Saturday, January 26, 2013

First Finish of 2013!

Insomnia = lots of stitching.

And so, I managed to finish mini Metamorphosis much earlier than expected.

I'm not totally in love with this piece. I think the first blue is too light. :( I do however like the impression this gives off of getting stronger and bolder as it changes. So many layers of meaning for this piece!

I tried to put a few more stitches into QS Mystic Garden (I'm up to 167 stitches to date),  but I'm just not loving this one right now.

I've now switched back to Drama Queen for a bit. (Such a pleasure to stitch this one!) Going to see if I can finish another half page before mid-February.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Metamorphosis Progress

My stitchy time is severely limited this month, so progress is slow, but I do have a little bit to share. I've finished the first four motifs on mini Metamorphosis (Ink Circles).

I've actually finished a little bit more, but it's back on the q-snap and I'm too lazy to take it off for another picture.

Aren't the blues pretty?

Surprisingly, I'm getting bored working on such a simple pattern and I'm craving a little HAED confetti. But I really should finish this one sooner rather than later, so I'll keep at it for a little longer.

I've also done another stupid thing (stupid as in I don't need more things on my to do list, not that the thing I am talking about is stupid). I joined a hardanger SAL over at Mabel Figworthy's Fancies. A bunch of people on the forum I frequent ( joined in (it started January 1st) and the progress pics I've been seeing have been just lovely! For an extremely reasonable £3, you get access to a new hardanger design on the 1st of every month for the entire year.

Long time readers of my blog might remember that I first tried hardanger a year ago as one of my starts for my Ultimate Crazy January Challenge 2012. Mabel's designs are very pretty and the instructions are wonderful - even for a complete novice like me! That one turned out beautifully.

While I resisted as long as I could, it was inevitable that I'd cave and join. I don't know why I try to kid myself. Anywho, the January pattern is now in my hot little hands and I just need to pop over to my LNS and pick up some fabric and threads. This is another reason I want to finish Metamorphosis ASAP -- I want to work on some hardanger!

Another update might just be right around the corner!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oodles of Pretties!

I did something silly. Something ridiculous. Something that makes no sense!!

I ordered the chart and floss/bead kit for my very first Chatelaine - Evening in the Park.

As if I don't already have enough on the go! But I've been humming and ha-ing over buying this for almost 18 months. It's the only Chatelaine I've ever really been drawn to (until recently, when I spotted the Sparkling Peacock Mandala being released in February). And I always worry that the charts I love will suddenly be discontinued or retired (like the Julie Fain charts over at HAED).

What has (mostly) been holding me back from buying is the extraordinary cost. Chatelaine's are designed to be stitched with sumptuous silks and tons of bling. While the chart itself is reasonably priced, the floss/bead pack is quite expensive! I finally caved and ordered the works from the European Crossstitch Company. I didn't order the fabric because I hate linen. However, now I'm having a devil of a time trying to decide if I want to use hand-dyed fabric, and if so, what colour I want to use.

When my package from ECC finally arrived, I must admit to being impressed! The packaging was gorgeous and really showcased a love of the items and a thoughtfulness of the customer's needs.

Each skein of silk and card of metallics is in its own floss-away bag and all of the bags are neatly attached to a metal ring. Even the tiny little vials of beads and crystals are neatly packed and include a tapestry needle and a beading needle. The beading need is HUGE though. I've never seen a beading needle that long before!

Metallics and beads:

Needlepoint Inc silks:

The Thread Gatherer silks:

Gloriana and Caron Collection silks:

Now I just need fabric and time ... hmm one will be easier to get then the other!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ombre beginnings

I have been insanely busy with school and teaching lately, so trying to work on a HAED or on DQ for 20 minutes when I'm dead tired is not a good idea. I need a chunk of time to get into the more challenging charts. Instead, I've continued on with my mini Metamorphosis (Ink Circles).

Just started the third motif and I am loving the blues (my fav colour). I'm going to hate parting with this one I think. Stitching over one makes this piece pretty tiny, only 1 5/8" high. My stork scissors are almost twice as big!

Last time I stitched this I used overdyed threads, so had to be careful with colour varigation and stitching each stitch entirely before moving on. This time I'm using ordinary DMC thread, and it is brainless and relaxing. I love it. It's so easy to pick it up and stitch for 10 minutes in the morning before school or for an hour late at night when my brain has switched off. There is something incredibly satisfying about quick, easy stitching. Yay progress!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Frustration and another new start

So I started working on QS Mystic Garden for the HAED BB SAL. I'm parking, which I've really enjoyed when working on DQ, but it isn't working for me on this piece. There's almost too much confetti! And with no other pages around it, there isn't anything to anchor your threads on, so it's all just a big ugly mess! Three days and I've not even stitched 100 stitches on it. Bleh. I'm taking a break from it for a bit, but I might have to try cross country on it for a while and see how that goes. Need to get a different coloured washable pen though. Blue on blue isn't too useful.

To calm me down and make stitching fun again, I started another new (and very easy) project.

Look familiar? I'm stitching Metamorphosis by Ink Circles again. This time it's being stitched 1 over 1 on 28 ct white lugana using DMC threads. Instead of the more primitive/Quakery colours of the original, this one is being done in blue ombre. It is so little and cute! The solid coloured thread makes this design a breeze to stitch. Can't believe I got almost the entire first motif done, and I only stitched for a couple hours today. Smoking needles, indeed!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Half page progess & a new start

Okay ... I'll admit it ... I'm cheating a little here on the progress. A good chunk of this half page on Drama Queen was done in the last few days of December 2012, but, I finished the half page in January 2013, so I'm going to count it as this year's progress. :)

I'm trying to stich on a rotation, kind of, so now that half a page of DQ is done, I'm starting QS Mystic Garden (for the HAED BB SAL) and I'm going to try to do a 1/4 page before I switch out projects.

My start:

This is stitched 1 over 1 full x's on 25 ct Night Magic lugana (Sassy's Fabbys). I am gridding, but my washable pen is blue, so it's a little hard to see. I might have to go find a purple one.


This is crazy confetti, so we'll see if I last through a 1/4 page.