Saturday, April 23, 2016

April WIPocalypse

Hi all!

I know I'm a day late with my WIPocalypse post, but it has been a hectic week and a stressful day (car trouble! ugh!). But on with stitching!

Still can't cross off any more goals this month, but I have made good progress on a few projects. Since last month, I've worked on Flora:

Got a few more leaves on my Tigers:
Finished up two confettilicious pages on Kabuki and got a start on her face:
Finished another page on Favorite Bird (there's 3 now!):
And I've got a good start on Crystals and Crows (yet another new start):
I think I'm up to 42 colors done on the first page (out of 95) but honestly, I think I've lost count. :)

I'm also happy to say I again exceeded my stitching goal for March with 12,098 stitches! For anyone that's curious, that was 63 hours of stitching (it's practically all I do outside of work). For the year, I'm up to 41,473 stitches, which was close to my yearly total just a couple years ago. Still really mind boggling (for me, at least).

This month's question is: What do you listen to while stitching?
Mostly, I only listen to music. I'm a bit of a music fiend. I listen to just about any genre, and I love finding new artists. I've got a good eclectic radio station, The Bridge, that rarely gets old (listen online, it's awesome!). I also pay for Rhapsody, so I've got endless options when I want to hear something specific, or Google Music (which stole Songza, drat it) for neat playlists when I want variety. (Pandora has too many commercials these days.)

In the evenings, when my mother is home, we watch the news while I stitch, though it can be distracting. I'm the type of person who has to give my full attention to anything I watch for entertainment, so I usually stick to music. I have done audiobooks in the past, but now I can listen to those at work, which is much better. :)

Again, music is a topic I could discuss ad nauseum. If anyone has suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them (I really love listening to new stuff). For me, I think my three favorite artists this week have been Hey Marseilles, Shearwater, and Nathaniel Rateliff (though that is the tip of a very large, gargantuan iceberg).

That's all I got for now. Until next time!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April IHSW

IHSW! Yay! My favorite excuse for stitching all weekend. :)

Since I just started Crystals and Crows last weekend, I figured I'd keep working on it for IHSW. Most of the larger blocks of color have been filled in (though there are a couple more toward the bottom right) so the color changes are really starting to slow me down. Still, it is slowly filling in and trying to look like something. I seem to be outlining more leaves and stems, but it will be a while before I get through all those colors. Here's before, with 12 colors done, and after, with 29 colors done (out of 95!):
Somehow even with my tablet helping me, I'm still being plagued by ninja stitches. Must be a special talent of mine. :) But it is coming along, and I'm happy with the progress. Now to check in on my fellow hermiters!

Until next time!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Flowers, Birds, and a bit of Sky

Hi all! Hope everyone is having an awesome stitchy week. Spring is definitely in the air around here, so I could not resist a Spring-y title, though it also describes my projects this last week! :)

Finally, I've returned to Flora, my smallest HAED. The plan is to work this one in conjunction with the HAED BB Mini SAL, so hopefully you'll be seeing her once a month from now on. This week I managed 1362 stitches in a little over 5 hours:
For the most part, I just need to work on the berry, the large red flower (tiger lily?) and a bit of her hair, and this page is done! I was actually surprised to get so much done this week, but I've finally started using EzPDF to help me stitch, and it truly is a time saver. I'm still highlighting with pen and paper though, as highlighting on the tablet takes for-ev-er! But at least I don't have to hunt through a whole page of symbols anymore. I just follow the little orange dots on the screen. :)

I didn't do much other stitching during the week, but I did manage a page finish on Favorite Bird, which, visually speaking, has the honor of being my most boring wip now that Euphoria has her flower. Anyway, here's a bit more brown:
That poor table leg will have to stand on its own for quite a while yet. The page I just finished was only 2600 stitches, and mostly 2 colors, so it actually only took three days. I've already put a few stitches in on the next page, but have set this one aside for now, because...

I have a new start! I know, I always have new starts, but they're still exciting. :) This is one I've been wanting to start since last November. But first I had to sort through all my floss, then there was endless bobbinating, plus I was having medical issues at the time... So finally, Finally, I have begun Crystals and Crows, a max color chart from HAED. You may have seen my post rambling about my indecision over fabric? Well, I actually didn't fully decide 'til after I started it! Yes, I actually did the first few stitches on 18 and 25ct, but in the end, 18ct won. I just felt like the 25ct was swallowing the stitches too much -- probably my own sewing tension is to blame. But if I'm going to go to the trouble of stitching 237 colors, I'd like all of those colors to be visible!

I just started Friday night, but I've already got about 1400 stitches (enthusiasm anyone?). So here it is so far, starting on page 1 (sorry it's kind of a bad picture):
I'm not participating in the HAED challenge, but I'm kind of joining in spirit. :) This is seven colors done so far, out of 95 on the first page (yes, I counted). It's all bits of sky at the moment, though there is a fair bit of foliage on this page as well. I can already see the gradient from earthy beiges in the top left corner down to what will be a warm golden glow toward the bottom right. Absolutely love all the colors in this one!
237 colors = 2 boxes, plus a baggie
Again, EzPDF has been a life saver for finding stitches. With everything highlighted, I can now carry threads across page lines and sew a color until my thread runs out instead of stopping to highlight more, or park, or cut the thread for next time. And since it's 2 threads on Aida, I can use the loop method to start, and a pin stitch to stop, a technique I just recently learned from this video (I love Flosstube!). It really is a neat way to end stitches, and I don't have to flip the frame at all. It's on my heavy, awkward 36 inch Millennium, so that really helps, but I'll probably try it on other projects too; it's just that tidy!

Well, that's all I've got for this week. Gonna be working on C&C for a while, so I'll try not to ramble on too much about it. :) Until next time! Happy stitching!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Bit of Progress

Hello again! Just a quick update to show last week's stitching. :)

First, Kabuki was dragged out of hiding so I could torture myself with more confetti. (Honestly, it wouldn't be so bad if the chart were more legible.) Happy to say I pushed through said confetti and finished the upper portion of her kimono sleeve! Here's before and after:
 As you can see, I've got a pretty good start on her face as well, with a hint of eyebrow. I am also happy to say that this completes the first row, so I have a second row finish for the year! Not as impressive as Luna's, I know, but I will celebrate where I can. :)

I also got a few days work on my Tigers, only about 850 stitches. But I'll take what I can get.
The "plan" is to finish all the greenery before I go back to the tigers (even though they look kinda weird with no faces). I've got pretty much the upper half done, so hopefully just a couple more weeks of stitching will get it done.

That's all for this week. As for Crystals & Crows, I am still debating my fabric choice, but I think I'll go with 18ct. Thanks again for offering opinions! Official start date is this Friday (can't wait!!) so I'll know for sure by then. :)

Until next time! Happy stitching to all~