Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Floss Cabinet Unveiling!

At the beginning of summer I had finally saved up enough to commission someone to build a floss cabinet for me.  The carpenter, Jim - who goes by Old Kranky (which is funny, because he's neither old, nor cranky), really listened to what I wanted and he build me the most beautiful cabinet.  I got a little over excited and ordered hand painted ceramic knobs from India (off eBay) and this is the beautiful result!

What I love the most about it is the notches in the bottom, allowing me to stand my bobbins, which means if I have to take a group of closely numbered floss out of the drawer, the rest of the floss won't fall over.  Such a simple and brilliant solution!

There are approximately 350 bobbin slots per drawer and I have 3 of them, and the bottom drawer is just a regular drawer for me to put my linen, and other odds and ends inside. For those who which to acquire one for yourself, Jim does ship!   He was utterly brilliant to work with, and I would recommend him in a heartbeat. Don't hesitate to contact him for quotes.

Currently it is sitting in my spare room as a night stand.  I had wanted to put it in the living room, but if my wood-chewing cockatoo were to take a chunk out of it, I think my heart might break.

On the cross stitch front, I'm only about 1/2 way through my latest page of Adrift. It's just been too darn hot to stitch.  But  with Sept on the horizon, I'm sure the cooler weather will come.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

And Now Time for Something Different

I know I promised an update of Adrift, however, I found out that a lady I work with is pregnant with twins.  I was thinking of ideas for a gift, when I happened upon an old Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat. Everybody remember Thing 1 and Thing 2? 

So, I scoured the internet for pictures and found this:
Then I found a free app called CreatePattern for cross stitch and I converted these into a pattern.  It took a little bit of fussing to get the size exactly right, but this is the result!

I used 310 black and 666 red for the colours.  I'm so beyond happy with the results, I think it's beyond adorable!   Even more so, because she is hoping to keep the sex of the babies a secret. 

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you my little side project.   As of tonight I am back working on Adrift. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Snow, Page 4

So pretty so far.  Started June 24 and finished July 26.  7372 stitches. 

Sometimes it's hard to put a project down when I come to the end of a page.  For me, this was one of those times.  That lovely face is just starting to show and I want to work on her more until she reveals herself fully.  But that would mean Adrift takes a back seat again, and I'm getting closer and closer to that last row, that I have to pull her out and work on her.  And being that she is getting close to the end of the row, and the final row, I'm sure I'll feel the same way when it comes to the end of her page.
Right now work is interfering, as it always does, with my stitching time.  But work means I can afford more projects.  Therefore work = good!!!

I was just visiting my sister in Washington State and she has the prettiest oasis in which to stitch outside.  I wish I'd taken a photo.  It was in her back yard, around a garden path where she had a lovely little set up, complete with hammock and chairs and a little table.  Her husband served as out Cabana boy and served up drinks while we stitched the afternoon away.  It was one of the loveliest afternoons stitching that I've ever had.

 I wish I had something clever and witty to say at this point, since my posts are sparse, but this heat is sapping my energy, so I guess I'll just offer this update with little fanfare, and I hope to see you in a month or so with Adrift.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Adrift, Page 27

The beginning of the tail's end.  It's a lot darker than the rest of the tail, understandably, as it's in deeper and darker water, so I thought I'd add a photo of the work in progress, so you get a bit more detail than what actually shows up in the finished page.

For this page, the biggest challenge was packing her up and putting her away in favor of Snow Stocking.  The end is getting close and the urge to just sit and stitch her is almost overwhelming.   But pack her up, I did.  If I want to hope to finish Snow Stocking this year, I have to work on her.
And I'm going in to the busy time of year where my stitching time gets seriously eaten away at.  I'm hoping to have an update by August for you.  Fingers crossed.

On another note, I've been listening to the audiobook of Game of Thrones.  I love reading, but when it comes to free time, I'd much rather stitch, so it's been a while since I've had a really good book engulf me.  Until now.  Do any of you listen to audiobooks when you stitch?  I'm so engrossed in this book, I'm about 25 hours in (it's a really BIG book) and I find the time just goes by in a blink of an eye.  2 of my favourite pastimes combined.   Add a purring cat on my legs and life is just about perfect!!

Now I'm off to bed to sleep the day away so I can be ready for graveyard shift.  A drizzly day and a purring, snuggly cat beckoning me to bed.  It couldn't be a better day to sleep away.

Goodnight, kindreds. I hope to see you all soon.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Snow, Page 2 and 3 is complete.

Started April 22 and completed June 8.  7546 stitches.

This makes my completed pages (partials included) a nice round 13 so far this year.

She's pretty fantastic so far, and this is the entire width of the top of the stocking.  I'm thinking she's going to be a pretty quick stitch.  There is way more confetti in this than in Adrift (well, the water and bubbles, anyway) and that slows me down a bit, but so far she's a delight to stitch.

Those iPad/iPhone users among us, I must share with you the most brilliant app.  It's called "Thread Tracker" and it's an inventory for thread!  SUPER easy to use, and makes keeping track of your DMC stash a  delight.
This is what it looks like.  You can search a thread, and it's just a quick tap if you use the last skein and need to add it to your list to purchase.  It took me a little bit to set up, especially because I had a lot of repeat colours, but once they were in the system, keeping it up to date is a breeze.  Just a quick tap of the screen and I can see what I need, or, if I'm looking for a specific colour, see how many skeins I have in inventory.    Sadly, this is only available for iPad/iPhone, but hopefully android will come out with something similar soon.   It's worth it!  Trust me!

Adrift is up next, with lots of lovely reds to show off. I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to stitching this page.  Stay tuned! Hopefully I'll have something for you in a few short weeks.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Back to Adrift, Page 26 is Done!!!!!

Started April 23 and finished May 22.  7315 stitches.  *Shakes fist at work for putting a serious damper on my stitching time*

Apparently I told a wee fib when I said the next page would be mostly tail.   Oops, just the tiniest of peek-a-boo tail for this update, but a whole lot of water and bubbles!   Lets just take a moment to appreciate the bubbles, shall we?   Mmmmm.  Bubbles.

I must apologize for the quality of the photo, too.   I used to lay her out on my couch and smooth her down to take a photo, but with this addition, it no longer fits on the couch, with the good light, so I had to place her on the floor and try my best to smooth her out, which, as you can see, wasn't so successful.   I'll have to come up with another plan for the next update, because THAT, my kindreds, WILL be mostly tail.

I also want to share with you that I found a lovely carpenter who has agreed to make me a floss cabinet!  I'm so excited!  It's not as expensive as I was expecting a custom piece to be, but my biggest must have was to have a slot where I can slide my bobbins in to where they will stand without having to lean on the bobbin in front or behind.  I'm sure I'm not alone in the OCD department when I say that taking bobbins out of my box for a project and having the left overs fall over and end up out of order, drives me crazy.  This will eliminate that AND give me quick at-a-glance look at what bobbins are out for projects.
He's got a few projects that he's got to do first before starting on mine, but I will, of course pimp ... brag... er... share the finished piece with you all, along with the carpenters contact information, should any of you want to go the same route. 

I will post pictures as soon as I have this lovely in my grasp.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Snow, Page 1 is Complete

Started March 24 and finished April 22nd. 7546 stitches.

This one was a bit challenging because I couldn't quite see the pattern evolving.  It's easier now that I have a full page, I can see the tip of her ear.   But it was slow moving.  I also tried using the app EZPDF, but I found it arduous, particularly in the fact that it crashed every 15 minutes or so and heated up by iPad to a degree where I was scared it was going to fry it.  I've heard that this app works brilliantly on Android tablets, but Apple, not so much.

I've been using Goodreader, which is an amazing app, for those of you looking for a reliable app.  But it's one short fall is the search only allows you to search a singular symbol at a time, which isn't very helpful.  It's much easier to have a page of the same symbol light up, than a single one, which you are stuck hitting "next" over and over.   So I've tried a few more apps and I've found Documents by Reddie to be pretty good, however, I do think you need to have PDF Expert in order to get all of the bells and whistles, but the search feature works pretty well for iPad.

Maybe Goodreader will offer a better search feature in the future.  It's a brilliant app.

Also, I got my sister back into stitching after a very long break, which is funny, because she's the one who started me down this path when we were girls.  She's working on Annya Kai's "Fall Owl".  She's finished her first page and I thought I'd share her progress.

This is her first time working with grids and the parking method.  Give her some love, I know she reads this.

I'm now back on Adrift, which feels like welcoming an old friend.  It's been a while since I picked her up and I'm really enjoying her.   I'm off to Mexico in 3 days and I'm taking her with me.  I'm not sure how much stitching I'm going to do while I'm down there, but I plan on spending at least one day in a beach chair stitching the day away.

I hope to have an update of Adrift for you soon!