Sunday, January 4, 2015

HAP-SAL beginning post! Also, my first attempt at gridding.

I've just recently learned about the wonders of gridding, and decided to try it on my first ever HAED pattern, "Ride the Wind", which I'll be plugging away at for the HAP (Huge Ass Project) Stitch-A-Long hosted by Crossed Stitches. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a little intimidated by such a detailed piece since it's been a long time since I've done something this big for cross-stitch. looks like a good technique to try, especially on an HAED piece, especially since I have a horrible habit of miscounting on any cross-stitch project I try and inevitably wind up messing up the pattern.

I think "Ride the Wind" will be a little more forgiving, at least.

Anyway, here's my first attempt at gridding - took forever, and in retrospect, I think I could have made it easier on myself with a 20x20 grid instead of 10x10, since I'm going to attempt this piece going over 1 thread of Evenweave.

This is a 16 x 20 piece of fabric, if I recall correctly. I'm kind of a combination of glad and mad that I decided to go over 1 thread instead of 2 - mad, since I'm probably going to ruin my eyes over this, and glad because going over 2 threads would have made this a freakishly huge piece, and much larger than I had originally expected. 

This is all your fault, CraftySasha.:)

Harry's here!

Got a little more done on the pillow project - Harry wasn't too hard, thankfully.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Coming full circle with a New Year's Resolution.

First, I think I've finally gotten myself back where I was before I had to rip out all of the gold stitching last week, so here's the newest progress on the Harry Potter pillow...

And now for the next bit of discussion...

I'll be the first to admit that I've been stressed lately. Taking care of a husband with a broken ankle since he's unable to use crutches to get around, coupled with work stress and added anxiety from oodles of other sources, it makes me a hard person to be around, especially when I get down on myself. There are a lot of things in my life I'd do differently or handle some other way after I realize I've screwed up somehow, but that of course doesn't help much after it's already done. Among the biggest issues right now is the constant feeling of screwing something up, getting something wrong, or in general just feeling that I'm not up to the task, regardless of what others might say otherwise. 

There are a lot of things I'm not good at in life, but the one thing I can honestly claim that I was good at was crewel embroidery - it wasn't perfect, but it has been the one thing I've never doubted myself on. Here's one of my favorite pieces - I finished it in High School, and I've held onto it since it's the first time I ever really won anything. 

Well, that was over 15 years ago, I guess I should point out - I thought I did pretty darn good at the time for getting a Best In Show at one local fair, and a blue ribbon at another.

With that in mind, I've decided that I need to take myself back to basics with a new challenge. I still plan to try to keep up with my Harry Potter pillow and Ride The Wind, but I'm going to try to remind myself that I still have a talent somewhere, damn it. And with that, I present the Chinese Phoenix challenge.

Those who've seen CraftySasha's upcoming projects post might recognize the Chinese Phoenix cross-stitch. I fell in love with it, and decided that I'm going to try to challenge myself.

My goal is to convert the pattern for the Phoenix into a crewel embroidery piece.

Seems crazy, probably, but I think it can be done with some Photoshopping, some iron-on transfer paper, and a LOT of patience. First, I plan to use a photo manipulation program to try to adjust the pattern - I'll smooth out the edges so that they're straight/curved instead of square stitches, and then transfer it to a piece of Evenweave. I've already got just the piece in mind - I just have to get the fabric from

I think that the smoother textures of satin stitches, the intricacy of stem and chain stitches, and the variety of other effects available with embroidery will help make this a truly beautiful embroidery piece, and not just cross stitch. I'll try to post progress as best I can, but it might take a while to get it all down. We'll see how it turns out!