Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Snow White Makes Her Debut

I have been working a little on Snow White, I promise. It is just really slow going during the summer. I am proud though that I have been working on it at all, and I am happy that my stitchy bug is just on his off season and not dead. :) Anyway, here I was last time:

And here I am now:

I'm sorry the 2nd picture is so, so blurry. The point-and-shoot camera I usually use is officially not working any more so I had to do it with another camera I have that does not have a flash or the 'no shaky' feature. It's a great camera for outside and underwater (since it's waterproof), and it takes good video, but the indoors photo-taking is not so good. It also doesn't have a macro setting, which is what I always used with the other camera.

Anyway, as you can I see I started on the rocks by the waterfall and did Snow White's hair and her cape. I actually took this photo a few days ago and have done just a little on her skirt now, too, so I think I will go ahead and finish her up before I move on. It's weird because I left the characters until almost the very end on Beauty and the Beast, and now on this one Snow will be done really early on! There are lots of other elements that I am excited for though, so it's all good. 

In other areas of my life, I have been working out for several months now and not seeing the results I wanted to so that's been frustrating. I could tell I was getting stronger, but I weigh as much now as I did 2 weeks after having my son, which means I have actually gained weight in the last few months. Frustrating. So I decided to work harder. This week I have added jump rope to all of my workouts, and it is HARD! I am getting better at not messing up but in a way that makes it harder because I don't get as many mini-breaks while I re-set the rope lol. It's nice though because I can do this inside. I used to 'run' but I HATED running when it was really hot or really cold out, so I never kept with it for very long. And this way I get to do intervals of jump rope mixed with strength training and what-have-you. I am excited, hopefully in the next 6-10 weeks I will be seeing more of what I want to see. 

Also, I am going to go to my first ever Anime Convention in a few weeks! I have some friends that are going and I said, what the heck, let's do this! So I am going to go as Katara, she's the Water Bender from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I have to start figuring out my costume, so I have been looking at pictures all morning to get an idea of what I need. Nerdy-excited about it! 

Alright, that's enough for today. Keep on stitching, I have to keep reminding myself that every stitch counts! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Win at the County Fair!

Waaaaay back around the midway point of Beauty and the Beast, I got the crazy idea that I could maybe enter it into the fair when it was all done. I have never entered anything into any sort of contest, but I figured that Beauty and the Beast might just be worthy. I didn't get it finished in time for the fair that year, but I did get it finished in time for this year's fair. I almost missed the deadline to enter it, but thankfully they allowed me to still enter it with a $5 late fee.

The judging for our fair is open, which means they have chairs set up for people to watch the whole process.  It was really interesting to see how they score, exactly what they are looking for, and how closely they really do look at the pieces. The judges don't know who stitched each piece, and it was fun when they pulled out B&B to see them say 'Oh my gosh look at all of those stitches! Oh! Look at this over here! Would you look at all of those french knots? They are so even! OH! Look at the rose!' and just to see their reaction to the overall piece :) I made the right decision entering it for sure. One judge said, 'I know we don't usually give bonus points for kits, but this is such detailed, intricate work, and she did such a good job, can we give her bonus points for it?' The point that I lost on my score sheet had to do with the framing - they said it was very square and centered in the frame, but it doesn't look quite as flush up against the backing as it could be in some areas. I guess if I were to put a piece of light batting behind that it would help to mask some of the areas with lots of thread on the back.

Anyway, overall, here is how I did:

I took first place in my class (medium-size wall hangings), won Reserve Champion (2nd place) in overall counted work, and received a Special Award for Outstanding Work on 18 count or smaller :) Woo hooooo! And I think, after looking at a lot of what was entered in the Needlework area, that I am going to enter a few items next year, too. I don't know if I will have Snow White finished in time or not (maybe!), but I want to make a biscornu, and do a flour sack towel or something with other embroidery stitches. My mom said she is going to maybe enter something into machine work (she makes the CUTEST kids clothes for her grandkids!) and my mother-in-law said she might enter something in machine work, and possibly a baked good, too. 

It was just such a neat experience, and I encourage everyone to enter something you finish in the next year into your county fair. It would be great to see lots of awards for you all!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Life Happens!

So, my stitchy bug is not gone, he has just made room for a few other things in my life right now. Let's see, since my last update, my son also had chicken pox (way worse than his sister's), I played at a wedding, we had the 4th of July, and my hubby has not had as much side work as he did for a while there. He doesn't like to be at home for long periods of time (usually about 12-18 hours is enough for him), so he always wants to be out doing things. It means I don't quite get the time to just be home and stitch as much as I was. My 10 year high school reunion is also in just a few weeks, so I have been trying to lose a little bit of weight. Not much, just a little. I think it's going well, not sure what the scale says but I feel like I look better and I know I am stronger, so it's all good.

Anyway, last time I updated here was Snow White:

And here it is now:

I have reached the bottom of the piece! I know it's kind of a silly way to work across it, but I don't really mind going between pattern pages and this is the way it fits on my scroll frame. You can see the deer and just to the right of the deer is where Snow White will make her appearance. Lots of green and brown in my future, as the path is next to be stitched on the bottom. I know I have slowed way down, but I am still making progress, right? 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Save the Stitches Update

So I took the week off from working on Snow White so that I could actually get a little done on something else. This week I decided to work on my Blackwork Sampler - It's called Save the Stitches and it is by Elizabeth Almond. It is a free pattern available on her website, I am doing mine in blues, because I love how a deep blue looks on white :) I was able to work on this at the EGA meeting this week, which was fun.

Here was my last update:

And here is where it is today:

The blackwork stitches up so much faster than cross stitches do, and it's fun to figure out a good way to work across the pattern. I had a lot of fun with this, but I think I am ready to go back to Snow White this week. :) 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 4 Snow White

My daughter had the chicken pox last week, so we were stuck at home basically the entire time to quarantine her. This was a bummer but I got a lot of stitching done. She got a ton of spots and had about 2 days where she was in pain, but now it is over and she never has to do it again. Next up is my little boy, I'm sure. It's only a matter of time until he gets them, but we found that covering them in calamine lotion really helps.
For my stitching, I worked on Snow White this week (surprise, surprise!). I know, I know, I need to work on something other than Snow White. It's probably boring for all of you to see updates on just this one, but I am really enjoying working on it, so why not keep going, right? Here is my 4th week progress on this one:

Last Week:

And this week:

I have reached the bottom of the tree! And deer is starting to come it, too. Also, to the right of the base of the tree is part of the outline for Snow White herself :) I didn't realize that the french knots add basically ALL of the color in this piece - most of where the flowers are starts off as just greens, so there is a good chance it could be kind of boring for a while. Hopefully it will go quickly though with fewer color changes, and it means that the french knots will really bring a lot of life to the piece when it is time. :)

I love, love, love working on this piece, but I think I will take this week and work on something else. It will make me all the happier to come back to this one next week. 

I love reading everyone else's blogs! Happy stitching!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Beauty and the Beast is Framed!

Guess what just came back from the framer? Woot woot! I am so excited!

The picture doesn't do it justice. It is so pretty in person! Totally worth it, even though the hubby wants a go at the next one to see if we can do it a little cheaper... :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Week 3 Snow White

Not too many pictures or anything to show this week, just progress on Snow White. Here it was last week:

And here it is this week:

Lots more tree trunk to show this week. I feel like it's going suuuuuper slow, even though I get a decent amount of stitching time in. I think I am just a slow stitcher, and it doesn't help that I am being overly careful about making sure the top threads don't twist. I am just getting more picky. I did pass the halfway mark on the left side though, so that's pretty awesome. Most of the WIPs of this I have seen are mostly just the top left page. Because of the way it is on my scroll frame, I am going to work the entire height of the piece from left to right. 

I did get a good amount of stitching time in, but not quite as much as I wanted to. My husband didn't work his side job this week which mean he was home for a 4 day weekend, and he doesn't like to just be at home. He wants to be OUT and DOING THINGS, even if those things are just going to his parents' house and hanging out there for 8-10 hours. Lol he is silly, but because I don't like to really bring this one out of the house (could get dirty, so many floss colors, etc), I don't get to work on it while we are otherwise un-engaged at the in-laws. No biggie, progress is progress, right? :) And I have been able to work on Count the Stars (do you even remember that one?) bits at a time while we are there. I don't have a picture to show this week though. Bummer. 

Welp, till next week, have fun stitching!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's My Birthday and I'll Stitch If I Want To

My 28th birthday was this last Wednesday, and it was a wonderful, lazy day. My mother in law took both of my kids to the airport to pick up their great-grandma (a surprise for her!) so I had the day off for most of the day. :) My husband was working on a side-job close by, so I brought my stitching to where he was and just sat in the sunshine and stitched for ~4 hours, almost uninterrupted! Then of course I hardly got any done the rest of the week after that, but I was able to get in almost 1400 stitches on Snow White throughout the week, and I did one more section of the block on my blackwork sampler. I will post pictures of that once that block is finished.

Here was Snow White last week:

And here it is now:

Not a whole lot more done, but it is coming along quite nicely, I think :) 

Also, I saw this week that over at Gadget's Joyful Page she is also working on this one. She is great at working on things in a rotation schedule, so there will probably not be an update on it every week but it's still fun to watch someone else's progress on the same piece. And she started in the middle and is working out so it's a different area than I have done. 

For my birthday, my husband and I dropped off Beauty and the Beast at the framers. It should be done by June 4th!!! My sister got me the Epic Potter Pattern from Cloudsfactory for my birthday (talk about AWESOME!) and my mom and sister-in-law each bought me the Fantasia Disney Dreams kit, so I will be able to return one to Hobby Lobby and maybe order the Cinderella kit instead :) My stash is growing! Eek! But I work on it, so it's alright :) 

Well, until next week, stitching friends! (And non-stitching friends, too!)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week 1 Snow White, and a Bunch of Other Stuff!

This has been a week with lots of stuff for me to post about, so here goes.

First off, I was able to put in about 2000 stitches on Snow White, give or take a few. Here is the top left corner so far:

I was excited to be able to start this one, but again I don't really really get into a project until it is past its 'infancy' stage - with this one that will probably be around week 3 or 4. Still exciting though!

I also did my first finish work ever on a cross stitch. I 'framed' A Princess Was Born using the basic idea of this tutorial. I laced the stitched piece onto the foam core board (after it was washed and ironed), and taped the pink fabric onto another piece of foam core board. I used plain straight pins with 'pearl' beads around the edges, and pink and white sparkly ribbon. I twisted the white sparkly ribbon a little bit between each pin. Anyway, I have never done more than put a piece in a basic frame, so I was really happy with how this turned out. Happier I think than I would have been if I had put it in a frame - it's just so princess-y this way :) My daughter loves it, too, and it only cost me about $8 :)

Also, my birthday is this Wednesday, and my husband made me an early birthday present. He made two sets of scroll rods for my scroll frame and another set of knobs :) I am so spoiled! One set is 18" like the set I use to put my Disney Dreams pieces on, and the other set is 26". The larger set is big enough for me to put my Blackwork Sampler on. 

Hooray! I haven't done much on this one yet because I was having to work on it 'in hand'. After getting my scroll frame it really spoiled me and now I want to work on all of my big projects on one. 

In case you are wondering, this is a sampler called Save the Stitches by Elizabeth Almond at It's a free sampler she is releasing month by month. And I know that it's called blackwork and I am doing it in blues, but that's the wonderful thing about needlework - you get to make it your own. :) Here is a closeup of my progress on Block 1 (I am WAY behind.)

The other part of my birthday present is that Beauty and the Beast is getting framed :) We bought the frame yesterday and I have the mats picked out. I did have a little mishap though.

I finally bit the bullet and washed Beauty and the Beast so I could square it up and iron it. I washed it in cold, cold water, so cold it hurt my fingers. I rinsed it and rinsed it over and over, kept the water running over it for at least 10 minutes after the soaking and washing time. Everything was great, it cleaned up really nice. I gently rolled it in a towel to take out the excess water and set to work blocking it. I had it stretched and was going back around the piece making it straight, a little over halfway done, and noticed a little bit of a yellow tinge on the aida next to a set of green stitches. I thought my eyes were just being goofy in the light, but then noticed a couple of hours later that several areas next to the green were turned yellow. The greens bled onto the aida :( It doesn't seem to have affected the other stitches at all THANK GOD but I was still really disappointed. I might need to contact the distributor and let them know. The piece isn't ruined, and I doubt it will be noticeable at all once it is framed, but still. I shouldn't have to worry about the floss colors bleeding. :( 

Oh well, c'est la vie. Hopefully next week or the week after I can show a picture of BatB all framed and beautiful. :)

Hope you all have a good week and get lots of stitching done! Sorry I'm so talky-talky :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Small Finish and Snow White Begins!

I was so good - even though I finished A Princess Was Born a few days ago, I didn't jump in and start on Snow White until I finished the other part of my mom's birthday present (which I get to give her tonight!). I made a scissor sheath for a pair of small embroidery scissors I bought for her, that matches the biscornu I made. I don't really know if she has any small scissors just for thread-clipping, and I love mine. I had thought the biscornu would be much more impressive by itself than it was, so I wanted to do something else to go with it. Anyway, here is a picture of the two pieces together:

I love how blackwork looks with variegated thread. :) I hope she likes them. I am going to have to make a set for myself!

Aaaaaannnnnndddd, I have spent today prepping Snow White so I can start stitching it!!!!! FINALLY!!!!! Just in case you don't know what piece I am doing, it is called Snow White Discovers the Cottage, by M.C.G. Textiles.  It is based off a painting by Thomas Kinkade, and will be stitched on a tan colored, 18-count aida fabric that came with the kit. Here is what the finished piece will *hopefully* look like when it's done:

What's not to love about that? I actually think this one will go a little faster than Beauty and the Beast did, now that I know how my system works and what I'm doing :) 

The prep work I did today: 

I sprayed and ironed the fabric to loosen it up a bit and get the folds out from being in the kit. 

I use masking tape on the edges of my fabric to keep them from fraying and keep my threads from snagging on the edges. I do have to cut the tape off after it is finished, but I only tape 2 or 3 squares' worth in, so I don't lose hardly anything. 

Then it's time to put the fabric on my scroll frame. My wonderful scroll frame. :) Instead of gridding every block of 10, I use thread to just do the outline and the center lines. I mark the very edge of the pattern as it is printed, not just the edge of the stitches. This just works the best for me. Here is the fabric, in the frame and ready to go!:

This is the left side of the picture. 

For preparing the threads, I don't wind them onto bobbins, I put them on cards, marked with the color name and number, and with the symbol directly on the card. I discovered this a little ways into Beauty and the Beast, and it is WONDERFUL. No more constantly having to refer back to the key, and after a little while I get to know generally which card has which threads. This was one of the older kits that didn't come pre-sorted (ah! nightmare with 75+ colors!), so this also helps me to go through the threads and make sure I have the right number of strands of every color, and that I have all of the colors. Here is one card (of 8) marked up:

I also made a full copy of the entire pattern. I use a marker to color in the squares I have stitched as I go, which makes the backstitch lines and french knot dots hard to see. Also because the pattern is on a large piece of paper folded into quarters, I ended up with a small hole in the middle of my pattern on both pages for Beauty and the Beast and ended up having to guess what the symbols were. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to pack everything completely up every time I am done stitching, but with a 1 year old and a 3 year old, I can't risk leaving things out. Anyway, long story short, I decided that having an extra copy of the pattern would be a good idea this time around.

Unfortunately, I don't have any stitching progress to show because the day has been spent preparing. I am going to try to put in 1 or 2 lengths before we go to my parents' house for dinner tonight. I am just so excited to start this one!!! Woot woot!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Princess Finish!

Hooray! My daughter's birth sampler is FINALLY FINISHED! Lol now that she's 3 and all... I put in the last back stitch last night and took pictures this morning when I had enough light. So here it was before the backstitch:

And here it is now, all stitched up :)

It always amazes me the detail that backstitch can bring to a piece. I love it :) And here is another picture so you can see it a little closer and see the sparkles in the fairy wand.

Yay yay yay! I am not really one to finish things usually, so the fact that this is now my 2nd finish THIS YEAR is pretty awesome :) 

Or, I guess it could technically be my 3rd finish, because I made a biscornu for my mom. I really don't think she will look at my blog before her birthday on Monday, so here are my pictures of that:

She told me once that her favorite color is October - basically fall colors. I found a variegated thread that was very 'fall colors', so I worked up this biscornu from an adaptation of this blackwork pattern. If I had done the whole pattern on each side, I think it would have been too big. I also discovered that the 'evenweave' fabric I bought for it (packaged as 24 count evenweave) was not very even. Just the small amount I did was not completely square - over 40 stitches, or 80 threads, there was a noticeable difference in height vs. width. Normally not a humongous deal, but when you make a biscornu the pieces need to be square in order to fit together correctly. I was able to make it work, but now the rest of that fabric will have to be used on something other than biscornu. 

In other news, I never really thought I would try a humongous chart like HAED or Golden Kite or anything like that, but then I found out about Tilton Crafts. I like their particular selection of charts a lot more than HAED, and I found one that I really like and would go beautifully in my music room... :) 

Well I am going to go try and figure out the other part that I want to make for my mom's present. Hopefully I can do it fairly quickly so that I can get SNOW WHITE READY TO STITCH!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!! :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Princess Cross Stitches Are Done!

That's right, I only have the backstitch detail left on this baby! And to be honest, I finished the crosses on Tuesday night last week and have been backstitching ever since. I just want to do a photo of it all at once. There is a LOT of it on this one, so it is taking me longer than I thought it would, but I should have the finished picture sometime this week, or at the latest by next  Sunday. Anyway, here it was last week:

And here it was on Wednesday morning when I had the light to take a picture:

The backstitch is really making everything pop, big time. At first I thought the charcoal gray was too big a contrast, but as I keep going it looks better and better. And just think: once I'm done stitching this one, I can work on something else! I have asked for a set of 26" scroll rods for my frame for my birthday, so then I can do more work on my blackwork piece, too. 

Oh! And I started shopping around for framing so I can get Beauty and the Beast framed! I knew it was going to be expensive, and so far my quote is ~$130 from Hobby Lobby. That includes using a pre-made frame that will be 50% off and then using a 40% off coupon on the glass (which is normally $65 for the museum glass). The mats I chose there are pretty expensive; one is a dark blue suede mat, but it looks SO good with the piece. I just really feel (and my family all agrees with me) that I put a lot of time into the piece and I did a good job, so I should spend the money and have it finished the right way. I am part of a SAL group on Facebook for the Disney Dreams pieces, and I am amazed at how many people do a sad, sad job framing their finished pieces. I mean, even if you don't take it in to be professionally done, you should block it and square it up, or for goodness sake at least IRON it before you put it in a frame! My husband laughs at me because this bothers me so much, but really folks. Take some pride in your work! I am glad to see that all of the finished pieces I have seen on blogs that I follow are beautifully finished. 

Anyway, here is a great tutorial on finishing a piece after it is all stitched. Everything from washing to pinning and blocking to ironing and lacing, etc. etc. etc. It gives me hope for a good finish job on Princess. :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Crazy Busy Week is Done!

My crazy week is now over! The wedding today went really well. I swear, that girl is so pretty anyway, but put her in a dress like THAT and she is basically the only thing to look at in a room. :) (I can say these things, she was my maid of honor and one of my very dear friends!) The orchestra concert went awesome, probably my personal best one of the year so far. Our 'Italy' concert is in 2 weeks, so I think it will go well, too.
I enjoy being busy, but I do like my evenings to hermit and stitch at home, watching Netflix or Pride and Prejudice or Downton Abbey.
Anyway, I think I need to set up some sort of rotation or something so that I have more to show than the one project I have been working on. :) I get a little bit of tunnel vision, especially as I get really into a project. Guess what my update is this week? You guessed it, A Princess Was Born. Here is where I left it last week:

And here we are this week:

I finished all of the tan stitches so it's easier to see how it will be a scroll, and I started the pony. That means I just need to finish the pony and do the rest of the stars and sparkles, and I can start on the backstitch! I am hoping to be able to start that by my update next Sunday, but we will see. I think I overestimate myself sometimes. But it would be nice to have this one finished in the next 2 weeks so that I can start SNOW WHITE! Woot :) I think that for this piece, I will finish it kind of like THIS TUTORIAL shows, except I will do a narrower border and probably find some cute pink ribbon and ruffle it when I pin it down. It's really a cute piece, but I don't know that it will warrant a big formal framing job or anything. 

Anyway, hope you all get lots of stitching time in this week! I am going to try to :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

I normally post on Sundays, but tomorrow is going to be CRAZY busy with Easter. My kids are going to look super cute though - I got a tiny suit for my little boy and my little girl has a beautiful pink sparkly dress to wear :) We will see some of my side of the family in the morning for church and lunch and then see my in-laws for the afternoon and dinner. Full day, but it should be a lot of fun. :)

Thankfully I was able to get some good stitching in this week (at least for me) because this next week is going to be a DOOZY! Sunday: Easter. Monday: My big housecleaning day and teach piano lessons. Tuesday: My only 'free' day, just mom's group in the morning. Wednesday: Teach Piano lessons, teach harp lessons, then off to a bridal shower. Thursday: Dress rehearsal for Friday: Orchestra concert. Lots of french music, which means lots of harp. Saturday: Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for Sunday: Wedding for the girl who was my maid of honor, and I am playing harp for the wedding. I also need to arrange 2 more songs to play at the wedding throughout the course of the week and finish learning the Ravel piece for the concert. When it rains it pours, right? And after this next week things will slow down a little.

Anyway, here was last week's picture of A Princess Was Born:

And this week's progress:

I finished the pink fairy on the left, did a little more of the tan half stitches, and did the whole carriage. That means the last major element is the pony, and then it's just finishing the stars and tan half stitches, the pink fairy's wand and the rest of the sparkles. Then I can do all the backstitch. There is a lot of that... It will make it so, so cute though :) And I love backstitch work. 

I also found the buttons for my mom's present. I took pictures, but I don't want to risk her seeing what I made before her birthday. I decided I want to make something else small to match it though, so I will probably be working that out in my head this week. 

Welp, I hope you all have a great Easter! And may your week be full of stitches :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just Princess Progress

This week I don't have much to show except for my progress on A Princess Was Born. I did finish my mom's present but obviously I can't put pictures of it up until I give it to her :) And we didn't do anything in the backyard this week because my husband worked his 'second job': masonry. He works occasionally for a local guy when the guy needs extra help. It is great money so my husband doesn't mind. I think he actually prefers doing that and making money than working on the yard for free! ;)

Anyway, I was able to stitch for several hours over the course of this week - almost 2 hours at the Embroiderer's Guild meeting, a couple of hours after that the same night (woot, woot!) and then a couple of hours throughout the rest of the week while I finished catching up on Downton Abbey. Love that show. :)

So here I was last week:

And today:

I met my goal for the week of stitching 'princess was born', did a little more of the tan half stitches on the right side, and even got started on the pink fairy :) I am definitely over halfway done now, so that is exciting. Like I said in my last post, I am ITCHING to get this one done so I can start on Snow White. I think I will make my goal to have this one done by my birthday on May 21st. Think I can do it? 

Since I don't have much to say this week, I just wanted to look back through my progress pictures for this one. I think it's fun do see them all lined up once in a while. :)

Alrighty, well that does it for this week! Thanks for looking!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Disney Kinkade Fanatics, Anonymous

This is a random mid-week post, and I know that. I just want to share some super exciting news - MCG  Textiles is planning on releasing more of the Disney/Kinkade kits!!! They must have gotten rights to more of the pieces than just the Disney Dreams Collection, or maybe it just includes more paintings than I thought it did. Here is what they said in their Facebook post:

A few of you have asked which design we're working on next in the Disney Dreams Collection. It takes us about 6 months to get a design from start to finish and right now, the available designs are coming out faster than we can get them done. After Lady and The Tramp we were going to do Tangled, but then Fantasia was available so we switched the order. Now that Fantasia is done...well...Winnie The Pooh is available so Tangled is once again postponed. Many of you love Tangled, and we think the artwork is fabulous too, but when a true classic becomes available, we opt for that first. Stay tuned for updates on Pooh! -- Judy

I like the Winnie the Pooh paintings (there are 2 - they will choose 1 to do the large pattern from), but I think it's good that it isn't a 'must have' for me. I have a lot on my plate already. That post also means that they are planning on releasing Tangled at some point in time, which is amazing. Here is what the painting looks like:

GORGEOUS! RIGHT?!?!? Yeah. Gonna need to get that one.

They just released Fantasia as a cross stitch kit. It is slightly different than the ones before it, as they did less backstitch work but did something else to give the detail. Instead of being stitched on 18 count aida fabric, Fantasia is stitched on 28 count evenweave, over 2 threads. Then, where they needed extra detail (the brooms and fairies and such), I guess you stitch only over 1 thread. I think it is a good idea, and I like evenweave fabric better anyway :) And that means a lot fewer partial stitches, so no complaints there! Here is what that one looks like:

I think they are also planning on doing Jungle Book at some point. Here is that painting:

And I haven't heard anything about it being released as a pattern yet, but ALADDIN!

My top 3 favorite princesses growing up were Belle (done!), Ariel (got it!), and Jasmine. I am hoping that at some point they do the Aladdin painting as a cross stitch some day, too. That means that I have

Beauty and the Beast (Done!)

Snow White (next up!)

Little Mermaid

Sleeping Beauty




... Yup. I have enough stitching to last pretty much the rest of my life. I know it seems crazy to want to buy the kits before I am ready for them, but I can't help but feel like these ones won't be around forever. I am almost wondering if I should get the other ones (Cinderella, Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, Pinocchio, Lion King, and Peter Pan) so that my children can finish the collection for me. You know, since I will be dead before I get that far. :) I have been working hard on A Princess Was Born this week and my mom's present so that I can move on. I am ITCHING ITCHING ITCHING to get started on Snow White. I miss the complexity of such a big pattern, and while A Princess Was Born is super cute and it's nice to move so fast with it, it just doesn't completely satisfy my OCD tendencies :) Lol Alright, well, pictures on my progress next time!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Some Progress and My Scroll Frame

First off, I wanted to show my progress from this week of stitching. I worked on A Princess Was Born (again). I like it when a project gets out of its 'infancy' stage - when I am able to start looking at it and seeing real progress. So here is last week:

And here it is after this week:

I am hoping to finish 'princess' and possibly 'was born' this week. Maybe I will do some more of the sparkles that come down from the fairy wand, too... But you see the tan dashed line running across the bottom? That is the halfway point! I am super excited about that. :) released a giant Harry Potter pattern that you can see here. It is amazing and I want to stitch it so bad! It is pretty expensive though for just the pattern, so she also made it available in 5 parts that you can buy separately. I must confess, I bought the frame yesterday. I need to finish A Princess Was Born and my mom's present, then I will allow myself to buy the fabric and threads I will need for this one. :) Then I can start Snow White and the Giant Harry Potter one and still work on all of my other projects, too!... Okay, so maybe I am more of a 1 or 2 project-at-a-time person, but still. :)

 I realized that my mom's birthday is just over a month away, and I had wanted to stitch a little something for her. I won't say really anything about it now, but I think it will be neat and she will like it :) I will post pictures after her birthday to keep her from seeing it before then, on the off chance she watches my blog at all :)

We made more progress on the backyard this week. It has turned out to be a much bigger project than either of us thought it would be (which is always, always the case.), but we are moving along. We cleared out a spot next to the house that was basically just 'dead' space and started putting up the new shed. It's just a metal shed because we couldn't afford the thousands of $'s to do a wooden one, but I think it will definitely work for what we need it for. Here it is so far:

It still needs doors (obviously!) and we have some treated plywood to lay down as a temporary floor, but then we can move stuff in! I am very excited for this part, as it will allow the rest of the yard to be cleaned out, which means we can put in irrigation and start seeding some grass! My amazing husband worked 15 hours on this shed yesterday with his dad, and a solid 8 hours the day before getting the ground level and everything cleared out. It takes a little nudge to get him going, but once he starts he does a great job :)

So the last part of this entry, I wanted to talk a little bit about one of my favorite pieces of 'equipment' for stitching. That is my scroll frame.

Some people use hoops, some people work just in-the-hand, and some people use q-snaps (the pvc-pipe looking stuff with clamps on the edges). I am not a fan of hoops or q-snaps because I feel that unless the project fits in it perfectly with no overhang, it tends to smush the stitches and I noticed a lot more dirt on my fabric around the edges where I had to hold on. In the hand is fine for little projects or on occasion, but again I see a lot more dirt on the fabric, and my left hand gets all cramped up with the way I hold the fabric if I do it for too long. I love my scroll frame because I can rest it on my lap and not have to hold all the weight in my hand, it keeps my fabric nice and clean, it doesn't smush my stitches (like the french knots on Beauty and the Beast!), and it keeps the fabric nice and straight and tight. I have the Starter Set American Dreams scroll frame. The 18" scroll rods are perfect for the size of A Princess Was Born and to go sideways on the Disney Dreams kits. I would like to get another size bigger (26" probably) so that I can fit my Water Dragon and my Blackwork Sampler on it. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Little Stitching and a Clean Yard

This week was a good balance between getting stuff done and stitching. We spent 2 long days cleaning up our backyard which meant hauling all of the bits and pieces of the old shed to the dump, getting rid of a bunch of other junk in the yard, and raking up all of the leaves and dog poo that accumulated over the winter. We took 2 full trailer loads to the dump and 1 full trailer load to the yard waste place, so we got rid of SO MUCH stuff from the yard. Here it was last week:

And here it is as of now:

You can't see it in this picture, but we also took down a dead Sumac tree and picked up our new shed. We are hoping to get the new shed put up this week so we have a place to store all of the stuff that was in the old one. We still have a long ways to go, but I am determined that our yard will be usable and nice this summer. We did gain about 12 x 20 feet of yard by taking down that old shed. Woo hoo! We could put up a swingset. Maybe next summer... :)

As far as stitching goes, I was able to get quite a bit done but I only focused on Sarah's A Princess Was Born. I got to go to the Embroiderer's Guild meeting on Tuesday which was really neat, and stitch for 2 hours with no little fingers to pry off my work and no putting it down to go take care of one thing or another that always comes up when I stitch at home. Plus the ladies there were really nice and seemed excited to have me. I am pretty positive I am going to join the guild, even though I will only be able to make it a couple times a month instead of every week. Anyway, here is my progress on A Princess Was Born:

Last week:

And this week:

I knuckled down and did the star for the wand with the pearl filament, and found that it isn't actually so bad if you aren't doing partial stitches with it. I watched the rest of Downton Abbey Season 2 while I stitched at home this week, so now I need to get season 3 from my sister. :) Thanks for looking and happy stitching! :)