Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Slow progress this week

I've not been able to stitch on my Angel for the past 3 days because my knee's been playing up, and I can't sit at the floor-frame to stitch. Not happy! So, I'm not as far ahead as I'd hoped to be. I thought I would have the wing finished by now, but that hasn't happened. I'm hopeful that I'll finish it by the end of the month.

Totally Useless SAL - a little late

Better late than never, as my mother used to say - so here's my Totally Useless SAL jar. The keen observer will notice that my jar has grown - both the contents and the jar, actually. I had to move up to a 3 litre jar, from the 2 litre jar I started the SAL with. If my maths are correct (and it's a long time since high school for me) my 3 litre jar is equivalent to a US 3 quart jar. I tried not to mix up the layers when I transferred the contents to their new home, but there was a bit of movement so I just pressed it down as much as I could and moved on. In the last month I have added the floss bands from kitting up my Angel of Hope, the waste threads from stitching the Angel (mostly whites and blues) and threads from a couple of little Christmas designs I stitched in the past few days. I popped the jar onto a trunk to take the pic, and I so liked the contrast between the TUSAL jar and the old earthenware bottles and toothpaste containers that I decided to leave the pic as it was rather than edit out the nn-TUSAL bits.
I'm going to pop around to TUSAL participant sites now, to check on progress.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Progress pic - Angel of Hope

I'm still having fun with my angel. I've been working on her for 2 and a half weeks now - since June 3. "Just" one wing and the skirt to stitch now - and the harp which will replace the unstitched areas on her bodice. I've decided to use gold beads instead of cross stitches for the frame of the harp, and also for the gold edging on her dress. I had a visit to the lns the other day and bought Mill Hill seed beads in gold, two shades of plum, and three shades of green. I'm also replacing the floral trim on the flounce of the dress, and in her hair, with beads. I thought she needed some beads because she'll be hanging near the Angel of Love, who is very heavily beaded.

The next pic you see will have the wing stitched.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Angel of Hope is growing

I can truthfully say that I am loving this project. I have finally adjusted to stitching on the larger weave linen. And I have just worked out why my Angel's face is looking longer and thinner than the chart and project picture - my linen has an uneven weave. Horizontally there are 13 stitches to the inch, vertically there are 11. Luckily I am always extra cautious when cutting my fabric, and leave loads more than I think I need - so I will have enough fabric length.

The colours are so different from the demo pic that came with the chart. Of course, as soon as I kitted it up I knew that the demo pic colours weren't right - there were no floss shades that matched the colours on the pic. I really do prefer the actual colours I'm stitching, so that's good.

I'm going to keep stitching the Angel till she's finished. Then I will get back to Jolly Old Fellow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Angel has a wing

I've stitched many an angel and fairy in my day (being both a Christmas fanatic and the proud Aunt of 6 girls), but never have I stitched such a large angel wing. This one is over 32 cm (about 13 inches) long. The picture really doesn't do it justice, it looks much prettier in real life.

My plan was to stitch on the Angel for half the week and HAED Jolly Old Fellow for the other half of each week. So far, that's just not happening. I just can't put the Angel away yet. I'll stitch on her for the next week, and then decide what to do with the two projects. The thought that the Angel will be finished this year keeps flitting through my head. I'd like to get her to the framer by the beginning of September, to ensure I will get her back early November at the latest. My framer is excellent, but works to his own schedule, and speed isn't his best thing.

So, there's every chance I will stitch on the Angel till she's finished, then go back to JOF. So much for my first rotation!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Beginnings of an angel

I've made a start on one wing - it's the angel's right wing, but the one on the left as you look at the pic - I always get confused about that. The pic doesn't really do it justice. The fabric colour is a little brighter than it appears. I'm getting used to stitching over 2 on the 25 count, but I really do prefer stitching on finer fabrics. Some of my stitches look a bit uneven to me, and I've done so much unpicking and restitching that I feel like a novice stitcher again. I hope I get better at this. I did briefly consider stitching Angel of Hope over 1 on the 25 count, and I probably would have been more comfortable doing that. But the wall she will hang on is a very tall one (cathedral ceiling in that part of the house), and I really did want the framed piece to be as large as possible. I've worked out that when framed she will be about 33 inches tall, and that will go really well in the space I have in mind.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Self-knowledge is a wonderful thing

and it's a shame that it's taken me over 60 years to really get to know myself! I'm having just a little trouble adapting to stitching two major projects in rotation (read, most of my hair is now in shreds around my stitching chair, my bed has hardly been slept in for days, and both projects have been on and off a variety of frames in the past few days). It's early days yet, but we're certainly off to a very rocky start! I always knew I was slow to bond to a new project, and a tad obsessional about completing it once I had bonded. What I didn't know was that I was very set in my ways, and so resistant to any change in habits. I'm working through it though.

I have started Angel of Hope. Twice. The first fabric was beautiful - 28 count Jobelan in waterlily. I loved the fabric, and stitching on it wasa joy, but there is so much white in the angel, and the white wasn't showing up clearly on the fabric. So I unpicked it, and started agan on a piece of blue-gray 25 count linen I had in my stash. The colour is good, and the white shows up well, but because of the size of the fabric I needed for such a large count, it didn't fit on my lap-frame. I tried folding over the edges, but it was too bulky, and I had problems with the tension. So, I resorted to finding another pair of stretcher bars, cutting them down to fit my floor frame, and putting the Angel on my floor frame. So now I will be rotating the projects on my floor frame, which is something I was trying to avoid. I suppose the good thing about that is that the floor frame doesn't have to be stored while I'm working on the Angel. And the lap-frame is now back in the craft room.

I'm not used to stitching over 2 on 25 count, and I'm finding I'm slow to adjust to it. It's certainly different to stitching JOF over 1 on 22 count! I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon. So far I've stitched the tip of one wing, and I think I've done at least twice the stitching that is now left on the fabric - and I'm not at all fond of frogging!

OK - that's the whingeing over for the day. I'm off to stitch for a while on my Angel - I may have a pic to put up later today.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another milestone reached

Page 7 is now finished. Yay! It was the easiest page so far, as it did have such large blocks of solid colour to stitch. I am looking forward to working on page 8, as it will have some reds, pinks and whites to stitch. But first I'll have a few days break from JOF, and get started on my Angel of Hope. The floss I was waiting on arrived today, and I am just about to start sorting it out and getting the fabric ready. I've decided to use the 28 count Waterlily evenweave I had in my stash. I think the whites and creams of the angel's dress and wings will show up well on the waterlily fabric. So, I'm off - I have exciting things to do ...