Saturday, 20 June 2015

Catching up

I'm not very consistent at the moment- neither is life. It's busy and occasionally threatens to engulf me entirely. But I am learning to recognise the anxiety  as it comes, to rationalise it and lean into peace. I'm getting there, slowly. This is a 'new' that is above and beyond all the changes in physical situations, but within. Maybe I'll talk about that next week (although I am going to the real life sea next week so you may be kept in suspense...)

On with the Stitch-alongs. I'm late for TUSAL and Gifted Gorgeousness but I'm here! I've actually missed the TUSAL for the past few months. TUSAL stands for "Totally Useless Stitch-along" and it's an opportunity for people to show off all of the scraps they've created by stitching over the month. We moved house in April and as a consequence my TUSAL jar was packed away, and I had to move on to a smaller, travel-sized version. I still haven't gone back!

Isn't it cute?

You can see the layers much more clearly from the different projects I was working on: lots of blackwork back in April, then some bold colours from my applique in May, and finally all the pastels from the 'Storytime Classics' sampler I've finally got stuck into this month!

It is also handy to carry around with me- I like to squeeze some stitching into my lunch break when I can, or just pass the time if I have to wait a while somewhere. I made a little drawstring bag way back when I bought that baby sewing machine, and it still gets plenty of use:

Just the right size to squeeze into a handbag! You can also see the progress I've made on the aforementioned sampler from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery; I got off to a very bad start at the beginning of the year but have completed 2 month's worth this month already, so I'm optimistic it might still be finished by January 2016.

Unfortunately it has been my main project this month, and is the only one that doesn't qualify for "Gifted Gorgeousness" (see what I did there?!)

Gifted Gorgeousness is run by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and it's an opportunity to share any crafting that has been done as a gift, or received. Last month I could only share a teaser with you but this month I can share what I sent to Canada in the Disney Craft Swap I joined in:

My swap partner liked 101 Dalmations and mentioned that Cruella DeVille was her favourite character, so I stitched some blackwork Dalmatians and an applique Cruella for a tote bag. The dalmatians were also supposed to end up on the bag but that didn't work out, I'm pretty please with the notebook cover as well though! I really enjoyed making for somebody else- it gave me to opportunity to try things that I wouldn't have done otherwise, and I made things in a style that I wouldn't necessarily want to keep. This post is a bit photo heavy already so I won't post close-ups now, but I was REALLY PLEASED with how it all turned out.

I also included some Cadbury's Marvellous Creations chocolate (the one with popping candy because it's my favourite), some hand-dyed threads from riotous colours, and a card with an illustration of Leeds on the front.

It has also been my birthday since this time last month and I have been treated to some beautiful Gifted Gorgeousness! I was given this cross stitch kit by some good friends:

I've wanted a Bothy Threads pattern for ages but have never quite been brave enough to buy one so this really was a treat! I'm looking forward to having a go with metallic threads and a bit of beading too so that will be fun.

Finally, my wonderful husband MADE my birthday present this year. It has been very mysterious as lots of small envelopes kept arriving in the post, and then he borrowed my spray glue and got all a bit stressed out while I was not allowed upstairs, but look at this:

Isn't it gorgeous?! The postcards are all from places we've been abroad together. This photo doesn't show off quite how well it goes in the room as well. To be honest I would have been over the moon with anything he'd gone to the trouble of making for me but this is perfect. I am a very lucky lady.