Monday, 26 March 2012

Spring is in the air!

Instead of posting this last night (although I had already taken the photos), I went to my sister's for the first barbecue of the year! It's ridiculous - it's not even April and the weather was so nice yesterday that my brother in law decided that it was time to get the barbie out - I still wore a coat!

Saturday morning was very chilly and by the time that I had spent two hours (9-11am) collecting for the Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal, I seriously needed to defrost.  Once defrosted, I went to the framers to pick up this up.  This is John Clayton's Fuchsias which I finished on 12 May 2011 and have only just got round to having framed.  It's actually a pale ivory mount and a navy blue aluminium frame - the wooden frames were all too wide.  I think that it's come out very nicely and all I have to do now is cajole Dad into coming round and putting it up for me.

I haven't made much progress on my other fuchsia - I keep getting sidetracked by other people's blogs at lunchtime.  However, as I have now ordered my reward books (5 of them), I really need to get this finished in order to be able to read one of them at least.

The Cat is coming on, although the fabric is still not taking a good photo (this was taken indoors, but with the sunlight pouring through the window).  The problem with this one, as with the Beetle in its early stages, is that I get distracted by the laundry and by the books in my bedroom.  However, I have four months to work on it before my aunt's birthday - it might have to become my travel piece though.

And the piece de resistance - Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.  I am so pleased with myself!  I got another three blocks done this week on the right hand side, which only leaves nine to go before I finish Page 1 (and get to read another book!).  It looks better from a distance or in a photo - when you're up close and personal with it, it's harder to see the picture coming through.

And you know, the best thing about it - my Mum is so impressed with it - she thinks my work is excellent, and as a textile artist herself, she wouldn't lie about that sort of thing, not even to make me feel good.  And knowing that she admires the quality of my work makes me feel like I'm walking on air!  I really hope that someone who matters to you makes you feel the same way too about your work!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

IHSW Report - March 2012

Not much hermitting but quite a bit of stitching this weekend.  Among other things, I collected the framed Beetle, wrapped it and finally managed to hand it over to my friend just under two weeks past her 40th birthday. She loved it and is going to hang it in a place of honour.

This is the best of the photos that I took - still some glare but what can you do?  My photography skills are a bit hit and miss as you will see from the rest of the photos in this post.

While collecting the Beetle, I took my John Clayton Fuschias in to be framed as well, about a year after finishing them, so will show you the framed version next Sunday.

Updates for this week and for this IHSW session are as follows:

This is my current travelling piece, Fuschia by Serendipity Designs, one of my WIPocalypse pieces.  I've promised myself that when it's finished, I can have a new book and a new start.  I'm currently working it on a 4" hoop but think that I am going to have to carry on 'in hand' because of the size of the fabric (which is very stiff).

 This is an indoor photo of the Cat because we have had everything but the kitchen sink in the way of weather today.  I woke up to a heavy fall of large wet snowflakes which became rain which became a sharp hailstorm which was followed by sunshine which turned into a heavy rainstorm followed by sunshine again.  I wasn't running the risk of taking my stitching outside in such uncertain weather.

And finally, and I apologise for the fuzzy photo, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose.  I have made good progress on this piece this week, completing three blocks on the right hand side.  There are another 12 blocks to go to complete page 1, which at an average of 2 blocks a week means that I should hopefully fingers crossed be able to show you a completed page 1 by the last Sunday in April.  On this one, I've promised myself that once page 1 is finished, I can have a new book and buy stash.  

I shall have to buy the books in advance and get them sent to my parents because the price is going up in April, and I haven't decided what the stash will be yet - possibly a Randal Spangler HAED or a Chatelaine or .. or .. - the possibilities are endless.

I have also booked a day off this week - I plan to spend some quality time with my Mum on Wednesday and possibly with my Dad if he wants to come out with us.  I just need a break, a bit of downtime. I'm sure that you know what I mean!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Getting back to normal?

I promised you a picture of the Beetle in its final format, so here you go.  When it comes back from the framers, I'll take another picture - I've gone for a natural wood frame and a pale ivory mount, as close to the cream on the right side of the bonnet as I could get.

Now that the Beetle is done, the plan was to try and get back to normal.  However since completing the Beetle, I've had a thought which has set me another deadline.

The initial idea was to stitch the Cat for my friend who is currently in the States.  But while I was doing some work on my family history, I was reminded that my aunt, nanna of the Noah's Ark baby, will be 70 in August, just a fortnight after my father, and she also loves cats.  So the new plan is to stitch the Cat for my aunt by the beginning of August.

I've been working on the Cat today in between loads of laundry.  If you remember, the first picture that I took didn't show the fabric very well so I said that I would take the next picture outside.  So I did, and this is how it came out.  Unfortunately the sun was going down so you still don't get a really good idea of the colour of the fabric, although it is slightly better than pictures taken inside with flash.

However, regardless of the new deadline that I have now inflicted on myself, I am going back to work on Carnation as of tomorrow morning.  It will seem strange to be working on the floor frame again.  

This is how it looked when I stopped work on it in order to get the Noah's Ark done.  I need to finish the column on the right and then do the bottom row in order to complete Page 1.  I would like to do that before the first anniversary of this piece on 25 May.  What are my chances?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Just a couple of catch-ups - nothing to say about the wool and as for the job, well, I chased earlier this week, only to get an email response that they've now frozen recruitment for this post!  It is over 3 months since I first applied and was asked to come for interview.  Ok, so the initial delay was understandable under the circumstances, but I am more than a little narked about being messed about like this.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

2012 WIPocalypse - March Full Moon

Right, this is going to be a very short post, because my regular update post is due tomorrow.

This is a late WIPocalypse post because my social life exploded this week - my only night in was Monday!  Tuesdays are my regular Pilates night which I do with Mum.  Wednesday I had a meal out with friends to celebrate the end of the second stage of a long running project - pizza and chocolate brownie sundae!  Thursday was the March meeting of the patchwork group that I belong to (even though I don't do patchwork), and last night I was out with old friends to celebrate the 40th birthday of the friend for whom the Beetle has been stitched - asian style noodles and sticky toffee pudding!

So as of first thing Friday morning, after an evening's stitching, gossiping and admiring each other's work, the Beetle looked like this:

As you can see, there was just a last smidgen to complete and then to sign it off.

Well, that is done - I finished the Beetle today after my two hour stint collecting for Marie Curie.  It then went through the wash in a pillow case before having the living daylights ironed out of it.  It is now at the framers and I have an appointment to pick it up next Saturday.  I just hope my friend likes it after all this.

I will post a picture of the finished article tomorrow, hopefully along with some progress on something else.  Now I am going to check in with Measi and have a look at other people's work.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Still plodding on!

As you can see, the Beetle isn't at the framers yet, despite it being my friend's 40th birthday today.

I have stitched on this piece morning, noon and night, but still have 30+ rows to go of between 20 and 40 stitches a row.  Apart from the small patch at the top left of the shadow, this has all been stitched in DMC 3787 and I am getting so sick of this particular shade.

On the other hand, I think that it's looking good.  I've done all the backstitch on the car, even if you can't really see it in this picture.  It is very subtle, but does lift the whole piece.  There is also a decorative section of backstitch in the top left hand corner, but I'm in two minds about it - I'm not sure that it will add much and wonder if it would just be better to let the Beetle speak for itself.  Here is a link to a picture of a finished example - what do you think?  Stitch it or leave it off?

It's WIPocalypse week this week - it would be nice to have another finish, but I will have to stitch like the clappers to get those 30+ rows done, especially as I'm having a very social life this week.  I shall look forward to seeing your WIPocalypse posts later on this week - all the best for your stitching goals! Oh, and just so you know, there should be no wordcheck thingie on my comments - I think I've done the right thing to be rid of it.