Sunday, January 31, 2010

Remember Heart

Hello, Everyone! I'd like to share my version of BlackBird Designs' Souvenir de France today. (^_^)

Un Souvenir du Coeur

This was my first time using this sort of blanket stitch appliqué with the raveled edges; I used Anchor perle cotton--love this colour!! I wish I could remember on whose blog I saw a brief tutorial on this technique! In any case, thank you!

I made this for the Valentine's Exchange on the Holiday Exchange Group which is moderated by BeckySC. So, I added my own name (Berit) and that of the recipient (April) along with the year and the name of the group.

Around the time I was making up this walnut-filled pyn pillow, I also upgraded my cell phone to one which had a 3.2 MegaPixel camera, which made it superior (in many respects) to our old Kodak 3.1. Now, I can enjoy the ultimate in lazy blog-photograpy: The good ol' "snap it with your phone then text to your email" procedure. I actually HATE taking/uploading/cropping pictures. I think this is for many reasons, but may be most influenced by the fact that I used to work in a photo lab. I know many/most of you stitchers own really fine SLR digicams (and I'd love one too), but I still think it's impressive that the above image was shot by my cell phone!

...And this one, too. You'd better hope I tire of this "camera" soon!

Now, I spent most of December stitching this one up because I wanted to make it nice: I don't think I have to tell you that Becky and her friends are No Slouches, and I'm a relative novice at only about a year of stitching/being in the online stitchery. And, The part I was most nervous about was The Finishing. I'm also a new owner of a sewing machine, and I decided I'd try making a turned pillow and using fusible interfacing AND stuffing it with walnut shells...all at once!

I had a bit of a bad experience with the walnuts shells: my first bag of them from PetsMart was all full of spiderwebs/insect filaments and so I grumpily decided to return it. When I got there, they rather urgently informed me that it was contaminated with paper moths and enumerated a laundry list of precautions to prevent an infestation in my home: I had rather foolishly thrown out about 1 cup of the offending litter in my kitchen garbage, you see.

So, Stitchers, heed my Cautionary Tale: Carefully peek through the bag around the printing to see if you see any insect silk at the top of the walnut bag before you buy!

Ah, yes. The photo. After all this, I wanted to close it neatly, using what I only knew as "That invisible stitch for closing pillows", which turns out to be called a "Ladder Stitch". And, there above you can see my first attempt: Not half bad, though I say it myself! :D

Adding hearts to this pyn pillow sure was enjoyable!

I also sent along some Heart & Bear (Rilakkuma) stickers, DMC stitchbows, and a heart-shaped acrylic magnetic frame from Ikea (one of my happy places :). To Becky, thank you so much for letting me participate in this exchange, and to April, I enjoyed stitching for you and am very glad you liked what I made!

"Un Souvenir du Coeur"
32 Ct. Natural Linen
Fibers: GAST Antique Rose and Apple Cider, Anchor Perle-8: 375

What's Next: Stitching on Fox Forest continues (What a joy this one is!), I also picked up When Witches again for a while, but boy does that have a lot of black! I grew weary quickly. I'm still working on the bottom, stitching in the witch and etc. Monday will bring a new installment of the HalloSAL Sampler, and I've also agreed to be part of the HE Easter exchange (Already getting ideas for this one!). But, wait--Becky announced an Arbor Day exchange. I do LOVE trees, and am so tempted to join in: Oh, the dangers of over-committing! But, I'm getting (I think) a great idea for this one, too!

Finally, the Valentine I stitched for myself is all done, now for the "finishing" I have 2 appropriate backing fabrics, and myriad buttons oh-so-charming; it may come down to a vote from you, dear reader, if my decision-making should fail me! :D :D :D

I want to thank everyone who has been reading and/or commenting on my blog lately. There are ever so many wonderful blogs and sites and things to do/visit on the web--it makes me very happy that you've spent a few moments here! I've been trying to return comments and visit all the blogs I can in good etiquette, but I often fall short. Please continue to regard me kindly!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stitchy Updates

Whew; December is not an easy month to recover from! I've been feeling kind of quiet lately, and making a proper blog post--Whew! I don't know where to start! But, I do want to share what I've been working on, so I'll let the work do the talking this time, and away we go!!

Here is my first finish for the year, a cube scissors fob to thank Nicole for kindly lending me her copy of BlackBird Designs' Beneath the Sunlit Sky (Loose Feathers No. 26). It is an arrangement of various motifs from the design, as well as our initials. I decided to make them a bit like a children's alphabet block, because we share the coincidence of having our first and last names begin with the same consonant ("N" and "B", respectively) I was a little worried that this was too forward of me, to put my initials on it as big as hers were, thinking, "This is for her, why will she want something personalized for someone else?! But, I decided it would be okay due to the motif.) The cube is about 1" square in finished format. So, without further ado,

"Merci Cube"

And my favorite pic, Nicole's from her blog showing it adorning a lovely pair of pewter-finish scissors. I'm so honored that she decided to use it.

Thank You Nicole, for your generosity and patience!

You might notice that I've got the chart for PS Fox & Grapes under the glass there; I really want to stitch and enjoy this one, and I just determined yesterday that I have OVER TEN WiPs if you count the smalls awaiting finishing!!! This will certainly not do! I know some of you are lauging at me for being alarmed at only ten, but when you consider that I've only been "at it" about a year, and that I have...I don't even know, but one hand has enough digits to count them with room to spare, well... I should make a deal: If I finish 2 more I can start F&G! ;)

I also finished my Valentine's exchange on the Becky-moderated Holiday Exchange Blog, which is now accepting new members and is open for sign ups for Easter until January 31, 2010. Please check it out if you are interested. I'm a bit concerned about my package, though, as delivery confirm shows that it was delivered on Monday, but here it is Thursday and no word from the recipient. I really hope she received it safely, and that she likes it! I also look forward to showing it here, as I had many adventures in finishing it! (That should make for a funny post!)

Fox Forest Update:

I do know I used 3 where 1 would have served, but with this new phone I've got (the EnV Touch), I'm really enjoying my needlework photography. Trust me when I say I spared you oh-so-many more. Mostly, I'm enjoying looking at the "floss toss"; I subbed all the colours in, and I like admiring it on the sunny coffee table more than I do stitching it. And I LOVE stitching it. Thanks, Edgar. ^_^

Proof that foxes are really cats:

Because it really was a quiet, sorry-feeling sort of morning, and then the post came, and now as I'm typing the sun's come out, here is the nicest part of the Afternoon Post (My mail is, of course, delivered only once per day, but it was after noon. Sometimes, it's The Morning Post. ;), my order of Scissors from Yuko!

Her service is so lovely, if you are on the fence about this, please order from her! I ordered her styles "C" and "D" from a French seller, who charged 24 and 26 dollars for scissors and S&H, and NO combined-shipping! Yuko is a much better value, and her service is fast--only 8 days after shipping they arrived!

The packaging is lovely: Even Marc remarked on the rose-printed wax paper.

In an amusing bit of "Engrish", the packaging says that they are "Manicure Scissors". lol! They are very nice, but I wouldn't touch my cuticles with them! You are to use them WITH your hands, not ON them! :D Pesky Prepositions! This is the manufacturer's mistake, and not Yuko's, though. Her English is very good (certainly superior to my paltry Japanese), and EVEN if she did I would never laugh at it! :D

Thank You, Yuko, for collecting and offering such good products for us! I will enjoy my scissors today!

Well, all, thank you for your time and kind attention (and to the owner of the Preying Fox who posted his image on Wiki), next time I hope to show you the Valentine I made for the exchange and also the one I'm now making for myself!

Yours in Stitching,