Sunday, July 31, 2016

It's a Twofer!

Hi all!

Didn't have much to show last week, but now I have not one, but two page finishes to show off! :) I am super happy about these, since they are on my most confetti heavy projects.

First, Pavonia, who was very near a finish before WIPocalypse:
Her eye is completely finished! Love how this turned out, with all the subtle shading. Those shadows are so dark, it was hard to see anything for the longest time. But now it's perfect! It does look kind of odd, since there's no highlight in her eye (I'm too used to anime, I think) but that should look better once the full face is in -- many, many years from now. ;) I am happy to be out of the feathers for a while and have three pages of hair to look forward to, which is not quite so confetti heavy.

Next, I spent last week on Crystals and Crows, which hasn't been worked on since April. This one put up a real fight, but I managed to get the first page done:
Love how those branches turned out, and how they're twisting around each other. Those darker colors really brought the page into focus, and I can't wait to do more. It will probably be a while though. I'm heading across to page two next; after that, I may work down, as I really love all that foliage. And just a random bit of info: page one had 97 colors, out of the total 237. :)

What I did not make much progress on was my Tigers, which only got four days last week:
I had hoped to get much farther on the faces, but there is more stitching there than I realized. More confetti too, though it's not too bad. Though it's sometimes hard to see around all the backstitch lines (there are a ton!). And of course, all the white stitching around the eyes isn't showing up, but it's there. Don't think I'll manage a finish next month, but September for sure! :)

Now, about that WIPocalypse Olympic Challenge... I was undecided before, but now I am committed to give it a go. And I think I'll try the rotation challenge and the distance challenge, since I'm a bit behind on Scale, and she could use the attention. Since I'll be taking most of my rotation pieces to work with me, I might throw in a couple new starts (though I've already made a few this month). So you'll get to see all my smaller pieces that aren't in my normal rotation. Hopefully I can put in at least an hour on each every day. That should show some progress.

Not sure how I'll be updating, as I don't want to save them all for the end. Maybe weekly? Or every few days? How often would you all like to read my ramblings? ;)

Well, that's all for now. I'll be getting back to Flora next week, and she'll be the first of my Challenge wips. This should be lots of fun.

Until next time. Happy stitching!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July WIPocalypse

Hi everyone! I cannot believe July is almost over! Hope everyone is making good stitchy progress. :) Let's see what I've been up to this last month...

As always, Tigers got some love, and a good bit of progress:
All the greenery is finished!! Yay! I've really impressed myself with sticking to this every month. All I've got left are the faces, a few odd bits, and some backstitching. So maybe a finish by the end of August? (fingers crossed!)

Also a bit of progress on Flora, with lots more red:
Next time, I hope to finish up that flower at the bottom.

Scale was on the stand for a while, but progress is still slow, though I don't know why. I'm probably just missing all the fun colors from the upper pages:
It's hard to see my progress since there's a lot of white on white, but I am about halfway done with the current page.

Moon Indigo was out last week, and I managed a page finish!
I know it's boring, but I just love that blue background. This makes three completed pages so far this year (though the last two were partials). Next month I'll be starting page 9. :)

And finally, I've pulled out Pavonia, who is getting some much deserved attention. I managed to push through the worst bits of confetti on this page last month, so I've been stitching away on her skin, which has relatively large swaths of color:
Still a good deal of confetti to get through, but the end is in sight (at least for this page)!

My stitch total for June was 14,281, so my needle has indeed been quite busy. My total for the year so far is 81,756 stitches, a number which quite astounds me.

This month, our topic is to discuss our plans for the Olympic Challenge, or discuss our stitching so far this year.
I still have not decided if I'm doing the challenge, which means I probably won't -- but then again, I might. (indecision!) I would love to try and stitch on one project for a good while, but every time I choose one, the other projects start whining about favoritism. I've gotten into a good groove with my weekly rotation, and I don't want to mess with it. I've also thought about doing the rotation challenge, though that would involve taking smaller projects to work for my early morning sessions. This is still a possibility, since I could use it as an excuse to start a few patterns I recently got on Etsy... Hmm... I guess if I can get organized, I'll give it a go. :)

And, since the year is now more than half over, I think I'll do a quick check in with my goals for the year:

  • Moon Indigo: at least 3 pages              Complete!
  • Pavonia: 3 pages                               Almost done with 1 page
  • Scale: 2 pages                                  Halfway through 1 page
  • The Favorite Bird: 3 pages                  Complete!
  • Euphoria: 1 1/2 pages                        Complete!
  • Wisdom: 1 1/2 pages                         Finished one page
  • Flora: 3 pages                                   Finished one page
  • Madchen Am Strand: 4200 stitches       Complete!
  • Cassiopeia: 6000 stitches                    4500 done
  • Kabuki: 5600 stitches                         4445 done
  • Tigers: Finish                                    Almost there
  • White Queen: 1 page                          Not touched yet
  • Crystals and Crows: 1 page                 Almost there
  • Ginger Nova: 1 page                          Half page done

Not bad overall, Still some work to be done though. Guess I'd better get stitchin'. :) Until next time!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Steadily Stitching Along

Hi stitchers! Hope everyone is having a good week.

I am still upside down at work, but I've now been temporarily assigned to a new department. It's still a heavy workload with high expectations, but a different environment, so it's much quieter and less hectic. Hopefully it will be less stress for a while, and I can concentrate more on happy stitching. :)

Last week, I pulled out Flora again, though by Friday I was so tired I barely got anything done. Still, I made a decent amount of progress:
Lots of red this time, as I was trying to get the red flower done at the bottom. Hopefully next time will see that done.

I also managed some meager progress on Scale, though I seem to be stagnating on her a bit:
For a while, I had a good rhythm going with the white, then filled in some ecru so I could see my progress better. I'm trying to alternate white with colors, but the colors were being fiddly and uncooperative for a while. Still, she is starting to fill in. I'm about halfway done on page 7. I'd love to finish the page by the end of the month, but we'll see.

I would probably make more progress on Scale if I could stop stitching on Death by Cross Stitch. This piece is absolutely addictive, and I've spent a few late nights with this when I should have been sleeping (though I regret nothing):
The first border had a really nice rhythm to it, and it was hard to put down. I'm now working on the first "scene" which is the unicorn, and part of why I was so intrigued by this piece. It's very unusual, in that the background is stitched, leaving blank fabric to "color" the unicorn. I think it's a lovely concept, and would love to see this stitched on hand dyed fabric. But I am quite content with my boring Aida. :)

Also, a tip I would like to pass on. Someone on Facebook (can't remember who) mentioned that for long borders stitched Dutch style (i.e. lots of first legs, then crossing them all later) counting can be made much easier by crossing each tenth stitch in the line. A simple concept, but it has really helped me on this design. You can see where I've done this if you look close; I've still got some uncrossed bits in there. Hope that helps someone else down the line. :)

That's all for this week, short and sweet. I've got Luna back on the stand (yay!) and I'm hoping for a page finish this week (fingers crossed!). Until next time!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Slow Progress

Hello again!

Seems like my stitching has been all over the place the last couple weeks. I've been stitching every day, but on lots of different things, so I haven't had much progress to show. Until now. :)

I pulled out my Tigers again last week, and managed to finish all the greenery, including the backstitching. I also finished up mama's other leg, and did the backstitching there:
Not bad for a week's work. I've still got some finishing to do on mama's front leg, then the faces, then a bunch more backstitch, then it's done! Hopefully I can manage a finish by the end of August, or there abouts.

I also pulled out my much neglected favorite, Pavonia. I haven't touched her since December, so I was glad to finally show her some love. Part of the reason for the hiatus was the confetti. Sometimes it just gets to be too much, searching ten minutes for those two or three stitches, and doing so for days on end. (Sounds awful, I know, but it's totally worth it.) But now the worst of the confetti is over for a while, and I'm getting a good start on her forehead:
It is so nice seeing her starting to develop. Her hair and face should be relatively easy stitching, so maybe I can get that much done this year. :)

I've got lots of smaller projects going at the moment, though few of them enjoy regular stitching. But I thought I'd show a couple that have managed to get 10 days worth of progress. I figure that's a good benchmark.

First is one by Moira Blackburn, called Three Things Sampler:
I really love this pattern. It has lots of little details, gentle colors, and I really like the verse. I started this in February, but only work on it a couple times a month, so it'll be a while before I get any significant progress.

A few weeks ago, I began a Star Wars pattern from Cross Stitch For You on Etsy:
I love this image! Of course it's R2D2, but it's also the Death Star, the forest of Endor, and a little Ewok in the center. (Yeah, I like Star Wars, can ya tell?) It's a ton of black, but I'm lucky enough to have one of those DMC cones of 310, so I'm happy to be using it. :) I'm not sure if I'll end up giving this to a friend of mine whose birthday is in October. I honestly don't think I'll have it done by then. But I'm thinking about it.

I've got Scale out again, but haven't made much progress yet. I've been shopping a few sales and stashing like crazy, buying a lot of patterns that are outside of my normal style, which I mostly blame on Flosstube. :) But I couldn't resist putting a few stitches into one of my newest stashquisitions, Death by Cross Stitch, from Long Dog:
 I'm doing this on 20ct Antique White Aida, with one strand of Thread Worx Deep Sea Blue. It's a variegated thread similar to 939, but with touches of black here and there. It's really subtle, but quite lovely.

Well, that's enough rambling for now. Hope everyone Stateside is having a good holiday. Until next time!