Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Update on DMC SAL: Now A Contest!

First off, some remarkable news! The generous folks at DMC have unexpectedly offered up a wonderful prize for the DMC Christmas SAL, officially making it a Contest as well as a Stitch Along! And what an utterly gorgeous prize it is:

For full contest details, visit this post on Emma Broidery's DMC Threads blog. Photographs of contest entries must be submitted by e-mail to Emma no later than December 1st, 2011 to qualify, so I wish Speedy Stitching to all of you taking part!

And if you're just pining over the gorgeous Bamboo Bobbin Cabinet, you'll be happy to learn that the DMC Shop is now having a Holiday Sale, and that the Star of the Sale is this lovely Limited Edition Bamboo floss cabinet, available while supplies last for $100 off the normal purchase price! I'd *love* one of these. With a nice antique roll-top desk to put it on, in the corner of a spacious sunny sewing room, in a large Victorian house to call my very own...*happily daydreams*. Oh, to win the lottery!

For those who may be curious, I have indeed mustered up my courage and am participating in the DMC SAL :) I wavered for a little while once I found out that it had become a competition, because I immediately started rethinking my design, which is very simple. I wanted a fun and funky little ornament. On the advice of a few good friends, I decided to go ahead as planned, and so it's doubtful that I'll even come remotely *close* to winning. But that's okay - it's all in fun!

And since this is only my second embroidery ("Bluebirds" was the first), I'm coming up against the problem of trying to get things to look like I want them to look, but I think that's something we all go through more or less when stitching. I'm keeping my Reindeer - whom I've named Reinaldo, since he's such a fine fashion-forward fellow - under wraps, filed under Top Secret until after the Contest is over, after which All Will Be Revealed (don't turn blue from waiting with bated breath or anything, LOL!). This actually pains me somewhat, because I'm *horrible* at keeping secrets, and Reinaldo is dying to show himself off. But c'est le vie! Please wish me luck! ;)

In other exciting news, I am still Gift Stitching, and I have some very exciting posts planned, one of which is the review of a very cute Christmas Card kit by a new-to-me company who contacted me with a stitching request that I think you'll all enjoy :)

Also, I've been behind in my posting and - sadly - in my Stitchy Blog visiting over the last few weeks since I've been not feeling the best, but things are starting to get back to normal, and I'm greatly looking forward to being online much more again!

And, before I go, please say hello to the newest member of the Eglantine Household:

This is my rescue rose, a miniature buttery yellow Kordana, and after some online sleuthing, I believe it is of the Sunbeam variety (there is a bud off to the side which you cannot see in this photo, and the shape of that, plus the leaves and the way the outer petals on the flower are starting to turn back, all suggest a match to me; the tag gave the Kordana name, but not the species, unfortunately!). These lovely miniature potted roses are often horribly called "throwaway roses" because, like poinsettas during the Holiday Season, most people buy them as gifts and then throw them out in the trash after the first blooms have faded. But this need not happen, with care.

Last year, I gave one to Grandma, a variety which I think is the Athena Kordana, as part my Wedding Anniversary gift to her and Grandpa, and it is thriving beautifully! Like mine, it was a "rescue", a pitiful little plant left on the clearance rack. When I bought Grandma's, I wanted a healthy plant, but the only colours were dark vampy reds and burgundies, colours I knew she would not like, and I knew that if anyone was up to a little Plant TLC, it was Grandma. She has a talent for all things flowery.

In truth, she has that Gardener Gift - The Green Thumb. Whereas Mom has often joked that she has a Black Thumb, a.k.a. The Thumb of Death. I tend to take after my Mother where growing things are concerned; I overwater them and fuss over them far too much. But when I spied this little rose, who I have named "Sunny" for obvious reasons, alone and forsaken amongst some droopy azaleas and wilting tropical ferns on the clearance counter, I couln't resist. It was Love At First Sight!

Everything deserves a second chance, after all :) I'll just try very hard not to kill it! ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DMC's Super Cute Christmas SAL!

Sorry for the silence around here this week. I assure you that it's been completely unintentional! I've been feeling a bit miserable, on and off, and that coupled with my continued stitchy slump has made for little of interest to write about.

On the good news side of things, though, I have been working on the first new edition of Stitchy News in more time than I can quite credit, and so I had a definite Plan when I sat down tonight, capital letter and all :) And that Plan was to catch up on my stitchy blog reading, search out some new items of interest, and publish the SN post.

Guess how far I got? Go ahead. Guess. One blog. Only one! Out of the several dozen I regularly follow. But what an entry it is, and I simply couldn't wait to share it, so I'm going to talk about it now! Emma Broidery, the cleverly named writer behind the ever interesting DMC Threads Blog, just launched a Christmas Stitch Along (SAL) yesterday, featuring a free embroidery design she made herself, Emma's Reindeer:

Is he not the most ADORABLE REINDEER you have EVER SEEN?!!!!!! The curlique antlers! The stars! *Le Swoon* I am in Love. Love, I tell you!!!

And this, as we all know by now, is a rather perilous thing. I am so very taken with this darling creature that I am seriously considering dropping everything that I am currently doing. Or, in this case, everything I am currently meaning to do but failing to do. That's right - all the gift stitching I only have half-planned, and some that I have half-started, that will likely never actually be made in time to see this holiday. Not to mention all the other things, i.e. Life, I should be doing. But I want to drop it.

And start this SAL. Even though I have NEVER even been part of a SAL in my entire life, and this would only be, let's see now *thinks hard* my SECOND piece of embroidery (do test pieces count? third then! *fails to feel more courageous*) ever!

And I also have come up with a Plan for my stitching, in which there will be lots of metallics and maybe some seed beads (and even, perhaps, a sequin! *gasp*), but definitely colour. Lots of bright Christmassy colours, reds and greens and golds.

Whereas Emma has stated that she is stitching the model in a variegated red (DMC 115), which will give the design a lovely classic tone-on-tone look. She's going to be posting up her progress on Thursday, tomorrow, and presumably posting regularly after that, so keep visiting the DMC Threads Blog for updates. The FREE pattern is available as a .PDF file on the SAL announcement post.

The deciding factor for me will be whether or not I can find a piece of fabric with the right colour and texture tomorrow. A quick glance in my stash tonight has turned up everything except anything like what I need (why is that always the way, LOL?) so we'll see what happens. I've already resized my Reindeer pattern to be a little bit smaller, as I'd like to make an ornament out of him, so I'll be on the look out for some nice backing fabric too, while Stash Diving, or while Shopping! *wicked grin*.

I will let you know how things go, and in the meantime, if you too should fall in love and feel inspired to try your hand at this stitching up this adorable little fellow, I say go for it, because it is my firm opinion that this world can always use some more cute Christmas creatures :) And that mistakes made together are not actually mistakes at all, but rather useful "learning experiences", LOL, of the very best kind! ;)