Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Land of Not-Quite-Finished-Projects Part 7: Celtic

So once upon a time in my early-ish 20's, I was involved in the SCA and enthralled with all things Celtic and vaguely medieval.   Got into costuming to some degree, went to a couple Pennsics, and generally had a good time.  

I had a bunch of totes and bags and such that I would do small pieces of embroidery like these and use them to decorate.  Most of those bags are long gone at this point - I've gone through stages where I had a good clearing out and they ended up on the hit list.

I think I got these all out of the same book, one of those Dover pattern books that just had black and white Celtic patterns.  Some I left monocromatic (obviously) and others I played around with the colors, like this one:

So I think that's about it for this series :-)   But never fear, there are tons of ongoing projects and old goodies to share in the future.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Paging Dottie K....

I still need you to contact me with an address so I can send your pattern to you!


Friday, April 23, 2010

The center of the rose

I made good progress on Broadway this week - although there's a lot of confetti stitching, it's also balanced out with fairly consistent runs of the same color, so it works up more quickly than you might think.   I'm about halfway through the page I showed in a previous post.  Other pages in the pattern have a lot more empty space that this page does (it's the center area of the large rose). 

So here it is:  

I love the colors, which is often what draws me to specific Silver Lining projects.  You can see the center of the rose forming here.  

It's always interesting how many colors are actually in a project - you look at the overall picture and think "oh it's a yellow and red rose" but when you work on it, there are so many shades of yellows and oranges and pinks and reds....

And so Broadway will get put aside for now so I can work on another project for the upcoming week.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

And the winners are.....

Christy has won Mermaid of Atlantis!

Dottie K has won Midsummer Night's Fairy!

Congratulations ladies!   

Drop me an email at HerBoudoir@aol.com and I'll get your patterns & bling off to you!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A New Start

A finish always seems to be license for a new start, doesn't it?  To be fair, I have been without a Silver Lining project to work on for several months, which won't do at all since there are so many I'd like to do and they are so lovely.  (That's my story and I'm sticking to it)

So here is my new Silver Lining project, Broadway.  Like many of the Silver Lining patterns, I've been drooling over this one for quite a while.   I really love the colors - gorgeous!  I think a very simple antique white background works best for Silver Lining designs, so I've chosen a belfast linen to work on.

We had company over the weekend so I didn't have a lot of time to work on it, but here's what I got started:

It's part of the large rose's center, although it obviously doesn't look like much so far.   Lots of shades of red, orange, and yellow.   I'm working block by block (more or less) unless it makes sense to continue colors out of the blocks.

Here's what the pattern looks like:

This gives you an idea of the complexity of the pattern, which is why I work SL's block by block.  I cross off the blocks as I complete them, which helps me keep my place.  SL prints their patterns on individual sheets, so I'll just finish it a sheet at a time. 

Since none of my other projects are more than halfway done, I'm going to try to go back into a rotation, working on a project for a week, then switching to something else so that they all get some attention.

Friday, April 16, 2010

To Clarify....

I mentioned that Midsummer is my 10th Mirabilia finish, and someone emailed and asked if that is what the "10" that's embroidered on her is for.   That's actually for "2010" as I always "sign" finished pieces with my initials (SMW) and the last 2 numbers of the year so I can keep track of when I stitched it. 

Same email asked what the other Miras were, so in order, they are:

1.  1999 - The Dreamer
2.  1999 - Spring Queen
3.  2008 - Mermaids of the Deep Blue
4.  2008 - Autumn Queen
5.  2008 - Winter Queen
6.  2009 - Fairy Idyll
7.  2009 - Crystal Symphony
8.  2009 - Summer Queen
9.  2010 - Mermaid of Atlantis
10.  2010 - Midsummer Night's Fairy

#11 and #12 should be Sleeping Beauty and Royal Holiday, as both of those are in progress.   The ones after that should be Garden Verses, The Kiss, Christmas Elegance, and Queen Mermaid, but not sure in what order ~ they are all in some stage of being kitted up.

Incidentally, after I get married in October, my initials will still be "SMW" so that's VERY convenient.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Giving Away Good Stuff!

In an effort to curtail my overflowing pattern collection, I am GIVING AWAY the patterns for my two latest finishes, Midsummer Night's Fairy AND Mermaid of Atlantis.  You've seen them, you've admired them, now you can own them :-)  Both patterns are only VERY gently used and in great condition.

And not ONLY will these lovely patterns being given away but I'm also included all the extra beads and specialty threads leftover with these projects in with the pattern.   There aren't enough goodies to completely do the whole project, but they'll get you started and save you from having to buy some of the bling.  How cool is that?

To enter for the give-away:  

1.  You must be a follower of this blog (yes, you can sign up now)
2.  Leave a comment on this post!  Indicate which pattern you'd like to win, Mermaid of Atlantis OR Midsummer Night's Fairy OR Either.   All entries must be received by 8 am EST, Wednesday, April 21st.
3.  The winners will be posted on this blog on Wednesday, April 21thMake sure to check the blog and if you won, drop me an email at HerBoudoir@aol.com with your address, and I'll get your pattern & goodies out to you.  

The winners will be picked by a fairly scientific process:  I'll write names on scraps of paper, toss them into a bowl, and pick them at random. 

The Not-So-Fine-Print:

1. You must live in the continental US (sorry - my postage budget doesn't stretch further than that)
2. Obvious but true: if you win you'll need to email me your address.
3. Winners will have a week to contact me with their address.  If I don't hear from you, the patterns will be given to someone else at my discretion.

Note:  Support your favorite cross stitch designers by buying patterns new whenever possible - buying used patterns does not financially support them!   If they can't make a reasonable profit designing the cross stitch patterns we love so much, they will no longer be able to design for us.  I am giving away these two patterns because for some reason, I have two copies of both.  I bought one for you AND one for me apparently LOL.

New Mirabilia and a Sale

A new Mirabilia is being released today:  January's Garnet Fairy.   I'm glad to see the montly fairy season is being continued (even if I'm a little fairy'd out right now)

ABCStitch also has all Mirabilia patterns 20% off right now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Midsummer Night's Fairy


The particulars:  The design is "Midsummer Night's Fairy" by Mirabilia and the fabric is Misty Blue 32 count belfast linen.

Midsummer Night's Fairy is one of my "bucket list" Mirabilia's that I started working on in 2008 - old patterns that I have absolutely loved for years and wanted to do but never did.  The list includes finishing off the four queens (done, 2009), Fairy Idyll (done, 2009), Sleeping Beauty (in progress), Rose of Sharon (not close to starting; want to change the colors around), and Middy (done!).  I remember first buying the pattern in the late 90's and I just kept looking at it..looking at it...LOL   Well, now I can look at the piece rather than the pattern.

Lots and lots of beads....she actually convinced me that in the future, heavily beaded pieces need to be done on 28 count linen rather than 32 count - regular Mill Hill beads are just a smidge too large for 32 count over two fabric.

She is my 10th Mirabilia finish....yay!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beads...lots and lots of beads....

You know it's getting close when there are regular updates with close up pictures, right?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

While backstitching may not be fun....

...it definately makes a huge difference in the final piece.

Here's a close up of Midsummer Night's Fairy's wings before doing the backstitch.  Pretty, but just sort of "there" with odd pink blobs in the middle of them.

The idea is that the wings are diaphenous and slightly covering her back, hair, and overlapping each other, but it's not particularly clear.

And here's a picture of them after they've been backstitched, with the veining done.  So much nicer!

And yes, those are some beads being added on ;-)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Scarlet Ribands

I was away for a couple of days for the holiday but I got some work on Scarlet Ribands before I left.  I'm nearly finished the first page;  only eleven more to go LOL   I am going to have to do a reorder on the silk I'm using since I clearly did not order enough.   It's taken me about three skeins to do the one page, so if most of the pages run about that much, I'll need 36 skeins to finish the project.  That puts me at fourteen skeins short of what I ordered....argh!  

That'll teach me to try to do higher math to estimate how much floss I need for a project LOL

Got My Hocus Pocus!

As many of you know, Enchanted Fabrics is closing down.   I had my eye on a piece of Hocus Pocus as a background for Mirabilia's Christmas Elegance, so got my order in for that before Enchanted stopped taking orders.
Here's the fabric:

And of course, I had to do a floss drop with it (don't have the beads/metallics yet):

I think this will be really pretty as the night sky for Elegance, which is the only part of the fabric that will show.  I'll have to play around with which side will show; however, I don't plan on starting this project until I get my other Christmas Mirabilia, Royal Holiday, completed.  Given that I've only just got her started....lol.   Anyway, suffice to say, she'll be waiting for a bit, but I had to get the fabric I wanted while it was still available.  

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Restless this week

I've been all over the place with my needlework this week - just feeling very restless and unfocused.  I get like that sometimes. 

After finishing Mermaid of Atlantis last week, I did some work on Midsummer Night's Fairy, since I'm really close to getting her done.   I've got almost all of the regular stitching done except for a few scattered leaves here and there.  I still need to do the backstitching and the beading, but having just spent a couple days of beading on MoA, I actually want a little break from it.  I also need to get another set of 17 inch Q snaps or my scroll frame to so I can bead her.  So Middy - nearly done - is put away for just now, and I'll get back to her very soon.

In the efforts to address some of the older works-in-progress, I picked up Meeting on the Turret Stairs again. 

I've been working on Meeting for a little over a year now - it's slow going because it's solid confetti stitching.  Sometimes my patience for working on the confetti stitching is there, and other times it's just not.  LOL  Well apparently this is one of those "off" weeks to the point where I was questioning why I was torturing myself with it - that I'm really NOT under any obligation to finish the piece if I really wasn't enjoying the work.   So for the sake of my sanity, I decided to just pack up Meeting for now and I'll get back to it when my patience is a little better.

Well, you know that doesn't mean I totally put away my stitching for the week, right?   With a solid finish and one on the edge of being finished, I decided I needed something different and a new start (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Althought I'm not completely a sampler kind of girl, I am interested in different kinds of historic needlework.   Redwork has always been of interest to me - story goes (don't quote me on this - it's just what I've put together from snippets of info) that redwork pieces were used to teach young stitchers how to do specific motifs and that one color of thread was used because that was the least expensive way to do it.

This floral urn is a redwork piece that I did years ago (it's actually in the Land of Unfinised Projects pile).  I think it will fit into the lid of a Sudberry box that I have in the stash, so I may use it for that.   It's done in DMC floss on 28 count evenweave (lugana maybe?).  Date-wise, it's probably from the late 90's.   It's a nice piece but not a lot going on.

I stumbled across Long Dog Samplers a while ago, and if you like redwork or similar designs - they are very intricate and detailed.  And huge LOL.

So I picked out Scarlet Ribands as a project.  Since it's just the one color of floss, I spent some time mulling over if I wanted to stick to the usual DMC or Anchor cotton floss, or if I wanted to maybe try something different like a silk floss.   After a couple of recommendations and some shopping around, I settled on using a 100% silk floss from Hand Dyed Fibers in 1147 OMG Red.  It is comparable to DMC 816 in color, so it's a nice, dark red.  

So this is what I started this week.  This is the upper left hand corner of the design.  I'm working on 36 count antique white Edinborough linen.  The camera doesn't pick it up, but the silk has a lovely sheen to it and is really nice to work with from a stitching perspective. 

Unfortunately I seem to have completely underestimated how much floss it will take me to do the project.  Once I finish the first page of the design, I'll have a better idea of how much floss I'll need for the overall piece and can reorder.  I originally got 20 skeins but the small corner that I've completed took over a full skein, and I suspect I'll need another 10 or 15. 

I think this will be a really fun piece to do  - the only issue is that all the red may get a little monotonous.  But that's why I rotate around projects, right?