A small start

I decided to take a short break from my cross stitch projects and try something new – pattern darning. This is the first time I have used wool thread. I found someone on Etsy selling DMC Medici wool, which was discontinued in 2006. It is a crewel weight wool and they were only $1 a skein so I decided to get a couple of them to try out. I have previously only used cotton thread. It is quite different, a bit stretchy so it is difficult to keep tension. I have done a small piece of a pattern I found online and alternated some of the colors, I like it so far!



First finish of the summer

Here is my first finish of the summer! I have pretty much been bedridden from surgery so I was able to finish this piece in the last 3 weeks. I usually rotate my projects after a couple days, but I have been really trying to complete one of these never ending WIPs! This is the second pillow I have finished in the Donna Vermillion Giampa series, the first being Pumpkins. This is Hydrangeas, done on 28 count evenweave, I believe the fabric color is called mushroom.

I would really like to finish Biancabella this summer, and I plan on giving pattern darning a try for a possible art/sci project.




Much, much later…

WordPress you sonofabitch! I just wrote a thought provoking paragraph about why I haven’t updated in 7 months and you crash!?!

Tl;dr anyways… Having two bairns is tough and so is a broken foot. Here’s my stuff

Also, forgive all the watermarks, I don’t want any trolls stealing my shit.

Here is a SCA art/sci piece I am working on. I bought the linen at a secondhand “antique” store here in town for like $3. Heh, sucker, I would have paid TWICE that! It is something like 48 count, near as I can tell. It is done in a long arm cross stitch over 2, using DMC 321 (or 666 if you are old school). I took the pattern from a huge piece that was about 4×4 feet but had a lot of white space, I can’t be that wasteful so I’m just doing the center part. The dragon will repeat around the center 4 times. I feel like I read somewhere that early period dragons look more birdlike but I can’t confirm and my Google Fu is failing me tonight. At any rate, they look cool to me.



Next up, we have a little border piece I am doing for my Finnish garb. It is 64 (yes, 64) count linen done in split stitch, I don’t remember the colors, just that they matched my fabric the best!


Here is a leine (Irish shirt) I’m working on for Cairbre. I love blackwork, so he is getting a blackwork border around the bottom. I know this is not the period placement for embroidery, so feel free to bite me if you are going to leave a comment to this effect. It’s what he wanted, and that’s all I care about. Here it is, almost finished!



This is Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender and Lace, 28 count linen. This is the third time I’ve done this pattern, I love it 🙂 I keep giving them away


Here is Hydrangeas pillow by Donna Vermillion Giampa, JCS Magazine, April 2009. I have done a little popcorn on this one, I am hoping to finish it this summer. 28 count evenweave. I am a little obsessed with these pillows, I actually spent quite a lot of time on eBay collecting all the magazines these were in, I have about 15 left to do, just one done, the pumpkins (see previous entry). Front and back attached.



Wow, this is getting long! Now on to some Mirabilias. First up is Stargazer. I put her down for a bit because it is EXTREMELY EFFING difficult sewing on almost black fabric, I have to have a light in front of and behind the work. And that is a first class ticket to migraine country. This one will be slow going.


Next is my darling, Biancabella. I am in love with this piece, it may be one of my favorites that Nora has designed. And from quite an obscure fairy tale! Google it if you are interested, it’s pretty good. I love the colors and beading and everything! It’s supposed to be on a white background but what can I say, I’m a rebel. This one will go to the state fair if I get it done and framed this year.



So let’s move on to projects I want to do, maybe this summer, maybe sometime before I die at 128, according to a random Facebook quiz.

#1 – Harry Potter sampler by Cloudsfactory – getting around copyright laws by claiming “parody”? Ingenious! I wish I had $55 to purchase this pattern but alas, I do not. If you have $55, feel free to send this my way. I’d even make one for you!


#2 – Shakespeare’s Fairies by Mirabilia – all kitted out, I even have awesome green sparkly fabric to do this on, just need time to start it!


#3 Arezzo – I got this kit all the way from Italy but alas, I have not fully kitted it or started it…

#4 some more of these blasted Donna Vermillion Giampa pillows… But I love them so…

#5 I suppose I should make some birth samplers for my children before they turn 18 right…. Luckily I have some time.

Let’s see what the summer has in store for me!


Lavender and Dragons

The flu and insomnia are not a good combination as it is 1am and I am still wide awake. I have been straightening up my stash because I want to enter in some Art/Sci competitions in the next year, and I am also participating in some Mirabilia stitch-a-longs that I will post when I start them in the new year! Although I have mostly done cross stitch, I am trying to branch out in some different types of embroidery. Here is a little piece I did to practice some different stitches. I might put some weights on the edges to turn it into a mug cover.


Here is another epic piece I have been working on for a long time, just need to finish some beading! It is Celestial Dragon by Teresa Wentzler. It is the first piece I really worked with blending filament and seed beads. It is approximately 11″x14″ on 32 count linen.

I bought a couple of historical coif patterns I hope to start working on this year. I love embroidery and would really like to branch out into more fiber and textile arts as I go along! I am also working on a large long arm cross stitch void work piece, I will post pics of it soon.





Completed projects

Here are some things I have actually completed:

Blue Belle by Hummel. Done on 14 count Aida, 10×20. This is one of my earliest completed pieces and one do my favorites. My grandparents had a Hummel piece hanging in their dining room that my aunt did, so I always wanted to do one. I’m glad I dated this one, looks like I did it in 2004. I have some more Hummel patterns, maybe one day…


This is a piece I did for my grandfather, who I miss very much. It was also hanging in his house and it was given back to me when he died. Now it is hanging in my sister’s house with a couple of other pieces. I don’t remember where I got the pattern, probably Just Cross Stitch magazine. It is a view of Tuscany. Done on 14 count Aida (I think)


This is one of my favorite pieces I have ever done. It is called Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender and Lace. Done on 28 count ivory evenweave. It needs a bit of ironing, I used to be very against using hoops and always used hand tension, which is probably why I have arthritis in my 30s… So needless to say now I use hoops 🙂 my sister has this one as well, I would like to make another one to put in Pickle and Piglet’s room.


Last but most certainly not least, this is the most difficult one I have completed thus far. According to the designer, there are just about 20,000 stitches in it. I completed it for my father. It is called Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles. It is on BLACK 28 count evenweave. If you have never stitched on black fabric let me tell you, it was not easy. You have to work with a light behind the work because otherwise you can’t see the holes! I also used a variegated gold shaded silk. I’m glad I did this one, because I will probably never stitch on black linen again. Here is a link to some other people’s completed pieces : Cercles Gallery



Here’s some Elizabethan style blackwork. Nothing terribly interesting, just a sampler piece. These are both the front and back done with a Holbein (reversible) stitch. The top pattern is a quatrefoil, bottom is the Jane Seymour cuff. I really like doing this style of stitching, I look forward to making some Elizabethan garb one day!






I should probably preface this post by reiterating that I love cross stitch. Before I had these wonderful children of mine, I could sit and sew for hours straight. I like to joke with my husband Cairbre that the only non child memory I have is sitting on the couch watching a 15 hour Angel and Buffy marathon and just sitting and working on a cross stitch. I literally have over a thousand patterns. I have binders and binders of them from years of magazine collecting and shopping on eBay when someone’s aunt/grandma/neighbor died and left them with a similar hoarder collection they don’t want. One such collection I have worked for years to collect is the Donna Vermillion Giampa pillow series that include fruits, vegetables, flowers, and seasons. They were published in Just Cross Stitch magazine over a dozen or so years and I am proud to say I have finally collected them all, Pokemon style. My plan, upon finishing them, is to make them into pillowcases and rotate them out.

The first one is a pumpkin pattern. It is done on 28 count evenweave over 2. I have two very small sections to finish on this one:



Next is a hydrangea pillow, also done on 28 count evenweave over 2.