Sunday, May 20, 2018

The End of Maynia, Year of Starts #5

Maynia is officially over for me, but I did have a lot of fun doing it. It seems stitching on one project for a long time is actually something I enjoy, and I should probably do that more often. I had originally intended to stitch on my Permin 1826 sampler for 15 days, but it ended up being 17. I was so close to finishing that first giant mandala, I just had to continue:
I would have liked to stitch on this even longer; there are a few little motifs hovering around that were begging to be stitched, at least to fill in the area before I move the qsnaps again, but I have moved on to another project. I still look at this one a lot though. I might have to change how I do things because switching around so much is starting to make me sad rather than happy to be switching. But I'll think on that later. For this project, I managed a total of 4,638 stitches in 20.5 hours. I've already used up two skeins of floss and started the third. I left the bobbin in for scale. This motif isn't quite square, but it's about 5.25 inches across. :)

My next project was the next in my Year of Starts, which I begin on the 18th of every month. This one is a reproduction sampler called Elizabeth Oliver by Moira Blackburn:
I fell in love with this sampler sometime last year, and finally bought it for my Christmas present. I wanted to start it right away but it kept getting put off, so I'm very happy to finally get some stitches in. I know the current mode is to stitch old samplers on brown fabrics for that old look, but I wanted this one to look shiny and new, so I'm stitching it on 32ct Antique White Lugana (because I had it in my stash) with the called for DMC. There is a lot of that green though (3012) so I kind of wish I had used an overdyed for that, but it's ok. I'm just not fond of that shade of green. :)

I've only stitched on this for 2 days, but last night I really couldn't put it down. I was determined to get at least one of the flowers done -- I think they are honeysuckle? -- and I was really surprised by that dark pink. I had to double check the number! But I think that will look really interesting. And I like how the effect of that pink changes once I put in the yellow. The blue border is actually long arm cross stitch, which is a lot of fun but can only be stitched in one direction, so I may have to turn my stitching as I work my way around. There are lots of little things I like about this chart, but I'll stop rambling on for now. This will be my morning project next week, so we'll see how far I get.

Well, the heat wave has shown no signs of leaving, so my Temperature charts have lots and lots of orange for May. I even have my first red in this week:
We are 10-15 degrees too warm this month, which stinks since we were 10-15 degrees too cold last month. Someone stole our Spring! I'm starting to wonder how our true Summer months will look. I think last year would have been a lot more colorful. Oh well. Guess I'll just get back to stitching. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Monogamaynia Part 2

Another quick post, as I've been working overtime again this week. (ugh!) But at least it's more money for stitching. (yay!)

I'm still working on my Permin 1826 Sampler. I really really like it, but I feel like I'm stitching in slow motion! It's shocking when I get just one tiny bit of these motifs done, but it turns out to be 300 stitches. It really doesn't feel like it. Anyway, here's this week's progress:
Since I've stitched the alphabet as far as the qsnap allows, I decided to focus on the fun part and get that first giant circle motif done. It's a lot of work though, so I might not finish by the 15th. I'm thinking of adding a couple days to this one though, so let's see how far I can get. :)

No evening stitching again this week, but take a look at my Temperature charts. It's been hot, y'all!
This has been the most boring week as far as colors go, just orange and red-orange. This is the first time I've used red-orange, but the monotony of it kind of dulls my excitement. I think I'll get to use red next week as well. This heat ain't going nowhere. (stellar English!)

Okay, that's all I got for now. I'll keep working on Permin, and hopefully get some stitches on Wisdom this week. I think we're getting a break from mandatory overtime, but I don't know if that will last. And I'm already thinking about my new start for the 18th. It's a sampler, and it big. So stay tuned! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Monogamaynia Part 1

Hi guys! Just a quick update today. We're back on mandatory overtime at work so I didn't get much stitching done in the evenings (poor Wisdom!) but I have been stitching away every morning on my new start for Stitch Maynia. Since I'm just stitching on the same chart for 15 days, we're calling it "Monogamaynia." Anyway, here's my progress for the first six days:
Again, it's the Museum Celle 1826 Sampler by Permin. I'm stitching on 32ct Vintage Light Exemplar from Lakeside Linens using 2 strands of DMC 939. I don't know how many fabrics I bought and rejected trying to find the right one, but I think I'm really happy with this one. And I'm really loving this piece so far. That alphabet is so frilly and intricate, I keep seeing shapes in the letters. That A definitely looks like a butterfly. :)

I'm kind of intimidated by the big motifs to follow, so I'm just chipping away at them bit by bit. I find it helps to just focus on one blob of stitching, then see where my needle wants to go. When I look at the structure as a whole, it's like I get stage fright. I don't know where to start! But seeing what I have so far makes me really happy, even if I stitch a bit slowly.

And my Temperature charts have definitely warmed up this last week:
All that orange and yellow makes me think of candy corn, and I think it will be that way for a while. It seems this year is very boring temperature wise (last year was much more varied) but at least the weather is finally nice. I'm also glad to have another round on the ornament done, and the year is fully stitched in (2018!). The next round is hearts and fancy stars, and there might be some darker orange this week. :)

That's all I got for now. Hopefully this overtime will end soon and I can stitch more. Until then, happy stitching!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Making Plans

I'm a day late for my usual update, but I just ran out of time on Sunday. Too much to do! Anyway, it's all good, cuz today was the last day for my rotation on A Stitcher's Prayer:
My goal was to get her halfway done, and I think I just about made it. I wish I could have filled in the details on my little stitcher lady, but again, I ran out of time! Hopefully I can finish this the next time I pick it up, but I don't think that will be this year. ;)

I took a couple days off work last week, and realized I hadn't touched my Angel of Grace yet this year. So that had to change:
This piece is really addictive once I get going. I was glad to carve out a few days to sit and stitch on her, but of course I'm never satisfied with my progress. I really wanted to finish a few more chunks of green and fill out that ribbon. But oh well. She has to go away for now, but she will be back, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Stitching on Grace cut into my time for Luna, but she's getting there. I've passed the halfway point for this page, and have stitched the cutest little curlicue in her hair:
Isn't that adorable? I just love it. I had hoped to finish this page in May, but now that's looking doubtful. Still, I'll give it a try. :)

It looks like I got my wish for colors on my Temperature charts. Lots of yellow! We've warmed up nicely (finally!) so my charts are looking much happier:
Today is the last day of April (already!) and I know I'll get to stitch orange for today. We're having a small heat wave, so I'll probably have another blob of orange to start off May. Not complaining though! Much better than snow! :)

I know everyone is talking about Stitch Maynia, so I thought I would kind of participate this year. I'm not doing 15 starts though! Instead I'm doing the Monogamous Maynia, where I'll attempt to stitch on one chart for 15 days. That's really tough for me, so we'll see how that goes. I've chosen the Museum Celle 1826 Sampler by Permin, which I've been dying to start for almost five years now, so I'm really excited to begin this piece. Here's a pic of the chart:

Also, I'll have a new big piece to focus on for May, and I've chosen Wisdom. I was really close to a page finish last year, so that will be some instant gratification waiting for me. I'm kind of playing with my rotation a bit, so we'll see how it goes.

Okay, gotta get back to stitching now. Until next time! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Year of Starts #4

Hi all! This week has been sort of a hodgepodge of things. I worked on a bunch of projects, but didn't make any significant progress on any of them. But I'll still show some pictures. :)

I spent another couple mornings on the Quotes SAL, and I do feel like I made a good start on the next quote:
There's a lot of backstitch in this one, so it doesn't look like much yet, but I'll get there.

Wednesday, I began the next project in my Year of Starts lineup. This is A Stitcher's Prayer by Little House Needleworks:
That leafy border is pretty, but it's a lot of stopping and starting, so I didn't get very far. Still, you can see where things are going to be. I've started the lady's dress, and got one whole word in! I'm taking a few days off work, but this will be my morning project for the rest of the month, so maybe I can get half of it done? That's the goal anyway.

My evening stitching has not been very orderly this week. I only stitched for three days, and had a different project each day. And I didn't stitch on Pastoral at all! But I did get some stitching done on a newer start, so I thought I'd share. This is Cirque des Coeurs, by Ink Circles (I know you all know this one) which I started on March 3rd. I've worked on this for 4 days now, and managed to complete my first full heart:
I'm stitching this on 36ct Smoky White Edinburgh. It's one of those painted fabrics, so it's only shaded on one side. I have another painted fabric that's really stiff and icky, but this one isn't bad. It's actually pretty soft. I've had this kitted for maybe 5 years at least, and I was just tired of putting it off. I tend to pick it up when I'm really tired but still want to stitch. The one color thing really helps. I'm using GAST Espresso Bean, which probably isn't what I'd pick to stitch with now (it's not variegated enough) but it's what I bought 5 or so years ago so I'm going with it.

And somehow, I'm still managing to keep up with my Temperature SAL:
This has been such an unusual April! But we finally seem to be free of the snow (only rain this Sunday). They're forecasting all greens next week (60s) but I'm hoping to see some yellow again soon. :)

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. :)