Ariel!

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mermaid

Okay, she isn’t exactly Ariel, but she is a mermaid with red hair. And she’s gorgeous! I just received the latest issue of Cross Stitch Gold magazine in the mail (well, the latest for the US, anyway) and it said that this beauty would be in the next issue. Of course, this happens to be one of the issues I won’t be getting because of their horrible subscription deal for US stitchers. The magazine is published 9 times a year, but only in Britain. US subscribers get 6 issues per year. This means that you get two issues in a row, then miss one issue, then get two more issue, miss one, and so on. Of course, being the addicted stitcher that I am (especially when it comes to my British mags) I have to have those missing issues. How do I solve this? By getting a digital subscription through Zinio, when they have their 5 issues for $5 deal going on. Since you can stack subscriptions, I re-subscribe any time they do this offer (2-3 times per year) to ensure that I never lose an issue. Yes, I do get issues digitally that I also get in the mail. I prefer to read the hard copies, BUT if I want to stitch a pattern it sure is nice to have the digital copy to print out the chart instead of having to scan it in. I simply cannot stitch something without destroying the heck out of the copy with either highlighters or colored pencils. So this way I don’t ruin my mags. Anywho, the DAY AFTER receiving a copy of Gold in the mail, the next issue came out on Zinio. And there she was, just wanting to be stitched! I have the pattern printed out and ready to go and have selected the fabric and beads. But I will not be starting this until the Pyramids are finished. I know I should work on A Summer Ball and the deer in the woods, but I have a feeling I won’t be able to stay away from this mermaid for long!

XXX
Carrie



What a Great Day

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This morning I woke up to two great emails. The first was from Pinterest, letting me know that The World of Cross Stitch Magazine is now following my pins. I was pretty impressed with that. I subscribe to their magazine, and it is one of my favorites. I know it’s not a huge deal, but it means my shop must be getting some attention.

The second great email was from the editor of Cross Stitch Crazy, another British magazine that I subscribe to. They want me to be on their reader panel for the July issue! Woo-hoo! They sent me a list of questions to answer, along with a preview of the magazine’s contents. I need to pick my two favorite projects and let them know what I like about them. My profile (along with a picture of me) will be at the beginning of the magazine, and then my comments about the projects will hopefully be listed next to the project details. That email really had me jumping up and down. My husband had no idea what I was so excited about. Other than my kids, cross stitch is pretty much my life. If you’re reading this, I probably don’t have to explain; you probably get it. And now, to work on those questions…

XXX
Carrie


The Colour Of Love

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When issue 201 of The World Of Cross Stitch (British magazine) arrived in the mail, I knew I wanted to stitch The Colour of Love by Marjorie Massey. They had finished it as a pillow, but I will probably frame this piece instead. It was a quick stitch, taking just four days to complete, and was a lot of fun. It consisted of whole stitches only, in just one color. I used one skein of red floss from Rosace, which is a company I had never heard of but they had sent me a few sample skeins in the mail a while back. Here are the progress photos, 1 for each day of stitching.

XXX
Carrie


Almost There!

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Peacock Tapestry is coming along great! I have now finished the top border, top two corner blocks, and two side borders.

I think once I get the two other corner blocks and the bottom border done, I will put it away for a while. I don’t want to get burned out on this large project. So I have to decide what to work on next. Do I start a new project that I am really excited about, or make myself work on or finish a WIP? I have Adrienne’s stocking, which is barely started. Then there is Jim’s woodland deer which is going well but kind of borning, because it is all browns and greens. I found a great new project in a British magazine on my iPad – a two parter of an African landscape. Huge and detailed, but gorgeous, with elephants, giraffes, lions, etc. I also have a DMC kit from Pollyanna Pickering which is similar, but a lot less work. And then the British magazine Cross Stitch Gold just put out a chart of a girl holding a peacock. I have already picked out the floss and fabric for that one, but won’t let myself start it until I get a grasp on some of my WIPs. Of course, I might change my mind. Oh, what to stitch next? Decisions, decisions…

XXX
Carrie


Okay, Now We’re Stitching!

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This variegated heart project started out last summer as a way to unwind while on vacation. Yeah, right. The chart was so horrible to stitch from, I decided to give up until I could get home and make a photocopy of it to work from. 6 months later, here we are… I made a photocopy of the chart as soon as I finished Autumn Leaves, and then sat down with a full container of Wite-Out tape in an attempt to cover up all of the heavy grid lines. I do not mind grid lines that show you every 10 stitches on a pattern, but this chart was absolutely rediculous. Every tenth grid line was the EXACT SAME thickness as the backstitching on the heart. And the ENTIRE chart is backstitch, no full cross stitch at all! Generally, the grid lines are there to help you keep your place, but do not interfere with your stitching. The ones in Just Cross Stitch magazine, however, are another story. I love the charts this magazine puts out, but they are horrible to follow. All of the symbols are in black and white. All of the grid lines are in black. All of the backstitch is done in black. It makes me want to put down my stitching and jot off a letter to the publishers of the British magazines to let them know how great they are. Because compared to the US mags, they ROCK! So anyway, I spent about an hour whiting out all of the lines that were not supposed to be there, based on the color photo of the finished piece in the magazine. Then I was ready to stitch. I am using a red marker to mark off the stitches as I go along. Kind of a pain to keep putting down my work to do that, but it is making it easier to stitch. In one day this heart is already half done. Compared to the 1/5 or so I had completed last summer, after a week of stitching.

Variegated Heart

I guess I need to start thinking about what my next project will be!

XXX
Carrie


Too many projects

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In the last few days, numerous cross stitch magazines have come into my mailbox. The World of Cross Stitching is a wonderful British publication. It always has at least one free gift (usually a kit) and sometimes a free chart too. Just Cross Stitch is my favorite American magazine. I also subscribe to Cross Stitch & Needlework and Sampler & Antique Needlework. All of these came in the mail within a few days of each other, and I also received notice that the latest issue of Cross Stitch Crazy (which I subscribe to as an iPad edition) was ready to download. I LOVE my stitching magazines. I also receive hard copies of Cross Stitch Gold (British) and the  iPad edition of Cross Stitch Collection (also British). Then there are the hundreds of magazines I have picked up at garage sales, thrift stores, or eBay. And then of course, there are the leaflets and books… If I live to be 1,000 I will never be able to complete all of the projects that I have. But yet I can’t seem to part with any of them. You never know when you might need something! In this latest issue of Just Cross Stitch there is a gorgeous Christmas pattern that features three ornaments stitched in jewel tones, complete with metallic threads. They are shown hanging from an elegant black wrought iron hanger. This design immediately caught my attention, and I wanted to stitch it. But in the end I decided that my stash is taking over, and something has to be done. I am not going to get rid of any of my precious magazines or charts, but something has to be done about the projects I have started and not completed. My daughter is 3 and still doesn’t have her Christmas stocking done. I started a pretty picture of hummingbirds and flowers while on vacation a year and a half ago and it has sat in a drawer since I returned. Theresa Wentlzer’s Peacock Tapestry is so huge that it will probably never get finished. The woodland deer pattern was only started a few months ago, but I tired of all the drab colors and needed a break from it. And the backstitched vareigated heart was a magazine project that I started while on vacation this past summer. The chart ended up being too hard to follow, so I decided to photocopy it when I got home, so that I could mark it up as I went along and not ruin my magazine. But that never happened. I am going to take stock of all of my UFOs and as soon as Autumn Leaves is finished, start one one of them. My goal is to not start ANY new projects until they are all done (with the exception of the Peacock Tapestry, which could take years).  My goal is probably unrealistic, but we’ll see how it goes! At any rate, going through my stash to see what I have should be fun.

XXX
Carrie


Finally Finished!

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I thought this Margaret Sherry hedgehog design would be a quick stitch. WRONG! In 30 years of stitching I have never come across such bizarre stitch combinations. Instead of half cross stitches that take up half of the Aida square in a diagonal fashion, these take up half of the square in either a sideways or vertical way. That in itself would not have been a huge inconvenience, but in some areas there would be a half stitch and then a whole stitch, then another half stitch. This means that the whole stitch would be in half of one Aida block and half in the other. Crazy, right? Counting was really difficult for this chart and the backstitch was a pain as well. But I persevered and in the end I think this little guy turned out pretty well. I used Kreinik blending filament in 032 pearl for the bumblebee’s wings, instead of plain white DMC. I think it adds a nice sparkle.

Next up: Autumn Leaves by Janis Lockhart of Cross-Point Designs (Sep/Oct issue of Just Cross Stitch).

Happy Stitching!
Carrie