Sabrina is DONE

Well okay not completely as I have a single Crystal Treasure bead that I have to order  to be completely finished.  But otherwise she is done, washed, pressed.

And despite pre-washing my hand dyed waterlillies thread, I still had a bit of bleeding, but thankful it is not horribly noticeable.

So without further delay….

PICTURES

SONY DSC

Finished cross stitch

Finished cross stitch

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Not been ignoring everyone

Just really busy.  Between Hubby at a conference, then I went to a conference, trying to put my garden together, and oh it’s baseball season (both for my 1st place STL Cardinals and my kid)

Baseball

Yup that’s him, before his first game (their hats had not come in yet so that one is mine).  It’s his first year in Little League (back in St. Louis we didn’t have Little League we had Athletic Associations).  He’s playing up a level so he’s pretty much one of the youngest in the league and his team, which is currently in first place.

Beyond that, I finished a new shoe cross stitch picture (previously mentioned) and designed a few new patterns.  One is a my take a red ruby slipper/shoe to finish my set of 4 shoes, done with DMC light effects.  When I start on it I will get a post up with progress reports.  Sabrina is still on the back burner.  I just can’t take the beading that needs to be done at the moment and the break makes me feel like I accomplished something.  So instead I have started a Christmas themed Starry Night pattern that I found in one of  grandmother’s old books from the late 80’s.  it is a church covered in snow, on black aida, with the words starry night above it.  I am going to do the words in metallic thread and if I can figure out how to do those tiny fabric lights I will add them as well.  Otherwise, I may just throw up some blue and white beads to create stars or snowflakes.  To finish off my cross stitch accomplishments as of late, I am working on finishing up 3 other patterns, 2 sets of flowers and a Morning Dove.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will have my review of Zoe Archer’s Skies of Fire.  I finally got to read this on the plane to Philadelphia for my conference.  Of course, I did not get to finish Passion Wears Pearls (that I started on the trip over) because AirTran wanted to strand me in Atlanta at Midnight on my return trip home (with of course no place to stay, except I found out the next day that some old college friends now live in Atlanta – that’s how well I keep up with everyone LOL).  As trying to find a hotel to sleep in Atlanta, at midnight, on  Friday was not my idea of a good time, I talked AirTran into paying for a rental car and I drove home from Philadelphia, back to Cleveland, leaving Philly at almost 8:30pm, after having been up since at least 6 am that morning.  Needless to say I am just now recovering from being up for 21 hours straight and another 7.5 drive late at night.

Other then that, it has been gardening, backyard bird watching (we now have both red and yellow finches, cardinals, blue jays, brewers blackbirds, and chickadees, hoping for hummingbirds now that feeder is out), and a little bit of hiking and questing at Cuyahoga Valley.  We made our own stamps on Sunday and hit the Beaver Marsh quest.  Then it was off to see the Avengers, which all three kids (including the 36 year old one) loved.

So yes, we’ve been busy!

New Cross Stitch

Sorry there is no real update on Sabrina.  The beading is driving my crazy and very time-consuming.  So out of utter frustration from stabbing myself with the beading needle I turned to working on completely my 4 part shoe collection.  Except it turns out I don’t like any of the shoe patterns I had.   So, off to design my own.  Alas, I came up with a modern take on Cinderella’s Slipper.  Instead of glass, and thus a mostly white shoe, I chose to give the shoe a more icy look using DMC light effect floss.  This also brought in more blue into the pattern.

The pattern came out great.  The hardest part is working with the light effect floss and keeping the similar shades of blue separate.

 

The pattern is up for sale on my Craftsy account here

It’s National Craft Month

and what are working on?  I am still working on Sabrina, but I did manage to finish another shoe cross stitch.  We have also been doing some crafts around the house, including creating a Disney pin collection art for each child, painted peg board wall in my kitchen, and my husband is building a paint room in the basement (complete with tiny pain holding shelves)

I am really going to push to try to finish Sabrina this month, but we will see if I can find the time, especially as I believe I am going to switch gears for the next project and attempt my first Heaven and Earth Design, Wrath.

 

I would love to see pictures or updates on what everyone else is working on.

Victorian Shoe cross stitch

I set aside my big cross stitch project because I needed to actually finish a cross stitch immediately.  So I took up the second of four old fashioned shoes patterns.  These shoes are being done in the new DMC light effect threads.  I find them a bit difficult to work with, so the stitching is slowed down some.  These threads tend to tangle, break easy, and fray, but the look of them is amazing.  I just love how the finished project sparkles.

This pattern was a free pattern offered by DMC on their website sometime last year or so.  It uses only the light effect threads, unlike the blue shoe I did which had both regular and light effect threads.  Both are small pieces (50×50 stitches)

So here is my work after my first stitching session

Cross Stitch

Even though this picture came out dark, you can already see the shine off the thread.  You can see how I build a piece using a jigsaw/puzzle method instead of counting.  What I call a jigsaw/puzzle method is comparing the stitches I am working to what has already been done, how many before or after etc.  In this piece I started with pink in the heel, then built the copper of the sole all the way around.  I then added in the first 2 lines of pink in the main part of the shoe and then put in the rose/purple accents.  I then filled in the pink for the shoe, filling in the blanks between the purples

And here is after my second stitching session yesterday afternoon.

cross stitch

Now you can see the shoe start to take shape and how the colors contrast nicely together.  I continued the jigsaw method here by filling in more of the pink and then adding in the gold and the dark pink accents in the upper part of the shoe.

And I stopped last night (3rd stitching session) with 46 stitches and backstitching to go.

Cross stitch

It’s almost there but you can see that it starts to blend together a bit.  As before I continued filling in the pink, extended the gold up through the top of the shoe and then added the line of purple along the top and the buckle work.  So this morning I finished the 46 stitches.

Cross Stitch

So here is the show without the backstitching.  I didn’t count out the last 46 stitches, all jigsaw method of just filling in the stitches in comparison to what has already been done.  As you can see, the small details, like the buckle strap and the inside of the shoe are not accentuated and are difficult to see.

And the finished piece

Cross Stitch

Gorgeous and I want a real pair!  Now to cut down the fabric, mount the picture, and add it to my frame.

Cross Stitch update

Ahh that pesky lady is not done yet, but still making progress.  I have not been working on it as diligently as I should be, but I am getting there.  Not only do I have a lot of stitches left, but the beading on the picture is extensive and time consuming.  I get asked a lot how I do such large projects.  I don’t really count my stitches like others do, but instead prefer to stitch relative to the rows around it.  So instead of counting out 10 stitches in the line, I see it as a puzzle.  Thus I compare my start and end to the line above or below it, starting how many before/after, stopping how many before/after.  I like this method because if I do make a mistake and miss it, I can easily correct the problem as I fill in the jigsaw.  The other tracking method I started with this project was highlighting the pattern.  I do find it saves me a lot of time as I no longer need to track where I am going and I can see the pattern fit together easily.

 

Here is an example of the highlighting on this project.  It also matches the progress I have made.  The entire opposite side of the pattern is already highlighted out.  You can see there are some strings of un-highlighted areas.  That is all the beading I still have to do.

 

As for progress, here she is

 

As you can see, I am about half way through her skirt, and then have to finish the beading.  I have done almost all the beading on the front half.  This project is also the first time I have used the very large beads.  In order to secure them flat, I come up through the bead, put one of the green beads on top, turn in and thread back through.

Here is a close up

Sorry it’s so blurry, my camera on my phone dislikes real close ups, but you can see how I have the flower shaped bead laying flat with a bead on top of it.  The rest of my beads are attached with single strand dmc in one of the colors surrounding the beads.  I chose not to use black thread to secure the beads because it will show up against the light colored blues and whites of the skirt.  I attach my beads with a half stitch.  I do all my stitches going right for the under and left coming back.  Thus all my beads are secured, half stitch to the right using a beading needle.

You can also see that I have moved off my QSnap frame to a 10 inch hoop.  I use the qsnap on large projects when I am working more in the middle as a way of controlling the amount of fabric.  But now that I am down to the bottom, I move to the hoop as it is easier for me to hold and stitch with.

 

So if you stitch, how do you prefer to stitch and how do you handle doing specialty stitches and beading?

Update on Mirabilia Sabrina

I haven’t updated in a while because I have been busy moving across 3 states, job hunting/becoming self-employed, and I have not been reading or cross stitching as much as I like.  But I do have an update of progress on Sabrina.

She is moving along, but not as close to being done as I hoped to be by now.  I have also discovered in this project, and unsure why I had not thought of it before, that by highlighting the stitches I had already done, the project moves much faster and with less errors.  Now if I can just use the right colors…