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A General Update (Long and Photo Intensive)

  • Posted on August 24, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Hi Folks!

Those of you who have a feed reader will probably be shocked to see an actual post on this blog. Anyone who checks manually has likely long since given up on me. 😉

I’ve had a lot going on over the past few months. The massive work project, a global software implementation that has been more than 3 years in the making, is finally complete! We’re in the stabilization phase now and, fortunately, my piece has been nice and stable, so it’s all good. I still have to work the occasional weekend because any work I have to do that requires system downtime has to be scheduled around manufacturing shifts around the world, but it’s a necessary evil and not one that is the least bit new or foreign to me. This is what I signed on for when I took on this commitment, even if I didn’t realize it at the beginning.

Michelle asked me the other day how school was going. Well, it’s not. I got through nearly all of the easy, introductory courses and was heading into the more focused classes and combining more hours of coursework and more effort with the intensification of the project at work and increased work hours just wasn’t going to pan out. Unfortunately, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s Online Division doesn’t allow for taking a session off or any sort of sabbatical, so I had to officially withdraw from the school. Now that things are starting to settle back down into something more closely resembling normal (what is normal, anyway?), I might re-enroll. But, to be honest, I haven’t recovered enough of myself yet to have the burning desire to go back to school again. So, for now, I’ll wait. I purchased some extra books to be able to continue to practice my drawing skills on my own, so I think that I will focus on that first and see if I can’t get some of my previous ambition back.

On a related note, I was informed pretty soon after withdrawing from school that my assignments, which I had posted in my photo gallery to share with all of you, were being stolen by students and turned in as their own work. Needless to say, I was quite disgusted. I have now watermarked my artwork albums so that it has a lesser chance of happening again. I’ve always been a strong supporter of copyright, but having my own work violated in this manner really took it to a whole new level for me. I now have a much greater appreciation for the myriad emotions felt by an artist whose work is ripped off. It’s really quite sickening. So, to all of you designers and artists out there, I have always supported your rights, but now even more so! I encourage all of you to report instances of copyright violation wherever and whenever you find them!

And now, to bring us up to the present time, Terry and I have just recently suffered the loss of our only “child” and that has really thrown us for a loop. It’s not a subject that I want to discuss further on this blog at this time, so I will save my thoughts for a tribute post to be done at a later date, when I can write from a more objective viewpoint, at a time when it will be less painful.

With that, I think you’re all caught up, so here come the photos of all of the stitching I’ve accomplished since my last update:

First up is my entry in a biscornu contest that was sponsored by The Victoria Sampler. Thea designed Summer Biscornu and then opened a contest to the members of the Victoria Sampler Yahoo! Group to have interested parties stitch, finish and submit their own color interpretation. I stitched a different colorway for the top and bottom of my entry.

The bottom was stitched on Angel Blush lugana with Dinky Dyes overdyed pearl cottons and Bucilla silk ribbon (which I don’t think is sold anymore):

The top was stitched on Lavender Bliss lugana with Leah’s overdyed pearl cottons and Bucilla silk ribbon:

And here’s the finished product:

Next up is Ornamental Treasures III – Rosebuds by Just Nan. I bought this on eBay already kitted up, so I believe it is done on the recommended fabric with the recommended beads.

Then a kit I ordered from The Stitchery some time ago. This is Wine a Bit by Sue Hillis Designs. This scan is from before I added the wine bottle charm that goes in the upper left corner:

Next we have a design called Happy Heart from Shepherd’s Bush. I picked this kit up when I visited their storefront in Ogden, Utah a couple of years ago:

The kit included the tin frame for finishing and the ribbon to use it as a necklace. I gave this as a gift to Barbara when I met her in Maine earlier this month:

Also for Barbara, I stitched another of The Victoria Sampler’s Summer Biscornu. This time, I stitched the flowers in lazy daisy stitches, instead of using the silk ribbon. One side is done in purple on blue fabric:

The other side is done in red on a sage green fabric:

And here is the finished product. I promise that while the flash makes the buttons look like they clash horribly, but they didn’t look that bad in normal light:

I didn’t tell Barbara this, but I intended the blue/purple side to be representative of me and my favorite colors and the red/sage side to be in line with her preferred earthy colors. I didn’t know what her favorites were, so I just had to take a stab in the dark. 🙂

Next on the list is the Halloween Fob by The Sweetheart Tree. I started stitching this years ago, but never finished. I had only a few stitches left to put into one side and all of the backstitching for both pieces left, so I tackled this in the car on the way up to Maine. It is stitched on 32 ct. Sand lugana (from their Classics color line) by Silkweaver:

One of the projects I stitched on the way back was this Celtic Jewel key ring kit from Textile Heritage:

I now have this one finished into its keyring, but doing so smashed the stitches mercilessly, so it looks nicer in this scan than as the finished product… oh well!

One of the pieces I started while in Maine was the Pagoda Pincushion by Lody Steward, from the July issue of The Gift of Stitching Magazine. This is stitched on Confederate Gray linen (I think) with an unidentified overdyed silk and what I thought was a matching shade of pink DMC. Neither of the scans show the colors correctly:

It came together nicely, except I stuffed it far too aggressively and practically burst it at the seams! I’ve done this on a biscornu in the past, as well. It’s patchable, but I chose the nicer of the sides for the photograph. 😉 The photo does more justice to the fabric and fiber colors:

And finally, here is the final project that I started in Maine and completed a couple of days ago. I enjoyed stitching this one, as it was like stitching a band sampler, with different specialty stitches to keep you interested. This is the Sarah Belle Scissor Case by Lorri Birmingham:

Since the bulk of the stitching is done with ecru DMC on Angel Blush lugana, the stitches don’t show up very well, but it truly was a joy to stitch and I was sorry when it ended. Even when I spent two days stitching all of those Queen stitches (which is not one of my favorite stitches) in the border. It now has its fringe, but I haven’t dared to actually finish it, as it requires a lining and I’ve never done that before. So, it will go into my huge pile of projects to be finished for some day in the future. I really need to start attacking that pile one of these days…

So, there you have it. The last 3 months of my life summarized in one long post. If you stuck with me to the end of this, then you deserve a hearty pat on the back! Thanks for reading!

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