27 April 2006

Back to Round Robins

First off, I would like to thank everyone for your comments. I really do appreciate them. Now I'm back to stitching round robins again. I forgot to mention another side benefit from stitching on RRs is that I get to try out different designers and styles. This two here are perfect examples of what I would have missed out on had I not been part of the RR. They're not to my usual taste but I had fun stitching them.
This here is for Margaret's "From the Heart" round robin from Prairie Schooler. I think it's a rather sweet design and I especially love the heart shape vase. I think it has a delicate look to it, sort of reminds me of lace. Maybe that's because it's in white? Anyhow, here's the whole RR. It has one last square to go before it returns home.
And here's another design I otherwise would not have the chance to stitch... "Hope" from Lizzie Kate's new "12 Blessing of Christmas" series for Melissa's RR. This is not my first L*K though I'll have to show you the other one later for it's a surprise for someone ~_^ It arrived in the mail yesterday and I had it done in a day. My quickest stitching ever! I couldn't put it down. There's a dove charm included in the design but I did not attach it since Melissa said she'll do it when it gets home. Now I understand why so many stitchers love her designs. Simple and easy... it's for days when your mind's not working or just not in the mood for more complicated designs.

24 April 2006

Bunny for Mum

I know those from the UK have already celebrated Mother's Day but here in Malaysia, we celebrate it on the second Sunday of May each year which would fall on 14 May this year to be exact. So, finally here's something non round robin related: Ellen Maurer-Stroh's "First Flowers for You" freebie which I chosed to stitch for my mum this year. It's stitched on Zweigart's 16 count Rustico Aida which I thought would set off the white nicely. Am pretty pleased with the results. I added in the words to make it more appropriate for the occassion. I designed the lower case letters, trying to make it look like a small kid's scrawl, thus emphasizing the more intricate upper case letters. Not sure if I managed to achieve the effect though. Now I just need to send it to the framers. I'm early I know but knowing me, I'll probably need the extra weeks.
Anyway, you must be wondering, there's no lack of Mother's Day patterns out there so why this one? My question back to you is, why not? Nah, just being cheeky there :p The reason behind it is I think my mum would like it, being born in the Chinese year of the Rabbit. Also, not only do I think the bunny is cute, I think it's rather sweet that it's presenting us with a couple of snowdrops which judging by the pattern's name (since Malaysia is a tropical country and there's no four seasons here), snowdrops are one of the first flowers of spring, which is a time for new life, new beginnings. As my mum is the one who brought me into this world... I'm sure you get where I'm going with this now.
Well, I'm getting too philosophical here and at the risk of boring you so I'll say no more. To those of you who would like to download this pattern, please visit EMS Cross Stitch Board where you'll find tons more great freebies. However, you'll need to register before you're allowed to log in. Man, I sound like a PR here. Oh well, I love her designs and I think she's a wonderful and generous lady.

20 April 2006

Stitching Blogger's Question: In Over Your Head?

SBQ LogoDo you do obligation or deadline-based stitching? Why or why not? If you do, do you tend to get in over your head and why?
Actually, I do do deadline-based stitching, in terms of round robins, exchanges and the occasional gifts for my friends and family. However, I don't think of it as an obligation because when I stitch something, it's only because I want to, not because I feel obliged to do it. In spite of my round robins preference to exchanges, I really don't mind either because it's so much fun and enables me to get to know other stitchers better worldwide. I just love the camaraderie stitchers share when involved together in a round robin or an exchange. It's different from when you're just sharing your WIPs (Work-in-Progress) or a HD (Happy Dance), if you know what I mean.
As for whether I tend to get in over my head, I've had my worries about not being able to keep up, being involved in 5 round robins and 2 exchanges at the moment but so far, I've yet failed to meet a deadline. Still, I do realize that this is my limit and have to keep reminding myself to refrain from joining anymore until the exchanges or at least one RR is completed.

16 April 2006

A Robin...

... For my round robin. Excuse the pun but I just couldn't resist. Anyway, I think it's pretty obvious that my theme for this RR is "Birds". I seemed to have gone RR crazy this year after finding out about them last year. This is the fifth RR that I've joined, all with different groups and boards. The other five participants of this six person RR are Edda, Melissa, Monica, Sharee and Teresa.
As all the five RRs are still in progress, at different stages of course, I guess updates on RRs are mostly what you'll be getting from me so I apologize in advance to those who are already sick of reading an update on yet another RR. Maybe I should refrain from joining more exchanges and RRs so I could have more time to do my own stitching but they're so tempting and so much fun. Especially with RRs. Sure, there's a lot of work and commitment when you're involved in one but I love the fact that my RR will be worked on by different stitchers from all over the world while I work on theirs. The RR would enable me to get to know them better too. Also, don't you agree that the satisfaction is incomparable when your completed RR finally comes home? True, I haven't had the pleasure to experience that yet but I can already imagine my delight when that happens, knowing that my RR has been to places that I'll probably never have the chance to visit. Pretty cool, don't ya think?

14 April 2006

Stitching Blogger's Question: Travel Stitching Tips

SBQ LogoFor those of you that stitch while riding in the car or on the train, how do you cope with the bumps and the motion? Do you have any tips for others?
As I don't stitch while travelling, I don't have much if anything at all to contribute to this week's question. It will be interesting to read other stitchers' answers though. I have always think that there seems to be a lot of work and hassle involve in stitching while riding in the car or on the train. I might stitch on a few hours plane ride but that's about it. Being an avid reader, I usually while away those travelling time with a book.

08 April 2006

Has Anyone Seen...

... A purple bird before? And not just any ordinary purple bird at that, a fashionable one that has a pink handbag on her wing and knows how to use a cell phone. No? Well, let me introduce you to Margaret Sherry's 4 Calling Birds from her 12 Days of Christmas series.
This is for Marion's RR and is stitched on Zweigart's coffee gold flecked Brittney. Now, this piece is pretty special to me not only because she's cute, (heck, all Margaret Sherry's designs are cute!) but because I managed to master French knots through her. Notice that there're 6 French knots in the pattern which is the most I've done so far for this RR. It's pretty common for a cross stitcher to dislike French knots but for me, there's nothing I loathe more. I'll have to appologise to Kathy if my French knots are not up to standard on her RR. Kathy, feel free to redo it if you wish. Luckily on Jackie's RR, she has opted to replace the French knots with beads instead.
Frankly, I don't know what exactly happened. I think it must be my change of technique. I had downloaded instructions from the Internet before regarding French knots but I could never get it right. This time, I decided to try out the instructions given in the UK magazines. I did the first knot and it turned out just right. After that, I quickily got the hang of it and towards the end, I was actually having so much fun with it that I added two more on the alphabets of my name and country. Pretty drastic change, considering that this was something that I used to avoid like the plague. Am pretty satisfied with myself at the moment. *Smug grin* Goes to show that if you're afraid of something, face it, learn how to do it and that will in turn conquer your fears.

06 April 2006

Stitching Blogger's Question: Stitching-on-the-Go

SBQ LogoDo you stitch “on the go?” (On the commute to and from work, during your lunch break, waiting for the kids, etc.) If so, do you have a specific “travel” project or do you just grab whatever you happen to be working on and take it with you?
I don't think I've ever stitched anywhere else other than in the comforts of my own home, mainly my room. Seldom do I take my stitching anywhere else unless I'm going for a trip or it's a RR or exchange piece that I need to post. Thus, I don't have a specific "travel" project. I just bring whatever I'm working on at the moment for my trip.
Never have I stitched in the public not because I'm embarrassed to be seen stitching but rather it's more of a hassle for me, considering the projects I tend to do are of the more complicated type. As I'm not working at the moment, there's no lunch breaks for me. Also, I don't drive and since I don't have kids, there's no "waiting time" for me. Stitching in the car while somebody drives is no go for me either for I'd end up being car sick.
I really have to salute those who stitch while commuting for cross stitching is not like knitting or crocheting where one just work mindlessly without having to consult a chart constantly. Now, if I tried to do that while taking public transport, seeing as how clumsy I am, my chart would keep slipping off my knee or I would poke someone with the needle or something. The disastrous possiblilities are endless.