Friday, November 03, 2017

clean slate & new starts!

I've been feeling bogged down by old, complicated, or just plain boring WIPs recently. I'm the type of person who stresses out about "finishing what you start" and "making progress" and all that sort of self-imposed nonsense, so I've felt compelled to keep working on things that weren't very enjoyable. As a result, things had gotten to the point where I didn't feel like stitching at all.

So I decided to pack up all my old WIPs and store them out of sight until I feel a genuine urge to work on them again. The moment I made that decision, I pulled out all those projects, popped them off the qsnaps, packed them neatly into bags, and hid them away.

Instant relief. It's just a mental trick, sure, but sometimes a mental trick is exactly what you need!

Oddly enough, I think this will help with impulse buying as well. I've gotten a lot better this year, but I'll still buy the odd pretty thing because buying things is fun and exciting. But you know what else is fun and exciting? Starting a new project that I already have in my stash. I think I've been trying to find the joy of something new in buying instead of using. Buying works for a short time, then makes me feel bad about myself because I gave into temptation again. Using makes me feel good about reducing my stash, appreciating what I already have, and rediscovering forgotten gems.

So... what forgotten gems did I dig up? Check it out. :)

~~~

First up, Mini Beautiful Light by HAED. This is actually a new purchase that I picked up in the recent anniversary sale. I wanted to try a project with a limited number of colors (only 15 in this one) and see how I liked the new 32ct pregridded fabric they sell.


Small start, as you'd expect from a HAED, but it works up fast - this is only two days of stitching! I'm working the colors from light to dark, so the whole thing honestly looks kind of bad until the black goes in and ties it all together. I was really doubting some of the colors used in the thin white lines, but it looks pretty good once it's filled in.

Not sure I'd use the 32ct on a project with 90 colors, though. The fabric is very sturdy without a lot of give (I'm used to stitching on linen which has a ton of give), and there's a fair amount of confetti and carried threads in this piece even though it's only 15 colors. In short, the back is THICK with carried threads and it can be hard to get the needle up through the fabric in places with a lot of color changes. I still have a FE sized piece of this fabric but I dunno what I'll use it for now...

~~~

And next, a good start on Mermaid Verde by Nora Corbett, since one of the Mira FB groups is having a "Mervember" SAL. I'm not officially participating but thought this would be a good chance to start a project that's been waiting a long time!


I love how fast Mira patterns stitch up. All this was done last night and this morning, and I plan to stitch quite a bit more this afternoon and evening! Maybe I'll get her entire tail done this weekend if I don't have other stuff to do. :)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Flight of Freedom - update #2

This isn't my favorite project, but it's pretty satisfying to work on because it comes together so quickly. The background is all half stitches so it's zoom zoom zoom. I think I've only put about five hours of work into this one since last time and I've already reached the other corner!


That's almost all of the sky, so I'll be working on the mountains on the left side next. Nothing against the eagle, but it's all full crosses and I'm enjoying the fast progress, so yeah. :p

Not sure what I'll work on next. Maybe I'll stick with this one for a while.

Friday, October 20, 2017

I'm not perfect...

Mistakes were made.


I know, I know. After dealing with the Great Fabric Purge of 2017, why on earth am I bringing in MORE fabric? I'm going to be honest, I had a moment of weakness. I found a new-to-me dyer who had some fabulous vibrant colors I haven't seen elsewhere, including the beautiful green in the bottom left. It's exactly the color I've had in mind for Prosperity Fae by Passione Ricamo, and I haven't found a rich "pure" green like this with other dyers I like.

Okay, but why did I need seven other pieces? I can't really answer that, except to say I'm a fallible person who makes mistakes sometimes.

Only one of the seven other fabrics was purchased with a specific pattern in mind. I have an idea for one more of them. But that leaves five fabrics that are just stash items right now.

I like these fabrics. They're beautiful.
I didn't need them.

But that's okay. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Instead, I'm going to remember that I have wonderful things already and it's important to appreciate them. Which means... I need to stitch faster! Can't have all this potential going to waste, right?

~~~

On a more positive note, I've been doing a pretty good job of paring down my stash aside from this one slip. More fabric has gone out than has come in, and a bunch of charts have found new homes. And I've had some finishes so things have been used up the "right" way, too. :p

One thing I'm starting to realize is that even after cutting down to only the things I genuinely like and want to stitch, it's still too much. There's no way I can realistically stitch ALL of my charts and kits, even if I never buy another thing again.

For now, I'm going to sit on this idea. Nothing is busting out of the designated storage space, and I'd rather focus on selling and/or donating the items I don't want first, instead of adding more to the pile. But once that stuff is gone, it'll be time for another pass through my stash, I think...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Night - update #1 (and a small finish)

Argh, another long break between posts! I've been bouncing around between projects for a while so I didn't have much to show. An hour here and there on stuff like a Chatelaine doesn't really make for an exciting update. :p

I picked up Night by Teresa Wentzler again. This is the first time I've shown it because my start was so small it wasn't worth showing, but now there's a small chunk of border to share.


A small start, but any amount of progress on a Wentzler is good progress! Night is a project I originally started when I was in high school, and back then I started in the center and stitched most of the figure. Unfortunately, the fabric wasn't quite big enough (it fit, but barely) and my stitching was honestly terrible. I threw away that project years ago, intending to redo it once my skills were up to the task. Took me a while to get back to it, but here it is!

And since all of my current WIPs are relatively difficult stuff (Chatelaine, HAED, Wentzler, and a Dimensions kit that I'm only making because it's a gift for my FIL), I decided to work on a series of simple projects alongside them. A while back, Down Sunshine Lane had an exclusive kit from Hands on Design with a beach theme, and I had to have it. Because reasons. And I've decided that I'm not going to let an expensive kit sit in my stash forever - it's getting made ASAP.

So here's the first piece, meant to be the front of a pocket that holds a wooden corner gauge/ruler.


The chart calls for backstitching around the sand dollars, but I'm not sure if I want to do it. I'll wait until I finish stitching all the designs and then make a decision.

Oh, and I'm also trying to pick a Mira mermaid to start in November, since there's a SAL starting... not that I'll participate officially, but I'll follow along. Probably Mermaid Verde to go along with Mermaid Azure, who's been done for ages...

Friday, October 06, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #7 (finish!)

Another big finish today! I think Renaissance Mermaid is the most blinged out Mirabilia I've worked on yet! Either that, or I was just slow about getting her beaded for some reason. It took me about three days of work to get all her beads on, but the result... well, you look. :)


Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good shot of the actual fabric color, so I had to do a lot of color correction on these photos, and it's still not great. The fabric is Ocean Belfast by Sugar Maple Fabrics and it's more of a solid aqua blue, not as heavily mottled as these pictures suggest.



Naturally, I made some small changes as always. :p

- over one skin with the usual recharting to smooth the boundaries between colors
- dyed my own variegated blue to use in the fin and tail :)
- replaced blue Kreinik in tail with random color from stash
- replaced all size 11 beads with delicas
- gave her a pearl earring
- used shell instead of heart on... whatever that thing is she's holding
- also used bugle beads and more pearls/gemstones on the thing
- modified shape of beaded curls a bit to allow for easier/cheaper framing!
- changed color of curls to PTP I had in my stash

Whew, I think that's it.

What's next? More Flight of Freedom - checked with MIL and yes, FIL would be thrilled to receive it as a gift, so I feel a lot better about stitchng it now - and Beaded Dragonfly Tile. For real this time. I'm going to finish that blasted tile this year even if it kills me!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #6

Suddenly I'm very motivated to get this over one skin finished! Not sure why, maybe because my wife is traveling for work and I'm home alone for two weeks. *kicks a rock* We've been gaming in the evenings recently so stitching took a backseat, but since I'm alone, I pop on a let's play and go nuts with stitching.

Here's a current progress shot!


When I look at her in real life, I feel like there's soooo much left to stitch. But really, it's just her arms, and I've already gotten a good start on both.

I'm pretty sure I'll just keep going until I finish. :3

Monday, September 25, 2017

Flight of Freedom - update #1

Okay, you'll have to pretend this is a decent picture (it's not) and imagine the background fabric as a nice pale blue.


I started in the center and worked my way up the eagle's wing to reach the sky, which is all half stitches. It's going relatively quickly - this is about eight hours of work - but the sheer magnitude of this project is kind of depressing.

To put it in perspective, this is basically a full coverage project of around 200x250 stitches. I have a few HAED mini charts in my stash that are around 225x325 stitches, or about 1.5 times as many stitches total. And those are images I actually like.

The only thing saving this project is that it's nice blocks of solid color, for the most part. And the sky is very pretty with all those sunset colors.

Trying to resist the urge to pick up something new, because my two main projects right now are this and the endless hell of skin on Renaissance Mermaid. Sigh. :(

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cirque des Carreaux - update #9 (finish!)

Finished up Cirque des Carreaux last Friday and held off on posting because I thought I could get a better picture but... nah. No matter what I try, this thread color just doesn't want to show up nicely on camera. (Epiphany silk by Carrie's Creations - much prettier than what you see on her website, even!)


It got a bit tedious toward the end but I decided to suck it up and power through. A lot of times, I sit there wondering what part to work on next, or which bit will be easiest, etc, and that's pointless. Just pick up the needle and stitch! Trying to mentally wiggle out of a tedious part isn't going to do anything but make the project take longer as a whole. :p

Speaking of which... I'm now working on an obligation project. Cue the groans. I know, I know... I'm approaching it in the same way. A little bit every day will get it done.

So, I'm working on this Dimensions kit, Flight of Freedom:


Totally not my style, but it's for my FIL who has helped us out tremendously with all sorts of things recently. He asked my wife to make this aaaaaages ago, so I've decided to try and surprise him with it for Christmas or something. Not sure how long this will take, especially since it's a bit of a slog to work through. Thankfully, most of the background is half cross stitch, so that part goes relatively fast.

The most annoying part is that I replaced the kit aida with evenweave instead of linen, and holy crap do I hate stitching on evenweave. Whatever fabric type I chose is woven really tightly and the sound of the thread scraping through the holes as I stitch is... ugh. *shiver* But I'm not going to change it at this point because I don't want to be wasteful and the fabric is just the right color to get the proper blending effect with the background, so eh. I'll deal with it.

No pic yet as I haven't done much. Next time!

And I definitely need to pick up another WIP to work alongside of this one, because if I work on this exclusively I'll never want to stitch again. :p

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cirque des Carreaux - update #8

Oops, it's been a while since I've posted. My wrist and elbow are feeling a bit better, so I've been able to do some stitching, but I still have to take it easy, so progress is slow. Still, I was able to do a good chunk of Cirque des Carreaux over the past week, which makes me feel like I could finish it this month if my arm continues to get better.


I really want to hurry and finish, but I know pushing myself is going to lead to more problems in the long run, so I'm trying to be patient. There's just so much good stuff in my stash that's calling to me! Going to resist the siren call of new starts, though... I have enough in progress and I'd like to move some other large projects toward a finish.

Next after this one will be Renaissance Mermaid, and then I'll stop and see what I want to think about doing for the rest of the year. Beaded Dragonfly Tile is going to kill me with guilt, haha. :p

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Blossom Collector - update #3 (finished!)

Blossom Collector is done! The pictures don't show the fabric color very well, but she's stitched on the other half of the FQ I cut in half for Willow Queen - Snickerdoodle by Sugar Maple Fabrics. It's yellowish with some brown/purple/pink areas. Hard to describe and unfortunately even harder to photograph, but hopefully you can get the general idea.




It was difficult to get her finished for a couple of reasons, both of which totally suck. :x

I'd planned to go pick up the beads I needed over the long weekend my wife and I were planning (she took a Friday and Monday off to get a four-day weekend) ...and then Harvey happened. We're completely fine, our house is in an area that doesn't flood, but everything around us was shut down for about a week and businesses are just starting to open again. I'm torn between wanting to go out to support local businesses, and staying home to not get in the way of the people who really need to be out and about right now.

And the other reason is that I have some sort of tendonitis or nerve problem in my right arm - probably the elbow or wrist or, most likely, both - that makes it hard to do anything requiring fine motor control. I've been wearing wrist braces and trying to rest my hand as much as possible, but do you know how many activities require your hands? ALL OF THEM!

In fact, my hand has gone cold and tingly while typing this post, so I'll sign off now... sigh.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Blossom Collector - update #2

Been working away on Blossom Collector! I finished her bottom half and moved on to the top. Not too much left now, though I'll have to pick up the two colors of bugle beads because I don't have any on hand at all. I don't think I have any of the other beads, but I don't care about that - I'll just substitute whatever's in my stash that's close enough.


Terrible picture, I know, but I'll be sure to get a good one of the finish. :)

~~~

mindful stitching thoughts!

I feel like this year has been a major turning point for me. I've pretty much stopped spending on my two main vices, stitchy stash and nail polish. What happened? A few things, really.

I've been trying to sell some stash in FB groups, which is the eternal hell struggle of waiting three days to get paid for a $2 chart, etc. In fact, last week I packed up most of the remaining stuff from my mom's old stash (which has been in my closet for EIGHT YEARS now) and hauled it to Goodwill because I couldn't stomach the thought of trying to sell it. So thanks, person who took forever to pay an invoice that netted me less than $1.80. You taught me a valuable lesson about not wasting my time.

And I was buying polish somewhat regularly for a while, but only from one brand... until they sold me a defective product and refused to budge at all on compensating me for it, and then they jacked up their prices a TON about a month after that incident. Yeah, no. I already have about 50 polishes from them, 10 or so of which haven't even been used yet. I'll be working through those before I consider buying anything else in the future. So thanks, crappy customer service, you taught me a valuable lesson about voting with my dollars.

Finally, I've spent the past few months cleaning, testing, photographing, and selling my wife's extensive collection of old school console video games. Now there's a product that's worth the effort! Fast sellers, good prices, happy customers. It's been a pleasure to watch items fly out the door and to reclaim the space those boxes were taking up! Plus we've made enough to rebuild our savings after the mountain of expenses we've faced recently.

Letting go of things has been more fun than piling them up. That feeling of success is absolutely keeping me from buying stuff I don't need. Sure, I'll look at pretty fabrics and threads and feel drawn to them, but I don't feel the need to own them. I can admire them from a distance. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Blossom Collector - update #1

Because when the going gets tough, the tough start a new project, right?

Renaissance Mermaid has been put in time out for a little while to give my eyes a break. Over-one skin looks great, but it's hugely time consuming and can be frustrating. I wanted to stitch, but I didn't feel like working on skin, so I dove into the Mira bucket and pulled out Blossom Collector. I wanted something small and simple, and she fits the bill.

Progress so far:


Not super exciting, but that's her entire skirt complete in three days. I've been stitching a LOT now that I have something simple to work on. I'll probably keep going with her until she's finished, then swap back to the mermaid of doom.

Oh, and I never posted about the swap I did with Kim of Wisdom with Needle and Thread! The swap event was organized by Kaye of Kitten Stitching, and the theme was Christmas in July.

Here's the ornaments we made for each other! I stitched the partridge for Kim and received the pretty holiday house in return. :)


There was also a snack of shortbread cookies, but those are long gone. :p

Working on the swap ornament made me want to finish some of my other smalls into ornaments, but as usual, I gave up on that idea after gluing my fingers together multiple times during the construction process. Whoops. Some day, I'll master finishing skills. Of course, that means I need to stop procrastinating and start practicing... sigh.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #5

This is such a bad idea.


This is... what, not even 20% of her skin? Am I ever going to finish? Seriously tempted to work on something else for a bit to give my eyes/hands/soul a break, but the time I spend on other projects is time not spent on this one, which will make it take even longer to finish.

It'll be worth it in the end. That's what I'm telling myself.

Now if only I actually framed and displayed my stuff, then it would be really worth it! I've been saving up but haven't pulled the trigger on buying frames yet. Mainly because my wife and I do the framing ourselves to save a ton of money, and doing it right is tedious. Like over one skin. :p

Monday, August 07, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #4

Oops, I haven't posted in two weeks! Time flies, I guess. I haven't been stitching as much as usual because I've been busy with decluttering, but I did manage to finish Renaissance Mermaid's tail, including removing and restitching the blue areas.


That fin is a LOT bigger than you think it is, haha...

My goal for this week is to finish up the rest of her hair (I've already done a bunch more since taking this pic!) and then get started on the dreaded over-one skin. Probably. I mean, I'm assuming I'm going to do it that way even though it's a pain, so why fight it? I dunno. We'll see. :p

Monday, July 24, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #3

Still plugging away on Renaissance Mermaid! Her hair is kind of killing me, haha. And of course, the endless debate with myself about over-one skin or not... I've started shaping the places where her hair touches her skin as if I WILL do it, but I dunno.

(Yeah I do... I'll end up doing it because I always do. Why am I even pretending??)


I'll have to move the q-snap soon to work on either the rest of the hair or her tail. I'm leaning toward the tail because it's easier stitching and it feels good to make fast progress. We'll see. :3

And here's a pic of the other stuff my wife got me for my birthday!


I'm excited about the Quaker Mermaid chart because I'm suddenly really fond of quaker style designs, and of course, mermaids! And the Just Nan charts are really cute. I'm going to have to sit down and work on some of my JNs soon, because I have a bunch now and I've only stitched a couple. They're so pretty but I get intimidated by all the color changes, haha.

I was also fortunate enough to get some cash from my in-laws, so I used that to do a bit of online shopping, but I'll show those things when they arrive. :)

~~~

And one final plug for my fabric sale. I'm going to start moving these to FB groups or ebay later on this week, so if you're interested, please take a look before they disappear! :)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #2 (plus dyeing!)

My birthday was over the weekend, so my wife took a couple of extra days off and we spent a lot of time doing fun stuff, including craft time. I made a ton of progress on Renaissance Mermaid. :)


I still wasn't able to find a thread color I liked for the dark blue at the edge of her fin, so... I busted out the dye kit I bought a while back and dyed a bunch of threads!


The top set was done with a smaller amount of dye, so the colors are more pastel. Only did 6 yards of each color because... I don't know, it seemed like a good idea at the time. But it's really not enough to do much of anything, so I made the rest of them 10 yards each (and one 20 yard color at the very bottom of this picture). Sadly, the second time around, all my reds faded to orange when they were rinsed, so I need to try again and figure out where I went wrong.

Here's a closeup of the tail!


I LOVE this color, it's pretty much exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately, that means I need to take out alllllll of the dark blue in the rest of her tail to replace it with this color. Sigh. Oh well, I've already stitched some areas three times, it won't kill me to do this part twice, right? RIGHT?

Next time, if I remember, I'll show the stitchy bits I got for my birthday. :3

~~~

Don't forget about my fabric sale! :)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

fabric sale is live!

Whew, finally finished taking, editing, and posting photos of my fabrics! As promised, I'm posting them here first. I'll keep them exclusive to the blog for a week or two before I try selling any leftovers on another site. :)

Please check it out here if interested:
Fabric Sale!

It's just a page on this blog, not a separate site or anything.

And a sample of fabrics included! :)


Yeah, lots of green/blue/purple, I know. Those are my favorite colors so I've hoarded a bunch of them. Now it's time to let it goooooooo :p

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #1

*sniiiiiiff* Mm, I love the smell of a new project!

Got a pretty good start on the new Mirabilia, Renaissance Mermaid, though there were some troubles along the way. The blue kreinik in her tail has been stitched three times in some places. First I had dye lot issues with two spools of kreinik (same number, just... not matching), so I got some petite treasure braid in a nearly identical color. Well, that color was too similar to my fabric so it looked like nothing was stitched there at all!

So then I said eff it and put in a completely different color that I had on hand. Except those two partial spools only had about two lengths each! So I'm stuck again. *waves the white flag* Okay, mermaid, you win. For now...

Despite that, I've managed to do a bunch!


Unfortunately... yet another thread problem! The Waterlilies color (041 Blueberry) doesn't look a thing like the model photo. I don't think there's an issue with the dyelot, but with how the colors were adjusted on the model to look more vibrant. Like so:


In the model pic, the dark blue in the fin is BLUE with a good amount of variation. Blueberry is more purple than blue and there's barely any variation in the color. I want a color that matches this picture of the model! But of course, despite having a big tub of specialty threads, there's nothing suitable in there. Whyyyyyyy :x

Looks like I'm heading to the LNS again this weekend for more kreinik and to try and find a color for the fin that isn't going to make me explode in rage. I can deal with the purple-blue of Blueberry in her body (the blue stripe in the tail) but not the fin. Thankfully, the other mermaid that uses this thread actually shows it as purplish in the model photo, so I don't feel completely duped... :(

(Despite all this, I'm loving working on a Mira again! So easy and fun!)

Friday, July 07, 2017

Cirque des Carreaux - update #7

Quick update on Cirque today!


It's not a huge amount of progress because... of course the second I say "I'm not starting anything new until Cirque is done," my wife hands me an early birthday present - Renaissance Mermaid by Mirabilia. You bet I started that sucker five minutes later. :p

No pic yet as I haven't done much, but trust me, she's blingtastic. I was lucky enough to have the kreinik colors used in her tail, but unfortunately, I have two partial spools of one color and they don't match! And she's definitely going to need at least one whole spool, so I need to get to the LNS and find a match for one of my partials...

Also need to pick up the one Waterlilies I don't have because it's used extensively in her tail and I don't have a reasonable substitute. At least the color is also used for Siren and the Shipwreck - also on my extensive to-do list! - so it won't be a purchase for a single project, thankfully. Oh, and I need to figure out which delica beads to sub for the overpriced Mill Hill stuff, cuz that garbage is like $5 a pack and I need SIX total. Nooooope.

I still want to get Cirque done, though, so my plan is to work on goal projects during the week, then bust out the "fun" stuff on the weekend. :)

Monday, July 03, 2017

half year roundup, goals, and Cirque update #6!

Ahhh, the year is half over already? What happened??

I thought it would be fun to do a half year roundup sort of thing to talk about stitchy goals for the rest of the year. I mean, I never do what I say I'm gonna do, but at least I can talk about it. :p

~~~

As for current WIPs, I want to get several done and focus on getting the pile down to just four by the end of the year. Stop laughing.

Here's what I hope to finish, roughly in this order:

Cirque des Carreaux (Ink Circles)
This is my focus WIP and I think I can finish it by the end of July. I'm solidly at the halfway point now, so if I push a bit, I bet I can do it. :)



Beaded Dragonfly Tile (Chatelaine)
This has been lingering at somewhat past the halfway point for way too long. It's killing me because of all the color changes and the black fabric and the over one and jfc I hate jessica stitches and...

Flight of Freedom (Dimensions)
A gift for my FIL, he asked my wife to make this for him ages ago and... she didn't. Haha. So now I'm doing it, with the intention of it being his birthday or Christmas gift this year. I need to get a move on if I want to have enough time to frame it too!

Air ACEO - Butcher (HAED)
I'm done with about one page out of four, which doesn't sound like a lot, but this is a relatively easy project for a HAED and I enjoy working on it. Might be a stretch to stay focused enough to finish this up, but I'll give it a shot.

~~~

And then there's the WIPs I doubt I'll be finishing this year, in simple alphabetical order:

Chinese Garden Mandala (Chatelaine)
I've barely started this one, and it's huge. And a Chatelaine. So yeah. But this is a beauty and I want to focus on it, but not until I finish the dragonfly tile!

Fantasy SAL (Durene Jones)
Of all my WIPs, this is the one that's most likely to be pushed aside forever. The border was adorable and sucked me in, but I just don't like the cartoony art. I should have known it wouldn't be to my taste after seeing the designer's other work, but I wanted to get on the SAL train. Bad move. Frogging all of this would be a pain so I'll just let it sit for a while, I guess...

Night (Wentzler)
I've never even shown a picture of this because I've barely started! This is a pattern I did a good chunk of when I was a teen, but I had to chuck the WIP because the fabric was a bit too small and my stitching was horrible. This one is important to me so it'll be a priority for next year.

Transcendence - Sessler (HAED)
Haha, I'll probably never finish this. It's beautiful, though. Maybe once I finish my smaller HAED, I'll add this one back to my active list. Every once in a while, I have the urge to work on a full coverage piece, but of course I'm going to work on the small one first. :p

~~~

I'm itching to start something new, of course, but I don't want to add more to the WIP pile right now, since it's dangerously close to double digits. Maybe I can bust out something new from my bucket list after Cirque is done...

~~~

And of course, some monthly goals!

For June, I said:

- finish Coffee Quaker - YES!
- NO stash shopping - YES! No spending on "stuff" of any kind! :)
- sort/photograph/post fabrics for sale (yes, I'll post them here first!) - NO, had a mountain of other stuff to sell first :p
- choose pattern & start exchange project :3 - YES! Finished the stitching, even!

And what I want to accomplish in July:

- finish Cirque des Carreaux, or at least get close!
- NO stash shopping (with possible exception of LNS trip for my birthday!)
- sort/photograph/post fabrics for sale
- complete and send exchange package on time

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cirque des Carreaux - update #5

Quick post, before and after on Cirque!

Before the weekend:

And this morning!

I'm pretty much done with page 4 already, haha. Need to fill in that huge motif there near the center, then get the straggler bits of the page near the center of the bottom. From there, I still have a bit of page 2, so I'll work on that along with page 5.

Not quite halfway there yet, but very close! :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cirque des Carreaux - update #4

Update time! Spent a couple of days on Cirque des Carreaux and it's looking great!

Before and after:



Unfortunately, I can't seem to get a good picture of the thread color, but trust me when I say it's beautiful in person. It's the recommended thread (Carrie's Creations in Epiphany) but I'm using the silk, and I suspect the model project for the photo was done in cotton, because my thread is a lot darker and richer than the cover photo. Which is a good thing, I love it!

Oh, and this is 40 count linen, so I'm only using one strand of thread, which works really nicely with vareigated threads. No worrying about the two threads ending up misaligned somehow. That always happens to me, they end up off a little bit as I work. Annoying. :p

Anyway, this is most of pages 1 and 2 of the pattern, with a bit of page 4 starting to appear near the bottom left. I'll probably continue working down page 4 next time. :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Coffee Quaker - update #5 (finished!)

All done! I finished this up on Saturday, despite having a bit of a cold. :)



You'll have to pretend it's not crooked, haha.

By the time I got halfway through the pattern, I stopped using the "conversion" I'd written down (replacing each symbol with a similar color from my stash) and I started to wing it, choosing colors by eye when comparing to the cover photo. And also making sure there wasn't too much or too little of any one color, both overall and near each other. 

Still, the only major changes are making the beans and harvesting forks in the top right motif green (instead of yet another brown) and using darker browns in the starry motif in the middle of the right edge. Everything else is pretty close to what I'd chosen with a few tweaks to keep all the colors balanced as noted before. :)

So what's next? I've gone back to Cirque des Carreaux for now - no update pic, sorry! I think I'll make that my project for this week and see how well it goes. I'm tempted to go for a new start, but I've promised myself that I'll finish two projects for every one I start. Since I have a few "easy" projects on the go right now, I think I can stick to that for at least a little while!

And no, I haven't forgotten about the pile of fabric, but we've been decluttering the entire house and I'm super busy with prepping other stuff to sell, so... fabric has to wait a bit longer. :3

Friday, June 16, 2017

Coffee Quaker - update #4

As promised, I worked on Coffee Quaker all week and I think I'll continue through to the end at this point! This is quite a bit of progress, even for me... been having a rough week emotionally so I decided to stitch all day yesterday. Well, not ALL day, but you know what I mean!


And now it's back to stitching for me, because I'm trying to finish up this LP series I've been watching so I can... move on to watch more LPs. Haha. :p

Monday, June 12, 2017

Air - update #3

Hmm, I think this is update #3, since there's only four posts total and the last one was just a repeat of an older post, before this fell into UFO land.

Here was my starting point, or at least, the old picture. I actually had a bit more done when I pulled it out of the UFO bin, but I forgot to take a new starting photo. So pretend this is it. :p


I made a ton of progress this weekend! Two pics from the same day:



It doesn't look like a lot between the two pics, but I'm trying to fill in the confetti I missed near the top (see all those tiny white spots?), which doesn't look terribly impressive. When I get sick of that mess, I work on the blue background.

But she's been put away again for a bit, because I'm going to focus on Coffee Quaker during the week, since I really want to get that finished this month. :)

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Coffee Quaker - update #3

Once again, no posting, but I've been stitching! I've finished most of the bottom part of Coffee Quaker, except for the basket motif in the lower left, which his my next mini goal.


Looking really good for a finish this month!

I might stray for a little while, though. I joined the new HAED group on FB and I've been enjoying all the progress photos so much that I want to work on one of mine again. Not sure if anyone remembers, but back in March 2013 (eep), I started one titled Air ACEO by Sara Butcher.

Here's my oooooold progress photo and a sample of the original artwork:


I like her because she reminds me of Princess Serenity from Sailor Moon. :)

This is the full width of the design. It's actually quite small for a HAED, just four pages total if I remember correctly. I'm doing tent/continental stitch, two strands over one square on 25ct magic guide fabric. I'm not a big fan of the 25ct but back then that was the smallest available. It looks like there's now 28ct pregridded white fabric, so that might be a future option! Well, assuming I do any of the other charts I have... let's not forget about Transcendence. :3

Well, I'll finish up that basket motif on Coffee Quaker before I work on anything else. I really do want to get it finished this month!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Coffee Quaker - update #2 (and goals!)

After finishing the crystal lantern, I pulled out Coffee Quaker and gave it some love. Or some like, anyway. I have to say, I'm not really enjoying this project and I'm not sure why. A few of the threads are giving me serious tangling issues - so much that I've even tried thread heaven, which I hate - but nothing is making a difference. I swear, some dyes must be "sticky" in some way that causes thread to catch on itself much more than normal...


Maybe I'm just not used to the 32ct fabric right now, after working so intensely on the 40ct? This looks massive and clunky to me. Ironically, the recommended fabric is 40ct, haha. Whoops.

Or maybe it's the lettering. I generally don't like stitching anything with text on it. Plus this was kind of an impulse purchase and start due to all the hype about this design. I mean, I totally agree with the sentiment and I've enjoyed stitching Quaker style designs recently, so this should be perfect for me! I can't understand why I'm not enjoying it.

Oh well... I'll keep plugging away, though. Aiming for one small motif a day as a mini goal, which seems quite reasonable. :3

~~~

And let's start up goals again in June. :D

- finish Coffee Quaker
- NO stash shopping
- sort/photograph/post fabrics for sale (yes, I'll post them here first!)
- choose pattern & start exchange project :3

That should be good for now...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Light 1 - Update #4 - finished! (and more fabric!)

Ta-daaaa! Nice and wrinkly with hoop marks, but here it is. :)


It looks ridiculously good in real life, though this image is a pretty good representation of the true colors, thanks to my trusty scanner! At first I was a bit unsure about the heavy backstitching, but now that it's done, it looks amazing.

~~~

Mindful stitching update!

And as for the fabric problem... well, that's still in progress. First, I pulled out the charts I had already chosen fabric for and actually paired them up, so I won't accidentally use the fabric for something else without realizing it...

I think I need to start stitching faster...

Well, that's a great start and it's exciting to see the variety and to start looking forward to all the fun projects I'll have in the future. There's still a lot more to sort through and make decisions on, though...

not pictured: several more piles *facepalm*

So clearly there's enough fabric here for the rest of forever. Seeing it all in one place is honestly pretty embarrassing, especially since it doesn't seem like too much when it's all packed into the storage tub. I mean, it's just one tub, how bad can it be? Sigh. Really bad.

When the fabric stash is so big that it's exhausting just to sort it all out, and it takes days to go through and make decisions about what to do with them... yeah. That's excessive, to the point of being gross. This really hammers home the fact that I DO NOT NEED MORE FABRIC. Unless a pattern calls for a specific fabric and I honestly don't have anything suitable, I can't waste more money, time, or energy on this stuff.

And by anything suitable, I mean things like "must be stitched on xx count to fit on the included pattern template pieces" or "replacing kit aida with solid colored linen" - NOT nonsense like "well this would look pretty if I had this exact fabric from this exact dyer." Protip, Rahenna: you have enough of a variety to choose from and no matter what you pick, it will look good. So deal with it.

Maybe next time I'll have finished the purge and can show what didn't make the cut!