Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Package 1: Laura
Package 2: Rita

I'll be e-mailing later on today/

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hermitting Weekend Proess

I continued work on Harvest Blooms and am closing in on a finish.  Though I spent most of Sunday binge watching Mr. Selfridge, I did manage to finish most of the gold leaf in the flowers.  I still have the pecan and dark chocolate to stitch.  After that, it's just two stars and some confetti.  I will have to decide whether to rip out the brown shadow on the pumpkin and replace it with the cranberry, as charted.  Probably will. It irks me that I misread the symbols but I am not sure I'll like the cranberry any better.  Maybe pecan or terra cotta.  I'll have to do a floss toss.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

It's Been Awhile

... since I've had a giveaway. so here goes.

First, I m offering a package of 5 JCS issues: Christmas 2015 and February, April, June and August 2016.  Though I don't have a use for them, I know there's a fan base out there.

Second, a package of Halloween/Autumn charts: 
Hands to Work Designs Harvest Blooms
two from Homespun Elegance Country Spirits series: Birds and Bees, Seasons Retreats
La-D-Da Something Wicked
Fanci That Fall Friend
CEC The Pumpkin Conspiracy

Just leave a post noting which package you prefer, 1 or 2, and an e-mail address.  I'll draw the winners on the 27th.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

JCS/SANQ Revisited

Back on April 19th, I wrote a post about how poorly JCS was keeping its pledge to include SANQ quality charts and articles.  Since that time, I have received the last issue of the arbitrarily substituted JCS subscription and have had my cynicism confirmed.

Even by JCS standards, the August issue is fluff.  The majority of the designs are so simple they represent the stitching equivalent of a beach read.

The issue also lowers the percentage of SANQ like articles  and charts considerably.

SANQ-type charts  Total: 4:
 February - June: 3
August: 1 very disappointing entry, pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel/

SANQ-type articles Total: 1
February - June: 1
August: 0         
Contemporary/conventional charts [landscapes/ florals, samplers] Total: 26
 February- June: 23
August: 3

Trendy or seasonal charts Total:31
 February - June: 13 
August: 18 [includes the 10 ornamemt Christmas preview]

Hardanger Total:  4
 February - June: 3

Redwork or other specialty embroidery charts Total: 3
 February - June: 3 
August 0
Primitive Total: 2
 February - June: 1
August: 1  
Juvenile themed charts Total: 7
February - June: 5 
August: 2

Articles about designers, new products, etc. Total: 7
February - June: 5
August: 2

To recalculate: from my POV, only 5% of the charts and 12% of the articles are of interest.  

So the publishers, in failing to keep their commitment, have done little more than give the lie to the very title of the magazine, JUST Cross Stitch.  It might as well be called Slapdash Pastiche  Vaguely Resembling A Magazine.

But on a more positive note: my subscription having played out, this will be the last of my JCS/SANQ rants.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Two Finishes and a WIP

Here is the long overdue photo of Witches Hollow ...

And one of the recently finished CEC Pumpkin Conspiracy ...

And, finally, one of my current WIP, Hands To Work Design's Harvest Blooms.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

I Have Returned

It's been a little over two months since my last post.  I am afraid I allowed some chronic health issues to  send me spiraling into an agoraphobic lethargy of TV binge watching. computer solitaire  and hermit stitching.  But I have taken myself in hand and am determined to resume a more normal routine.  

The title of this post reflects some of the binge watching: my husband watched the entire Victory At Sea documentary while I sat and stitched in the same room.  I was amazed at how jingoistic we were back in the early 50s.  Granted, I was a mere toddler at the time and needn't take personal responsibility for the rabid triumphalism of the cultural climate, but it was still something of a shock to see and hear How very over-the-top things were in my own lifetime.  Anyway, the phrase is a quote  from Douglas MacArthur, who pretty much embodied that culture. 

But I did keep stitching.

First, I finished up the remaining bands of Witches Hollow.    I'll take a proper outdoor photo of the full piece later on today and post it tomorrow.  For now I'll just show the finished bands.

This was a great project, loads of fun to stitch with a great variety of motifs.  So many fascinating little details.

Next, I began work on Hands To Work Designs Harvest Blooms on 40 count raw linen.  I used the recommended WDW and GAST fibers with one exception: I used WDW Mascara instead of GAST Old Black Crow.I did make a mistake on the pumpkin bottom right as brown rather than cranberry.  I'll be leaving the error alone for the present to sre if I can live with it but I suspect I'll be frogging it out in the end.  Rather  annoying really, since I have anchored some of the orange threads under the brown.

And when my eyes became too tired ti work on 40 count, I switched Cross-Eyed Cricket's The Pumpkin Conspiracy on 28 count Lakeside Linen's Buttercream.   I substituted over dyed cottons for the recommended DMC and Silkn Colors, using WDW Bark, Beehive, Cantaloupe, Chartreuse, Chestnut, Chrysanthemum, Cocoa, Cognac, Gold, Kudzu, Lemonade,  Onyx, Schneckly, Sea Foam, Teal Frost, and GAST Bright Leaf, Dried Thyme, Raspberry Parfait, Royal Purple, Tropical Ocean and Zinnia.  I've managed to get quite far along on this piece.  The smaller thread count is so much kinder on the eyes,

And, finally, since I was craving a finish, I stitched u[ this quick little project.  It is the June 2016 JCS Christmas ornament The Strawberry Scissor Fob Ornament  1 [Tree].   I used up a bit of Carrie's Creations Raspberry floss that I had in hand, it was just enough,  A nice bit of serendipity.

It hasn't been all idleness and vacant TV binging but neither has it been a truly productive two months.  But I hope for better in the future.