Monday, November 9, 2015

It's Been a Long Time Zelda

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen!

It has been a while since I last update. And I'm sure you're probably wondering what have I been doing as of late. Well, the good news is that I have been working on my Zelda Map. The other better news is that I started working as a substitute teacher, making my mornings work related and my nights fantasy.

Kind of like Batman with the two identities, only cooler.

I'm also pretty sure you want to see photos of my latest work and the new toy I got to help me stitch faster. Kid you not, I bought a lap stand and started stitching two handed. Results? I'm on FIRE BABY!!

But allow me to let you be the judge of that :)

Looking back, that 1 month and 1 week sure saw some long nights and confetti work. But you know what? It's all worth it when I spend three hours or the entire weekend working on a section and have my nephew look at it, see the progress, and go "Wow Aunty Vana, you're really making progress. It's looking great!!"

So worth it.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Upgrading my Technique: Waste Knots Awaaaaay!

As life would have it, I am constantly researching and learning about different ways to improve my art. Cross-stitch is no exception, especially when loking at other pieces of work and wondering "WOW, how do they get their backs so neat like that?" Which then leads me to ponder "How can I get my work to look like that? What am I missing? What do I need to do?"

Those questions are then answered by the lovely thing called the World Wide Web. After many questions and wondering, frustrations and longing, I finally looked up online on how to get a clean back on cross-stitch. It provided some very informative results, more specifically videos. I watched them in awed silence, taking notes in my notebook when needed.

Because a girls back be looking like-

And I'm starring at it like-

Because when you take a really close look at this-

You really end up feeling like-

So what exactly did I take away from this learning session?

My research produced to me something called the Waste Knot or Away Waste Knot. I looked at several videos and posts on the subject, and these down below were the ones I found the most helpful:

Advanced CrossStitch (this one has pictures and explains the steps)
Cutting the lose Ends (a video the shows the technique)

Looking at these, I thought to myself "There is so much information out there about cross-stitch. It's ri-donk-cu-lous! And some of these techniques have been tweeked and twerked too!"

.....though I'm pretty sure not everyone twerks their stuff. One thing is for certain though, my next cross-stitch lesson will be very fruitful.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Another Christmas Gift and Christmas Preparations

As everyone knows, that big wintery day is coming soon. Well, 2 months or so, which can be a long time for people. But for us crafters it really isn't that long to get our gifts together for our loved ones. Especially if you are doing BIG projects for them.

My other nephew requested a Zelda piece as well. It's 17"x25" on 14 ct. I'm going to put that sucker on 16ct thread just to make it smaller (or 18ct but I don't know how to convert the sizes). Of course, Etsy will be my go to for this project.

Then my third nephew wants a blanket made from green yarn. I have a pattern already set aside for him and a butt load of green yarn from previous sales.

My niece still hasn't decided. I told her she has until the end of this week to let me know what she wants, because I have to start prepping and organizing the projects. At first she wanted a blanket with pink, blue and purple in it. Then she changed her mind and said she wanted a cross-stitched Evee  Pokemon piece. Then My Little Pony, then back to Pokemon. See why I gave her until the end of this week?

Because its MANLY!


It is a lot of projects and I haven't even asked my sister what she wants. She probably will say just give to the kids, but I want to do something special for her. I just need to look in my stash and see what she wants.

I have spent a lot of time organizing my floss. With all these projects coming up I ended up bying bobbins and labeling them. Now I know why people love these things. It helps a lot and I don't have to dig through bags of floss.

Welllll, I don't have bags....maybe a few.

I've also been keeping a hawks eye on different sales. I get all my floss from AC Moore because its a few cents less than Micheals (those cents add up you know). I go for the one item discounts or the entire purchase discounts. That let's me buy a lot of thread one time and save money. Because with all these projects, I need to save as much as I can. Both in money and time. I figured a few hours on each project a day will get me closer to Christmas.

What are your Christmas Gift plans?


PS. My weekly Zelda Map update will be late because my phone isn't working. So bunch of pictures when it is fixed!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Zelda Map Week #1: Pg 1

IT'S HERE!! That's right folks, I bought my very first cross-stitch project from Etsy and I'm well on my way! Everything is a new experience for me. I usually work with 14ct projects, but this is my first 18ct one on softer fabric. If you haven't been keeping up with me on my Instagram (VanaQB) then fyi, the woes of fraying fabric have haunted me. Even broke two sewing needles on my Singer sewing machine too trying to fix edges.

How? Effort. Teamwork.


On the bright side of things, the Instagram cross-stitch community have been very supportive. They have given me ideas on how to fix my fraying problems, on how to organize my thread (thanks and love from those who gave me their preparation methods when I asked, much appreciated), and just keeping me positive!

Love that community. Just love it.

So back to my work. I have been updating regularly on my Instagram and I have decided to post weekly for my Zelda map on my blog. It's easier for me and you really get to see whats happening over seven days. That said, without further ado, here is WEEK#1 progress!!!!

This is about 10-12 hours of work for one week. I started out strong doing a little something every night. There are only 66 colors, but even that I find challenging. I normally do 10-20. Have you seen my fish piece? That's a 20 color set. I'm just so excited for this, I really am, and the learning process is amazing. Can't wait to finish this page :3


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Just work out while you stitch! Do-do do do do do do~!!

Don't know about you guys, but when I sit down for long periods of time I get leg cramps, feel my blood in my leg acting weird (maybe I should get that checked), and my neck cramps up. Oh sure, I get up every hour or so and stretch my limbs, but what about real exercise?

"Stitching is essential, but so is your health." -said Work-out Kitty.

I thought. "Let me look up online and see what they have." Of course, everyone knows how much stuff pops up when you search for something on google. I even got exercises for pregnant women. That was interesting. So after searching for a little bit more, I found something that was simple and easy.

And they're in pictures!!!(Don't forget to read my CAUTION before you proceed with these exercises).
CAUTION: Please be careful and know your limits. If a previous health situation prevents you from doing one of these, please skip and do the others. You don't have to do all of them.
Then I thought, "I can do these, no problem!" Even I hate to set down my cross stitch once I pick it up, but I'm determined to try and add these exercises to my routine. Heck, I will put on a timer if I have too!"

Yahooo, mind power.

And then a whisper said to me, it said, "Let me share my findings with my fellow crafters. They might find it useful." Thus this post! And I realized something. Not many craft blogs mention anything about exercise or that much health. Which, I can understand since you're dealing with crafts, but still!

Long periods of sitting, bending over, moving your wrists, keeping your legs in one position....OMG, it sounds like a desk job!!


Craft magazines should really put one or two of these exercise photos in their stuff. If they do, kitty power to them. It could be very useful and extend the health of their audiences. That, and encourage people to have a bottle of water (juice, sometimes wine woks well) to hydrate themselves as they craft. Sometimes getting up to use the bathroom is the only relief you get after a few hours of work.

Best potty breaks evaaaa~!!

Good luck stretching that beauty ladies (and gents). Next update will surely be the start of my Zelda Map Piece!


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Prepring for my 1st BIG PIECE

It's finally come to this. After years of cross stitching, I will breach out into an unknown terrain, where the hills are rocky, the rivers fast and the wildlife acting like a bad hanghover. That's's...


Oh, wait a moment. Wrong one. Let me here and-

And why, do you ask, have I dared to risk life and needle for this piece? The answer is very easy. My 14 year-old nephew wanted it as his birthday present. That's right, my male family member requested a cross-stitched piece of his favorite game.

Aunty was so proud of him. My inner gamer and crafter gave him four hearts.

Get it? Four hearts? Because Link uses heart containers and four pieces make a whole one? Get it??

I'm going to order the piece from Etsy. People have some really fun prints on there. And though its not an HAED piece, I think since its for someone I love it counts as the 1st. Defiantly not the last.

So I wanted to ask. What do YOU DO to prepare for a big piece? It just comes with the pattern and I have to buy the thread and fabric separately. I'm going for 18ct and wondering if I should use DMC floss or another kind, if I should buy in bulk and if I can just stock up at a local Micheal's (cuz that's like, my heart-throb store). I want to hear what you have to say. And if you haven't already started following me on Instagram (VanaQB) then make sure you do. I update on the progress of my pieces whenever I can.

I'm really looking forward to hearing from everyone. Thank you in advance.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Picture Dump! \(o.o)/

It's time again! Time for another collection of my WIP's. Serisouly, its like a miniature photo shoot when I take photos of my work. Right angle this, left angle that. Add more lighting here, filter that. As if I'm a cross-stitch photographer :D

I have to say, its progressing very nicely. I finally reached column 100 for Sebastian's Under the Sea one (not really called that, but I like my name better). It's taken me about 5 weeks, on and off stitching progress. You know, maybe I should try that stitch count thing that I've seen some people do. Where they do 100 stitches a day or something like that. Hmm, something to marinate on. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Thank you, Poptart Kitty

I'm sure everyone loves poking thread and fabric together. For hours. I mean really, my left leg feels cramped to the extreme. I am even more positive that people like seeing other peoples work of art with the sharp needle and square fabric. That's why there are blogs, that's why we like to share our work with others to support and make people feel happy. I don't know about you guys, but when I tickle someone funny, it makes me happy.

That, and Legolas. Maybe Markiplier from Youtube.

But ssssssh! that's another deep, dark secret :l

They musn't know about the preciousssss...ssssss'.

So I just want to say, thank you for all of those who've been here and just arrived. It's a short, sweet thanks, but it's truly from the heart :3 The blogs I follow and the people I meet on Instagram (VanaQB) make me smile when I see their works of art. When I see the progress. When I see the smile icons! If I made you smile today, well then I'm glad it happened to you. Smiles make the world go round and brighten people's hearts. That...and poptart kitties pooping rainbows!

Fly on kitty. Fly on.

Thanks again everyone. I look forward to this marvelous journey together and beyond, like poptart kitty.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Should I? Should I REALLY???

It's a hard enough question to my already sleepless artistic life. I love to draw, I love to color within the lines because my child side knows better, I love love acrylic paint, cross stitching is like the quiet and resourceful lover that I never had, and water color tests my constricting boundaries on art. That said, I try to dedicate myself to just one piece or two at a time. Or, like a restless fever, I go into doing doodles every day.

If not doodles, reading romance novels of high quality. Anne Stuart you Goddess of writing.  

But should I really bite off more than I can handle? Should I really be looking at other pieces to do when I had an unfinished one next to me? I've seen smaller ones on Instagram, the sodapop....sodamop....soba-- no wait, those are noodles. Sodastitch! That's it, sodastitch. Though I never see any sodas associated with the art....don't know why, seems like a complete waste of title enforcement. 

I could very well sit down and finish these smaller pieces in two days, a day and night if I really hid myself downstairs. They are so cute and Instagram and Pinterest have their fair share. Though I do admit, so many people were hash-tagging sodastitch I looked it up. 

And was bombarded with cuteness. Go ahead, if you dont' beleive me. I would love to do these if I didn't already have other pieces calling me. 

And that's the problem, just to many times I sit down doing a piece and I'm thinking of another one. Like, kissing someone but thinking of Captain Jack Sparrow or Legolas from LOTR (mmmmm, Legolas). I don't mean too, I really don't, but all I can think about is my black cloth Mother Mary and baby piece, and how much fun it would be. 

I'm sorry WIP, I'm so sorry but Legolas is so damn hawt--!

Wow, this is really getting out of hand. 

Let me leave you fabulous people with a picture of my side fling and my growing work space. I'm still going to have this inner battle, and I'm sure it won't disappear any time soon. Siiigh. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's had thoughts like mine and there just isn't enough hours in a day to do all that I want. 

One day though. One day.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mind Your Needle!

I'm in a stitch. Well, more of a in a fiddle. I keep looking up these wonderful cross stitch pieces on Google+ and Instagram, where on these pieces there are wonderful needlminders. Needle minder? Needleminders.

Never mind. It minds your needles.

There are some really gorgeous ones, some that look like stone, some made out of wood, some with enough bling on it to make any thugette feel hard core. It's just a beautiful array of things. Etsy provides a lot of them. From what I've searched, I found two sellers who really have what I'm looking for. I gotta save for them though. Sigh.

GeckoRouge had this very nice pin with a very pretty picture on it.
Isn't she gorgeous?
And then GinasUniqueBoutique had a sea theme going on that I love too.

I could spend hours....literally hours looking at the fabulous work we women put out there. They are cute, they are usable, and they rock peoples socks off. These needleminders just make my art even more fun! Do you have a needleminder you love? Care to share a photo? My inner artist would flip out.

And then, there are these things called biscornu. At first I thought it said biscuits, but I read it wrong. Apparently, they hold your needles and have been around for a while. They are soooo pretty! I just love them. I have to save up to do one of my own. I'm pretty sure Etsy has them.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

I need a stand :/

That's right. I need a stand or something to help me with my cross stitch. Why? My right arm is getting buff and my left arm is...well...falling asleep on me. Has anyone ever watched Rock-A-Doodle-Do? You know, the one about the chickens and animals fighting an evil owl?

Yeeeeeeah, that dude :) One of the best childhood evil doers out there. Well, this evil guy had a very sophisticated nature about him. And like a real thug, he did cross-stitch! See, he right there in his rocking chair doing what he does best (next to turning people and eating animals). He even had a frog to help him. But you see? He's has a frame!

Please ignored the spacing, its from an online source :l
If the bad guy can do it, so can I. That's why I am looking for a stand. I've researched online and I already know a sitting stand or one that holds on the side wont do. I need a sturdy base where it is secured. The ones down below are the ones I really like and can see myself using.

See that base? I love that base support and I can use two hands!

Aaaahhh, this one looks so flimsy and I wouldn't want to deal with the size....but maybe....

This one has a sturdy base too. And a light, but don't know if I can handle the extra parts.

In general, it has to have a strong base or prop it up on the table. Anyone has any suggestions? Hopefully its under $100 bucks (and that's stretching it too, pocket ain't that big). Until I get one, and I will get one, I will dreamily stare at this stand down below (it's the perfect size, the perfect shape, the perfect width....ok, this is getting strange).

This is the one. Loooove it!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Some Pics of the WiPS

That's right, I'm cheating. Instead of giving you a full, professional
(you think so too?) blogpost, I'm going to fill this page with pictures of my latest WIPS.

I whip my hair back and forth! I whip my hair back and forth! I whip it!!

Phew. Glad I got that out of my system. Let the pictures commence!

Cuz why not?!