Aug 26, 2015

A Little More Gate

The gate is coming along.  This is a good depiction of how it is all coming together.

Aug 25, 2015

My Vision Coming to Life

This is a few days worth of stitching my add ons.  It should take about a week to complete the rest of the design.

Aug 9, 2015

The Dress

I finished Raven's dress tonight. I have been working like a dog on it for the past 13 days (although I missed a couple days due to babysitting my grandson).  I got it done though before I leave on a trip on Monday.  I still have to fill in the bottom part of the design but I am thinking about using something else other than what is charted.

 (I used the "paint" feature in my computer to see what this design (gatekeepers) would look like in this design.  The grayish background will not be gray, that will be the color of the fabric.  I think I love it.)

I have been stitching this on my favorite lapstand by American Dream Products.

Jul 28, 2015

The Raven Queen @ 30 Days

I have been staying busy on this wonderful project and staying indoors while it is so hot.

The grays in the stonework are not as enjoyable for me; the colors are boring and there is a lot of changing threads but now that I am on to the dress, it is much more enjoyable.

I am going to Cali on Aug.10 and I am wondering if I will be able to finish it by then.

I also bought 2 new charts that I am excited about though I do not know when I will get to stitch them.  I was disappointed though because they were a little pricey and they are printed on printer paper.  They are designs by Lena Lawson:

Jul 15, 2015

Halfway on Raven Queen

I am now at the halfway point on the chart (but not half of the stitching since there is more stitches on the bottom half of the design) after 19 days since I started this piece.

I love this design but I think it has taken over my life.  I stitch anywhere from 3 to 6 hours a day but not straight, broke up through the day and night.  Since I don't work, I get to stitch everyday but as far as the actual stitching goes, I must be a slow stitcher because there are a couple ladies in the facebook group that have finished the entire design already.

I have only made a few small changes in this design.  I used a variated thread for the border that included dark gray, purple and medium blue shades (it is a needle necessities floss and I think they are now threadworx.  The floss # is 1832.  I did this instead of alternating 3 colors of floss and beads just to do the border so I simplified.)  I also used red mill hill beads for the ravens eyes (mh 3049).  And then I added a small moon in the upper right corner of the design  using dmc 762 (9 spaces down from the top border and 7 spaces in from the right border), I am including the chart here for anyone who might want to use it (I created it myself).

Fyi: If you use this moon chart on this Raven Queen design be sure to stitch the tower first (not the backstitching though) and then the moon so you will know where to skip over the stitches in the tower.  The backstitching should be added after the moon has been stitched.

Jul 8, 2015

Raven Queen @ 11 Days

I am hoping to be done with the top half of the chart within the next week.

I don't think I will be using the wisper thread because neither of my suppliers carry it and it is a hassle to get but it's fine because I think it is only on her sleeves and they look fine without it to me.

I enjoy seeing everyone elses journey on this design in the facebook group.

Jul 2, 2015

Introducing The Raven Queen

Here is my start on Mirabilia's "The Raven Queen".  This is 5 days worth of progress and I am loving every stitch so far.

This one is being stitched on Polstitches "Blue Moon", 28 count opal lugana.  I am loving my choice so far.

The needle minders were purchased from an etsy boutique from Gina.  I love them, they are made with the silver earth magnets which are thin and super strong.

The facebook group is starting to get going now that more and more stitchers are receiving their charts and supplies.  One lady is even half way done already.  I wish I knew how she is stitching so fast.  I feel like I have been stitching day and night.

There is a long way to go on this design yet.  I haven't decided if I will stitch it until the end or take a break from it at some point. Right now it is my favorite of all my wips.

Jun 27, 2015

This Blog Post Brought to you by the Letter G

I am just loving stitching up Letter G by Nora Corbett.  It is stitching up so quickly, I am about halfway done and I have only been working on it for 3 or 4 days.

I love how sparkly the wings are (much more so than the photo depicts) and the fabric is perfect for this design.  It is called Fairy Flight by Under the Seas Fabrics.

I am stitching this for my daughter for xmas but I might be tempted to keep it for my portfolio.

I chose all of my own floss from my stash because I didn't want to purchase 15 crescent colors.

Jun 23, 2015

A Little Red

I decided to put "Red" away for now but here is where I left off. (this piece is stitched on Cosmos by Polstitches).

Tonight I plan to start the Letter "G" from Nora for my daughter.  I will be stitching it on Fairy Flight by Under the Sea Fabrics.

I probably won't complete it until later in the year though because I plan to start Raven Queen right away, as soon as I get the chart and supplies which will be very soon.

Jun 13, 2015

Mermaid Verde (Aqua) Completed

Another petite mermaid has been completed.  This one was pretty quick even with frogging out almost all of the tail and redoing it.  I had to design it myself as well; it isn't the greatest design but it will do, I like it better than the original.

This one also was placed in the portfolio.  I really like having my finished cross stitches as a collection.  I don't feel the need to have every item I stitch hanging on the wall.

Today I brought "Red" back out.  I think I got over 500 stitches accomplished.  If I really get busy on it every single day, I may be able to complete it before my framer retires since this one is a piece I would like to display.

Color conversion:
dmc 935---dmc 3842
         469---         3843
  469/704---         3845
          704---         3846
          772---         3846/ white
         3371---        310

Kreinik 3514 --- kreinik 684

Mill hill 2016 --- mh 2008
                2098 ---       2089

Beaded swag:
mill hill 2089, 2022, 2010, 18027

dmc 155, 3846,
Mh 2010
Kreinik 012

Suggested colors for original tail:
dmc 3814 --- kreinik 012 #4 braid
dmc 992 --- dmc 3846
dmc 913 --- dmc 155
dmc 955 --- dmc 3846/white

FYI: I did not stitch these suggested colors for the tail using the original design so I do not know how it will turn out.  These colors are based on the design that I did stitch.

Jun 3, 2015

Sea Flora Completed

I completed Sea Flora about a week ago.  She is one of my favorite petite mermaids and she makes a lovely addition to my collection in my portfolio.
Here she is inside of the portfolio with Mermaid Azure.
I also started Mermaid Verde with some alterations I made to the color scheme; she may need to be renamed Mermaid Aqua.  She reminds me of Cher.

May 15, 2015

At The Met Framed

I was thrilled to get this piece framed this week but it is probably the last one by my usual framer here in Phoenix (Nick's Frameshop) because he is retiring.  Not only are his prices lower than I have seen in other frameshops but I had been getting a loyalty discount of 25%. This one only cost $157 to have framed (which is still a lot of money but less than this would cost anywhere else).  I don't believe I will see prices like that again.

Since I won't be able to complete any of my larger pieces before he retires in July of this year and I am not prepared to spend a bundle getting many of my smaller "portfolio" finishes framed (though it is tempting), this will most likely be the last piece I have framed until I am ready to cough up some real dough.

Most every piece that I have had framed has been done by Nick's Frameshop.

This one was framed with 3 mats.  The top one is black suede, the middle one is a silver metallic and the bottom one is a tan/gold/brown marble and of course you can see the dome cut to it. The frame itself is black with a gold trim towards the inside border.

I am also still working on Sea Flora.  I am getting close to a finish with only her tail fin left.

May 3, 2015

A Good Beading

Every now and then, I need a good beading.

I am getting the brilliant colored branch worked on tonight and it is packed with beads.  I do love adding the beads but it is time consuming so I didn't get as much stitching completed as usual.

On 28 count, the vertical columns of beads don't fit so I am converting them by putting a horizontal half stitch of just floss after every 2 beads.  For this reason I am using floss that matches the beads to attach them with which is a good idea anyway.  I matched mh 02096 with dmc 741 and mh 03056 to dmc 3721.

I am using beading needles which are sharp and difficult to thread but necessary for adding beads.  Since I like my beads to be well secured and parallel to the other stitches rather than diagonal, I put a regular cross stitch going through the bead for each half of the stitch.

For easy access, I use a small craft/pill container's lid with double sided tape to hold the beads in while I stitch. I never have to worry about spilling the tiny beads. This conveniently sits on the bottom rod of my scroll frame while I stitch the beads on.

I am also adding the Kreinik.  #4 Kreinik braid is pretty easy to work with, it has minimal fraying.  It is difficult to thread though so having a larger than usual needle and a needle threader are useful.

Apr 30, 2015

Sea Flora Started

I have a nice little start on Sea Flora by Nora Corbett.  This is being stitched on 28 count opalescent lugana by Polstitches fabric (2 over 2).

I really do love stitching Nora's designs.  Her smaller mermaid series has a lot of cute ones so I plan to stitch a few more.

The needleminder is "homemade"; assembled at home, purchased at Michael's Craft Store.

Need to know about this design:
The stitch count on the package has a typo; it reads 100 x 112.  The actual count is 100 x 212.
Also, be prepared to enlarge the chart.

Apr 25, 2015

Sea Flora Prep Night

I have been stitching on Venetian Mask for 2 weeks now and I am ready for something new.

I chose Sea Flora because I think this design is lovely and graceful and I just love the colors.

Preparing for a new project has many steps. I have already chosen my fabric, it is going to be a Polstitches opalescent lugana, the color is called "friendship".  This part was tricky because the design measures a little over 15 inches tall on 28 count fabric over 2. With a fat quarter I wanted to cut the fabric in half which is what I did (a fat quarter is roughly 18 x 26).  Polstitches gives a generous width of 18 1/2 - 19 inches  which became my length after the cut so even though that only leaves me with a little less than 2 inches on 2 of the margins I decided to go for it. (Note: there is an error on the package for the stitch count; it states 100 x 112 but it is actually 100 x 212).

 This piece will probably go in the portfolio when completed.

I pulled all of the flosses that are needed and I had them all.  I pulled out the mill hill beads I had and made an order to 123stitch for the beads and kreinik that I didn't have.

Now I have to get my fabric on the scroll rods which is a small process of which I added an extra step of stitching a running thread along the margins that will go parallel to the rods so it will be easier to get the fabric straight when taping it.

Here is my progress on Venetian Mask.  She is coming along very nicely but will take a slumber for a while until I get to missing her and want to see her again.

Apr 11, 2015


Nora's Hummingbird was a quick and enjoyable stitch.  I stitched this piece on 28 count opalescent lugana by Under the Seas Fabric.
Here he is with his mates:

As you can see, these are safely displayed in the portfolio.  I may get them framed someday as a set but not anytime soon.  I still have Yellowbird to stitch up someday.

Apr 10, 2015

Progress Report

In case anyone was wondering what I have been up to, the following is my progress report for the last month.  I completed 2 smaller pieces.  Flying Colors by Just Nan on Sunny Dyes opalescent lugana.  Even though it seems a smaller design should be quicker and easier, it really isn't.  The change of colors gets tedious and because it is small I tend to stitch less which is o.k. because sometimes stitching for hours and hours on end gets old.

This next piece is Blackbird Inn by Little House Needleworks stitched on 32 count white jobelyn.

These were both added to one of my portfolios. 

Next up is Lady with Lilac Flower, no progress has been made since the last time I posted about this piece.  This is 4 days worth of stitching.

This next piece is my beginning on Venetian Mask, it is 2 days worth of progress. 

Lastly, I am about a day away from finishing Nora's Hummingbird.  I just have the border left to complete which I am altering a tad.  This is stitched on Under the Seas opalescent lugana.

Mar 13, 2015

Leopard Cub Completed

This piece was started in August of 2014; I worked on it for 1 week then put it aside.  I didn't know when or if I would get back to it but on Feb. 17 I had the motivation to pick it back up again; finished it yesterday (March 12).

This is a Dimensions Gold Petite and cost only $7.85 for the kit at Michael's after the coupon.  I swapped out the aida fabric with 32 count ivory lugana.

This was an enjoyable stitch for the most part.  I didn't care for the little bit of confetti stitching it entailed but I muddled through it. (My hubby keeps mistakenly calling it spaghetti stitching but he knows it is not a good thing, lol).  I don't think I would have the wherewithal to do a full size Dimensions kit (though I did one once that took 4 months (see Mother Earth)) or a HAED type of pattern.

This is going to be an addition to my 8 x 11 portfolio and as you can see it is all ready to be inserted.

Mar 3, 2015

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 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.