The first pair of peacocks is finished!
It feels great to finally stitch a pair of peacocks. As with all the other parts of the chart, there’s an amazing amount of detail. I still have so much to do on the overall mandala, but the beauty of the finished sections make the effort well worth it.
Another motivator to finish: the upcoming Chinese Garden Mandala in April. After eagerly following all the design details as they’re currently being revealed on Facebook and the Châtelaine message board, I’m pretty sure I’m in for this one.
Have a great weekend!
I worked a little on CJC #9, the Rose Mosaic needle roll:
After that, I felt motivated to pick up the Peacock Garden Mandala and have another go at it. With such a large project, when inspiration strikes, you run with it! I stitched enough of one area that I could reward myself with a pair of peacocks. Pictures soon, I hope. I’m working on all the tail feathers right now, and I’m not sure how long it will take to finish those.
Have a great week!
Thank you for the kind words regarding the Shepherd’s Bush finishes. I worked on the Châtelaine Designs Stitching Leporello (CJC #5) over the weekend, and have been picking away at it through the week.
No sepia tone was added to these pictures; Seattle winters are really dark! These photos were taken before noon on a day when the sun is shining. Hopefully by the time I finish the Leporello the days will be brighter and you can see this pretty project in all its colorful, sparkly glory.
I’m working on the small parts of the Leporello first. The flowers are some of the pieces which connect the booklet together, and the arch is part of the needle keep page. Each design is exquisite and full of detail; any one would be a lovely standalone small. I especially like this arch, from the variegated vine to the Gothic initials stitched over one. Wouldn’t it make a pretty pinkeep?
Williamsburg Stitcher’s Case by Just Nan
Vanilla Gold Legacy linen (30 count)
Stitched with DMC and GAST
Well, my list was sure to include a Just Nan project, but which one? How about this limited edition stitcher’s case, designed to commemorate Haus Tirol’s 30 year anniversary? I think it will do nicely.
After yesterday’s list shakeup, here are the first stitches in the Leporello:
This morning I settled in to tackle my original #5. My brother gave me a nifty magnifier/light that was salvaged equipment from his office (if it didn’t go to my craft room, it was going to be thrown out), so I felt up to the challenge of stitching over one on 40 count linen.
The magnifier works great, but I couldn’t keep track of my place on the pattern, and the thread was knotting up all over the place. In short order I was completely frustrated with the project! Usually when I hit a rough spot I can soldier on through it and it gets better, but this time I just had a feeling that I was going to hate working on this project today, and I wouldn’t want to work on it again any time soon, much less finish it. I still think it’s an interesting project; I may pick it up again some time in the future, and I may have a better time with it then, but for now I’ve put it away.
In its place is a project I’ve wanted to do for quite some time: the Stitching Leporello by Châtelaine Designs. I purchased the chart and finishing instructions and kitted it up at the same time as the Japanese Octagon Box.
Stitching Leporello by Châtelaine Designs
Cream Belfast linen (32 count)
Stitched with NPI, Silk ‘N Colors, Waterlilies
To get an idea of what the Stitching Leporello will look like, see the lovely finishes on the archived Châtelaine bulletin board. When I was choosing my original fifteen projects, I considered the Leporello, but decided that other projects would finish up much more quickly. But we have all of 2011 to finish the challenge projects, right? I love the silks and beads; I think this will be a pleasure to stitch and well worth the extra time. Now to see how much progress I can make on it in the little time that remains today …
Before the year ends, here’s a look at the WIPs I’m still working on:
Three Friends by The Drawn Thread.
Recently I took this one with me to work on while babysitting a friend’s children. They were supposed to be asleep when I arrived, but the three year-old girl was still awake. When she saw my stitching bag, she got out of bed several times during the evening to look at the chart, the panels I had finished, and all the silk colors. Finally she said, “I can’t sleep because your thread is too pretty.” I couldn’t agree more; many a late night stitching session has been inspired by such feelings.
Two panels remain to be stitched, and it seems to take me about one week to stitch a panel, so this one could be done soon. Then it needs to be finished into a stitching folder.
Peacock Garden Mandala by Châtelaine Designs.
I’m still soldiering away on part 4. It’s like yard work; I spend hours on it, and can’t see any progress. That’s discouraging, but I know if I keep at it, even little by little, eventually this part will be finished. On the bright side, this is by far the largest installment in the twelve-part series, so once it’s done, the other sections should go much more quickly. I’d like to finish this in 2011. There are several other Châtelaine mandalas I’d like to start, but I think I had better stick with working on one mandala at a time. It’s a good incentive to finish.
Hardanger doily in Diana Hardanger magazine.
This one is my current “waiting room” project – any time I’m waiting for an appointment, I can take it out and work on a few eyelets. (There are a lot of eyelets in this design.) I want to finish this one by next summer so there’s no rush, but even so I’d like to move this out of the waiting room and give it a higher priority, just to make sure it gets done.
So that’s the status of my 2010 projects still in progress. As if that were not enough …
Crazy? Oh, yes. But I’ve joined Risti Pisto Hassutus 2011, the Crazy January Challenge: begin a new project every day between January 1 – 15, and finish all fifteen projects during 2011. It will be a great way to finally get around to those projects I was so eager to have … at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Usually I prefer to have only a couple of projects in progress so we’ll see how this goes. Now to decide what to stitch. I’m tempted to load up with easy smalls and be done with it, but I’d really like to work on a variety of projects to keep it interesting and, well, a challenge. Since one of the goals is stash reduction, my list will be confined to projects already kitted up; no extra trips to the LNS. I think I can come up with fifteen different designers. What surprises lurk in my stash and what will make the list?
Japanese Octagon Box by Châtelaine Designs
Meadow Mist Belfast linen (32 count)
Stitched with Gloriana, NPI, Waterlilies, RG and Kreinik metallic braids
After a year and a half, it’s done! I’ve been fretting over the finishing process all summer, but when I settled down and started, it all went very smoothly. I was able to do the scissor fob in an evening, the scissor case the following morning, and the box took about a day and a half to complete.
Looking back through the project notes, total real stitching time (minus procrastination time) added up to about five months. I would stitch on it for about six weeks, take a long (really long!) break, and when I felt like working on it again I’d stitch for another six weeks, followed by another long break.
Both the stitching charts and finishing instructions are detailed and easy to follow. It was so exciting to see the pieces come together and look just like the photos. This is the largest finish I’ve done (perhaps ever may do) and it’s been a real confidence builder for working on smaller etuis, scissor cases, and other finishing projects. I think my future finishes will improve from the things I learned while stitching and assembling the JOB.
It’s difficult to choose a favorite part of this project. The design is gorgeous, the finish unique and stunning. This is definitely an attention-getter! The materials were lovely; I especially enjoyed the variegated silk used on the little border boxes. The beads are all so pretty and add so much to the design; I keep repeating myself to say that the photos don’t do justice to how much these pieces sparkle and glitter. You’ll have to make your own and see it for yourself!
A long overdue peek at the ort jar, where one can find the soft pastels from Shepherd’s Bush and The Drawn Thread, cheery brights from Just Nan, creamy white silk from Victoria Sampler and rich silks and metallics from Châtelaine Designs.
Speaking of Châtelaine, all the Japanese Octagon Box pieces are stitched! Here’s the box lid piece.
Now I need to finish the box … deep breaths … I can do this, I think …
I’ve also started Morning Glory by The Drawn Thread. The silks are so pretty, and all the backstitched vines will keep me busy for some time.
This is what the morning glories look like in my yard: definitely not tidy little blue Jessica stitches.
After one of the darkest, coldest Junes on record, we are finally starting to see a little sunshine, and we’ve even had a couple of days above 70°F. No sweltering summer days here, at least not yet!
Time for a status report: the second and third installments of this mandala were relatively small, which was a nice break. This picture also shows just a tiny bit of the fourth part.
To bead or not to bead? Usually I wait until the end of a project to add the beads, but given the size of this mandala and the large amount of beading to do, after much deliberation I chose to bead as I go. So far it hasn’t been a problem but we’ll see if the beads get in the way as I work on future sections of the chart.
Part 4 looks like it’s going to take a long time (but so pretty! Just wait and see!) and Part 5 should be available in about a week. I’m going to keep working on Part 4 but realistically there’s no way it will be done before I get Part 5. But if Part 5 is small, maybe I can catch up in time for Part 6.