Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Picture Frame

This is a little picture frame from perforated plastic. It used one color of floss and all the rest is beaded with seed beads. The picture features my mom, her sister and me and my sister. The black and white print looks really good in this little frame.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tatted Fan Doily

This pattern is from the book "Ultimate Book of Tatted Doilies" and was designed by Denise Giles. This is a size 10 treads with beads the same color as the thread. I really enjoyed doing this pattern.

Tatted Doily

This is a tatted doily with seed beads. The pattern is in the book"Ultimate Book of Tatted Doilies" and was designed by Denise Giles. It is a size 10 thread with green and gold seed beads.

Tatted Cross

This is a tatted cross with seed beads. The pattern is from the book "Tatted Bookmarks" and was designed by Dee Powell. It's a size 10 thread with hunter green seed beads. I adhered it to pale pastel green scrapbook paper and mounted it in a gold frame.

Christmas Ornament

This is a tatted ornament with seed beads. This pattern is in "The Big Book of Tatting" and is the first two rounds of the Jack Frost Snowflake.

Little Christmas Tree

I thought it was about time I included some of my tatted pieces in this blog. This was a little Christmas tree motif that I tatted up, glued to scrapbook paper and put in a little antique faux marcasite oval frame. I have done this little motif with lots of seed beads as 'ornaments'. This pattern can be found in "The Big Book of Tatting".

Little Collage

I had this 4 opening mat and frame and needed something to put into it. I searched a very long time to find four motifs small enought to fit each of the openings in the mat. I have a lot of Celtic motifs and I finally! found three that would work. I used my initial to fill the fourth space. It's framed in an antiqued gold frame. These motifs used DMC cotton floss, Mill Hill seed beads and Kreinik blending filament. Each motif measures 1.5" X 2.5". Framed, it measures 13" X 5".

A Gift For My Sister

This was one of the first designs I stitched using computer design software called Pattern Maker. I found a book of alphabets and combined the two elements to achieve this little piece. It was stitched on 28ct antique white linen with DMC cotten floss. It measures 3.5" X 5.5". I put it in a metal frame that says 'family' all around the outside.

Christmas Presents

These are the gifts I gave to my sister and her husband for Christmas. Coming from the mid-west, I have always loved Cardinals. I found an alphabet that features this beautiful bird and used my sister's (and those of her husband) initials to make these little pieces. They were done on 28ct antique white linen and stitched with DMC cotton floss. They measure 3" X 4" with the frame. I found these frames at a local Hobby Lobby.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another Finished Piece

This design is called "Cat" by Diane Arthurs. Published by Imaginating #1093.
I stitched this on 28 ct tea-dyed Irish linen. The stitch count is 44 x 133 and the design size is 3 x 9.5 inches.
There were only 8 colors and 4 stitch types used in this project. There are full cross stitches, running stitch, french knots and backstitches. I used all DMC cotton floss.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Small Project

This is another small project I've just completed. It's a design by Paula Vaughan called "Rose Bouquet." It was stitched on 28 ct white Monaco. I had a green marble-ized 5 X 7 frame I wanted to use and this little picture was perfect! I wanted to use DMC Satin (Rayon) floss but didn't have the required colors so I had to use all DMC cotton floss.
My favorite time to stitch is two hours before bedtime. The house is quiet as I climb into bed, turn on classical music and stitch for a couple hours. Ahhhh, it doesn't get any better than that!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Needle Case

I had an empty clear plastic box just taking up space. I looked at it and wondered how I could put it to good use. I opened up the cross stitch design software on my computer and this is what I ended up with. It measures 6 X 4 inches and fits into the lid of the box quite nicely. I now have a more attractive place to keep my needles and threaders.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Latest Project Completed!

The "Fairy Queene" is finished. It took about four months but it was worth it. It features two colors of Mill Hill Beads and DMC Light Effects floss. It measures 8 x 17 inches. Surprisingly, this is almost all full cross stitches--very few fractional stitches at all! Now, what will be my next project?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Who's Sorry Now?

A couple years ago, I found my dream job. I was working for Ghoststitchers. Customers would send them their WIP's or UFO's and they would send them out to their network of "ghoststitchers." One time, I got a project I was having trouble getting to look right so I sent it back explaining I didn't want to completely ruin a customer's work and could they give it to another stitcher to finish. I never heard from them again! They dropped me so fast it made my head spin! I emailed them several times but no reply. They at least could have had the courtesy of telling me they were dropping me. But no, nothing, nada, zip! I just couldn't get over how rude they were! I hate that it happened and I've apologized through emails but to no avail. I guess everything happens for a reason, I just wish I had one in this case.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Fairy Queene

This is my current WIP. It's called "The Fairy Queene" designed by Claire Crompton. Just as the earthly world has its rulers, so does the magical realm. The Fairy Queene is a powerful figure throughout mythology and has many names: in the Celtic tradition she was Queen Mab or Maeve, a warrior queen. Maeve means mead, a rich red wine that she offered to kings and rulers to signal her approval of them. She has appeared in fiction throughout the centuries, often as a less dark and dangerous character, notably in Edmund Spenser's (1552-1599) epic poem The Fairy Queene and as Shakespeare's mischievous Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In this glorious cross stitch picture she is represented as a sensual fairy set against a night sky filled with the light of a full moon and twinkling with stars. She emerges dramatically from an intricate Celtic knot framework, perhaps to bring dreams to us sleeping mortals.

My Newest Christmas Design

This is called "Irish Christmas Visitor". It's 8 X 10 and has lots of beads (of course) and Kreinik metallics. I am of Irish descent so I try to find and stitch as many Irish/Celtic designs as I can. I even used the small Celtic crosses in the corners in greeting cards. This was stitched on aida but someday I hope to re-work it on 28 ct. Irish linen. The curtains at the window were done in a technique I had never done before. It was similar to "tweeding". The bottom part of the stitch was dark blue. The top part of the stitch was white. I really enjoyed stitching this one! From the designer: While the Irish don't have a tradition of a gift-giver or a Santa Claus, they have a number of customs related to the Christmas season. On Christmas Eve, a lighted candle is placed in the window, a loaf of bread with raisins and caraway seeds (soda bread) and a pitcher of milk are left on the kitchen table, and the door remains unlatched to extend hospitality to the Holy Family or to any traveler who might be on the road. Immigrants from the south of Ireland brought the idea of holly wreaths with them to the United States; therefore, holly appears on the border of this design. Also, what tribute to the Irish would be complete without shamrocks, celtic crosses, and an Irish harp? This Santa also carries a golden cage with a wren inside because on Dec. 26, young boys go from house to house carrying an artificial wren, singing a simple verse, and expecting a gift of pennies for "Feeding the Wren," a custom similar to our "Trick or Treat" on Halloween.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Stashes and Storage

I started out buying cross-stitch kits. It finally dawned on me that I could save the patterns to re-work at a later date. My pattern stash took off from there. I started buying just the charts after that. The floss stash followed. If I was going to buy just charts, I needed to buy floss. I bought a few skeins of DMC cotton floss every time I went to the craft store. I finally ended up with the entire collection. Then I realized I would need something to stitch on. The fabric stash was born. I didn't really like working on aida cloth and was delighted to see linens and evenweaves. The color choices then were very limited but I didn't care. Now that I had three stashes, what was I to do with all of it? I tried several methods of floss storage. I finally ended up using the bobbin method as I can store the whole collection in three craft boxes. The patterns and charts are in file folders in a plasic carrying case. The fabric is rolled up in their original containers and kept in craft drawers. I have an under-the-bed container large enough to hold all the split-rail dowel rods and spacer bars. I also have a bead stash kept in bead containers. I also have storage for my needles, scissors, magnifier, and thread conditioner. I keep an inventory of everything on my computer so it's easy to pull up and see what needs to be re-stocked.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Celtic Christmas

This design is by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum. It's called "Celtic Christmas". It's on 28ct evenweave. There is also lots and lots of Kreinik metallics and Mill Hill Beads. I haven't gotten it framed...yet. I love all the designs from this designer.

Ever Changing

I am a self-taught cross-stitcher. I started out doing stamped embroidery and cross-stitch on pillowcases. That evolved into needlepoint. I didn't like any of those forms of needlework. Then I bought a small counted cross-stitch kit. The instructions didn't tell me how to center the project on the fabric. I tried counting aida squares but it didn't work. I was so frustrated, I gave up and actually threw the whole thing away! I shudder now when I think of it. It was years later when I tried another small kit. This one was more helpful and I learned how simple it was to get the project centered. Along with the kit, I bought small embroidery hoops to hold the fabric. Even though the project was done, I realized I could save the pattern in case I wanted to stitch the design again at a later date. That would mean buying floss. So I started buying DMC cotton floss. This meant I had to have a way to store all the floss. That how my floss and chart stashes started. Then I discovered there were fabrics other than just aida cloth. That's where my fabric stash started. I have since pretty much given up on aida cloth and much prefer evenweaves and linen. My favorite is 28 count. So now I have patterns and their storage, flosses and their storage, and fabric and their storage. As the stashes have grown, so has the accessories inventory. Now I have frames, floor stands, lamps, scissors, needle threaders, thread cutters, thread conditioners, magnifiers, and beads. Talking about beads will be a whole post unto itself!! So that's how it started and continues to this day. I have joined a couple stitcher's groups and will dicuss them in future posts.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Starting My New Stitching Blog

Welcome to my cross-stitching blog! I want to share everything about my passion for cross-stitching. I want to post pictures of completed projects as well as works in progress. I want to talk about fabric stashes, floss stashes and pattern stashes. Maybe there will be tips and tricks I have learned along the way. This blogging is brand new for me so I will learn as I go. So here we go!