5-23-2018: a WIP & some blog housekeeping

WIP — U.S. Sampler by Glory Bee (Just Cross Stitch magazine, Aug. 2012 issue) — I wanted to get some more practice stitching in-hand using the sewing method before I started on the Strawberry Fields Forever pattern, so this is my practice piece. I’m not stitching every day, and I’m a slow stitcher no matter whether I’m stabbing or sewing :P, but I’m hoping to finish this sampler this month. I’m stitching on 14-ct Aida, using 3 strands of the called-for colors of DMC.

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BLOG HOUSEKEEPING:

Newly-Added Pages —  I created Pages for “Books Read,” “Patterns Stitched: Cross-Stitch,” and “Patterns Stitched: Embroidery.”

For “Books Read,” the info is from 2017-forward (since I didn’t start tracking my reading until 2017). For “Patterns Stitched,” the info is from 2008-forward.

As of now, none of the book titles nor the pattern names contain links. However, as time allows, I plan to make all of those clickable. For the patterns, I’m thinking about making them clickable to the pattern designer or seller as well as to my blog post of my finished project.

A link to each Page is underneath my blog header, as well as under the “Books Read & Patterns Stitched” title in my sidebar.

FlossTube Channels I’m Watching — I bumped this over to a list in my blog’s sidebar and, going forward, will be updating the sidebar list when needed rather than putting this info within my blog posts. (Although I only have a dozen-ish channels in my sidebar list, I actually do watch more channels when I have time!)

Podcasts I’m Listening To — I’ve also bumped this info into a sidebar list. I prefer to keep my podcasts list to not more than a dozen shows, so there won’t be too much in the way of additions or deletions to this list from month to month.

 

5-6-2018 WIPs

Already I’ve changed my mind about just posting monthly :P. Maybe weekly-ish WIP updates, yes? Yes!!

NOT-SO-MINI SANTA — This is a larger version of the cute Mini Santa freebie pattern by CozyBlue Handmade that I finished in tiny hoops as gifts last Christmas. This Santa is about 4″ in diameter. I’m taking my time and experimenting with different ways of fill-stitching. I’m using chain-stitch (3 strands) for the hat (using Corinne’s (SoSeptember) gorgeously-stitched version of her Mr. Rogers pattern as inspiration for beautiful, textural fill-stitching). French knots (3 strands) for his beard. Straight stitches (2 strands) for his nose. Since the finished piece looks best with no fabric showing beyond the edge of the design, instead of looking for a 4″ hoop, I’m thinking about finishing this as a round ornament of some sort. It would be a good opportunity to dust off my sewing machine and, since I’m not in a rush to get this finished, have a go at some finishing options…possibly using Vonna’s shaped-ornament-finishing tutorial.

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“STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER” — This chart was gifted to me by a friend who had an extra copy of the chart. Yesterday I picked up the DMC floss options called for in the chart, along with some “Lite Oatmeal” 14-ct Fiddler’s Aida — I love the texture of this Aida, and it has a slight color variation, almost as it would look if it’d been ever so lightly tea- or coffee-dyed. I’m going to try stitching in hand using the sewing method on this one, and I learned from my abandoned Dachshund Book-Ends project that 3 strands of floss, rather than 2, are better on this Aida if I don’t want a lot of the fabric showing through.

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CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS ON SILVER PERFORATED PAPER — I’d picked up this silver perforated paper several months ago, with no specific pattern in mind for it. I’m going to look through my Just Cross Stitch “Christmas Ornaments” dvd and find a small project or two to stitch up on this paper. As with my embroidery project above, this is a good time of year to experiment with different holiday-themed projects, when I’m not rushing myself to have something ready as a gift :P. We don’t have a local LNS, and neither of our local craft stores carry Mill Hill beads, but I do have some beads left over from finished Mill Hill kits and I can dip into those if I want to use them for dimension.

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April 2018 Wrap-Up

NEEDLEWORK & OTHER CRAFTS: 1 cross-stitch FFO; a set of needleminders for myself; 1 abandoned embroidery project; 1 abandoned cross-stitch project

Mill Hill “Holiday Stamp” beaded cross-stitch kit — A quickie stitch for this month. I added felt and an eye pin to the back of the project so it can hang from our Christmas tree. My only quibble is I don’t like how the eye and mustache turned out — he’s supposed to be in profile, but I couldn’t quite get that effect. Hopefully that won’t be so noticeable when this is nestled into Christmas tree branches!

04-2018 mill hill postmark santa

Needleminders — I made these after watching Stitcherista’s needleminder tutorial. These all came from the charms/jewelry section of Hobby Lobby. I purchased a couple sets of THESE rare earth magnets (there are 3 sizes included, and I used all 3 sizes). These were SO fun to make!!

04-2018 Needleminders for Me

Cozy Blue Stitch Club: March 2018 Embroidery Kit [frogged and abandoned for now] — I stitched everything except the leaves and just was not enjoying the project, so I frogged it all and packed the kit away for another day :P. I love this dark fabric, and I love the flosses Liz chose for the kit. The sticking point for me seems to be that I really need to use 1 strand of floss for certain parts of the design, and I just flat-out don’t like using 1 strand of floss for needlework. The result is beautiful, but it’s hard on my eyes and fingers to work with 1 strand. This picture is from the first night I stitched on the design. I went on and completed all the yellow, red, and blue parts, and then decided to frog it all :P. I’ll pick it back up another day, probably sooner than later, and will try some other types of stitches, using more strands of floss.

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Dachshund Cross-Stitch Bookends [abandoned for now] — This design is from Cross-Stitcher magazine, June 2015. I’m stitching it on 14-ct Fiddler’s Aida, using 2 strands of DMC. This piece is my guinea-pig project for practicing stitching in hand AND for practicing the sewing method (rather than stab-stitching), and I’m liking both well enough to want to make both my go-to choices for cross-stitching. I finished stitching the pup’s head but am not liking how much fabric shows through when using 2 strands of floss, so I’ve set it aside for now. If I pick it up at a later date, I’ll use 3 strands of floss.

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HAUL:  3 books; 1 cross-stitch pattern received as a gift; 1 cross-stitch kit purchased from eBay

Needlework Books — We no longer have a bookstore or fabric store in our city, so when my husband and I took a day trip to a bigger city in April we stopped by JoAnn Fabrics and I was delighted to discover they had several shelves of crafting books, including lots of embroidery and cross-stitch books. (We also stopped by a bookstore, but, sadly, they had zero-zip-zilch-nada books for embroidery or cross-stitch.) Below are the needlework books I scored, along with the Fox blank journal I now use as my Books-Read log. I love all three of the needlework books, but What Delilah Did‘s “Secret Garden Embroidery” book is, by far, my favorite because she’s interwoven a charming tale throughout the book.

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“Strawberry Fields Forever” by Blackbird Designs — This was gifted to me via a giveaway by a friend who had two copies of the chart. For my eyes’ sake, I’ll be stitching this on 14-ct Aida; for my wallet’s sake, I’ll be using DMC rather than fancy floss. I’m planning to start stitching this in May.

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“Earth Gatherers” by Shepherd’s Bush — I saw this finished cross-stitch on Leslie Hurley’s flosstube and fell in love with it. I obtained the chart and embellishments packet by way of eBay, and will stitch the design on 14-ct Aida using DMC floss. I’m not sure if I’ll start on it in May or if I’ll wait until I finish Strawberry Fields Forever…..I tend to be a monogamous stitcher, but S.F.F. is a bigger chart than I usually stitch…..so we’ll see if I remain a monogamous stitcher or if I have multiple WIPs by the time end of May rolls around :D.

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FLOSSTUBE (new-to-me channels):

  • AmyLovesToads
  • Jen’sStitchingNiche
  • KittenStitcher  –  This is one of the most positive flosstubes I’ve come across, and I’m always happy to see a new Theresa video showing up in my subscriptions. As a newbie to needlework samplers, I’ve been enjoying learning about samplers from watching Theresa’s videos and delving into some of the samplers’ books she’s mentioned. I’m also enjoying her tutorials.
  • LeslieHurley
  • SuzyReno
  • (nail art, not flosstube) Kelli Marissa

 

BOOKS:

2018 April - Books Read

 

TV SERIES I WATCHED IN FULL (or to the current season):

  • LOST — I’m partway through the last season, so will probably finish the series in May.
  • The Five
  • Big Dreams, Small Spaces (netflix) — This British series is just as much of a feel-good watch as the Great British Bake-Off. Most of the yards/gardens featured in this series are small or downright tiny, and I enjoyed seeing how the spaces were maximized.

 

MOVIES:

 

PODCASTS:  I used to listen to these, but lost track of them when I replaced my computer. They’re now back in my regular rotation.

 

COOKED & BAKED (new-to-me recipes):

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FAVORITE SNAPSHOTS BY ME:

Daisy

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Jan. thru Mar. 2018 Happenings (other than needlework/crafting)

My plan is to do once-a-month blog posts, recapping what I’ve made, what I’ve read, and other happenings from that month. This post recaps Jan. thru Mar. 2018 happenings, other than needlework/crafting which I already posted about HERE.

BOOKS:  (I use THIS coptic-bound journal by Studio Oh.) The Neil Gaiman books were in audiobook format because…Neil Gaiman’s voice! He is such a fantastic storyteller.

2018 Jan thru Mar - Books Read

 

FLOSSTUBE:

 

TV SERIES I WATCHED IN FULL (or to the current season):  

 

PODCASTS (oldies but goodies):

 

COOKED & BAKED (new-to-me recipes):

 

OUTINGS:

 

FAVORITE SNAPSHOTS BY ME:

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2017 & 1st Quarter 2018 Projects

I did a lot of reading and FlossTube watching during 2017, but very little crafting. However, the crafting itch kicked in towards the end of 2017 and carried over into 2018.

OCT. 2017 — FINGER-KNITTING:  I have tried knitting (and crocheting) several different times, and disliked it every single time. Finger-knitting, however, I can do!! I followed a Finger-Flux YouTube tutorial and used an inexpensive yarn from Hobby Lobby for my trial run. This whipped up quickly, with no choice words flying around at all during the process ;-). Doubled-up, it made a cute scarf. However, the yarn was too scratchy for me to be able to wear, so instead I laid this in a figure-8 style on top of our mantle during the holidays and nestled glass ball ornaments in the circles of the figure-8’s.

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10-2017 finger-knit scarf 002

DEC. 2017 — EMBROIDERED ORNAMENTS:  The State ornaments were inspired by a variety of similar embroidered projects on Instagram. The mini-Santa ornaments were from a freebie design by CozyBlue Handmade, which I inserted into tiny little wooden hoops I found at Hobby Lobby.

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JAN. & FEB. 2018 — COZY BLUE STITCH CLUB:  I signed up for the CozyBlue (embroidery) Stitch Club, beginning with the January 2018 kit. I love that the design is pre-printed on the fabric and the floss is included, so that I can just pop the fabric into a hoop and start stitching…no muss, no fuss. It’s also been neat to get inspiration from following the “cozybluestitchclub” hashtag on Instagram and seeing how other stitchers complete their design.

Thus far, I’ve completed the Jan. 2018 kit (which I completed using the provided floss) & the Feb. 2018 kit (which I opted to crayon-tint & then swap in my own floss color choices).

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 001

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 002

01-2018 cozybluestitchclub Jan 2018 kit - 003

02-2018 cozybluestitchclub Feb 2018 kit - 001

02-2018 cozybluestitchclub Feb 2018 - 002

FEB. 2018 — EVERGREEN SLEIGH:  I have a handful of small Mill Hill beaded cross-stitch kits I’ve been working on here and there last year and this year. (In addition to the sleigh below, I completed the honey pot and the sea turtle designs, but deleted their photos from my phone before saving copies to my PC :::pfft:::.) The below design is finished with felt on the back and an eye-pin so it can hang from our Christmas tree. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the red section of the sleigh contains lots of red beads, which create great dimension.

02-2018 Mill Hill Sleigh Ride 001

02-2018 Mill Hill Sleigh Ride 002

MAR. 2018 — SWEET TOOTH:  This adorable little design is from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Since I was stitching on light-colored fabric, I opted to use a tooth charm I found at Hobby Lobby, in place of white floss. This cutie lives on a metal stand I found at Michael’s. The stand turns, so I can put projects and/or needleminders on the other side, as well. I used an idea I’ve seen Priscilla Blain frequently do, which is to attach magnets to the back of the project so it’s easy to swap projects on and off the item to which they’re mounted.

Fabric used:  14-ct “Silver Dusted” Aida (Charles Craft)

DMC used:  601, 603, 666, 3845, 310, 801, 434, B5200 (2 strands of all, except 4 strands for backstitch)

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FEB. 2018 — WITH YOU I AM HOME:  This was a freebie design offered by Hands On Design. It’s clipped on to a frame from Michael’s.

Fabric used:  14-ct “Silver Dusted” Aida (Charles Craft)

DMC used:  820, 972, 321 (3 strands of all)

02-2018 With You (HandsOnDesign) 001

02-2018 With You (HandsOnDesign) 002

 

I find I prefer the plumper look of using 3 strands of floss on the 14-ct Aida as on the “With You…” piece, as compared to 2 strands as was used on the Sweet Tooth piece.)

And with this post, my blog is now current when it comes to needlework and crafting projects! 😀