Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Achievements & November Goals

Goals for October:
1. Finish Sleepy Hollow No. Apparently I keep over-estimating my rate of stitching
2. Stitch on the UFORR and mail it out Done.

Other things I did that were unplanned:
1. Got started on my exchanges

Goals for November:
1. Finish Sleepy Hollow
2. Stitch on the UFORR and mail it out
3. Send off my exchanges

A Day With Sleepy Hollow

Rachel is hosting her all-day Halloween SAL, and since the only Halloween piece I have going is Sleepy Hollow that's what I'll be working on.

This is Sleepy Hollow as I start today.

After 3.5 hours:

I changed my mind about using a metallic after about 40 stitches. While I still think a shiny moon would be fun it's a bit too much of a pain. (Also I don't have a suitable yellow-gold colour).

And at the end of the day:

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Did Not Tell A Lie

In my last post I outlined my no-start plans and despite the encouragement I'm sure no one actually believes I can carry it off. But you'll note I never said anything about the rest of October...

I won Diane's giveaway of the JCS Christmas preview and it arrived last Wednesday. I immediately started Tis Green and was completely prepared to post a picture on Thursday when I realized that I had missed four stitches.

I put those stitches in today.

Start date October 20, 2010
Finish date October 28, 2010
Fabric 28 ct antique white Lugana
Floss Weeks Dye Works Emerald
Total time 5 hours

My new starts (for the curious) will be Cirque des Triangles (I plan on starting it after I finish Cercles), Mirabilia's Spring Queen, Mirabilia's Cinderella, Lavender & Lace's Celtic Spring and Lavender & Lace's Celtic Autumn. Hilariously, other then CdT, the rest will not be exactly as charted. But you'll have to hang around to see what I mean~

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Past the Frame

Success! I've gotten past the frame. One small fix which I'm sure no one can tell and it's all good. It only lacks the beads which'll be added at the end.

Being very frugal (so much nicer sounding than cheap!) when I have a new start I only buy colours I don't have or if I think I don't have enough in my stash. This means that I occassionally run out because I think I have enough but I really don't. I'm probably going to need more of one of the browns in the tree.

Sleepy Hollow
32 ct Thunderstorm

Otherwise progress is pretty good. Thanks to everyone for the different suggestions on what to do on the moon. I think every option was championed and new ones introduced!

I went by my LNS and took a look at the called for Waterlily, which is a green/yellow that I don't care for. I think I'm going to go with a Kreinik for a sparkly moon. It will be the biggest block of metallic stitching I've done, so hopefully it'll go well.

Halloween being a week away I'm pretty sure this isn't going to be over, but I'm going to head for a HD. Plus, I have 5 new starts waiting in the wings. And I mean 5 big ones (I've given up counting smalls since I just stitch those whenever the muse hits). I think I'm going to have a No-Start-November and a Wrap-It-Up-December so that I can be ready for Guilt-Free-January. Anyone want to take bets on whether I succeed? ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Asymmetry Induced Resentment

Symmetry: beauty based on proportionate arrangements
Asymmetry: a gross violation of symmetry

The sheer amount of resent I feel towards Sleepy Hollow's frame cannot be expressed in mere words. (But I'm still going to give it a shot). When I looked at the frame I assumed that the spaces between the pumpkin-skull-pumpkin-bat was the same everywhere. Except the horizontal middle where it's clearly different. So I counted the repetition once and stitched one entire side of the frame and was most of the way through the second when I just traced over to check if it matched the horse.

It did not. There are two extra spaces after the second vertical bat.

I am not a happy camper. I'm not frogging and am just going to shorten the tree somehow.

But I'm still very, very resentful. Both at the border for not being consistant and at myself for assuming the pattern held.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Horse! A Horse!

My kingdom for a horse! (Richard III, 5.4.7)

So spurred on by several people I decided to give Sleepy Hollow my best shot. So I stitch happily until this:

Sleepy Hollow
32 ct Thunderstorm

Swore profusely when I realized that I'd made a counting mistake and frogged 45 minutes until this:

And then I pushed on until: :

I've actually gotten a bit more of the grass done than in the picture. The plan is to finish the grass, then get back to the border, stitch the tree and gravestone, the moon, the clothes and finish it off with the pumpkin.

As far as the moon goes I haven't decided if I want to use the Waterlily. The model moon has a stripy look (which I've mentioned a billion times that I don't care for in non-geometric designs). The question is whether I want to use a yellowish DMC, or go with a metallic for a sparkly moon. So what are the suggestions? Stitch with Waterlily, go with DMC, or go sparkly?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Now numbering seven

I decided over Thanksgiving that it had been forever since I'd had a finish (actually only the end of August) and that I needed to finish something. And since it looks like my goal of finishing Sleepy Hollow is a pipe dream I decided to stitch something small. And what is the single small finish that I have mastered?

Yep, another biscornu.

I stitched the #18 biscornu from Aurelle. The blog is French but the freebies are easy to find. The giant Index is your hint;)

I left out a few bits to make it fit onto the scrap of fabric I had.

It's on 32 count waterlily linen. The light pink/peach is Weeks Dye Works Peony and the dark is Crescent Colours Bandana. The beads are Mill Hill 40479. I went a little crazy with the beads and even stitched them to be oriented properly.

Start date October 10, 2010
Finish date October 11, 2010
Total time 7 hours

My collection as it now stands

Clockwise starting from the new one: #18, Bulgarian Motif, Baby Shamrock, my own puttering, Garden biscornu, Fall Dreams, and Love. And except for Baby Shamrock they're all freebies.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cartoon Ark

Back in August I signed up for a UFO round robin. Now technically the only piece I could legitimately call a UFO was Ganesha. However He consists of large amount of blended confetti (and my father would never forgive me if He wasn't wrought by my own two hands).

So I decided to send out Palm, which I'd begun a month before. Not sure if I've mentioned this already, so bear with me if I have. Back when I was moving and I very efficiently packed away all my stash (and my books) I had a few hours in which the only thing I could find was a kit by Dimensions, which I promptly began. However when my stash arrived I promptly went back. So out of all my WIPs it was the one I wanted to work on the least. So I sent it off.

The first piece I got to stitch on was Rebekah's Noah's Ark. When it arrived at my house (after a 3 week trip).

And will leave in a week as this:

The creatures are eyeless due to my intense dislike of French knots. So some soul with much better skills at French knots can have their pleasure.

Now for a bit of whine, because what's one of my posts without some crabbing? ;) The clouds in the design were not filled in. There was no white in the kit and they were just outlined. I think that's lazy/shoddy. It gets even worse when you realize that there are giant pandas and swans in the design which would have unstitched areas next to stitched areas. Now I'm all for picking a blue fabric if you have a giant sky or a giant ocean and don't want to stitch in the background. But I think outlining an unfilled area is just weird.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

TUSAL October

I was looking up at the sky on Monday morning as I was walking to the bus stop and was greeted by a gorgeous dawn sky. A beautiful crescent moon, tons of stars. I even saw Orion, the only constellation I can recognize.

"Self" I thought "you must take a photo (if you can)". So today I went out with the camera. I had somehow failed to grasp that a few days after the crescent moon comes a new moon. Oh well, I might be able to have a good Halloween picture at any rate.

This month's TUSAL picture:

The bit of red is from Cirque des Cercles, the black from Sleepy Hollow, the green from Why Hoard Gold? and the bit of blue is from the RR I'm working on now.

In the background is a souvenir stein I picked up in Germany last summer. I'm one of those tourists that's keeping the tacky/kitschy/silly/stereotypical souvenir industry in business. I just love having stuff from countries I've been to. (And yes I sometimes count airports if it's unlikely I'll get to the actual country anytime soon.)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Failing to Accept Defeat

Let's begin by admiring my new lined pouch.

Isn't the green lovely? And that gorgeous crocheted flower that Nima sent me as part of her giveaway?
Look how successfully I've used the zipper foot for the first time ever!

Let's not notice how the "rectangular" pouch is actually more of a very strange quadrilateral. Let's dwell on the fact that it can hold my calculator and pens. And that I used photos which minimize the non-rectangular nature of the pouch.

Let us conclude by acknowledging that I can't sew using a machine and that it's a very very good thing I stitched my ladybug bag by hand.

Let us also acknowledge that this failure is not going to stop me from trying again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cute Ladybugs

I have piles of 1/2 yards of fabric. They're gorgeous and I adore them and I haven't been able to cut into them. It's quite quite pathetic. Last week I decided it was time to grab my scissors and get to work. I failed to cut into any of them. Instead I cut into one of my fat quarters. I stood holding my scissors and thought I can't do this. And then I thought "Oh for crying out loud! It cost me less than $2 dollars! So what if it goes wrong?" and I cut away.

I used Rae's Buttercup Bag freebie. I prefer my linings to be bright, so I went this cheerful yellow.

Since people will only see the outside I took extra care to make sure everything looks good outside (and slightly less care inside). The pockets are... well, not proper. I have realized that I can't stitch two pieces of square fabric, turn them inside out and get them flat. So I just used some iron on interface and stitched.

Instead of a magnetic snap I used an elastic hairtie and this cute ladybug button. The strap turned out a bit thin (mostly because my fat quarter wasn't 18"x22").

I took it out today and it fit a whole bunch of papers, my Ipod, wallet and keys with lots of room left over. About the size of my other small purse. If everything is in the middle of the purse then it gapes at the sides when closed, but as long as I make sure my junk is balanced it stays fine.

The whole thing was stitched by hand because I'm not all that great wrestling the sewing machine.

Tune in tomorrow for my attempt at using the sewing machine to make something.

And before you wonder at the frequent posts, I'm just making up for the camera-less time. Tomorrow will the last of the "catch up" posts and then it's back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I was a bit surprised by the number of folks who commented that "he" (my dragon) looked good. A bit sexist, I suppose, but I've always assumed that a dragon hoarding chocolate would be a girl! I think I know one guy who cares about chocolate, everyone else can take it or leave it. Unlike most of the girls, who are aficionados!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Green Dragon

Why Hoard Gold? as of right now. Taking a break from it this weekend to work on Rebekah's RR.

Why Hoard Gold?
28 ct white lugana

A big thanks to all the suggestions last post.