A little. Not a lot.
I have one finish, which I hope to put into a boxtop very soon. It's St. Margaret's Star, by StitchPlay Designs, the collaborative effort of Michael Boren and Carole Lake.
I made up my own colorway for this. First, I pulled a number of Watercolours that pleased me. Then I looked for a canvas to go with each of them. The design is pretty much monochromatic, so this turned out to be a little challenging. I ended up with a Zweigart hand-dyed canvas, Dark Amorous Amethyst, which I love for its color but hate for its softness. I had to keep tightening the canvas as I stitched, and this is only around 5" x 5". Can you imagine doing a large piece on this canvas?
A few weeks ago, I took a three-day workshop with Terry Dryden, Leaf Collage. What a wonderful experience! Terry is a great teacher, explaining everything clearly and giving everyone a little one-on-one time throughout the class. Here's how far I got plus a little more stitching since the workshop ended.
This is not a small piece. What I like about it are the beautiful colors, the way it's broken up into lots of small segments that give you a sense of accomplishment as you finish them (okay, so I've only finished one segment so far, but I felt great when I did!), and the technique of painting with Copic markers (all those blocks of blue with very fuzzy edges are my work, not Terry's). There was much more to like and learn during the workshop. Those are just my favorite parts. The leaves are all transfers of paintings that Terry did. She provided the canvas with the outlines and transfers in place. We painted the blue areas and started stitching. Terry showed us how to stitch the leaves to get a very painterly, shaded effect. I'm not the only one thinking of just leaving them as paintings rather than stitching them. Hahahaha.
I know, there are many of you out there shaking your heads in amusement at the thought that I've taken on yet another huge project while I've got so many waiting in the wings to be finished. Rest assured, I have been working on them as well, at least some of them. One that's nearing completion is Michael Boren's Flyways.
Once again, I love the colors of this design. I went with Michael's Red Clay colorway and love the touches of lavender/mauve in it. I've found that contrary to expectations, I actually enjoy stitching on 14-ct canvas. This, coming from one who once thought anything less than 32-ct linen was coarse.
Speaking of linen, I just bought a beautiful piece of fabric and a couple of silk flosses to stitch a few ornaments for Christmas gifts this year. I was in Ocean City, MD, on Saturday and stopped by Salty Yarns, a wonderful needlework shop that I'd heard of for years but had never been in. The store is filled to overflowing with patterns, fabric, threads, finishing supplies, and needlework tools and necessities. I was only there for a brief time, having stopped by to visit with a couple of friends who were at Salty Yarns's annual stitching retreat. Here's what I found that I couldn't resist:
Is that not a gorgeous ground for those beautiful threads? The fabric is Picture This Plus Moss 28-ct linen. The threads are Crescent Colours Belle Soie. I had picked the fabric out, and one of the ladies ran to the front of the shop to find a small pillow stitched in those threads on a slightly darker PTP fabric, Swamp (I think). No question, they looked perfect. So now I have to start getting into cross-stitch mode. It would be nice to get these done way before Christmas, so that I'm not up late every night running up to Christmas Eve, trying to get them finished into ornaments.
1 year ago