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10/20/10

  08:14:00 pm, by Airycat   , 451 words  
Categories: Chitchat

I'm so tired of Spam comments!

I get anywhere from 1 to 6 comments a day on my blogs here. Unfortunately 99.9% are just spam comments. They are comments, usually, not just a link. The link is in the info part. But I know they are spam for a few reasons.

  1. The e-mail always comes back with permanent errors. If you are a genuine commenter, I should be able to write to you privately at your e-mail address.
  2. The comments make no sense. OK, if a non English speaker comments, it may not quite make sense, particularly if they used a translator like Babel Fish or Google Translate. But telling me about all the good points I made that you need to think about, tells me that you have no idea that you commented on a recipe, or me saying what a bad day I've had.
  3. Tell me the ad links at the top of my page contain malware. In the first place I have no ads on my website. If I did or ever do, you can be sure I will have used them myself and they will be fine. (An exception would be only if the site linked to had been hacked recently.)
  4. I get 2-5 comments in a week with the same url, and sometimes e-mail, although the sender's name is always different. Often the comments are exactly the same, even with different urls.

If you are a genuine commenter,

  1. use an e-mail address I can contact you with. This is especially important if you ask a question because unless it's something I think I should have included in the post, I prefer not to answer in comments, and even if I do, you might not remember to look again.
  2. use your blog address for your url. I might actually stop by and visit, at least once. If you don't have a blog, OK, use what you want, but you won't likely generate any business through my blog.
  3. comment on topic!! If you're responding to a comment I made at your blog, that's one thing, but I don't need random quotes or anything irrelevant to what I wrote about. I have never cared for blind compliments, either. Things like "Great job!" or "Wonderful post!" mean nothing. I love real compliments, but they will be specific and indicate to me that you actually read what I wrote. And they aren't necessary. Any honest comment that indicates you actually read what I wrote, even negative, is a good comment.

Spammers! You are wasting your time as well as mine. I don't have that many genuine readers. I also put your e-mail and/or website on spam block. Keep spamming and eventually you won't be able to comment on any b2evolution blog.

09/28/10

  04:05:00 am, by Airycat   , 670 words  
Categories: Needlework, Quilting, Hand Embroidery, Stitches

Beginning the Embroidery Class

I don't know why this is taking me so long. Oh, well. I have almost completed one row of the top border. I wanted to do something different, so I decided to do the corners in tapestry stitch. Three of them went well enough, but the fourth (actually it was the second) took hours to do. Next time I'll use a different thread or less strands. I used my bamboo yarn. I de-plyed it so I was stitching with 4 single ply rather than 1 4-ply. It would have been great on my aida (for cross stitch), which is a bit larger. (BTW, my store didn't have 25 or 26 count, so I ended up with 28 count linen). I also forgot to pull threads, so I hope the other two corners match up. The top two did, miraculously.

Anyway, despite the difficulty, I think the stitches came out OK. On the negative side, the corners aren't exactly the same size. That doesn't disappoint me too much, but the color does. My yarn looks like this:

I think it's lovely with the mix of beige (or creme), green, pink and lavender. All I got in the corners was the beige and lavender and it looks dull. I may outline them in one or two of the brighter colors. These are closeups of the corners:

Top right: Milanese Stitch Except, my book does this on the diagonal and I did it straight (and sideways). I also added one stitch, so it would be the same width as the right side. (I was not paying attention because it was supposed to be the height and not sideways!) I did 4. Bottom right: Triangle Stitch. This was easy. I did one.

Top left: Double Leviathan Stitch This is just a big star. I did 4.

Bottom left: Herringbone Gone Wrong Stitch It's very close rows of herringbone stitch done left to right, then right to left, instead of all going left to right. I like the basket weave effect it creates. This is the one that was hard to do. The reason is that the top stitches were tucked under the row above and, even though this is thin yarn, it's a lot on 28 count! I don't know how many rows I did. I just tried to match it to the right side.

The other disappointment was that I thought I had chosen some pinks in the watercolor threads, but after spending time looking, I checked my receipt and nope. It was the pearl thread. Since I used pearl thread (8) for the three running stitches, I decided to use ribbon for the weaving through them. I'm very happy with that part.

I still have to do the line stitch ... and the three other sides! I think they will go faster, though. I have to work on some quilts this week. One is just a single block for a block-a-month group. If I finish each month's block by the next meeting, I get the material for the next one free. (Not a bad deal for a fabric shop to do!!)

The other quilt will be machine embroidered. It's for my granddaughter, and I'd like her to get it before she's 12. (She's 7 months now.&amp;#58;&amp;#68;) I'd also like her to have it by the time the cold weather gets here, this year. Anyway, that's a case of being able to do two things at once, since the machine does the work, I can work on my sampler at the same time with only thread change breaks.

Other than that and the regular chores and errands, I hope to spend my time on this. Right now, I'm going to reread the lesson, because I think I got only about half of it. I know the color info didn't sink in. I usually just use my gut for color and according to my mom, sometimes it's a bit ... off. Well, I like red and yellow together! I think a lot of my "offness" is just that she and I like very different colors and styles.

08/29/10

  11:39:00 pm, by Airycat   , 369 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

Blessing 15 -- Rocks

I have not given up on this project, but it's priority will go up and down, depending on what's going on in my life. Recently I have been spending more time on Sharon B's GIMP for Textile Designers class.

Blessing 15, Rocks
Position: page 2, block 16

I suppose this sounds like a funny blessing, but rocks are important to our lives in many ways. For starters, I wouldn't be writing this (wouldn't have learned about the SAL and a whole LOT more) without the rock called silicon. (Wikipedia calls it a metalloid, but metals come in rocks and raw, it looks like a rock to me.) Many buildings are, or depend on rock (cement contains forms of rock). Think of the lovely marble and granite counter tops we all admire. Rock! What about diamonds and other gems? Rocks! I just like any rocks and have a collection of polished stones --- one of which is in this square -- and some interesting looking unpolished stones/rocks. And look at the majesty of the mountains. They are rock and without them, many areas would not have water. The slow melt of mountain snow provides water to the lowland of a lot of western US areas, including my own area. I'm sure there is more than I'm specifically aware of. Really, where would we be without rock? The Earth is just a living rock. (Places like the moon are dead rocks, and, from here, that's a pretty nice thing, too.) I am truly grateful for rocks, their versatility and their beauty.

 

This is in the last square on the page, under the tree of the last blessing. Mountains in the back are a somewhat random satin stitch in two shades of lavender (together) and white for the snow. I used a different shisha stitch for this than I used for the shell. I'm not sure if it's the stitch or just the smoothness and/or simple shape of the stone, but it doesn't want to stay, so I will need to add some kind of stitch to hold it better. My mom (who is not a stitcher) says glue it, but I don't want to do that. I don't know exactly how I will fix it, yet.

08/11/10

  03:01:00 am, by Airycat   , 703 words  
Categories: Needlework, GIMP, Quilting

Virtual Needlework

That sounds like an excuse for not doing the real thing, but, in fact, it's a great way to plan out a real project. I have been enjoying my class GIMP For Textile Designers taught by Sharon Boggon. I have learned oh-so-much about GIMP and also how to apply it to needlework and fabric. To see a lot of what I've done, sometimes with explanation, you can check out my GIMP For textile Designers with Sharon Boggon folder at Photobucket. Earlier in the course, I tried to plan my Fairy Quilt with GIMP. I couldn't do it then, but maybe now I can. To be honest, though, I don't think it will be any better than my crayon scribbled papers, so I'm not going to. I may do future quilt projects that way though. I did figure out a way to do it that worked great on these samples.

Virtual Quilt with GIMP
  1. Take photos of your fabric. - Try to get them all at the same scale. Have your camera stationary and the fabric all at the same spot. Upload to computer, but keep at full size the camera makes them.
  2. Open a new image in GIMP. - Make it the size you want the final image to be, unless you need to adjust your pattern.
  3. Draw or 'open as layer' the pattern you want. - Any adjustments to the pattern should be made at this stage. You should end with your final working size. The final pattern should be fine lines on a transparent layer. I chose the smallest dot and scaled it to .30 and used the pencil tool.
  4. Add all fabric photos as separate layers. - This is an option under File.
  5. Scale each layer to size. - This is done under Layer, 3rd from bottom option. This will keep your fabric pattern size in scale with each other, if the photos were in kept in the same scale.
  6. Move all fabric layers below your outline layer.
  7. Keep all but your working fabric invisible. - Otherwise only the top fabric will show.
  8. Choose section of pattern to fill with fabric. - Use the fuzzy select.
  9. Leaving selection on, go to fabric layer and copy. - The selection will work on this layer even though it was chosen on the pattern layer. You can move the fabric around before you copy to get what you want in the selected area, but don't rescale to make something fit. Also make sure the fabric fills the selection.
  10. Go to new layer and paste. - Be sure to anchor the pasted image to the new layer. Remember to make that fabric invisible until you use it again.
  11. Repeat steps 8, 9 & 10 for all pattern sections. -

(Please let me know if these instructions are not clear enough and I will adjust them.) Anyone who knows how to use GIMP (and probably Photoshop, too) should be able to do this.

Something that has turned out to be a bonus for me, is creating graphics that inspire needlework projects. I created this images as part of the class.

I pretty much made this up as I went along and had no thought for it other than to learn the lesson (about brushes and erasers in GIMP). I did fiddle with it to try and make it pleasing to my eye. I think I changed things several times until I decided it was done. Then I made a frame for it and posted it to the class. By that time I'd been looking at it full size quite a bit and since the class is for textile designers, I kept thinking of how this applied. The answer is that I can see making something like this in fabric and embroidery. I could even print out some of the pictures I have behind the grid and use them the same way... Or I could quilt them... or embroider them. There are really lots of options, The other picture I did for that lesson inspired me much the same way. Although I wouldn't make it look like the picture, I can see using fabric and embroidery to create something like it. Crochet, lace making and tatting would also work with that one, but I suppose I could use pre-made items.

08/06/10

  10:15:00 pm, by Airycat   , 123 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

Block 14, Page 2

I didn't realize I hadn't shown this block. I finished it sometime in June, just before or after I finished Alex's portrait. I didn't plan it as a blessing, although I certainly can thank God for providing these "free jewels" as He does.

The is a bit of seashell attached using crossed threads on which I did buttonhole stitch for two or three rows. Only the crossed straight stitches go through the fabric... um, no, I did sew some of the buttonhole stitch through the fabric. I tried to follow the shisha attachment, but the odd shape of the shell caused it to be less secure than I was comfortable with. For this I used a single ply of my bamboo sock yarn.

 

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