A slight obsession with books

Reading and Fibrecrafts


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SAL – A whole lotta latte #5

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and prepare to be completely unimpressed by my progress this update. Oh yes, once again the speed at which three weeks can go by has surprised me again leaving me with just a few stitches to show you. Still, at least there are some stitches and not none, so I’m thankful for that.

At the last update I had two teacups with the top one being backstitched. The plan was to start the next two cups that join onto the blue/brown cup, so that I could backstitch it, and then roll the frame up so I could carry on working my way down.

That didn’t go entirely to plan. I’ve done enough of the cup on the right to be able to backstitch the blue/brown cup but didn’t get around to starting the left side cup let alone any backstitch.

Hopefully there’ll be backstitch done and some more pretty cups for the next update.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:

AvisClaireGunLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusan,
 Kathy MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherine,  WendyMary MargaretTimothy

Look how many of us there are now! Do allow for people being in different time zones, so not posting all at the same time, but it’s well worth doing a bit of blog hopping to see all the lovely projects that are being worked on.


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SAL – A whole lotta latte #4

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I’ve finally got back to doing some cross stitch. It was close though. I’ve spent most of the past three weeks trying to decide whether to get the other Dance on the beach blanket finished or do some cross stitch. And, if it was cross stitch, should it be a new start – something small to tempt me back, or an existing WIP?

Then I got the email from Avis letting me know that the update was due in a few days. Yikes! Where did three weeks go?

A decision needed to be made quickly if I was going to have anything to post today, which ruled out a new start, so I grabbed the cross stitch project that was most ready to go and got cracking.

This is what it looked like back in May when it last got some attention.

It’s a bit hairy. I don’t know if the black fabric just shows the cat hair more or if there’s more of it about these days. I’ve taken the lint roller to it a few times but I keep having to pick hairs out of the way as I stitch. I suspect a lot of hairs will get worked in to the design. Lets call them speciality threads, eh?

This is where I’ve got to now.

I managed to finish the top teacup and even did the backstitch on it as I’d much rather get it out of the way a bit at a time.

I haven’t made a great deal of progress, but considering how late I left it to pick it up, you can at least see what I’ve done. Hopefully there’ll be more done for the next update, especially as I’ve bribed myself by promising myself a new start on Crazy cat lady once this one is finished. (and I really, really want to stitch Crazy cat lady)

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:

AvisClaireGunLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusan,
 Kathy MargaretCindyHelenStephLindaCatherine,  WendyMary MargaretTimothy

Look how many of us there are now! Do allow for people being in different time zones, so not posting all at the same time, but it’s well worth doing a bit of blog hopping to see all the lovely projects that are being worked on.


4 Comments

A whole lotta latte #3

I’ve managed to squeeze in some time to do some more to Latte. The top teacup is almost finished but it looks a bit washed out in the photo. The sun was actually shining so the detail was lost on it. The pink flowers look quite pretty on the yellow background though.

Latte-03Hopefully I’ll finish the top soon and can start working my way down the stack of cups.


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A whole lotta latte #2

I’ve done some more to Latte on the odd occasion when I haven’t been crocheting/gardening/working/playing with the cats. I haven’t done much though as the other things have taken most of my time.

This is where I’ve got to now.

Latte-02The cup now has a handle and some steam coming from that hot coffee. I love how the steam looks. It’s half-cross stitch in three strands so it really stands out.

I’ve also started the next cup and have just about finished its saucer. It’s going to be a really colourful one and will take me to the top of the design so I can start to put the border in.

I have a couple of new toys tools too. I’ve wanted a Millennium frame for ages but it was out of the question while I wasn’t working. I ordered it in January and it arrived last week. They’re hand-made and there’s a massive waiting list. I knew from the Cross Stitch Forum that their customer service left something to be desired, especially with communication, but it is possibly the best frame around.

Millennium frameNothing else that I’ve come across gets every bit of the fabric taut, and is so easy to relax and tighten as needed.

It’s quite heavy so I knew I’d need some sort of stand for it so I got a lap stand from Sew and So. It works with the R&R frames too so will get plenty of use as I’ll keep smaller projects in those.

Lap StandI had to reassemble it after trying it as my left hand goes under the fabric and the upright bar was in the way. I’ve bodged it a bit so the upright now goes on the right and it works much better. The bottom part goes under my legs so it’s very stable and the frame rests on top so is easy to flip over to get to the back of the stitching.

It does take a bit longer to get settled now, as I have to fetch the stand, frame, box of bits and the maglight before I can start and I’m a bit hemmed in so need to make sure that I do have everything that I need. Once settled though, it’s very comfortable and it seems to be working well.

Hopefully I can find a bit more time to play with it all soon.

 


11 Comments

A whole lotta latte #1

I’ve been enjoying stitching this one and have almost finished one of the coffee cups. Look, isn’t it pretty!

Latte-01
Can you see all the cat hairs on the fabric? Either there are a lot more hairs wafting around at the moment or this fabric really shows them up. I may have to take the lint roller to it before continuing to stitch.

I haven’t been having as much trouble as I anticipated with the black fabric. I found a brilliant solution, or rather Stephen did. It’s an inspection lamp which sits flat on my lap and doesn’t roll around like the torch did. Also, the light is directed upwards so no white paper needed and it’s very easy to get the light in just the right place. And as a bonus, it’s LED so it’s very bright and doesn’t get hot.

lamp-02It was only £5 too, so very reasonable for a crafting tool.

I did have one small problem just after getting the new light. I lost my scissors. The ones with the curved end so they’re perfect for snipping threads close to the fabric. I emptied the tray that I keep my current project in, but they just weren’t there. Thinking that they may have gone down the side of the sofa last time I used them, we looked under it, upturned it to inspect the insides and checked as far as my hands would go down all the nooks and crannies. We found a lot of cat toys, but no scissors.

Want to know where they were? My new work light has a magnet on the back so you can use it hands-free when working on a car. Guess what was stuck to that magnet.

lamp-01Ah well, the underside of the sofa needed a vacuum so it wasn’t a complete waste of time looking for the scissors…

I had a lovely surprise on Saturday. The postman brought me an envelope, inside which was these.

unbirthday giftAnother unbirthday surprise from Claire. There’s a lovely cross stitch chart, with an owl on it. I’m rather fond of owls so I shall enjoy stitching it. There’s also a beautiful handmade lavender sachet. It’s currently hanging in my craft room and infusing it with fragrance.

Thank you Claire 🙂


15 Comments

A whole lotta latte

After finishing Rose Boudoir, I’d planned to carry on with Precious Dreams, which hasn’t seen the light of day for a while. That was until I had a rummage in the To Do box and found a kit that had been waiting its turn for a couple of years.

Rose Boudoir was very pretty with those pastel colours, but I really wanted to do something with some bolder colours so when I spotted A whole lotta latte, I couldn’t resist a new start.

Latte-stashYou have to admit that there are some gorgeous bright colours in this one. It’s a kit by Dimensions and came with black Aida. I dislike stitching on Aida so I’ve substituted some nice black Jobelan instead.

I haven’t done a Dimensions kit before but the chart is nice and clear with good instructions. There are a couple of blended colours, and stitches are done in either 1, 2 or 3 strands which sounds interesting.

I was a bit dubious about stitching on black, and I was finding it difficult to see the holes in the fabric. I’ve found a strategy that sort of works for now, but could do with finding something better. I’ve been stitching with a sheet of white paper on my lap, with a torch shining on it to bounce the light back up onto the back of the fabric. I have to keep moving the torch, which refuses to stay still while balanced on my leg, but it’s helping a bit. I could do with a stronger light so maybe I’ll borrow the big torch out of the car and see if that’s any better. I’m not quite sure how I’d balance that one though…

Any one got any other suggestions?