Saturday 31 July 2021

A bit further along - BFF SAL 4 Extra Time

I feel like the extra couple of hours has really helped move this along for me.  Lots more blue from the left, along with a bit of green coming in from the palm trees to the left.

I realise that I have a few stitches in the lighter blue above to pull back out, as I'm happy with the width above and below, hadn't seen or noticed the extras until I started filling the blue up. 

Check out my BFF's extra time update on

Wednesday 28 July 2021

It comes and it goes - BFF SAL 4

There was progress, I know when I look at the pictures there was progress.  And I certainly did not sit all night without stitching.  Finding it hard to connect to the progress this week though.

We've even given ourselves permission to work some extra (measured) time on this outside of our Skype session in the coming week.  We're just so keen to be Done!!

Check out my BFF's update on once she's posted. 

Thursday 22 July 2021

All that Glitters - Arting with Diamonds

Well... I did it.  And I enjoyed the process, at least up to the final 20 or so ninjas I needed to find (even more annoying on diamond painting than on cross stitch). 

Close up, I have to admit it still feels a bit too pixelated for my tastes.

To keep the piece secure, I used Mod Podge glue which dries clear and adds a glossy layer. It will help to act as a kind of grout for the little tiles.  It feels really odd before it dries, good job I've used this glue before and trust it to dry clear!! 

Add a frame, and it is ready to be displayed, where it can be viewed from a more acceptable distance.

I definitely like it better framed and with distance.  The original print is also a faded background and that comes across more with that physical distancing from the finished painting. 

Still looking for just the right project next, where I can complete from start to finish.  I have my eye on a couple of things, as well as some sticky background to use with other charts, as you would with a counted cross stitch. 

BFF SAL 4 - too hot to handle?

It's been so warm this week that my cross stitch has taken a back seat, as sweaty hands and crafty gifts don't sit well together.  So I did wonder if that might be the case for our SAL too?

Thankfully we managed, although I did need to get up to wash my hands mid-session as it was so warm.

The parts furthest to each side of the picture denote the extreme edges of the new layout. This week I did quite a bit of that dark water, I'm trying to balance out the blue with other stitching, as otherwise I will be left with mostly blues to stitch.  Which would not be so hard on a black and white pattern, but the dark colours and similar symbols are making it hard going, even with the delight of having reduced it by so much. 

The plain stripe to the right of the picture is not even evident on the pattern, as it's too dark for colouring in, and it's actually going to be a mixture of the (blue of course) colours in there. 

Check out my BFF's update on

Thursday 15 July 2021

Gifted Gorgeousness July link up

It's the 15th of the month again already, so it's time for Gifted Gorgeousness again!

This month it's more a case of regifted, you will have seen more of this on my BFF's blog on, as I bought it for her as a potential new relaxing hobby.  Alas, she did not find it that way at all!

So it has come back to my house to be completed. So far, I'm enjoying the process, but I have yet to decide whether the full coverage look is going to appeal to me either.  Ironically... It lacks backstitch!! And I had a little trouble with symbols being reused too, if you look at the first picture you can see the Y in 2 different shades.  And unsticking is more annoying than unpicking!

 The whole piece is an Anne Stokes dragon design. I'm going to stay zoomed in until I progress a bit further, but you can see the fuller version on my BFF's blog for now. 

I've also been working on 2 other gifts, but as they are yet to be finished and gifted, I will hold off on sharing for a bit longer.

Wednesday 14 July 2021

BFF SAL 4 - It's not you, it's me!

Or, thankfully in this case, it was both of us!!

Have you ever started a project and thought, I'm not really enjoying this?  You think maybe I'll grow to like it better when I reach x, y, z parts of it?  And then you get there, and it's only growing more annoying each time, to the point where you dread picking it up. 

Well this is that project for me.  The colours are hidden away at the bottom and there is just (for me) so much blue!!! And with similar symbols next to each other, it's prone to mistakes too. 

Luckily my BFF broached that she was feeling the same way about this one.  Now, we've come too far down the road to just give up (although I think both of us had been close to it).  So, a redesign is required.  For me, that will take the form of squaring off the top and sides at the outer and upper points of the current stitching.  For my BFF, I'll let her show and tell on

I did some working out on the number of stitches we no longer need to do, now we have freed ourselves from its tyranny.  

Now, these figures are approximate as the original didn't give an exact count and had an arch at the top which would have reduced it slightly from the maximum stitch count.  So from 135 x 100 (13500) we're reduced to 4977 for me and 4092 for my friend, also an approximation. 

I don't usually allow myself to think of the total stitches as it might put me off, but having worked with Pattern Keeper on my ongoing big project lately, I've become more aware of the numbers.  For comparison, this is 13500, that one is 10571!! 

And once we'd made that decision we stitched with so much more enthusiasm.  What's next for the SAL... Something much smaller I think, but yet to be decided.  Maybe even very small things that we can finish in a few sessions? 

Tell me you've had things that you needed to redesign too? 

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Out of the blue - BFF SAL 4

Out of the blue, a picture begins to take shape, the things in the pattern are starting to look like the image on the photo to me.

I'll be very glad when I am actually ' out of the blue', or at least the pale blue on pale blue at the top of this pattern.  Ate more 'Blue Frog' first again, but I didn't keep going for long as it's hard work!

Just the zoomed in image this week, as I quite like to see that picture growing! 

Oh, and I see my BFF's update on tells about my momentary blind panic when we share our progress.  She tells it much better than me I think, go check it out! 

I found it hilarious that I was in such a fuss that she would run out of material, but we must have spent 10 minutes in a fit of the giggles over it, her reaction being more about my over- reaction.  A good way to finish a session and a massive boost after a hard stressful day at work!! 

Thursday 1 July 2021

The Blue Frog - BFF SAL 4

Some time ago, my BFF posted about a book she'd been reading called Eat That Frog...Eat the Frog link And the concept stuck with me.

Essentially, it means that you get the hardest thing out of the way first thing, and free up your time and effort to get the more pleasant work done later.

So for me this week, like most, it's that pesky Blue on Blue stitching that's my Frog.  I did a couple of thread lengths to get started, and then I did lots of separate bits of colour, I think I used 6 different shades this week!! 

I'm starting to get a feel for the pattern now and can see the design as it emerges.  Still a long way to go though, as you can see on the more zoomed out shot here (for scale).

Check out my BFF's update on when she's posted.