Welcome to Brownie's Chair, my blog about all things cross stitch. Feel free to have a look around, and email me if you have any questions or suggestions!

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Basket of Bunnies

Hey everyone,

I've been gone for quite awhile, and I know that I said in my last post I would try to update more often.  December got really crazy with us having my soon to be sister-in-law come visit for Christmas, and I got sick with a cold at Christmas and then with flu and another cold in January, and things just got away from me.

The truth is, I've kind of been intimated by my own blogging goals, which made it even easier to just keep putting the updates off.  Despite not blogging, I have been stitching and keeping photo progress too, I just have been too intimated to come back and post here.

For the Crazy January challenge this year, I did 31 starts of those little free kits that come with the cross stitch magazines.  I have a lot hanging around and I figured it was time for me to do something about them.  But when I thought about coming on here to post my progress, it just seemed like more of a chore than anything else.  And then more and more progress has happened since then, and it only complicated things further.

So I've decided, it's time for a fresh start.  I'm not going to worry so much about showing each and every one of my past progress photos, but instead focus on sharing more current stitching (that frankly I'm more excited about.  The CJC projects I picked felt more tedious than anything else by the end of January).

The World of Charity Stitch group I'm a part of on Facebook recently did a Bunny themed challenge.  And looking through my patterns apparently the only thing I have more of than bunny charts is cat charts.  So I started 4 different squares (and planned to do many more!  But ran out of time...).  So my recent stitching is full of bunnies.

Here's the beginning of Woodland Bunny by Lucie Heaton:

I literally started this stitching and got this far while having a 100+ degree fever as a result of the flu!  Next is a cute little springtime themed bunny from Durene Jones:

The bonus thing is that this bunny also has several daffodils in it, which are one of my favorite flowers.  Next up is a Winter Bunny chart by Ursula Michael:

The other two bunnies were very stylized/cartoony, so I felt like this realistic bunny was a nice change.

And last up because I was sick of brown and white, I found a blue bunny from an old Carolyn Shores Wright leaflet called Snugglebunnies:

So that's mostly what I've been working on recently.  I'll try to do better about posting pictures of my progress.   I did also make some progress on two other things, but since they are presents I better wait to show pictures until after they have been gifted.

Happy stitching everyone!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Long Overdue Update (Picture Heavy)

Well, my last post here was apparently 3 months ago to the day.  Yikes.  I knew it had been a long time but hadn't realized it had been that long.  I've still been stitching over the last few months, but I kind of fell off the bandwagon with my Olympic stitching in my last update, so I just hadn't been coming back on the computer to actually post an update.  So here's a rundown of what I've been working on in the meantime...

First off, I did finish the Believe part of Lizzie Kate's Living with Charm series from the LK Round Robin I was in.  Here's how that one looked when it was finished:

Next up was the last round for the Lizzie Kate RR before getting my own project back.  I stitched the bottom of this pattern from the 3 Little Words series:

I don't know what kind of evenweave this project had, but it was a joy to stitch on.  So thick and creamy, if you can describe fabric that way.  My qsnap loved it too.

So after I sent this one on I got my project back.  Unfortunately my original project got lost somewhere in Canadian customs, by my fellow RR stitchers pitched together to get replacement fabric and threads.  It was a tiny bit disappointing getting it back, just because although the project hadn't been replaced, I couldn't help thinking it wasn't actually my project.  It still has several sections to complete before it's done, but I had to put it away for a bit because it just makes me a little sad to look at right now.

I also got some stitching done on my Etsy Round Robin projects.  The first one after the darling Disney project I showed last time was a block from the Spooky Halloween Sampler by Frosted Pumpkin:

I had actually stitched one block of this already in the Frosted Pumpkin RR I did last year, so it was nice to do a different part of it this time.  I did L is for Lollipop this time.

The next round in the Etsy RR I've actually lost photos of that project somewhere, so I don't have anything to show you.  It was a part of a subversive cross stitch called Welcome to My Hood, I think by Granny Panties?  It honestly wasn't my favorite thing to work on, so I'm actually not too torn up about losing the pictures, haha.

The next round project was another Halloween piece, this one is by Satsuma Street.

I did the two E blocks and the candy corn.  I have to say I've loved the couple of Satsuma Street patterns I've worked on, although this one gave me a bunch of trouble.  I had to frog and restitch the border twice, and the big E on the bottom once.  My scissors definitely got a workout on this one.

That brings me up to my current project for the Etsy RR.  This is my progress so far on Sewing Room by Soda Stitch:

I have to say I've admired Soda Stitch's patterns for a long time and I even have a couple in my stash (2 I think?) but I have never actually done one yet.  I am loving this one so far though. I can tell this is a project where the back stitch will really make a difference though.

In addition to my round robin stitching, I have also stitched quite a bit more on Welcome Home than you last saw it:

Pretty much almost done except the roof and backstitch.  I've put it away for now though because I'm hitting Christmas present panic mode and need to focus on those projects over the next couple weeks.

I also started on a project that I am calling Summer Bouquet, from a Lucie Heaton booklet that came with one of the UK cross stitch magazines.  I got pretty far on it just a couple colors left to fill in:

Unfortunately I had a major accident and spilled applesauce all over this project.  Again, had to put it away for awhile because I can't look at it after that.  I'm pretty sure it will be okay because I just used DMC threads, but I haven't tried to deep clean it yet.

So that's what's been going on around here stitching-wise.  Hopefully it won't be so long before my next update!

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Olympic Stitching Part 2

Part 2 of my Olympic Stitching hasn't gone quite as well as part 1, but here is what I managed to do.  You can see my progress of Part 1 here.

Day Six
Stitchlympics: New Start Marathon
Summer Olympic Challenge: A piece with specialty stitches

I had planned and planned and planned for the new start marathon event of Stitchlympics, but I didn't realize that it was on a weekday instead of a weekend.  Shucks.  Going to work really puts a dent in my stitching time, LOL.  In order to count as a new start, you had to put in at least 50 stitches.  I only managed two projects in the time I had after work.  The start of a Margaret Sherry Christmas card:

And the beginning of my next Lizzie Kate Round Robin piece (Believe from Living with Charm series):

I also put a few stitches into a 3rd project, but didn't quite manage 50 stitches before I crashed and had to go to bed.  This was also what I was going to count as my specialty stitches (the piece had Smyrna crosses), but since I didn't get that far, I got a nil on the Maynia challenge.  Forgot to take a picture of what I did manage to do, so I'll have to share that one later.

Day Seven
Stitchlympics: Specialty stitches
Summer Olympic Challenge: A piece with green in it

Didn't do any stitching this day.  :(

Day Eight
Stitchlympics: Wind bobbins for 10 minutes
Summer Olympic Challenge: Triathlon, stitch on 3 pieces

I don't usually use bobbins to store my floss at the moment, so I was out for this challenge.  And this day was also a non-stitching day (had a date instead).

Day Nine
Stitchlympics: Go For Gold: Stitch with something sparkly
Summer Olympic Challenge: A piece with red in it

This was Saturday, so I finally got some progress to report!  For the sparkle challenge, I pulled out the materials to start Brooke's Books Annie the Autumn Witch, and started on her hat brim because it's all Kreinik #8 braid.  It was my first time working with a Kreinik braid and it went much easier than I thought it would!  I managed to get the whole hat brim done:

I wish you could see it in person, the color is actually a combo of orange, purple, and black that's so nice and Halloween-y and it doesn't come out in the picture at all.

I also started a ladybug design that is a Durene Jones freebie called Love Bug for my red piece.  Don't know what I'll do with this when it's finished yet.

The red was the only color I could find in my stash on short notice (the rest are likely all kitted up with something else, so I just did a good chunk of the red outline around the ladybug's spots).

Day Ten
Stitchlympics: Stitch with beads
Summer Olympic Challenge: A piece with animals in it (especially horses if possible)

I had planned on pulling out a Mill Hill project for beading day, but by the time it actually rolled around I didn't have any that were ready for beads yet.  So I decided to focus on my Lizzie Kate project instead while watching a movie:

After the movie was over, I didn't really feel like switching projects, so I compromised on the animal piece by stitching while watching The Incredible Dr. Pol, which at least is a show full of animals.  Got almost done with the word "believe" before I stopped for the night.

So that brings me up to tonight.  We have company coming off so I'm fairly certain I won't be meeting tonight's challenges.  But we'll have to see.

How is everyone else's stitching go?
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Olympic Stitching Part 1

Hello readers!

We're several days into the Olympics, so I've been working hard on my Stitchlympics and  Summer Olympic Challenge pieces.

Apologies in advance for some of the photos.  For some reason my phone has been taking really bad pictures lately.

Day 1 was the Opening Ceremonies.  The Stitchlympics challenge was to count your stitches while watching the opening ceremonies (or equivalent time).  I happened to DVR the ceremonies (yay for fast forwarding through commercials and the Parade of Nations!) so we actually watched a couple finals from American Ninja Warrior while I stitched on my Disney piece for the Round Robin (BTW, Linda I know you asked for the name of the pattern/designer, I'm trying to find out for you!).  I was able to stitch 213 stitches and finish off Aladdin's hair:

The Stitch Maynia Summer Olympic Challenge was to stitch on something blue (for the blue in the Olympic Rings).  Not a lot of blue available in my Disney project, so after finishing Aladdin's hair I also started a new project I'm calling Welcome Home.  That's where the rest of my 200+stitches came from. This will be a square for World of Charity Stitching:

Not much to look at yet, just some blue highlights.  With only two colors and very minimal backstitch, it should stitch up pretty quick though.

Day 2 of Stitchlympics was a 15 minute stitching "sprint" to see how much you could stitch in 15 minutes.  To maximize my chances I decided I should stitch on a single color block, so I chose to start the orange of Lady's face from the Disney project:

51 stitches after 15 minutes.  Not bad.  :)  The Stitch Maynia challenge for Day 2 was to stitch on something with an international theme.  I only had about 15 minutes to stitch on Saturday because we had company over so I decided to fudge and also count the Disney project for that one as well.  Hey, the characters are from international locations, right?

Day 3 of Stitchlympics was a 3 hour stitching marathon.  I pulled out the Disney project again and finished up Lady and started on Ariel's hair:

There's a lot of hair!  The other challenge for this day was to stitch on something with yellow (again for olympic rings).  Sadly I failed at this one.  I just didn't feel like pulling out any other projects because I wanted to focus on the Disney piece.  Oh well, I did stitch orange on Lady; that's in the yellow family, right?

Day 4 of Stitchlympics was another "sprint" stitch, this time a 30 minute sprint "relay".  I managed 101 stitches on Ariel and almost finished her in my 30 minutes:

The Maynia challenge for Day 4 was to stitch something with water in it, so I stretched a bit again and figured my Ariel mermaid counted for a water challenge.  So after the 30 minutes was up for Stitchlympics I finished up the last little bits of Ariel and completed her:

Since I was so close to finishing my part of this piece completely, I decided to spend a few extra minutes for the single stitches I'd been kind of leaving until the last minute (eyebrows, cheeks, etc).  Would you believe it took about 30 minutes to put in about 20 stitches?  Gah, I hate changing colors.  But it made a difference.  Here's what my part looked like when all finished:

Day 5 was yesterday which was left handed stitching for Stitchlympics and a piece with black in it for Stitch Maynia.  Sadly I had a flare up of pain in my left elbow which made stitching difficult, so I don't have any progress to report for that.  So my brother and I and a friend went to see Suicide Squad instead.  :)  But it's feeling a bit better today, so I'm hopefully I'll have something to share for Day 6.

Here's wishing you all lots of stitchy progress!  I plan on making much more as I keep watching over the next couple weeks.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Stitchy Progress and New Stitching Challenge

Well, we made it through Mom's knee surgery and she came through okay, so hopefully things will be settling down soon.  In the meantime, I made progress on the next Lizzie Kate Round Robin piece.  This was the letters S and T from the ABCs of Aging Artfully:

I had to break it up into two pictures since the S was at the end of one line and the T on the beginning of another.  Actually, I was scheduled to stitch a little more than just these two letters, but since last month's Etsy RR piece (the sugar skull) took so much time, I ran out of time to finish my section of these completely.  Oh well!

My next up piece was the second round of the Etsy rotation, and I have to say this is a project I love.  It's Disney, so what can I say?  I've done Chicken Little, most of Aladdin (he's missing his hair), and started on Lady from Lady and the Tramp so far:

This is the piece that kept me from going crazy while waiting out the surgery in the hospital.  Just need to finish up those three then stitch Ariel and it will be onto a new home.  I'm not sure I like the red color of Lady's ears.  I always thought of them as more of a reddish brown, but in real life they really are like a dark red.  Other than that, this has been super fun to work on.  Funny story, I almost picked this same pattern as my Etsy piece for this round robin, so there's a good chance I will cave and purchase it later and you will see it again sometime.

So as you can see, most of my stitching so far this year has been round robin stuff.  I haven't really done much personal stitching since January.  Frankly, I've lost my stitchy bug a bit, and the only thing that's keeping me going some months is that the RR pieces are mandatory stitching (for lack of a better word).  Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy doing (most of) them, but the motivation comes more from a sense of obligation than anything else.  I find I love planning and picking projects, but I don't have a lot of finishes lately.  I have a bad case of start-itis for sure.

So I decided a stitching challenge might be what I need to get me out of the slump.  And being the crazy person that I am, I found two.  As you probably know, tomorrow is the start of the Summer 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.  The Olympics are one of the few sports I actually enjoy watching, so I look forward to them every couple years.  So when I found two Olympic challenges on Facebook, I knew it would be perfect.

The first is Stitchlympics hosted by the Cross Stitch It's Fun! Facebook group, and the second is the Summer Olympic Challenge hosted by the Stitch Maynia Facebook group.  Both groups have an individual stitching challenge for each day of the competition.  I'm going to try and combine daily challenges wherever possible.  Stitchlympics is a team competition, so hopefully I will do well and help bring my team to victory!

So along with wanting to stitch along with the challenges I'm going to try and keep up my blogging progress every few days as this goes along.  Wish me luck!  Tomorrow (the opening ceremonies) the challenge is to stitch for at least two hours, and for Stitch Maynia, to stitch on something blue.  I think I can come up with something that meets both of those.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Here's what I've been doing lately

Well, I suppose I am long overdue for an update.  Work has continued to be crazy and I've been dealing with some health problems in the family, so although I still have been stitching, it has slowed down a bit.  But here's what I've been working on.

First of all, lots of Round Robin stitching.  I finished up the last project in my sampler round robin, which was a couple bands from Just Nan's Queen of the Needle design:

I feel really blessed that I didn't get a part with lots of specialty stitches, because they really intimidate me.  As it was, this was my first time doing eyelets (the yellow center of the purple flowers) and I think they turned out okay.

I also finished up another part in the Lizzie Kate Round robin.  This was the Give Santa Cookies part of the Christmas Rules series:

I just love these patterns, I can't wait to stitch them myself (when I have a chance to pull them out of my stash cupboard).  I thought pink was an odd choice of color for the cookies though.  (shrug)

I also spent quite a bit of the last month working on my first project for the Etsy Round robin I joined.  This one was half of a purple sugar skull:

I have to say, this pattern was one of the reasons I am distrustful of people selling patterns on Etsy.  Pretty much it looked like the graphic was just fed into a cross stitch conversion program.  It really could have used quite a bit of cleaning up (in my opinion) to remove some of the confetti and make the design much more symmetrical.  I was happy when this one was over.  It pretty much drove me crazy.

In addition to the round robin pieces, I have made a bit of progress on a few other things.  Best Friends Share has progressed from a random orange blob to two kitties and the start of a basket:

And more purple has been filled in for Singing Owl.  This pattern has so much fill in!

But at least the stomach is done now.  I had to put this one down for awhile and take a break though.

Next up, I'm working on the next Lizzie Kate RR piece and the next Etsy RR piece.  Also, I really, really need to get started on my planned Christmas gifts for this year if I have any hope of finishing them by the end of the year!

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Calling for Round Robin Participants

I really shouldn't...but I did.

Since the Sampler Round Robin I have been participating in since last September through Facebook is about to wrap up (only one more project!) I decided to join another round robin, this one themed for patterns purchased from Etsy.  We start in June (or maybe July) and guess what?

We need 2 more people.

So yes, I am resorting to begging to see if anyone would be interested in joining us.  I know I've gotten comments on here before from people who were wanting to know how to join a round robin, so here's your chance.

If you've never done a Round Robin before the basic idea is that you pick a project, divide it up into parts (for however many participants you have), kit up your project with fabric, pattern, floss and mail it off to the next person in the round.  The person behind you in the round then mails you their pattern, and you work on a part of their project with the included pattern and supplies.  Then, in the next month you mail off that project to the next person and receive a new project in the mail to work on for the month.  When the round has been completed, you receive back your project completed (or almost complete depending on the size).

It's a great way to try out just a bit of lots of different patterns and projects!  If you're new to the blog and you'd like to see some examples of things I've worked on for the 3 round robins I've done so far, you can search the Frosted Pumpkin, Sampler, and Lizzie Kate round robin tags I have on my blog posts.

As I mentioned above, this particular round I'm recruiting for is for Etsy patterns, which simply means it's a pattern that you purchased from a designer who sells their items through the Etsy website.  So it's a huge open theme with lots of possibilites!  Some of my favorite Etsy designers are Brooke's Books, Satsuma Street, Tiny Modernist, Fiddlesticks AU, Cloudsfactory, DoNaStitch, Fangirl Stitches, Pinoy Stitch (home of the cutest owl patterns ever!) and of course one of my favorite UK magazine designers Durene Jones even has her own Etsy store with exclusive and out of print patterns.  So far for this round I've selected a typography pattern from Plastic Little Covers.  And there's tons more designers out there that I haven't even found yet!

Anyway, if you think you might want to join us, here's a few of the requirements:

1.  You must live in the US or Canada.  This is because it's hard to mail projects across the sea in a timely manner.  If you live in Europe,  they're going to a specific round for you guys too!

2.  You have to check in monthly on Facebook.  Since this is a Facebook based group, you will have to check in using your Facebook account.  That doesn't mean you have to be actively on Facebook all the time, but you will need to record your mailing/receiving in the group.

3.  You must have the time to complete a part of the project every month.  As you can see from my progress updates, this does cut a lot into personal stitching time.  But for me it's totally fun and worth it anyway to try all different sorts of things.

So if you're intrigued and you think you might want to join up, here's the main Facebook group page.  Make sure you read all the requirements in the pinned post at the top, then go to the Etsy event page to sign up for this round specifically.

Hope to see a couple new faces!  And you can of course expect to start seeing new projects here in my updates too.  :)

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