Tuesday, February 4, 2020

January TUSAL

This month's ORT is filled with some strange threads than the usual cotton. I had an amigurumi to make for a late Christmas present last month, which is where the thick wool comes from. It's finished, just waiting for pictures to share on here. 

I did make some progress on Elizabeth's skirt. I have one half of the third row done. Really loving the colors in this piece, just sad it doesn't come out in the jar since the threads are so skinny.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

One Step Forward, Three Step Back

I finally made it to a Japanese embroidery meeting last weekend. I wasn't able to attend last month's because they had major road closures, which I later found out was cancelled. They had rescheduled it for last Saturday but this time I was smart, I checked to confirm it was still on. It was cancelled AGAIN, which meant I got to go.

I was really eager to attend as I wanted to ask questions about my cherry blossoms. Turns out that although my little petal looks good, I put way too much padding. They needed to go.

I started carefully cutting padding but quickly lost patience. I kept snagging the foundation beneath it. All I wanted to do was rip it all out. I really don't like the color and I really don't like how I stitched the foundation. I've been unhappy with the whole thing since our class in the fall and it's been just festering.

After discussing it with my group and consulting the silk color card I decided the orange needs to go. I've seen pictures of this fan stitch by Japanese stitchers and the cherry blossom cloud was a different color. I tried to pick a color that would go well with white and the shade of red used in this piece. I'll only know if I was successful once I try it out. In the meantime I've started stitching the last paulownia leaf. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Elizabeth Doll

I had good intentions on coming back from the holidays. I planned on sharing all about what I was up to for the two weeks I was off from work. You did see some of it, the dragons and Hedebo progress, but there was so much more that happened that I need to write up to share with you.

Every year, I make a list of kits I plan on starting on the first day of January. This year I planned to start three: Elizabeth sampler doll and the matching trunk by Giulia Punti Antichi, and Midnight Meander by Hazel Blomkamp. Yes, I will finally start one of the kits I bought back in 2015.

I'm not much for samplers but I've been eyeing the Elizabeth doll and trunk since it came out a few years ago. The colors are lovely and I really wanted to try my hand at the finishing. I bought the kit for the trunk when I visited Traditional Stitches in August and then I bought the doll during their anniversary sale.

(click on the post to see the video below)

Since I bought them separately I ended up with two pieces of fabric of the Lakeside Linen. I didn't buy a second set of silk threads, I wanted to see if I can make do with a single set. I wish I had done the same with the linen because when I cut the piece I would need for the skirt of the doll, I realized I could probably stitch both the doll and the trunk with one of the 18 x 27 inch fabrics I had bought. Luckily the fabric is a neutral color and I can re-purpose it as otherwise I would have been mad at the waste.

So in the end I setup two projects instead of just one. I started the skirt and I'm really enjoying stitching with the Gloriana silk threads. They are so soft and lovely. The piece is stitched with a single strand over two threads and works up fast.

So far I have two rows completed and I've started on the third.

I liked it so much I just kept going and didn't start Midnight Meander. I didn't even work on my Japanese embroidery as I had planned. I did work on one other thing during the two weeks and it's the little butterfly piece that you see below the kits. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen it but I want to write a post on the stitching. I just need to figure out the best way to do it as I took a lot of videos for stories and not many pictures.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 Goals

I did well this year considering the time I had. Might have to take a second look at those old WIPs and determine whether they should be in this list.
  • TUSAL posts same as usual but this time I will do it on the last day of the month --- DONE, it worked out well this way
  • Complete phase 1 Bouquet from the Heart of Japan (Japanese embroidery) --- DONE
  • Complete Mermaids of the Deep (cross stitch) --- DONE
  • Stitch on Hedebo Starburst by Jette Roy Finlay-Heath (Hedebo) --- DONE
  • Start and keep up with the phase 2-3 piece Hiogi Fan (Japanese embroidery) --- DONE
  • Stitch Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie (metal and silk work) --- DONE, but need to pick it up again.
  • Stitch Russian Domes class (goldwork) --- Not even close
  • Stitch Colour wheel by Sew by Hand (Or Nue) --- Not even close
  • Work on completing the EAC Design course (lessons 4-8) --- Not even close, I've actually given up on this to be honest.
  • Learn a new technique --- DONE, sort of. I briefly started to learn Tulle embroidery. I should get back to it.
  • Older WIPS:
    • Complete at least one page of Ink Circles' Bramble and the Rose --- Not even close, still trying to finish that page
    • Stitch the stonework on Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons --- Above and beyond :)
    • Stitch the hemstitch border on Donna M. Olson's Fantasy Lace --- Not even close 
    • Finish Katherine Drummond's Romantic Rosebuds --- Not even close 
    • Finish Annie Penin's Fleur de Sakura --- Not even close 
This year's goals will be:
  • TUSAL posts on the last day of the month
  • Complete Hedebo Starburst by Jette Roy Finlay-Heath (Hedebo)
  • Stitch on phase 2-3 piece Hiogi Fan (Japanese embroidery)
  • Start phase 4 piece Karahana (Japanese embroidery, goldwork phase)
  • Stitch (and complete?) Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie (metal and silk work)
  • Start Russian Domes class (goldwork)
  • Start Midnight Miniature by Hazel Blomkamp (crewel)
  • Continue learning tulle embroidery
  • Older WIPS. I'm putting these back in because they still need to be done. I'm hoping I do better this year.
    • Complete that page of Ink Circles' Bramble and the Rose I've been stuck on
    • Stitch the hemstitch border on Donna M. Olson's Fantasy Lace 
    • Finish Katherine Drummond's Romantic Rosebuds 
    • Finish Annie Penin's Fleur de Sakura 
There will be new pieces added on that will be a surprise as I haven't completely decided what I want to start on. I'll just open my stash and see what appeals to me tomorrow.

I am not planning on going to EAC seminar this year. It's hosted in Nova Scotia, which is about a 12 hour drive from where I am. So it would make a nice road trip, however I have something even bigger planned for next year. After YEARS of talking about it, my sister and I are going to be travelling to JAPAN at the end of March. This will be my birthday gift to myself this year as I will be spending it there.

It's been so hard to keep this news to myself. We bought our plane tickets back in May and have been planning for the past 8 months. We're going to be there for 17 days and many of those days already have something planned for them. We're going to go to Universal Studios Japan and Disney Japan for my sister (and me if I'm being honest) and I'm going to try and cram as much stash opportunities as I can in between sightseeing. My sister even said she would be willing to go look at embroidery with me. Which works quite nicely for me as the Kurenai-kai, the headquarter of the JEC, is hosting the 2020 World Exhibition during our visit.

I'm also starting a new Japanese embroidery phase in the spring, but I can't think about that right now. I'm too excited about going to Japan! I've started compiling a list of places we are going to try and visit but if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them. Especially the shops. I'm hoping to bring back some books and fabric... and silk thready and needles and...

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Looking Back at 2019

I was still on a goldwork kick. I completed four small pieces, two of which are original pieces: the pineapple and the golden snitch. These have both been given as birthday gifts to friends.

Looking at the image below, I'm realizing that I never shared my blue bee on this blog. This little bug is from a kit by Georgina Bellamy aka That Embroidery Girl.

Clockwise from top left: goldwork bee by ThatEmbroidery Girl, pineapple by Dima, Tree of Life by Natalie Dupuis and golden snitch by Dima
My other finish is Mermaid of the Deep by Mirabilia that I started at the end of 2018. I'm hoping to get it framed next year to give to my sister.

This one is so small I almost forgot it.

Last and definitely not least, is my phase 1 piece Bouquet from the Heart of Japan. I was so happy when I completed this piece.

Travelling meant that Bramble and the Rose received some attention. I'm so close to reaching the bottom corner. I normally stitch on this piece in the last few hours of the year but I'm not sure if I will do that. I think I'd rather prepare the new pieces I plan on starting on January 1st.

In the last few days, I've been putting in loads of time on two of my WIPs: Hedebo Starburst and Tracery Dragons. There is still a little bit of work to on the weaving in the center of the hedebo piece before I move onto the edge, there is also all the back stitching on tracery dragons left to do. But both pieces are very close to being finished.

December TUSAL Finale

The last TUSAL of the year! I'm ahead of time for once. My jar this month is very colorful because of Tracery Dragons. There are lots of pretty pastel colors in that piece. 

My overall jar is not as full as last year. Work and travel took up so much of my stitching time that I didn't have the energy to get more done. I'll just have to work smarter next year.

Now to write my year in review post and plan out next years goals.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Another Making Weekend

Last weekend I didn't do much embroidery as I was getting more acquainted with my sewing machine. This year I was invited to join my friend's family for Christmas and I bought some things for the little ones. I decided that instead of wrapping the gifts, I should make fabric bags to hold them and then the kids can use them as shoe bags. I'll share pictures once they are gifted. I had three to make, which made for good practice. By the time I got to the third one, it was a breeze. I still need more practice on how to properly cut my fabric. I'm still having a hard time with that.

I did do some cross stitching when I took breaks from my sewing machine. Today I'm looking at past pictures of Tracery Dragons and I was surprised by how much the piece has progressed. Before I pulled it out in November, the last time I had touched it was back in 2016. Three years later, I managed to finish the entire lower half within a month. I don't think it will be finished before end of year, but chances are high I will finish it next year.

December 2016
December 2019