Friday, July 31, 2015

What have I been cross stitching?

I decided to try and do a weekly "What have I been cross stitching?" post. I'm still looking for some good clip art to use: I think I might use take my own photo!  Check back next week to see what I decided!   I'll have to see how it goes!  Sometimes progress is slow on cross stitch, I'll have to see how many people stick around for the weekly post!  
So this week, I am sharing my big project with you.  I haven't done a big cross stitch project in a long long time!!!  I normally do small projects for my display boards which I have shown here before.  And I am thinking of doing a post of the boards themselves since I seemed to have a lot of interest in them- they are really easy to make! Leave me a comment if you would like to see the display boards up close and how to make your own!
My large project came from an idea I have of doing some of my favorite books or movies as cross stitch for a future game room/ theater room  in our new house (that's when we actually start to build a new house!).  Instead of just finding posters, I wanted to make the art on my walls.  This is where the idea came from.  Obviously, this means I have to do bigger projects.  This project is 300X413 stitches.  My material is ~23" X 29" which leaves a 3" boarder around the design for matting later.  I chose to do it on light oatmeal 18 count material.  The light oatmeal will help reflect the light more, since this is a full coverage piece (no white spaces in the pattern) and I am using tent stitches.  Most long time stitchers know that an X is a stitch.  In tent stitching, you just do one leg of the X.  So my stitches are just this:  /   I chose to use tent stitching this time, and it is my first time ever using tent stitches, because it is a big piece.  This will save time and thread as well.  I am using three strands of floss on 18 count which is more than I would normally use with regular cross stitching on 18 count but with tent stitching, this will help get more coverage.  I was nervous at first about departing from my traditional stitching but it has gone fast, less tangling of the thread, and has good coverage.  I have had to train my eye to count a little differently than I have in the past.  I see a stitch as X and have had to learn that a stitch on this project is a /.  I have made the adjustment pretty well.  



The biggest difference in this project and others I have done is not only the size but I gridded my fabric.  This is the first time I have done that as well.  What is gridding?  Gridding is marking the fabric in predetermined spaces to help keep track of where you are on the pattern and on your fabric.  This helps prevent mistakes.  Most people grid 10X10 spaces.  I did that at first.  I found that it was not only time consuming but that since I wasn't used to working in a grid, 10X10 was just to small of an area for me to stitch.  I used a 20X20 grid area.  This is more comfortable for me to stitch in and still helps me keep my place well in the pattern.  Normally I work one color all the way through a pattern, then start the next color.   With this pattern, I am keeping to the 20X20 sections pretty well.  Well, kinda!  Last night I started stitching a 40X40 area because it had so much of the same color thread used on it.  I still find the grid to be helpful in counting and keeping my place, but I'm not sure just stitching a 20X20 area will work for me.

I am using an old qsnap frame that I had.  This isn't my first choice for this project but it is all that I had on hand to start.  I have ordered a millennium frame from Needle Needs online.  Since this is an overseas company, my order won't be here for awhile.  I'll let you know my thoughts on the frame when I get it.  I have seen these frames forever and really really wanted one.  They are hand made, and supposed to wonderful.  But.....stock is always out, and their customer service hasn't been great in the past.  I sent an email to get on their wait list for an artiso stand last year, never heard anything.  I really didn't want to order from a company that I didn't think kept up with their emails.  I resent the email again this week, I got a response that I was added to the list.  Since I believe this was an improvement over the past where many people complained that they don't respond to emails, I placed an order for the millennium frame since it was in stock. People absolutely love their frames and stands, it just seemed the company was a little overwhelmed and maybe unable to keep up with the emails.   All companies have growing pains.  And the success of this company and the wonderful love of their frames, might have taken the owners by surprise.  I am sure this is part of growing pains and learning the market.  I felt more comfortable in placing an order since I had heard from them.  I can't wait to get my order!!!!


I am also using parking.  What is parking?  Parking is when you get done with a thread color, instead of cutting and tying off, I park it in the next block over or under where I am currently working in the first spot that color thread would show.  I keep track of this on my working pattern (I make a working copy of my pattern to mark on) by highlighting the symbol that I "parked" at with a yellow highlighter.  When I pick up the parked thread and start stitching with it, I color that yellow box in with a green highlighter, showing myself that I have picked up that parked thread.  So all yellow marks on my pattern should have parked threads in them- all green marks HAD parked threads in them that are now stitched.  I am spending less time tying off and more time stitching by using parking.  



This shows my grid and some parked threads.  Depending on where I am stitching, I simply move the parked threads up and around my qsnap, being careful NOT to loop them over the top so they hang in the back of where I am stitching.  If I have a group of them together I have been winding them loosely around my hair clips that I am using to keep the sides of my fabric up and out of the way.  This has worked great for me.




This is the pattern I am working on called the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz by Mystic Stitch.  I loved the colors.  This is one of several pattern I bought from this set.  As you can see, I have tons of work to do!  
My plan is to do a page in the pattern, (and I have yet to complete page one) then do one of a small set.  So when I get done with page one, I will go back and finish the last of my Disney Princesses Silhouettes.  I am doing Cinderella as the final one.  I'll be back next week to share my progress, and hopefully I can take a picture of some more of the things I talked about  this week!
Thanks for stopping by!
Leave me a comment of the type of cross stitching posts you would like to see!
Michelle


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TV Talk- Humans, Mr Robot, Zoo, Tryant, Walking Dead, and Last Ship


Another link up with Jenny at : http://lovemyrandomness.blogspot.com/2015/07/tv-talk-tuesday-and-link-up.html
Spoilers AHEAD!!!!!!!


Humans:  I finally got to watch.  I had 3 episodes to watch to catch up on.  It was a nice binge watch and now I'm hooked and caught up to date. This show isn't about what I thought it would be, but I really like the path it is taking.  So basically we have robots (synth) that look and act, for the most part, human, but still robots.  BUT.....there are some robots that are more than that, they can feel, they can think- so far we have seen 5 like this. To confuse us even more, there are some humans that might have been saved with synth technology, so are they human or synth?  Last week's episode we saw Joe, the dad, apparently got a little frisky with Anita, the family synth.  Opps!!!  And then the daughter found out from hacking her coding and assumed it was her brother which  she thought was sick.  Come to find out, nope, it was dad....even creepier!!!  Joe told Laura, and Laura threw him out of the house.  SO.......thoughts?  Think having sex with the synth was cheating?

Mr. Robot:  This is my first summer casualty.  It just doesn't hold my interest.  I can't get over the main character's oddness- I know it is a personality trait of him, but it is painful to watch and listen to.  It is officially deleted off my DVR....bye, bye Mr. Robot.  

Zoo- I have to saw, I am addicted!  I love Billy Burke so seeing him in this show is great!  I love the story.  It keeps it interesting.  It is James Patterson- how can you go wrong with that backing anyways!!!???  

Tyrant- I have loved this show from day one.  It gets better and better.  This season has been even better than the last one.  It is great to see Bassam, Barry, fighting for his country but I am foreshadowing some REALLY hurt feelings from his family when they find out he is actually still  alive.  Plus, I think Barry will end up with the new girl, who is from his country and understands the fight.  Something Molly will never understand, especially after it claimed his life as he knows it.  I am waiting to see her reaction when she finds out Barry is really alive.  This week was sad to see Adhmed's wife lose the baby and then for her to say she was living only for the baby.  I'm thinking the family will force her out now that she can't produce an heir.  Nusrat, Adhmed's wife, has lost everything, her father, her baby, I'm thinking she might be the next to join the fight against the Al- Fayeeds.  Was I the only one that cheered last night when Barry killed his friends' daughter?  She got on my nerves from day one....bye-bye crazy girl!!!! And Molly found her a new man!!!!!  

Pretty Little Liars:  Just show us who A is at this point, we know it is Charles, but who is Charles.  It has to end up being someone we already know, right??  Guesses???   I'll give you MY guess- we will see that it is Jason.  At the end of this season, we will see Jason.  Everyone will THINK it is Jason.  BUT, I think it will be Jason's evil twin.  Giving the book it's credit, but twisting it for tv.  OR....someone that we know to be long dead, maybe from season 1- that really isn't dead.  Okay....I have no idea!!!!!  

Last Ship:  I enjoyed this week's more.  I am glad they are headed back to the ship again.  We apparently have a new President.   Who watches this show?  Thoughts?

Falling Skies:  Poe was bad, then he was good but on the outside, then he was good, now he is really really bad again.  And bald is NOT a good look for him!!!!  But it does make him look more evil than his long hair.  And where did Tom get taken off to now??!!!!

I have been rewatching Walking Dead since they did a season 1 marathon the other day.  I can watch this show over and over.  It contains everything that I like in a show: good looking guys, end of the world dilemma, having to rebuild society, finding your place in the world when everything has gone to hell and figuring out what type of person you are going to be in this new apocalypse.  Lori still gets on my nerves.  She gets mad at Shane, plots Rick against him, then gets mad at Rick because Rick has to kill Shane.  I'm glad a walker ended up eating her.  

Tut:  Who watched?  It was a three part mini series.  I thought it was well done.  I wish they had made it a show, I think it could have been a good drama, loosely based on history.  Overall, I enjoyed it.  Thoughts?

What shows do you rewatch over and over again?  Ready for the new show Fear of the Walking Dead!!!???

Thanks for visiting!
Michelle






Thursday, July 23, 2015

What have I been up to with my Cross Stitching?? Cross Stitch Progress!

It's been awhile since I posted any cross stitch stuff, so today is the day!  Did I share this set with you yet?  Can't remember but I do enjoy it!  This was a fun set to do.  Quick set for the Fourth Of July.   Of course this is the only picture I have of the set, I hadn't washed or cut them yet.  This pattern is from Blue Ribbon Designs called Americana Panorama.

I started on my Wizard of Oz set from Brooke's Books.  I loved this set and bought it when I was in Vegas.  They have the BEST cross stitch store there!  I spent at least an hour in there!......my husband may say I stayed longer!   I'll show you my favorite find from that store down below!

I didn't snap a single picture of the Lion, somehow I forgot to do that.  Here is the Wicked Witch.  I loved these patterns but I can honestly say I did NOT love all the metallic threads. 


The tin man- Owen loved this one the most.  And yes, it dawned on me that the tin man was actually a robot......yes, I just got that part!!!  Owen was thrilled when he saw the robot man.....LOL!!!


Dorothy.



Here is the only picture I have of the Lion, he was my favorite. I stitched him first.  I really like how they all look together.  They will look great up for my cross stitch board.  Something different!!!!
And did you catch that the fabric was green sparkles?  After all, it was in Emerald City right?!


This was my find in Vegas.  This HOT pink fabric.  I loved it.  Unfortunately it was only sold by the half yard, which is a lot of fabric when you do small projects.  I couldn't pass it up though.  I bought it!  It was pricey but I'm so glad I got it!  I really wanted a girly project for it!  I found those Disney Silhouette princesses which I thought were perfect for the hot pink fabric.  Tinkerbell was my first that I did.

This material is hard to photograph.  It looks very bright in light.  Same fabric as the picture before, just not good lighting.  The Little Mermaid was next!

Pocohontas was next.  My boys don't do many Disney princesses.  Pocohontas was one that my boys would watch.  I had to stitch her!!
I am working on the last of the set, Cinderella.  It was hard to decide which princesses to do, there were 9 on the pattern.  I choose my favorites.  Cinderella was one of the first Disney movies I remember going to the theatre to see when I was little.  I still think it is a good movie today!
  Hope you enjoyed a different than normal post!  How many cross stitchers are there out there!!???  Leave me a comment and let me know, if you stitch, what are your favorite projects to do?  If you don't stitch yet, do you want to learn to stitch?  Maybe you stitched in the past?  What would bring you back to the hobby?  I stitch as I was tv.  I feel very weird about sitting and watching tv without doing anything.  I keep my stitching right near my tv spot.  At least I feel like I am doing something while I sit!!  
Thanks for visiting my blog!
Michelle







Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Got some seasonal paper left and don't know what to do with it? Check out this post!!!

Do you ever buy holiday Designer Series Paper, scrap some layouts, and then have lots of the DSP still left over?  Your done using it for your holiday pictures, now what?  Flip that paper over, often on Stampin' Up DSP papers, the other side of the paper will work for other layouts!  This DSP is the Montley Monsters DSP from last Holiday catalog.  I loved the paper for Halloween.  I used it and then stuck it back in my hoard, I mean collection.  I took it out when I was scrapping and realized the other side of the paper had great colors and patterns on it!  And my regular layout using Halloween paper began!!! 
Dig through your DSP collection, turn those papers over and give them another look!  You might get several more layouts from holiday paper than you expected!


  Candy dots.  I love candy dots!!  I got this idea from a sketch on pinterest, I don't remember what the sketch showed at the bottom but candy dots popped into my head.  Think I used enough??!!!!  ;)



Using stamps directly on the page!  I loved the flourish and Cherish for the title!


To make placing the candy dots more precise, I used my paper piercer to lift the candy dots off the sheet and place them on my layout.




My sweet boy!!!!



I got to use up some buttons I had in my stash.  I love how the paper piecing adds another dimension to the layout- best of all- it's a cheap way to add interest to your layouts!









This was a fun layout for me.  I enjoyed using up items in my stash, thinking outside the box, using Halloween DSP for normal pictures.  I LOVE the wood grain paper- I think I need a pack of just wood grain, in lots of shades!
Thanks for stopping by!
Michelle

Monday, July 20, 2015

6X6 Card- Using the MISTI


This was a fun card to do.  It is a 6X6 card.  I made this card for a friend whose son is in basic training.  I am sure she will be sending care packages to him soon, and she can stick this card in there with a note for him.  
I used a sketch for this card from:


I love using sketches for my cards.  I often start a card by looking through my stamps that I want to use.  All my stamps are kept inventoried in Evernote- search my blog for more information about my Evernote Stamp Index.  I find a couple of stamps that fit my theme of the card I have in mind to do.  I pull them out and sit them on my working table.  Then I surf through my pinterest sketches or card challenges to find a sketch or a color combo that I want to use.  Normally a sketch kicks off an idea for me with the stamps I pulled out.  And off I go to create.  For me, this sketch was all about the sentiments- on the 3 1/2" card piece- I wanted to add the sentiments from Words of Truth stamp set.  More on that in a bit!



My pictures got out of order so I'll so you the inside first.  This was another sentiment in the Words of Truth stamp set.  I just thought it was funny, especially for a boy, since they LOVE to eat!!!!


The background was done using all sentiments from the Words of Truth stamp set.  I really like this stamp set, some of the sentiments will be used a lot, especially in my scrapbooking.  I used my MISTI to stamp the sentiments.  There is no way I could have done this using my normal clear blocks....I tried and scrapped that attempt.  The MISTI really does make it easy to stamp where you want!  It was probably the best stamping money I have spent yet!  




It's so hard to create a card without including Gorgeous Grunge in the mix!  I just love this stamp set!




The main image here is from the Words by Wilson stamp set.  This is an old stamp set.  I love it though.  Normally I wouldn't use such a small image as the focus of the card, but to me, the focus of this card is the sentiments.  The tank was a nice added extra.  Do you keep old stamps?  Or always have the newest stamp out?  I save all my boyish stamp sets because I get so much use out of them.  And some stamp sets I just can't get rid of.  Christmas stamps are so pretty, I save tons of those.  What type of stamps do you "save" the most?




Thanks for visiting!
Michelle

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Making a Rainbow, Using lots of ink pads!


I can honestly say, I have never used more ink pads on one card, than I did on this card.  It as a lot of fun!  I used mostly Stampin' Up brights inks but it could be done in any of the other color families.  This card was done using a sketch from:
Here is the sketch:

This card challenge is a Clean and Simple challenge, so I wanted to keep the design simple, lots of white space, but also use a lot of color.  



This is another card that I used my MISTI on to get the rainbow lines perfect.  I really love this tool!  Have you tried the MISTI stamping tool?  Thoughts?  


Inside sentiment.




For something fun, I stamped the envelope too.  All these images are from the new Over the Rainbow stamp set.  I really like this stamp set, I had nothing like it in my collect so this was a fun different twist for me.  
Thanks for visiting my site, if you don't follow me already, click follow me on the right hand side in the column....I love new stamping friends!
Michelle
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