Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stitch from Stash: January report!

Here's my January report for the Stitch from Stash challenge!

New starts from stash:
Just one, Floral Fifteen by Just Nan, which doubles as my Just Nan SAL piece for January. :)  I did the first five blocks (out of fifteen, of course!) so I could pace myself.  JN designs have a lot of color changes in a small area and I didn't want my head to asplode. :p

I started with a blank slate and ended up with this!

WIPs or UFOs worked on:
I finished Hope by Brooke Nolan (Brooke's Books), which was my last start from 2013!  She started the month as a blob and finished as a very lovely lady. :)

I had also planned to finish the stitching on Bluebeard's Princess (Mirabilia) but my poor neglected WIP of Spring Knotgarden (Chatelaine) was calling to me.  I made a huge amount of progress in just eight days.  Sorry for the weird angle, but hopefully you can see that those two big empty gardens are now filled.  I made a tiny start on the next triangle garden, but it's not enough to warrant a new photo yet. :)

what I used my stash money for:
Well, I actually posted this earlier in the month, but so no one has to click back through...

1.  Emozioni by Renato Parolin ($13.82)
2.  Poinsettia Star by Faby Reilly ($4.50)
3.  Afterglow shawl pattern by Diana Rozenshteyn ($5.00)

I probably shouldn't count the shawl pattern since it's knitting and not stitching, but in keeping with the spirit of the challenge I've decided to include it anyway.  I have $1.68 to carry over into February.  WOOHOO XD

stash plans!
I think February's purchase will be a Chatelaine from my wishlist, the cattleya orchid flower panel.  I've seen pictures of the finished project and OMG!  It's gorgeous.  I'll have to wait until March to get the bead pack, but I shouldn't need the actual kit because I have quite the hoard of specialty fibers.  Even if I don't have exactly what's needed, I can substitute what I have to save a few bucks. :)

Is it next month yet?????? :p

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog - 2014

Joining in the Grow Your Blog event hosted by Vicki @ 2 Bags Full. :)

Hi!  I'm Rahenna and this is my cross-stitching blog. :)  I also keep a personal blog on Livejournal, but I don't update it very much these days.  LJ is a shrinking community, unfortunately, but I use it to keep in contact with close friends and fandom communities that interest me.

But enough of that!

THIS blog is my public stitching (and rarely, knitting) blog that I started back in 2010 when I decided to get serious about cross-stitching.  I learned to stitch from a school friend back in 6th grade.  I distinctly remember that day!  It was one of the first days of middle school, where all the kids from the local elementary schools went to the one big middle school that was somewhat far away, so there were tons of new people to meet.  I ended up sitting with someone completely new at lunch, and she was doing something with a piece of fabric.

I'm sure I don't remember the exact conversation, but I asked what she was doing and found out it was a mysterious craft called "cross stitch."  I wanted to try, and she said it was okay as long as I was careful.  So while she went to buy her lunch, I tried stitching.  I managed to make ONE stitch by the time she came back a few minutes later!

I went home that day, asked my mom if I could get a kit, and we headed off to either Joann's or Michael's, where I picked out my very first cross stitch kit. :)  I don't have it in my possession as it's probably lost forever at my dad's house, but it looked very much like this:

This is the exact little frame that came with my kit.  The design was a simple one with bunnies on top, the phrase "somebunny loves you" in the middle, and some carrots in a row at the bottom.  Or maybe the carrots were on top with the bunnies on the bottom.  It was a LONG time ago!

Since then, I had several (mis)adventures in stitching, most ending without a finished product.  I think I completely gave up on pretending I was a stitcher once I was in high school, even though I tried to work on projects now and then, and even added a bit to my stash over time.  Back then, everything I owned fit in one tote bag, so it wasn't a big deal to haul it around to college and various apartments that I lived in as I grew up and became more independent.

Teresa Wentzler's Angel Procession was my One Big Project back then.  Back in the late 90s, that pattern was hot stuff on eBay and my mom was very much into buying and reselling to make some extra money for herself.  She collected Wentzler patterns but kept threatening to sell her copy of AP since it was worth so much... up to $80 back then!  She said I could only have it if I actually stitched it.  So... AP is my oldest, crustiest work in progress, literally old enough to vote in the US.

I'm going to finish it this year.  I swear.

I didn't think much about stitching or any other sort of crafting until about four and a half years ago, after my mom died from complications of throat cancer.  She had many, many boxes of stitching stash that she collected over the years, much of it while she was sick.  She'd become a bit of a hoarder toward the end and there were literally boxes stacked up to the ceiling in one bedroom.  Some of those got thrown away (!!!) in the confusion, but after I explained to my dad that he was almost literally throwing out money, he agreed to start shipping me the boxes.

Money was tight for me at the time, so I started sorting through the boxes and pulling all the most valuable items to sell first.  I've been selling on eBay since 1998 (wow) so it was a great way to supplement my income and ensure that my mom's stuff went to people who would really appreciate it.  As I sorted, I started to put some of the prettiest (to me) items to one side for myself.  Before I knew it, I was becoming more interested in stitching for myself again.

I don't remember exactly which item sparked my interest, or how I discovered that Blogger was THE place for stitching blogs, but once I did, I made a blog for myself and got stitching!  It was slow and painful at first, since my experience with stitching was so limited at that time, and it took me forever to complete even the simplest of designs.  But I got to work on my old works in progress and finished quite a few.

The oldest project I actually finished is a Dimensions kit of ballet shoes.  There are some mistakes, and hoo-boy, were there a LOT of stains on that puppy, but it cleaned up pretty well.  It's now hanging on my stitching wall along with many buddies. :)

Not my style anymore, but hey, I finished! :)

Speaking of the buddies, here's the stitching wall. :)  There are a few things scattered around the house that aren't part of the wall, so I'll show those later.  In case it wasn't obvious by now, I am THE WORST at taking pictures...

 And the other framed goodies...

There's also a growing mountain of stuff waiting to be framed... a quick count says there's 29!  They're projects of various sizes, from tiny ornaments all the way up to monsters that required a fat quarter of fabric.  I won't take a picture of those, but you can browse my finishes page to get an idea of what's waiting to be framed or finished!

SO YES.  I love stitching! \o/  If you love stitching too, please consider following, and leave me a link to your blog so I can follow you too.  I'm always nosy about the pretty things other people are making and I'd love to see! :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

another goal done!

I just put the final stitches into part two of Spring Knotgarden!  Finished my goal for the month with eleven days to spare. :)  I'm going to continue with SK for a while since I'm on a roll and really loving this at the moment.  Part four is halfway done already so I'll see if I can finish it by the end of January.

Two pics, with and without flash... both were color corrected but there's still a difference in how they look, so I decided to post both.

No flash (and with my shadow, haha):

With flash.

In other news, I'm starting to feel a bit of pressure from the Stitch from Stash challenge!  I'm a member of a very active sales group on FB and I keep seeing all sorts of awesome deals that I have to ignore.  Gaaaah!  To try and compensate, I downloaded ALL the freebies from the Chatelaine site.  Yup.  Not QUITE as satisfying as getting physical goodies in the mail, but it was still fun!

Now if I would STOP using what was formerly my stitchy stash money to acquire more nail polish stash, everything would be greaaaaat. :p

Saturday, January 18, 2014

WIPocalypse #1 (2014)

HEY I'M ONLY ONE DAY LATE.  Two?  Whatever, here I am. XD

This month's WIPocalypse topic is:  Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Okay!  I'm actually keeping this a bit short as I'm taking part in the Grow Your Blog event, and I'll have a massive post next week with a lot more detail.  So for now, I'm Rahenna!  I've been stitching "seriously" since about 2010, and I've gotten more into it every year since then.  I'm pretty much 100% obsessed now.

Other hobbies and things I like include reading, writing, cooking (and eating!), collecting Pokemon stuff, online TCGs, Morrowind, Castlevania, Sailor Moon, nail polish, Kojima Ayami artwork, anime/manga trading cards, Doctor Who, etc etc etc.  Born and raised a nerd by nerd parents... I'm named after the Bionic Woman, and my sister is named after one of the old school Doctor's companions. :)

As for my projects, I unfortunately have ten WIPs at the moment, which makes me a little nervous.  I like to keep it to single digits!  Of those, three are my main focus, three are semi-active (aka I work on them if I get tired of my focus projects), and four are getting into UFO land. :(

The three focus projects are...

Bluebeard's Princess (Mirabilia)

Floral Fifteen (Just Nan)

Spring Knotgarden (Chatelaine)

I don't want to overload this post with pictures, but if you check my sidebar, you can see the full list of ten projects and find the tags for each one. :)  Well, except for Night, which has such a small amount done on it, I didn't even bother taking a picture yet.  Blah!

These are my (crazy) goals for this year:
Rahenna's 2014 goals!

The three projects shown above will be my main focus until I knock one or two of them out.  Or until I go crazy and start something new.  Bahahaha!

Well, that's me in a nutshell. (Get me out of this nutshell!)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

one garden left...

...on Spring Knotgarden!  Well, just one of the big gardens, anyway.  I can't believe how quickly I stitched the one with the blue flowers, it was really only three days of effort.  So why do I spend so much time whining about how hard things are instead of just doing them?  I dunno!

I still need to do the specialty stitches in the blue garden, but the rest is completely filled in. :)

I'm working on the pink flower now.  This picture is upside down, actually, but I flipped the fabric so I could keep the active part on the top.  Much easier on my back, less hunching over the qsnap!

I'm hoping to finish the pink garden this weekend.  We'll see...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I know, you're all, Rahenna, you are already at your stash limit for the month, you cheater!  But I'm not a cheater, I'm just clever.  I asked my family to get me 123 Stitch gift cards for Christmas, hahaha!  Guess what I'm going to request for my birthday, too. ;)

I didn't go too nuts, though.  I picked up a few patterns off my wishlist, but most of this was supplies needed to finish kitting up some of my planned new starts for the year.  Mirabilias always have a lot of bling... and I was even a cheap ass and cut out all the beads where I already had something that was Close Enough. :p

Seriously, all that crap is for just THREE Miras:  Day Nymph, Night Nymph, and Fairy Idyll... and this is after I totally refused to get any of the beads that were bigger than size 11 cuz I hate huge beads. :x  Plus one Waterlilies that I mysteriously didn't have, even though I have a shamefully large stash of those things.

I shouldn't complain because that means these babes will be hella sparkly, but I'm a little sad about using up so much of my gift card already!

The fabric is 28ct Chai Tea jobelan, totally against my will as I HATE 28 COUNT EVENWEAVE UGGGGGGH but it's for a super-complicated etui that comes with precut finishing bits so I have no choice.  Sigh.  Just looking at the weird holes in the fabric makes me feel crawly.  I'm gonna go fondle some Belfast after posting this so I can feel better about my life. (First world problems, I'm telling you.)

Then there's charts!
- Barnabee in Bloom (Just Nan) - cuz my wife whined about wanting it!
- Frost (Seba Designs) - saw it on FB and had to have it!
- Winter Box / Beautiful Finishing 6 (Victoria Sampler) - because Mel posted about a similar VS!

And then some easy baste stuff for those gawdawful scroll frames my wife seems to enjoy using. *shiver*

MAN someone is a snobby stitcher!  WHO IS IT THOUGH

Next post will be about actual stitching, I swear. 8D

Sunday, January 12, 2014

a new challenger appears!

Just kidding, it's an old WIP.  I'll get to that in a minute, but first, I've finished my monthly goal for stitching on Just Nan's Floral Fifteen!  All the green squares are complete, finally.  I love these designs but the number of color changes is gonna kill me...

With that done, the original plan was to finish Bluebeard's Princess, but when I was sorting my new fabric stash (purchased last year, I have been sticking to the Stitch from Stash rules this year!!) for photos, I found my WIP of Chatelaine's Spring Knotgarden.  It hadn't been touched in about a year and a half.  SHAME!  I rescued it from the fabric box and got to work.

Here's the full image and a closeup of the corner I'm working on.  Most of the blue background was missing when I first dug it out, but it worked up really fast and now I'm beading the corner. :)

So with that, I'm changing my goal to "finish stitching Bluebeard's Princess" to "finish part 2 of Spring Knotgarden" ...aka the two giant and obvious empty spaces you can see in the zoomed out picture. :)

And finally, I've spent my stash budget for the month. :p  Here's what I got!

1.  Emozioni by Renato Parolin ($13.82)
2.  Poinsettia Star by Faby Reilly ($4.50)
3.  Afterglow shawl pattern by Diana Rozenshteyn ($5.00)

I wasn't sure if I should count the shawl since that's knitting and not cross stitch, but in the spirit of things I figured why not?  And yes, I already had the yarn, so I'm not cheating by counting the pattern and not the (super expensive silk, thx!) yarn. :p

 I have $1.68 left for January but I think I'll save that for next time. ;)

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Floral Fifteen... it begins...

Made a humble start on Floral Fifteen for the Just Nan SAL.  Not much to see so far as I've completed about 2.5 blocks out of 15, but every little bit helps!  I plan to get the five squares on the mint fabric done soon, then I'll swap to Bluebeard's Princess for a while.

I decided to switch the colors on each of the duplicate pink and purple motifs in the green section.  It looks like every other square on this project is a different pattern, so I was kind of disappointed to see that there's two repeats in the green areas.  So the shapes will stay the same, but the colors will go from darkest on the outside to lightest on the inside.

It'll make more sense when I finish the squares. :p

Saturday, January 04, 2014

maid of bling!

I have my first two finishes of the new year!  First up is Hope, who just popped off the qsnaps about ten minutes ago. :)  With SEVEN colors of kreinik braid plus TWO colors of kreinik ribbon AND one color of beads, she is definitely the maid of bling!

If you're curious, Hope is a design by Brooke Nolan that appeared in the Sep/Oct 2011 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine.  I have about a hundred bazillion Brooke's Books designs, but this is the first one from this designer that I actually stitched.  Shaaaaame. :p

Now, with all this shiny shiz, she was an expensive little stitch.  If you want to save a few bucks, you could easily cut out the floaty white/pink stuff around her head, and just use DMC red for her necklace and the few shiny stitches on her lips.  That would cut out three of the regular kreiniks right there.  The ribbons could be replaced with any thin ribbon you have on hand, or share the kreinik spools with a friend.  Or a dozen friends, because so little is used in the design.

Honestly, stitching this one with a few friends would be the best way to cut the cost.  She's a small design and I'm sure that a spool of even the most heavily used braids could easily supply over ten stitchers!

Just a warning, she is rather challenging for her size due to the many many MANY color changes in her skin.  Seriously, there are about ten different colors for her skin and blush.  I had to really power through to get her done.  But you have to admit the effect is awesome. :D

I also finished a tiny knitting project on January 1. :p  This poor thing had been lingering in my knitting bag for months while I worked on my first big project.  I finished it up in one sitting!  Our LYS (local yarn shop!) collects knitted washcloths for a charity that distributes them to people with serious health problems.  The hope is to boost their moods with a handmade item created with love. :)

Apparently little washcloths are child's play after making a huuuuge shawl. XD  As a reward for getting this one off my plate, I started a new shawl with some gorgeous silk yarn.  Unfortunately it's just a blob of nothing with only two rows done, so no progress pic yet!

Okay... back to knitting.  Or maybe I'll start Floral Fifteen.  Decisions, decisions!