Tuesday, July 8

Framing Part 4 - Letters from Nora - S

A couple of years ago, while visiting friends (there seems to be a theme here), I decided that I was determined to start stitching again.   While I seem to have very little time between social activities and other hobbies, I did miss stitching, and I still have a large portion of my stitching "stuff"

Nora Corbett had a "Letters from Nora" alphabet releasing in parts and the "S" (for Samantha, though I call her Wendy) came out, and I was so happy.   I was worried that I would hate the S fairy, because I really liked some of the letters, and other not-so-much, but she was adorable, the S was adorable, and I really liked the colors.

And it took me 2 years to stitch... hey, a lot was going on!

So when I went on my trip, and I knew that I was going to get something framed, this was, without a doubt, the first piece that popped into my head.   And I'm really pleased with the results.  She's super pretty, and I already knew where to put her in my home.

The whole piece - pretty color correct on my monitor.
She was stitched on antique white linen (I did not like the green called for in the chart)
There is a rusty mat, a pink mat (to pull the pinks in the "tail" of the S), and the top mat is a purple suede.
The framer is a wood that is painted purpley, with the distressed edges.  Much love.

My attempt to show off the mat and frame - they're more purple and less brown than I'm seeing on my monitor.
The piece sits on a wall that is painted purple ("black raspberry" by Benny Moore), so it both blends into the wall from afar and looks phenomenal from up close.

Detail with the face and framing... pretty color accurate, I think!

On my stenciled wall - The near photo is an original black and white of my maternal grandparents' wedding (with the original folder "mat" from the photographer being used!), the far, my paternal.

Same shot, different angle, this time my paternal grandparents (original tinted, btw!  The artist that owns the framing studio here was amazed), and then the maternal far... you can see a glimpse of my Ursula Vernon print on the other side of the stair bannister thing.

So yes, I'm so glad that this framing is everything I hoped it would be.  The framer wouldn't let me have my antiquey silver frame like I wanted, but I like his choice better (I'm sure he WOULD have, but I really like what he suggested).  I can't wait to see the mermaid alphabet's version of S as well, since it's such a fun letter.

Framing Part 3 - Tywyn Sampler

I cannot, for the life of me, remember when I bought Tywyn Sampler.   I do know I was living in Austin, so sometime between 1996 and 1999, most likely.   I picked it up from Gingers, which at the time was a fantastic cross stitch shop, but has sadly closed.   They were on the bus route from UT, so I could visit without any problems.     I actually bought the chart with the threadpack, so it came with all of the fibres and silver dragon charm in it.

It was my first major silk piece, and it was also my very first cut work.  

I stitched it in 2001 and this piece was an utter joy to stitch from beginning to end.  I love the variegated silks and all of the fun specialty stitches, and the alphabet was fun, too (I used the Welsh instead of the English - though both were charted so you could choose).

I'm also thrilled that I could include my name in the piece as part of a band, rather than having to find some unobtrusive corner to stick my initials in.

Please excuse the overload, this is one of my favorite pieces of all time, and the frame job on it is even better than I thought it would be (not that I wasn't there when everything was picked out, but seeing it all together is just jaw droppingly gorgeous in my opinion)

The whole piece, on the wall... that paint shifts from that tan to a grey in the light and I love the piece on it.

The whole gorgeous, gorgeous piece.  Dark green mat bottom, followed by a taupey color that matches the threads, and the burgundy suede mat of awesome.

Another picture, which is colored oddly, but shows off the specialty stitches better

The beautiful wyvern top that initially drew me in. Beautiful silky dragon.

The top mat is more greeny ecru than green, but I like this shot of everything together. 

Another frame/stitching detail shot.

I'm so in love with this piece and framing job it's ridiculous.   The first thing I did was look for (and find!) a great place to hang it in my living room so I can gaze at it whenever the mood strikes (which right now is pretty much "always").

Framing - Part 2 - For Amelia!

This is my second framed piece, and I don't have as many detail shots... I am hoping to add them in later.   Due to what was probably a minor miscommunication, I didn't get the spacers I had hoped (see, hoped, not asked!) for, so I will take care of that with a local framer..

For Amelia was a class that Terry offered years ago at CATS (2001?  I can't remember!).   A friend of mine signed up for the class but didn't want to stitch the piece, so she was kind enough to sell me her kit!

The piece was stitched on Lt Pansy linen by Glenshee Linens, and I learned an important lesson in hand dyed linens (this was my first).   It is all silks and delicas, definitely worth the premium price that I paid.

These are probably so similar I don't need to upload both images, but I am rather proud of her.
There is glass on the piece, I was trying to reduce the glare (it's regular glass). 
I'm not super thrilled with the piece ONLY because there is a lot of purple going on, and I'm not sure how I feel about that, though I love the actual frame.   I'm sure once I find her proper place in the house, I'll calm down... I think my penchant for "conservative" fabrics is playing into my less than utter love ;)

Unfortunately, the designer is no longer designing (heck, no one seems to know where he is), and luckily I have pretty much all of the charts of his that I want (rather, I have all of the charts for pieces I have not done - all of my completed charts I have given away).

I did find an interesting blog post that lists everything he's done, which is really helpful/awesome.  And as far as I can tell, For Amelia is still available as a chart pack at a few online shops.

Framing - part 1 (of 4!) - Luna Moth

I'm splitting up my framing post into 4, because it is a little pic heavy and I wanted to give appropriate weight to each one, because I adore them all :)

Recently I visited some friends, and they had a local framer they really like... So I packed up 5 pieces to take with with me, intending to frame 2, hoping to frame more, depending on the cost.

I ended up framing all 5!   Three of them were easy, obvious choices for me, but in the giant tub of "other pieces" I had to choose... And this is one of the ones I chose -
Luna Moth by Sandra Paradise from the March 2004 issue of Stitcher's World.

I loved the model in the photo, and had a fantastic (small) piece of sky blue evenweave and decided to go with that.  I fussed and complained, because the beads were giving me fits, but I finally finished it in September 1, 2008.    And it's absolutely gorgeous.  The piece is heavy as anything I've ever stitched, but it has a fantastic and beautiful sparkle that cannot be beat.

It was an utter bear to frame.  I wanted matting, and the colors in the Luna Moth presented a unique challenge to the framer.   I kind of hated the greenish linen mat he picked out, but in the end he was right.  Just as I was right to really want the purple mats underneath.  He definitely did a great job, and I love it.

The whole piece - the lighting is a bit off, but I couldn't get the gold of the frame and the green of the mat to play nicely with my camera phone or editing, and I'm too lazy to bust out the Lightroom for this today ;)

Hopefully you can see all of the beading.  And confetti!

Some detail of the mat/framing

More detail shots... that's "regular" glass, not glare free... I'm kind of choosy on when I bother with that.
So all in all, I adore this piece and I'm ever so glad I chose it for framing.   I don't know anyone else who has stitched this, so the fact that it's a pretty unique piece is awesome, too (though, really, people, you should, it's GORG!).

The pattern is still available (for cheaps!) at Herrschners as a download (clickity click).

Monday, June 30

Halloween Fairy update

I worked a wee bit on Halloween Fairy last night.
I'm determined to finish my downstairs home wreckin' projects (namely the half bath and the kitchen), but I just got tired of maneuvering in the teensy bathroom with a ladder (seriously 9 ft ceilings, yuck), so I worked on her instead.

I really wanted to get the bottom half of her done.  I'll do her arms/body/head next and then get to the wings. 

I also got a skeleton of a spreadsheet done to catalog my patterns/charts, because... yeah I need to do that.  I've already bought one duplicate in the past year, and I should really stop that.

Thursday, June 26

Mirabilia starts & Progress

It's no good for me to talk about stitching progress if I don't actually have any, is there?

Right now, I'm in love with Mirabilias, probably because I finished the S-Fairy, which I hope to have framed pictures of, in the not to distant future.

In the meantime, I started something brand new while I was on vacation, and it's Deco Spirits by Mira.

I owned this chart wayyyy back in the day, not long after it came out in '96, but I didn't think I'd ever actually get around to it and I gave it away.

And then I saw it posted by someone on my 'book wall, and I remembered why I fell in love with it to begin with.  PLUS it totally fits in with the decor at the house, so I figured - why the hell not?  I had almost everything I needed in stash, so I brought it and got started.

So here she is - Deco Spirits (this block is going to be Earth):

Last year, because I did not have what I wanted for my project (rather, I didn't have the DMC on me, and I sure wasn't going to buy anything I already had), I started Halloween Fairy.   I somehow lost the Chocolate Cream Pie Crescent Colours, so I was just stitching around that area till the thread came in that I ordered.  Last night I stitched a bunch of it, but no pics, Alas.

And here is New Years Fairy, which I started for no damn reason at all, but the goal is to get Halloween done and then New Years.
After that, I may or may not start on Thanksgiving, or just work on some other WIP projects to decrease the load.    I want to get down to 5 WIPs, so we'll see how that goes.

So that's it for now :)

First "official" Garden Tower harvest for the year.

Anyone that knows me know that I love my Garden Tower (not to be confused with the Tower Garden).
I love it so much that I have two.   And maybe a $50 credit. 
And a whole FB album for it.

Anyway, it's ultra fun, and last year I managed to produce squash out the wazoo, and maybe a few cherry tomatoes. 
This year everything that didn't grow last year is going crazy, and the stuff that grew last year isn't, really.  It's so weird.

Here it is!  My ginormous, very tender zucc, a bunch of bell peppers, a whole lot of tomatillos, and then a few other peppers.
Not pictures?  The tons of cut flowers, overzealous herbs (mint, verbena, chives, tarragon, basil, thyme) and ripening cherry tomatoes that will take over my world.
I do have a lot of love for the various zinnias that are growing like crazy.  I think that due to the super-nutrient rich soil, they don't grow as tall.  they flower within a couple of feet, usually less.  Here's one name-less zinnia (I have a multipack, so I don't know what varieties I've got):

And my beautiful Ms. Mars sunflower (one of many):