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.