Monday, October 29, 2012

October WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse time again! Hard to believe we're almost at the end of this year (and perhaps the end of the world)!  :P

A good amount of progress got done this month.

Austrian I by Bleu des Chines (found in JCS Jan/Feb 2010) would have been finished, but I ran out of floss. Just waiting on an order to come in Carrie's Creations and then I'll return to it.

I also put some time into Rules for Life by Kincavel Krosses. I'm liking this one more and more as I stitch it. The border is tedious, but I try to intersperse border stitching and word stitching to make it more fun.

The unfinished pieces on my UCJC list are almost all large projects, and so it feels like a big commitment to choose and work on any of those pieces. I feel like I owe time to all of the pieces I haven't touched since I started them in January. Really I should just pick one and finish it, but that likely won't happen.

I feel ansy - I don't know what I feel like stitching on. I even picked up my UFO Home Sweet Home (HAED) for an hour yesterday, but it couldn't keep my attention. Mostly I just got annoyed like I did before with the colours. (They look NOTHING like what I think they should. It does not do the original artwork justice.)

However, I did pick up SK Oriental Courage (HAED) last night and put in a few stitches. No pics for that one just yet, since there's no noticeable difference.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Embossing, Masking, and Getting Inky

I haven't posted any cards in ages. I've only made a couple in the past few months, usually at the last minute, which means I forget to take pictures.

I follow 40 or 50 papercrafting blogs, and I noticed a masking trend on one layer cards while using Distress Inks to colour stuff in. I love it. I think it looks great. But I really haven't done much of it myself ... until now.

This first card is for one of my very best friend's birthday. I embossed the bird (maybe from Inkadinkado?) with clear powder, and masked off the area I wanted to ink up. Then, I just started blending. I used Faded Jeans and Dusty Concord from Distress Inks. It's taken a long time (and watching umpteen You Tube videos), but I think I'm finaly getting the hang of these inks. Once I was happy with the inking, I spritzed with water and used my embossing tool to dry it. I love the way the ink reacts to water! As a final touch before I removed the mask, I sprayed a little Shimmer Spritz on it. Add sentiment and bling, and it's good to go!

For the second card, I embossed the butterfly, then I blocked off a bigger area and used three inks - Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade, and Barn Door. Again, my blending is getting better. No big blobs of colour or sponge marks. I spritzed with water, and the placement couldn't have been more perfect if I tried! I love the hint of a trail. No glitter or bling on this one, just a sweet sentiment for a supportive and appreciated friend.

I forgot how much fun it is getting inky; I just might have to do this more often!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Admitting Defeat?

When I started the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge 10 months ago, I thought it was a great opportunity to make myself stitch a bunch of the little projects that had been piling up in my stash drawer. Deciding on 31 projects was tough, and I threw in quite a few silly little kits, etc so that I could have more finishes.

What a mistake.

I have felt pressured to complete a bunch of projects that I really am not enjoying, just so I can say "I finished X number of projects." It's stupid. I'm wasting my precious stitchy time on things I really don't care about, don't know what I'll do with once I'm finished them, and that I've outgrown and simply don't like anymore.

So it all stops now.

I will no longer waste time finishing projects just to finish them. I'm going to stitch only on the projects I love and that I really want to complete and hang on my wall. So say goodbye to the Mill Hill ornament kits, the Imperial Pansy kit, and the Stained Glass Pansy. Available to good homes for free!

Now ... back to stitching something that excites me!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Beading Bonanza

Just a quickie post to show a little finish.

This is a Mill Hill Ornament kit called Diamond Holiday. This actually took much less time to do than I had anticipated, although the beading was a little tedious.

Hopefully between now and Christmas I'll find the time to finish it off as a proper ornament. I see felt,  ribbon, and a hot glue gun in my future.

This also marks the completion of my personal goal of finishing half of my Ultimate Crazy January Challenge starts. Hurray!! This is finish 16 of 31. Can you believe it? I might even have another finish or two before the end of the year!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TUSAL and a Finish

It's TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch-a-long) time again! Look at all the pretty orts.

This month it's mostly the purpley-blue silk from Cirque des Carreaux and the black silk from Weiniec Kornona (which I finished - yay).

And my latest finish - Weiniec Korona by Penelopis

All I had left to do was the wreath, and it really didn't take long at all. Not sure why I didn't finish it sooner. This is finish 15 of my 31 UCJC starts. Just 1 more and I'll have reached my personal goal of getting half of them done. Woot!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Progress, Framing, and Dyeing!!

For some reason, I just could not put Cirque des Carreaux down. I not only finished the first page, but managed to get almost 1/4 of page 2 done too! I had to literally take it off the q-snap and bundle it away so that I would work on other things. Since CdCx is a multi-page pattern, this counts as a finish for my UCJC! Yippee!

I think it looks great and this picture does a good job of showing off the true colours of the fabric and silk.

I got Jasmine Pixie (by Nora Corbett) back from the framers over a month ago, but I only just got around to hanging it up. I'm pretty proud of this piece, to be honest. It's my first piece that had both fractional stitches and a ton of beads. She's just lovely!

Two weekends ago I got the dyeing bug again, so I popped over to my LNS, picked up over a yard of 32 ct lugana plus a spare piece of jobelan, and went to work! I picked up a few more dye colours as well, so I got to try new things.

I learn a lot each time I try dyeing, and this time wasn't quite as succesful in my opinion. In order to have more pieces to dye, I cut up my yard of fabric into smaller pieces (15x18). As a result, less fabric in the dyeing containers means the patterns on the fabric look different. Important to learn, but dissapointing too. I did get a few decent pieces though.

This piece started as 32 ct ivory jobelan.

I washed it 4 or 5 times after dyeing and colour was still coming out. Red is so hard to dye. :( Definitely not a colourfast piece of fabric. LOL. I almost wish I hadn't washed it so much ... the red isn't as vibrant as I would like.

This piece was originally 32 ct antique white lugana.

This is my favourite piece from this dye session. I'm not quite sure how I managed such awesome mottling with the blue and the teal. It makes me think of mermaids ... hrmm ... might have to go searching for some Mirabilia patterns.

These two started as 32 ct white lugana.

They are pretty, but not overly exciting. Again, I washed out more of the colour than I would have liked. I have a thing for bold, vibrant fabrics I guess.