Summer Ball week #???

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When I first started on A Summer Ball, I posted progress pictures every Sunday for several weeks. Then I put it aside to work on other things, and I am just now getting back into working on this. So I honestly have no idea how many weeks worth of stitching this is. I do know, however, that I am getting closer and closer to being done with pages 1 and 2 (out of 10). So when I finish these pages, I will be 1/5 of the way done. Wow, that sounds daunting! This is by far the largest project I have ever attempted. But I am really enjoying working on it. The Easy Count Guideline is helping so much. I can quickly glance down at the fabric and know where I need to begin stitching a new color. I mostly get to work on this in the evenings for about a half hour, and then possibly a bit more on the weekends. I had hoped to have the entire project done in just over a year, but I know that is not possible now. My new goal is to have the first two pages done by Halloween, and then one more full page done by Christmas. I am going to keep working on this until I tire of it, and then put it away and get out another WIP, such as the deer in the woods.

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summerball3

XXX
Carrie


A Summer Ball Update

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After finishing that last card, I decided to get A Summer Ball out again and do a bit on it. Not as much as I would have liked, but I am pleased that I worked on it (and that I enjoyed working on it!) Now it is time for vacation, and this one definitely won’t be coming with me, as it is too large. So it is back to some of the free magazine cover kits I have in my stash.

summerball3

XXX
Carrie



Summer Ball Week 6

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Here is my progress after 6 weeks of stitching. I think I am about 1/10 of the way done with this project. At this rate, I will not have this done in a year, unfortunately.

 summerball6

Now that it is March, I also need to be thinking about what stash finishes I can make. I had 3 for January but only 1 for February. I would like to aim for 2 in March but I do want to keep working on Summer Ball as well. Time to start looking through my stash again!

XXX
Carrie


Summer Ball Week 5

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I didn’t get to add a progress photo last week, due to no-school days. We had a 4 day week, then a 3 day week, and school was cancelled today which means this will be (at most) a 4 day week. The weather is not looking good for tomorrow, either.

I did manage to get a bit of work on this done in the past two weeks, as you can see. I am hoping to get all of the missing background and at least half of the man done by the end of next weekend.

summerball5

XXX
Carrie



Summer Ball, Week 2

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I didn’t get as much stitching done this week as I would have liked. But, I am determined to take a photo once a week of this project to see what I have worked on. Now that I can actually tell what the design is starting to be, I will rotate my progress photos so you can see the project right-side-up.

 summerball2

I am kind of freaking out because my colors don’t seem to match other stitched designs that I have seen online. I am really hoping that my chart isn’t wrong. I had posted before about finding mistakes in the chart, and I am going to be so upset if some of the colors listed on this chart are wrong. I have heard someone say that they started using the magazine to stitch the design, but then lost it. So they bought a copy off of the designer’s website (which is what I did), only to find that the ladies’ dresses were different colors. The columns I have stitched so far do not seem to be the same shades as in the finished piece. I don’t know if it is because I am using DMC and the model was stitched with Anchor, or if it is a chart error. I guess I will keep plugging away, but I am getting a bit nervous.

Now that it is February, it is also time to start thinking about what I can stitch from my stash this month. I completed three small kits last month. With it being a short month and being assigned to bring in goodies for both kids’ holiday parties, I probably won’t beat that this month. But I would like to do at least one finish a month. I guess I had better go back through my stash to see what is calling out to me!

XXX
Carrie


Summer Ball, Week 1

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I started A Summer Ball last Sunday, so I plan to take a photo of my progress every Sunday until it is finished. Here is one week of stitching completed.

summerball1

I am stitching this sideways because of the long width of the chart. So the corner I have finished is actually the lower left corner. If you look sideways, you can make out the floor and the columns of the ball room. Next I get to start on the gentlemen! Actually, you can already see the two black shoes of the first gentleman.

XXX
Carrie


Digital VAT and the demise of our beloved designers

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On Sunday I finally started on A Summer Ball by Sandy Littlejohns and Deborah Lester. Sadly, their website has now been taken down. I am so lucky that I was able to purchase this pattern when I did. So many designers from the UK and other parts of Europe are closing their businesses or at least not allowing charts for purchase online any more. Due to new VAT (value added tax) rules, businesses can no longer sell products digitally without collecting VAT. It sounds innocent enough, but each country collects a different amount of tax and in some countries, it varies based on location within that country. Each business has to register for VAT in every one of the countries in the EU (European Union). When they make a sale, they need to charge the appropriate amount of VAT based on where the customer is located, anywhere from 17% in Luxembourg to 27% in Hungary. The problem is, a customer can lie about where they are from, and it comes back to the business owner to PROVE that the sale was accurate. This can be done by collecting the customer’s IP address, but it is not that simple. A customer can be traveling and therefore their IP address won’t be the same from day to day. Businesses also now have to keep records of their sales for 10 years including the IP addresses, and some customers don’t like that because they feel it is an invasion of privacy. If businesses do want to continue to sell their goods digitally, they can register with MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) in the UK or they can register with each individual country that is in the EU but not the UK. A third option would be to find a third party who would be responsible for the VAT. But many cross stitch designers are choosing to stop selling their charts digitally completely.

I have been researching this for several months because, even though businesses were told 6 years ago that this day was coming, no one really did anything then. The internet has changed so drastically in that amount of time, and I don’t think the people in charge had any idea that digital sales would be as big as they are now. Or rather, what they were until December 31, 2014. One of the reasons I was interested in this was because I was worried that it would impact me as a cross stitch store owner selling physical charts to Europe. It turns out that this does not apply to me… yet. On January 1, 2016 the law will be changed yet again to include physical items, not just digital ones. What does that mean for me? Well, I will be doing what many of the designers are doing. In 2016 I will stop selling to any country in the EU completely. My sales will drop, just like many other businesses’. I won’t close down, because my international sales are not a huge part of my revenue. But I know many other businesses out there won’t be so lucky.

For more information, check out the great Facebook page that has been set up for this topic: Digital VAT 2015.

XXX
Carrie


Summer Ball Corrections

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summerballframedOn gathering my materials for A Summer Ball by Sandy Littlejohns and Debra Lester, I noticed a few typos.

On the Pattern Information page, Anchor 177/DMC 3087 Dk Cornflower Blue should actually be listed as Anchor 177/DMC 792.
Anchor 236/DMC 3779 V Dk Pewter Gray should actually be listed as Anchor 236/DMC 3799.
The numbers are listed correctly on the Color Key. If I find any other mistakes while I am stitching, I will of course list them here.

The chart can be purchased here.

XXX
Carrie


New on my “Must Stitch” List

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The other day while looking at another stitcher’s blog, I found a project that I instantly knew I had to stitch. It is called Summer Ball and was designed by Sandy Littlejohns and Deborah Lester. This chart was originally a 3-part series in Cross Stitch Collection (British) magazine. Although I have many old copies of that magazine, I did not have those particular issues. A quick search online took me to stitcherydoodahs.co.uk, which is Sandy and Deborah’s website. Luckily, they had the chart for sale as an instant download, so I purchased it. If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice, you will know why I just have to stitch this!

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I can just imagine the dancers in the center as being Elizabeth and Darcy. Since I am still on vacation, I can’t get started on this yet. And I think I will force myself to finish the Heavenly Herald Angel Stocking first. But I think this will be a fun (and huge) project to work on this winter. I think I will do two things I have never done before – gridding and parking. I have done a tiny bit of parking on the angel stocking, but only in the border which had many colors all intertwined. I want to grid the entire piece of fabric and then work one page at a time, doing one block of 10×10 stitches at a time. I think it will be like learning a foreign language since I have cross stitched every project the same way that I learned when I started 30+ years ago. But I am always up for a challenge!

XXX
Carrie