I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Theme-a-Licious: Jumanji June

Hey Blog Buddies,

We're almost halfway through 2012 and I have finally decided to jump in to Heather's Theme-a-Licious SAL!  There is a different theme for each month, and participants either follow it closely or somehow convince their readers with stories about how what they stitched matches the theme!  No stress, just fun.  The theme for Jumanji June was to stitch something animal-related.  Since it was my first time out, I decided to stick more or less closely to the theme.  I had my rabbits from Crabby All Year for the first half of the month, and for the second half I decided to start Plum Street Sampler's Boris.  Besides, he was on my list of things to stitch this year.  But instead of an adventure with Boris, I had more of a misadventure!

First, I decided to baste the fabric into 20 x 20 grids to help with the placement of all the letters in the sampler.  It took a lot of time, but was worth the effort.

The fabric is 36-count, and the instructions were to use one strand of floss.  That was OK for the letters, but I didn't like the way Boris (my little Russian dog) was turning out, and he was the reason I wanted to stitch the design in the first place!

I started stitching his face (oh, that face!)
and wasn't pleased with the coverage of the floss.
But did I stop and frog?  No!
It was hoping that the "effect" would grow on me.
When will I ever learn?
I got all the way to...

...before I decided to cut my losses.
(This may be the most embarrassing photo
ever published on this blog!)
If you look closely at the bottom two rows of his body
just behind the leg, you'll see I finally tried using 2 strands,
just to see what it would look like.
That was more like it!
I wanted him black, not tweed!
He was looking like he had a
bad case of dandruff!

If I hadn't taken so much time basting,
I would have just tossed the entire piece at this point
and started over.
So I decided to frog instead.
Let me tell you, when I decide to bury a tail of floss,
it pretty much stays buried!

As of now, after much ripping, cutting, pulling and
dark muttering,
all that's left of him is his muzzle
and a tattered flower.
(Sorry, I'm not going to waste a photo on that!)
Quit giggling!!

The theme for next month is Jolly July.
"It's a jolly holiday with your WIPs. 
You can concentrate on Christmas designs,
ornaments, or even pick a different holiday
to render in stitchy goodness."

I am going to need something jolly
after this little nightmare.
But Boris will get done ... eventually.
He has so much personality, how can I not finish him?

Hope your projects are going more smoothly.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Short Walk through the Damp Woods

Hey Blog Buddies,

I was working on Rainforest Revisited this past week, and it seemed to be going pretty slowly. Oddly I just wasn't in the mood for it, so I only finished three squares.  Here they are:

(the prettiest one)

The star is worked in one color (Caron Watercolours Rainforest).
The background was supposed to be Belle Soie silk,
but I'm not a big fan of (1) silk or (2) using a laying tool,
so I substituted DMC #5 pearl cotton in the same color as the silk!
Works for me!
(I'm probably one of only a handful of stitchers who will
substitute the called-for silk with DMC!!)

This would be really psychedelic
if it weren't stitched in all browns.
(I know I'm dating myself using that word!)

Last but not least, the designer
described this stitch as like basketweave, 
only over three instead of one.
And of course it changes direction,
like almost all of the stitches in this project. 

This coming week I'm planning on
starting a "new" project.
It's on my 2012 WIPocalypse list
and has been kitted up for ages.
This one would be a snap if it didn't have
all the letters of the alphabet floating around in the ether.
Did I mention it's on 36-count linen?
Bring out the magnifiying glass!
(Can you guess which one it is?)

Hope everyone had a good weekend!
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 18, 2012

June IHSW: Two Small Finishes

Hey Blog Buddies,

It was a little too warm and humid here over the weekend (for my taste), so I did stay and hermit in the air-conditioned indoors and got a lot of stitching done this weekend, to-wit:

My first attempt at reversible blackwork.

This was a guild project from about 5 years back.
I had actually taken a few stitches in it
and then put it away.  You know how that goes...

The stitches themselves are simple
(one little straight stitch over two threads).
But the diagram was something else!
All the stitches were numbered and
had a specific direction.
And there was no grid!!!
There were a couple of over-one-thread stitches
that caught me by surprise.
They were hard to differentiate
from the slightly longer lines.
This was not something I could do
and watch (or even listen to) TV at the same time.

Here is a close-up of part of the back--
yes, it is truly reversible.
But weaving the loose ends into the existing stitching
still looks somewhat messy to me.
I found out the hard way
that I should use the straight line on the outer border
for all my tail weavings.
This was a good practice project,
and I'll probably be using it as a bookmark.
But it's not "gift" quality.

After that, my second finish was a true no-brainer:

4th of July by Lizzie*Kate--cute and quick!
And it's not even July yet!!
Now to get it mounted and framed.
(I have a red frame that will work.)
And there's a small cubbyhole waiting for it
in my little seasonal bookcase.

That's it for this month.
To find links to all the other hermitters
participating in
International Hermit and Stitch Weekend,
click here.
Thanks, Joyce for hosting this!
Hope your weekend was fun.
And thanks, as always, for visiting!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bugs and Rabbits!

Hey Blog Buddies,

During the WIPocalypse update, I mentioned that I had started on Raise the Roof's "Crabby All Year" and showed you my start for June.  I had originally intended to do only one "month" per rotation, but enthusiasm got the better of me this week.  So here is June:

I'm not a fan of bugs, but I do like this square.
My favorite is the caterpillar.
The designer calls it a centipede.
But I had never seen a red and yellow centipede
(and I've seen a lot of centipedes!),
so I shortened it's legs,
and it's now a cute little caterpillar!
The lettering and the "gnats" flying around
appear to be black,
but they are really DMC 939
(dark, dark blue!).

I had intended to continue on to July, but--hello!--
April, May and June are all on the same row!
So I backtracked to May's rabbits.
And here is May:

The design called for DMC 420 for the rabbit,
but I substituted WDW's Cappuccino.
Stitchers like me probably should not use overdyes.
Notice how stripey the rabbit is?
That's because I almost always
insist on crossing my stitches the Danish way.
But this design is a little zany anyway,
so the rabbit stays the way he is.

It seems like the lettering could be
a little larger in this square.  Hmmm.
I'll wait until the project is finished
before I make any decision to change the letters.

The weather in these parts has
been just beautiful the last couple of days.
Hope the weather where you are
is just what you like.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ukrainian Ornie: A Finish-Finish!

Hey Blog Buddies,
I figure if I keep on finish-finishing ornaments myself, "someday" I will be adept enough to do it so that (a) they're to my liking and (b) I quit pulling my hair out during the process.  In the meantime, here is my little Ukrainian whitework project, finished as an ornament:

It really looks cute finished this way.
My first attempt at making the cording went awry.
(My cord was just a little too short.)
So I was determined that my second cord
would be long enough--and it was.
You can't see the tassels in this photo
because they hang about 12 inches
below the ornament!

If you would like to learn how to do this whitework technique
and live anywhere near northwest Indiana
(or would like to go on a road trip),
my Guild is hosting a workshop
on September 8, 2012,
and anyone is welcome to sign up!
And bring a friend!
We have lots of space now,
but the number of students is limited.
Click the photo of the ornie on my sidebar
to get all the details.
Or email me--that would work, too.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 4, 2012

WIPocalypse 2012 - June Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

May was a much more productive month for me than April, so I've got a few things to show you.  Let's start with a finish!  Here's the before photo:

And here's the finish,
Alessandra Adelaide's CT13:

Rainforest Revisited by Needle Delights Originals
also got some love in May.
Here's the before picture:

I added eight more squares since then
(the top and bottom rows):

Last and probably least,
at this point anyway,
I made a start on Raise the Roof's "Crabby All Year."
It's on my list because I've had the charts for quite a while.
So, say hello to June:

"B"?  Really??
Yes, June is "Bugs!"

I had a bad moment with it this morning.
As you can see, I did measure for the center and
basted a line down the middle.
Trying to be careful here
because this is another BAP.
I'm doing all the months on one piece of linen.
Then it hit me:
there's an 80-thread header I forgot about!
I vaguely remembered Joy at House of Stitches
telling me I was getting a little extra
when she cut the fabric.
(I think my measurements were
almost equal to the width of the fabric.)
So I counted, and there's plenty of room at the top!

That's it for this month.
Hope your month was productive, too!
And thanks for visiting!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ort Bag

Cute little ort bag
(or thread catcher, if you will).
Instructions for making one are here.
I found this a while ago
So thanks, Patty!

Have a great weekend, everyone.
And thanks for visiting!