Wednesday, April 27, 2011

One week and four pages complete!

I have procured a camera so yay!! I can take pictures again. Be warned, I have some catching up to do today, so there will be a few! Except for the English Whitework Sampler, I forgot to take pictures of that!! I suppose I could take some now...

Okay, first the finishes. You may remember I had almost finished Sabrina a few weeks ago but ran out of beads. Well, here she is, beads and all. I wish I'd been more on the ball when I started her and done her hair darker. Audrey Hepburn was certainly not a blonde... but oh well. She's stitched mostly in DMC, the two waterlilies that were suggested I replaced with stuff I had here - the dark pink is Carrie's Colonial Red, and the green is Sassy's Olive Branch. The fabric is a solo from Silkweaver on 32 ct Jobelan, and though the picture doesn't show it well, it's mostly light pink but has spots of light blue, light purple, and light yellow through it.

This is Bluebell. She was an incredibly quick stitch, only taking four days from start to finish. I almost stitched her in HDF, as I had most of the conversion colours, but when I pulled the DMC to do an eyeball match for the colours I was missing I noticed the suggested colours were way off - in some cases 3 shades lighter than the original - so I just used the DMC. She's stitched on 32 ct Little Boy Blue Belfast linen - although in the picture it looks white, it's a very light blue

This little beauty is Turkish Delight by Ink Circles. It's stitched in 2 limited edition HDF colour - Delphinium and Ocean Pools and they're soooo gorgeous. This picture really doesn't show them off at all. It does however, show that my piece of Kingston Linen isn't an evenweave. That's not actually supposed to be an oval, it's a circle. But I still love how it's stitching up. It's 55 ct - yes, 55.

After a day or so with Turkish Delight, I wanted something with specialty stitches, so I worked on The Needle's Prayse English Whitework Sampler. It's stitched mostly in perle #12 on 40ct graziano linen. While it's really fun, and really beautiful, trying to pull eyelets and four sided stitches on Graziano linen is a nightmare. My fingers were actually beginning to ache after a night with this one! If you've never used Graziano, it's a wonderful linen, and great for cross stitch, but it is an incredibly dense weave, so it probably wasn't the best choice for this piece. But it is really beautiful and I'll keep working away at it. It's so very hard to photograph though!!

After that I decided to start a new Mirabilia (don't know why I've been on such a big Mira kick lately) and started on The Petal Fairy. I got quite a bit finished before fabric for AL arrived actually. I decided that I wanted to stitch her wings in silks with the metallics so I'm using Eterna for them and it's stitching up really beautifully. Pictures really don't do these threads justice, they're just so shiny. I'm using 28ct Floba for this piece - and I wish they still made this stuff. You can get it in 25 ct still but they don't make the 28 anymore. I have enough left to stitch The Bliss Fairy as well.

And finally, after one week and a busy Easter weekend with not a whole lot of stitching, I am finished four pages on Antique Lace. Actually after last night's stitching session I'm done the border down to the bottom too. I'm really playing with textures in this one, I'm using the HDF premium for the cross stitches, regular for the pulled backstitches, and perle #8 for the rhodes and eyelets. Hoping to finish the last two pages on this left section by the weekend, then the fun begins - the middle section is pretty densely stitched, so I'd imagine it will take a lot longer to complete.

And now off I go to answer some emails, go for my walk (as long as the rain holds off) and then stitch some more. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A quick pic...

...while it still fits on the scanner!! This is all most of page 1 and 2 complete. A very long way to go, but not bad for two days work. :) As long as I can keep up this pace, I'll make my deadline no problem, though the long haul will be when I get to the centrepiece.

I'll be doing the beading and ribbon last, so obviously there are some gaps, but I did leave a few of the beads in from my test stitching. Hard to see from photos, but the tiny little pearls are so pretty IRL.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A New Start...

FINALLY!! The fabric arrived safe and sound, and it's RED. Perfect, gorgeous, and RED.

Customs must have really liked it too, as it sat at the clearing house for five days. :/

And so momentarily, when I finish my coffee, I shall begin Antique Lace. I'm just so excited, my hands are shaking!! My goal today is to make a decision on which beads I'm going to use and get those ordered.

Of course I have no camera for a while, but if I can manage it, I'll post a scan of my bead testing. :)

Happy dancing!!

On the job front I had a telephone interview about the job I mentioned the other day. What I was told before I talked to him was that they were looking for someone to do sandwiches, party platters, prep-work for the cook and taking orders (it's for a catering company). What I found out on the phone was that he's actually looking for the opposite - a cook/chef who could also do some prep work and packaging. BUT, he did sound really interested - even after telling me what he was looking for, we talked for a half hour and he said he'd call me after he does find a cook because he always needs people for prep work too and that he'd be hiring one before the summer rush. So it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, but it's still not a total wash either.

Of to stitch now!! YAY!!!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011


I just got back from my daily mailbox check. I opened my mailbox and lo and behold there was a key to one of the big boxes, meaning I had a parcel. My heart soared!! I opened it and pulled out a priority envelope and my heart was beating faster and faster. The envelope felt a little light, so I flipped it over to check the sender. It was from Gloriana Threads. Okay, tell me this. How on earth can I be disappoined in getting a parcel from Gloriana??? Truthfully, I'm not. And the new colours are to die for, the Antique Black is AWESOME. But when you're expecting a piece of linen and it turns out to be threads, it IS a little frustrating! Though frustrating in a good way if that's possible!! I checked the sent date, it took nine days to get here, so that means my fabric should be here Monday or Tuesday given that time frame.

Sigh. So what do I stitch for the weekend? I've had a very productive couple of weeks, though no pics today as mom needed her camera for the weekend, and I shall try to borrow it back again when she gets home, lol. I finished up the beading on Sabrina last night after a nice visit to the LNS yesterday (which I will go into more detail about in a moment!) and I forgot to get the #4 Braid for the Petal Fairy! Doh. I'll have to make a note to get it next week. I also started and finished Bluebell - man did that stitch up quickly! It was like a really good book - I didn't want to stop stitching on it until it was done! It took a total of four days. I almost started Petal Fairy last night but hesitated because I was hoping to start AL today, which obviously isn't going to happen. So I might start that today. I worked on Turkish Delight for a couple days, but the 55 count, even though I can see it, gives me a bit of a headache after a while so I only work on it for short periods. That said, I'm getting through it pretty quickly. A couple more sessions and I'll be done! It's so cute and tiny!! I then pulled out English Whitework Sampler as it had been a while since it got any attention. I'm working on band 5 - still - it's a big one!! This one gives me headaches as well, though it's the white on white that does that I think. I can see everything just fine, but I also find it a bit tedious at times - eyelets and four-sided stitches galore!! It is pretty though.

I got some more work done on the layout of Celtic Snow, the border is in and most of the central knotwork snowflake is in. Colours are chosen and I'll order them when I get closer to finishing the layout - I won't be stitching it until I finish AL. I did take a quick picture of them though! The fabric is Sassy's Nightfall, 40ct, and the threads are obviously Dinky Dyes! The Cloudy Sky is tentative, it's a bit darker than I had planned for a blue. I'm going to order in some of the new colour, Blue Ice, and see if that fits better. I was checking out some snowflake treasures - if they fit, I'll definitely have to add some, and I'm thinking some petite treasure braid as well. The effect I'm going for is moonlight glinting off the snow.

The LNS visit yesterday was so much fun. I took all of my Sassy's Fabrics with me so that Brenda could see some of the colours in person before ordering. I say some of, I have about 25 colours here! And she already got a special order for one piece from a customer, so that's a bonus. We picked out some really lovely colours, and while choosing them I tried to think of designs to fit each one. I have to say, Sassy's Storm Clouds or Witches Brew would look absolutely awesome for Glendon Place's Sleepy Hollow, a pattern which is quickly growing on me and will probably end up on the to do list. And Honey Nut is fantastic for Prairie Moon's Red and the Black I and II. I'll have to check the dimensions and see if I have enough to do both. Though if memory serves, I think I only have the first one. And I'm still really itching to get Garden Fair, though I resisted temptation. I was a good girl and I only got Rosewood Manor's Past and Present this time.

Oh, and one more little frustration. I think my emails to people are ending up in their spam folders, as I've sent out at least a dozen in the past few weeks that I expected replies on and never heard back from. Most of them are to people who I talk with fairly often and are generally prompt in their replies. Does anyone else find this with gmail?? I know I get the odd real email go astray and end up in my own spam folder, but I check it a couple times a week so they don't get missed. One email I never heard back on was from a lady that was looking for help with one of my charts - which I did send - and I fear she never got it. :(

I'm also a little anxious (read pacing and nail-biting) waiting for a call back today about a possible job. Fingers crossed!! I wonder if I can bite my nails and stitch at the same time?

Friday, April 8, 2011

A HUGE sigh of relief

Found my fabric. Ordered my fabric. Fabric will be on it's way to me shortly. Lois at Elegant Stitch had it in stock!! I'm sure there are other places that carry it, heck I found Lugana in that colour everywhere. I would have happily special ordered it, but then waiting for it to come in at their end, AND waiting another week or two for it to be shipped would have put me so far behind. I'm soooo happy!!!! Just a little note - having a back up plan is a great idea. Making sure your backup plan is available AHEAD of time is an even better one.

It's amazing how one little email can change your mood so dramatically. I didn't sleep at all the last two nights agonizing over what to do, and with every "no, sorry we don't have that" I was sinking lower and lower. And then this morning, there were those three little words. "Yes, we do." I was literally dancing. Thank you Lois!

So now I have a huge piece of beautiful plum/magenta/fuschia (so hard to describe the colour but it is close to a DMC 915) fabric and I have no idea what I want to do with it. What a fantastic colour though - it's truly beautiful and I will have to come up with something for it.

Feeling inspired now, so I'm going to do some work on Celtic Snow. :) Maybe even try to finish up the flower designs!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Hunt for Red Linen

So I got my fabric for Antique Lace yesterday. It's fantastically gorgeous, but it's not red. It's magenta. Think DMC 915. My heart sank. So much for pictures on the internet.

So today I started looking for other alternatives. WDW in Garnet - I had someone check it for me and it's more pink than red. No go. Plus, I don't want to take the chance with another hand-dyed. It's going to take me months to stitch this thing, so if I don't get the perfect fabric in the next week or two, I'll miss my deadline.

So on to standard colours. Zweigart. Ruby Wine. Pretty much perfection. I can find Cashel, but it won't fit on a half yard of that. I can find Aida. I can find Lugana in both 28 AND 32 ct but I don't want Lugana for an antique looking piece, I want LINEN! NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY has the 36ct, not even the distributors. It's backordered. Fine. On to Belfast. It'll fit a fat half, check. It'll fit the beads better, check. Thread coverage is good on 32ct, check. Do you think I can find a piece? I can find fat eigths. I can find fat quarters. I can't find a fat half. I've emailed so many shops today. Everyone of course offers to order it in, but I'm really wanting to find someone with it IN STOCK so they can ship it right away. Otherwise I'll be another month waiting to get it and I just can't forsee being able to finish it in time. I still have a couple more places I'm waiting to hear back from and a few more I have to email before I officially give up.

My luck sucks.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ran out of beads!!

How frustrating is this. I was about half an hour away from completing Sabrina yesterday and I ran out of beads!!! Not one kind, but two!! I dropped an email to Wichelt to let them know the materials list was off. One kind I was only off by about 25, so I can understand how that would get missed, beads are sold by weight not count so there might be a slight variance between packages, but the other one I still need close to a hundred. That's a pretty big variance!!

I suppose that means I'll have to go visit Brenda again this week. Oh darn. :) Mom wants me to come into town on Thursday because one of her co-workers is dying to see Sabrina all finished (or almost finished anyway). So Thursday it is! :)

Fabric for AL isn't here (and I'm cursing customs and Canada Post daily), so I started another Nora Corbett design last night. I should probably have pulled out one of my many WIPs, but I needed cheering up - between fabric not arriving yet, and running out of beads I was a bit grumpy. A new start always cheers me up, so I started on Bluebell. Stitching it on Little Boy Blue Belfast linen. This one will stitch up quickly I think, it's not a huge design.

And now I'm being booted off the computer as it's hubby's day off and he wants to work on world domination and Total War: Shogun 2 doesn't work on the laptop. So off to stitch!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Antique Lace Take 2

I finished the alternate layout for Antique Lace. At this point it's a toss up as to whether I release both layouts in one chartpack or release them as separate designs. The only reason I'm considering separating the two is because the cost of printing both layouts as one chartpack will be astronomical - which of course would drive up the price of the design to the stitcher, who in all likelihood would only be stitching one or the other. If I release them as two separate designs, the price for each one would be a fair bit lower and people could just choose which one they like best. Makes sense, no?

The only drawback to releasing them separately, is the fact that I had no plans to stitch both layouts, only the original one. So I may be needing someone speedy to model stitch this band sampler layout for me. Problem there being that I can't afford to pay a model stitcher or buy materials for a second version. I can only offer free charts of my own designs - and of course the person would keep the finished model and could use whatever materials they wanted - I just need it for pictures. Hmmm... decisions.

And just as a "refresher", here is the original layout of the design - the one I'll be starting on this week when my fabric arrives. I'm assuming it will arrive this week, most stuff takes 7-10 days to get here. Can you tell I'm really, really, really wanting to get started??

Friday, April 1, 2011

Floss Has Arrived!!

But alas, no fabric. :( Darn post office. I'm itching to get started!

It ended up being a rather nice day today. The wind was up a bit which gave a bit of chill, but the sun was out and it actually almost felt spring like!! I like driving on days like today, so I didn't mind at all going into "the big city" to see mom and pop in for a visit at the LNS. Of course I forgot to bring my travel project (Turkish Delight) with me, so we just sat around and chatted.

I was sooooooooo wishing I had some spending money today. I really NEED a few new designs - Quaker Compass and Past and Present by Rosewood Manor and Garden Fair by Courtney Collection are absolutely fantastic and I WILL be getting them at the first opportunity. NEED might be a bit strong a word, given I can't even comprehend stitching what I have, but someday I'll get to them!!!!

BUT, I did have a wonderful visit, and I finally got to meet Jane!!! We kept missing each other. I got to see her version of Hearts Entwined and I love it!! When I stitched my own, I was torn between the dusty rose version I used or doing a deep red version, and I got to see what it would look like with the red. It's beautiful.

I was feeling industrious when I got home, so I set to work on doing an additional arrangement of Antique Lace which I will include with the chart. When I was designing this piece, I knew the centrepiece would be a love it or hate it, so I had always intended to include a separate layout which did not include the centre. So I've been playing. I'll show it off when I finish it of course. :)

I'm lazy, so no pictures today, but I'm working on Sabrina. The good news, all the stitching is done! Now I'm adding all the beads. It's going fairly quickly so I might finish up before fabric arrives for AL.

And now, off to bead some more. :)