Monday, December 1, 2014

Theme-a-licious November/December

Well, I sure didn't do any Xs in No-Xs November!

November started off for me with an Alison Cole class in Tampa, Florida, which had MUCH better temperatures than Atlanta had been having! Here was my dessert one day at lunch:

Cannoli for now, cannoli for later. ;)
We got a two-hour lunch break! Excellent.

The project was a stumpwork/goldwork piece.

I've done some stumpwork before, but I've never done any goldwork. It was a lot of fun working with some of the more exotic threads, like the super pearl purl. Plus, it's fun to say "super pearl purl". =)

This was a shot of my workspace.
Actually, this shot makes my workspace look a lot less chaotic than it was. I was spread out all over the place (I got lucky to be at a table of 3 rather than 4) and it took me forever to find anything. But the class was simply amazing. Alison is a fantastic (and fantastically fun) teacher, and if you ever get the chance to take a class with her, DO IT! She is one of those great teachers who never tells you anything is difficult; she just explains what to do and what to watch out for in a very straightforward manner and then comes around to straighten you out if you go wrong.

Here's a shot of the model she brought. It's not the best since it was under glass (and fluorescent lights!), but you can get more an idea of the dimensionality the stumpwork has.

She brought some other models, but it was hard to get a great shot with everyone crowded around ooooo-ing and aaaaah-ing! I will show you a couple shots of one of her 3D butterflies:
The little bell jar is only about 5 inches high! Amazing stuff. She had some other great goldwork pieces with her, including a dragon she taught at EGA convention.

Oh, what's that? You want to see what *I* did? =)

Here's where I was at the end of class. The crazy gold fringes will be the stamens in the clematis flowers, and that paper at the side will be basted over the dragonfly while I work on the rest of the piece, because his wings are SHARP!
They are actually brass mesh. Here's a closeup:

And here's a closer shot of the bud and leaf, where you can kind of see the super pearl purl:
Can you tell that the leaf is sticking up from the fabric? I should have done a side view, too.

The other pieces we did in class were a tendril (I have one Alison did, too, since she demonstrated with my wire =) and a flower petal. Only 23 more to go!!!!

Sadly, the only other stitching I did was to finish the branches on this squirrel.
I did the Xs sometime earlier in the year. ;)

I have been knitting a little, and I finished this lace cowl.
It's knit in Handmaiden Sea Silk yarn, which is 50% silk, 50% Sea Cell (think rayon), so it's really soft.

So, I know that I said I'd announce the theme for December around the middle of this month. I won't bore you with the details, but there have been all manner of work- and health-related crises here (everyone is OK!) and something had to give. That something was the blogging. And a lot of the stitching. And all my mojo is still suffering, so I'm calling December...

Do What You Will December
Do you have gifts you need to finish? Projects you're sick of looking at that you want done? Or maybe you just want some nice, relaxing stitching for a hectic month? Anything goes this month!

So, it's not technically a theme, but we'll have one last post together on December 31st to share what we managed to work on during the holidays (or do a year-in-review). I have decided not to run Theme-a-licious next year. I have really, really enjoyed stitching themes with all of you and seeing all the creative things you have been doing with the themes! However, there are a ton of great SALs to participate in out there, and participation here has been waning. Perhaps I'll start back up in 2016; who can say?? Or maybe I'll get bored halfway through 2015 and need themes to push me along again. ;) I'll more than likely do March Madness again, anyway!

So how did your No-Xs November go? Was it a challenge going "off the grid"? =) What will you do with your freedom in December? Please add your link below (to your latest Theme-a-licious post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Our last post will be on December 31st.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Theme-a-licious October/November

So, if you will remember, I asked you to pick which project I should start this month in addition to a Jardin Privé design.

Plum Pudding, by Glendon Place, done in the colors of Baked Alaska, was the clear winner, with half the votes. Happy to oblige. =)

But I felt bad disappointing all of you who voted for Quaker Christmas II.
So I started it, too. =)

In fact, I started it instead of either of the Jardin Privé designs! I'll have to save them for another time. I completely intended to start one, but then I remembered that I reeeeeeeeally should be working on my EGA nametag, which was designed by Jane Timmers of Fancy Work.

She very kindly charted all of our names and our chapter name, which is why the waves look a little wonky right now...I'm stitching around the chapter name.

Now let's talk about THIS month, which is...

No-Xs November
What can you make without making an X?? Blackwork, hardanger, embroidery, needlelace, and the list goes on! Don't can even backstitch for the month!

I will be taking a stumpwork/goldwork class from Alison Cole in Florida. And I definitely have quite a few other pieces in progress that fit into this category. I have a hardanger ornament that desperately needs to be finished, and a couple canvas pieces that need some love. Not to mention a stumpwork piece already in progress.

So how did your Oft-Overlooked October go? Did you find some hidden gems in your stash, or did you have to source something new? =) Are you panicking about finding things to work on with no Xs?? Please add your link below (to your latest Theme-a-licious post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) I will announce the theme for December around the middle of the month, and our next post will be on December (!!) 1st.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Smalls SAL Check-in

I've made it to October!! This is the 10th Dragonlet of the 12 Dragonlets of Christmas.

Doesn't he look so JOYFUL??!? This is how I feel most of the Christmas season, except when I get stressed about shopping or remember how stupid cold it is! Can you tell he's leaping? He was meant to be leaping over the number 10, but as I have a plan for finishing these that involves numbers...well, more a vague inkling than a plan...I'm leaving all the numbers out as I stitch them. And believe, me, I'm grateful for the reduction in backstitching...this little guy wasn't bad, but on some of the others, it seems like the backstitching takes about 1/3 of the total time!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

September Smalls SAL Check-in

Yes, I know it's October!! I am a little really late checking in for September's Smalls SAL. But maybe a cute little dragon will help you forgive me?

Continuing the 12 Dragonlets of Christmas series I'm doing, September gave us 9 dragons dancing (well, thankfully I only had to stitch ONE)! I'm disappointed you can't see the sparkles in her tutu!

How graceful do you think dragon dancers are? Light on their claws, or more like the hippos in Fantasia??

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Theme-a-licious September/October

Supersize September? It was more like Shrinking September for me...I only managed to work on one large project, which was Summer Quakers. And it doesn't look very large right now!
The color is reeeeeally off in this picture, but you get the idea of the HUGE amount I got done. Or not. ;)

Now let's talk about THIS month, which is...

Oft-Overlooked October
Find a new-to-you designer and start a new project this month! Or maybe two...or three...

So, I am definitely starting one Jardin Privé design, and one other design. If you haven't voted in my poll (see the previous post), please do so! My needle is awaiting your command!

So how was your Supersize September? Were you overwhelmed with fabric or did you tame those giant projects? Are you ready to explore new-to-you designers for Oft-Overlooked October? Please add your link below (to your latest Theme-a-licious post), and visit some other Themers if you can (everyone loves comments and encouragement!) Our next post will be on November 1st.

Old Geek-outs