Sunday, April 15, 2018

Quotes SAL and Scale

Hi gang! I managed to finish off this week with a small finish on my Stitchrovia Quotes to Live By SAL. So here is quote #8 all done:
Once I got past the outer borders, it really stitched up quick. Even the back stitching only took about an hour. So now there's only 2 left! Here's the full piece so far:
I know the border will take me a while, but I'm still hoping to have this totally done at the end of August. I'll be working on quote #4 next, and plan to put in a couple more days of work ahead of my next Year of Starts project on the 18th. :)

I also made some semi-decent progress on Scale, though she is looking a bit weird:
Her cheek is green! It's kind of creepy, but it looks totally fine in the full pic, so I know it will work itself out. Still, she's green! I haven't decided if I'm going to continue with her next week or switch to something else. Pastoral has kind of been calling me since last week, so I might indulge in that. I guess I'll just play it by ear.

And on my Temperature SAL, you know how I've been waiting to stitch some orange? Well...
There's orange! Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were all in the low 80s, so there's a big blob of 970 to commemorate the occasion. This month has been really wacky with up and down temps though, since once again, it snowed today! Third Sunday in a row, in April! And it looks like next week will be a rollercoaster as well. Oh well, at least I got my happy orange. I don't think I'm quite as anxious to get to the reds. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Few Setbacks

Well, it's been one of those weeks again, where things just don't go as planned. (I have a lot of those, I know.) Haven't been feeling well since Wednesday. Don't know if it's the weather or stress at work, but it really affected my stitching Thursday and Friday, so Scale didn't get as much attention as I would have liked.

As for drama this week, lets see: First there was the mouse in my kitchen Wednesday night (second time this year); Second, my neighbor's apartment caught fire early Saturday morning, and while I was very fortunate in not getting any damage to my unit, I did get an apartment full of smoke. That was not cool, since my apartment is full of fabric, but it could have been a lot worse. Thankfully, it was a fairly small fire, and the firemen got here really quick.

So I guess I should get to the stitching, right? Okay. Last week I pulled out my R2 Silhouette, which I did work on last year but never posted any progress pics here. In fact, it appears I didn't take any pics of this at all last year, and of course, I forgot to take one before I started. So, here's a pic taken after Monday's session, and the final pic for the week:
I started this week working on the satellite and the foliage around it. My goal was to get the middle scene done, and I think I got most of it in. Now I can focus on getting the legs finished next time. I'm looking forward to the shape of trees forming as I go. :)

Since there wasn't much progress on Scale, I'll save her for next time and show you another of my wips that hasn't seen the light of day in a while.

Two years ago, my mother bought me a Riolis kit I just had to have for my birthday. I really love the scene, but I've barely worked on it at all. Partly because of the fabric (stiff aida), but mostly because of the chart. It's a large full color chart with lots of similar symbols, and the result is like some psychedelic painting that hurts my eyes. Recently, I've put the fabric onto a new frame (an Elbesee Easy Clip frame, great for stiff aida) so I decided to have another go at the chart. It's still difficult, but since I've resigned myself to not highlighting (it just blends right in) and am now using black marker to blot out what I've stitched, I actually made some decent progress today. Again, I don't have a "before" photo, but I worked mainly on the gentleman's cravat and shirt sleeve:
This was only my 5th day on this project, which is really shameful, but I think I've worked out my blockages with this pattern. I would have stitched more, but my right arm is bothering me quite a bit. (It's always something.) I guess what I really need is a bionic arm! Then I could get some decent stitching done. ;) Until then, progress is really slow on this one, but seeing part of the pattern take shape is really galvanizing. I can't say I'll be working on this all the time, but it's not going to sit in a corner and collect dust without getting touched, so I'll call that a win. :)

And on my Temperature charts, I now have three months done!
I was really bummed to have to break out the dark blue for the first of April. It hasn't been this cold in April in a really long time, and it's snowing again today! Hopefully that will change soon. Until then, I'm still waiting to use my orange. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hello April!

Well, I was supposed to get back to Cassiopeia last week, but that didn't happen. Lots of little reasons why, but I think one big one: it rained ALL week. Every single day, 4 days straight. We had a break Friday and Saturday, then today, it's snowing. So happy April Fools Day from Mother Nature, right?

Anyway, what I did work on last week was Hillside Travelers, another from Little House Needleworks. This was among my year of starts last year, but I don't think I've shown it here. It is one of my favorites though, and is among the few projects tempting me to be a one-at-a-time stitcher. So here's what it looks like and where I got to last year:
And here's what I did this year:
Of course I wanted to keep working on it, thinking "if I could just get those pine trees in" or "hey, I could start the verse at the bottom!" But at least I got the people and animals done, and most of the little hillside filled in. I need to find a good blue for the pond though. The pattern calls for 3022, which is the color of the gentleman's jacket. Definitely green. I know it's a mossy pond, but I want my water to be blue! But that will wait til next time, which will definitely be this year. :)

Since it's a new month, I've pulled out a new focus project for the evenings, and this time it's Scale. I haven't worked on Scale since Nov. 2016, and I really did miss her. I remember trying last year, getting her set up on the frame, but I never got any stitches in. So even though I usually stitch on Luna on Sundays, I just had to work on Scale today, and managed a little over 400 stitches. Not much, but a good start:
So yeah, I've moved down a row  of pages again, this time to work on her lips. Seeing her like this though, I can't help but think of my mother's name for this one: Big Nose. :)

I didn't finish my Temperature charts for March since the website I get my temps from hasn't updated the last two days yet. (Frustrating!) So here they are up to March 29th:
See those spools on the ornament chart? I think they're pretty cool. It's hard to see that the thread and spool are different colors on the first one, but I still like it. I'll be on this round for the whole month of April, so I hope I get some good colors. :)

Well, that's all for now, I guess. Until next time!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Virtue Sampler and Luna

This week I managed to feel pretty productive. In the mornings, I stitched on my Virtue Sampler from Little House Needleworks. I just started this on the 18th, but I think it's stitching up pretty quickly. I was too lazy to take it off the qsnaps, so here's before and after I moved the frame:
I was lucky to do the rooftop Friday morning, cuz that day I was a total zombie! This daylight savings thing always messes with me, and I think it gets harder every year. But rooftops and tree trunks seem to be the remedy, and I'm very happy with my progress.

In the evenings, I worked on Luna and managed to finish one column and get pretty far on the second column, so I'm just shy of 3 columns for the month:
I should have finished that column today, but I slept in and caught a major case of the blahs. She is looking really good though. The current column picked up the arc of the moon at the very top, so that will be filling in as I go along. I also love how her hair is stitching up with all the wayward strands and bits of sky peeking through. (Gee, can you tell she's my favorite?)

The temps this week were pretty stagnant, but the colors look great together on my Temperature charts. These are the transitions between dark blue and full green, which seems to be the majority of March. 959 came back with a vengeance though, taking up three days:
And another row of the ornament is complete! The next row has been started, but it's a little different. These are little spools of thread, but the thread tails carry over into the adjacent block. So I'm gonna have to be a bit creative and stitch the color of the thread for one day and the spool for the next day. We'll see how that turns out next week.

That's all I got for now. Think I'll go take a nap. Until next time!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Year of Starts #3

Last week I decided to carry on with Unusual Specimens since four days really doesn't satisfy for a rotation. I'm actually using this piece for the Stitch by the Numbers SAL in Full Coverage Fanatics on facebook, so I need to get to 2400 stitches this month. I haven't made an exact count, but I know I'm still a couple hundred short. But I am making some good progress:
Those wings are a confetti nightmare! I'm probably making it harder on myself trying to stitch pages one and two together, but page one is like 500 stitches, so whatever. I think I just started getting the hang of things on Friday, but now I'm putting it away for a while. I think I'll bring it out again in a week though, we'll see. It is kind of addictive. :)

I had a lot going on this week, including some cooking I did for a party at work (my first time doing that!) so I didn't give as much attention to Cassiopeia as I would have liked, but then I never do. I might have gotten more done, but stitching when I was too tired resulted in frogging about 50 stitches, and after that I had to go to bed. But here's my progress for this week:
Her dress (in this quadrant at least) is almost done. I've just got one more darker green and a little black motif, and voila! All those other gaps are for beads. Seriously. I've also gotten more done on the couch; that's the dark brown and the vertical part. It seems there's still so much to do on her, but I'm still hoping to finish this section this month. Wish me luck!

And yes, today is the 18th, so here is my new start for March:
This is the Virtue Sampler by Little House Needleworks. I think this chart is adorable! I like stitching houses, and trees, and words, and it's not too big, so maybe I can finish it this decade. I'm working on Limestone Belfast with all the called for threads, and there's only 9 colors. Just simple and sweet. :)

Okay, it's that time again:
This week we had our warmest day so far, 76°, so I got to stitch with my darker yellow, 742. That's just one shade away from my first orange. *sigh* I'll get there soon enough I suppose, and then I'll be whining for those greens again. :)

Next week  I'll keep working on my Virtue Sampler in the mornings and Luna in the evenings. I want to make some good progress on her this year, so that means working on her more than just on Sundays. So until next time, happy stitching! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

New Start, Meager Progress

Hello again! I'm back with a new start (like I don't have enough) and some meager progress. This week I have the excuse of a minor cold though. I can't really stitch at all when I'm sick. I just sleep or stare at my computer for a few hours. I'm feeling better now though, so next week should be better. (Optimism! Yay!)

In the evenings, I've been stitching away on Cassiopeia, and I am totally in love with her! I have a new phone with a new camera that can't really capture her colors, but she is looking quite gorgeous, I must say:
So that's six days worth of stitching, though I was kind of sick for four of them. The chart is actually divided into quadrants, so I've decided to focus on the lower right quadrant and hopefully finish it this month. It's kind of tricky stitching as there are lots and lots of beads and a bit of confetti, but I'm getting through it. I've started stitching in some of those golden leaves she's holding, but most of those are actually beads as well. Hopefully next week I will start on the skin and stitch her arm. Can you kind of see the outline of her hand? :)

And yes, I had a new start as well, and of course, it's another HAED. This is actually the 18th HAED I've started, and I haven't finished any of them yet. :) I started it on the 6th because I have a thing with dates and I liked how March 6th is written out: 3-6-18 (cuz that's how we write it in America). Anyway, this is called Unusual Specimens, by Stephanie Law:
I've loved this design since I first saw it, but I almost talked myself out of starting it. I really really don't like insects of any type, and I'm actually afraid of bees (or anything that bites or stings) so it's kind of weird for me to want to stitch a giant bee. But those flowers at the bottom are so pretty, even if they're generating giant mutant bees, so I thought I'd give it a go. And so far, I'm really pleased with how the blues are stitching up.

This is my first project on Easy Count fabric (this is 25ct) and it took some getting used to. Those gray lines are tricky since they don't outline a 10x10 stitching square, just 10 threads on the fabric. That means that two sides of your 10x10 square are stitched along the gray thread, and two sides are stitched just inside those lines. So count carefully if you decide to use this fabric! Otherwise, I do like it. It's a bit stiffer than my usual evenweave, but not as stiff as the DMC Magic Guide. I picked this piece up from HAED as a remnant, but 123 Stitch has also started selling it, just fyi. :)

And now my Temperature charts! I think if I didn't post these every week, I would be tempted to stitch on something else and fall way behind. So here they are:
I got to stitch some nice blues and teals this week, very nice relaxing colors. This was also the first week I haven't used 959 since early January. That ornament stitches up super fast since it's just a repeating pattern. I've been toying with the idea of stitching that again for next year, but having a more limited palette, like all blues or something. Just an idea.

Ok, gotta get back to stitching. Until next time! ;)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Moon Indigo, page 11

Finally! I have a whole page finish on Moon Indigo:
This is page 11, totally complete. It has taken me an age to slog through all the confetti, but it's finally done, and she looks fabulous. :) Honestly, I started this page on June 11th last year and just finished it Feb. 28th! I don't know how many hours it took, but I did spend 30 days on this page when my usual is 20-25. Anyway, it's done, she's gorgeous, and I'm on to page 12!

Last week I spent my mornings on the Stitchrovia Quotes SAL, but all I've managed so far are a bunch of borders:
So I've got the main outer border stitched as far as I can within the q-snap, plus the border for my next quote, which is #8 in the series. I did manage a tiny start on the interior banner, but all the fun stuff will have to wait til next time.

As I mentioned, I'm digging Cassiopeia out of hiding this month. I only worked on her for 4 days in 2017, and never took a picture, but I did remember to take a pic after I'd worked on her a bit last Friday:
I'm into the tricky bit around her arm, by those golden leafy things she's holding. There are lots of beads in that area as well, so it's going to be full of gaps for a while, but I'm really happy to have her out again. Hopefully I can make a good bit of progress on her this month, despite the fact that overtime already seems to be happening. (ugh!)

I also had a happy surprise on my Temperature charts this week:
See it? It's yellow! And it's so bright! On Feb. 27th (my best friend's birthday) we hit 71° so I was finally able to stitch with 725, my first yellow. It seems we're finally moving away from all those purples and dark blues and into the teals and darker greens. Now I'm waiting for the first appearance of orange. :)

Well, the year seems to be zooming by but I'm still managing to stitch every day, even if only for 20 minutes. But every stitch counts! For February, I managed 11,146 stitches, so I'm up to 23,895 stitches for the year so far. I'm aiming for 10,000 a month, though I think I'd have to stitch 3 times that to make my crazy goals. :)

Hope you all are having a wonderful stitchy time, wherever you are and whatever you're working on. Until next time!