Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Beer ghost by night

I had been having trouble getting a decent image of the glow in the dark thread of the beer ghost but my bf came to the rescue with his camera and saved the day! We had a little ambient light from the TV to help make the rest of the embroidery visible while also making the ghost more than visible in the dark.

Of course while we were at it we also made a new photo of the Beer ghost in the graveyard embroidery:

Camera settings for both photo's:
1 second
6 mm

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Mini biscornu side A

Here is the first side of the biscornu I'm making for another #stitchingpirates challenge over on deviant Art. As is getting normal for me I first had a go at dying the fabric before I started with the embroidery - this time I used forest fruits jam to make the paint that I swirled around on the fabric - it gives a purplish hue to the fabric that doesn't show up too well in this image.

I'm now working on the other side - in blue silk threads that I've been dying to use for something as I've been wondering how the softness would translate to cross stitch.

Size  2 1/4" / 5,75 cm square
Fabric: 18 ct Aida
Colours used: white, 973 (yellow), 947 (orange) and 666 (red)
Total number of cross stitches: 644
Total number of backstitches: 308

Monday, 26 November 2012

Beer Ghost in MOvember complete!

I have no real idea how Beer Ghost managed to make himself a moustache as ghosts don't grow hair but I'm not going to ask either - some things one doesn't need to know and any way... he might want MY beer! He's looking in astonishment at the beer he was given in a pub as it's bigger than he is. He's also wondering why, when he ordered a pilsner, he got a bitter instead but, as he never wastes a beer when he sees one, that's a problem he can think over while he has this one.

As I mentioned in previous posts the embroidery of the beer did not turn out as expected as in the pattern creator it showed as a pilsner type beer but it ended up a lot darker and looks more like a bitter now. The difference in colour is probably because I mostly still have and use pre-1995 DMC. This is of significance because that's around the time they had to change how they dyed the threads due to new European laws and many colours are no longer exactly the same as they were.

All in all I'm happy with the end result even though it's not what I expected. I'm actually surprised it only took me a few days to make this.

The embroidery is 4 5/8" wide and 3 3/4" high / 11,75 cm wide x 9,5 cm high
Number of stitches: 2319
Fabric used: 18 ct / 7 squares per cm Aida
Date started: 19th November
Date completed: 25th November
There are 90 colours of DMC used in the embroidery in total - 88 in the glass of beer and 18 in the beer ghost

Saturday, 24 November 2012

When things go wrong...

They keep going wrong. I fixed the lighter line near the bottom so that looks ok now but the higher up I go in the height of the glass the less like the pattern it looks and the more it looks like some weird something or another I'm hoping that somehow or another things come together but it's at least 4 shades darker than the pattern says it is so time will tell.

As you can see by comparing the two they look VERY different indeed. I have very carefully followed the pattern taking great care to use the correct colour as with a pattern with this many colours a small mistake can soon really mess things up.

At the time of writing I have only 30 colours left to do so I won't bore you with a massive list of colours used hehe.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Beer Ghost gets company...

As you can see Beer Ghost has some "company"now. I'll leave you to guess who/what it is :) I'm surprised I got this far as Wednesday night I went to bed just after I'd finished tucking the kids in and yesterday I had to run around to appointments, shops and stuff which used up a lot of time. I'm moderately unhappy with the yellowish line between the brown lines near the bottom - it wasn't supposed to be this much lighter but the pattern app thought that the colour it put there was darker than it really is. I suspect that my pre 1995 colours are the cause of this more than anything and I probably will swap colours around a little to compensate and rip out that line of yellow to sort it out properly. Other than that I'm really happy with the gradients of the colours.

I'm not entirely certain I've finished with the colours I've used so I'll just list the colours used since Wednesday and see what I still need to re-use later.

Actively working with: 

Used but possibly not finished with:

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Movember Beer Ghost

These are the colours that I will be using for my project - I'm not going to paste the list - I'll stick to saying that there are 90 colours that will be used in this project (yes I know - totally nuts)
So far I have completed SATW's Beer Ghost with his movember moustache and I'm about to start the item he's looking at with amazement. He's been stitched with glow in the dark thread and hopefully I will get a nice photo of him glowing in the dark sometime next week.

So far I have only completed 2 clours:
Black and glow in the dark.

Monday, 19 November 2012

The next side project - dying the fabric

For the next project I wanted to make a more patterned background in browns so I had a look around the house for things that I could use that were brown. A look in the fridge provided me with some prune jam that rather unfortunately had decided to become a science experiment since I'd last used it so I decided that I could try with that instead of just chucking it out. I did of course first remove the science experimental bit and just used what was underneath and as yet unscientific. I made the paint in the same way as I had when I made the paints last time and it smelled rather pleasant to my relief. As you can see above I painted circles with the prune paint then i made some coffee paint and filled in the circles with it
I then let it all rest and think about life for a bit before giving it a wash in the sink with warm water and some washing up liquid. The end result is a lot less bright but it does give a nice texture for the embroidery it's made for.
 I'm happy with the result and can't wait to see what it will look like when the embroidery is complete!

IHSW November

This weekend during the IHSW November I did the above embroideries which are going to be used to make Christmas cards. Most of the patterns are from books/magazines but for the topmost Christmas tree I made the pattern myself.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

UFO/WIP updates, TUSAL and IHSW November

UFO #8 has seen some progress now that it's no longer upstairs in the attic waiting for me to work on it. I'm slowly plodding away on the boring outer border trying to get as much of that done first before I feel the need to do something else and then I'll have the background of the central part to work on. It seemed like that was a better way of doing it rather than doing the central part first and then getting stuck on the tedious single colour 6 stitch wide border.

In the mean time I've snuck in a little new project just for me for no other reason than that I like the pattern and I am in the mood to work on this - autumn leaves made with variegated threads. It's a nice thing to work on which helps me deal with all the stress I've been in lately.

The list of things I want to work on is as long as my arm - I might need to set aside the UFO for a bit while I work on them. Most of the things I want to work on are deviantArt related, the Christmas card project, something for movember, #stitchingpirates's Biscornu challenge and I ought to be working on them but for that I first need to decide on a pattern for each of them.
November's TUSAL jar is again pretty full though not as full as the October one. Since the last TUSAL update I've worked on and completed the 7th UFO - Tropical fish as well as working a bit on the 8th UFO - the star sign I mentioned above.

IHSW November is this coming weekend - don't miss out and make time to stitch! If all goes well I'll be able to find a bit of time to stitch during the weekend.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

UFO #7: The last fish complete!

The last fish is complete at last! It's not nearly as rainbow-ish as the photo in the magazine suggested however I'm happy with the result and am glad this project is *finally* finished.

Below is the result of all these weeks/years of work - perhaps not quite the way the designer intended but it's the way I wanted it and I'm happy with the result.
I've not yet decided how to frame it - that's a decision for another day.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

UFO #7: The last fish

I was tempted to crop this image so you could see the stitching more easily and then I realised that you would then not see how small it is compared to the other fish so I left it uncropped. Progress isn't going as fast as it was with the red fish but I'm getting there! Some days I get lots done - some days I don't however having to remember that I'm working in mirror image is slowing me down a little, especially when I need to start the next colour. The black bit is in the face of the fish. I have completed most of the darker green and white, all  of the lighter green and have started to do the black.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

UFO #7: "red" fish completed

I'm not really sure how I managed to complete this yesterday, though staying up far too late certainly helped... but I was close to the finish of this fish and really wanted it finished As you can see it's not so red as it seemed in the magazine image so I'm extra pleased I swapped out the 760 pink for the 350 coral colour when I started this fish - I now just wish I'd chosen a replacement for the 351 (coral) as well now as it's still more pink than I'd like.

The whole embroidery now looks like this:
And this was the moment I also realised that I'd done some thing wrong with the placement of the top two fish... If you look at the bottom fish and then go back to the magazine image you will perhaps notice that the orange fish especially is much closer to the green border - this was because I'd added some space all around the embroidery when i started doing it. Of course between 1996 when I started this and now, 16 years later, I'd completely forgotten it.. till I saw how far away everything looked from where it should be compared to the two large fish at the top. I have decided that I'll leave it as is as the placement doesn't detract from the overall look of the embroidery.

This of course then makes the placement of the last fish complicated as that depends on the 3 large fish that surround it. My solution will be to find the exact middle between the fish, find the middle of  the pattern of the last fish I need to do (after flipping it to point the same way as the rest of the fish) and then embroider it from the middle. This last fish will not be the easiest to do as I'll have to remember to mentally mirror all the symbols when doing the colours.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

UFO #7: "red" fish

I'm not really sure I can call this fish red - it's more coral (that's a shade of pink for the men reading this :P ) however it's seeing quite a bit of progress since the last image I showed here. I've got quite a bit of the lightest "red"  (DMC 351 - Coral) to do still then a whole load of grey, bit of white and some pale purple (3042) to do to complete this fish.

I can feel the end of this project getting closer.. and I will be so glad when it's done!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

UFO #7: Progress report

The next big fish is now complete and despite it looking as if it's mostly blue and yellow there is quite a lot of pale green in it too. There is now just one large fish left to do and a medium sized one. Not much to tell this time really so I'll move on and show you what it looks like now...

You may notice a few lines to the top right - that's the big red fish I've started embroidering already.

Just the start of the tail fin here but it will soon grow into the large red fish it is.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

UFO #7: The next big fish grows

This is how far I managed to get this before I started stitching yesterday as you can see I got a bit done since the last time. Wednesday I didn't do much as I'd done another round of dead mouse clean-up and it was not very pleasant (I'll spare you the details) and once I'd done that I was not feeling well. Yesterday and today I got quite a bit more done as you can see below:
The body of the fish is completed - just need to complete the fins and tail now. It's really close to the edge of the green edging and it's supposed to be - the fish starts just 2 stitches below the edging. Can't wait to finish this one!