Thursday, May 30, 2019

Four Seasons Birdcages - big update

I'm really bad about posting this year. Sometimes I think about moving to another platform but I don't want to start a new blog or deal with nonsense like IG. Oh well. :p

I've been working exclusively on Four Seasons Birdcages since my last post. It's an old Dimensions kit, stitched with a few modifications, as usual. I swapped out the fabric for Fairy Forest (I think) Belfast by Crafty Kitten. I'm doing the backstitch in a variety of colors (the original was all brown) and I'm also couching the long backstitches for the cage bars to make them smooth.

I only showed progess once in my new year post back in January, and that was the summer birdcage with the barest start on autumn.

On May 2, this was how everything looked.

I've made a huge amount of progress since then, but since I haven't posted any progress pictures at all on this one, I thought it would be nice to show these older ones for now.

Next post will be a finish for sure!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Seasons Change SAL - finished!

Another project finished! This is the Seasons Change SAL by Ship's Manor. It's stitched with the SM threads and fabric that were kitted specifically for this project. (Except the darkest brown, which I replaced with something a bit lighter than the kitted thread.)

This photo is reasonably accurate, though it doesn't show the real color of the fabric all that well. It's a very rich brown with hints of orange and red, but the brown doesn't come through too clearly in this picture. It's a crazy combination of colors in person but it just WORKS. Trust me. :)

Next up will be Four Seasons Birdcages! Clearly it's a year of SEASONS. :p

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Seasons Change SAL - three seasons done!

I'm alive, I swear. :p

I haven't been posting but I've been stitching! Not a whole ton, sadly, but I've made a ton of progress on one of my 'finish in 2019' projects, the Seasons Change SAL by Ship's Manor.

Here's how it looked at the beginning of the year when I dug it out of the WIP pile:

And here's how it looks now!

I'm not sure how long it took me to add all this new progress because I haven't been documenting any of my stitching this year. Clearly I need to update more often. Whoops.

A couple of small changes, but mostly stitched as charted. I subbed in a non-kit thread for the dark brown in the tree trunks as I felt the original choice (very dark brown, almost black) was too much of a contrast with the other colors. And I ran out of the beautiful fire-colored thread with two motifs left to stitch, so I subbed in a thread that I dyed myself a while back that turned out to be a pretty close match! Can you tell which two motifs are using a different thread? :)

I'm going to press on to a finish with this one. Autumn is a blue/purple thread with a somewhat harsh, bright yellow, so I might swap the yellow out for something more mellow and with more variegation. We'll see how I feel about it when I start stitching...

(oops I just noticed that I forgot the blue on the motif to the right of the tree!)

Monday, April 22, 2019

a very belated round robin finish!

I participated in a Mirabilia round robin in 2015-2016 and never finished my piece!

Or rather, I did stitch my part of it before sending it out, but I asked everyone to leave the beading for me. Two reasons: one, I don't trust the post office not to manhandle it to death, thus ruining the beading, and two, beading is my favorite part and I wanted to do it all! Mwahahaha.

When I got the piece back, it was in need of some work. One fairy had the wrong color stitched in a rather obvious place, and there were a lot of tension problems, especially in large areas of metallic thread. I put it away in frustration and it lingered in a tote bag of banished projects...

And then I dug it out again a couple of weeks ago. After a close look, I realized it would be pretty easy to fix up and finish. In fact, it took less time than I expected. I alternated between fixing the stitched parts and adding the beads, and after about a week's worth of stitching time, it was done!

Some closer shots of the pretty ladies:

I'm very glad I didn't give in to my silly urge to completely give up on this piece. The finished product is exactly what I'd been hoping for from the round robin. I love the idea of round robins and working with other stitchers, and I had a lot of fun adding sections to everyone else's work. I'd like to do another RR again in the future. :)

Thursday, February 07, 2019

small finishes & finishing!

Hello again! I've been working on mini projects this month as part of my informal SAL (which is probably just me alone, but that's okay!) and doing a bit of finishing too.

I have two mini finishes for February so far. They are:

Ink Circles - Valentina
Stitched on 40ct opalescent Brandy Apple with Carrie's Raspberry silk.

Sweetheart Tree - Snowflakes in the Pines
Stitched on random fabrics. The darker one was tea-dyed.

Yes, there's two of them! I had one that just needed beads in my box of finishes, and a small start tucked in with the chart. Dunno why, but now there's two of them. I just need to get some sort of charm for the center of the second one.

Then I decided to do some finishing instead of wasting time online. :p

Hands on Design - merry.berry and kiss.a.bit
Stitched on Slate Belfast from Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie.

Simple hoop finish, which is honestly challenging enough for me! I don't really have the patience to do good finishing... which seems odd because I have plenty of patience to STITCH, right? I tend to get frustrated with finishing for some reason.

Hands on Design - Dream of the Sea (pincushion)
Stitched on 32ct neutral Belfast (from the kit).

My wife assembled this for me, haha. It helps to have a built-in helper at home who doesn't mind doing the dirty work for you. :D

Friday, January 25, 2019

first finish of the year and a casual SAL!

First up, my first finish of the year. This is Harmony by Just Nan. Can't really get a good shot of the full thing, so I'll have to show it in parts!

Stitched with the kitted threads and beads on the recommended fabric. I left off the over-one birds under the bunnies in the spring panel because a) they're ugly and b) there's no need for over-one on this piece. None of the other seasons have any, so why does spring have so much of it? I did the over-one birds in the nest because it would be weird to have an empty nest in spring, but those other birds? Nah. I like it without them.

All seasons were stitched so the color variations would be symmetrical... except winter. I didn't think to do it there and I wish I had, but the kit doesn't have anywhere near enough thread for me to redo it, so it has to stay the way it is. (It's kit-exclusive thread so I can't even GET more. Boo.)


Annnnd I'd like to host a little SAL for February! February is the shortest month of the year so I thought it would be the perfect time to work on mini projects. :D

Here's a button if you'd like to use it! I don't really plan to set up a formal page or anything for link sharing but I'm happy to link to your blog in my own updates. Leave me a comment on this post with your blog URL. If there's a lot of interest (I kind of doubt it because this is really last minute!) then I'll look into getting a link widget or something for updates. :3

I have an entire bag of small projects just waiting to be done, so here's my possibilities!

I'll definitely be making the MH pinecone kit (been planning to SAL that with a friend for a while) but other than that, no definite plans. I'll see where my whims take me. :D

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

still alive in 2019!

Oops, I kind of disappeared for a while. Life got really busy with finishing up a major non-stitching project in September, and then we unexpectedly adopted a kitten. I was stitching the entire time but never got around to posting, but the new year seems like a great time to get started again!

Before I get started, I know people want to see the kitten, so here he is. He's the cute orange cat... not much of a kitten anymore! He grew up FAST. The black and white kitty is my doofy pal Loki, who has been with us since 2012! Time flies.

I had a few finishes in 2018 that I never posted here. They are:

Mill Hill - Seagull 

Mill Hill - Blue Pansy Butterfly

Hands on Design - Dream of the Sea (pincushion)

And I have a few active WIPs, two of which I think are so new I never blogged about them! They also happen to be projects that are on my bucket list, so it was great to finally get them started. Here's the mini WIP parade:

Four Seasons Birdcages - Dimensions kit
Chucked the aida, stitched on Crafty Kitten Belfast in Fairy Forest. I think...

Mushroom & Fern Mandala - Chatelaine
Finally some good progress after stalling out because my Celadon was a horrible dye lot!

Just Nan - Harmony
I kind of wish I'd taken the time to make Winter's colors symmetrical too.
Too late now, though! Even if I wanted to, there isn't enough thread to restitch it all!

Oops, there's actually one more I forgot!
Season's Change - Ship's Manor

So, that's the stitchy report. I plan to finish all three four of the showcased WIPs this year, starting with Harmony since I'm enjoying it quite a bit, despite the crunchy SNC threads. Turns out you can steam iron those a bit and they become lovely and smooth. Good to know for the future, because some Chatelaines call for them and it can be hard to find close matches in other brands.

I think my next post will be a full set of 2019 stitching plans! For now, I'll leave this with a couple of shots of the newest obsession in my house - modern board gaming. :D

Uh, yes, we really like Pandemic, how could you tell? Just finished Legacy Season 1 last night, it was GREAT!