Alice Update

Posted on

I did manage to get a bit more done on my Alice SAL. Not as much as I had hoped, but it’s a start. Next I am going to tackle the first square, which is Alice at the start of her adventures.

I’m not sure what the orange above the teapot is supposed to be. At first I thought it was a carrot, but then after adding the backstitch I thought it looked like a butterfly..?

XXX
Carrie


Alice

Posted on

Several months ago I decided to start on the Alice in Wonderland SAL (stitch-a-long) from CrossStitcher magazine. The February 2020 issue included an outer framework with 12 rectangular shaped openings. Each month after, for the next year, a character would be added to the openings. I had other things on the go, so I did not get started right away at the beginning of the year. But in late spring I started on the framework. I got all 12 rectangles stitched and then started on the border, which was a lot of color changes and few stitches of each color. It is also a LOT of backstitch.

After a while I put it away to work on other things, and then I heard a “rumor” that CrossStitcher was going out of business, just like how Cross Stitch Crazy and Cross Stitch Gold stopped publication (due to COVID). This kind of freaked me out and I decided not to work on it any more, because I didn’t want to have a lot of time invested in something that would not be completed. I have just noticed that the November issue is available in my Zinio account, and this issue features . There should be only two more issues left to complete the series, if my calculations are correct. So I think the rumors I heard were indeed just rumors. I am going to get back to working on this framework, although I am not sure when. I have found a few Halloween themed things I would like to stitch, and one is done on orange fabric all in black floss. That would be super easy to follow along and work on even while watching TV, and should stitch up quickly.

XXX
Carrie


Oops! This has not been my week!

Posted on

Oops. I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention when stitching the word “Shining”, as I accidentally stitched “Shing”. Luckily I noticed it before I moved on to the next word, and was able to rip it out and start again.

I normally don’t make mistakes. Not because I’m perfect, but because I am a slow stitcher and count, double count, and triple count everything. This goof was partly because I had just stitched the letters “in” and that part of the pattern was split from one page to the next. But I am going to blame the majority of the goof on the fact that I BROKE MY LAMP! The day before I had tried to adjust the goose-neck portion of my Might Bright┬áLED Task Light Table Lamp. In doing so, the clip part that clips onto the weighted base broke. It is just made of plastic, so I don’t see any way that I can fix it. Even if I could try to glue the pieces back together with something strong like Gorilla Glue, I would have to hold the pieces in place by hand for… a long time. As soon as you let go, it wants to clamp together, and would make the glued part bend in half. My husband did manage to rig the lamp up so I could still use it. The bulb itself is not broken, and neither is the goose-neck. His ingenious method of rigging it back together was to put the broken part where it is supposed to go and balancing two canned goods on either side of the clamp. Uh, yeah, it really does look spiffy, doesn’t it? My daughter’s Sponge Bob blanket is being used to ensure that if the cans fall off, they don’t ding the end table. I have to be VERY careful while stitching to not bump into the whole setup, or else it falls over. (And yes, I know this because I did knock the entire contraption over once when cutting off a new piece of floss and my left hand got a bit too close.) What makes me the most upset is that I just bought this for myself at Christmas last year. I have not stitched much since then, and don’t even have 20 hours of use out of this lamp. There is no way to replace just the broken part, either.

I am hoping there are no more stitchy disasters until at least next week!

XXX
Carrie


So Patriotic

Posted on

I have not been able to cross stitch much at all in the last few weeks. After several months of being closed down due to COVID, all of our family’s doctors offices have now been calling to schedule appointments that were missed since March. It seems like every week we have at least 3 appointments, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. One appointment I am looking forward to is the eye doctor… I have started taking my glasses off to see things up close, like my phone, which is not like me at all! I can’t really see anything without my glasses on, but now I am getting to the point where my glasses aren’t working for seeing far away OR up close. My doctor warned me a couple of years ago it was getting time for the dreaded “b” word, but I have been lucky enough not to need a prescription change (until now). I think it is finally time for… *gasp*… bifocals!

This Americana project has been fun, but the white stitching is just not working at night time even with my beloved task lamp. It is much more suited to daytime stitching, but I don’t really have the option to stitch during the day. So I have been struggling to get it done a little bit here and there, in the evenings when everyone else has either gone to bed or is watching TV. I am slowly but surely plugging away at it.

XXX
Carrie


America, America

Posted on

I fell in love with this project by Ursula Michael as soon as the August issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine came in the mail.

I knew I had some blue hand dyed Jobelan called Babbling Brook that would work out perfectly, and I decided to make this project even easier by stitching all of the red with DMC variegated floss instead of three separate shades of red. This way, I wouldn’t have to stop and change colors every few stitches. I played around with different colors of the variegated shades and color variations, and and finally settled on DMC 115. It is a bit darker shades of red instead of the really bright reds used in the magazine, but I think it will look great.

The coloring from the camera doesn’t show off how great this actually looks. This part stitched up pretty quickly and I can’t wait to get to work on the rest of it! I am going to have to do a bit of tweaking on the design, though. The wording is charted as “and amber waves of grain” but it should actually be “for amber waves of grain”. My OCD would never let me stitch this with the wording wrong, so I am going to have to use the word “for” from the line above, and just move the entire bottom line up so that it doesn’t run into the word “America”. When I get to that part of the chart I think I will stitch the amber waves line first, then work my way up from there.

XXX
Carrie


Spaceship Earth, Part 1

Posted on

Like many stitchers, I decided to start a new project to work on for the quarantine. I have to be honest, because of my health issues I don’t really go anywhere or do much anyway. I am pretty much always home. So being in quarantine was not really an issue for me. I have been used to ordering things I need (including groceries) and having them shipped to my home for quite some time now. So I kind of had to laugh at people who were complaining on Facebook by week 3 that they were losing their minds. For me, this was a cross stitcher’s dream, especially since the kids didn’t have to do any school work for quite a while. They were 2 weeks away from spring break when our state closed the schools. So we’ve had a good few weeks of doing… well, nothing.

I had purchased this chart in February, after seeing someone on a cross stitching Facebook page stitch it. I am such a Disney (especially Epcot) fanatic, I just had to stitch it myself. Once the quarantine hit, I knew it was go time. I gathered all of the colors needed and found a really cool beige hand dyed Jobelan fabric in my stash, called Sand Castle.

The Spaceship Earth chart is divided into 4 pretty equal parts, and the left side is basically a mirror image of the right. I am working on this one page (one quarter of the design) at a time.


March 18


March 20


March 22


March 24


March 26


March 27

I did make one mistake. I read the symbol wrong for the clouds, and stitched it in light blue instead of white. I had done all of the left side and part of the right before I realized it, and I didn’t want to rip it out and start again. So I just left it blue. I think it stands out better on the fabric color than the white would have, and now my project will be different from those that other stitchers make.

This chart can be purchased from AwesomePatternStudio, either on Etsy or through their website.

XXX
Carrie


Coming Along Nicely

Posted on

My new lamp is working fantastically and I have been able to get in some stitching here and there, even if only for a few minutes at a time. I believe I have completed all the cross stitching for this mermaid, and I have tried to do the backstitching as I go. That means I am down to the backstitching that uses Kreinik #4 braid for the tail and some embellishments, and then at last it will be time for the beads! I have taken photos here and there, but have not felt up to making blog posts each time. So I will stick a bunch of photos onto this post and you can see my progress for the past 6 weeks.

XXX
Carrie


Return to the Sea

Posted on

Now that the mandala embroidery is finished, I am back to working on the red-headed mermaid. In one evening I made a good deal of progress on the tail. Next up is the purple and pink flowing parts around the green. That will entail lots of color changes and the use of blending filament, but I look forward to working on it.

XXX
Carrie


Wow!

Posted on

I love how this mandala is coming along. I am so glad I have started on some fun colors, as the white and yellow was making it look like I wasn’t making progress. Most of the project is stitched in backstitch, which is super fast. I modified one part that was supposed to be done in couching stitch and did it in stem stitch instead, to avoid much aggravation!

I’m not thrilled with the purple french knots. The white pattern underneath is so thick, that even using two strands of floss and wrapping the needle 4 times didn’t cover it all. My project also isn’t looking just like the one on the cover of the kit, either. The orange and pink that I am doing now are only 3 strands of floss, and on the package photo they appear to be 6 strands – just as thick as the other colors. But I have no way of knowing if I will have enough floss if I use 6 strands, so I am sticking with the 3 that they say to use. At the end of the purple is supposed to be a huge 6 strand blue french knot. But I am saving my fingers for now and will do that absolutely last!

Another problem I found is that part of the chart is colored wrong – one of the pink petals which I just completed is colored yellow on the chart but is obviously supposed to be pink, like the other 7. And there is no indication of how many strands to use for that area at all; they completely forgot to put it on the chart. So I just guessed that it should be 3 strands like the orange, and it looks OK. I wish they had had someone proof-read their chart before going to print.

I definitely think I can get this finished by Christmas, although it is not a “Christmasy” project. But this weekend I am setting aside time to finish off my gingerbread houses. I bought the foam core board and red pom pom trim (darn, they didn’t have the light green that was used in the magazine) and I should have enough silk pins to get it finished. I am just a little worried about what the back will look like. I am definitely not using glue, like the magazine suggests!

XXX
Carrie


Embroidery

Posted on

I have worked on this new embroidery piece for a few days, and I love how it is coming along. But I didn’t love the awful stitch diagrams to show you how to complete each stitch (YouTube to the rescue!) and I didn’t love trying to use 6 strands of floss wrapped around the needle twice to make French knots. The needle provided simply won’t go through the fabric, and none of the needles I have on hand have big enough eyes to accommodate 6 strands, while being small enough to pass through the fabric. I also tried out the couching stitch but it was just horrible. Perhaps on straight lines it would not be so bad, but it is only used on rounded areas, and it took so long just to do one tiny area. I ended up taking it out and doing it in backstitch instead. This is the rounded blue areas on the outside. I think it looks just fine using backstitch.

I am a little worried about the inner portion of the design, which uses many less strands of floss. I am not sure it will be sufficient to cover the white lines of the design. I guess I will have to wait and see how it looks when I get to it.

All in all, this is a fun project that I can pick up and work on for a few minutes at a time, without the need for counting or concentrating. It is just what I needed to work on at the moment.

XXX
Carrie


One House To Go!

Posted on

I was finally able to get in a little work on the gingerbread houses and I am happy to say that the last house is about 1/3 done! I can’t wait to finish this project that has been years in the making. After this house is finished there will be just a few beads to add to the top and bottom border. Luckily there is pretty much no backstitch at all in this project! But the finishing is what is overwhelming to me. Not just the actual putting together of the hanging, but finding the green pom pom trim that needs to go on the bottom. We don’t exactly have a lot of choices around here for buying things like that, and I hesitate to buy online in case the colors don’t match.

XXX
Carrie


The Home Stretch

Posted on

I now have the first house done in row 3, plus half of the bottom border. Two more houses to go!

Sorry, bad lighting + camera phone = poor quality photo.

I think I will tackle the rest of the side and bottom border first, then the extra snowflakes, and finally the last 2 houses. I really want to get done with this project so I can start something new, like this awesome sugar skull from the October 2018 issue of Cross Stitch Crazy.

I just love how this looks on black fabric! But it might be hard on the eyes.

I also really need to finish up the deer in the woods and get some work done on a Summer Ball. And all those Egyptian charts… I guess they will have to wait a while! ­čÖü

XXX
Carrie



House #7 in Progress

Posted on

This 3 day Easter weekend I am going to take it easy and try to get in as much stitching time as possible. I would love to complete gingerbread house #7 by Sunday night. Here is my progress from yesterday and so far today:

I’m definitely slower at stitching than I used to be. I have to get up and walk a lot, and my hands get tired. But this pattern is so easy to follow and has such few colors and full stitches only, so that really helps. I think after this house is finished I will work on the bottom border. Then I will just have 2 houses to go!

XXX
Carrie


Furry Tales

Posted on

Way back in January, after I had finished my Valentine’s Furry Tales mouse, I started on a new mouse but never took a picture of it or blogged about it. I didn’t get very far when I had to set it aside to deal with Girl Scout cookie season, catching up on things after Christmas, and more health issues. But this weekend I decided to see if I could get any work done on it. I did take a picture to mark my starting point, and was able to work for about 20 ┬áminutes at a time, several times.

This is what I started with. Not much, eh? The green 28 count fabric seemed like a good choice at the time (I know, it appears brown in the photos). Now, not so much. I really wish I had stitched this on plain white aida. The green and white floss is proving very trying on my eyesight!

And here is what I have now:

Can you tell what theme this mouse will be?

I’m stitching this one in a hoop, which I never do. Generally my left hand is not needed during stitching because I use a lap frame, but all of my scroll rods have other projects on them (and this was quite a small piece of fabric anyway). Between holding the hoop and looking down at the pattern and project, I can’t get in more than 20 minutes of stitching at a time, but I am pleased with how much progress I made on this little guy. I’d love to find a type of frame that not only lets me stitch hands free, but also allows me to look straight ahead while stitching instead of having to bend my neck down. If you have ever come across something like that, let me know!

XXX
Carrie



House #6

Posted on

I am now officially 2/3 of the way done with this project!

3 more houses to go. But, life is about to get real busy. With January comes paying taxes (I am soooo unorganized this year) and… Girl Scout cookie sales! My husband has already been taking our daughter around the neighborhood for a couple of days. Last year was her first year as a Scout. Hopefully this year will be even better!

XXX
Carrie



House #5

Posted on

House #5 is done at last! This project has been a work in progress for a long time. I didn’t get it done in time for last Christmas, and I didn’t get it done in time for this Christmas. But instead of putting it away now that Christmas is over, I plan to keep working on it. It’s just such a fun project. Here is what it looks like in the hoop – it is the third and final house on the top row.

Next I will move on to the third house on the second row. I had to move the hoop anyway, so I decided to give it a quick iron. It’s not perfectly pressed, but at least the hoop marks won’t be as hard to get out once it is completed and washed.

XXX
Carrie


Mermaid Update

Posted on

Although I haven’t stitched any more on this recently, I decided to unroll it from the scroll frame so I could get a better look at what I have done so far.

I love this mermaid! I am still going to work on my gingerbread houses for a while, but I can’t wait to get back into this when the weather gets nicer and it is not so dark out all the time. This one really needs a lot of good lighting and attention because it is so detailed.

XXX
Carrie


Gingerbread!

Posted on

I switched over to my gingerbread houses project and am having a lot of fun with it. The color changes are very few, and there is no backstitching – yay! I got the top border done (minus the French knots, which I will do at the end) as well as a good amount of the side border. I won’t work on the rest of that until I have to move my hoop down. It is kind of annoying having to use a hoop for this project because the size scroll rods I need are being used on the mermaid project.

I really need to get my husband to make me a new set of dowels in the same size, so that I can have multiple projects of the same size on the go at one time. I am just happy that the sit-on frame I have came with an attachment to hold a hoop or Q Snap. So I can still use the frame and stitch hands-free. This is a must for me because the pain in my hands would never let me hold an embroidery hoop. The frame I have was purchased on eBay about 10 years ago and the company is no longer in business. It is called Stitch EZ cross stitch frame. It is such a great frame – it came with three sizes of scroll rods, a detachable chart holder, and a Q Snap or hoop holder. The sides of the frame and the Q Snap holder have magnets to hold your needles.

Next up is house #5!

XXX
Carrie


The Mermaid

Posted on

The tail is coming along nicely! But now that it is November and the weather is getting colder, I think I am going to switch over to my gingerbread houses project. I probably won’t get all of it finished in time for Christmas, but if I can complete 2 or 3 more houses I will be happy.

XXX
Carrie


The Mermaid’s Tail

Posted on

I have been working on the mermaid off and on for the last couple of months but didn’t realize I hadn’t posted any photos of the tail. It is coming along slowly but surely. The backstitch has been pretty tedious. I am not really looking forward to the backstitching with kreinik┬ábraid all through the tail, in a sort of checkerboard pattern. But I’m sure the end result will be worth it. The tail will also be full of beads (you can see the blank spots sort of like polka dots!)

Hopefully this project will get me through the long winter ahead, although I do want to get back to work on the gingerbread houses since it is getting to be that time of year again. But I don’t see how I will be able to finish them for this Christmas. I would rather get the mermaid finished.

XXX
Carrie


What a Great Idea!

Posted on

I did not come up with this idea for punching holes down the side of the free cover kit to put the floss through. I┬áthink I saw it on Facebook. But it is working so well! And although I haven’t gotten in much stitching yet, this is a very easy chart to follow and shouldn’t take long.

XXX
Carrie