Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Wrap-Up

I can't believe I almost forgot that today's the last day of the month!


The original plan was to work on Palm. I didn't even touch that. BUT! I finished Lily of the Valley, so Jardin January was a success.

Fangirl February was supposed to be devoted to Mirabilia/Nora Corbett, but since that ended up happening this month, I'm going to switch to Tracy Horner of Ink Circles, and maybe Teresa Wentzler.

I actually didn't set goals for the month, weird.
So it'll all be Unexpectedly This Month:
1. Started SK Blue Moon
2. Started TAST Doodle Sampler
3. Started Adriana B
4. Finished Lily of the Valley

Goals for February:
1. Keep up with TAST and The Great Escape
2. Finish Parts 3 & 4 of Adriana B
3. Work on SK Blue Moon
4. Put some serious hours into Namaste
Pipe dream: Finish Namaste

I think I'll make a pipe dream goal every month for fun.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Full Bloom

First finish of the year! And it's almost the end of the month!

Nora Corbett's Lily of the Valley, without wings, with the skin and hair converted and a modified headpiece. Original here.

The skin was easy, but the hair gave me some trouble. Details of the exact changes below, but there's a giant blue streak in her hair ;).

Originally the beads in her hair were yellow, but with the dye job that just looked weird so I changed them to blue and I truncated the headpiece ruthlessly.

The beads at the bottom of the flowers were a pale yellow, but all the pictures of the actual flower online seem to be pure white so I changed the beads. (I've never seen a lily of the valley in real life, but they seem really pretty). Of course, the white beads are from a previously unopened package, which means they are being cannibalized from some other project (no idea which), so it should be fun seeing if I have enough when that project rolls around XD.

Her toes! The back of my mind asks exactly what those beads are meant to be and how they stay in position, but the rest of me screams "Pretty!" and ignores that part of me.

Giant beads are really giant!

And some more pics:

TitleLily of the Valley
DesignerNora Corbett
Start dateOctober 7, 2011
Finish dateJanuary 29, 2012
Total time36.75 hours
Fabric32ct Waterlily Jobelan
FlossSkin: 754-->435; 948-->436; 779-->433
Hair: 767-->939; 782-->3371; 869-->838; 3823-->823; 3852-->310
Beads3046,10049-->10104; 2002-->60479

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Flashback

In the process of hanging some things up for framing I found an extra frame, checked my "Finished" drawer, couldn't find anything to fit, and instead found and finished Scheherazade. This is a design by Papillon Creations that I stitched in the Shahryar colourway on 28ct black lugana. Those were the days...

By finish, I mean I measured out 4 inches, cut and fringed off about 15 strands and called it done. Pathetic, I know.

In much joy I headed off to place my new table topper on a table, only to realize that all the tables in the house have a secondary function as storage surfaces. There is literally no table that is not covered in stuff! If I did use her as a decoration she would be covered in, well let's be honest, junk in two seconds.

*Wonders what to do, since if cleaned the tables would just be covered again within a day...*

And because I apparently stitched this before I was blogging (what!? there was stitching before blogging!?) here are some more pictures (all clickable). It really is a gorgeous design and I just love it on black!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Rash Confession

Part 9 of The Great Escape, came out today, and I actually got it done!

Next up will be all the background detail.

The Great Escape
28ct white Jubilee, DMC 317, 318, 413, 414, 415

This week's stitch is the Queen Stitch. And I do confess, I don't understand why so many stitchers have trouble with it. I found it easy. Of course, these Queens are tiny at four vertical stitches, so maybe the bigger ones are difficult? *hides from the irate mob*

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Creative Juices Stagnated

Two weeks worth of
Last week was the feather stitch. This one's really a linear stitch, and I couldn't think of any way to make it a standalone. I was also convinced that I'd stitched it before so I went straight for the variations, but now I think maybe I haven't...

This week was the Cretan stitch, for which I have done a variation but not the original. This one's somewhat uncreative because I couldn't figure out how to do it in a circle.

28ct Golden Honey Cashel, Dinky Dyes Aquamarine

I've also realized that I'm much better at following a chart and making tiny modifications than doing something like this from scratch, because I worry about things like "Is this enough stitches?", "Does this look balanced?", "Am I leaving too much space?" etc. And then I remember that I do this for fun and that this is essentially a giant doodle. I have gained an even deeper respect for designers.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Leaving Out The Middleman

It's the new moon! It's the

I don't think I've ever shared a picture of what I do with my orts at the end of the year. The one on the left is from 2010 and the right is last year.

This year I'm skipping the vase in the middle and going straight to the ornament. And for a change from last year's Beige Carpet Boredom I'm going to go with Finishes From The Drawers for background.

This month features olives and oranges from Adriana B, blues and greens from Lily and white from when I accidentally made a knotted mess and couldn't be bothered to untangle it.

Oh, and that's Mirabilia's Bluebeard's Princess as this month's FFTD.

Edited to add: I got the clear ornaments from Michaels just after Christmas.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Productive Hermitting

I spent part of the weekend finished the next part of Adriana B. I spent the rest of the time lazing around the house. All in all, it was a lovely weekend XD.

Adriana B
18ct white aida

Adriana B is designed by Aaron Art, stitched with the Sticklounge group, for the first International Stitch and Hermit Weekend.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Self Delusion

I've been running behind on the latest part of The Great Escape, and thought the next part would have been out yesterday. So I grabbed my needle, parked myself in front of the computer* and stitched away madly in an attempt to get caught up before the next one came out. The idea being as long as I didn't know it wasn't out it wasn't out. Yes, yes. I know.

The Great Escape
28ct white Jubilee, DMC 317, 318, 413, 414, 415

Buttonhole Stitch. Wikipedia informs me that if it's stitched close together it's a buttonhole stitch and if there's space it's a blanket stitch. One of the great stitching mysteries is resolved! As far as the stitch goes, I've done it so many times I could go so far as to say that I'm a pro at it.

Unrelated news item #1: I've been horrible, just horrible about leaving comments. I mark the posts I plan to comment on, and a few days later realize that there are too many, clear all the posts, and then rinse and repeat. I've still gawking at everyone's work, but mostly I've been stitching. So I hope apologies in the way of frequent stitchy pictures will be acceptable. *stares with puppy-dog eyes*

#2: Thanks for the inquiries about the missing floss, but I have to head to the LNS because I've run out of the Kreinik for Lily of the Valley, so I'll just grab it them. 'Sides which, it would take atleast 3 weeks for it to arrive by mail!

#3: Three weeks and I've fallen off the no-new-stash wagon. But what a way to go! As a PSA I would like to point out that Zinio makes the magazine available at just under CAD$6. Since Joan Elliot charts retail at about $14, this is a clear steal. The other charts in the magazine leave me apathetic, but Lady Bird Fairy alone makes it worthwhile. Now all that's left is to curse the fact that I never found this website while the Flower Fairy series was coming out.

*In front of the computer because I'm unwilling to print out a chart every two weeks for a minor change that takes about an hour to stitch.
And for the curious: Part nine isn't out yet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Splotch of Blue

My New Year's start is crawling along. This is a 2012 freebie SAL by Heaven and Earth Designs. I'm stitching it on 28 ct over one, with half crosses in two threads. I'm missing one colour (which seems to be everywhere), and Michaels hasn't had it for the past month. I may have to break down and pay double price at the LNS.

SK Blue Moon
28ct Waterlily Linen, 2 over 1 half crosses

Sunday, January 15, 2012


The plan for this month was to work on Palm. In typical fashion, I have not touched that. Instead I've continued to work on Lily, who has flowers in her skirt and therefore counts.

Lily of the Valley
32ct Waterlily Jobelan

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Old Hat

I'm a day behind on TAST and plan on being so. I like to see what others have done (and there is some gorgeous work) before I try my hand at the stitches.

Buttonhole/blanket stitch. I've stitched this endlessly for hardanger and went straight to the variations this time. I'm in love with the right flower and I have no idea what that weird square thing is, but now I have space for some fancy standalone stitch...

28ct Golden Honey Cashel, Dinky Dyes Aquamarine

I spent about two minutes wondering if I should be doing more of these stitches (some people are doing entire samplers per stitch), but then I thought unprintable words and decided that it's my random sampler.

On that note can anyone come up with a good name for this? I belong to the Leonard of Quirm School of Naming. I also tried labeling the stitches. Should I continue with that or skip the words and leave only the stitches?

Leonard of Quirm, for those of you who haven't read Sir Terry Pratchett (and why not?) is the fantasy equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci from the Discworld series. He's known for making incredible inventions and giving them horrible names. My personal favourite is The-Going-Under-The-Water-Safely-Device for a submarine.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty

So after all the enthusiasm for Lily and the interest in seeing more of her, I feel slightly guilty at this next one. But only slightly.

This is a SAL offered by the Sticklounge group. It's in 6 parts and the last one was just sent out. It's one of those finish a part before you get the next types, so I spent the weekend stitching madly to try and figure out if I could get it done before the deadline for when parts stopped going out.

Part 1 took 11 hours. I don't think I need to worry too much.

18ct white aida

This utterly lovely piece is by Nolda van Hezewijk of Aaron Art. I was completely suckerd in by the colours. A shout-out to Kielrain who's the enabler for this one.

And yes, this is a Loophole Exploitation.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The End Is Not Nigh

I started this sometime last year, October maybe?. I had a mad yen to work on her over the new yearand since she's a pre-existing WIP, she counts as fair game for the WIPocalypse.

Took her all the way to this, before I switched to something else for the weekend.

Lily of the Valley
32ct Waterlily Jobelan

I plan on stitching her without the wings, and have to figure out how to change a pale blonde to a tanned brunette..

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Must Be Strong

A while back Kim was giving away some stash to a good home, and when I saw Tradewinds and Heartfelt Chatelaine I pretty much threw myself at the keyboard to hammer out a message.

Imagine my surprise to find that she'd also thrown in English Cottage Sampler and Father Winter. More TWs for my stash!

And you know what I else I realized as I was pawing at everything? Tradewinds is a kit. Meaning the Loophole Exception applied to it too...

Why does the universe tempt me so!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

And So Begins Loophole Exploitation

5 days in and I'm already using my loophole in permissible starts. Remember that bit about new starts as long as I have the fabric and floss?

I've decided to participate in Take-A-Stitch-Tuesday hosted by Sharon of Pintangle. More info here.

28ct Golden Honey Cashel, Dinky Dyes Aquamarine

This week's stitch is the Fly Stitch, which I've done several times, so I played around with it a bit: various sizes, upside down, but my favourite is actually the square.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Like the Real World

This part of the Great Escape featured the Wheat-Ear Stitch, which went on and on and on. Just like the wheat fields in Manitoba that go on and on and on for miles as you drive by.*

The Great Escape
28ct white Jubilee, DMC 317, 318, 413, 414

I found the Wheat-Ear Stitch very easy, but there are a billion of them in the wings, and I was sick by the twelfth one.

*Full confession: I've never seen fields of ripened wheat. I only seem to go to rural Manitoba in the winter, when all you can see is miles of bare flat land. I'm just extrapolating the miles of wheat.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ominous Signs

16 hours in and I really hope the rest of the year isn't going to be like this!

First a look at last year's goals... Let's just say I missed every single one and leave it at that!
1. Work at least 100 hours on Ganesha (He didn't get a stitch last year)
2. Finish at least 10 of my carry-over WIPs
3. End the year with less WIPs than I started
4. Make one (themed?) pinkeep a month
5. Finish Sleepy Hollow so I can wrap up that contest (I haven't forgotten, just...not feeling Halloween)

So let's make this year's overall goals somewhat more achievable, shall we?
1. Finish Ganesh
2. Sort my life out to where I want it to be

As stated this is my list of permissible new starts. Of course, anything that I have the chart, 90% of the floss and a suitable piece of fabric is fair game. Hey, I have to keep my options open;P

Celtic Autumn     Sweeping Cobwebs     Misaki     Japanese Octagon Box     
Here Comes Treble     First Bass     Egyptian Sampler     Deco Spirits     
Cirque des Trianlges     Cirque des Carreaux     Cinderella     Blue Moon

And my New Year's start was from the list. Yay I've stuck to it!

Blue Moon
28ct Waterlily linen, half stitches in 2 strands

15 minutes in I went to snip some thread and realized that I'd been stitching with the wrong colour. 334 instead of 333. A feeble attempt to fudge failed when I realized that the later is a pale blue while the former is a vivid purple! Frog and restitch and one hour later I finish the 333 only to realize that I somehow don't have the next colour. And since I already highlighted the chart in preparation I'm going to have to wait till work tomorrow to reprint the chart.

It was when I went to note down the hours etc. that I realized that I haven't finished my last two New Years starts. (Legends of Dragons and Spring Queen) Is this yet another sign?

Add in some personal stuff that's making me seriously reevaluate things...

Well, it's a good thing I don't believe in signs and superstition. This year is going to be exactly what I want it to be and nothing is going to stop me!