Monday, 23 December 2013

Rose of Sharon Update

So this project seems to be ticking right along.   I did have to change her hair as she was originally supposed to be blonde, however, the yellow hair combined with the yellow roses really didn't stand out, so I changed her to a brunette.

The dress is looking beautiful so far.  I think the periwinkle colors are going to look magnificent, and once I'm all done, I will post the conversion colors. I'm really happy with the conversion so far.

I am fighting the beginning stages of a cold/flu, whatever it is. I feel prickly and very, very run down.
But if I am going to get sick, let it be now, as I have holidays in less than a month and I want this to have run its course by then.

In any case, dear kindred stitchers, Happy Holidays to you all, whatever you may celebrate, and may you be surrounded by family and friends, (and a present, or two).

~Rai Rai

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Cross-Stitch Meme that I Couldn't Resist.

I've seen this on a few blogs now, and thought it would be fun to add my own.

 1)      Which fabric do you most prefer?
           Oddly enough, I prefer Lugana.  Call me crazy. It's usually most people's last preference.  

2)      What is your favorite fabric count?
          Not so fond of the 14 count.  

3)      What colour fabric do you most enjoy stitching on? 
          Neutrals and antique white.

4)      What is your favorite fibre?

5)      How many of the 450 DMC Colours do you own? 
         All of them, plus the newest colors.  

6)      Of your last five projects—how many used DMC/Anchor as the main floss?
          All of them.  

7)      Of the last five projects, if you didn’t use DMC/Anchor—what did you use? 
         An overdye of some sort.

8)      What needles do you prefer?
          26 Bohin. I only use Bohin's.  Once you try them, you will not go back!

9)      What is the UGLIEST design you’ve encountered?
          Although I don't have a link, I once came across a cross-stitch of an atomic explosion. Why, good lord, why?  It was super detailed too, like a Heaven and Earth design.

10)   What is the most BEAUTIFUL design you’ve encountered?
         Too numerous to count.  But I likely stumbled across it at Heaven and Earth designs.  

11)   Who is your favourite designer?
         Probably Mirabilia or Lavender and Lace..  I've done many of their patterns. I also quite like Teresa Wentzler.

12)   Least favourite designer?
       Probably Joan Elliott.  I like some of her work, but I find much of it to be a bit blocky.

Will you/would you support a designer whose personal beliefs offended/angered you?     
It really depended on what the belief was.  I cannot stand racism or elitism of any kind.  So if they were banging off about that, or against gay rights, which I see as more as human rights, then I might choose not to support them.  But otherwise, viva free speech.

14)   Do you have a lamp especially made for needleworkers/crafters?  
        I have a giant magnifier with LED lights in the bottom.   Love, love, love it!  If I wasn't all ready married, I would likely marry that light! That is how much I love it.

15 )  What brand of stitching lamp do you have/prefer?
        I have an Ikea special that I picked up on sale.  Works like a charm and I can move it so the light is right over my work.

16 )  What kind of environment best suits you when you are stitching?
         It's like an evening ritual.   The couch, with the feet up, in front of the TV, with a documentary  on, so I can listen to it and not really watch.   Bliss!

17)   Have you stitched any design more than once?
Just once. I stitched this hideous little mime mask.  I think I had no other patterns, or something, because it was pretty hideous.

18)   Favourite design you have stitched and finished?
       For me, the last design is always my favorite.  So it would be the Treasure Dragon Christmas Stocking from Myles Pinkney.

19)   Least favourite design you’ve stitched and finished?
A baby afghan. It gave me grief.  Serious grief.  Others on my friends list are doing the same pattern and enjoying it.  I think they are insane.  Nothing personal.

20)   Last, but not least, what’s your longest running WIP?
        Never had a WIP.  But I think the next project might be one. I have a 30 page HaED design waiting in the wings, and I may have to do a few projects in between, because 30 pages is mad.  And yes, I think I am insane.  Nothing personal.

~Rai Rai

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

An Old Project FINALLY Finished

This stocking is for my dear friend, Jude.   I had finished it a year ago August, and then given it to a lady who had offered to sew it.  Well, schedule/health/family issues came into play and a year later it still hadn't been sewn, so with much insistence and reminding on my part, I finally got it back today.

I whisked it off to my friend, Arwen's (she is the one I had made the Yule Fairy for) and she managed it sew it together in about 45 minutes. 

I don't know about you, but when I finish a project, I want to complete it immediately. I hate having projects sitting around, nearly finished, but just not quite.  It, to me, feels like an itch I just can't reach and it sits festering in the back of my mind.

But I have it back and it is done!  Done, I tell you, DONE!

So tomorrow two stockings go in the mail!  

I am feeling so darn accomplished, I'm going to celebrate with a glass of wine!

~Rai Rai

Friday, 6 December 2013

For Your Viewing Pleasure: The Completed Treasure Dragon Stocking

Ta Da!!!

Sewn beautifully by Paige!   I originally was planning on choosing a deep red silk material, however when I compared fabrics side by side, the burnt orange really looked fantastic. And after canvassing complete strangers at the fabric store, I'm happy to say, 9 out of 10 agreed.

I will be taking her to show off at my Stitch'n'Bitch this Sunday, (hopefully everybody comes) and then first thing Monday, this will be packed up and mailed.

Hopefully little Heinrik Roar likes his little dragon, and pulls many, many gifts out of it.

~Rai Rai

Rose of Sharon - Arbor and Flowers

This project is coming along nicely.  I decided to change the pink flowers to yellow. So far I'm delightfully over the moon with my changes.  I can't wait to start the dress and see how the colors look.

I find the vine and flowers to be arduously slow, and this is coming from someone who has just finished a Heaven and Earth design.  I think that once I get to the lady, then it will be a quick ride to the end, but man, oh man, it seems to be taking me forever to get the arbor done.

~Rai Rai

PS - Dragon stocking has been assembled and I pick it up tomorrow.  Pictures to follow!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Rose of Sharon Update

Well, not much to report so far. I'm 3 days in to the project and I'm making pretty good progress, I guess.  I'm glad I started this one.  I am waiting for Magic Cloth to arrive in the mail, and I thought it would have arrived this week, but so far, nothing. And to be honest, I'm not in a hurry. I'm thoroughly enjoying stitching her.

I am fighting a tight shoulder which usually leads to migraines, so I'm pulling out all the stops from popping anti-inflamatories to applying the heating pad to my shoulder so I can stitch. Because, lets face it, only a migraine can really stop me! 

But I do have to say, after a project which was almost entirely confetti stitches, this one is a real pleasure to do!  Lots and lots of blocks of solid color. I am in heaven!

As mentioned before, I'm doing the dress in periwinkle with a yellow sash.  I'll see how the conversion goes and if it seems to work, I will post the conversion with the final photo.  That way if anyone wants to try it for themselves, they will have the colors to use.

I love seeing conversions!  If you have any conversions that you have done, please respond with the link, I'd love to check out yours!

I won't be able to work much on this for the next few nights, as I will be on night shift, but hopefully I will be able to put in some serious hours next week.  

Hopefully I will have an update for you then.

~Rai Rai

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Another One Bites the Dust!

It's Saturday night at midnight and I just finished it!  I had to share immediately!

Come next weekend, I will go to the fabric store and pick out the loveliest dark red backing and a soft linen lining and take it to the talented Ms. Paige to be sewn into a stocking. I am absolutely over the moon that the recipient of this will have it for Christmas!  It was a fun/frustrating/challenging/time consuming ride, and I loved almost every minute of it!

Henrik Roar, I hope you like this and one day hand it down to your own son.

My magic cloth for my next project hasn't arrived yet, so I may do a Mirabilia in the mean time.  Rose of Sharon.  I'm thinking of doing her in red, although I might play with some colors and see if I can do her in purples, deep purples with red roses.   I'm going to the stitch'n'bitch tomorrow, so it will be a perfect time to play with colors.

Anyway, dear kindreds, I will post a final photo of this piece as soon as it is done.   Thanks for keeping me company while I created this work of art!
~Rai Rai   

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Page 6 of the Treasure Dragon is Done!!!

I am so close to the end that I can taste it!  Just under 3000 stitches now, and I can see the finish line from where I stand.

I can't wait to see this finished, cleaned and sewn into a stocking.  My goal of having this done by Christmas is obtainable!

I feel like the little engine that could. I've moved from "I think I can, I think I can" to "I know I can, I know I can!"

And this week I ordered more Magic Cloth so I can start a new HaED. Because, kindreds, I am a glutton for punishment!

Just wait until you see the next project.  Just you wait!

~Rai Rai

Monday, 14 October 2013

We Interrupt Your Stitching With an Old, but Funny Story About My Bird

This, boys and girls, is a story about a very bad cockatoo and what she got up to on a rainy day while unsupervised and out of her cage.

I had gone to work, as I did every morning, and I either didn't latch the cage door properly, or she had been reaching through the bars and managed to open the door. But when I came home that night, I found a very exhausted cockatoo who was head-under-her-wing fast asleep on the back of my couch.

This is not a good thing to see, because she is a voracious ripper of all things wood, rubber (like the kind found on remote controls) and plastic.  Or anything that can be ripped into tiny pieces, for that matter.

While I was standing, frozen with dread, my cat came skidding around the corner, batting furiously at something.  I bent down and picked it up. It was the letter A from my keyboard.

I knew then that whatever was around the corner was bad.  Very, very bad.

With heavy feet, I walked down the long hallway and into my living room.  It was worse than I thought.

The stuffing in the chair had been pulled out, my ergonomic mouse was in pieces, bills and invoices had been ripped into teeny tiny pieces that rivaled the best shredders on the market, and just about every key from my keyboard had been ripped off and shewn haphazardly in every direction.

I found my camera on the floor, just n front of the book case and marveled in the fact that it was intact.   Rubber buttons and all!  And, not knowing whether to laugh or cry first, took these two photo's of the mess.

A few days later, I had picked up the developed film and flipping through my photo's I found one that I just didn't remember taking. It was such an odd angle and upon closer inspection of the negatives, it showed up right before I took the two photos above.

Even closer inspection of the camera showed a few nicks out of the rubber ... beak looking nicks.

I'm quite sure that my cockatoo had indeed found the camera and had been settling in to dismantle it, bit by bit, and had, instead, set the auto-photo.  The ensuing flash was likely what saved my camera AND caught a culprit in the act of being naughty.  Very, very naughty.

The following is a photo of a bad, bad girl!

This happened back in 1999.

She eventually killed the camera. 

 It's amazing that such a demure little face can unleash such destruction in a few short hours.

Hurricane Frances after the storm.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

HaED's Dragon Stocking Page 5 Complete

Page 5 is done, done, done!

I cannot tell a lie, I am sooooo bored of this project,  just want it to be over, but I also know if I pick up another project no, this will never, ever see the light of day again!  So I plug on!

The end is in sight, though!  Only one more full page to do, and then 2 or 3 partial pages, which are really, really small.

I think this next page will be the hardest of all, because it is the "treasure" part of the dragon, and it won't make much sense until the last few stitches go in.  This is where I just trust the pattern and wait for it to reveal its magic!

~Rai Rai

Sunday, 4 August 2013

HAeD's Treasure Dragon Christmas Stocking

Page 4 is complete!

I've decided to try the "parking" method, and omg, it's like taking the escalator instead of the stairs! Soooo much faster!

I wish this photo was clearer, but my iPad doesn't have a flash and it was kind of dark in my office, but you can see some of the outline of his cheeky face.

I am now 61% done! The hump has been crossed, it should be all downhill from here.  (Looks at patten and shudders)  Er, yeah, downhill...

I'll post the next update at the completion of page 5.  I'll be keeping a rather low profile until then.

~Rai Rai

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Happy Endng to My Baby Afghan

Unfortunately attempting to take a photo with my iPad resulted in this crapstacular photo below:

It looks a little washed out, and it was being held up by Mr. Rai-Rai.  The wrinkles are courtesy of having it folded to fit into a bag the size of my change purse.  Time was running out and I neither had the time or the energy to iron again, so this is the result.   BUT, it looks fantastic, and that's the main thing.

I had a very talented girl sew a lining onto the back for me, so baby won't get his pudgy little fingers caught in loose threads. 

She did a beautiful job!  Now this is ready to work as a quilt or a wall hanging.   I also chose not to fray the outside as the pattern call for, because if baby is going to use it as a blanket, I don't want little threads finding their way into his mouth to choke him.

My friend bought baby over today and I finally got to meet the chubby little delight, but I got to spend some quality time laughing with my bff.  Oh how I miss her!  She caught the ferry over and we spent a total of about 2.5 hours together before she had to catch the ferry home.   It was a short visit, but so worth it.

Val and bub enjoying the blanket.

Close up of Val and bub. He was fascinated by how even my stitching was, and the sheer detail in my work!   (Just kidding, he was more interested in the cat).  And I must remind myself, before taking photos for my blog - remove the folded laundry in the background. (Queue a Homer Simpson D'oh right about here.)

So, that's it, dear readers! This is where my journey with this little baby afghan ends. 

Thanks for hanging out with me during my moments of frustration and wibbling over this project.  The end result was worth every moment!

Now, back to my Dragon stocking.  I should have an update in about a month or so.

~Rai Rai

Sunday, 23 June 2013

He Ate the Honey, He Ate the Lot....

This, my kindreds, is my VERY LAST PANEL.  The stitching on this piece is officially done, done, done!

Just look at the little greedy guts!   He's so focused on the bee hive that he has no idea he is about to be stung in the ... you-know-where!  And deservedly so!!

I have decided to finish the piece with a lined back, so if my friend wishes to use this as an afghan, she can.  I am off to Fabric Land tomorrow to find something soft and appropriate, then I have another friend lined up to sew everything together.  Then it will be a quick wash, and then in the mail.     Her baby just turned 6 months, so better late than never, I always say.

I will post a picture of the finished project as soon as I have it back.

Now I can take a short breather before I pick up my long forgotten dragon stocking.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Is There Anything on Earth Cuter Than a Baby Bunny?

I think no, my friends. I think not.

This, I did actually try to take "in process" photos, but I realized that they really weren't showing up. It wasn't until I put the backstitching in that it all came together. But I just have to say, that little bee is cute, cute, cute!!!!

I am now down to one panel to do. The end is truly in sight! 

Next up, a little black bear and a bee hive.  I'm hoping to blaze through this and have it done sometime this week.

This is my favorite time of a project, where the end is so close, I just want to work on it non-stop until it's done.   I can't wait to show you the completed project!

~Rai Rai

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Two For the Price of One

Today I have not one, but TWO panels to show you.  Yes, two!  Do you know what that means, dear kindreds?  It means I have only two more panels to do.  Yes, this project from The depths of Hades now has a light at the end of the tunnel.

Now that I am nearing the end, all I want to do is sit and stitch nonstop, however work beckons, and with 5 upcoming 12 hour shifts next week, it is going to be a while before I pick this up again.  Damnation!

While I am toiling away in the proverbial salt mines, I leave you with these two pictures.  I warn you, if you are prone to falling prey to the cute, then you may just want to look away now.

(This is my first post while using a new app on my iPad, and I haven't quite figured out how to arrange my photos, but I will hopefully have it figured out by the time I make my sext post)

Friday, 10 May 2013

The Evolution of the Love Tree

This didn't take long at all.  I'm actually kind of shocked at how fast I was able to whip this up.

I thought I'd try something different and take a photo at the end of each stitching sitting, so I could see just how much (or little) progress I was making.   It turns out I could see a lot of progress each and every time.

I hope you enjoy watching my little tree grow....

First sitting.

Second sitting.

Third sitting

Fourth sitting.

Fifth sitting.

The finished result.

This is the centre piece of my afghan.  Now, only four more panels to do.  

The end is in sight.

Go me!

~Rai Rai

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Who is Slower? Me or this Turtle?

So I FINALLY finished the turtle.  I don't know why, but he seemed to take forever to complete.  But like the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.

And just look at that cheeky smile and he crosses the finish line.

Next up is the tree.

Hopefully it won't be 3 weeks until you hear from me again.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Are You a Flower?

Remember that line in Bambi when he asked the skunk if he was a flower? Well I could picture him asking the same of this butterfly.

The adorableness of this knows no bounds!  And it only took me 4 days to stitch!  It's hard to see, but the flower is being held by its stem in the little fawn's muzzle.  Too bad it doesn't really show up in this picture.

Next up is either the centre tree, or the turtle. I can't quite decide which, but for now I will just enjoy this sweet little fawn, and his little fluttery friend.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Little Raccoon and a Very Late Tusal

One more panel of this seemingly endless project is complete.  And he's pretty darn cute!

He took me about 10 days to complete.  I don't know what it is about this project, but I am so easily distracted when I try to work on it. I end up picking up my iPad and checking Facebook, or playing a game, or even just watching TV with my project sitting in my lap, which, trust me, is pretty unusual.  Usually if I'm sitting, I'm stitching.    But one more panel has been complete.  I think I am now officially 1/2 way through this project.  Hopefully the second half goes faster.

And now for my April tusal.   I completely forgot about it.  Better late than never, huh?

Sorry for the bathroom pic, but it's after 2 in the morning and that seemed like the brightest part of the house to take a photo. 

Well, I've got a date with an adorable fawn.  I'll post pics as soon as I'm done.

~Rai Rai

Friday, 5 April 2013

Who? Why a Jr. Pepe Le Pew, That's Who...

Ok all in unison... Awwwwwwww.

So far, this little guy is my favorite!  I can just picture him saying "Ah, oui, she loves me, she loves me not" as he plucks the petals from the flower.  Of course the final petal will always be a declaration of "She loves me!"

And it's true, I do.

Next up, I'm going to do the raccoon.  I've discovered that it's a bit of a pain trying to do the panels on the right, as there is just SO much blanket to fold over and keep a hold of while stitching. So, I will finish the panels on the right hand first, and then slowly work over to the left.  As of the completion of the next panel, I will officially be half way through this project.

Honestly, I just want it to be done so I can go back to working on my dragon, which I sometimes hear calling me. 

So far this little guy took me a week to complete.  Hopefully the raccoon goes just as fast, although he has a lot more colors, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say 2 weeks, but we'll see.

Enjoy Pepe,  and his little red flower.  He was a delight to stitch.

~Rai Rai

Friday, 29 March 2013

A Little Chipmunk, Just in Time for Spring

I finished this little darling late last night.  Adorable is the word that immediately jumps to mind.

I took stock of this project and realized that it has taken me 2 months to get only 4 panels done.  That's it!  I'm pretty shocked by that realization.  I'm going to try to up my stride a bit and see if I can shake a leg on this.  I don't want this to be a 6 month project. I still have my dragon laying on the sideline and I'm itching to get stuck back into that.

Next up is an adorable skunk.  He's lots of patches of one color so he should be pretty quick.  Hopefully I have something to show off in a week or so.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, I offer you a little Chipmunk, just in time for spring....

~Rai Rai

Monday, 25 March 2013

No Updates, But a Question for You All

I'm just sitting at my computer, enjoying my first full day off in 10 days, and I was having a peruse through the blogs that I am following and I noticed now all of us have a certain "style" of stitching.

For example, I am neurotic about always starting at the top left hand side of the piece I am working on.   I've noticed many stitchers prefer to start at the bottom and work up.  I've also noticed there are stitchers who start in the exact middle and then work outwards.

Which are you, and why?

For me, it makes the most practical sense to start at the left and work across and down. This way I can see the pattern take shape, almost as though it were coming off of a printer.

So, talk to me! Where do you usually start in a pattern, and why?

(Oh, and I should have an adorable chipmunk to show off in a day or so)

~Rai Rai

Oh, and since there were no photo's in this post, I thought I'd leave you with this...

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Panel 3 Is Complete

Behold, my little squirrel.  Just look at those adorable little eyes!

Next up is a chipmunk.  I find the browns are the least favorite colors for me to work with, and I found that this little guy dragged a little.  Now that he is done, I think he's cute as a button, but it just felt like such a chore to sit and stitch this particular panel, for some reason.

Tonight I resolved to finish it, and I stubbornly sat there until the last stitch was in.

Unfortunately, I believe the chipmunk is more of the same colors, but after that, it will be on to the brighter colors I prefer to stitch with.

I don't think I'll even get to him until the weekend, but I hope he is a fast stitch.

Fingers crossed.

~Rai Rai

Sunday, 10 March 2013


It's that time again to show off my odds and ends, otherwise known as the monthly TUSAL.

For those of you who don't know what the TUSAL is, you can click HERE to go to the original source.  On many blogs, I've seen that clever little TUSAL .gif and link, but I cannot seem to upload it onto my blog.  Does any of you fellow bloggers have any tips for uploading here? 

In any case, here is my March TUSAL.

My friend Kari, who is one of the girls who I stitch with on Sunday afternoons, was surprised when she saw my TUSAL glass. She thought it was just a little water glass until she saw it in real life when she came to clip Ruin's claws.  She made me promise to take a photo of it next to something so you could get a sense of the size of it.  So here it is posed next to my thread box.  It was literally the biggest vase that I could find.

I thought I would have the squirrel panel to show off to you all tonight, and I did try to get it done.  I'm switching over to night shifts, so I'm trying to stay up until 5:00am, and thought that would be plenty of time to get the final leaves finished and the backstitching done, but I didn't quite finish the leaves, and now with night shifts starting, it might not be done for another week.  Oh well, this panel had a lot of thread changes and is, I think, the busiest panel of them all.   If I get a chance to work on it throughout the week and finish it, I will be sure to post pictures stat.

Well, that, my dear fellow stitcher's, is all I can seem to manage tonight.  I've made it to 4:42 am, so my goal of staying up until 5am fell a bit short, but I am just too dead tired to carry on.

I'm off to bed to dream of baby woodland creatures.

Goodnight all.

~Rai Rai

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Panel 2 Completed - There is No Stopping Me Now

I'm definitely getting the hang of this. I find the biggest challenge of this project is that the stitches are so loose and a touch uneven.  I'm used to stitching snugly, which results in a nice even stitch. But I have to say, I enjoyed this frog much more than I enjoyed the owl.

I decided to backstitch in 2 threads, and not one, as the pattern called for, and I feel the result was much bolder.  I will go back and backstitch the owl with one extra thread once I am finished with the afghan.  But I managed to get this adorable little fellow done in a week, which is pretty good considering I worked a lot this week and my stitching time has been severely disrupted by this.  *Shakes fist at work*

Anyway, here is the little frog.  Cute, no?
Also adorable are the little butterfly and ladybug, which were super fast to do.

In other news, I've noticed there are a lot of animal lovers who stitch, so I thought I'd share my news with you.  On Thursday, hubby and I adopted a little cat from the SPCA. He is 3 years old and black as night, with green eyes, and the loveliest personality.  We have named him Kip.

Not the best pictures of him, but you can see how sleek and shiny he is.  Our other cat, Ruin, is warming up to him and I think they will be the best of friends in no time.

I know I don't talk about my pets much, and I don't intend to really include them much in this blog, but since I am showing off pictures of Kip, I felt I should share a photo of Ruin. She just turned 1 last weekend.

She was still very much a kitten in this photo, but she's hard to pin down for photos.

Anyway, that's it for this week.   Hopefully I will have another panel to show off for next weekend. Next up, a very cheeky looking squirrel.

Happy stitching!

~Rai Rai

Saturday, 23 February 2013

I Am An Experienced Stitcher, Hear Me Roar Fail!

I have to say, one of my proudest stitching achievements was completing a page from a Heaven and Earth Design in 10 days.  Yes! 10 freaking days!!!

So, when I confidently put aside my dragon to begin the afghan for my best friends little boy, I did so with the utmost confidence that I would be picking up that pattern by March.  After all, it's super easy, with it's great big blocks of color and it's lack of blends.  Just a few stitches, a bit of back stitching and voila, watch me pop off these adorable little baby animals as though I was a crazy one-woman assembly line!

Easy peesy, amirite?

But no, I was wrong.

First off, this afghan is a major PITA (for those not in the know, a pita is a pain-in-the-a$$).  The cloth is so thick it's like trying to cross-stitch on wool, and the fibers of the cloth regularly get wrapped around my thread. It's worse than stitching with a shedding cat sleeping on your lap.

THEN, the pattern calls for 2 threads, which definitely isn't enough.  I picked out my stitching and increased it to 3 threads, which I'm still on the fence about, I think I could go as high as 4.

THEN comes the stitching itself.   It has to be done very loosely.  As in ridiculously loose.  (As in, is this going to fall apart after the first wash?) 

I can't say I'm exactly enjoying this project, but I will persevere, and I will overcome!!!!  (I say confidently, with a wobbling lower lip)

So, here is my first panel - the owl.  This singular panel only took me ... oh ... (looks at calendar) 13 days.   I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that admission.

I don't know whether to hate the damn thing, or dance around it proudly and declare "Look! Look what I have made" in a sad rendition of Tom Hanks after he created fire in "Castaway".

Anyway, there it is.  I'm off to the next panel, which is a little frog.

Hopefully it won't be another 13 days before you hear from me again.

~Rai Rai

Monday, 11 February 2013

Page 3 of Dragon Treasure is Done

In what has to be record time, I have managed to finish a page of my Dragon Treasure stocking in exactly 10 days.  Go me!!!!

A bit more of his face is revealed, and some of the lovely red of his wings can now be seen.  I'm afraid my next page will take far longer, because there aren't nearly as many patches of one colors, but rather the usual HaED, which is one stitch of a color here, not to be repeated until eight grids later.

Apologies for the wrinkles in the cloth, he had literally just come off of the Q-snap.

But this is where I take a hiatus from this project for THIS one:

This is for my best friend, and it shouldn't take me that long to complete at all.  I will post each square as I finish it.

I should be back to stitching my dragon in a couple of weeks.  I think this will be a nice break from the teeny tiny stitches of HAED.  I think my eyes are going to thank me.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

February's TUSAL

I can't believe it's been an entire month since the last TUSAL (or, for those who aren't in the know, the Totally Useless Stitch A Long - click HERE to find out more.)

Again I wasn't able to get a really good photo. Sometimes the iPad is a hit or miss. I've taken some really beautiful pictures with this contraption, and then other times, not so much. This was one of those "other times".   I think it was just too dark, and any attempt at aiming a light on my vase resulted in a reflection that drowned out the threads.

Anyway, here is my TUSAL.   Hopefully next month the weather will be nice enough that I can get a photo outside.

I received my pattern n the mail! (Insert raucous applause and w00ting from me).  I have decided to start it after I finish the current page of my Treasure Dragon, which should be in a couple of days, so I will hold off adding a photo at this point.  But suffice to say, I am still stitching like I have a deadline or something.  I've been averaging about 600 stitches a night.  When I first decided to participate in this years TUSAL I bought the biggest vase I could find, and thought that there was no way I could fill it.  Well here I am two months in and already nearly 1/4 full. 

On a sad note, it looks like the website that provided me with those pretty colored completion bars to the right of this page has been disabled. It's a shame because they were the loveliest colors.  So I'm on the lookout for a new completion bar to add to the page.  Anyone have any suggestions?  I'm all about the pretty, so if you've seen any that make you go oooOOOOOooo then don't hesitate to throw me a link.  (Update: Thank you, Emma! The new completion panel works like a charm.)

That's all for now.  Look for an update post with page 3 of my Treasure Dragon within the next few days.

And Mariah, please please please start a blog!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Who's a Stitching Maniac? Why, me!

Page 2 is done!!!!  Even though I started a job that kept me pretty busy this month, I managed to stitch like a maniac.  Although, to be fair, page two had a lot of patches of one color - a rarity in Heaven and Earth Designs

But page 2 was started on Jan11 and finished officially Jan 31.  Go me!

His greedy little face is slowing starting to appear!

I have been waiting and waiting for a pattern to come in so I can break my own "one pattern at a time" rule and start a second, far quicker project.  My best friend had a baby oh... about a month ago now, and even though I ordered an afghan and book "Forest Babies" from my local store back in November, there always seemed to be a hold up.  Finally the book came in - only to find the wrong one had been ordered.  Admittedly, Jungle Babies are adorable, but I live in the Pacific Northwest and Forest Babies actually jive with the types of animals we have right outside our door, and it just has more meaning.  I didn't want to wait another 3 months for an order to come in, so I ordered from 123stitch, which actually had the pattern in stock. Hopefully it will be here this week, and I've heard that the afghan was shipped a week ago Tuesday.   

I'm going to have to make it in record time, because I so far haven't bought her anything! I feel like such a bad friend.  I usually knit a baby blanket for my friends when they have babies, but she knits circles around me, so an afghan x-stitch it is!  My next pattern after Treasure Dragon will also be for her boy.  Wouldn't you know, she picked a Heaven and Earth Design.  Normally I do Christmas stockings for babies first Christmas, but she is Jewish.  Sooooo, not really applicable there.  I know I'm going to be doing Heaven and Earth designs until at least summer, and maybe beyond.

I'm not complaining though. I love big projects, and if I can make it for someone who I love dearly, then even better!

Well, it's on to page 3.  I hope it goes as fast as page 2.

Wish me luck, my fellow kindreds!

~Rai Rai

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Stocking Treasure Dragon Update

Wow, has it really been two weeks already?

I started a new job where I am now working 12 hour shift work, so needless to say, my stitching time has suffered, but I've made good headway and have an update for you.

Reminder of what it will look like...

And the update.   I've discovered that working one grid at a time was beyond tedious, and I literally spent the majority of my time changing colors for one single stitch, so I am doing a line of grids at a time.   As you can see, it's going quite quickly.  I'm 80% finished page 2, and 20% done the project!

Of course this will get more difficult the lower down I travel, and I'm sure I won't be making such huge strides when I get down to the dragon's treasure, but as always, I will plug along slowly and steadily.

That's all for now!

~Rai Rai

Saturday, 12 January 2013

January TUSAL

Oops, I forgot that yesterday was the 11th and that was the first date of my TUSAL.

So, here it is... 

Not the clearest of pictures, I'll admit.  I think next time I'll put a solid background behind it.  IPAD's aren't exactly known for their high quality photos either.

Speaking of photo's, I finished page 1 of my dragon.

You want to see the update now, instead of waiting a week, you say?  Well ok!

Remember, this will be the finished product....

And this is page 1 so far.

Page two has been started, and I'm trying the style of doing a block at a time.  We'll see how it goes.

~Rai Rai