Friday, August 26, 2016

Ink Circles Celtic Beasties Halloween Ornaments

I've finished the Polipus.

These ornaments are like potato chips.  You can't stop at one.  So I started and finished another: the negative image No Heads.  This is meant to be four headless snakes twisted into a Celtic knot.  I used another scrap of 28 count Lakeside Linens Luna and a pale grey Catherine Jordan over dyed cotton for the border and filled in the background with Needle Necessities 133, a pretty blue green over dyed cotton.

And, of course, the negative image needs to be balanced by the positive, so here it is.  Still using the same 28 count Luna, I stitched the border in what was left of the Needle Necessities 133 and have started the snakes in a pale orange over dyed cotton from Catherine Jordan.

One of the pleasures of these projects is going through stash and finding partial skeins and cards of lovely floss that otherwise would never see the light of day.  Needle Necessities is a discontinued line and will never be called for in any new designs and Catherine Jordan is a private brand, probably used only in the classes she teaches.  Finding a use for these fibers is satisfying.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Few Finishes

First up, the second of the JCS Strawberry Scissor Fob ornaments, the flower.  I stitched this on Lakeside Linens 28 count Buttercream with Carrie's Creations Sassy.

Next, Harvest Blooms.  I decided to frog the brown shading after all.  I went with WDW Terra Cotta.

And a new start and finish: Workbasket's Quaker Bear.  It was meant to be a polar bear but that didn't fit my theme so I made it a brown bear.  I used my darkest dye lot of GAST Maple Syrup for the solid area and much lighter dye lots for the Quaker motifs at the center.  If you look carefully at the head of the bear, you will note a gradually darker to lighter wedge extending from the face to a point at the back of the neck.  I was running short of the darker dye lot and blended a strand of Maple Syrup with a strand of DMC 3371 [for two 18" lengths] to transition from two strands Maple Syrup to two strands DMC 3371.  I think the strategy worked well.   I used two other dye lots for the motifs: one with a grey undertone and one  with a rosy beige undertone.

Next, I resurrected a needlepoint class piece: Making Waves ... from July 2015.  When last seen, I'd worked only two and a half rows of satin stitch.  See this link.  I am much further along and the color gradation from  white to palest blue to darkest blue is becoming evident.  The bulk of the piece is done in the satin stitch, giving me the chance to use my lovely laying tool.  Later there will be some basket weave, some eyelets and some bullion knots.

And then, because I would like a few quick finishes, I pulled out Ink Circles Celtic Halloween ornaments and completed the Celtic Cross and the Spider.  I am using some scraps of Lakeside Linens 28 count Luna and some partial cards of Catherine Jordan and of Carrie's Creations over dyed cotton floss for these little beauties.

These are fun stitches.  Even the designer's notes are amusingly macabre, as befits Halloween, explaining that the spider's legs look like a cat had played with the hapless arachnid [though no actual spiders were harmed in my project].  There are also suggestions for making boldly unrealistic color choices as in key lime spiders.  I went with the slightly more conservative Purple Pansy blend of medium purple and raspberry from Carrie's Creations.

I started the Polipus, aka octopus in Scot's Gaelic.  For this one I am using Needle Necessities 194, a color way of violet, blue-violet and pale sage.

And a short shout out to Rita re the recent giveaway: I sent an e-mail but have yet to receive your mailing address.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ninth Blogaversary

Nine years - nine facts:

1. When visiting a needlework shop, I am most likely to purchase ...
floss, especially silk and cotton over dyes.

2. After 40+ years, I still have a penchant for stitching ...
fairies and dragons.

3.  I dabble in several other forms of embroidery ...
needlepoint, multi-media surface embroidery, beading, and crewel.

4. When it comes to textile arts, I am fascinated by ...
color and texture.

5. Though I do all my own sewing finishes ...
I have used professional framers for really special pieces.

6.  When stitching,  I almost always have a glass of unsweetened iced tea or lemon water within easy reach  Over the years, I have probably consumed enough to fill ...
half a dozen Olympic swimming pools. 

7.  Most days, I stitch for ...
two to three hours.

8.My second passion is antiquing and I have a collection of ...
 antique pin cushions, my favorite of which is an adorable turtle on its back, made from unglazed pottery, with glass eyes and a faded gold velvet underbelly.

9.  I love taking classes, but
rarely finish the projects, though I am making a stab at doing so now that I am retired.