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Christmastime is Here and Gone.

I swear it was last week that I was down in New Orleans, taking a billion pictures of gorgeous houses draped in Spanish moss in the Garden District.

Garden District, New Orleans

No, really.

Yet, here we are, spring is in the air, and Ash Wednesday is next week.  Time flies, my friends.

So, how are all of you?  I've missed you!  I haven't gotten much stitching done, or really anything done, really.  Oh!  I have done a lot of reading, though.  So many books, so little time.  There've been a couple that I started and just couldn't get through.  Two of them were ones that the whole world seems to be raving about, yet I just could not get into them.  The Summer Before the War and All the Brave are Forgiven.  I love period pieces, but these....I just couldn't do it.  Right now, I'm reading The Nix.  Has anyone else read this?  So far, I'm liking it, although the pace is a little slow.  Tana French's new book came out a couple months ago, so I gotta make sure to read that soon, too.  

Anyways.  I have been stitching, despite not finishing much.  Not long before Christmas, I finished "Coffee Saves Lives."  I loved loved loved stitching this piece.  I love coffee (duh), and the coffee theme plus the coffee-colored threads?  Totally in love.  And the next in the series is coming out at the Nashville Market!  I cannot wait to get my hands on it!!

Coffee Saves Lives #crossstitch #coffee

The sass with the coffee cup!  Get it, girlfriend.

Coffee Saves Lives #crossstitch #coffee

I stitched this on 40 ct. Purely Primitive.  If you stitch this, I highly recommend getting two skeins of Pecan Pie and Cocoa.  The graph does not designate how many skeins you need of each, but since I just went through this debacle, save yourself the aggravation and a separate trip to your LNS (although, is that really all that bad?! I mean...I ended up with a new Plum Street Samplers graph....so.....) and get two the first go-around.  If you stitch this on larger count, I would venture to say you'll need three of each Pecan Pie and Cocoa.

Next up, "Snow Queen".  

Snow Queen #mirabilia #crossstitch #winter

The model is stitched on a light greyish blue, but as always, I can't do that.  I can't just use what is in the picture.  I did a thread pull at the shop, and chose Picture This Plus "Dusk". 

Oh my God.

Look at the way those colors just jump off the fabric!!!  I can't.

There is a dark grey that is tough to see up agains that dark blue, but for the most part, it's just an outline, or it's surrounded by beads and lighter colored threads, so I decided that foregoing this fabric just because you couldn't really see that grey was ridiculous.

I mean, look at those purples!  Stop yourself.

I've also been spending a considerable amount of time ripping out two blocks of my Shores at Hawk Run Hollow and re-stitching them, but I'll update when I actually start a new block.  That effort has been killing me, because it's all due to being ONE ROW OFF on the lighthouse in Block One.  You have NO idea how angry I was at myself when I figured that out, and subsequently how long it took me to actually pull out that project again to start fixing it.  (sigh)

Anyhooter.  I've missed you guys.  I need to figure out a better blogging schedule than once every six or eight months.  I may need to get planner pages and write it all out, but I will make this happen. Promise.

Sig


Raven Queen in All Her Glory.

This piece is, by far, one of my absolute favorites that I've stitched.  I've done a lot of cool pieces over the years, but since this one looks so much like Maleficent, my all-time favorite Disney villainess, Raven Queen ranks high on the list.

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #ravenqueen #mirabilia

This dress.  If it wouldn't cost me my vital organs on the black market, I'd commission this for the Marine Corps Birthday Ball this year.  Because, OMG.  Those greens are insane against the black.

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #ravenqueen #mirabilia

And these beads!

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #ravenqueen #mirabilia

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #ravenqueen #mirabilia

Freakin' awesome, amiright??

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #ravenqueen #mirabilia

I stitched this on 32 count Picture This Plus "Storm", which I think really provides a great contrast for the black and the greyish-purples of the castle in the background.  I was afraid it would be too close of a match to the greys in the stone wall, but it ended up being perfect.

I want that necklace and earring set.  Just sayin'.


Building Castles.

I've been spending a ton of time feverishly stitching Raven Queen.  She's at the point where, even though there is still a good amount left to stitch, I feel like I'm so close to the finish line, I can see it.

I'm also terrified if I start another project, the three I currently have going at the moment will be neglected.  And trust me when I tell you, I have sooo  many that I want to start...

This weekend, since I had to take it easy after my first cervical spine adjustment at my new chiropractor, I spent a lot of time stitching.  In that time, I built the castle in the background of the queen.  The silks are gorgeous, and, as always, perfect.  

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #mirabilia #ravenqueen #needlework

As I stitched the castle, in my head I kept repeating the line from the Paul McCartney song, Beautiful Night, "Some folks got a vision/of a castle in the sky/and I'm left stranded/wondrin' why."  Have you heard that song?  It's on his Flaming Pie album.  If you're a fan of Sir Paul, you'd like that album.  He was definitely the yin to John's yang when they wrote for The Beatles.  But I digress...

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #mirabilia #ravenqueen #needlework

How gorgeous are those silks used for the castle??!?  This is definitely one of those situations where you need to take the plunge and get the silks.  The DMC conversion wouldn't do it justice.  The teals and purples in her dress is also a silk.  Gorgeous.

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #mirabilia #ravenqueen #needlework

Raven Queen | Mirabilia #crossstitch #mirabilia #ravenqueen #needleworkThe skirt on this dress!  I can't even. 

I wonder if I can find someone to commission this dress for me for the USMC ball this year....and not have it cost me my first born......

Wishing you all a wonderful Monday and peaceful nights to curl up and stitch :-)

 

Sig


January.

How. the hell. did we arrive at 17 January already?

No, seriously.  I feel like it was twelve seconds ago I was posting about doing a December Daily (which, HAHAHAHAHA....ahhhhhhh......i had such high hopes for everything i wanted to make this christmas season......), and then, poof! It's mid-January.

How was your Christmas? Your New Year's?  Mine were good.  NYE was spent curled up on the couch in leggings and legwarmers (seriously, you guys, you know you're jealous of my legwarmers. AND my mom got me new ones for Christmas. SCORE.), hot water with lemon in hand, watching Kathy Griffin make Anderson Cooper unbelievably uncomfortable all night. 

A while back, I posted some snips of a secret stitching project I was doing; it was a Christmas gift for my mom.  Since it's no to secret anymore, I can show the pics of the finished piece.

This is "Count Your Blessings" by Heartstring Samplery.  White Christmas is hands-down my favorite Christmas movie.  You can have your It's a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, Christmas in Connecticut, Christmas Vacation (although that one does come in a close second...." 'Why is the floor all wet, TODD??' 'I don't know, MARGO.' "), and A Christmas Story.  I'll take White Christmas any day of the week.  The Old Crooner, Rosie, Vera Ellen dancing her ass off, Danny Kaye being ridiculous, I love it all. And Edith Head's costuming! To die.  

Moving on.

Us girls in the fam used to watch White Christmas together after mass on Christmas Eve, and then head to bed.  This piece uses the lyrics from one of the songs in the movie, "Count Your Blessings", to create this lovely sampler.

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

 If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm not a huge fan of traditional samplers.  Not sure why, I'm just not.  Quaker samplers are a different story.  They're A LOT of work, but I love stitching the different motifs and the work is totally worth it in the end.  I have, however, developed an appreciation for reproduction samplers, and when stitched, they're stunning.  To think that girls as young as 7 years old made those samplers with no pattern to follow is incredible.  This small sampler captures the feel of those traditional samplers, complete with a flower and vine border, without being too overwhelming, if that makes any sense at all. 

I'm slightly partial to those scissors....

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

And the tiered cake...

Count Your Blessings by Heartstring Samplery #crossstitch #needlework

I've been working on so many different things lately, I almost can't keep up with myself.  I have a few secret projects I'm working on, plus a couple things for myself (believe it or not), so this winter hibernation period will hopefully be very productive.  Hopefully.  I plan on being better this year about sharing my WIPs and other stuff I'm doing, so here's hoping I can remember to carve out the time to do just that.

What are you guys working on?  Have you started any new projects with the new year?  

Happy Sunday, friends!  Here's to a wonderful long weekend!

Sig


The Master and The Macabre | Cross Stitch

Well, friends, it's officially fall, which means it's almost hibernation season.  It was downright windy and chilly last night, and I'm not happy about it.  The only thing good about fall is the clothes.  Well, and pumpkin spice bread.  And boots.  I wore my black boots on Friday for the first time since probably March, and it felt awesome.  

It's also time to start living in leggings and big, warm sweatshirts on weekends with a mug of mulled cider (which reminds me...I need to get more mulling spices.....).  I got a pair of leg warmers to help layer and keep me warm (don't you judge me - you know you want a pair...or five...), and oh my god do they work.  As someone who suffers from some degree of joint and muscle pain daily, these things are amazing at keeping my legs warm and from cramping.  They also may or may not make me sing, "FAME! I'M GONNA LIVE FOREVER!" to myself while I'm wearing them.

That may or may not happen.

More importantly, fall means I stitch fall things, and this one in particular was incredibly fun to stitch.

The Master and The Macabre.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #needle #thread

HOW COOL IS THIS?????

OMG.  The fabric....just....I can't.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

THAT INKWELL.  I want it.  I also want that raven - I'm pretty sure Poe borrowed him from Maleficent, and I love all things Maleficent (she's the best Disney villain, in my opinion), so, ergo, vis-a-vis, I love that raven and need him.

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

THIS HOUSE.  I want to stitch everything in the variegated silk that's in the roof.  I also want a door that looks like this one.  a) it's purple; 2) it has gold around the doorknob; and d) it's purple. 

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

And then, there's the moon, peering over the haunted house.  Just creepin' up there in the corner....lookin' at all his poems come to life....

The Master and The Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #needle #thread

GAH. 

Ok.  So, I've been promising to publish my color changes, and I make good on my promises.

I will say this - I had planned on making A LOT more changes, but as I started stitching, most of them didn't end up working out.  I think because the fabric I chose to stitch this piece on is so drastically different from the model in the picture on the graph, that the changes I wanted to make would have looked great on the suggested fabric, but not so much on this one.  

Changes are as follows:

Fabric used:  32 count Dusk by Picture This Plus

Fiber changes:
DMC 926 is changed to WDW Pewter for the lettering
DMC 3811 is changed to WDW Aqua
DMC 646 is changed to WDW Galvanized for the woman's hair (she's hanging out the window, all strung out) and in the inkwell
DMC 310/black is changed to WDW Mascara for the black in the raven, the inkwell, and the line under the house (special note about the raven: I originally planned on using CC Black Crow for the raven, because, duh, but it actually has too much blue in it.  Because this fabric is such a dark dyed blue, the Black Crow didn't show up as I stitched, so I made the switch to WDW Mascara, which has just enough of a variation to make it look like the sheen of a raven's feathers.)

Note that for all but one of my changes, I only made the change in certain areas, not every place that color is used.  

Again, the biggest reason I didn't make more drastic changes to the fibers is because the fabric I chose made most of the original colors punch you right in the face as you stitched.  No need for dramatic fibers when the fabric is stealing the show.  

It is also important to note that I used all of the Silk'n Colors called for in the graph.  If you decide that might not use the silks, I think that you could get away with the DMC alternative for all of them except two:  Desert Moss and Acorn Woods.  These are the variegated colors in the roof and in the shingles on the side of the house.  They're not variations of a solid color, they actually move between a few different colors (which you should be able to see in the pics above) as you stitch.  If you want the same effect in your roof and house, then I highly suggest you get these two silks, even if you decide not to get the others.

These color changes will be published on my Fabric and Floss page for easy reference, should you want to make the same changes in this piece as I did, and need a quick reference.  If you do, please link back or tag me in your Instagram shots (if you're on IG) so that I can see your progress!  I love seeing everything everyone does.  

Sig


Welcome September! | Cross Stitch

You guys!  September is upon us!  It's Africa hot out there....and I just choked on a cubic foot of humidity.  

But fear not - the stores are filled to the brim with pumpkins and witches and black cats and skulls, so cooler weather is on the horizon.  Well, hopefully.  At the very least, all this means that Halloween will be here before you know it.  

And then....CHRISTMAS.  Which, as you all know, is the season I live for every.single.year.

First though, let's have Halloween.  Because I do love pumpkin bread.  And pumpkin pancakes.  And pumpkin spiced anything.  And my Autumn Wreath Yankee candle....which I may or may not have been burning since 1 September....

ahem.

Let's also talk about my progress on The Master and The Macabre.

It's not exactly a Halloween piece...but it's E.A. Poe, so it's haunted and horrifying....so it fits....

IMG_3826

I mean, how tormented is she?!  Her hair is a hot mess, and she's reaching for someone who's not there...

IMG_3825

And, hello!  Spooky, faded, torn curtains.  Loveloveloving these silks.  I have a greater appreciation these days for silks - yeah, they're more expensive, but look at that variation!  The rotting roof!  The curtains!  I can't.  Totally worth the extra pennies.  Or dollars.  Or my left arm.  Whatever gets me that silk thread.  

IMG_3822

I mean, that fabric though.  I literally can't even right now.

 

Sig


And one week bleeds into another...

Here we are, at the end of August.  Next week is 1 September.  I could cry, if it weren't for the fact that I love fall clothes (but not the cooler temps), and that flare jeans are coming back in style.

Thank Jesus. 

I love me some flares (Gap Long and Leans were my FAVVVV when I worked there all through college and grad school....oh, how I miss them so....), and I'm looking forward to some flares and sweet sweet boot cut to come back to my jeans wardrobe for the fall and winter, taking the place of some of my skinny jeans.  As a former college athlete, my legs and ass are just not built for the skin-tight super-skinny jeans on the market these days.  My sister introduced me to leggings a couple years ago, and I want to wear them all.the.time.  If it were socially acceptable, I'd wear them to work.

I don't think the general would appreciate me attending a meeting wearing those.  Or maybe he would.... 

Still.

Unacceptable for everyday in the office.  Unless it's snowing, then all bets are off.   

Aaaaaanyhooter.

The past couple weeks have been totes cray.  I'll sum it up for you:  a mind-numbing week-long meeting in California, delayed return flights, an unexpected overnight stay at O'Hare airport without my luggage (for the record.....I HATE O'HARE AIRPORT.  thank you for listening.), end-of-year work insanity, and a really, really bad Lyme flare-up.

The good thing is there is therapy in the form of great books and needle and thread.  

And a Starbucks barista who spells your name correctly without even asking how it's spelled.  #winning

IMG_3314

I just finished reading one of Tana French's books, The Secret Place.  Her books are seriously so good.  If you like detective novels, def check her out.  I have holds at the library on the remaining two of her books that I have yet to read, so hopefully soon one of those will be available for download. (if you missed my amazing revelation to you all back over the winter, most local libraries have an ebook collection now, so you can download books from your library to your e-reader and get reading!)

Next up is the Halloween project I started - Cricket Collection "The Master and the Macabre."  I've been working too much with Shores of Hawk Run, apparently, because I found an f-up, and I can't figure out where it originated, so it's in time-out.  My OCD tendencies won't allow me to just keep going and hope no one but me notices the mistake.  So....indefinite time-out until I'm ready to find it.

The Master and the Macabre Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

THAT FABRIC THOUGH.

OBSESSED.

The Master and the Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

I want to stitch everything in that silk that's in the roof of the house.  Like, everything.

Those of you who've been following me for a while know that my most favorite thing to do is take some of these pieces that have been stitched on totally lame and drab fabric and shake that shit up.  Skeleton Crew is the best example - if you're stitching this (or plan to) and you want to make the same changes I did, head on over to my Fabric & Fibers page to see the list of color changes.  

Once this piece is done, I will post all color changes - I have most of them mapped out, but I've changed one so far as I go along from what I'd originally planned.

Fear not, friends.  You will be rewarded for waiting to see the final piece.  That is, of course, if you wish to make the same fabric and fiber choices I did for this spectacularly spooky Cricket Collection piece. 

;-)

Sig

 

 

If you don't have an LNS and you want the supplies to make my changes for Skeleton Crew, call up the gals at The Strawberry Sampler and tell them you want my colors - they will know exactly what you mean.  You could also order online from them - they actually have my changes as an option.  (disclaimer - i get nothing for suggesting you order through TSS - they were my LNS until this year when i moved to the DC area, and they're an amazing bunch of women running a small business, and i'm all about supporting small businesses, especially stitch shops.) 

 


Sweet Land of Liberty | Cross Stitch

Did you ever have one of those days where you felt just like Will Ferrell's character in "Zoolander"?

 

 

That was me all.day.long yesterday.  All day.  

When I got home, I was totally wired to workout, but actually ended up feeling like I was too wired...if that even makes any sense.   I decided that what I needed instead was some quality time at my craft table.  

So, I made a pot of decaf, and headed in to the den to work on my project life album.  I just had some pictures printed from Persnickety Prints, and wanted to incorporate them as soon as possible.  As I worked, I realized that there are so many more pictures from last year that I have but never printed!  Looks like I'll be making another order of prints before those layouts are finished.  I'm determined, determined I tell ya, to keep up with my PL album this year and not get so far behind again.

After spending about an hour or so at my craft table, I moseyed on into the living room to pick up my  needle and thread.  I was able to finish the Heartstring Samplery piece I started last week, Sweet Land of Liberty.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Liberty #crossstitch #needle #hread #patriotic

So simple and pretty.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Libetry #crossstitch #needle #thread #patriotic

I stitched this on 32 ct. Heroic from Picture This Plus, which made a great compliment to the red, white, and blue used to stitch.  It's just enough dye to give it something different, yet not overpowering so it detracts from the stitching.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Liberty #crossstitch #needle #thread #patriotic

Love this flowerpot & the overflowing flowers!  It's the perfect balance of red, white, and blue.  Now I just have to figure out how I want to finish it.......

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and have some time to stitch or craft this week!

Sig


Monday. Monday. Monday. | Cross Stitch

Weekends go entirely too quickly.  Just sayin'.

IMG_1553

The best part about this weekend, though??  I finally made it down to In Stitches, my new LNS!  I haven't been shopping for stitch stuff in so long because of my move, so I was like a kid in a candy store when I walked in.  There were so many patterns available for me to gawk at, including new ones from the Nashville Market, that I spent the better part of an hour just wandering around looking at everything.  I must've been asked at least 3 times if I needed help....I guess I looked a little ridiculous walking around just staring at everything.  HA.

Also, they have SO MUCH THREAD.  SO MUCH.  I was literally drooling at all the options.

IMG_1549

I stealthily took this from behind a rack of patterns.  This isn't even nearly everything they have.  I literally gasped when I saw all the silks, which were down and around the corner from this wall of Classic Colorworks, Weeks Dye Works, and Shaker Threads.  I need to take inventory of the silks that I need for certain projects and head back asap!!  There was just so much to look at, and the models stitched around the store were gorgeous.  Also, the framing section is outrageous - they have more frame choices than I've seen anywhere, and they're absolutely beautiful.

Needless to say, I came back from my trip to In Stitches totally inspired to start stitching. 

I worked some on my Shores of Hawk Run - I'm working down and then across, so the next block I started is the one right underneath Block 1 - 

Block 2 start from Shores at Hawk Run Hollow

And then I decided I needed a break from the 40 ct, and started a patriotic piece from Heartstring Samplery -

IMG_1580
 It's called Sweet Land of Liberty.  I'm stitching it on 32 ct. Heroic from Picture This Plus, and I'm literally flying through it.  I always forget how much quicker I can stitch on 32 ct. vice 40 ct.  I love the big red flower in the middle...and something about those blue flowers really catches my eye, too.

How was your weekend??  Were you able to stitch or create this weekend?? 

Sig

 


Sixteen Men on a Dead Man's Ship | Cross Stitch

so, i realized something today.  ok, maybe a couple things.  

a) it's october, which means HALLOWEEN. i love halloween. well.  maybe i just love candy. separate issue.

2) it's WAY too cold already for this time of year when i'm driving into work.  my dash read 46 degrees this morning, and i was in no way ok with that.

d) i never shared two of my most favorite pieces that i've done, and they're both for halloween.  one i'm sharing with you today.

SKELETON CREW.

i posted WIPs of this piece, but never gave you the full effect with the frame i picked.........

  IMG_0028

dude.  this frame.  i.can't.even.

BONES.

remember that show? david boreanez? the other deschanel sister whose name i can't freaking remember right now? is it still on, or just reruns on tnt?

can we also talk about that fabric, because i have a special love affair with this fabric for halloween pieces.  it's called "haunted" by picture this plus, and...............i love it.  purple + blue + grey + green = halloween love affair in fabric.

IMG_0030

and then there was this serpent. i gave him green hair and an orange tongue.  and i made the bony fish glow. can we also talk about the ghost sails?!  GAH.

IMG_0031

and hello! the skeleton underneath the ship! when i brought this to my LNS for framing, one of the women there didn't even know that skeleton existed! he blends right in with the fabric in the model stitched for the store.

IMG_0032

i made the moon glow.....and omg that creepy pumpkin on the mast.  and the raven! i forgot about him, all cocky on the jack-o-lantern, like, you guys don't scare me.

if you love halloween, you should definitely put this piece in your "to do" pile.  i made six serious floss changes, and a major fabric change, all of which are listed on my "floss & fabric" page in case you would like to stitch this using my color changes.

are you guys working on halloween stuff now, or are you working ahead to christmas???  curious crafty minds want to know!!

Sig