Out of My Comfort Zone

I always like to have a New Year’s Day start and this year was no exception.  I wanted 2018 to be a year where I not only focused on whittling down the enormous pile of WIPs, but I also wanted to work on something that would stretch my skills a bit.  Last year I started the year off with Williamsburg Remembered that so intimidated me that I quickly lost interest in working on it (much to the chagrin of the ladies I was supposed to be SAL-ing with).  But after spending so much time in 2017 catching back up on one of my absolute favorite blogs (who sadly has since quit blogging), I kept being so inspired by her projects and the level of skill that she demonstrated that I thought I needed to step up my game a little bit.

Back in 2010 Amy Mitten designed a piece for our guild‘s tenth anniversary.  It was a mystery sampler that turned out to be an amazing Adam & Eve piece with a large Tudor Rose at the top (for the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild).  Be still my heart.  We started off stitching in the rose in class, but when Amy passed around her model we quickly saw how beautifully aged and mottled her piece was.  Not at all like the (I think it’s) Lambswool that we had in our kit.  Amy explained that she had tea-dyed her fabric to give it that look.  The photo above is of the top half of the sampler.  Gorgeous, right? And I love those splotches of color she said were from Orange Pekoe tea.

If you’ve been reading my blog here or watching my videos for any length of time, you know that getting stuck or frustrated with a piece is usually the last time it sees the light of day.  I wanted to tea-dye my fabric but I’d just stitched that  big red flower with hand-dyed silk.  Dilemma!!!

When I decided at the end of last year that I really wanted to pick this piece up again and that I wanted it to be my New Year’s (re) start, the first order of business was to rip out all my stitching.  I was able to salvage most of the silk, but unfortunately not all of it.  Once I had all my stitching out, I did some tea dyeing on my fabric.  I dunked it in tea for a bit and then let some tea bags sit on the fabric for a bit as well.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

It has a lot more life to it now than just the basic lambswool linen.  I love it.  So, that done, I was ready to go on January 1.

I started by restitching the foundation for the Tudor rose.  The petals will be 3-dimensional and eventually added.

Managed to get all those little leaves done.

Double running stitch for the trunk and branches (the trunk and branches become the tree Adam and Eve are beneath).

And I finally got to add the first of the leaves in the color Venom.  Absolutely love how it’s looking and while challenging, I just took it one step at a time.  This is what I got done in basically a week of stitching before I moved on to something else.  I’m anxious now to pick this back up and work on it some more.

Here is what the whole thing will look like when finished.

Pretty fabulous, no?

I am grateful for inspiration to practice new skills.

Revisiting Victorine

Way back in January of 2012 I decided to start the gorgeous Victorine Delacroix sampler from The Essamplaire.  A friend and I conspired and bought kits for this piece during a sale and decided to splurge on getting the silk kit rather than the DMC.  Soooo happy I did.

The photo above shows my progress on Victorine as of the last time I worked on her, which was quite some time ago.  Here is a not so flattering photo of the original from The Essamplaire’s site.

Admittedly, it is a little harder to fall in love with her based on this photo.  But she is a stunner in person.  So, back in January of this year I was having the hardest time settling on anything I really wanted to stitch on so I decided to dig some options out of the vault.  Victorine was calling to me, so I pulled her out and started on the motif to the right of that basket of flowers.  I so love the contrast of those pistachio and lime greens against the drab colored flowers.

I only worked on her for a couple of nights, but it was enough to rekindle my love affair with her.  It was also enough for me to start and finish that motif including the over one heart and initials in the center.

So pretty.  I’m stitching her on the 40ct linen that came in the kit and the silks are AVAS.  Luscious.

I am looking forward to that satin stitched ribbon-looking inner border and the navy baskets of flowers down below.

There are some beautiful photos of a Victorine in progress over at Corgi Cottage, if you need further enabling.

I am grateful for sampler stitching when I’m feeling unsettled.  

April WIPocalypse Check-In

Hard to believe it’s that time again for a WIPocalypse check in but here we are at the end of April/beginning of May!

Let me start off by showing you my progress on Mystery 9 (The King’s Vegetable Garden).  I am continuing with my 100 day challenge on this one and am currently at day 42 or so.

So here’s what it looked like on Day 1.

And the last time you saw it was on Day 6.  Here’s what it looks like now.

I completely finished the top right corner, including beads but no crystals.  Then I moved down and did the side pool and the steps.  I’ve made a good start on corner 3, the bottom right corner.  I’ve beaded those swirls on either side of the artichoke bed and stitched the green hedge with all the eyelet stitches.  I stitched and beaded the corner pool and then stitched and beaded the espalier trees.    Here’s a closer view of that corner.  The beads on the espalier trees are a very pale pink so they are a bit difficult to see.

I had hoped to get this corner completely finished in April, but that didn’t quite happen.  I did hit a point where I was feeling antsy to work on something else and I did start two new little pieces.

The first one is from the alphabet series by Carriage House Samplings (Kathy Barrick era).  I’ve had a plan to stitch this for my thread box for years and so I finally decided to just start it.  I’m stitching it with the called for threads except for the black – it calls for Black Crow which I don’t have, so I’m using DMC.  It also calls for an orange that I didn’t have so I’m just using the DMC equivalent.  I should be able to get it done without too much more work.

Next, I stumbled across another chart that’s been in my stash forever.  And I’ve been trying to find something to stitch on the beautiful Lovechild fabric that Christine from Stitch All the Things sent me.  Enter Friday the 13th coinciding with Dark 13 stitching and everything just clicked!

This is Jinx by Raise the Roof Designs that I’ve been in love with since I first laid eyes on it when it was released.  And there’s something I just love about the fact it’s on pink opalescent fabric.  So, I decided my Lovechild fabric had found its perfect pattern.

I started it on Friday the 13th and this is as far as I got before I switched back over to my Chatelaine stitching.  I’m using the called for thread for the yellow moon, but this chart also called for Black Crow (what are the odds?!) so I’m using Weeks Mascara instead.  And I didn’t have the white for the lightning bolt you can’t really see in the photo, so I’m using Parched Bones which was a limited edition thread for Jenny Bean Halloween (fun fact, Teresa from Shakespeare’s Peddler used to be half of Raise the Roof).

But, this is another piece I think will be a relatively quick stitch.  And it is something I’ve been wanting to stitch for a long time.

Finally, the last thing I worked on in April and managed to finish completely was my first design.  Completing this and releasing the pattern was on my WIPocalypse list for 2018, so it is a huge relief to have that finished.  If you want more info on it or want to purchase the chart, you can pop over here.

So, that wraps up April!  I’ll do a separate post with my May plans, including Stitch Maynia soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

I am grateful for gifted fabrics from friends.

 

La Luna

I am pleased to officially announce the launch of Cozyegg Designs.  This is my first design, La Luna, and is part of The Nocturne Collection.  I have plans in the works for more designs in this collection as well as other collections, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

La Luna was stitched on 40ct Gothic by Picture This Plus with Weeks and GAST threads and then finished on a wooden box.

The pattern is available as a PDF here. You can also sign up over in the sidebar of my site to be notified of new patterns via email.

The Luna Moth is a symbol of transformation and combined with the waxing, waning, and full moon phases it is a perfect reflection of what I’ve been working on in my life right now.

I made a short video sharing some of the inspiration behind La Luna as well as some of the design details and finishing.

 

I hope that you love the design as much as I do and I appreciate all of the encouragement and excitement during the whole process.

I am grateful for making my dreams a reality.

March WIPocalypse Check In

I started off the month of March with the #eapmacabre SAL hosted by Amy and Jenn in the Bewitched Stitches group on Facebook.  I wanted to participate but didn’t want to veer too far off my course of working on my WIPocalypse pieces.  So, I chose a small piece I’ve wanted to stitch for years – Quote the Raven by Cross-Eyed Cricket.  It’s in the Two Familiars leaflet.  I’ll do another post on him at some point with my changes, but I managed to finish him up by like the 8th of March.

After finishing up my raven for the EAP Macabre SAL I decided to pick up another WIP (although it’s not one of my 2018 focus WIPs).  This was one of my Dark October starts last year.  It’s Hallow Eden by Plum Street Samplers.  Here’s how it looked when I picked it up.

And here’s how much I managed to get done in a couple of nights.

I really love stitching on that piece.

Anyway, after my dalliance with non-WIPocalypse pieces I decided to get down to business and get back to my Chatelaine.  It was time to work on the top right corner.  Here’s what it looked like when I picked it up on the 9th.

I started by filling in the stair steps with rice stitches and then moved on to the espalier trees.  I got those stitched and beaded and made a start on the railing and the green hedge beneath it.

And that’s when it happened.  I saw on Instagram that Debra AZ Needleworker (Chatelaine stitcher extraordinaire) was participating in the 100 Days of Chatelaine Stitching SAL.  I immediately went over to the Chatelaine Support Group on Facebook and decided to take the plunge.  I figured that working on M9 for 100 straight days should make a huge dent in what I have left to stitch.  And maybe, maybe, I can even finish it.  I can of course work on any Chatelaine in the 100 days, but only M9 is on my WIPocalypse list, so I’d really like to stick with it.  If I get really burned out I may pick up Egypt Garden and work on it.  But here’s hoping I don’t.

Anyway, I started a day behind everyone else, but here is my starting point.  You can see how much I’d already done from my photo on the 9th.

And I’m now on day 6 of the 100 days, but here’s what it looked like when I finished stitching on day 5.

I’ve finished up the stair steps (still need to add beads to the top of the urns).

I got the outline of the railing finished and the green hedge below it.  I added the beads to the corner of the railing.

I added the swirls on either side of the corner pool and completed the outline of the pool including the backstitching in Petite Treasure Braid.

I stitched and beaded all the flowers too.  And I jumped down and started the outline of the side pool.

I am so happy with how it’s looking and how much progress I’ve been able to make so far this month.  I am aiming to finish this corner by the end of the month.  I think I can do it with almost a full week to go.  Then it will be on to the bottom two corners and then finally the center.  I hope that the 100 day challenge keeps me motivated to push through and get this beauty finished finally!

I am grateful for SALs to keep me motivated and good friends to cheer me on.