Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hot off the hoop!

.... it's Starflake - finished at lunchtime today. I brought my camera with me to work as the light isn't so good by the time I get home.

Don't look too closely - you'll see all the 'deliberate' mistakes I've included to 'personalise' the design. LOL. For starters, the fabric isn't right. It's the right sort of colour but it's an evenweave rather than linen and it's too high a count. End result is that some of the stitches don't pull so well, particularly the four sided stitch, and the beads can be a bit crowded. You might also spot the fluffy bit where I accidentally cut one of the fabric threads as I was trying to unpick a particularly knotty eyelet.

However, I did enjoy stitching it, and I do love the colour combination. I am slightly disappointed that you don't really get the benefit of the Waterlilies thread used in the centre and elsewhere, but I'm already considering stitching it again 'properly' at some point, that is, on a better fabric, so that I can see properly how the four sided stitches are supposed to work!

I'm also thinking of finishing this one as a tuck pillow and have been eyeing up various possible finishing methods via Focus on Finishing. But I do need a bit of inspiration for some fabric. Maybe I'll get a chance to do a bit of browsing at the weekend.

And for a bit of fun, as I have my camera at work, here's a photo of my desk - it looks strangely tidy for me!

Monday, October 22, 2007

You make me smile

I'm very flattered that Cheryl and Deb have included me in their lists of people who make them smile. I think I needed to read that this morning after a weekend with my parents - they can be hard work sometimes!

In return, I've to make a list of those who make me smile. Some of these people are friends, some do some really awesome, inspirational stitching, some are thought-provoking, and others just make me smile, or laugh out loud!

1. Cheryl at Clydeside Stitching

2. Deb at Lavender Rose Ramblings

3. Su at Contemplating my needle and thread

4. Jennifer Aikman-Smith at Dragon Musings

5. Carol at Garden of Stitches

6. Barbara at Mainely Stitching

7. Helen (Lena-Lou) at Homespun Hearts

8. Anita at Anita's Stitching

9. Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits

10. Monkee Maker

I've been doing quite well with my stitching over the last week, but no photos yet. I made a good start to Donna's RR and excellent progress on Starflake. I will be stitching on Starflake during my lunch hours at work and it could even be finished by the end of the week. Except that I've just discovered that I can't do much stitching without a needle - I must have lost it somewhere. So no stitching at lunchtime today!

I've also joined the Snowbirds SAL and am going to be stitching Paradigm Lost from Long Dog Samplers. I'm going to take my time with it and am hoping to about 1 motif a month.

I've changed the layout of my blog again too. I'm not really a black sort of person and I just got a bit fed up with it! These are much more my sort of colour now. And still the Stephanie Pui-Mun Law artwork!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A finish and some rambling

Over the weekend, I finished stitching on Cheryl's RR which is now winging its way off to New York and Janice. Cheryl has asked for a house theme in her RR, and as we're using LHN designs, I stitched the top of Nature's Beauty for her.

I'm really pleased with it - I love the way the colours look on Cheryl's linen.

Next, I'll be starting on Donna's RR which is ready and waiting for me. Given that I got a bit behind with Cheryl's my main goal for Donna's is to get back on schedule!

In between times, I'm adding odd blocks to Nova and I've also dug Starflake out of my WIP box, but not much progress to show at present. I also have plans to stitch some small items, but I'm waiting for the postman on that one!

Edited a bit later to add:

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been wandering around people's blogs a bit more than recently. In doing so, I came across an SBQ which got me thinking. It also links in part to a Deb's post on Old and New Ideas.

The SBQ was - What for you means to achieve mastery as a stitcher?

One of my first thoughts on reading the question was - why would/should I want to achieve 'mastery' as a stitcher? What is 'mastery' anyway? Perfection? Ternezia/Renée who suggested the question has some interesting thoughts on the subject.

I don't know that I ever want to be able to say that I've achieved 'mastery' as that would mean that there were no new challenges in my stitching, nothing new to learn. For me, stitching, as with life, is a learning process where I started with nothing on the day I was born and will continue to learn about myself and the world around me until I die.

To a certain extent, too, I certainly wouldn't want perfection in my stitching. I'm all in favour of a bit of imperfection as it personalises the stitching and adds to the expression of the stitcher him/herself. Because of this, my stitching of any particular design will never be the same as anyone else's and therefore each stitcher's work is unique. Why would we all want to produce work that was completely identical?

There's also a question over whether achieving 'mastery' would allow a stitcher to customise a designer's work. Does mastery mean you can customise somebody else's design to make it 'better'? While if mastery is 'perfection' then would the customisation of a designer's work be allowed?

So in my quest not to achieve mastery - I'll use any stitching method I feel like, I'll use a looped start, I'll lick my floss, I'll stick needles between my lips for safekeeping (and then loose them down the front of my shirt when I forget they're there), I'll leave small items in a hoop for days on end and larger items in a scroll frame for months, even years! I won't wash my hands before stitching and I'll always keep a cup of coffee precariously perched nearby.

Can't think of any more bad habbits right now, but I'm sure there are plenty of them!

Anyway, enough rambling! I should be working!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Checking in!

I thought I'd pop in and show my recent pics of my progress on Nova. Because the design is made up of a large number of individual blocks, I didn't get so much of a feel for the overall design in rows 1 and 2. I've now started row 3 and that's changing. Each block now is part of the larger oiece and I start to get a feel for the overall design, the gradual colour changes flowing across the piece.

I also had a bit of fun taking these photos - how to show off the end of row 2 and start of row 3 and still make the photo look interesting?

I'm now frantically stitching on Cheryl's RR which I should have finished by now - sorry folks! I've not got too far to go - you can see my progress on our blog at the Heartfelt Friends RR.

I'm feeling a lot better these days than I have been over the last 6 to 8 weeks and life in general isn't stressing me out so much which is quite a relief. I'm also starting to really enjoy my stitching again!

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my previous post. I'm sorry I'm so badly behind on my blog reading, but I will catch up with you all!