Just a quick update while I`m having lunch but after that I really have to go back to `work` - I`ve been naughty and spent the weekend plus half of today finishing that bit of ruff (?!) that was missing from Olivia`s bottom (oh dear, it`s just getting worse)... Anyway, here`s a picture - worth 1000 words anyhow: so this is where I am after 103 hours, she only needs her little crown now and it`s all done (I`m soooo tempted to just carry on till the finish line but I don`t dare, I must get on with the commission if I don`t want to pull a few all-nighters before the deadline). Hope you all had a great weekend - I`ve been to a vintage car rally where I`ve seen many wondrous things... none of which can I show you, unfortunately, because I forgot to take my camera with me. But it was fun, and now I`m ready to tackle anything Anchor can throw at me, mwahaha! ;) Happy stitching!
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Monday, 24 August 2015
Friday, 21 August 2015
The latest issue of Collection hits the UK shops today - and so does Cross Stitcher 296 by the way: just a wee reminder for those of you who wanted to stitch the little bird cage keyring ;) So finally I can show you some pics of my wonky apples (I hope that`s not slang for anything!). But just in case it is, here`s what I`m talking about:
It was an interesting experiment in pencil sketch style stitching - and not the easiest thing to do on evenweave, with hardly any reference points... basically, just apples floating in mid-air, lol.
The `wonky backstitch` in itself was quite challenging; the cross stitched apples were slightly simpler, as here at least I could use the cross stitches to help me navigate - but the 4 `empty` ones required a lot more concentration. So to start with, I enlarged the chart for one of them, and with different coloured pens, I marked the points on the grid where two lines met. Once I had the steps on paper, it was just a case of following all four lines, one at a time, in a `left 4, down 1`, etc. kind of way.
This is my `work station` - excuse the mess, I was working on Olivia at the same time too. ;) There`s my enlarged apple (again, I`m hoping that it`s not slang for boobs or similar!), and next to it is the first finished one, which I then used to calculate where the other 8 should go. And here they all are:
I think that little paperwork to begin with was well worth it: once I knew what I was doing, it grew quite quickly. The whole project took only 24 hours, so it`s a nice idea for a last-minute birthday, Mothers` Day or even housewarming present. Or the individual apples could be used as cards or coasters... the list is endless. Here`s my favourite, the one I call `apple on the washing machine` - happy stitching, folks!
Tuesday, 11 August 2015
Nothing like going from one extreme to the other to make you appreciate both even more, right? In between BAPs, HAEDs and oversized samplers, I`ve done a few wee breathers in recent months - hanging my head in shame, I confess I kinda forgot about these minis, but today I accidentally spotted the cupcake in the current issue of Cross Stitcher, and as I was admiring the finished card, I also realised that the wee birdie keyring, advertised from the coming issue, is mine too!
In case you haven`t seen Cross Stitcher 295 yet, this is the stunning card I`m talking about - however, in order to really appreciate it (extremes again!), first you have to see my dodgy photo... which, apparently, I took after midnight, by candlelight, against the appealing backdrop of my threadbare tartan blanket:
Would you believe that this is the same cupcake? What miracles a clever crafter`s finish and good photography skills can make, eh?
I love the little doily around it! :) And I also love the finish on the keyring - the back of it is also stitched with a reverse image of the bird and the cage, but of this I don`t have my own photo; it spent such a short time in my house that I didn`t even think about taking a pic, I was just concentrating on finishing it between the morning and afternoon school runs, so that I could dash to the PO with it (the editor needed this one back asap). Wanna hear my Mr. Sparks impression? "A challenge? I like it!" ;)
However, I do have a pic of my own project, which I forgot to show you last time: this is where I am on my Twelfth Night cushion, the Countess Olivia has a growing ruff (hmmm. I believe I`ve managed to make that sound a bit kinky). Anyway, here she is, I`m on the 5th page out of 9, and I can`t wait to see her finished! So without Much Ado (see what I did there?), I`ll get back to it - happy stitching, peeps!
Sunday, 9 August 2015
Phew, it`s good to be back! Although you wouldn`t know from the frequency of my posts, I was actually on holiday in the past 3 weeks - meaning: abroad (no holiday from stitching! My Twelfth Night cushion is steadily growing, thank you very much). We spent some glorious, sunny days in Hungary, visiting my family - OK, by `spending` I mean `surviving` and by `sunny` I mean `death rays that will scorch you within an inch of your life and make you sweat from places you didn`t even know could sweat as soon as you move, even if that slightest movement is just to attempt to breathe some hot air in`. But the main thing is: it was fun.
While I was away, Cross Stitch Collection 252 hit the shops, and in it there`s the gorgeous Maria Diaz sewing room that I stitched a few months ago - here it is on the cover:
Please excuse the creases right at the sewing room`s frame - this magazine has been through a lot, same as me, in my native land that I now affectionately call The Oven. (And while I`m typing this, I just spotted: what gorgeous orchids in the bottom right corner!) ;)
Anyway, here`s my (as usual) badly lit photo of the finished picture, after 52 hours and some tweaking, unpicking and re-stitching as there was an error in the pattern, but eventually we got there:
I think it looks much better stretched and framed (and professionally lit & photographed, lol):
I love how even after stitching the whole piece, there are still some details that I`m only seeing now, in the photo! :) It was a pleasure to work on, although if I`m honest, I spent some foul-mouthed minutes (read: hours) on the fiddly BS and FKs on those flowers - I even took some (even more terrible than usual) close up photos:
I guess every stitcher`s different, and even the same person approaches the same task in a different way, depending on their mood; one day, you enjoy the challenge of a little `fiddliness` after the monotony of just cross stitch, the next you just want to get on with it and finish a project asap, especially two days before the deadline. All I seem to remember is that I sighed a big sigh of relief when these petals were done - I hope it won`t discourage anyone from sewing this, though! (Am writing very confidently here in the firm belief that there can`t be more than 2-3 dozen people out of 7 billion who actually read this). :D
Oh, and lookee what Postie brought me while I was away: the doll`s house has found its way back to me!!! I`m ecstatic and can`t wait to put it on my Wall of Glory... OK, I haven`t got one as such but there`s the Durene Jones sunflowers and Maria Diaz`s Santa`s Journey on the bedroom wall, so now I can hang the doll`s house next to them, awesome! :) Hope you`ve all had a great summer, happy stitching!