Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How many new starts is too many?

I had a bad case of startitis and dividing my attention  in what seems like a thousand different directions.  Due to the split attention, I didn't really feel like I got anything done enough to actually post about.  Well, and I just wasn't disciplined enough to come up to the computer with my camera and go to the effort of uploading photos and writing a blog entry.  Anyway, what have I been up to for the last 2 and a half weeks?

My darling Mary.  I couldn't resist, I had to start her.  I did a custom conversion to overdyed silks, and I'm in love with her.  When I first saw the tiny picture on the internet, I was thinking she was done in reds, but really its a combination of reds and lovely rose tones.  She's beautiful, and I'd still be stitching her if it weren't for some smalls that I had to get done.  Don't ask me why I started in the lower right corner, no idea.
Mary Gibson stitched on 40 ct HDF cotton/linen blend with
custom overdyed silk conversion
Prior to my darling Mary, there was Elizabeth (Elizabeth Mears).  Shannon is to blame for this start.  She posted a pic of her conversion here, and was polite enough to direct me to the store that came up with it.  I patiently waited for my floss to arrive in the mail (I had been warned they had a few colors on back-order), and the day they arrived, out came the 40 count LL Pecan Butter I'd been saving, the needle was threaded, and in went a few stitches.  I will admit that after stitching most of the colors in that zig-zag band, a couple of the colors will be swapped out in the rest of the sampler.  I really really dislike Pond Scum, but not enough to rip out the band.  It doesn't look like much, but that silly band took a while to stitch (no, its not the full length, just as far as I could get with 1 strand of floss for each color).
Elizabeth Mears on 40 ct LL Pecan Butter,
with custom silk conversion
In between Elizabeth and Mary, there was Mansion at Fox Hollow.  I must be on a house kick, because all 3 of these have houses, and this one is huge.  Something about the soft taupe and blueish green, with rich brown really appealed to me, and makes me think of a relaxing spa.  Yet again, I converted this to silks, but from what I had in my stash.
With Thy Needle & Thread Mansion at Fox Hollow,
stitched on 40 ct linen with assorted silk
Somewhere between those 3 starts, I worked a tiny bit on another piece, yet again one that has a house on it, the 2008 Black Bird Designs Loose Feathers bonus pattern (part 3).  Not a lot to show, but I loved doing the hyacinth blooms.  I'm not a fan of eyelet stitches, so I stitched smyrna crosses.

I mentioned I'd been having my attention split in a bunch of different directions.  Some of it was crafty stuff, and even related to stitching.  I did some coffee dyeing!  I really wanted some gingham linen to stitch a small freebie on, but couldn't fine the color I wanted didn't want to pay the $110/yd price for the hand-dyed stuff.  So, I just bought the regular Graziano ($64/yd was a much better price) and dunked a piece in some fresh brewed black coffee.  I didn't leave it in there for long, so the result was pretty subtle, but it works for me.
28 ct Graziano cream/natural gingham linen,
coffee dyed (front) and plain (back)
A day or so after that I found something I'd stitched several years ago, and gave it the same sort of treatment. It had originally been stitched to test the color of the silk, and the linen I stitched it on was pretty scary.  As a testament to the color-fastness of HDF silk, this piece was dunked in fresh brewed coffee and left to sit there for about an hour.  No running at all.  You can see the original color of the linen behind (don't ask me what I was thinking when I bought it, but I'm pretty sure the rest of it will be getting this treatment).
JBW Pumpkin stitched on 28 ct Sugar Maple Fabrics linen
with HDF silk, then coffee dyed
Next up in the crafty department was painting.  Well, more like painting, crackle glaze, more painting, some sanding, waxing, buffing, more waxing, etc.  You get the idea.  The little red paper mache box and canisters is for the newish Blackbird Designs chart Morning Star.  Its totally finished, but of course I totally forgot to take a picture before I ran it over to Shepherd's Bush.  Guess that means I need to stop by this weekend with my camera, or just steal Teri's pic since she said she would put it on their blog.  I stitched this for them as a gift, since I know they really don't enjoy stitching on 40 count fabric, and I decided they needed this as a model for the shop.

The aged black wooden box was supposed to be for my iStitch Mystery SAL piece, but then became a test piece when I realized I was stitching on 35 count fabric and not 40.  Two base coats of a dark grey, almost black paint, crackle medium (heavier on the edges), top coat of white paint.  At this point I was really disappointed with how it turned out.  The white paint was really streaky, and I knew it would just look horrible if I added another coat, because of the crackle glaze I'd done.  Fast forward a couple of days, as I was waxing paper mache boxes.  I applied a coat of light brown wax, brushed, burnished and buffed, and it looked better, but still not great.  Hrmmm, I have that can of black wax I've never been brave enough to use. Wow, it was just what the piece needed.  I have to say, I'm really happy how my experimental piece turned out.  It also taught me that good finishes are a lot of different layers, and a lot of work goes into each layer.

Thank you to everyone that stops by and takes the time to read my posts, and the an extra thanks to those that leave comments.  Its nice to know other people either admire my work, have the same obsessions I do, or are working on the same projects.


Myra said...

All your WIP's are just lovely. I get startitis now and then myself - fun, isn't it?! You did a great job on those boxes too.

Margaret said...

Well you might have startitis, but I love what you've started! Great choices, all of them! All on my todo list too. Great coffee dyeing and box painting too. And Mary Allen looks great too -- I can't wait to get to the pretty picture in the middle. lol! You're so lucky to have SB for your LNS. I'm envious!

Penny said...

I love each of your new starts! I'm really in love with Mary Gibson-love the colors you've chosen so far. In my opinion you can never have too many starts:) Never been brave enough to dye anything-I think your pumpkin turned out great!

mainely stitching said...

Oh my goodness, your stitching is so beautiful!!!

Carol said...

Wow! You sure do have a lot of projects going--but what a beautiful bunch they are! I just love the colors you've chosen for Mary Gibson, Mindi--great eye you have! And that pumpkin finish is darling. I just did my first JBW and love how it turned out...

Siobhan said...

Zoinks!! I was telling myself yesterday that I was not going to start anything new until the Nashville Market, my reasoning being that I'd get some WIPs finished and I'd be able to start more stuff without feeling the guilt from all the things I'd cast aside. But, oh my gosh, all of your WIPs are things that I want to work on!! I LOVE your Mary Gibson start. That's one that I has featured in my obsessive thoughts--it is SO pretty. Love your conversions!

Nice job on the painting and dyeing, too. Your JBW piece is adorable!

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Mary's in my stash, too! You have lots of great projects going, so just enjoy - don't fret! Your work is all lovely!

Cathy B said...

Mindi - I love all your new starts. I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog; I didn't realize you had one! Will be back again to check out what you are working on!

Ranae said...

In my world you can never have too many starts, lol
Your stitching is so pretty
I love the Tom Turkey WIP, I have that kitted up for years now
The food looks really really good too