June 30, 2010

Japanese Garden Mandala

This point marks 2/3 of the stitching done, :D and I just can't get over how gorgeous this piece is.

To my surprise, Martina charted the North and South bridges with a slight variance, see how the vertical columns are thicker? There are also slightly less leaves on the circular flowers on this sections.

Speaking of the circular flowers, again, there was the option of stitching with either 1 or 2 plys. Like the bamboo leaves, I opted for 2 as I felt it gave these flowers more presence in the piece. I absolutely adore how the pale blue flowers turned out.

The center of the big flower is stitched with gold metallic with something akin to the Jessica Stitch. It pops up like a little button and adds so much texture and depth to the flower.

I was planning on full steam ahead with this, but I think I'm going to take a small break and work on Mirabilia's Winter Queen. I adopted her from one of my friends who started her but lost interest. I wanted to stitch her for EK and thought I had a lot of time to accomplish this, but she'll be moving home soon, so I'd better get my butt in gear.

June 15, 2010

Japanese Garden Mandala - Lantern Corners

This is chugging along wonderfully. :D I finished the 2 top corners last night and had loads of fun with all the Satin and Jessica Stitches. Martina noted that it was the stitcher's choice on using 1 or 2ply for the pine needles. After some thought, I went for 2 as it adds more depth and stands out better lying against the cross stitches.

I'm amazed over and over again at Martina's charting artistry and her knack for picking the perfect color combinations and using the perfect specialty stitches to achieve the look she's aiming for. Case in point, the light in the lantern.... it's a solid yellow, but with the Rhodes Stitches, it gives the impression of a 3D glow. Awesome!!!

Up next.... either the Crane medallion or the bridge. I can't wait till the bling goes in. :D

The Man and The Spider

If you tilt your head to the left, can you see a man with a huge forehead and mustache, and a spider crawling towards him? Hey!!! The guy looks like Homer Simpson!

ETA: Well, DH must be eating all sorts of weird stuff, cos these are the scenarios he's come up with....
1. He looks like that super smart china god with the chrome dome and then underneath him are his crooked hands like he's casting a spell!! Scary s*** you working on. :O (Hmmm, yeah, I can see that.)

2. LOL now he looks like he's playing the piano. See, the white part are his hunched shoulders. China man playing chopstick with passion.

What do YOU see??

June 14, 2010

Mid-Year Tally-Ho

Well, it's June. I don't know where the first part of the year has gone but it sure was in a hurry to get there!!

I thought it be prudent (and since I'm bored) to do a quick check of my 2010 to-do list. I'm also making a mental note to be less ambitious with next year's list and to save a couple of empty slots for new projects that spring up. So far this year, the latter count is two, and I have another mini project (or two) in mind.

1. Start Japanese Garden and finish at least 1/2 achieved June, 2010
New Goal: Finish Japanese Garden - This is going so well and gathering so much steam that I can't fathom putting it down. The aim is to have this done by the end of August.

2. Finish Circle of Friends finished Jan. 7th, 2010

3. Hedgehog Baby by EMS finished Feb. 27th, 2010

4. Sampler (a Wiehenburg or Garden Stars) Sweetheart Tree's Weeping Violet for Uncle Ed and Aunty Sandy - If I actually get my act together, this is a super quick finish. 1/4 of it is done since it's an orphan from a friend who started it.

5. Namaste for in-laws (let's try it again this year. LOL!) - I don't think this will make it, but I'll leave it on here for now. It's a quick stitch, but I just don't feel it, know what I mean?

6. Tate's Kimono Mermaid or Castles in the Air Chinese Zodiacs Pig and Tiger for P and Baby P - Both of them are definitely not doable, but I think it'd be nice to aim for starting one.

7. Something Mira's Winter Queen or Sabrina - I'll have to see how this goes. The dreamer in me is foreseeing starting and finishing Sabrina this year. HAH!

8. Finish Regal Tiger

9. Dolphin's Domain - This will have to be moved to next year.

June 12, 2010

Sabrina Floss Toss

As we all know, one of the most exciting things about stitching is in the scheming and planning of a new project.

I fell in love with Mirabilia's Sabrina the instant I saw her, but didn't have a wall to display her in our home. Since I'm a destination stitcher, I had to make sure she had a loving home to go to before I commit to stitching her. Fortunately for me, my cousin loves her as well (what can I say, she has great taste, lol) and is willing to take her off my hands. (She already has the display wall picked out, LOL!!!)

After some adventure in fabric layovers and conferences with friends, I decided on Picture This Plus' Ancient on Belfast Linen. I thought the browns and grays of the fabric provided the perfect backdrop to her dress and I love how the reds and pinks of flowers pop on it.

The actual fabric brought with it a denser and more concentrated color scheme. The grays on the computer picture is actually more of a blue gray, and the browns are more of a golden yellow. Have to admit I was skeptical when I saw it as I wasn't sure if I like the mottling of the gray blue. However, I'm happy to report that seeing the floss toss cemented my original decision. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the blue gray that I was most concern about ended up being the part I love best once I saw how the greens and grays for her dress seems to blend and marry so well with it. I think this is going to be one stunning piece! :D

June 3, 2010

Cloth Books

The old adage 'Time Flies" is never truer than when you see kids grow. Seems like it was just yesterday when my cousin's DH texted me that "baby is here. Can you come to the hospital tomorrow morning?" and now Russell is turning 1!!

He's the sweetest little boy, and for his first birthday I decided to make him some cloth books. It's hard to find them in brick and mortar stores anymore but fortunately, I found a goldmine at Hollanders and decided on Jungle Babies, Nursery Rhymes, and Lil' Critters on the Farm.

They were fun to do, albeit quite time consuming with the precision cutting and pinning, tasks that were made much easier with DH's help.

Aren't they just darling?? Perfect for a darling boy. :D

Japanese Garden Mandala - with Cranes

Gosh, it's been awhile since the last JG update, but I've been happily chugging along at it. The East and West bridges, cranes, and bamboos are all done, and they are gorgeous!!!... if I may say so myself. ;)

The cranes are stitched over 1 and let me tell ya, stitching shades of cream and white on antique white fabbie is capital Y-U-C-K! However, despite all the groaning and griping, it does achieve a fantastic effect. :D

For the Jessica Stitch, the chart called for 4 stitches on the right, 7 at the top, 5 on the left, and 7 on the bottom. I adjusted them by adding one stitch to the right so the sides even and I think it turned out well.

I haven't decided if I'm heading North or South for the next batch of stitching... I guess it doesn't really matter.