Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Happy Christmas New Year Holidays!

Hello all! Long time since I posted on the blog, just been too busy!  Merry Christmas from down under in New Zealand! We are here visiting family and daughter Kira is staying for a term of Study Abroad until April....whatever will I do without her smiling face!  Thank goodness for Skype!  I've been busy stitching and have 2 more freebies to post in the new year.  I have been to the Shepherd's Bush retreat in Utah in the fall, and left 8 finished needlework pieces with Jill Rensel to boot!  She has them in the wings until after Christmas  so I hope to get some piccies soon to see what magic that she will work with them. There are 3 Workbasket pieces, Trellis, Flutterbys, and God's Critters, and also the 4 Micro Chatelaines from 2011 and the completed Evening in the Park. Hopefully I can get the pictures on the blog when we get home in January.

Its a lovely summer Christmas Day here, still Christmas Eve back home in NC, USA. We have eaten too much and will all sleep off the good food before doing some touristy things....I miss my kitties and the dog, but they all seem to love the pet sitter staying with them, and it's nice not to have to worry about pets or house so far away from home!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and a safe one as well. Hugs to all!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Colorful May Freebie!

Sorry it's been so long since I posted an update...the month of May has flown by! Being the mother of a high school senior about to graduate is sure high intensity!  I finally found some time to stitch up and post my May freebie, so I hope everyone enjoys seeing it!  This one is called the Color Wheel Biscornu. I am still learning the ins and outs of my software and decided an exercise in color theory and selection would be a fun way to learn color picking. I have made it into a one sided biscornu. The back is only the corner motifs as you can see from the pictures. There are 12 colors in my wheel, based on the artist's paint pallet. Red, Blue and Yellow are the primary colors, mixing them in various combinations can give you a rainbow of colors for painting or thread dyeing. Tinting with white or shading with black can also add colors to your range, but I'll save that for another project!  My color choices came down to my own color vision preferences, so feel free to blend your own choices between the red, blue and yellow. This might be fun to stitch out from the center in a spiral using a colorful variegated thread too! The buttons came from the button aisle in my local fabric store, but any sort of button or bead would do. Fabric is a 32ct white opalescent lugana. As always, please respect my copyright and do not share my charts, but link to my blog. Let me know if there are any issues in downloading the patterns. Enjoy!

Get pattern here

Friday, April 27, 2012

April Sweet Peas and Bees!

Time for  another freebie!  This one I called "Bee A Sweet Pea" and has charts to make a biscornu and other accessories. Click here to download the pattern and key with instructions from the list, and as always, let me know if you have any problems getting the pattern. My model was stitched with a different alphabet font because I forgot I had to change it to my own lettering from the PCStitch 10 alphabet I was playing with when I first got the inspiration!  Believe it or not, my hexagon tile pattern on the bathroom floor was what inspired it back in February when I was wishing for spring! Sweet peas are the flower of April as well, so bees and sweet peas just cried out to be paired up! Feel free to make your own lettering or leave them off and use the bees instead.

I used the two squares for the top and bottom of the biscornu, and stitched it on 30ct Weeks Honeysuckle with  DMC. The bee buttons you see in the pictures are from Just Another Button Company. I'm going to make a heart shaped pin pillow with the sweet pea bouquet and single stitched bee. The pea pod and bees could be used for a fob or anything else you might come up with. I like making patterns with lots of interchangeable parts because that lets me and all of you use your creativity!

Back to my Chinese Garden Mandala this weekend! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More progress on the Chinese Garden and a gift delivery!

Seems ALL I have been doing is stitching on the Chinese Garden Mandala from Chatelaine these days!  I FINALLY finished up to part 8 and have kitted up my next freebie for later this month.

It may look like it's finished completely, but there is still an outer border along with vases, bamboo, mums and phoenix birds on all four sides!  I have had to tweak a bit again due to the black linen, subbing DMC 500 for the called for silk in the Winter Garden pine tree. The green silk was just too dark. Here's the close up of the final seasonal garden....I think it's my favorite!

And here is the entire piece so far....

And also this week I was able to deliver the LONG overdue gift of the New Zealand Map Banner to my dear sister-in-law Ann and her family. Ann was suitably amazed and surprised!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Call me Crazy Cat Lady

Hope everyone is having a nice early Spring day!  I finished up my small piece that was giving me a break from the Chatelaine mandala last night.  This was fun to do! It is by Raise the Roof and is called the Official Crazy Cat Lady....which I qualify for with my 4 current kitties!  The fabric is a 28ct piece of Silkweaver Solo with the called for Weeks and GAST. I re-arranged and added a couple of extra cat buttons, cause you know a crazy cat lady can never have too many purr-faces!

Now I can get back to the Chinese Garden Mandala, part 8!  That is all for today. Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Froggy Hollow freebie for March!

As promised, here is my March freebie! As usual please let me know if there are any problems or questions about the patterns or keys. Download Froggy Hollow from HERE.  This is another biscornu pattern as you can see, but I have included a little frog to stitch on the lily pad if you'd rather make something else with it. I used a frog button on top, and a dragonfly on the back. The fabric is a 28ct chartreuse linen, floss is DMC.  I would love to see any stitched results you may have!

Both sides stitched

Top of biscornu

Back of biscornu, with my attribution. Obviously you would want to add your own instead!


Froggy Hollow and Friends

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Progress pic on Chinese Garden and the Liebster Blog Award

Hi y'all!   I have been busy stitching on my Chinese Garden Mandala from Chatelaine, and recently finished part 7, so I thought I'd post a picture here!  I'm doing the WiP Killer SAL on the Yuku Chatelaine BB and trying to finish  this so I can get the new Serengeti mandala! Click on it and I think you will see it enlarged. I had some trouble with one of the silks being poorly dyed and had to go back with some DMC in the same coral color and replace it on the upper left spring garden. Upper right is the summer garden, then autumn below. Part 8 will be the winter garden in the final corner, plus a narrow border around the entire piece so far. The final parts go around the outside, and include 4 phoenix birds! I'm going to take a break with a small and then get on with this again!

Also, I've been stitching my next freebie, so watch for it in the near future!

In the meantime, I got a blog award from Rebekah! Thank you! I borrowed the info below from her blog.
She gave me one of the Liebster Blog Awards and this is what it means.....

Liebster is a German word, meaning favorite, dearest or beloved, and the Liebster is awarded by bloggers to other, newer bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help the new(er)bies gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:

1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the Liebster to.
2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.
4. Share five random facts about yourself that people don't know about you.

So, choosing 5 blogs that haven't already gotten this award is the tough part. Here we go.

1)Chronicles of a Cross Stitching Hockey Fanatic

2)Sue's Stitching

3)The Twilight Thread

4)Nancy's Needle Notes

5)It's Geek to Me

And the 5 random facts people don't know....yet!

1) I have a Masters in Library Science, circa 1989
2) I used to own a children's bookstore in the 90's
3) I own (along with DH and DD) approximately 9,000 books (noticing a trend?)
4) I surprise myself by being a crazy 'Caniac (ie hockey fanatic)....who knew?
5) I have wanted a pony or horse since age's an incurable disease I don't mind having!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pawprints Freebie!

My second freebie, the one for February, is ready! It's a bit of a switch for Valentine's Day, because we all love our pets right?  I have put my own spin on the saying "Pets leave paw prints on your heart", and it would work equally well for dog or cat lovers.  I made a biscornu out of the design, repeating the paw print motifs on the back piece in the corners (as you can see in the pics). In addition, I made a simple paw print heart, which you could use for the back, or do what I did and make a little pin pillow or add a ribbon and hang it up out of paws reach! Click here for the pdf, and as always let me know if you have issues getting it. Only two colors were used, one a variegated pink DMC, the other is DMC 3350, a dusty rose. You can use whatever colors you like of course!  My fabric was a 28ct Confederate gray linen and I added a kitty face button on the front and a pink heart on the back. A frisky kitten left his paw prints all over the front!
I did not back stitch around the large paw prints, and think maybe I should and learn!



Large Heart finished as pin pillow

Both biscornu and pin pillow!

Now I am working on my Chinese Garden Mandala again, which I am far behind on! I hope you all enjoy my new freebie! Please send pictures if you stitch it, and please share the link by sending people to this blog! Hope everyone has had a great Valentine's Day week!

Monday, February 13, 2012

February Finishes!

I have 3 finishes so far this month!  Two are stocking ornaments for my two young brother cats Finn and Tali, stitched on CharlesCraft Mini Stockings. Patterns are from a Leisure Arts leaflet by Mary Ellen Yanick called Cats, Cats, Cats!, c1987. Now all the pets have stocking ornies for next year!

The other February finish has a husband's sister is married and lives in New Zealand with her hubby and 3 kids. We went for a visit way back in 2000 when my daughter was 5. While visiting the Lake Taupo region, Ann and I went to a needlework store and found this New Zealand Map pattern by Susan Ryder for Heritage Stitchcraft, and she wanted me to make it for her. Never having done anything so large before it languished in UFO-dome for a decade! They have come home a couple of  times for visits and will be here again in April and I wanted to finally finish it for her! Since I started it in 2001, I have had TONS of experience on large projects (RE: Chatelaines and TWs!!) Apparently, this was a good thing because I managed to take it from one outlined island to complete in about a month!  It will be made into a door banner so she can take it back more easily. Here are some progress pics since my last update.....this is the North Island (South Island is pictured in an earlier blog post).

The Coat of Arms, or Seal of New Zealand is also on the piece....
....and here is the final map, before ironing and finishing!

This week I'm working on my next freebie release, so check back in the next few days!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Year of the first freebie!

Ever since I started my stitching blog, I have wanted to create some gifts for my followers, and here in the new year of 2012, and the Chinese Year of the Dragon, I have come up with this design for you all!  I hope to put out a new freebie every month this year for your viewing pleasure. Eventually I hope to begin publishing my own patterns under the banner of Riversong Needlearts!  I have in the works more Chinese New Year animals, as well as many other ideas knocking around inside my brain. I am still learning my software and how to convert PCStitch Pro patterns to pdfs, so bear with me please!  Freebies will be available for your download, but please do not share the pdfs! You may direct friends to my blog instead. All the patterns I create are of course my property, and under USA Copyright laws. I reserve the right to remove any freebie if abuse is noticed. Free patterns will be up for one year and then will be added to my catalog for sale once my company is up and running.  Please let me know if you like what you see, and please send me pictures if you stitch this or any other forthcoming pattern!  I'm willing to take requests on small designs, but cannot promise success quickly!

My creative process starts with Google Images. If you add the term "free rights" you get hundreds of clip art and free design motifs one can use with a clear conscience. This design is a compilation of several image motifs I used for inspiration, including a border motif and a Chinese Dragon figure with horns. From there is was just a matter of creating the border/corner sections and adding a fierce dragon face. The final size is 50x50. A gold backstitched line is added only if you wish to make a biscornu as I have done. I have stitched it on 28ct black linen, but you could use any color or count, even Aida, as there are no fractional stitches and only a little backstitch.

Please  click here  for the link to the pdf, which includes the key and other information about the chart. Save it to your computer and then print. You may need to use the snapshot tool to enlarge the chart, I certainly did! If you click on the first pic below you will see the chart clearly, and could right click and save I think. You will not have the key unless you use the pdf. Still a couple of quirks to figure out, including how to get the colors of the stitch blocks to show on the key with the symbols. Let me know if there are any issues with getting the pdf please!

My stitched dragon.....
In order to make it into a biscornu, I stitched the red border/corner sections again to use for the back. You can add your personalization there as I have shown below. I left off any bead or button to make it dimple. The shape of the biscornu is what makes the finish I believe! You can add a ribbon hanger if you'd like.

Because someone has had issues getting to the pdf on KeepAndShare, here is the floss list.

DMC 726 topaz -lt
DMC 725 topaz
DMC 783 topaz - md
DMC 816 garnet
DMC 780 topaz - ul vy dk
Backstitch Lines
DMC 783 topaz - md
DMC 816 garnet

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My, my...where has January gone?

I cannot for the life of me figure out where January went!  I've been happily stitching along and here it's down to the last few days of the month, already!  My first finish of 2012 was to complete the stitching on the Prairie Schooler 2011 Schooler Santa.

I am now all caught up on Santas and can begin the process of "ornamentification" (thanks Heather for coining that word!).  I also have tons of other finishing to do, including two class projects, several door banners (all seasonal), and a couple dozen other ornaments. I might have to devote a whole month to sewing machine work to get everything "FINISHED"!

This one at least was a breeze....a Pine Mountain kit called What A Hoot! I was lazy and bought the pillow form after I took this picture. This just slips over the pillow and is tied on. If I ever do any more of their series I can just switch out the pillow form. My kind of easy!
Both of these were finished by January 3rd!  About that time I learned that my dear sister-in-law (DSIL) Ann (hubby's sister) is coming with her family for a visit this spring from way down under in New Zealand!
We were able to go down for a visit way back in 2000, which is when this next project started....she took me to a stitchy shop in Taupo and saw the Heritage Stitchcraft Map of New Zealand and asked me if I would stitch it for her, so how could I say no?  Long story, shortened, I worked on it for a while (and I recall that this was BEFORE I attempted anything that big, like a TW or Chatelaine). My daughter was 6 and time just did not allow for much work on it and I put it away the end of 2001.  Now that they are coming for a visit, I just HAD to get it out to finish so she could carry it home with her. I will make it a door banner too, for that reason. This is what it looked like early this month...sorry the pic is not very good.
Now, the South Island is done!
In fact, most of the North Island is done since that picture was taken a couple of weeks ago...I need to take another picture, and finish the coat of arms floating offshore to the west.....hopefully by the end of the month!

I am also working on two mini stocking ornies for my not-so-little kittens adopted last August. They are my carry-around project.  I also have a surprise coming soon, as I have been working on some biscornu designs of my own creation to share this year on my blog!  I just have to stitch up the first one, and get some help converting the pattern to a pdf to make it easier to download. I am using PCStitch Pro which I just got in the most recent form, and am still figuring out some of the new stuff on it.  Any advice on posting would be appreciated for those of you who have experience in this area!  Happy New Year!