Monday, 11 March 2013

Mike's Mushrooms & A Cake

Last Thursday I *finally* got started on the new daunting project. Having seen other people mark the grid on the fabric I decided to give it a go too and see if it helped me as my biggest fear was loosing count and getting things in the wrong place. As it turns out that was a great idea and I have made great progress since then.

I drew a 4 x 4 grid of 10 stitches per square on the fabric, first with blue chalk but that line was too thick so I changed to a pencil instead.

Ironically the first few colours I used were my most hated colour: pink and i started to get really worried that it would be too pink as a result but as I worked and used darker and more orangey colours it stopped looking too pink and now that the rust has been added it looks exactly like it ought to.

Today it  looks like this:
I'm working on the background behind the two mushrooms you can see in the picture (the pink/orange things), starting with black so that all the little bits I have in the pattern will be easier to do.

About this project:
This is a "large" and complicated cross stitch project based on a photograph by a really talented Alaskan photographer who was incredibly kind and said I could make a cross stitch of it. The photographer is Mike Gates, go check out his site - his work is amazing!

The pattern was made for me as a prize for winning a competition on dA. It's 10 inches wide  x 14 1/2 inches high = 180 x 261 stitches on 18 ct coffee dyed Aida and it uses 147 colours. I am truly intimidated but I did ask for the pattern to be as close to the photo as possible and didn't limit size or colours and I certainly got what I asked for

To celebrate I baked a cake - vanilla raspberry marble cake with royal icing topping and some marzipan raspberries on top. I didn't make as many as I wanted - my hands were complaining after only starting these few and they aren't all the same size but then raspberries normally aren't .

I used my favourite cake mix for this - half vanilla flavoured and half raspberry, and more or less got the marbling right - I tried using a chopstick to stir with this time - not as effective as a spoon but it did work.


  1. Now THIS is a project I will watch closely! I'm partial to Mike and his photos :D I checked my phone and you didn't call me over for tea and cake....I'm a little disappointed, ha ha!

    1. I'm sorry but I knew you wouldn't arrive before the kids had finished it ;)

      It's looking really real now - I'm almost done with this first section - doing all the fiddly 1 and 2 stitch per colour things now and then I will move to the next bit.

      ps: you didn't *really* look at that last thing of mine that you favourited on dA... I <3 you for it but you should look more closely sometimes or you miss something big hehehe

    2. AND....don't forget this weekend is the stitch weekend!!

    3. hehe no, I haven't forgotten - I've not been blogging much due to me stitching so much :)

  2. ACTUALLY..... I did look at it very closely because I was curious to see how some stitches looked stitched and not in a diagram in one of my books for a little project I whipped up for my brother. So you see, I was looking VERY closely at it and then had to go back again and fav it!

    That kind of embroidery really isn't my bag, however, it is nice to see what others come up with, your cover had me thinking I should try your TAST thingy which would be beneficial for those rare moments when I want to do something different :)

    1. :D Thanks :) - My hint was actually more directed to the fact that it got a DD and I was surprised that you had not said anything hehehe.

      Funnily enough that's *exactly* why I started doing this - not so much because I love doing it (though it is nice to free form sometimes) but just to stitch something different than a cross stitch.