Monday, February 27, 2006

Finished up on IDK for now

I've finished up with stitching on The Ice Dragon's Kingdom for now. I'm pleased with the progress I've made and I'm thinking I may make this a focus piece until it's finished. I've now taken it off the Q-Snaps and put Defender of the Kingdom in instead.

I ended up getting 3 of the 4 trees done. Each one is a big amount of solid green and they all took surprisingly long to stitch, so I'm pleased with my progress.

I've asked Dave to take a photo of it for me. With those almost invisible clouds, I thought I'd let him muck around with the camera settings since he knows his way around the arcane instrument better than I do. Much as I'd like to do clever photography things, I acknowledge that I'm a "point and shoot" person.

Watch this space for a picture.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Quick Book Post

Being a sorry sort of person, who doesn't just love books but also book covers, I've been wanting to share my favourites for a while.

I've just stared a new blog - A Cover a Day... - to let me do this. My goal is to add a cover each day but we'll see how that goes. I know I have great intentions and then get overwhelmed and can't keep them up, but I'm going to give it a try. Do you think there are enough nice book covers out there to manage 365 for the year? I don't know, but I guess we'll find out.

This is just for play, so if it gets on top of me I'll just give it up, but I hope it won't. I love pretty book covers as a separate entity from good books and one of my favourite blogs is Unicorns are in the World Again* where the author also shares covers. I'm choosing to assume that one can't get too much of a good thing.

IDK progress report

I now have two trees done and a small start on the third one. I had kind of been hoping to get all four done, but with only two more stitching days to go, I rather have my doubts.

Oh well, I've come a long way from where it was up to when I picked it up again. As promised, there will be a photo on Monday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So pretty

I just saw this mentioned on a BB and when looking for the design.

I think I might be in love.

Firebird by Who Knew?

I'm melting

I suddenly realised that a large part of the reason I don't feel like stitching - or doing much of anything really - is that is is so horribly hot. It's humid and sticky and generally unpleasant. It's exhausting and my fingers swell with fluid in hot weather, so that they are tight and a bit uncomfortable, so that doesn't make stitching appealing either. I have managed to finish the top third of the pattern for The Ice Dragon's Kingdom, although that isn't a third of the actual stitching as there's more empty space at the top than anywhere else. I'm not working on the first of the trees, but with stiff fingers it's slow going. I'll take a photo on Monday as that's the end of the Olympics and my spell of stitching on this project.

HAED's Defender of the Kingdom is making a lot of noise at the moment, demanding my attention. So unless something starts to shout even louder in the next day or two, she'll be next.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Character Creations Designs for the Winter Olympics

In honour of the Winter Olympics, I'm releasing Arthur Wardle's "The Lure of the North" early. Purchase either of these patterns while the Olympics are still on and you'll receive a 15% discount.

I have been planning a new kind of design for a while, what I have chosen to call Macro Editions. These are charted from only a portion of an artwork, concentrating on the detail and creating a smaller stitching project than the full sized design. These designs are not cut out from the larger pattern, but created in their own right to produce a unique project. In most cases, if the charted details of a Macro Edition are compared to the same portion of a full size design, the subject will be seen actually to be larger than the same part of the bigger chart.

Arthur Wardle's "The Lure of the North" is the first design to have a Macro Edition. The full sized design shows the whole painting, while the Macro Edition focuses on the mermaid and one polar bear.

The Lure of the North - Arthur Wardle
The Lure of the North - Macro Edition - Arthur Wardle

Monday, February 20, 2006

Invisible Clouds

Here's my current progress on The Ice Dragon's Kingdom.

There really are clouds there, I swear. But they are so pale that they are very hard to see. The model was stitched on a light grey (I think) and I chose to use White Opalescent, so I hope it will all work out fine and I haven't made a mistake with my fabric choice.

I was going to do all the background and then the dragon, until I realised that the whole dragon is stitched in either Anchor Marlitt or Kreiniks, so instead I'm going to progress my way down the chart and try to spread out the different kinds of thread. I think I might go insane if I tried to do all that stitching with Marlitt at the end as it is rather fussy to use.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Russian or Chocolate

Okay, so it's kind of a silly title, but I couldn't think of anything clever.

I've done the fudging on The Ice Dragon's Kingdom and I'm pleased with how it's turned out. I can't see any sign that the design has been fiddled with, and before long I suspect even I won't be able to see (ie remember) where I made the changes.

I'll take a picture and post it once I've finished the clouds. I'm guessing that'll be at the weekend. I did quite a bit yesterday, so I'm reading today instead to give my arms a break. The physical motion of stitching makes them tired if I'm a bit under the weather and I'm trying not to push it.

I'm starting to figure out in my head what I need to do next for Character Creations, but I've promised myself I won't start on it all until Monday, to be sure I'm not pushing my limits. (But Lana, if you happen to read this, I got approval for my charting of Elf Princess this morning, so finishing that up ready for publication will be high on my priority list.)

For the record, I like both chocolate and russian fudge. I don't like irish creme, but that's because I don't like the kick in whiskey, even diluted to a flavour in fudge.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

IDK Progress

I haven't got a lot done on The Ice Dragon's Kingdom - the same old story; just too tired - but I have finished the border and made a very small start on the clouds. I found today that I'd left out a row early in the first sweep of cloud, but I can't face undoing it all and restitching it, so I'm going to fudge it instead. Because it's clouds, I don't see that it will make any major difference to the final piece. I suspect it will be one of those cases where I'm the only one who knows the error is there and can find it. In fact, as I planned out where and how I would fudge it, I came to the conclusion that even I may not be able to find it again once everything is stitched and finished.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Drooling and Dreaming

Are you like me?

At the start of each month I travel around the websites of my favourite designers to see all their new patterns. I check the Hoffman site, my favourite online shops etc, all to see what's come out.

I don't need more stash and I can't afford more stash, but I can't help looking.

With the Nashville show having been on this weekend, now I'm hanging out to see what was released there. Hoffman have started updating, as has ABC Stitch. I'm still waiting for Stitching Bits and Bobs to begin. Many of the images aren't great quality yet, but they still give a pretty good idea.

I don't really like the naive or colonial looks that are really popular right now, which is probably a good thing, since it saves me from even more stuff to want and not be able to have.

So far, there are two main designs that I'd really like to have, and several others that I think are rather nice.

Irish Blessing Sampler
The Sweetheart Tree

Christmas Guardian
Black Swan Fantasy Faire Ornament

Saturday, February 11, 2006

All over the place

My stitching - or more accurately, lack there of - is all over the place lately. I'm just not feeling the enthusiasm and the love.

I took Alpine Seasons with me on holiday, but after doing a grand total of about 12 stitches I came to realise I just don't want to stitch it right now. Dave headed home after a week, while Marcus and I stayed on with my parents for a bit longer, so I sent Alpine home with Dave.

I had taken the little Celtic Horse kit my sister gave me as an alternative and I did do some stitching on that, although not a heck of a lot. I swapped out the white Aida that came with the kit, and I'm stitching it on a piece of 32-ct Belfast Marine Blue from Silkweaver.

This is my progress after 12 days.

I've been vacillating about what to stitch next - if anything - and after turning on the TV this morning to see the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics, I decided to get out The Ice Dragon's Kingdom (Dragon Dreams) and see if I make any progress on that. It feels like an appropriate choice.

For reference, here's where I was up to when I stopped last time.

I'm stitching it on 32-count Opalescent White Lugana.