Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's Christmas Eve

For my last post of the year, I thought I'd share the ornament I made for my friend Stacy. Her family got a black lab puppy this past July, and he is just the sweetest boy. Not too long ago I came across a leaflet called "Lab Puppies" by Tara Moore, and I thought an ornament for Cinder's first Christmas would be cute. I'm still working on my finishing skills, but I think it turned out nicely:

Stacy's family has had two golden retrievers before this puppy, so they have a lot of retriever ornaments, and were commenting when they put their tree up that they didn't have any black lab ornaments. So this was good timing!

My mom is visiting for the next few days, and even though this will be our first Christmas without snow for at least the last 14 years, it will still be a wonderful Christmas. Here are a few wintry cross stitch finishes to enhance the mood:

For those who celebrate it, wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and to everyone a wonderful New Year!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Contest results

I am happy to post that I finished in a tie for third place in the Passione Ricamo Winter Whisper contest. There were some "voting irregularities", so in the end the winners were decided by Laura and her model stitcher. I had voted for Anne Beale for the best finish, and she tied for first place, and I voted for Giovanna Ferraresi for best stitching, and she tied for second place; I'm very happy that they did so well!

I am still plugging away at the model, but I do slip in a bit of "fun" stitching now and then to give my eyes a break. I was able to finish this cute little Santa & Rudolph ornament from Mill Hill:

Gracie kept me company while I finished up the beading last weekend:

I also managed to get a rare picture of all four of my kitties together; the warmth of the sun's rays is stronger than their dislike of each other!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Voting is open!

After seeing some of the stunning finishes in the Passione Ricamo Winter Whisper contest, I'm thinking it's going to be a tough competition! You can see all the entries here; and here's mine again:

If you really like mine, I'd love your vote, but if you like a different one, that's good too. Anything that brings positive attention to this wonderful craft of ours is welcome.

Still working on the model, and hopefully about 2/3 finished. A bit of bright news there: it turns out my vision isn't quite as bad as I thought it was. The night before Thanksgiving, my Ott Light started flickering, and the flickers were nice and bright. I ran over to Joann Fabrics to grab a new bulb, came home and installed it and it is so much brighter than the old bulb! I had no idea that the bulbs would dim over time; I always thought they would just burn out suddenly. It was also nice timing, because the bulbs are normally about $35, and they had them on sale for $13.

So I am stitching with renewed vigor now that I can see again, and am hoping to be done with this one by the end of the year!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Friday, November 27, 2015

It's an ornament!

Last Friday I sat down and finished my entry for the Passione Ricamo Winter Whisper contest. Finishing is definitely not one of my better skills, but I'm reasonably happy with the way it turned out (especially from a distance!). This was the finished design, stitched on Twilight Belfast linen from Picture This Plus:

Front of the ornament:

Last Thursday I stitched the border on another piece of fabric, added some personalization, snowflake charms and beads, and used it as the back of the ornament:

I used beads and crystals to make a hanger and the tassels, and finished it off with a trim of GlissenGloss Estaz. Even though the back panel is a bit crooked, I'm pleased with how sparkly and pretty it is. The contest will be judged in December, so now it's just a matter of waiting to see if I win anything!

For those who celebrate it, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2015

I have stitching I can share!

Normally when I'm working on a model, I don't stitch on anything else. However, Laura Lattuada of Passione Ricamo is having a contest which runs November 16 through November 30, so I had to take a small break to fit it in. We received the chart, called Winter Whisper, on the 16th, and here is mine at the end of the first day, before and after the back stitching:

Here it is at the end of the second day:

And here is my finish on the evening of day three:

Now for the hard part; it has to be finished as an ornament, which is not my strong suit. However, I plan to have it finished by the end of the weekend, and well before the November 30th deadline. I'll share the finished piece when the end of the contest is near; wish me luck!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Love this finishing idea!

Work continues on the model, so I don't have any new stitching pictures to share. However, I did want to share a neat finishing idea that I've come across. Summer House Stitche Workes has a series of designs called Postcards from the Heart, which feature a cross stitch design that is attached to a burlap canvas along with other "found objects"; it's almost like a mix of stitching and scrapbooking. Here is a picture of one of the finished pieces:

The designer has a great video tutorial for the process in her blog. The burlap canvases that she uses are from Tim Holtz, and can be found at most craft stores. Here's a link to an online store, so you can see what they look like: burlap canvas. Serendipitously, not long after watching the tutorial I came across these canvas panels at my local Target:

These are 12" x 12", and a nice white finish, as I wasn't a big fan of the burlap. When I finally finish the model, I've decided that I'm going to make a collage in remembrance of my trip to Italy this past May. Here is a picture of some of the goodies I stitched and received/bought during the trip:

If I have room, I'd love to add a picture from my trip as well; I'm really excited about this project!

In my last post I had a small contest, which was won by Dima; you can see what her prize was in her blog.

I'll leave you with a new picture of my Gracie acting as chart holder for me:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Christmas in July... finally here! Every year on July 25th, Picture This Plus has a Christmas in July sale, and I usually end up buying a few pieces even though I don't NEED more fabric. This year they limited it to their fabrics only, and it still took them 14 weeks to get everything dyed and shipped; they sell a LOT of fabric during the sale!

They are very upfront about the wait time, however, and the fabrics are worth the wait. This year I got pieces of Crystal Chrysalis, Crystal Arctic, Nocturne and two pieces of Mystic that I plan to use with a couple of Thea Gouverneur's city designs:

I've been trying to decide which finished piece I want to take to the framer, as I still have part of my birthday gift certificate left. While going through my pile, I came across Chatelaine's Mini Mandala Circle 2, which I stitched a few years ago. I have a picture of it in the sidebar of my blog, and as I was looking at it about a year ago I realized that I made a mistake! I've remembered it ever since, so a couple of days ago I pulled it out, dug through my stash to find the chart and finally fixed the error.

Because the mistake caught my eye so easily (though apparently not at the time I stitched it!), I thought I would have a contest here: the first person who can spot the error and comment with its location will win a small prize (yet to be determined). You can either leave your email with your answer, or check back later to see if you won and I will post my email for the winner to contact me. Ready, set, search!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

ETA: Well, that didn't take long at all; sharp-eyed Dima spotted the mistake. I was missing two stitches in the lower right side; the needle in the picture points to the fixed area:

Now that you know where to look, I'll bet your eye will immediately be drawn to the mistake in the first picture; I know mine always is! Now I just need to take a good picture and replace the "faulty" one on my blog.

Friday, October 16, 2015

This is going to take a while...

...the model I'm currently stitching for Rosewood Manor, that is. Not only is it large, but it's being done on 40ct linen, which is starting to get hard for me to see. Oh, and a good part of it is over-one thread on the 40ct; woo hoo!

I've tried to wear reading glasses, which help a lot, but I can't stand the feel of glasses on my face; I end up with a major headache from scrunching my nose up against the glasses. Then I tried a magnifier, which also works well, except that the piece looks kind of wavy under the magnifier and I end up feeling almost seasick after a while.

I've been working on this for over three weeks, and I'm probably only about a third of the way finished. However, I will soldier on and get it done, and it will be gorgeous and well worth the effort!

Speaking of Rosewood Manor, Karen Kluba, the designer, has a daughter who was in a horrible accident this past August; she nearly died, and has a very long road to recovery ahead of her. Karen has designed a special chart in honor of her daughter, called Crazy Socks:

Sales of the chart will help the family with expenses related to the accident and therapy, as well as a school fund for Rachel's sons. I bought mine last week; you can find information about the chart here.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friendship Compass finished

Last weekend I went to visit my mom, and the timing was fortuitous because I was able to make a stop at Welcome Stitchery and buy some beads and treasures to finish up my Friendship Compass freebie from Glendon Place:

It has been really interesting seeing all of the various color combinations in the FB group, and how different they can make the design look. Here is the designer's (Cheryl Granda) take on her design:

Quite a difference!

I finally received a Rosewood Manor model last week, and it's a big one, so I won't have too much stitching I can share for a while. I did get a couple of pieces of neat, painted fabric from HLC Fabrics that I will be playing with to find a great design to stitch on each of them:

I have three binders full of Halloween patterns, so I should be able to find something to stitch on these...

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2015

A finish and a new start

Shortly after my last post, I finished my version of Happy Halloween:

I'm really happy with how it turned out; the little peek-a-boo kitty reminds me of my Tailor Bean, and the colors are so bright and cheerful. I might have to get this one framed pretty soon so I can hang it up and enjoy it all the time.

I was still in the mood for Halloween stitching after the finish, so I decided to pull Glendon Place's Murky Manor out of the Bucket o'WIPs, where it's been residing for a few years. The fabric is a Silkweaver solo on Belfast:

After working on it a bit more, I decided to see if there is a Glendon Place stitchers group on Facebook, and there is. Right after I joined, they had a big push to get to 500 members; Cheryl, the designer, promised a free chart if they hit the goal. Not only did they reach that goal, but in the past few days they have surpassed the 1000-member mark!

So, Cheryl released a mandala design called The Friendship Compass. The chart does not come with a color key, so you are supposed to choose six floss colors and four bead colors and make it truly your own. I spent a fun couple of hours playing in my stash, and finally came up with this color scheme:

I'm going to wait to choose the beads until all the stitching is done, so I'll have a better idea of what I'm looking for. It is a really fun stitch, although working on the black linen is definitely getting harder as I get older!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A finish and an almost-finish

To combat the stitching blahs, I decided to put my large projects aside and just stitch up a couple of small designs. The first of these is from Sue Hillis' A Wintry Mix:

Sue had a name-the-chart contest on the 123Stitch message board when she designed this chart, and I had the second place name, which was Snowflake Forest. She kindly sent me a free chart even though I didn't win, and this is my favorite of the trees in the design.

I then decided to finally start on Curtis Boehringer's Happy Halloween, for myself this time. About a year ago I stitched this little cutie for someone, who wanted the colors shown in this picture:

The original chart only calls for three colors, which are orange, black and brown. I like the colors in this version, but I love the colors in the one I'm doing now:

I should have this done in the next day or so, so I'll share the finish in my next post.

Hope everyone in the US has a terrific Labor Day weekend, and to everyone a great stitchy weekend!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The stitching blahs

I've been in a bit of a stitching slump for the past few weeks, and I'm not really sure why. I'm thinking it might have something to do with the transition of my son heading back to school next week, and trying to get everything ready for that. Hopefully, once we're in a good routine I will feel more like my stitchy self!

I've kind of stalled out on The Raven Queen, as all the background is a bit of a slog. Here's where I left off several days ago:

I was able to finish the sixth and final Mill Hill Owlet:

These little guys and gals were so fun to work on; I'm thinking of making some more with different colors, or possibly try to make them look like Halloween ornaments.

Speaking of Halloween, my favorite needle minder seller, Gina, had her Halloween sale a few weeks ago, and I received my order last week:

Between these new minders and the cool weather we've had the past couple of days, I'm starting to get the Halloween-stitching bug; the only cure is to stitch a Halloween design!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Stitchy weekend!!

My guys are out of town for the weekend again, so it's just me, the critters, season 3 of Orphan Black on DVD and my stitching--woo hoo!

I haven't done a lot of stitching this past week, but I did manage to finish the fifth of six Mill Hill Owlets:

These little guys are so bright and cute, and make me happy just to look at them. :)

If the model doesn't arrive today, I'll be working on The Raven Queen some more. Here's where she is as of last night:

Did you notice the bird flying in the background? I'm taking a couple of  ravens from another chart and stitching them over-1, to make them look like they're in the distance. Here's a close-up of the first one:

I have to admit, stitching over-1 with black floss on a dark, opalescent fabric is not very kind to my 48-year-old eyes! I need to recover a bit before I attempt the second raven, which has more stitches than the first one.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend; I know I will!

Friday, August 7, 2015

One raven done

I haven't received the model yet, so I've still been working on The Raven Queen. One of her ravens is done (except for his legs and eye):

There's quite a bit of background in this one, which is pretty, but also kind of time consuming. I'm really enjoying working on it, though.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!