Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wow! It's Been Awhile...

... since I posted!  Over a week!  I'll try not to do that again.  I've spent the last week trying to finish up a commissioned piece so I could get back to Persephone and Deep Blue Sea.  Also, my favorite LNS closed its doors for the last time Friday night and I was spending a lot of time there this week.  But, I have some pretty great updates for you!

First, Persephone.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fucshias I've converted her tail to.  I think I've officially decided I don't want to include the back fin or all of the ruffled streamers so stitching her is slow-going because I'm slowly working out how to exclude them. 

While that picture shows the overall affect, I also wanted to include a picture that shows the different fucshia and wine toned threads.

It's kind of blurry near the bottom, but you can really see the different colors a lot better.

I've also made progress on Deep Blue Sea.  There is only a little bit more I can finish without my backordered silks on Part One.  I plan to finish that tonight and start on Part Two tomorrow.

I really love the way this fabric came out when I dyed it.  Such a pretty blue.  And speaking of dying fabric, I dyed two really pretty pieces this week.  First, I took a long quarter of Blue Dynasty 32 ct. by Zweigart and I added some darker blues, pinks, and purples.  Then I soaked it in some hot water so the colors would blur.  I think the effect was cotton candy.  The fabric really looks just like cotton candy. 

I think I'm going to use the fabric for Venetian Opulence by Mirabilia.  When I did a partial floss toss, the colors really popped on this fabric.  I also dyed a very pretty piece of purple linen.  It is a 28 ct. fat quarter. 

I think I will end up using this one for Joan Elliott's Sea Goddess.  I'm not sure yet.  I really love the way it came out though!
Until next time.... TTFN!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Persephone and Deep Blue Sea Updates and Some Questions about Floss Storage

Hello Everyone!  I finally got to the tail on Persephone!  The more pinks and reds I put into it, the happier I am with the conversion.  And I've mostly put in pinks.  Hoping to get more reds into her this weekend.

I really love the fucshia Kreinik!  I can't wait to get more of it stitched in.

Now that my fabric is dyed and dried, I've started on Deep Blue Sea again.  I have to be honest, right now some of the colors blend.  But they are surrounded by brighter colors that won't blend as much.  I still have four Glorianas, 2 Waterlilies and 2 Dinky Dyes on backorder so it's kind of a waiting game on the brighter colors.

Finally, I'm constantly trying to figure out how I want to store my threads.  At the moment, all of my floss is in plastic baggies that is filed in plastic shoe boxes.  When I take them out for a project, I put the baggies in a big plastic bag and root in it for the thread I need.  I hate this system.  Since I realized I was going to need a binder to hold all of my charts and directions for Deep Blue Sea, I've been brainstorming a way to keep my threads in the binder with it.  I've decided to try out business card binder inserts.  So far, I'm liking it but I'm only 18 hours in.

If this works well for me, I'm thinking about changing all of my threads into binders like this.  So, my question to all of you is: How do you store your floss?  Is there any perfect system?  I'd really love to hear how other people store all of their floss so I can get some other ideas for mine.  Thanks!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

And I'm Back!

Well, after 5 days of the stomach flu and 3 days of stitch-ins and kids' birthday parties, I'm finally back to blogging.  I have lots of fun pictures to show!  First, most of my silks for Deep Blue Sea came in!  Yay!  There are still 4 or 5 back-ordered.  I've heard a little rumor saying that everyone is having problems getting Glorianas.  Even a certain website that sells the Chatelaine kits.  If your kit from them is running behind, it's probably a problem with Gloriana themselves.  I started mine on January 1st on 32 ct. Black Lugana.  But that was not the color I really wanted.  I really wanted a navy/royal blue, possibly an opalescent.  So I found a wonderful home for the black lugana (Thanks Cassie!) and I bought a half yard of 32 ct white opalescent linen and several blue dyes.  Last night I mixed a royal blue with a navy blue dye and I think the color I achieved is perfect!  Here it is after rinsing:

The lighting is kind of odd, but the bottom half is a more accurate picture of the color.  I like to bead with a color matching the fabric, so I dyed a skien of DMC white while I was at it.  Tomorrow, I'll soak it in retayne and hopefully, I'll be able to post a floss toss and progress picture later this week.

Friday, I went to my LNS for a stitch-in.  I drove all the way there (35 miles) just to realize that while I had brought Persephone with me, I had forgotten the pattern.  So I looked through my bags for fabric and I looked through the patterns that my friends had with them that I knew I had in my stash also and I decided to work on Pretty Peacock from the Joan Elliot Ultimate Collection.  This pattern is the main reason I got the book.  He's so handsome!  So I started him on 28 ct. Dusk by Zweigart.  It is a beautiful overdyed fabric with splotches of pink and blue.  I have decided that Zweigart's fabrics are my favorite to stitch on!

So this is about two days of stitching here and there on Pretty Peacock.  Since I cannot have a project without a name, I've decided to name him Argus.  Sounds odd, but hang with me.  You know I have a story behind the name!  In Greek mythology, Zeus was infatuated with a young woman named Io.  When Hera, Zeus's VERY jealous wife (and his sister, silly incestuous gods), found out about Io, she got very angy.  So Zeus turned Io into a beautiful white cow to protect her from Hera.  In an effort to make Zeus admit his adultry, Hera tricked Zeus into giving Io to her as a gift.  She put Io into a pasture under the protection of her most favored and faithful servant, Argus.  Argus was a cyclopes, but he was a very special cyclopes.  He had eyes all over his body: his hands, feet, 3 on his face, etc.  Zeus, in an effort to reignite his affair with Io, sent his demi-god son Hercules to slay Argus and return Io to him.  Hercules succeeded (this quest was one of the legendary Labors of Hercules) and Hera was heart broken over the death of her friend and servant.  To honor Argus, she placed his eyes into the feathers of her favored bird and sacred symbol, the Peacock.  That is how the peacock got the eyes on its feathers and how my Pretty Peacock got the name Argus.

Thursday night, when I was finally back to normal, I got back to stitching Persephone.  Here she is with her skin all done:

Now I get to start the fun part, her tail!  I've been looking forward to trying out all of the colors I've put together for her!  Hopefully they look great together.

And finally, I have a couple of non-stitchy finishes.  I've been working on Q-snap covers and I got a couple done before I ran out of elastic.  I sell them for $10 each which includes shipping.  I'm going to be posting pics of more over the next few weeks because I need to liquidate my inventory of them before our possible move.

Please feel free to email me if you're interested!  I have most colors of fabrics and can accomodate most size/color requests!  TTFN!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Huge Apology!

Hello everyone!  It's been awhile since I posted last and I'm sorry for that!  I had a nasty stomach flu and it just kept me tired and drained for almost a week!  To my silk winners, I'll try to get your floss in the mail tomorrow, Friday at the latest.  I just have not had the energy to even walk down to the mailbox!  I'm so sorry for the delay! 

I'm anxious to start stitching again.  Five days is too long to go without a needle in my hands.  I've considered picking something up to work on tonight, but I know I'm still a bit too tired and would likely have to frog it again tomorrow.  I'm actually irrationally worried that my hands won't want to cooperate after 5 days of inactivity!  I promise to post some update pics of Persephone on Sunday.  I also hope to have made more progress on Rose Pixie by Sunday as well.
Night All!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

And The Winners Are...

Hello Everyone!  Thank you for those who entered my drawing!  The winners are Suburban Stitcher, Blueladie, and Bonnie!  I've emailed everyone but Suburban Stitcher.  Can you please email me at the email in my profile so we can arrange a way to get your silk to you?  Thanks!  I've been stitching and sewing Q-snap covers like crazy the last few days!  Hoping to have something to show for it tomorrow evening!  Looking forward to posting a bunch of progress pics!  Thank you again to all who follow me!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Giveaway! And an Off-Topic UFO

Hello Everyone!  I've officially reached 25 followers!  Thank you so much for accompanying me on my journey.  I've pulled three silks from my stash to send to three lucky winners.  Comment on this post with the color you like and in three days I'll print the comments and separate them by color preference.  Then I'll pull one at random from each pile. 

The gray is a Carries Creations called Smoke.  The pink is from Hand Dyed Fibers and it is called Harvest Moon.  The blue and white is a one of a kind from Dinky Dyes.  Once I reach 50 followers, I'll dye a piece of fabric for one lucky winner! 

I pulled out Nora Corbett's Rose Pixie Coutoure out of my UFO bag last night.  I started her for my niece for Christmas but got so frustrated with her that I put her away and started Shimmering Mermaid.  We won't celebrate Christmas with my husband's family until February so I have plenty of time to finish her.  I only have her head and wings left so hopefully she will only need a week or two of work.

After I pulled her out and started working on her, I remembered why I had put her away in the first place.  First, I cut my finger while I was working on her and she had a little blood stain next to her shoe.  Thanks to my friend, Jo, I was able to use hydrogen peroxide to gently remove the stain.  Second, this is a VERY tightly woven fabric.  It is Picture This Plus' Crystal Zephyr Jobelan and it is a chore just to pull a size 28 needle through it.  I'm actually dreading using the Kreinik in her wings.  But I'm going to get her done so I can get back to work on Persephone.  Thanks for reading and don't forget to comment with the color silk you'd like to try for!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone!  I hope you all had a fun and safe New Years!  I haven't received all of my silks for Deep Blue Sea yet but I went ahead and put exactly six stitches of DMC 806 into the fabric so I could say I started it today.

I also gridded the center.  I've never gridded before but I wanted to have the center marked until I made a bit of progress on it.  After some research, the thread most widely recommended for gridding is Sulky Sliver Metallic.  I'd never used it before but as all of the thread at Jo-Ann's Fabrics was 50% off I bought a spool of red.  It's very sparkly and easy to use.  Hopefully it will be easy to pull out when I need to.  I like the contrast on my black fabric.  I might try gridding some on white to see how it shows on that too. 

I spent three hours a couple of nights ago frogging the skin on Persephone.  And two days trying to get back to where I was before.  I like the way she looks now better and I will post a pic in a day or two.

As of right now, I have 23 followers!  Thanks guys!  Yal are the best!  I've pulled a Carries Creations, Hand Dyed Fibers, and a Dinky Dyes silk to give away when I hit 25.  Hopefully that will be in the next couple of days.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!