Mirabilia Feed

Snow Queen | Cross Stitch

Holy Heatwave, Batman.  Did you guys cool off yet?  Good Lord it was hot this weekend.  I like summer, but not when you could legit cut the humidity with a carving knife.  It's too much.  I was dehydrated yesterday morning at 7am, and all I did was sleep.  All of this means it’s only appropriate that I post my most recent finish to help us think of cooler temps (which should be here tomorrow): Snow Queen. 

I actually finished her last year, but only recently took her to be framed. 

I’m not a huge fan of matting, so most of my pieces are framed without it. I felt that this piece needed to stand alone without anything detracting from the fabric or the piece itself.  I may change my mind in the future, depending on the piece, but for now, I'm sticking with mat-less frames.

Snow Queen by Mirabilia #crossstitch #christmas #holiday #mirabilia

Let's start with the fabric.  Could you die?!  I stitched her on 32 ct Dusk by Picture this Plus, and it is so incredibly perfect.  The called-for fabric was too light - you could barely see her hair and the lovely purples.  This?  This makes them all just jump out.  Plus, since it's got the purple dye in the dark blue, it pulls out the purples in the sash.

How about her reindeer?  Omg.  He's heavily adorned, to include large teardrop gems that fall from his reins.  Can you even?!

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And then there are the beads all over her and her dress.  The snowflakes were a bit of a pain - it was tough to get all those bugle beads to sit right, but in the end, worth it.

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The frame is a bit tough to see, but it's a creamy white, with a small silver inside edge.  Perfection.

This piece was, by far, one of my favorites to stitch. The dark fabric took a little getting used to, but once I got going, it was easy to work on.  As always, I encourage you all to use different fabric, and even change some (or all!) of the threads, if you're just not liking what's showing on the model picture (see my Skeleton Crew for some inspiration on switching out both fabric and threads :-)).  I will say that to date, I think this is probably the best fabric switch I've made.

Also, huge shout out to my LNS, In Stitches, for their framing services.  It turned out gorgeous, ladies!  Thank you again!

 

 


April Showers

I don't know about you guys, but there is a serious case of cabin fever in our house.  Winter will not let go.  Yesterday, we had G O R G E O U S summer-like weather, and today, it's chilly and rainy.  Perfect stitching weather, although I really am anxious for more nice days to get out of the house and do stuff out in the sunshine.  I think I might break out my "Faith" and put some stitches in that lovely companion to "Joy", or possibly start a new small project, since I have so many large ones going right now.

We took advantage of the weather yesterday and went over to the city for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  We saw the beginning of the parade. and then wandered over to the vendor section.  Truth be told....we were not impressed.  The food looked good, but the other vendors were just, blah.  So, we left there and ventured up to the Hill.  I'd never seen the Supreme Court building, so we stopped there, and unbeknownst to us, the Library of Congress is right next door!  Oh, to have access to those research hooks.

Library of Congress
Library of Congress Reading Room
Library of  Congress Thomas Jefferson Library

If you ever have the opportunity to visit DC, make sure you visit the Library of Congress.  It is absolutely stunning inside and out.

Onto stitching!

I promised pics of my Raven Queen all dolled up in her new frame, so here they are!

  Raven Queen #ravenqueen #crossstitch #mirabilia

I am so happy with how this frame turned out.  Since it's not solid, it brings out the grey fabric and the castle spires and lines in the background.  She is easily my favorite of the queens that I've done to date.   

Raven Queen #ravenqueen #crossstitch #mirabilia

I used all the called-for threads and beads, but not the fabric (naturally).  I used Picture This Plus "Storm" in 32 count. 

Raven Queen #ravenqueen #crossstitch #mirabilia

As always, I encourage all of you to make all your work "yours" by switching fabric (my absolute favorite thing to do) or the threads.  Often times, you'll find that this enhances the piece in ways you didn't even consider! My "Skeleton Crew" is a perfect example.  My former LNS still gets requests for the changes I made to that piece.

I'm off to bake some bread, stitch, and read.  A nice, quiet Sunday.  I wish the same for all of you, my lovely people!!

 


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


Dedecorating Day | Cross stitch

Is that even a word?  To dedecorate?  Saying "taking down the decorations" just seems excessive.  I like dedecorate, and the auto spell check didn't catch it which clearly means it's an actual word, so I'm using it from here on out.  So there.

The Feast of the Epiphany is always a sad day.  Not really...I mean, the Wise Men made it to the manger and all...it's about the fact that my Christmas decorations come down after the Ephiphany.   {Although, I have been known to keep them up through January...out of pure laziness....}  So, so sad.

Now, even though it was very sad to take this lovely piece down -

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...this piece goes up in her place --

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This, my friends, is Sabrina.  Of all of the things I've actually made for myself (which is almost nothing compared to what I've given away), this is my favorite piece.  I.love.her.  As soon as I saw this in the shop, I knew I had to have her, and begin stitching immediately.  Mirabilia designs are one of my absolute favorite, and by looking at this piece, I'm sure you can see why.  They're heavily labor intensive, but the work is totally worth it.

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I mean, honestly.  That dress.  I want it.  The way the flowers  just drop so slightly from her grasp.  Stunning.

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{sigh} Look at the detail on this dress.  For serious.  All those flowers & vines are beads.  The insides of those flowers are filled in with Kreinik thread (yet another one of my stitching mortal enemies, but sometimes, ya just gotta muscle through it; otherwise, the finished piece doesn't have the right effect), and each have a Mill Hill treasure in the center.

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(above) A closer look at those beads.....

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Like I said, where it's always sad to take down "A Royal Holiday", putting "Sabrina" up in her place, where she'll remain all year (until I get crazy brave enough to start one of the seasonal queens....maybe after i finally finish my sis's wedding gift....moving on....) is a total bonus.  Love her.

Much of the roses, and the leaves are stitched with Caron Waterlilies, which I highly recommend using, rather than doing a DMC conversion.  The silk for the leaves is actually a purple to green dyed silk, which is next to impossible to replicate with DMC, unless you want to switch your colors all the time.  I'll pass, thankyouverymuch.  So, although they're pricier, if you've committed to doing a piece of this magnitude, you should use the silks for the flowers & leaves.  That's how I look at it, anyway.

The fabric I chose for this is 32 count French Lace.  It's a very, very light green, which complemented the greens and blues of her dress perfectly.

I think the biggest reason why I love this piece is because she reminds me of Grace Kelly.  I LOVE Grace Kelly.  Since I can't be her or ever meet her, this is the closest thing to imagining what she'd look like in person, with a long, elegant dress on.  She actually wears a very similar dress in "To Catch a Thief", which makes me wonder if that was Nora's inspiration for this piece...

Until next time, my lovely friends...stitch and be merry :-)

Sig


A Royal Christmas | Cross Stitch

So...Christmas is very rapidly approaching, and I finally, finally, decided I should maybe hang some of these cross stitch designs I've had framed, so it looks like I actually live in this house.

Bare walls kinda make it look like I'm gonna just up and leave any day.  Or maybe it's the curtain-less windows that give that effect.  And how long have I lived in this house?!

Ahem.  Moving on.

I got out my storage box that has all my various framed cross stitch pieces in it, which are very carefully wrapped so nothing happens to them during their year in seclusion.  A couple of the pieces I forgot I had.

Including her --

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This is a Mirabilia design, called "Royal Holiday".  I love this piece, and cannot believe I had her hidden for almost all of the Christmas season.  For those of you who know me, I tend to change some stuff in a lot of the graphs I do -- this one I kept just as suggested.  I know I picked a lighter fabric than what the model was stitched on, but for the life of me I can't remember what color I chose.  

She will hang in my living room until the Epiphany, when I begin to take down all my Christmas decorations and wait patiently till it's appropriate to start dreaming of spring and put up all my spring/Easter cross stitch pieces and other decorations.  :-)