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Monday, 15 February 2016

lions - Cross Stitch Gold 127

Last week was a well-and-truly stitchy one. I participated in the 7-day challenge, for which I collected some photos of my earliest projects and I thoroughly enjoyed being reminded how it all began and why I fell in love with cross stitching in the first place. Then, almost as if to counterpoint my first post on Monday of my first-ever (6-stranded!) sunflower, on Saturday I received the latest issue of Gold, with one of my largest projects in it so far.
I stitched this Anchor picture (I just called it The Lion King because they reminded me of Mufasa and Simba) in August-September last year and loved it so much that it was a real struggle to send it back. It was a nice change working with Anchor threads and I loved how quickly the picture was building up: yes, it is big and looks complicated, but as you`ll see from the photos I took (and edited together into a one-minute mini-film), and which were taken every 5 hours, as usual - the chart was pretty straightforward, with not too many colour changes or confetti stitches, and thus I could do quite a lot in a five-hour session. And once the lions and the (equally straightforward) grasses in the foreground were finished, then came the best, and easiest, part: that stunning sunset sky with all the burning oranges - and all half stitches, which are twice as quick! *fistpump* Fair enough, the last stage took an absolute age; there`s several days` worth of backstitch there, most of which is almost invisible, but it was worth it and besides, I always enjoy doing the backstitch, even if it`s a massive PITA, because it means I`m very close to the finish line. ;)
So here`s my African savanna, which is thus introduced in the magazine: `Imagine the pride you`ll feel at completing this magnificent design`. Having felt proud of this picture for the past 5 months, the above sentence reminded me again how privileged I am to be a model stitcher: there is something enthralling about being the first person to see these beautiful designs come to life, even before the designers, editors or readers could have a peek. And so I don`t need to imagine the pride and joy - I feel it every day, :)

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Cross Stitcher 302

In the latest issue of Cross Stitcher, there are three mum-and-baby animal pairs that I stitched towards the end of last year. I loved working on these, they were a nice wee breather between larger projects and amidst the preparations for Christmas. Plus, I love Diane Machin`s pastel colours, they always have this soothing effect on me, which was especially welcome during those hectic days, and what could be cuter than baby animals with their mommies? It`s a pity I only had to stitch three of the patterns but there are lots more in the mag so they could be turned into a sampler even, or any number of little presents e.g. for a baby shower - as you`ll see below, in the magazine they are featured as baby toys and decoration for a basket.
Surprisingly, I have a couple of days off just now, so I`m very excited to be working on my own stuff for a change: it`s going to be a photo conversion for someones` Christmas present - if you think it is frightening how organised I seem to be, I`m not really, I just reckon if I can only pinch 2-3 days here and there, I`d better start preparing for Christmas 2016 nice and early. Also, just today I got nominated for the 7-day cross stitch challenge that`s doing its rounds on Facebook, so I`m going to spend a pleasurable hour or two rummaging through my old photos now - if you follow me on FB, you might see them popping up there, starting from tomorrow. Happy stitching, folks!

Picture taken by my official photographer, DS :) #WeeManPhotography