Saturday, April 30, 2016

Very little stitching...

...has been done in the past couple of weeks, as first my son and then I got knocked out by the flu. During the worst of it, I didn't get out of pajamas for four days, and pretty much lived in bed or in the recliner. I'm still trying to get over the coughing part of it, but have once again joined the land of the living (and stitching!).

What stitching I have been able to complete since my last post has been on a model, so no pictures to share of that. However, yesterday I picked up my framed Gypsy Queen and I am just so in love with the finished piece:

I chose a sueded outer mat and a metallic inner mat, and the frame itself is brushed with a couple of colors found in the design:

I also had one of Nora's paintings framed, and I think it's stunning:

These two pieces have already joined my ever-growing guest room gallery:

I still haven't had the nerve (or the time) to start my HAED yet, but I now have another one that I'd really love to work on. A kind member of the 123Stitch MB had a giveaway for the winner's choice of a chart, and I won! My favorite artist there is Aimee Stewart, and she had recently released a chart called A Stitch in Time, which I fell in love with. I couldn't bring myself to buy it, since I hadn't even started the other one I already had kitted up, but winning it is a totally different thing!

I got the maximum color version, which uses 237 different colors; I am very tempted to kit this one up and start it before I start Foxglove Ball. However, before I do either I need to finish the model, so I guess I'd better get to work.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Wonderful retreat weekend!

This past weekend was the fourth annual Mirabilia Minions Retreat, and it was such a great weekend! I have been in love with Mirabilia patterns since I saw my first one back in about 1996, and it is so amazing to get together with like-minded people. This year there were a total of 166 finished pieces in display, which is almost overwhelming; so much beauty anywhere you looked in the room.

I took Blossom Collector along with me, and did manage to get quite a bit done on her:

Now she just needs her legs, some "swirls" and beads; it shouldn't take too long, but a new model came in just before the retreat so I'm going to work on that for a while. Happily, it's a relatively small pattern, so I'm hoping it will only take three or four weeks to complete.

Nora has designed a new Mirabilia free pattern, which will be released by Wichelt at some point in the future. As a retreat attendee, I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy, along with the silks and beads needed for it:

I'm thinking I'll stitch her up after I finish Blossom, unless the new Mira being released in four days calls to me to start it first. I also have now received all three parts of the Wherefore Art Thou design, as well as the over-dyed threads...I will never live long enough to stitch all the Miras that I want to!

I won a door prize as well, a cute little bobbin needle minder and a pretty needle threader:

As in previous years, Nora brought along some paintings, which were sold by silent auction. Here are the ones I came home with:

The two on the right are from an awesome "series" she did in which she used old newspaper advertisements that her mother drew in the 1970s, then painted over and around them; I absolutely love them!

Here's a picture of the amazing group of women (and Kenny!!) who attended this year (Nora is in black in the front bottom center):

I'm already looking forward to next year's retreat, where the theme is going to be Alice in Wonderland.

Now it's time to catch up on some sleep, get some chores done around the house and then get to work on the model. Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

One week from now...

...I will be in (or hopefully almost in) Cincinatti, Ohio for the Mirabilia retreat. After attending the first two events, I missed out last year, so I'm looking forward to seeing my Mira friends again.

I've made a start on one of the newest Nora Corbett releases, The Blossom Collector, so I can take it with me to work on during the retreat. The chart photo makes her look very pink, so I chose SMF Hummingbird Lugana to try to soften that pink up a bit; so far, so good:

Judy Odell of Just a Thought Needlework Design recently asked for some small stitched pieces to finish for a new technique that she was working on. I sent her my Monsterbubbles Twitter finish, and she sent it back to me like this:

How cute is that?! She has shared the pdf with the instructions in her FB group, Just a Thought Needlework Design.

Judy has also started selling a stretcher frame set (info can be found in the group), and I bought one from her almost as soon as she released them, as I have long been wondering how to handle the piece of fabric I need for the HAED I bought over four years ago. The design is Foxglove Ball, and the stitch count is 625 x 833; on 25ct fabric over-1 the fabric needs to be at least 31" x 39". I got the 36" rods from Judy, cut my fabric to 32" wide and loaded the whole yard length onto the frame:

It has great tension, and of course works perfectly with my JAT stand. I recently printed out the entire 129-page pattern (which has it's own binder!), and I've had the floss ready for years:

Now I just need  to work up the courage to actually start something that daunting! To paraphrase an old saying "The masterpiece of 520,625 stitches starts with a single stitch". If I worked on nothing but this project (as if!), and completed one page a month, I could have this done in 10 years...

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Flitting about

We've had a few days of unseasonably warm temps here in Wisconsin, so I tried to get outside and do some yard work while it was nice; those first few days of spring-like weather are so liberating! As a result, I didn't have as much stitching time, which is okay because I'm having a hard time sticking with any particular project

I did make a start on the anniversary piece, which has a beautiful blue palette but is going to get pretty repetitive with the border:

I managed to get the stitching done on the next two birthstone designs, but don't have the beads to finish them. To save on shipping from Canada I'm waiting until a couple more are released, and the last time I ordered it took five weeks to get here, so I'm guessing it will be a while before I get back to these!

This past week I noticed that Mill Hill had released six new Laurel Burch kits, dogs this time, and I just had to order them. Of course, I already have the six cat kits, so I pulled one out and made a start on it; this one is called Feathered Friend:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gypsy Queen is done!

I finished her up this past Tuesday, and I just love her so much! It has been quite a while since I stitched a full-sized Mirabilia without putting it aside for a time, and I'm glad I stuck with her and finished. My wonderful husband got me a gift certificate to my framer for Christmas, so I'll be taking her over soon!

After the finish I spent some time cleaning up my craft room (i.e. putting away new stash!), and trying to decide what to work on next. Over a year ago I purchased a chart for my 25th wedding anniversary, which is now in just under two months, so I guess I'd better get stitching if I want to have it done in time. It's Everlasting Love by Praiseworthy Stitches:

I also recently bought the next two birthstone charts from Shannon Christine Designs. These stitch up pretty quickly, so they'll be nice when I want a quick stitchy fix!

Before I get too deep into any design, I decided to work on my Florence canvas, using materials received during my trip to The Primitive Hare's stitching retreat in Italy last year. I'll probably do a bit more tweaking, but here is a general idea of what it will look like:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, February 26, 2016

The end is in sight

I made good progress on Gypsy Queen this past week, and should be close to a finish by the end of next week. I just love everything about this design; the beauty, the explosion of vibrant colors and all the blingy details. I'll almost be sad to finish her...almost!

In Rosewood Manor news, the model I stitched last summer will be released at the Nashville Market in about a week; it's called Just Peachy, and it used Sulky Petite threads:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Slow week

Had a bit of "stuff" going on this week, and ended up not even picking up my needle for two whole days! I'm hoping to make up for it this weekend, but we'll see how it goes. Here is Gypsy Queen after a bit of love yesterday:

I now have even more incentive to finish her up, because the newest Mirabilia has been released, and The Snow Queen is stunning!

In another little bit of serendipity, I had just received a piece of fabric from HLC Fabrics that I think will be perfect with the design:

I plan to use it as long as the floss toss looks good, although it will be a tighter fit than I usually like, as it will only have about 1.5'" borders along the top and bottom. I'll just have to make it work!

Last Saturday I finally received some bead packs from Canada that I had ordered in January, so I was able to finish up January Garnet from Shannon Christine Designs:

I'll be doing all 12 of the birthstones on a piece of cream/natural Tattersall linen:

I'll leave you with another picture of Gracie sharing HER napping table with me; she is telling me that my Ott light is way too bright!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!