Sunday, January 26, 2014

Week 27 Beauty and the Beast, Blackwork Sampler Start

It was a busy week this week. My son turned 1 and we had his birthday party, my husband and I went out on a date (yay!), and I was sick for part of the week so we went to bed at the same time as the kids most nights. Still, I was able to stitch Lumiere's flames and almost finish Belle's dress, and I got just about all of the blues on the Beast done. Just gotta keep plugging away, I suppose! And now that I am just about done with the pearl filament and partial stitches, I am hoping it goes really quickly.

I also started that Blackwork Sampler from Blackwork Journey. I am doing mine in blues and a little bit of purple. I really didn't have much time to stitch on this but I couldn't resist putting in just a little bit :) Here is the outline for the first block:

I am stitching this on a 28 count white evenweave that I picked up at Joann's. I will have to make a couple of alterations as I go to make it fit the fabric a little better - mostly instead of making the sampler 6 blocks tall and 3 blocks wide, I will make it 5 blocks tall and 4 blocks wide. It will also give me 2 extra blocks to fill in as I want, with other filler designs I find that I might like. I will probably only update this one once a month, since that is how often she will be releasing new steps. I am very excited to try this new style of embroidery! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More Projects On My Mind...

I love working on Beauty and the Beast. However, I think that I will need a little bit of a break every now and then to the complexity of the pattern. My sister showed me this super cute stitch along that a lot of people are doing, for a piece called Once Upon A Time by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. They are releasing a new square each month, and by the end of the year you have an entire sampler. Very cute idea :) I did find though, after much consideration, that the primitive style of cross stitch that this sampler is in, isn't really my 'thing'. But I loved the idea of something that I can work on throughout the year, just a bit at a time to give me a break from Beauty and the Beast those days that I get frustrated or overwhelmed. Here are two ideas I have for it (and I just may end up doing both ideas... lol):

I love drawn thread embroidery. I am finding though that there isn't much going on in that direction, or with whitework unless you look at European blogs. But I did find these two books: White Work: Techniques and 188 Designs, and Beginner's Guide to Drawn Thread Embroidery. The drawn thread book actually has a few samplers in it, and I figured I could maybe do one band per month, and then maybe add to the design from the White Work book if I want to. I ordered the books yesterday from Amazon and they should be here tomorrow (Happy dance!).

Of course, since I ordered the books yesterday, today I found out (through that there is a blackwork sampler that will be released month-by-month this year - for Free! It's called The Save the Stitches Sampler. I also love blackwork, with how intricate it looks but not really being all THAT difficult because the patterns are repeats. I have been looking through what she has posted so far, and I REALLY want to do this. Probably not all in black, or even with the metallic accents she has. I might do this one in blues because I LOVE blues - probably mostly a nice, deep blue, with possibly some lighter blues or periwinkles or purples thrown in. Anyway, click the links to see pictures of some of the projects, and anyone is welcome to join me on the monthly projects if they want :)

Beauty and the Beast update will be on Sunday, but bear with me. This week we have been going to bed early to try and get me healthy again (since I am sick this week) and my son's birthday is tomorrow, with his party on Saturday. Things have been busy :)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week 26: Beauty and the Beast, Hogwarts Crest

I have not posted any progress pictures so far on my Hogwarts Crest, so I thought I would do that. This one is very slow going as it is at my parents' house, so I only get to work on it when there is time there. This means that I typically am only able to put in 3 or 4 lengths of floss per week in. Add that to the fact that this one also took an 18 month hiatus, and you have not much progress. Oh well, I still really like this one :)

I am starting with all of the black outlining, just because it is easier to only have to deal with one color at a time with the way I have to store this one.

As for Beauty and the Beast, I actually feel like I did a lot this week!

Lumiere has made an appearance, as well as the puppy footstool :) It was nice to stitch something with such vibrant colors as a change from all of the browns and grays I have been stitching with. The patio floor has been going pretty quickly so far, and on Lumiere's right side it is done up to the greenery. Lumiere still needs his flames, but those are blended with the pearly filament so I have put them off because I hate that stuff. I will try to do them this week. 

Every week gets a little closer, and I am to the point now where I WILL finish this one. The end is in sight, so I have pretty much put everything else that I want to stitch at home aside so that I can have a major finish hopefully fairly soon. I love looking around on different forums and reading other blogs to see what other people are working on because it motivates me. There are so many different things I want to stitch, but I already have so many WIPs that I need to finish one or two before I start any more. Who knows why I like to choose hobbies that take FOREVER? :) Not me, but I sure do love this one!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 25: Beauty and the Beast

We had a house full of sick people this last week. My husband and both of my kiddos had strep throat, along with head colds. Thankfully I have been able to stay pretty healthy and just have a minor head cold, but it was a busy week taking care of everyone. I was able to get one or two good nights of stitching in though, so I do have some progress to report this week. I filled in the area down by the flowers and added more on the ledge. And, a new character has appeared!

Cogsworth thought that it was time for him to show his face this week. :) I am pretty happy with how he turned out, and I am excited for when I can back stitch him. You can also just see the base of Lumiere starting to take form. There are soooo many partial stitches with the characters and details in this piece. It takes a long time. I think that the next one of these that I do, I will do on an evenweave fabric instead of the aida, even though it already comes with the aida. I think it will be much more manageable. 
Here is an overall shot:

It seems like it is such slow going with two kids - I am constantly having to start and stop to address one thing or another with them, but such is life, and progress is progress. I am so excited by how far I have made it on this, and I know that I will finish it. Especially when I can see how little I have left, it's very encouraging to me. :) 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Week 24 Beauty and the Beast (A Year and a Half Later...)

I am not completely sure what happened to make me suddenly just STOP stitching, but it may have had something to do with my little girl being 18 months old at the time, and I figured out why I was so COMPLETELY useless then: I was in the first trimester of pregnancy with my son, who will turn 1 in just a couple of weeks. Eeek! That means that I haven't stitched in FOREVER, but I recently got motivation to pick it back up again. See, I didn't realize they had come out with a Sleeping Beauty and a Little Mermaid Thomas Kinkade cross stitch, and I saw them and they are both beautiful. And I want them. And I already have Snow White to do after Beauty and the Beast, so I figured I couldn't really buy one until I finished the one I already had started, otherwise my husband would roll his eyes and think I'm crazy. Oh wait, he does that anyway... But good news, I got the Little Mermaid one for Christmas! It's soooo purty :) That means that I can ask for Sleeping Beauty for my birthday, or just buy it after I finish Beauty and the Beast. At that point I think I am pretty much set for life... :)

Anyway, my sister and I also decided that since I (obviously) didn't get this done in time for the fair in 2012, I should get it done for the fair this year. I think that is very manageable as long as I don't lose my stitchy bug before then, even with 2 kiddos running around :)

So technically, this is the 24th week I have stitched on this, even though it has taken over 2 years... And I am pretty sure that I have put more hours into stitching this than Thomas Kinkade put into painting the original. :) Here is the progress I made this last week:

I got frustrated with Belle and her sparkly dress, so I decided to do other work down in the corner instead, to get back into it. I was able to reach the bottom right corner, which means all 4 corners have been reached. I had forgotten how much I really enjoy doing this. Maybe this time my stitchy bug won't leave me, since I won't be getting pregnant anymore. Two kids is good for this family. Here is a close up of what I did this week:

Well, glad to be back in it. Hopefully this one will go quickly now and be finished soon. I don't think I've seen another finished one, other than the picture that comes on the cross stitch. Wish me luck!