31 May 2006

DIY Kit Exchange 2006

What's inside this beautifully wrapped mystery package? Have I got your attention yet? Well, it certainly has got mine for more than a week since I received it. It's my Aion DIY Kit Exchange from Colette. Finally, today's the big opening day and I could hardly restrain myself any longer. I tore into the wrapping and look, this is what I got!
Colette knew I love EMS Designs and has kindly prepared this scissors case kit for me. It's a freebie and not supposed to be kitted up but she has gain Ellen's permission before doing so. I feel so honoured. Besides that, Colette has also stitched this lovely card for me. The design is from EMS' Garden Alphabets series. "V for Violet" is the design name or in this case, it's V for Veronica. *Cheeky Grin* Anyway, a very big thank you to both Colette and Ellen. I love everything.
As for me, here's what I got for my partner, Louise. She had mentioned that she loves samplers and is willing to try anything new and since I love Jeremiah Junction because of its bright and cheerful colours, I thought if she hasn't already stitch their designs before, I'll introduce her to it by giving her this Cross Stitch Crazy leaflet. The chart I've picked is "ABC Come Stitch With Me" but just in case she doesn't like it, there're two other choices for her, namely "Cross Stitch Crazy" and "Cross Stitch Forever". Very apt, I think, for all us stitchers. I've also included a postcard of Malaysia along with my kit.
Anyway, here's the card I stitched to accompany my kit. "Martina's Roses" designed by Martina Weber is my first Châtelaine. It's a downloadable freebie. I stitched it on light blue Aida and did my first specialty stitches - the Algerian Eyelet on it. It is also my first beading project. Even though there're many first involved in this project for me, I think it turned out really nice, if I do say so myself. I wrote a poem for her in the card but I think that's up to her whether she would like to share it. Hope she likes both card and kit.

29 May 2006

5 Gold Rings

The 5th in Margaret Sherry's 12 Days of Christmas, 5 Gold Rings is my absolute favourite of the whole series. Which lady wouldn't love to receive a ring, more over 5 gold ones from her true love, as the song goes? Certainly not me. Not to mention the cute cartwheeling cat in the design. Yup, that explains it all and 5 Gold Rings win hands down as my favourite.
Also, any of you who're stitching this series can also relate to my next point - finally, no more skinny bird legs/feet to stitch! True, they're not that bad but they prevent me from finishing faster. Now that I don't have to deal with them anymore, I finish this in two and a half days of leisurely stitching. Now I'm am itching to stitch the next one. Hopefully I won't have long to wait before it arrives in the mail.

25 May 2006

It's Christmas Already?

No, of course not. I know, I know, time flies and some of you have been wondering what I've been up to since it's been a while since I've last shown any stitching updates, but time does not fly that fast! Then what am I doing stitching Santas? Well, this Santa Baby here is for Lene's "Christmas" Round Robin. I've had a few patterns in mind but after she specifically requested that someone stitch this adorable Santa Baby for her, well, how could I resist? After all, EMS's patterns are always a pleasure to stitch.
Anyway, with just one more person to go before the RR returns home (we had a participant dropped out), Lene, unless you want it to be a "surprise" (considering you already know what the other squares look like), then I suggest you either stop reading here or close your eyes, here's your Christmas RR with four squares filled in. Like it? I sure do hope so!
And again, another Santa, this time from Margaret Sherry, I present to you the first square of my "Santa" Round Robin for another 6 person RR on EMS Cross Stitch Board starting 15th June. Yup, you've guessed it, I joined another one. Another two, to be exact for I have another one starting in July but that's beside the point. This little Santa here took me a long time (read as more than two weeks!) to stitch and near the end, I was already so sick of it that I just want the torture (yes, you've read correctly, it was really becoming a pain!) to end because as you well know, Herritage Stitchcrafts designs equals squash stitches (which by the way, they renamed vertical and horizontal stitch) and tons of tweeding. (A big Thank You to EeKoon for being patient enough to endure all my complaints all those night when I was hard at it.) I'm relieved to have it over and done with. Still, the satisfaction I feel now is almost worth all the labour. Almost.
I've substituted the DMC cotton floss with pearlescent effects floss from the DMC Light Effects range for the snow at Santa's feet. Although you can't see the difference from the picture, I can assure you that the result is quite stunning in real life, especially when combined with the shine from the metallic gold threads that's woven into the fabric. Now it's packed and ready to be sent out. Whew!

Stitching Blogger's Question: Special Favourites

SBQ LogoWhat is your favorite specialty stitch? Which one is your least favorite? Why?
I haven't had much experience with specialty stithes to form much of an opinion for this question. The only specialty stitch I've done so far is the Algerian Eyelet and French Knots. I didn't particularly enjoyed the Algerian Eyelet for it can be quite a chore to complete one compared to good old cross stitch but I do like the different effect it lends to a piece. As for French Knots, I used to hate it but after I've learnt to tackle it, I'm fine with it but if a particular project contains dozens of French Knots, I think I'll more than likely replaced them with beads. Beads gives a better 3D effect and looks nicer anyway. Does backstitch count as specialty stitch? I love doing it for it's fast and as you stitch, the whole design just pops out and suddenly everything finally makes sense.

22 May 2006

Stitching Blogger's Question: Stitching Mojo

SBQ LogoLately, it seems that many stitching bloggers have experienced a loss of their stitching mojo. Have you ever lost your stitching mojo? If so, how did you get it back and how long did it take?
I'm not sure if this qualifies as losing my stitching mojo but from the time I started cross stitching to now, there were two years in between after I finish my first project, which I barely even picked up the needle. Reason? I was too caught up with other aspects of my life and I've never considered cross stitching as a long term hobby that I would become addicted to. However, after I've started stitching again early last year, I've not stopped completely. True, there were times when I slow down a lot (like now) simply because I wasn't in the mood or the project I was stitching doesn't appeal to me as much but with the commitments I have at the moment, I can't afford to stop. (I guess deadlines are a good thing for me then.) So, whenever I feel like I'm losing my stitching mojo, I go online and start looking at cross stitch websites and more often than not, the many beautiful patterns that I see gives me the much needed motivation because it reminds me that time is limitted and there's still so much I want to do.

14 May 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the mothers out there, hope you have a wonderful day. I finally collected the bunny I made for my mum from the framers yesterday. I had sent it in last week and it has been ready more than a few days ago but I had been busy and it wasn't until yesterday that my dad helped me picked it up and snuck it into the house when my mum was out. Thanx Dad! Last night, I left it wrapped up on the table together with a set of clothes I had made for her to find in the morning. I was bedridden most of today by a horrible headache and as she had some church meetings to attend, it wasn't until later in the day that I she told me that she likes my gift.
It had not been an easy feat keeping it a secret from her. I remember how she came into my room when I was still halfway stitching the bunny. Boy, did I scrambled to get everything hidden! Actually, I just rolled it up and it was still in plain sight on the table. Since I've shown everything I've stitched to my mum, she assumed that I wouldn't mind her taking a peek at this one too so she must have been shocked that I practically shouted, "don't touch!" when she reached for it. Well, at least I managed to invent a reason, albeit a lame one, saying that it's not finished yet. At last, the cat is out and I can rest easy.

13 May 2006

Stitching Blogger's Question: Leftovers

SBQ LogoWhen you stitch from a kit and use the supplied floss do you have leftovers? If so, how much and what do you do with them? If not, do you usually have just enough or do you have to dig into your stash to finish?
I vastly prefer picking out fabric and floss of my choice for a pattern which is why it's not surprising that thus far, the only kit I've completed is the Forever Friends Bathtime. I've had quite a lot of leftovers from it. Since it uses Anchor floss, I've decided to add it to my stash to be used in the future, should the occassion arrises. (My usual brand is DMC) However, I think I would still have kept them anyway had it been any other floss for who knows, I might have need for them in the future. The possibility is always there, right? ^_~
Now that explains my ever increasing stash that never seems to diminish even though I have some patterns that I probably will never stitch. You just never know... especially with my love for round robins. *Grin*

07 May 2006

Stitching Blogger's Question: Over-Dyed Opinions

SBQ LogoDo you or have you stitched with over-dyed threads? (Weeks Dye Works, The Gentle Art Sampler Threads, Six Strand Sweets, etc.) If so, what is your opinion concerning them? If not, why not?
As of this post, I have yet to try over-dyed threads. On the other hand, I have used Anchor and DMC variegated threads. Do they count? I have some Six Strand Sweets in store though, thanks to Lene but I have yet to find the perfect project for them. I think the colours are very yummy but I have to say I have my concerns about them bleeding, especially the darker colours but since I haven't heard too much complain from other stitches in this area, I guess running the threads in cold water as per the instructions before stitching would eliminate this problem. Also, they're not easy to find in Malaysia which means I'll have to order them online and considering I don't have PayPal or credit card, that's a pretty huge obstacle I have to overcome. That aside, I think they look lovely on samplers, giving it an antique look or on monocolour projects, changing colours and shade automatically so my verdit is yes, I'll definitely give over-dyed threads a go.