Thursday, July 18, 2013

Well it's been a busy bit

I've been busy with all sorts of things. I went on a job interview Monday and then on Tuesday was offered the job. On Wednesday, I resigned from my current position and then on Thursday, my current job gave me a counter offer so I decided not to resign. Whew! What a busy up and down week.

A midst all of that, I didn't really get much stitching done as I had finally received my beautiful fabric from Polstitches Designs in the UK. This fabric is for my Passione Ricamo Mystery SAL that I mentioned a while back. The fabric is gorgeous; it is called Monsters and Mermaids (very appropriate for the pattern). Here are a few pics
This light didn't show the colors the way I wanted.

This light was better 

Here is it with the bling, floss, and braid (I was actually short a few DMC)

The pattern uses size 8 beads, so I decided to stay with the recommended 28 count. I have decided to grid as a go. This is a mystery stitch, so I don't want to make an error in counting and then be faced with a bunch of frogging. Before I gridded, I neatened the edges with buttonhole stitch. I began stitching the first part last night and am hopeful that I will finish the first element tonight. It is the cutest fish ever. I decided to stitch the fish over 1. I'm hoping that I it will compliment the utter cuteness of this fish. As soon as I can I will post a picture.

I pretty much stopped stitching on my other projects but as soon as this first fishie is done, I will go back to my rotation. On a side note, Polstitches Designs were ridiculously fast in getting my fabric to me. I received it in about 12 days. I highly recommend them!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kreinik the thread we all love to hate...KreinikGirl to the rescue

Many people will not even attempt to use Kreinik or any other metallic thread because of the horror stories passed down from stitcher to stitcher. While many of these horror stories are true, I urge stitchers to be brave and stitch on. The finished product that uses metallics always has a wonderful bling-y beauty about it, that you will happy that you persevered. 

There are hints galore about how to successfully use metallics. The three universal truths are:

  1. Use short lenghts, preferably no longer than 12 inches. 
  2. Use a needle big enough to allow the thread to pass through without too much rubbing against the fabric. 
  3. Use some sort of conditioner. Most use Thread Heaven but bees wax works well also. 
If you follow these three main hints, you will lessen your frustration and increase your success. As you work with metallics you will probably discover tricks of your own. 

KreinikGirl from Mr. XStitch's blog recently blogged about a cool idea using braids, which she entitled Altered Threads. I enjoyed reading it so much, I was tempted to just excerpt the entire blog. But once the giddiness cleared my head, I remembered that we were only in the cloud and that you could just as easily access the link. With that said I do want to share some photos on how to rouche braid. 

The tree is loosely rouched braid and the ribbon is tightly rouched,

Quick pictorial on how to rouche braid.

She also introduced two products that I had never heard of:

Kreinik wired thread called Wired Facets

Threadworx overdyed metallics

The main point of ThreadGirl's blog was that you should embrace the fraying tendency of metallics and incorporate that into your stitching...make these threads work for us. 

Now go forth an conquer metallic thread!!!!!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Organizing Needlework

Almost every person I know who does any form of needlework is constantly looking for way to organize. I am always scouting the internet looking for better ways to organize my wonderful stash. I sometimes feel a slight irritation that it seems as though every other craft in existence has a plethora of storage solutions. Needleworkers have bobbins, bags, floss tags and rings as our primary source. While all of these things are useful, none of them seem to be completely ideal, as we are constantly looking for better sources.

Today, I was reading Mary Corbet's blog Needle n' Thread and she is talking about organizing future needlework projects, a topic near and dear to every needleworker's heart. As always, Mary had wonderful suggestions. Her main idea was relatively simple. She uses large ziploc bags and then a wooden skirt hanger. You can then either hang it in a closet or mount on hooks inside closet doors or cabinets.

Mary's hanging bag solution.

Mary kits up her bags in much the same way as all of us do. She includes her threads, fabric and chart. She also includes needles. I don't typically do this because I primarily work cross stitch, so always have tapestry needles on hand. 

Although I would like to attribute Mary's idea as being completely original, I would hazard to guess that some wonderful needleworker has been using this idea for years and years. What I like most about the idea is that it gets the kit out of boxes. I have several projects kitted up and they are sitting waiting in a box. Right now I have a closet that is pretty much unused. This closet begs to be used and I love the idea of getting some nifty wooden hangers. I did a quick internet search and they can be found from $7 for a pack of 4, $9 for a pack of 5, and $27 for a pack of 16. (yes, I have plastic ones from various stores, but these just look nice), some gallon size bags and transferring my projects to the closet. 

I think the only thing I will change is that I am going to purchase some large labels and label the outside of the  bag. The purpose of the label will be two-fold. First, to identify the project and whether it was intended for someone or just something I want to stitch. The second, and perhaps more important, purpose will be to identify which threads I am using. Usually, I will have new threads for each project I am working on, but sometimes when working on something else, I realize that I am running short and can't find a much needed color. It would simplify my life, if on the label, I listed the floss being used. This way I would be less inclined to root through the bag desperately looking for my color, so as to save me a trip to town. 

The act of organization in needlework is an ever evolving process. As I mentioned posts ago, I plan to rejuvenate and reorganize my craft space. Well, initially I was very industrious but then I became side tracked with stitching. Oh how is a a person supposed to choose between the joys of stitching and the wonder of having a beautifully organized space?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Passione Ricamo Mystery SAL

I recently joined an awesome SAL - Passione Ricamo's Mystery SAL...journey into the deep. It is a mermaid picture and so far what I can see of the final design is simply gorgeous. The sign up for the SAL ends on July 30, 2013, so if you want to join...join now. The design calls for DMC floss, Petite Braid, and beads, beads, beads. I have all of my wonderful bling and now I am only waiting on my beautiful fabric which I ordered from Polstitches. It's funny I was very apprehensive about ordering from overseas but then when I become involved with the Facebook group for this SAL, I realized that many European and UK stitchers order from the states all the time. It made me realize that I had become a somewhat narrow minded stitcher. Well, all of that is changing now. Since I don't have my fabric, I don't have any stitching to show you, but I can share this wonderful picture of the fun fishies in the picture as it has been released on the Passione Ricamo website:

I look forward to sharing my progress. I know many might say, don't you have enough stitching in the works? Well, yes, I probably do, but I can't seem to help my ADD stitching tendencies. Tonight I will take pictures of my works in progress which include the Dali Torreador picture, the Bethlehem silhouette, a JABC pic for my brother, a Lizzie Kate for my sister, a UK mag project for my other brother, some Xmas stuff, and now the Mystery SAL for me!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Jolly ball bites the dust

Bought this jolly ball today (designed for horses and large dogs). Decimated after one hour of dedicated playing by my mastiff Bella.

Give Away Revealed

Okay, here's the deal. I am blatantly trying to win followers to my blog. As a mother of three boys, I found that bribery usually yielded immediate results. So, here is my bribe -

The bulk of the prize will be a full kitted chart which includes:

                the chart ~ One Tulip from Barrick Samplers (it's in brand spanking new condition)
                the 11 DMC colors for the chart (full skeins)
                a 9 x 13 serged piece of opalescent lugana (from either Silkweavers or Enchanted Fabric)
                         and of course needles

Here are some pics

When I reach ten followers, I will post a blog that says "Give Away Open" and ask my followers to comment to that post. From that post I will throw the names into a hat and draw the winning name. So, please, help spread the word :)  

If this is successful, I may start a habit of giving away stash periodically to celebrate the people who are following my various ramblings. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Give Away!!!!!!

I mentioned last week that I was thinking about doing a give away. Well, as soon as I reach 10 followers the give away will commence. Right now the bare minimum for the give away will be a chart from Barrick Samplers, the DMC floss to stitch it, and a 9 x 13 piece of blue opalescent lugana (this probably came from Silkweaver's, although it could have also come from Enchanted Fabrics).

I was short a few DMC from my stock but as soon as I get floss, I will post pictures. I will also probably add a few other things, but the biggie's will be the kitted up chart.

Happy Monday!!!!