bonbon jar when full, you can see the groups of colours as I have done each project.

The chart I used for last year's ornament was a free design that was a SAL in December from Brenda Gervais at With Thy Needle and Thread on Facebook. Merry and Minty is a great design, it actually has a deep border at the bottom but I decided it would be too big for the amount of orts I had. I used some of the beads left over from my Mill Hill kit for the lights.

This year I have taken time to plan and think about my projects and how they will fit in with my posts for FFO, GG, WIPocalypse and Smalls SAL. Last year I just lived day by day so this year I need to be back to my organised self. It also gives me things to look forward to and plan for, very much needed as we are living in restricted times.

Thank you Rachel for doing FFO in 2021 - let's hope we all have many finishes.

Sunday 3 January 2021

WIPocalypse - My 2021 Plans


I have read and enjoyed the WIPocalypse posts from everyone over the last year but didn't join in as I thought it was more about finishing old projects and I tend to stitch one item at a time.

I popped over to Mel's blog at Measi's Musings where I was delighted to read ...

This will be a Stitch-a-Long (SAL) for fun, not a contest.  Everyone stitches at a different pace, on different sized projects, with different goals and concepts of accomplishment, so a standard set of one-size-fits-all rules simply won’t work.  So whether you’re a one-at-a-time stitcher or an insane rotationer like me,  gather up the UFOs and WIPs on which you’d love to make good progress (or finish) and join us!

..... so here I am making my first WIPocalypse post 🙂

For anyone new to my blog I'm Clare, known online as Aimetu which means 'your friend' in French. I live in the centre of England with my super Hubby and our grown up son. I love travelling (when allowed), especially to South Wales to visit our daughter and her partner, and I do have second blog about wine, food and travel. I have been stitching for over 25 years, my main projects tend to be gifts for family and friends, and ornaments for my tree at the annual church Christmas festival. 

I don't have much of my stitching hanging as pictures, just three, although I do have a few items on the mantle and sideboard but there isn't actually much of my work on display. I like to know what a piece is for before stitching it .... a gift, an exchange, a seasonal piece ... so I have just a couple of UFO pieces that are at the very bottom of a drawer somewhere. 

This first post for WIPocalypse is about setting goals for 2021 - I like to be organised but most of last year I wasn't organised at all due to my health. This year I am hoping to be and I have already set my calender for various regular blog posts to join in with others and for the first time I have joined groups on Facebook including for WIPocalypse. 

I have planned my projects (even kitted some up), hopefully I will complete them even if some are a bit delayed. Here's a list of my projects for 2021: 

•  12 days of Christmas - Jardin Prive (this may be a whole piece or 12 individuals)

•  12 days of Christmas - Plum Street Samplers (individual pieces)

•  JCS Challenge - 12 Christmas ornaments

•  Seasonal Challenges with Needlecraft Haven - 2 projects per season

•  Exchanges with Needlecraft Haven - usually about 4 a year

•  12 gifts - obviously I can't reveal details

•  Lizzie Kate Flip Its - I have stitched up to October so need to stitch November and December and make them up.

Bouquet of Flowers - finish flowers received after the tree was finished for 2020 and stitch a few more 

I am looking forward to posting my progress and hopefully finishes and I'm looking forward to reading about everyone else's projects, I know some stitchers have quite big designs they are working on. 

Happy stitching everyone 🙂