Monday, January 14, 2019

The lure of new starts

Last week I finished Portrait of Antique Vines (except for the three treasures which I have since ordered) and I am very happy with the greens I chose; here it is in the original pinks:

And in green:

I was going to start Zelda when I finished PoAV, but after taking the tree down and getting some cleaning done I just wasn't in the right mood for her yet. Besides that, I'm going through my usual "no model in the house--I want to stitch everything!" phase, so now I have two new starts!

The first is a Janlynn kit that is kind of far removed from what I usually stitch, but I saw it several years ago and just really liked it for some reason; after searching for a while it finally popped up on eBay and I was able to get it about a year ago. Here is my small start on a piece of PTP Zephyr Cashel:

The second start is in my usual milieu, Nora Corbett's Miss Moth (erroneously titled Miss Moss on the chart) on an opal Lugana Solkweaver solo:

Once I get the treasures for PoAV and sew them on I'll have another set of Qsnaps open, so I'll probably put Zelda on them--at least that's the plan right now...

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Phew, it's done!

I am extremely happy to report that Enchanted Alphabet is finished! I had more than enough floss (I probably could have gotten one or two more letters out of the remainder), and the rearranged letters fit onto the fabric with enough left over for the framer to work with:

I was thinking of sending this to Jill Rensel for framing, but I just don't know if I want to wait 3+ months to get it back, so I'm torn. Plus, I like taking pieces to my local framer and seeing all the options right in front of me. Hmm, I guess I'll iron it later this week and see which way I'm leaning at that point.

After I finished I went back to my version of Portrait of Antique Vines, which I hope to finish this week:

This past Saturday I received the latest Mirabilia, Zelda, and I plan to start her after this one is done; or I should say after this one is done and I get the Christmas tree taken down and some cleaning done...sigh.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Ever feel like a project is cursed?

After Christmas I was able to send back the models that were currently in the house (two Nora Corbetts and a Meridian Designs), so it was time to relax with my conversion of L&L Enchanted Alphabet. The little girl was all done, so stitching letters with a single variegated thread should have been super easy, but once again all was not well...

When I first started this project it was because I had bought the fabric and was looking for a good design for it, and EA looked perfect. Then I chose a great floss from The Thread Gatherer, which mimicked the colors of the flowers painted on the fabric and made it look like the letters were also growing in the garden--so far, so good.

Then the troubles started: first, after stitching three letters I became very concerned that I wasn't going to have enough of the limited edition floss to do all 26. Cece at TTG agreed to try to reproduce the floss, but earlier this month she returned the skein and said she couldn't do it. After a bit of panic, I went through my collection of Waterlilies and found a floss that was close enough that with some careful cutting of the "good parts" I would be able to make it blend. However, I did finish 13 complete letters and a small part of the 14th with the first skein of floss, so here's hoping that the remaining letters aren't any larger and that the second skein will be enough for all of them.

The second problem was when the white pinafore landed squarely on a patch of painted flowers, which made a large pink splotch in the white. A few buttons alleviated that problem enough that I can live with it, though I'll always see that splotch:

The third, and probably worst, disaster is when I realized that the 32ct fabric that I bought was in fact 28ct. On 32ct I was going to have 2" borders at each side, which was a bit tighter than I usually like but worth it to use this piece of fabric, but on 28ct I was now going to be over an inch short of fabric on the right side--ack!! After another bout of panic I sat down with some charting software and played alphabet Tetris until I was able to come up with an arrangement that fit all of the letters on the right side. I also rearranged some of the letters on the left to try to even out the two sides and so that I could fit the little bunny in the design:

He's now in front of the little girl, instead of behind her (and he has a fluffy white tail, though it doesn't show up very well!):

So, I now have eight more letters to do, and I am obsessively keeping track of floss as I go, so wish me luck!

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful New Year, filled with all of the things that make you happy!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Can't settle down

This time of year is always stressful, as aside form the usual chores of cooking and cleaning you add in shopping for and wrapping presents, and putting the tree up and decorating. This is my husband's busiest time at work, which involves a LOT of travel, so it falls to me to "do" Christmas at our house. I'm always relieved when December 26th rolls around!

Speaking of my husband travelling, I have to share his latest "adventure": he was about an hour into a drive to Cleveland when a high-speed chase came up right behind him, and just as the driver of the car being chased came even with him the police threw down road spikes and all four of hubby's tires were flattened at the same time. He had to cancel the trip for that evening, but his customer enjoyed his story about the reason for it!

Here at home I'm having a bit of a hard time settling down with one project; the extra time needed for holiday preparations means stitching time is curtailed, and I seem to spend the time I do get waffling around from piece to piece without actually getting much done. I did finally decide on some buttons to use on Enchanted Alphabet, to help blend in the pink spot on her skirt:

Then I thought that maybe a smaller project would keep my interest, so I started Mirabilia's Portrait of Antique Vines using some Silk'n Colors to change out the pinks. Here is what the original looks like:

Here are the greens I'm using:

And here's the latest progress:

I was actually doing pretty well sticking with it, but then Joan Elliott released a new design and it really called to me; it's called Fairy of the Wind:

I ordered it last Monday as soon as it came out, and received it Friday afternoon. After a weekend of stitching here is what it looks like:

I'm changing a few of the colors out to make it a bit softer, so hopefully that will work out the way I see it in my mind; always fun to play!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week (or at least enough stitching to stay sane at this busy time of year)!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Enchanted Alphabet progress

I haven't done a lot of stitching in the past few weeks as I had two colds back-to-back which really knocked me down for a while. I have a decent start on a model, but late last week a friend on FB asked me about my Enchanted Alphabet WIP and it gave me the urge to work on it again. This is the chart photo:

I'm using a Silk'n Colors limited edition floss for the letters, on a piece of Floral Watercolor Meadow from Sunny Dyes; here is where I left off a couple of months ago:

And here it is as of last night:

In a stroke of bad luck there are three painted flowers on the fabric where the white pinafore is stitched, and even using three strands of floss couldn't cover them completely. It also didn't help that some of the paint color came off on the white floss as I stitched, turning it slightly pink. I'm thinking of using one or two butterfly buttons to help cover the spot; I think one button looks better overall, but two buttons cover the spot more completely, so I'm torn:

I'm going to order some pink butterflies, and then I'll play around again and see how I like them. I'll have to sprinkle two or three more throughout the design, as well, since having them on just her skirt would probably look strange!

At this point I'm still waiting for Cece at The Thread Gatherer to re-dye some of the Pink Succulent floss I'm using for the alphabet, so I can't really do much more until that arrives; hopefully she'll get some time soon.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Framed Emi

I just noticed that I never shared a picture of my framed Emi, so here she is!

The frame is a dark blue-green, and the gold insert has a pattern on it that I thought looked like arrow heads:

Last Friday night I finished up the first of two models, so I spent some time on Lady Justice this past weekend. I've decided that I am going to use the DMC Golden Skein for the scales, so I changed out the gold beads in her hair:

I might play around with the gold beads in the dress as well, but I'll decide that when I have more stitched so I can get a better idea of what it will look like.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Some finishing and a new start

I decided to use the Victoria Sampler Halloween bookmark I finished a little while back to make a needle minder holder for some of my favorite Halloween minders, and it came out fairly well (though a tad crooked!):

These are really easy to make; I start with my finished piece (or just a plain piece of fabric) and a canvas from the craft section at Target (or wherever they sell them), and stretch the fabric over the canvas and glue the edges to the back side along the edges. Usually I try to have enough fabric so that the fabric can go all the way around to the back, but in this case it was a bit small on two of the sides so I had to glue those sides to the sides of the canvas instead of the back; here's what the back looks like:

Since the two "short" sides looked a bit sloppy like that, I used a ribbon trim to neaten them up:

I attached the sawtooth hanger to the back, added some of my favorite needle minders (using the magnets right through the canvas) and now I have a pretty and functional piece hanging in my craft room!

I received Mirabilia's Lady Justice last Friday, so I took the weekend to make a start on her; I'm using a piece of Sugar Maple Fabric's Heavenly Sky Belfast:

And here's my start:

I should be finishing a model towards the end of the week, then I'll probably take a week or so to work on this one; I'm thinking about using my DMC Golden Skein (floss made with a 24K gold wash) for the scales.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!