Friday, August 31, 2012

Country Cottage JULY Canada Conversion (WIPocalypse #7)

Fall is starting to creep into the air here. It's cooler at night and in the morning it's getting awful close to freezing. It's a perfect time of year for me! Not too cold, and not too hot.
Today I have for you the long awaited conversion for the Country Cottage Monthly Cottages series; July that has been my WIPocalypse project for the year.
The cottage original is for Fourth of July. Now I know the Americans out number the rest of us on the internet by far! However I have always shied away from doing a "monthly series" like this because of the "july issue". It just didn't seem appropriate to have US flag and colors when July commemorates Canada Day (July 1, the day Canada become independent from GB, however we are still
a member of the Commonwealth and pay respects to the Queen) here and I've never been anything but a Calgarian nevermind a different nation.

So my solution?
I'd start a monthly series, and tackle July when I got to it. Was a small piece of me hoping that maybe it'd be a "simple enough" change? Yeah, I'll admit it. But I'm soooo glad it wasn't just a "change a color here or there" because I am in love with how it turned out and feel like this was a good step towards my goal of "designing some patterns" someday. But time to get to it!
Let's start from the end result and work our way backwards:

 The "Canada conversion" of the July Cottage of the Month
from Country Cottages. Conversions & changes by Mel @ Epic Stitching

The biggest change?
Of course the flag!

As promised I have charted the Canadian flag out for everyone to see and work from.
I know there were a few other flags people wanted for other countries, if you email me or indicate in the comments which countries you'd like then I will do them up for you and post them in the coming weeks. (figuring out the Canadian flag took some time but after many pencil sketches and blocking it at last 20 times by hand I am happy with the final result, that was recharted after stitching as I changed it a final time!) <- this is why I only have the one flag for right now, but please do let me know if you'd like a specific country and I will see what I can do.

The colours?
Alright, starting at the top.
All the little flowers (with yellow in them), the word July, the window & house frames are in "Ruby Slippers" from Crescent Colors.
The other red (big flowers, flag, flower pot flowers) are a lighter, brighter red from Carrie's Creations called "Crimson".
The fireworks have an added Kreinik to them. I did this with all my months, this is entirely optional.
The other colors all stayed exactly the same as on the original pattern.

The modifications besides the flag?
There are other changes as you've likely noticed.
The flowers have left the white line in the middle and the rest is the Crimson red (regardless of symbol, unless green for the leaves).
The house has a "one line" thinner border, instead of having 3 layers and colors.
The windows have been brought down to one pane instead of with the "shutters". All I did was replace the shutters with white and do the outline of the windows in Ruby Slippers red. The little window at the top "peak" of the house was just added in as a 10x10 block. I did this because all the other houses had something in that space when shown on their sides and I didn't feel that another maple leaf was needed (seemed like overkill to me).
The bird is yellow. Why? good question. Because I couldn't decide on a "Canada" color for a bird besides more red, and I was feeling red overload when I got to the bird, so yellow was already in the design, hey there are canaries in Canada somewhere I'm sure. (just not where I live, lol!)

That's it in a nutshell.
Nothing too fancy or challenging (not including that darn maple leaf).
If you have any questions or concerns or what not please feel free to ask and I'll answer to the best of my ability.

I'm sad I have to say this...
DO NOT ask me to send you the pattern with my symbols in it. The copyright to this pattern remains with Country Cottage and it is against the laws of copyright to send you a copy of the pattern with the changes. So please don't make me tell you no and just don't ask. This July month is available at all major LNS or online stores. Ok that's the messiness out of the way.

In other unrelated news I am really, really close (like 20 stitches) away from a page finish on dragons! I pushed hard on dragons this past week once I had the cottage out of the way.
I've also got my new commission on the go and have permission to show you progress pics of it! That is coming next week for sure (it's super fun and crazy colorful).
I've been doing some online advertising for the store. With a stock of about 150 bracelets on hand right now I am having a hard time justifying making new bracelets unless they are sales. (but I do anyways of course, lol)
Lots & lots of new patterns lately that I love. Including Rosewood's Halloween Quilt (so fun!), the latest Just Cross Stitch autumn edition and I've been stocking up on Lizzie Kates snippets. Pictures of new starts on some LK's in the next few weeks, holiday stitching begins! 
Oh yeah... and a baby sampler that needs to get finished. 
Gosh, I've just exhausted myself. Okay, so lots of projects. I'm gonna stop now and get to it all!
Thank you for visiting and reading this far!

This is a cute idea...

I dunno about you but I often wonder what people REALLY think of my items.
Obviously we all support each other no matter what, because it's all about crafting but let's face it... some things are more popular than others and sometimes it's hard to know what!

Which is why I bring to you today this really cute page called "Big Etsy Contest". It's quite a neat idea... and it's not all about shopping (which is always nice, no pressure sale here at all)!

So what's it all about?
Well you visit the site two items show up right away that are running against each other. You get to vote on which you like best. Each day the votes are tallied for items and you can view the top voted on items on the winners page.
Even better if you find something you really love, and must have, there is a page of discounts to stores as well!

Okay, so you ask the magical question what makes this site that much better than any other Etsy promotion site?
It's that it's free!!! No strings attached. One of my items featured back in July (shown) and all I had to do was put my name in the hat. That is very cool. I love the sites that are not just "money" driven (ad dollars) because it really helps reflect what people really like, not just who has the biggest budget. Not only is it a great way to see what's trendy and cool, it's also a great way to add more items to the ever growing wishlist (or maybe see if you can get inspired to do your own!)

I just wanted to share this little gem with you all. See how many hours you can waste clicking through and voting. Enjoy!

In other news... a page of dragons is almost done, 20 or so stitches away! Update will be next week. I'm also just putting the finishing touches on my July Canadian cottage and will have that with the conversions I did for you very, very soon. Maybe even before dragons... we will see. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August Heaven and Earth Designs Poll!!

It's starting to get a little chilly here in town each morning. A reminder to us all that Autumn is quickly approaching. I've been working on many different projects. New items up at my store. A commission piece that I just got the materials for (yes that's right I'm getting paid a bit to do up a piece for someone!!). Work on July Cottage to transfer it to Canadian (I'm hoping to have this for you all no later than end of the month. AND a mini promotion at the new job. Yep it's busy, but not stressful busy, just busy.

It was a tight race last month for which pattern would win to be my July HAED pattern. There was only 1 vote separating the top 3!! But in the end this wonderful, gothic looking Snow White piece won.

But don't worry if that wasn't your pick. A few of the favourites are back again this month in the voting. As well as some new patterns, including the just listed Autumn pattern (I do really love this one) by a new artist that Michele got signed to HAED. Vote away!

Coming up in the next month: July cottage in Canadian format, Dragons page complete, start of commissioned cross stitch, Mirabilia mermaid update & so much more!
As always thank you so much for your lovely comments and taking the time to read my blog. More coming in August to you all for sure, but I can promise a giveaway in September too! So don't forget to keep checking back!

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Sneak Peek at Dragons & more

First up last week's winner of the HAED poll was Snow White's Fall. It was really close with only one point dividing the top 3!!! So look for Unicorn LP and Fairy Ball to make appearances in future polls before the year is out.

I have a bit of a treat if you will. A sneak peek at the latest page of Dragons I a working on. As per the usual (you'd think I'd learn after 4 years on this project) I'm taking longer to complete the page than predicted. So here's a teaser for where the page is at. It's about 75% done and I do plan on putting in some major time with it this weekend. It's a long weekend in Canada so I'm stoked to get to it tomorrow and hopefully the next two days after that. But without further ado here is the sneak peek:

In personal news: I've been really liking my new job. It's a very systematic process of things I do. And none of the 'disasters' are all that disaster like (at least in comparison to the reactions people would have to designing). After 4 weeks of working there it is looking like (I say guardedly) one of the best decisions I've ever made. It, of course, still has it's people issues and some stress but nothing like what I was dealing with as an Art Director.
And so what has that meant for me as a whole? I am feeling so much better! Probably the best I've felt in about 2.5 years, since before my emergency surgery (that may of you were on the rocky road for). It's been a roller coaster but I feel like I'm finally nearing the end. *happy dance*
Coming up in the next few days: more work on dragons, more bracelets going up on my store this weekend and a finish that I want to "really finish" before I share it with everyone.
Thank you for visiting!