Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wintry Blooms Biscornu - Finished!

After a lot of specialty stitches, it's all done! Not assembled yet, but I'll have more pictures once that's all done too. :)

I'll just let the pictures do the talking for me...

Whew! I think it's safe to say that I'm pretty good at spiderweb roses now. :p

I'll be going back to my Brooke's Books bride's tree ornaments now... I haven't touched them in a while since I got a couple of months ahead, but now I'm falling behind a little! Maybe I can still get September's ornament done this month...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wintry Blooms Biscornu - Update #3 (& SAL idea)

Back on track! Thanks for all the kind comments on the last update. My wrists are feeling much better now and I was able to finish up the cross stitching on this piece over the weekend. :)

There's lots of backstitch and specialty stitches to add now, but I'm hoping for a finish by the end of the week! Well, at least a stitching finish... I'll leave it to my wife to assemble this thing! I'm not very good at patiently sewing things together. :)


Also... is anyone out there a Stitch from Stash veteran, or interested in the idea of working with the stash you already have instead of pursuing more? I'm starting to put together a short (maybe half a year?) not-quite-SAL with a focus on stash appreciation and use. :)

It will be more focused on thoughts and reflections rather than reporting on stitching and spending, though that can be included too if the participant chooses! I was thinking something along the lines of having a monthly theme or activity, and participants could also choose a personal goal for the challenge - like going on a no-buy, or setting a budget, or a goal of completing X number of projects before buying anything new, etc. That would be 100% up to you, though!

Here's some possible examples of monthly activities:

January: inventory your stash and post about it (not necessarily what's in your stash, but talk about any hidden gems you uncovered, themes you've noticed in your collection, where your "problem" areas are, etc etc)

February: identify bucket list items in your own stash and (if possible) begin kitting up one or two of those items with materials already in your stash

March: review your wishlist and compare to your inventory, identifying ways to edit the wishlist down to a smaller list (maybe you don't need the exact shade of fabric/silk/bead because you already have something similar in your stash, etc)

And so on. Basically, I'm thinking of organizing a short series of monthly mindfulness exercises that we can all share with each other. There's so much joking about "whoever dies with the biggest stash wins" and stuff like that, and while it's fun to amass a lot of stuff, it can also be wasteful. Supplies are meant to be used and appreciated, not stuffed into a box and forgotten.

I'm super guilty of being like a dragon with a hoard in many areas of my life, primarily stitchy stash and nail polish, and I'm working on being more appreciative of what I already have. I would love to have a few people join in with me! Please let me know if you're interested and I'll start getting these ideas into a more concrete form so we can start in January. :)

to clarify: This SAL does not involve a 'no-buy' or reporting on budgets - participants are free to set their own goals and to shop or not shop as they see fit, to meet those goals. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wintry Blooms Biscornu - Update #2

Whoops, it's been a week since my last update! Here's a new picture:

It's a small amount of progress compared to my usual pace, but I'm taking things slow for a while. I think I pushed too hard on Ghost Story... I had to bend myself into some weird positions to finish parts of her, and I think I put too much stress on my wrists and elbows. So I've been wearing wrist/elbow braces while sleeping and that seems to be helping, but I'm not 100% yet. Kind of annoyed and a bit worried about it, but I'm going to go easy for a while longer and see if that helps.

Okay, about "weird positions" and stuff, I basically use my body as a stitching stand whenever I use a 11x17 qsnap or larger. Generally I sandwich the qsnap between my legs and chest to hold it steady, which frees both of my hands so I can stitch two-handed. If it sounds ridiculous, it is. It also looks ridiculous, but I don't really care when I'm sitting on the couch at home. :)

Why not just use a stand? I've tried a few, but they're all in a jumbled pile of parts in the corner right now. None of them hold the stitching close enough to my face. (I'm nearsighted so I stitch without my glasses, but I need things to be relatively close or I can't see clearly enough!) I feel like I need something with two parts, like two separate jointed poles with a couple of clamps on them that would hold a qsnap firmly, and could also be rotated...

Hmm. Maybe I need to venture into the realm of design and construction!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Wintry Blooms Biscornu - Update #1

Thought I'd finally show some pictures of this cute little project. :D

It's available as a PDF download from Faby Reilly's website if you want your own copy! :)

The back is already finished! I knew I wouldn't want to fuss with the back after finishing the front (which is way more complex) so I stitched it first. But the colors are all wrong...

And here's my progress on the front! The colors in this picture are much better, the fabric color is much more accurate so you can get an idea of what it really looks like. I'm using the recommended fabric and thread colors, so you might want to check out the link above for better model photos. My camera is kind of horrible...

There's actually a lot left to do. I've only managed about a quarter of the cross stitching, plus there's other specialty stitches I still need to add around this area. I really love the cute sequins and the surrounding accent stitches for them. :)

Hopefully I'll make good progress soon...

Monday, September 05, 2016

Solo September Success!

Oops. I was a little too successful. Ghost Story is all finished!

These pictures were taken with my wife's phone, which tends to overexpose the lighter colors, so I'll try taking more photos with my own camera later. Those will be blurry but probably a little truer to the actual colors. :)

However, the brightness of the camera really brings out the color of the fabric!

I'll have to take a closer photo of her face. There was a lot of fussing to get her eyes just right, and I also changed the "darker" skin color to one that actually contrasts with the "lighter" one! I did end up adding a sketchy outline of an ear too, but I didn't do anything super detailed for it. I can't draw well and especially not ears!

So, she's mostly stitched as charted, with a few small changes:

- used whatever I had on hand that was close enough for metallic threads and beads
- changed darker skin color to 945
- backstitched skin in 840
- changed a few purple stitches on her bust to white (they looked like nipples, haha)

And she's stitched on Haunted Belfast by Picture This Plus - not only the perfect color, but also the perfect color name!

Next up to be conquered: Wintry Blooms Biscornu!
And no, I still don't have a picture! Next time. :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Solo September: Ghost Story!

Hihi! I've decided to join in with Justine's Solo September SAL, where you commit to stitching on a single project for an entire month to see just how far you can go! Of course, I'll be working on Ghost Story and aiming for a finish!

Not much progress since the last time I showed her, but there is some, I swear!

I originally thought about working on a new project that I haven't even shown here yet (Wintry Blooms Biscornu by Faby Reilly) but I decided against it. I feel like it kind of goes against the spirit of the challenge to purposely choose something small that will definitely be finished during the month. Then again, Ghost Story will definitely be a finish, as long as I don't slack off. :)

If (when!) I finish Ghost Story, I'll work on the biscornu. And if I finish that too, next up will be Brooke's Books Bride's Tree Ornament #9. But there will be NO switching between projects - they have to be completed in order. :)

Don't forget to sign up if you'd like to participate too! :D

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August & September goals

The end of the month is goals time! :)

For August, I said:
- blog about progress once a week - YES
- blah blah Ghost Story progress blah :) - YES
- no craft/stash shopping - NO

Honestly, I goofed and forgot about the "no stash" for August - I focused solely on my new rule for the rest of this year, which was I can only buy things in person. A little surprising and disappointing to get this post ready and realize I'd unintentionally failed, but I'll pick myself up and keep going.

I also had a small slip-up with only buying in person - I did sneak one more piece of Crafty Kitten fabric into my existing order from July that hasn't shipped yet. I know, I know... I was well aware that I was breaking my own rule, but it was a limited edition and blah blah. Just like with my nail polish addiction, I need to STOP looking at cross-stitch releases and limited editions, because that way lies madness. And an empty wallet. And guilt. :(

On the plus side, I have $26.81 in my Paypal account from ebay sales, which I've just withdrawn and set up to transfer to my savings account. :)

So, September goals!
- blog about progress once a week
- blah blah Ghost Story progress blah (possible finish?)
- NO craft/stash shopping
- and a stretch goal: finish Wintry Blooms Biscornu (which I haven't shown here yet, whoops)


Ah, so what did I buy? Cruised over to ABC Stitch on Saturday since they were having a 25% off sale, and picked up mostly wishlist items.

Not pictured because already in use: FQ of lavender Belfast :)

The only impulse buys were the two Just Nan designs - my wife really wanted Spring in the Meadow, and I saw the pin cube in person and... it was adorable, okay? Still, I'm relatively proud of myself for putting back several other impulse items I'd picked up, including another JN that retails for $40. Nope, don't need that, no matter how pretty it is! Also put back the button pack for Spooked since it seems to be optional and LOL $17 FOR A FEW TINY BUTTONS AND BEADS HELL NO.

Anyway, as always, there's that feeling that I shouldn't have gotten anything at all because, believe me, I have PLENTY of stash. I got home, removed the purchased items from my wishlist, and cleaned out some other things too. Slowly learning to be better. :)