Stash Finish #11

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Finally, mouse #3 is done! He is stash finish #11 for 2015.

stashfinish11

I have stitched all three designs on the long piece of fabric that came with the kit. I am not sure if I am going to cut them apart and put them in cards (which came in the kit) or leave it all together and frame it or finish as a bell pull. If I do leave it together, I think I will need to find a design to stitch in between the mice. Perhaps a small sprig of holly and ivy?

stashfinish11b

XXX
Carrie




Christmas in July

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mice1

My new project is a set of 3 Christmas mice designed by Margaret Sherry. I adore her hedgehogs, and her mice are just as cute! The fabric that came with these charts is one long piece, and you are supposed to cut it apart to make 3 cards. But I think I am going to stitch them with the fabric intact, and then decide if I want to keep them together or not. Instead of cards, I might actually make this into a bell pull or possibly a framed piece.

Since I didn’t have any floss bobbins on hand, I decided to improvise and use a cut up cereal box! It worked out pretty well to keep these floss colors sorted. There are quite a few of them.

Here’s my progress so far on the little guy that’s chasing a star.

mice2

mice3

XXX
Carrie


Stash Finish #4

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bellscard

This is a kit for a Christmas Bells card that came free with an issue of the British Magazine Cross Stitch Gallery. I was able to finish it in just two days of stitching. Of all the kits I have ever done, this was by far the worst in terms of sorting colors. I know it doesn’t look like it, but there were 4 shades of red, 4 shades of gold, and 4 shades of green. And the names meant nothing (parrot green, saffron). I had to use the color photo that came with the chart in order to figure it out. On the plus side, it came with WAY more floss than was needed, so my ORT jar is filling up nicely! And the card blank that came with it is lovely. The picture doesn’t really show it, but the entire card is gold paper with a nice lined texture to it.

XXX
Carrie






The angel!

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The angel is really starting to take shape! I have decided to do the backstitching my own way. The directions called for couching and cording of the yellow/gold outlines on the robe, and I wasn’t really in the mood to do either. I just want to be done with this project, which has been 5 long years in the making. I made lots of mistakes along the way. The part of the robe where the black and dark green were mixed together (the triangle shaped areas) were supposed to be done in half cross stitch. Oops. The yellow/gold backstitching on the robes was supposed to have gold metallic threads mixed in. I just didn’t feel like working with that stuff any more. The wings are a totally different color from the photo on the kit because, well, Dimensions either messed up or used different colors when they stitched the model. So the backstitch on my wings barely shows up. The kit photo has much nicer colors. Oh well, you live and learn. This was my first Dimensions kit and definitely my last! I can’t wait to stop using this horrible shredding floss and get back to stitching with real DMC.

The kids have their Christmas concerts at school tonight and tomorrow night, so I probably won’t get any stitching done until at least Thursday. But hopefully I can get a lot done over the weekend and maybe, just maybe be done with this stocking by next weekend. Actually, I have to be. Christmas is just a few days after that. Yikes!

 stockingdec8

XXX
Carrie



Done with the cross stitch!

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I was hoping to get all of the cross stitch done on the stocking by the end of the weekend. And I’m happy to say, I did it by Saturday! But I am not going to relax just yet. I still have a TON of backstitch to do. And I think I need to plan a good three days to get the stocking washed, ironed, cut out, and sewn together. This gives me just three weeks to do all of the backstitching. Not only is there a lot of it, but it is complicated – lots of colors, lots of stitches that don’t fall in any actual Aida block, and lots of couching and cording. Ugh. I guess I better get cracking!

XXX
Carrie



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One border section done, two more to go! I am really hoping I can have both of those sections done by the end of the weekend. Thanksgiving is coming up and hopefully I will have time to work on this then. I would love to be able to start on the backstitch before December! The only problem is, this design is getting so out of whack. The areas where the solid red is are so heavy and warped. It made stitching the multicolored border at the heel difficult. I can’t get my fabric taut on the scroll frame, no matter how many times I take it off and start again. I am having to hold the fabric taught in my left hand (pulling the left edge of the fabric towards the left) while I stitch with my right hand. This is the only way I can get tight fabric. A hoop would give me even tension but there isn’t enough fabric to use a hoop at the sides of the design. The little bit that is showing at the bottom of the toe part is literally how much extra fabric I have on this. Just one more reason why I will never stitch another kit from Dimensions. I can not wait to get this thing done! And I’m sure Adrienne will love finally having a stocking with her name on it. Christmas Eve is exactly one month from today. Not much more left to do on this now. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

stockingnov21XXX
Carrie


Whew!

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The heel, toe, and stocking top are finished, and I did not run out of floss. But I have only a few strands left, and I still need to use it in the multicolored border designs which go inside the green lines. So I am not out of the woods yet. But these areas should blend in a lot better if I do run out and need to substitute with another color.

stockingnov18a

XXX
Carrie


Running Out of Floss

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I will definitely never do another Dimensions kit again. I am certain I will run out of the red floss used in the heel. What I am doing now is stitching a row, leaving a row blank, stitching a row, etc. I will then go back and fill in the gaps with whatever floss I have left. If I do run out, I will have to substitute DMC but at least the new floss won’t be in one big block area, which would stick out like a sore thumb. Hopefully if I do have to substitute, it will be subtle.

stockingnov17aXXX
Carrie



Getting Bored

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I have to admit, I am getting tired of working on this stocking. Having a deadline is not helping. I have spent countless hours stitching since the last photo I posted, and I  just feel like I am getting nowhere. I know that’s not true, but I feel that this will never be done by Christmas. I am hoping that I can start working sideways to get over to the other side where the red heel will go. I think if I can get that heel out of the way, this project will look much more finished and will give me a sense of accomplishment. I don’t dare try to count over the empty spaces to work on it though. I know if I did that I would find after stitching it all that I had counted wrong. The nativity scene and the grass have to line up exactly with the heel and the border that goes around it.

stockingnov10

The snow came down heavy all day yesterday. I don’t think it stopped from the time I woke up until I went to bed. Today was more of the same. It’s the perfect weather to curl up with my stitching and listen to some Christmas music. Yes, I actually found the holiday stations on iTunes radio yesterday and listened to Christmas songs while stitching and cleaning the house. I hate winter, and am not ready for snow yet, but I guess I have no choice. Might as well make the most of it and stay inside the warm house and stitch!

XXX
Carrie



I’m seeing red!

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stockingoct28a

I have been working on the toe of the stocking, which is all done in 4 strands of red, using half cross stitches. After doing the outline, it was actually a nice treat to be able to sit down and stitch without counting or without changing colors. My goal was to fill in the outline over the weekend, but I didn’t quite make it. I completed the toe on Monday afternoon.

 stockingoct28

Now we are getting somewhere! The orange colored parts of the chart are the parts that have been stitched. These photos were taken with my digital camera – such a difference from the iPhone!

XXX
Carrie


Progress

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I have been stitching like crazy! Finally Joseph, a shepherd, and some palm trees are visible. I think I will work on the rest of the grass next and then move on to the huge solid red toe. Once I get the outline done I won’t have to count, so it should go pretty quickly.

I also finally found my long lost digital camera, so after I get the battery charged up I can stop taking pictures on my phone. The quality of the picture below is really bad compared to what the project looks like in real life.

XXX
Carrie

stocking7


2 months until Christmas!

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October has been a very hectic month. My son celebrated his tenth birthday, had his yearly doctor visit, and has had trips to the orthodontist. The braces come off October 28! So only one more visit to go until for now. After all of his baby molars fall out and the adult ones come in, we get to start “phase two”. Jim and I have also been busy making Halloween costumes for the kids (but he won’t let me say what they are until after Halloween; he is paranoid about someone stealing his great ideas!) So the stitching has been a bit slower than usual. I did get a good deal of the sky done, as well as Joseph and part of a shepherd in the Nativity scene. But it hit me today that Christmas is just over two months away. When you figure in the time needed to actually assemble the stocking, I figure I need to have the cross stitch done exactly two months from today to have it ready in time for Christmas morning. I still think I can do it, but it will be pushing it. I can’t wait to get this done so that I can get on with a new project. Summer Ball will be the one I start immediately, but I also have my eye on this one from John Clayton’s Elegance series:

charles

It reminds me so much of Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice, I just have to stitch this one as well. I already have the chart, but have not kitted it up yet. The only problem is, I cannot find a suitable lady to accompany this chart. John Clayton has such a large range of designs, but none of his ladies are in the Regency period, at least not that I can tell. Perhaps after stitching this one I will have to just chart my own?

I would love to get Summer Ball done in one year, but I am not going to push myself so hard that I start to dislike stitching it. I also want to get the deer in the woods finished for Jim (I really started to hate working on that one, so it has been put away for quite some time) and Peacock Tapestry has also been set aside for longer than I would have liked. As they say, so many stitches, so little time!

XXX
Carrie


A Feeling of Accomplishment

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october12014

Tonight I finally made some real progress on the angel stocking. Other than the backstitch, the angel herself is complete. Notice that there is a blank row at the very top of the stocking, under the green row of stitches. The multicolored pattern will go there, but it was such a pain to stitch that I had to take a break from it after completing the first row. There will also be a row of that pattern at the heel and at the toe.

I am a bit worried about the name at the top. It looked great when I stitched it, but when I took the project off of the scroll rods to get a picture, the entire piece was warped out of shape. Hopefully I will be able to press it into shape when it is all done, but I don’t know if the long stitches on the name will be okay. I might have to take them down with some couching stitches. Worst case scenario, I will have to rip the name out and do it again at the very end.

XXX
Carrie


An almost complete angel

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I have not taken photos of my progress on the Heavenly Herald stocking in a while, but I have been working on it. I am pleased to say that the angel is almost finished! Except for the backstitch, that is. If the kids give me a bit of time tonight I should be able to finish up the last cross stitch part of her dress. After that, it is onto the rest of the sky, which should go fast since it is all half stitch. I can’t wait to get this stocking done!

XXX
Carrie