Sunday 31 May 2020

Dark Forces rising again

One fun project I pulled out this month was Dark Forces. To recall, this is a full coverage by Tilton Crafts, my first project of the size, and I started it back in 2015. I had worked on it almost exclusivly for about half a year, until the first row of pages was done, and barely touched it since, so it was high time it got some love again! I started of here - as you can see, I did about half a page in the last five years or so:

I had worked on this strictly in columns before, but now that I'm using Pattern Keeper, I decided to work page by page and colour by colour instead. During the course of ten hours, I got about 1.500 stitches in, and brought this page prety close to a finish:

I'm hoping to work on this about once a month now to hopefully finish two or three more pages by the end of the year. We'll see how that goes!

Tuesday 26 May 2020

May Gifted Gorgeousness

It seems that everything is delayed a little this's okay, from time to time I find myself in a slump of 'work' (work-work, blog-work, stitchy work, you name it) piling up around me and I have to claw myself out of it again by slowly tackling one thing after another. It seem that lockdown and persisting work from home time have had such an effect on my lately (after having a pretty positive effect on my motivation for the first couple weeks or so!), but I'm feeling better and slowly working my way through everything that fell to the wayside.

So! For a somewhat late Gifted Gorgeousness, hosted by the wonderful Jo, I have to things to show you today. One, of course, is The Mermaid, that I have just recently shown you, but I'm so very proud of her don't mind showing her again:

I stitched her for my Dad's 60th birthday last July. At least I finished before his 61st! I'm currently looking at framing options for her and found a few that I like. They are all quite expensive, but honestly, she deserves a fancy frame, doesn't she?

The other one is Magical's bookmark of the month. For May, she designed a gorgeous rainbow pattern on black fabric that I so enjoyed stitching! I haven't finished-finished it yet, but have something fun planned that I hope will work out. More on this one soon!

I'm stitching these bookmarks so I'll have a nice collection of emergency gifts and stocking fillers by Christmas, which is why it qualifies! I also had a couple new starts that technically qualify (one is a gift and one was a kit bought from a voucher I got for my birthday), but both have so little to show yet that I'll be saving them for next month.

Monday 25 May 2020

The Mermaid is....finished!

Felix and I reinstalled and updated my laptop over the last couple of days (new and bigger SSD, dual boot for work, and a couple new security features), so it took me a while to get everything up and running again. I'm still having some issues commenting on blogs, that I hope to figure out tomorrow, but at least I can write updates again, so I'll try and get caught up! I can't do the new blogger design, though, only the classic one, so I sure hope they won't force the change for a while yet...

So...I can hardly believe I'm writing this, but after almost 300 hours of work (my timer for her is at 270h, but I had a bit done before I started taking time), The Mermaid is finally finish! Last time you saw her, she was here, in need of some more backstitch and most of TW's 'special instructions':

I did the remaining backstitch on her hair and the rocks, then turned to the special instructions. Probably my favourite part was couching gold Kreinik cord to her armband and forehead, which were later embelished with some beads as well:

There's also some gold couched to each of the four corners, and plenty of sparkly blending fillament scattered around the water trickles and her scaly body, but both refuses to show up nicely in pictures. What DOES show up nicely are all the details on the little tidal pool by her hand - blending filament, layered half crosses for a transluscent look, and wrapped back stitch for little watery ripples on the surface!

Here she is in all her glory - now I only need to find a frame that does her justice! I'll probably go with some antique gold, although I'm thinking I really should look if there's something with mother of pearl details (or at list the look of it):

Just like after finishing Lady Justice, there will be a little 'fun' stitching now, but I also have a bookmark to finish for a birthday, and my next bigger focus project is all lined up to be started, so stay tuned!

Monday 18 May 2020

May Fully Finished Gallery

I'm way late for the May update for Rachel's Fully Finished Gallery, but due to Felix being terribly busy those last couple weeks, I just yesterday managed to make my quota of two fully finished objects per month!

So, let's start with the easier one, the one you had already seen: In April, I finished the bookmark fo the month on perforated paper:

Jo asked whether I was going to back it with something, and I'm starting to think that might be a good idea - either cardboard or stick-on felt come to mind. What do you think? Do you have any experience on how perforated paper bookmarks hold up to actually being used?

My second fully finished object was Bloodmoon, and again, the inspiration for finishing this came from Jo. First, I spent about three hours stitching a witch on tansparent plastic canvas. The with is part of a pattern called 'Bitchcraft', also from UnconventionalXStitch (just like Bloodmoon):

Then I had Felix frame Bloodmoon in a deep, black frame. I cut out the witch and used transparent sewign thread and a red pushpin to let her dangle from the top of the frame. The result looks like this:

It's still hard to photograph - in real life, the white of the foam board isn't nearly as visible through the black fabric as it is in this picture. I thought about backing it with black paper, but only remembered when Felix was half done, and really, it's barely visible in real life. I really love this finish - thanks for the idea, Jo!

Sunday 17 May 2020

Bloodmoon - finished at 38 hours

I really need to get that FFG pst up, but going chronologically, this has to come first! Sorry Rachel, hopefully tomorrow.

So, after my rotation on The Mermaid, I pulled out Bloodmoon - it was my Halloween '19 start and had been sadly neglected albeit being very close to a finish! Again, it seems to be one of those projects that don't have a good, current picture on this blog - I most have been really neglectful at updating last year, even worse than now. Anyways, here is where we started out:

And here's a finish, about eight hours later:

Aren't all those reds just gorgeous? I so love the way they pop on the black. They are hard to photograph right, but this is pretty close.
No knitting to make up for the time difference, since I spent some more time to finish-finish this...but that is a story for another day. As I said - hopefully tomorrow!

Wednesday 13 May 2020

The People's Choice SAL: Fire

It's (high) time for Jo's 'The People Chose' SAL, this month's topic is "Fire", and my update on that will be short and sweet (orh ot?) - one design I stitched, one I really want to stitch some day!

My one really firery project I did is, of course, Fire and Ember - a red dragon sitting on a pile of lava with a firery glow all around, it doesn't get much better than that!

And the one design I really really want to stitch because it looks absolutely awesome (but I'm also a bit intimidated by it because it's crazy with specialty stitches and stuff) it the Phoenix Mandala by Northern Expression Needleworks. Just look at it, isn't is awesome? (picture stolen from their Etsy store):

Just look at it, isn't that pretty? I really need to do more projects with specialty stitches, I so enjoy doing them and I don't get nearly enough practice.

Tuesday 12 May 2020

April Crafty Pies

I'm a bit behind getting these blog posts up again, and I have so much to talk about! So I really should get going and try to catch up a little. Today, we have my crafty pies for April.

Again, my overall crafting hours weren't that high - I still did a lot of gaming, video calling friends, cooking, and work too, of course. So far it's looking much craftier for May, though, and as long as I am still making progress on everything, I won't be overly concerned!

As you can see, I mostly focused on stitching again, although there was a little bit of knitting as well (and this will be even more prominent in May and hopefully coming months too, as I have a couple of gifts to make!)

As I finished Lady Justice early in the month, my stitching has been a lot more spread out between different projects this month. The Mermaid made a re-appearance, as did some other new and old projects. As usually, you've already seen most of them (or will see them in the next couple of posts) except for one: The Mini Mystery 3. Magical is still hosting this with a new pattern released over the course of each two weeks. I haven't been feeling like putting in ten stitches every day, lately, so I just stitched the third one in one go when it was all out (notice how it still took me as much time as doing it daily? Yeah, I had same major froggin issues with this one...I think I stitched that one corner four times until I got it right!). Part 4 finished yesterday, so I'll be stitching that one up soon, but here is #3 for your viewing pleasure:

Saturday 9 May 2020

The April SALs

For my monthly SALs, I had decided to lump them all together in one ten-hour-rotation now - as it turns out, a very wise decision, as even together, the three of them got barely close to ten hours! But then, it means that I'll only get to post them at the beginning of the next month, when I've been able to catch up with the Temperature SAL. Ah well...sacrifices have to be made!
(by the way, what happened to blogger? My admin panel looks really weird, but I hope the post will still look okay when done...I really don't like this kind of thing changing!)

So...first, there was the bookmark of the month, which you've already seen in the GG post. A lovely pattern on perforated paper using hand dyed threads this month!

Time: 3:03h

Next up was the Blackwork SAL. Magical has recounted the patterns and realized that she's been giving us too many patterns in the past couple month, or at least, we'd end up with too many patterns if she kept at it, so there where only two new patterns this month, which stitched up way too fast! I think I need to work on another blackwork pattern soon to make up for that ;)

Time: 2:16h

And last but not least, I stitched up the April-section of the Temperature SAL and guess what - new colours! There's hardly any blue, a lot of green, and even a decent amount of yellow. Yay! May started of rather cold-ish, but has since warmed up nicely, so I'm curious how that will look.

Time: 2:14h

Since all three of them did not add up to ten hours, I also spent some time knitting Viajante. I've been picking her up here and there to work on during videocalls (when I could get away with it) and am now 2/3 done with the border. No pictures until she's done but it might be soon now!

Tuesday 5 May 2020

The Mermaid is back!

I'm sure you've all been waiting for her since LJ is all finished and framed, and now it's time - I started working on The Mermaid again, making her my next big focus project to finish. I already finished my first rotation on her - ten hours of backstitching! Since you haven't seen her in a while, here is where we last left her off...or rather, where I left her off; I think I never showed you the start I made on backstitching by outlining her skin and face!

Now in ten hours, one can do a lot of backstitching, and I did. I stitched around the border three times - once insice the gold, and then the in- and outside of the blue - and I backstitched allll these seashells! I also stitched around her tail and fin.

Now I only have two colours of backstitching left - the rocks and her hair, mostly. There are also some special instructions, like adding blending filament, gold and beads. We'll see if another ten hours will be enough to finish her, but stitching the shells certainly was the most laborous part of backstitching!