Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Cross-Stitch

I mentioned that last weekend, we took a finished cross-stitch to Michaels to get it framed.

Yesterday I finally pulled out the 'Mighty Samurai' cross-stitch. I've been avoiding it since I started it in late June. I did maybe an one inch square section and got annoyed: my pattern paper kept falling off my magnetic board, I was 'attacked' by the fabric outside the hoop (it's a large cross-stitch), I kept losing my place - it just didn't seem to be going well and I was very frustrated. Me frustrated is not a pretty sight!!

Also, most of the stitches are combinations of 2 colors of floss, which takes longer to thread since you have to pull one thread from each of 2 floss bundles. Not to mention that since often the 2 bundles of floss are very, very close in color, if I am not extra careful, I confuse the bundles and then spend a lot of time worrying which one is 'very light dusty purple' and which one is 'light dusty purple.' I was annoyed and frustrated at all the combined colors. Additionally, there will be stitching with gold metallic thread (I don't like stitching with metallic threads) plus there will be beading and there will be all kinds of stitches, not just cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, & backstitch but also French knots, lazy daisies, couching, cording - things I don't think I am very good at!!!

Basically, it's taken me a while to get motivated enough to really focus on this one and to not be daunted by it!

On our trip to Michaels, I got 2 new cross-stitch tools. I've been wanting these for quite a while. First, a stand for my magnetic board: No more trying to prop the board against my knee or a mug or a pillow. A real stand. I am very excited about this. It makes such a huge difference! No more having the pattern fall onto the floor!! I can't believe it took me 4 years since I started cross-stitching to get one of these! Here it is, with the magnetic board and pattern on it:My second new tool: A small, adjustable booklight! I was having trouble with the lighting in the living room - despite having 2 lamps on, I still didn't seem to have enough light and the lamps seemed to cast shadows from my hand in just the most annoying spot on the fabric! The living room window provides lots of fantastic natural light, but that is also the problem with the living room window!! The window gets all the afternoon & evening sunshine shining through, so we need to keep the blinds closed for several reasons: to keep the sunshine out to keep it from getting too hot in the house (there is a very noticeable difference in temperature between the front and back rooms of the house in the afternoon & evening), the sun shines in at certain angles that cause you to squint and reach for sunglasses, and it's so bright that you cannot really see the TV picture if you're watching TV. My new little gadget is terrific!! I can keep the blinds closed and not get too hot or squint and wear sunglasses indoors while still being able to see the cross-stitch fabric holes!As you can see I now have more than 1 square inch stitched although there's still a very long way to go! I'll be lucky to finish this by the end of the year (the big ones usually take me 4-5 months).

Yesterday afternoon was a very successful afternoon of stitching. There was just one small 'oops' moment. I keep a tea mug that I got in Japan on the table next to me when I stitch. I keep little bits of excess floss in it and I keep scissors in it so that I always know where the scissors are (I have a habit of somehow having the scissors disappear in my lap or fall down the sides of the chair or fall onto the floor). Of course, this system only works of you always remember to put the scissors in the blue Japan mug. At one point, I was looking around for the scissors, patting my lap, smushing my hands down the sides of my chair, and generally getting irritated because I couldn't find the scissors. One pair had already bounced onto the floor out of reach (I was too lazy to move to retrieve them) and now my second pair was MIA. Suddenly, my eyes locked in on my tea mug. The mug filled with yummy, freshly brewed Blue Lady tea. And I had a bad feeling.

Oh yes. I did. I put the scissors in the wrong mug. I dunked them in tea.
Good thing I have a third pair of cross-stitch scissors in the cross-stitch supply box next to the chair...

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