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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

Here's wishing everyone a most wonderful new year, the best yet in 2009!!!


It's yet another new start, before the end of the year. What in the world am I doing? Enjoying my hobby, that's what. :)

When I received the Cross Stitch & Needlework Magazine that had the Halloween Fairy (Trick or Treat) several months ago, I browsed through it, checking out the other designs. Not many appealed to me, but one definitely did. In my reorganization project, I was about to file the magazine away when something made me decide to thumb through it again. I saw the design once again and decided that it MUST be done. Here is a little pic of the model and a pic of my start for Autumn Mosaic Pillow, a hardanger project which uses DMC Variations floss and #5 perle (I didn't even know the Variations came in perle!). Of course, I love variegated or hand-dyed perle floss, so I was anxious to get some in my hands. The colors are, of course, so ME.

I'm also working on Avatar, but I've moved him into the craft room where my magnifier lives. How did 32 ct (over 2) suddenly seem to get SO SMALL????

Monday, December 29, 2008

Aurora progress

As promised, here is the progress that I've made in the last few days on Aurora. I finished the top part of the border (filling in the middle section), the owl, and I also worked on her dress a little bit more. Although the fabric can be a little nit-picky (it's 28 ct. lugana, and the threads of the fabric separate sometimes, causing me to have to frog occasionally), I love the colors and enjoy working on her.

Next up is Avatar!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Awakened from hibernation

As may have been apparent from the dearth of updates on cross stitch projects in 2008, my desire to cross stitch has been hibernating in favor of other things (mainly quilting). Over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that it now appears to be out of hibernation.

It started slowly, with more of a kick in the rear to finish a couple of projects that have been very near completion for a over a year (Fantasy Sampler and Unicorn Mystique).

And I visited with my friend Melanie and several other stitchers earlier in December for a get-together / stitch day. On that day I added some of Melanie's former stash (primarily her floss, specialty fibers and beads collections) to my own. Combining the two collections led to my current organizing project because we organized them a little differently. I'm moving my entire Mill Hill bead collection out of their little packages into tubes (like I use for my other seed beads). My floss will stay in three separate types of storage because I have so many skeins in almost equal amounts in each of the types (in loose skeins in hardware containers that have drawers, wound on bobbins in floss boxes, and on Stitchbows in their master floss collection containers). I haven't decided whether I prefer the floss boxes or the Stitchbows, each having their pros and cons. I do like the Stitchbows because I don't have to kill my wrists wrapping all of the bobbins. But sometimes I like the storage convenience of the bobbins better. So for now I'll keep two collections, especially because it's easier to blend on bobbins (Teresa Wentzler projects primarily come to mind).

All of this organization led me to neatening up my WIPs storage area (one thing leads to another - crafter's ADD). And that led to my handling the WIPs quite a bit. I picked up Arabian Woman, as I mentioned in a previous post, and gave her some attention. Then I picked up Aurora. She's been getting some attention from me this week, and I'll probably take a progress photo soon. Avatar is already starting to grumble that he hasn't seen me in over a year and it is his turn. For some reason, going down the list alphabetically just seems to be the logical thing to do. It's hard to believe that a few of the projects have not seen any action in over 2 years. Time really does fly when one's desire for a particular hobby is hibernating.

I'm also starting to rectify one of the negative aspects of this particular hobby. I have finished quite a few projects which have been just hanging in my closet since they were finished. Occasionally I would pull them out and look at them, but then I'd just put them back because (of course) it costs money to frame them, money which I've been spending on other hobbies for the past year+. C and I had already discussed it a little, and we had agreed that I would go ahead and spend some of the money we have saved for framing Fantasy Sampler and Unicorn Mystique. Then my LNS sent a post card with a framing sale notice - 75% off their in-house frames if I have them do the framing (I can do it myself which is generally cheaper, or I can have them do it which is generally easier on me). I decided to take along a few extra smaller projects (Vintage Stitches, Halloween, Pumpkin Kitty, and Blackberry Jam), in case we had some money left over to do those also (two of those are from 2005!). The most excellent news is that, with the sale, not only did we have enough to frame all 6 projects, but we also have enough left over to frame one or maybe two more (Maidens of the Seasons, maybe Midsummer Night's Fairy).

Of course, I have no idea yet where I'm going to hang them, but I'll deal with that when I get them home. :) I'm just happy to be enjoying my stitching again. I find it funny that it's Winter here, when most people would be quilting more than stitching, and I'm doing the opposite - and I was quilting in the summer. I am SO backwards sometimes! :)

SSS 2008 quilt top complete

I finished it before the end of the year, hooray!

That's about all I've done quilting-wise this vacation so far. I've gotten completely caught up in an organizing project and cross stitching (topic for another post).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Vacation!

I'm off for the rest of the year, hooray! And other than a few doctor's appointments, I plan to take it easy and just play with fabric or yarn, or read, or put together jigsaw puzzles. :)

I finally finished my SSS 2008 block of the month for December, an Ohio Star Variation.

Now the block has sashing attached, and I plan to get the top stitched up by the end of the year (maybe tomorrow, if I can get in gear).

A few days ago I was looking at my cross stitch WIPs, and decided on a whim to pull out Arabian Woman and work on her. C looked at the pattern and said he couldn't remember me ever stitching on her. That's a little surprising because he's very attentive to my projects. Of course, it has been almost two years since she's seen any stitching, so maybe it shouldn't be a surprise. Here is my progress on her now.

Funny, it seemed like a lot more progress while I was working on her... maybe she won't have to wait another two years before we visit again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cherry Blossom Waterfall started

This project will be solidly stitched on 18 ct. beige aida (stitch count is 297x215 for a total of 63855 stitches!). Here's a little picture of the model and my first teensy bit of progress.

I think it's safe to say it's gonna take a while. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fantasy (Wedding) Sampler

Nearly 7 years in the making, my Fantasy Sampler is now complete! I didn't want to do the alphabet in the middle, and so I decided to make it a wedding sampler for C and myself.

I went ahead and started Cherry Blossom Waterfall - huge project, it'll probably take 20 years to finish, lol. :)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Knit socks finally a pair

I finished my second sock last night, so here's the pair of them, hooray!

I spent part of the day today merging two collections of DMC floss and Kreinik metallics. Melanie was getting rid of her cross stitch supplies, charts, and some WIPs and finished projects yesterday, so I decided to buy a few supplies (you can't have too much DMC, imho).

I find myself wanting to start one of my kitted BAPs, Cherry Blossom Waterfall. The colors are really serene and calming. Of course, I'm afraid of adding yet another huge project to my list. And I want to finish Fantasy Sampler before I begin any new cross stitch projects. We'll see how I feel after that...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Advantages to quilting

If you keep a couple for yourself, you can pile them on your bed and have a wonderful warm weight on you all night long. I didn't want to crawl out from under the covers this morning.

But I eventually did. I'm heading over to Melanie's today for a visit, to stitch, and see some stitching buddies that I haven't seen in a while.

I forgot to post a picture of some of the quilting I've been doing on the T-shirt quilt. I have 9 of 20 blocks quilted so far. Still a little ways to go. I doubt that I'll be able to finish it by Christmas, but he should still get some use out of it before Winter is over.

Oops, and I nearly forgot, I worked on the sashing for the black and white block of the month quilt top

I am nearly finished with the second sock of my third pair (one more round of the 4-row pattern repeat, then I can begin decreasing the toe). I also decided to try knitting two socks at one time on two circular needles. I have finished the 1½ inch cuffs, and I've started on the legs. So far it's not too bad, but I'm waiting to get to the heel, turning, gusset, etc. They are going a little bit faster because I'm working with a bit thicker yarn than I have used for the other socks I've knitted. I think I'm going to invest in some smaller circulars also, with the metal tips - I like them much better than the bamboo / wood ones. One of my bamboo dpns has developed a splinter, and I accidentally jammed it into my finger one day while knitting. Can't do that with metal ones.

I'm still working on Fantasy Sampler too. I would LOVE to finish it by the end of the year. I'll try to take a new progress pic tonight after I get back from Melanie's.

Thanks everyone for your comments on the unicorn and beads. They are definitely more uniform, and they give a nice dimension to the piece, I'm really liking the effect (for now it's just hanging where I put it to take a picture).