Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekend Progress Report: August 5, 2012

I generally start my Christmas gift stitching in July but I didn't quite make that deadline this year.  But that changed today.  I have made a small start on Wentzler's Woodland Angel Christmas Stocking which I hope to have completely stitched and assembled and ready for my grandson by Christmas of 2012.  It's been awhile since I worked on a Teresa Wentzler piece so I expect to enjoy the complexity and fine detail that is her trademark.    There is always a point, usually midway through a TW project, that this same once-so-appealing-to-me complexity becomes anathema, requiring a short stay in a suitable rest home for stressed out stitchers.  But that should be months away.  Whenever it gets to be a little bit too much for me, I'll switch back to The English Band Sampler which is also a complex project but in a completely different style.  I figure alternating between the two pieces ought to keep me fresh and motivated.  But I have kitted up a few small Christmas ornaments, as well - just in case I need a shot of instant gratification.

And speaking of The English Band Sampler, here is  a photo of recent progress on it.  This current row is a breeze after the recent fussy work with the Queen stitched strawberries of the previous row.  Currently, I am working on completing the rest of the cross stitching in this row though I did do a bit of the satin stitching while waiting for my car to be serviced.  There are also a few other specialty stitches, an Algerian eyelet and some fern stitches, that will be a nice finishing touch.  Part II is made up of two rows of elaborately stylized floral motifs.  I haven't done much of this sort of stitching.  Oh, there have been a few sampler borders that incorporated
stylized flower motifs but nothing this dramatic.  American floral motifs seem quite restrained when compared with the English ones. The photo on the right shows the whole band as far as I have stitched it.  If you look closely at the olive green [DMC 732] divider, you will note that I have stitched a good bit of the satin stitch fill between the cross stitching.  It made perfect waiting room stitching: same color floss, repetitive stitches, no need to fuss with charts and floss boxes.  And the photo on the left is a close-up of the floral motifs that will ultimately fill the entire area and will be filled with varying lengths of vertical and horizontal satin stitching. This is turning out to be an interesting piece and a bit of a challenge.  At least it is not boring.

Finally, some recent stash enhancement.  I purchased copies of The Proper Stitch and the JCS Halloween 2012 issue.  A quick glance through The Proper Stitch revealed a treasure trove of information for anyone who loves samplers and specialty stitches.  I just know I am going to love delving into this book at my leisure.    I also bought a set of those needle ID cards and tucked them away in the VB pencil case I use to store all my needles.  The cards will come in handy to identify all the stray needles that have been separated from their proper packets.  And I got the remaining skeins of WDW and GAST I needed for stitching Primitive  Needle's Thy Needle.  Only the JCS Halloween issue was a disappointing waste of money.  None of the ornaments appealed to me and the larger pieces fall into two categories so far as I am concerned: [one] far too similar to things I have already seen and stitched or [two] just too silly for words. I find the whole experience of paging through this issue similar to my disenchantment with the recent JCS Christmas ornament issues.  I haven't purchased any of those for at least three years now: pretty much a matter of been there, done that reactions to the designs.  The one really bright light in this recent stash enhancement venture was the speedy service: I ordered from A Needle in A Haystack [Alameda, Ca.] on aFriday morning and had the items on the following Monday morning.  You just can't do better than that!

Most of the day I have spent reading in bed while convalescing from a minor ailment.  I like Robert Parker's Jesse Stone novels and am nearly through with Night and Day.

1 comment:

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I love your English Band Sampler.

I think you're right about familiarity breeding contempt (or at least boredom!) with regards to the magazines. I'm new to JCS over the last year and love everything about the mag compared to the UK mags. But maybe in a few years I'll be thinking "but I've seen this a million times already". For now I'm enjoying the experience though :-)