Saturday, January 30, 2010

Designer's Block Officially Over!

Well that was frustrating and annoying, but my bout with designer's block is now officially over. Unfortunately the block didn't end in time for the Nashville Needlework Show, but I will say, it's ended with quite a bang! 2 new designs ready to begin model stitching, 2 more getting close and at least 3 more on the drawing board. Keep an eye on my blog over the next couple of months for sneak peeks and stitching progress!

Now begins the equally frustrating waiting for materials game. Cursing the post office and lots of swearing are par for the course. As is the inevitable "did I pick the right colours?" constant questioning that will continue up until the point when the first stitches are inserted and I breathe a sigh of relief that all fits together well. Well hopefully anyway!!

Speaking of the post office, here's a little off topic insight into the Canadian Postal System. A couple weeks ago, I ordered a new monitor from New Egg, shipped via UPS, though the shipping was free. I ordered it on a Wednesday evening around 7pm, the monitor was delivered on Thursday morning, just before noon. I also ordered a graphics card from Hong Kong (cause the one I wanted was unavailable everywhere else in the world it seems!), it was shipped the same day I ordered it, a Tuesday morning. It arrived at Canadian Customs in Toronto on Wednesday morning. It cleared customs in Toronto on Thursday morning. I received it... Monday afternoon. Now tell me, how can it take one day to get from Hong Kong to Toronto, and 4 days to get from Toronto to here? It's not even a 2 hour drive!! Canada Post sucks. Still, less than a week from Hong Kong, not too bad right? The same day I ordered the graphics card, I ordered a power supply from a company in Mississauga - less than 2 hours away. It shipped the same day as the graphics card, though it came via Canada Post all the way. It reached me the day AFTER the graphics card did. I'll reiterate. Canada Post sucks.

Still on the postage topic - I have to send some models to Nashville for the upcoming show. I should have done so Friday, but I got caught up at work and couldn't get to the P.O. in time, so I'll be sending them tomorrow morning. Anyway, I checked out prices. The best Canada Post can do is 3 day delivery guarantee, and that costs almost $60. For $40 at Purolator, I can get a 2 day guarantee, though likely it will be there by the next morning. Yet, every single year, we incur postage increases so they can give us better service. I'd LOVE better service - heck, I'd take ANY service. ;)

And back to stitching... It's been a fun and furious couple of weeks, and I know poor Jon will be very happy once materials are in hand and I'm working away, as I'm sure he's sick of hearing "what looks better, this... or this?" To which he always answers "why do you even ask, you know I suck at colours." Plus, it means I'll be busy model stitching, so he can have the computer to play games more often with the new HUGE monitor and the super duper powerful graphics card.

Both new designs are very different from one another, and as yet, neither has an "official" name.

The first, will be the first design in a series of geometric florals inspired by my mother. She's a gardening fanatic, and her gardens always help me find peace. This one features a cheerful little flower, the forget me not. I haven't yet picked colours for this one, I ordered some thread samples and I'm waiting for their arrival before I decide for sure. I was planning to use the same green throughout the series of designs, but I also thought as long as the whole series works together, that doesn't really matter. Plus, knowing me, I'm likely to get sick of the same green for at least 4, if not 6 designs. ;) Keep an eye out here for peeks at the follow up pieces... Tulips, Daffodils, Daisies and maybe Violets, Tiger Lilies and Roses... could be more, I haven't gotten that far yet!

The second, is worked in a combination of cross stitch and a whole lot of specialty stitches. It will be stitched in dusty rose and a soft wintery green from NPI and Gloriana's Vanilla on Lakeside Linen Light Examplar. Highly unlike me to choose solid colours, but I felt that the textured stitches would have lost their impact in variegated thread. Of course I couldn't go ALL solid, so I went with a very soft variegated cream. This was a tough choice, I really toyed with the idea of dramatic colours, like a deep red and forest green, but I love the soft antique feel of the lighter colourway. However, when I do release it, I'll fiddle and do a mock up of the darker one, because I'm sure others would love it just as much! I'm dropping down to 36 count for this one, I'm guessing that I will go cross eyed trying to do some of the stitches on 40! I'll be including some ideas for customizing this one, as I feel it would be a lovely wedding or anniversary sampler.

I'm so excited about all these new models to stitch that I can't seem to concentrate on stitching anything else!

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