I finished the model for Rosewood Manor on the first and turned around and sent it back the next day. I was told there was "more work waiting" so I know it's just a matter of time before something new arrives. (And I love starting new projects!)
In the meantime, I've purchased my first project from Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED). They create extremely large projects or BAPs (big a&$ed projects) as we say in the cross stitch community. I just happened upon this design while looking through their website. I got in on their Mother's Day sale so I'm pretty happy.
However, I did have to order a piece of fabric as well because I didn't have one big enough (or small enough count) to be able to get this done on. I've pulled the majority of DMC from my stash so I have only 8 colors (out of 86) left to buy.
I've also pulled out a crochet project (sweater) that I was making for a friend. I didn't like how it was turning out so I ripped it apart and re-started a different pattern (tunisian ruana). And, of course me being me, I can't just do a straight pattern as written - I have to change it a bit. I'm really liking how this is coming along. Note to self: I need to take a pic of this soon.
And last but not least. This is a project I started several years ago called Blue Dragon Fairy from Kustom Krafts. I tried to start in the top left corner but for the most part large blocks of one color get me bored very easily. So I counted down so I could stitch the Fairy. (I really wanted to stitch the dragon first though.) Anyway, I found a mistake in my counting somewhere and I worked very hard to fix it. By the time I thought I had it conquered it was time to take a break. Just recently it has been "calling my name" so I've been working on all the fill in stuff above the fairy. I've actually been enjoying it so I guess it's all in the timing.
So another model was sent to me after the last one was received at the end of Sept/beginning of Oct. I contacted the designer and told her that I was going to be extremely busy and/or gone and she said no definite deadline for the model, just "around the beginning of the year". So I picked it up as often as I could with everything else going on. (The wedding was beautiful - it snowed! The honeymoon was wonderful - it was warm! And we made it through Christmas.)
In January I picked up a new designer to stitch for, and she's new to cross stitch. Fairly simple design but lovely to stitch as I was given very nice thread and fabric to work with. She's more into art than cross stitch so I'm still waiting for the next project that she wants done.
Right now I'm a little over halfway through the next model for Rosewood Manor. Hopefully by this time next month I'll be ready to send it back!
I think I've already returned 4 models in the first 6 months of this year! One was supposed to be for a trunk show but I was sent the wrong color thread. Oops! So I was asked to get a second one done. I got them done in 3 weeks each! Of course I stitched nothing else in that time. The last one I just sent in was a band sampler. I really like to stitch band samplers. I'm usually a "jump around" kind of stitcher because I tend to get bored with one color. But with the band samplers I challenge myself to get one band done at a time before moving on to the next one. It's also not having to move the fabric around too much, trying to crease it as little as possible.
I recently just started another model job. I want to try to finish as many as I can before the end of October! Not that I'm trying to make any kind of record, but I'm getting married in early November and I want to have all my jobs gone by then so I don't have to worry about sending them back while I'm in the midst of the last minute wedding stuff. After October I won't be taking on any new jobs until the beginning of next year. We have our honeymoon booked shortly after the wedding and then Christmas will be coming up fast along with my granddaughter's 1st birthday. The last two months this year are going to be busy!
I finished the first modelstitching job for the "new" designer in mid-October. I mailed it back and received a new job by mid-November. I worked on quite a few Christmas gifts between jobs. The second job was due "just after the new year". I was able to work on the job and still get all the Christmas gifts done. After Christmas I concentrated on getting the job done. I finished it on January 15th and sent it back the next day and returned to my rotation. (I received a consignment job the first of September last year with a deadline of "whenever it gets done, I'm not in a hurry". I have that in my rotation as well.) Before the month was out I received my next job! I am now busy with the current job. I'm a little over 1/3 done in about 10 days so I'm guessing I can get this one sent back before the end of February. I'm really enjoying stitching for this designer!
I have a new modelstitching job, with a new designer! Every now and then while I'm modelstitching I have to give myself a break and stitch for myself. Whether it's a gift that I decide that I need to make (ha! this year will be a lot like last year in making the majority of my gifts) or that it's actually something for me to keep. Well, this last break took a little longer than I expected, but I received a new job in the mail and I'm loving it! It's actually a set of 3 so it's not one large project that will take me months to finish. I'm going to say I already have roughly a 1/4-1/3rd of it complete in a week. If I calculate this right, 3 weeks for each design would be perfect. And the designer wants more done, so I hope she likes my work!
So that's the latest stitching update for somewhat halfway through the month.
Work is moving slowly on Harbor Vista as I'm no longer putting all my time into it. I have finished page 1 and am a good way into page 2.
View from the Veranda is still barely on page 1. I only started it because I finished page 1 of Harbor Vista about a week before page 2 was released. Now I have page 3 or 4 of each one and am a bit behind.
Blue Dragon Fairy is coming along nicely. I didn't find the mistake but worked around it and it looks good. I actually finished a whole page! Now I'm working around that page and it's moving slowly again.
I finished the Hawaiian Anniversary Sampler at such a close deadline that I didn't get a pic of it. Oh well, the gift was given (and on time) so that's what counts.
I finished Rose Arbor as well. Now I have to decide on a frame. If I can pick the right material my fiance will make the frame for me. Gotta love carpenters!
Most of the reason that my stitching is going so slowly is that I've picked up my crocheting again. I'm behind on one baby blanket and I have two others in the works. I've also started making baby bibs. Lovely things that one can get done in one night if that's all you do. Somehow I'll find a way to get everything rotated in!
I received the first page of Harbor Vista on the evening of March 14th and got started right away. Normally I like starting in the center of the project and working my way outwards. But due to how this one is being sent out it was much easier to start in the upper left hand corner. Progress was being made quickly as I spent extra time stitching on this. I am currently nearing the end of the first page. I stitch one needle's worth of thread at a time which usually means skipping some spaces because another color goes there. I have been extra careful to fill in everything as I go along and not leave too many gaps to have to go back and fill in later. As I get to the edge of the design/page I'm deliberately not stitching one or two spaces here and there so there's not a "line" in my finished product. (Some people believe that if you stitch everything square you can see a line or be able to tell where each page break was.) The ease of this design is that it's full cross stitches, (no 1/2's or 1/4's) no backstitching, and it's a fully stitched piece (meaning no fabric showing through unstitched areas).
I received the first page of View from the Veranda on April 1st. I haven't started it yet due to the fact that I want to finish Page 1 from Harbor before getting a new one started. I will probably do that sometime this weekend.
Blue Dragon Fairy - I found a counting error on my part in this design. When I'm working on it I'm trying to complete a certain section so that I can "fix" the error that I made. I've gone too far to rip it out and therefore have to fudge a bit. Of course, this is in an area that has a lot of confetti stitching so progress is really slow!
Hawaiian Anniversary Sampler - I worked on it two days ago or so. I'm estimating I'll need 3 needlesworth of thread for the border and one more for the main design (at 15 min. each that makes an hour). All that's left after that is the alphabet. I'm thinking of throwing in a simple flower between the letters since there is a bit of a gap there. All in all, probably 3ish hours of work left on this one. If I can manage to put Rose Arbor down I maybe I can finish it this weekend.
Rose Arbor - I finished the right hand planter last night and got started on the finishing touches of her dress. (At some point I decided to skip the flowers and concentrate on just the dress.) There is a little backstitching to do as well. I'm seeing lots of progress on this one every time I put it down for the night. I'm not looking forward to the beading, but I've got that "almost finished" excitement going on which pushes me to work just a little bit more on her. One more difference on this one, I'm now working from the bottom up and I'll now be stitching, beading, and backstitching as I work my way up to the most unfinished part of this design now.
So that's my progress for the end of March/beginning of April. I will post new progress pics, most likely this weekend, to show the before and after.
There is a beautiful land/water scene that I found on a cross stitch website. I have hesitated to purchase it for a couple of reasons. 1) Financial. I've been successful in talking myself out of purchasing this chart by telling myself I have too little $ and plenty of projects started and/or ready to start. 2) All those projects that I do have in various stages of progress (.5-85%) and the ones I have waiting in line after that. Also, the model stitching jobs that I take on take anywhere from 2-4 months of my time with my rotation getting tossed out the window to make sure I get the model finished on time.
Of course it doesn't help being as involved in the stitching community as I am. I "own" a cross stitch bulletin board. I can go there any time of the day or night to see progress, get inspiration, to get enabled, and to talk about cross stitch. I am a moderator on two others, and a member on several more than that. I belong to roughly 10 Yahoo Groups that are cross stitch related and at least two more for crochet. Through one of the bulletin boards I belong to two get-together groups. And I have several websites I frequent, designers blogs I read, and email newsletters I receive on a regular basis.
All of that was to say that I opened my mouth and started something. On the Kustom Krafts Yahoo Group, someone asked if a certain chart would be promoted as a Stitch-A-Long (a SAL) at some point in the future, if not they would make a purchase. I responded with "I would like to see Harbor Vista as a SAL". A day or two later I get an email from the Yahoo Group asking me for a vote. The designer jumped on this idea and put it to everyone. I was amazed how many people wanted to stitch the same one I did. The designer also paired it up with a new one matching/similar to Harbor Vista called View from the Veranda. Well, I couldn't resist. I just had to order both. Luckily I had a large piece of fabric (2 yards) that I could cut to use for both of these projects. They're 16x16 and when I'm finished (eventually) they will look great on either side of my fireplace!
My Dear Fiance is a horrible enabler as well. He rarely tells me no which I love about him, although sometimes I wish he'd talk me out of some of this craziness! But it should work as the rotation system works well for me. (I work roughly an hour on a project before switching to the next one.) It also won't interfere with my Challenges for this year as I didn't specify that I wouldn't start any new projects, just that I would pick up some old ones and get a couple finished that have been lingering a while and making ornaments. That has been working really well for me. All this is lining up. If I work on Mirabilia's Rose Arbor (the one I'm estimating 85% finished) as my only Challenge(1) project and get it finished in April then I can pick up Teresa Wentzler's Castle Sampler in time for the TW SAL on the Allstitcherslounge Yahoo Group. And I need to finish Castle Sampler. It's quickly becoming 13 years old and that's how old Castle was when I finished it.
One last thing before I go. I decided that I would post updates here on my webpage instead of my blog. I think it's time to consolidate some things so I'm not having to go all over the web to keep things updated. A little late, but maybe that should be my New Year's Resolution?
I made it! I made my Christmas deadline and even got a few of those sets of hats/scarves in the mail. I got one very enthusiastic response from my nephew which made it all worth it.
I haven't had a model in a while and I'm gradually getting my rotation back after all that crocheting last year. I've also given myself two challenges. Challenge 1 - 2011 is to work on old projects that have been lying around. I am a serial starter (I love getting new projects started!) who gets lost somewhere around the middle of a project, especially large ones. And I have lots of large projects that I've started! So I'm challenging myself to, at minimum just work on old projects, at maximum to finish at least two. Challenge 2 - 2011 is to make ornaments. I didn't make any ornaments in 2010 and I really like stitching them. So I've allowed myself to stitch one in the rotation between the large projects. That will give me the ability to finish something every couple of months. So far I've finished 1 project (medium at best but a gift) and 1 ornament. I should be finishing my second ornament this month.
The Rotation. I believe I developed my rotation this weekend. It seemed to work well and encompass everything I wanted/needed to do.
Blue Dragon Fairy - Kustom Krafts (large) the most recently started large project to get me back to stitching after a year of crochet
scarf (crochet) a project my daughter asked me to do
halloween ornament (small) out of the JCS Halloween issue
Hawaiian Anniversary Sampler (small) a gift for my sister's anniversary. I'm using an ornament from the JCS ornament issue and adjusting to my needs
Rose Arbor - Mirabilia (large) This one is probably the one closest to being done of my old WIPs. It will also be the first Mirabilia I've finished.
This is going to be brief as I'm trying to catch up.
The model that I was waiting for showed up and I started stitching on it on August 13th. I worked on the model and Book of Ink Circles consistently until Sept. 15th when I finished the model. I added Castles in the Air and a Christmas ornament back into the rotation. I finished Book of Ink Circles on Sept. 30th!
On October 13th I started a new Halloween design By the Light of the Moon by the Primitive Needle. I finished it on Oct. 31st!
November stitching will be Christmas ornaments and other designs from my WIP pile.
The chaos that is my life has continued. In mid June I reconnected with a friend (male) who started calling on a daily basis. He then left the state for 10 days in which I didn't expect to hear from him much (he was looking for work) and yet I heard from him almost every day. When he got back we spent most of that week together and now we're a couple. I haven't been part of a couple in nearly 5 years! It feels strange yet nice at the same time.
There have been lots of events to attend in the last four weeks or so and I'm still adjusting to my daughter being gone. One of the adjustments is making sure all the household chores get done and now I have to do them all myself. It's really cutting into my stitching time!
What little stitching I've managed to do has been on my Book of Ink Circles. I finished part 11 recently and that's about all I've had time for. I am hoping to start part 12 tonight. That is if I don't need a nap when I get home from work, if I don't come up with any errands to run, if I can get dinner made quickly, and if I can get the laundry finished so I can pack my bag for the weekend!
I managed to track down my second RR that was sent around and it is finally home. It doesn't look like any work was done on it but that's ok. I didn't leave someone without a project to work on and it did make it's way back home. Those are the important things.
I haven't made much progress on Castles in the Air. I'm still on part two. Nothing has been done on Mickey Mouse at all. I did manage to put an hour's worth of work into the scissors fob about a week ago when I was getting the brakes done on my truck. It was a last minute thing and luckily I had left this project in the truck. I just made sure I grabbed it before they took it in the shop.
I've been approached by a "new" designer (one I haven't worked for yet) to do some model stitching. I'm interested in picking it back up again and there are at least 3 out there that need some work done. I sent a reply message and hopefully will hear something today. If I don't get a response before the weekend then I'll try another lead. I just need to even my life out time-wise so I can get back to stitching on a regular basis. Part of the problem is that we're in the middle of summer with Renaissance Faires and other events being held two and three on the same weekend! I need to figure out how to prioritize my life so I can enjoy time out of the house, my friends, and my hobbies too.
First of all - Happy New Year! As always, we hope that the new year is better than the last. However, with this economy and the recession that we're in right now it doesn't look like it.
Anyway, I've been bad about keeping up with my stitching here. I'm going to set a goal. I will do my best to update my stitching progress here at least once a month. I'm also going to hold off on any more model jobs and finish some stitching for me. I really want to enter some projects in the local fairs. I have 3: City Festival, County Fair and State Fair. Luckily I'm only an hour away from the State Capital and usually go to that fair pretty much every year. I think it's real important to show this kind of hand work in these kind of contests.
And on that note, here is my stitching progress:
I'm still working on a model for X's and Oh's. It's coming along well and I'm doing my best to spend more time on it as often as possible. This usually means M-F. I've been having my weekends claimed and find very little time to stitch on said weekends. My deadline to have the model mailed back is the beginning of April. I now have 7 weeks left to work on it. I always work better under pressure!
Castle Ridge was finished before Christmas. I was able to get it framed (to my liking) and give it to my sister in person. (She lives out of state.) I'm happy that I was within the 1 year etiquette guidelines and my sister was pleased to get her Castle. Of course then she had to complain that it wasn't bigger!
Teresa Wentzler's 2nd day of Christmas ornament has been put on the back burner in favor of the model.
Book of Ink Circles is slowly coming along. I'm currently on part six and am still alternating working on the border as I go along. I don't want to get too far behind because I want the border in place when I go to start the next section. I'm not sure if I'm going to get it finished this year.
How Does Your Garden Grow? The release of this mystery has come to an end. I know now what it's going to look like. I have started part 10 and I hope to finish it soon enough to be able to enter this piece in one of the local fairs. I know I've made some mistakes on it so I doubt I'll be entering it into the State fair but perhaps the County fair, at the least our City Festival.
Carnation Mystery Sampler. Wow - there's a lot of stitching to that one! This has also gone on the back burner in favor of the model.
Pinkeep Exchange was done and mailed and received. I wasn't perfectly happy with my finishing but it wasn't so bad I was ashamed to send it. In return I received a hedgehog pinkeep, floss ring with my initials on it, a scissors fob, and a little pouch - all of hedgehogs! Very cute and very nicely done. I'm using the pouch for my magnifiers and still need to find a place for the others.
Round Robin - I was just recently informed that my round robin was finished and on it's way home! I now have two weeks where I can procrastinate getting the next design ready before I need to send it on to the next person where it needs to go. Round Robins are a lot of fun because you get to work a little bit on a lot of different designs.
And last but not least - I'm making bookmarks for Literacy. I bought a book on cross stitch and blackwork patterns from pre1600 and I've been using some of those to make bookmarks. The first one I stitched with an overdyed thread on a white bookmark. The second is a more subtle thread on a more creamy linen. I'll be making my own edging on this one when it's done.
Kittens! Well, I have to give myself a little pat on the back for this one. To backtrack a little, I found these tiny kittens in my backyard while cleaning up. (I'm guessing about 3 weeks old.) I took them in and decided to grow them up a little and find them new homes. They were lots of fun and I really enjoyed these babies. (As far as I could tell, one was a girl and two were boys.) Then they got to be about 8 weeks old or so and more than me and my daughter could handle! So I engaged the helpful services of a co-worker and we found homes for all three kittens. My co-worker actually kept one of them and she says he's just a cuddle-bug and a real lovey. I guess I did a good thing by touching them so much and getting them people ready. I miss my babies but I know they're not babies anymore. I'm not set up to have pets right now and I think it was the best thing to get them homes rather than to just let them grow up feral and run around the neighborhood.
This month my stitching rotation includes: Model - currently stitching for X's and Oh's, TW Castle Ridge, TW 2nd Day of Christmas ornament, Book of Ink Circles Celtic Mystery, Papillon Creations How Does Your Garden Grow and Wiehenberg Samplers Carnation Mystery Sampler.
Model: My goal for the model was to get 1 hour's work in per day this month. That hasn't happened because I suddenly became a foster Mom for 3 little kittens that I found in my backyard while doing some cleaning in my yard. I get in the odd 1/2 hour or 45 minutes in here and there. Not too horrible for the first month on the project. My deadline is not until next year but the sooner I get it done and sent back, the sooner I get paid and the sooner I can take on another model.
Castle Ridge: I just want to get this finished. It's a wedding gift for my sister who was married in April. I'm nearly done though. All of the cross stitching and backstitching of the castle and rocks is done. I just need to finish the clouds and get it framed. I put some time in it two days in a row now and I've not got far to go.
2nd Day of Christmas ornament: This is over one on 28 count. The border is stitched over two and that's the only part. I've got that done and some of the inside of the ornament. It's mostly confetti too but at least I don't have to worry about blends since over one normally only allows one thread.
Celtic Mystery or BoInk: This seems to only get worked on as a travel project. When I took my daughter to the dr. recently this was the project that came with me. I am behind on this Mystery as I'm only on part 4 and Part 9 has just recently been released. I'm putting the blame on the kittens.
How Does Your Garden Grow: This is also a mystery and the last time the designer released two parts at once. (I want to say Parts 7 & 8???) I finished Part 7 but have found a problem with Part 8. I started stitching it and found that my count is off. I think I need to frog what I've previously stitched on Part 8 and change tactics - start from the middle and stitch out. So far I haven't had the energy or the time to do this. And well, nobody likes to frog. The next part was released yesterday. Normally the website is too busy so I wait for a day or so to get my copy. Maybe tonight I'll take the time to pick this one up again.
Carnation Mystery Sampler: Again, another mystery. And this one is HUGE!!! I decided that I wanted to make it into a tablecloth for my Mother. I started stitching in her colors but it's going to take me until next year's birthday or Christmas to get this done. Again, I'm going to blame the kittens.
One thing I didn't mention above is my Pinkeep Exchange piece. I designed something myself for this and got it stitched. It started out as a design for a contest but I know I'm not going to get it done in time. Anyway I modified it for the pinkeep exchange and I like how it turned out. However, I still need to do the finishing and actually make this a pinkeep! It needs to be mailed out by the end of the month so I only have a little over a week to get this accomplished. The instructions look pretty easy so it shouldn't take long - I hope!
And now here's why I'm blaming the kittens. They are very curious little critters and they love to climb. I've been trying to keep them contained to the livingroom and have been doing pretty well so far. They have barriers to keep them where I want them but every so often I have to make sure they're not climbing over the barriers and/or on the furniture. (Trying to discourage the climbing on the furniture.) They mostly keep themselves busy but they like using "Mom" as their own personal junglejim. I spend a lot of time looking after them than I do on my stitching lately. Also, I like to pick up two or three different projects a day (to keep from being bored) and when you've only got 1/2 hour here or 45 minutes there you can only pick up one project at a time.
So that's what I'm stitching on and how my time is being spent. I also didn't mention that I finished up a Round Robin lately. My project didn't get finished so I'm sending it 'round again. Which means I'll add another slot to the rotation for that. We get six weeks to work on the project that's sent before we have to turn around and send it again. I also recently picked up a Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine. It's got at least 3 projects in it that I want to stitch now! One because it's for Halloween, one because if I finish it would make a great present for my Mom for either her birthday or Christmas (only a couple of weeks apart) and the third because it's fall themed and it's becoming perfect weather for stitching this although it would probably be finished in time to display for winter! But I'm trying to be good and wait until I finish Castle Ridge before starting anything new, and even then I told myself it should be something from the WIP pile! Ah, temptation!