Sunday, August 17, 2014

At Long Last

I'm back again - within the same month even.  I'm not responsible for any shock, awe or cardiac events following this announcement.

What I'm currently working on are 3 cross stitch projects in rotation, 2 spinning projects and one knitting project.

Two of the cross stitch projects are from Heaven and Earth Designs.  The first is from an artist named Randal Spangler.  It's name is Fireside Fairytales.  This is a what I aspire to achieve in my stitching:
 Fireside Fairytales and this is where I am:  If you look in the upper left corner of the design above - well there is a ways to go for me.  Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) has a bulletin board and they have stitch alongs (SAL) weekly.  Week 2 was for BAP (big a$$ project) or sleeping works in progress.  This week, week 3 is for confetti stitching.  That is when there are many color changes in a small space.  Mr. Spangler's designs qualify.  Oh, this is being stitched on 28 count fabric.  In other words, 28 stitches = one inch.  This design is 450 stitches wide by 569 stitches high.  

For my confetti week, I'm working on a Storykeep, the HAED term for a bookmark.  Mine is called Seasons Winter.  She's 75 stitches wide by 312 high and has 86 colors of floss.  In that small an area, yep, there is confetti.  I took this photo yesterday with 93 stitches in place. So this is the full width of the storykeep.  I have stitched more, but won't update photos until next week when I need to post my 'After' photo.

Storykeep Seasons Winter

The last week of the month is for HAEDless stitching - non-HAED designs.  For that I've pulled out my Big Red by The Silver Lining.  This one was started at least 18 months ago - maybe longer.  Marc Sastaad, the designer/artist, is probably my favorite for flowers and lighthouses.  

My results to date are
I've started at the bottom so I can watch the flowers grow as I stitch.  This is also stitched on 28 count fabric.  It's 274 wide by 440 tall.  The outlines complete my first page of 16 (I think).  I do have some more to fill in with the actual cross stitches.

The spinning in process - well I only have one photo to share.  This is my support spinning on a tahkli and it's cotton.  The tahkli (mine anyway) is imported from India and is a metal shaft with a brass whorl.  I have 17 oz of cotton sliver (sly-ver is the way it's pronounced) of 4 colors - white, brown, green and tan.
The cotton will be wound into a skein and then boiled to remove the rest of the natural waxes coating the fibers.  This will also deepen the colors.  I'm spinning the green cotton right now.  I'll put a penny or dime in the next shot to show its size, but that bowl is less than 4" across.

The other spinning will have to wait on the photo op because it has dark colors to it so I have to wait for a bright day.  I have a 4 oz braid of Targhee, a USA developed sheep breed.  I think it will be sock yarn when it's finished.

My knitting project is one I had set aside last year and is a pair of socks.  The pattern is called Paraphernalia.  I'm knitting it in a brown colorway and have to dig up the source and name.  Anyway, more dark colors so photo op will have to wait.  

The spinning and knitting projects are for those times I am watching a movie and want to actually see most of the movie.  

Since the stitching projects have weekly SALs, this should force me to update at least once per month.  As a project is completed, another of the same sort will be pulled out and will join in.  Some of these projects go back years - but I'm not going to say how many - other than some are older than my grandkids.

I want to learn how to mat and frame my needlework and some prints I have.  I already have found instructions to create my own dry-mount style photo enlargements and as the supplies go on sale, will try doing some of those for gifts and my own gallery wall.  Some family members have taken some terrific photos so will see if they will allow me to use those as well.  

I am also trying to downsize my inventory of stuff.  I realize I have too much so need to pare it to the things I enjoy and use on a fairly regular basis.  I've started with books.  Stash of fiber, yarn and stitchables will be reduced by completing the projects or using the patterns I've gathered through the years.  

One of my grandkids asked me if I had some yarn they could have - so I got rid of 5 skeins of yarn.  It's not bad yarn but yarn I didn't have a need for.  The grand did so we're both happy.  I have more if she needs it. 

Until next time, Enjoy!



Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Very Quick Note

Just a very quick update to say after a hard drive crash, repair and now getting things back to normal.  I need to update and find my backup of some of my photos and then can post updates.

I'm now doing more cross stitching and spinning (cotton on a tahkli) with some earring design and creation taking place as well.  Hopefully will finish some projects along the way as well.

I'll be making this more about my progress in the crafts and as motivation for me to get out of this slump and make some progress in my healing.

My plan is to have something worth posting next week, by Saturday.