Mixed Bag

Loads of updates going to the ol' blog! On top of the search function and Halloween countdown, I've added a follow by email widget, like/share buttons for Facebook and Twitter, a tag cloud, a page on Gluten and Blood Type Living, and the last four posts I've made show up on the side now! Added to the wonderful hits I've been getting, it's been a great exercise in exploring all the neat doo-dads you can put on a blog!

Right. Mirabilia. Autumn is coming along excellently! I've put in some good hours on her, and I've got her face completely finished, as well the outer and inner border. I've made another replacement on the piece - the corners of each frame around Autumn and Winter are stitched in metallic gold thread. I picked up a metallic red, a very Autumn colour, once on a trip to the Hobby Lobby, so I decided to use it instead of going to get a gold. The switch really makes the piece pop! The leafy design at the top, above the Maiden herself, is nearly finished, though I'm really not liking the blended colour. The wreath on her head had a 'blend colour,' or two different colour threads combined to make the two strands to stitch with, made of really close green tones. It looks brilliant - just like another green thread. But the blend thread for the wheat sheaves and the leaves in the top border is made of a yellow and an orange, and you can tell right away that there are two different threads there. It looks like a mess. I really don't like blending colours. I'll deal with French knots, half stitches, and backstitching messes, but blending just doesn't work for me. DX

An addition to the pattern: The necklace around Autumn's neck is done with real beads, meaning that there are white beads next to the palest parts of her neck and chest. But once you switch out those beads with stitches in the equivalent colour, you can't tell it's a necklace anymore. So, using the metallic red I used on the corners, I've outlined all the 'beads' in the necklace, adding a bit of definition and a hint of sparkle. It turned out really well! I'm considering repeating the same on the strand lower down. Beneath her hands, holding up the harvest bundles she's carrying, and covering the cuffs of her sleeves, there is a criss-crossing strand of light red something. This is also done with beads, but I don't know if it's supposed to be a strand of beads like the necklace, or of some kind of red berry. Outlining these stitches is a must for the same definition as in the original beaded pattern, but I still can't figure out what they're supposed to be! Does anyone have a clue what this strand is supposed to represent?

Finally on the subject of Mirabilia, I'm thinking I may have found the answer to why Winter has been so odd on the colouring. Winter in the original pattern is stitched in Needlepaints floss, not DMC. Unfortunately, those Needlepaint flosses are all of them discontinued. The closest matches that they posted on their website are definitively not purple, but very blue. I think that I would probably have had a better time of finding matching colours if I went by eye on this one. But do I rip out what I have, or continue with a blue-green tone theme? (The original being purple and grey.)

Another thing I worked on yesterday was a dress jacket. I think the style itself is called a Spinster jacket, or something like that. I have an old Halloween costume, a princess/queen that is a full gown with a lace-up bodice. I disassembled the top bodice so I knew the cut I needed for the puffed sleeves and the correct size for bodice. I've created a new piece out of pine green felt and a black printed fabric for the sleeves. It was nearly finished in one night, but at four A.M. the sewing machine broke - broken needle, and, once replaced, the new needle keeps catching on something that I can't find. So it's basically completed but for the setting of the last sleeve. The puffed part of the sleeve is even attached already; I just need the last part of it. ARGH! Hopefully I can figure this guy out, because I love the two fabrics together, and the pattern actually came out pretty well.

I'll keep working away at the Mirabilia in the meantime. Soon, I'll be going back down and stitching the remainder of the skirt (the other half of the pattern is her flowing skirt). Next post will be a picture update on Autumn, and hopefully the jacket as well! Until then, keep an eye out for further updates and changes to the blogsie, check back soon!

May your stitching be tangle free! ~x~