Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week 22 Beauty and the Beast

I have stitched the first of the characters in this piece! I think it's funny that they are all off to the one side, but it made it so I get to stitch them all last. Mrs. Potts and Chip are done being stitched (except backstitch, of course, so they look funny). They were probably the most difficult part so far to stitch, between the tweeded threads, the amount of colors in such a small space, and the number of fractional stitches. I barely got in my 2000 stitches this week to keep on track for the fair, but I had a couple of off days that I didn't feel like doing anything at all. No house work, no stitching, nothing. I feel like I'm better now, so hopefully I stay that way.

Anyway, here are pictures from this week:

Again, they look a little weird right now, but they will get better :)

Also, thank you for all of the nice comments. I'm excited that I have followers and that people actually read this! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week 21 Beauty and the Beast and IHSW

So, I know that it's not the end of the weekend, but I wanted to go ahead and post my progress from this last week on Beauty and the Beast so I can get to the next part. :)
I did somewhere around 3000 stitches this week (maybe a little more?), and that is AWESOME! If I can keep this up, I will have it done no problem in time for the fair. The trick is keeping it up... If nothing else, I have allowed myself a little leeway.
I finished the second overpass and all of the water for the waterfalls, I stitched the stairway, and some more greenery below the castle. And what is that I see an outline of? It's Belle! So, so excited that the characters will start to come into play. I won't stitch her this next week though, because I have a question:

I have quite a bit of the 'pearly' filament that makes the rainbow and the sunset all sparkly, and there are only a couple of other spots that need it. I am thinking about also stitching Belle's dress with the sparkly thread - what do you think? Let me know, and I will hopefully be able to stitch Belle during week 23. I am hoping to see Mrs. Potts and Chip this week though!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We All Make Mistakes, and It's Okay!

Only one picture today, and it's not of my own work. It's the picture of the Beauty and the Beast cross stitch that is on the front of the kit. Here it is:

I have been referring to the cover of the kit over and over and over and over while I work, as I'm sure everyone does when they work on a piece. "Are they sure this is the color that should go there? Are those two little stitches going to stand out or disappear?" etc. etc. etc. Anyway, in going over this picture meticulously as I have been working, I have found mistakes! Most of them just a stitch here or there, but some of them I was a little surprised about. For instance, where the river curves in the background by the town, there is a green bush on the right side of the river. There should be french knot flowers there! Now, the symbols for those french knots would be very easy to miss, so I can understand it. 

Then one or two of the red roofs on the castle aren't the right height. No biggie :)

And the cuff on the Beast's sleeve should have some scrolly designs on it in the yellow thread used to backstitch his coattails. 

I have also noticed some difference in colors from the picture to what I stitch. Most of the differences are that a color is just a tad too light or too dark so it makes some of the shading not as obvious, but one in particular bothered me for a long time. Do you see the grey color around the sunset? It is also used at the base of the rainbow, and in the kit it is definitely not grey. It's more of a dark grey-pink color. At first I was really frustrated that it was so off, and I thought maybe I didn't have the right color. I wrote to the manufacturer and asked for more of that color of thread to double check, and they sent me the same color again. I decided to go ahead and go with it. You know what? It looks fine.

And I also noticed that even though there are mistakes in the cover picture, it still is beautiful. I never would have noticed the mistakes if I wasn't obsessively poring over it all the time, matching it to my work to make sure I did it right. It might sound nit-picky to point out the mistakes, but I think it's encouraging. It helps me to remember that it's okay to make mistakes. Obviously we try not to, but it's not the end of the world if you realize that it's not perfect. Even though we follow a pattern, the chances of two kits being done 100% exactly alike isn't very likely. It's neat to know that you have your own one-of-a-kind piece. 

Well, I had better get back to it. I've got laundry to do today and practice for a wedding I'm playing in soon, so if I'm going to get all that done and stitch as well, I had better get off the computer :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Week 20 Beauty and the Beast

First of all, Happy Birthday to my husband today! Our dog's birthday is also today, and Happy Mother's Day to any moms out there! It's a good day :)

For Beauty and the Beast, I hit 2 big milestones this week: I finished an entire page! Lol obviously I have done more than a page worth of stitching, but now I have a completed page except for backstitch and french knots! I also.... wait for it... finished the castle!!! It has been this giant silhouette in the sky for-e-ver and I treated myself to something special this week and stitched it. I love, love, love how it looks. See for yourself:

I have also decided that my personal deadline for this project is the end of July. If I can finish it by or before then, I can enter it in the County Fair! I have never entered anything into a fair, and I thought it would be fun and give me something concrete to work towards. I am currently on pace to finish by then, but I will try to step it up to guarantee it, and maybe even be able to get it framed. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Little Disney Obsessed, I Guess

So I wanted to do a post about my past cross-stitch projects. As I was looking through them, I realized that I am maybe a little bit of a Disney fanatic... I didn't realize that all of the projects that I have finished (except two, which unfortunately I don't have pictures of as I gave them away as gifts) are Disney, and the Princesses at that. Ha ha, ha, ha, ha... (nervous laughter)

So anyway, I had tried one or two projects as a kid for cross-stitching, and I didn't quite keep interest in either one of them so neither of them got finished, and I have no idea what happened to them. One was a unicorn and the other was a hot air balloon, both kits from Hobby Lobby, I'm pretty sure they were done on like 11 count fabric with big blocks of color.

Then, in high school, for Christmas in 2003 my older sister and I had the same idea for each other for Christmas gifts - she gave me a pattern book and some aida fabric and the floss for one project, and I did the same for her. I gave her a Precious Moments pattern book, and she gave me, wait for it, a Disney Princess book :) My first attempt from this book was Belle (my favorite Disney Princess), but she ended up being a little buck-toothed and I didn't have enough fabric to finish the pattern. I didn't realize you needed extra all the way around, and had just cut the fabric to the stitch count. Oops! After that was this one of Snow White:

I remember working on her while my then-boyfriend-now-husband played a game called Illusions of Gaia, for the Super Nintendo we had just found stored at my parents house. I think her lips look a little botox-ish, but other than that I really like how she turned out. 

Then I graduated high school and went to college, and decided to take my hobby with me. I worked on Cinderella a lot during orchestra rehearsals. It turns out that only about 50% of orchestra music (or less) has harp in it, so I had a lot of down-time. :)

She's so pretty :)

I'm not sure exactly when I stitched Jasmine (my second favorite Disney Princess). I was a goof and didn't put a date on it :(

I'm really happy with how she turned out, too. All three of those patterns are from the book my sister gave me :)

Then stitching took a 6 year backseat to everything else. I got married, finished school, started working a little bit, got pregnant, and stopped working. I did pretty good staying busy for a long time as a stay-at-home-mom, but then I got the house organized. Lol it's amazing how much more time you have if you put in the investment to get stuff organized. I feel like I do less housework now than before my little Sarah was born (and she is fully mobile, so she does make a mess!), and our house is 10x cleaner. Anyway, between that and my husband taking a job from 6pm to 6am, then him having to sleep during the day, I started to get really bored. What should I do? I know! I will start cross-stitching again!

I wanted to do a picture of Ariel, but I didn't like any of the pictures in the pattern book. I ended up making my own pattern, and I really, really like how she came out. The backstitch makes all the difference in the world!

I also worked up a pattern of Mulan, but I haven't stitched it up yet. This Ariel picture was really the one that got me started again, and of course when I was at Hobby Lobby one day I saw the Disney Kinkade kits. I fell in love with both Beauty and the Beast and the Snow White kits. They are much more difficult than anything I have done so far, but I feel like I have made good progress with Beauty and the Beast.

At one point I made a pattern with my younger sister's name, all done in these pretty musical letters with a pretty rose border around the outside, but I gave it to her and I don't have a picture of it. I also made a simple one that was about fishing for my dad, but I never got a picture of that one, either. Those are all of the pieces I have finished, and of course I have several UFOs that may never get done. One is a kit that I messed up sorting the colors and didn't realize it until I was halfway through, One is a couple of snowmen holding up a sign that says "Happy Winter", and a couple that I started and just couldn't bring myself to finish. I think I have to be really in love with a pattern to want to put the work into it, because let's face it, cross stitching is a lot of hours of work! Anyway, I hope you enjoy my older projects, and if I ever get Mulan stitched, I'll be sure to put her up here :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 19 Beauty and the Beast

I did not get much done this week. I finished the flowery bush at the bottom, and did some more work on the first overpass. Things were crazy busy this week with me working nights and my nephew's birthday party and my grandma coming into town, etc. etc. etc. Next week might not be much better, but I only work 2 nights instead of 5, so we shall see. Anyway, here are pictures:

And a close-up