In Stitches

Thursday, May 25, 2006


In my opinion, the key to not having this block drive you crazy is BLENDING. LOL I can see that the designer was trying to achieve an interesting texture to the house by having us backstitch over all the yellow stitches that create the house. However, if you are like me (no patience) this method would inevitably drive you mad. So in the interest of preserving my sanity I opted to try blending. I blended the colors of the yellow stitching and blue backstitching and then started stitching away. And I think it looks great! The only downside is obviously doing the actual blending, but that's a minor point. It does slow me down a bit but it's worth it. :D

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I am almost finished with the main part of the house, just a bit at the top then onto shutters, windows and roof. It actually goes quite quickly, and if I didn't blend I'd be breezing through. :D
I am undecided at this point about filling with black. This block is supposed to be filled in at the end, but I'm not sure that I want to. Aside from the obvious work involved, I'm not sure if it will really add anything to this block. I like the idea of the fabric showing through.

Jenna asked to see a pic of the entire fabric. Here it is:

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It definately turned out a lot different than I had anticipated, but since most of the fabric will be covered I don't think that it will be an issue. The color is very complimentary to the colors of the project. I may have a problem with some of the lighter greens but that can be worked around. :D The thing that my mind is not digesting yet is how big this is. This fabric is 22"h x 28"w, in other words IT IS HUGE. LOL I have never worked on something so big, but it's a lot of fun. The wonderful thing about this project is that each square is it's own pattern so it's like starting on something new each time you move to the next one. Only the border is going to be ultra boring and tedious.

I wonder how long this will take to stitch...should be interesting. :D

So is anyone else excited to see the new XMen movie? :D And did anyone watch the season finale of Lost? Lost was definately mind blowing last night...

Monday, May 22, 2006

Looks Great, But Where's the House?

That's what I kept asking myself all weekend. As I stitched and stitched and stitched some more trying to make progress on HOHRH. LOL, LOL

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One thing is for sure, that border is PERFECT. It's what took the longest, working to make sure that I didn't miscount it, cuz if it's off the whole rest is off.

Then I set about working on the bottom of this square it's #6. My arm is aching from the effort to fill in that bottom bit. LOL It took forever....though I did manage to get a bit of the door done! The one thing that threw me off when I got to the house was, what is this symbol for supposed to be?? Well, after much frustration and having Greg look at it, we realized that it wasn't a mistake. It's just that after you stitch the whole house you are supposed to go back and backstitch over *every* stitch with a different color alternating the direction to give it some sort of unusual look. Personally...I hate it. So, therefore! I'm changing it! ;) I have decided to combine the two colors, the house color and the back stitch color to give it a blended look. It will be "similar" to the original intent but easier to achieve. So if you are stitching HOHRH pay attention to house #6 (the one with the black background) the color for the house is yellow with backstitching on top of it. For a while I thought the whole thing was done in quarter stitches, imagine how that thrilled me. LOL, LOL A BIG, GI-NORMOUS thanks to Greg for taking the time to *read* and understand the pattern. Trust me, it's easy to miss those backstitching instructions.

You can't really see the total color of the fabric, I need to get it into better light. But it's a green/tan mix that gives the fabric a worn out/moldy look. (Maybe moldy is a bit strong, but you get the idea.) LOL I like it, it goes with the project well. I dyed it especially for this project and it didn't quite turn out the way I had anticipated but it will work. I seem to have problems getting a proper tan color when dyeing. I am going to have to go a step up and get a better type of dye next time I want to get something in this color range.

Anyhoo, not a lot of house to see, but the fence is in and the door is started. I've got an ice pack on my arm (just kidding) and am ready to tackle more! :D

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 19, 2006

My Next Project

I finished up Feed the Birds so quickly I couldn't believe it was done! It turned out great and will look wonderful in the frame I have for it.

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It was much easier to stitch than it appeared at first!

My next project while being an "easy" stitch will be HUGE. I am going to stitch Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. *All* of them, at *one* time. LOL For those of you who haven't seen this project, there is a small pic of it at the right that you can click to see a larger version. It's a HUGE project. When finished (on 16ct) it will easily fit into a 22" h x 28" w frame. It's so big it's kind of mind boggling. But for some reason I am determined to stitch it...anxious even. I just love this project and can't wait to work on it.

I decided that it would have to be done on 16ct fabric (aida for me) and because I didn't have anything in a color I liked, I dyed a piece. I don't have a pic yet, but I love it. The fabric will give it a really old fashioned, worn out look that I think will be great.

I am curious to see how long it will take me to complete this one, as the blocks are really quite simple, it's only the general size that makes it daunting. I just know that this one is going to be an all time treasure if I can pull it off well. :D

I can't afford the expensive silks so I'm using DMC. I pulled colors last night and I don't see a problem with any of them it will have a similar look but for a lot less money.

Tonite I'm off to see the Da Vinci Code and then I will have time to start the project! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lost in a Fog

That's how I feel this week...not sure why but everything is slightly out of sync for me. I feel like the world is slightly to the left of where I'm standing and very fuzzy. And yet I have been able to get a lot done on my latest cross stitch project. It seems it's the one thing that I have perfect focus one. LOL

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I think I am rushing through this one so that I can get to my next HUGE project. LOL, LOL

I also finished up the La D Da project last week. It turned out great. I left off the outside border because I'm making this into a cute little pillow.

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This was a fun project. Next time I'd leave off the polka dots, the dress doesn't really need them. ;)

I saw the duck couple again, but if they are nesting around here they are keeping it to themselves. They sure are cute though. :)

Hope your week is going great!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

One for the Scrap Books

First let me share with you a beautiful Spring day where I live and an unusual story.

This is the garden right outside the building where I work. The first pic is a view through a luscious green arbor of a dazzling display of rhododendrons. The second pic is a closer view of the flowers. I was just stunned at the colors, just amazing!

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This pic is of a beautiful Mallard duck on the lawn right outside my window. There are a lot of ducks and geese around this area, so it's not unusual to see them. This one however caught my attention 1) cuz it was right outside my window 2) it had it's lady friend with it. It's obvious they were a mating pair and the female looked like she was trying to nest in the ground cover under some big pine trees across the lawn. Even this wouldn't have been so remarkable, except for a story someone told me a couple of weeks ago. We are an agricultural university and as such the students wander around studying the trees and such on the grounds (hence the spectacular flora). One of their notable projects is a rangeland right out the back of this building. They have a little mini prairie growing there and in the Spring they burn it off as part of a range management class. It's always a sight to behold with flames jumping into the sky and the fear that some people's cars might get singed (it's next to the parking lot, but no one's ever been singed). This year as we watched a duck came flying out of the grass just ahead of the burning. The story told later was that the duck came back after the burning and was obviously nesting her destroyed clutch. It was sad to think of her eggs destroyed and then today as I'm watching these two ducks I'm thinking "Hey! This may be the same ducks come back to give it another try." Now that would be quite the thing to have a few ducklings hatched in the side yard. LOL

In other news! I got an email from Lynne Nicoletti that her newest news letter is up. Half way through is a short article and pictures of my projects! She was very sweet to show both my Alice and Oak Island projects. Click here: ALICE and scroll down to see her article.

Take time to read the rest too, she's got some great information on some new DMC threads coming out along with other interesting news. :D

I also got more done on Forever Friends. (Nancy: The designer is La D Da and it's one of their newer patterns. It's an easy stitch and a lot of fun, go ahead and splurge it's worth it! ;D ) I have to say that La D Da is fast becoming one of my favorite designers. :D

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Do you or have you stitched with over-dyed threads? (Weeks Dye Works, The Gentle Art Sampler Threads, Six Strand Sweets, etc.) If so, what is your opinion concerning them? If not, why not?

I wanted to answer this question last week but didn't get a chance. As you can see from the project above I do use a lot of over-dyed threads. I think they are fantastic. I just love them. They are such a change from DMC which I find can be boring at times. I have stitched a lot of projects with them and find that they add an interesting effect. It's not always a variegated effect, but usually more of a distressed or aged look. I realize that some people don't care for this look but for me it works well. I never stitch them the way it's suggested (1 cross at a time) and I like it that way. When I use these I don't want uniformity, I want the uneveness and irregularity. I have read that some people are disappointed that they aren't more variegated, but for many of their threads I have never gotten the impression that (Gentle Art or Weeks) was trying to do a strong variegation, but more of a distressed look.

The only downside is that they do cost a lot more than DMC, 4 times as much for me and that keeps me from using them as much. If there was one recommendation I would have for these thread companies, it would be to find a way to drop their prices. I think a lot more people would be tempted to use them if they were less expensive. But if you haven't tried them and can afford too, I'd highly recommend them. You can use them in conjunction with DMC and achieve a fun look for projects where you want to substitute colors.

Well I've rambled on enough! Hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Winding My Way Back

It's funny how it takes a while to get back into the swing of things when you've been off work for a week. Plus it helps when Blogger decides to cooperate. ;P

We had a great time last week just kicking back and relaxing. Didn't do much but had a great time doing nothing. :) We went to an unusual shop in Des Moines that sells tons of cross stitch. I'm not kidding you they had more patterns in one place than I've ever seen before. It was a lot of fun to sort through it all and we bought way more than we needed. LOL We even took time to sort out all our growing piles of stash and organize it. That was quite the experience. LOL

I also got Greg's high wheel bike framed, below are some pics:

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Love this frame, it added a lot to the project!

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Here's where it hangs now!

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And here is a picture that Greg found years ago. It's the Omaha Bicycle Club out for a ride with all their high wheelers. Not sure what year it is, but has to be from 1890's or so. This is a great picture! It's fun to see how much bicyclers from the past loved their bikes.

I also worked on Forever Friends, here's an update:

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I added the head and hair to the girl in the mulberry dress last night, so it's coming along nicely.

The weather is getting so nice! And it looks like everyone has been busy while I was gone, so I need to catch up on blogs. Hope everyone is having a great week. :D