Monday, January 30, 2012

updated goals & bucket list

I just realized I haven't posted goals in ages!  I'll just skip right to February, then...

February goals:
- finish Titania (been working on her since finishing Tree of Hope)
- part one of Octopus Treasure Cave (can't wait!)

Okay, maybe finishing Titania will be impossible, but I'll make a nice dent in her anyway.  Here's how she looks at the moment.  There's a bit more at the top that's been wrapped around the scroll bar, but not enough to really count for anything!

Annnnd a preview of how my Octopus Treasure Cave will end up looking on the fabric I chose - Phantom by Picture This Plus.  Should be here any day now. :)

And a new bucket list as I've recently discovered some new things, or decided to favor certain ones more than others... because as queen of my blog, I can do that. :p  Not counting my current WIPs, my top ten (for the next five minutes, anyway!) looks like this:

- Bluebeard's Princess (Mirabilia)
- Butterfly Garden (The Drawn Thread)
- Chinese Garden Mandala (Chatelaine)
- Finery of Nature (Dimensions kit)
- Hope (Brooke Nolan)
- Night (Teresa Wentzler)
- Octopus Treasure Cave (Chatelaine)
- Sparkling Shamrocks (Sweetheart Tree)
- South Seas Mermaid (Mirabilia)
- Woodland Faerie (Teresa Wentzler)

Finally, I'm feeling major chart lust lately!  I need to get Drawn Thread's Butterfly Garden (I suspect the love fairy may bring it on Valentine's Day!) and I'm seriously considering subscribing to Spring Knotgarden before the group is closed at the end of February.  I've admired that one for a while, but I recently looked at some WIP pics... bad idea! :p

Saturday, January 28, 2012

it's DONE! :D

Tree of Hope is finally finished!  I just attached the last of the beads. :)

I didn't stitch the floral motif under the bumblebee for two reasons:
- The LNS cut my fabric too small for it to fit comfortably, despite me clearly specifying 2 free inches on each side. :x
- There's nothing else that low on the design, so I thought it might look unbalanced anyway.

Here's the full piece, followed by some detail shots.  I don't think I've seen this design completed before, so hopefully this will be interesting for everyone. :)  All can be clicked to enlarge!


 And finally, some thoughts/suggestions I'd offer to anyone interested in stitching this design.  Or myself, if I was actually crazy enough to stitch this again. :p

- add more orange beads to the lotus flower in the tree
- remove all mint green beads from the treetop (fill with Waterlilies 226 Seaglass)
- remove all light blue beads in the tree immediately above the bird (fill with logical tree color)
- make flower motifs on the left/right symmetrical (I did this as they are slightly asymmetrical on the chart, which looks sloppy/unbalanced)
- change flower bud in center of tree trunk to look more like a bud and less like a letter Y :p

I may still go back and take out the light blue beads above the bird.  I have no idea what they're supposed to represent.  The ones on the right could be an extension of the wing, but as for the columns of beads above the bird... why are those there?  My gut was to stitch that area and I should have gone with it.

But for now I'll just bask in the glory of the largest project I've ever finished. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

sooooooo close!

IHSW was an amazing success!  I've really been stitching nonstop every night since the last time I posted, so maybe the W stands for WEEK in my case. :p  I'm so close to finishing the stitching on Tree of Hope - all that remains is the rest of the flower on the right, the dragonflies above the flower, and two small motifs at the bottom of the trunk.

I was ready to set this bad boy on fire yesterday, though!  I think all the color changes in the flowers was getting to me, and my eyes were pretty strained by the time I wrapped it up for the day.

But looking at it again and seeing how close I am to finishing... mmm... :)  I want to stitch even though I had to put this monster on the dreaded scroll frame.  I hate that thing, but I hate squashing stitches with a q-snap even more, so sacrifices were made.

Enough blabbing, how about some pictures?

Almost full view (the top is completely finished but wrapped around the scroll bar):

The two insane flowers with too many colors!

And the left side maiden with her flower and butterfly:

I want THIS as my reward for finishing...

But that will just give me MORE eye strain in the long run, so maybe I'll wait a bit on that one. :p

Monday, January 16, 2012

a maiden appears!

I've been stitching away on Tree of Hope and finally took a picture of my recent progress.  The last time I posted about this piece was three months ago, and I had just finished the top of the tree!  After that, I did a bit of the trunk and put it away for ages.

See that blank spot in the middle of the tree trunk?  Everything under that AND the entire right side maiden were completed in the past week.  The maiden was started Friday night and finished Sunday morning.  I estimate she took about 15 hours... so that means the second maiden will be taking a little more time to show up, as I need a break!

It would be nice to have her companion done by this time next week, though...  I really felt like Tree of Hope was taking forever, but now I'm solidly past the halfway mark and I feel good about getting it done soon-ish!  Once the maidens are finished, there's some more flower and insect motifs, but the stitching is much less solid on those.  And then, of course, BEADS.  Billions of them. :p

Whew.  Ever feel like you spend more time thinking about what to stitch or drooling over your stash than you actually do stitching?  I wish I could be more focused and get more done!  Instead, I read blogs and get jealous over how much everyone stitches... well, duh, Rahenna, if you turned off the computer, you could do it too!

Okay, I'm off to give maiden #2 another arm. XD

Monday, January 09, 2012

WIPocalypse & finishes!

Let's do finishes first because those are more fun. :p

This is Pumpkin Flower Sampler by Bent Creek!  I finished the stitching last Thursday at knitting group because I'm a rebel like that.  Got some buttons over the weekend to really finish it up.  The design called for square buttons but again, I'm a rebel so we have stars and rounds instead.  SO THERE!

And I don't think I ever showed this cute CCN (or was it LHN?) design my wife finished last year.  Oops!  So here it is!  Love that little crow button. :3

Hmm, and now WIPocalypse...

And I'm working on CCN's Cherry Hill now, which was my day five CJC start.  Since I'm no longer participating in CJC, I'll probably just work on this between my larger WIPs until it's finished.  This is a cute design but a very boring stitch because of all the large areas of the same color.  If we have any other designs like this in the stash, I think I'll pass on them!

As for "real" WIPocalypse stuff (aka WIPs carried over from last year), I did a little work on Tree of Hope yesterday but I don't have a picture to show as it's just part of the tree trunk.  Not very exciting. :p  I'll probably do more today since Cherry Hill is getting on my nerves with all that one-x-at-a-time green.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

CJC is over for me :p

Ah, such a boring post since there's no pictures! I'll definitely have a finish or two to share later this week. :)

But this post is to say I'm giving up the Crazy January Challenge.  Now that I'm five days in, I've realized that I can't STAND having that many barely-started projects hanging around. Most of the things I've started so far are small, the sorts of projects I could finish in 3 days or less, but since the goal is to move on to something new every day, they get put aside. And that drives me NUTS, so I have to stop.

I'll still stitch everything from my list, but they'll be started and finished in a more controlled manner, which will allow them to serve as breaks from my larger WIPs.

Yeah, it's just a mental thing, but sanity is better than insanity.  I think. :p  I'll still be following the CJC Yahoo group with interest since I'm nosy like that!

I'm kind of bummed because my plan was to do a giveaway for all the patterns of the CJC projects as I finish them, but... I can still do that!  I love the idea of giving away all my finished patterns because, hey, let's be real:  I'm not going to stitch anything twice. :p

Back to the day five project... or maybe day one, hmm...

Monday, January 02, 2012

CJC - day 2!

Here's my Crazy January Challenge day 2 piece, Bumble Bee by Sisters & Best Friends.  It's also my first finish of the year. :)  I know I'm weird but it kind of bothers me because it says "bumble bee" even though bumblebees don't live in beehives!  It's still cute, though, especially since I added lazy daisy wings to the little bee... poor thing didn't have any in the chart!

Put a few more stitches into yesterday's piece as well, but I still have the entire pumpkin at the top to go.  No update picture as there's really not much to see there!  Since it's already 9pm, I don't think I'll be doing any more on it tonight.  Probably won't touch it at all tomorrow either, as my day 3 piece is Woodland Faerie by Teresa Wentzler!  I'll be lucky if I manage even two inches of the border on that beastie. :p

World of Cross Stitching - is this legit?

Hopefully someone will know the answer to this...

I recently got one of those "please subscribe to our magazine" letters in the mail.  It's from World of Cross Stitching (a UK magazine) and it's advertising a year for $49.99, which is much less than the 65 pounds I found it for on the publisher's site.

Thing is, I got a similar notice a while back, and I think it was for a US version of the magazine.  This subscription letter looks the same (as far as I can remember) but doesn't seem to be for a US version.  Anyway, I responded to the request for the US version because it sounded like a good deal (I think it was even cheaper than this one is advertising) but nothing ever came of it.  No payment was taken and no magazines ever arrived.

So... has anyone else received this subscription request?  Or did anyone get the older one and subscribe, AND actually get anything?

I'm interested in a magazine other than JCS, since that only has about two decent projects per issue, but if this is some sort of scam obviously I'm not going to try it again.  Any ideas?

If it helps, the address on the envelope is:
PO Box 433041
Palm Coast, FL 32143-9945

...which already seems fake since the last four digits of the PO Box should match the extra four digits of the zip code.  Actually, checking it on the USPS site indicates that this address is one of those little postal outlet stores.  Not looking good, is it?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

CJC - day 1

Before I post today's Crazy January Challenge progress, I actually had one more finish yesterday!  It wasn't much of one, though, since all the project needed was cording, but hey... why not list it?  Most of the stitching was done by the UFO RR last year, though, so I can't take credit for all of it.

Here we go!  Dimensions Oriental Butterfly all ready to be framed. :)

And today's CJC piece is Pumpkin Flower Sampler by Bent Creek.  All that's left is a bit more of the vine under the letters, then the big pumpkin at the top.  It's a good thing I saw pictures of this one finished online, or I'd never have started it... the model picture is in serious need of color correction.  It's so orange that the vines look brown instead of green, and you can't really tell that the letters and the specialty stitches are different colors.  Yuck.

So while I'm tempted to finish this up today, I don't feel like stitching until 1am.  Especially with Skyrim calling. :p

Happy new year, everyone! \o/