Thursday, December 5, 2013

Yes I am still alive

Wow. It has been along time since I posted. As one of only a few male cross stitchers with blogs I should be more consistent.

So what have I been up to...

I am finishing Joan Elliot's Water Wonderland...

I did mine on light blue aida 14ct Aida. About 1/2 the backstitching is done and then the beads. I'm shooting for Christmas since it is a gift. I am dreading doing the French knots :-(

I am also working on some Christmas jar toppers things for my wifey. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to keep the edges of the Aida from fraying after I put them on the jars?

Of course I have 5 other projects I have started and plenty in the wings.

Bye for now...

BTW: Have a Happy Christmas!

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Blog

I have started a new blog...

I don't have any followers or page views yet but maybe someday.

I am a big fan of Lucky Bamboo. This new blog is to answer questions about growing Lucky Bamboo and to help people who's plants are in poor health.

Here's a picture of my Lucky Bamboo...

Happy Stitching!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Peacock is Back From the Framer

The Peacock is back from the framer. I could not be more pleased with how it turned out. I want to really acknowledge the work of Jill Rensel at Rensel Studio in Ogden, Utah. The end product is better than I could have hoped for. Thanks Jill! You are the best!

The piece is called Flamboyant & Free by Joan Elliott.

Happy Stitching.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Angel of the Morning Update

I want to start with a thanks to all the ladies at Cascade Stitchers for making me feel so welcome at the meeting this month. Everyone was supportive and friendly. It's not every day that a man shows up for a stitching guild meeting. I learned some beading techniques and got to see everyone's show and tell projects. I can't wait until next month.

I have to say that I have so much to learn. These ladies are doing amazing embroidery projects. I feel like a total rookie.... of course I am one so that makes sense.

Here's my latest update... Having fun working on the wings.

Happy Stitching !!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Secret Project - Shhhhhhhhh

I began gathering supplies for a special project for a family member. The reciepient and subject matter are secret for now. The important thing about this project is that it involves several firsts for me. It involves stitching the entire piece of fabric and it's a big project for me (66,000 stitches). It has like 60 colors including 30 shades of brown and there is major confetti. To do this project, I will need to learn the Parking method of stitching. That leads to my question....

For people who do parking, how do you keep track of which color is which on the needles? Some of the colors are so close to each other.

Happy Stitching!!!


Monday, July 30, 2012

I don't play golf! & Angel of the Morning Update

So... I have Golfer's Elbow. I have never heard of this but that is what my doctor says. I don't even golf. To translate, I have tendinitis of my left elbow. Apparently this is caused or aggravated by holding the QSnap frame in the air. I need to ice it and let it heal but I don't want to stop stitching even for a little while. I will have withdrawal! I need my fix! I considered buying a frame stand but I don't think that will work for me. I move the frame around a lot while stitching.

In a related story...

My wife rearranged the living room again. I didn't understand why she wanted to do this? Everything was right where I liked it. Of course after she finished, the living room was much better and looked bigger. This moved me to the other end of the couch which put my left arm on the armrest. This should help my tendinitis. I can also put an ice pack of the armrest and rest my elbow on it.

I stitched a lot this weekend but didn't make that much progress. I guess the Olympics distracted me. I am stitching my way up the design right now. I think I am going to start at the top next time. It is so hard to work uphill :-)

I knew that this angel was big but it is becoming real now. To give you an idea how big, this is a 17" tall frame and this is only her dress. I still have her body and wings. The bad part is that the design is not in the center of the fabric again! I don't know how this happened. I folded the fabric in half both ways and started stitching the middle of the pattern right where they meet. The design is about an inch too high. Oh well. Hopefully there will be enough fabric to frame it. :-) 

Happy Stitching!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Patience Schmatience

The subject of patience has come up recently in several blogs including Anna's Stitch Bitch blog. One of the issues discussed is when non-cross stitchers say things like "I could never cross stitch because I'm too busy" or "I don't have the patience for things like that".

That got me thinking. How am I able to commit weeks or months to a single project and stick with it? Anyone who knows me will tell you that this is almost unheard of. I get great ideas or new hobbies that last a couple of weeks or months and then I get bored and try something else. I have a partially completed model tank and lots of dusty pastel painting supplies to prove this.

What is different about cross stitch? How am I able to wait months to see the picture completed? I am a very busy guy between work and family. It would be very easy to get side-tracked with other commitments.

Part of the reason is...  that I don't have to wait for part or all of my piece to be done to get joy out of it. I enjoy every little stitch. The novelty of those little stitches just doesn't wear off. Plus... the picture gets better with every stitch. Hmmm... what else... I love shopping for supplies, starting new projects, reading about cross stitch, talking about cross stitch, teaching my daughter (and anyone else who will listen) about how to cross stitch. I love giving away my cross stitch pieces, working to make better stitches and improve my technique, the list goes on and on.

If no one drags me away from it, I will stitch those little crosses until I go half blind, collapse from exhaustion or faint from lack of food or water. Thankfully my wife waves her hand in front of my eyes every once in a while and breaks the stitching trance that I am in. She usually says something like "Hello! Chris! It's your wife speaking to you... It's 2 am.. time for bed. You have to work tomorrow!"
To be an avid cross stitcher you don't need free time, you don't need patience and you definitely don't need any stitching skills.... All you need is.... to catch the stitching bug!! After that, there is no hope for you ever recovering from this addiction. :-)

Happy Stitching!!!

Angel of the Morning Update

It's time for a way overdue update on my current project... Angel of the Morning from Lavender & Lace....

I sure love this pattern and the fabric. I think it's Belfast Linen. I know it looks like the fabric ends on the left but it is actually tucked into the Q Snap frame :-) I am concerned with how much fabric is left at the top after the stitching is done. I just hope that Jill at Rensel Studios can work her magic when she frames it.

On another note, I contacted our local stitching club and I am gonna go to their next meeting. I am wondering if they will be expecting a male cross stitcher. We are a rare breed. I look forward to learning new stitches and techniques from these experienced stitchers.

The Peacock is at Jill's studio in Ogden UT being framed. Can't wait to see it.

Gotta go for now... lunch is up.

Happy Stitching!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Floss and Frogging

Yesterday I went to Joann Fabrics and the floss was on sale. $.33 a skein. With the coupon available online I paid $.28/skein. Cheers!!!! So I finished my floss library. On a different note, I frogged a big section of my current piece (Morning Angel). This area was dark blue stitches and the fabric was showing through. The problem... Stitches were too tight. I redid them with less tension and they look so much better. I need to learn to stop when the stitches aren't looking right and figure out what's wrong. Lesson learned. Happy stitching!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

So Close... And Yet So Far

I did it. I did that thing that you should not do in cross stitch. I started a new project with my current project close to being completed.

Why is this a no-no? Well, the biggest risk is that you will like stitching the new project and not get back to the other project for a long time. The chances that you will enjoy doing the new project more than the old one is about 98.7%.

The new project is Angel of the Morning from Lavender & Lace...

This is the most challenging project that I have taken on so far. The 32 ct Belfast Linen is hard to work with because my eyes are having trouble seeing the holes well. The number of blended colors, beads and special threads should be interesting. Not to mention the angel's face which is 1 over 1.

One of my favorite parts of doing a piece on 32 ct linen is that the stitches are so small that it hides my ugly stitches. I do railroad (sometimes) but I just can't commit to using a laying tool. I think I would need a lap or floor stand to do that since it would be 2 handed work.

Another plus....

I love it! Every stitch exposes the beauty of the design and honestly makes me smile everytime I stop and look at it :-) :-) :-) Everytime I work on a Lavender & Lace piece, I have a renewed respect for the work of Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum. In my opinion, no one creates dresses with as much flowing grace and depth. The color transitions are brilliant.

I just hope my stitching does the piece justice.

I will get back to the Geisha soon. I do need to order the petite beads. The chart calls for French Knots which I don't do. Don't get me started on French Knots.

Happy Stitching!!!

Happy Stitching!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sneak Peek Eastern Promise

Here's a sneak peek at my latest project... Eastern Promise from Joan Elliott. The cross stitches are done and now it's time for backstitching. This is 3 strands over red 14 ct Aida.

 Happy Stitching

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hello everyone!

It has been a long time since I have posted. I have been up to my ears at work and there have been lots of big events recently. My wife's mother passed away recently and we were out of town a couple of times for that. Ricky has been back from Afghanistan for the memorial. He left to go back this morning. We sure are gonna miss him. Quinten graduated from high school on Thursday and the graduation was very exciting. We are so proud of him. He gets to relax for the summer and then... maybe the Coast Guard? We'll see.

I have been working on Eastern Promise from Joan Elliott. All the cross stitches are done except the flowering tree above the geisha. Then comes the backstitching and beads. I am so excited to see it done.

I complained to the county fair textile coordinator because there was no category for evenweaves. She apologized and asked me to suggest categories for the next year. I suggested...

Aida 14 ct and under
Aida over 14 ct
Linen or other evenweave
Self-designed piece

The coordinator then asked me to do a demo of cross stitch including the materials and methods we use. I was totally flattered but delined. I don't think she realizes what a novice I am. Very nice of her though.

Either way my peacock does not have a category for this year and it's too late to change the categories so I am out of luck. I will go ahead and submit it and see what happens.

Happy Stitching!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I am frustrated. My County Fair will not allow me to enter my Peacock finish because it is not on Linen or Aida. I stitched it on Jobelan Evenweave. Has anybody heard of this before? I researched 15 or so state fairs and only one (Deleware) has rules that would exclude non-linen evenweaves. It seems to me that almost all my projects would be excluded. I might do a sampler in linen or maybe something designed to look classic or old. It seems like these folks are behind the times. Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to dump on linen but the unevenness is something that I would never use on an HAED or most the projects I do.

I want to take another unscientific poll. Please reply with the type of fabric used on your last 10 projects.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Working on the house today. Floors, dishes and laundry. I should get some stitching in today. I know it's IHSW but the housework comes first :-( I have lost 22 lbs now on this new supplement. Cheers!!! Happy stitching!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I am so happy. I have lost 20 lbs in the last 45 days! Thanks to the A.C.E supplement. My amazing wife has lost around 15 also.

Happy Dance :-)

Ok. Enough talk about weight. Let's get to the stitching. I am finishing the beading on Peacock but it is going slow. The beading needles keep breaking. I am gonna have to switch to a different needle. Maybe I'll try a regular sewing needle. If I use my tapestry needle, it doesn't fit through the beads and I have to take the needle off and thread the beabd and then put the needle back on. There must be an easier way.

Happy Stitching!!!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Thank You

Thank you so much to my followers for your words of kindness and encouragement on my Peacock project. I am nearing the end. I just have the beads to do at this point. I have chosen to use gold petite beads on the chest of the Peacock instead of french knots (don't get me started on french knots).

My biggest challenge now is sewing on the beads at the ends of the backstitch metallic hairs. There's nothing to tie them into and I don't want to tie them into the backstitch because the beads get loose. Soooooo... I am pulling out the old loop start. This is very challenging with the beading needle I am using. If anyone knows of a loop start in one thread I would be happy to hear about it :-)

No more pictures until it's done now

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Peacock Update

Ok. I am way overdue for an update. Majestic Swirling Peacock from Joan Elliott is getting close to being done :-) :-) :-)

Here's some pics...

This project has been so much fun to do and I am nearing the end. The encouragement of all my followers keeps me motivated to finish. My biggest supporter is my wife. I will show it to her after an hour of stitching and she will say how much she loves it. I know that it pretty much looks the same as the last 30 times I showed it to her but her face lights up everytime she sees it :-)

If you are going to do this pattern, you don't need 4 rolls of Kreinik 3232 - Brazilianite. I used 1 and 1/2 rolls .

You may have trouble finding this pattern. It is in Joan Elliott's bookazine Joan Elliott's Ultimate Cross Stitch Collection. This is really hard to find. The sad part is that some folks had opportunities to buy this and were complaining online that it was too expensive. I guess it's all relative. Let's see 44 color patterns. Most cost $14 each to buy seperately. Let's be generous and say you could get each one for $10. That's $ 410 worth of patterns for $25 or $30. Seems like a good deal to me.

Happy Stitching Everyone!!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Back on the Swirling Peacock

Well I am back to stitching on the Swirling Peacock from Joan Elliott...

I set Eastern Promise - Joan Elliott - aside for now....

My Goal this weekend is to be done with all the cross stitches and half stitches... and be working on the back stitching. I will cross my fingers. Eastern Promise is so much fun but I want to finish the peacock so bad :-)

Happy Stitching!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chris' Eating Plan

Sometimes I like to blog about things other than cross stitch and this is one of those times. My DW and I are starting a new diet supplement and I am starting a new eating plan. My DW has actually been using this supplement for a month and I have seen her lose weight and have lots of energy so I am trying it.

Today I wanted to share my eating plan. I call it cupa, cupa, cupa. You'll see why in a minute. At each meal I eat up to 3 cups of food.

Here are the rules...

1. Each cup has to be a different food.

2. Foods combined together into a dish count as one food. In other words I can't have 3 cups of spaghetti just because it has pasta, sauce and meat.

3. If I am going to have 3 cups, one has to be a fruit, veggie or green salad.

That's all the rules!

Wait a minute.. How can that be all the rules?

I know what your saying... That won't work... You could eat anything in those other two cups.

True. I can eat one cup of potato chips, one cup of ice cream and one cup broccoli. I can go to a fast food place and eat a cheeseburger, fries and a small salad.

The point of this eating plan is to have portion control and variety. Diets that restrict what kind of foods I can eat, don't work for me because I "cheat" and then feel defeated.

If a cup is too much for you then you could use 3/4 cup but I wouldn't go smaller than that. I need to feel full (not stuffed)... Full after each meal or I will be eating again in an hour.

This works for me but it may not work for you...take it or leave it.

Happy Stitching!!!