Saturday, April 26, 2014

SFS Month #4 - A Special Easter Egg!

Although Easter has come and gone and this post is a bit late, I wanted to share my second project for this month. I was working on it feverishly to get it posted up for the Holiday weekend, but this design is one of those that ended up going off in an entirely different direction to what I was imagining. Thankfully, despite all the twists and turns it took and the merry chase it led me on, I do like it and hope you will too!

(This story is a little long, so if you'd just like to see the SFS info, it's right at the end).

When I first signed up for SFS, I decided that my personal goal would be aimed not towards reducing spending as such but towards actually *stitching* from my stash. That hasn't worked out so far (for happy reasons!), but this project fits that goal :)

From the 2011 Christmas Ornament issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine, this egg is "Christmas My Way", by Keslyn's Designs. You can see a version of the original stitched up at this blog. It's full of pretty Specialty Stitches that the designer calls "Sym-Stitches", based on Symmography, or "String Art" (like this lovely example).

Way back when the issue first came out, I bought it just for this little egg pattern, thinking it would look beautiful in soft pastel colours for Easter :) So I set about putting together such a colour palette, and choose these pretty colours:

From top to bottom on the stack, and left to right on the ring: 3824 (peach), 776 (pink), 744 (yellow), 955 (green), 157 (blue) and 210 (purple). Then I remembered that I had used those pink and yellow shades in my Chicken Scratch Heart, so I added in the pretty DMC Colour Variations in 4095 from that project:

I thought it would pull all the different coloured bands together, and it did look really nice up close. But it completely faded away even at arm's length, and I was hoping for this to be a wall ornament for seasonal display. So after much deliberation, I came to the unfortunate conclusion that they were all too light.

So I went back to my floss boxes and played around with combinations. It took me days to decide! Sounds ridiculous, I know. Usually playing with colours and pulling flosses is great fun for me, but I was getting really frustrated. I tried other variegated threads, with complimentary colours. Darker versions of the pastels. Even metallics!

Finally, I kept coming back to this beautiful bright turquoise, and this happened:

Easter Brights! From top to bottom on the stack, and left to right on the ring: 209 (purple), 956 (pink), 703 (green), 743 (yellow) and 3846 (turquoise). And when these colours finally came together, I actually wondered why, exactly, I was thinking of Easter as pastels? New grass green, crocus purple, fluffly chick fits!

Special Easter Variation of of "Christmas My Way" by Keslyn's Designs

Here's my finished Egg! Now, this is the first time I've stitched over one on 28 count Evenweave (by M.C.G. Textiles). I really missed the easy counting of Aida blocks, and I had some trouble with the stitch spacing initially, especially the big diamonds on the center line. I ended up taking out almost as many stitches as I put in ;) But by then I was really enjoying the colours and the different stitches, so I kept going.

Here is the Easter Egg before and after beading:

Of course, I did change a few things along the way :) I replaced the second row from the top with Diamond Eyelets, to echo the Half Eyelets on the center band border. The original stitch was very heavy and took away from the Rhodes Hearts directly below it. I also added some more rays on the topmost element to make it fuller, and made some minor adjustments to the Stand at the bottom to fit in all the colours!

But my favourite bit of Spontaneous Stitching is the little polka dots in the center band of the Egg, and the one in the center of the Stand. These are Rhodes Octagons, but at the time I was just fiddling around with thread and liked the shape!

After I added the polka dots, I almost left the beads off altogether! The original calls for Mill Hill Petites in Red, so I had pulled my trusty favourite Mill Hill metallic golds instead to work with this palette. I was thinking of using a regular Seed Bead in each center of the Diamonds, and the Petites everywhere else. I actually stitched a few on, but it really drew the attention away from the Specialty Stitches, so that was out.

Finally, I remembered some pretty little crystals I had left from another project and discovered that they fit the spaces in the centers of the Diamonds perfectly! Happily serendipitous :) They are 4mm faceted Rounds, in AB (Aurora Borealis) finish - that pretty rainbow shine look - from Jolee's Jewels, which is now Create Your Style with Swarovski Elements. The Mill Hills are regular size, #00161, in clear AB.

Since they are mostly translucent, it's hard to see where I added them all!

The beading ended up being my favourite element of my Easter Egg, and it is SO hard to capture all the sparkle! Nothing shines like Swarovski, and in full sun the three center crystals transform into tiny prisms, letting off rainbow flashes in the light :)

My SFS for April, Month #4: Finishing Supplies

As I mentioned, my plan is to turn this little Egg into a padded wall ornament to hang up and enjoy every Easter Season :) After my first project this month, my Chicken Scratch Easter Egg, this the only other thing I've stitched for Easter.

So I didn't have any Easter or Springy prints to use as backing fabric. Honestly, although I was secretly hoping for a small eggy print, I was resigned to settling for plain coordinating cotton at the most. And that eggy print I was trying hard not to want would have to be REALLY small - the Easter Egg turned out very little indeed:

The stitched motif is only roughly 1 1/2 inches wide and 3 inches tall! So imagine my surprise and utter delight when The Great Stitchy Karma Gods smiled upon me and granted me this most wonderful gift:

Eggy fabric! With Springy Flowers!! And Little Chicks!!! And Bunnies!!!! WITH FLUFFLY, FLOOMFY TAILS!!!!! *Ahem* I may still be a little bit excited :)

Can you blame me? Easter Joy! Every time I pull this fabric out to peek at it, I can't help but smile. And there was lovely turquoise Grosgrain ribbon to match too!

My SFS Total: I bought the smallest cut off the bolt, .02 of a meter, for $2.99, and paid $2.20 for 2 meters of ribbon. With tax, my spending totaled $6.57 CA. That leaves me with $18.43 from this month's $25 allowance, and $58.52 in the Bank.

Truly, my family and I had a wonderfully blessed Easter Holiday, and I hope you and yours did as well :) Even though I was disappointed that I didn't Final Finish this little ornament in time, I do intend to try to get it done now so we can enjoy it next year!


Blu said...

Very pretty! I love how incredibly cheerful your version looks.

Mii Stitch said...

I prefer yours, it's so much more cheerful!

Zeb said...

I am in LOVE with your egg! I really admire how you can take a design, and make it totally unique and your own too. I sometimes try to do colour change ups like this... and make a complete mess!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Both sets of colours are lovely but the egg does look amazing in those bright colours.

And finding the perfect fabric? That's just Serendipitous!

Shebafudge said...

Wow! Your egg looks totally amazing! Love the colours you chose for it. xx

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments!!! My apologies for the lateness of this reply. I'm so glad that the colourway comes off cheerful instead of garish - that's what I was going for ;)

Karen said...

Wow! You're doing awesome with your stitch from stash goals with almost $60 in the bank!!

I love the bright colours you chose for the egg. I would have never guessed that the pattern was originally a Christmas one. Hard to believe what a few colour changes can do.