This blog has moved!

After a bit of hair pulling a couple of phone calls to a friend with technical know-how and a big bowl of ice-cream, this blog has been moved and now resides on my server. It’s also been split into two blogs:

Gothtigger – my usual blog, my health, cats, stitching, anything else that takes my fancy

A-Project-A-Day – one post each day discussing a counted embroidery chart languishing in my stash.

Please change your RSS feeds, or your email subscriptions or however you do it to join me at the new sitesūüôā

Both sites still need a  bit of cleaning up, but they are both working.

Projects by Friends is still coming but will be here soon.

Posted in Miscellaneous, Social Media

Doing some tinkering today

Morning all,

I’m doing some tinkering with the blog today – trying to set up and migrate over to my site and seeing if I can split off Project-A-Day into its own blog.¬† I’m still in two minds as to whether I should so at this point I’m figuring out if I can otherwise “should” is irrelevant.

Later on today, if I’m not a complete screaming wreck of rage and frustration I’ll start the Projects by Friends site – so comment below or email me, Facebook me etc if you want to be an author on that site.

Today’s Project-a-Day will be put up later when I’ve finished tinkering or am a blubbering wreck.

Mel.

Posted in Social Media

Canterbury Cross by Vickery Collection

A Project A Day РCounted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Canterbury Cross by Vickery Collection

Copyright Mike Vickery, 2007.

Canterbury Cross by Vickery Collection

Chart: The chart is printed on two Letter-sized pages. Although there is no indication, I surmise that the chart is in two halves, with each half being on each sheet of paper. There is no overlap. The chart is printed quite small, so I would highly recommend making a working copy. The backstitch is printed in red to make it stand out from the cross stitch symbols underneath. This is quite effective, I wish more designers employed this type of technique.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitch, fractional stitches and backstitch.

Materials: DMC stranded cotton. Stitched on Charles Crafts 18ct White Aida.

Designer’s Notes: None.

Why I was attracted to this design: I love medieval woodcuts. I love medieval beastiaries and I love Mike Vickery’s designs. This chart is a combination of all three.¬† These animals are straight out of woodcuts or linotype illustrations from medieval¬†beastiaries and Mike’s put them around his signatory scroll and colour work.¬† His scroll work is a pain to stitch but looks fabulous when finished.

So why haven’t I stitched it? To be honest I can’t even remember when this one entered the stash; the packet was still sealed when I went to scan the cover sheet for today’s picture.¬† As much as I love the design, it’s just DMC on white Aida.¬† I want to jazz it up in some way but I don’t know how.

Where can you buy it? This chart is still in print and can be purchased from your LNS or ONS for $7US. If you want to go through a LOT of old school hassles, and you can send a cheque in US funds, you may be able to eventually manage to buy it directly from Vickery Collection for $9US.

Discussion questions: It’s just DMC on White Aida. I want bling.¬† What do you recommend?¬† Change the background fabric?¬† Add some beads? Do I go Rayon ????

Posted in Cross Stitch Designer, Project a Day, Vickery Collection | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Insane art formed by carving books with surgical tools – Karan Arora‚Äôs Posterous

You must have a look at these !!!!

From the website:

“Using knives, tweezers and surgical tools, Brian Dettmer carves one
page at a time. Nothing inside the out-of-date encyclopedias, medical
journals, illustration books, or dictionaries is relocated or implanted,
only removed.”

See the rest of the article and more of these sculptures:
Insane art formed by carving books with surgical tools РKaran Arora’s Posterous.

Posted in Media Links | 2 Comments

Imperial Phoenix by Serendipity Designs

A Project A Day РCounted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Imperial Phoenix by Serendipity Designs

Copyright Carolyn Meacham, 1979.

Imperial Phoenix by Serendipity Designs

Chart: The chart is print on a folded A2 Glossy paper sheet. The sheet is folded in four with the design covering the entirety of one side of the sheet.  The glossy side has four panels: cover sheet, symbol key and instruction sheet, and two panels of advertisements. As this is an older design the symbols are hand drawn. However the symbols are drawn nice and large and some are printed in red so it is an easy chart to follow. Also as a result of being an old chart, many of the symbols printed along the fold lines have rubbed away. As this is a simple design, I can pretty much guess from the surrounding symbols which ones to use.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches and backstitch.

Materials: Stitched in DMC stranded cottons and metallics on 14ct Ivory Aida.

Designer’s Notes: The mate to the Imperial Dragon, the Imperial Phoenix was long associated with the Empress of China.¬†This mythical bird also symbolized life eternal, as the Phoenix was thought to be able to recreate itself.

Why I was attracted to this design: I love mythical creatures. I grew up reading¬† fairy tales, when my local library threw out their collection of Andrew Lang colour Fairy Books I was heartbroken. I devoured those books as a kid.¬† I still read a lot of paranormal and outright fantasy fiction now.¬† It’s so rare to see mythological creatures treated as serious subject matters in cross stitch that I tend to grab the patterns when I see them.

So why haven’t I stitched it? I find the colours a little muted for my taste.¬† I don’t know enough of Chinese mythology and Chinese art aesthetics to know if these muted tones are appropriate for the style of the piece or whether Carolyn was having a sad day when she designed this.¬† She’s designed some other brightly coloured pieces so these muted colours are a distinct choice on her part.¬† I just don’t know if it’s the right choice.

Where can you buy it? This chart, first designed in 1979 is still in print.  You or your LNS can order it from Serendipity Designs for $6US.

Discussion questions:¬† Do I brighten the colours or keep the muted tones? I’m tempted to use silks – which silks would I use?

Posted in Cross Stitch Designer, Project a Day, Serendipity Designs | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Juliet by Papillon Creations

A Project A Day РCounted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Juliet by Papillon Creations

Copyright Yvonne Horn, 2006.

Juliet by Papillon Creations

This chart was bought as a pdf file.¬† The pdf file does not have the traditional cover sheet of designer name, project title and project cover photo. Rather the design illustration is on the same page as the key to chart symbols, backstiching instructions, fabric sizing and stitching information, beading instructions etc.¬† As I don’t feel it proper to scan that entire page as I do with the entire cover page, I have instead just put up a scan of just the design illustration.

Chart: The pdf chart pack comprises 12 pages.  The chart is printed over 6 pages with a two-row overlap on each page. Symbols are printed nice and large. In addition, there are four pages of stitching instructions including a step-by-step guide to stitching each section in order. Also Yvonne includes detailed maps and instructions for double running stitch and backstitch, allowing you to decide which stitch to work the border.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, fractional stitches, backstitch, satin stitch, double running stitch and beading.

Materials: DMC stranded cotton, DMC Perle #8 cotton, Kreinik Blending filament and Mill Hill beads. Stitched on Lakeside Linen 28ct “Attic Lace” Linen.

Designer’s Notes: Surrounded by a blackwork frame of Celtic knot-and-keywork, Juliet proclaims her love for Romeo with the famous question “What’s in a name? . . . . . “. The cut-glass vase sparkles, love’s red rose lays waiting to be given, and the stage is set for the world’s most famous star-crossed lovers to meet their destiny.

Why I was attracted to this design: I first saw this design and its companion Romeo, on a friend’s Wish List and bought them both for her as a gift. I then bought a second set for myself. I love Shakespeare, and although Romeo and Juliet is not one of my favourites, I do appreciate the sentiment in this soliloquy.¬†¬† Also the design has blackwork, specialty stitches and a beautiful red rose, what’s not to love? It hits my sweet spot by not being so saccharine and pink that everything deemed “Romantic” is drenched in these days.

So why haven’t I stitched it? As much as I love my pdf designs, I’ve recently realised it’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.¬† Whenever I go perusing among the stash for a new design to get me out of a funk, its to the physical stash I go. Or more likely, I’m searching the stash for one thing and something else jumps into my hand. This doesn’t happen with the pdf charts.¬† They weren’t even included in this A-Project-a-Day until a few weeks ago.

I’ve now printed out all of my pdf charts (or at least the first couple of pages of each) and put them in with my physical charts to remind me that they do exist. So they too can be a victim of serendipity.

Where can you buy it? Papillon Creations is very much still in business and this chart can be bought in paper form from your LNS or ONS for around $18US. Otherwise you can purchase the pdf directly from Papillon Creations for ‚ā¨8 Euro.

Discussion questions: The Balcony Scene. One of the most famous in all of Shakespeare’s repertoire. As such, would you stitch this design as a Valentine’s Day gift, or would you stay the heck away from it, knowing how the play ends ….

Posted in Blackwork, Cross Stitch Designer, Papillon Creations, Project a Day | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Friendship Tree by The Gathering Place

A Project A Day РCounted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

The Friendship Tree by The Gathering Place

Copyright Sherry Johnston, 2006.

The Gathering Place

The Friendship Tree by The Gathering Place

Chart: The chart is print on the inside of a folded A3 cardboard sheet. The symbols are small but it is a very simple design so there’s no undue problem with the symbol size or similarity.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches only.

Materials: Stitched in NeedlePoint, Inc silks on Lakeside Linens 32ct¬† “Vintage Exemplar” Linen.

Designer’s Notes: None.

Why I was attracted to this design: I wasn’t.¬† During an Online Needlework Show in 2006, I cut and pasted the titles of the designs I wanted from the web pages straight into an email and sent that off to my then LNS.¬† Unfortunately, as well as the text of the titles I wanted, my cut ‘n paste efforts had included some invisible html coding from other charts listed in the lines above or below.¬† This gobbledygook showed up on my LNS’ email but not on mine.¬† She assumed I wanted all the charts referenced in the email regardless how the formatting was and ordered them all on my behalf.¬† I politely paid for them all as the error was made by me. I ended up with three charts I didn’t want and an object lesson to retype or send plain text only!

The other charts have been given away as RAKs years ago but this one somehow stayed lost in my stash.

So why haven’t I stitched it? I did have vague thoughts now and then of stitching it just because it is so different to what I normally stitch, but the design really does not interest me. So free to good home. Usual conditions applyūüôā

Where can you buy it? Although some Gathering Place charts are still in print, sadly this is not one of them.  Nor does The Gathering Place have a viable website anymore.  You can pick this chart up at a LNS or ONS that has older stock, or comment below to receive my chart.

Discussion questions: Have you ever been tripped up blithely placing an order and then being surprised when you saw what arrived?

Posted in Cross Stitch Designer, Gathering Place, Project a Day | Tagged , | 7 Comments