Friday, December 30, 2011

Wrapping up 2011

A final post for 2011 -- no last minute finishes unfortunately, but I did make some progress on my Tree of Stitches, and I expect a finish early on in 2012 (well, after I've started all of my UCJC projects in January).

While visiting my parents over the holidays, I managed to get parts 6-9 finished.

I don't love the Jerusalem Stitch. I HATE the Floral Stitch. I didn't actually do the Norwich Stitch; I chose to do the Woven Cross-stitch instead, which looks AMAZING, even if it was tedious and a pain in the ass to do. For my Star Stitch, I chose to do the diamond eyelet version - which is fine, but not that exciting.

One day I may try this tree again, but I'll only use my favourite stitches -- but that won't happen anytime soon!

This past year I saw TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch-a-long) posts all over blogland. I didn't sign up in time, so never posted any pics, but I did participate "in spirit" and I collected all of my ORTs throughout most of 2011.

Pretty isn't it? It's cool to look at all the layers of colours in this jar and remember what I was stitching at the time. I've signed up on Daffycat's blog and will be participating in 2012. Just think how varied it will be with all my UCJC stitching!! Such fun. :)

Thank you to all who have followed me, commented on my posts, and generally made me feel good about my forays into creativity. I have enjoyed sharing my efforts with you. I look forward to another fun and colourful year with lots of finishes!

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Final IHSW of 2011

This past weekend was the final IHSW of 2011 -- my pics are a little late, I'm sorry. I was working and travelling a lot so that I could have some down time at my parents' place for Christmas.

And so, during my belated IHSW weekend (I didn't manage to stitch at all until Monday and Tuesday) I completed parts 5 & 6 of my Tree of Stitches (by Abi Gurden). Part 5 was the Rice Stitch, which I neither loved nor hated. Part 6 was the cushion stitch, which I loved! Easy, fun, and SO PRETTY. I thoroughly enjoyed stitching the past few days - a nice change from the confetti frustration of Drama Queen that I normally deal with.

The tree (parts 1-5 - sorry it's a tad blurry):

Close-up of the stitches:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Another challenge card

I've decided to enter another challenge! I just love the colours in this week's challenge over at The Play Date Cafe, so I'm going to rustle up some courage and enter a card.

The colours and inspiration are:

And my take on it:

It didn't turn out quite how I had thought it up in my head, but it has some elements I really like. I dusted the black snowflake with some perfect pearls to add a little shimmer and soften the starkness of the black ink. And the bling practically just jumped onto the card.

Edit: I just realized after I posted this that the challenge colours match the colours of my blog !! No wonder I was drawn to this challenge! Hehe.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Disappointment, Christmas Cards, UCJC, and My Boy

I have lost my stitching bug. It's gone -- been MIA for almost a week now. I was working like mad trying to finish page 3 of HSH, and as I got to the last 5-7%, I got bogged down. Not because of confetti or anything like that, but because I HATED the colours. I was stitching pinks and purples, a wonderful change from the array of mustards, oranges, and browns I'd previously been working with. I should have been delighted, delirious, or over the moon!! But, I hate the colours. They look nothing like they should and I think it looks hideous. I was so upset that I had to stop stitching and tuck the piece away. I don't know what to do with it now. Bleh.

See what I mean? (Here's a close up.) Compare it with the pic in my sidebar. Not even remotely close. Grr.

I (of course) didn't make enough Christmas cards in the last 3 months, so I have been a little frantic trying to make a few last minute cards. I used Versamark to do a subtle holly and berries pattern on the background, but it didn't work out quite as well as I hoped. I'll try clear embossing next time, that might give it a little more oomph.

This next one is for my parents. It's simple, but I really like it. Some of the best fussy cutting I've done to date.

The trick is to use distress inks on the little white edges to cover them up (worked like a charm), then I spritzed it with shimmer mist. They look magical now!

I have been preparing for the 2012 Ultimate Crazy January Challenge. I have 30 of the 31 projects kitted up and ready to go. The only one I'm missing is Metamorphasis by Ink Circles, and I still need the chart, fabric and threads! I'm hoping my LNS comes through for me before January!

See -- my semi-organized piles! (And my treadmill put to good use.)

Lastly, I have pictures of my boy to show you. I've never done this before, but he's so freaking cute, I just couldn't resist. He's a 5-year-old Miniature Schnauzer named Toka.

He hates the rain, so sometimes I let him run inside instead.

PS -- IHSW is coming up this weekend. It's the last one of 2011. Cross your fingers that my mojo comes back in time!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do you see what I see?

That's right! The roof!! The roof!! Woohoo!!

I needed a break from the confetti nightmare that is DQ, so I pulled out my long neglected Home Sweet Home and put a dent in page 3. Page 3 was about 30% done, and now it's 90.4% complete. (Overall I have 15,103 stitches stitched.) You can now see the peak of the roof and part of the tiny top window, and all that's left on this page is to fill in the pinks and purples. I am so EXCITED about pinks and purples after all the orange, mustard, and brown I've stitched on this piece.

I also have a recently made card to share. I hate making sympathy cards :( but I think this was a simple and elegant design. Plus I had a chance to use my new Perfect Pearls for the first time. (Side note - I LOVE VERSAMARK. Where has it been all my life?!?)

There is something so appealing about a clean, simple, and neutral card with a single pop of colour. Variations on this might be forthcoming. :P

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Today is STASHMAS!! It's a "stitching holiday" created by the members of to celebrate all things stitchy and delight in the giving and receiving of stash!

I received my gift from Octoberlace, and it is wonderful! Thank you!!

I received a beautiful piece of hand-painted 28 ct lugana from Crossed Wing, and a smaller cut of hand-painted fabric from Dovestitch. I got a pack of Piecemaker neddles, and she slipped in a Bohin needle (her favourite) for me to try. I got a great butterfly pattern with some simple hardanger in it too. It doesn't end there! I got some Carrie's Creations and Threadworx threads, some thread sorting cards, a notebook and some lovely bags of tea. (Which is perfect, cause I love to sip tea and stitch!) How spoiled am I?!?

Below are pics of the stashmas present that I sent to Noctifyre.

And I stitched my first ever humbug just to commemorate Stashmas!! (This is one of Kell's designs.)

All packages should arrive full of stitchy goodness -- seriously!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's better than stash in the mail?

The answer is easy -- stash in the mail with extra surprise stash inside!!

I ordered some threads from Carrie's Creations a month ago for one of my UCJC projects (Cirque des Carreaux by Ink Circles). Of course I couldn't just order the 5 skeins of silk in Epiphany. (Though they are gorgeous!)

I had to add to my silk collection , so I ordered 2 skeins of Fantasm, and a skein each of Foxfire and Tiger Eye. I also ordered a skein of Hearts on Fire (even though it only comes in cotton and not silk).

I was beginning to wonder where my order was, it hadn't ever taken this long to get my threads before. I'm not sure what the delay was, and I'm not even sure that's why the extra special surprise was in my parcel, but I was OVER THE MOON excited when I realized that Carrie had included 4 limited edition skeins of silk floss. *DROOL*

My big dilemma now is that I need to revisit all of my floss decisions for my UCJC projects, because I just have to use some of this beautiful silk. Did I mention that I am addicted to stitching with silk? Seriously -- I would stitch everything in silk if I could afford it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Couple of Firsts

Today I am trying something new -- I'm entering a card in a blog challenge. Eek!

I saw the current challenge over at Young Crafters Unite, which is to incorporate die cuts into your card design, and I immediately had a card idea pop into my head, so I started creating!

This is what I created:

I'm kind of nervous about entering my card -- I'm still rather new at this whole cardmaking thing and I still have tons of tricks and techniques to learn. Gotta start somewhere though eh?

My other first ... I won my first ever blog giveaway!! Kari over at KWCardDesigns picked me at random and I won a most generous prize ... a $30 gift card to Simon Says Stamp. I've been browsing and drooling over that store for a while, and this was just the push I needed to go shopping. Of course I spent more than the $30, but the gift card certainly helped. Thanks Kari!!

My new stash:

I decided I should try something new, so I picked up some Perfect Pearls, some Versamark Watermark ink, and 2 beautiful new Hero Arts stamp sets - Asian Frames & Anytime Messages.

Now I just have to find time to play with it all!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Terra Update

So I've been sluggishly stitching away on QS Terra, trying to finish my one-page goal. To be honest, I hate stitching her. I don't know what it is, but I hate it. So I am going to give up trying to finish the first page (which has taken me ALL year) and I'm going to put her away indefinitely.

I managed to finish 7251 stitches (92.5% of the page or almost 21% of the whole piece).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Time for a Change

Allow me to direct your attention to the top of the screen -- do you see it? That's right, I changed the name of my blog.

To be honest, I've never really liked the original name of my blog, but at the time it was the best I could come up with. I hadn't really begun to immerse myself in blogland and never expected that anyone would read my blog but me. It was just a place to keep progress pics of my cross stitching.

But now -- I'm an avid blog reader of all things cross stitching and papercrafting, and I'm beginning to explore the world of hooking. (I love how naughty that sounds!) I'm at the point where I feel like I need to solidify my online persona a little more. I've been using the name Trylla online for more than 10 years, (on forums and when gaming) and I'm just as comfortable identifying with that name as my real one. Actually, I think that online I feel MORE comfortable being known as Trylla. And so, I changed the blog name to reflect that.

I hope you continue to enjoy my blog. Thank you for reading and sharing in my creative pursuits.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Insomnia = Organization?

So I can't sleep right now, which sucks. I figure I may as well do something semi-productive.

Normally I organize my floss collection by winding them on bobbins and putting them in bobbin boxes. I have a bobbin box for each of my large projects (HSH, DQ, and Terra) plus one for floss not currently in use on a project. That's four big bobbin boxes!

The problem with this is that there is often a lot of colours that I need in multiple projects. I don't want multiple bobbins of the same colour, so I end up moving bobbins around a lot. I find it very irksome to need a colour, realize it's in a different project box, then have to go find the boxes and figure out which one it's in. So much stitchy time wasted!

I've been flipping between projects a little more often lately, so it's becoming more of a problem. Then I started thinking about UCJC (Ultimate Crazy January Challenge), where I'll have more projects then I have bobbin boxes, and my dilemma became more pressing. Once January is over, I'll have (um math in my head ... 31 + 4) 35 projects on the go! That'll be 13 projects that are strictly using DMC floss.

I needed a new system.

So, I reorganized all of my DMC into number order, which filled 2 and a bit bobbin boxes. It's a little cumbersome to have all the boxes beside me when I stitch, but at least I don't have to get up and search for bobbins anymore.

I need to do a little DMC shopping before January (I need 55 new floss colours), and that means the 3rd box will be almost full as well.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A smidgeon of stitching for IHSW

This weekend was IHSW (International Hermit & Stitch Weekend), but I only got a smidgeon of stitching done (hence the post title).

Even though I was up to my eyeballs in schoolwork, I was bound and determined to pull out my Tree of Stitches and make a little progress. I managed to get part 3 (the dreaded French knots) and part 4 (the eyelet stitch) finished.

I was going to try making colonial knots, but really, I don't see the difference between them and French knots. I know there's a difference in the way you wrap the thread around the needle, but the result looks identical to me. Since a good friend taught me how to do French knots properly last year, I have no fear of them and that part went quite smoothly (although I do find them tedious to do).


The eyelet stitch, on the other hand, is so fun!! O-M-G!! They take a while to do, but I love them!! I love the way they stitch up and the way they look. Fun, fun, fun! They are the first stitches I've ever done that pulled the threads and manipulated the fabric. It was very cool to do. Did I mention I love them?

Sadly TOS is going away again for a while. Fingers crossed I get a chance to get a little more done in December, otherwise I won't be touching it again till at least February or March because of the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge (UCJC). Click here for details.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First Crochet Project - Finished!

I joined a CAL (crochet-a-long) back in September hosted by Maybe Matilda. Her aim was to help people learn how to crochet. Her instructions were easy to follow and made the entire craft more approachable. I didn't end up making the project that was intended for the CAL (I don't wear cowls), but I did join in by making a bobble scarf from a pattern I cobbled together from pictures of a Bobble Baby Blanket from Maybe Matilda and a tutorial from Tales from Cuckoo Land.

Today I finally finished all 56 inches of it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A DQ Milestone

I've been working pretty steadily on Drama Queen for the last little while, and this morning I hit a milestone -- 20,000 stitches done (or 25.89%).

The stitch count:

This coming weekend is an IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) and I think I might just pull out my Tree of Stitches and finally work on part 3 (the dreaded French Knots).

Also -- I need to give a huge shout-out THANK YOU to Rachael of TimRachael's Blog for being so incredibly generous! She had a giveaway last week, and I won! So in my email yesterday, I received a chart from HAED. It's gorgeous!! It'll be yet another present for my mom ... eventually. I'm not sure when I'll have time to sneak it into my rotation. (Perhaps CJC 2012 will have to expand to 16 days!) It's QS Blue Butterfly by Ching-Chou Kuik.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Waiting Game

So, long-time readers might remember that I often read and participate on a forum called They have an annual exchange called Stashmas. It's on December 1st, and it's just a celebration of all things stitchy. This is my second year participating and it's so much fun to have a package full of goodies arrive on your doorstep!

I sent out my package more than a week ago (pictures to come in a later post) and today I received mine! Yay! And you should see the package it came in ...

Though the sender gave me very strict instructions:

And so the wait begins.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Masculine Birthday Cards

So I decided to make a birthday card for my Dad. I tend not to make masculine cards, so this was a bit of a challenge.

My first try:

It started off with good intentions - browns and blues, but somehow pearls and shimmer spritz and ribbon jumped onto the card. It's cute, but not my favourite, and not exactly masculine either.

My second try:

It looked better in my head, but it'll do.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Patchwork Cards

I saw a card somewhere in blogland (I'm terrible at remembering where I see inspiration - I know, I'm sorry) that used 3 patterned papers as a background and it made me think a little bit of a patchwork quilt. So, I took that idea a little further and created a Christmas card and a Halloween card.

I went to my local Fabricland the other day, and found some great lace. I've never used fabric on a card before, but I love the subtle texture it adds. I also kinda dig the "frosting" I added to the sentiment. I love heat embossing!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Confetti Break!

The confetti intensity on Drama Queen is getting to me. Progress is SO SLOW ... I'm losing my mind. I decided I needed a break from confetti, but I needed to keep making progress on DQ, so I started on page 6. There is a TON of 666 to stitch -- big beautiful chunks of it!

And so, here is my confetti break progress:

Page 5 only has another 300 or so stitches to go, and I've already stitched almost 1,000 on page 6. In total I've stitched almost 17,000 and the piece is 22% complete. Yay!

Friday, October 28, 2011

CJC 2012 Stash

So this week has been a great shopping week for me -- clothing, electronics, small appliances, and stitching stuff!!

I popped by my LNS today and picked up a few items for the 2012 Crazy January Challenge (CJC). There will be another stash run in late November/early December once I figure out all my fabric needs.

First off I picked up the chart for Mirabilia's Elizabeth. (LOVE IT!)

I picked up a few specialty threads for some of the other projects - some Caron Collection Watercolours and Wildflowers in Emerald, HDF silks in white, bright purple, and an icy variegated blue, and some silver Petite Treasure Braid. I also picked up a few packs of Mill Hill beads. One is for my Hardanger project and the other is one of the ones I need for Elizabeth.

Another semi-related purchase this week is a new camera to take pictures of all my stash and projects! My mom will be thrilled when I return her camera to her. LOL

All in all a fun week of shopping. Next post -- a stitchy update!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Call me an idiot ... it's okay.

I know that I'm busy. I know that I have far too many hobbies and nowhere near enough time to spend on them. I also know that I have more stitching stash then I know what to do with, and a lot of it is tucked carefully away because I have so many huge projects on the go.

So what do I do? I sign up to participate in the 2012 Crazy January Challenge, of course!

This challenge has participants starting a new project every day for the first 15 days in January 2012. The aim is to try to finish all 15 projects by the end of 2012. I've created a page on my blog JUST to help track my progress -- click here to check out what's on my "to do" list. Kitting up and starting all these projects will be fun, but trying to finish them all will be very difficult, especially since I already have several huge projects on the go. We'll see what happens ...

As an added incentive, I've also signed up for the 2012 WIPocalypse (click here for details). This challenge is based on the idea that the world will end in 2012, so participants are trying to finish their WIPs (works in progress) before the end comes.

I'm an idiot -- I know.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Retail therapy and some Christmas cards

It's been rainy and gloomy here and I have been buried in schoolwork this week. As a result, I have been rather grumpy. Naturally, I figured some retail therapy was in order! So off I went to my LSS. I picked up a new Fiskars paper cutter, some Spellbinders dies, and a 6x6 pad of paper that is loaded with butterflies (which makes it the perfect paper for cards for my mom). I have also discovered Glue Dots -- and they are AWESOME. How did I craft without them?!?!

Anyway, I decided to try out my new Christmas Spellbinder dies. LOVE 'EM!

I really like this first card, so simple but looks great.

I made two of the next card; they are similar but not identical. (I've only taken photos of one though.) I even practiced using my distress inks. I still haven't quite got the hang of them yet.

I probably should have resist embossed the snowflakes, but I was just too lazy to pull out all my heat embossing stuff. I kinda dig the swiss dots folder embossing on the snow. First time I've used that folder. (I bought it and forgot about it -- oops!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oct IHSW - Not a lot of progress

It was IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) again, hosted by Joysze over at Random Ramblings. I signed up to participate, and had every intention of making significant progress on my QS Terra Fairy Sprite, but it just wasn't to be.

I went away for the weekend and didn't even end up taking any stitching with me at all!! It's pretty unusual for me to go that long without stitching something.

So I added an extra day to my IHSW weekend and put in a couple hours tonight on QS Terra. Not exactly the progress I was hoping for, but it's a little farther along.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Birthdays, Christmas and More

I told you there would be more cards coming!! I managed to get a few of the personalized cards done, as well as a few Christmas cards. The rest will have to wait until next week sometime, since I am going away for the weekend.

First up, is a card I'm strangely thrilled with. I made this for a good friend of mine who is defending her thesis proposal this week. Woohoo!

I really don't like the colour orange -- I'd even go so far as to say I hate it. But I picked up a used pad of 6x6 paper at a garage sale and I decided that this would be a good opportunity to use some of it. As the card started to come together, I started pulling different shades of orange cardstock out of my stash, then I found some orange flowers and gemstones. I have no idea how I ended up with so much orange!! But I think it really worked.

Next up is a birthday card for my brother. I don't often make masculine cards, and I (like many others) struggle when I try. What do I do with all that space when I can't put ribbons or flowers or other bling on it?!?! I think this turned out pretty well despite the lack of bling.

And finally, a few Christmas cards to add to my growing hoard. The bow on the first card was a pain to make, but it looks okay. For the second card, I struggled with the blahness of it -- then I added the snowflakes and it suddenly wasn't such a failure!

Don't you worry now -- there are still more cards on the way next week!!