Saturday, December 18, 2010

Like the Layers of an Onion ...

I've been working on the Thread & Eye Mandala SAL for the past 3 days. This design solidifies why I love geometric patterns. As I slowly add each new colour and shape to the project, it's as if I have a whole new piece in front of me. (I'm not exactly a pink person, but the darkest shade is a wonderfully rich berry colour and it is stunning.)

I keep thinking that I should stop and just leave it as is because it's beautiful.

I must add in a pic that showcases how small stitching over 1 on 25 ct really is:

Couldn't you imagine this design as an ornament? Picture it in icy blues, whites, and silvers .. what a snowflake it would make!!

Each element adds something exciting ... I love watching as the design unfolds. This project in particular is exciting because I chose my own colorway, and since I'm not the most visual person, I can't picture in my head the way the colours will come together in the design, so it's a constant surprise for me. A delight to stitch!

Then I add the next part and it's even more perfect then before.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December Update on the Blackwork SAL

I was supposed to go to my LNS last night for the Blackwork SAL, but alas the snow put a stop to that. Instead I used that time to work on my blackwork project at home. I must admit I'm not enjoying this as much as I thought I would. I already know I don't like doing backstitch on other projects, but I thought that if the backstitch was the focus of a project (like it is in blackwork) I might like it better. Sadly no.

I'm stitching it 1 over 1 on 25 ct lugana. It's small. Very small. Keep in mind my scissors are only 3.5" in length.

And a close-up of the fill patterns. Some I really like, and others I really do not.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home Sweet Home - One Week Later

Actually it's only been 6 days, but who's counting, right?

Well, I've finished almost half a page, or roughly 2500 stitches. I've had a very difficult time putting this piece down. While I'm not exactly loving the colours I'm working with at the moment, I feel like I need to stitch like mad so I can get to the good parts. I love seeing the wonderful (and sometimes wacky) colour combos and shading that is in this design come into view. Right now some of it doesn't seem to work when the piece is 6 inches away from my face, but I think it'll work when the bigger picture is viewed from a respectable distance.

HSH will have to be put aside for a few days though. I have the Blackwork SAL at my LNS this week, and I haven't touched the project since last month. *looks guilty* I don't think I've put up any pictures of my Blackwork since the first one of the blue cross stitch border. I'll rectify that in my next post. Time to get busy stitching!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My First HAED - Home Sweet Home by Lierre Foest

I have finally found/made time to start my very first HAED. I have chosen Home Sweet Home because it's funky and the colours are just crazy! There are 11 shades of orange and 22 shades of green in this design. I love it!!

I've had the materials for this project kitted up since July (though I have changed fabrics three times in the interim) but I always had other, more pressing projects on the go.

I love the look of all the floss laid out, just waiting for me to start stitching.

And painstakingly wound on bobbins ...

I started to grid my fabric (25 ct antique white Lugana), but the tediousness of gridding wore down my limited amount of patience rather quickly. I gave up after gridding the outline of the first few pages (which took me the better part of two hours). I bet the gridding will be ripped out shortly once it gets on my nerves enough. The next photo shows how big the fabric is for this project. The Q-snap on it is an 8" x 8" one. The finished piece will be 16" W x 22 1/2" H, which is ridiculous really. It's going to take me years to finish this. :) (Sorry, the lighting is terrible.)

I managed to put in about 250 stitches so far, all of which are the most hideous colours. Ick! I can't wait to get into the richer oranges, blues, greens, and pinks!

And a close up of my stitching (sorry lighting is terrible ... again).

I can't wait to stitch some more tomorrow!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Updates (I really should be doing schoolwork ...)

I think better when I stitch. My fingers are busy, and somehow that quiets the noise in my head as I think a kazillion things and lets me concentrate on something specific.

And so, not only is my paper for school almost finished, but I have two projects to update!!

First of all, my Jasmine pixie now has arms, a torso, a head, and part of a flower hat. Just need to finish the hat and stitch up her wings (and of course add in a little more backstitching), and then she'll be ready for beading!

I also did a little more work on my SAL mandala. I've added in a third colour - blue! I had to force myself to put this one down and work on something else. It's so lovely to stitch.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Working on Little Things

It feels like I'm working on something different every day!

I finished this card a week or so ago, but I have more to make in the coming weeks.

Also, I decided I wasn't happy with the colourway for my Thread & Eye Mandala by Ink Circles (it's a SAL that I'm doing at my LNS), and so I have restarted the project with an entirely revamped palette. It's much earthier now, and I am finally enjoying stitching it. This mandala is still being stitched on 25 ct Lugana, 1 over 1 using HDF solid silks.

And I have to show off what a dear friend of mine gave me as a little Christmas present. My first stitchy gift from a non-stitcher. I think that is awesome!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Working on a UFO

I haven't picked up my pixie since I was at the cottage at the beginning of August. So many other things had to be done, took precedence, and got in the way. It was really nice to get back into this piece and realize that I don't really have that much more to do.

Other than beading (which will have to wait until after a special trip to a beading store to find beads small enough), the entire bottom half of the pixie is finished. All she needs now is a torso, a head and some wings! I'm excited about how this will progress!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Butterfly Forest - Framed

Here it is ... all framed and ready to go.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Too many finishes means a lost stitcher

It's been a while since my last update. The tree has gone and come back from the framer's (I forgot to take a picture before I took it down to my parent's place, so a final picture will be forthcoming in early January) and it looks stunning!! I am in love with it and it will likely kill me to give it away. The butterflies are still at the framer's and a picture will be up as soon as I get it back.

Now that my two bigger projects with deadlines are done, I'm feeling a little lost. I spent a good week not really knowing what to stitch. I knew I needed to stitch a few Christmas cards but I wasn't that motivated. I did want to start a new big project, but wouldn't allow myself since I had so many little things to do. I have two stitch-a-longs to work on, plus a slew of Christmas ornaments and cards.

Just this past week I got my stitchy bug back, and I finally made a little progress. I managed to finish the stitching for three Christmas cards. The awesome sparkly fabric doesn't show on the snowflake and the smaller Christmas tree. :(

My LNS is hosting two stitch-a-longs this winter, one is a blackwork piece (pics to come in a future post) and the other is a specialty Ink Circles mandala. I chose my own colourway for it and am stitching it in Vikki Clayton silks on 25 ct antique white lugana. It's a long way from being finished, but I'm really liking how it's shaping up.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Butterfly Forest -- FINISHED

I did it!! I did it!! It felt like this day would never come, but finally it did!! The butterflies are over and done with!!

All it needs now is a quick ironing, then it's off to the framers! Huzzah!!

I don't know what I'll stitch next, but it definitely won't be a butterfly.

Stash-tastic Additions!!

I have had a few fantastic additions to my stash lately. *grins happily*

First, I went with two friends to the Creativ Festival in Toronto (Oct 22-24) and I added some lovely fabric to my collection. The seven fabrics on the right were too pretty to pass up, and will look awesome as backings for ornaments etc. The three pretty ones in the center plus the super sparkly one are from Enchanting Lair and are either 28 or 32 ct Lugana. I don't normally stitch on those counts, but they were too gorgeous to pass up. The lightly sparkly one on the left is from Dovestitch. It's only hand-painted with dye, not truly hand-dyed (immersed in dye, I mean) and it's not my favourite, but finding 25 ct is next to impossible, so I snapped it up.

I also won bingo on the site, and it finally arrived in the mail. I got some cute seafoam green aida and my very first Lickle Ted kit from DMC. Thanks KerryT!

And finally, my LNS had an artist's exhibit during the last 2 weeks of October, and I entered my Live Simply finished piece. They had a few draws for prizes, and I just found out today that I won one!! And so I got a great little grab-bag of goodies!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Dreaded Purple Flowers ...

Work on my Butterfly Forest project had slowed significantly over the last few months because I was dreading the copious amounts of backstitch that needed to be done. In particular, the intricate purple flower bunches were not a section of the project that I was looking forward to. But the good news is that they are finally finished!!

Now all I have to do is stitch the leaves, do a few french knots, complete the gold border, and then the piece is finished. A final update is close at hand!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

AAN Tree - Finished but not framed yet

I finished the tree ... finally! It feels like I've been working on it for a long time, but in reality it took me just over a month to stitch it. I'm a little impressed with myself.

I think it looks stunning. Not quite how I'd pictured it in my head before I started, but I love how it turned out.

I will admit that I am now totally hooked on stitching with Vikki Clayton's hand-dyed silks. They are so lovely to work with and they add a whole new dimension to the project.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Tree ...

I was so hoping to finish this tree before I had to leave for the weekend, but alas, it is not to be. (I'm headed to my brother's place for his 40th birthday party, so I can't take it with me.) I am very close though!! The tree itself and all of its leaves are complete, and I'm over halfway done the wind. I think it looks magnificent! I'm very proud of it. (And I'm contemplating stitching an autumn coloured variation of it sometime next year.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Butterflies, Blackwork, & Birthday Cards

I have lots of updates!!

First of all, my third go at making a card. I even splurged and got sparkly letters. (It was for my mom, so it was worth it!)

Next, it's an update on the Butterfly Forest. The full and half cross stitches are all done, and about 2/3 of the backstitching is complete. All that's left is the last of the backstitch and the couched border. Then it's off for a wash, an iron, and framing!! It's nice to see this one be so close to done, but the last little bit is a real struggle to do. The motivation is hard to come by. Knowing how much my mom will love it is all that keeps me going.

And finally, I've joined a blackwork stitch-along (SAL) at my LNS. It's a ton of fun! It's just a pleasure to sit around and stitch with others who love stitching like I do. The fact that we are all working on the same pattern but with a dozen variations in colour, fabric, and size just makes it more exciting. The design is called Interlocking Wheel by Elizabeth Almond. It's found on her site Blackwork Journey. This is what it will look like when finished:

Mine is going to be quite small. I'm stitching it 1 over 1 on 25 ct antique white lugana evenweave using Vivki Clayton's Hand-dyed silk in Ocean Breeze. It is one of the most amazing blues I've ever seen. To date I've finished the cross stitch border, but have yet to attempt any actual blackwork. (Blackwork embroidery is a counted-thread embroidery technique traditionally done in either black or gold. The simplest of all the embroidery stitches, the straight stitch, is used to make up the complex and intricate designs that can often be seen. When these straight stitches are sewn in a combination, they make lines or geometric patterns. These geometric patterns are the main basis for the Blackwork embroidery technique.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Butterfly Update 9

I was enjoying working on the tree a lot, and I was dreading working on this piece again. There is SO MUCH backstitching left to do, plus a good chunk of background. I think I'm simply tired of the design. It's tough because it's a gift and I feel the pressure of the looming deadline.

It is coming along though. It's kind of amazing how much I have done already. I so want it finished and framed. I can't wait to see the look on my Mom's face. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still Growing ...

I haven't been able to touch anything else since I started this piece. Now I have to put it down :( because I've run out of silk. Hopefully I can pick up some more later this week.

I think it's looking just gorgeous though.

A few more curly-ques on the far right branch, 6 leaves, the main trunk of the tree and the wind and I'll be done. Not that much more to go to be honest. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's Growing!!

I haven't been able to put this piece down! It's a simple stitch and I'm finding it very relaxing. (Besides, all I'm doing in my other projects is backstitching at the moment ~ bleck!)

You can see some of the subtle variation in the threads in this picture. I can't wait till it's all done! I'm curious to see how the wind turns out at the bottom.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Albero Delle Fiabe by AAN (It's a tree)

Years ago my brother somehow acquired an old piece of embroidery that my grandmother stitched and hung it with pride in his house. He sweetly refers to it as a family heirloom. I decided that a new stitched piece would make a great Christmas gift ~ a "new" family heirloom.

I choose to stitch Albero Delle Fiabe by Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks.

While I don't love the monochromatic model, I do love the shape and flow of the tree. When I give it to my brother I'm going to call it a Family Tree Heirloom. I think he might get a kick out of that.

I'm stitching it on 18ct ivory Davosa evenweave and it's stitched with hand-dyed silk. I've never worked with silk before, but I am LOVING it. So soft, so supple and the delicate variation in colour is awesome. I've customized the colour scheme and given the piece a more natural look:

So far it's been a fun and easy stitch. I'm so excited about finishing this and seeing my brother's reaction. Actually, I like this design so much I might just have to stitch it again for me. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Homemade Framing Finish

At long last I managed to frame the Lizzie*Kate - Welcome Baby that I stitched for a friend of mine ~ and I did it all on my own!!

I think it looks great, and I'm pretty darn proud of it considering how un-crafty and un-talented I am with projects like this.

I left the glass out, but I added some cotton batting behind it to make it soft and cushiony. I give it to her tomorrow ... I hope she likes it!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

End of Summer Updates

After a break from stitching because of my injury (I burnt my hand while on vacation), I hopped back on the stitching bandwagon for the last week of my vacation. School starts tomorrow (officially), so my stitching time will drop dramatically from now on. Thankfully I did manage to get quite a bit done this week.

The background on my butterfly forest has grown significantly, and I plan to do some backstitching on the big butterfly next time I get a chance to sit down and work on it.

My pixie has all the flowers and vines on her dress finished with just the backstitch left to do. (Well, she needs beads too, but that'll wait till the rest of her is done.) Once the backstitch is done, I'll give her a top half.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tried Something New!

Call me crazy, but I decided to expand my creative/artsy/crafty repertoire by trying my hand at card-making. Of course, I did it with cross stitch! I think it turned out quite well, might have to do this again someday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A New Baby & A Finish !

Okay, so it's not a new baby for me, but my friend did have hers. A beautiful little girl named Kayleigh, and so I finished up the little Lizzie*Kate baby announcement I was working on. The stitching is all done, now I just have to frame it for her.

The fabric is actually a softer, prettier green in person, but the lighting in my apartment at night isn't the best for taking pictures.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Birthday Stash!!

An impromptu weekend away to visit friends for my birthday resulted in (as usual) a trip to the LNS. And of course, I could not resist adding to my stash!

I picked up a big piece (24 x 32) of white 22ct hardanger for a HAED project I want to start once the butterfly project is done, a large piece (24 x 20) of black 22ct hardanger for a fractal project, a smaller piece (15 x 15) of ivory 18 ct evenweave for an Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks' design that I want to do for my brother for Christmas and the 3 hand-dyed silks for that project, plus I picked up two Mill Hill Beads Christmas ornaments (super cute and I'm itching to start them). I also splurged and bought a pair of beautiful Stork scissors and a magnetic needlekeeper. (They match!)

No more stash buying trips for a while ... really, I promise!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Butterfly Update 8

Another butterfly update - though not as much progress as I'd hoped. I got distracted with finishing my angel and working on my pixie, so the butterflies kind of took a back seat during the cottage stitch-a-thon. Still, more background did get done.

Jasmine Pixie Update 2

The cottage also meant I had time to work on my pixie a little bit. She has legs now!! I don't know exactly what it is about this piece, but I just adore working on her. I get immense satisfaction from seeing this piece grow. Although progress will slow a lot now because I'm doing a lot of confetti stitching in the flowers falling from her dress.