Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Most Excellent Day

Friday was a most excellent day of stitching. It started with a corner of Egypt Garden looking like this
and ended with the corner looking like this
This part with the trees and bushes is my favourite to stitch of the whole design. I just love those variegated silks.

I realised as I was stitching that I'm getting close to a finish on this piece. See?

Not so much more to do. I think I'll stick with this until I'm finished or I'm bored of stitching on it.

Rotation (for now): 
+Egypt Garden, Chatelaine
+Mystery Sampler, Linen & Threads (take-along)
+Hocus Pocus, Prairie Schooler (Dark 13)

Reading:
The Outcast Dead, Elly Griffiths

Listening:
True Crime Garage podcast

Watching:
Flosstube
The Last Kingdom
Baseball 





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Second Finish

Second finish of 2017! This one's a cutie, too. It's called Better Not Pout by Shepherd's Bush and I bought it as a kit ages ago.


The Shepherd's Bush kit was really nice: great directions for the specialty stitches, more than enough threads to finish, and a generously sized piece of linen. And those threads! Au Ver a Soie silks and a yummy Wildflowers. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.


The specialty stitches were fun to do for the most part, although the hemstitch gave me fits. I adore the color changes in that Wildflowers thread. It really sets off the other colors of the silks.  And just look how cute that little house is with its checkerboard side and its tiny windows! That moon charm is just adorable too.



Two little pieces done so far this year. Maybe my next finish will be something larger!


ROTATION: 
+ Bluebell, Nora Corbett
+ K is for Kitty, Prairie Schooler
+ Egypt Garden, Chatelaine
+ Lady of the Flag, Mirabilia
+ Hocus Pocus, Prairie Schooler (Dark 13)
+ Mystery Sampler, Linen and Threads (take-along)

FINISHES:
+ The Plum Berry Sampler, Bent Creek (19 Mar)
+ Better Not Pout, Shepherd's Bush (20 Apr)

READING:
Talk Before Sleep, by Elizabeth Berg

WATCHING:
Shetland
Baseball games!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

You're Killin Me, Smalls

I found another box of cross-stitch stuff in the closet. This closet isn't even that big. It's like a 
clown  car--more stuff comes out of it than you think could ever possibly fit in it. I think this is the last box. Maybe. Probably. 

Apparently at one time (remember, I took a ten-year break from stitching) I was really into small and somewhat challenging projects, because this box is full of them. 

I found Better Not Pout, a Christmas sampler from Shepherd's Bush. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been working on this one.

White-Eared Hummingbird by Crossed Wing Collection. This is on 40-count gauze. Gauze, people. What was I thinking? I love the colors (they're all silks) and the design so I probably will finish it at some point.

Here's the photo off the chart so you can see what it will look like when it's done. So pretty. I don't know what I'll do with this when I'm finished stitching, but I can tell you it won't be a lid of a jar I keep my pearls in. 


Another Shepherd's Bush called Pansy Roll. This finishes into a needle roll that's really cute. There's just a tiny bit more stitching left to do on this one.

This one is Itty Bitty Duo of Trees by Twisted Threads. Itty bitty is right. The finished design size is 2" x 4.5". It's all one over one on 32-count linen. I love the pale green linen. I love the little wool felt tree on top. I love the Rhodes stitches scattered in the bottom Christmas tree. I love the little star buttons that look like gummies. I don't so much love the thought of stitching all those stripes of one over one around the bottom Christmas tree.


My plan is to work these in amongst the bigger projects I have going, because I really would like to finish all of them. We'll see how well that plan works out. 

ROTATION: 
+ Bluebell, Nora Corbett
+ K is for Kitty, Prairie Schooler
+ Egypt Garden, Chatelaine
+ Lady of the Flag, Mirabilia
+ Hocus Pocus, Prairie Schooler (Dark 13)
+ Mystery Sampler, Linen and Threads (take-along)

FINISHES:
+ The Plum Berry Sampler, Bent Creek (19 Mar)
+ Better Not Pout, Shepherd's Bush (19 Apr)

READING:
Ashley Bell,by Dean Koontz

WATCHING:
Shetland
Baseball games!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Eyes Without A Face

 I went from Christmas in April to Halloween in April and got in a little Dark 13 Stitching! In case you didn't know, Michelle from Cozy Egg and Emily from Eclectic Possessions came up with the Dark 13 Stitching and every​ month on the 13th they stitch on something dark and creepy and Halloween-y and invite us to stitch along with them and use the hashtag #dark13stitching so everybody can see our projects.

My poor owl has great big eyes but no face yet, so the Billy Idol song is running through my head right now. I really wanted to get his face/head done last night, but there's just not enough hours in the night! I'm taking him to work with me even though the 13th will be over by the time I get the chance to stitch, because I really want to finish the owl before I put this away for the month.
I decided to add a little yellow and a little green to the design (which, by the way, is Hocus Pocus from Prairie Schooler) in just a couple places. Nothing too crazy, but I want my owl to have yellow eyes and the cat on another block to have green eyes.


















ROTATION: 
+ Hocus Pocus, Prairie Schooler (Dark 13)
+ Mystery Sampler, Linen and Threads (take-along)
+ Bluebell, Nora Corbett
+ K is for Kitty, Prairie Schooler
+ Egypt Garden, Chatelaine
+ Lady of the Flag, Mirabilia
+ Better Not Pout, Shepherd's Bush

FINISHES:
+ The Plum Berry Sampler, Bent Creek (19 Mar)

READING:
Ashley Bell,by Dean Koontz

WATCHING:
Thirteen Reasons Why
Shetland
Baseball games!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Christmas In...April?

I found another box of cross-stitch stuff in the closet. (More about that later.) Inside the box was this cute little sampler. It's called Better Not Pout and it's a Shepherd's Bush kit. 


Isn't it sweet? When I say little, I mean this thing is only 2.14 inches wide, and when it's all stitched up, it'll only be 8.14 inches long. So cute! Why did I never finish this?? Oh. Because the next row is hemstitch. Threads have to be cut. That's intimidating.

Fortunately, I found a great tutorial about hemstitch and what to do with the threads you pull. I read through that and then I gave it a go. Here's what it looked like after I pulled the threads and worked them back in.


That took me over an hour to do. Actually, closer to two hours. I was scared I'd mess it up. Plus, it's tedious. (Shout out to Louis Cat for sitting still while I balanced my Q-snap on him so I could use his fur as a dark background to take that pic.) The hemstitch itself also gave me fits. I miscounted several times and had to frog.

After that, I was hell-bent on having some kind of progress to show. Fortunately, the next row of little trees was simple.


I haven't been able to settle down into my regular rotation this week, but I'm enjoying this so I think I'll stick with it for a couple of days.

ROTATION: 
+ Better Not Pout, Shepherd's Bush
+ Bluebell, Nora Corbett
+ K is for Kitty, Prairie Schooler
+ Egypt Garden, Chatelaine
+ Lady of the Flag, Mirabilia
+ Mystery Sampler, Linen and Threads (take-along)
+ Hocus Pocus, Prairie Schooler (Dark 13)

FINISHES:
+ The Plum Berry Sampler, Bent Creek (19 Mar)

SHOUT OUTS:
Louis Cat!

READING:
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

WATCHING:
Extras (British series)
Baseball games on MLB

Monday, April 10, 2017

Confusion

This week I've been off work because I have a bad cold, and I had been half-heartedly stitching on Lady of the Flag when it occurred to me that I ought to be stitching on the Mystery Sampler so I don't get too far behind on it. My cold-infected little brain had trouble comprehending at first that even though I'm home, it's the part of the week where I should switch to Work Rotation. I just realized this on Home Rotation Eve, when I'd ordinarily switch back to whatever's up next in the Home Rotation. Further complicating things, later this week it's Dark 13. I am all kinds of confused. I want to work on this sampler, but I also want to work on Bluebell, and I had a pretty good momentum going on Lady of the Flag before I gave her up and now I'm wishing I could stitch on her. I may just stitch on everything this week!

ROTATION: 
+ Bluebell, Nora Corbett
+ K is for Kitty, Prairie Schooler
+ Egypt Garden, Chatelaine
+ Lady of the Flag, Mirabilia
+ Mystery Sampler, Linen and Threads (take-along)
+ Hocus Pocus, Prairie Schooler (Dark 13)

FINISHES:
+ The Plum Berry Sampler, Bent Creek (19 Mar)

READING:
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

WATCHING:
Extras (British series)
The Discovery


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Rotation


I was a one-at-a-time stitcher for years, and when I came back to stitching a couple of years ago, I still was, and the only project I had was Chatelaine's Egypt Garden.


Then I kept seeing Instagram photos of a beautiful sampler that several stitchers were working on, and pretty soon I could no longer resist it, so in late January I started that too. It's the 2017 Mystery Sampler by Linen and Threads. Each month another band of the sampler is released, and it's FREE. You can find out more about the sampler and download each month's pattern here, and do join the Facebook group so you can see everyone's gorgeous work. The Mystery Sampler is my take-along project for down time during work.



While I was rummaging around for something else, I found my long-forgotten Bluebell by Nora Corbett. The poor thing's been headless for years. (My fairy, I mean, not Nora herself.) I first started her probably 5 or 6 years ago and just started stitching on her again at the beginning of March.



Then I was having a not-so-great day about the same time I found Bluebell, so I thought starting something else might cheer me up. It did. This is Prairie Schooler's K is for Kitty.


The very next week, I started another new one. This is also a Prairie Schooler design, and it's called Hocus Pocus. I started it so I could participate in #dark13stitching,

 

And now we come to my most embarrassing WIP...Lady of the Flag by Mirabilia. I was watching FlossTube one night when Vonna Pfeiffer from The Twisted Stitcher mentioned this pattern and all of a sudden it hit me:  I'd started this one years and years ago and had totally forgotten about it! How does that even happen?? I have no good explanation for this. (I refuse to accept my son's reasoning that I'm old and forgetful.) I scrabbled through the junk in my closet and found the Lady on scroll rods propped against the closet wall with a bag of floss next to her. I'll start stitching on her again in a few days.



If you follow me on Instagram my rotation probably seems a little haphazard. I'll try to explain it. I work night shift as a police dispatcher on 12-hour shifts 3 or 4 nights a week, so my cross-stitch rotation is split into "work" and "home". Big projects on scroll rods are too cumbersome to drag along to work every night, so those won't ever make it into the work rotation. Right now my work rotation is really only one project, the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler, because I want to stay caught up on it and it usually takes me all month to finish that month's band. If I finish it early (I did in March) then I can rotate in other projects. At home I have more space for stitching and fewer interruptions, so I can stitch big projects on scroll rods and projects that need more careful attention, like things with specialty stitches. At home I rotate Egypt Garden, Bluebell, K is for Kitty, and Lady of the Flag. I usually stitch on the same project during all of my days off. That means my "week" of stitching at home is really only 3 or 4 days. The 13th of every month I'll stitch on Hocus Pocus for Dark13Stitching. I stick to this rotation pretty faithfully because it works for me.