Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

April 25, 2014

Needlework Projects

I finally got this butterfly project done.  I will never do 18 ct. black Aida again.  I went a little rogue on it.  For one thing, there is supposed to be another circle around the main design, done in dark brown.  I was tired of dark floss against the black background so I blew it off.  I was also supposed to do a bunch of couching.  I get the concept of how to do it, but as the kids say these days, 'ain't nobody got time for that'.  So I blew that off and fudged it by using backstitch.  Not terribly crazy about the results but whatever.  The instructions also said 4 strands of floss for the French knots. Yeah right.  I did some and they looked awful so I cut them out and used 2 strands. The border around the circle was supposed to be just purple floss and the inside circle border was to be yellow floss mixed with thin, shiny gold strands.  I decided not to do the inner circle border at all, and mixed the gold strands with purple floss for the outer circle.  I'm just glad it's done!


This needlepoint kit was among the ones my mom's friend sent me, otherwise it's really not my cup of tea (see what I did there?), design-wise.  It's been quite awhile since I did needlepoint and I forgot how fast the design works up.  Despite all the different colours, this was easily done in about 2 weeks' time, and not working on it day and night.  One of my friends bought it!


I picked up that embroidery kit & those other bits and bobs at the church thrift shop in Bourne. I am thinking about doing this kit with a combo of beads and stitching...'beadpoint'.  Someone already started it but I'm planning to snip out all the stitches.


Cannot remember where I got this next cross stitch kit from....probably a catalog, but possibly online.  It looks soooooo easy, doesn't it?  Just white floss on a small piece of Aida.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  I got this quite awhile ago, at least 6 or 7 years ago.  I remember bringing it to work to do during my lunch hour.  That's when I started encountering trouble with it.  There are an awful lot of quarter stitches which are kinda hard to make come out good.  Then there are also an inordinate amount of French knots, which I have hated since my very first needlepoint kit in high school.  I struggled to find the center and a few false starts were due to being off by a row or two.  I've ripped this out & started over more times than I can count and the Aida lost all structural integrity. The pattern is hand drawn and I don't think they did a very good job with it at all. So it ended up sitting in my drawer at work for a long time.  Over time, lunch hour stitching projects came and went, and this bookmark just sat there till I started packing up all my personal effects to move.  It sat in my 'needlework' box in my craft room since 2011 till I finally started ferreting out projects I really want to finish.  I put it in the project queue, but kept passing over it to work on new kits.  Finally, I started this again and guess what?  I screwed it up!!!! Could. Not. Believe it. I was so careful, but I fudged it badly.  It's like there's some awful anti-stitching forcefield around it!!!!!

I like the idea of a bookmark and it came with the tassle and the felt backing, so I wanted to somehow salvage it.  I started to look through my various pattern books to find something small enough to fit.  These little celestial patterns were perfect.  I am a total math failure but somehow I managed to calculate correctly. This is absolutely the last time I will use black.  This one was 14 ct so easier to see than the butterfly, but still, it's not easy to work on black.


I will be starting a new Doctor Who-themed project shortly for one of my bffs.  Stay tuned.

26 comments:

  1. Cross stitch drives me nuts! I'd be the same as you and get to a point of "life's too short for this"! I have an embroidery kit that I picked up in a charity shop and it stays in the car for long journeys when we're going on tour … it'll take another 5 years to finish it lol But i like having things to just pick up when the fancy takes you and not have anyone nagging you to finish them lol
    I'm visiting via the A to Z challenge
    Fil at Fil's Place - Old Songs and Memories

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Fil! Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind words on my stitching. I do enjoy it. Except when I run into trouble. lol

      Delete
  2. Oh wow Jojo! In fact that butterfly is what I liked the most of all because it has so many colors, and to me it looks great!
    Still you are so good at trying different projects, I liked your own selection of the pattern for the bookmark. I never worked on black fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! The butterfly colours came out fine, it was my attempt at back stitching instead of couching that displeased me. I hope someone will want it. That is if I can ever find a frame!

      Delete
  3. I used to do counted cross stitch a lot. I am not sure when the desire left me, but I haven't touched one now in years. Good for you on finally knocking out that bookmark. I have never tried using a black background... and if I go back to it, I never will!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't ever use black...it's a pain. I left off on cross stitching for a few years and only recently got back into it. I have so many cool pattern books and kits so I figured I should get crackin.

      Delete
  4. I like cross-stitching, but haven't done it for a while. Too much writing to be done. I have at least two projects to work on, though. You do a good recovery when a project goes awry, JoJo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Unfortunately stitching is really aggravating my hurt elbow. I was doing another project today and now have a bag of frozen cranberries on my elbow!

      Delete
    2. Hope the elbow improves soon. Ouch.

      Delete
  5. JoJo...WOW! That butterfly is gorgeous. Can't wait to see that vintage look bookmark when it's done too. Lovely pattern. You are a needlework goddess!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks!!! Oh the vintage look pattern's been tossed out....the celestial design is what I did instead!

      Delete
  6. The first two especially are like works of art, JoJo. LOVE them.

    I've done many needle type work in my life and it's nothing to sneeze at. It takes patience, a good eye and skill. YOU have them all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Teresa! I've just sold the butterfly one too so I'm a happy camper. I love to stitch but have no room on my walls!

      Delete
  7. Your header photo is beautiful. My husband first told me about lenticular clouds, having a pilots license he would know. Now I appreciate them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I used to see them all the time on and near Mt. Rainier but the day I shot these, they were just massive.

      Delete
  8. How beautiful JoJo, you must have the patience of Jobe to do such intricate work!!! But how fulfilling to finish!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The funny thing is I'm the world's most impatient person...yet when it comes to crafts, I have no trouble! Thanks!

      Delete
  9. Great! Looks wonderful! You have lot of time and patience to sit in one place and do all these things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well my guy has given me the gift of not having to work so I can devote my time to crafting and photography!

      Delete
  10. Love the way you salvaged the black Aida cloth bookmark. I think it actually looks better than the original design. Had to laugh about it having an anti-stitch force-field around it. I've had beadwork projects like that, just one mistake after another, almost like it was refusing to go together.

    I hate working on black, the last thing I made that was black was a crocheted black scarf and I said never again. It was just so hard to see what I was doing so I empathize with you completely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I have a couple beading projects in baggies and tupperwares that are hard to return to b/c it's just nonstop trouble.

      Delete
  11. Gorgeous work my friend. You have some serious skills. :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. That bookmark is spectacular-- just the sort of thing I'd love for the books I'm reading!

    Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks!! I am looking forward to using it too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Arrrgh! I can't do a French Knot to save my life... hate them! Love your cross stitch projects JoJo. I have one sitting awaiting my return. Must get back to it one day. Love that bookmark too. I have to share a funny story about black aida. I wanted to do a wolf for hubby for Christmas many years ago. I wasn't very experienced in cross stitch and didn't know they made the background cloth in black. Yep, I STITCHED the whole dang background in black. What a doofus eh?

    ReplyDelete