Mar 3, 2015

I Love Organizing Projects

I have begun getting my next projects organized which is something I love to do as much as I love stitching.

 Flying Colors by Just Nan
This one is completely ready on the scroll rods using fabric from Sunny Dyes
 Hummingbird by Nora Corbett
I plan to use fabric from Under the Sea fabrics which means no stitching the background blue.
Blackbird Inn by Little House Needleworks
This one was charted for Gentle arts threads but I chose my own similar colors of floss
Plan to use 32 count white lugana

Cynthia's Sampler
Thinking about using this polstitches hand dyed but not sure the colors in the design will show up.

I have also been wanting to share this fun idea with you.  I keep my floss in baggies with index cards for support but I recently started using scrapbook paper instead of index cards.

I'll leave you with my progress of my Dimensions Leopard Cub.  He is coming along nicely, I should be done in a week or so.

Walls of Elegance

This is what a home of an obsessed stitcher looks like.  Most of these pieces have been being rotated over the last 1 1/2 years which meant most sat in the closet.  I finally decided that I couldn't allow them to be so neglected.  It was a challenge to find a tasteful way of displaying so many pieces without it overtaking but I decided it must be done because I still adore all of these.  These represent most of my stitching from 2008 through 2013.  I still have a few in the closet but these are my favorites.  These first 3 photos are from my living room.

These next ones are in my bedroom.
My dining room:

And lastly the hallway.  I do not have any in the bathrooms and there is no space in my kitchen.
Looking to the left.

Looking to the right

Feb 26, 2015

The Joy of Stitching

This last week I have been working on Leopard Cub by Dimensions.  I am really enjoying working on this piece and watching it come to life.  Because this project is smaller than my last one, I feel less compelled to stitch for hours on end in an effort to complete it.  I am now stitching at a more leisurely pace which is nice.

I don't know why Dimensions kits are underappreciated (perhaps it is the aida fabric it comes with), these designs are so beautiful and they cost much less than what some of the other designs are going for.  I usually just swap out the aida for evenweave (jobelyn or lugana) and it is still a good bargain in comparison.

I don't appreciate what some designers are doing to increase their revenue.  Even though I have never been much of a sampler or folk art fan, I still like a few of these and purchase a chart from time to time.  I have always been a frugal shopper and try to get the best value for the cost so maybe it is just me but I don't appreciate when a chart comes out in several separate installments and costs much more than if it had been released as one full design.  I also don't appreciate when a cross stitch designer takes a small design and includes floss, beads or other items to increase the price significantly.

One such designer is Just Nan.  I used to love, love, love their designs and if you look at my portfolio, you will see several of their designs.  I haven't purchased a chart from them in a very long time and I really love the samplers they used to come out with but those are a thing of the past now.  They rarely come out with a sampler and the designs they do come out with are overpriced, in my opinion.  However,  I found a few of their older charts on etsy and I am so looking forward to stitching them; Cynthia's Sampler and Morning Song.  I also caved and paid the retail price for "Flying Colors" which I have always loved.

Looking at the contrast of the different projects I stitch got me thinking how whatever project I happen to be working on seems to define my life during that particular time.  Different styles or sizes of designs will determine how much time and thought I devote to it and how that fits into my other activites in life.  How much enjoyment verses how much effort that goes into a piece also will determine my overall outlook during that period of time.

When I was working on "At the Met", I thoroughly enjoyed it but I also wanted to get significant progress regularly or I might have lost interest in the piece so I did a lot more stitching during that time.

Because I am a cross stitch addict, stitching defines my life overall anyway.  I can not conceive of not stitching (I have tried it and I was not balanced).  I am continually searching for designs for future endeavors and I look for projects that I know I will feel good about.  I usually have five to ten upcoming projects in mind that I look forward to.

I thought about why I am a cross stitch addict and there are many factors:
* I have a need to be productive (even if, realistically, a pile of completed cross stitches don't amount to anything)
* I prefer leisure hobbies to more active ones
* This particular craft yields more beautiful items than other types of needlework (in my opinion)
* It keeps me from being inclined to get a job (which makes for a less stressful life for me)
* It keeps my mind full which combats emptiness
* Even though I strive for completions, it really is about the journey

1. Blackbird Inn - LHN
2. Flying Colors - JN
3. Cynthia's Sampler - JN
4. Hummingbird - NC
5. Mermaid Verde - NC
6. Lady with Lilac - Lanarte: I have to restitch this one because I sold it and then later I missed it but I am not looking forward to all of the confetti stitching.

Feb 21, 2015

More Portfolio Books

I have put together two more portfolio books; technically one is a scrapbook. The first one is an 8 x 8 inch scrapbook (I don't think the portfolio books come in this size). The second one is an 8 1/2 x 11 inch portfolio book by Itoya (fyi, not all portfolio binders are the same, some have flimsy paper/pages in them). The one I chose has sturdy cardstock in the sleeves and has 10 sleeves (20 pages), this normally cost $32.99 at Micheal's but as you know there are always 40% off coupons floating around. I also bought some colorful cardstock paper (acid free) that I inserted into the sleeves for a brighter portfolio (8 1/2 x 11 inch stack $4.99).

Most of the pieces I put into these books were stitched prior to 2009 and had been in sudberry boxes or frames of some sort. They eventually were removed from those items and stored away.

In preparation for putting my pieces nicely into the portfolios, I simply ironed a measured seam (anywhere from 1/8 inch to 1 inch -- although I did not get every edge perfectly straight) around each one and pinned the corners back with tiny applique pins for a better display in the pages. I doubt I will ever decorate the pages but it is real nice to be able to simply flip through pages to see the works I have created over the years.

I still have many pages available in all 3 of my portfolio books which has given me a new enthusiasm to stitch and now I have even more freedom in my choice of project because I do not have to be concerned about my home decor style and whether it will fit in or not.

The main thing I love about this idea is that there is no need to be giving my stitched items away and I am glad that I have not sold or given away very many pieces over the years while these were put away because I still love seeing them.


Feb 16, 2015

A Big Finish

I did it!  My first big Mirabilia finish since August 2013.  This one took 6 1/2 weeks to finish and I worked on it almost everyday.

When I first saw this design, the day it was released - Oct. 15, 2014 (because us Mirabilia fans are always anxious to see the new release(s) immediately), I fell in love with it and knew I had to stitch this up.

I got to tell you though that doing a large project that takes many weeks is not my favorite thing.

As usual, I changed many things:

Sash:  Dmc 3712 and 610 -- dmc 760
           the waterlily changes are posted on week 2 and week 3's posts.

embroidery on dress: 
beads on leaves:   mill hill 42010 & 0210
stems:  rainbow gallery petite treasure braid pb203 & pb47
bead strings along the very bottom: mill hill 02022 & 42010
mill hill treasure: 12006
bead squares @ bottom: mill hill 02082
backstitching: pb65

Now I will go celebrate.

Feb 5, 2015

My First Portfolio

I can't believe after all of the years I have been stitching that I haven't thought of this until now.  My husband gave me the idea to check into artist's portfolio books when I recently was discussing what I could do with all of my finishes wasting away in a bin.  I was explaining that I wanted to turn my finishes into a book so I can easily look through the pages anytime.

Many years ago I started scrapbooking smaller finishes.  I spent a fortune on scrapbooking supplies and that was fun but I think I like this better and now my finishes can be enjoyed just by opening up the book and flipping through the pages.

This book has pages that are 14 x 17 and my mid sized pieces fit pretty good after folding one edge of the fabric a little bit.

This one I bought at Michael's and cost $64 but I used a 50% off coupon.  It has 22 sleeves and I have already filled 13 of them, most from my 2014 finishes.

After going through my boxes of old finishes, I found 5 more pieces to add.

AT THE MET Week 4 and 5

I am still making slow and steady progress.

Jan 23, 2015


It doesn't look like I added much this week but I stitched a lot.  This piece is on the 18" extender bars now.  I "only" have a little more than 100 rows left.

Lots and lots of beads were added this week.  I had to do some fanagling because when you have long columns of seed beads they don't fit (even on 28 count) so I exchanged some of them for either metallic floss or petite beads of similar colors.

I did not like the color of the 2087 beads so most of those were exchanged with violet beads (I don't know the product number but based on photos of beads I think it is 02082).

In her sash I substituted Caron Waterlilies 207 with DMC variations 4030, CWL 163 with DMC 550 and CWL 067 with DMC variations 4060.

Jan 15, 2015


I reached my goal for this week a day early.  I really love stitching all the pretty beads on and is one of the reasons I love stitching Mirabilia designs.

I substituted some of the beads and used dmc variations 4030 to replace Caron Waterlilies 207 in the garland.  I also replaced CWL 067 on her arm bling with silver metallic floss.

Although this is the halfway point on the pattern, I believe the bottom half has quite a bit more stitching involved and will take longer than 2 weeks but I think I am going to work on it until I complete it.