Friday, February 28, 2014

February Just Nan SAL Check In

After all the "drama" last month of trying to track down all the fibers for Lady Scarlet's Journey, I thought I'd be happily stitching for a while. Since I'd finished up part one, it was time to move on to part two.

Where I promptly discovered that part two had entirely different fibers which I'd also have to track down.


I did manage to get some done with what I had, though.

All the bands in Lady Scarlet's Journey have names, and this one is called, "Avoid the Pond of Leaping Frogs". But I don't see a pond...hmmm...I might have to add one.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February Smalls SAL Check-in

So far, I am two for two in stitching smalls! And speaking of two...
Two turtle doves. (This is the second in the Dragon Dreams 12 Dragonlets of Christmas series.)

My inner extreme literalist adores this.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Extreme Closeups!

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This is going to be the last update of Dragonfly and Corncockle for the month.
I actually finished all the stems after I took this picture, but I was too lazy to take another one. =)

I was not too lazy, however, to play around with my macro lens!
More blue beetle, because I can't get enough of this little bugger. And also because he's the only little bugger that's done so far!

You can even see the buttonhole stitches around the edge of his shell in this one.

This weird-looking thing is a bud of the flower.
Since I took these pictures, I've stitched the stem up to the bud.

Those crazy sepals are worked by weaving the silk through a bent loop of wire.
Inside, you can see a rolled-up petal representing the bud of the flower. I'll be able to bend the sepals once the piece is done to try to make it look more natural.

Here's a shot from the bottom of the bud, where you can see the first of the three loooong bullion knots that carry the sepals back along the bud to the stem.

Since I learned to turn up the f-stop, the macro lens is working great with the needlework shots. Now if I can just get it working that well with the orchid shots....

Friday, February 14, 2014

Secret Stitching Sweetheart

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I would love to claim credit for the sweet setup you see above, but it was sent from my Secret Stitching Sweetheart! Who is she? Well, I don't know yet! Confused? The always lovely and multi-talented Jo sponsors the most wonderful blog hops, and Secret Stitching Sweetheart is one of them. You can read all about it on her blog.

Now I'm off to find my own Sweetheart! I hope you all have a lovely day filled with stitching...

...sweet treats...
...and, most importantly, CHOCOLATE!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pre-Orchid Daze Macro Expedition

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It's been so cold that we hadn't made a good trip to the Botanical Gardens to play with my new macro lens I got for Christmas. We finally made a trip out a couple weekends ago! Here were some of my favorites...
Notice I haven't got the depth of field quite worked out in this first one.
I also wanted to see how well the macro lens worked as a "portrait" would save me from constant lens-switching.
This one is actually a it is an extreme closeup. =)
I learned a lot taking these, or at least I learned what I didn't know and was able to do more focused research (see what I did there?)
This year's Orchid Daze actually started last weekend, but we didn't have time to make it there.
Expect more pictures soon. =)

While I was housebound, one day I did pretty much wander around taking pictures of anything that was lying around. =) I have tried to get good pictures of all the "bling" on Dasher before, but I don't think I really captured how much there was before, so I wanted to share these two...
I can't wait until I get to the beading on Dancer!!

It's a small world after all...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Things I Made This Weekend...

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On Friday, I took a lampwork class and made shiny beads!
I'm showing you their "good" sides, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. AND I didn't burn down the classroom! =D I'm going to take the same class again and then hopefully I'll have things down enough to take a more advanced class or just pay for "torch time" and practice on my own.

I made some Mint Meringues, but I used mint extract rather than peppermint extract.
This was a mistake...they kind of taste like toothpaste cookies. Bleahrgh.

I made bread! I can't remember whose blog I read it on, but here's a link to the basic recipe (plus cute 4-year-old).
NO KNEAD BREAD!! So easy even *I* can make it! It needed to bake a little longer, or something, but it was still awesome warm and buttered. Mmmmm.... And then on Sunday, I turned it into this. NOM.

I finished my Mint Twist socks!
I told you you wouldn't recognize them! They still need to be blocked, so I think they will look even more awesome then.

It was so nice to have a couple of sunny days!! More rain tomorrow, though. =(

I went from using a 950 degree (F) kiln to a 200 degree oven all in one weekend!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Theme-a-licious January/February

It's time to show all the progress we made for this month's theme, Jardin January!

First of all, I did some work on my stumpwork piece, which I said would be referred to as Medieval Floral. But its proper name is "Corncockle and Dragonfly".
No dragonfly yet. Shebafudge kindly begged for of course, with my nifty new macro lens, I'm happy to oblige. =)
A little too close?? LOL! I took a bunch, so I'll post them with my next update of this piece, so I don't completely take over this post!

My IHSW was filled with garden pieces, but I haven't done any more work on either Spring Garden Gate...
...or Spring Quakers...

I did do just a little bit more on Shakespeare's Garden.
Ugh! I can't believe I got a fold in the fabric!! I'd been so careful about not creasing it since I wanted to put on the embellishments as I went. I think I can iron out just that bit and it will be OK.

I'm close to finishing the main part of Juneberry, a triangular lace shawl (N.B., has "berry" in the name, so totally fits in garden theme. ;)
This color is so difficult to photograph! Think deep periwinkle.

I also got close to finishing my Mint Twist socks (You have mint in your garden, don't you?) I almost didn't post a picture of these, because I forgot to take a daylight shot, and they look really manky and completely the wrong color....
Once they are blocked, you're not going to believe they're the same socks. I'm about to Kitchener the toes closed, but I have to go back and do the heel...I decided to do an afterthought heel. I used the same yarn as I used for my sister's mitts, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to run out. I hope I got the foot length right!!

Now it's time to share our plans for THIS month, which is...

Fantastical Fiction February
What kind of fantasy creatures inhabit your Works in Progress? Or perhaps some fictional characters have leaped from the pages to your needles? Let's stitch on projects inspired by imagination.

Here are my plans for the month:
  • Continue working on Shakespeare's Garden, since The Bard wrote all manner of fiction. =)
  • Stitch on one of the characters from "A Visit from St. Nicholas" can probably guess which one
  • Stitch the next Dragonlet, definitely a fantasy creature (two turtledoves)
  • On the knitting front, start Katniss's cowl from Catching Fire! The cowl may not have been described in the book, but it's at least inspired by it.
  • I am sure I'll come up with some more fantasy creatures...I'd love to start Mirabilia's Bluebell Fairy (she is all kitted up), but it seems like I should finish *something*....

So how was Jardin January? Was it a calm stroll through the garden? Hopefully no frogs invaded! What are your plans for Fantastical Fiction February? 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!) Unlike last year, there will be no check-in post on the 15th, so our next post will be on March 1st. I'll post mid-February to remind you about March's theme. It's never too late to join in or send suggestions for future themes!

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