Thursday, February 28, 2013

But, but, but, I got the flu shot! (A slight delay in the fabric giveaway)

I've been out of commission for the last almost two weeks with a bad case of the flu, which turned into bronchitis.  Oh joy.  I ended up going to stay with my Mom for some TLC, but I forgot my iPhone charger and she doesn't have a computer.  I've been cut off from Facebook, your blogs and my friends for a week and a half.  I also haven't been able to shop for new stash.  Gasp!  For a while there, I wasn't sure whether that was worse than the flu.  (Ok, no, the flu was worse, but by just a hair.)

But now I'm home, feeling a bit better, my iPhone is charging and here I am with my laptop.  There was also some lovely new stash waiting for me in my mailbox, including a piece of fabric I can't stop staring at.  What?  I'm giving away three pieces, so, it's only logical that I'd replace them with pieces I like, no?  As Susan pointed out in her comment on my last post, it's only logical given the price of fabric is going up.  I like Susan :)

Anyways!  I'm just checking in to say hi (so, hi!) and to let you know that I'll do the draw for the fabric giveaway on Saturday instead.  I'm already late, so why not?  And I'm just still really tired.  The thought of figuring out who wants which fabric, cutting up little pieces with everyone's names and then spending half an hour trying to make Bart pick one out before losing patience and just picking one out myself (let's just say Pomeranians, or this one at least, are cuter than they are smart and easy to train)...  So, Saturday.  And if you want an extra chance in the draw, go ahead and comment again on the giveaway post.  I'll put your name(s) in again.  And you can also still enter if you didn't before.

I'll have a nice long post with lots of pics in a couple of days.  Right before I got sick, I finished Emerald Mermaid on someone's RR and progressed quite a bit on my Chatelaine Beaded Dragonfly Tile.  Plus, you have to see this new piece of fabric from Sunny Dyes.  I love all of my pieces of fabric, but I think I might actually be IN love with this one and I'm thinking it'll be perfect for the new Mirabilia mermaid, Siren and the Shipwreck.

And now I'm off to take another nap and dream of fabrics.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Me? Addicted to hand dyed fabric? (And a giveaway)

How did you know about my addiction?

Oh, right, I'm showing you :)

Putting away the new hand dyed fabrics that had arrived over the last couple of days (yay, stash mail!), I decided to organize them by size and loosely by colour families.  I thought I'd count them too while I was at it.  Well...  Let's just say I could start a new project every day for the next three months and still not run out of fabric.  Does this qualify as an addiction?

I still remember when I first saw hand dyed fabrics.  There was still a great local needlework store in Ottawa, the Cross-Stitch Cupboard, and they had just received Lavender & Lace's Firefly Fairies.  This must be a good ten years ago.  I was quite horrified at the idea of putting bleach on a cross-stitch fabric.  The ladies at the store suggested I could use already hand dyed fabric, and they now had several pieces in store done by some lady in Ontario.  I thought they were tacky.  Ah, the uninformed opinions of my youth.  But none of the models on their walls were stitched on these newfangled hand dyed fabric, so I hadn't seen the effect that was possible with them.

Now of course, I'm crazy about hand dyed fabric.  It gives so much more life to a project and lets me express my individuality and sheer love of colour.  Looking back on it, I kind of regret not getting those fabrics.  They were likely Sugar Maple Fabrics, a Canadian business that closed down five years ago, I think, and their fabrics are prized beyond all others.  People snatch them up and a piece even went up on eBay a little while ago for $100.  For a fat quarter.  Luckily, I've found several companies to keep me in hand dyed fabrics - Steph's Fabbys, Under the Sea Fabrics, Sparklies, Polstitches, and Youthful Hands Needlework (aka Sunny Dyes) are my current favourites - and I've found I can't resist a pretty piece of mottled 28 count fabric, as many of them have Facebook sales.  Which is how I ended with this much fabric.  I may need to start stitching faster.

And so I need your help!  In my sorting, I found three pieces of fabric I will not use.  Two I bought from Silkweaver's weekly solo sales, thinking I might give another count a try and because I liked the colours, but who'm I kidding?  And the other, I have no idea when or why I got it, but I'm really all about 28 count.  So I'm having another giveaway.

Fabric Giveaway!

I'll draw names next Wednesday, February 20, let's say at 10:00 a.m. EST.  To enter, you have to comment on this post and tell me which piece you would like to win.  You can of course also say that you'd like to be entered in all three draws :)  Who am I to judge fellow fabric addicts?  And while you're at it, I'd like to know, what is your favourite cross-stitch fabric type and count?  Feel free to answer even if you don't want to be entered into the giveaway.  I love learning more about you guys.  Please note that this time, I won't be entering my followers, since I know these counts are not necessarily to everyone's liking.

And now I'm off to stitch so I can buy more fabric use the fabric I already have.

What?  You want to see what I'm giving away? Well, ok, if you all insist ;)

Piece #1 is a fat quarter, approx. 13" x 20" of hand dyed Newcastle Linen (40 count) from Silkweaver in Witch's Brew.  This is my favourite of the three, but my eyes hurt just thinking about stitching on so small a count.

Piece #2 is 18" x 20" of hand dyed 14 count Aida, also from Silkweaver, in Thunderstorm.  It is a dark gray, with a few slightly lighter areas, and some dark purple.

And piece #3 is a fat quarter, 13" x 18", of yellow Belfast Linen (32 count).  It's yellow.  And linen.  And 32 count.  That's three strikes.

Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A little bit of progress on Beaded Dragonfly

I'm now back to stitching and my arm is good as new :)

I can't tell you how relieved I am.  After some time with Google and WebMD, I was scared silly I had tendonitis.  For now, though, just in case, I'm stitching in shorter bursts and I'm making sure I have more support as I stitch and work on my laptop.  

I picked up Beaded Dragonfly Tile and I just couldn't resist doing some more beading.  I love the blues and turquoises that Martina of Chatelaine Designs chose, and it adds so much bling to the pattern.  I have a first beaded dragonfly to show off.  Martina suggested that they be backstitched and then beaded, which worked pretty well.  Only three more to go.


Happy stitching everyone!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

No stitching, but we have a Joan Elliott Round Robin

I think I pulled something doing all that beading on the oh so appropriately named Beaded Dragonfly Tile, so I've been out of commission for a couple of days.  That, or I'm using a slightly sore arm as an excuse to take a break from it.  I've spent most of that time cozied up to my laptop, now that everything is working well again.  Maybe that sense of optimism is what drove me to it.  Or I fell on my head and don't remember.

I signed up for another round robin.

The Joan Elliott round robin group was at an uneven number.  They only had seven stitchers signed up. Gasp!  They really needed an eighth.  I'd been thinking about it, but reason had prevailed and I'd decided I had enough to do, with the 2013 Mirabilia Large Stitch round robin and all the projects I  want to do this year.  But I kept on thinking about it.  And so I signed up yesterday afternoon to join the Joan Elliott round robin.

Big sigh.

I decided I'd at least keep my layout simpler than I did for the Mirabilia round robin.  Stitching almost half of Angel of the New Dawn, in just over three weeks no less (darn procrastination!), was stressful.  So I started looking up different patterns to pick my theme.  I thought about the new Historical Ladies, but there will only be four new ones published and I'm not crazy about the older already designed Medieval ladies.  What about international ladies?  Joan has an African lady, Paris and London, the Native American brave and maiden, and the Asian ladies.  But it didn't really hook me.

Then I noticed how many beautiful Geishas Joan has designed.  I visited Japan a few years ago and the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of a Japanese-inspired round robin.  It will make this year truly my year of Japan.  One of my Christmas present from my Mom this year was tickets to see this great documentary about Japanese festivals.  I'm heading to the Mirabilia Minions Retreat this April and stopping in Washington, DC along the way, where we'll be just in time for the Cherry Blossom Parade and Japanese Street Festival.  Chatelaine comes out with the Japanese Zen Garden Mandala I'm dying to stitch.  And now my Joan Elliott round robin.

Here's a preview picture of the patterns I'll be having stitched.

There will likely be a black shiny border between them and I want to find a small decoration for the four corners.  And I need to find an alphabet.   And a fabric to pick.  But it'll all be fun and I can't wait.  

Has anyone stitched any of these or other Oriental patterns by Joan?  What do you think?

I look forward to hearing from you guys, and thanks for looking!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Bluebeard's Princess is finished!

My laptop and I have been fighting all week.  Apparently, it didn't like the new Flash Player version.  Long story short, I'm probably never, ever getting back together with Internet Explorer, but everything now works and I can finally see my new, longer followers list.  Welcome!  I see lots of new faces and I look forward to getting to know you all better through your blogs and comments.  And thank you to Jo of Serendipitous Stitching who's sent some of you my way.

I had a happy dance earlier this week!  After too many months languishing, almost finished, Bluebeard's Princess is now finished!!!

The design is from Mirabilia and I stitched her on a solo piece of hand dyed 28 count Quaker Cloth from Silkweaver.  I made a few changes.  I'm not a fan of Mirabilia's recent habit of backstitching skin with dark browns and greys, so I used DMC 632.  And, um, there's a little mistake in the crown.  But it's lovely nonetheless and I couldn't be happier.  I wasn't originally crazy about her face on the pattern cover.  I may or may not have nicknamed her Miss Piggy.  But I love her face now.  Maybe it was the softer colour for the backstitching.  And the seahorses at the bottom are both really cute.  

But lest you think that I spent all week playing around with my laptop and wanting to throw my laptop out the door into a snowbank, I have also been busy working on the Beaded Dragonfly Tile by Chatelaine.  

My bead pack FINALLY arrived earlier this week from European Cross-Stitch and I dove right in.  I'm hoping that by not having to do all of the beading at once, it won't seem so bad.  But it took me a good part of the day yesterday just to do the beading in the centre.  Apparently I'm not that fast a beader, especially when I'm using 11 different colours of tiny Delica beads.  The effect is stunning, but...   At this point, I'd rather backstitch and I hate backstitching.  

But what makes it all worth it is the middle border.  I love the smaller lotuses, with the reed grasses and tiny dragonflies.  There is a bit of backstitching still to do around the lotuses and leaves, but I smile every time I look at this part.  The eyes and backstitching were supposed to be black, but as they wouldn't really have shown well on my black fabric, I switched to gold, which is used in the tail.  I love the blingy effect it gives my dragonflies.  

Time to get back to it, after a bit of new follower blog reading :)