Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Finish and a Wip!

Hello All!  I'm sorry it's been awhile since I posted, but I've been stitching and dyeing up a storm lately.  :)

First, I finished my Round Robin block that I was working on.  It is Woodland Fairy by Mirabilia

My block completed the Round Robin so here is the finished project:

I had a lot of fun working on this Round Robin.

Here is a picture of my current WIP, Buttercup.  I started her over on Moonlit Waters by Under the Sea Fabrics and I LOVE her.  I wish I had all day to work on her!

I've done some major conversions on Enchanted Mermaid and when I've finished her, I will post it.  So far I've converted her to Purple and to red hair.  She's also being stitched in all silks and a few metallics.

Here is a close up of the petit point I'm doing for her skin.  So far, I really like it.

Well, back to my fish lady!  TTFN!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Survey Results!

Hello All!  Sorry it's been while since I posted!  It took me hours to compile the results of the survey!  I had 43 people comment on the blogpost itself and about 25 separate emails and Facebook messages so here we go!...

1. What type of needles do you like using the most?

29% of us prefer Bohin, mostly in 28s and 26s.
24% prefer John in 28s or 26s.  One person specified Gold ones and another Platinum!
9% prefer Pieceakers.
9% prefer either 26s or 28s without caring about the brand or type.
29% of us just don't care or chose a brand of needle no one else chose, such as DMC, Anchor and Permin.

I use size 28 Bohins for all silks and cottons and I use size 26 Bohins for metallic braids and perle cottons/silks.
2.  Q-Snaps, Scroll Rods, Hoops, or In Hand?
39% of us prefer Q-Snaps some or all of the time.
24% prefer stitching in hand. 
24% also prefer scroll rods.
12% perfer hoops.
1% prefer something different, like mats, Millinium frames, and stretcher bars.
I prefer my scroll rods but tend toward q-snaps because they're more portable and I carry projects everywhere.
3.  What are your favorite scissors?
An astonishing 55% of us had no scissor brand preference!!!!  Most of the answers were "Something pointy and sharp" with "whatever cuts" as second.
19% of us like Ginghers.
17% prefer Dovos
5% like Fiskars
4% prefer Cotton Candy Scissors. 
I have gone through 3 pairs of Cotton Candy scissors and I LOVE them!  They are very thin and sharp but they dull easily.  I have 2 pairs of the Gingher designer series: Alicia and Jennifer.  I also have the Jennifers in 8" Dressmaking Shears and I love them too.  I'm almost terrified of losing my Ginghers so I usually carry around the Cotton Candy scissors.
4.  Do you save your orts?  If yes, what kind of container do you use?
34% of us said we do not save our orts.
66% said yes we do!
The types of containers used include vases, cookie tins, chocolate tins, iPad boxes, cardboard boxes and a souveneir glass from the house of blues.  But most people use jars.
I use three things to save my orts.  When I'm at home, I use a heavy Waterford Glass vase I was given as a wedding gift.  Here at my parents' house and when I'm travelling about, I use two ort holders that friends have made me.  The first has a little pin cushion and hangs off the side of a table or chair and was made by my friend Jenny.  The second is a little fold down triangle made by my friend Patsy.
5.  What type of needle threader do you use if you use one?
Most of us don't use a needle threader!  Those that do use the Loran, DMC or "cheap" threaders from the notions aisle.  I use a clover needle threader (only for metallics) and I love it!  It's kind of pricey for a needle threader but it is worth it!
6.  Do you use a pin cushion?
We were split 50/50 on the pin cushions.  Those that do not use a pin cushion tended towards magnets and needle minders.  And while I use those things to hold the needle being used right then on a project, I use a pin cushion to hold my scissors and pre-threaded needles for other colors I will be using in the section I'm working on.  I even collect pin cushions!  Here is a pic of two of my pin cushions holding my Ginghers.
Do you have a favorite special tool?
Everyone's special tool was different?  The few repeats included the Dololly, Star De-Tailor, scissor fobs, magnets, needle minders, and froggers.  I LOVE my froggers made by Amanda at The Stitch Menagerie!  I tend to frog as much as I stitch so they are a must have for me!  I just received two new ones recently!
Do you use Highlighers to highlight your chart?  Something different?  Nothing at all?
An overwhelming number of us use highlighters.  Those who don't use colored pencils and one person uses a felt-tip marker.  Only 3% do not highlight. 
I use two types of highlighters.  I buy mine from Jetpens.  The first ones I love are the Pilot Spotlighter 2 Broad Twin Tip.  LOVE the cream yellow and green.  The tiny tip is perfect for highlighting smaller areas and the ink in these two is light so it's easy to see the highlighted symbols on the chart.  The second I just ordered and I'm playing with are the Monami Essenti Soft Highlighter.  The inks in these are pastel so it's easy to see through the ink to the symbols.
9.  Do you use a special light?
Most of us use special lighting.  For our hobby, we kind of have to!  Most of us use Day Lights or Ott Lights.  I have a small Ott Light for taking to retreats and stuff but at home I use an Ikea lamp than cost me $11.
10. Is there anything special you HAVE to have with you or near you when you stitch? Something you can't stitch without?
I need needles, scissors and light.  I like to have all of my fun gadgets. 
Thank you SO MUCH to those to answered all of my pesky questions!  I really loved learning about other stitchers and also learning about some new tools and tricks to check out and play with!

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Finish! Woohoo! And a Survey...

Hello All!  I stayed up super late last night so I could finish up my RR block.  Super happy to say that Winter Queen is done!

And here is a picture of the whole Round Robin before it was mailed off to the last stitcher:

I have some threads for Buttercup on order so I've decided to start on the Pirate Treasures Map for The Husband.  Here is the floss toss with the fabric I dyed for it. 

I know some of the colors blend but I think it will be ok anyway.  I'm going to start it this weekend.

And now for a survey.  Please answer in the comments.  I'll post the results in my next post.  I'm hoping to get 100 answers so we have a really good sample!

1.  What type of needles do you like using the most?
2.  Q-snaps, scroll rods, hoops, or in hand?
3.  What are your favorite scissors?
4.  Do you save your orts?  If yes, in what type of container?
5.  What type of needle threader do you use if you use one?
6.  Do you use a pin cushion?
7.  Do you have a favorite special tool?
8.  Do you use highlighters to highlight your chart?  Something different?  Nothing at all?
9.  Do you use a special type of light?
10.  Is there anything special you HAVE to have with you or near you when you stitch?  Something you can't stitch without?

Thank you so much for participating in the survey! 

I'm organizing a retreat for fans of Mirabilia Designs.  If you love Mirabilia/ Nora Corbett, please check out the Mira Minions Retreat Webpage.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wow! It's Been Too Long...

... Since I've posted!

I've been working steadily on my RR block, Winter Queen...

It seems like the dress took forever!  I'm hoping that now I can make some quicker progress working on her face and hair. 

I've barely worked on Buttercup.  I've decided to change her completely to NPI and Splendor silks and until I am still frogging all of the dmc.  Hoping to have a small finish pic to post this time next week.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Buttercup and some other Queens...

Hello All!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!  It is a perfect, breezy 70 degrees here.  I've been stitching a bit lately.  I've finished the Apron thing on the front of Buttercup.

You can see by looking at this pic that I frogged a few colors.  I'm still changing and tweaking this color conversion so if I'm not happy with a color, I pull it out and try another one.  I've decided to work in a dmc pearl effects for one of the colors.  I've heard it is hard to work with but I'm going to give it a shot. 

Today, I received the next round robin I get to stitch on!  I'm excited!  This one is themed with the seasonal queens by Mirabilia. 

I'm going to be working on Winter Queen starting on Monday so Buttercup is going to be put away for a few weeks.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A WIP and a Test...

Hello All!  I'm attempting to blog from my new phone.  Here is a wip pic of my Enchanted Mermaid. My husband had named her Buttercup because she resembles Wesley's Buttercup with the crown in her hair.

I keep frogging and restitching as I tweak the color conversion. She's stitched on 32 ct Opal Belfast Mermaid's Sea.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Little Update and a Future Projection.

Hello Everyone!  I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend.  School starts on Tuesday for us so life is a frenzy right now!  But, I have been busy stitching and crafting a little bit too!

First, here is a current pic of my Enchanted Mermaid taken at a minor league baseball game this afternoon.  I had my own personal Stitch and Pitch :)

So far, I LOVE how the colors are working on the fabric!  I named the fabric Mermaid's Seas.  Thank you to Cassie for helping with the name!
Here is a pic of how she will hopefully look when she's done.  I used PC Stitch to work her conversion out and while it took forever to enter the chart, I like that I can manipulate the pattern so easily.  Unfortunately, PC Stitch does not support Caron Waterlilies, Rainbow Gallery Threads, or Delicas so I had to get as close as I could with DMC, Kreinik and Mill Hill.  But I still think it is a pretty good idea of how she'll look.
My husband has named her Buttercup.  He says her crown makes her look a lot like Buttercup from the movie The Princess Bride and I have to agree. 
Another thing I did this week was a new fob for my new scissors.  They are cotton candy scissors with a plastic sheath and they are my third pair of these little scissors.  Of course, I've lost the sheathes for the first two pairs so I designed a little fob that would connect the sheath to the scissors.
I am looking for a wholesale supplier for the scissors so I can sell them together. 
Small reminder:  My contest to name my individual dyed fabrics ends tomorrow evening.  I will pick my top three and the winner will receive an eighth of Mermaid's Seas on 32 Lugana and the two runners up will also get a small prize.  You can enter by commenting on the post in my Facebook group for Under The Sea Fabrics.
Thanks for reading and looking!  TTFN!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hello All!  I've been super busy the last few days with back to school plans.  Hopefully, next week I'll get enough stitching done to post a pic.  In the mean time, I'm holding a contest on my FB page and the winner will receive a hand-dyed eighth of Mermaid's Sea Lugana.  The address is https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/Undertheseafabrics/


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Small Finish and a Big Start! :)

Hello All!  I'm getting settled and dyeing fabric and stitching again!  Yay!  I finished my Round Robin block this week.  Silver Moon Tea for Renee's Round Robin

I love that all of her beads are opaque.  It made beading her more interesting.

I did a poll last month to decide on what project I was going to start next.  The numbers were really close and Crystal Symphony was the winner by one vote.  Then, of course, I changed my mind completely about the color scheme and I'm still finessing it.  So, I'm starting Enchanted Mermaid, the second place winner.  I am converting her colors to purple and her hair to a light red.  Here is a floss toss.

The fabric is one I dyed myself and that my friend, Cassie, named Mermaid's Seas.  I love how the purples and the hair colors pop.  I'm also converting all of the beads and treasures to Delicas and Swarovski crystals.  In then end, it was actually much cheaper to go that route.  I will of course post the conversion when she is finished. 

If you are on facebook, please check out my facebook group I've set up to show and sell my fabrics: Leslie's Fabric for Sale.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Stitcher's Journey Parts 3 and 4: Greetings from Virginia!

Hello All!  I've finally made it to Virginia.  It took me 6 days total and I managed to visit 8 different cross stitch stores across 9 states as I travelled.  I had a lot of fun but it is good to be stopped for awhile!  I tried to post while I was stopped in South Carolina Monday night but the hotel wi-fi was acting up.  So this is going to be a LONG post filled with a lot of pics! 

The first (and only) cross stitch store I made it to Monday was Abecedarius in Marietta, Georgia.  The owner was very nice and had many Mirabilia models on the walls.  Unfortunately, she is recently recovering from an illness and was not very well stocked with Miras.  She had everything else though! Here are a couple of her models that she let me take pics of.

Crystal Symphony and Madonna of the Garden.  Her Crystal Symphony has really amped up my desire to start her and since yal voted for her as my next start, I'm hoping to get to work on her next week :)  She was working on Santa when I was there and he was almost done!  It was nice to see a mostly completed WIP of him!

Because she didn't have many Mirabilias, the only one she had that I didn't was Peony Garden so that is what I bought.  I'm thinking about changing the colors in her... hmm...

Tuesday morning I got up bright and early (well.... 10 am...) and went to my first shop in Mauldin, South Carolina called Panda's Crossing

It is just south of Greenville, SC and I LOVED this little shop!   The Beads!  She carried so many beads!  Miyukis!  Delicas!  Mill Hills!  Tohos!  I was in a bead wonderland!  And that is before you see the spinner racks of Mirabilias and other charts and the shelves of hand-dyed fabrics!  I could have spent my whole trip budget there!  She had a lot of models and my favorite was the bell pull she made from Mirabilia's Snow Days.

I ended up buying a lot of beads and the chart for Woodland Fairy.  I got 2 tubes of Miyukis, 3 bags of delicas, and one bag of petite Miyukis.  I also bought ten 3 3/4 inch tic tac top tubes.  I love these tubes for storing my beads and I was excited to find some.

The second place I stopped Tuesday was Stitch and Frame Shop in Rock Hill, SC.  This store was in an adorable little house!

I was super excited to see a finished Mermaid of the Pearls as she was charted.  I've only seen pics and my own finish which is NOTHING like the chart!

I ended up buying L*K's Bacon bits and a card of petite treasure braid.  It seems like every shop I went to was out of Bacon bits so I grabbed it when I saw it!

The last store I went to was Spring Robin in Saisbury, NC.  The owner, Robin, was very sweet but we got there 5 minutes before she closed and I didn't have a chance to really look around and I felt a little guilty when I didn't buy anything.

Here is the final pic of everything I bought this trip.  I won't need to buy any stash but DMC for awhile!

So now I'm settling in and can get back to stitching!  I finished the stitching on my Silver Moon Tea RR and I'm working on the beading now.  In a couple of days I should have a picture of actual stitching to show you!  Thank you again for following me on my journey!  TTFN!

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Stitcher's Journey Part 2: Greetings from Florida!

Hello All!  Yesterday we drove from Louisiana to Florida, where we will stay for the weekend.  I can't believe how much I missed The Husband and I'm looking forward to three days of the pool and the beach and some local shopping.  On the way here, I stopped at two cross stitch shops.

The first one was Acadian Corner in Metairie, LA.  The shop is wonderful and sweet with a lot of models and different fibers.

As my in-laws live in Metairie, I go to this shop every time we go visit.  They carry a lot of Mirabilia charts (my fav!) and there are a lot of models of different Miras on the wall.  I ended up buying an eighth of 32 opal Belfast, three packs of beads, and two cards of Wisper in lavender.

I'm so excited about the lavender Wisper because I was looking for just the right color Wisper for my Enchanted Mermaid purple conversion.  I even bought two just to make sure I had enough!

The second shop I visited was Threadneedle Street in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  The owner was super sweet and she carried a lot of Miras as well. 

The owner told me she had the new Mira Santa as a WIP and she had a lot of models on the wall.  I especially love this pillow she made from Under the Friendship Tree.

I ended up only buying two  patterns.  I could have spent my whole budget though!  I bought Queen Mermaid and Touching the Autumn Sky. 

I don't think there are any cross stitch shops near the beach we are staying at but I'm going to look!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Stitcher's Journey Part 1: Greetings from... NOLA!

Hello All!  I'm driving across the southern US moving from Texas to Virginia and I'm hitting all of the stitchy shops I can find!   I've started a google map of my journey and you can see it by searching for A Stitcher's Journey in google maps.

I'n armed the a GPS and the Fiber and Fabric Maniac's guide to travel.  I'm in hot and humid Metairie, LA whihc is a suburb of New Orleans.  This morning, I will continue travelling onto Ft. Walton Beach, FL  for the weekend with The Husband.  I haven't gotten much stitching done, but I have been visiting stitchy shops!

I started at Stitches From the Heart in San Antonio.  It's a huge shop (recently expanded) and carries a lot of fibers.

I didn't really buy much but I  did get a pack of  size 26 Bohins and a skien of the new Belle Soie silk Aqua Velva.  This shop carries a lot of hand-dyed fabrics including WDW, PTP and SW.  They also have a ton of models hanging on the wall to entice you. :)

I also stopped at 3 Stitches in Spring, Texas.  The google maps makes finding this shop a little difficult because it places it on the other side of the road.

I've ordered online from this shop many times so I was super excited to finally make it there.  It is small, but larger than it looks from the outside.  Yal, she had hand-dyed fabric on the BOLT!   I would have gotten in so much trouble if I didn't dye my own!  She carries a lot of different fibers, including silks I've never heard of!  She had one thing I've been searching for in person, Petite Silk Lame from Rainbow Gallery.  I bought five cards and a tape measure so I didn't get in too much trouble.

I was really pleasantly surprised when all of my threads were wrapped neatly in tissue paper and put in this lovely reuseable shopping bag.  A lovely shop and finding the threads I was looking for made it worth the comments from the employees.  Several asked "You know this is a counted cross stitch store, right?"

I wish I had some WIP pics for you but moving has eaten up all of my time so I haven't stitched much.  I did teach my sister in law to stitch and she's working on a second project: Waterlily by Nora Corbett on my 32 ct. Ice Princess.

It's very exciting seeing someone else's work come to life on one of my fabrics!  I'm working on creating a sister blog about the fabrics with purchasing information.  For now, you can see them on facebook here.  TTFN!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm a Terrible Blogger! But...

...I'm hoping to get better!  I'm preparing to move next week and my husband just left for Korea so life has been CRAZY!  Of course, with all of my stress, stitching has been my saving grace.  I'm working on a Mirabilia Round Robin right now and for my square I'm doing Silver Moon Tea.  I really love working on her!  Her colors are so Day-Glo!

I had my local copy shop reverse the SMT chart for me so she'd be more balanced with the block above her, Butterfly Fairy.  Here is a pic of the whole thing so far.

I am moving next week and will be driving across the southern USA.  I'm hoping to hit a bunch of cross stitch stores as I go.  If I have Wifi or 3G access, I will blog about the different cross stitch and needlework stores I visit.  TTFN!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stitching Rituals

Stitching the Night Away Stitching Bloggers Blog Hop
Stitching for me is very much a stress reliever.  When I stitch, I enjoy sitting in my spot on the couch with my pin cushion handy and a glass of red wine or cold glass of beer.  I have my favorite walmart pole lamp to light the way.  It seems that I get most of my stitching done after the kids and The Husband go to bed.  Is it a ritual?  I don't know.  I know I never feel completely myself if I don't get to stitch a little bit.  Do you have any stitching rituals?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Progress Update, A Round Robin, and A Homecoming...

Hello All!  I've been so busy since summer started!  I've hardly have time to stitch the last few weeks!  I've made a little bit of progress on Merchant Mermaid.  She's coming along... swimmingly! Yeah... Pun Intended! 

I joined a Mirabilia Round Robin and I finally finished the borders and wording.  I'll be mailing it to England before the end of the week.

This is not a very good picture.  The fabric is a nice deep purple.  The quote at the top is from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  It says "The rude sea grew civil at her song...".  I'm asking the other ladies joining me to stitch their favorite Mirabilia Mermaid into the shell shapes.  The shell shapes were created by searching google for a seashell coloring sheet and then importing it into my cross stitch pattern program.  I wanted it to be pretty and flowing.

I brought my Mermaid of the Pearls back home from the framers.  I love how she came out.

I have Merchant Mermaid on scroll rods and I'm thinking I need a new project to keep in q-snaps to work on during waits and travelling.  Or maybe I'll put Merchant Mermaid in the q-snaps and start something new on the scroll rods!  I have a purple conversion for Enchanted Mermaid, a Blue and Purple conversion for Emerald Mermaid, a Lavendar and Lime Green conversion for Crystal Symphony, and Villa Mirabilia.  I put a poll up on the right side of the page so please vote and please feel free to tell me why in the comments!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Friday Finish! Yay!

Hello All!  I'm so excited to say I finished Nora Corbett's Tulip last night!  She is soooo sparkly!  I subbed all of the Mill Hill beads for Swarovski Crystals!  The picture just does NOT do her justice!

The wings were converted to yellow from my friend Mary's conversion that I adapted a little according to the flosses I had on hand.  Also, the fabric is 32 ct Opalescent linen that I named Tulip's Sunrise.  The wing and crystal conversion are available under the "Nora Corbett Pixie Coutore" tab at the top of the page.
Thanks for looking!  TTFN!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Hello All! I recently found out there was an app to create blog posts on my phone. I know, I'm probably behind the times but this is my first post with it. Sorry about any weird errors in advance!

I finished Tulip's hair last night. All she has left are her wings and part if her dress before I can do the backstitch and beading. I ordered 2 mm faceted Swarovski round beads to bead her with. It was a little pricey, but I'm hoping to use these for Enchanted Mermaid and I wanted to try them out on a less expensive piece.

Happy Daddy Day to all the fathers out there. I'm lucky to have three wonderful dads in my life: my husband, my dad, and my father-in-law. I'm grateful for every thing they've done for me and my boys.