First of all, I’m pleased to say I stitched through most of the Olympics. I pretty much caught the primetime broadcast every night, though I finally had to bail the last two days because I just couldn’t stand the commercials anymore (I swear, they played the same four commercials on a loop). I was at sea during the 2012 Olympics, and TV reception was less than ideal. I think I saw about five minutes of a tennis match and some synchronized swimming. This go around, I was definitely making up for lost time.
I’d also like to report that the sick kitty is no longer sick. In fact, here he is killing a Something stuffed with catnip.
As for the stitching, I’ve not exactly been sitting around watching the paint dry. I finally threw my hands in the air and decided to be done with the Nature’s Trio fern once and for all. So here it is, stitched, stuffed in a picture frame, and sitting on the bookshelf:
There’s still one left in the series. Once a finish it, I don’t think I’ll ever touch aida again. It’s just so unpleasant after all the linen I’ve been using lately.
But wait, there’s more! It’s March, isn’t it? The March Calendar Girl from Little House Needleworks shipped to the shops not long ago, and it turned up on my doorstep pretty quickly. It was a much faster project than I was expecting; I started it on Friday afternoon and finished it Saturday evening. Easy day. This is DMC on 28-count Zwiegart linen in clay. The frame kit is for a different set of patterns from a completely different manufacturer, but I figured it would suit my purposes. Naturally, it didn’t ship with the actual calendar pages even though the description totally says it does. Rather annoyed. I’m skeptical that the 2014 calendar even exists. Half the sites I look at say the whole thing has been discontinued, and the other half show 2008 in the product picture. Hmm. Rather than take my chances, I’m just going to get a plain, wirebound calendar from Staples. Not as decorative, but probably more useful in the long run.
The March blocks for Once Upon a Time and Magical Creatures were released yesterday. While I haven’t started them yet (I was finishing the LHN girl), I have made some progress on the Once Upon a Time grid and border since I last posted. I was trying to finish it before the March block came out, but I didn’t quite get there.
Finally, I tackled the question of framing. Framing ain’t cheap. You know those 50% off coupons Michael’s and Joann’s always have? If something is always on sale, it’s not really on sale. I’ve also spoken to a few people who ran into some fine print issues (can’t remember exactly what) and couldn’t actually use the coupon. Ouch. You’re much better off finding a local framing shop for a more competitive quote, but it’s still pricy. Framing comes up from time to time on the Frosted Pumpkin Facebook group, and it’s universally expensive. I haven’t seen anyone say they had it framed for less than $100, and some people have gone upwards of $200. This hobby is expensive enough as it is (especially once you start using hand dyed fabric and floss instead of DMC and aida). In the past, I’ve put things in regular picture frames, but that really doesn’t work unless the pattern is specifically designed to fit the usual photo sizes. Besides, photo frames don’t have enough space in the back, so it’s always a headache just to secure the back of the frame.
But there’s hope! There are a number of companies online who will custom cut frames and mats. You measure your piece, choose your components, and they’ll cut it and send it to you. The company I used had already assembled the four sides of the frame, so all I had to do was attach the hardware to the back. Easy day, and it was about 25% the cost. I was able to get custom cut acid-free foam board along with the frame, so I mounted the stitching using dressmakers pins. Plenty of space inside the frame for acrylic, mat, foam, and fabric, with enough to spare I probably could have put in spacers to lift the glass a little farther off the stitches. Sweet. This is totally the way to go. I saved stupid amounts of money in exchange for about half an hour of my time per frame. Biggest limiting factor was that the pins started hurting my fingers after a while. So here we go!