Monday, October 25, 2021

A little bit of stitching

I am very happy to say that I completed the Mirabilia model last Friday night; I have submitted photos and now just have to cross my fingers and hope for no revisions. It's always a bit disheartening when you have to make changes, even though it's only because Nora wants her designs to appear their best--but I still hope it gets approved as is!

I've had less stitching time for the past few weeks as I've been trying to do two or three hours of yard work most days to get the landscaping ready for winter. Happily I can probably finish what's left in a day or two, so by the end of this week I should be ready to burrow in for the winter. This past weekend I spent some time on the second block in Black'd Skie and was able to get the outline done and part of the interior:


I'm hoping I can get the block done in the next few days, before part 3 of The Rooky Wood is released on Thursday. This is the first two parts, minus some bits that call for a new thread that I'll start when adjoining parts are revealed:


Once part 3 is finished I'll probably make a start on the Rosewood Manor model waiting in the wings. It's on the smaller side so I'm hoping it stitches up fairly quickly and I can have a bit of free time around Christmas, though even after 35 years of stitching I'm still horrible at estimating how long a project will take to complete.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Can't believe I actually did it!

 I'm not sure I've ever actually completed a larger SAL on schedule, so my mind is blown that I somehow did two this year! The first was the Jardin Prive piece and the second is this design by Cecilia Votta, which I just finished yesterday:

I even started this one a month or two late but most of the blocks were small and stitched up quickly so I was able to catch up early on and stay on track. The final block was fairly involved and took just over a week to finish:

I was looking forward to being done with SALs for a while but then I just had to start The Rooky Wood by Tempting Tangles which will go until next June, so let's see if I can do it again!

Karen Kluba of Rosewood Manor had posted a bunch of pictures on FB of her room at the Needlework Galleria a couple of weeks ago and one picture in particular caught my eye:

The part that really drew me in was the alphabet on the large framed piece behind the main display--isn't it pretty? I had never noticed it before so I started looking through all of Karen's designs and finally found it on Parchment Tapestry:


I've seen this design before but the flower panels always drew my eye in and I just never noticed that pretty alphabet at the bottom. Karen kindly offered to send the chart to me and it arrived last week; I've ordered the WDW floss and when that has arrived I'd like to work on this once in a while as time permits. Of course the alphabet is at the bottom so it will probably be a long time before I actually get to stitch that part, but it will give me something to look forward to in the coming months.

Now it's back to work on the model, and the next part of Rooky Wood that will be released on Thursday. Must stitch faster...

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, October 4, 2021

A new SAL, and an older one

 I was looking forward to having both of the SALs I worked on this year finished this month as I have a lot of other projects I'd like to start or work on when I take some time for my own stitching, but then a new SAL from Tempting Tangles came out and it really appealed to me so I decided to dive in and see if I can keep up with a new one. This one is called Rooky Wood Mystery SAL and this is the teaser photo that drew me in:


The first part was released last Thursday and new parts will come out every two weeks for 20 weeks, so it will finish next June (if I'm still hanging in there, which is iffy); information about it can be found here. I bought the Dinky Dyes silks for this one and stitched the first part (except for a few bits I'll do when adjoining parts are released) on one of the fabrics I bought from Nicholas Flamel Design on Etsy:


I finished that on Friday and then spent the weekend working on the final part of the Cecilia Votta Advent SAL that came out October 1; it's a larger block than the others so it will take a few more days to complete:


Once this piece is finished it's back to the model for a big push to the finish--it's about 75-80% complete so it should definitely be done by the end of the month. Of course, I already have a Rosewood Manor model waiting to be started...

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Couldn't resist the spell of Black'd Skie

 I really meant to focus on a model until October but the pull of playing with the colors on Black'd Skie was too great, so I gave in and spent an enjoyable weekend watching the first block come to life. The chart calls for a lot of muted greens but I like more visual interest so I'm using greens that are a bit more vivid and bringing in some other colors as well. It's difficult to get a true picture from the chart photo but this is how it is charted:

And this is how my finished block looks:

I've always loved coloring, only now I do it with threads instead of crayons and markers. I'm going to try to be good and get "work" stitching done, but I might not be able to resist pulling this one out and starting the second block when the weekend rolls around again.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

This and that

 For the past month most of my stitching has been on a model but I have taken a few days here and there to work on a variety of other projects. Last month I stitched up a new Cross Eyed Cricket freebie (currently available from shops that are on an auto ship program) called Delft Windmill Mitten:

My "mitten-a-month" goal has taken a bit of a hit as of late but since I stitched quite a few right away I'm exactly on target as I've now stitched 12 since last October.

Also last month a spent a couple of days starting Mirabilia's Botanical Garden for myself. I had a beautiful piece of fabric from Crossed Wing Collection called Over the Rainbow which I thought would look really pretty with the design:

Unfortunately the base linen is just too flimsy and it's 28ct so between those two facts I can't get my stitches to look nice at all. I was really torn because I love the colors but the bad-looking stitches are just too much for me so I've decided to start over on a new fabric that was my second choice when I went through my stash (my favorite, Belfast linen, in a color called Storm Clouds from HLC Fabrics):

I haven't started it again yet because I was a bit deflated from having to start over, but I will when the mood strikes.

Speaking of fabrics, Cheryl at Glendon Place had the people at Crossed Wing Collection create a new color for one of her new designs and it is fabulous! It's called BANG!!! and it looks like a starry night sky:


The base linen for this one is Zweigart's Cashel, so it will stitch up very nicely. I think it would look amazing with Mirabilia's Fairy Moon or Stargazer (those are the two that immediately came to mind but I'm sure there are others); I ended up ordering another piece just to have it on hand.

On the first of the month the penultimate part of the Cecilia Votta SAL was released and it stitched up very quickly:



I can't believe I actually kept up with this through most of the year, and I'm really looking forward to finishing it next month. I'm thinking Santa will be in the last box, but time will tell...

Finally, I recently discovered a new-ish fabric dyer on Etsy, NicholasFlamelDesign, who has some wonderful colors on 32/36/40ct linens. I bought the Bronte Sisters Collection and the taupe/gray piece made me think of The Primitive Needle's Black'd Skie, so last Friday I pulled out the chart and went stash diving to find some Silk'n Colors to use in place of the recommended threads. This is what I came up with (though I added some more over the weekend):


I spent the long weekend working on it and this is what it looks like so far:


I would have made more progress but most of Sunday's stitching had to be frogged--ugh! It turns out that three of the diamonds in that top border are spaced differently than the rest, but when I stitched it I had them all spaced the same; that meant that I ended up being three columns short, so when I went down and started the first box it was in the wrong place. I've made corrections now but I lost several hours worth of work in the process. It doesn't happen very often but it's very annoying when it does!!

Now I need to get back to work, hopefully until the last part of Cecilia's SAL comes out, so probably no updates for a bit. I'm thinking I can reach the halfway point on the model this week, and it's always nice to be on the "downhill" side.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Mirabilia's Botanical Garden

 I stitched this model last fall and today I can finally share! This is MD177 Botanical Garden:



I absolutely love her and am hoping to stitch her for myself at some point; it's not a huge design so I should be able to squeeze it in sometime, maybe as a project for the weekends.

I think she arose from this painting that Nora sold back in December 2019:

I just wish stitching wasn't such a relatively slow process--I have dreams where I can stitch a Mirabilia in a day or two and it feels amazing. Of course, to even those dreams out I have nightmares where I've taken a Mira in to be framed and the framer has cropped the fabric and framed it really badly (off-centered and with bunches in the fabric) so it can't be fixed--always good to wake up from those!

Feeling the need to add a note here now that this has been posted--I wrote this up on Saturday the 14th and saved a draft but didn't post until Sunday morning after the chart was released. Don't want to get in trouble for sharing before it was released...

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, August 9, 2021

21 years and two weeks

 As mentioned in my last post it took 21 years to start the Mirabilia ornament in the JCS Christmas Ornaments 2000 issue and then it took two weeks (actually eight days but with a break in between) to stitch it. I finished it last night and checked it over twice for any missed stitches before putting the magazine and floss away, then of course this morning I spotted three missed stitches right away! Those are now fixed and hopefully this is the completed ornament:

Luckily I only had to make up the 1 in the date, as any other number might have been a bit tricky. The fabric is PTP Cyprium Belfast, which looked fairly similar to the fabric used for the model. I'm thinking I might get this framed as I think it's the same size as Nora's Peace Doves ornament that I had framed and they would look nice hanging together as a set:

As a fun side fact the 2001 JCS Ornament issue listed the same designers on the front cover as the 2000 issue, and as this included Mirabilia I was very excited to see her ornament. I must have looked through the magazine four or five times before realizing that there was no Mirabilia ornament included, and I'm still bummed about that 20 years later!

During my break from the ornament I completed the Jardin Prive SAL Au Fil des Nichoirs, including going back and making a few changes to previous parts, and I am really pleased with the finished piece:



It's been a long time since I've been to my framer and I have several gift certificates that need to be used so I think I'll try to get over there sometime this week with a few pieces, including these two.

For now I'll be working on a Mirabilia model that I started last night, and next week I'll share some pictures of MD177 which should be released next weekend.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!