Thursday, December 29, 2016

December Smalls post, etc

First, my small for the 2016 Smalls SAL run by Heather of Stitching Lotus. It's a Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings called Jingle Jingle. I used DMC, and added a little jingle bell. Hopefully it will become an ornament before next Christmas.

I also finishes Shining Star by SamSarah, with lots of changes:

Now I'm back to my WIPs; I've made progress on Village Square by Ink Circles:

Oh, and the birth sampler I finished earlier this year has been framed:

I hope everyone has had/is having a great holiday season!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Smalls SAL post

My November small for the Smalls SAL, run by Heather of Stitching Lotus:
This is from a kit that came with an issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine. It will be finished into an ornament using the little felt frame that came with the kit. There are supposed to be little stars/snowflakes, but this fabric about drove me nuts with how hard it was to stitch on, so I left them off.

I'm also keeping up with the Beautiful Sea Quaker SAL, with tiny part 4 finished last weekend:

And I stitched Season of Love by Stitchers Anon:
She has an Etsy shop with TONS of adorable PDF designs, but she's closing the shop at the end of the year so if you like her stuff, now is the time to buy. :(

Lastly, even though this isn't stitching, I wanted to show the Christmas wreath I made:
It's a foam wreath wrapped with a color-blocked yarn. I made the felt flowers, added a couple cute berry picks and some jingle bells, and got the bow at Michaels. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Post

I finished this last night. "Holly Tree" by Scissor Tail Designs, stitched on 32 count "Wren" (by PTP maybe?), with Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe "Autumn Ivy," Romy's Creations "Red Passion," and DMC 502.

And I'm keeping up with the Beautiful Sea Quaker SAL; first 3 parts done.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Last minute Halloween FFOs

Happy Halloween!

I managed to FFO a few of my Halloween smalls this afternoon:
Here's Rats! and Black Crow, both by The Stitcherhood, from the 2016 & 2015 JCS Halloween issues. They're posing by my favorite Halloween decorations, handmade dolls I bought over the years at a local art/craft fair. Here's Rats! close up:
He's mounted on a little wooden Halloween craft ornament I got deeply discounted at Michaels last week.

And I got the Spooky Friends FFO'd! These guys are by Crafty Like a Fox:
My glittery orange Styrofoam skull is very pleased with his new friends.

VERY happy to have those out of my 'unfinished' drawer.

I hope you all have a fun, safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October Smalls SAL & other smalls

My October small for the Smalls SAL, run by Heather of Stitching Lotus:
"Fran & Frankie" by Crafty Like a Fox on Etsy. I had hoped to turn it into a little something along with Fangtastic by now, but haven't gotten to it. Stitched on 32 ct "Dwarf" Belfast like Fangtastic, though the fabric didn't photograph well this time. Fran's dress and the 'lightning' are stitched with glow in the dark thread.

This month I also finished parts 1 and 2 of the Ship's Manor 'Beautiful Sea Quaker' SAL:
Using Ship's Manor threads on 32 ct "Loki" evenweave by Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie.

And "French Country Squirrel" by JBW Designs:
I used Silk 'n Colors "Big Leaf Maple" silk floss for the majority of the design, and Victoria Motto Sampler Shoppe threads for the little pair of acorns. I stitched it on VMSS 32 ct "Parchment" Belgian linen, though the linen is much more yellow than this picture shows. It turned out super cute!

The one other small finished this month was the Pawprint Keychain (or purse fob, in this case).


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"Cats on Parade" finished & a new (tiny) SAL

Finally finished "Cats on Parade" this weekend, and framed it last night.
Stitched on 32 count mystery fabric with DMC 310
I objected to spending $30 on a nice frame, so I got an inexpensive frame, roughed it up a bit so it would hopefully look less plastic-y/MDF-y, and then dressed it up a bit with black lace 'matting.'

I do like how it turned out, though someday I would like to get it professionally framed, with glass. I laced the fabric onto the backing board and secured the black lace with a couple of small glue dots on the back, so I'm hoping my frame job will be easy enough to undo with minimal damage.

Also, I joined another SAL because I've been bummed at not being able to keep up with the Joyful World SAL - wait, let me finish, this does kind of make sense - and each installment of the Ship's Manor "Beautiful Sea Quaker" SAL is really small (35x35 stitches), which I can totally keep up with! So that counteracts the bummed-ness. Plus the colors are very pretty and what a great deal on the hand-dyed threads.

Here's part one all finished:
I'm stitching it on 32 count evenweave in "Loki" by Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie. I think I'm going to give this to my BFF for her birthday next year. She likes bright colors and ocean themes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Needlework Galleria, and a finish

There was an event called the Needlework Galleria in St. Charles, MO this past weekend; that's not too far from where I live, so a friend and I went on Saturday. Neither of us were able to attend any of the classes or anything on Thursday or Friday, but we were VERY EXCITED to shop the vendors!!!

I managed not to spend all of my 'fun money' (mainly because I was breaking my stash diet and felt a bit guilty about that), but if I had been able to go more than one day, I'm sure I would have. On Sunday I was thinking of everything I'd seen and loved and not purchased, and wished I could go back and get it all. :)

What I did get:

Patterns:
- ScissorTail Designs "Holly Tree"
- Rosewood Manor "Birds of a Feather" (on sale!)
- JBW Designs "French Country Squirrel" and "Very Merry Winter"
- Rovaris "December 25" and "Pawprint" keychain kit
Threads:
- Romy's Creations - 2 skeins of a gorgeous Christmasy red
- GAST - 2 colors I need for existing projects
Fabric:
- Hand-Dyed by Stephanie "Banshee" 32 count linen, to use for a couple of Nora Corbett witches
- PTP "Crystal Conifer" 28 count linen, for Xmas ornaments

I'm absolutely kicking myself for not getting a couple of Needle Bling and Romy's Creations patterns that I loved, but it's not like I neeeeeeeeded them, I suppose. *wistful*

Of course I had to stitch something with my newly acquired stash, so I stitched up and finished the Pawprint keychain:
I made it double-sided, and used GAST "Deep Sea" instead of the red used for the model. The chart came with the pattern, fabric, keychain ends and heart-shaped key ring, and the cat charm and a little bell. I saved the bell for another use and added a little dog charm. I also decided to turn it into a purse fob, because I don't think it would hold up very well to being tossed into my purse or stuffed in a pocket multiple times daily. :)

The finish isn't perfect. There were no instructions with the kit, so I wasn't sure if I should stitch over 1 or 2. Over 2 turned out bigger than the kit picture makes it look like it should be, but over 1 would have been really tiny. And I didn't do a very good job with the finishing. If I ever do this kind of finish again, I'll hopefully do a much better job of centering the ends and blocking the design. But I still really like it!!

I hope everyone had as fun a weekend as I did! <3

Monday, October 3, 2016

A few seasonal FFOs

I did a bit of finishing this weekend: a mini from Prairie Schooler's All Hallow's Eve, Gobble by Bent Creek, and Lizzie Kate's Autumn Boxer.




I also pulled out a couple of FFOs from last year. They are both freebies. The first is Le Chat et Les Corbeaux from Gazette94; the second is Pumpkin Witch from Craftown. Le Chat et Les Corbeaux is the first thing I stitched last September after not doing any cross stitch for years.



As you can see, I find it easiest to simply frame finishes. I am getting a bit better at doing flat finishes, but I'm still not that great at it. I'd like to do more flat finishes and learn to sew well enough to do little pillows, but my problem is that I'm not really creative enough to make them look really nice. But I suppose some plain non-framed finishes is better than a million little framed ones. :P

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September Smalls SAL post

My September small for the Smalls SAL, run by Heather of Stitching Lotus.

This is "Fangtastic" by Crafty Like a Fox on Etsy. Fabric is 32 count 'Dwarf' Belfast. I stitched the faces, hand, moon, and bats' eyes using glow-in-the-dark white thread (DMC E940).

I finished one other small this month, "Black Crow" by The Stitcherhood. I'm going to try to get these, plus "Happy Halloween," "Rats!" and one other Halloween small FFO'd before October 31. Fingers crossed....

My at-home stitching time has been somewhat limited, so I'm not going to finish this guy before the end of the month as I had hoped:
But I *think* I can get it done before Halloween. It's Cats on Parade by Blackbird Designs. I've got a Christmas pattern wanting to be started, but I must be strong and finish my cats first!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Halloween things, and sticker shock

A couple of Halloween creations:

This past Spring I made a rag wreath for my front door, and I liked it so much that I've now made a Halloween one.
Looooove it. Last weekend, Joann's had 60%, 50% and 18" wire wreath frame for $0.99 coupons, so I got almost everything for half of what I would have paid otherwise. The bow, I got a couple of weeks back at Michael's - had no idea what I was going to do with it, but had to have it. It was perfect for this.

I finished stitching the companion to "Rats!":
This is "Black Crow" by The Stitcherhood from the 2015 JCS Halloween magazine. I added (or subracted?) the wing outline because I thought he looked a little weird without it. Now to decide how to finish-finish them...

And, I got a new car. I went as low as I could on price while still getting what I wanted (a bit bigger than my old car, good gas mileage), but I'm still reeling. I'm not a fan of spending a whole lot of money, neither all at once nor as part of a loan, especially for something that's not cheap to maintain. On the other hand, it's my first new car in 22 years (I've been driving pre-owned, which is fine, but new is still a novelty), it's very pretty, and it drives so nicely. So I'm excited, and also stressed out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Clearly I need a second job to support my cross stitch habit

I'm about to 1) add my teenage son to my auto insurance & 2) get a new car (so that he can have my old one when he gets his license, and also because I have a very long commute and my poor old car is not quite as good at it anymore). He's going to pay for things like personal property tax, licensing, gas; but he's in his first year of college so he's not exactly making enough money to help pay for insurance yet.

So, no more buying** cross stitch patterns (among other things) for a while! Which is fine because I have lots and I should really try to make a dent in my stash, but saddening because I like buying new patterns.

**excluding gift certificate shopping, of course :D

As a last hurrah, I picked up two patterns on Stash Unload. I now have enough Halloween patterns to last the rest of my life, probably.

In the meantime I am furiously stitching autumn/Halloween patterns, because I have a couple more that I want to start & finish before Halloween happens/Christmas stitching begins but I won't start any more until the 2 WIPs are done.

I showed Cats on Parade recently; that's still coming along, but I took a short break to start this:
This is Bent Creek's "Gobble." I'm stitching it on 35 ct Spanish Moss (I think by WDW, but I got it from a leftovers bin at a LNS going out of business sale and info is incomplete). Using Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe threads (the dark brown, gold lettering, yellow, red and green are all from her recent Autumn Splendor line), GAST (the light brown on the turkey, and the dark orange) and DMC (the light orange). I chose mostly brighter colors than what the pattern called for.

I don't normally enjoy stitching samplers, but I thought this pattern was so cute. I don't have any Thanksgiving finishes, and I decided I neeeeeeded one. It's been a fairly quick stitch too.

EDIT: Finished last night:
 More specifics on the specialty threads I used:

VMSS: Roasted Chestnut, Autumn Prairie, Autumn Gold, Frost on the Pumpkin Vines, and Scarlet Oak (Autumn Prairie in particular seems to glow! The gold and scarlet seem to almost have a silken sheen to them too.)
GAST: Portabella, Fragrant Cloves

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Halloween finish, autumn finish-finish, and seasonal WIPs

I finished the Satsuma Street "Happy Halloween" design:
Not the best photo; it's actually stitched on white fabric, not gray. :)  I intend to turn it into a pillow along the lines of the model finish.

I finish-finished the little Tiny Modernist "Autumn" freebie (stitched last Fall):
I picked up the wreath, oak leaves and orange fabric at Joann's, and the glittery acorns at Michaels. I reeeeeeally like how it turned out!

And I have two seasonal WIPs (besides two non-seasonal WIPs, ahem). Here's a pic of "Cats on Parade" by BBD:
The fabric is so great, with the mottled oranges, though it's also weirdly fuzzy. No idea the color name or designer. The design is charted with 3371 (dark dark brown), but I decided to stitch it in all 310/black. I was really stressed out during the week before last, and stitching the fence pickets - up and down narrow columns of black over and over - was extremely soothing. :))

I also started Bent Creek's "Gobble" because I decided that since I have a Halloween finish I should also come up with a Thanksgiving finish before I start something Christmas-y.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Drive-by thread post

You guys, Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe thread is amazing. I ordered from her for the first time, and just received the threads, and wow.
Look at those colors! And they're 20 yard skeins; each costs about the same as a 5 yard skein of GAST. My selection of GAST and WDW threads looks painfully puny next to these guys, particularly given how much I've spent on them.

*flaily hands of glee*

EDIT: This is the Autumn Splendor collection. :)



Thursday, August 25, 2016

August Smalls SAL post

My August small for the Smalls SAL, run by Heather of Stitching Lotus.
I stitched up "Rats!" from the Just Cross Stitch 2016 Halloween issue, pattern by The Stitcherhood. It's on a hand-dyed 14 count Aida, dyer unknown. I received the fabric in a stitchy exchange run by Under the Sea Fabrics, though it doesn't seem to be a UtS fabric. :D

I plan to do a few little Halloween silhouette patterns on this fabric, and then finish them all as ornaments. I've already started a second Stitcherhood pattern, from the JCS 2015 Halloween issue, "Black Crow."

On the theme of Halloween, I've made progress on "Happy Halloween":
In fact, I've made even more progress since I took this photo. I fixed the right-side gray border of the box with the pink vertical stripes and finished a small box next to it; I finished the green box below the lower case 'a', and started the 'H' at the beginning of the word 'Halloween.'

I've made so much progress on this because I've given up trying to keep up at all with the Joyful World SAL. :(  I want to finish "Happy Halloween" before Halloween this year more than I want to stress about finishing a Joyful World pattern each month. I still love the designs, and I do plan to finish it, but...later.

So that's me in stitching right now.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Two things. Wait, no, three.

R.e. a couple of responses to my Blogger issues: I do remain logged into Gmail and Google+, but it doesn't seem to...I don't know, be recognized? by Blogger. I've even tried manually logging in via the Blogger reply function, but that doesn't work either. It's really weird. I might look into using OpenID - see if I can reply that way without ending up as a no-reply commenter.

Why so difficult, technology? :(

And, I wanted to share something that I'm super giddy about, because stitchers are pretty much the only people I 'know' who won't look at me funny.

I had a stressful week (not the thing I'm giddy about) and I did some therapy shopping (ok, not giddy about that either), and I bought some stitching stuff.

I found the Lizzie Kate "Hats Off to Halloween" (first version) on a stash sale Facebook page for $5, and I snapped it up. Yay! It's this one:
Isn't it cute?? I've been wanting it forever.

EVEN BETTER THOUGH: I discovered TheThreadGatherer on Etsy - the maker of Silk 'n Colors. I ordered these:
Smoke Stack and Fairy Moss. AREN'T THEY PRETTY? Seriously, I have never been so excited about thread in my entire life.

They're both destined for Ink Circles patterns. Smoke Stack will be used for A Spirited Mandala:
I was gifted the pattern in the Under the Sea Fabrics Summer Mystery Box exchange. I'll either stitch it on the fabric shown (it's PTP Voodoo, which I have in opalescant, but I have to check if the piece is big enough) or on UtS Dreamsicle, which is a bright yellow-and-orange.

Fairy Moss will be used for Four de Lys:
Not sure what fabric I'll use yet.

Of course, I have several WIPs I have to finish before I can start these. Never mind other projects I also have been wanting to start. I'm suffering a bit from start-itis and stashaholism I think.

AND...there is a huge arts and crafts fair this weekend, and I'm going to be scouring the potters' and ceramicists' booths. Every year I go to the fair and look at the yarn bowls and think "I need to learn to knit or crochet so I can justify buying one of those." Well, I learned to knit this Spring, so guess what I'm going to buy this weekend? Yasssss!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend coming up, and now I need to go try to 1) off-set my coffee buzz with some food and 2) work. *waves*

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Finish, and flashback, and Blogger

I'm in the mood for all Autumn/Halloween all the time right now. I know stitching autumn-y stuff won't bring the cool weather any faster, but still!

I pulled out the Lizzie Kate 'Autumn Boxer' kit I had, and stitched it up this weekend:
The charted colors are all WDW, but I have very few of them - the only one I had from the thread list was Brick (the color used for the dark red apple in the basket). So I subbed mostly TGA, plus one variegated Artiste thread (used to stitch the basket).

I have one other unfinished Autumn design that I stitched last fall during my 'get back into cross stitching' marathon; I dug it out and I'll work on how to finish both in the next month or so. 'Autumn' by Tiny Modernist:
It's a freebie, you can find the pattern here.

Lastly, Blogger: I'm finding Blogger to be really frustrating. I like to hop online during slow moments at work, but for whatever reason, I can't comment on 95% of the blog posts I read. It asks me to select a profile to comment, but then won't actually let me select one. My phone is not one of the giant 'phablet' phones, so trying to read and comment on all of the blogs that way is a pain - I can't see much of the comment box when my keypad is on my screen. And after sitting at a computer all day, I hate getting back on the computer at home in the evenings.

I have to admit, I also find the whole thing about replying to comments via email weird, just because it's unfamiliar. All of my blogging in the past was on Livejournal, where if a conversation was going to pop up around a post, the conversation was had in the comments section, where other people could jump in if they want to. Ditto Facebook these days. So I'm still not in the habit of checking email regularly, and then I feel weirdly sneaky replying to comments via email instead of at the blog post.

However, even if replying at the post was expected, I couldn't, because I can't even comment ON MY OWN BLOG from my work computer. ARGH.

So basically I'm just having a flounce because life isn't convenient, and I'm going to get over it posthaste because I have a lot more to be grateful about than to be frustrated about.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July Smalls SAL post

My July small for the Smalls SAL, run by Heather of Stitching Lotus.
This is a blackwork pattern called "Flowers and Poetry" by Hardcore StitchCorps on Etsy. I have this sitting in the bookcase that houses my shelf of poetry books.

The only change I made was to add the name of the poet: this quote is from Carl Sandburg's 38 definitions of poetry.

I'm very glad I got this done earlier this month, because between eye strain and a sciatica flare-up, I've gotten zero stitching done since last week. :(

Other smalls completed this month:
- The Sheep Peddler - Let Freedom Ring by Needle Bling Designs
- Joyful World SAL 'June' by The Snowflower Diaries

I also finish-finished my June small.
I got an 8x8 shadow box and some scrapbooking paper, and used some ribbon and pins I already had. This was my first attempt to mount stitching on foam board, and...well, I'll do better next time. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Finally

I finally finished Joyful World "June":
It took FOREVER.

I've also finally made progress on the Japanese Hiragana Sampler:
I have had to frog SO MUCH that working on this has felt like one step forward, two steps back. Argh. I'm about a third done now, though. I persevere because I know I'm really going to like it when it's finished. (The colors don't look exactly quite right here - the fabric is more of a denim-blue color, the lighter thread color is white, and the darker thread color is not quite so dark of a beige.)


Friday, July 8, 2016

July Goals

I know I'm already behind on commenting & replying to comments, but I'm getting all tied up in angsty knots about both personal (minor) and current (WTF, everybody) events, so I'm going to cope by talking about stitching.

I didn't set any stitchy goals for May or June, though I did manage to make progress on things I want to get done, for the most part. But I feel like I'm losing momentum on a couple of things, so, stitchy goals for July:
  1. Stitch something for the Smalls SAL Stitched AND framed.
  2. Complete Joyful World SAL "June" FINALLY omg.
  3. Complete Joyful World SAL "July"
    For some reason I've decided I want to catch up, and at least complete each month before the month is over. IDK. Well, it's July 22 now and I haven't even started. So. This is not happening.
  4. Make progress on Happy Halloween Having a stitch-along with a friend tomorrow (Saturday), plan to work on this. & Village Square Once I finished "June" I decided I NEEDED to work on something besides Joyful World. Was lovely to pick up Village Square again.
  5. Start this as my next travel/take-to-work project: Started, but can't take it to work anymore. The fabric I'm using requires BRIGHT direct light, preferably sunlight. Ugh. So I need to kit up another take-to-work project. :(
Japanese Hiragana Sampler by Modern Folk Embroidery

I'm going to stitch it on a hand-dyed lightish blue fabric, with white characters and maaaaaaybe dark blue flowers/flower bands.

How is everyone else doing? Hanging in there?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I need a nap.

Took a road trip on Saturday to a little needlework (and quilting) shop a few hours away, and got a few things. Then I was sick as a dog, so I spent the last few days stitching one of those things:
This is "The Sheep Peddler - Let Freedom Ring" by Needle Bling Designs. I stitched it on 32 ct Pearl Gray linen, with GAST, Classic Colorworks, and DMC threads. I'm on the fence about the sheep's zombie-ish eyes.

And now I'm going to try to work. Or maybe curl up under my desk and sleep. Bleh.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Smalls SAL post

My June small for the Smalls SAL, run by Heather of Stitching Lotus.
This is from "Summer" by Country Cottage Needleworks. I have actually seen several iterations of this where people only stitch the top (leaving off the list of words). I did include the checkered band from the bottom of the design; I like the picnic-y reference (which is partly why I stitched an ant in the center of the band instead of the charted heart :D ).

It's stitched on "As You Wish" by Under the Sea Fabrics. The main color is a pretty blue - much closer to this in real life than what you see in the above picture. The soft wash of green on the bottom half of the stitched area gives it a sense of grass under a summer sky. Love it.

In place of the 2 charted overdyed threads, I used overdyed threads from my stash - DMC 4075 for the house/sun/bee hives, and GAST Baby Spinach for the grass/leaves.

I had actually planned to stitch this for July but it's been so flippin' hot here that it seemed appropriate to start it early. :(  DNW this heat omg.

Other smalls completed this month:

Monday, June 20, 2016

Joyful World SAL - May

I finished May:
I only made a couple of small changes. The most noticeable are that I gave the kitties noses, changed the white bird to a bluebird, and stitched the mama cat's tail to hang down below the 'ground' (because kittehs don't follow teh rulez).

I don't foresee any changes to June at this point. I'd like to try to get June done this month, but since I'd have to neglect my other WIPs to do that I'm not sure it will happen...

A first: biscornu!

I finished my first ever biscornu! This is a pattern by Durene Jones posted as a freebie at the Lakeside Needlecrafts SAL Facebook group. ...