Just a quick note to let you know that I have added new material to Sampler Sayings. Hope you find the info useful for your design efforts!
Yup. I finished something. Kind of. Claire was leading a small blackwork/cross stitch SAL. I found out about it two weeks or more into the SAL, but joined anyway. I am, after all, a Sensational Serial Starter!
I wanted to try out some threads I
finally recently got from Needleworker’s Delights. I won’t link to ND as I do not recommend them. I also don’t recommend the threads. At least not the ones I chose. I got three weights of Jar Designs Overdyed cottons in the spiced ginger color. I was not happy with the stranded floss. I used the lightest and darkest of the color for my little block. There was so little variation as to be non-existent.
Not trusting my own eyes, I asked Jeff which stitches where the darkest and which the lightest. He couldn’t tell and thought I was using the same thread throughout. In the photo there does seem to be some variability. Maybe my eyes aren’t as good as the camera!
To have a Finish (versus finish), I thought I would stitch a reverse color version and use the two for a biscornu. Then I thought I might find a nice complementary fabric and have a fabric backed biscornu. Now, I’m thinking fabric backed pinkeep.
Here are some of the fabrics I was thinking about:
Clockwise from top left the fabrics are:
- Keepsake Quilting Gold, Not Necessarily Christmas
- Keepsake Quilting Pebbles, Water Lilies
- Keepsake Quilting Petals Tango Punch
- Robert Kaufman Spot On from Ft. Worth Fabric Studio
- Moda Ticklish from Ft. Worth Fabric Studio
- Moda Honey, Honey from Fr. Worth Fabric Studio
Now that I’ve seen the piece and the fabrics on the same page, Numbers 1, 3, and 4 are out. Which of the remaining three do you like, #2, #5, or #6?
What would you make? Biscornu or Pinkeep?
I like to have a good spring clean every so often and yesterday I got round to my thread repository. My stored threads live in a very grand Harrods hamper, a woven 16" cube with a faux leather top embossed with the Harrods peacock logo. It was a Christmas present several years ago - the contents were nice enough but the box itself is gorgeous!
Everyone knows Wednesdays are Over-the Hump Day. We have made it to the half-way point. It’s mostly downhill for the work week from Wednesday on. Mondays aren’t so bad because you’ve just had a couple days off to refresh your mind and body.
By the time Tuesdays come you’ve lost that burst of energy. And if your work involves any kind of bureaucracy, Tuesdays are often meeting days. They really suck the life right out of you. Mindless posturing of bureaucrats wasting the time you really need to be doing your actual work that you will now have to squeeze into shortened breaks and later departure for the rest of the week until you can crash again in preparation for the next week of
meaningless gainful employment. But Wednesdays are a day of hope. Only two more to go!
Januaries are the Mondays of the year. We get so energized with the lights and love and hope that comes from that last week of celebrations in December that in January all things seem possible. And we make plans to improve our lives and our selves. And we mean it. The things we plan are things we’ve been thinking about, the things we know will make us more of who we truly are.
And we do pretty well with these plans, these things we have resolved to accomplish. But Mondays end. Then comes along comes life-sucking Tuesday.
I’m in the Tuesday of the year. I actually think there are two Tuesdays in the year. August is the next one! I’m not following my stitching schedule regularly. I’m not logging my food. I’m not eating right. I’m not walking. I’ve frogged more than I’ve stitched and I can see the totally useless nature of TUSAL!
I’m not whining. Just speaking the truth. But the joy of truth is that it is not constant.
I can get back on schedule. (Or I can accept that the schedule is meant to make life easier, not lock me into deadly time-trap.) I can start logging my food. (Even if I have to start a new account because I can’t remember my password.) I can be mindful of my eating in any minute. (Without becoming the Food Gestapo.) I can always go out and walk around the trailer and that will be more than I’m doing now. (And the next day do it twice, then thrice, etc.) As far as frogging goes—c’est la vie! (My TUSAL jar really is pretty and the more orts, the more impermanence prayer flags I’ll make!)
While things look bleary it’s not the end of the world, but I do have to mention WIPocalypse as this is the Show and Tell portion of this meeting. I have had one Finish. So, that’s something, even though it wasn’t a UFO!
At sundown today, the fourth annual National Day of Unplugging begins. The holiday encourages people to take a break from technology by turning off all of their devices for a period of 24 hours. via Daily Dot | National Day of Unplugging starts at sundown.
It seems like I just put my Heaven and Earth Designs Stitchalong project away. I really missed working on my other projects for the week that I worked on The Tree of Creation. Especially Erna and Quaker Virtues. I am so close to done working on the stitching part of Erna and stitching on Virtues is just so fun and relaxing! A real sense of accomplishment working on them.
But The Tree of Creation? Not so much. This sucker is HUGE! I know there are some that are even bigger, but this is the biggest pattern I’ve ever attempted. She is 332 stitches by 380 stitches. That is a total of 126,160 total stitches. In the week that I stitched I completed 1002 stitches. If I stitch at the same rate that means it will take about 126 weeks to complete this baby! That’s almost 2 ½ years!
As you think about your Heaven and Earth Design projects, think also about the song from RENT called “Seasons of Love.” If you don’t know the tune, check it out on YouTube. Then change the lyrics to these below. Substitute the numbers for those of your project. All this week, we’ll be making a nice chorus about the globe!
Or sing it while you look at the photos of my work! (below)
Ode to Heaven and Earth Designs (Tree of Creation by Cari Buziak)
(These lyrics by me!)
One hundred twenty-six thousand
One hundred sixty stitches
One hundred twenty-six thousand
Stitches so fine
One hundred twenty-six thousand
One hundred sixty stitches
How do you measure — measure your Heav’n Earth progress?
In colors – In pages
In minutes – In hours spent stitching
In skeins used –In floss yards
In frogging – In tears or years?
In one hundred twenty-six thousand
One hundred sixty stitches
How do you measure
The accomplishment of completing a piece?
And then I dropped the container in the dogs’ bed, so everything got shaken up and turned around!
But here’s a new one for you. I have a good number of orts still on the fabric!
I was working so diligently on a model that Sabine Taterra-Gundacker will soon be posting as available at her sensational e-store, European Reproduction Samplers. This one is a reproduction of the sampler created by Martha Stone in 1840 when she was young, but exact age not certain (that I know of.)
It is a simple but charming design representing two young girls in their fancy dresses with what were typical toys of the time. A couple cupids add to the charm. And the whole thing is surrounded by a continuous strawberry border. I’m thinking the girl didn’t clean and cut up too many strawberries because her color gradation is backward. And the right side and the left side are not symmetrical—that kind of bugs the perfectionist in me.
But for heaven’s sake she was just a kid! Imagine yourself at 7 to 9 years old and no pattern to stitch from. You sit down with some fabric and thread and “color.” When you think if it that way, this kid was a prodigy! Shoot, many of us adults don’t do as well!
The hard part, well actually two…
The first hard part was not correcting what I perceive to be her mistakes—changing the gradation of the berries and making the border symmetrical between berry groups.
The second hard part was realizing after 17 hours of work that I made a mistake back in hour two of work. I was off one stitch. It affected the left and bottom borders, one that I had already completed and the other had a good start on. So, I started unstitching. (Some call this frogging because you “rip it, rip it, rip it!”) The more berries I ripped out, the more uncomfortable I was with the idea of continuing with the fabric. The red thread (DMC 304) was discoloring the white fabric slightly. Because I really thought it would show, even just a little, I started over completely.
But the new work is looking beautiful and I am happy with how it looks. I am triple checking my count because I don’t want to go through this again. And I want my piece done when Sabine is ready to post the finished instructions. So, I’ve set all my other work aside temporarily.
So why did this happen and how can you avoid doing the same thing?
Let me say that most of my stitching during my stitching life has been when I lived alone with no television and no pets. NO DISTRACTION! It’s a lot like meditation. Very easy to be peaceful and calm when you’re isolated and have no interruptions—when you have total control of your environment. Not so easy when you’re folding clothes in the laundromat on a Sunday afternoon. Not so easy when you’re walking down a sidewalk of Washington D.C. when all schools in the country have sent their school children for their spring trips. Not so easy when your dogs are barking (i.e. screaming) at strangers walking by or jumping on your knee indicating it is time for a walk in the wilds. Not so easy when your partner decides—just as you get that empty mind thing going (i.e. counted the 30th stitch of 42)—it’s time to talk about where we want to retire!
It is time to learn to meditate/stitch in the middle of living. It is an incredible challenge. But that’s living. It’s a challenge to walk and chew gum. It’s a challenge to move from left to right brain in milliseconds. It’s a challenge for a vegetarian to live with someone who doesn’t eat beans, cheese, or rice! These are the sorts of things we choose to and that also that we must do sometimes. And we do it. And I will learn to stitch with distractions, just like when my monkey brain jumps into the calm pool I can get it to sit still.
In stitching terms, this mean I must:
- recognize I’ve been distracted
- determine when the distraction began
- go back to where I was at in my stitching when the distraction began
- recheck my work
- when I pick up my work anew, recheck from the beginning to ensure dealing with my distractions didn’t distract me further previously and contribute to unrecognized mistakes!
It’s all about recognizing, accepting, and assuming one’s place at the baseline to continue. Pretty simple. Right?!
Until then, there’s the Totally Useless Stitch Along. Which is a lovely piece of art in progress. (And so, not so totally useless!) And when my jar is full, all those scraps will be turned into Prayer Flags! More on that later! Until then love the froggy green!
If you’re like me, you are more likely to hit the button links on blogs than sifting through lengthy blog rolls. In fact, some reading I’ve done suggests it’s not a great idea to have blog rolls on your site. Why encourage people to leave your site, after all?! That’s why you don’t see such lists on my blogs. You will find references and resources as that is part of my mission with my blogs.
But buttons…they’re a bit different in my opinion. To me they are links to community sharing and community building. A good thing. Blogging and computing can be such isolating activities so it’s important to find some connection to others, for your
- creativity nurturing
With giggles in mind, let me tell you about the TUSAL button. TUSAL stands for Totally Useless Stitch Along. Yup. Totally Useless! I love it! Once a month you post a picture of the container you store your orts in. What is an ort you might ask?
Usually, orts. a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.
Origin: 1400–50; late Middle English; cognate with Low German ort, early
Dutch oorete; compare Old English or- out-, ǣt food (see eat)
Stitchers use this term to mean the scraps and morsels of thread, floss, ribbon, etc left over when working a project. They are typically thought to be totally useless. So instead of “stitching along” with one another on a project, this SAL is all about saving something thought to be useless! Hence TUSAL! Want to know more, click the button!
So, what about the other button? WIPocalypse! Sounds scary, right?
WIP = “Works In Progress”
3. a prophetic revelation especially concerning a cataclysm in which the forces of good permanently triumph over the forces of evil.
Origin: 1125-75; Middle English Late Latin apocalypsis Greek apokálypsis revelation, equivalent to
apokalýp (tein ) to uncover, reveal kalýptein to cover, conceal) + -sis
You’ll notice that Measi made a new word using WIP and apocalypse. But what does it mean?
Most family members and friends of stitchers view the various works in progress and new starts as a kind of horror story. It is not uncommon to hear, “but you haven’t finished x, y, or z yet” when a new project begins. One’s home may actually look like a bomb has gone off when the stitcher sorts through the ‘stash’ of stitching patterns, projects, and paraphernalia.
How are things going with your New Year’s resolutions or contracts you’ve made with yourself? Good, I hope! Things are going pretty good here, too!
Update on Contract With Me
- My schedule is working! There is structure, yet it is not so rigid that failure is even possible. And I feel like I’ve accomplished lots every day. In fact, I accomplish more than I even plan!
- I have made the goals I planned to make. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will be able to actually collecting data to monitor progress on January 15 as planned. Loyal readers will find reports here about my Artist’s Dates in the future as well as news on how the schedule is amended as projects are completed and new projects added.
I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but here’s what’s included in this week’s projects*:
- ByGone Stitches‘ Quaker Virtues in Threadworx Shanghai Nights and Weeks Dye Works Turkish Red on Mushroom Lugana 32 ct Threadworx 1 thread over 1, Weeks 2 threads over 1
- Ink Circles’ Cirque des Coeurs in Caron’s Wildflowers #081, Black Cherry on white congress cloth†
- European Reproduction Samplers’ Erna Schupplelius, ca 1900 worked in Weeks Dye Works #2271 Peony and DMC floss 816 for accent work on antique white Irish linen
- Durene Jone’s Christmas Countdown per her pattern‡.
- Knit Simple Holiday Issue 2012, Keyhole Scarf
- Blackwork Lessons Thread Sampler Fabric Book
* If you would like to see the model images you can check out the links included in the legend in the previous post about scheduling time for creativity. These links are just for the home pages of the copyright owners of the patterns.
† I unstitched the the top larger heart motif once and the left upper square side once as I was off by one stitch. I am pleased that the shadow from the previous stitching is fading the more I stitch over.
‡ This link is for the image of the stitching completed by me for Christmas this year. Two more families need one!
Have you made any stitching resolutions for this year? How’s it going for you? Still on target? Going to restart? Given up? Tell us your story!
If you read through my last post, you’ll know I’m on a mission to be more organized and focused on what is important to me this year.One of the tasks I gave myself was to create a schedule that allows me to take care of everyday living ‘stuff’ as well as attend to all my creative babies.
For a week I timed my normal daily household chores. Actually there are still a couple things to add to the list, but they shouldn’t grossly impact on the schedule I’ve come up with.
To see what I’m working on, click on the names in the following ledger. Next week I’ll show you my progress. I spend 2 to 3 hours on the pilot and at least 1 hour a day on the other project. I’d say about 4 to 5 hours total stitching time per day, whether it be in the car, in bed with leg up, at the laundry, or in my seat. As soon as I get my materials, I’ll have to add my Stitching Buddhas class to the schedule, but I’ve got that penciled in in my head for now.
- Bygone Stitches’ Quaker Virtues
- Ink Circles’ Cirque des Coeurs (misspelled on the calendar)
- HAED…Heaven and Earth Designs…Tree of Creation
Presents Presently is a year long project to complete birthday and Christmas projects in a timely, organized, and enjoyable manner and speed. This is what I’m working on currently.
- Christmas Countdown…I want to do two more this year
- Erna Schuppelius…I wish to complete this just as Erna did with crocheted edging done in thread and ribbon weaving. This is to be a birthday present. I’m using Week’s Dye Works # 2271, Peony, 1 strand over two threads of almost sheer Irish linen.
- Keyhole Shawl…This will be either a birthday or Christmas gift depending on when It is completed. I am knitting it in Red Heart Collage yarn in Rose Dust color.
Pilot is a pattern in progress that I’m stitching for a designing friend. When I have permission, I’ll show you the work.