August 31, 2011

Random Afternoon Question

Do you stitch using a stand, Q-snaps, or in hand?

I use a 'lap' stand, although it's not really a lap stand, but more like a vertically-challenged floor stand. LOL!!! I say that 'cos it doesn't sit on my lap, but instead the 'feet' of the stand is on either side of my on the couch. I love my 'lap stand'.... I don't think I'll be able to stitch without it.

I've tried using Q-snaps, but I don't enjoy the square shape of it, and stitching in hand has gone totally out of favor with me as I can't stand to not stitch 2-handed (one hand on top of the piece and one hand on the bottom.)

Pizzazz x 2

All done!! :D We present... Pizzazz by Ink Circles, double the fun, double the pleasure! ;)

We stitched on 28ct black jobelan, using different spectrums of colors. I'm showing mine first, since you guys have seen it before and all good things come to those who wait. So don't peek ahead and prepared to be wowed when you see Friend #1's version!!! :D

Floss: Janlynn's Variegated Pink.
I bought this as part of a pack, and have no idea what it's called. :(

Floss: Sullivan's Overdyed Floss - Emerald Isle

They're heading off to the home of Friend #2 to be made into pillows. I'll show pics when they're done. :D

What's next for me, you ask? Weeeeeell, some of you might have already seen a teeeenie tiny addition to my sidebar. If you haven't, hurry.... take a look!! See it? See it? It might decide to migrate North in the next few days...

August 30, 2011

August TUSAL

Lots of pinks from Pizzazz this month on the top, and some oranges and greens from the Bunny Baby. Methinks there's going to be an upcoming 'squish-down' event. :D

August 29, 2011

Displaying Your Blogs

I'm stealing this idea from Anne ... :)

There have been times when I can't return the favor and follow certain blogs. Clicking on the username yields a window that shows the recent activities of the user but not much else, and there is no way for me to track you down. *pout* How am I suppose to stalk you guys? ;)

To enable this option:

1. Go to your PROFILE, and click on EDIT PROFILE (big blue button under your profile image).

2. Under SHOW MY BLOGS, click on the SELECT BLOGS TO DISPLAY link.

3. Click on the blogs you'd like to show be visible to your fellow bloggers and click SAVE SETTINGS.

Voilà!! And I hope that will herald in lots of followers. :)

2012 WIPocalypse

Measi has started the sign up for her 2012 WIPocalypse. It's going to be a whole lot of fun, so clickie-clickie on the linkie and join right in! :D

Pizzazz - Almost there...

I was planning on having Pizzazz finished this weekend, but didn't feel well yesterday and ended up bumming around on the couch all day. I can't remember the last time I did that, but it sure was nice. :D

Hopefully, I'll be able to finish this soon, seeing as how Chinese Garden Pt. 6 and Spring Knotgarden Pt. 4 will be out in a couple of days. ;)

August 25, 2011

Fabric-Mat Finishing - A Tutorial

As requested, here is my "Fabric-Mat Finishing Tutorial." :) My friend, Brenda, asked me how much this project cost. I told her about $15, using a 20% off total price coupon to Michael's. Of course, this price will deviate depending on the fabric and finishings you choose.

I hope you guys enjoy this, and please don't hesitate to ask me any questions if things are unclear. :)

1. Stitched piece.
2. Fabric for backing.
3. Decorations. In this case, ribbon and metallic gold
ball pins.
4. Acid free foam core board. This is cut to the dimension
of the finish size for the stitched piece.
5. Cardboard (or foam core board). This is cut to the
dimensions of the finished size of the backing fabric.
6. Dressmaker pins.
7. Glue. I found this Scotch Craft Stick in the Scrapbooking
aisle and it's awesome!

I used pins to stretch all my needlework on foam core board.
If you use the lacing technique, that will work too. :)

Center the stitched piece on the foam core board, and
put a pin in the center of one end.

Make any necessary adjustments to the other 3 sides.

Once everything is centered to your liking, tug the
center of each section tight, and secure them with pins.

Next, keep tugging and pinning the fabric down.
These pins will STAY in the finished project.

Once all the pins are in, turn the piece around and
glue the fabric down, starting with two opposing sides.

Tug at them gentle when you're gluing so that the
fabric stays taut and the front stays nice and flat.

Cut the corners of the two remaining sides.

Leave  a little extension so that you can make a small
'pocket' crease when these are glued down.

Glue up the remaining two sides. Use the same gentle
tugging motion to keep everything taut.

Stitched piece DONE!! :D

There are two ways to do this.

First, if you are hanging up your piece,
it would be nice to have a 'finished' back, as on Fern.
For this step:

Center the cardboard onto the backing board fabric
and glue down the sides.

As with the stitched piece, do two opposing sides first.

Fold up the other two sides ...

... and make 'envelope' folds.

Then, glue a piece of ribbon over the seam for a finished look.
On Fern, I extended the ribbon a little to the back
for a rounded finished corner look.

Second, if you are gluing your piece on to something else,
as in this case, then the back doesn't have to look finished. ;)

Glue down the opposite ends first, and then make
'envelope' folds and glue down the other ends.

Backing finished! :D

Now, THIS is the fun part, and you can really go to town with it! :D
For Fern, I did a simple, pretty green ribbon, and glued it down.
For this project, wandering the aisles of Michael's yielded these metallic gold ball pins from Japan, that I thought could be cool for this project.

First, lay and gently glue down the end tip
of the starting end of the ribbon.

Because I'm using the gold ball pins, this is how I'm
anchoring my start.

I've decided to have three gold pins on each side
and a pin on each of all four corner.

Remove the seamstress pins in the spots where the
gold ball pin will anchor the ribbon.

Pin the corner and centers first. At this time, lightly
gloss over either the ribbon or the edge of the fabric
with the glue stick to secure.

Once the corner and center pins are in, it's time
to fill in the rest. :D


If you are hanging this up, the ribbon can be done a few different ways.
Here are a couple of ideas:

Before attaching the pieces together, glue the ribbon
to the back of the STITCHED piece....

... or glue the ribbon to the edges of the backing piece.
Leave about an inch of a tail, and cut the ends
on a bias for a more finished look.

Glue the stitched piece and backing together and...
Chatelaine's Mini Mandala 1 - Finishing

Side view of metallic gold ball pins.

I think I will add a TUTORIAL tab at the top of the page for this, the scroll, and other tutorials (if I come up with more stuff) links. :)

August 24, 2011

Finishing Project Update

Awhile back, 3 things happened:
- a friend stitched me Chatelaine's Mini Mandala 1.

- another friend sent me a few pieces of quilting fabric that were asian in flavor.

- while at Michael's, hubby found an oversized Martha Stewart scrapbook measuring about 20in x 20in in the clearance aisle for $12. It was beautifully made, with waxed, translucent linen paper between each sheet. He thought it might make a nice display album for my stitched pieces as we're running out of walls to hang them up.

I've been toying with the idea of marrying them together but it wasn't until Fern's finishing that the idea really took shape.

I finally had some time to run to Michaels for the ribbon needed for my "Fabric-Mat Finishing Tutorial." I found a roll of electric blue one that went perfectly with the blue beads of the Chatelaine and the water in the fabric. Then, whilst wandering the aisles looking for glue, I chanced upon some gold metal-balled pins!

An idea is brewing in my mind, and I don't know if it'd work out, but I thinking on using the pins to decorate the sides, as an extension of the gold beads in the stitching.

I'll work on this tonight and see if I can get a Tutorial post up tomorrow. Stay tuned! :D

Random Afternoon Question

This week's question is courtesy for Anne... check out her Tanglewood finish. It's awesome!! :D

How do you prepare your fabric/projects? Do you pre-wash, or wash after?

I always iron the fabbie with lots of steam to get out all the creases before they go on the scroll bar. Then, after the project is finished, it gets ironed on a medium setting. First on the back, and then the front, with a towel over the stitching.

I never wash... before or after. Do I hear a lot of gasp and exclamation of dismay? *giggle*

August 22, 2011

IHSW August Update

Oh my!!!! This is so exciting...... we almost had 50 Hermitters this month!! :D How were your stitchy weekends?

Kaye, Hermitting is us setting up aside a little time for ourselves, one weekend a month, to 'hole up' with our stitching. Sometimes, we have more time, sometimes less. So, blog away!! :D I find that on certain weekends I do nothing but stitch, and on some, like this past one, I stitched when I could... but when I'm stitching, I'm thinking of all your guys doing the same all over the world and that gets me excited about reading your blog updates. :D

It's been mentioned that if we're doing it together, it's not really "hermitting," LOL!, but I say, sure we are!!! We're technically stitching by ourselves, but are linked with other hermitters in spirit and thought. ;)

I know!! I'll work on a IHSW Info tab, and put in a FAQ section. We're getting more and more participants that it sure would be nice to have this info available. Does that sound like a good plan to you guys? :D I'd sure appreciate some help in the questions department though, so if you have any, leave me a comment and I'll put them all in with hopefully logical answers. Mwa-hahahaha!!

OK!!! To the subject at hand. I started on Ink Circles' Pizzazz. Friend #1 and I are stitching 2 color versions and sending it to Friend #2 for them to be made into pillows... for Friend #3 who's going through a tough time. (I'm not mentioning names, just in case F#3 reads this... but then, if she does... cat's out of the bag.... maybe...) Sheeesh!! That was convoluted. LOL!!!

Onward ho to the blogs then!!! :D

1. Kim's blog addy (#10) is pulling up empty, so I've linked it again on #50... and it's not showing up either. DOH! So, I'm linking her name. :)
2. Zenuwpees (#19) - Your blog isn't pulling up either, and I don't have your address. Could you please repost with your blog address. We would love to stop by for a visit. :)
3. Kowgirlkat, I can neither Follow or comment on your blog. :(

August 20, 2011

Welcome, Baby Colin!

Before I show you guys a picture of the baby to ooh and aah over, I'd like to say a huge "THANK YOU" for your compliments on the Fern finishings. I am humbled and appreciative for the requests for a tutorial on how I did it, and of course I'll share. :)

Unfortunately, I was 'duh' enough not to have taken pictures of the process, and what fun is a tutorial without pics, right? I'm happy to report, though, that I won't have to wait till Ivy is finished, as I've been putting off the finishings for a Chatelaine mini stitched by a friend for a long while now. So, if you guys would please bear with me for a few days, I just need to run out to find some blue ribbons and I'll be good to go on that project. :D

Now, on to the matter at hand.... please meet Baby Colin. Isn't he the cutest? My cousin had him at 11:30 last night and everyone is doing well.

With his arrival came all the info I need to finish his birth announcement. :)

We were out most of the day, and I've hardly hermitted... so I'm going to catch up on some blogs now, and the hermit the rest of the weekend away.

August 19, 2011

Fern - Finishings

It took me a few weeks to decide how I wanted Fern and the other Couture Pixies to be displayed. Everything from self-framing to canvas stretching was considered. What was out of the question was custom framing, since I'm tentatively planning on stitching about 5-7 of them for display in our closet.

Ultimately, we arrived at a sorta raised display on fabric backing, arranged in such a way where the backing acts as a 'matting' of sorts. It just so happened that I found the perfect backing fabric and ribbon in the giveaway I won from Anne. Thanks, Anne!!! :D

Happy Hermitting everyone! We're at 45 Hermitters this month!!!!! This is so exciting and I can't wait to visit your blogs next week. :D

P/S. It's still not too late to join in the fun. :)

August 18, 2011

Stitch-A-Longs and Fabric Layovers

Mel, with Andie's help, restarted her Stitch-A-Long forum. Are you stitching a Mirabilia? How Chatelaine or HAED? Maybe a Lavender & Lace? A sampler maybe?? Well, whatever they may be, head on over for some wonderful SAL company for those and more. :D

Jenny (pronounced Yenny, cos of her Swedish heritage.... I just LOVE the sound of that), asked me awhile back about my fabric layovers, and suggested that it might be a fun post and interesting post. I told her that I've been taking the "lazy" way out recently because Thutmosis had so generously spent time putting together fabric viewers for the Mirabilia and Chatelaine designs.

So, it's as simple as selecting the charts you want from the pull down menu on the left and going to town with all the fabbies from the pull down menus on the right. Like Mouse always says, "grab a cuppa" and have a go. :D

The following is my fabric selection process:
1. Scroll down the lists till I get to something that catches my interest.
2. Take a screenshot and crop it down to size.
3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 as many times as needed.
4. Scroll through my screenshots and start culling. At this point, I look at them set to different sizes and distances and start deleting.
5. Then, hubby gets called, "Sweetie..... can you come look at something?" (LOL!!! )... which leads to more culling.
6. Next, I download the fabric swatches from the fabric companies, enlarge them in Photoshop and do a layover on that version.
7. More culling follows, until I have it down to between 5-7 possibilities.
8. These get emailed to friends and posted on here for... you guess it... more culling. LOL!
9. The final handful, I sit and stew with for anywhere from days to months.

Last night, instead of stitching on Ivy (ooops, did I forget to mention that I started her? *giggle*), I did exactly the above with Enchanted Mermaid (not that I'm stitching her anytime soon.... I just drag my bum on starts, as you guys know).

PTP DaVinci

PTP Dwarf

PTP Glacier

PTP Icon

PTP Jazz

PTP Mercedes
Ooooooh.... I KNOW!!! A POLL!! :D

August 17, 2011

August 16, 2011

IHSW - August

Picture this if you will....

You, in your stitching chair, cuddled up with your current WIP or *gasp* a new start, stitching the minutes or hours or the entire weekend away without a care. Feeling the excitement bloom as single color stitches begin to the the shape of a leaf, a flower petal, the folds of a skirt, the wing of a butterfly, the ear of an ox (LOL!!!)...

Can you see it??? I know I can!!! LOL!!! I'll be starting a new piece..... *cue gasp* I know, I know... i new start and me... that's like oil and water. ;) But, I'm SAL'ing Pizzazz with Vanessa and we're each stitching a version on black linen for a friend. The plan is to have it finished this weekend... *fingers crossed*... although my cousin is gettting induced on Thursday, so we'll have a baby by the weekend. Regardless, I'll get some Hermitting in. :D

For our new Hermitting friends:
IHSW takes place every 3rd weekend of each month, for us to squirrel some time away for ourselves and "Hermit and Stitch." You can stitch as much or as little as your time permits, on anything you like, and on Monday of the following week, we post a progress picture and check out each others' blogs (all the links will be listed below). :D

Please post this event on your blogs and spread the word around. It was super fun blog-hopping and seeing all the WIPs last month, not to mention finding new blogs to follow. :D

August 15, 2011

Chinese Garden Mandala - Pt. 5

I'm running quite a bit late this month with Part 5 of Chinese Garden. Ooopsies! :) But it's all done now, albeit slower than intended as I kept getting caught up watching instead of just listening to my DVR'ed shows. What is the world coming to??! LOL!!!

I went ahead and finished up the moongate for Part 6 as well, cos I hate switching out floss. Lazy, lazy... I know. ;) This does mean that for next month, it'll be a quick stitch to finish up the last moongate, and on to Part 4 of Spring Knotgarden. :D

Presenting the South Moongate: Rocks in the Sea. I believe it's a depiction of the Dragon's Spine or Dragon's Back Mountains.

August 10, 2011

Random Afternoon Question

Has the economic downturn impacted your hobby?

Even though I don't stash... much ;), I find that I'm thinking twice about spending on my stitching hobbies. It's harder to buy stash and think of "stitching it in a month or two" when the more immediate concern it putting money aside "just in case." What's hardest is that everything keeps going up, but salaries keep going down... which leaves us all in a very difficult predicament.

August 9, 2011

Bunny Baby - All Done For Now

Finished all the backstitching last night! YAY!!! It was a super easy job, *phew*. Gotta love these straightforward charts, huh? ;) Speaking of charts.... can you believe that in this little simple one, there was a symbol charted wrong??

If you look at yesterday's post of the Before picture, you'll see the the ribbon had a cream and green variegation. Well, it's supposed to be a solid green!! It was a good thing I discovered this before stitching the grass, as it was charted the same way. Can you imagine a green and white striped patch of grass? ;)

I haven't decided how to space in the other particulars yet. I've placed his name to where it's centered with the bunny in an 8x10 mat, but it looks a little too far out, at the moment. I thought about off setting the length and weight to take up more horizontal space instead of aligning them straight down the middle as with Cow Baby. Whatcha guys think?

Meanwhile, Chinese Garden is back on the scroll frame. I actually toyed with the idea of not stitching that this month and stitching both the moongates next month. Then, I can start and finish Mirabilia's Ivy. But... practicality won out. LOL!