It didn't take too long to finish off the last few bits of this. The leaves on the trees were the most time consuming as I had to keep stopping and starting. The rest went really quickly. I'm rather pleased with it. I think it's one of my favourites.
I'm all ready to start September's Cottage. It's been kitted up for a few weeks and it's now in the Stitchbow organiser ready to go. I love the colours in it as it's such a contrast to most of the others.
I've been plodding along with this and thought it might be a good idea to stop and take a photo as I haven't got much more to do.
I kept wanting to do just a little bit more before doing an update as I'm really enjoying this one. I love the bottom border as it's so different to the others. All the other Cottages have the top and bottom border matching so this one was much more fun. I liked the windows on this one too.
All I have left to do are the bits either side of the Cottage. Two very leafy trees, two birds and a few shells. Hopefully it won't take long and then I can start September.
It's so odd typing now, you know. I can touch type after a fashion. Not very fast as I'm self-taught, but mostly accurate. I can rattle along quite normally on the desktop (Old Clunky) but I seem to have developed a different style on the laptop, because I was usually expecting it to turn itself off at random intervals whenever I tried to type. It's a sort of furtive style with my fingers trying to sneak up on the keys. I hadn't really noticed how odd it was until I no longer need to do it, having now sorted the problem out, and I'm finding slightly hard to stop doing it. Stealth typing ;)
I'm quite pleased with how much of this I've got done so far, especially as it was odd starting from the top. Don't ask me why I decided to do this one differently as I have no idea. I've started all of the others from the roof as it was easy to find that from the centre point, but this time I just felt the need to work top down. I rather like working in this order, although I did have to count everything three times just to be sure.
I love the wee seashells in between the border flowers.
I've finally made a start on this one but haven't really made enough progress to post a photo of where I'm up to. I do have a photo of the stash for it though and will have a progress pic soon hopefully.
I'm going to have to take it slowly though as I've now had a diagnosis on my hand from the doctor. Apparently it's the start of Rheumatoid Arthritis, which I'm just a bit gutted about. I do have some capsaicin cream to see if that helps and so far it seems to be doing something with the pain, so that's good. I'm finding that some stitching helps, presumably as it keeps the joint moving, but too much aggravates it so I need to be careful not to get carried away.
I'm thinking it'd also be a good idea to stay off the internet a bit more, as using the mouse really doesn't help. Yeah. Good luck with that one.
I'm quite pleased with how this turned out and I'm just sorry that I can't share more of it with you. Tree sent me a perfect little chart of a Union Flag that fitted perfectly onto the flagpole instead of the USA Flag and then I charted some other bits myself. Unfortunately I've had to cover them up as there are some things you're not allowed to use. If I tell you I went for a bit of an Olympic theme, you'll get the general idea though.
Sigh, I'm really missing watching the Olympics while I'm stitching in the afternoons. I might get more done now though as it was a lot more distracting than I anticipated. So exciting. I feel a bit now it's finished.
I've completed everything on this design that I'm going to do from the chart. All the rest I'm going to improvise. The plan is to make it more British so I'm going with an Olympic theme as that's about as topical as you can get at the moment. This is what it's looking like so far.
I did have a mishap while I was stitching this. I was filling in the walls while watching the Olympics on TV over the weekend. I was obviously paying a bit more attention to the excitement on screen than I was to my cross stitch. I'd filled in the one wall with pale blue but then must have picked up the darker blue when I started the other wall.
And. I. Didn't. Notice.
Not until I'd almost finished the wall. Then I had the delightful task of frogging it all. I blame Murray as I was watching the tennis at the time.
I may redo the bit that I messed up on Around the World part three before carrying on with this. Then once this is finished I can carry straight on with part four. Then I'll be a bit more caught up, just in time to start the next round of Cottages and SALs.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with this one. It's a lovely design. I really like the colours, especially as there are five different variegated threads. Yum. The fireworks are pretty and would make a pleasant change from birds and flowers and a flagpole would be nice instead of a tree or vine. The problem is that this is quite definitely a Fourth of July design and we don't celebrate that in the UK. So, what do I do? I could change it to something more British, but once I'd started thinking about doing that, it got rather complicated and I think I'd end up by changing several of the colours too. Or, I could just go with the flow and do a nice Fourth of July Cottage.
Oh, what to do, what to do...
I've made a start on the roof while I'm thinking about it, as that'll stay the same no matter what. I haven't managed to do a great deal of stitching over the past two weeks though, as I've pretty much had wall to wall migraines. And the flu. I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself, I'm afraid to say. In fact, I know I've been unwell as I've had a large bar of Cadbury's fruit and nut in the fridge for two weeks. Untouched. There must be something wrong with me if that's still intact! *grin*
I finished off part three of Around the World a couple of weeks ago but I haven't yet taken a photo as there's a wee problem with it. I've made an error in it that means frogging quite a lot of it if I want it to be right. I'm considering leaving it as it looks ok-ish and probably no-one would notice the error, but I just know it would bug me. And as this is a project that's going to take two years to complete, should I really begrudge it a couple of days to redo that section? Sigh. I'm going to have to frog it, aren't I?
Ah well. It'll give me some more time to think about what to do about that Cottage.
I've faced my nemesis with this one. There were French knots. Far too many French knots to ignore and replace with the odd wee cross stitch. No, I had to stop being such a wimp and just get on with it. There were French knots on the Ladybirds, and knots on the strawberries. You may notice that there are several Ladybirds and a lot of strawberries.
I attempted to do the knots by myself and failed miserably, of course. Why on earth I thought I'd suddenly and miraculously be able to do them, I have no idea. Yes, I do know I managed a while ago, but I've slept since then and I have the memory span of a goldfish when it comes to these things.
So, I resorted to watching the rather thorough how-to video on one of the cross stitch magazine websites. I say thorough because at one point I was having the urge to yell at it to 'get on with it'. I shouldn't complain though as by the end of it I think it was indelibly imprinted on my brain, and my eyelids, how to do French knots. I'm not saying mine are perfect, or even neat and tidy, but they are definitely knots. Look!
I'm a bit ashamed that June's Cottage has only just been finished and we're in the second week of July. I've got a bit behind due to this problem with my thumb. I'm still having to limit my stitching time quite a bit but I've found a couple of solutions that seem to be helping. I've got a Thumb Glove that restricts the movement of my thumb while stitching, and also supports it. I'm using an Ibuprofen gel on the thumb. I'm also trying a different type of needle that was recommended for this problem. It's two ended so you don't have to turn it, so you don't get as much thumb movement. It's threaded in the centre and is taking me some time to get used to, but will apparently speed up my stitching once I do. One thing I have learnt very quickly. It's not a good idea to put it in my mouth like I do my normal needles. Both ends are sharp...
It seems to have taken ages to do these two borders considering I've left some bits off. All finished now though and I'm almost done on part seventeen of The Great Escape so I'll be able to start the next part of Around the World soon. That's if I can put my Kindle down, of course. I'm on a reading binge at the moment, having let my curiosity get the better of me on the current book craze that was intriguing me. Sigh. I never learn.
Still, some stitching has been done and this is the result.
As you can see it's completely bee-less. There should have been four of the vile creatures in each border but I left two out and changed the colours in the other two to make them resemble oddly coloured butterflies. Or floating flowers, whichever you prefer. I was going to leave all of them out but would have had to change the spacing of the leaves to avoid an odd gap and didn't realise that until I'd stitched most of one border. By then I just wanted to get it finished so I lobbed in the butterflies/floating flowers/whatevers to fill in the gaps. They'll do.
I also changed the pink border flowers to white to calm it all down a bit and I'm much happier with that. In hindsight, I should just have used a different shade of pink but I'll know to do something before I start if I'm uneasy about the colours next time. Lesson learnt.
June's Cottage is kitted up and ready to go and I like the colours much more than this one. It's much fresher looking. I'm going to have fun with Around the World first though. Part two looks lovely.