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Another cricket match (we sucked this time) and some more crafting. I’ve been feeling ansty and wanting to pick up a needle for the better part of the last week, but I knew I was really too tired and needed to pace myself. Tonight, I went back to Medieval Sampler and actually made decent progress.

I spent the first innings switching between glasses and no glasses (I’m sure my fringe looked very classy before long) but our team was so awful that as the second innings progressed and England motored towards their target, I was perfectly happy to leave my glasses off. Everything was blurry on screen, but I could still see what was going on and watch all the sixes arch out of the ground. That blunted our dismal performance somewhat and proved to be a good strategy.

I finished the first red in both columns as far as I could without rolling up the scroll frame. My plan is to get both sides done completely as it is and then move it and do all the colours in the sections left.

15 February 2013. Making some progress.

15 February 2013. Making some progress.

15 February 2013. A Close up on the right side pillar with two reds now.

15 February 2013. A Close up on the right side pillar with two reds now.

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There was a T20 cricket match between New Zealand and England today and I wanted to do some sewing while I watched. I didn’t feel up to Medieval Sampler – and besides there’s the whole glass off to stitch/glasses on to watch TV problem to be dealt with. I got out my tray of hexagon supplies instead.

I only had a few (eight or nine maybe) to finish my current pile of squares, so I got those done and pulled out the next stack.

9 February 2103. A bag of hexagons ready for ironing.

9 February 2103. A bag of hexagons ready for ironing.

These are the latest finished ones from the pile. They still need to be ironed, but I’m going to wait until the weather cools down a bit before I do that. When I checked, there were only 3 stacks of approximately 100 squares left in the envelope. That means I must have sewn about 600 since I started, as the quilt as planned needs 900 hexagons.

All ready to start part 5.

All ready to start part 5

My project for February is Chatelaines Illuminated Medieval Sampler. Like most of my WIPs, I’ve been working on this slowly for a while. I started it on 7 May, 2009 after I finished Alpine Seasons Garden by the same designer. I’m hoping I’ll get part 5 (a small one) done this month. I’d love to get started on part 6 as well, but it will depend on how I’m feeling.

I actually did very few stitches on the project itself, but it’s back on the scroll frame now and all ready for days when I can do a bit more.

4 February, 2013. Just a few red stitches done today.

4 February, 2013. Just a few red stitches done today.

It hasn’t been a great February so far on the crafting front. In all honesty, I didn’t think it would be, although I hoped otherwise.

Basically, Marcus went back to school and I collapsed. There are a lot of squares on the calendar where I mark what I did each day that simply say “too tired”. I’ll add photos from the few days of crafting I got to do as soon as I can.

The first weekend of the month I went down to Christchurch for a couple of days for a good friend’s 50th birthday party. It was lovely to catch up with him and his partner, spend a couple of days with friends and to see the “new” Christchurch. It’s hard to believe it’s almost two years since the earthquake and there is still so much damage all around.

The thing I found strangest was a bit of road with empty land and weeds growing on either side of the road and a pedestrian crossing (with lights that still flashed at night) to help you from one bit of nothing to the other. My friends said it used to be their local shops, so the crossing was there for a reason. It’s just that it’s gone now. So much work has been done, but there’s still so much to do as well.

Christchurch Catholic BasilicaI remember going to the most beautiful fully choral Mass here many years ago. Never again in this building.

Christchurch Catholic Basilica
I remember going to the most beautiful fully choral Mass here many years ago. Never again in this building.

Crossing to Nowhere

Crossing to Nowhere

 

The Gourmet Garden

The Gourmet Garden

As a side effect of updating the Character Creations website, Dave also got me back access to my very old web gallery (all coded in HTML by hand as tables). There’s no way I’m mucking around like that these days, so I pulled off all the images and set up a Cross Stitch Gallery and a Quilt Gallery here on WordPress. You should see links to both in the menu bar under the header image.

Not everything is there as I’ve had things I never photographed or I’ve lost pictures, but it’s a good indication of my stitching and quilting careers.

If I track down any extra pictures, I’ll add them. I’d certainly like to get one of my very first beginner’s quilt. Since that’s folded up downstairs, I can always take a new photo if necessary. And I know I have a picture of Tracy Horner’s Book of Ink Circles somewhere, but since I didn’t add it to my Flickr album, I’d have to go through our photo directories to find it.

I’m going down to Christchurch for the weekend to go to a friend’s 50th birthday, so there won’t be any more “Craft Every Day” posts until I’m back. I’m not planning on taking anything with me (I need to relax and enjoy the visit) so there may not be anything for those days anyway, but I’ll see if I can find something I can convince you is craft related!

Character CreationsThanks to some coding from Dave, I made an update to the Character Creations website today. It’s not exactly good news, but it had to be done.

I’ve been putting off and putting off this decision, until I’ve finally had to face up to it. I’m not giving Character Creations the time and energy it deserves, due to my own health issues and family commitments. However, I don’t want simply to shut everything down completely if I can avoid it. I’ve been trying to find a suitable compromise and this is the best I can find.

On Monday 1st April 2013, I will be removing all licenced designs from my catalogue. They will be removed from the website on this date and I will be discontinuing them with the few distributors who still carry my designs.

Charts created from art/images in the public domain or from my own art/photos will remain. However, they will only be available as PDF files via email.

Printed and shipped charts will remain available until 1st April 2013. Shipping prices have been updated to reflect current costs and the state of the New Zealand dollar. Shipping has gone up, but only by a small amount to allow me to recover costs.

All patterns on the site will be for sale at a 25% discount through 31st March 2013.

I know my reach and visibility is small these days due to lack of updates/additions. If you see this and would be willing to share the information around, I would be grateful, just in case there are some stitchers out there who had thought “one day, I might get that chart” about one of my designs and who wouldn’t otherwise know I’ve bowed to reality and am significantly reducing the content on the site.

Thank you so much to everyone who has ever admired, bought or stitched one of my designs. Thank you very much to the artists who trusted me to chart their art. I do this with a heavy heart, but know I am making the best possible decision under the circumstances.

The Winter Sea (aka Sophia's Secret) by Susanna Kearsley

The Winter Sea (aka Sophia’s Secret) by Susanna Kearsley

I’m not up to stitching today, but I got really caught up in my book and spent a good part of the day reading that. It’s The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (also know as Sophia’s Secret in the UK) and I highly recommend it.

I managed to get back to Autumn Queen, which was lovely. With that section of wisper done, I’m starting to have a decent area that has been solidly stitched, which is very satisfying.

27 January 2013 - Autumn Queen progress

27 January 2013 – Autumn Queen progress

I’ve decided to stick to three (or possibly four) projects this year. I don’t get a lot of opportunities where I have both the time and the energy to stitch, so my progress is slow. My goal is to try to stick with a few projects and actually make some progress rather that flit from here to there and not really get very far.

So I’ve chose to go with my three favourite designers, who are also responsible for my current favourite and major projects. That’s Mirabilia, Chatelaine and Heaven and Earth Designs.

I’m going to work on one for a month, getting however much stitching I manage done in that time, then switch to the next one. If I stick to a rotation of three, that should give me four months stitching on each.

So my plan is:

I’m giving myself the option of two HAED patterns as I have both started and can’t choose which to work on. I may switch it around or I may choose one as the year goes by and stick with that.

That’s the plan. It may or may not last the distance.

It does mean that I really want to get a bit more of Autumn Queen done before the end of the month. Today (I’m writing this on the 28th) is Marcus’ birthday party and tomorrow (29th) is his actual birthday, so I don’t know if it will happen or not. Watch this space.

Once again, no stitching for me. Saturday is a pretty busy day for us anyway as it always includes our weekly trip to the library and Marcus’ swimming lesson. Today also required a decent amount of tidying as we have a 9 year old birthday party on Monday (which is a public holiday here).

There may be no stitching/crafting photos from me, but I do have some to share. I haven’t taken the moment to get Dave to take them, but today I was a little more organised.

My every so lovely friend, Nicki, gave me the most lovely Christmas present this year. As I recall (and I admit I might be recalling wrong but I think I’ve got the gist of it), she shared a photo of this shawl on Facebook and, of course, I immediately squee-ed about how nice it was.

Now look what I’ve got!

My beautiful shawl knitted for me by Nicki.

My beautiful shawl knitted for me by Nicki.

Look at those very cool TARDIS motifs. Aren't they awesome?

Look at those very cool TARDIS motifs. Aren’t they awesome?

Nicki, I’m sorry it took so long to send you some photos, but as you can see, it hasn’t really been shawl weather. Should I be sending it back to you in snowy England to keep you warm?

For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m a big Doctor Who fan. And like any crafty fan, I love the idea of combining one love with another.

Barring a cross stitch bookmark made with the show logo from the 7th Doctor’s era (made at the time of the 7th Doctor’s era), my first big Doctor Who craft project was an appliqué quilt. I took a hand drawn cartoon from a reference book and blew it up and up (to A0 size I think) until I had an appliqué pattern. I called it Hiding Out and you can see why.

The 6th Doctor hiding out at a quilt show

The 6th Doctor hiding out at a quilt show

My current hexagon quilt WIP will also have a subtle Doctor Who theme, so I guess I should aim to have it done for the 50th Anniversary in November this year.

11 Doctors and a TARDIS to go in my hexagon quilt

11 Doctors and a TARDIS to go in my hexagon quilt

But this blog post is about something crafty-ish I did today. I drooled over a beautiful piece of fan art and dreamed that I might be able to stitch it one day. Maybe I could get permission to chart it for myself (unlikley since the artist has her other art licenced for cross stitch to Heaven and Earth Desgins)? Maybe HAED would chart it and release it so that I could buy it on the spot (also unlikely due to copyright issues with the BBC I would guess, all they do have some Lord of the Rings art available)?

What is this amazing piece of art, you ask? It’s called Time and Space and I love the colours and the content and the splashed watercolour look of the background. It was drawn (painted? I never know the right terms when it comes to art) by artist Adele Lorriene and can be seen (and purchased) on her website MeadowHaven.

Time and Space by Adele LorienneFind it at www.meadowhaven.net

Time and Space by Adele Lorienne
Find it at www.meadowhaven.net

And since I’m unlikely to ever get a chart of it (but I hold on to my hopes and dreams), I did the obvious alternative. I ordered the print for myself for my birthday. It’s only 2 months away (but who’s counting).

Oh, and I just remembered…

I also made an 8th Doctor quilt (or more accurately, a Paul McGann quilt that included him as the 8th Doctor). I have to track down the pictures for that. I know they’re safe, but I can’t access them due to an electronic glitch that only Dave can deal with. If you’d like to see it, ask me in the comments and I’ll get onto getting hold of them again. Not hard, just something I can’t do myself.