More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ornament Victory

I hope each and every one of you had a lovely Christmas, celebrating with all who are near and dear to you. 

As previously mentioned in my last post, I managed to stitch up six quick ornaments by JBW Designs for the ladies in the office at work. Every year they have received an ornament from me as a gift, and I felt I couldn't let them down. 

Last week on my one night off (Wednesday) from my second job I set to ornamentifying the six ornaments I stitched from French Country Ornaments II. I went with something simple due to the fact I had to finish six ornaments in one evening!  I backed the stitching wig green felt, cut with a wavy blade on my rotary cutter, and a fancy ornament hanger. It's amazing how the most basic of finishes can be just perfect. As they say, less is more. Needless to say the girls were over the moon with them!

I had another small finish on Christmas Day, for a fair part of the year I've been working away at Prairie Schooler's Cranberry Christmas Ornaments. I've finally stitched the second to last ornament, and I've started the last tonight. All are being stitched over two on 40ct linen, mellow from Picture This Plus. I'm hoping to have this last one completed before the year is out. 

Until next time. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Last Minute Ornaments

Life has become incredibly busy, and stitching time has been at a premium since September when I took on a second job. Needless to say I didn't have my wonderful stack of ornaments ready to go this holiday season!

It's always been my gift to the office administrators at work each year and I've got nothing ready. So over the last few days, when I haven't been working or sleeping I've been stitching. The end result is six super quick reindeers from the JBW Designs chart French Country Ornaments II 

They have been stitched over two on 28ct Quaker Country Linen with DMC 115 and Weeks Dye Works Hunter. Now I hope I can find the time and the energy to ornamentify them before Friday morning. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Here There and Everywhere

You'd think by the title of this post I was travelling, but nope!  It just perfectly describes my attention span (or lack there of) when it comes to stitching these last few weeks.  Or probably ADD is the best way to describe it.

I thought my last new start/finish would settle me down into one project but that didn't work.  Since my last post I've worked on (and those who know me well know that I don't usually have a lot of WIPs on the go nor do I bounce around from project to project) :

Cirque Des Triangles by Ink Circles, I started this on my trip to the Dominican Republic at the end of February.  These designs make fantastic travel projects, one thread colour and you don't have to hop all over the place.  Over the last couple of years I've started one of these "Cirque" designs on my annual "work trip" to the DR.  I'm stitching this on a piece of 32ct Queen Ann's Lace (which was disappointingly too "muddy" to stitch Spring Quakers on) with DMC 4022, which is a very striking combination and honestly makes me think of the ocean in the DR!  I worked on this for about a week after my Peacock Alphabet finish and managed to stitch up page 3, this means the top half is done.  I then promptly lost interest and put it away.

Next to see the light of day was The Big Red by The Silver Lining, I started this one many, many, many years ago and it has sat ignored until this past Christmas when I picked it up.  During my focus time on this piece over the holidays I managed to work my way up from the middle to the top and I've stitched pages 1-4. This piece is being stitched over one on 25ct summer khaki lugana using a combination of DMC and Anchor floss.  For about a night or two I plugged away on page 5, then it went away again.

Cranberry Christmas
Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 40ct Mellow from Picture This Plus
Stitched with DMC

Last week I decided, oh boy I haven't stitched an ornament in awhile!!!  This year I've even managed to get out of my habit of the monthly Christmas Ornament which I have done for years and years!  Some time ago I started stitching up the ornaments from Prairie Schooler's Cranberry Christmas chart.  These are being stitched over two on 40ct linen from Picture This Plus with three colours of DMC.  So this ornament got worked on for a couple of days, then put down for a new start (see what I mean!  Serious ADD here!), but I promptly made myself pick it back up on Sunday which resulted in a Happy Dance that evening!

New start did I say that?  Ahem yeah I did.  So I've thrown yet another project in the mix (and by the way I have yet to admit to all of my WIPs to you).  I've been talking with one of my stitching friends out our next Teresa Wentzler start and that it would be about a year out while I wait for Christin and Bonnie to FINISH The Fortunate Traveller (which I finished last year) so we can start Fantasy Triptych.   During these discussions this friend mentioned she was hating the piece of fabric she started The Guardian on...  So I thought on Friday I'd look at the chart in my stash, I knew I had it... well I had the kit... looking turned to sorting floss... sorting floss turned into a new start!  This has managed to hold my attention for oh four days in a row now!  Almost a record!

Tune in next time to see if I stick with The Guardian! (or follow me on Instagram for instant gratification @tkd_chick)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Start And Finish

I know, I know, it's been far too long since I've last blogged. For some reason I have found the process of getting pictures off of my Cannon DSL on to the computer, editing them and blogging from my laptop such a burden. Lately I've been thinking about blogging again, I don't know why I just have.  So I'm going to try this on my iPad with not as great quality pictures, but it should be easier and faster and hopefully I'll blog regularly again. 

I've been busy stitching that's for sure, but not to be overwhelmed with a massive catchup post I'm just going to start with NOW. 

At the moment I'm in the middle of several good-sized projects, two are over one, two are over two and one is on 40 count. Lately I've not been committed or "feeling" any one piece, I've just been going with what I have the energy for or what's closest to hand. 

Despite quite a few projects on the go I've had the urge for a new start! On Saturday I was rather impulsive and kitted up yet another project!  For some reason I've been thinking about Just Nan's Peacock Alphabet... So I dive into the stash, pulled all the necessary threads and started it Saturday afternoon!

By Sunday night I started the beading, but my eyes were done and I put it away, not quote finished! The horror, I know! Monday I had a stitchy date with my good friend Janice so I was able to celebrate my happy dance with a good friend!

Peacock Alphabet by Just Nan
32ct Opalescent Lugana, GAST, DMC & Mill Hill Beads

I'm just in love with the blues and greens in this, the fabric, of course sparkly, the beads lovely and the button gorgeous!!!!!  This was an enjoyable, fast stitch. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Obsesson Satisfied

This post is probably about a week overdue.  Last weekend I finally satisfied my obsession with Spring Quakers!  I finished it!  This was just one of those pieces I couldn't put down.  I started it on January 1st, 2016 and finished it 37 days later.  Also starting this project with me was Bonnie, who finished hers 5 hours later than me (amazing that we managed to finish our pieces on the same day), Christin who has barely touched hers but she's got another project she's trying to wrap up.  Also our friend Janice (no blog) started Winter Quakers because she had already done Spring and she finished her just a few days ago!

Spring Quakers
Rosewood Manor
Stitched on 28ct Lilac Grove Jubilee from Sugar Maple Fabrics
Stitched with Valdani Cotton Floss

Sorry I had a hard time getting a good clear picture but hopefully some of of the following closeups will help give you a better idea of just how lovely the colours are.

As previously mentioned I had planned to stitch mine on Queen Ann's Lace Joblean by Whichelt.  However the piece I got was rather "muddy" that it just wouldn't work with the floss colours.  I find though I love Queen Ann's Lace as a staple in my stash I hate the fact that there are wide variations in the dye lot sometimes, and this was one of them.  After a stash dive I settled on my last piece from the long out of business Sugar Maple Fabrics and though I was reluctant to use my piece of Lilac Grove I'm so happy with how it turned out.

As I've been working on this piece and sharing progress pictures, I got a lot of questions about what thread I was using to stitch this piece both from my Facebook and Instagram followers.  I went ahead and used the Valdani threads as  the design was charted.  Since I stitched it on 28ct I used all three strands as they came off of the ball (and a bigger needle I usually stitch with a 28).  I was a little worried about the Valdani threads as I heard a lot of talk about how awful they were to work with.  Over the years I heard complaints about how it tangled and frayed.  I had none of these problems I found it quite nice to stitch with.  I just had to use the recommended threads because of how vibrant they were!  I will certainly be doing the other seasons in Valdani threads in the future!

Next time I buy some stash I'll have to start sourcing out the Valdani threads for the rest of the seasons!!!!

Cranberry Christmas
Prarie Schooler
Stitched on 40ct New Castle Linen, Mellow from Picture This Plus
Stitched with DMC Cotton Floss

After I finished Spring Quakers I needed to stitch up my February Ornament.  I have continued with Cranberry Christmas by Prarie Schooler.  I'm stitching these on 40ct and I'm as usual just loving it!

Next up for finishing is my friend Julie's Joan Elliot Oriental Ladies Round Robin.  Julie had one spot left on her Round Robin after it came back a few years ago and I offered to stitch the last spot for her, she has a silver Buddha planned for this spot and as you can see I've got a fair start on it.  We've got a long weekend and its far too told to go anywhere unless you have to, so I'm sure this will get finished this weekend.

I have a new start to get kitted up soon.  I leave in a few weeks for my annual Dominican Experience trip and over the last few years I've stitched Cirque des Cirque, Cirque des Coeurs and Cirque des Carreaux all from Ink Circles.  This just leaves me Cirque des Triangles left to stitch!  One of my "to do" things this weekend is to get this kitted up and and during the upcoming week get a working copy made.  These pieces have been great to stitch on the plane and while I travel.

Finally Zeus was being rather pretty this morning so I just had to take a few pictures of her.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Slightly Obsessed

First of all Happy New Year dear readers!  I hope your New Year is off to a good start.  Mine is going well.

I have a couple of stitching New Year's Day rituals that I just look forward to every year.  Do you have any stitching related New Year's rituals?

My first one is always planned months in advance, its my New Year's new start/stitch along.  For many years now my best friend Christin and I start a stitch along, some years a few of our stitching friends join us and some years its just the two of us.  I start at midnight and Christin starts in the morning, I am always just too excited to wait until the morning after months of anticipation!  This year our stitching friends Bonnie joined us as well in starting Spring Quakers by Rosewood Manor, our friend Janice also joined us but she had already stitched Spring Quakers so she started Winter Quakers.

I had a bit of a panic moment with this piece, I had every intention to stitch this piece on 32 ct Queen Ann's Lace Joblean by Wichelt.  I had bought a 1/2 yard of it back in the fall.  In December I pulled out my fabric, cut a piece just the right size then I pulled out my little box of Valdani Threads.  That's when I totally panicked! This piece of Queen Ann's Lace was quite brown and muddy, several of my Spring Quaker colours just disappeared into it.  Total panic attack!  I knew I didn't have enough time to order a new piece of fabric.  Stash to the rescue!  I spent a good hour pulling out fabrics out of their bins to find a suitable replacement.  I started with my 32ct and had no success, oh no!  Next I was digging through my 28ct fabrics, I had really wanted to stitch this piece on 32ct ... oh well.  After a bit of digging I came across one of my last precious pieces of dyed fabric I got ages ago from Sugar Maple Fabrics which is no longer in business!  They had some of the best dyed fabrics I ever came across.  I mourned while I settled on this fabric, but its PERFECT for Spring Quakers and just the right size.

As you can see I was immediately obsessed by this piece!  Despite being obsessed I didn't have all the time I wanted to stitch it and I've had a hard time to settle lately getting easily distracted by things like Instagram (sigh, addict for sure).  When I have been able to sink my teeth into this it just goes!!!!  I'm now well into page 4 and hope to be into page 5 by the end of this weekend.

My second stitching New Year's ritual is the annual emptying of the ort jar!  I love seeing the wonderful layering of colours from projects throughout the year.  Its also a great measure of just how much or how little stitching I've done that year.

My final stitching New Year's ritual is turning a page on my stitching journal.  Well its not really a journal but a list of all the projects I finish that year.  I also keep a sticky note in there of projects that get carried over from one year to the next and cross them off as they become Happy Dances.  My ultimate goal would be to cross everything off and throw that note away but that hasn't happened yet.  In 2015 I had 54 Happy Dances!  A very productive year and some awesome big finishes in there too!

Cranberry Christmas
Prarie Schooler
Stitched on 40ct New Castle Linen, Mellow from Picture This Plus
Stitched with DMC

I did take a one day break last weekend from Spring Quakers to stitch up my January ornament, I am still sticking with this little goal of mine to stitch one ornament each month.  I've picked Pararie Schooler's Cranberry Christmas as this year's set to stitch up and I'm sure I'll stitch some random pieces through the year as well... when I'm finished with my current obsession.

One thing that has gotten put off to the side is my friend Julie's Round Robin.  In early December we had a stitching day at her place and we were going through her finished projects.  She showed us her Joan Elliott Round Robin, but there was one blank spot left.  I immediately offered to stitch it for her.  I did start stitching the silver Buddha she wanted in the last spot... but like I said I'm obsessed right now.  Once I get to it, I'm sure it'll whip up quickly!

In my last post I promised I'd share with you pictures of a few other items I had stitched last year.  Well I forgot, but I've made a copy of the list and hopefully I'll be back soon with those.  I also put some stitches into an old project, The Big Red by The Silver Lining  I hope to share that with you too.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Months Of Silence

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I've recently received a few comments lately on my last post which was the end of July asking if I was alright, and a few e-mail as well.  I wonder if at this point after so many months if I have any followers left.  I haven't planned on abandoning this blog, it would be such a shame as I was one of the early bloggers in the stitching community.  I also think of all the time, effort and heart that has gone into creating and sharing this blog.  I just lost the desire to blog for awhile, however my stitchy-bug was not affected at all I've got quite a bit of stitching to share with you from the last months.

In my last post from July I was working on Lizzie Kate's Be Naughty

Be Naughty
Stitched on mystery 28ct linen using recommended threads

In order of completion I've stitched the following pieces:

Ho Ho Ho Holiday - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

I've realized I've not photographed the following pieces and will do for my next post (I promise!).  Again this all in order of completion, I keep a little book listing all of my finishes since 2007!
  • Just Nan - Gingerbread Angel Mouse
  • Just Nan - Gingerbread Jingle Mouse
  • Just Nan - Little Princess Snow
  • Just Nan - Loreli Lamb
  • Just Nan - Oakley Owl
  • Hands On Designs - Year In Chalk : July
Here's a finish I'm sure you've been wondering about (unless you follow me on Instagram)....

 Fortunate Traveller
Teresa Wentzler
Stitched on 28ct Cream Lugana
Stitched with: DMC and Mill Hill Beads

Since finishing Fortunate Traveller I've worked on a lot of smaller pieces.

Wait 'Till Dec 25 - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

1st Christmas
32ct White Lugana
Stitched with DMC & Mill Hill Beads

Jeffrey's Christmas Ornament
Earth Threds
Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue 2001
Stitched on 32ct Iris Garden Opalescent Belfast Linen
Stitched with DMC, Kreinik & Mill Hill Beads

Merry - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

FaLaLaLaLa - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Joy To The World - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Silent Night - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Love - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Joy - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

Let It Snow - Jingles
Stitched on 32ct Taupe Lugana
Stitched with Weeks Dye Works

 Red Threads
Rosewood Manor
Stitched on 32ct Raging Storm Belfast
Stitched with Threadwork

Red Threads
Rosewood Manor
Stitched on 32ct Silkweaver Solo Wexford Linen
Stitched with Six Strand Sweets Blueberry Grunt

Reflections of Canada
Ink Circles
Stitched on 28ct White Lugana
Stitched with DMC 498