Monday, 20 May 2013

IHSW update post

So last weekend it was IHSW and I got a fair bit of work done but not as much as I'd hoped.

Things I was to work on:
  1. Awning for the neighbour that I started last autumn and MUST finish soon.
  2. Mike's Mushrooms as it's high time I picked that up again.
  3. Possibly also do a bit more of the floor tile.

What I managed to do:
  1. Working on the awning is hard work - it's horrible poly and the whole piece weighs 5.4 kg (that's 11.9 pounds) so it is physically draining for me to work in it. I got the side seams done - sounds a lot easier than it was in reality. I started pinning the top seam. I'll do a proper blog on this project from hell soon.
  1. Mikes Mushrooms. As you can see I got quite a bit of the biggest mushroom done and I finished the last little bit of the middle one.
  1. Floor tile: I managed to do the last little bit of the corner loops so they are now complete and the frame is now 1/2 way done.
So not as much cross stitching done as I'd have liked overall but I did as much as was physically possible.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The TUSAL jar

Every month on or around the new moon I post a picture of a jar of threads that are leftover from projects of the lunar month that has just past. My dear friend Carla asked me what size my jar is and what I do with the threads when the post has been made. Since this involves a photo or two I decided to make a little blog post with my reply.

First of all I measured the contents of an empty jar by filling it to the bit where the neck starts with water and then pouring that into a measuring cup that also has cups marked. It filled 1 1/4 cup. I rooted around and found the last jar of this shape that still has the label on (the company changed the jars from this nice shape to a boring normal jar shape recently) It says it contains 450 grams of jam which converted to imperial is 15.873 oz or 0.992 pounds, so that should hopefully answer the size of jar question.
Then on to what I do with my threads - or more accurately what I don't do, as all I do when I have made the monthly photo is put the lid on the jar, add a sticker with the month and year and put it on a shelf as I find the strata in the jars very pretty. I've currently got them on the large wall unit above the TV but I'm planning on hanging a shelf or two in my computer corner for them to go on instead.
You will see that the jars change orientation after the 4th one from the left. I did that because that's where 2012 becomes 2013, so everything on the left is 2012 and everything on the right is this year's.

And there you have it.. all you wanted to know about my TUSAL jars and more hehe.

IHSW and UFO #11 The 8th century floor tile

It's IHSW weekend! I again have a child free weekend and hope to get quite a bit of stitching done.

Things I'm going to work on are:
1. Awning for the neighbour that I started last autumn and MUST finish soon.
2. Mike's Mushrooms as it's high time I picked that up again.
3. Possibly also do a bit more of the floor tile.

Speaking of the floor tile it's probably a good idea to show you where I am with it now.  Above you see where it was last time I updated you. I managed to get more of the brown (3021) thread that I needed Tuesday afternoon and I completed the framework stitching. I have also just about reached the corner with the colours as I only have 18 stitches left to do on the last dark green loop and then the little bit in the corner before I've reached the half way point with filling in colours.
While working my mind has been busy thinking about the centre area. I'm not so sure I want to go head and do the tile floor filling I had planned as I keep thinking of just using this as a frame for another embroidery - but I'm not sure what to do yet.  I keep thinking of doing something in blackwork, possibly an owl or a bit inspired by the floor tile I saw in Maastricht in the St. Servaas church last week when I was there with my bf. Time will tell what I end up doing as right now I have plenty of time to think about it :)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Blackwork Owl

When I was in the UK last week I also treated myself to one little kit while we were in Liberty's - I was having a hard time choosing between the blackwork Owl and the picture of Liberty's and so I asked the kids which to choose. They decided I should get the blackwork owl. This is my first ever blackwork piece and I made it in less than an afternoon. I was pretty daunted by this as I hate backstitches with a vengeance however it wasn't as bad as I feared.

The kit is <a href="">Jane Greenoff</a>'s Blackwork Beasts - Owl.
It's 3 x 2 1/2" / 6 x 8 cm.
It's mainly black with gold highlights and green cross stitches for the branch.

Tusal & UFO #11: The 8th century floor tile

 This is my TUSAL jar for the month. It's filled with the threads from the spring flowers embroidery...
with the threads from the Spring peacock...
and with the threads from the 8th century floor tile that I have been working on while travelling due to the simplicity of the pattern.
I ran out of the colour I've been using for the framework (3021) and have to wait till Tuesday to get more as they have had some odd opening times due to bank holidays and the opening times are in the morning, not the best time of day for me to get anywhere except to the coffee pot. As a result I have been filling in the framework with the colours instead. If I place my hoop correctly I can get 2 loops of the same colour done at once and do 5 loops before I have to move the frame, so I can get quite a bit done before having to re-hoop.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Spring Peacock

While I was in England last week I treated myself to a cross stitch magazine. I chose "Cross Stitch Crazy" as I liked the kit that came with it more than the things the other magazines included even though it was rather pink and had a ghastly (in my eyes anyway) pink frame for it (not in picture as I feel the frame is wrong for the work and distracts the eye from the stitching).

I started it while in England, where I did most of the peacock and all the flowers to the left, and finished it at home though it took this long mostly because I was dreading the massive amounts of backstitching it has.

Size: 2 1/2" x 2 3/4" / 6.5 x 7 cm
14 colours
37 x 38 stitches on 14 ct Aida.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Finish it in 2013 project: April overview and WIP update post

Non UFO Project:

I started a "large" and complicated new cross stitch project this year 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 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!

In February I dyed the fabric for this using coffee. I started stitching in March and completed the first 3 sections.

Update: I didn't work on this during April.

The Current WIP's:

8th century tile floor embroidery in greens and blues. 
 Update: I have added a bit more to the top border.

Sampler - started
Update: I am behind with the TAST (see side bar) and haven't worked on it this month.

The UFO's:

Sagittarius star sign by Lanarte - central area complete
Update: No progress made on this, so I've returned it to the UFO section.

2 sleeping bunnies - a Priscilla babyland embroidery - about half done but I *so* hate doing 1/4 and 3/4 cross stitches.

Dog embroidery (portrait) made from a photo years ago by a company - about 1/5th done.

Dog embroidery (standing) made from a photo years ago by a company - barely started.

Autumn leaves needle book WIP - embroidery is 1/2 finished.

The Mystery Project Completed

This is what it looked like last time I posted about it and this is what it looks like now:
I completed it while on holiday in the UK last week. The pattern for the flowers and vase is from the magazine cutting I'd stuck into a scrapbook many many years ago so I'm not entirely sure which magazine it came from other than that it's almost certainly a Dutch ladies magazine so probably Libelle or Margriet. I changed the colour of the shadow of the jug from the green that it was to a grey as I'd stripped out the background and border that the magazine pattern had. I added the butterflies from the "yellow butterflies biscornu" pattern by Rainburst Embroidery as I knew they were going to look just right with it. Once I'd completed it I realised that I'd made the lines around the edges of the space with ballpoint pen (how silly can one get?!) so I decided to hide the lines with 3 lines of backstitching, 2 in DMC colour variations 4045 and the middle one in 4150. I still have a small section of ballpoint pen to remove but I am planning on trying out ballpoint pen remover on it.

Size of embroidery: 7 3/4" inches square / 19.6 cm square
Fabric: 24 ct evenweave
Number of colours used: 21
Number of cross stitches: 4737
Number of backstitches: far too many!
Time needed: 2 weeks