Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grand Marquior Finis

Grand Marquior by Isabelle Haccourt Vautier
35 count Havana by Weeks Dye Works
HDF Imperialosity and BeWooded

Wow, I started this piece on February 5, 2009.  No idea it would take me five years to complete.  :-)  Here is the detail of the last release from 2010 which was U, W, X and Z. 

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a couple of years will perhaps remember that my family has a tradition of the four kids making each other plus the parents a gift for Christmas.  The last time around I made counted needlepoint designs that the following year my brother made a wooden box for.  Well my year came around again and it's my job to make four gifts (and one for me of course).  It's almost August and I haven't even really given any thought to it. I had thought that maybe it would be a good year to make more stained glass hangings.  I did that around 15 years ago and everyone really like them but it's super expensive and I'd rather not spend a huge amount of money this year not to mention they can be very time consuming to make with all the steps.  So I spent the evening going through my stash looking for ideas.  And found something!  I'm going to stitch everyone a BBD piece called Winter Delivery and make it into a box.  It's a small piece - only 5" x 5" when complete so it will be totally doable in the time I have left for the year.  I'll make each one on a different color linen (already prepared five) and make each box a little different.  They are small and hopefully won't put a ton of pressure on my other projects. I'm converting it into Belle Soie silks so it will be a little longer before I can start as I have to buy the fibers.  But I really like the idea and I'm hoping to won't lead to a slow down of work like my last go around did.  As I look back on the last couple of years, it was the needlepoint projects that really started to slow me down.  I really hate "HAVE TO" projects and it totally removes whatever desire I have to stitch.  :-(

This is where I left off on my costume over the weekend.  I've started to put the boning in the corset.  It takes forever and I have a really crappy pair of wire cutters.  I need to go buy another one this weekend.  But you can see how pretty it looks when the stays are in place (right side of the front is complete).  I'll have the entire costume finished this weekend.  I might be going to the Renaissance Faire with friends on the 9th (or later in the month, we haven't decided yet) so I really have to complete it just in case. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Last Block

I'm down to the last block of a six year journey for this piece.  The plan had been to complete each section of nine blocks as it was released.  That lasted for the first three releases.  Then the new house and other things intervened and I got sidetracked.  But no matter, it's almost completed.  As much as I like French inspired designs, this is the first one I'll ever complete.  I have one more French style WIP in my stash but a dozen or so charts.  The plan is to finish this in the next couple of days.  So the next photo of it will be the finis!  Yeah!

I did a little shopping over the weekend.  Amy Mitten makes the most delightful little do-dads for the caskets.  She calls them Casket Keepsakes and they are online classes.  She has released four now and I've just been looking at them to this point.  But Saturday I pulled the plug on the first release which is called Winter.  It's two little designs, one a thread winder holder and the other a needle holder.  The directions are amazingly complete and I can't wait to get started on them and I should have the supplies in hand by the weekend.  I actually should be able to do some of it on the train because they are small in hand pieces.  That would be awesome. 

Most of my space time over the past week has been working on my new pirate / wench costume.  I actually think the corset is going to work and I even have to take it in a tad.  The medal stays I ordered should be in today or tomorrow and then I'll know for sure how much altering it really needs.  Then I can start on the skirt.  I picked up the silk fabric and have already cut it out.  It's going to look so cute!  I'm also planning on making a second costume for the cruise in October because in addition to pirate night, there is going to be a Halloween costume party!  Our cruise leaves on the 31st so it will be perfect.  We all plan to be a Disney character and I'm going to be Merida from Brave this time around.  I have the Medieval dress pattern already and I picked out the clearance fabric now I just need to wait for a good sale.  :-)

Have a great week!  And thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully there will be a midweek update because I won't be able to wait an entire week to show of the Marquior.  :-)  I love the feeling of having a huge project finished.  hmmm....  but what to start on next?  Something new?  Or get back to something else?  I just don't know at this point...  :-)

Monday, July 21, 2014

perfert weekend

I've had a great week of stitching.  I stitched on the train and even some at home at night.  That's the habit I want most to get back into - stitching at night rather than just rotting in front of the tv.  Talk about a waste of time.  I don't feel nearly as bad when I have something in my lap that I'm working on.  :-) 

I made good progress on my IsaV Marquior.  Here is the close up of the nine blocks of part five completed. 

This photo is pretty close to what the color looks like in real life.  In this photo, only six blocks to go.  But I really only have four to go to got so much finished over the past week.  :-)  I didn't take an updated photo after the weekend of stitching.  I might actually finish this puppy in July!  Yeah!
I also worked on my Floral Glove for a couple of hours yesterday.  I'm officially finished with Lesson One and almost have Lesson Two complete.  I can see improvement in my stitching from when I first started this piece.  My outline stitching (which you can't see) is much more even and I'm loving how my long and short stitching turned out.  I only have to finish up the silk flower in the middle of the piece.  Then it's onto the medal threads.  That will be an adventure. 
I'm having a hard time loving my current setup with my Needlepoint System 3 stand with my stitching.  No matter what I do I just can't get comfortable and end up hunched up all over the piece I'm working on.  I really think I need a different stand.  Ugh. 
And in true Margie fashion I went into the rabbit hole in the past week.  Several years ago I made a pirate costume for a trip to Disney World that I took with my family.  We all wanted to dress up as Disney characters for the Trick or Treat night in the Magic Kingdom.  I ended up dressing as Elizabeth Swan from Pirates of the Caribbean.  I love how it turned out and was planning on wearing it again this Halloween when we all go on a Disney cruise for that Trick or Treat night.  I'm also going to the local Renaissance Faire in a couple of weeks with friends and we are all planning on dressing up for that.  So I found all the pieces in storage and got them out so I can wash and iron them.  Now I have gained a few pounds (apparently more than a few) because when I tried it all on, nothing fit.  Not even close.  :-(  So I needed to make new stuff.  I always wanted a "real" Renaissance style dress so I thought this would be a good time to start working on a couple of pieces for it.  And here is what I did over the weekend.  It's a Renaissance style corset.  It's boned with medal stays and even has a wooden busk down the front.  I sure hope this fits ok.  I'm rather busty and you won't be able to really get a good feel for the fit until all the stays are in and that means it will be almost totally complete by then.  I can't even add up in the head all the $$ I've sunk into it but I'm having a blast putting it all together.  I already bought a new white shift from eBay for much less money than I could have made it and I found a beautiful gold silk for the overskirt in the discount rack at Joanne Fabrics.  So it looks like I'm making a wench costume that can double as a pirate costume for Disney.  If this corset doesn't work ok I'll still have time to make a much more conventional one. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

I can feel the end

I can really feel I'm getting close to finishing up this piece.  Only three blocks to go and I'm finished with the fifth set of nine.  And because I have already completed three blocks of the sixth and final section, I'll only have six to go there.  I can smell it.  :-) 

I broke down and purchased the released parts Shepherd's Bush pieces for Shepherd's Fold.  I'm hoping that will be my next start.  Hopefully it won't come too fast.  Next week or even the week after would be perfect.  And I'm still waiting for my supplies to come for the drawn thread class.  I have to admit, that's kinda irritating.  I understand running out of supplies.  But it irks me that the class as started and I have nothing to work on.  I was so looking forward to it.  Oh well, patience grasshopper, patience.  :-)

Monday, July 07, 2014

great weekend!

The weather was perfect here in Northern Illinois - so perfect I sat outside more than planned playing with the dogs and putting around the yard rather than sitting inside stitching.  Isabelle had a so-so 4th.  I stuck to my plan and she did ok with the fireworks and wasn't as frantic has she has been in the past.  I received a comment asking if I had ever tried a Thunder Shirt on her and yes, we own one.  It worked great the first year and for thunder for the rest of the year.  But she is a smart girl, now she knows what it means when I pull it out and gets frantic because she knows what's coming so I don't pull it out anymore. 
I finally finished up the prework portion of Scott Lee!  I've been plugging away at this Jean Hilton needlepoint for several years now but the worst is now behind me.  While is there some counting left, it's nothing like the first six steps of prework.  Each step should fly by now that I'm in the meat of it.  Of course that is until I start the 100's of Jessicas!  That stitch really eats the time away.
I've almost managed to finish the first lesson of my Floral Glove.  Five years after receiving it?  :-)  It's funny how this one seems easy compared to what I have ahead and all the apprehension I had over this piece just went away (the reason it got tucked away in the first place).  I see an improvement in my long and short stitching as I progress so I'm really glad I decided to finish this before starting on my mirror frame. 
As for stitching plans for the next week or so, I'm going to continue on my Grand Marquior in the train, finish Lesson One and Two of my Floral Glove and I'm hoping to pick up my Scott Lee now and again.  I really love counted needlepoint.  My drawn thread class is supposed to start tomorrow but I don't have any supplies yet.  So many people joined the class there wasn't enough supplies to go around and they are coming from France so it will be a while longer.  That's not really a bad thing I suppose but I would love to work on some of the prework for it.  I'm planning on doing both samplers at the same time so it will take a while to get through it all and it's not something I can do on the train so it has to be at night at home and that cuts into my oversized work which is all my at home projects right now.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Long weekend!

I've been making pretty good progress with my IsaV this week.  Stayed awake for five whole train rides so far!  :-) 
 Here is a photo of most of the stash I've received so far with my Casket classes. Yes, except for the medal threads, it's all silk. And really nice silk also. I can't wait to start using it for my stumpwork. 
 I was planning on starting work on my CoC frame over the weekend.  But I remembered that I had an old class hanging around from Thistle Threads - the Floral Glove.  And it has a lot of instructions about the techniques that I needed work with.  Like long and short shading and couching.  So I pulled it out and sat down and worked on it.  I think I'll do this before I start working on my frame.  I want to be in top form before starting it.  I also pulled another (free!) online tutorial from Nora Corbet on long and short stitching and I might even work on that for a while also.  Just reading the lessons helped with what I did on Sunday while working on the glove. 

I've got a four day weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July!  Part of the plan is to spend as much time playing with Isabelle the lab to tire her out.  She is so afraid of the fireworks and I live in a neighborhood where the kids are loaded down with the crap.  Her cave is already set up in the house and starting at around 6:00pm Friday I'll have the windows all shut and the music blasting to help drown out the noise.  Poor baby - I hate this time of year.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!