Perhaps my 2006 New Year Resolution shall be "to be more decisive" .... this is because I have decided on three cross stitch projects for the coming month(s)!
I was fully intending to take Isabelle's great advice (from her Blog Comment - see 21/Dec/05) to start my Flower Fairy kit in order to ring the changes with my Welsh Sampler which is a fairly long term project. Then I suddenly remembered that our friends in New Zealand are getting married on 25th February, and panic set in, as there is only 7 weeks to go until DH travels over to NZ. I will be sitting some exams for my Masters the week after, so it was impossible for me to go over there (I am very sad about it). I am hoping that a hand-made gift which DH will give them from us will be nicer than something bought and will make up for me not being there (they do understand though!).
Project One will be a Wedding Sampler for them. I chose it because it will be quick to make but is very effective - it only uses 7 colours (all of which I already have in my thread drawer) and I have a nice piece of 16 count Aida in an antique cream that works well. It is a Brenda Keyes design and she suggests that it is adaptable for many occasions (not just Engagements as in the photo from my book). So I am sure I will be able to complete it in about 4 weeks, just in time! I will need to find a frame for it - actually I have a gold one quite similar to the one shown in the photo, so that's another problem solved if I do not see anything else I prefer.
Project 2 is a Christmas present ("stocking filler") which DH's mother bought me - well she asked me to choose something and this was it! The only change I will be making is that I want to use Belfast Linen (as shown in the photo below) rather than the Aida supplied in the kit. I can always use the Aida for something else! The nice thing is that I can personalise it with my initials at the base of the tree and add the date.
Project Three: Just to prove that I do sew things other than samplers (!!) ... I found a gorgeous and very cute design in a DMC Favourites magazine which I was browsing through over a Christmas glass of wine! Both DH and I are avid book readers so I thought this would be nice to hang in the living room by our bookcase - I just love the way Mouse is perched on his stairs with books spread all around - its such a lovely scene.
How do you balance your stitching time with your other obligations such as work, household chores, etc.?
For me, fitting in my Crafts at the moment is a challenge, because I find there are not enough hours in the day and unfortunately my Crafts 'suffered' most in 2005. I was looking at some of the photos that I took through 2005 and counted 15 projects (that includes both large and small pieces) which is definitely not a lot.
Weekdays are spent at work, with Friday's at University during Term-time (from October - April) so the only free times I have are evenings and weekends. When I have exams or assignments coming up, my weekends are rather manic and I can spend up to 4 hours a day studying.
DH and I always have our meals together as this is a lovely social time for us to catch up on what we have been doing in the day. We have been busy doing a lot of DIY lately, so housework has been limited to keeping all the washing and ironing done, but not too much on the dusting and hoovering until all the work is finished!
Within the next 6 months things will improve. For a start, we aim to finish the decorating by around May-June time (we have been working on the house since 2003, so it has been a long-term project!) and my University Lectures will end in April 2006, then I only have to do my MSc Dissertation which will free up a lot of time as I can fit that in over a 1 Year period until 2007.
So I think that by the summer, I will be able to be a lot more creative and will even be able to do some craft fairs which I used to do regularly before my studies stole away all my time :-(
The best thing about having limited time for crafts is that I really appreciated being able to relax over Christmas and enjoy my stitching in the mid-day light. I only stitch in natural daylight which also limits my time - I just can't enjoy stitching by artificial light (even those daylight bulbs are not the same)