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30 May 2008

May Finishing Challenge - Biscornu

Last weekend, I was feeling pretty restless. I ended up starting something new. If you’ve read my blog since the beginning, you’d have seen me mentioned this design before. I even did a floss toss for it back in January. This was as far as I got...

The colour changing was killing me. So I set it aside and thought to meet the May Monthly Finishing Challenge which is to finish a biscornu. I’ve never done finishing of this kind before so this was a real challenge for me. However, that didn’t deter me from having fun with it.
These are the squares I came up with for my biscornu.

The core design is from The Victoria Sampler’s Gazebo Tuffet freebie and the border is modeled after the Pincushion Heart freebie. As you can see, I’ve added my own touch to it with some beads and specialty stitches. Do you like my first timer Rhodes Hearts and the combination of Eyelet Stitches and Satin Stitches for the flowers in the centre? The bottom piece is my own design.
After much head scratching, I finally figured out how to make a biscornu, thanks to instructions from Annette and Finishing School.
What do you think of my first biscornu? The buttons are from a local craft shop.

Design: Modified Gazebo Tuffet
Designer: The Victoria Sampler
Fabric: Zweigart Moss Green 32 count Lugana
Fibers: DMC, Anchor & Six Strand Sweets in Candy Cane
Beads: Mill Hill Beads
Here’s the view from the top down:

And here’s what the bottom looks like:

Yesterday was another great mail day. The silks for Just Nan’s Queen of the Needle finally arrived along with Sweet Threads from Country Cottage Needleworks

I fell in love with this design the moment I saw it and has been craving for it ever since. Drema from Needlecraft Corner offers a package for the first thread pack that includes a piece of 28 count Vintage Lentil Linen from Lakeside Linens which is what I will be using for it.

I hope you’re not sick of looking at floss tosses because after receiving the silks and another fabric from Silkweaver earlier in the week I just can’t resist seeing how the colours would look together.

Floss Toss for Angel of Grace by Lavender & Lace on Silkweaver Enchantment Reflections 32 count Lugana.

Floss Toss for Queen of the Needle by Just Nan on Silkweaver Expressions Abracadabra 32 count Belfast Linen.
I need some advice. Do you think the light purple floss is too similar to the fabric? I hope it doesn’t blend in too well until it’s barely noticeable when stitched.
Have a great weekend, everyone!

20 May 2008

My First LHN

Last Friday, the mailman brought another package to my house. This time, it's five thread packs from Little House Needleworks' Coffee and Tea Series that I won on Ebay.

I'm pretty sure everyone has seen them around by now. When I first saw them, I didn't take much notice but these designs just sort of grow on you don't they? I couldn't wait to get started on them. I decided to stitch the Coffee Series first as I'm still missing the Herbal Tea thread pack (which by the way I've ordered from Mary Kathryn's ONS eHandcrafs). I chose Cappuccino for it's the first design in the Coffee Series.

The thread pack contains Crescent Colours Belle Soie silks. This is the first time I'm stitching with these. I love the subtle variegated colours. In my opinion, the effect of it is pretty stunning when stitched. What I didn't like, however, is that every few stitches, the silk keeps getting tangled up. Is it just me or is everyone else facing this problem? It gets pretty frustrating after a while. Luckily, the smooth texture of the silk makes untangling it easier. Had it been cotton... Gosh, I don't want to imagine how that would end up.
Anyway, this past weekend was a long one. Monday was Wesak Day - a Buddhist celebration. I was supposed to meet up with my SO (Significant Other). It's been more than a year since we last saw each other. He's with the US Navy now based in Japan and like last year, the ship he's attached to was gonna stop by Malaysia during the weekend. We were so looking forward to it. Then he found out, just last week, that unlike last year, his ship wasn't stopping by Port Klang which is near to where I live. Instead, they stopped at Kota Kinabalu which is at East Malaysia. I'm in Peninsular Malaysia aka West Malaysia. East and West - separated by South China Sea. Talk about a huge disappointment.
So... I immersed myself in my stitching. I'm sure you all can relate, there's no therapy like stitching. And this is the result:

Design: Cappuccino
Designer: Little House Needleworks
Fabric: Zweigart's Vintage Country Mocha (Marbled) 32 count Belfast linen
Fibers: Crescent Colours Belle Soie
I'll be stitching all of them on separate pieces of fabric. I think they'll look nicer framed individually. That also gives me the added advantage of being able to rearrange them on a whim. Now that I've stitched one, there's no going back. LHN designs are addictive...

15 May 2008

Lazy Afternoon Again

Contrary to the post's title, I haven't been lazing around this afternoon. I sure wish though, just so I have more time to stitch. Then again, don't we all? Anyway, just writing to show what I've been up to for the past week or so. I'm sure you all can guess by now. Here's my Lazy Afternoon's progress:

She finally has some grapevines above her to protect her from the hot afternoon sun. The leaves and grapes are all stitched using only a single strand of floss. You hardly notice it in the picture but in real life, it does make a huge contrast. Sure gives a depth to the piece.
Today my package from Stitching Bits & Bobs finally arrived. They're having another sale at the moment but unless an item is really cheap, I doubt I'll be ordering from them again anytime soon. Throughout my four week wait, other than an email last week telling me my order has been shipped, I didn't receive any correspondence from them telling me my Mill Hill items were on back order. Luckily I figured out how to check my order status on their website. That and well, I don't want another four week wait before I can fondle my new stash...

Just Nan - Queen of The Needle
Remember I said I have this on the way? Now that it has arrived, I can't wait to start on it. Waiting on the silks... Sigh!

Ellen Maurer-Stroh - Sleeping Kitty
This one is too cute for me to pass up during the sale. I bought it with my best friend Adeline in mind. I know she'll love it. Just no idea when I'll actually get around to stitching it. I mean, I'm still working on Lazy Afternoon...

John James Needles
Rainbow Gallery Magnetic Needle Tugger
Kreinik Metallic Threads, Mill Hill Beads & Treasures for Mirabilia's Mermaid of the Deep Blue
Seriously, Mermaid of the Deep Blue really uses that much beads and metallic threads? I've never seen one up close and personal. It must really, really sparkle! Can't wait to see what it'll look like once finished.
Man, I sure am dreaming big. I've yet to start the piece, don't even have the fabric for it yet an I'm already fantasizing on how it'll look like completed. I must be exhausted... Need sleep...
I also bid on and won two charts from Ebay.

Told in A Garden - Renaissance & Voice of A Shepherd
I've never really cared for the charts in this line until recently, Voice of A Shepherd caught my attention. I was randomly clicking on pictures on an ONS when I saw it. My mum's a Christian with a very strong faith. Somehow, I feel that she'll love it. I know Mother's Day just passed but that doesn't mean I can't give her a present anytime I want to. I'll start on it once the fabric I ordered arrive. I ordered from Silkweaver yesterday... LOL! Am I in big trouble here.
Onto more news, I decided to sign up for a Round Robin with Renée, Dawn and Chris. It will most likely be an open themed/UFO (UnFinished Object) RR. Nothing is concrete yet but I think I'd like to use this as my RR. It has three empty squares left which is perfect for this RR. Been a long while since I've joined one so I'm pretty excited.
Wow, what started out as a quick post turned out to be a long one. Once again, I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your kind words and compliments. You have no idea how much your comments motivates me to continue stitching and keep this blog updated.
Elisabeth, my understanding of a floss toss (someone correct me if I'm wrong) is that you put all the threads used in a design on a piece of fabric to give an idea of how the colours would look against it. Hope that answers your question?
Getting back to my stitching now. Laterz all!

09 May 2008

Remember...

... This little fella?
He's not lonely anymore. I stitched him a companion:
Hmm... he doesn't look too happy about it though, does he? The newcomer seems to be chatting nonstop, wearing his ears out.
I think I'm gonna put this piece away again, for now. I find it's more of a distraction piece for me, something I'd work on when I can't make up my mind on what to stitch. Chiloe, to answer your question on what's next, honestly, I have no idea. LOL! Maybe it's only because I'm exhausted after a long day at work but I just can't find the motivation to pick up my needle. I really should work on 'Lazy Afternoon' especially since my friend has already moved into her new place but so many other wonderful and yummy designs are calling out to me.
Last week, I received the fat half of Silkweaver's Abracadabra Cashel linen that I ordered.
It's more purple than the pink I expected but I'm still rather please with it. I plan to stitch both Passione Ricamo's Meditteraneo and Just Nan's Queen of the Needle on it. Thus the fat half that I bought.
I'm still impatiently waiting for my package from Stitching Bits and Bobs to arrive. I finally received an email two days ago informing me that my package has been shipped. It's been about three weeks wait so far because unfortunately, some of the Mill Hill items that I ordered were out of stock.
In the meantime, after the DMC news, I decided that it was high time that I kitted up some of my to-be-stitched designs, just in case. I also decided that I really should make a list of my stash in their various kitted up stage in order for me to better keep track. So... (draws in deep breath) here goes nothing:
  • Angel of Grace by Lavender & Lace - awaiting arrival of fabric
  • Angelica by Lavender & Lace - ready to go
  • Firedance by Enchanting Lair - ready to go
  • Garden Verses by Mirabilia - ready to go
  • Mediterrano by Passione Ricamo - ready to go
  • Mermaids of the Deep Blue by Mirabilia - awaiting arrival Mill Hill beads and treasures/need fabric
  • Queen of the Needle by Just Nan - awaiting arrival of chart, embellishment pack and silk floss
  • Spring Ride by Lanarte - need fabric
Now you know why I'm in a dilemma as to what to stitch? I'm struggling between "doing what's right" by working on my WIPs and all the tempting projects just waiting for my attention. In the end, I get nothing done. Sigh!
Anyway, I won't bore you further with my indecisions. I'll leave you with a couple pictures of the floss toss I did.
Floss Toss for Garden Verses by Mirabilia on Silkweaver Wandering Ivy Reflections 32 count Jazlyn.
Aren't the colours yummy?
Floss Toss for Firedance by Enchanting Lair on Sugar Maple Fabrics Shimmering Jelly Bean 28 count Lugana.
Thank you for bearing with me. Take care, everyone.