Monday, September 25, 2017

Flight of Freedom - update #1

Okay, you'll have to pretend this is a decent picture (it's not) and imagine the background fabric as a nice pale blue.


I started in the center and worked my way up the eagle's wing to reach the sky, which is all half stitches. It's going relatively quickly - this is about eight hours of work - but the sheer magnitude of this project is kind of depressing.

To put it in perspective, this is basically a full coverage project of around 200x250 stitches. I have a few HAED mini charts in my stash that are around 225x325 stitches, or about 1.5 times as many stitches total. And those are images I actually like.

The only thing saving this project is that it's nice blocks of solid color, for the most part. And the sky is very pretty with all those sunset colors.

Trying to resist the urge to pick up something new, because my two main projects right now are this and the endless hell of skin on Renaissance Mermaid. Sigh. :(

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cirque des Carreaux - update #9 (finish!)

Finished up Cirque des Carreaux last Friday and held off on posting because I thought I could get a better picture but... nah. No matter what I try, this thread color just doesn't want to show up nicely on camera. (Epiphany silk by Carrie's Creations - much prettier than what you see on her website, even!)


It got a bit tedious toward the end but I decided to suck it up and power through. A lot of times, I sit there wondering what part to work on next, or which bit will be easiest, etc, and that's pointless. Just pick up the needle and stitch! Trying to mentally wiggle out of a tedious part isn't going to do anything but make the project take longer as a whole. :p

Speaking of which... I'm now working on an obligation project. Cue the groans. I know, I know... I'm approaching it in the same way. A little bit every day will get it done.

So, I'm working on this Dimensions kit, Flight of Freedom:


Totally not my style, but it's for my FIL who has helped us out tremendously with all sorts of things recently. He asked my wife to make this aaaaaages ago, so I've decided to try and surprise him with it for Christmas or something. Not sure how long this will take, especially since it's a bit of a slog to work through. Thankfully, most of the background is half cross stitch, so that part goes relatively fast.

The most annoying part is that I replaced the kit aida with evenweave instead of linen, and holy crap do I hate stitching on evenweave. Whatever fabric type I chose is woven really tightly and the sound of the thread scraping through the holes as I stitch is... ugh. *shiver* But I'm not going to change it at this point because I don't want to be wasteful and the fabric is just the right color to get the proper blending effect with the background, so eh. I'll deal with it.

No pic yet as I haven't done much. Next time!

And I definitely need to pick up another WIP to work alongside of this one, because if I work on this exclusively I'll never want to stitch again. :p

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cirque des Carreaux - update #8

Oops, it's been a while since I've posted. My wrist and elbow are feeling a bit better, so I've been able to do some stitching, but I still have to take it easy, so progress is slow. Still, I was able to do a good chunk of Cirque des Carreaux over the past week, which makes me feel like I could finish it this month if my arm continues to get better.


I really want to hurry and finish, but I know pushing myself is going to lead to more problems in the long run, so I'm trying to be patient. There's just so much good stuff in my stash that's calling to me! Going to resist the siren call of new starts, though... I have enough in progress and I'd like to move some other large projects toward a finish.

Next after this one will be Renaissance Mermaid, and then I'll stop and see what I want to think about doing for the rest of the year. Beaded Dragonfly Tile is going to kill me with guilt, haha. :p

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Blossom Collector - update #3 (finished!)

Blossom Collector is done! The pictures don't show the fabric color very well, but she's stitched on the other half of the FQ I cut in half for Willow Queen - Snickerdoodle by Sugar Maple Fabrics. It's yellowish with some brown/purple/pink areas. Hard to describe and unfortunately even harder to photograph, but hopefully you can get the general idea.




It was difficult to get her finished for a couple of reasons, both of which totally suck. :x

I'd planned to go pick up the beads I needed over the long weekend my wife and I were planning (she took a Friday and Monday off to get a four-day weekend) ...and then Harvey happened. We're completely fine, our house is in an area that doesn't flood, but everything around us was shut down for about a week and businesses are just starting to open again. I'm torn between wanting to go out to support local businesses, and staying home to not get in the way of the people who really need to be out and about right now.

And the other reason is that I have some sort of tendonitis or nerve problem in my right arm - probably the elbow or wrist or, most likely, both - that makes it hard to do anything requiring fine motor control. I've been wearing wrist braces and trying to rest my hand as much as possible, but do you know how many activities require your hands? ALL OF THEM!

In fact, my hand has gone cold and tingly while typing this post, so I'll sign off now... sigh.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Blossom Collector - update #2

Been working away on Blossom Collector! I finished her bottom half and moved on to the top. Not too much left now, though I'll have to pick up the two colors of bugle beads because I don't have any on hand at all. I don't think I have any of the other beads, but I don't care about that - I'll just substitute whatever's in my stash that's close enough.


Terrible picture, I know, but I'll be sure to get a good one of the finish. :)

~~~

mindful stitching thoughts!

I feel like this year has been a major turning point for me. I've pretty much stopped spending on my two main vices, stitchy stash and nail polish. What happened? A few things, really.

I've been trying to sell some stash in FB groups, which is the eternal hell struggle of waiting three days to get paid for a $2 chart, etc. In fact, last week I packed up most of the remaining stuff from my mom's old stash (which has been in my closet for EIGHT YEARS now) and hauled it to Goodwill because I couldn't stomach the thought of trying to sell it. So thanks, person who took forever to pay an invoice that netted me less than $1.80. You taught me a valuable lesson about not wasting my time.

And I was buying polish somewhat regularly for a while, but only from one brand... until they sold me a defective product and refused to budge at all on compensating me for it, and then they jacked up their prices a TON about a month after that incident. Yeah, no. I already have about 50 polishes from them, 10 or so of which haven't even been used yet. I'll be working through those before I consider buying anything else in the future. So thanks, crappy customer service, you taught me a valuable lesson about voting with my dollars.

Finally, I've spent the past few months cleaning, testing, photographing, and selling my wife's extensive collection of old school console video games. Now there's a product that's worth the effort! Fast sellers, good prices, happy customers. It's been a pleasure to watch items fly out the door and to reclaim the space those boxes were taking up! Plus we've made enough to rebuild our savings after the mountain of expenses we've faced recently.

Letting go of things has been more fun than piling them up. That feeling of success is absolutely keeping me from buying stuff I don't need. Sure, I'll look at pretty fabrics and threads and feel drawn to them, but I don't feel the need to own them. I can admire them from a distance. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Blossom Collector - update #1

Because when the going gets tough, the tough start a new project, right?

Renaissance Mermaid has been put in time out for a little while to give my eyes a break. Over-one skin looks great, but it's hugely time consuming and can be frustrating. I wanted to stitch, but I didn't feel like working on skin, so I dove into the Mira bucket and pulled out Blossom Collector. I wanted something small and simple, and she fits the bill.

Progress so far:


Not super exciting, but that's her entire skirt complete in three days. I've been stitching a LOT now that I have something simple to work on. I'll probably keep going with her until she's finished, then swap back to the mermaid of doom.

Oh, and I never posted about the swap I did with Kim of Wisdom with Needle and Thread! The swap event was organized by Kaye of Kitten Stitching, and the theme was Christmas in July.

Here's the ornaments we made for each other! I stitched the partridge for Kim and received the pretty holiday house in return. :)


There was also a snack of shortbread cookies, but those are long gone. :p

Working on the swap ornament made me want to finish some of my other smalls into ornaments, but as usual, I gave up on that idea after gluing my fingers together multiple times during the construction process. Whoops. Some day, I'll master finishing skills. Of course, that means I need to stop procrastinating and start practicing... sigh.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #5

This is such a bad idea.


This is... what, not even 20% of her skin? Am I ever going to finish? Seriously tempted to work on something else for a bit to give my eyes/hands/soul a break, but the time I spend on other projects is time not spent on this one, which will make it take even longer to finish.

It'll be worth it in the end. That's what I'm telling myself.

Now if only I actually framed and displayed my stuff, then it would be really worth it! I've been saving up but haven't pulled the trigger on buying frames yet. Mainly because my wife and I do the framing ourselves to save a ton of money, and doing it right is tedious. Like over one skin. :p