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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A new long term project!

I've been rolling around the idea of doing Lavender & Lace's Celtic Ladies for a lot of years now...I've always liked them but with Mirabilia's Seasonal Queens in progress for ten years, I didn't really want to take on yet another large set until those were done. 

I finally finished the four seasonal Mirabilia Queens last year, and I'm going to work on wrapping up Royal Holiday before the end of the year.   In the future, I may do Queen of Liberty and Queen of Peace but no rush.  

So, as you might have guessed from the last post, I've decided to commit to doing all five of the Celtic ladies.   It may take another ten years to get these ladies done (ack!) but I'll work on them at and a time, and they'll be finished when they're finished.  

I still need to get the patterns for Autumn, Summer and Winter.  I bought Celtic Christmas a couple months ago (I'm still surprised that I didn't have the pattern before that).  I just ordered Celtic Spring a couple days ago because I needed to order Kreiniks for Queen Mermaid (and I always add a pattern on).

I am definately doing the orange/green conversion for Autumn, and I'm inclined to start that one first.     I am doing Christmas "as is" for the pattern, and probably Spring and Summer as well, as I really like them.   Winter....lol....well I think is a candidate for some tweaking.  I'll keep my eyes open to see if there's a conversion around that I like better than the current pattern, but obviously there's plenty of time because I may not start it until 2015 at this rate LOL.

I've joined up with another blog as well, the Celtic Ladies SAL.   Lots of wonderful stitchers over there who are also working on one or more of these ladies.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

That time of the year...

Now that fall is officially here and the weather is getting cooler, I start thinking about what projects I want to wrap up before the end of the year.

I seem to be able to average completing four large projects a year, which is pretty good I think.  So far this year, I've had three, so there's no pressure to rush.   Feasibly, with three months left, I could finish just about any of the projects I have started....so which ones do I really want to try?

Since my other three projects that I completed were all Miras...it might be nice to finish up something that's not.    Closest to being completed would be my Chatelaine, Knotgarden.  Lots of specialty stitches there that will take up some time, as well as beading, etc.   I could also finish Broadway, my Silver Lining rose, although I haven't done a ton of that.    I'm not worried about rushing through Scarlet Ribands, as it's an easy stitch - the size of it is what is taking the time with that. 

Mira-wise...obviously Royal Holiday is the closest to getting finished as the other three have only had about a week or so worth of work on them so far.   

So...some thinking to do!

Queen Mermaid

A finish always calls for a new start, doesn't it?

And so I got started on Queen Mermaid (yes, another Mirabilia) this week.   The fabric is Sterling Silver cashel linen from Silweaver, which has a lovely blue-silver tone to it, perfect for mermaids.   She's the first start of a Mirabilia since I decided to switch over to 28 count fabrics for anything that has a lot of beading on it.   I prefer stitching on 32 count fabric for sure, but I think when it comes to getting all the beads on, I'll be happier with that decision - I hate having to struggle to make them fit or leave out rows of them because they just won't. 

Mirabilia mermaids just seem to stitch up very quickly, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  They tend to be a bit smaller than the Grand Ladies that I like - for the most part, they comfortably fit on fat quarter size fabrics.    I need to order the bling for her as I'll need the metallics sooner rather than later.  She has lots of beads and treasures as well (of course!).

I'll probably continue stitching her over the weekend simply because I'm really enjoying myself.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And at last....Sleeping Beauty



And she is, at last, complete.

The particulars:   The design is Sleeping Beauty by Mirabilia;  the fabric is "Fathom" by Picture This Plus, 32 count lugana done over 2.    Started May 2009;  completed September 17, 2010.

Backstory:   Back in the mid-90's, I originally fell in love with this design and decided to try it.  I'd never done any linen or over 2 stitching at all or anything this large.  I made the mistake of starting on the area of the design that I've recently dubbed The Green Monster and predictably, ended up quitting after a couple days.   Put her away.

Re-bought all the supplies in early 2009 (after spending 10+ years exclusively stitching over 2 and on linen, and after having completed several Mirabilias) and got her started again.    She is the first piece that I decided to use hand dyed fabric.

Last winter I was going through about six tubs of assorted crafty things before I moved and found the original Sleeping Beauty...lol..poor thing!  It was quite a mess and I know why I quit.  

The nickname of The Green Monster came about because the pale green draped area of her skirt was a pain to do!   Blends, white, greens, lots of confetti stitching to get the shading effect AND leaving the open swirls for future beading.  I ended up stitching one 10x10 square of the pattern at a time because it was the most effective way to move through the pattern.   And of course...it also ended up delaying the finish by a week because the pattern indicates you only need one packet of the pale blue beads.  Itended up requiring almost four full packets of beads, which I had to order online.

But the Green Monster was eventually tamed - put the last beads on about an hour ago.  


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shhh.....stalking the mailman for my extra beads for Sleeping Beauty...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Green Monster strikes again....

Well, it seems the Green Monster isn't quite finished causing me problems LOL  

Normally, Mirabilia patterns are quite good about listing when you need extra skeins of floss (although I usually use more - I'm terribly wasteful with floss when I stitch I think) and extra beads (which have been accurate on the other ten Miras that I've stitched).

Alas, not so with Sleeping Beauty.   The Green Monster has chewed it's way through the entire packet of beads it called for, and isn't even a third of the way beaded.   Doh!   I did have one more packet of beads in my stash, but that won't be enough.  There also aren't enough of the medium blue beads, although the disparity isn't nearly as great.

I don't think this picture shows really well on here where the beads run out - I'm working on the bottom swoop of the Green Monster, and that's about as far as I got with the one bead pack - everything above that still needs to be beaded.   I stopped after that because I can guestimate from there how many more I need and started with the blue beads at the top to confirm that I need more of those as well (and I will). 

I'll be away this weekend so no work on her for a couple days.   I'll probably wait until I get back to order replacement beads (or just try one of the local needlework stores). 

So the grand finish will have to be put off for a little bit...but it's coming!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

....still beading the Green Monster....

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Beading The Green Monster tonight.

Well hello there...

And finally....a face.


Beading today, and then she's complete.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Filling in the blanks


Now that the right hand side of Sleeping Beauty is finished, I'm working my way up the left hand side, filling in all the areas I skipped over when I was working there last.

If there's a large area of white on a piece that I know is going to take me a long time, I usually leave it closer to the end so that it doesn't pick up any dirt over the months (years) it takes me to finish it.  Ugh.  I'm going to have white floss nightmares tonight I think.   I also did (surprise) some more roses, leaving me with a grand total of one more bunch of them over her currently non-exisitent elbo.

I did get a little floss yesterday at Joann's - silly store put a limit on the number of skeins to 32.     I mean seriously.  32?   I almost never buy that few, unless I'm just picking up a couple of colors needed for a project that I'm working on.   Fortunately I was only getting about 50, so I just went through line twice LOL  Can you imagine if it was one of my floss blow outs when I buy 200+ at one shot? 

I got a fat half of fabric from a fellow stitcher (mostly) through trade that I thought might work well for Chatelaine's Watergarden.  Now, I'm not going to be starting that until I finish with my current Chatelaine, Knotgarden.    I thought it would look good on a blue background, and you know I like more muted colors than bright ones.  Since I got the fabric, I wanted to do a floss drop to see how well that color would work.

So here's the floss drop.  Although it works really well with most of the Watergarden colors, I think it washes out the bright blues (on the left) that are one of the reasons I really like Watergarden in the first place.  There's also a lot of bright blue beading as well.

I have plenty of time to decide whether or not I'll stick with this fabric or maybe just use an antique white.  Either way, I like the fabric itself (a solid cashel) so if I don't use it for this project, I'll surely use it for another.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sales!

Joann Fabric has DMC embroidery floss buy 3-get 1 free Friday through Monday this weekend.

Michaels has a bunch of coupons here;  some are good all week while some are only good Sunday and Monday.

Have a great Labor Day!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Everything's coming up roses...

.....and finally, a (nearly) completed frame.   I still have some greens to fill in one the upper right hand corner, but all the flowers are finished.  Whew!  Don't ask to look at the back in that section LOL


I had a few nervous moments where I thought that the one side of the frame wasn't going to match up with the other, but no, turns out I made a small mistake that was easily frogged.  

I was hoping to get the entire corner finished over the weekend, but that proved to be a little too ambitious.  I should be able to finish up this corner in the next day or two, and move back to the left side of piece and fill in all the areas that I missed there, including even more roses...ack!