Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My DH and my Silkweaver Enteries

Normally I would wait for these to be displayed on the Silkweaver site but I am neurotic. I want to make sure that these get posted with a time/date so if something went horribly wrong I have some evidence that they were completed before the deadline. I really am me. Majesty has been posted as promised. Again I used Dinky Dyes Fantasy Blues for the border. It is on Silkweaver Reflections Debutante 28 count Jazlyn. There is only a inch of fabric allowance on each side but I am making it into a pillow so it doesn't matter.

DH's entry: The other picture is of Blackwork Princess by Dragon Dreams. It was done on 28 count Karma Sparkle Lugana. It was a Christmas Gift from my DH but it wasn't finished until today. He is a stitcher. Wait until you see the dragon he working on (once he actually starts it). It is a BAP and it is awesome but very violent. It is not a friendly dragon. It looks like it wants to rip your head off. Quite a contrast from Blackwork Princess. He has also converted covers from Insane Clown Posse, a rap group, into patterns. DH also knits. I am so lucky to have a craft oriented hubby. I got him his own set of scroll bars and q-snaps. I don't think he will ever be a stashaholic though. Currently he owns 3 patterns, 70 or so skeins of DMC floss and 1 bobbin box. He stole Blackwork Princess from my stash.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Present

For Christmas DH got me a stitching cabinet. Well actually it is a jewelry cabinent converted to a much more important purpose. I have also posted a picture of my Ouroborus WIP. I did all of the stitching back in August and haven't touched the piece since due to more pressing matters. The fabric is actually much more purple than what you see in the picture.
Happy Holidays from Hastur, DH, and HasturTorres!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Why the Long Face?

Because I haven't had a chance to finish anything. Well I did finish the Majesty from the Legends of Dragons but that is only half of the piece. I will post it as soon as it goes up on the Silkweaver contest site.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Progress and an answer to a Stitching Bloggers Question

How do you secure your thread when you begin a new one? Specifically, do you or have you ever used a waste knot?

I have used a waste knot once for Something in Common's Woodland Sampler. I needed to give a critter a french knot eye and it was the only way I could secure the thread. I typically use the Loop start method or stitch over the tail of the thread until it is secure. My project backs are typically not very neat but as long as the front looks good and lays flat, I really don't care about how the back looks. I am not ashamed to admit that my backs can look downright chaotically awful.

Progress Report

Goals from Nov.
Non were completed so I will not bother reposting them. I tried and I tried to get the Silkweaver contest piece ready but decided midway through the month that it was not going to happen. Well sure it could have been ready on time but I would have had to give up other things including time with my DH and that was not acceptable. Plus I was starting to get obbessed with it. Like I was stitching it in my dreams and skipping out on evening club meetings.
Goals for Dec.
Finish Majesty from Legends of the Dragons by Karen Weaver, Jennifer Aikman-Smith, and Teresa Wentzler. I am doing the border of Majesty in Dinky Dyes silk #85 Fantasy Blues.
Finish Gathering supplies for Sampler Mystery III by Chatelaine. It is my first mystery. I am really excited about. Normally full size Chatelaine's are way to expensive for me to stitch with all the luscious silks and beads. The beads and pattern were a Christmas gift to myself and thanks to a trade with Jo at Dinky Dyes I will have the necessary variagated fibers . Thank you Jo- Bless you!

None (Hastur) Stitching News: My husband is stitching Blackwork Princess for me as a Chirstmas gift. I love having a stitcher for a husband. When I get a chance to I will share photos of it. The data collection for my big research project for school (I am a Ph.D. student in Science Education) is almost done. I will be analyzing the data this month along with working on two papers. Soon I will get back to my dissertation work. I miss it. I don't have too much opportunity to work on it and it really is my academic love. I won't make it to my parents for Christmas this year but I have my husband's family. They are wonderful people and I am blessed to have them. I do miss my folks and Christmas will be rough for them this year. My brother was married over the summer and is now several states away from them. It is their first Christmas without him.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Illustrative Blackwork Fantasy

I can share it now that it is finally posted on the Silkweaver Contest Site (I won't show off a contest piece until the people running the contest have seen it first- kinda a respect/thankyou for running the contest sort of thing). It was done on 28 count Jazlyn Bienget Reflections. I got the fabric in a trade and couldn't figure out what to do with it...then I got this chart and decided t would work. I change the thread color from black to 3371 which is a dark brown. The remaining skein of the 3371 was destroyed by Hastur but luckily he did not get into until a few days after the project was completed. Getting a good pic of this was a pain and I am still not happy with the results. The fabric has light patches of a peachy brown and lots of sparkles. I have included two different pics to show how different they can be even if it is the same piece. I guess it is one that you have to see in person to appreciate. The one on left is the image I submitted to the contest since it best represented the piece.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A New Ruling for the Challenge

I have had the same question pop up a couple times the past week. "If you own the chart but for some reason can not find it or the dog ate it, can you get a new chart without violating the challenge rules?" My vote is that you can get the replacement chart. The reasoning is that you already own the chart and thus buying another does not violate rules because it is not increasing your overall patterny stash. This also goes for buying a kit when you already own a chart. Sometimes it just makes financial sense to buy a kit at a reduced price. If any one has a problem with the new ruling please let me know, there might be aspects that I have not thought about. If you owned the pattern but gave it away or sold it, buying a new one would violate the challenge. This is because you willingly decreased your stash and are now increasing it again. I will wait a few days before posting the new ruling.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Filler Blog Entry

I am frantically trying to finish mystery project for mystery contest. So far I am 80 stitches behind. I have stitch an estimated 433 stitches a day to finish in time. For some that might not seem like a lot but with my busy schedule and the stitching speed of a snail on crutches I am surprised I am not even more behind.
I did get a couple of kits recently at Hobby Lobby. Don't worry they were gifts from my DH's grandmother, so I did not jump off of my own challenge. I just have to share the details about the great deals. I got two Dimple Design kits- I already own the charts but the kits were so discounted that it would have cost me more to buy the fabric than the kit. Also, I love linen used but it is hard to find. Also, I picked up Princess and the Dragon by TW. I already own the chart but it would have cost me more to buy the beads than the kit. My real excitment came with the Angel of Autumn kit...11 dollars. 11 dollars...that is around how much the chart costs alone.

I keep seeing questions popping up on other's blogs. So I cut and pasted one today as filler for my blog since I can't post pics of my mystery project and I haven't been working on anything else. Don't worry I promise to post progress pics of the BAP as soon as I can. So without knowing where the question orginated from (my apologies- someone please let me know) the question of the week is:

How many different brands of “complete” embroidery floss sets do you own? How do you keep track of it? (i.e., spread sheet program, index cards, palm pilot, etc.)

My reply:
I don't own any complete sets. I am not a collector and I am too poor to justify buying floss I don't need for a project. I only buy floss as I need it. If I can use a partial skein I will. I own about 250 of the regular DMC, 2 skeins of Dinky Dyes silk, 9 skeins of Caron Waterlilies, 12 GAST, and 4 Weeks Dye Works. I don't keep track of them in any sort of way other than the drawers they are kept in. I have so few I can tell what I have at a glance. The DMC is kept in two floss boxes in numerical order. I keep a smaller floss box with colors I need for a current project. There are some Chatelaines I would love to stitch but frankly I can not afford the price for the chart (20-30 bucks a pop) let alone the cost of kitting it up. I love Alhambra Garden but the bead pack at my LNS is 55 dollars and that doesn't include the speciality flosses.
I do not hoard fabric either. I have three 9x13 pieces of Silkweaver, a 13x18 piece of Silkweaver, a fat quarter of this cream colored Lugana with gold flecks, and left over mushroom colored Lugana from Just a Little Piece and Quiet from Dragon Dreams. My LNS does only standard cuts and I had to buy a fat half of the stuff. At this point I have gotten four other projects out of it so it was money well spent.
My chart collection is also kinda puny. I have about 125 charts at this point. Again, I am not a collector. I have given away signed charts that I have already used or will not ever use. I get bored easily and really can't do a project more than once, so why not let another enjoy it. The only two charts that I will keep for awhile are The Lost Dragon Sampler by Dragon Dreams- I attended Jennifer's class so I have fond memories associated with it and she asked that it not be given to another since it was still a work in progress. The other is You Were Hatched by TW. I am hanging on to that one until it fetches a really high price on ebay. I saw one go for over 67 dollars and figure in another year or so it will fetch an even greater price. If not, oh well...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hastur the Destroyer

Evil dachshund. The little one was punishing me for the dreaded bath I gave him. I left him alone in the living room and he got into my thread heaven. You can see the teeth marks in the wax. Arrghh. Then last night DH and I went to see Saw III. The dratted dog gave me the gift of thread devouring. He ate my 3371. When seeing the destruction Hastur had wrought. I actually said to my DH "the little bastard got into my 3371". DH was like "what are you talking about?". I wasn't mad that Hastur was playing with my fuzzy heart slippers but that he had gotten into my floss.
I have also posted a picture of my progress on the Mini Mandala. It seems popular. This is what I accomplished while in flight to and from Montana. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I am back

I got in late yesterday from a conference in Missoula, Montana. The weather was beautiful and cold while I was there. I walked two miles each way to go see a LNS. It was a pleasant walk; I got to trounce through bright yellow crunchy Maple Leaves. It was my first experience with a true fall. I grew up in San Diego, CA where the weather is the same year round and Texas where it is either extremely hot or just hot.
I was finally able to restock on needles. I go through needles like mad. A typically needle will last me about a week. A gold plated one about two weeks. I found some size 28 platinum needles. I hope these work. I am sick of having to buy needles all the time.
I have not had much time to stitch the past two weeks due to academic duties, however, 6 hour layovers in airports provide excellent opportunities to stitch. I made some progress on the Mini Mandala and finished the stitching for two Christmas ornies. They will be gifts for DH's family. The green one is a freebie from Glory Bee. The red one is from the JCS 2006 ornie edition. It is called Snowflake Heart by Wild Heart designs. While working on these I had three people ask me about cross stitch and blackwork. I even got give a mini lesson in cross stitch. The Mini Mandala seemed to be the favorite and I haven't even added the beads yet.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

All the Troubles

I have made relatively little progress this week on my stitching. I put in about 1500 more stitches on Old Worlde Map. It is coming along nicely. I am almost done with the stuff inside the two circles. Only a placard, mountains, and backstitching remains. Of course this leaves all the stuff outside of circles. Sometimes I feel that I am slowest stitcher in the world. Here is a link to a picture of it.
I have posted a picture of a cross stitch that my husband put together from different parts of the Subversive Cross Stitch designs. The phrase all the troubles comes from an inside joke amongst our friends. This was another birthday gift for Persian Pen Name. She always seems like she is making knitted things or other crafty items to give away to family and friends but never seems to get crafty stuff in return. So Husband and I decided to stitch her birthday gifts this year.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sorry I haven't posted any stitching updates lately. I just haven't had a chance to. Life gets in the way of stitching sometimes. Last week I stitched up Persian Pen Name's (her blog is Panda Bonzai) birthday gift. It is by Subversive Cross Stitch. If foul language offends you do not look at the to the last picture in this blog entry. You have been warned. The little rat featured in the pics is my rattly furball Persephone. We recently lost her sister Artemis to an upper respiratory infection and anemia. I have also included a WIP of Mini Mandal Set 1 C. So far it has been a fun and fairly quick stitch. Of course I have been working on it for several weeks and I am only about halfway done. Again life getting in the way of stitching. Oct is the birthday month of my DH and several of my friends. I had suprise get together at my house last weekend and have posted a picture of the cake. There are 50 candles on it for Persian Pen Name and DH's combined age. My goodness it resemebled a torch.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Amazing Lobster Dog

My cross stitching goals this week have not been met. I just started a major research project involving hundreds of students, so stitching has just not happened. In an effort to keep this blog going during this stressful time period, I shall post embrassing picture of my weiner dog. So without further adieu I present the Amazing Lobster Dog.

Monday, October 02, 2006

October Stitching Goals

October Goals:

1. Finish everything in the two circles of Olde World Map.
2. Finish border of Olde Worlde Map
3. Finish Mini Mandala Set 1 Number 3
4. Finish DD Illustrative Fantasy Blackwork
5. Creat two ornaments for my Tia and Abuela.
6. Work on negelected Dracolair's Ouroborus
7. Put the 5 remaining beads on TW Whitework Ornie and "finish" it. I had sat down to make it into an ornie and discovered I had forgotten to place 5 beads on it. Argghh. This annoyed me so much it has been sitting there for two weeks.

I wish I could post pictures of Olde World Map but I will be submitting it for a contest. It is progressing nicely but slower than I expected. I really love working on that project. It is not difficult just large at 15 by 18 inches.
I am actually working on large projects though if I devoted my time to smaller projects I could finish The Challenge in a year instead of 5 or 6 years. I love instant gratification but I must supress those urges in favor my large and time consuming projects. This way I can actually knock off some of the TWs and Dracolairs I have planned. I just keep invisioning those lovely pieces hanging on my walls. I also remember that I can't afford all the framing jobs that doing a plethora of small projects would incur. I can only budget 2-3 framing jobs a year. As a result I have stack of unframed pieces sitting in bin. I reasoned that if I switched to larger projects that the pile would stay about the same or actually get smaller since the larger projects take so long. Of course I could learn to strech and frame pieces myself but I am neurotic and would drive myself crazy in a mad quest to have everything perfect. So in the end having some one else frame my projects for me is totally worth it- since I keep what little sanity I have somewhat intact.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Stitcher Behind the Madness

Since this challenge as spread to individuals that I do not interact with on my cross stitching BBs (yippeeeeee!!!) I have decided to introduce myself. HasturTorres is my dachshund and he has gracefully allowed me to use his name on the internet. It took a couple dog cookies to pursuade him but in the end I am known as HasturTorres. Cherylann is the name that I go by outside of cyberspace. I am a Ph.D. student, which means I do not have a life. I work on my dissertation and stitch. Oh yeah, I do have husband, he helps me with my dissertation and he stitches. I taught him how to stitch about a year...someday he may finish a pattern. He owns three and thus will not be joining the challenge. He also knits and is absolutely adorable while doing so.
So what do I stitch? I am really fond of fantasy designs. I have stitched off and on since I was a youngester but did not catch the stitching obbession until I discovered Teresa Wentzler's work. I bought her collection of fantasy patterns and drooled but I was too scared to start any of them. I did pick up the Castle and Dragon petite kit. I have since started the project twice and never finished it. My petite Peacock has been UFO for over 5 years now. I don't even know where it has been. I find it sad that TW is one of my favorite designers and yet the only project of her's that I have ever finished has been You Were Hatched. You can find a picture of it in my webshots album- I have a link to the page listed. Heritage stitchcraft's Valerie Pfeiffer bird designs also sucked me into cross stiching. Pictures are not shown in my webshots album.
I have since found lots of designers to drool over. I love Dragon Dreams dragons. I adore Dracolair and enjoy of some of Enchanted Lair's designs. I also love Dimples Designs (Pangaea) insects. They are incredible and beautiful...insects are one of my passions. I spent several years studying fire ants (I used to blow them up in the name of research). I wish some one would come out with some realistic ant designs. Recently, I have fallen victim to the designs of Chatelaine. Must have them all....
I hope you all enjoy the new look of my blog. I spent a bit of time learning about HTML coding so I could make the changes. I must say I am proud of myself. For those of you who have joined my challenge- THANK YOU! The support is definetly needed. I am still fighting the urge to buy Dracolair's new Griffon Bookmark. I am hoping it passes. I have finished 5 projects...only 45 more to go. I do have some TWs and Dracolairs planned. So it will be years before I am off this challange but at least I will have stitched through a bunch of my stash.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

50 Project Challenge Musings and Camera Grumblings

I have finished one-tenth of the challenge. I finished stitching Blackwork French Cow. I would post it but I need batteries for my camera. Argggh. I was just at the store earlier today. Argghh. I am also working on Chatelaine's Mini Mandala set 1 number 3. It is turning quite nicely. The colors are much more cheerful than the picture's depiction. It is also really simple. The geometric design is quite soothing to stitch and I enjoy the repetition of the pattern. I can memorize each element so I don't have to waste time staring at the chart.

I am also surprise with the ferver that my project challenge has caused. I enjoy seeing it pop up in random cross stitching blogs. I did not realize how quickly and wide this challenge would spread. I am overjoyed to have so many others joining me. The sad thing is that I have acquired 6 new charts since starting this challenge. All of them have been within the rules and thus I haven't fallen off this wagon. But still 6 new charts. :) Speaking of wagons. This challenge is posted on the Wagon BB and I also have my own forum (thanks to Dani) on the Needle and Thread BB. I am so excited to be a moderator. So thanks again for joining me on this quest to reduce pattern stash and the best of luck to you all. I promise to have some pictures up in the next several days.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hastur's Insanity

I formally posted the rules for the 10, 25 or 50 project challenge. I am posting them below as a backup. Come join us in this insanity.

Due to the interest in the challenge I have decided to post a list of rules for it. There have also been requests for a smaller challenges (thanks xstitchqueen for drawing this to my attention). For those of you who would like to join the challenge but can't commit to the 50 project...there will be a 10 project and a 25 project challenge. If you would like to join us in one of these challenges please post your intent, exemptions and modifications. Also, some people have already created blogs as way tracking their progress. Bloggers if you would like to share your journey with us please post your addresses.

Purpose of the challenge: to [b]reduce[/b] the amount of patterns you have not stitched. This challenge can also be applied to other areas of you stash if you wish (please post your personal modification).

The Rules:

1. Have fun reducing your stash.

2. There is no time limit- people have different size projects they would like to work on.

3. Thou shall not purchase any new patterns until 10, 25, or 50 projects have been stitched. Pattern size does not matter.

4. This challenge can also apply to knitting, beading, sewing and crocheting patterns.

5. You can make some exemptions - I am not placing limitations on this due to commitments that people might already have. Remember, though, the goal of this challenge is to reduce stash so too many exemptions will sabotage these efforts. I have declared three exemptions.

6. Gifts, gift cards, trades, RAKs and patterns bought with gift money are not a violation of this challenge.

7. Freebies count as part of your total and you can aquire them at any point.

8. The offical start date of this challenge was Sept 1, 2006 since I have been posting about it for awhile and want to make sure the everyone's projects have been included.

I have posted all the rules that I can think of. Please let me know if there is a major oversight.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hastur's Bane- The Final Chapter

Yesterday, I managed to get over my funk slightly and working on finishing another ornie. With the use of a different glue and thicker cording the process went much smoother. I also managed to line up the two cording ends really well and you can barely see it in the picture. (lower left hand side) I only cursed twice and burnt my fingers thrice. The pattern is Proof by Dragon Dreams.
Yesterday was my birthday and I got two patterns in the mail. One was Noon Basking by Dracolair that I had bid on before creating the 50 project and the other was a RAK. It is Why Hoarde Gold by Dragon Dreams. I love dragon patterns..can't you tell. Dracolair is coming out with a new bookmark of a Griffon. I want it so badly but I am on the wagon for a long time. Why couldn't it have come out last month when I could still buy it. This is the first time I am really feeling the pain of not being able to buy patterns for my stash. I am excited though. Five brave souls have taken me up on the 50 pattern completion challange. I have company in this momumental undertaking. Thank you for your support.

50 Project Countdown 48/50 remaining

Monday, September 11, 2006

Over One Adventures

This past week has been spent learning new stitching skills... aka... I was having strong masochistic tendencies. I decided I needed practice with over-one stitching. Of course I decide this in the middle of the night when I can't sleep though I am totally exhausted. After several minutes of stitching I get cocky. This over-one stuff is easy if you squint a little bit. Several more minutes pass and I realize that I have misplaced 9 stitches and have to frog. Ahhhh...I have now discovered the true annoyance of stitching over-one. I won't go into the gory details but it was truly awful. I finished Britty Kitty Christmas and started on Portrait of a Dog. For some reason I decide that stitching on it while slightly doped up on painkillers is a good idea...luckily it was. I finished the project and it looks fine.

The other masochistic thing I did this week was put myself on the wagon. Brillant idea... I of course can't do anything small. For some reason I decided that 50 was a good number. So now I have committed myself to stitching 50 projects before I can buy any more patterns. No time limit just finish 50 projects. Now the only way I can get new patterns is by gifts or trades. My dear precious birthday is on Thursday can I please have the new JCS ornie edition...PLEASE. I forgot to list it as one of my exceptions. My exceptions are new releases from Dragon Dreams (I am a DD whore and I need my fix), Chatelaine's sampler mystery, and Chatelaine's Japanese Octagonal Box. I can of course buy all the fibers and fabric I want....I am crazy but not completely insane. I do focus on starting projects that I already have the fabric for...which aren't too many given I don't usually kit up until I start a project. Does any one else care to join me on this demented quest to finish 50 projects before buying any more patternie goodness. Please someone join me in the madness. Little projects count, freebies count, gifts count...come on I double dare you.

50 Project countdown- 48/50

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hastur's Bane- Part 2

The pieces of the ornament held! Thus the final finishing step needed to be taken- the glueing of the trim. This step requires the dreaded glue gun again. With much cussing and gasps of pain- I managed to get the trim on the ornament. It looks okay...from distance. I learned that I need to use larger cord and that my glue gun ability should be given an F-. I couldn't squeeze the glue in a straight line to save my life. But it is done. Enjoy the pic. The ornament is called Traditions and it is from an JCS ornie edition.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hastur's Bane

I definetly love the X- cross stitch that is. If I didn't I never would have attempted what I did tonight. I am in the process of finishing an ornament. My goodness, I am doing something crafty. Earlier I made my pilgrimage to Hobby Lobby and purchased three types of glue....spray adhesive, tacky glue, and a glue gun. Then I bought fabric for the first time. I also raced around the store looking for the appropriate filling only to discover it in the fabric section- imagine that.
About an hour or so I sat down at the table with my stitched piece- a small blackwork design- and assorted goods from HL. I survived the encounter. I did not cut myself...I did not glue my fingers together...and I only burnt myself once with the glue gun. I did purchase a low heat glue gun though for just that reason. My project is currently drying and in a couple hours I shall know if I did right- meaning when I take off the binder clips it does not fall apart. Midway through this process my dear sweet husband comes out- well I was screaming at him get the glue sticks...get the glue sticks. He comments "you are so funny, honey". Well thanks honey for laughing at me during this stressfull project. The real Hastur slept by my feet the entire time. I am sure he was laughing at me in his dreams. I unveil the picture of the completed ornament tomorrow. Above is a picture of my former kitchen table- now it is a disaster area.

Below is the real Hastur with his best monkey friend. Everyone say Ahhhhh!!!