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Sunday, 29 March 2009

Two new starts

Hi everyone! Thank you for all your nice comments and well wishes. I'm feeling better though I can feel that it's not out of my system yet. Oh well, one foot in front of the other, let's keep moving!

Two new starts this week.
Ellen Birdseye
from Volume One book
Designed by The Goode Huswife

If you want to see a lovely completed design of this, go see the header on Jan's blog. She made colour changes in that the birds are all red. I made some colour changes too by making the flowers red. Little tweaks of colour here and there as I'm craving colour at the moment! I'm stitching this on 32 ct Lentil by Lakeside Linens, with GA Old Blue Paint, Old Red Paint, Chamomile, and some DMC. (This is more grey than it looks in real life. It'll be better next post!)

My second start is this:

This is the Day
from JCS Jan/Feb 2009 issue
Designed by Hands to Work

Joanie asked me to do a SAL with her so this is how far I got to. I think we're going to do one week out of a month on this as this is not our primary stitching. We'll see how it works out. I am using 32 ct Vintage Meadow Rue by Lakeside Linens. I was all ready to start stitching about a week ago, then found on Nicole's blog (which led to Jan's blog) about colour changes. I liked the softer colours so then I had to dive around my stash to come up with the goods! The border is stitched using CC Cocoa Bean and Wild Berries. The inner border is GA Picnic Basket.

Well, since I've already started with changes in colour I started modifying the design slightly. Those of you stitching this will be able to see that the inner border is different. We'll see how it morphs as time goes. Do you see the broken border in the upper right hand side? I was all finished that border when I flipped the scroll frame to tuck in the end stitches then realized I had a bit knot way back at the beginning. I debated whether to fix it or not. As you can tell I did rip out the stitches - it was painful and thoughts of ruined linen crossed my mind as I was trying to frog those babies!

I am enjoying stitching both of them immensely! As I have only 2 scroll frames that's the extent of my rotation! I've been playing with the lighting for the two photos above. I tried using my Ott light which turned everything grey as is evident in the first photo. For the second photo I had to switch to regular lighting so that the real colours show up otherwise the brown linen looked grey! No wonder I am often surprised when I get the recommended fibers and they don't like the photo of the finished design on the chart!

While I have been stitching, I've been listening to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke. It came out in 2006 with lots of praise that it's along the lines of Harry Potter. I don't think it is, other than it's about magic. I bought the book itself - it's a great door stop but had great difficulty getting through the first few chapters. Now, listening to the story I find myself fascinated.

On the reading front - love The Sweetness at the bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. It's a very funny English mystery starring a new "detective" in the guise of 11 year old Flavia, "an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison". I'm about half way through and enjoying it a lot!

The other book I just picked up yesterday is a non-fiction called The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz. The sub-title says "bridging the gap between rich and poor in an interconnected world". I'm only on page 34 but I find it highly readable and it's about her experience in trying to help poorer nations and finding that traditional charity doesn't work. Anyway, I can't tell you much more as I'm just starting out but it's a very engaging read.

The weather has been crazy, like most everywhere else I think. It's sunny today, however cool, so I will go out and visit the garden and see what's what!

Thanks for visiting! Have a good week. End of March! Where did it go?

25 comments:

Siobhan said...

Thanks for the book recommendations! I have wondered about the Susannah Clarke book--I think that's the name--the one that's likened to Harry Potter. I've seen it on audible.co.uk and considered getting it.

Your new starts are wonderful! I always liked Ellen Birdseye but once I saw Jan's rendition, I knew it was a must stitch. Love your start on This Is The Day, too--your linen is soo nice!

BeckySC said...

I love both your new start, Melissa :) They're looking great :)

KarenV said...

Ooh, lovely new starts! I agree with Siobhan, your linen for This is the Day is gorgeous! I've been naughty and started a couple of new things this week too ;)

Deb said...

Your starts look fantastic. And I love both those fabrics you're using. They're some of my favorites. There must be something in the air, I started a couple new things too. Should really work on the WIPs, but they aren't going anywhere! LOL

Andrea said...

Your starts are just lovely Melissa! Can't wait to see your progress. The fabric for This is the Day is GORGEOUS!!
I too, love Jan's version of Ellen Birdseye...are the colors listed anywhere?
Happy stitching!!
xoxo

Loreta said...

Both of your starts are beautiful, Melissa!

Patti said...

I love our new starts Melissa. They are both looking great. Patti xxx

DebbieSFL said...

I couldn't get interested in that book either---I kept reading and hoping that it would get better, and it never did for me.....maybe audio would be better.

Margaret said...

I LOVED Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell!!!!!! Wonderful book! I like your new starts -- both beautiful. I'll be interested to see how your changes to This is the Day go. Glad you're feeling better!

Jan said...

Both are looking so lovely, Melissa!! I am flattered that you liked my Ellen Birdseye and I also will enjoy seeing your rendition of This Is The Day! I think this is one sampler, that is going to take on many, many looks, such fun, isn't it? I think your fabric choice is EXCELLENT!!!

Jane said...

Lovely pieces you're working on, Melissa. Your progress is looking terrific!

Brigitte said...

Melissa, you have two great new starts - good choice! I love the linen colours of both of them, particularly This is the Day.

Lee said...

Nice starts!

I had to laugh about the Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell book. I bought that a couple years ago with high hopes and couldn't get past the first chapter or so. And so I laughed at your doorstop sentence! But now I think I'll give it another try.

:: wee bird :: said...

I ♥ Ellen Birdseye..what a darling project.
It's really cute with red birds too.
I'm pretty sure I have the second project on my to-do list too.

mainely stitching said...

A door stop! Ha ha! I'll have to haul mine out now that spring's here and I want the door open. Actually, I enjoyed it till about the 2/3 point, when it just started ... wandering. Or dragging. Or something bad. LOL.

Love your WIPs!!

Karoline said...

Your new starts are great, I shall look forward to seeing them grow

Annemarie said...

Melissa, your Ellen Birdseye looks very much like mine. My birds are blue and my flowers are red, too. Great minds think alike, I guess. Thanks also for the link to Jan's blog. I'd never heard of it before! So many great blogs out there...

Tammy said...

Both your new starts look FABU!

The Scarlett House said...

Hi Melissa, love both of those designs. Can't wait to see your versions.

Chrissie said...

I love Ellen Birdseye so will be watching your progress with interest. I have her in my 'to-do' list. Love the linen for 'This is the Day' too.

Chrissie

Jane said...

It's me again. Just letting you know to drop by my blog for a sweet surprise! :)

Wendy said...

Your new starts look great, Melissa! I will be interested in watching the changes you have made in both - brave girl!

CindyMae said...

Love your blog, love your stitching! I am a fellow member of the R.O.A.K. blog! Hope we can get to know each other better now!

Glenna said...

Both starts are great--I've been watching them on other blogs, and love all the variations. I think we're all reaching the same point at once--of being willing to try substitutions and creative ideas with the designs. (Which I partly attribute to all of us having huge stashes!)

Lennu said...

Hi Melissa! It was great to come for a visit again, life is finally calming down here after the stitching weekend and other things. I'm sorry to hear that you've been sick, I hope you'll soon feel completely recovered!

Your new starts look wonderful, I just love everything you stitch :) Your Blackbird Designs finish is gorgeous, what a beautiful design! The winter exchange you received is such a beauty, isn't it wonderful to receive mail like that. You have also stitched such a lovely exchange yourself.

Have a very happy Sunday and happy new week!