Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Shadow Moon

I finally have a project to share - and it's one I am absolutely in love with.

Shadow Moon

This is a piece by Hands On Design. When I saw it the first time, I knew I wanted to stitch it. I actually had the photo saved to my computer for over a year before I finally looked about for it and decided to sit down and get this thing made.

I started about a week ago, when the most perfect fabric arrived - 'Haunted' by Picture This Plus. It not only has the best name for this project, but the colour is wonderful too!

This is the first time I'm actually using overdyed threads for anything. O.O Black thread (DMC 310) is always a pain to stitch with over large areas, because it's always thinner than other DMC threads (due to the dye & dying process) and doesn't cover as much fabric. You usually have to use more than two threads to accomplish the same coverage as other threads do with just two, so I decided to go ahead and give overdyed a shot on this one since there is so much black to be worked.

The picture for 'charcoal' - the recommended thread - wasn't all that appealing, so I got 'mascara' instead. Unlike the photo currently there, it's not purple at all, but a very nice black. I do love working with it: knock on wood, but it tangles so much less than any thread I've ever worked with before (seriously, like one or two tangles this whole project, really easy to untangle). It doesn't knot up, and lays a lot flatter on the fabric.

This latter point was really illustrated when I got out a regular DMC for the row of orange. Using two threads came out so bulky and wonky looking I had to rip it out - using just one thread doesn't look bad though!

This got me worried about the moon, since I was originally planning to do the moon with DMC. I've got the 'official' threads coming in the mail - 2 of Chalk and 1 of Moonlit Path. I'm not going to risk it!!

Mascara is pretty nice, but it still does lay a little sparse. If I did this again, I would probably mess around with trying out three threads, or stitching very, very loosely. As it is, I've no idea how much spare thread I'll have at the end of this project and can't get more very quickly, so I'll stick with what I'm doing.

It's actually working up much smaller and quicker to stitch than I thought it would be. Doing one post at a time, vertically, really helps.

Also!! Got 'Sarsaparilla' - the brown, slightly variegated thread for the Not Forgotten ship! Another first, so it'll be fun to get started on that, though it will certainly wait until after this marvelously Halloween piece is finished.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

I Solemnly Swear. . .

WOW has it been a long time since I last checked in here!

Thought the place needed a new look, so everything is summery oranges and golds now.

And I do have updates to share!

First is that I did graduate this Spring - at the start of May! - and have been rather unsure of what to do with myself since then.

Second is that I do have cross stitch work to show!

This is a Harry Potter piece, from Fiddlesticks AU, the Ravenclaw version of their piece called "Solemnly Swear." I'm very tempted to follow it up with Mischief Managed!

The finished (Gryffindor) version looks like this:

Mine will look a little more like this when it's finished:

But with the bottom letters filled in, most likely!

The fabric I'm working on is 32 ct - linen by the feel of it. It came in a bag with a bunch of other fabrics that we grabbed when the local store closed - someone's lovely little border is stitched along one corner:

I wonder what they had been planning to stitch! It makes me more determined to finish this piece though; that way no one stumbles across this fabric again and wonders - "huh, what was this going to say?" This fabric deserves a finished design! XD

Monday, 9 January 2017

A Year of Austen

I've been so behind on all the blog things this winter. But I finally got the pictures done, so here is my year of books for 2016!

Linked titles are to the reviews I made on Goodreads as I read them!

It was a mostly Austen year, where I read every one of her major works in 2016 - for the first time, I might add! Three of them (Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Persuasion) were read in December alone.

Emma & Persuasion are definitely my favourites of the bunch. Both are written so very well, and stand out above her other works in the characters, the dialogue, the plots: really everything. I still love Northanger Abbey, but it must go lower now. ;D

There were also a few other 'classics' in there - Jane Eyre, and North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and a Christmas piece by Frank Baum (of Wizard of Oz fame): The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus.

Apart from that, I had the last book I read of the Sisters Grimm at the start of the year - I did make a valiant attempt at the sixth book, but it just wasn't going to happen. Actually there were a lot of starts this year, but not nearly so many finishes as in the past two years, unfortunately. :/

On the other side of the classics with the Sisters Grimm are more Pierce books: Trickster's Choice & the dreadful sequel Trickster's Queen. I had a lot of fun with those, really. Really. Gods those books are awful.

I was much happier with my find of the graphic novels for the first book in the Twilight saga early on in the year!! I've been wanting to get my hands on a copy for ages, and there they were at the Friends of the Library! Absolutely lovely art!

Then there was another book that I cannot find anywhere in the house now: the Blue Tattoo by Margot Mifflin.

Mine doesn't have a slipcover, just the blue hardcover, so this is better anyway. XD

And now it's a new year, and the clock is ticking already on another reading challenge. This challenge wasn't officially 'completed' but I think of it as complete anyway. There were some really good books in this set, so I'm happy with what I accomplished. I do think I did better with an outlined challenge for me to follow, though.

This spring, I'm going to try to focus on reading through what's left of what I already own and want to read, to see if it'll be a keeper or move on to a new owner. We're moving in the summer, so as much as can be weeded out, the better. I've no idea if that will be accomplished though, since it's my last semester before I graduate, and that will definitely take priority!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Square Finish and Cookies!

The tree square is complete!

And the cookies are begun!

I'm playing around with the idea of stitching a tiny bit of outline around the yellow tree pot - maybe in a light brown or burnt orange?

The smaller tree has its lights and the additional snowflakes; it'll have it's little blue pot shortly!  I love the brilliant yellow: finally, a use for the skein of neon 444 that had been languishing in the box for so long!

It's almost Christmas!!

Friday, 16 December 2016

Wreaths & Evergreen

There's been a good deal of evergreen cheer added since last I posted!

My poor wreath has been stitched three times at this point - some small error has me coming back to rip it out and correct each time I return to it! I thought I had it all settled at last, but then, in putting in the gold on the ribbon, discovered that the upper quarter on the left had been brought over a stitch too far somehow! So it had to come out again.

All the golds from the pot to the garlands are changed from the original pattern, as well as the two browns used in the tree trunk - there is little left to the original in this piece! I believe so far only the red in the border is the same as the pattern? I'm very happy with the brighter colours! And it has been really enjoyable to stitch a winter-y piece in front of our tree, with all the lights a-glow.

The weather here has gotten so very cold!! The cats sleep directly under the radiator half the time, and the sky is nearly always a lovely chilly grey. It's been getting below freezing at night - we are hopeful for a little snow!!

(Please note that I've redited all the photos for this project and updated all the posts accordingly)


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Velvet Sett & Christmas Trees!

The plaid/tartan is coming along beautifully! I like these colours so well, I'm very tempted to pull out the 'Cranberry Reds' and replace them with these!

The greens are finished on the first tree! There'll be another snowflake and lots of little lights dotted over it soon enough. For now, I'm enjoying stitching the tartan. It looks a lot more purple in person, especially in the evenings - in the picture above it looks almost exactly like the cover photo, but in person not at all! I'm using 3350 & 902; it looks a bit more like the below photo:

It's nice to have a predictable section of tartan here though: I can pick it up and leave off wherever, without needing to carry around the pattern. Very helpful while I'm busy with meetings and final exams and bustling around!


Friday, 25 November 2016

Borders of Holly

Borders everywhere!!

I haven't yet pulled the other threads I'll need for this project from my stash, so I'm just going as far as I can with the colours I do have! I did go through and grab 906 & 907 for the greens - I love how bright and Christmassy they look!

I'm also going back over "Winter" and probably the row of checkered reds with one more thread, just to fill in more of the square and keep the white of the fabric from bleeding through as much as it is.

Thanksgiving went well - early dinner, and we all watched "A Christmas Carol" (Patrick Stewart), continuing the family tradition of watching a version of "Scrooge" on Thanksgiving day! Today's the day for decorations and probably carols Supersizers Go marathons - I'll be stitching as much as I can in the down time!