Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Finishes

I thought today would be a good time to show you the finishes I have completed and the history of me as a stitcher.

I have been stitching for a long time.  My grandma taught me to do this when I was pretty young.  I was around the age of 5, 6 or 7.  I am now in my early 30s so I have been stitching most of my life.  Other than being shown what to do that first few times I am pretty much self taught.  I have been through a lot in my life and it has helped me in theraputic ways but I also enjoy it very much.  I do have severe ADHD as well and I tend to work on my projects while I am watching TV or waiting at doctor's offices for appointments.  It also has been a great benefit to me as it allows my brain to slow down a bit and really contemplate my thoughts and figure out things I need to make a decision on.  I tend to be a serial starter, meaning I love to start projects and then move onto others before finishing.  That is why my finishes mean so much to me as I actually stuck with them.

A lot of the reason I start so many new projects without finishing the last is something that comes naturally to me.  I have always been drawn to color to the point where I have always wanted to be an interior designer.  I have a natural ability for picking and choosing colors that look well together.  I even worked at a paint store and helped a lot of customers with ideas for paint colors.  That job really helped me see the undertones of colors and has really helped me in my stitching.  I tend to change patterns or colors to suit myself or to add more color and I get an idea in my head for one and I'm starting it.  A lot of times I have so many ideas for the colors that I can't decide.  I did that with the last picture on this page.  I could have done that project 20 times with 20 different colors that I chose for the blue.  I've always wondered if I would be good at designing patterns myself because of it.

Most of these finishes came when I took on a challenge a few years ago.  It was to start 15 new projects in the first 15 days of January and finish them throughout the rest of that year.  I actually finished 6 or so that year and all of those are shown above.

I hope to do that challenge again as it's most of my finishes but right now I don't have the stash of fabric to be able to do so.

I can't wait to add more finishes over time.  I will start to introduce my unfinished projects (UFOs) a little at a time to see if I can re-motivate myself to work on them again and make them finishes!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Sapphire progress pics

I wanted to add some of the progress pictures I have taken since starting the Birthstone fairy Sapphire by Rachel Anderson and charted by Heaven and Earth Designs.  I absolutely love the colors in this project as blues and purples are some of my favorites.  I love stitching projects with lots of color and this one definitely has it.  I have a wonderful camera and it still doesn't do the colors justice versus in person but you get the right idea as to how these HAEDs stitch up.

First 100 stitches

First row of 1st page

2nd row of the first page

Completed first page

Start of second page

Finished 2nd page

Start of third page

First 3 pages and start of fourth

Current spot

As you can see after starting the fourth page I am still not even all the way across the top of the design.  I tend to break this project down into mini accomplishments.  For example I view each 10x01 (or 100 stitches) as an accomplishment.  Then I view each row on each page as an accomplishment and again at each page.  It really helps me break it down in my mind so it's not completely overwhelming.  After I finish this current page I have one more full page to do and another one that isn't a full page across so I am almost there.  I believe in my next page I get to do another jewel in the border and a butterfly which I am excited to get to.  This project have 88 different colors and 240,000 stitches.  I can't wait to get the top set of pages done and be able to move onto the next!

This project was a gift, also known as a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) from a very good stitching (and so much more) friend of mine from Australia.  When she purchased this for me she issued me a challenge.  She knows about my serial starter status as far as stitching goes so I had to finish a UFO (unfinished object...a project I had started but had left abandoned) and this project.  If I finish both of them she will purchase me another chart in the same birthstone series.  I got to work on this one right away and her kindness was awesome.  The challenge she presented me with gave my competitive streak a boost.  The UFO she picked was a project called 'Stacked Cups'.

Progress pictures on Stacked Cups

Finished except for backstitching

Finished with backstitching
As you can see I got to work right away and I got this done within a short amount of time.  I actually had a finish!  So now I just need to keep working on Sapphire.  I did have to pack Sapphire up for long periods of time due to other issues in my life but I continue to work on it in between other projects.

Well, I am going to get stitching.  I am trying a sort of rotation to see how it works so I want to get going on that today.  Maybe I will post update pics after every rotation so I can keep track of how far I get in each to see if it's working for me!

Friday, January 23, 2015

So many projects

I seem to have a lot of projects on the go all of the time and there are plenty more out there that I can't wait to start.  It's getting to the point where I'm having a hard time keeping track of them myself so what better way to do that and allow my friends to see what I'm working on than to keep track of them in a blog.  I will start with the ones I am working on right now and give me a few days and I'm sure that will have changed or I will have added another one.  Sometimes when I am working on a large project I need to take a break to feel a sense of accomplishment.  I also tend to change patterns to suit my taste anyway so it will be interesting to watch my ideas develop over time.

The first one I will show you is a blackwork project from is from the February 2014 issue of Just Cross-stitch magazine.  The project is called Miscellany in Red.  I took a picture of the sample provided in the magazine and posted it here.

This project I tend to take with me in my bag so that I have it if I sit somewhere like doctor's offices or work or if I'm in the car or something.  Here are the pictures of what I have stitched so far.

As you can see I have changed the colors quite a bit but I am loving it.  This seems like a bigger project but I love working on blackwork as it is quicker compared to the full x's of cross stitch.  I will update this one in a little while.

SAL (Stitch A Long)

The next project I am working on is a SAL from Love Thy Thread (LTT).  This was a gift from my friend Clare and she purchased the pattern as well so we are working on it together.  Unfortunately, Love Thy Thread went out of business in December 2014 but they had some awesome patterns.  Here is the sample project provided by the LTT website.

The name of this pattern is called Stained Glass and I can't wait to see this one come together.  Here are my progress pictures for this project.

I changed up the all blackness by using varigated thread.  Varigated thread means it changes on the strand from light to dark instead of being all one color.  I am loving the effect this gives the project.  It has been very challenging for me to figure out where one color should end and where the next one should begin since the chart is based on just one color.  I am thinking of adding a single shade similar to the section for this one but not sure how it would make it work if it's close to a part of the varigated part.  I have a long way to go to figure that out though.

HAED (Heaven and Earth Designs)

The final project I am working on is called Sapphire.  This is a chart from the heaven and earth designs website which has some amazing charts.  The projects are very large in size but are all full cross stitches, no backstitching or french knots (which I can't do anyways).  This chart was a gift from my very good friend Sherry a few years ago.  I had to put it away for long periods of time here and there so it's taking me awhile.  Although for a serial starter like myself it's a big accomplishment that I am working on this one still.  I plan to finish it but it's still going to be a long time.  Here is the sample from the heaven and earth designs website.

This chart is gorgeous and very large.  To give you an example of the different, the Stained Glass SAL project is 16 pages.  This project is 42 pages.  I am currently on page 4.  The artist for this is Rachel Anderson and this is her birthstone fairy Sapphire for September.  I would love to be able to stitch all 12 months but I will need to stitch a lot more on it and live to be about 900 to be able to do that probably.

Most recent purchase

I am a cash only type person.  I have never had a credit card or debit card and I normally pay cash for everything.  This does two things by allowing me to not rack up a lot of debt and I always make sure my bills and groceries are paid for first then decide how much I am going to spend on extras.  It works out pretty well and I also know that I cannot purchase anything online.  I like to purchase things from small businesses versus big box stores so it also helps me with keeping what I spend in my own community.  With that said, I actually purchased my first ever HAED chart.  I ended up getting The Little Cake Shop by Aimee Stewart.  Here is the sample picture taken from the HAED website.

I adore all of the bright colors in this one and I wanted it as soon as I saw it.  I will slowly be buying the supplies to stitch this with each paycheck so it will be a bit before I can start stitching it.  I hope to get my fabric and at least the threads for the first page in the next month or so.  I plan to stitch this on 16 count Aida fabric.  I can't wait to get started on this one.  You know it's special if I ordered something online!

I have some finished that I will dig out of my tote so you can see some of what I have completed.