Monday, October 29, 2012

Decisions, decisions.....

Past Present Future

Asian Fantasy 3
In support of Heaven and Earth Designs, an All Hallows Exchange event was set up on Facebook.  The idea was that interested stitchers would sign up to send and receive a RAK which would be a HAED chart from their wish list.  As it turned out, there were two sales during the event, plus some of us had birthdays, so lots of charts were RAK'd.  I ended up RAKing and receiving 8 charts myself.  The next step is that a SAL has been set up on a Facebook group named The Stash, Stitch and Honking Raketeers Club, in which stitchers will start one of the HAED charts received as RAKs during the event.  The start date is January 1st.
Biting the Sun
My initial impulse was to start Past Present Future by Aimee Stewart, which is the smallest of the charts I received.  It's rather abstract, but has a lot of color interest, plus I saw a WIP of this piece which is fabulous.  On the other hand, I recently saw Rachel's beautiful finish of Kinuko Y. Craft's Turandot (also in my stash but not eligible for this SAL) and I wonder if I should go for one of the more spectacular pieces.  I may stick with my original preference, but wouldn't mind getting some opinions.

City of Coins

The Wind in the Stone

Flight of the Lynx


If you were going to stitch one of these eight charts, which one would you choose? 

Time for WIPocalypse!

Well it's time for WIPocalypse again!  This month I got a new Mark 2 floor frame and did some work on HAED's Angel with Iris.  You can see the progress pics in the WIP tab and also in the previous posts.  I did have to re-do my blog recently, so I lost all my followers with the re-do.  If you were following before and still want to do so, you may need to join again.

For those of you weathering the hurricane tonight, I really hope you get through it safely!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Stitching Update, One Last RAK, and a New Year SAL

Earlier this week I'd burned my finger when I over-filled my teapot with boiling water, so I didn't get quite as much stitching done as I wanted, but I did get some work done on HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Stelkina.  Now that I've got the Mark 2, I'll be working to keep the progress even across the piece, rather than working on the page that fits in an 11"x11" Q-Snap.  To that end, I'm working the tops of pages 10 and 11 right now, so here's where she stands.  As you can see by the threads, I'm working a lot of confetti!

HAED Angel with Iris by Nadia Stelkina
As for the HAED All Hallows Exchange, I did one final round and received Aimee Stewart's Past Present Future.  This is rather different from most pieces I've chosen, with bright color and an abstract design.  Yet I'd been drawn to it and added it to my wish list after seeing another stitcher's fabulous WIP of that design. 

HAED Past Present Future by Aimee Stewart
A new Facebook Group called The Stash, Stitch and Honking Rakateers Club has been set up to continue the fun started with the All Hallows Exchange.  A SAL is planned to begin January 1st with stitchers doing new starts of charts received via the All Hallows Exchange.  Though a final decision isn't needed until the end of the year, I will probably start this one.  It's the smallest of the new charts I've received this month and probably has the least amount of confetti, too. 

On a final note, I hope that anyone reading this who lives on the East Coast gets through Hurricane Sandy unscathed.  I used to live in New York and know how bad such storms can be.  My prayers are with you!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birthday Stash and Another Round of RAKs

Yesterday was my birthday, and I received a bunch of lovely cards and threads from stitching friends.  It was also the "official" start of the HAED All Hallows Exchange on Facebook.  I'd taken part in the earlier test rounds in the beginning of October, during which I received 4 HAED charts, 3 RAKs in the assigned exchange, plus one as an early birthday gift.  This time I've signed up for just one assigned RAK so far, for which Bea Lapp actually sent me 2 HAED charts since it was also my birthday.  I also found that Fiona McQuade from Scotland and I share the same birthday, and we exchanged HAED charts to celerate.  Here are the new HAEDs added to my stash this week:

HAED Biting the Sun by Kinuko Y. Craft
A Birthday RAK from Fiona McQuade
HAED Asian Fantasy 3 by Gracjana Zielinska
RAK'd by Bea Lapp
HAED The Wind in the Stone by Kinuko Y. Craft
RAK'd by Bea Lapp

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just A Quick Update...

First, I didn't get much stitching done this week.  Every time I started, my eyes were kind of blurry and I really didn't want to mess it up and invite in the frogs.  I'd been doing tons of computer work on huge spreadsheets for work, and I figured that was just taking too much toll on my eyes to see really clearly in the evening.

Tonight I realized what the real problem was.  With my new Mark 2 floor stand, my work is closer to my eyes than it was with my lap stand.  I was using the same MagEye lenses which were too strong for the new set-up.  I switched out the lenses, and I could see my work much better.  Hopefully this week will be more productive!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's Been a (Mostly) Great Week!

With the exception of being rear-ended on my way to work in the rain on Thursday, it's been a great week.  Even that wasn't terribly bad, since no one was hurt and my car just needs the rear bumper replaced.  Insurance will take care of that next week.

On the HAED All Hallows Exchange on Facebook, I gave and received two more charts besides the ones I"d mentioned earlier.  One is Diana by Josephine Wall and the other is City of Coins by Ciro Marchetti.

Diana by Josephine Wall

City of Coins by Ciro Marchetti
My (early) birthday present should come in handy for stitching all the beautiful charts in my stash.  My Mark 2 by Hearthside Craftworks arrived on Tuesday, and today I mounted a WIP, HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Strelkina on the scroll rods. What a joy it is to have this workstation!  The frame rotates 360 degrees with just a touch of a finger....great for all the HAED confetti!

My New Mark 2

A Closer Look at Angel with Iris
That's my news for the week, and now it's time to get back to stitching!

Just a Quick Note

I just wanted to post a note to let you know I now have a page with pictures of all the HAED BAPs in my stash.  Click the HAED BAP Stash link above if you'd like to see.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

RAKS and Birthday Presents

What a great two days for a stitcher!  First, I'd joined a group on Facebook that planned to do a group HAED RAK between October 24th and October 31st.  Called the All Hallows Exchange, the idea is that anyone who joined would both give and receive a Heaven and Earth Designs chart from their wish list.  Well, with the HAED Columbus Day Sale in progress, the organizer asked if anyone would want to go early and test it out. Lots of us chose to do so, and she assigned givers and recipients in groups of six.  Kind of like passing the love, #1 gave to #2 who gave to #3 who gave to #4 who gave to #5 who gave to #6 who gave to #1.  This is lots of fun and still going on.  I received Foregone by Marta Dahlig from Jen Bell and gave Witchcraft, also by Marta Dahlig to Michelle Davis.

HAED Foregone by Marta Dahlig
HAED Witchcraft by Marta Dahlig

Next came a totally unexpected RAK from Liz Dewis as an early birthday present.  She sent me Flight of the Lynx by Josephine Wall.  I just had to say thank you, so I sent her Mini Feeling Better from her wish list.

HAED Flight of the Lynx by Josephine Wall

HAED Mini Feeling Better
by Maxine Gadd

I have so many beautiful charts to stitch, and tonight my birthday gift from my husband arrived.  Shortly after 6:30pm, the postman rang the doorbell and delivered my Mark 2 Floor Stand from Hearthside Craftworks in Calgary, Canada. 
Mark 2 by Hearthside Craftworks
In less than half an hour, we had it unpacked and assembled.  I have a few things to re-arrange in the living room and will need to baste my WIPs on the new scroll rods, but I will definitely be stitching up a storm this coming weekend.

My birthday's actually not until October 24th, but I think I'll be forgiven for using it right away.  Don't you agree?  I can even use this with my recliner.  It will be such a joy to stitch with this one.  The first piece to be mounted will be HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Strelkina, a WIP which is almost 1/4 completed.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Frogging Project Completed and a Present on Its Way!

As mentioned earlier, my major project this week was to finish frogging over half a page of HAED's Eternal Promise (retired version) by Matt Stewart.  I'd started that on 25 count Raw Dublin Linen using a 3x1 tent stitch.  While I loved the design and fabric, I'm really a true cross stitcher and did not care for the tent stitch nor the bulk of the three threads.  I am very careful to finish the threads tightly on the back, and this confetti-filled project was not easy to reverse stitch.  However, I did finish it this morning and am pleased to say I now have a fully frogged fat half yard of Raw Dublin Linen ready for another project.

HAED's Eternal Promise (retired)
Over half a page stitched 3x1 tent
Fully Frogged Fat Half of Raw Dublin Linen

On the left is the stitched part I frogged.  On the right is you can see the needle marking the place where I had done the reverse stitching.  Happily, not one thread of the fabric was damaged! 

In other news to share, my Mark 2 floor frame from Hearthside Craftworks shipped from Canada on Tuesday, with an estimated arrival in 10-14 days.  That means I may have it by next weekend!  I ordered it with 4 sets of scroll rods, figuring that was a good number of projects to keep in rotation.  This is certainly a wonderful birthday present, and I love that my husband is so supportive of my stitching.

The first two pieces to be put on the scroll rods will be HAED's Angel with Iris by Nadia Strelkina and HAED's Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, both of which are WIPs.  A third set is earmarked for a new start, Golden Kite's The Turtle Dove by Sophie Anderson.  I have not yet made a final decision on the fourth set, but I do have many wonderful charts in my stash.  I think I'll get some stitching done on the first three, then make up my mind, as there's no hurry!

HAED Angel with Iris
by Nadia Strelkina
HAED Sistine
Chapel by
GK The Turtle Dove
by Sophie Anderson

Monday, October 1, 2012

WIPocalypse and Bullfrogs

I almost forgot to post a September WIPocalypse report!  You can check out my progress on the WIP page, where I have updates on HAED Angel with Iris and Gigi R's Belles-Lettres D.

While I suppose that reverse stitching doesn't count for WIPocalypse, I think I could make the case that my current struggle with Bullfrogs requires sufficient effort to qualify.  Why Bullfrogs?  I think the work required to frog over half a page of HAED's Eternal Promise, which was tightly stitched with 3 strands of floss over one thread of 25 count Dublin Linen (tent) could not have been brought on by ordinary little frogs.

With all kidding aside, I'm actually in one of those odd moods where I'm enjoying the frogging and reclaiming a lovely piece of linen.  Just so you know what I'm doing, the picture on the right shows the stitching I'd done when I finally decided to reverese stitch the piece rather than continue a project I wasn't enjoying.

The two pictures below show my progress with the frogging project as of last night.  On the left is the front of the piece, so you can see that over half of the frogging is done.  On the right, you can see the back of the piece, and I think it's pretty obvious that all the threads were tightly tucked in and the bountiful confetti made for some pretty heavy padding.  Still, I've gotten over half of it frogged with no fabric damage, and I look forward to having a nice half yard of Raw Dublin Linen to either re-start Eternal Promise or start another project in the near future.