Monday, June 11, 2018

Crab - start & finish!

Small projects are so satisfying. :)

This is Crab from Seaside Series III by JBW Designs, stitched on 30ct WDW Garnet with DMC B5200. As you can see, this fabric is noooot colorfast - I got a tiny drop of water on the left side back when I first purchased the fabric and it made a huge spot. It's a lovely fabric but I'm surprised that such a 'mainstream' dyer is selling stuff that's so easily damaged by moisture.

Anyway, cute design and a quick stitch! Next, I'm moving on to the last piece of the Dream of the Sea set by Hands on Design. Of course, I left the biggest part for last... :p

Monday, June 04, 2018

Farm Fob - start & finish!

Small start and finish today - Farm Fob partial kit by Lizzie Kate. The sticker on this suggests that the retail price was $15 (for chart, fabric, ricrack, beads) but I'm pretty sure I got it on clearance for a buck. There's no way this is worth $15.

I used the DMC conversion, which honestly looks better than the cover photo... and since I think this finished project isn't very nice either, just imagine how gross the model looked. The colors are so boring and uninspired and I feel like I should have made an effort to change/improve them more than I did, but eh. The motifs are boring too. The cow and pig didn't even have eyes charted, which was incredibly creepy.

Anyway, it's done and I'm glad it's done. And I'm extra glad I didn't spend $15 on this!

Friday, June 01, 2018

Tis the Season - start & finish!

I've had some nerve/tendon issues with my arm so I haven't been stitching much, but I did manage to start and finish Tis the Season by Blackbird Designs in May!

It's stitched with random threads from my stash instead of the pricey silk threads, and I made a bunch of small changes to adjust spacing to my liking. Still thinking I want to redo the snowflake near the bottom that's too close to "etre" but I dunno...

There's supposed to be a snowflake border along the top right, but I chose not to do it (at least for now) because it was very same-y all the way across and I didn't like how it looked. I may go back and add something else later to help square up the entire design visually. Or not. Maybe I'll take out the two half snowflakes above the cardinal (and the two at the left and right borders too?) instead.

Anyway, it's done for now and I'm going to let it rest before making any more changes!

Next up... stitching a bunch of minis in June, I think! I already have a small bag full of mini sized projects that I've been itching to get to. Time to DO IT. :p

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Beaded Dragonfly Tile - finish!

It's hard to believe, but it's done! I started this project over five years ago, when it was still a new release. It spent most of its time chilling in the WIP basket while I worked on other, easier projects, but now it's finished.

I kind of don't know what to do with myself now. I thought about going back to Mushroom & Fern right away, but I think I'm a bit Chatelaine-d out for the moment. Probably going to start something new and relatively easy to give myself a little break before getting back to it. :p

Anyway, here's the beaded beauty!

And some close-up pictures.
This is the part where you pretend not to see all the cat hair. :p


It's stitched pretty much as charted, with a few small changes to backstitch colors for the buds, and I left off the white beads at the base of the tall grass because I like it without them. Oh, and because I stitched on black, I used the variegated silk that was used for the inner border of rhodes stitches in place of the black outer border.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Beaded Dragonfly Tile - again!

I think this is my oldest WIP, at least of things I actually plan to finish. (I think there's a HAED that's even older, but... nah.) Anyway, this has been in the works for more than five years now, aka way too long, so it's time. For real. Look how close it is now!

This is a pic from yesterday afternoon. I finished the outer border (aka jessica stitch hell) this morning and I'm starting to backstitch the flower buds. Unfortunately, I think I need to remove all the old backstitching (and some of the new) because I'm not satisfied with the color. It's too light to stand out well against all the pinks in the flowers, and since I've already spent five years on this, what's another day or two?

It's hard to see but the double buds in the corner are stitched in a slightly darker color than the single bud near the top of the picture. I might want to go even darker to make it pop more. I mean, why spend all this time on buds with 10+ colors in them if they end up looking like blobs?

Of course, there's still a billion over-one dragonflies and a ton of beading left too...

Monday, April 16, 2018

Iris Flower Panel - post #5 - Finish!

All done! This was finished over the weekend. :)

As usual, the pictures aren't that great, so you have to pretend it's nicer than it looks. The fabric is PTP Truffle so it's a slightly pinkish light brown. The iris was converted to shades of purple (original was blue) and all threads are random stuff from my stash.

I actually feel like the bling in the top section is a little too much. Those round crystals are overkill. Just one at the top would have sufficed. Oh well, they're already on there so they're staying.

Finally, the two siblings are together! It might be hard to see, but the orchid has bicones in place of those five clear round crystals on the iris, which looks better to my eye. There's just one large clear crystal at the very top and it's the same size of the five on the iris. The large top crystal on the iris is even bigger and it looks unbalanced.

Well, I can always change things out later if I feel like it! For now, I'll enjoy the finish. :D

Next up, Beaded Dragonfly Tile. For real this time. Already made some good progress over the weekend and I'm pumped to keep going!

Monday, April 09, 2018

Iris Flower Panel - post #4

I think I finished all the over-one in this design. Someone slap me if I ever consider doing a pattern with this much over-one again. (Um, never mind all the other Chatelaines I've started... haha.)

Overall progress:
(Really close to finishing now! Just some specialty stitches and beads, I think!)

Close up of my terrible over-one stitching. I tried full crosses this time instead of tent/continental because it looks a little neater, but... eh. It's still pretty bad. Not a fan of over-one, honestly.

I wonder if I can finish this week! Lots of Jessica stitches to go and I'm bad at those too. :p

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Iris Flower Panel - post #3

Quick update! I've been stitching a little bit every day, and it's amazing how much progress I've made just by paying attention to being consistent. :)

Next step will be finishing up the iris leaves, then getting back to the over-one garden in the middle. Definitely don't want to leave that all until the end!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Iris Flower Panel - post #2

Quick update on the iris panel!

The over one in the central garden is slow going, so I'm alternating working on that and doing some of the easier parts. I completed the iris (converted to purples) on Friday and then moved on to the little onion dome at the top.

Here's a closeup of the iris:

The empty spaces are for beads. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Iris Flower Panel - post #1

I'm on a roll with doing whatever I want this year, haha. I started yet another Chatelaine project, the Iris Flower Panel. It's a companion piece to the Cattleya Orchid Flower Panel I finished a few years ago. I decided to start this one when I ran across the kit in my 'future projects' box. Plus I've decided that irises are special to a fictional couple I enjoy writing about, so... this is for them. Haha.

I'm converting the iris at the bottom from shades of light blue to a darker purple color, because a) I like purple and b) my couple's irises are purple sooooooo...

Anyway, I started on Sunday! Here are my progress pictures for each day.


Yes, I went a little crazy today. Took a day off work and pretty much stitched all day. Let me tell you, it does wonders for your stress levels... I feel better than I have in ages!

The fabric is PTP Truffle Belfast - it's a little pinker than the photos show. Should be a really nice contrast for the purple iris. :3

Monday, March 12, 2018

Mushroom and Fern Mandala - post #4

Still going! I've tried editing the pictures to get the colors to show up correctly, but this still isn't very accurate. It's much nicer in person - the pictures are washed out and weird.

Working on finishing up the large diamond shaped border (so many eyelets aaaagh) and adding the little triangular bits sticking out at the points and sides. I'm also slowly adding the backstitched meadow around the center medallion. Very slowly...

And because I DO WHAT I WANT, I started beading the center! Again, the colors are horrible and it's much more vibrant in person.

I don't see myself putting this down any time soon, so look forward to more mushroom in the future. Hopefully I'll actually get to some mushrooms soon. :p

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

a couple of finished items!

I forgot to post a couple of little ornaments I made recently. :)

Yes, these are bad pictures as usual!

On the left is a mini mushroom pattern by Chatelaine that used to be a freebie. I think I finished the stitching last December when my wife was away on a business trip, and then I made it into an ornament last month. And on the right is the Father Winter ornament by Teresa Wentzler, which I made a long time ago and finally turned into an ornament at the same time.

Closer look at the mushroom, since I apparently forgot to post it here when it was done! The beads are random stuff from my stash, but I think all the threads are as charted.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Mushroom and Fern Mandala - post #3

Help, I can't stop working on this. :p

A more detailed look at the top corner:

I'm going to keep working on the outer border and the backstitched grass and stuff around the central medallion. Maybe I'll start adding beads to the very center as well, since there's a lot. Gotta see if I have any q-snap extension bits and figure out how far out it's safe to bead...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mushroom and Fern Mandala - post #2

After taking a little break to work on Dream of the Sea, I bounced right back to Mushroom and Fern Mandala. It's so much fun because there are lots of little details in each area, so if I get tired of one type of stitch, it's easy to move on and do something completely different.

As you can see, I'm really bouncing all over! The heavy backstitching around the central medallion is going to be the most challenging part, so I'm taking lots of breaks to work on the border outside of that area. There's so much variety!

I've also decided to couch the curly light green ferns and the pale blue scrollwork in the points of each diamond instead of backstitching them. I don't like the look of backstitching with heavy thread at all, and it's especially bad with light threads on a darkish fabric like this. Unfortunately, it's very time consuming and it's so easy to make mistakes or tangle up the threads. Oh well, as long as it gets done eventually, it's fine. :)

This will continue to be my focus so I'm sure my next update will be more of the same! Might even start adding some beads since I never leave them until the end on a Chatelaine. I love beading but I think even my brain would explode if I tried to do it all at once!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Dream of the Sea - 3/4 parts done!

I keep forgetting to post things, whoops. I finished the third (of four) parts of the Dream of the Sea limited edition kit by Hands on Design last week. It's the tray insert, so it's about 5 inches square and meant to be finished with some padding behind it.

Cute, isn't it? Makes for a nice break from larger projects - I think this only took about a week of distracted stitching during the Olympics. :3

Next will be more Mushroom Mandala!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mushroom and Fern Mandala - post #1

I haven't been stitching all that much recently, but I do have a new start to share today! I fell in love with the Mushroom & Fern mandala by Chatelaine when I saw it by chance on FB, and I started gathering materials in December and made a small start.

Yesterday, the remaining stuff I needed arrived from ECC!

I busted into the package immediately and got back to work - I'd made a small start with the blue NPI silk colors in the center but had to stop since I didn't have any of the other threads. Not much progress due to attempting to stitch while watching the Olympics, but... good enough. :3

As usual, the colors are pretty bad in this photo. My fabric is dark cobblestone Belfast, which is a lot more grey and a lot less brown than shown here.

Hopefully I'll have more progress to share soon. :)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Rahenna vs Dragonfly Tile - round ???

I have no idea how long I've been working on this, so who knows how many rounds of battle have been fought. Okay, that's a lie - apparently this is closing in on almost FIVE YEARS as a WIP, which is about four years too long. Sigh.

The last time I shared a picture of Beaded Dragonfly Tile, it looked like this:
(And yeah, I know the pictures are hideous. Photographing anything on black fabric is incredibly difficult so this is the best I can do!)

And now it looks like this! I'm working around the inner border and naturally, I did the lily pads first because they only have four colors instead of a billion. I'm slowly adding the flowers and working on the specialty stitches in the outer border, too.

Closeup of my disgustingly ugly Jessica stitches for the lulz. I'm trying to tuck the last leg of the larger stitch under previous stitches so it's a smoother circle, but I think I'm doing something wrong, because they all look terrible. At least they're consistently terrible...

Maybe I should only be tucking under one thread instead of two? I'll have to try it. I'd have to redo them all but whatever, this project has already taken almost five years soooo... :p

Yeah, my eyelets suck too. I can never get the holes to open up evenly. I'm not going to try and redo those ever because they're always horrible and honestly, they're good enough to my eye. And that's what matters. :3

Well, it's a challenging stitch but certainly not boring! I'm having fun with the struggle, haha.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Poppy - finished!

Oops, I finished last week but I've been slacking on posting. Here's Poppy!

I made a few changes as usual:
- used a deep red-brown instead of DMC brown in skirt
- changed white in wings to DMC 1 (pale grey)
- changed silver metallic on hip to red metallic
- matched style of beading on top curls to bottom curls more closely

My next project is Beaded Dragonfly Tile by Chatelaine. As suspected, adding fabric to the edges so I could put it in a larger q-snap has made a huge difference! I wouldn't say I've made a ton of progress simply because it's a slow stitch, but there's definitely obvious visible progress now. I'll save that for my next post, though. :3

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Small giveaway! DMC color cards

It's been a while since I've done a giveaway, sooo...

I have two older, used DMC color cards. One is the standard printed card that includes everything but the 35 newest colors, and one is a lot older, but it has actual thread samples of 360 colors.

The printed one was my regular use card for a long time and it's in pretty good condition. The other one has some wear and it's really out of date, but it's nice for actual thread reference.

I'm giving away BOTH to one person!

Giveaway rules:
- US addresses only. Sorry, but international shipping from the US is insanely expensive. :(
- Comment on this post and clearly state that you want to enter!
- Please leave a link to your active cross-stitching blog in your comment. (Doesn't have to be on Blogger, it can be Wordpress or Tumblr or Instagram or whatever, but you have to be an active stitcher who posts progress pics somewhere. I want these to go to someone who will use them.)

Giveaway closes on January 26 and I'll announce the winner on January 27. If I receive more than one valid entry, I'll use a randomizer to choose the winner. :3


Currently pending for rosey175/ishkabibble!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Poppy - almost there!

I really need to post more often. Poppy is almost finished - just needs the rest of her wings, then hair, beads, and backstitch!

As usual, I made some small changes. The front of her dress (her hip) was originally silver, which made no sense to me, so I changed it to red. I also changed the white in her wing to DMC 1 (very pale grey) to suggest translucence, since you can see her dress through the wing. I might add a bit of blending filament to help it stand out just a bit more from the background fabric.

Overall I'm very happy with her and aiming for a finish this week! :)

Monday, January 08, 2018

Raven - finished!

Well, that was fast once I stopped dragging my feet!

Here's Raven by Nora Corbett, stitched on a beautiful piece of Belfast from Fiberlicious in the color California Dawn. I feel like I got lucky with the placement of colors on the fabric because I was able to put the purple areas at the top to accent the sky. :D

I made some changes to the thread colors because the original threads mixed blue-toned and red-toned purples and that's a huge nope. Mine are all blue-toned. I also replaced a couple of the beads to use random stuff from my stash.

Oh, and I also made her head bigger because it was hilariously tiny. I think it's still too small, but at least she doesn't look like an alien anymore.

DMC changes:
154 to 29
156 to 340
550 to 32
743/3078 blend to 744 (I hate one-off blends in a pattern that doesn't have any others - just pick a color that's between the two! Why does every Mira pattern have one pointless blend?)
413 to 832 (Grey backstitch for skin? NO THANK YOU)

bead changes:
02056 to 02014
10019 to 02028

Next up is Poppy, who has a much bigger skirt than you'd expect. Haha. :p