WIP

TAST #1 – Fly Stitch

And now for something completely different.

Just go with the flow, please.

Just go with the flow, please.

“Okay Amy [I imagine you saying], what is this, and how did we get here?” I’m not really sure. Facebook told me to join a group (undoubtedly because I’m in a few other stitching groups), which led me to a blog, which led me back to the Facebook group, which led to another page in the same blog, which led to our poorly photographed leafy friends up there.

So here’s the thing. How much embroidery do you think I’ve done that isn’t cross stitch?

You’re looking at it. Brave new world.

TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) (I’m not organized, so it’s not actually Tuesday) is a stitchers’ challenge with 140 different stitches to work into a project. First up is the fly stitch, which I’ve turned into some fun little plants. That’s pretty much the only solid guideline, so I’m making up the rest as I go. I don’t have any real goal in mind (though I do see some fish amongst those ferns), but I have a bunch of small scraps of fabric from a grab bag sale that aren’t really big enough for anything else. I figure I’ll start filling one up, and when I run out of space, I’ll move on to the next piece. I guess we’ll see what happens.

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July Already?!

No really, how did that happen?

Work has been ridiculously busy. As far as I’m concerned, it feels like it’s still sometime in June, but when I turned around the summer was half over.

First of all, how about some WIPocalypse questions? It’s been so long since I checked in that I’ve forgotten how to spell WIPocalypse.

Reality or Fantasy. Which do you prefer to stitch? Figures or Abstract?

I’m kind of in the middle on this one. I prefer to stitch recognizable motifs, so we’ll call that figures, but I prefer my pieces to be more abstract than a realistic scene. Serenity Harbor does not remotely fit into that, since it’s definitely a full scene, but the majority of things I stitch are more abstract samplers. I always bookmark pretty, realistic patterns, but I usually don’t pursue them because I know they’ll take forever and a day.

Jumping back to June, Do you find yourself more productive with stitching in summer or winter?

Definitely winter. It seems like I never have free time in the summer, and when I do have time off I’m just exhausted from work. Life is a little slower and cozier in winter, so I find more time to stitch (as opposed to collapsing in front of Netflix in an exhausted heap).

So how does the stitching look? I still haven’t finished the border on Sea to Shining Sea. I started the June block of Story Time (Peter Pan) but haven’t picked it up since June 3rd. I think I’ve stitch Peter’s shirt and that’s about it. I’ve added about five stitches of water to Serenity Harbor, so I’m still working on May’s stitching. That sampler is pretty solid all the way to the bottom, so I bet I don’t catch up.

Personalized a touch for Dante, Elihu, and Marvin.

Personalized a touch for Dante, Elihu, and Marvin.

I did finish Furry Friends. This is by Country Cottage Needleworks, with a few personalized changes. I also changed the color palette so it’s less pastel. I actually meant to take the blue a few shades darker, more of a royal blue, but oh well. I stitched this for my brother’s birthday; the stitching was finished in time, but the framing wasn’t. Better late than never.

Believe it or not, but that frame did NOT give me splinters. I'm pretty surprised.

Believe it or not, but that frame did NOT give me splinters. I’m pretty surprised.

As far as I know, my brother isn’t into crafts, but this was well received. I generally don’t stitch gifts, so this was a pretty meaningful piece for me to work on.

A start and a finish.

A start and a finish.

This is Strawberry Bunny from Just Nan. I have a bunch of Just Nan ornaments in my stash, and it’s about time I started on them. The berry charm is pretty heavy, so this is not weighted evenly. I haven’t quite figured out how to hang it up yet. The pattern has instructions to mount it on a spool, so I may go that route. I have a little wall box for smalls like this, but I’m not sure the spool would fit.

You can never have too many large WIPs...

You can never have too many large WIPs…

Here’s the first of five parts of Santa’s Cabinet from SamSarah. I just got the hanger today (not that I’ll need it for a few more months). I think the next part comes out in August? I’ll know it’s time to start stitching again when it suddenly turns up in my mailbox. Merry Christmas!

So any guesses on if my stash is growing or shrinking as I stitch things?

Ummm....

Ummm….

Well now that you mention it...

Well now that you mention it…

Silver Needle had a grab bag sale for Little House Needleworks. I love Diane’s work and have little willpower, so here we go.

Seems like we've been here before.

Seems like we’ve been here before.

I’m also tackling Fun Every Day, the perpetual calendar SamSarah put out a few years ago. I tried stitching on the perforated paper, and it just did. not. work for me. These tend to have large, solid patches of color, which leave plenty of room to play with overdyed floss, hence the grid pattern up there. Once I fill it in, you’ll still be able to see the individual blocks in some places. Change it up a little so you don’t just get stripes.

So there you have it. Do we need a cat picture? I think we need a cat picture. Here’s Morty ready to strike.

Unleash the attack in 3, 2, 1...

Unleash the attack in 3, 2, 1…

Morty and Sherlock are on Facebook, by the way, because I’m so full of myself that I think the internet needs more of my cats. Enjoy! www.facebook.com/mortyandsherlock

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Back Again

So life has gotten complicated lately. Some big changes are on the horizon, but I’ll push through it. I’m still stitching; it’s my happy place. Here’s the run down of my progress since my last post in March.

I took a break from my larger projects to do some cat-themed smalls:

Stoneware Cat by Priscilla's Pocket, released at Nashville.

Stoneware Cat by Priscilla’s Pocket, released at Nashville.

My Cat, a freebie from Giulia Punti Anitichi. The button was on sale at Nashville.

My Cat, a freebie from Giulia Punti Anitichi. The button was on sale at Nashville.

Now how about some in progress shots.

From Sea to Shining Sea, floss pack from Classic Colorworks and design by Little House Needleworks. I still need to do the border, and then this one will be finished!

From Sea to Shining Sea, floss pack from Classic Colorworks and design by Little House Needleworks. I still need to do the border, and then this one will be finished!

Not the best picture, but I've finished five months of the Story Time Sampler from Frosted Pumpkin. Alice in Wonderland, Secret Garden, Sherlock Holmes, Wizard of Oz, and Charlotte's Web.

Not the best picture, but I’ve finished five months of the Story Time Sampler from Frosted Pumpkin. Alice in Wonderland, Secret Garden, Sherlock Holmes, Wizard of Oz, and Charlotte’s Web.

Serenity Harbor from By the Bay. I still need to fill in most of the water for part 5; I doubt I'll finish before part 6 comes out in June.

Serenity Harbor from By the Bay. I still need to fill in most of the water for part 5; I doubt I’ll finish before part 6 comes out in June.

Furry Friends from Country Cottage Needleworks. This is a pretty personal project, so everything else is on hold until I finish. More to follow.

Furry Friends from Country Cottage Needleworks. This is a pretty personal project, so everything else is on hold until I finish. More to follow.

I’m trying to work through some of the smaller projects in my stash, which means I’m probably going to fall behind on Serenity Harbor and probably won’t be able to catch up (the stitching is very dense all the way down to the bottom from here on out). That’s okay. I may have just bought more stash, so I need to clear out some space. Oops.

The last few weeks of stitching were brought to you by Lost. Finished the last episode last night. I’m not entirely sure what happened for, like, any of it, but it was fun nonetheless. I haven’t decided what to watch next, so in the meantime I’ve got Breaking Bad playing in the background (again) until the next season of Orange is the New Black hits Netflix next month. If you have any suggestions, leave ’em in the comments.

You may notice I changed the title. There isn’t really a story there; the old one just wasn’t fitting anymore. We’ll try this one on for a bit.

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March WIPocalypse

It’s been a few weeks, hasn’t it? (Insert random excuse here.)

I actually managed to do some stitching this month. The last week was a little rough (I pulled emptied a project bag on the table every night, but most nights I just put everything away again without a single stitch), but all in all I did okay.

Out of season? Oh yes.

Out of season? Oh yes.

I pulled the bonus pattern from Something Wicked out of my stash and finished it off. I started this back in the fall. Am I late, or am I early? I have yet to actually finished Something Wicked itself, but this was a step in the right direction. It’s a teeny bit slanted. Best I can tell, the tension was off. This fabric felt much looser than I’m used to, and since I don’t use a hoop or frame, fabric tends to just do whatever it wants. Fabric is from Weeks.

Not to brag, but this is the first snow I've seen all year. *hides behind a chair*

Not to brag, but this is the first snow I’ve seen all year. *hides behind a chair*

I started working on From Sea to Shining Sea by Little House Needleworks. This is a series of six thread packs from Classic Colorworks. This is the finished center, called Mountains. Can I call it finished? The full piece sure isn’t, but that individual pattern is. Fabric is Ancient (I think) by Picture This Plus, and the floss is hand dyed silk.

You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.

You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.

Once I finished the mountains, I took a break from the LHN piece because the new Story Time Sampler block was released. I give you Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Here are the first three months.

Here are the first three months.

Wait. Sherlock Holmes? That’s a perfect segue into the following kitten pictures! It’s like it was meant to be!

Sherlock Holmes the cat knows from the threads of this blanket that the thief arrived in town Tuesday afternoon by train, and his shoes are Adidas.

Sherlock Holmes the cat knows from the threads of this blanket that the thief arrived in town Tuesday afternoon by train, and his shoes are Adidas.

Why yes, Morty is in fact short for Moriarty. He looks all sweet and innocent in real life, but in almost every picture he looks evil and scheming. Coincidence? Not a chance.

Why yes, Morty is in fact short for Moriarty. He looks all sweet and innocent in real life, but in almost every picture he looks evil and scheming. Coincidence? Not a chance.

Ha! Almost forgot the WIPocalypse question. If money – and time – were not limiters, what projects would be on your stitching bucket list?

I can’t think of any specific patterns, but I would stitch everything in silk and mount everything on Lone Elm Lane boxes. And then I would stitch the entire Little House Needleworks library.

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A Little of This, a Little of That

I left my last post on something of a sour note, didn’t I? Let’s look at some pretty pictures to distract us.

I haven't actually read The Secret Garden, so I don't have any witty remarks for this one.

I haven’t actually read The Secret Garden, so I don’t have any witty remarks for this one.

Continue reading

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February WIPocalypse

Oh wow, it’s February? How did that happen? Then again, in my mind it’s still October 2009.

Oh February. I haven’t posted in a few weeks and haven’t done much stitching since I finished the Alice and Co. block. Sadly, one of the cats has been sick, and it’s exhausting being a grown up. He’ll be okay, but it’s a chronic problem that I’ll have to actively manage for the rest of his life. In general, the cats have been good about rolling with the punches, but our daily routine has changed just enough that all three of us are pissed off at each other.

Sad cat is sad.

Sad cat is sad.

So here’s what little stitching I managed to do before all the cat drama kicked off:

I didn't fully appreciate how big this pattern was until I unfolded the fabric all the way.

I didn’t fully appreciate how big this pattern was until I unfolded the fabric all the way.

That’s the first part of Serenity Harbor, stitched with one strand of silk over two on 36 ct. linen. This is my piece for the Stitchy Start blog.

February’s WIPocalypse question is: How do you overcome that feeling that you’re in a rut with a particular project?

I have to walk away. I try not to have too many projects going on at once, so I usually stop stitching for a few weeks. I go do something else, go outside for some fresh air. After a bit, I’ll come back and jump right back in. If a project is really hurting, I might just pack it away and move onto something else.

I should write more, but in the meantime I have to go babysit two cats who won’t eat (one because I changed his food, and the other because he’s sad he can’t eat with his brother anymore). We’ll get through this.

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The Time Has Come, the Walrus Said…

…to start the new Frosted Pumpkin SAL. Here’s Alice, the White Rabbit, and the ever creepy Cheshire Cat!

I added the teeth to the Cat. I made the mistake of doing a google image search for the Cheshire Cat, and such things can never be unseen. Holy crap is that thing creepy.

I added the teeth to the Cat. I made the mistake of doing a google image search for the Cheshire Cat, and such things can never be unseen. Holy crap is that thing creepy.

I like this one. This was a quick and easy stitch. I think the frames will be a little quicker than the Once Upon a Time border, and the blocks are about half the size. Fabric is Belfast linen in Storm by PTP, and floss is Weeks and Cosmo. The fabric doesn’t seem quite this dark in real life, but it’s a little tough to photograph right.

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January WIPocalypse

What a week. Or maybe I should just say what a month instead. You know how just about everything stopped everywhere over the holidays? Yeah, no, I worked through them. And I was putting in a crazy number of extra hours to meet a deadline. I’m exhausted, and I did something weird to my elbow. Time to burn a few vacation days.

It’s tough to stitch when you’re this worn out (and when your elbow is messed up). I had to frog and stitch the same little section three times in a row the other day. The last few nights I’ve just stared at my stitching in a vague stupor before putting it down without a single stitch and going to sleep instead.

So let’s talk about WIPocalypse. January’s topic is: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Me. I’m a 20-something from California who works too much and spends the rest of her time waiting on two cats hand and foot. Their lives pretty much revolve around sleeping, eating, pooping, and sitting in boxes.

Right now I’m focusing on Once Upon a Time from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I started this one back at the beginning of 2014, and it’s time to finish it. My goal is to finish before the next Frosted Pumpkin pattern comes out on the 15th. This weekend would sure be great. I have made some progress since I last posted about it, so I haven’t been completely useless.

So close, yet so far.

So close, yet so far.

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Cinderelly and the Pumpkin

Happy new year (plus a few days)!

Oh how I wanted to finish this project before the end of December. Shockingly, that didn’t happen. The new goal is to finish this before the Story Time Sampler is released later this month. That much I can do, assuming I don’t waste the weekends between now and then.

Let’s check in with Once Upon a Time, where Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother has bippity-boppity-booed the pumpkin carriage into existence.

October in January? Just roll with it.

October in January? Just roll with it.

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A Look Ahead

New year, new goals, etc. etc. blah blah blah. So what are we looking at for 2015?

First of all, the infamous WIPs. Once Upon a Time is first on the list if I can’t finish it in the next five days (which I bet I can’t). I have three blocks to go. I really want to get this one finished before the 2015 Frosted Pumpkin SAL kicks off (Jan 16ish). OUAT is sitting on my desk right now, staring at me. “Stiiiitch meeee…..” it says. I’m still recovering from Mystic Christmas, but OUAT is so blessedly easy compared with that.

Next up is Something Wicked. Part 1 is done, 2 more to go. It also has a lagniappe. I’m maybe 2/3 through the first section. Part 1 took more effort than I was expecting from it’s size (filling in the moon, I guess), but it’s certainly doable. Not sure how I feel about Halloween stitching in February, but considering the alternative is waiting until fall and inevitably missing Halloween again? Let’s just get this one done and over with.

As for the others, the Spring Band Sampler has gone back in my stash until I work my way down to it again. I’ve lost a little of my enthusiasm for Quilty Stitches and a lot of my enthusiasm for Magical Creatures, but since I hate to leave things half finished, I’ll try to circle back to them as I have time.

New projects! Fun and shiny!

I have two big projects for 2015. Serenity Harbor Sampler from By the Bay kicks of 3 January, with one section released each month over the year. This isn’t a mystery SAL; the full picture is already out there. Allegedly the fabric is turning up in the mail today. No word on when my floss is shipping. I’m working on this one for the 2015 Stitchy Start SAL.

I also have the Story Time Sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. It starts mid-January, then releases at the beginning of each month after that. Materials should arrive today or tomorrow.

Other than those big, ongoing projects, I have a lot in my stash. I haven’t really gone through everything and put them in order, but I know I want to do From Sea to Shining Sea (Little House Needleworks) first and Candy Cane Cottage (The Victoria Sampler) sometime before Christmas. Then there’s the pin keep from Shepherd’s Fold, plus the next three kits whenever they happen to be released. I’m restarting the Fun Every Day perpetual calendar from SamSarah on aida rather than perforated paper. We’ll see how it all falls into place. I want to avoid adding anything new to my stash, but I’ve said that before and it’s never worked out.

So there you have it. I’ll try to get a little more of OUAT out of the way before the new year, but then we’re off and running.

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