This Heaven and Earth stitching is addictive. I've done a little before, but I always dumped them for one reason or another. The first got trashed because I didn't like the coverage of 1x1 on 25ct. The second got trashed because even though I had switched to 28ct, I was using HDF and the colours didn't match up with the DMC very well - they were way too light and the picture looked all washed out (which is why I learned never to trust manufacturers conversions). The third I was doing in Eterna, and the conversion was better but I decided after a few pages that there was far too much background in it, and I would rather just stitch the foreground on a hand dyed fabric (which Sassy is now creating for me!!). So this is actually my fourth HAED start.
Because there was so much black in the design, I decided it just wasn't worth stitching all that black. So I'm using 28ct black Jobelan and I'm just stitching the black in her hair and face. And because I didn't want to wait to start it, I'm using DMC - though I have to say, it's a far cry from what it used to be. For half of the colours, I'm using old skeins that I've had for a decade or more - the old black banded ones. Those stitch up beautifully and I have no complaints. The new ones I just bought are horrible. Uneven, fuzzy, not as smooth, not nearly as nice as the old stuff. Anchor really is a far superior cotton, but it's hard to find. I can get it locally on the 6yard cards, but they don't stock all the colours. Plus with this many colours to convert, I just don't think I'd want to chance it. For my next ones, I'll either go back to silk - maybe try NPI or AVAS instead (once I buy my AVAS colour card) - or I'll give Sullivan's a go. I hear the colour matches for that are really good.
Anyway.... Here is a picture of where I've gotten so far. I started her 3 weeks ago and I've gotten the top five pages done. The next rows won't go so quickly since there's not as much black to omit! lol The design is Magnificent Wings by artist Jasmine Becket Griffith. I can't wait to get to her eyes, because if they stitch up as well as the rest has, they'll be spectacular. Very full of emotion.
Lots of other changes too. I'm working again. I couldn't find a job doing office or computer work - because even with years of experience I'm not qualified to even answer phones without university (even though I RAN a help desk call centre for several years), though I'm not going to rant about THAT again. I got a job at my local butcher shop. Designing will probably drop off a lot now. I can't keep up with both since I'm working full time + (40-50 a week or so) and it's a lot of heavy work, lifting and cleaning and packing - exactly what my back didn't need since I can barely walk when I get home. Doesn't leave much time for designing apart from my days off and models will take months instead of weeks. It'll definitely get me back in shape and losing weight though! But money is money and I wasn't going to turn down the offer since we need the money so badly - and the money is good. It's a great work environment, everyone is wonderful and it's a very friendly atmophere with lots of joking around and poking fun and whatnot. The owner treats us all like family. The learning curve isn't too steep either since I've done a lot of it at the grocery stores I worked at. Tuesday will be my first kill day, and I've decided that rather than try and avoid the room - which really isn't possible since I'll need to go through it several times a day - I'm going to go in and at least watch a couple so I can get used to it. I don't have a problem with the blood, or the gutting or the skinning as I found out on Friday. Lungs, hearts, kidneys - whatever, doesn't phase me to handle them in the slightest. But I've never actually witnessed something being killed and as an animal lover it's not going to be easy to see. I figure though, the sooner I just do it and get over it, the better.
And since today and tomorrow are my days off, I'm going to stitch my heart out. :)