Friday, June 25, 2010

Christmas Ornament A Month #2

I went off the Little House Needleworks path in February and stitched a chart from the Just Cross Stitch 2009Christmas Ornaments Issue. I collected all the materials to make three of the ornaments I really liked (though I must admit I have kind of soured on one of my picks and will probably never stitch it) and have completed one. Here it is, Cross-Eyed Cricket's Wishes: It's incredibly cute and was a lot of fun to stitch, except for ... wait for it ... the French Knots! I managed to give her French Knot eyes but her hair was supposed to be all French Knots and I tried and tried but with my true crapting ability I couldn't accomplish it, so I used regular cross stitches. I also used DMC instead of the more interesting Thread Gatherer soft apricot that the hair called for. It's a shame because the knots (and the varigated color) really do make the hair but I'm still more than pleased with my results.

The other ornament from the issue that I need to start at some point is Heart Strings 2009 Santa but it also entails many many French Knots and I'm terrified. Just plain terrified. I've got to get a stand.

Keep stitching!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament A Month - January

Back in January I resolved to cross stitch a Christmas tree ornament a month. I was partly inspired to make this goal because Little House Needleworks were releasing a new pattern every month. I thought the first release was cute so I signed up with a cross stitch shop to automatically receive each installment. The monthly shipment includes the required cut of fabric, beads if any are used and speciality fibers. I'm on my own when it comes to the DMC.

So back in January at the start of my quest, I easily completed Fa La La:
It came out great, though I did have crapting moments in regards to the dreaded French Knots for the eyes and noses. I hate French Knots, despise them, to wish them out of existence does not seem too heartless. It took me forever to get these done. Lots of cursing, plenty of shouts, a few tears. The problem is I need two hands to do them but I don't have a stand. I need to get one because there are always French knots in patterns. Apparently, some people enjoy them. Weirdos!

Obviously, I have not "finished" this one, but I found inspiration in a finish by a contributor to a LHN blog devoted to people's ornament stitching. The ornament was finished in what she referred to as an envelope style. It was beautiful and she is obviously very talented unlike Moi. I have no idea how to finish an ornament in a plain old fashioned way let alone this cool envelope way but I'm going to try it nevertheless. I thought it would look really pretty to finish all of them as envelopes and then string them together in some fashion and hang them across a wall or a fireplace or something. That's yet another project. First I need to see if I can stick to my monthly resolution! Wish me luck!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Last Christmas Tree

The title sounds like a Nicholas Sparks book where a lonely widower who doesn't have the energy or the will to decorate for Christmas meets a single mom with a young son who has just lost her job the week before Christmas. Melancholy ensues but at the end all are uplifted as they gather around the last Christmas tree left at the Merry Time Christmas Tree Lot. Something like that.

Here is it Christmas Tree #9:
Here are the nine laid out and looking pretty (though the one in the front middle looks like the yellow doesn't fit):

If you look back at the December 2nd post you can see the picture of the finished quilt. It was the border between the trees that completely freaked me out and caused me to put the project away. I'm going to take it back out and give it the old college try. My fear is that I won't cut the fabric correctly thus ruining it. By complete coincidence I have the exact fabric used in the original project. I bought it because I loved it and the fear of my ruining it may cause me to choke like the golfer Dustin Johnson at yesterday's U.S. Open. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Christmas Tree #8

I'm not blind to the fact that this particular tree looks like a big pile of crapt but I will blame it on the lighting (as honestly I can't recall if I considered it hideous at the time I made it). Because I cut that beautiful piece of fabric so badly, I was left with only enough yellow fabrics to complete the remaining blocks. I suppose I could have waited and gone to a store to buy a different piece of yellow fabric but I was impatient, as well as determined to succeed at my goal of one tree a day. Lucretia Mulberry said on page 121 "impatience is the nectar of the crapter, if the crapter did not know impatience then crapt would not be formed". Certainly the case with this particular tree Lucretia.

Here is a badly lit picture of the Gang of Eight:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Christmas Tree #7

Christmas Tree #7. It's been so long since I actually pieced this tree together and I have a real crapty memory but as far as I can recall I did not, I repeat, I did not, have a crapting moment during its construction. It's not the most exciting tree but it's functional and definitely not Charlie Brown-esque.

Here is the group of seven:

It looks wonderful if I do say so myself. I just hope I can actually put it all together. Have faith! Anyone out there also a beginner at quilting? Perhaps we can work through our fears together. Give me a hoot!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Time Goes By

I can not believe it has been six months since I last blogged. I am shocked. I could have sworn I wrote a few posts in April but apparently I had deceived myself. Where did the time go? What have I achieved?

Lucretia Mullberry opined on page 72 of her work, "time is what you make of it ... so make sure to make lots of crapts." Have I been doing this? Yes and no. I have begun many projects, worked on some that have been gestating for years and completed a few small stitching pieces. I can also reveal I've had many brainstorms, though the majority I have not followed through on (yet) while others I just don't have the drawing capabilites to achieve (must learn to draw!).

Back in December I posted about my Christmas Tree a day project. Well, I actually did finish all my trees for my Christmas Tree Quilt but I just never posted about them. From what I remember, (my memory like my time management skills are not top notch) I read the directions for the next steps in completing the quilt, felt hopelessly lost and I took all of the finished blocks and shoved them in a bag, shoved the bag in a plastic container and shoved the plastic container under my bed where it still sits. Christmas is still six months away. Plenty of time! Yeah, right.

For now, I'm going to get back in the blogging rhythm by posting about my other completed blocks. So here is Christmas Tree #6:

Drawing from my rather smalll memory bank, I recall not being too delighted in the background yellow fabric. It seems too orangey. I did however, love what I did in making the ornaments.

The little peppermints were the perfect size to cut out and stick on the tree. I couldn't have been more pleased with them. It's one of those satisfying arty moments that real craptors so seldom experience. So I'm taking a few moments to relive the pleasure. Ahhh. So nice.

Here are the six completed trees together:

Not bad, looks okay, right? But, of course, no Royal Society members work would be complete with out a crapting moment. Here is mine.

A gorgeous piece of fabric that I cut completely wrong (the top is a good 1/2 inch shorter than the bottom) and could not use for the quilt. This is why I ended up using that rather orange fabric above that I'm not too fond of - oh well, life goes on.