Thursday, November 28, 2013

Snowman WIP

Happy Thanksgiving! This is a very late night/early morning post, so pardon me if I seem a little tuckered out. I spent almost 4 hours with my new little snowman buddy this evening.
I started working on him last weekend and with about 8¾ hours under my belt, I'm almost done. I imagine that if all goes well, then he'll be finished by this afternoon. It's also my birthday today, so I'll have more leisure time than usual.
I'll post more projects soon!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas Is Coming!

Last weekend, to say the least, was terrible. I haven't ever been that sick in my entire adult life. My apologies for being away for the last week or so.

I've been trying to get a leg up on Christmas gifts. So far I've gotten the main cross stitching portions of three ornaments done and I have about 8 to 12 more to get stitched up. The good news is, that these little projects are going very fast (1-2 days per piece), and once I hit the sewing machine to finish them off, these projects should be done lickity split. Below are images of the three pieces I have done so far*. All of the patterns are from Cross Me Not. Enjoy!

 The helicopter isn't technically finished because I'm still working on the background fill, but I finished up the pattern itself last night.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hiatus for Illness

This evening I was planning on posting an update picture for my octopus cross stitch, but since about 9:30 this morning I've been running a consistent fever of 99 to 102° F. I'm not feeling good, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to post again, but I'll keep everyone updated as much as possible.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cross Stitch Organization & Preparation for Winter Break

For the past few weeks I have been ogling a cross stitch pattern called Epic Pokemon Gen I by servotron. The pattern is available through for free, but I was worried that by taking on such an enormous project as my first cross stitching attempt would be a terrible idea--especially since I didn't know if I'd even like the craft.

Well, it turns out that I love to cross stitch and that I'm actually very good at it already. It took me a little while to get the hang of hiding my tails on my backside, but on the whole, I've picked up the task quite effortlessly. The only "major issue" I've had was when I stuck a #28 embroidery needle eye-side into my finger about half of an inch, and even that wasn't too bad, so I've been feeling more confident as a needle crafter as this week has progressed.

And then I did it... I broke down and went to Michael's with a 25% Off Everything coupon and bought all the floss that they had in stock for my Epic Pokemon Gen I cross stitch. It took me over half an hour to completely find all the floss colors I needed (minus the seven or so that were temporarily out of stock) and by the time I walked up to the register, my basket had almost one hundred individual skeins of DMC embroidery floss in it. My receipt was over three feet long when it was all said and done with, but my total bill was only $40.08 after buying all that floss, 84 new bobbins, and the correct size Aida cloth to start such a monumental project over break. In the words of my mother when I got home, I feel that I was "pretty shopper savvy" at Michael's the other day.

But then I had to organize it all. This is what my desk looked like when I got home after I gingerly took every single skein of floss out of the bag. I was terrified that the paper rings were going to slip off and that I was going to have no idea what colorways and numbers I had brought home, but I ended up keeping everything together. This is what one hundred individual colorways of DMC floss looks like when it's piled on top of a desk:
 I wish that I had kept track of how long it took me to label, wind, and organize everything. Unfortunately, I can only ballpark the total time, but I definitely worked on getting the pile whittled away for a span of two days off and on. My guess is that it took me about four hours to get it all put together, but the results were definitely worth it. I just need to get a second floss caddy now since I've run out of room in the first. I'm keeping the remaining skeins on a ring until I can get back to the store this weekend, but overall I am very happy with how nice everything came together. It will make my current and future stitching project much easier to keep together and will help to keep my entire sewing/crocheting/quilting/cross stitching corner of my office neat and tidy again. Here's what it looks like now:
Every colorway is labeled and in order from White to the 3800s. And for the record, this was extremely inexpensive to organize in this way. I got the caddy on sale with 25 bobbins for $3 form Jo-Anns; the DMC floss stickers from Jo-Ann's for $2 and the floss winder--an absolute life saver--for $4 off of Amazon. Adding in the extra floss bobbins I got from Michael's during this last trip for $4, I've only spent $13 on getting over one hundred colors of floss organzied from now until forever. That's not too bad!

Monday, November 11, 2013

An Experiment in Cross Stitch

About three weeks ago I found a website called Sprite Stitch. It's an absolute haven for crafty nerds like me and as I scrolled through the multitudes of free patterns available through the site, I just fell in love. I've been a semiprofessional crocheter for almost fourteen years and a gamer for my entire life. The epic projects that I found on Sprite Stitch were just too much to pass up. And, again, they're free.

At the moment, I'm just starting small on a project and pattern that aren't from the site. It's a simple monochromatic octopus and so far, I'm in love with the entire idea and art of cross stitching. This is what I have so far on Mr. Octopus since I got all of my embroidery supplies in the mail this afternoon. It's on 16 mesh Aida fabric.

I'm hoping to finish this first project up within the week so I can move on to other things and hopefully make a few Christmas gifts before time runs out. I also have a bunch of tests coming up within the next few weeks and a multitude of other gifts to work on for the holidays. Hopefully I can put a post up sometime this weekend for all the quilts and crocheted blankets I've been making. I've got a lot of work to do before Christmas and only a few short weeks to get it all done. I hope that this blog can help me stay motivated and spark some creativity in others along the way.