Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another Finish...and a PLAN!

Yes, I've been finishing off projects! Here's the last of my lingering smalls. It's Penguin Hugs by Paw Printings from the 2004 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue. I'm not normally one for *cute* but this one got me. I don't remember how many years ago I started him (guessing maybe six years), but he lacked only backstitching, border, and charms.

Penguin Hugs 031512 finished

Stitched on a random, unknown lugana (32ct, I think) from a Silkweaver's grab bag. Don't know why it took me so long to finish. I must have been distracted by something shiny.

As I mentioned, the little guy is the last of my smalls I needed to finish up. This brings my current WIP count to SEVEN! Yay!! Haven't had a WIP count that low in more years than I care to think about. Here's the current list:

1. Egypt Garden (Chatelaine Designs) - BAP - 75% complete
2. Evening in the Park (Chatelaine Designs) - BAP - 66% complete
3. Misty Morning Vineyard (Chatelaine Designs) - BAP - 5% complete
4. Elizabethan Sweete Bag (Chatelaine Designs) - medium - 75% complete
5. English Garden Sampler (Teresa Wentzler) - BAP - 15% complete
6. Diamond Delights 9 (DebBee's Designs) - medium/large - 90% complete
7. Pineapple Stitches (Jeannette Douglas Designs) - medium) - 5% complete

Egypt is my focus piece right now. I'm using it for the Chatelaine WIP Slayers Contest and trying for a finish by the end of May. Will be close, but I just might make it. DD9 is really close to finished, too. My goal is to have it finished by the end of March.

My plan for April and May is to focus on Egypt and use either EGS or Pineapple Stitches as my "break" from Egypt when needed. I'm not making any specific plans beyond May. But, it sure would be nice to end the year closer to my ultimate goal of a rotation of four WIPs.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Next Stop for the Travelling Pattern

Well, I got caught out stitching and failed to make the draw for the next destination for the Stitcherhood's Travelling Pattern. Life's a Stitch will next stop at Susan's Afford Your Passions home in Texas. I know Susan herself is travelling this week, so hopefully I can get this sent to her so it will be in her mailbox when she arrives home. I can't wait to see her version of this design!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Egypt and Diamonds

Can't believe I'm actually posting for the third time in a week! Something must be wrong. Actually, it probably has something to do with procrastinating work.

I took a canvas work class with Debbie Rowley of DebBee's Designs last month. And, I don't think I shared my progress. This is her Diamond Delights 9 in a colorway of my choosing:

DD9 progress after class

I enjoyed the class. Debbie is a lovely person - very knowledgeable and approachable. I am hoping if I just do a few diamonds each month, I will finish before I start the big canvas work project SAL in which I plan to participate beginning this fall. More details on that in another post. For March, I hope to finish the two diamonds that are only partially worked and also complete two additional diamonds. That's fairly ambitious as some of the diamonds take a long time to work. Most of them are worked with multiple needles and are techniques I've not encountered before. I'm definitely learning a lot.

So, I tried to make better photos of my Egypt Garden. I did finish pyramid #3 as planned last night. I even put yellow paper underneath the fabric when I snapped the photos. The fabric is a pale but bright yellow (Shortbread by Country Stitch) that looks like I imagine bright sunlight on the sand dunes would appear.

Egypt Garden as of 030812

Egypt Garden 030812 close up

I hope to finish the last pyramid this month. Then, I'm in the home stretch. Finishing this WIP is a huge goal for this year! I'm hoping the Chatelaine WIP Slayer contest will help me get there.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Year of the Dragon

Just after I finished my Stitcherhood piece, I picked up an older WIP in need of a bit of love to finally come to a finish. I thought it most appropriate to stitch and finish in this Year of the Dragon. The design is Red Dragon Bookmark by Dracolair. I have never in my entire life stitched something so small with so many fractional stitches. Honestly, it makes me feel like stitching a Mirabilia or something with big blocks of the same color! Hahaha!

It is stitched on 32ct Golden Harvest belfast by Silkweavers. I subbed DMC light effects of the same number for DMC 321. Never again will I use that fiber. Completely vile (shreds horribly, rubs rough patches in the needle eye, and is generally stiff and yucky). However, I am pleased with the effect of the added sparkle. Dragon scales should sparkle. :D Best part is that I've killed another WIP! I'm really trying to be better about finishing things.

Getting a good photo was a challenge I failed, sorry. Some day I am going to learn how to make good photos of my needlework. I wish I knew the secret. The fibers look pretty true to color, but the fabric is actually a golden brown rather than the white/pale blue that it appears to be on my monitor.

red dragon bookmark 022812

I will finish him as an ornament rather than bookmark. Since I only read my Kindle and not paper books these days, he'll see more use that way.

Since finishing Red Dragon, I've been working on Egypt's third pyramid. Hoping to finish it tonight. Um, it looks pretty much like the other two, but I'll likely take a photo anyway in an effort to attempt photographing my yellow fabric as actually yellow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Life's A Stitch Travelling Pattern

Less than two weeks ago, Annette shared the happy news with me that I was the next member of the Stitcherhood of the Travelling Pattern! How fun is that?!?! Part of the deal is that you have to drop everything and stitch the design right away. So, of course, I did. :D I had a lot of fun playing in my stash to find fabric and fibers to use. Because, you know, I can't ever stitch anything without changing something. I changed a *few* somethings. ;) The fabric is 32ct. Haystack belfast linen from Country Stitch, and I used various fibers from my collection of Dinky Dyes opps packs, plus Purple Vampire Bat from Hand Dyed Fibers. All fibers are silk or silk perle. I also changed the border from the designed satin stitches to a sort of modified eyelet stitch. And the centers of the flowers are rhodes stitches. It was a very fun and quick stitch. The colors I chose happen to match my office/hobby room. I'm planning to finish it as a drawer pull/ornament using leftover fabric from my window treatments in said room.

Here is my result:

life's a stitch 022712

The lovely stitching by my eleven predecessor "Stitcherhood" members can be found here:

Hooked On Stitches
Old Ragged Threads
Loretta Stitching Blog
Reflections In The Pond
Erica’s Places
My New Perspective
Buttons & Stitches
Kate’s Floss Box
Serendipitous Stitching
Measi’s Musings
Annette's Acre

I really do love that everyone has stitched a unique version of this design. That just adds to the fun, I think.

Well, this is a Traveling Pattern, so it's time for it to journey to another stitcher. Drawing time!

If you would like to be a part of the Stitcherhood for this Traveling Pattern, here are the rules:

1. Comment on this post, saying you would like to be part of the Stitcherhood.

2. You agree (if you are chosen) to stitch the design and send it along to the next person in a timely manner. If this means dropping everything in your rotation to concentrate on this project…so be it. If you can’t bring yourself to do this ~ don’t sign up.

3. You must have an active blog to participate. If you have a blog but never post to it ~ you won’t be chosen to be the next stitcher.

4. This is a giveaway-type Travelling Pattern. That means you must follow it from blogger to blogger to enter each time it is ready to send along. Commenting on this post doesn’t make you a guaranteed part of the Stitcherhood.

Just for fun – also tell me the one design you are dying to START!

If you want to be considered, act fast – I’ll only take names until Saturday, March 10th. I’ll do the drawing on Sunday morning, and hopefully have the piece en route to its next location the next day!