Tuesday, 18 July 2017

July Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone has been having a good summer. It has been hot here for the last few weeks although it is cooling off during the nights again finally. The plants are doing very well though as long as they can stay watered. I just have a small balcony but we set up flowers, tomatoes and some herbs and they look very nice. It really brightens up the room and smells nice. We don't get any bees up so high unfortunately but the tomatoes will self-pollinate.

For Gifted Gorgeousness (hosted by the wonderful Jo from Serendipitous Stitching) this month I have been working on the Coastal View. This is a project that was gifted to me by Lucy and will be for my sister. I am working on the steps and the first building and am happy with the progress. I still have a fair amount to go and will start to focus on this project more while I am at home and not just while I am in the car.
Coastal View
Dimensions Gold Kit
18 count ivory aida

I also received a gift from Minnie at AllXX's who held a blog giveaway and then ended up giving a gift to everyone who entered. She sent me the great pattern below and I am very excited to start it, I think I will put it at work when I am done. I have begun to slowly kit it up and will probably get a hand-dyed fabric for it and maybe silk floss.

Be True
Little House Needlework

I have completed a few more blocks on the Dryad. I have about 1500 stitches left until this page (and top row) are completed which will be a major milestone. I am enjoying the detail in this piece and like exploring each new motif, I feel I have a much better understanding and appreciation of the painting.
The Dryad and the Dragon
Heaven and Earth Designs
Original Art: Josephine Wall
28 count evenweave

I also have picked up some more patterns. I took a couple of days off a few weeks ago and went on a road trip to Vancouver. We had a lovely time, saw whales and flew in a float plane, and ate tons of fruit. I also got a chance to stop in a quaint needle shop in Victoria called Buttons and Needlework where I had purchased the salmon and dolphin designs from years ago. It has stayed refreshingly the same and I picked up another pattern designed by the Stitching Studio and two needlework kits. I think the shoe design is fun and silly and will definitely go to my sister who loves shoes and plants. The other design is bright and happy and will go to my youngest sister as a house warming gift if I can finish it in time and as a Christmas present if I can't (good to always have a back up plan).

Virginia Creeper Slipper
Woodland Threads

Vigaroso Albero (Energetic Tree)
Crazy for Crewel

The Stitching Studio
Original Art: Sue Coleman

The only other update I can think of is about my work at the University. It is going fine right now, I am focused on making a proof into a usable calculation (excel or matlab program) and am having fairly good success. There are a few kinks to iron out, but I feel like I am moving forward at least. I am hoping to have a very productive rest of the summer as the fall will be very busy with conferences (Montreal and Chicago!)

Have a good rest of the week!


Thursday, 22 June 2017

June Gifted Gorgeousness and WIPocalypse

Hello Everyone,

We are going to do another combined SALs post so that I have a hope of being on time for WIPcopalypse. I am working to find a better system of getting photos onto the blog using both my camera and tablet. Right now I am writing the post at home and then inserting the pictures during lunch at work or I am bringing my laptop home. Neither of those are ideal but I am going to try using a micro SD card in my camera and see if that works.

Onto stitching. For GG we have to work on something that was gifted to us or will be a gift and shoehorns are welcome. Jo is the host of this fun SAL and you can see all the other entries on her post, she also recently completed the "longest day" stitching if you want to take a look at the diversity of her wips and ufos.

Coastal View is an easy piece to use since it is both, no shoehorns necessary. The Birds and Berries will also be part of GG for me once I actually start it.

Coastal View:

I have worked a bit on this piece but missed the last two weekends because A) I forgot my threads at home when I went to my parents (sigh!) and B) I did not travel last weekend and so didn't really work on it. I do really enjoy this piece and I love the balance of backstitching and crosses. I am hoping to get this page finished before the end of summer. The next bit is mostly the arch and should be large blocks of colour.

Birds and Berries:
I have selected the fabric that I am going to use and just have to decide which birds to do. I think I will do all the red ones first but I could mix them up as well. I am planning to start this piece this weekend once I attach it to the scroll bars and make some decisions.

For WIPocalyse I will update you all on my other wip, the Dryad haed piece. This has been finally getting into a rhythm and I have made a fair amount of progress given the amount of time I have stitched. I am more than a third through the final page of the first row which would be a huge milestone on my first heaven and earth design.

You can start to see the final blue flower on this page and also the very tip of the dragon's tail (the gray/blue part on the bottom right). 

Also just a quick thank you to Minnie for her not only running a great giveaway with four wonderful prizes but then also rewarding all the rest of us who entered, and were not selected, with a gift as well! Thank you for your generosity Minnie and for your awesome blog (and flosstube) posts. I love the diversity in your projects and how personable your posts are.

Have a good week everyone,

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

May WIPocalypse, Page Finish, and Haul

Hello Everyone,

It is time to log our monthly progress for WIPocalypse hosted by Measi. This is such a fun and low stress SAL and you can find everyone else's post up here. One day I plan in being in the first row of the link-up but clearly not this month!

Which designer’s projects do you absolutely love, but are too intimidated to try?
This would have to be Chatelaine's and Goldwork designs. For me the biggest deterrent against a Chatelaine or similar silk-heavy piece is the cost. I am concerned that I will not like the piece enough to justify the much higher cost that silks and beads bring to the piece. I also do not like the idea of not being able to wash the final piece. At this point in my life my stitching place is wherever I am, which means pets are around, the furniture is far from pristine etc and not being able to wash a piece would not work well for me. If I was going to get into silks and goldwork I would want to have a designated stitching spot that the cat couldn't come into.

Now onto the stitching. This month I was able to focus on my HAED which was really exciting. As I finished up the Kingfisher I was itching to get back into this and to finish up the page, and I did! Last time I had just finished the first flower and now I have finished one more, a bell shaped flower and started the one below it. This is the last page in the row which will be a huge step and it is a partial page so it should be faster.

And the total design up to this point:
28 count antique white evenweave
1 over 1 DMC
Dryad and the Dragon
Josephine Wall
Heaven and Earth Designs
Total stitches: 290,625
Total completed: 30,400
Percent complete: 10.5%

I am going to continue working on the Dryad this month and hope to get a decent dent in the 5th page.

I have also picked out and purchased my next project to replace the Kingfisher. It is another bird piece! Actually, I do more than a normal amount of bird stitching considering I wouldn't say they are my favorite animal. This is a piece by Ajisai Designs (currently the site is down for maintenance) and is a mix of blackwork and cross stitch. They also did the ladybug piece that is fairly popular that was in the Just Cross Stitch magazine (I think) and that Mii is working on.

I am planning on putting three on a piece of fabric and writing the names of the birds and plants under each one. I might do a few changes to make them all Canadian birds and my environmental scientist sister is researching which are found here and which aren't (or are introduced and non-native). These designs are quite small (100x100) and I am excited to really get going. I am planning on doing the cross stitching first and then filling in the blackwork but if anyone has any advice please let me know.

I think that is all for now. Have a good week everyone,

Thursday, 18 May 2017

May Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello Everyone,

I hope that spring is transitioning well for you and that the frost hasn't killed anyone's plants. It has been fairly nice here although there has been snow just south of us, so not everyone is out of the cold yet. I have really been enjoying seeing everyone's gardening getting started. Some people already have flowers blooming!

For Gifted Gorgeousness I finished up one of my projects and made some progress on the other. The Kingfisher piece is finally completed and here is a picture of the piece. I have not framed it yet but will be finishing it in the next week. This is a present to my parents and is a long and thin design, perfect for a bit of odd/extra fabric. I made some changes to the backstitching of the bird but the rest was kept as charted. I am very happy with the way Sue Coleman designs are very realistic and also have the Haida design incorporated.

"Kingfisher" by the Stitching Studio
Original art by Sue Coleman
32 count antique white linen (over 2)
7.0'' x 18.7''
Started: June 2016
Finished: May 2017

The other piece that I worked on is my Coastal View that will be for my sister. This piece is coming together well and I have finished half the walk way and am almost done the bushes. Next will be the big archway that will take me a couple of months to finish.

The image does not properly show that the dark bits in the corner are just cobblestones in the shade. It took me awhile to realize, while I was stitching, what I was actually looking at. This piece has so much perspective through the shading and size difference and the full effect isn't realized until I take a step back and look. The colours and design are very bright and cheerful, perfect for spring.

Have a great week everyone!



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

April WIPocalypse

Hello Everyone,

I am a little late on this post because I wanted to get the Kingfisher finished. Make sure to check out Measi's blog to see everyone's work on their WIPs.  The only WIP that I really worked on was the Kingfisher as I wanted to get the piece finished. The last page did not take too long as most of the stitches were half-stitches. I am really happy with how the piece turned out and it will be going to the framers very soon.

"Kingfisher" by the Stitching Studio
Original art by Sue Coleman
32 count linen (over 2)
7.0'' x 18.7''
Started: June 2016
Finished: May 2017

Here is a close-up of the kingfisher with (right) and without (left) the backstitching. I decided to take out the backstitching in the body to match the model. The pictures make the backstitching much more subtle than the real life piece looked. 

The question for this month was about our UFO's. I do have a piece of needlework that has not been worked on for at least a year, it has maybe never even been photographed and put on this blog. I will likely go back and finish it at some point, but I am running out of yarn and I don't know if I want to switch to DMC and restart or if I should just push through with the yarn.

Next up I will be working on my HAED and pushing for a page finish. I am definitely looking forward to stitching on it and finishing up some of the purple flowers.

See everyone next week,


Friday, 21 April 2017

April Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone has had a good April so far and the weather is treating you well. It has been feeling very spring-like here, although we still had snow early this week. I am excited to start gardening and seeing everything turn green. 

Everything has been going well here. I have finished up the course requirement for my Master's degree and now will be focusing on my research and thesis. My partner's job has been going well and he has been busy with that. We are planning on getting a new-to-us vehicle and am looking forward to a bigger vehicle for hauling the canoe this summer. With the courses done I will also be having more of my evenings off and will be able to do more stitching! I have also been watching a lot of sports as baseball ramps up and the nhl playoffs have started (and finished for some). This first round is always fun, even though my team is out. 

Now on to stitching:

Go and see the other GG posts on Jo's blog to see the other projects that the group has worked on. A quick reminder that my two gift projects are the Kingfisher and the Coastal View. 

I have done a fair amount of work this last month, but I have not finished the Kingfisher yet. I am planning to have it done by the end of the month but I am not sure I am going to make it. I am also not sure how I feel about the backstitching on the bird. The model did not stitch it and the painting also did not have the black lines. I think that it looks alright but I am not sold and might pull it out and use a dark-ish blue instead. Any thoughts? How does it look to someone who has not stared at the piece for hours?

Here is the total piece at the end of page 2. I had not backstitched the bird yet:

And a  up-close of page 2 before and after the backstitching:

You can see how stark the black and white the backstitching is on the bird and I prefer a quieter backstitching for a nature piece. I will decide how it looks when the whole piece is done and I haven't looked at it for a couple of days. 

The other work that I have done is the Coastal view. I am almost done the path (on this page) and then I will do the backstitching and start on the buildings.  

This is a great travel projects and as the days get longer I get to do more stitching as we drive so it is getting more hours and is growing quickly. 

See everyone in a couple of weeks,


Monday, 27 March 2017

March Gifted Gorgeousness and Wipocalypse

Hello Everyone,

The first day of Spring has come and gone here and it is starting to warm up a bit. Pretty grey out today but it is so much nicer than last week. Definitely spring is in the air, I am excited for when the trees start budding and turning green.

I am going to do a combined post for both GG and Wipocalypse because I am so late (looks like you aren't the last one checked-in Alicia). Check out Jo's blog Serendipitous Stitching for everyone else's gifted projects. All my updates this month are gifts to family and the Coastal View is both a gift from Lulu and will be a gift to my sister.

As I mentioned in my last post, work has been keeping me away from stitching. Once the semester ends half way through April I should be able to get on a more consistent stitching schedule (and posting schedule)

I did have a new start and finish on a smaller design however and this will be a gift to my partner. This was my own design that I had originally started in cross stitch (twice) and then I decided to use a variety of specialty stitches. I am really happy with how it came out and will definitely be making a set of these. Below is two pictures of the started cross stitch version and the final version.

Stopped in December 2015
14 count Aida
DMC theads
Original design

Stopped in April 2016
32 count white linen
DMC threads
Original design

Started: March 2017
Finished: March 2017
Grey cotton
DMC threads
Original design

I also worked on the Kingfisher which will be a gift to my parents. I have finished most of the colours in the bird and am done about half of the background. I still need to do some of the backstitching in the bird and a bit more in the branches. I am still really enjoying this piece and am aiming to finish it up very soon. The white background is difficult to show well in the picture, I am hoping when the darker threads are added it will show up better.

Stitching Studio Design
32 count white linen
Started: July 7, 2016

I have also done some more on the Coastal View and this will continue to be my travel piece. I have gotten to the far bottom of the piece and am working towards the left corner.

The question for this month's Wipocalypse is "What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?"
So I follow many blogs (see the side bar) and some flosstube vlogs. I am not present on facebook so do not belong to any groups. I follow both the blogs and the flosstube videos to stay current with the stitching community and to support others who enjoy my hobby. 

Check out Measi's blog for everyone's update on their WIPs. 

Be back soon!

xxoo Bekah