Monday, January 19, 2015

Inner border of Day backstitched

As expected, the backstitching made a world of difference. Now I get to the more interesting stitching of the inner motif. I first need to do some organizing and pre-blend my lengths of floss. I do like organizing, so this is fun too.

Kiddie Reading

Despite Logan's behavioral problems at school, I have noticed a marked improvement in his reading. It's amazing how they go from the alphabet to reading pretty darn well from kindergarten to first grade. I bought some of the level 2 Star Wars Rebels books, and he went right through them. Time to order more books. I like that the publishers label the reading level because it's hard sometimes to find something appropriate for him to read. He's in first grade, but level 2 seems to be just right for him. He doesn't get every word but enough to give him confidence in his reading.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Inner border of Day finished

I finished the inner border of TW's Day and figured that would be a good place to take a WIP photo (thought it's not very good since it's still on scroll rods). I haven't yet backstitched it, and I'll take another photo after I do. There's a lot of it, so it will take a while. Backstitching isn't my favorite thing, but it sure does make everything pop.

I made one mistake (as far as I know). Instead of my usual method of making cards for each symbol, punching six holes, and preblending a length, I was impatient and just made one card with a few holes and blended as I went along. For one color, I came up uneven -- I had inadvertently grabbed two lengths of the same color somewhere along the way. The two colors are very close, so I can't tell where the mistake is. I guess that means it's not a big deal, but it irritates me. This is the trouble with being a perfectionist -- being unable to let it go. But I'm trying my best and will attempt to ignore the problem.

I also won't be taking another shortcut. For the rest of the piece, I'll be making up my cards and sticking them in individual baggies like I usually do. Bad stitcher, bad!


Every year, I take inventory of my son's Lego collection. He tends to play with his masterpieces around the house and loses pieces. I try to enforce the rule of one set out, one set in (keyword: TRY), but many times he has things scattered around. So I check that each set has every piece it's supposed to (63 sets and counting). I call this protecting my investment. My husband calls it insanity. This takes me months because it's so boring. However, I'm almost done except for three big sets and have ordered the missing pieces (from sellers on Bricklink, a sort of eBay for Lego).

So this leads me to getting more involved in his sets, which made me look at customized minifigures. Uh-oh, new hobby. I've ordered a few pieces and am going to try creating my own decals. We'll see how it goes. One of my goals for the new year was trying new crafts, so voila. Like many crafts, it can get expensive once you delve into it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mass Effect scarf HD

I made this scarf for Matt. It uses the logo for Commander Shepherd from Mass Effect, his favorite computer game ever. I'd meant to give it to him for Christmas, but my illness prevented that. He seemed pretty happy to be able to finally wear it, and we had cold weather to boot (not something that's a given in Texas -- we wore shorts a couple of weeks ago).

I designed it myself. The logo is cross stitched with two strands of yarn. I had tried crocheting it in, but it looked horrible. I know there are some forms of crochet where that's supposed to work, but I couldn't figure it out. Thus, cross stitch, something I know a little about.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Labyrinth Sampler HD

I stitched this piece for a friend so she could give it to her BFF for Christmas. She told me in October, and I delivered mid-December. She said, "No rush." Ha! She had no idea how much time something like this takes, but I was happy to help. I used some fuzzy floss for the dog and added a crystal globe for Jareth. I framed it myself -- not my best but certainly better than the model shown on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in review, year to come

For a second year running...I'm sick during the holidays. It wasn't the flu this time, but it has kept me in bed for about two weeks, the length of my vacation from work. I've hardly been sick the whole year, but my body picks now, when I had so much planned. Sigh. I do think the stress of trying to get everything done before the break may have contributed.

So let's see, the year in review. Again, I didn't stitch as much as I would have liked to. I did finish Matt's Magnificent Wizard and get it framed, which is a MAJOR accomplishment for me. That's a load off my mind. I also finished Santa's Village and a few exchanges.

I've decided to start branching out and try new crafts. I've taken Logan to a few craft days at Michael's, and I want to take a few classes myself. I bought some watercolors, and I want to try that this coming year. I'd planning to do it over the break, but that didn't work out. I have this yearning to create pretty things that I never fully satisfy it. I guess that's a good thing because it keeps me going. I think that's why I work on my yard during the summer so much, despite it being grueling -- I'm making pretty things for my home. I wish I were better at interior decorating and had more money for it; that would be a good outlet too.

So, my goals for next year are to finish TW's Day and get it and Night framed. I also want to try different crafts, get out of my comfort zone. Oh, there's also the lose-weight thing, as always. I'm looking forward to exercising again, strangely enough.

Anyone else trying something new in the new year?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Faeries framed

I received my faeries back from Jill Rensel, and they are gorgeous! She did a really nice job, as always, and at a very reasonable rate. Matt hung them for me, with all the precision of an engineer. You really have to see them in person.

This is my Christmas and birthday present. Even at a reasonable rate, getting four pieces framed is rather expensive. Framing may have to be my presents for years to come to get everything on the walls.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Day progress

Here's my progress on Day by Teresa Wentzler. Yes, the photo is a little wonky because I have it on scroll rods and had to take a photo without undoing everything. I'm working on the flower border next. I find that it helps me to do the border first. I ride through the high of a new project to get through the less-exciting parts, and then once I'm a little tired of it, I get to do the more fun part. Though, honestly, it's nice to do some regular, uncomplicated stitching sometimes.

I've had this piece in my stash since I was in my early 20s. I'm mid-40s now. I bought it with my mom at Michaels some time after my dad died. Its companion, Night, was the second Teresa Wentzler I stitched, I'm sure there are some problems with it -- my eyelets have no holes to speak of in the middle, for one. I was afraid to pull the stitches tight. These two pieces will be examples of me as a novice and me a little more advanced. I doubt many people will be able to tell the difference, but I find it kind of cool.

I'd originally planned to stitch this on aida. Ha!

I'm also working on a Labyrinth sampler a friend asked me to stitch so that she can give it to her friend for Christmas. I'm super-excited about it, but Christmas isn't that far away. She told me, "No rush, it's for Christmas." I laughed and told her she had no idea how long cross stitch took. She said she was a starter, not a finisher! Still, I think I can make the deadline because the stitching is somewhat sparse, and they don't call me smoking needles for nothing.

The pics of my pieces framed by Jill Rensel are harder to get than I thought. The glass puts some glare on the piece, and I wind up with a photo of myself taking the picture. I'll have to figure something out.

Family update: My son just turned seven. He's getting to be so big! ADHD is still challenging, even with medication.I know ADHD kids can still succeed, but we're struggling. Never think that ADHD is made up because we know it's very real.