Monday, May 28, 2012

And the winner is...

Well this is an interesting one this time around everyone. We have two charts that are literally head-to-head (and the others aren't far behind). I guess everyone liked these charts all across the board which is cool.

So here's what I've decided to do: Dream Unicorn and Catch Me are within one vote of each other and while I was watching last week they kept flipping who the winner was. So this Dream Unicorn will be my May chart, and Catch Me will be my June chart. Catch me was sooo close last time too so I want to make sure that it ends up in the HAED stash.
So thank you to all that voted!

(and if neither if these charts was your pick, don't worry they are likely to appear in future polls, though there are still more charts that are on the wishlist that haven't been posted).

The baby sampler is as done as it can be without a baby born to put on the name, date and time. I didn't get around to a picture of it as I have been busy with making loads of bracelets. I will get one tonight and post it this week. Promise!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Giveaway Chance

The wonderful Lesli has decided (all on her own) to do a giveaway of one of my bracelets as she loved the one I sent her so much.
I'm incredible flattered and excited to know that she and her daughter are getting such enjoyment from my wares. It's very humbling. So thank you Lesli!

She is giving away one of my bracelets at:

Check it out, and all her wonderful progress on so many HAEDs! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poll time!!

It's that time of the month again. No not the messy kind, the fun kind. ;)
My monthy HAED poll allowing you all to vote on the next free chart I get from HAED (from the contest I won back in December).
Last month was a tight race but Water Dragon did beat out everyone. So this month you'll see some new ones in there, and a couple of faves returning to battle for their chance to be in my stash.

For those of you who are envying having a HAED or a new one, to add to your stash check out the site for the next 2 more days it's all 50% off!!! This is the biggest sale of the year that Michele and Bob put on so now is the time to buy. (I even cheated and bought a pattern from a designer who is being retired, it's a Fred Winkler called Sally May. If you want one of his you only have until the end of May to purchase before they go off the market).

In other news: the wedding on the weekend that I attended was absolutely wonderful!! On Sunday I was able to make a ton of new bracelets for my store. (I will have pics soon)
And I chugged away on the baby sampler Just Nan that I want to get as complete as possible (until the baby is born) by Sunday. I should make it if I only work on it this week. So, pics of it to come as well. And then I definitely need to get back to dragons! :)

Thanks for stopping by and voting!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wedding Quadrielle Finished!

It came out okay! Yep I'm talking about the scary Sweetheart Tree Wedding Quadrielle that I made.
I didn't kill anything or anyone, and it made it through in one piece and actually looks like it's supposed to. There were a few touch and go moments of wanting to kill it as I stitched up the seams but everyone survived. (in case you haven't figured it out yet I hate to finish things into ornaments etc. and I'm not a pro at it either).

The linen and threads used are the ones in the kit (they are DMC colours and a lovely linen to work with). ST does make great kits that are more or less ready to go. I had to pick up some interfacing for support and stuffing for the middle, but that was it. (I apologize in advance for the poorly lit pictures. Also a note that the names have been photoshopped out for my friends protection. (pictures can be clicked on to view larger versions)
So without further ado here it is. The complete Wedding Quadrielle from Sweetheart Tree:

So what made this project a bit tough:
• see all those lovely looking vines for the leaves that is all backstitch/running stitch and is a pain to count out. I may love counted cross stitch but I'm not really a 'counter'. More of a fill-in person (hence why I love HAEDs so much).
• You must be sure that your outlines are the right number (I counted four times I think) or the piece will not match up when you go to put it together
• It is over one for the names and text in the middle areas, not too hard just be prepared to potentially need your magnifying glass
• Putting the thing together is a bit of a trial if you're not really a seam person. However it doesn't require a sewing machine I put it together all by hand.
• My hands got cramped working on the seams and pushing through all the layers. In the future with a piece like this I would not try to get it all put together in 2 nights I would spread it out over a few more so that my hands don't get trashed (like they did) and move onto other stitchy things when one side is done for the break on the hands.

Things I learned from this project: 
• I can put things together I just have to be prepared to read the instructions a few times over to make sure I get it.
• Slowly but surely is a good thing when putting together items you can't rush it and hope to have an even seam
• If you put the beads on after the interfacing (like the pattern suggests) it really does help your beads stay a lot more secure. I'm almost tempted to put interfacing on the backs of all my beaded stitching pieces now that I know that.
• If you don't like what they do change it. In the original pattern it calls for twisted cord for the hanger, I hate making twisted cord and was on my own without a partner to help. So I just made a thin little Kumihimo 'bracelet' up and put it on instead. Just used the left over colours from the piece (and some Kreniek 1/8" ribbon to sparkle it up)

I know these are super intimidating for people, which is why I thought I'd give you my overview to help. They are not as hard as they look, not by a long shot. But you have to believe you can do, read the instructions lots and if you are getting frustrated with it put it down. That can be the most important thing to remember in crafting sometimes if it's not working out put it down and come back to it later.

I hope this helps give you an idea of the complexity of the project and maybe make you more likely to pick up one of those patterns you just love but think is too hard. It's never too hard if you want to make it work you can. :)

I have a number of items that will be going up on my store as soon as I have some time to get some white background pics. There is a new cross stitch itty bitty and some new bracelets as well. That will be next post. I'm also working on the baby sampler again, and have a new start. Another little kit, this time from Lizzie Kate! 

Thanks for visiting, commenting and overall making my day. *hugs* to you all!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

WIPocalypse #5 (cottages & a winner)

Almost half the year! Oh my. Where does the time go? I think tracking things by the full moon makes me really realize how insanely fast things really do go by. It's that time of the month again, where I share my cottage update for WIPocalypse. I haven't had much of a chance to stitch on cottages with the wedding piece and the baby sampler taking up my stitching time. However here it is to date:
I just got June in the mail the other day and realized I've fallen behind on this SAL for the cottages, but alas what can you do. And it's a no pressure SAL so I decided I wasn't going to stress about it.

In other news. I made a facebook page for my new store on etsy. It's located here if you care at all to see it or like it. I figured if I'm going to try and actually make this store work then I better get out there and really try to market it. So this was one of many steps on the list.

All your comments were really cute and great from earlier this week. Thank you so much for all of them. The winner of the draw is Veronica!!
Congrats! If you could send me your snail mail address and I'll send you some patterns from my stash that need some love.

Coming up: I have to put the wedding piece together this weekend (I'm so afraid, here's hoping it goes okay!), progress on the baby sampler for next week AND the poll for this month's HAED. I'm gonna try and do it before the month is almost over. As always, thanks for dropping by.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Finishes, starts & a new designer, OH MY!

That's right I actually have a finish (just a little one but hey it counts), a start, a share of a project I've been teasing for weeks and some bracelets. Oh my indeed!  It was a very busy last couple of weeks so I was sooo excited to have the entire weekend to literally sit in my chair and stitch or bead. It was glorious. I so wish I could figure out a way to craft as a full-time job. Even after 3 days of more than 8 hours stitching/beading each day (I had Friday off as well) I couldn't get tired of it. Though my legs needed a walk break!

What came of this epic stitching weekend? Well... first up is the piece from Sweetheart Tree that I've been talking about for a couple of weeks. It's nearly done, needs some beads and then to be put together. I'm waiting for my interfacing to show up in the mail so that I can do the beads (they will be less likely to wander if they are stitched through the fabric and interfacing, or so the instructions tell me, we will see). I've really loved to hate almost every stitch in this. While Sweetheart Tree patterns look absolutely amazing they are not my favourite to do up. My love/hate relationship with backstitching really comes out of the woodwork. But I survived and am pretty happy with it so far:

Now let's just hope I don't screw up making it into a Quadrielle and ruin all that work!
PS: names and date are stitched they are just covered up for the privacy and protection of my friends.

What next? How about a quick glance at some new Kumihimo bracelets. I've been playing with different patterns, fibres and the like. I got a new foam disc to work with called "KumiLoom" that is just amazing. It's not circular or square (so it can do both flat and round stitches) and is a perfect size. Love it! These are the latest that I liked from the weekend:

A new designer? It seems to be rare these days that you hear about a great new designer. I feel like all we hear about, or often hear, is about how some of our beloved old favourites are retiring. But I have got a treat for you. This designer is new to me, even though she's been designing since 2004. I just adore her stuff. Kelsyn's got my attention with their geometric shape designs that use varigated threads. As you all likely remember I won 3rd place last year (in a big fair) with Needlemania's Cheryls Bouquet that is similar. So how could I not be in love with Kelsyns? (AND they include specialty stitches. It's like she read my mind!)
So I finally got my order in with her Itty Bitty pattern set. I've decided to do up my favourites of these little gems in ornament sized pieces that are suitable for my store. I've already got one done and another started! (can you tell I love these?) They are really simplistic to stitch even though they look elaborate. And almost anyone can fall in love with them, not just stitchers. I think these patterns are a great way to show people that we don't just do hearts and butterflies in cross stitch!
Without further rambling, here is the first of Kelsyn's:

 Its on 28ct Carmel Toffee linen using Weeks Dye Works Mothers Day thread.

And the one I started (what a treat to have little start and finishes for me!) using another WDW (can't remember name sorry!) on 32ct white linen:

Whew! That was a biggie. If you made it this far woohoo you deserve a prize. Better yet let's do that, nice and discreet down here and see how many are paying attention and don't just see giveaway in the header and visit. Comment and tell me what your favourite varigated colour of thread is and you'll be entered into a contest to win some patterns from my "destash" pile. (As I talk to myself I realized this is maybe proof that I am having a conversation as I write my posts, no editors here!)

Anyone that is worried that they've only seen little pieces from me lately, have no fear. I have been working a tiny bit on dragons, and am cruising on the just nan baby sampler (as babies don't wait for stitchers!) Once the wedding piece and baby piece are off my plate (end of the month) I plan to get back into cottages as well.

Thanks for visiting I do appreciate it and all of your comments!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Poll Winner! (and a tiny finish)

Thank you to everyone that voted on last week's HAED chart choice. The winner (by a landslide) is Anne Stokes "Water Dragon". This is really great as it was the last one I needed to complete the set of charts from her "Friends and Dragons" series. So woohoo! (anyone got 10 years to give me that I can stitch straight to get them all done? lol) I will be requesting this beauty as my April free chart from Michele at HAED.

 I also got a little piece done up that will go on my Etsy store sometime later in the week. (we need to take good lightbox pictures of it to post it to the store). However here is a (really bad) picture of this cute little pattern I did up in Halloween colours. It's from Just Cross Stitch magazine last year's Halloween issue (I think). Sorry I can't remember the designer right now...
However here is a pic:

I have been working on the Sweetheart Tree wedding quadrielle but havn't gotten to taking a photo of it. I think I will have stitched it 3 times by the time I am done because of all the frogging (darn backstitch / running stitch). I need to learn how to count, LOL. Funny thing that a counted cross stitcher can't count!
For those that aren't familiar with the new pattern here's a link to it

It's been a tough time at the office the last couple of weeks (and this week seems to be the toughest). I should have some time off here coming up in the next few days (I hope) where I will be able to get some real solid stitching in. So I'm hoping for lots of new updates coming soon. 
Thanks for visiting!