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.