Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Better Late Than Never Blog Post

Yes, I've deliberately been putting off posting, week after week.
I've been in a lot of pain and only stitching one or if I'm lucky two days per week.
The problem comes from a task I have to do at work since about August and has grown and grown since then. I think I've got a handle on it now, but I'll have to wait and see.

Anywho here is where I left off  last time on Small Early Snowfall:

And this is where I made it to before stopping:

He is turning out gorgeous. I'm looking forward to getting back to him soon-ish.

I've started another project, a private project that I won't be posting about, so between that , and not having very much stitching time I am letting everyone know that my posts may be coming farther apart, as this one did, since I have so little to post about.

I hate it happened when it did, I was really getting into the embroidery. TAST is wonderful and I'm looking forward to getting back to that too, when I am better.

Until then I will be avidly reading everyone's stitching blogs, admiring new charts and going my slow poke way of stitching.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their own stitching.
Peace friends.
Karen

Friday, October 16, 2015

Stitching, cross and otherwise

Around the time of my last blog update I was thinking of starting a crazy quilt. One of my reader's had emailed me and we got into an email chat. She was able to introduce me to a number of resources. Unfortunately it also made me realize how out of touch I am with things in that area.

Thankfully one of those resources she introduced me to was TAST (Take a stitch Tuesday). Here is a link to the faq, Pintangle. A perfect inspiration to start practicing my stitches again, with instructions for what I've forgotten or never knew how to do. I also have several embroidery books, so either way I can get the instructions.

Now that the cross stitching world no longer feels like a safe place it is pure pleasure to sit down and practice my stitches. They also have a Facebook group especially for this, practicing a different stich each week, or whatever works for you, and posting a picture. A ton of inspiration on there.

Here is the beginning of mine, weeks 1,2,3 and 11. Possibly another. I forget.


Nothing too fancy, and I would love to do larger samplers, but I am having trouble finding time to fit everything I want to do in.

Since my husband Jason was paying to kit up my birthday chart I allowed him to pick which chart he wanted. I love his choice. It is Small Early Snowfall from Charting Creations. I received a gift certificate to Charting Creations from Nikki for my birthday and that is what I chose. Another gift certificate to 123Stitch had me ordering the pretty cat needlminder you will see in the pictures below of my new start on Early Snowfall.



I couldn't resist starting in the middle!


Until next time Happy Stitching my friends!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Last of The New Stash, and Stitching

So with the last few dollars of my stash money I decided to order two charts I've been thinking of for some time. I've never ordered from Shinysun's Cross Stitching, though I've been aware of them for quite a long time. I had 3 or 4 charts picked out that I really wanted to do, but never did order them, mainly because I prefer my charts in PDF format and these are hard copy only.

Long story short, they had a half price sale, and with their charts being so reasonable to begin with I decided to give it a shot with my last 10 dollars. I've seen a good many of her charts being stitched and finish, and they look great, so there were no worries there, and I asked a friend that I know had ordered some what she thought and she wholeheartedly recommended them. Since it was a half price sale I resigned myself to waiting 2 to 3 weeks for my charts to arrive, though of course I started watching for them after just 7 days, 'cause hey, who can resist stalking the mailman when they have something fun coming? But seriously, with a big sale like that I thought there would be extra orders and I would have to wait longer. I ordered on 9/10/2015 and they were in my hands on 9/21/2015, so really quite good.

Enough explanation, here is what I ordered:
Okay, a poor quality cell phone pic, but I was in a hurry.
Yes, my love of black and white charts got the better of me.

The low down...The charts look great, obviously I haven't stitched anything on them yet, but they look good. The paper is above average but not the highest quality. I'm good with that since I will have to mark them up as I stitch. Everything looks clear and easy to read with one exception. The floss symbol list is small print, really small. And I really don't like that. On top of which, since it isn't a PDF I will have to scan it in to my computer if I want to enlarge it, then figure out how to enlarge it, then print it off. Not a major big deal, but an annoyance. Don't get me wrong, I can see it, but I have to look, if you know what I mean, and when I'm stitching I want it to be instant, a no brainer that I don't even have to think about. The real test, would I order from them again? Yes, certainly, and probably will!

I haven't gotten in the stitching time I'd hoped for lately, I've been ill, my husband changed jobs, and we have a new cat to go along with our 3 dogs, plus the usual work on the job.

I did get to do one thing I'd very much wanted to, which is stitch to the end of the first row on Mini Cheshire Cat. I do love this chart, but when I started it I can't imagine what I was thinking, I started it only about 2 inches from the top of the fabric and it is uncomfortable to stitch that high with my Qsnap on. It needed only the first row to be finished to solve the problem.
It will now be much more comfortable to stitch. Such a gorgeous chart. Pity I will be putting it away for a bit. I've been setting myself some goals, and this one is probably going to come back out soon for a Halloween SAL. That is the plan at the moment anyway. I would link to the chart at Heaven and Earth Designs but I couldn't find it. The chart may have been retired.

The other wip I have to show you is Tribal Dragon from Charting Creations.

I was able to squeeze out finishing the page I was working on, which is the center page of the chart.

I was actually surprised, since it is a 'waiting' or take-along project and I didn't expect to have a page finish for another month or two at least. I guess I did more waiting around than usual! It looks fabulous so far.

I did say I'd tell you about the pipe insulation. This stuff is really cheap at the hardware store. Less than 2 dollars for a really long piece. It is in the plumping section.




At first I tried cutting it to the size of my floss list for the White Dragon chart. It worked but it rolled a little too much for me. It did slide right on the top of the qsnap, but that got on my nerves!
So I asked in my stitching group and found out that one of my friends use them. She is evidently more talented than I am! She draws the symbols onto masking tape and tapes them on. I tried but can't make some of the symbols look right. She also shared a picture showing how she cuts them in half so they lay flat and don't roll. I tried this, and it is briliant. They are light weight, easy to move around and work like a charm. I just kept my taped printed symbol page. I wish the symbols were a little farther apart and will see that they are next time, but it does work. Why didn't I think of that?
Mine aren't pretty, but they do work. That is 90 color symbols, so yay. Cheap, easier to use than the fancy ones I bought, and readily available. I immediately made up a much smaller one for Mini Cheshire Cat when it came out to be worked on.

Well, this has gotten long, and I've still things to show you next time. Until then, happy stitching everyone!




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Stash Enhancement on a Stash Ban and A New Family Member and a page finish

First things first. Jason brought home a little kitten yesterday morning. He stopped at a gas station near our house that is right on a busy street and found this poor baby in the pouring rain. I am told it came right up to him and snuggled when he picked it up. lol, whatever the case we asked around and no one is claiming him, so we took him to the vet this morning to check for a chip, just to be on the safe side, and no chip. We started his shots and he will be going back to be neutered in a couple of weeks. This is not the best picture but it is hard to take a good one when you are holding a cat!
The vet gave him a clean bill of health this morning. He is quite the lap baby!


In stitchy news did you know that it isn't stash if you used a gift card and not your own money?
Yep, I am assured that if you win a gift card then it doesn't count as breaking your stash ban. That only counts if you are spending your own money. So...
From Charting creations came this as a gift.
Tribal Wolf Silhouette available here:
This is a shot of my pdf download front page picture from my computer screen. I'll be stitching this on 18 ct. black aida with white glow in the dark floss. I was shocked to see how much more difficult it is to work on black cloth for me now. This one is for my husband.

I treated myself to Mischief, since I've been thinking of it since it came out. Link here.
Isn't it marvelous?

Then there was this from 123 Stitch, partially supplies for Tribal Wolf Silhouette.
And a Lizzy Kate, and yes, I have a better picture but it won't load!

Here is the little needle threader. At first I laughed at the size but I have been using it steadily and it is good.
Now, do I have any actual stitching to show you? I do actually.
A page finish on White Dragon!
Ta-Da! And I made the Qsnap guard too, so fun all around!

I also made a little start on Mini The Ghost but this is getting long, so I will post about that next time. I also have some information on trying out pipe insulation as a needleholder, so pics and info on that and on the little ornament kit you see in the picture above.

Until next time happy stitching everyone.







Thursday, August 13, 2015

Forgetful Stitchy Blogger

Because, yes, I forgot to come back and post pictures as I said I would.
Sorry you guys. I was convinced I'd done it, then the work weekend started on Friday. I work 10 hour shifts overnight from Friday through Monday, which doesn't leave a lot of time. On top of which I came down with the summer cold from your nightmares on Saturday and have had difficulty looking at the monitor since then. I've Facebooked from the kindle or phone and that is about it.

But enough excuses, I was a bad blogger.
Phone pictures, but here they are.

This is Tribal Dragon from Nikki at Charting Creations. You will see that I have started in the middle. I haven't finished that center page yet, but since it is a take along, or waiting piece, only to be worked when I am waiting it isn't bad progress.




This was progress on it at the time of my last post.
And this is now:

So, not a lot of waiting this time around!
A little stitching on it. This one is two over one full crosses on 18 ct. aida. It is being worked in hand. This aida was a gift in my Secret Santa gift package at Christmas, you may remember it. The top picture is more accurate on the colors of the fabric.

The other picture I have for you is an example of my being very bad indeed. You remember my new start that I am going to have in September? I had planned to work on it three weeks a month? Yes, well. I think I started it in protest against my self imposed stash ban, as I told you last time.
Here is the first pic of White Dragon. A Heaven and Earth Designs chart that was gifted to me from Nikki:
This is a terrible picture, and the flash makes it even worse. This is where I had gotten to at the time of my last post. It really looks quite nice but you could never tell it from this picture.


Anywho, this is how it looks as of this morning.
The shot is a little blurry, but you can definitely see dragon toes forming. This chart is the large print from HAED and that is the actual width of the page. It is being worked on 25ct Lugana, 2 over one, half cross. My last attempt at that went really bad, but it wasn't Lugana, which seems to not be as stretchy as the DMC gridded fabric was, and so works much better for me. So far anyway.

I'm only getting 2 or three days a week to stitch right now, so given that I am pretty happy with my progress.
I accidently fell off the wagon and broke my stash ban. The Halloween issue of a certain cross stitch magazine found its way into my basket when grocery shopping. I simply forgot I was on a ban!
I am back on it now though, which is a drag, because I really want to kit up Kindred Spirits, but I am being good, and won't for now.

As you can see, not a lot of stitching happening, but enough to keep me going for a little while longer.

Until next time Happy Stitching!








Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Some Stitching and a Fab Chart RAK!

Okay, I can't find the camera! Again!
I'll try to hunt it up tomorrow and get you a few pictures of the little stitching I've managed. I'm actually quite pleased with the bits and pieces I've gotten stitched since our lives have been topsy turvy and crazy busy for a month now.

I did put myself on a stash ban, so naturally a bunch of amazingly beautiful patterns were charted. I was quite able to resist (Yay me!), but one really bothered me. Anne Stokes' Kindred Spirits, a long time favorite piece of art, was charted over at Heaven and Earth Designs. I have literally waited years for that piece to be charted and had my fingers crossed when she began allowing her art work to be charted by HAED again.

Long story short a stitchy friend RAK'd this chart to me.Thank you so much S.
Here is a picture of the chart:





I realize this isn't for everyone, but I do love them. Just so pretty, and well, dragon.
I hadn't realized I love greens so much, but given this chart, Day Night, and Astranaithes I have to admit a definite trend. Anal Nathrach has quite a bit of green too. Woodland Guardian, Emerald Hawthorn. I'll stop now, lol!

I was very bad though. I would have kitted this up immediately if I could have, since I simply couldn't I cheated and started White Dragon. Yep, my September start. I promise you I will kit this up and start it as soon as I can.

I've also had to make a hard decision. No new starts until something is finished, other than this one, naturally. Sigh.

Our lives are over the top full and busy right now, so I don't think I'll be posting as regularly as I'd like to, but hopefully I'll get in enough stitching to make an interesting post for you.

Until next time happy stitching my friends.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Page Finishes! New Stash and Temptations!

Well, summer is here, and stitching time is, as always, short.
Having said that, I must admit I've had a good time with my stitching.
First up was a page finish on The Lord's Prayer.

Since I started on the second page, because I enjoy working right to left, this is the second page and the chart is 2 pages wide. This isn't the best picture ever, excuse the wrinkles, but it shows well enough what I have been doing. I love the old fashioned looked of the hand dyed fabric with the brown and the multicolored floss.

About the time I finished this page Charting Creations was created and I was immediately stricken with love for some of the charts. I encourage you to stop by and check out some of the charts. She is releasing new ones all the time and they look fabulous. I bought one for myself but on the condition I make myself get a page finish on one of my other projects.

Which brings me to Anal Nathrach:
You may recall that I began this one, again, some time back. This time I started on the center page. I've really debated about ripping out part of this page, and that was my plan when I sat down with it. In the end I kept the 'sloppy' stitches, because I couldn't bring myself to tear them out. This piece, this one page, was filled with so much struggle. I can see the neat stitches where I began it, I can see where I tried to pick up stitching again after my concussion, when the blurred vision and short term memory loss were such a problem. I can see the improvement, almost like looking at a road map, as I began to recover. So I finished the page, which makes me happy, and the errors, well, they were and are a part of me and my personal history and while I don't love the way they look, they show me, and my struggle, and the eventual victory and recovery. When I look at this I see all of that.

Back to stash. By the time I finished the page I had at least two more charts I was wanting from Charting Creations. Yeah, so I used the discount code and bought two more.
I won't post a picture yet but you are welcome to go and check out their charts for yourself.

The first one I got was Unicorn Silhouette.
The two I bought together later were Puppy Love (I'd asked for a dog related chart,) and Tribal Dragon. I made a small start on Tribal Dragon today. My husband really likes it and it will do very well as a take along project.

I am officially on a stash ban, self imposed, as we have things we need to be saving up for around the house. But I can honestly say there are at least 5 more charts I could easily buy from there, if only I had the time to stitch them up.

My work weekend is about to start so there won't be much stitching, if any, the next four days. I really hope everyone else is enjoying their stitching time as much as I am.

Happy Summertime Stitching Everyone!
Karen

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Best Laid Stitching Plans

After all that debate with myself about what would be my big new start this yar, and all that planning how I would choose which chart, in my stash, it would be....

I got RAK'd this:




Which nicely and firmly decided my next project.
White Dragon. Art work by Kayomi Harai and available as a chart at Heaven and Earth Designs. Here is the link.

This one will be stitched on 25 ct. Lugana, 2 over 1, except the black which will be 3 over one. This a a chart I love, but wouldnt' buy for myself because I was intimidated by it, by the colors etc. I'm so glad Nikki sent it to me though, because the second I got it I knew I was going to stitch it.

In other stitchy stuff I actually finished the 3rd row of my haed sal and a bit more, but then had to frog the bit more. Notice last time, when I'd started adding the second page:



And now, with the second page included and the third row finished:



Then there is this. I followed a tutorial I'd seen a link to on facebook and made this little lap frame. I used my q-snap clips for the sides:





The top photo is a little blurry but you get the idea of a lap stand. The second pic shows it in use, and some of the tiny bit of progress that was made on Mini Cheshire Cat.
These are the directions I used for making it.

It was fun and quick and pretty cheap. As long as you have something on hand to cut the pipe with you can make this for less than 10 dollars!

Thus inspired I bought 4 more of the corner pieces and used the other pipe to make exactly the right sized frame for my coming project.



Total cost less than 3 dollars, but I will be buying a set of clamps soon for it, to go with the ones I have which will make it about 6 to 6 and a half dollars. Totally awesome. I am in love with everything but the corners, which if you look closely do bump out. I've found I can live with that with the savings I get from making them myself. Disclaimer, husband did the cutting part, as I wasn't quite strong enough to make the ratcheting clamp cutter work without hurting my hands.

So, enough. Feeling awefully crafty for someone who is getting so little done lately!

Happy stitching everyone, hope you have a fun Holiday Weekend if you are in the US.




Thursday, April 23, 2015

It's All About That Stitch, 'Bout That Stitch (No Frogging)

Long time no blog!
With everything that has been going on, physical therapy, weeks without internet(and more than 20 hours with various AT&T guys at my house!), and a missing in action camera I've been avoiding a blog post for a couple of weeks. Throw a dash of pure lazy and a few doctor's appointments in there for the past two weeks.

I spent a little over two weeks without picking up a needle. The only time that ever happens is when I physically can't stitch, so I felt weird and a little guilty, like I was shirking my responsibility or something. I think my slow pace, and limited time sent my stitching mojo on a short vacation. Apparently it was much needed if I was feeling guilty! This is supposed to be fun!

That said, I have been stitching again at my pokey pace, and kept thinking I would find my camera, which I finally did. These are not the greatest pics, they were taken in a bit of a hurry and it is cloudy and sort of dark, but hopefully these will get the idea across.

First up, a finish! A little kit I liked and picked up on a whim. Live, Love, Laugh. This seems to be a popular one, and I can see why. It is a cheerful little stitch.





Okay, so it needs washing and ironing, but I'm tickled to have it done, slightly modified to cover the fact that a color went missing half way through when Dean chewed up the paper card the colors were on.

My HAED BB SAL has suffered the most through this. The second page came in and I decided to start work on it. I'd done a little of the first page since the last pic so you can see there is a teensy bit of progress. This was just before my stitching mojo went on vacation.
I love this chart and the way it is working up. I have a nose! Well, part of one.









Finally, progress on The Lord's prayer.
Excuse the wrinkles, and the bit of sewing pattern to the side. I'm half way through a dress and hustled this piece from it's storage place to the sewing table to take a quick pick. It is being worked in hand, so yeah, the wrinkles will get worse before they get better, though a quick press should take care of that later. I think not being able to give it a bath when it is finished will drive me crazy. Something to think about before deciding if I want to continue using hand-dyed fabrics. It is like kool-aid dying we did as a kid (and smells like it when it first arrives). And I always hated that you couldn't wash it even back then.


And last of all, test stitching, 2 over 1 on 28ct. Monaco.

So not satisfied with the coverage of the black, but liking it otherwise. I've sought advice about the black problem and now that I'm stitching again I will probably do more test stitching. I'll let you know how that turns out.

As usual, clicking on a picture will give you a better view.


Here is hoping the mojo hangs out for a while. I've pulled out Mini Cheshire cat and will hopefully have a nice update on that one soon.

Until next time, Happy stitching everyone!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hi Stitchers, a quick post to prove I'm still in the Land of the Living!

With so much snow and ice these past two weeks I know lots of stitchers who have gotten extra stitchy time. I haven't myself since I work from home anyway, but it has been fun seeing what everyone is doing and admiring all of the progress being made.

On the stitchy front, still slowed to a crawl with my shoulder, but there is light on the horizon. I started physical therapy for Frozen Shoulder and have high hopes for later this year.

As is, I've had little progress so not much to show in that area.

However:




I had put this on my wish list at HAED when later that day someone in my stitchy group on Facebook did a contest and I won! It was fun and silly, we had to guess what time she would get home from her commute during this nasty weather and who ever guessed closest won a free chart! This was a lot of fun. I've fallen quite in love with this artist and the charts available. This is available here.It is Kayomi Harai, this chart being Four Heavenly Beasts. There are some stunning dragons too, they are on my wish list as well. Why not? I've already got more projects than I will ever finish!

In truth I have picked some of my very favorite charts and numbered them. I was going to run them through a random number generator to pick my new start for this year. Since that won't be until the end of September I have a little time! Meanwhile, it was pointed out to me that I shouldn't choose too soon since I may buy or receive something I want to add to the list! I like her thinking! So the random generator will be done soon, so that I have lots of time to kit up, but not too soon!

I will update with pics next time, of whatever progress I will be/have made.
Until then, Happy Stitching!



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Lord's Prayer from My Big Toe Designs

So, with my stitching going so slowly I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the color changes in my usual projects. The haed BB sal didn't have as many as some of my charts but I was most definitely putting pressure on myself. I decided that after I finished the first row I would start something less challenging, color change wise. Since The Lord's prayer has been on my 'I want to work it' list for at least two years, well now seemed like the time.
Here are a few pictures.

 The second wip picture gives a more accurate view of the colors.
The brown is DMC and the overdyed is Sullivans. I am loving how these look together, though at first I was hesitant and asked for opinions from my stitchy group. So glad to have found the Sullivan's and thought to try it.
By the way, I got this from 123Stitch.com along with Dog Lesson's for people. It was a toss up which I would start, but I decided to go with the fewest color changes!

In other stitching news, two new charts! Yes, I know. But once again an artist is being retired and for the first time in a good while I had fun money, so:
 Run with the Big Dogs, by Sandy Brooks.
And Moya, also by Brooks.

Yes, more black and whites! Both are available from Heaven and Earth Designs through 01/26/2015, but the artist is retiring so if you are interested you may need hurry. Luckily there is a half price sale on, and who could resist that?

Still, I've been amazingly blessed with stash this past year and my plan for 2015 isn't to add to it, but to pass along some of the many kindnesses I've been the recipient of. I've already started and that feels nice for me, and I hope for the people I am giving to. I've been able to forward a few of my old magazines to those looking for a particular chart, and even gift a chart or two. I'm hoping to continue in that vein throughout the year.
I plan to keep on with my turtle pace stitching and will update you when I have something to show.
Just realized I forgot to take a picture of Live, Love, Laugh again.
Next time.

Happy stitching everyone.
Karen


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year's Bumps and (a very little) Stitching

We are two weeks into the new year and things are a bit up in the air, when are they not? My right shoulder went completely out on New Year's day. I wasn't doing anything special and it has been giving me problems for months, but pooh, just at the beginning of the Heaven and Earth Designs Bulletin Board stitch-a-long. And after having to not make the ornaments and things I'd wanted to do for Christmas gifts, because I was letting the shoulder rest up.
After a doctor's visit, a shot, and a steroid dose pack I have much of the movement back but our hope that it was just inflammation is dashed since the underlying problem is still there, and still extremely painful if I move the 'wrong' way.
My husband had a dental emergency and is still recovering from that. Another thing we'd thought was settled but is having complications.
But...I did get some stitching in! The first page of the SAL arrived late on new year's eve, since the organizer sending it out is in the Australian time zone. I got in the first hundred stitches and was all excited to have the next day off for stitching. Then the shoulder.
So the first 100 stitches:
And the rest of the row, plus a little, stitched left handed:
 And yes, completely frustrating since this is working up so nicely. It took two weeks to finish that row and work one block and a little of the next. I'm more proud of it than I would like to admit, given what went into stitching it. Stitching two hand and then just one, when it is your off hand, is hard work!
I'll update Live, Love, Laugh soon, since I did get some stitches in on it.

And that is it!

I have decided to start My Big Toe's The Lord's Prayer. It is only two colors and that will save me a lot of discomfort in not switching out colors every few stitches. It is a long time favorite of mine and I'm going to start it on the lovely green hand-dyed fabric my secret santa sent me for Christmas, probably within the next week or so. Still waffling over the colors. I can't possibly justify 60 dollars on the recommended silks so I will probably go with DMC. Though I've thought about using the Sullivans, which is really quite lovely to work with. I've done a few ornaments and smalls with it over the past 3 years or so and I really like it.

I've also got some sewing projects in the works. I've always avoided knits and I have the impetus from 2 sources to give them a try. One, with a gift card from work, was buying Gertie sews Vintage Casual. The sizes come up quite higher than expected, being closer to ready to wear sizes than expected. The other motivator is another gift card that I spent on something I've long wanted to do, which was ordering fabric from Fabricmart. I used the gift card to do a test run and I'm very happy with my order. I included some knit fabrics to play with, and I must say they are much nicer than the ones I looked at locally. At least the pieces I received are. I'll let you know how that comes along.

Until next time, Happy Stitching
Karen