Tuesday, 14 February 2012

FanTASTic catch up!!

Well, perhaps not so wonderful, but I couldn't resist using TAST like that in a title some time!!

I've been catching up with my stitch samples from the last 3 weeks of TAST and here they are:

This is week 5 with 3 versions of herringbone stitch - only the first one having been worked properly!!  The second row, the double herringbone stitch I should have woven the second colour in, but didn't follow the instructions correctly.  As for the interlaced version.....  I got the base double herringbone row right that time, but the interlacing is a nightmare and working it in a variegated thread was a mistake too.  Well, I can't see myself using that one again!

Here are weeks 6 and 7 together on a new piece of Aida.  The top row is, of course, just a simple chevron stitch done in a great multi-coloured thread that, for the first almost half of the row changed colours just in time for each stitch to show as a new shade on the front! =)  I liked that and was sorry that the dyed sections got longer later on!

Underneath the chevron row are three samples of detached chain stitch, aka lazy daisy stitch and the first TAST samples I have managed to actually work on a Tuesday!!  The first four stitches are just simple lazy daisies, then come four long-stem ones then I couldn't resist trying a little daisy with two circles of stitches, the inner one being another of my beloved Anchor multi-colours (all pearl cotton #8), then two long-stemmed lazy daisy stitches worked in a light green pearl #12.

Speaking of pearl cotton #12, I recently discovered to my joy that Anchor has revamped its colour range for this very useful gauge of thread.  There used to be a very sparse selection of shades with only the blue-est (or most vibrant and unusable) of greens, no yellows or oranges and only one or two beige shades with no real browns.  Now there are lots and I'm trying to decide which colours I'd use most before I give in to the temptation to put an order!  I've seen them for sale at 2 UK on-line stores, but the US ones I know of either don't sell it, or still have the old selection.  The funny thing is, some of the old shades have been discontinued and so I have some 'collectible' balls of pearl 12!=)  Also, a few years ago I ordered a number of shades that couldn't be bought in the UK from an American retailer, so I was interested to see that many of those colours have not been included in the new selection either.  So, some good aspects, some not so good, but on the whole a really good thing I think.  On mature reflection though, I had really better see if and how I would use the gauge in stumpwork etc before I go and place any order as I am trying to use things up (thus the scraps of Aida for my TAST samples etc) and, ideally, plan to reduce my possessions by as much as 50% before we move another time.  So, I'm reading up books, selling things and using stuff up for all I'm worth!  I recommend it to anyone.  Most of us really have FAR too much stuff.

Here's how far on I am with the cross stitch bookmark I mentioned last posting.  It's coming on in slow sections as that cold I was complaining of that time retreated only to gather reinforcements and struck again and I've just been plain too tired to feel like stitching much.  (In case anyone's thinking 'That's a bit much for a cold!', I have a sort of burn-out/exhaustion condition, which means I have very low immunity and am rather a weakling!!! NO sympathy, please - I only mentioned it as an explanation.=) )

I was reading an interesting section of a book on stress and exhaustion the other day and it encouraged one to think what one would do if one had only 48 hours left on the planet before taking up an irresistible opportunity elsewhere in the universe.  It mentioned a lady who had the 'no-one could ever be perfect enough to marry my son' type of mother-in-law and who considered writing this MIL a letter telling her what she thought of her, then realising this would take too long, reduced it to yelling obscenities on her doorstep.  The lady concerned made real strides when she realised that her 48 hours were too precious to waste on someone so unpleasant and actually unimportant to her.

What's the point here?  Apart from that many of us have things in our lives that get TOO much airtime when they are very small and not what we really consider important, I thought of it in connection with stitching and re-vamped the 48 hours to: If someone could give me perfect health in exchange for my complete stash, but would allow me to stitch one more piece, what would it be?  I realised that it wouldn't be anything I felt compelled to do or that I didn't really love doing and that then led me to wondering why I was spending any time making myself stitch stuff I didn't love?  So, I took the Embroidery Journal Project/TAST January piece out of the frame, unpicked the one line of blanket stitches I'd done and put it all away realising that I was forcing myself to do it in order to keep up with a challenge that had seemed like a good idea at the time, but that I didn't really want to do anymore.  Not only that, but the piece sitting there telling me I 'should' do it was stopping me from doing any embroidery!  So, I won't be doing the EJP after all and will do an extended TAST sample only when I'm really taken by something.  The weekly TAST samples will continue though as they're small enough to not be a big deal.

Something I have done recently is to re-vamp one of the pages - the one formerly called 'The Embroideress'.  It's now called 'About' and the old section is still there.  However, there's now a kind of blogging policy on there too, which I'm re-posting here as I thought it may be of interest to some, esp. new subscribers:

Sew in Love was started back in June 2005 as a personal record of getting on with and completing a number of half finished things I had hanging around at the time.  It's now in it's 7th year and seems to be increasing in both scope and popularity, both much to my delight!=)

You will find here as regular features:

*WIP photos and reports on the projects I have on hand, sometimes including design notes (where relevant) and where things went right or wrong.
*Finished projects
*My work on any community challenges I've joined in at any given time, i.e. TAST 2012.
*Good quality posting with good spelling and grammar and without great big gaps (too much whitespace) - hopefully!=)

From time to time I post:

*Tutorials on aspects of embroidery that people are most curious about, especially raised work/stumpwork.
*Articles on subjects I know at least a bit about!!
*Links to others' work that I've found especially interesting and/or to retail sites where you can get supplies that are not so easy to track down, (such as wire for stumpwork etc.)
*Something amusing that isn't stitchcraft related, but that is harmless and that may spread a smile.

Things you won't find on blog include:

*Third party advertising of any sort, such as Google Adsense, sponsors (of which I have none!) or businesses.  I do, when relevant, mention if I'm selling things on e-bay etc and, once I get my own stumpwork and creative kits etc going, there will naturally be info on how to buy those.  I also have some group logos in my sidebar, but all are non-commercial and free to join.
*Giveaways of any type, either my own things or from third parties.  I have no objections to these in principle and have tried for several on others' blogs myself, but I don't chose to run them myself, esp. as I feel that there are a good number of folk who only sub to popular blogs for a chance at freebies.  If a reader enjoys my content, I hope they will subscribe to or bookmark my blog without any further incentive.  My aim is to have a site that is so good that no extras are needed.=)
Please note that the above does NOT constitute a criticism of those who run giveaway events, carry advertisements etc, (or an implication that their blogs aren't worth reading otherwise), it just explains that I choose not to do so myself!
*Personal information, news, details and so on.  I deliberately avoid discussing personal issues on blog as they are of limited interest to most readers and, frankly, I think there are many things that bloggers publish which are not suitable for public reading:  Details about their children, verbatim conversations - even on sensitive matters - with friends and relatives, their opinions of their families, colleagues etc, all of which have HUGE trouble potential!  Some have been victims of jealousy campaigns, nasty comments and all manner of things by getting too personal on their blog.  I long since decided to avoid these things by staying 99% on topic.
*Gimmicks - either technical or content
*Poor post editing quality (I hope!)

Posting 'habits':

I have no regular posting schedule as I have no really regular stitching habits these days - those days are long gone!!=)  I post when I have something to share and, yes, that means that sometimes there are some gaps.  This can occur for several reasons, some of those in the past have been travelling, illness (which is a common problem with me), being very busy with other things, intermittent loss of enthusiasm (which always returns - fear not!) and so on.  I would like, in the fullness of time, to return to my old Monday and Thursday update posts, but I think I'll never announce that as a reliable posting schedule as, you can be certain that, as soon as I do, it will go straight to the wall!!!=)LOL

Anyway, the major point here is: If you don't see a post for a couple of weeks, don't un-sub!  I don't promise daily posts, but things will come in time.  There are plenty of other blogs to read on my quiet days!!

Oh, what would I stitch if it were to be my very last piece?  I think it would be a stumpwork piece with several small elements so that I could enjoy all my favourite things in one go - padded and raised petals on small flowers with goldwork 'chip' (Bright Check Purl) centres, needlelace and beaded berries and some couched goldwork threads for some stems etc.  What would YOU choose if you could only work one more piece?  There's no time limit, the 48 hours doesn't count for this 'exercise'.  I'm sure not I want to know what some folk might do with the last 48 hours on Earth though.....LOL=)

© Elizabeth Braun 2012


Jules said...

Good for you! I agree, if it becomes a chore it's not worth doing - all stitching should give you enjoyment and pleasure. I am following the same path as you and only doing the things I want to! If I had just one more piece ( and no time constraint) I would do the monthly nature calendar design which lives in my head and often calls to me....

Rachel said...

Yikes! I'd spend most of the 48 hours dithering!

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

Great post and I love your ideas about how you run your blog. Let's see, if I had only 48 hours left I think I would need at least four weeks to plan those hours! I love seeing your TAST 2012 posts. I briefly thought about joining (about 2 minutes) but decided against it as I have too much going on. But reading your posts has been very interesting.

ARLENE said...

I think your stitching is lovely. That variegated thread is striking and I'm so glad to hear that perle cotton is available in a greater range of colors. Of course, I'll probably have to order it online. I haven't gotten round to detached chain stitch yet, but I post my TAST blog on Fridays and this is one of my most used stitches, so I can dally a bit longer. Glad I found your blog.

Heather M. said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Forgive me for putting this as a comment, but I have tried to subscribe by email to your blog several times, but it seems not to be working. When I put in my email address it goes to some strange page and then nothing happens. I would like to subscribe!

Faith said...

I like the double herringbone stitch as you've done it. I don't think it always needs to be woven. I also love how the variegation has worked for your chevron stitch.

Enjoyed reading your blogging policy. I have no problem subscribing to this blog without giveaways and pretty much feel the same way about them as you do.

If I could stitch one more piece...wah! I'm only just beginning to stitch, but if I had only 48 hours, I think I's simply free stitch because I find it so relaxing. (And with that, I'm off to do some lazy daisy free stitching.)

Elizabeth Braun said...

Hi Heather! Thanks for that and I've now removed that old Blogarithm form as yours is by no means the first complaint I've heard that it doesn't work well.

I've put a feed subscribe button in further up the sidebar, so you should find a service on there that you can work with. Many people use Google Reader and/or sign up for a Blogger account (even if they don't blog themselves) and then use the 'Follower' function.

Hope there's something in there that you can use and thanks so much for your interest in my work!=)

crazyQstitcher said...

Hi Elizabeth, it has been a while since I visited. I must have only bookmarked your site and somehow deleted it. I have now subscribed properly and look forward to more very interesting blogs from you.
Today's is great.
I'd be with Rachel, dithering during my last 48 hours.

I love your variegated Chevron stitches and am happy to hear about the perle 12. I must look online for it.
I imagine using a variegated thread for the interwoven herringbone would certainly be confusing. I enjoyed doing it in a single colour.

Mandie said...

Love the TAST samples. :)

For my last 48 hours of stitching, I'd probably use all the 'special' threads I have and rarely use because of the relative cost (silks/braids/anything else expensive) and make a massive explosion of thread and stitches. it wouldn't be pretty, but it would be fun. :)

Queeniepatch said...

Making a daisy with the lazy daisy stitch is most appropriate! Your stitches are always so even and elegant, you are an inspiration to us all.

Isabelle said...

coming from pin tangle, I I read some pages of your blog. your work is simply gorgeous, and so creative !