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Mychal's Prayer | Cross Stitch

Hello!  Happy Thursday! Man, what a state we're all in, huh?  I've been teleworking for what feels like decades.  Although I am fortunate in that I have the ability to work from home, it has absolutely taken its toll.  There's something to be said for getting up and going to work each day.   This is an entirely different kind of exhaustion.

Anyways...onto more fun things, like stitching!  I chose to start (and finish!) Mychal's Prayer from Silver Creek Samplers a couple weeks ago, since I was in a patriotic mood.  I took out my remaining piece of 32 ct PtP Heroic and got to work.  I used all the called-for threads - of which, you'll need 2 skeins of Ruby Slippers and 2 skeins of Picket Fence, if you choose to stitch this using the overdyed threads.  I used what was in my stash first, but quickly ran out since I didn't have a full skein of either, and had to place an order with my LNS for additional thread.  So, to be on the safe side, I recommend getting two of each, just in case..

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I love this angel - she reminds me of the Jim Shore angels.

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I also love how the words alternate between red and white, as the stripes on the American flag, with the blue square in the corner.  And Sam the Eagle!

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This was a cool piece to stitch, and took me longer than I anticipated.  I'm glad I got this one - I would pick it up almost every time I was in my LNS, and finally one day, I just bought it.  

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The designer's inspiration for this sampler was a prayer said by Father Mychal, a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest.  Here is what the designer wrote regarding Father Mychal:

    "Mychal Judge (11 May 1933 - 11 September 2001) was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest who served as a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department.  While serving in that capacity, he was killed, becoming the first certified fatality of the September 11, 2001 attacks.  The inspiration for this sampler came from a prayer said by Father Mychal: 'Lord, take me where you want me to go, let me meet who you want me to meet, tell me what to say, and keep me out of your way.' "

Stay safe out there, friends.  I think we're in this quarantine mode for a long time to go yet...


Miss Christmas Eve | Cross Stitch

You all know by now how much I love stitching Mirabilia pieces.  I love them.  The detail is incredible, and they never disappoint. 

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As usual, when I start a Mirabilia piece, it's hard to put down.  I swore I wouldn't start anything new (HAHAHA) until I was done at least one piece, but last March (I honestly can't believe it's been a year since I started this piece), I couldn't stand it any longer and had to start Miss Christmas Eve.  I hoped to be done by this Christmas (no easy feat when you have 6 or 7 projects going at once....all the time....), and actually met that goal!  I only now just got around to posting her in all her glory.

The greens that make up the evergreens in her dress (like a Christmas tree!) drove me a bit batty.  It took me a while to see the difference in the reds and realize that they were giant bows.  I felt like I was in that Seinfeld episode where they're all talking about those illusion pictures (remember those?  back in the 90's?!), and everyone saw them....except Elaine's boss, Mr. Pitt.  Drove him nuts.

Then, all of the sudden, I saw the reds as huge bows and now I get it. 

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As usual, the beading makes this piece, along with the straight stitches around her face and on her gloves.  I think my favorites to put on were the gold beads.  They were squared off rather than round, and they were the perfect shiny gold.  I didn't care for the bugle beads.  They don't lay right (I didn't like them much in Snow Queen, either, quite frankly...), so they end up looking all crooked, like I wasn't paying attention as I stitched them on.  Ugh.

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Unfortunately, what you can't really tell from these pics, is that the fabric is a crystal fabric.  I stitched this on 32 count Crystal Legacy by Picture this Plus.  I love using the crystal fabrics for winter and Christmas pieces.  It gives the piece that extra oomph :-).

I haven't decided which Mirabilia will be my next...I have quite a few in my stash to choose from...and I'm already itching to start another.  Maybe I'll do one of the Red Ladies...or possibly the Dressmaker's Daughter....

I hope you're all staying healthy, and may our needles and thread (or other creative ventures!) keep our anxieties at bay through this tumultuous time.  May a vaccine be found quickly for this crazy virus!

I'd love to hear what you're all working on, whatever creative thing it is.  Be it reading, painting, embroidery, quilting, you name it! 

 


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 Mystic 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!

*This post was updated on 18 March 2020 to reflect the actual PtP fabric used.

 

 


Patriotic Poppies | Cross Stitch

Well, it's been a minute since I got it together and posted something, so without going into alllllll the gory details of why these past six months have literally flown past my eyeballs, I'll just dive right into my latest finish.

Patriotic Poppies!

Patriotic Poppies by With Thy Needle and Thread

I've been holding onto this pattern for a long time now, and finally decided to just do it.  I have a few WIPs (but, i mean, for real, who doesn't...), and despite them all, I got this out after the new year and went to work.

Patriotic Poppies by With Thy Needle and Thread
I stitched this on 40 count Alchemy by Picture this Plus.  It's the perfect blue-grey to bring out the lovely shades of red, white, and blue of this piece.  I used all the called-for threads, with the exception of WDW Caper in one spot:  the sheep.  I thought it was inappropriate for him to have a green nose and legs (maybe older dye lots of Caper were more brown than green?), so I switched it out for GA Muddy Puddle.  Much better.  The graph also calls for you to make little wool felt poppies for I think two or three of the flowers (pattern to trace is included), but....I didn't really like that idea, so I took one of the reds used for the stitched poppies and instead stitched them in where the felt ones were supposed to go.  You'd never know ;-)

Patriotic Poppies by With Thy Needle and Thread

I've been on a bit of a patriotic kick lately - the more recent graphs I've purchased have pretty much all been patriotic ones - so I'll likely be posting more USA pride here in the next few months as I get working on them!  


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....

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

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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.  

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

 

Sig