Monday, May 16, 2011

Poppies for my Mom

My mother turns 70 in a year and a half, and it just dawned on me the other day that if I want to stitch something in time for the big occasion, then I need to start right now! After thinking about what I could possibly stitch for her that she'd go nuts over (and knowing that I didn't want to stitch any more butterflies for her) a perfect idea came to me. Poppies. My mom loves poppies. More importantly, my mom loves the way a certain artist, Angie Strauss, paints poppies.

Luckily, my mom happens to be good friends with the artist, and I know her as well. So, I immediately scoured her website to find the perfect painting that my mom didn't already own, and then I emailed Angie and enlisted her in my secret project. Being the dear that she is, she instantly gave me permission to have the painting converted into a cross stitch pattern. She even had a super high quality .jpg sent to me.

Once the perfect picture was in my grubby little hands, I emailed a lovely lady in the UK that I know from who does conversions for a small fee. I've seen some of her work and know she's very good, and she certainly didn't disappoint! We went back and forth several times -- on the first go the poppies looked spectacular but the background was kind of blah. Try two had the background really capturing the brushstrokes and complexities of the paint, but the poppies looked one dimensional. I asked her to see if she could combine the best parts of each. Lo and behold, third time was the charm! The poppies looked great and the background captured the brushstroke details without being too confetti heavy. In a word -- perfection!

I started it on Mother's day (how symbolic!) and decided to share the project with my mom that evening instead of keeping it secret. I was just too excited to keep it from her for more than a year, and this way I didn't have to have a cover project to hide what I was doing. My mom was speechless that I went to so much trouble for her (no trouble, really) and is thrilled to be able to watch the progress of the piece as I go.

Look for updates soon!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Lied ...

There are only 211 beads on Jasmine Pixie, not 300. But they are all on now ... she's finished!!! (Though she still needs a wash and a press.)

It's amazing what a little insomnia can do. :)

I love the beading on the flowers on her dress, but the wings and a few of the longer trails are perhaps a bit too densely beaded for my liking. I'd guess that's partly a function of shrinking her down to 22ct over 1 and using all petite beads. If I ever did another pixie/fairy/mermaid of this type, then I wouldn't shrink the piece, I'd just suck it up and stitch over 2. It's unlikely that I'll do another like this anytime soon though.

Thankfully I do still like her enough to get her framed and hung up -- but not till the fall when I've recovered from my traveling spree this summer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mandala - May Update

Tomorrow is the final group gathering for both the Thread & Eye Mandala and the Blackwork SAL groups. Those who can from both groups will gather to ooh and ahh over the work that's been done thus far.

My blackwork piece was finished a few months ago and will be proudly displayed, but my mandala has taken a backseat more often than I wanted and isn't anywhere near done yet.

Over the past week as I traipsed all over the province for a conference, I did get a little bit nearer to being finished.

Just the corners left to stitch. I'm hoping the balance of colours evens out a little. I feel like it's a little blue/green heavy right now.

This piece will be headed out East with me later this month as I attend yet another conference for school, and I hope to finish it on that trip.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

One step away from a finish!

After almost a year, I have finished all of the cross and back stitching on my Jasmine Pixie by Mirabilia. Now I just need to attach approximately 300 beads and it'll be done! It feels good to be close.
And again, it has to be put to the side because I can't travel and bead ... Maybe I'll get to it in July once all my traveling is done. Here's hoping!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cards for Great Friends

Just thought I'd share the cards I recently made for a few very good, very deserving friends.