Saturday, December 31, 2011

last finish of 2011!

I know I said I wouldn't be finishing Chelsea this year, but I decided to power through it and get it done even though my eyes were crossing after all the close-up work.  So glad my wifey was there to attach the corner beads for me, I was losing my mind at that point!

These are small thumbnails but you can click for BIG images. :)

Whew!  I'm glad that's over.  This was a beautiful design but took a LOT longer than I expected... it's about 5 x 5 inches but probably took over 30 hours to complete.  I'm glad I have the finished product but if I knew how fiddly it was going to be, I probably wouldn't have bothered.  I'm still not thrilled with the long stitches on the shells, but I'm not messing with it any more!

Apparently this design was made to fit perfectly on the top of a very expensive box from Sudberry House.  After all the time spent stitching, I think it deserves the royal treatment!

I know I sound like I'm complaining a lot, but that's just my sore eyes talking!  It's amazing in person, full of sparkle from the braids and beads, plus the herringbone stitch gleams even though it's just cotton!  I wish the pictures could capture the shine... and imagine how great this would have looked in silk!  But no, I'm not making another! :p

If anyone is interested, this pattern is Chelsea (by Janelle Giese) from the May/June 2010 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine.

Time to rest my eyeballs so I can start the Crazy January challenge tomorrow! :))))

Friday, December 30, 2011

progress on Chelsea

Ah, yes, did I forget to mention that's the name of my current WIP?  Well, now you know. :p  It's coming along nicely though I've slowed down now because of the specialty stitches.  Couching is very pretty but also a pain in the you-know-what!

I'm working on the empty boxes near the shells now.  The stitch here is plaited herringbone, which looks AMAZING but takes forever to do since it uses three strands of DMC and I have to be careful not to bring the needle up between the threads that are already there.  I've been using a pin to push the existing threads out of the way and that seems to be working.  It took me a few episodes of old school Doctor Who (I'm talking black and white, first Doctor stuff!) to complete the block you see on the right.

And here's a closeup!  There will be beads in the very center once it's done, but I'll finish up the other three blocks before adding anything that might snag my precious threads. :p

I was hoping to squeeze this in as a final 2011 finish, but I think this may end up as the first finish of 2012 instead... unless one of the small Crazy January projects gets done on the day I start it!

Oh, and Randi is having a nice giveaway on her blog for reaching over 100 followers!  Check it out!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

new WIP & last stash of the year!

Back from vacation, not at all rested but I had a lot of fun, so that's okay.  Our trip to NYC was the highlight of the week.  Got to visit the Met, saw the talented and gorgeous Cillian Murphy in a live solo performance, ate at an incredible French restaurant, and got married!  Not sure what could top all that. :)

I started a new little project before leaving and made good progress while I was away.  It's from a semi-recent JCS magazine... the first picture includes the magazine so you can see what this will actually become.  I'm a sucker for specialty stitches!

And a closeup.  The grey on the very inside is darker than in the model because I decided that combining DMC 168 & 169 should be illegal. :p

Oh, right, no vacation is complete without scoping out the LNS scene.  I picked up a JCS ornament issue I was missing and the Lizzie Kate summer alphabet.  My GF (oh, excuse me, wife!) got two small kits by Elizabeth Designs, a Dimensions chart by Haruyo, and a small Lizzie Kate design.

And what about the Rosewood Manor ABC Tapestry?  Well.  It's not really our style and if I had just seen the booklet, I wouldn't have given it a second glance.  Buuuut... there was a completed model on display with such vibrant colors and on such a teeny fabric count (must have been 40 or higher!) that was just stunning!  My sister took a sneaky snap, but it's MUCH prettier in person.

I wish her camera had been able to get a better picture, because it was AMAZING.  I'll resist the urge to put this on my Crazy January list since I don't have suitable fabric and I don't need another giant project on there.  This big guy will have to wait its turn. :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

IHSW... went a little crazy :p

Well.  No progress on any of my large projects, but I stitched three more ornaments and the TW fob is finished!  Can't take any credit for the finishing, my GF always helps with that, but I did stitch all of them! :p

So we have...
- Christmas Candles (freebie from Elizabeth's Designs)
- Celtic Inspiration ornament (freebie from Teresa Wentzler)
- Angel Ornament (Paw Printings) ...but the fabric is green, not grey!
- Angel Wreath (freebie from Abi Gurden)

The candles and wreath are stitched on the pretty fabric that Ruth sent me in our exchange... probably the fastest I've ever used a piece of fabric! :p

Now, of course, the rest need to be finished...

And maybe I'll stitch something else today!  I dunno, I should really be packing for vacation.  I'll be away from tomorrow until the 26th.  Of course, I'm bringing a project with me, so maybe I can have yet another finish before the end of the year! *greedy* :D

Thursday, December 15, 2011

a quick break!

I got tired of Wisteria (surprise, surprise!) so I made something else instead.  This is Celtic Inspiration Ornament, a tiny freebie from Teresa Wentzler.

And I mean tiny!  The stitch count is only 20x20, but I've expanded it to 22x22 with a little border so it can be made into a scissor fob.

Still not in the mood for Wisteria, so I'll either do another small or work on a different WIP.  Should probably consider working on one of my goals for the month, eh?  We'll see how I feel about that. :p

Monday, December 12, 2011

wisteria grows!

What a cheesy post title. :p  Anyway, I'm quite pleased with my progress on Wisteria and VERY glad to be done with all those leaves!  There's more leaves on the far right, but I don't have to stitch those right now, nyah nyah! :p

I still don't think there's any way to finish by Christmas but at least there's visible progress. :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

exchange with Ruth!

My final ornament exchange has arrived safe and sound!  I actually received it earlier this week but kept forgetting to take pictures until it was late, and I prefer taking pictures when the sun is out! :)  This exchange is from Ruth, and man, I'm jealous of her amazing finishing technique!

I received the ornament, a lovely card (beautiful art!), a piece of metallic fabric that will make another great ornament, and four skeins of Waterlilies in pretty seasonal colors!  I really wish I'd thought to include some threads in my outgoing swaps.  NEXT TIME for sure! :)

A closeup of the main event!  This little pillow is perfectly stuffed and edged with beads!  I hope that I'll be able to do such a good job finishing someday.  I wish you could feel just how plump this ornament is!  The beaded edging is beautiful and looks great. :)

And here's what I sent to Ruth!  A Teresa Wentzler ornament, a scissor fob (made by me!), and two seasonal charts, plus a greeting card.  I must say, the netting stitches on this ornament made me a little crazy, but the result was worth it.

And that wraps up my ornament exchanges for this year!  I should really post a picture of my ornament tree one of these days... but it's still pretty empty along the bottom.  I'll definitely be doing more swaps in the future, but not four at once... that was a bit much!  Maybe just one or two for Valentine's Day?

I went to my LNS yesterday and drooled over all the ornaments that were on their tree... the thing was covered in them, and there were more all over the store.  Ah, jealousy. :p

Of course, I came home with STASH, but I put it all away before I thought of taking a picture.  Bah!  It was mostly threads again, some for a few of the Brooke Nolan angels from JCS magazine plus a few stray DMC I was missing.  Also grabbed a Mirabilia muse (Caprice, I think) and the new Merchant Mermaid, which I'll try stitching without the anchor medallion at the bottom.  Tail reconstructive surgery time! :p

I made huge progress on Wisteria, but I'll save that for next time.  Enjoy the swaps for now! :D

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

thread stash!

Man, the mail is SLOW around this time of year!  This package was shipped by Priority on November 30 and I didn't get it until last night... that's one week!  Does not bode well for shipping satisfaction ratings when I mail my eBay stuff... but I'm sure people expect that.  I hope!  I do enjoy selling stuff on eBay, I recycle the money into stitchy stash and other goodies so I don't have to touch the "real" budget when I want to indulge.

So, yes, this bit of stash is powered by... stuff I didn't want anymore. :p  These are the rest of the threads I needed for my Crazy January starts, and since they looked so pretty, why not share a picture? :)

Most of the Kreinik is for one design (Hope by Brooke Nolan) - crazy, right?  CRAZY SHINY! :p

Unfortunately, that's all to report for today.  But everyone loves stash!

Monday, December 05, 2011

ho hum

I'm having a bit of a cranky day, not for any particular reason, so maybe a stitching post will help.  Or maybe I should go fondle my stash!  Which reminds me, maybe my threads will be here today... too bad the mail doesn't come until late afternoon! :p

Even though Wisteria is stitching up fast, I'm not sure I can finish in time for Christmas.  I've finished most of the first two pages, the left side of the design, but there's still some leaves to go before I'm truly done with those pages, not just at the bottom but also on the right side of the stem.  Those cross over onto the right side pages, but still...

But anyway, I'm happy with how the flower closeup came out!  The colors looked a little odd until I started working with them... wasn't sure how the darker colors in the center were going to come out.  Not bad. :)

I feel like I want to start something new, but considering my list of WIPs and the fact that I'll have Crazy Janaury to take care of all my startitis, I will resist!  Sometimes it's tough to have all your WIPs be big projects, though... I feel like I'll never get to start anything new ever again. :p

Oh, yes, and I have a fall theme now because... hey, it's still warm here in Texas! :p

Thursday, December 01, 2011

November/December goals

Time to see how I failed last month. XD

November 2011:
- send all exchange packages by the 15th - YES, all shipped on the 15th, delivered on the 17th
- finish Amaryllis kit - NO, did some stitching but didn't finish it
- finish Butterfly Scroll kit - NO, didn't touch it
- make visible progress on Tree of Hope - how about NO progress? :p
- WIN NANO - YES, and this was more than enough to make up for everything I didn't do!

So, new goals...

December 2011:
- finish Wisteria
- finalize Crazy January list (I blame my exchange gifts :p)
- gather/organize Crazy January materials
- finish Amaryllis kit
- finish Butterfly Scroll kit

I'd realllllly like to finish another big project this year, but I have to be realistic.  Visiting my family for a week over Christmas carves out a chunk of time... though I'll bring a project with me.

And here's my current progress on Wisteria.  I'm working on the purple flower at the bottom.

exchange with Measi!

Imagine my excitement when I came home last night and discovered another exchange package on my doorstep!  Of course, I snatched it up and opened it within seconds of getting through the door.  This exchange is from Measi of WIPocalypse infamy. :D  Which reminds me that I should get cracking on those link buttons...

But first!  Look and be amazed by how spoiled I am! XD

The full package!  I'm definitely stitching both of these designs.  Maybe I'll have to rearrange my Crazy January Challenge a bit...  And threads!  I LOVE Crescent Colours, I've built up quite a stash but all of these colors are new to me.  Thanks Measi! :D

Lest we forget the main event, check out this amazing ornament!  This is also a Teresa Wentzler design, and I love how there's so much color!  I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but I think the hanger is a type of kumihimo braid, it looks awesome in person. :D

And a shot of the pretty back (why didn't I think to back my exchanges?) with all those gorgeous threads in the background.  Talk about spoiled, right?

And finally, here's what I sent as my half of the exchange!
Measi, stop reading if you haven't opened it yet! :p

This ornament is also a TW design (good taste, what can I say?), and I included two winter charts and a scissor fob that sort of matches the ornament.  Not pictured, but I also sent my extra copy of Cirque des Cercles (don't ask, haha) as a thanks for being such an amazing moderator/cat-herder for several round robins I participated in over the last couple of years. :)

Just one more exchange left.  I hope it gets here soon!