Yup, I just had a birthday, and boy did I get some stash! Actually, I bought most of it myself, on impulse, but birthdays make the best excuses. :)
First I'll show off the one that was a gift, from my mother (darling woman, she really spoils me sometimes):
The Stitchery was the only place I could find selling it, though I've since seen it on ebay (more on that in a moment). I really love this pattern! I have a patent weakness for anything Rococo, and it's so sweet and romantic too. Those oranges in her dress are so vibrant, and the background is beautiful and serene. I think those roses will drive me to distraction with confetti, but I love all those vines that kind of drift into the background. Not sure when I'll start this, but I'll probably get in a few stitches this year. It's too good to leave it alone.
The kit has a special kind of floss that's not DMC or Anchor, so I hope there's enough of it. I've already bobbinated most of the skeins, which are labeled with numbers. The color sorter came with a sample of each color attached to its assigned number, so differentiating 6 from 9 was no problem. :)
It has a full color chart, which I actually don't like. Color charts seem more difficult to me. Harder to make a working copy of, can't highlight without distorting the color... But I'll manage.
There were a bunch of other kits from The Stitchery that I really wanted, but thought were pricey -- I've noticed before they tend to charge more for stuff, so I went hunting for a better deal, and wound up on ebay. So I found a few more kits from Riolis, straight from Russia and without the mark up.
Yeah, I know, I'm crazy. Guess I was on a flower kick. I was actually only looking for the basket of lavender, but the Sweet William was just too sweet, and the Lilacs wouldn't let me say no. Tulips are actually a favorite flower of mine, so I had to have those, and then that Rose... I think it both simple and elegant. And I love those colors. :)
As for celebrating my birthday, I did that the best way I know how: with a new start! :) This one I've been saving since last year, back when I was too sick to do much stitching and spent most of my time drooling over new charts. This is another HAED, called Ginger Nova by Gracjana Zielinska:
Just look at those colors! I am partial to stitching ladies anyway (my favorite subject, I think) but it was all those bright pinks that got me, and I don't even like pink that much. All that light behind her is going to be a blast to stitch, and I love how the light clings to her and shines through her hair. I've only got one column done on page one so far, but I am already loving the color spectrum. So far it's purple and mauve giving way to gray, then blue violet, though the colors are rather muted in the picture. But my project box makes me think of candy and bubblegum with all those pinks and purples. :)
That little star had 10 colors in it! I'm hoping to get a page done on her this year, wishing I could do so much more. That's the downside to having so many wips going, but I'm still enjoying each one. :)
Speaking of which, I did manage to get a little stitching done on Cassiopeia last week:
I focused on the border at first, as I need to roll it up a bit, but I also managed to get the edge of the dress in, as well as the foot of her couch and the first two stars. That's my favorite feature about this pattern: her constellation is part of her, stitched in glow in the dark thread. There's one star in her dress by one of the black motifs, but the obvious one is just outside her dress, on the lower right. I was surprised that the couch has a lot of variegated silk in it, as the color used is a gray-green-red, the same one used in the border. I'm not sure how that will look against the other colors, but I don't plan to change it. Maybe it's just that I never stitch with variegated threads, but the stripey effect seems a bit strange to me.
Well, I guess that's all the rambling I'll do for now. Think I'll go back to Ginger for a while. :) Until next time!