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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Santa`s Journey - Cross Stitch Collection 241-243

Finally, the day has dawned (well, 2 days ago) when my favourite - and so far, largest - piece has been published, or to be more precise, its picture first appeared but the chart, due to its size, will be featured in 3 consecutive magazines, issues 241, 242 and 243 of Collection. But the first issue is in the shops now, so FINALLY I can show you the progress piccies (made into a "film") that I took every 5 hours while I was working on this BAP back in June. (I`d like to grab the opportunity and congratulate those among you who were observant enough to notice: yes, I did spend my whole Spring and Summer stitching Christmas pieces, lol!).
It doesn`t happen too often that you fall in love with a project so much that even though you`re looking forward to seeing it finished, at the same time you don`t want it to end. This lovely design by Maria Diaz is like the illustration from a picture book; it tells a story and, from a stitcher`s point of view, it means that you can work on mini-pictures within the picture, so it never gets boring for a minute... and then one day you realise that there`s no more detail to add, it`s complete (a bittersweet moment!). When I wanted to see the windows on a house properly, I did the backstitch. When I realised I couldn`t continue the BS because I`ve run out of finished XS, I did a bit more snow that connected the next mini-picture to this one. When I got bored of stitching with just white, I added another wee scene, and so on, and so on. I hope a lot of people will stitch it because not only is it a totally enjoyable piece to work on, but also something you can bring out every year - especially if there are young children in the house: I wonder how many will try to read the names on that list that Santa`s checking - as we all know, twice! ;)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Cross Stitch Card Shop 98 - pets in stockings

As of from today, the latest issue of Card Shop is available, and in it are the pets-in-stockings cards I stitched, designed by Debra Page. This set of 6 took me a surprising 90 hours - I don`t know about you, but I`d really, REALLY have to like that pet owner friend of mine to spend 15 hours on stitching just a card for them, on top of giving them a `proper` present! But I might be just too "bah humbug" ;) 
Anyway, I wanted to ask your opinion because it may be just my eyes playing tricks on me (after all, it wouldn`t be too surprising after all the hours I spend stitching, lol). Don`t you guys think that the photos in these magazines are getting brighter and brighter? Maybe they have to be so strongly lit in order to show off beads or metallic threads, I don`t know, but I`ve noticed that there`s a huge difference between how I remember the colours of a certain project and how they appear in the mag... lol, or it might be due to my awful photography skills? ;) I`ll let you decide!
Lovely backstitch detail - what a difference it can make, right?
Guinea pigs in stockings :)
Next up: puppy dogs :)
Mixed message: Easter bunnies in Christmas stockings, lol!
That`s all six cards done ;)
And how they appeared in the magazine. Is it just me or are they a bit `bleached`?

Monday, 1 September 2014

Cross Stitch Gold 114

Finally, after stitching Christmas pieces from about March till July, the first ones are starting to appear in the magazines - yay! So much so that there`s an instant double whammy in the shops just now, in the shape of Gold 114, with my little snowman on the cover and my fairy inside. :)
The snow globe was designed by Durene Jones, as you probably guessed from the snowman`s distinctive carrot nose. ;) It took me 81 hours to stitch (back in May, lol!) - a bit longer than you might expect for a picture that has nice big chunks of colour - but there was some fiddly fractionals around the letters, backstitch and beads. In other words, a thoroughly enjoyable project that never got boring for a single second! ;)
My finished version looked like this:

And in the mag they opted for the hoop frame that`s so trendy these days:

Next came (well, in July, just before going on my summer holiday) the Christmas fairy by my favourite designer, Maria Diaz. There is such a Victorian elegance to this piece, don`t you think?

I have to confess that of all the colours, purple is the only one I don`t like - yet the baubles seem to work  in this picture somehow, so much so that I`d probably have opted for a purplish frame (but I guess they wanted to match it to the fairy`s poinsettia-like dress, not to mention that red is more traditionally associated with Christmas). As usual with Maria`s designs, there`s a stunning attention to detail, from the golden thread on the baubles to the fairy dust around the wand as she`s lighting the candle, to the background worked with two shades of moss green (cross stitch in one strand for added depth). This picture also took 80 hours to complete and I have a few progress photos to share - thank you for visiting and happy stitching to all of you! :)
First stage: the poinsettia dress :)

What I lovingly called "the haemorrhoid stage" ;)

The situation was getting even more kinky as my fairy got two balls :O

Then her hollow eye sockets started the freak me out so I stitched the details of her face :)

I plodded on with the background greenery...

And, finally, after 80 hours, she was completed :)