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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another project: EGA Master Craftsman

In addition to the three projects I discussed in my last post, at some point I need to really start my step two piece for the EGA Master Craftsman program in Canvas, since I need to turn it in by the end of March.

Here's the description of this step from the EGA Education Catalog:

STEP 2. Twenty-one different stitches used in a provided design with an analogous color scheme.
It's an accurate description.  The provided design is an abstract design with twenty-one different areas, and I need to choose which of the twenty-one listed stitches go in each area, with no repeats.  The second part of the description mentions "an analogous color scheme."  This type of color scheme consists of neighboring primary and secondary colors on the color wheel.  In my case, I'm using red-orange, red, and red-violet.  I chose this scheme as a way to stretch myself, since I don't use these colors often.  I've already made preliminary decisions for color placement, made easy with photo-editing software.

I'll start by stitching each of the prescribed stitches on a doodle canvas so I can get a side-by-side comparison of the textures of each, which will help with placement in the design.  Somehow I'll fit this in with the other pieces in my rotation.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to share pictures of my progress on this piece here in the blog.  Since each stitcher in the program must make their own decisions in stitching the pieces up for evaluation, I can't share mine because (a) I may get comments that influence my own decisions and (b) somebody else in the program may be influenced by some of my choices.

Are you working towards your Master Craftsman certification in any of the disciplines?  Have you considered it?  I'm only through one step, and even though it's not described as an educational experience, but rather a means of "proving" technical expertise, I've already learned quite a bit! 

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Erin update:  To make up for my lack of stitchy pictures in this post, and since some of you asked, here's a recent shot of Erin.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ok, you win

Thanks to those of you who voted on my three projects.  Three out of the six commenters chose that I should try to finish Cinders by Marion Scoular.

So, here we go.  I'm doing a bit of a rotation, in which I can work on up to three projects each night.  I'll start with one length of thread on Cinders.  Here's where she stands now.  As some of you pointed out, there really isn't that much left to do on this piece.



After that length of thread, I'll stitch one segment---one section of a circle or one area of background---on Genny Morrow's Wheels of Color.


If I still have some stitching time after these, I'll work on How Great the Blessing from Catherine Theron.  I really want to finish this piece this year, since I've already stitched the date! 

My exception to this rotation will be the Thursday evening "open stitch" nights at my LNS.  For these, I'll just bring the sampler, simply for the ease of carrying only one (smaller) project.


If I get closer to the end of the year and the sampler is lagging behind, I may put the other two aside for a bit again, but I'll cross that bridge if and when I need to do so!

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Erin update:  We had a visit to the orthopedist, one month post-cast.  The right hip is still in great shape, and the left is still out.  She'll continue with the brace, since she's tolerating it well.  We don't go back again for four months.  Her next surgery will happen when she's 18-24 months old, which means we have at least 9 more months of squishy baby!  Speaking of which, somebody's trying to get my attention through the baby monitor...

Friday, October 16, 2009

UFO fun

On Wednesday evening, I attended my local ANG meeting. As we did in early 2008, we again had some fun with members' UFOs. Each member who chose to participate in the 2009/2010 UFO challenge brought in three UnFinished Objects, pieces started at least one year ago. The rest of the membership voted on which piece the member would be challenged to finish by December 2010.

I decided to bring My Way, Cinders, and Wheels of Color (the only remaining UFO of the three I brought in last year).  I really wanted them to choose My Way, and it received several votes, but Wheels was the winner.

It was an enjoyable evening.  The best part, as it was last year, was hearing the excuses regarding why certain pieces were set aside.

Which of my three would you choose if you were in my chapter?  Which of your pieces would you put up for voting?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New stash from seminar

No, I didn't go to this year's EGA seminar, even though it was in Pittsburgh this year (<6 hours away).   I did experience a bit of it virtually, on the phone with MIL as she walked through the Merchandise Mart last Wednesday evening.  Thanks, Mom!  (Of course, she managed to buy part of my Christmas present when I expressed interest in something, so it benefited both of us!)

And she brought me some stash!  At some point in the week, she came across an opportunity to pick up (for free!) EGA Designer Series Book 3, a compilation of projects from old editions of NeedleArts, the EGA magazine.  This 90 page book contains complete instructions for these 10 projects, all shown on the back cover:

  •  A Crewel Design by Audrey Francini (crewel, surface embroidery)
  • New Year's Eve Bag by Kay Stanis (goldwork)
  • Pink Ice Brooch by Carolyn Sherman (beading on a felt ground)
  • Genny's Name Tag by Genny Morrow (counted canvas)
  • Butterfly Kiss by Dorothy Lesher (line-drawn canvas)
  • Tiny Topiary by Gail Sirna (counted canvas)
  • Schwalm Embroidery Heart by Donna Strader (Schwalm)
  • Bird on a Branch: A Name Tag by Margaret Kinsey (silk and metal on silk ground)
  • Princess Lace Heart & Flower by Roberta Chase (princess lace)
  • L'Atomiseur by Tony Minieri (counted canvas)
I'm particularly fond of the first two projects.
 

On her way out of Pittsburgh, MIL stopped at Beehive NeedleArts.  She called me from the shop, asking if she could pick up any threads for me.  I tried to think of threads that I hear about, but can't find locally.  (What would you pick?)  I ended up mentioning J.L.Walsh Silk & Wool.  Well, apparently the shop didn't carry this, but did have the Silk Perle from J.L.Walsh.  I am now the proud owner of six skeins of this lovely thread.

This thread is interesting.  As it comes out of the skein, it's about the size of pearl cotton #5.  Upon closer inspection, though, the thread seems strandable.  The full strand breaks down into two bundles, each apparently made up of four strands about the size of floss.  I'll try experimenting with this soon.

Thanks Mom!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Floating windows and door

(Note:  I actually started this blog post last Monday, and somehow never actually finished posting it.)

It was great. I was actually starting to post again on a regular basis, multiple times in a week. And that's how long it lasted. One. Week.

I really do plan to get back to posting frequently. Unfortunately, I timed my increase in productivity poorly. It just so happened that my favorite author, Diana Gabaldon, released the seventh main novel (as opposed to shorter sideline novels) in her Outlander series on September 22. My copy of An Echo in the Bone (which I preordered when I was in the hospital in January!) showed up last Monday.  Usually, I do most of my "reading" via audiobook, which has the distinct advantage in allowing me to stitch at the same time.  Echo is not yet available in audio, so it has definitely made a dent in my stitching time.  I'm on page 404 today.  Almost halfway through.  Give me another week and I'll be back to stitching and blogging more. 

The little bit of stitching I have accomplished in the past week has been on my Blessing sampler.  Here we have floating windows and a floating door above a brick walkway:



Despite the minimal time I've devoted to stitching this past week, this is actually working up fairly quickly.  Yes, it's over one thread of the linen, but fortunately it's just tent stitch, not full crosses.

(Update: I finished my book yesterday.  Let the blogging and stitching resume at whatever passes for a "normal" pace now.)

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Erin update:  Erin is doing fairly well out of the cast.  She's pretty wobbly from the waist down.  She has to wear her brace most of the time, so she doesn't have much time each day to rebuild muscle tone.  She's just starting to roll over again.

The brace is okay...


But free time is more fun!