Followers

11 October 2013

For Cathey

I received an email today from Katie letting me know of our dear friend, Cathey's passing. Thank you, Katie, for taking the time to do so. More information on her blog here.
And so, with a heavy heart, I wrote this poem:
Memories cherished, A life well-lived
Pain left behind, Your soul set free
Living With God, Surrounded by angels
Treasured in our hearts, Forever you will be
Rest in peace, Cathey.

05 October 2013

Lady on Fire

After about a week of beading, I finally finished Lady Alexandra yesterday. Coincidentally, I'm currently reading the Hunger Games series so the title is pretty apt ^.^
Here she is, hot off the Q-Snaps.
Design: Lady Alexandra (Red Conversion)
Designer: Mirabilia
Fabric: 28 count Polstitches Taboo opalescent Cashel linen
Fibers: DMC
Embelishment: Mill Hill Beads
Seriously, isn't she pretty?
I know a number of you have been waiting for my conversion and I apologize for the delay. However, before I get to that, I'd like to share with you what I see when I look at her. There are actually very specific reasons I chose to stitch her with the colours I did. So please bear with me and enjoy the close up details :) 
Life doesn't consist purely of black (ribbons) or white (gloves) but many shades of grey in between.
It is also very short. So make the most of it and fill it with colours - the three primary colours - red (dress), blue and yellow (fabric) but above all, fill it with love and passion (red).
Her pose brings to mind of one who dares to follow her heart, in defiance of society's norms...
And her jewelry reminds me to reach for the stars (earring
and ring)
but always stay classy (pearl necklace).
Those are some of the lessons I've learnt in this journey of life, none more sound than just earlier this year... Part of the reason I've been rather quiet.
I gave her brown hair as I aspire to reflect her.
As for the details on her dress, I was aiming for my December birthstone colours -
turquoise (of which the darker version is teal)
and tanzanite,
unwittingly ending up with the vivid jewel tones.
Then there's her pearl and crystal encrusted purse which is probably my most favourite part in the entire design.
How could one not love that? Here, lemme show you another angle. One with a clearer view of her star-shaped ring too.
Anyway, I've made you wait long enough. Here's my long overdue conversion of Lady Alexandra in red. Any floss or beads not listed remains unchanged.

Hair
  • DMC 677 - DMC 433
  • DMC 680 - DMC 938
  • DMC 829 - DMC 3371
  • DMC 3371 - DMC 310
  • DMC 3822 - DMC 898
  • DMC 3823 - DMC 434

Ribbons
  • DMC 310 - DMC 310
  • DMC 794 - DMC 414
  • DMC 3841 - DMC 415
  • DMC 3799 - DMC 3799
  • DMC Blanc - DMC 762

Dress
  • DMC 611 - DMC 816
  • DMC 677 - DMC 666
  • DMC 834 - DMC 321
  • DMC 3787 - DMC 814
  • DMC 3799 - DMC 3021
  • DMC Blanc - DMC 892

Flowers on Dress
  • DMC 156 - DMC 598
  • DMC 552 - DMC 333
  • DMC 3746 - DMC 3809
  • Mill Hill 18826 - Mill Hill 18812

Swirls on Dress
  • DMC 552 - DMC 3809
  • DMC 3746 - DMC 3809
  • Mill Hill 60168 - Toho 11/0 seed beads Ceylon Lt Sea Green Nr. 11-920 Turquoise/Mill Hill 03507*
  • Mill Hill 42014 - Mill Hill 42014/Mill Hill 10003 if using Mill Hill 10079*
  • Mill Hill 40252 - Toho 15/0 seed beads Silver-Lined Teal Nr. 27BD/Mill Hill 10079*

Sparkles on Dress
  • Mill Hill 02017 - Mill Hill 02010

Earring
  • Mill Hill 12165

Ring
  • Mill Hill 12299

*The first is what I actually used and the later is the substitute option given.

Hope that's clear enough. Feel free to comment or email me if you have additional questions.
Happy Stitching!

30 September 2013

Over 2? Over 1?

Today, I had a friend asked me to explain the difference between over 2 and over 1 stitching. On top of that, to complicate matters, there's also 2 over 2, 2 over 1, 1 over 2 and 1 over 1. Whoa... What?
To new stitchers, all that might sound pretty daunting. Still, let me try to shed some light on the subject.
Over 2 and over 1 stitching mainly refers to stitching on evenweave or linen. The stitches are made over 2 fabric threads or over 1 fabric thread. The first number on the other hand indicates the number of strand of floss used. Have I confused you enough yet?
I have to admit I was having trouble explaining partly due to the lack of quality illustrations online... at least none that I could find. Then again, it could be because I'm just a really bad teacher :P
When all else fails... Improvise. Thus, I hope this piccie would benefit all budding evenweave/linen stitchers out there and those who would like to give stitching over 1 a go.
Gotta love my L baby (macro lens) ^.^
*Click to biggify*
As you can see, stitches using two strands of floss are made with two colours to clarify matters. 2 over 1 stitches are usually half stitches as 2 over 1 cross stitches would be too bulky.
I understand this question has also surfaced numerous times in regards to over one skin stitching. Basically, every over 2 cross stitch would be converted to four tiny over 1 stitches. It is however personal preference on which you choice you make.
Here are a couple of photos for your reference. Human skin usually has very fine appearance and the texture of the different size stitches portrays that.
I prefer 1 over 1 cross stitches though that could be a problem if a design consists of tweeding (blended floss). To overcome this, a cross stitch could be made with the bottom leg stitched with the darker floss while the top leg stitched with the lighter floss.
The rest are self explanatory, I hope? Feel free to comment or email me if you have any more questions.
Happy Stitching!

27 September 2013

Pumpkins for Cathey

Today is Pumpkin Day. Happy Blogoversary, Cathey!
As some of you may know, Cathey has been battling cancer for some time now. Her strength and sense of humour during this difficult time has been a constant inspiration to me.
So this is for you, Cathey. Keeping you always in my thoughts, heart and prayers.
Special thanks to Sharon for organizing this event. More information here.

01 September 2013

Another New Start

This is my last WiP pic. I promise. Next one should be a finish. Now if only those beads I ordered would arrive...
Deprived from beading Lady Alexandra, I delved into my stash and pulled out Mermaids of the Deep Blue. Yeah, not like I have dozens of WiPs waiting eh?
This design is very special to me as it's the first Mirabilia I fell in love with. Still, I wonder why I've yet to stitch it. Perhaps it has something to do with the number of fabrics I've bought for it that just doesn't seem quite right.
Clockwise from top left:

Oh, don't get me wrong, each and every one of them is certainly pretty enough in their own right but somehow, just not the one for Mermaids of the Deep Blue, know what I mean? Sigh! OCD much?
Finally, I decided to go a different route. I ordered Crafty Kitten's opalescent cashel Aurora, requesting that it has minimum green than normal. It arrived on Wednesday.
Holy moly, my hunt for the perfect fabric is finally over. I'll be starting Mermaids of the Deep Blue the moment this post goes up ^.^ I have to admit though that I didn't come up with this idea solely on my own. I've seen plenty of mermaids, including Mermaids of the Deep Blue stitched on this particular hand-dyed fabric and they're all stunning!
Till next time, Happy Stitching!

24 August 2013

Pandora

Before I show you Lady Alexandra's progress today, I'd like to share with you a side hobby of mine which I just got into early this year.
As those of you who've read my previous post know, I've had the chance to visit Melbourne, Australia and Bangkok, Thailand earlier this year. Now, I've never been big on buying souvenirs but I wanted something to remember the trips by. I didn't want a dime a dozen souvenirs like key chains, postcards or magnets.
With that in mind, I hit on the idea of charm bracelet. I ended up choosing Pandora as it's widely available in many countries. Here's my first bracelet with a travel theme. Each charm holds a specific memory or memories.
After that, came this ocean/marine bracelet because not only did I spent a lot of time on the beaches in Australia and Thailand, I also visited the aquariums in both cities.
Which brings me to what I really wanted to show you... my cross stitch bracelet. With my long time love for cross stitching, how could I resist making a bracelet to represent this hobby of mine?
An x-stitch charm with the stitches in gold. I'll admit part of the reason I took these photos was because I wanted to play with my 100 mm macro lens aka "L Baby". Yes, my camera and lens are my babies ^.^
A scissors charm. The reason these charms seemed littered with scuff marks is due to the macro power of the lens. Every tiny imperfect detail that's normally invisible to the naked eye has been enhanced tenfold.
And my very own frog prince. Isn't he charming with his golden crown? Hopefully he'll keep all frogs away from my stitching from now on.
Anyway, on to what you actually came here for... Lady Alexandra. (Aren't you tired of her yet? :P) One last shade of red to go.
One last thing, I've decided on Sparklies' Winter Skies for Red. Thank you to everyone who offered your opinions.
Till next time, Happy Stitching!

18 August 2013

Red

Update on Lady Alexandra. My needle sure seems to be smoking. It must be her red dress. She's certainly on fire ^.^
Speaking of red, have you seen Mirabilia's latest design? Introducing Red, aka Red Riding Hood :)
This more detailed photo was provided by Nora on the Facebook Mirabilia group. Check out the beading on her gorgeous red hood.
For the first time ever, I've ordered the chart and kit within 24 hours of a design's release. What can I say? I'm in love.
After that, I went fabric stash diving and came up with two posibilities.
Floss toss for red on Polstitches Avalon Opalescent Cashel.
I'm thinking perhaps an enchanted forest mood on Avalon?
Or Sparklies Winter Skies Opalescent Belfast.
As for this one, the fabric name is kinda self explanatory :P
What do you think? Help! I'm desperate for opinions.

12 August 2013

Lady in Red

A very short post today to show my Lady Alexandra WiP. As you can see, I've converted her dress to red. If I have it my way, she would be aflame in bright, vivid, screaming fire-engine red before I'm done. 
I've always thought her pose radiated confidence and passion with a devil-may-care attitude. What better colour to represent that than red? ^.^
Till next time, Happy Stitching!

29 July 2013

Mirabilia Seasonal Queens

Over a month late. Yikes! Way past time to announce the winner for my Singing the Blues kit.
Congratulations, Edgar!
Please send me your mailing information so I can send this out to you as soon as possible.
A year ago, I joined my first Mirabilia Round Robin. My finished RR has actually returned home early this year. Here it is now in its completed splendor.
 
Design: Seasonal Queens Round Robin
Designer: Mirabilia
Fabric: 32 count Picture This Plus Crystal Fresco Belfast linen
Fibers: DMC & Kreinik Metallic
Embelishment: Mill Hill Beads
I just had to showcase each queen individually.
Here's lovely Winter Queen.
She's stitched by the very talented fabric dyer Leslie.
I absolutely love the trailing strand of beads.
Here's my Spring Queen again.
 
Click here for more detailed pics of her.
Stunning Summer Queen.
Thank you, Jaqueline for such a gorgeous RR square. 
Her hair is almost totally covered with beads.
Last but not least, beautiful Autumn Queen.
This square was contributed by Renée. Thank you! 
I think she's the blingiest (is that even an actual word? :P) of them all.
A while ago, I talked about how Silkweaver, after changing ownership, has failed to live up to its previous reputation and service. You can read about it here. I guess someone tipped them off about my post and they made up to me by sending me a properly dyed Aegan Aqua.
Now this is the colour I'm talking about. Pretty, isn't it? Perfect for a mermaid. Last I checked, shipping is still kinda pricey if you're only buying a small amount of fabric but more reasonable if you're buying more so I'm definitely contemplating buying from Silkweaver again.
I haven't been in the mood to stitch recently until suddenly, this past week, I couldn't stop. What have I been working on? It's another new start. Yup, with numerous WiP still unaccounted for, I started another project. At least it got my stitching mojo back so that's good, right?
Say hello to Lady Alexandra. 
Gosh, over one skin certainly takes a lot of patience. I'm so glad that's done and over with. I'm stitching her on Polstitches Taboo opalescent cashel. I didn't stitch her in all the recommended colours. Can you spot the differences? I've more changes in store as well. Wait and see ^.^
Til next time, happy stitching!

03 June 2013

Treasures from Turkey

Life... Happened. That's the best I could come up with to explain my disappearance for the past months.
Within the course of a few short months, on top of the numerous personal emotional issues I had to deal with, I also had the chance to visit Melbourne, Australia and Bangkok, Thailand. In the blink of an eye, it's already June.
Anyway, it's long past time I showed you what Nurdan, my talented friend from Turkey, made for me.
Aren't these handmade crochet drawstring pouches gorgeous? My initial favourite was the glittery blue one with surprising accents like these flower bells (for lack of suitable term to call them)...
But now I've since fallen in love with the blue and brown one not to mention that elegant golden one with lace. Luckily, I don't need to decide which is my favourite as Nurdan has generously given all three to me. Thank you again, Nurdan.
Along with the pouches, she has also included these treasures:
First, the lace... So delicate and pretty. It's made by Nurdan's mum and I'm honored that she deemed me worthy enough to receive them. Did you know they're fifty two years old? Then, there's the lovely blue yarn and adorable babushka dolls.
As to what I've been up to, I've not gotten a lot of stitching done lately. I did finish this piece a while ago however.
Design: Singing the Blues
Designer: Little House Needleworks
Fabric: 28 count Zweigart Cashel
Fibers: Hand Dyed Fibers silk
As usual, I've made my own conversion from Crescent Colours Belle Soie to HDF silk
CC Icing - HDF Examplar White Chocolate
CC Tulip - HDF Dragon Blood
CC Ocean Tide - HDF Old Blue Eyes
I couldn't remember the colour of the linen I used other than the fact that it's a Zweigart stock linen.
It was quite a quick stitch.
As usual, I love the subtle colour variations of hand-dyed floss.
And as an apology for being away so long. Or an incentive for visiting my blog. Or a bribe to leave a comment whichever way you choose to see it. Mostly a bribe :P I've put together a kit for Singing the Blues.
If you like how my Singing the Blues turned out and would like to stitch one like it, please leave a comment that you'll like to be included in the giveaway in this post only. I'll draw a name on 20 June 2013.
Until then, happy stitching!