Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Tarot - Stephanie Pui-Mun Law (HAED)

It is bad, bad, bad for me to start a new stitching project. I have way too many WIPs already, and never mind all the other crafty projects on the back burner (I'm still playing with chainmaille, and I'm going to try to make some needle-felted snowman ornaments this week). But I heard a lot of great things about the 30-count linen from Passione Ricamo, so of course I had to order a couple of pieces to see for myself, and of course once I had it I had to test it out, right? It'd be downright wasteful not to!! And what better way to test it out than by starting a new Heaven and Earth Designs project?

I feel semi-virtuous for choosing World Tarot, because it's a small piece as HAED pieces go (meaning I should be able to complete it in under 350 hours, as opposed to the 600-700 hours I'll have logged into Gypsy once she's done). Plus, I really had to start another piece by Law, because she's one of my favorite artists and I loved how Lady of the Ginkos turned out, and I'm not stitching any of her charts right now (gasp! such an oversight! had to be remedied!).

Here's the original artwork of the piece:

and here's my progress so far - 20 rows done in just under a week:

Aren't those greens just to die for?

I've put her back in the storage box with all her little friends for now, and am currently working on Land of Enchantment. Hoping to get a full page done on that in the next couple of weeks...there's a lot of black on this page so it's going quickly.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Snowman Ornament

I almost forgot to post a pic of's 'Snow Wishes' from the 2009 JCS ornament issue. I made a few color changes (can't seem to resist doing that with every chart these days!). It stitched up pretty quickly...I just did it on one of my hand-dyed Aidas instead of the linen it called for, since I figured that if I'm going to go around plugging my hand-dyed fabric, I'd better do some projects on it myself.

Anyway, here 'tis. I haven't finished it into an ornament yet, but it'll be for my nephew Eric.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chain Maille

So I decided that I really needed to learn how to make chainmaille. I just love the way the weaves look, and they make such gorgeous necklaces and bracelets.
After looking over a few tutorials, I decided that it was probably easier than it looked, and I made my first two pair of earrings relatively quickly:

Then I decided to move on to the more complicated weaves, and discovered that no, it's not really easier than it looks. In fact, it's harder than it looks. But it's still a whole lot of fun to play with, and I did finally make a slightly more complex pair of earrings (no photo of them yet) which I'm quite proud of. The main difficulty is figuring out which ring sizes to use, because you have to calculate not only the basic diameter but also the thickness and the inner diameter.
Anyway, I plan to keep playing around with it, and may post a tutorial at some point in the future, because there aren't many free tutorials out there for chain maille jewelry.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mother's Arms WIP

So here's my progress so far on Mother's Arms. I'm going to put her away for a bit, but I feel confident now that I'll be able to finish her either before the baby gets here or shortly afterward, as I'm about halfway done and she's stitching up pretty quickly. She's a lot of fun to stitch, too...I love all the different colors.

Not sure what I'm going to stitch next...I think I may do an ornament while I decide; I still have a few that'll have to be stitched in time for Christmas, and I don't want to wait til the last minute the way I usually do!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just Cross Stitch ornament issue

I ordered this a while back, and just recently looked through it. I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed - there are only a few charts in here that I'm interested in stitching, and it really seems to me as if some of the designers just sort of recycle their old designs every year. And many of the 'ornaments' are really way too big for a regular tree ornament (in my opinion, anything over 4" is too of the ornaments is over 6" long!!).

I tend to get annoyed when stitchers gripe about this or that designer, since my feeling is usually that if you don't like c chart, the easiest solution is to just not stitch it, but this is not the first time I've been disappointed in the JCS ornament issue and it really seems to me that they could make a bit more of an effort to have truly top-rate, gorgeous ornament charts. I know I'm not the only one to look forward to this issue each year, but one or two more disappointments and I'm going to stop buying it.

So this isn't a completely grumpy post, I will say that I DO like their new layout, where the charts for each section appear immediately after the photos; this seems more organized to me. And there are some good designs included - such as Oh Christmas Tree (Charlotte's Web Needlework), the adorable Santa's Buddies (Angel Stitchin) and Christmas '09 Stamp (Jeannette Douglas). But most of them are just...blah.