31 December 2009

Goodbye, 2009

Happy New Year, everyone! This would be my last post for Year 2009. I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays. It occurred to me earlier that I probably should make some New Year Stitching Resolutions. Now, I never have done so because that would mean putting restrictions on a hobby which would in turn make it not as enjoyable but with my WiPs and stash piling up, I figured I'll make one (yes, just one :P) New Year Stitching Resolution and that is to at least finish five (can you tell I'm not ambitious? LOL!) projects, be it WiPs or a new start :)
Anyway, as usual, I've been stitching some but not a lot. Made more progress on Love With A Capital L.
The top half minus the border is now completed. Onwards to the bottom half. With only two colours to switch between, this is such a relaxing stitch.

19 December 2009

Capital L is Back

After months, actually, make that more than a year, of hibernating under my constantly growing pile of WiPs, Love With A Capital L by Papillon Creations is finally in rotation again.
Maybe it's the season. After all, Christmas is a season of love but more than likely it's encouragement from Mikey and a suggestion from my SO who said that he would like to see me stitch something different, like letters or even a famous quote after my angel. Well, I've taken both their advise to heart. Nothing could be more famous than a chapter from the Bible, right? Either way, enough talk. I'm sure you would be waiting for a picture by now so here it is.
I know, I've only finished the flower movif from my last WiP picture but an update is still an update. Heh! I hope you're not disappointed. Anyway, I'll leave you with this close up picture. I'm loving the colours. Also, did I mention stitching with Vikki Clayton's silk is a luxury?

10 December 2009

A Little Christmas Gift

I just return from an incredible eleven days vacation in Phuket, Thailand with my significant other. Before I left, I had posted off a small package. A day after I return, I was informed that my package has arrived safely. Shortly after, I encountered computer problems so it wasn't until now that I can finally show you what the package contained...
This is my third mailart to date. What do you think? The Leisure arts design can be bought and downloaded here.
I used a Passione Ricamo freebie for the back. Sadly, the fabric doesn't show off the white metallic thread I used to stitch the snow :(
And here's the fabric I used for the mail art lining. I've had this Christmas themed fabric for a while now and have been waiting for the right project to use it on. I think it's perfect for it.
As usual, what is a mailart without a card, right? Since I have a thing for handmade cards, once again, I decided to let my creative juices flow...
I just love these Stitching Cards. This time, I have a Christmas Tree theme going...
I hope you enjoyed your gift, Mikey. To everyone else reading this, Merry Christmas! I hope you have had a great year.

18 November 2009

The Finish Line

Two post in two days. That must be some kind of record for me. Well, I changed my mind and decided to bead Esperanza after I posted yesterday. She's intended as a Christmas present for my significant other. Thus, I'll be having her framed soon either way. So here she is in all her glory :D
Design: Angel of Hope
Designer: Lavender & Lace
Fabric: 32 count Silkweaver Skye Reflections Lugana
Fibers: DMC, Kreinik #4 Braid & Hand Dyed Fibers Silk
Embellishments: Mill Hill Beads
What's a happy dance without closed up, detailed pictures? So once, again, here we go ^.^
I just love the beads forming a halo around her head. For anyone who's interested, I attached the beads with invisible thread so in real life, they look like they're suspended in mid air.
Here's her harp. Another feature I absolutely love of the design. Heck, who am I kidding? I love everything about her. The sparkling metallic thread makes it stands out so much more.
Silk ribbons close up with more beads.
The result of the metallic swirls on the frills of her gown along with the flowers is gorgeous but they sure ain't too much fun to stitch.
More flowers, more beads, more of everything. Hehe...
Can't leave out the left side of her gown, can I?
Last but never least, she's been Esperanza to me for so long I had to embroider her name along with mine :)
Thanx for staying with me for so long. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

17 November 2009

The Final Stretch

Here's the latest WiP picture of Esperanza. Let's compare my last WiP picture with the previous one... 10 days was all it took to finish the white on her dress. Now let's see how long it took for me to stitch the flowers and the metallic thread... one whole week! Now do you understand why I said they're a real PitA? Heh!
Anyway, notice that I mention that this is still a WiP? To anyone who is unfamiliar with the design, Esperanza is, in all appearance, completed. However, I assure you that is not the case. There are still some confetti stitches around her head and sides that I have yet to stitch. The design supposedly calls for DMC gold metallic thread which in my usual style, I've substitute with Kreinik 002HL Very Fine #4 Braid. In my opinion, it sparkles more ^.^ Now, can you believe I've used up nearly a full spool of it just on the harp and the strip of gold near her hemline? I'm afraid I won't have enough for the confetti stitches. Thus, I've decided to bead those stitches instead. I think that will give the design a more interesting depth. Since I won't be doing the beading until I'm ready to have her framed up, I guess Esperanza will remain a WiP for a while yet.

10 November 2009

No More Frills

Finally! No. More. White. Yesssssss!
Yup, as you probably can tell, I'm trilled here. Why? What's so exciting about white? This, ladies and gentlemen, is why ^.^
Her dress is done and the frills is done. True, Esperanza is still far from being finished but other than the flowers, the strip of gold near her hemline and her harp, all of which will be a world of hurt to stitch due to the constant colour changes the flowers require and the metallic thread the strip of gold and harp demands, she's nearly completed.
You can bet that the next design I stitch will not and I repeat WILL NOT consist of any white or at best minimal white. So sick of white. I didn't keep track of the exact number of skeins I used on this design but five to six skeins is a good guess.
Anyway, gonna get back to her. The sooner I start on the pain... er... I mean flowers, the sooner it will be done :)

31 October 2009

For Mikey

Yup, as the title suggests, this update is specially for my good friend Mikey who has been asking over and over again how Esperanza is going. So here you are, Mikey, a picture finally :)
What do you think? Not a whole lot of progress but still better than no progress. I'm a little concern about the yellow silk that bled some when I rinsed it a couple of weeks ago and stained the fabric a little around the ribbon's edge. Nothing too obvious but rather visible if you know where to look. I know, I've been boasting about the colourfastness of HDF silk and I still stand by my statement. Vikki never guaranteed that her silks won't bleed. Truth is this is a first. Thus, in my opinion, as far as the colourfastness of hand dyed items is concern, hers is still at the top of my list. I just hope when I wash it again after the stitching is done, I'll be able to get rid of the stain completely. Any tips on accomplishing that more effectively? Thanx in advance!

22 September 2009

Silk Ribbons

Or more accurately, ribbons stitched in silk. I know, it's been a while since the last update on Esperanza. Finally, here she is again with the ribbons around her waist completed.
Remember I mentioned I had some changes in mind for the ribbons? As you can see, I've changed the colours to a brighter, more cheerful yellow. I reckon it's more striking this way. The reason why this update was so long in coming was because I had to frog and restitch it as my first conversion ended up being more brown than yellow. You know how much I love Vikki's silk so it's shouldn't be a surprise to you that I've opted to stitch it using that.
As usual, the picture does not show off the silk's subtle shine but I can guarantee you the texture difference is something to behold in real life, especially when cotton and silk are stitched side by side like this.
For anyone who might be interested of using this conversion as your own, here is the list:
829 - Cerveza 4143 (783)
831 - Cerveza 4141 (728)
833 - Koi Gold 4219 (972)
834 - Koi Gold 4217 (725)
3046 - GoldRush 4225 (744)
3047 - GoldRush 4223 (745)
3072 - Haywains 4123 (746)
Hope you like it. I had wanted to take more close-up pictures but my camera batteries kinda died on me :( Now back on to the not-so-fun part... more white. Sigh!

09 September 2009

Quaker Faith Hope Love

This is a quick post to show you my first Quaker project:
Design: Quaker Faith Hope Love
Designer: Midnight Stitching
Fabric: 32 count Silkweaver Desert Sky Belfast Linen
Fibers: Hand Dyed Fibers silk
It was a fast stitch, finished in only four days using the new variegated silks by HDF - the BE colours.
Faith is stitched using BeSmurfed. I was expecting this to be an all blue colour from the picture and description instead of blue/blue green that you see but as with all hand dyed products, dyed lots can varied so even though it wasn't what I expected, I'm not too fussed. I think it's rather pretty, don't you think so? I can assure you the colour is so much more vibrant in real life.
As mentioned last post, Hope is stitched with BeCreamed. You can see it more clearly in this picture compared to the last one.
Lastly, my favourite of all the three BE is BeRedded. I'm officially in love with this red. It's beautiful!
As usual, it has been a pleasure stitching with Vikki Clayton's silk. With this done, I really think I should be getting back to Esperanza. I've delayed long enough.

06 September 2009

The Final Band

With that picture, can you guess what it means? Yes, you're absolutely right. After more than a year my kingdom of stitches is finally finished!
Design: Queen of the Needle
Designer: Just Nan
Fabric: 28 count Silkweaver Abracadabra Cashel Linen
Fibers: Soie D'Alger silk
Embelishments:White Pearl Beads, Rosaline Swarovski Crystal Pearls & Queen's Rose Antique Gold Visions Charm
Wanna see the entire kingdom close up? If you do, scroll down. Just a caution though, it's gonna be picture heavy ^.^
First, we have some beautiful flowers and a lovely rose charm:
Bluebirds and verse:
Every queen must have a crown...
And a couple of bunnies as pets.

What is a kingdom without butterflies and more flowers?
Aren't the pink Swarovski pearls pretty?
And how could I leave out my favourite tiny over one ladybirds?
I hope you've enjoyed your tour of my little cross stitch kingdom.
On another entirely different note, I need your opinion. I took a break from Esperanza and decided to start a small project - Quaker Faith Hope and Love by Midnight stitching. I've already finished Hope here:
As you can see, or rather can barely see, it is disappearing into the fabric. It's more visible in real life compared to the picture but it's still kinda bothering me. It's stitched on Silkweaver's Desert Sky cashel linen with HDF BeCreamed. I used the fabric because it was exactly the right size but now I'm wondering if I should have not done so. I'm trying to decide if I should just start over again or continue on with Faith and Love. What would you do? Help!
To Yin who asked where I purchase all my materials, with the exception of DMC floss, I buy them all online nowadays as the LNS here are sadly inadequately stocked to suit my needs. Hand-dyed fabrics are ordered directly from the company that produces them. The rest from various ONS. Needlecraft Corner, Wasatch Needlecraft and Handcrafts Online are a few of my favourites. Drema, Karen and Mary Kathryn from those respective ONS are absolutely wonderful to deal with and their shipping charges to Malaysia are very reasonable as well.

31 August 2009

Esperanza Update

Wow! Thank you for all your congratulations. Haven't had that number of comments in a while, mostly due to my fault of not being a constant blogger. I've yet to claim my prize from Silkweaver but I'll be sure to keep you all posted on when I do :)
Not a lot to say except that it's way past time that I post regarding Esperanza's progress. In fact, she's been screaming at me to show her off to you for a while now. Rather justified, since she's about halfway done now and getting prettier by the day.
I was playing with my camera, trying to take some close up shots like I see on many stitchers' blogs so here they are. Just don't laugh at my amateur photo-taking skills, okay?
Her face:
Another angle:
Yes, yes, I know I'm not the greatest of photographers but you get the idea. I'm now so sick of white. However, nearly all the unstitched area is white. Argh! I think I'll take a break from white and stitch the yellow ribbons now. This should be interesting for I have some changes in mind for them. What those changes are, you'll find out soon enough. *Wink*

10 August 2009

I Won!

Oh. My. Gosh! Remember my Voice of the Shepherd that I stitched a while back? Indulge me and let's see it again.
Remember that I had entered it into the Silkweaver Showcases competition under the smalls category? The results were just announced and apparently, I won! I won, I Won, I WON! Thank you, Ee Koon for letting me know I was among the finalist. I had no idea. I found out that the winners had been announced here while lurking at the Mirabilia Stitchers forum.
I'm still stunned, speechless and in a daze. Everybody's stitching is so beautiful that it totally never cross my mind that I would stand a chance. A huge thank you to everyone who voted for me. It still hasn't sunk in yet. I hope it will soon so I can calm down enough to get back to Esperanza. LOL!

03 August 2009

She Can Fly!

Her wings are done and in the process of growing them, she taught me humility. Why? Because I had begun to think that a Lavender and Lace angel is an easy stitch since I've been making pretty fast progress on her. How? By teaching me the lesson of always, always double checking your floss colour before stitching. Look closely at her right wing and then compared that with my previous progress photo.
Can you spot the difference? Notice that the light grey in this recent photo is more pronounced? Yes, you guessed right. Apparently I had stitched it with DMC762 instead of DMC3072 as called for in the chart. I have no idea how I end up with DMC762 since it's not even a colour listed in the key. This is the first time that I've made a stitching mistake of this magnitude before. Let's hope I never do it again. Frogging such a very light grey among a sea of white is NOT my idea of fun. It's worse than having to restitch it in the right colour again. Finally, that's done. Her wings are finished. Now on to the fun part - her gown.
P.S. I would like to thank you for your kind words and encouragement regarding Esperanza. I'm constantly surprised that there are still visitors to my blog since I don't exactly post on a regular basis.

28 July 2009

One Winged Angel

Here's a quick post to give an update on Esperanza. As you can see, her right wing is now completed.
One more wing then I'll have the most complicated part (in my opinion) of the design finished. She's a rather fast stitch so far and I'm loving her. All in all, taking into account that I chose the fabric and design on a whim, the combination is working out pretty nicely, I reckon.
Well, she's vying for my attention again so I better be getting back to her. Who knows, maybe next time you see her again, she just might be able to fly.

22 July 2009

An Introduction

With my last post, I expect you're all anticipating that this post will be happy dance related. That is, sadly, not the case. I'm sure you can all guess by now what happened. Yes, I've been naughty again and started another new project. I tried, I truly did, but what's a girl to do when there are so many other fun and exciting projects calling out my name? After all, you only live once...
Anyway, everyone, say hello to Esperanza, a.k.a. Angel of Hope by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum of Lavender & Lace.
Her skin is stitched one over one. I just love how the different texture gives the piece a 3D effect. I think the extra work is totally worth it. To give you a better idea, here's a close up of her face.
I've been stitching on her for slightly more than a week now. Not too bad, considering, with all the extra over one stitching. With that done, it should go faster, I hope. I plan to finish her by the end of the year. Too ambitious maybe? She's a spur of the moment decision. I've been wanting to stitch one of the Lavender & Lace for a while now but have never quite make up my mind which one to pick as my first. She's stitched on Silkweaver 32 count Skye Reflections Lugana originally intended for Angelica.
Before I sign off, did you know that for one week only, from 21 July 2009 to 27 July 2009, Silkweaver's Colour of the Week is their discontinued Tutti Fruitie/Rainbow Sparkle Reflections? One of their prettiest colours, in my opinion. I'm considering stocking up some.
Till next time, happy stitching!

03 July 2009

In A Just Nan Mood

Not a lot to say but I do have a couple of WiPs to show. Been working on two Just Nan designs at a steady pace so I'm happy. Thank you for your encouragement regarding my last post. I understand stitching can't be forced but it sure can be frustrating when you have the desire but not the patience. LOL!
Anyway, first up is Queen of the Needle. It's been more than a year since I started it. It was going fine until I got stuck on these blasted flowers.
I gotta tell ya, he countless colour changes sure ain't fun. I'm so grateful I'm finally done with them. One more band and beading left until it's finished.
The other project I've been stitching is High Hopes. Not a whole lot done on it but enough to warrant a picture, I guess :)
Stitched on a 28 count Silkweaver solo opalescent lugana, this one's intended as a gift for my best friend, Adeline though when she'll actually receive it remains to be seen. Hehe...
That is all for today. On a side note, have you seen the newest Mirabilia 2009 Cherub freebie?
I think she's sweet.
Till next time, happy stitching, all.

18 June 2009

I've Lost My Mojo...

Can you help me find it please? I've tried everything, from looking at new releases to looking at your WiP pictures and lovely finishes to fondling my stash (which I had fun doing, by the way). Things that had helped in the past but to no avail now. I have the desire to stitch but not the drive. Does that make sense? I mean, I'll pick up something intending to work on it but few stitches in and I just cannot bring myself to continue on. I'm frustrating myself. Argh!
This is why, even after eons of absence, I have only one small happy dance to show. If you remember, from my last post, I was working on Little House Needleworks' Coffee Series. The first of the accompanying Tea Series is Spiced Tea.
I gotta tell you, it is not without struggle that I manage to finish it. For such a small design, it is quite a big accomplishment for me.
Design: Spiced Tea
Designer: Little House Needleworks
Fabric: Zweigart's Vintage Country Mocha (Marbled) 32 count Belfast linen
Fibers: Crescent Colours Belle Soie
Other than that, I've also managed to complete the middle section of my Little House Neighbourhood.
And that, ladies (and gentlemen), is all the stitching I have to show. Pathetic, I know :(
On to other stitching related (but not actual stitching) news :P look what's back from the framers.
I think my framer did a splendid job. He's my father's friend and all my needlework with the exception of Be My Valentine by Ellen Maurer-Stroh have been framed by him. I usually leave it to him to pick out the mats and frame which so far, he has yet to disappoint.
Check out a close-up picture of the gold-colored frame. I especially love the aged effect.
Oooh... the postman was just here and look what he left behind!
Cindy had a giveaway of charts on her blog couple of weeks ago to celebrate more than 10,000 hits. I was one of the lucky few who won something :) Thank you, Cindy, for your generosity. If you had not visited her blog before, head on over and you'll see why it had generated so many hits. I believe you won't be disappointed.
Till next time, take care and happy stitching.