Monday, April 30, 2012

Friends Forever: First Post

This is the other HAED that I am working on.  I currently have four, and I'm trying really hard to keep it just to those four.

This artwork is by the same artist that did the artwork for Magical Arrival that I'm working on, Anne Stokes.  What I love the most about this piece is how the dragon sitting her lap reminds me of a dog curling up for a nap.  I wonder if he gets as heavy as my sister's dogs do.  He actually, to me, looks like the grown up version of the dragon from Magical Arrival.  He has the same coloring and same face and head shape.  I wonder if that was by accident or design, or if I choose those two randomly or subconsciously.

I started on this one last year before I started working on Magical Arrival, and it's much larger, 16" x 24".  This is the second HAED I ever started so I thought I'd try something different.  Although I love the way Ophelia looks with two threads, it is not the easiest to stitch.  So this time I'm only using one thread, but still using the same fabric.  I also gridded the entire piece of fabric into 10 stitch squares, it was very time consuming and I thought I'd go mad doing it.

Because of the griding I'm kind of doing the piece by sections which you'll notice below.  This, however, means that I won't really be able to give a percentage or number of stitches done, so you'll just have to see how much is done with your own eyes.

The next few images were taken after each new color was completed.  I've actually done more than this but I haven't taken a picture recently.  I'll take a picture and let you see what I've accomplished soonish.  As for now, here are the photos I do have of my progress:

On the left: just black (310).

On the right: black brown (3371) added in.
On the left: Coffee Brown-UL DK (938) added.

On the right: Garnet-VY DK (902) added.
On the left: Garnet-DK (814) added.

On the right: Garnet-MD (815) added.
On the left: Coral Red-VY DK (817) added.

On the right: Plum-DK (915) added.
The stiches in the rest of the colors in the drapes were a few here... a few there... so I stopped taking pictures.  There's only one color currently missing from the drapes and that was only because I didn't have the color when I needed it.

After I completed most of the drapes, the dragon still has quite a few holes in him, I've continued down the left side of the picture, which is mostly a whole lotta black.  And it's taking me forever.  Each line is 47 or 48 stitches of pure black.  I did three rows one night, then five the next, and I haven't touched it in a while.  However, this is the project that I'm currently focusing on while I'm at home, at least until I feel I've made significant progress on all that black.  Afterwards, I'll either go back and finish page 21 of Transcendence or page 2 of Ophelia, only time will tell.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Friends Forever
Original Artist: Anne Stokes
Pattern by: Heaven and Earth Designs
Started Stitching: July 24, 2011
Fabric: 25ct. White Dublin Linen
Floss: DMC 1 over 1

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ophelia: First Post - Page 1

Ophelia - Original ArtThis is the first HAED that I ever spent any amount of time on.  And the first one I ever completed a page on.  I don't know what it is about this picture, but I just love it.  The picture is called Ophelia.  It's part of a Tragedy trilogy that the artist created also containing Juliet and Cleopatra.  The artist, Jonathon Earl Bowser, is one of the best artists I've seen on making clothing look... well, real.  It's not perfectly smooth against her body, it really looks like she's wearing that dress and cloak.  This is one of his earlier works, and it just might be my favorite.  When complete, this project is going to be 16" x 33 ¾", almost three feet tall!  It's going to be fun paying to get this framed.

So, as I mentioned, I've completed page one, and I'm sorry to say it's not all that exciting.  It's all background, just splotches of color, as you can see.  The picture was taken February 22, 2011

From the looks of things it's going to be a tad more purple than the original picture, but the colors are limited to what DMC offers, until they offer all the millions of colors our eyes can perceive, I guess we'll just have to get along with 454 colors.  Honestly, I can't always tell the difference between two colors I'm stitching, so 454 seems plenty to me.

I started page 2 shortly after taking this picture.  I'm probably about halfway through that page and it is much the same.  However, in the very bottom right hand corner you will be able to see the beginning of one of the flowers in her hair.  I know you can't wait.  Actually I can't wait.  I thought it would be great stitching so much background as it would be easy... big blocks of color, very little changing of threads.  However, I find myself getting bored and having to push myself to continue with the color.  I don't have a shot of where I'm at right now, I'll post that when I get back to it, actually looking at it right now is making me want to work on it tonight.  Who knows... maybe I will.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Ophelia
Original Artist: Jonathon Earl Bowser
Pattern by: Heaven and Earth Designs
Started Stitching: August 15, 2009
Fabric: 25ct. White Dublin Linen
Floss: DMC 2 over 1
Percentage: 2.32% complete
Pages: 1 of 54 complete
Stitches: 7840 out of 338,400 complete

Friday, April 13, 2012

Storykeep - Magical Arrival: The Third Post

I'm back at my parents' place as I mentioned in the previous post.  This is earlier than I intended to post but the next color is going to take me a while, so, to the right is where I'm at.

Yes... I did more brown.  Two more browns to be exact.  I'm tired of brown, that seems to be all I've been stitching on my two main projects.

The next color is "Garnet" so we'll finally see a little red on his stocking, well alot of red since this color has the third most stitches, and his bow will start getting some color as well.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Storykeep - Magical Arrival
Original Artist: Anne Stokes
Pattern by: Heaven and Earth Designs
Started Stitching: January 31, 2012
Fabric: 18ct. White Aida
Floss: DMC 2 over 1
Percentage: 49.71% complete
Colors: 22 of 89 complete
Stitches: 11,818 out of 23,775

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Transcendence: First Post - Page 21

Okay, I think I should make a confession at this point, I love Fantasy.  It doesn't matter what it is, books, pictures, movies, castles, dragons, princes, princesses, I pretty much love it all.  And this picture has gotten my Fantasy bone tinglin'.  I just love how he seems to be stepping out of the picture, his cloak transforming into sparkling butterflies.

I have decided to either be lazy or make this guy look really cool.  This is why:  In total there are 288,900 stitches in this pattern, and 153,571 are black, that's over half of the pattern.  53.16% of the pattern to be exact!  There are six full pages of nothing but black!  So my plan is to not stitch about 95% of the black, only keeping the black that is integral to the picture, like his clothing/cloak, hair... bits here and there that should probably still have the stitches.  If my calculations are correct, I have eliminated just over half of the stitches needed to complete this project.  If I counted correctly, yes, I'm insane for doing so, the total number of stitches is down to 143,296 with 7966 being black.  So yay, I'm halfway done?!

As a drawback, I'm stitching him on 20ct Black Lugana Evenweave, and, as any stitcher knows, stitching on black isn't nearly as easy as stitching on white.  I'm hoping that not only will I finish him faster with less stitches, but that he will pop more on the fabric without the black background stitching.  On the plus side, if I hate the way it looks I can always go back in and add all the black.  I'll be cursing probably every minute of it, but it's always an option.

The original pattern says that it will end up being about 22.5" x 32.6".  I'm not sure what my plan will be.  Since I am not stitching the black, I'm just going to stitch him and when the time comes to frame him, I'll figure out how much black around him I want to show.

HAED recommends that you start with the first page and just keep going until you reach the end, which means starting in the upper left hand corner.  Now this is odd for me.  I was always taught, and have always, started in the middle, but with the size of these designs and the way the pages are laid out I completely understand, so pretty much all my other HAEDs are started in the upper left hand corner.  But not this one.  I bought a piece of fabric that will fit him perfectly, it's 36" x 27" so I get, almost, two inches around the sides and more than two inches on the top and bottom, which is the amount of extra fabric I like.  So to make sure he's centered I started in the middle... on his crotch to be quite honest.  Sorry, I had to mention that, I thought it was kind of funny, out of all the places I could start... why did it have to be there??

Anyway, moving on, here's what I have so far, about half of page 21 finished: shirt is almost complete on this page, with just most of the cloak and butterflies left.  I also did all the green background which, for some reason, I think looks awesome even though it's just a mess of greens.  His belt buckle showed up a lot better in the image than I've been able to see in person, but that's probably due to the fact that I'm looking at it up close and the photo forces me to look at it from a distance.

Project Stats*:
Pattern: Transcendence
Original Artist: Adele Sessler
Pattern by: Heaven and Earth Designs
Started Stitching: March 7, 2012
Fabric: 20ct. Black Lugana Evenweave
Floss: DMC 2 over 1
Percentage: 2.74% complete
Pages Stitched: 0 of 36 complete
Total Pages: 6 of 42 complete
Stitches: 3940 out of 143,296 complete
*Just a note, my project stats for this project will always refer to stats without the black background, if I decide to do the background I will update the stats on a post when I announce that I'll be doing the background. Hopefully that announcement will never take place.

I'm really tempted to work on him, but I'm watching my parent's house again so it's back to Magical Arrival, after I put together my mother's Ottlite since I left my portable one at home.  It never gave off enough light... especially since there's a FULL sized light in a box on the other side of the room!  I'll probably have an update on Magical arrival by the end of the week.