Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Year End Review

Hello lovely readers! Time for that super awesome post where I tally up all my accomplishments (and failures) for the year with lots of pictures! I've worked on six wips plus four new starts this year, with one finish. And because I keep track of these things, my stitching total for the year is: 74,801 stitches! (For me, this is a record, so I'm quite pleased.) Now on with the pics!

Pavonia,by Frederick Leighton:
This was supposed to be my focus piece for this month, but unfortunately I've had some medical issues pop up (more on that below) so not much got done. My goal was to finish the 3rd page set, but I only made it halfway through. (I blame the confetti.) The worst of it is done for now, so I should have much better luck next year. Total stitches this year: 14,117 in 52 days.

Moon Indigo by Nene Thomas (retired):

This is where I've made the most progress this year. My goal was to finish pages 3-5, which I did, and also began page 6 for a total of 23,825 stitches in 86 days.

Scale, by Anna Dittman:
This might be my favorite wip, as far as colors go. I met my goal of finishing one page this year, managing 5,721 stitches in 22 days.

The Favorite Bird, by Charles Hue:
I had hoped to get a lot more done on this one, but I fell in love with knitting late last spring, and somehow all my stitching time disappeared. ;) But I did manage one more page, 2,582 stitches in 8 days.

Flora, by Jasmine Beckett-Griffith:
I met my goal of finishing three pages (though two were itty bitty partials) and got a good start on a fourth page. For the year, 7,311 stitches in 38 days.

Wisdom, by Babette Vandenberg:
I haven't had this one on the blog before, as she became a bit of a UFO this year. But a few days ago I fished her out of hiding and started stitching away again. I really love this piece, so neglecting her didn't seem right. She doesn't have a goal. For now she is my therapeutic stitching. So far this year: 1700 stitches in 5 days.

Now for new starts! First up is my Green Fern Fairy, which is also my finish for this year. This was my first time working a Mirabilia, first time stitching over 2, first time working with kreinik, and first time beading. Lotta firsts packed into one little project, but she was a lot of fun to stitch. She had 6,673 stitches by my count (including beads) which I finished in 20 days.
Euphoria by Melanie Delon: My Spring start. Haven't gotten serious about this one yet, but I'll get there eventually. The goal was to finish one partial page (starting from the bottom) which I've done, plus a start on the second. So far, I've done 5,488 stitches in 10 days.
Cassiopeia by Mirabilia: My Autumn start. I am still in love with this project. She is so easy to work on, I get lost in all those big sweeps of color. I was too busy trying to catch up on other things to give her proper attention this year, but next year should be better. So far I've managed 4,117 stitches in 12 days.
Now for a surprise: I've got another new start! She is White Queen by Chris Ortega. Unfortunately I had to put the brakes on this one (for reason, see below if you care to read it) so it's almost a false start. For a change, I've started toward the middle of the top row rather than the end. The idea is that I want to stitch her face first, except I didn't want just a face floating in mid fabric. So I'm starting at the window and working left, stitching any pages containing bits of her head, and will progress from there. For this page, it's just the tiny bit of hair showing at the lower left corner. (See that odd bit there? Yup, that's her!) So far I have 3,257 stitches in 6 days.

Now, about my "issues." (You don't have to read this if you don't want to, no hard feelings.) I started White Queen Dec. 4th on a long weekend when I was supposed to have oodles of time for stitching. Unfortunately, the day I started her... well, lets just say I became quite ill. Long story short, I've got a tumor in my abdomen (totally benign) that has grown quite large and needs to come out. I've waited all month for surgery, which will finally happen on New Years Eve. (Lovely way to spend a holiday, isn't it?) December has been a little rough, as sometimes I can't sit at all to stitch, but there have been days when I've managed pretty well. So fair warning, I don't know what my abilities will be this January, but hopefully I'll be back to stitching within a couple weeks. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing all of your lovely progress posts, as they always cheer me up and inspire me to stitch even more. :)

Guess that's all for now. I've got lots of plans for next year, but I'll save those for another post. Thanks for reading! May your thread flow smooth and your needle be swift in the coming year. :)

Friday, December 4, 2015

New Stash and a Page Finish!

Hello again! Well, seems I've managed to miss WIPocalypse yet again, but at least I've been stitching a bit. Here at last I can show off my lovely Luna (Moon Indigo) with a completed page 5!
I'm so happy to have this done. I've already put in a few stitched on page 6, and hopefully I can get a bit more done before the end of the year. I was hoping to have a row finish for this year, but I guess that's what happens when you don't stitch for a few months... (fuming silently)

I didn't buy as much stash as I wanted during the holiday sales, mostly because I spent a good deal on art sales instead, but I was also a bit disappointed by the meager discounts. (I'm still waiting on HAED's 50% off sale.) But Golden Kite had two 75% off sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so I indulged just a bit.

Some of these have been on my list for quite some time, but the last, "Amour," was kind of an impulse buy. I remember seeing it when it was first released, and fell in love with the color scheme. The blue, the dark blue, and that bit of bright green against a creamy backdrop just makes it so romantic and sweet, I couldn't resist. :) The "Oriental Woman" has been staring at me for some six years, and finally convinced my to buy her. "Daedalus and Icarus" is another of Frederic Leighton's works, and reminds me of Pavonia. But I've always liked that story, and have Draper's "Icarus" as well. As for the conservatory... I've never thought of stitching a room before, but I think it was those vines climbing along the walls, and that arched glass ceiling that drew me in. This one will definitely be a challenge if I ever start it, but fun as well.

One last thing I would like to brag about share with you. Those that have been following my blog for a while may have heard me grumbling about a quilt project that's been taking up too much of my time lately. I've been working on a quilt for a friend since March, and have finally gotten the top completed. I still have to do the backing, quilting and binding, but the top is all done, and deserves some showing off. So here goes:

Mind you, the colors are not represented very accurately, but you get the gist. My mother and best friend are holding it up for you, though they are both short and their arms were getting tired. It's for a full size bed, 96x76. I have never been happy with this color scheme (most of the fabrics were bundled in a kit) but I think I did okay with what I had. And my friend is very happy with it, so that's what counts. I'm taking a break on this for the rest of the year, but will post again when it's done.

Well, that's all for now. Back to stitching. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Hi all! I do hope everyone is having a lovely November so far. It seems I have finally hit my stride again with stitching, and have a small update on Pavonia to show off. :)

This weekend was supposed to be the IHSW sal, but unfortunately our beloved hostess seems to be missing. (I do hope she is okay...) But in the spirit of my favorite weekend of the month, I've hermited as much as possible and managed to knockout of big chunk of stitching. She still doesn't look like much, and she is getting very dark (I'm stitching the shadow side of her face, which is further shading the feathers behind her) but it won't be too long before she begins to look like something. Here's the before and after:
 I want to say I'm more than half done with the worst of the confetti stitches. The shadows have three main colors, and I did two this weekend, so hopefully next weekend I can fill her in a bit more. I'm saving her forehead for last, as my reward (and something to look forward to!). It will be so nice to stitch some nice light colors for a change.

I'm hoping I can finish this part by the end of the year. I'm also hoping I can resist buying too much stash during any holiday sales this weekend. That's going to be tricky...

Until next time!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Because Sharing is Caring

Hi everyone! Just thought I would take a moment to share something, as I have no idea how many people know about it. But for those who were once fans of Nene Thomas charts on HAED, this might be of some interest.

If you've seen my stash, you might've noticed I was a little bit peeved when Nene pulled all her charts  from HAED. I liked quite a few of them. Well, there was a reason for that. It seems Nene has decided to get into charting designs herself. While she's not charting all her designs -- only a very select few -- it's still worth mentioning that they are available, and the mock-ups are gorgeous! She offers two sizes: regular, which are usually 356x577 stitches, and "epic," which are around 554x898 stitches. They are kinda pricey, at $20 and $40 respectively, but might make a nice Christmas gift... Here are a few to tease you:
Unfortunately, I have not purchased one of these yet, but when I do, I'll let you know my thoughts on the charting. And of course, if you want to check them out yourself, look here.

And yes, I am making progress on my current wips, still working on Pavonia at the moment, but nothing worth showing. Instead, I'll leave you with another crochet finish, as these are quite popular this time of year.
Twin Kitties
Happy stitching!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pushing Forward

Well, October has come and gone, and I still don't have a page finish to show you. I kept thinking, next week for sure! But here we are, several weeks later, and I have a terrible lack of progress. There are two main reasons for this: one is a cooking class I'm taking that is eating up my precious weekend free time; the other is my back, which has been finicky since an accident I had ten years ago, and does not like this change in seasons. It does seem to be getting better though (fingers crossed) so hopefully November will be more productive.

As for my darling Luna, she is just two partial columns shy of a finish for page 5. I really thought I'd be done with this page by now, but it's like I've got a block with her or something, so I'm putting her aside for a short while to focus on Pavonia, which I feel I've been neglecting.

It's very frustrating looking at that short bit of space, but I'm putting it out of my mind for now. I think I'm just a bit frazzled by the end of the year push to get all of my goals met. I don't know about you, but this time of year I always start thinking about all of my stitching projects, and I've already started planning for next year. It's fun to dream about what a project will look like at the end of next year, but first, I have to remind myself to focus on this year. To that end, I've made a small start on Pavonia's third set of pages, which I hope to have finished by year's end.

That dark swoop down the center is her hair, and to the right of that swoop begins her very large forehead, which I am beyond excited to get to. But first, I have to trudge through more feathers, which are still very confetti heavy and time consuming, though I wouldn't change them for the world. Her hair continues horizontally for four pages after this, just to give you an idea of how large she is.

Lastly, I'll leave you with another crochet cutie, this one made for a friend's birthday last month. She asked me for a pink zebra almost two years ago, and I finally got around to making it.

I don't think mine turned out as cute as the original, but I still like it. The pattern is from Janagurumi, here.

I suppose I'm done rambling for the moment. Hopefully I won't be another month without an update. ;)

Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 28, 2015

September WIPocalypse

Hello, stitchers! Time again for WIPocalypse, where I get to tally up my stitches for the month. But first, I would like to thank those who replied to yesterday's post. It seems like the Reading List is the way to go if you don't have Google+. Please let me know if you have any more problems though. (And I hope I didn't just jinx myself...)

Alright! Stitching! I didn't get quite as much done as I'd hoped, thanks to a large quilting project I'm doing at the moment, but still, not bad. I managed a page finish on Moon Indigo, and have started page 5, though nothing worth a picture at the moment. And of course, I started Cassiopeia! Began on the 18th, here's what she looks like now:
Cassiopeia, Sept. 28th
That border has the oddest color scheme to my eyes, but I'm going with it. This was actually the first time I've gotten to stitch with silk, and it was so awesome! This one is a beatiful Waterlilies variegation called Espresso. It changes from gray-brown, to green, to deep red and bright red. There's not much of it in the border, but it did make me nervous putting silk next to Kreinik, which is so rough. I'm starting not to like Kreinik very much, as it is so difficult to work with, but I do love the effect of the metallic. Perhaps one day I'll experiment with some different brands...

I don't really have a goal for my New Season, New Start projects other than to work on them for at least 10 days, and I actually met that goal with Cass today. (Two days to spare, yay!) Total stitches so far: 3,095. Not bad at all. I have no idea how many stitches there are, but I'm guessing it's somewhere around 35,000. So almost a tenth done? :)

This month's question is: Where do you buy most of your stitching supplies?

I buy almost everything online, as local stores just don't have the patterns nor the fabric I'm looking for. I had been buying most of my floss locally, until I realized how much cheaper that is online as well. So, yeah.

As for specific sites, there's only a few. These days, I mostly shop at 123Stitch.com. I love their fabric selection, as I usually stick to plain off white jobelan or linen for projects. Their floss is a good price, easy to pick out, and they have almost everything I'm looking for. Before I found 123, I always shopped at Julie's X-Stitch, but 123 is a bit cheaper. I really like the customer service at Julies, though, as I've had to order a few special cuts. They also have kits for all the Mirabilia patterns. I also occasionally stop by Nordic Needle. They were one of the few sites that had Rainbow Galleries Whisper, a mohair thread I need for Cass. (It's in the feathers.) And they have a few patterns that I've only seen on their site. Definitely worth a look.

Of course there are others, but I'll keep it short for now. Perhaps I'll make a links section at some point. Until next time. Happy stitching!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Trouble following my blog?

I know this has been an issue for a while, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post about it, but I honestly have no idea how to technology, so I was kinda stumped. But after a bit of head scratching and finger tapping, I found this entry on the blogger help forum addressing the same issue I have:

The old GFC followers gadget is not really recommended for use at this time. It is not stable and very unmanageble. Right now it only really remains on blogs/accounts for those that had it before it was discontinued for all products but Blogger. The follower's gadget you are currently using is the G+ Followers gadget and it only works if you  have chosen to use G+ with your Blogger account. If you aren't comfortable doing that ( many of us aren't), then you might want to look into third party followers widgets to add to you blog. Just be careful when adding third party content to your blog as there is no guarantee it will work with the Blogger platform indefinitely or that it isn't malicious. Only add things from trusted sites. Regardless of what type of followers gadget you decide to use, your followers will have to sign up with that system in order to be followers...which normally requires creating an account of some sort.

If you don't want to sign up for G+ (I have, but often wish I hadn't) there might be a sort of work-around to get awesome ImpStitcher updates without using GFC. I think if you add me to your "Reading List" on your blogger dashboard, you'll be given the option to follow me. It should be the same end result, just a bit more hassle-y process. (Yes, I just made up the word hassle-y.)

If anyone tries this, please let me know if it works or not. Also any other feedback or suggestions you might have are greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading. Keep stitching!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

September IHSW

Hello to all and welcome! Man, September is really flying by. IHSW is already over, and I have an official new start to show off. Yes, Cassiopeia has been on the frame for three whole days and I am thrilled to finally be working on her. I wasn't able to get as much done as I'd wanted, thanks to a quilt I'm working on for a friend, but I did manage a bit. So how 'bout a look?
Cassiopeia, Sept. 20
I've started at the bottom left hand corner, skipping over the border and going straight for that beautiful dress. I just couldn't resist all those deep teal greens and blues. So gorgeous! There is a lot of dress on this girl, so I'll be working on it for quite a while. At the moment, there are lots of big blocks of color, so it's working up pretty quickly. My total for this weekend is 1,159 stitches. I'll be sticking with Cass at least another week, then it's back to Luna to finish off page 5. Alas, all of my ladies are so demanding...

Until next time!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Bit of Everything

Hi y'all! I'm back to show off another page finish! This time on Moon Indigo. That means four pages done, all nice and neat, and one more to go to meet my goal for this year. Here's how she looks:
Moon Indigo, Sept. 10
The moon is definitely on a downward curve, which means it's getting bigger and much more confetti heavy. I think it'll be tougher work on the sky though, which is down to two colors (mostly one, actually). Easy stitching, but kinda boring, so the moon will be a nice balance.

Also, since things are finally slowing down at work, I've managed a few other little finishes: some crochet critters and another hat.
The elephant pattern is one of my favs, but this is actually the first time I've used worsted yarn to make him. Usually I do a smaller version with sock yarn, which makes him about two inches tall (perfect for my desk at work). This one is about four inches, and sooo cute!  I'll definitely be making more in the future. If you'd like the pattern, he's from Denizmum on Etsy.

 Of course, I love the giraffes, too. I was experimenting with eyes a bit here, as safety eyes aren't really safe for small children. I call them Winky, Blinky and Pinky. :) This pattern is from djonesgirlz.

And of course, there's my hat.
This is a design by Knit Kid. It was supposed to be a woman's hat, but thanks to my laziness (not checking gauge) it's now a kid's hat. But it's still pretty, so I'm happy.

This Friday, I'm looking forward to my New Season, New Start for Fall: Mirabilia's Cassiopeia!
I fell in love with this design almost a year ago. I originally planned to start her in January, but decided to "practice" with Green Fern Fairy. But now it's Cassie's turn, and I'm super excited! I don't think I'll be getting much done this year, as I need to get back to Luna, but hopefully I can make a dent in that gorgeous dress of hers.

But despite all my current lovely ladies, I had to purchase one more. Yup, new stash, though the first in a while (and only one!)
White Queen, by Cris Ortega
This was another instant love piece, though I couldn't say what it is exactly I love about her. Probably the knife. It's kind of gruesome, but it makes her seem desperate, like she's just made a very drastic decision. And there's a lot of little details I like in this piece. The man's palm is bloody, but I don't know if he's dead. She's just cut her hair (it's on the floor) and there's a bit of blood at her nape as well. And then (totally random) she's holding a chess piece. (The White Queen?) It just raises a lot of questions. I've seen on the artist's website that this is actually an illustration from a book called Forgotten 3: The Hills of Silence. I'm tempted to read this book just to see if it matches the picture. (If anyone has, please let me know!) I'm hoping to start this one soon, like this year, hopefully, as I already have the perfect fabric in my stash. Of course, that's if I get another page done on Luna first, and then there's Pavo, and I could work more on Cass....

Wishing everyone abundant stitching this week. Until next time!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

August WIPocalypse

I know I'm a day late with this post, but I wanted to wait for a page finish on Pavonia, and I made it! So here she is with her second set of pages done! :)
Pavonia, Aug. 30
This is the first month I've stitched on her since April, but I've managed to make up for some of my slacking.
August Goal: 1,550 stitches. Actual progress: 4,261 stitches.
YTD Target Total: 10,850 stitches. Actual total: 8,531.
So the good news is I actually doubled my stitching total for the year. (Very pleased with myself about that.) The bad news is I'm still short by over 2,300 stitches for the year. But hopefully I can stay focused and have it done by December. (Here's to hoping!)

I haven't stitched on Moon Indigo since May, but she'll be making her appearance next month. (Yay!) I did manage a page finish on The Favorite Bird earlier this month, but the pic is boring, so no need to repost. It's on my Wips page if you really want to see it.

Now for this month's topic: Pick one of the WIP pieces you’ve stitched on this month, and tell us about your stitching journey with the piece.

Of course, I have to talk about Pavonia. This is really the piece that started it all, as far as my obsession with large scale projects goes. I remember at the time, I really wanted to stitch something epic, but couldn't find anything in local craft stores that took my fancy.  I happened upon some online cross stitch stores by chance, and had a lightbulb moment to look for charts as well. Eventually I found Golden Kite, and saw Pavonia (and a few others...). It was pretty much love at first sight. My mother laughed when I told her the size, but I wasn't intimidated.

I had to change everything about the way I stitched to accommodate Pavo. I had to order a huge piece of fabric on a count I hadn't known existed before, then get a frame large enough to hold her. (I knew my hoops wouldn't work at all.) Then I had to figure out how to deal with all the thread. Normally I kept a box full of bobbins and just wound excess thread back onto each one when I finished a color. Couldn't do that with blended threads. So I got a bunch of Pako organizers to keep it all sorted (those things are a lifesaver!), plus clipboards for the pages and pages of charts, plus highlighters and markers to know what I'm stitching. This turned out to be a very expensive hobby. But my only regret is that I didn't find these charts sooner. I still stitch smaller charts and kits, but my passion is with BAPs and IMPs. It will be a while before I complete any of them, but for now I'm really enjoying the journey.

Pavonia is charted by Golden Kite, originally painted by Frederic Leighton. The portrait is of a "Roman Lady," shown in two other paintings below. Pavonia is latin for peacock.
 Happy stitching, all. Until next time!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

August IHSW

Have you ever rekindled an old friendship after a long separation and wondered why on earth you stopped hanging out in the first place? That's kind of what I'm experiencing with Pavonia. I know I was dang busy this spring and got crazy sidetracked with knitting, but I've really missed stitching on her. She's been my only wip this week (and I actually stitched all seven days!), so the progress is really starting to show. For this month's IHSW, I managed 1,040 stitches. Not bad for three days work. :) Here's before and after:
I'm hoping to have this part done by the end of the month. It might be a stretch with all the confetti I'll have to deal with, but I'm gonna be optimistic. After all, on the next set of pages I'll *finally* get to start her face!

Wishing everyone amazing progress. Until next time!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Page Finish!

As I warned you earlier, this really isn't much to look at, but I have indeed completed one more teeny tiny page on my largest project, The Favorite Bird. I've started at the bottom right, so it's just a bit of a table leg (if you squint, you might see it) and lots of floor. But it's progress! Only 218 pages to go! (sheesh...)
The Favorite Bird, Aug. 13
Total stitching time for this page was 7 days, which makes me sad to put her away, but away she must go. For now I am focusing on Pavonia, trying to catch up all the stitching I missed this spring. Same goes for Moon Indigo, who should be making an appearance sometime soon.

I'd like to leave you with something pretty to look at, so here is my now framed Green Fern Fairy! I finished her way back in February and now have her back from the shop and ready for my mother's wall. (She does tend to claim all my finished projects.)
Green Fern Fairy
It's really nice to see something of mine framed for a change. I hardly ever finish anything, so it's kind of a big deal for me. Motivation for the future, I guess. :)

Hope you all are doing well in your stitching endeavors. Until next time!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Page Finish!

Yes, today I am dancing the funky chicken, because I have finally finished page 2 of Scale! :D This last week of stitching has really been an uphill battle though. The lower lashes of her eye were really confetti heavy, and I wasn't sure I could finish today. But I persevered, and here she is!
Second page complete!
I can already see the shadowy outlines of the fish by her temple. It was really tempting to continue into page three, but I've got some other stitching that has to be done to meet my goals for this year, so she will have to say adieu until 2016.

Next up, I'll be putting my IMP on the frame: My Favorite Bird. I've kind of squandered what should have been her stitching time this year, but hopefully I can at least get one more page done for the year, again, the second page for the project. (Sheesh, I started a lot of wips last year!) It should be a quick stitch though, if boring to look at. The next page is almost all one color. :-/

Only five months left in the year! Are you meeting all your stitchy goals? ;)

Monday, July 20, 2015


Hello again! Thanks for dropping by. I'd offer you tea, but this darn computer screen is so limiting. (Okay okay, on with the stitchy stuff...)

It feels so good to get back into the swing of things with my fellow Hermiters. I did manage to stitch all three days, not as much as I'd hoped, but I'll take what I can get. All three days were spent on Scale, as I'm still trying to get the page finished by the end of the month. I didn't quite finish the eye, but its very close. All told, I got in 976 stitches this weekend. Wanna see?

Here's before:
*gasp!* I actually did some stitching during the week?!
And after:
"Here's looking at you, kid" -- Scale, as of July 19
It's going to take a little getting used to having her stare at me now, though at least she's not glaring directly at me. More like she's miffed at me for not being further along. (C'mon, I know your stitching talks to you as well...) My fingers are still crossed for a quick page finish. And of course, I'm wishing fantastic progress for everyone else as well.

Until next time!