New Year's Return

So what can I say? It's been an interesting start to the year. I've gotten some things done in the hubbub, which you'll see shortly. ^o^

I don't know why I haven't posted yet. I had one planned shortly after Christmas, since I made a rather big project and wanted to share it, but that never happened. Then I had an entire post planned out on New Year and that didn't get done either. Here we are now in January and I finally kicked myself enough to get started. XD

For the first post of January, I've got a dress, Mirabilia progress, a thread jar, and a dress form to show!

A little after I wrote my last post, the one on Christmas Adam, I realized I didn't have anything appropriate to wear to the Christmas Eve gathering we have every year, a great big family reunion of sorts. Everything I had gotten to wear had been worn to previous parties, and I didn't want to wear any of them again. Call that weird, diva, lazy, whathaveyou, but I fixed the problem! I sewed myself a dress up in one night and wore it to the party!

Given the time constraints (I basically stayed up all night to get it done), I didn't do any special work, just threw pieces together. I have a dress that I based the measurements on, so that eliminated some work. I didn't put in any buttons, zips, ties, or other closures - just jerked it on and off over my head. Like I said, not the best work, but functional.

I got a dress form for Christmas, which I am seriously happy about! Given that I didn't put any closures in my dress, I can't actually get this piece onto the dress form to take a picture. >_< That means it just has to stay flat for the shot.

I wore a black shrug over it, so it was really just the skirt that everyone saw, for which I am thankful. XD There is an underskirt sewed in, as you can see in the second shot. Basically just the skirt again, out of white and an inch or two shorter. The yellow fabric is just thin enough to see through, so it was a must. You can see the front in the third picture, and the last two are the sides of the bodice. I wasn't sure what to do there, and it was seriously late, so I gathered them up and stitched them down. It's held on by two black straps of ribbon right now, and it's sturdy enough. The skirt is of one large panel and two smaller in the back, the way the skirt on my storebought dress was. Came out pretty well for a fast job! Though the pictures are awful. It's cloudy today. >_<
Ah the Mirabilia. I've come to hate this project over the last week or so. I've seriously considered giving up on it. I don't like it, I don't like it, and I don't like it. I miss anything? I got the border finished but for the sparkly red thread to go on the very edges. I got the names at the bottom completed but for the selfsame sparkly red. Why does the thread keep going missing for this project?!?!?! I ripped out her awful yellow gloves and redid them in blues. I took off the pompom thing on the back of her hood, which I like much better. And then I tried to stitch Winter's face. Oh boy.
Autumn's face was easy. I stitched over the eyebrows twice because otherwise they were too faint, but it turned out great. Love it. Winter's side - 'not so much' is an understatement. Literally not one single line I was supposed to do turned out right. I want to know who designed her face, because it was a really bad job. She has anime-ninja eyebrows, two little slants down her face that made her look like she was seriously angry at the innocent little bird she's holding. I honestly thought it made her look like she was going to kill it rather than stroke its head. DX
Her nose was horrific. I tried that six or seven times before finding something I liked, and it's still not great. Her mouth is passable. HER EYES!! ARGH!! Who did those?!? It doesn't work that way!! Completely reworked the lines around her eyes, and now her face is just one mess of 'ugly, I hate that' all wrapped up into one. Not a single thing on her face I didn't redo, and now all I can do is sigh in disappointment every time I look at it. Which is awful, considering how long I've worked on this project, how much money I've spent on this project, how much I looked forward to doing Winter, and now I hate every bit of it. The shading is bad, the colour choices are bad, the expressions are bad, the outlining is bad, the blending between colours is bad, and it's just - not what I hoped for from a Mirabilia. Mirabilia is supposed to be beautiful, ethereal pieces that look fantastic - not blocky, simplistic chunks of colour slapped down with 'outlining' to correct it.

Am I the only one with these problems? I look at other people's pieces and they look fine - but nothing like what mine looks like when I make those same lines. Look here. And here. Or over here (this one is particularly spectacular). What is it I missed? Did I miss the memo on how to stitch this time around? On mine, her face looks like it's being washed away to one side, or, should I stitch it like the pattern, it looks like she's going to kill that bird.
I've done so much to her to make it look better. I've exchanged colours left and right, ripped out and redone sections over and over, redesigned portions, and it's still no good. It makes me look like a crap artist, and I hate that. It's supposed to be something I can be proud of, something I can enjoy looking at. Now all I can think of is some grandchild of mine pulling this out of a box in the attic and saying "Wow, Grandma really sucked at stitching. That is hideous." I suppose I'm overreacting a little bit, but man I wanted this to be good. I don't even want to keep stitching the disaster, even for the sake of finishing - and I am so close. Literally stitches away from finishing. And all I want to do is take a pair of scissors to it.
The only thing that came from this is the dubious accomplishment of how much 'ort' I have leftover! Orts are scraps or leftovers, more often used in talking about food, but works here. When you bind off a thread after using up the length to where you can't make further stitches with it, you cut off the tail. Most people will throw these away, but I collected mine! This is how much I've collected in only six months:

This is what I've been storing it in:

I don't know about you, but I love how much I've gotten! XD
So, what to do from here? I think I'll be setting the Mirabilia off to the side for a while. Maybe I'll never work on it again, maybe I'll finish it one day. Maybe I'll really love it the next time I see it. Who knows? I'll work more on my Woodland Sampler for now, though, I think. I'm debating whether or not I want to do their 12 Days of Christmas. I know Christmas is over, but I still really like that pattern! The Frosted Pumpkin is definitely a name I trust on patterns. XD
I hope everyone had a great start to their year! Let's move forward in love and eagerness, with lots of stitchy goodness on the way!