Wednesday, August 29, 2012

News, Cross Stitching, HAED and Asthma

Well, I have finally gotten time to do a post. I was up most of the night with asthma and allergies and am just pooped. I've called into work for a sick day to try and feel better but of course laying down is out of the question just now since it seems to make the whole thing worse.

There has been a lot going on my the stitching world lately. The largest thing is the announcement from HAED owner Michelle Sayetta that business has been slow with them and that she has even considered closing her doors. A bunch of customers (fans?) from FB and other places have organized a Buy a HAED sort of thing for the week of Sept. 14 in order to show support.

My budget won't stand for much but I've decided to take part. The patterns there are very reasonable, and of course, now I have a valid reason to purchase one. Visit HAED at http://heavenandearthdesigns.com/ if you aren't familiar with their patterns. You will be pleasantly surprised. Wonderful customer service there to.


Since my vacation I've been spending more time on Face Book, particularly the stitching groups and I've found some to be much better than others. I've already left one or two, either because they weren't my cup of tea, or because of there being someone I just don't enjoy on there. Debating leaving a third, as there was quite a nasty dust-up last week-end on there and I'm just not interested in that sort of thing. That one is on parole, so to speak, because I really enjoy how active the group is otherwise and also seeing all the eye candy cross stitch.

Still haven't gone back to my rotation, and with having so little energy I seem to be drifting along, picking up one thing for a few stitches, then putting it down, next day picking up another. I am taking part in the haedless SAL this week and have only stitched on my GK I am half sick of shadows for one day. Picked up Needle Maiden and have put a few stitches in the last two nights. It isn't that I'm not excited about stitching, but that I feel too tired to do it for more than half an hour.

Well, no pretty pics today. I have been looking at black and white patterns pretty closely after picking QS Dragon Soul back up, as it has reminded me how fascinating it is to watch the shading come out and I have thought I might like to start stitching at lunch to keep myself from smoking. Unfortunately the budget just won't budge right now, so that will have to wait. Maybe the September purchase from HAED, though I think I might like to RAK that. Will have to see.

At any rate, Happy Stitching for today and the rest of the week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Life Keeps Happening (long post)

And sometimes it feels as if it will run right over you. That is how much of the past few weeks have felt to me. But through all of it I've found a few moments here and there to sit down and relax with my stitching. Sweet sanity.

To begin, my DH's step-father passed away last week on the same day DH had dental surgery. It has been a difficult time for him. There is no update on his Dragon Rip as he hasn't worked on it since the last update. DH has had other things to occupy him, and lets face it, he is not addicted to stitching the way some of us are.

I received this RAK anonymously from Molly the Black Lab just after that, though of course she had no way of knowing about our loss. I was so touched. Thank you Molly. While I'm sure I know who Molly is I will respect her wish to be anonymous. Here is Pals, a newer chart I fell in love with when it came out. Imagine, me with an animal chart on my wish list. A dog and puppy no less. lol.

Pals:

I love everything about this pattern from the sweet animals to the incredibly detailed background. I love the carpet, the owl, the busts, the water bowl. If it weren't for having already half kitted up Tree of Life, and not having the budget to kit another chart, this may well have been my birthday new start come Sept.

Now I have been stitching, here is an update on Glamour, which is so boring to look at, but quite fun to stitch up.
Glamour:





Just to prove I haven't completely abondoned my rotation I did three days stitching on Mini Soul Mates. (She was starting to complain)!





And last, stitching the light colors of Glamour reminded me of how much I don't enjoy stitching light colors, don't hate it or anything, just don't love it. But it made me remember a UFO that sort of fell to the side in light of newer, and less white, projects. I pulled out QS Dragon Soul and put a few stitches in today. Here is an old before pic:




Not the greatest pic, you will have to click on it to get a better view, as usual. This is the last I have dated 5/30/11, if that gives you a clue of how long I've been meaning to pick it up again. I do love this chart and will post an update pic of whatever I manage to get done, though it looks like all the shades of white in the lower left where I am working.

Sorry to be such a long post, I've been restless with the stitching recently, and working more on what I please than on my rotation. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stitching week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Catching up on mail and questions!

I've had a few question in the comments and in my E-mail and now seems a good time to get to them before I completely collapse for the evening.
I'll start with Jennifer, who asked how many days a week do I stitch?
Usually about 5 or 6, if at all possible, however lately things are chaotic and busier than usual so sometimes not as often. When I'm having a flare-up or, like when my back mysteriously whacked out, not at all.

There are a couple of questions about the patterns I stitch. Mostly HAED's, at the moment, that is from Heaven and Earth Designs. I love fantasy art, and the classics and HAED is very reasonable on their patterns. I've also got a GK, or Golden Kite I'm working on. GK's are beautiful patterns, but pricier than HAED's. They are  probably worth it, but it isn't usually something I can afford. They are also all from classic paintings, I assume so the owner won't have to pay licensing fees, which sometimes makes the prices hard to take.  Both of these shops have great community Bulletin boards associated with them, with some really wonderful people on them.

There is a pattern from Scarlet quince I'd love to have but they don't do downloads. I also (even though I don't need it yet) find their pricing on enlarged pages to be outrageous. I've never ordered from them so I can't say how they are to do business with. Mystic stitch has some great ones to, but I haven't ordered from them either.

There was a question How do I get free charts? They are all over the internet and there are a lot of them out there. Cheryl's bouquet, for instance, was a free chart. When your on a budget the free charts can be life savers. I also have an old collection of cross stitch magazines that I've stitched several things from. All of the sites listed above have at least one free offering, though HAED is definitely leader of the pack here with a big selection of wonderful free patterns for you to try.

If you are referring to RAK's, I didn't do a thing. I got my first one last year and was thrilled, but didn't expect another. The others that came this year were each and every one a complete surprise. They are simply the gifts of generous hearts. I hope to send out a ton of them myself one day because it makes you feel really great when you get one. I imagine it feels really good to give one to. My husband even got his favorite and I promise you he didn't have to do anything. People are just really nice.

Winning one is also possible, though I never have won one I've tried on Face Book, and on stitchy blogs when someone has a give away. At the moment I don't need a new chart, but that doesn't stop me from loving them and trying to win.

Bobbie asks How do you kit up a large chart? This is a good one since the craft stores are about half an hour away so I don't get there as often as I'd like. Since Walmart has begun carrying the most popular floss colors again I head there first and collect what they have on my list, then I save up and head out to Hobby Lobby or Michael's, where the floss is higher, and fill in the colors I need. I used stash fabric until this year, when it finally started to run out, and now I again, save up and wait for at least a 30% off coupon, better if it is 40 or 50, or for a good sale, and then I buy it.  You can see why I haven't started every lovely chart I have, all of this takes time, but the anticipation is half the fun.

OK, I'm tired of typing. LOL, If I missed a question I'll get it answered soon.

Happy stitching Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Possibly a Little Distracted

As Lynn's comment on my last blog entry reminded me, I got distracted while I was making that post and forgot something.

Before my back started acting up I'd cleared a little sewing/cutting space and cut out my modified version of Colette's Sorbetto.  I came back and sewed it up last week-end. The modifications were adding an inch across the bust and dropping the bust dart by 1 inch. This is the first time I've used bias tape on the outside and I was going to play it safe with white but DH picked out the pink and it looked both 50's and girly so I went with that. Not perfect on the bias but very good for a first try.



At any rate the fit is perfect and now I need a skirt to go along with it. The fabric was originally intended to be a skirt when I bought it back in Feb.. It is all cotton and feels lovely but the cutting lady at (Big name Craft Store) cut it at an angle and it lost about two inches short of 2 yards because of that, then it shrank naturally, being all cotton, and finally I had to straighten the grain so it came up just short of being enough fabric for the length skirt I wanted to make. It looks a ton better on me than on the hanger.

I've had a few other questions in the comments and in my E-mail that I want to address in the next post, as well as talking about my stitching rotation. Now I have to motor if I want to get ready for work. Happy Stitching everyone.



Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stitching, Sewing and a Green Eyed Monster

Well, lots of little stuff this week. My back is still giving me some problems, and the neck is, as always, a pain. But having said that I did manage to get a few things done last week. My husband and I made our new starts and I will begin with his. Being the pattern it is, his pic is naturally of stitching black. He has a lot going on right now so I was surprised he got more than 200 stitches in. Here is his new start of Dragon Rip.






Not terribly exciting I know. And yet, a new start is always sort of exciting.

I haven't gotten much stitching done this weekend, the refrigerator went out Friday and I was bummed, so most of what I'm about to show you is from last Friday late through Thursday.



You have no idea how hard it was to get a pic of these light colors. This is at 2550 stitches,  so obviously the half stitch is quicker on solid colors.

And finally, the green eyed  monster. His red-eye came out green for some reason.