January 31, 2011

Terrace Arch - 4th Update

A quick post before I head off to bed. I did pretty good this weekend considering that we had a busier weekend than usual.

This was charted with some of the areas left unstitched, but seeing the empty fabric really bothered me, so I went through and filled in all the cream flagstone areas. I think it adds more depth and finishes up the picture nicely, don't you?

Before: Jan. 27th, 2011
After: Jan. 30, 2011

January 28, 2011

Terrace Arch - 3rd Update

I manage to get all the foliage and bannisters stitched, but this sooooo ain't getting done by Monday. LOL!!! Maybe if I don't do anything and stitch all weekend, but we're expecting a busy one. I'm making dinner for my cousin tomorrow (we usually get together every weekend and alternate houses), then the usual chores and errands, and I want to have everything ready for my parents' visit next Tuesday.

I don't know if I've mentioned that they're coming from Malaysia. The poor dears are going to be so tired after traveling for 30+ hours.

Oh well... new finishing deadline: Before my parents leave (Feb. 26th), since I'll be sending it home with them. I have all the flowers to finish on this bottom half and then houses and mountains in the background. I know I won't have as much stitching time when they're here, but I think that's doable, don't you? :S

Before: Jan. 24th, 2011
After: Jan. 27th, 2011

January 27, 2011

International Hermit and Stitch Weekend

Tammy sent me an email the other day about the frequency of International Hermit and Stitch Day. To be honest, I couldn't have imagined that so many of you would be interested in this little hare-brained scheme that Kim and I thought up. So, I want to say huge THANK YOU for making the first one so much fun. :D

I really had a great time visiting all your blogs and looking at your WIPs, and in the process, getting to know you. There were quite a few comments about when the next one will be, or if it would be a weekly thing, and about looking forward to the next one. There were a few stitches that were busy on Saturday and stitched on Sunday instead.... which was awesome!

So, I'd like to toss a few ideas out and see what you guys think:

How about once a month? Let's say the 3rd weekend. It will give us something to look forward to through the first half of each month... to concoct and plan about how much we're going to enjoy our Hermit Day. I think once a week is too soon. We all have such busy lives and I'd like for this to be something we'd look forward to and plan for instead of something that becomes tedious.

I'd like to make it a weekend instead of just a day. This way, for those of us who are busy on one of those days, we still get to hermit and stitch. :D

We can post individually in our own blogs OR we can start an IHaSW Blog and post in both blogs. Either way, I will list your blogs in my Monday post after each of these weekends.

What are your thoughts?

January 26, 2011


I'm so excited right now that if I were a cartoon, I'd have flown to the moon and back and be whirling around like a rocket in giddy excitement!!!!

Why???? Cos Martina has just posted on the Chatelaine Board that SHE'S WORKING ON A CHINESE GARDEN MANDALA!!!

I.... have.... no.... words!!!

ETA: Well, Martina released a first preview!!! Four over 1 phoenixes. YIPPPEEEE!!!!! And after staring at it non-stop, I saw the lanterns!!!

January 25, 2011

Ribbon Embroidery and Some Stash

Have you guys ever tried your hands at Ribbon Embroidery?

I was tidying up my nightstand a few days ago and found 2 heart-shaped ribbon embroidery that I did umpteenth years ago. I'd forgotten how pretty they are!! I remember finding them at Wal-Mart during our college days and totally falling in love with them, and of course, I had to try them out. I have to say....  I'm quite impressed with what I did as a first-timer. :D They are now gracing a cabinet handle in our closet and I'm tempted to stitch a more substantial one.

As for the stashing part, I found Cross Stitch World, a great online site for kit purchases. They have the best prices, online or off, and offered with free shipping after $50, which made me a little wary about their customer service. Brenda bravely placed an order and everything went perfectly; so last Thursday I bought 3 kits and they arrived today!!!

I'm most excited about Joan Elliott's Oriental Grace, as she's going to be the perfect companion to Oriental Wisdom. I will be stitching The Dolphins' Domain for a friend as his housewarming gift, and Beach Romance is for Brenda.

January 24, 2011

Terrace Arch - 2nd Update

I was hoping to have gotten a lot more done for our International Hermit and Stitch Day, but we hung out with my cousin and her family and had some really yummy Malaysian food and a grand ol'time.

I think I probably stitched about a total of 6-7 hours on Saturday and about 5 hours on Sunday. I wanted to make up a bit  of stitching time on Sunday, but I had a 25% off entire purchase at Michael's so I thought.... "HEY!!! Perfect time to stock up on additional DMC!"

So there I was, scooting around on my bum, with my DMC Floss List, ticking off the colors as I went. I wanted to pick up 2 extra sets in preparation of all the new Chatelaines (hehehehe), but it was a tough process. They had skeins in the wrong bins, empty bins, and then something a handful of different colors in one bin.

2 hours and a headache later, I surrendered. LOL! I did manage to get about 2/3 of 2 full sets, so I figured the next time I come across another 25% off, I'll complete the sets.

Here are the before and after pictures of Terrace Arch:

Before: Jan. 20th, 2011
After: Jan. 24th, 2011

Check out these blogs...

I hope everyone had a great first International Hermit and Stitch Day. I extended mine for the weekend, since I didn't get as much done as I'd have liked on Saturday. I'll post a picture tomorrow when the sun comes up, but till then, keep an eye out on these wonderful blogs for IHSD pictures. :D

January 20, 2011

International Hermit and Stitch Day

This came about with me mentioning that I'm going to play hermit and stitch this Saturday. To which Kim commented that she would do the same and came up with the brilliant idea of making this Saturday an International Hermit and Stitch Day.

So, I'm going to throw it to all you stitchers out there...

Come one, come all!!!
Wherever you are, whatever time zone you may be,
even if you have just a couple of hours to spare...

I will be posting a WIP pic on Monday and I think it's safe to say Kim will do the same. Please leave your blogs in the comments section, and I'll make it my mission for next week to visit and celebrate your stitching progress. :D

Terrace Arch - 1st Update

I thought it might be motivational to post an update of Terrace Arch every few days. I think I've bitten off more than I can chew (LOL!) trying to finish this in 2 weeks. But, we shall see... and I will try.

Before: Jan. 17th, 2011
After: Jan. 20th, 2011
3 nights of after-work stitching, with some Wii thrown in . ;)
I'm hoping that I will be able to get a lot more done during the weekend. Maybe I'll hermit up and stitch the hours away.

January 19, 2011

Oy Vey

Martina released a new mandala a couple of days ago called Spring Knotgarden. It is a design that is gorgeous, stunning, marvelous, and breathtaking all rolled into one. I can't even begin to imagine how glorious this piece will be when it's stitched up. Everything about it calls to me: from the sweet pinks, to the vibrant yellows, to the soothing blues and greens... and that's not even mentioning the bling and specialty stitches. My heart sighs in contentment just looking at it.

So what's the problem? You ask. Well... when Martina added seasonal gardens to her original Knotgarden and Watergarden (pictured below), I toyed with the idea of stitching a set when she completes the designs. I thought that it would be so totally cool to display either the Knotgarden or Watergarden seasons and change them out with the changing seasons.

I know how prolific and talented a designer Martina is... but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought she is THIS good!! (Excuse me a moment while I bash my head!!)

You see here, presented before you, 3 Knotgarden seasons and 2 Watergarden seasons. Beautiful, aren't they? One could lose oneself in them and sit and stare and while the day away. To make matters worse (yes, I'm being very whiny today.... LOL!), I've seen a few of them stitched up and OMG!!!!

From top left: Spring Knotgarden, Summer Knotgarden, Frosty Knotgarden

From left: Autumn Watergarden, Winter Watergarden

What's the problem? You ask again. Remember that little idea I had about stitching ONE set when she's done with them? Well.... look at them!!!! How am I supposed to choose??? *pout* I love them all and I haven't even seen Autumn Knotgarden, Spring Watergarden, or Summer Watergarden. (Excuse me while I bash my head some more!!)

Which would YOU choose?

January 17, 2011

Terrace Arch - A New Start

Before I get into the matter in hand, I want to thank all of you for your condolences and words of comfort about my grandma. They mean a lot to me. *hugs* I'm doing better... if I think about it too much, I tear up, so I try not to, and find comfort in the fact that I know she's in an infinitely better place.

My Aunt Pat, whom grandma lived with, is my favorite aunt. We were very close when I was little and no matter the physical distance, the bond is always there. When I was 11, I stitched my first 'grown-up' cross stitch gift was for her. It was a country scene with either a building or church in the background... I can't remember now. I really need to take a picture of it the next time I'm home for a visit. But, I digress...

She's been asking me to stitch something for her for a few years now. Always in the nicest possible way, she tells me, "Stitch me something small, but only when you have time. I want to display it." I bought Terrace Arch last year just for her, and with my parents' visit and Namaste's finish, I thought that this would be the perfect time. I'm hoping to get this done in 2 weeks (HAH!!) as I doubt I'd have very much stitching time when my parents are here. Wish me luck!

January 16, 2011

Namaste - Finished!

I saw this design whilst browsing 123stitch.com and had to buy it to stitch for my mother-in-law. My in-laws visit during the winter every year and I started this last year with the intention that she see it before it's framed up... just in case she didn't like the colors hubby and I chosed. I wanted to changed it from the originally charted colors to a brighter floss. So, out came all my Vikki Clayton Silks and we picked  colors that were reminiscent of India. I also tea-dyed the linen (I believe it's 32ct) as I wanted a more earthy look to serve as a base for the bright silks, and MIL said that it was perfect cos she loves tea. LOL!!!

I made some minute adjustments to the chart and added a few lines of stitches here and there to round out the swirls.

The Particulars:
Designs by Lisa
Fabric: Self-dyed linen
Stitched 2 over 2
Floss: Vikki Clayton Silks
Finished: Jan.15th, 2011

We went to HomeGoods yesterday and found the perfect frame! It's hard to see from the picture, but there are gold swirls in the black frame that picked up the gold silks and suited them to perfection. MIL said that I should have signed the stitching, but since I don't do that, I edged-cut a note card and attached it to the back of the frame as my signature.

January 15, 2011

In Rememberance

My paternal grandma passed away peacefully at 10:40am, Jan. 16th, Singapore time. She had been having good and bad days for a few years now, and was admitted to the hospital early last week because she couldn't breathe. The doctors put her on antibiotics and that helped. They wanted to put her on machines but all her children said no... that they'd want her to be comfortable but not prolong any suffering.

They took her home earlier this week with a feeding tube in her, as she couldn't swallow her food. I called her a few days ago and was fortunate that she was lucid and could hear me talking to her. I'm glad for that opportunity, as it would have been a huge regret had I not been able to do that.

She was a good, strong woman. Only about 4ft.10in. in stature, she had 11 kids and lost 3 of them in infancy. Life was hard back then, but she and my grandpa raised wonderful kids and grandkids.

I was the oldest child of her oldest son. In the chinese culture, sons and grandsons are always seen as the most important. But I was a treasure to her from the day I was born. My mom tells of the story where grandma would carry me around no matter what she was doing... from cooking, to chopping chicken, to cleaning. I was well and truly spoilt.

This is a picture we took of grandma when we were home 3 years ago. That bruised under her eye had been there for years and it never went away.

This was something we were all prepared for. I know she is in a better place. I know she is with the God she loves loved and adores adored. I keep having to change things to the pass tense, and it's killing me...

January 12, 2011


.... one needle. It jumped off the carpet and right into MIL's hand, declaring the Land of Lost Needles a prickly sort of place!!

January 10, 2011

Why I Don't Rotate

Thanks for all your encouragement about Fire, girls. You guys are the greatest!! :D

I don't function well when I have to stitch more than one big project at a time. You should've seen me last night...

The Fire chart and floss got put away, and out came Taj. But of course, it didn't make its way straight to the scroll. Oh no!! Gazing time had to be appropriated. ;) (You guys know what I mean right?) After this had been done to my satisfaction, off came the Fire fabric, followed by more gazing time at the tiny white, cream, and light grey stitches as I said 'goodbye.' I dislike keeping needles with projects, so my John James petite was removed and stuck into the Taj fabric.

Then Taj got scrolled up and the fabric tension was adjusted all around. Out came the silks, highlighter, chart, and scissors, which were placed in their own places around my stitching spot. I sat down, leaned back, studied the chart for awhile, and picked my first color of the night. The floss was then lovingly pulled out and separated. (You're laughing right now reading this, cos you know exactly what I'm talking about... I know you do. LOL!!!) I leaned forward, picked up my scroll frame, adjusted it's position in front of me, separated 2 lengths of floss, reach for the needle.... *screeeeech.... back up*.... reach for the..... WHERE IS THE NEEDLE????!!!

Up came the scroll frame... on came the bright overhead lights... down to the carpet I went.
Mother-in-law: "What happened, did you lose a needle?"
Me: "Yup!! I forgot I stuck it in the fabric before scrolling it up!"
MIL: *leaned down to help look*
Hubby: "Try using the stick magnet."
Me: *walked around brandishing the magnet like I was a surveyor trying to find treasure*

Three minutes later, I declared that the needle can go to the land where my other needles now reside!!

After all that fiasco, what did I do? Decide that I should work on Namaste again. I'm stitching this for my MIL, and when I previously left it, I only had the word and maybe 10 stitches of the scroll work done. I've been stitching it in one of those round hand-held frames, which explains why it hasn't seen much progress since I loathe stitching in hand.

I won't bore you with the details of how Taj came off the stand and Namaste got on... but here's what it looks like after a couple of hours last night.

How about you guys? I know a lot of you rotate... how do you deal with it? And do you spend obscene amounts of time looking at your piece instead of actually STITCHING it?

January 9, 2011

Fire - Bye Bye Mojo

I've tried to tough this one out, really I have. But every time I stitch it, I see Taj Mahal Mandala in my mind's eye. It's really hard for me to gather up steam and whilst I really love seeing those little X's line up all nice and neat in this piece, I think I should listen to myself and switch things out and finish Taj.

January 4, 2011

January New Moon TUSAL

It's new moon today!! and as such, here's my first post for Daffycat's T(totally) U(seless) S(tich)-A-L(ong). If you are unaware of this event, check out her blog or click HERE for more information.

It's been an exciting day of checking out other stitcher's ORTs (Old Ratty Threads) and seeing their collection of stitching odds and ends, and I know this is going to be something I will look forward to on every new moon. :D

Here is my meager collection of ORTs (Old Ratty Threads) as of today. I started this year's jar towards the end of December and the silks from Taj Mahal at the bottom of the pile. Instead of keeping every stitching odd and end, this will be a floss only ORT.

I don't think this collection will grow by leaps and bounds as I am a stingy stitcher, and am never willing to part with a length of floss till I get to the absolute end, even though it sometimes means I have to re-thread the needle with it IN the fabric just to finish that one last stitch. Are you laughing or shuddering at that last bit? ;)

What about you guys? Do you use your thread to the bitter end (LOL) or are you more generous with the tails?

January 3, 2011

New Start - Fire by Maria J. William

For all my mention of stitching Fire in my SAL with EeKoon and Novia, I realized that I have yet to post a picture of this fabulous piece if art by Maria J. William. It is part of her Five Elements series which consists of the chinese elements Fire, Wood, Metal, Water, and Earth.

The three of us have been planning this start for at least two years and 2011 is the magic number! I will be stitching Fire, EeKoon will be stitching Metal, and Novia will be stitching Wood.

Fire (top left), Metal (top right), Wood (bottom center)

So, as promised, I prepped everything up and started Fire on New Year's. I'm stitching her on 28ct lugana and OMG the white on white stitching is hell on earth!!! I've done two colors so far and while the second color may look like a light gray blue on the bobbin, it's alllllll white on the fabric. I have to say that I do enjoy watching those tiny little X's take shape. They bring my such pleasure, but I find it hard to stitch on her for a long period of time as my eyes get really tired.

These were charted by Stab and Stash, who are not in business anymore, and while I have complete faith in their charting, the symbols are atrocious to read! I'm only working on the background and it's tough, I can only imagine what will happen when I get to the parts with more design elements. So, if you hear in the news about a S. Floridian stitcher gone amok, you'll know it's me. LOL!