I did get a question a couple of weeks ago from Bird Cages: "Did you teach yourself all of this or did you originally learn from a class or someone else?". Well, I learned the basics for cross-stitch in Swedish elementary school - reading a chart, keeping the back neat, making sure that all the legs are slanted in the same direction and so on. The more advanced stuff I learned through some great designers and kits, and I was really into the designs by The Drawn Thread for a while, learning a lot of specialty stitches. Hillside Samplings had some really good kits back then too and her instructions were fantastic. Thanks to Hillside Samplings, I got over the fear of finishing.
As I got more advanced, as in got more skilled in other counted work than cross-stitch (pulled, drawn, Hardanger, etc), I also invested in a few really good books (if you don't already have The Proper Stitch by Darlene O'Steen - get it! Seriously!) and used the internet more to check on particular stitches.
I did also take a number of classes, but in all honestly, I think that very few stitchers take the classes I have taken to learn new techniques, but rather to get their hands on some fabulous projects, get away from the everyday grind, make new stitching friends and meet up with old ones. (The exception is probably the Lucet class with Sherri Jones of Patricks Woods, where we learned how to make lucet cord. That was a lot of fun!)
Speaking of Hardanger, check out this fabulous Christening gown adorned with Hardanger lace over at the Sinister Craftiness'. Wow, oh wow!
Well, time to get down to the good stuff! LOL The big update for this week is the progress on the EMS sampler. Here it is complete with part 7 all stitched up. (I did my usual cheating and stitched up the repeating cherry border... patience? What is that...? :-)) It is getting closer - almost 2/3rds there!
Below you can see a close-up of the latest additions. The puppy and the sweet cherry border were by far the easiest stitches, while the two flower clusters to the right took some time and concentration. I really do like how the flowers turned out; they look so delicate and transparent (you can probably see it better if you click on the pic). The white flowers are part of a larger motif, which I am real anxious to spend some more time with in a couple of weeks!
Next assignment will be a quickie, so I am already looking forward to that part to come out.
The reindeer stocking did also get some TLC this week. It sounds like all of you are in agreement that the red rounds are indeed their noses. It was a fun stitch, even though it was a bit tricky to stitch with the overdyed floss so that the dark and light shades worked well together. I am pleased, even though it is not as pretty as the original is. I think that the stockings have turned out to be a great counter-point to the fiddlier switch-floss-every-second-stitch type projects, since there is a very limited amount of changing floss at all. I think that the reindeer design required a total of 4 different floss-colors!
Perfect timing on the finising too - the next couple of socks in line to be stitched arrived in the mail-box the same day as the last reindeer nose had been completed. I think that I do need a quick break from the stockings for now, but I'll try to get back to them in a week or two. I am pretty excited about scavenging for some fun and matching cotton fabric for finishing. I saw that the local Hancocks Fabrics just started displaying some of their Xmas fabrics, so I may have to go on a shopping trip pretty soon... LOL
The stitching focusing problem hit this week again. This is the beginning of Just Nan's Lady Scarlet's Scissor Roll, started yesterday. It has been a fun and pretty quick stitch so far, so it is hard to put away.
And I did get something finished-finished too. Here is the set of Sweetheart Tree's seasonal welcomes hanging together on the wall. As always, the idea in my head looked so much better than it ended up being in real life, but it is now on the wall! All of it is simply pinned together, so it is not too late to get a better idea sometime in the future.....
Here are a couple of us chicks hanging out and discussing the latest news on the net and various TV shows. Henny and Griffin are not picky; as long as there are no cats or prey birds on the screen, they really don't care a whole lot. Meanwhile, mommy has watched a lot of positive TV shows lately, and even came up with a list of the current favorites.
- Secret Millionaire - I love it! This show makes me cry, but that's all right - it makes the millionaires cry too.
- NY Med - I was lucky enough to catch the first episode and I really liked it! Not all of the patients stories end well, which makes it even more inspiring and makes you think. Supposedly it is just an 8 episode series, but we'll see abut that. Dr Oz is one of the stars of the show and I must say that I got a whole new respect for him after this show.
- The Biggest Loser - talk about inspiration! Nothing is impossible!
- Extreme Makeover - Home Edition - it is so much fun to see the look on the faces of the receivers! It is also good to learn about what other people struggle with in life; it definitely sheds a different light on the difficulties in my own life...
- So You Think You Can Dance? - By watching this show I have learned that I don't get nearly as moved by song as I do by dance. The talent pool in this show is simply incredible.
Anyway, those are the shows the chicks and I decided is what we think is the good stuff. Any other tips about positive TV shows out there? We are collecting! LOL We don't have cable or satellite though - but we do have Netflix! (Speaking of, thy just added 4 more seasons of Hercule Poirot - I am in heaven!)
Well, time to get back to things here. Take care and Happy Stitching,