Friday, November 03, 2017

clean slate & new starts!

I've been feeling bogged down by old, complicated, or just plain boring WIPs recently. I'm the type of person who stresses out about "finishing what you start" and "making progress" and all that sort of self-imposed nonsense, so I've felt compelled to keep working on things that weren't very enjoyable. As a result, things had gotten to the point where I didn't feel like stitching at all.

So I decided to pack up all my old WIPs and store them out of sight until I feel a genuine urge to work on them again. The moment I made that decision, I pulled out all those projects, popped them off the qsnaps, packed them neatly into bags, and hid them away.

Instant relief. It's just a mental trick, sure, but sometimes a mental trick is exactly what you need!

Oddly enough, I think this will help with impulse buying as well. I've gotten a lot better this year, but I'll still buy the odd pretty thing because buying things is fun and exciting. But you know what else is fun and exciting? Starting a new project that I already have in my stash. I think I've been trying to find the joy of something new in buying instead of using. Buying works for a short time, then makes me feel bad about myself because I gave into temptation again. Using makes me feel good about reducing my stash, appreciating what I already have, and rediscovering forgotten gems.

So... what forgotten gems did I dig up? Check it out. :)

~~~

First up, Mini Beautiful Light by HAED. This is actually a new purchase that I picked up in the recent anniversary sale. I wanted to try a project with a limited number of colors (only 15 in this one) and see how I liked the new 32ct pregridded fabric they sell.


Small start, as you'd expect from a HAED, but it works up fast - this is only two days of stitching! I'm working the colors from light to dark, so the whole thing honestly looks kind of bad until the black goes in and ties it all together. I was really doubting some of the colors used in the thin white lines, but it looks pretty good once it's filled in.

Not sure I'd use the 32ct on a project with 90 colors, though. The fabric is very sturdy without a lot of give (I'm used to stitching on linen which has a ton of give), and there's a fair amount of confetti and carried threads in this piece even though it's only 15 colors. In short, the back is THICK with carried threads and it can be hard to get the needle up through the fabric in places with a lot of color changes. I still have a FE sized piece of this fabric but I dunno what I'll use it for now...

~~~

And next, a good start on Mermaid Verde by Nora Corbett, since one of the Mira FB groups is having a "Mervember" SAL. I'm not officially participating but thought this would be a good chance to start a project that's been waiting a long time!


I love how fast Mira patterns stitch up. All this was done last night and this morning, and I plan to stitch quite a bit more this afternoon and evening! Maybe I'll get her entire tail done this weekend if I don't have other stuff to do. :)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Flight of Freedom - update #2

This isn't my favorite project, but it's pretty satisfying to work on because it comes together so quickly. The background is all half stitches so it's zoom zoom zoom. I think I've only put about five hours of work into this one since last time and I've already reached the other corner!


That's almost all of the sky, so I'll be working on the mountains on the left side next. Nothing against the eagle, but it's all full crosses and I'm enjoying the fast progress, so yeah. :p

Not sure what I'll work on next. Maybe I'll stick with this one for a while.

Friday, October 20, 2017

I'm not perfect...

Mistakes were made.


I know, I know. After dealing with the Great Fabric Purge of 2017, why on earth am I bringing in MORE fabric? I'm going to be honest, I had a moment of weakness. I found a new-to-me dyer who had some fabulous vibrant colors I haven't seen elsewhere, including the beautiful green in the bottom left. It's exactly the color I've had in mind for Prosperity Fae by Passione Ricamo, and I haven't found a rich "pure" green like this with other dyers I like.

Okay, but why did I need seven other pieces? I can't really answer that, except to say I'm a fallible person who makes mistakes sometimes.

Only one of the seven other fabrics was purchased with a specific pattern in mind. I have an idea for one more of them. But that leaves five fabrics that are just stash items right now.

I like these fabrics. They're beautiful.
I didn't need them.

But that's okay. I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Instead, I'm going to remember that I have wonderful things already and it's important to appreciate them. Which means... I need to stitch faster! Can't have all this potential going to waste, right?

~~~

On a more positive note, I've been doing a pretty good job of paring down my stash aside from this one slip. More fabric has gone out than has come in, and a bunch of charts have found new homes. And I've had some finishes so things have been used up the "right" way, too. :p

One thing I'm starting to realize is that even after cutting down to only the things I genuinely like and want to stitch, it's still too much. There's no way I can realistically stitch ALL of my charts and kits, even if I never buy another thing again.

For now, I'm going to sit on this idea. Nothing is busting out of the designated storage space, and I'd rather focus on selling and/or donating the items I don't want first, instead of adding more to the pile. But once that stuff is gone, it'll be time for another pass through my stash, I think...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Night - update #1 (and a small finish)

Argh, another long break between posts! I've been bouncing around between projects for a while so I didn't have much to show. An hour here and there on stuff like a Chatelaine doesn't really make for an exciting update. :p

I picked up Night by Teresa Wentzler again. This is the first time I've shown it because my start was so small it wasn't worth showing, but now there's a small chunk of border to share.


A small start, but any amount of progress on a Wentzler is good progress! Night is a project I originally started when I was in high school, and back then I started in the center and stitched most of the figure. Unfortunately, the fabric wasn't quite big enough (it fit, but barely) and my stitching was honestly terrible. I threw away that project years ago, intending to redo it once my skills were up to the task. Took me a while to get back to it, but here it is!

And since all of my current WIPs are relatively difficult stuff (Chatelaine, HAED, Wentzler, and a Dimensions kit that I'm only making because it's a gift for my FIL), I decided to work on a series of simple projects alongside them. A while back, Down Sunshine Lane had an exclusive kit from Hands on Design with a beach theme, and I had to have it. Because reasons. And I've decided that I'm not going to let an expensive kit sit in my stash forever - it's getting made ASAP.

So here's the first piece, meant to be the front of a pocket that holds a wooden corner gauge/ruler.


The chart calls for backstitching around the sand dollars, but I'm not sure if I want to do it. I'll wait until I finish stitching all the designs and then make a decision.

Oh, and I'm also trying to pick a Mira mermaid to start in November, since there's a SAL starting... not that I'll participate officially, but I'll follow along. Probably Mermaid Verde to go along with Mermaid Azure, who's been done for ages...

Friday, October 06, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #7 (finish!)

Another big finish today! I think Renaissance Mermaid is the most blinged out Mirabilia I've worked on yet! Either that, or I was just slow about getting her beaded for some reason. It took me about three days of work to get all her beads on, but the result... well, you look. :)


Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good shot of the actual fabric color, so I had to do a lot of color correction on these photos, and it's still not great. The fabric is Ocean Belfast by Sugar Maple Fabrics and it's more of a solid aqua blue, not as heavily mottled as these pictures suggest.



Naturally, I made some small changes as always. :p

- over one skin with the usual recharting to smooth the boundaries between colors
- dyed my own variegated blue to use in the fin and tail :)
- replaced blue Kreinik in tail with random color from stash
- replaced all size 11 beads with delicas
- gave her a pearl earring
- used shell instead of heart on... whatever that thing is she's holding
- also used bugle beads and more pearls/gemstones on the thing
- modified shape of beaded curls a bit to allow for easier/cheaper framing!
- changed color of curls to PTP I had in my stash

Whew, I think that's it.

What's next? More Flight of Freedom - checked with MIL and yes, FIL would be thrilled to receive it as a gift, so I feel a lot better about stitchng it now - and Beaded Dragonfly Tile. For real this time. I'm going to finish that blasted tile this year even if it kills me!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Renaissance Mermaid - update #6

Suddenly I'm very motivated to get this over one skin finished! Not sure why, maybe because my wife is traveling for work and I'm home alone for two weeks. *kicks a rock* We've been gaming in the evenings recently so stitching took a backseat, but since I'm alone, I pop on a let's play and go nuts with stitching.

Here's a current progress shot!


When I look at her in real life, I feel like there's soooo much left to stitch. But really, it's just her arms, and I've already gotten a good start on both.

I'm pretty sure I'll just keep going until I finish. :3

Monday, September 25, 2017

Flight of Freedom - update #1

Okay, you'll have to pretend this is a decent picture (it's not) and imagine the background fabric as a nice pale blue.


I started in the center and worked my way up the eagle's wing to reach the sky, which is all half stitches. It's going relatively quickly - this is about eight hours of work - but the sheer magnitude of this project is kind of depressing.

To put it in perspective, this is basically a full coverage project of around 200x250 stitches. I have a few HAED mini charts in my stash that are around 225x325 stitches, or about 1.5 times as many stitches total. And those are images I actually like.

The only thing saving this project is that it's nice blocks of solid color, for the most part. And the sky is very pretty with all those sunset colors.

Trying to resist the urge to pick up something new, because my two main projects right now are this and the endless hell of skin on Renaissance Mermaid. Sigh. :(