Monday, January 28, 2008

Precious little time

We have a new computer program at work which runs everything essential. Unfortunately, we are essentially de-bugging the thing while trying to work cases so things have slowed enormously. The result is precious little time for me to stitch as my lunch break has all but evaporated.

Chas will be working a lot through the beginnning of April, so posts here will be sparse.

I did manage to find time to start Purple Passion in a Bag, which was obtained thanks to Nicki. And thank you Nicki for the skein of Amethyst in my Christmas card--that was so thoughtful. I guess I've mentioned that I love purple.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Midi Post

I should just let the photo speak for itself, but here are the basics:

Stitched on 32 count Raw Belfast linen.
Used Kathleen's diagrams for the partial jessica windows.
Herb names stitched with SNC Forest of Greens.
Hildegarde's eye is stitched with SNC Chesnut
Gown stitched with SNC Cerise Noir, Elephant and Castle and Gloriana Rosewood NPI's for the backstitching on the gown (full conversion may be found here).
The roses are stitched with SNC Cerise Noir (I modified the jessica stitch so that they weren't quite so open).
The sheaf stitches are done in SNC Forest of Greens.
The beads in Hildegarde's basket are 684.
The beads in the vines are 297 and 125.

These are all actual photos, rather than scans. They still don't do the colors justice. You'll just have to believe me that this is lovely in real life.

I am fond of this series and can't wait to stitch the others. I am a little sad that the fourth installment (Ancient Times) will be the last. Of course, at the rate I stitch, I should be good with stitching them through 2014.

Some favorite elements are shown below.

The large herbs (I wish I had thought to add a few more as Nicki has done):

One of the flower beds ( I thought they looked awful on the chart but they are spectacular stitched):

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Thanks and a HAED Shot

Thanks for the nice comments regarding my stitching. I certainly don't feel that my stitching is too extraordinary, but your comments gave me warm, fuzzy feeling. Not that I think my stitching is terrible; I just think that there are lots of amazing stitchers out and about with beautiful WIPS. I'm glad a few of you decided to de-lurk because I really enjoyed perusing your blogs. So many projects that I wish I were stitching or want to be stitching--I love finding new stitching blogs. I always find new links to discover and wander through. These little creative adventures are always so inspiring.

Lots of stitching temptation out there, but I'm trying to be good. I haven't had any new starts since that first frenzied week. I may add a few more, in addition to the ornaments for that SAL, but I've been enjoying stitching the new projects rather than throwing any more new projects into the list. Some old favorites are singing to me so I may give them a little love as well. I'd like to start Paradigm Lost this month, but I don't have all the colors needed for my scheme, and I'm not sure I'm wanting to purchase much in the way of new supplies at present. Unfortunately, it may just need to wait until I'm ready to spend a little more money. I can't decide if the colors I'm intending are beautiful or too busy. Maybe I'll just ponder it awhile longer.

Here is my post SAL scan of my HAED 2008 Challenge piece. It is the same as the 2007 project because I'd like to finish one big HAED and this one is intended to be a gift.

What do you think? I had hoped to complete one more column of the main color, but no such luck. I'd like to finish 2 and a half pages on this project this year, but I'm not sure if I can do it.

Oh well, it's all about the journey right?

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Well That's Nice

The Recipe For Holley

3 parts Understanding

2 parts Attractiveness

1 part Pizzazz

Splash of Beauty

Finish off with a little umbrella and straw

You know what's really exciting? All the buttons have vanished in my compose a post Blogger page. I can hover over empty spaces and see a little tag, but I've got nothing but blank spots and a big white box in which to type.

Guess who needs to re-boot her computer!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Lurk No More, Reader, Lurk No More

According to Tanya, it is National Delurk Day/Week.

Any lurkers here who feel like saying "Hi!' in honor of this momentous and festive day/week?


Run, Don't Walk

Over to the Kalediestitch Yahoo Group! Shell has created a beautiful freebie sampler called "Love and Laughter" using Dinky Dyes. It is lovely and large--88 by 274.

I may have another new start very soon. I am reasonably certain that I have all but one or two of the Dinky Dyes in silks. That just screams "Start me Holley!" all on it's own.

Off to ponder fabric choices.

Oh, and I spoke too soon regarding stitching every chance I get--I have had almost no chance to stitch this week. Sigh. This has been a rough start to the new year. At work, I've been wondering why I'm there instead of home with my family. At home, Angie has started full day kindergarten which has led to the kind of acting out and defiance Chas and I did not enjoy when Angie exhibited it at the beginning of the school year.

I hope your week was happier and stitchier than mine.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lots of Little Pictures

I managed some quick scanning today! Still no photo of Midi yet though (sorry). I don't think I've posted photos since early November so you can go to the Ornie Blog and see my November ornaments (December will have to wait for my digital camera though). Here you can see my Progress on the HAED Challenge project after the November SAL. Just a tiny bit of progress in the upper right corner. I took a break from it in December so that I could finish Midi and work on ornaments. I think I was a bit burned out on the colors, which are similar to Midi, and are prevalent in QS Frog Prince 3. All the same, what you see is the result of 11 months of SAL participation. I'm hoping to complete another 2 and a half pages for 2008. It should be a little easier once I finish page two, which is a bit complicated.

The remaining scans are from my new WIPs, discussed yesterday. No new starts yesterday--Saturdays are tremendously busy for Chas. Although he works from home, he is glued to his computer and the t.v. all day (and yes, he truly loves his job) so I am busy chasing and entertaining the kids--fun, but very little stitching time for me.

This is Hope Perches. It was the first new project of this year because I wanted to start with some hope. I am using Thread Gatherer silks instead of the recommended fibers on 32 Count Pussywillow Lugana by Sugar Maple Fabrics (SMF). I hope Tanya doesn't mind the substitutions. It's even prettier in real life and I feel happy just stitching it.

Next is Colored Pencils which is being stitched on 32 count Daffodil Lugana by SMF. This will be a teacher gift for Angie's kindergarten teacher. On the first day of school, her teacher mentioned that her favorite color is yellow so searched my stash for a nice yellow to use instead of the cream linen that came with the kit. I am using the Danish Flower Thread that came in the kit and it stitches nicely. Then again, I am one of those strange people who really loves perle threads, whether silk or cotton or something else. I'm excited about how I'm going to finish it which helps me stay motivated--it is a little dull stitching the same shape over and over again (the design is twelve differently colored pencils arranged horizontally and vertically).

This is the start of Have a Cup of Cheer. The fabric is a lovely piece from a Dinky Dye limited edition pack. It's very cheerful on it's own and I found some festive skeins of Six Strand Sweets since it is a choose your own design. I mentioned frogging it and starting over on a different fabric, but on second thought, I think I like how this looks. Any thoughts? The fabric color is fairly true, but the cotton threads are a bit brighter in reality. I'm not sure how I will finish it, or even if I can finish it in time for the competition, but this is another one that just makes me happy to stitch.

Finally, if the other projects make me happy to stitch, this one makes me delirious with joy. It's Polar Lights by Chatelaine. The scan is a little dark and I couldn't tinker with it to get it right, so just imagine this, only a little lighter. I have had the chart for over a year and the fabric for over two years and I've slowly been acquiring the supplies. I'm still missing a few Weeks Dye Works, but I was so eager to start this now I figured that it wouldn't matter--I only need some of the darker blues and purples and I will have everything thing except the Mill Hill Treasures. The Fabric is SMF Shimmering Lilac Lane and in real life it is perfect. I am a little worried about the creases, but I'll just do my best to fix them. I'm sure that once I spend some quality time stitching on it, the creases will disappear.

I may not be able to start anything new until tomorrow, but I have two projects bagged up for my lunch break. Thanks to Janet, I have a more coherent diagram for the nun stitch, but I'm still not sure how it will work for the Autumn bellpull. I also have a Purple Passion in a Bag (thanks to a trade with Nicki last year) lined up and found a great diagram for a palestrina knot and I'm eager to try it. I'm also thinking about starting Graceful Lady for my Mom because it has far less backstitching and color changes than the Japanese Angel, which is lovely, but frustrating. Finally, I hesitate to say this because I may jinx myself, but I'm thinking about starting Paradigm Lost by Long Dog. I wanted to stitch it on 36 count, but I don't have any. Then I hit upon a color scheme I think will be great and I have some 32 count linen that will work. I toyed with the idea of doing it over one, but it would be too small. I just don't know what I will do. I may do floss tosses and post some more pictures, or I may just dive right in.
I don't have any unstarted Chatelaine Mandalas or I would start one (I'm awful I know). I think the only other Chatelaines unstarted are the Stitching Leporello, the Japanese Octoganal Box, the Illuminated Medieval Manuscript,Christmas Mystery 3 and Midis 2 and 3. No wait, I'm wrong: I have St. Petersburg unstarted, but I missing most of the supplies and I'm in Mystery XI, but I only have a few fibers. I'd love to start the Leporello, but I don't have enough fabric. I could start the JOB because I have everything I need, but I'm not sure it would be so satisfying to stitch all those black boxes. Not sure what I will do but I think I will allow myself one more Chatelaine start in addition to Autumn. Goodness I have a lot of Chatelaines.

Janet has asked a few times for my secret. I don't have one except that I do try to stitch whenever I can and I try to stitch for even a few minutes each day. Sometimes I feel like I'm going at a snails pace (at some point I will show you my plodding progress on the crane medallion in JG), but at least it is some progress.

Is anyone else stating the new year with new starts? I highly encourage you to start something new. I love that moment when the project actually starts. It is a wonderful feeling and the time away from current WIPS makes them feel fresh and new again too.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

I Start, Therefore I Am.

I have attempted a new start everyday of this new year. The serial starter in me is giddy with the joy of multiple new projects.

January 1: Hope Perches by The Sampler Girl (Love it)
January 2: Colored Pencils by Scandinavian Stitches (my first use of Danish Flower Thread--nice) I figured that I should start my teacher gift now so that it is actually finished by the end of this school year. I want to avoid the stressful debacle that was the ornaments.
January 3: Polar Lights by Chatelaine (I try very hard not to squeal with delight every time I put in a new stitch I'm so excited to start this project finally)
January 4: Have a Cup of Cheer by the Sampler Girl (I think I'm going to frog it and start it on a different fabric--so two starts for the price of one!)

And no guilt yet!

No scans as I haven't had time to operate the scanner (unclutter it really). I'm sneaking this post in quickly before Chas has to start working in a few hours.

I attempted to start Autumn by Chatelaine on my lunch, but I've never done a nun stitch and the chart doesn't seem to have a diagram for it. At home I searched for nun stitch diagrams on the Internet, but after looking at several, I still don't fathom it at all. Since I'm not actually finishing this as a bellpull, I may just use a satin stitch instead and be done with it.

I have a few other new starts lined up and I'm contemplating a HAED start but don't know which project I want to use. Nothing is really screaming at me to start, but I'm generally thinking about either Found or Pirate Dragon by Lisa Victoria or maybe the QS for Fireflies on Parade by Stacy Tippin. Or maybe if I want to start a big HAED, I'll go with Bedtime Tales by Lisa Victoria. I'm tempted to start a new Teresa Wentzler and maybe an M Designs chart, perhaps a few other big things. We'll see--I don't think it is possible to have 31 new starts this month.

I'm having a good time. Can you tell?

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Contemplating a Guilt-Free January...

I'm trying to be oh so good and not purchase any new charts this year.

So I think my guilt free January will involve new starts. Serial starter me did not actually start any big projects last year so I may just go wild and start bunches of things. Bunches.


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2008: Stitching from My Stash

2008 will be my second year of WIP slaying--and this year, I'm concentrating on stitching from my stash and rather than obtaining more supplies for my stash. With some effort, I'd like to finish more big projects and finish more than ten wips, ufos and swips. I plan to keep the Ornaments SAL and the HAED Challenge SAL plus I hope to do at least two HAED QS SALs each month. I will also be running a Lenten SAL and the Chatelaine Summer Olympics at the Chatelaine BB. I may try to convince Janet to do a Taj SAL with me, but I probably should finish Japanese Gardens first, before Taj lures me away.

I would like to do another Love Quilt Square and would like to stitch a butterfly project for the Houston Holocaust Museum. In my perfect world, I'd love to do an RR, but my stitching time is inconsistent at present and that wouldn't be fair to anyone else. Maybe participating in an RR will be a goal in 2009, but how about I just focus on 2008 and not get ahead of myself?

So once again, from my current WIP and UFO lists, I hope to finish:

Japanese Garden
Water Garden
Tree of Hope
Amethyst Mystery
Christmas Tree Mandala

QS Frog Prince
QS Buttercup Kitty Fae
2 pages of Bedtime Story
3 pages of HAED Challenge

Teresa Wentzler:
Diamonds in Squares

Japanese Angel
Antique Airplane
Stealing Oats

I'm hoping to start the following designs:

Midi Mystery 2
Midi Mystery 3
Polar Lights
Japanese Octagon Box
St Petersburg White Nights

Bedtime Tales (Lisa Victoria)

Teresa Wentzler:
Millennium (Planets only)
Tapestry Dog (taking out the cat, inserting a black lab)
You Were Hatched

Graceful Lady
Long Dog Paradigm Lost
Ornaments for each monthly SAL
Sampler for a friend
Hope Perches

I know this post is a bit dull, but I'm going to put a list of musts too.

I must finish:
2 Chatelaine Mandalas
Amethyst Mystery
QS Frog Prince
Japanese Angel
Antique Airplane
Stealing Oats
Love Quilt Square
Butterfly project

I must start:
Sampler for a friend
1 new Chatelaine
Graceful Lady
Millennium (Planets only)
Tapestry Dog

I will:
Stitch at least one ornament each month
Stitch at least one Pickmachinchose each month
Stitch 5 pendibules during the year
Do a 50 project Challenge when the 25 project Challenge is done
Assemble finished ornaments

I'd like to throw in a motif a week project, which would either be Paradigm Lost or Polar Lights. I may start Midi 4 in July, but we'll see if I can finish either 2 or 3 first.

2008 will definitely be a Stitch from My Stash year. But now, I'm wondering, do I dare indulge in a guilt free January?

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