Cross Stitch and Etsy and Progress, Oh my!

I’ve been a busy little bee lately (or maybe an incredibly stressed bee. I’m not sure).

A few weeks back while I was chatting, I decided that I wanted to cross stitch something. I’d never cross stitched before – it was always one of those “I’ll learn it later” things. I picked out a simple pattern, a tiny Hylian shield, and got to work.

It took me considerably more time than I thought it would for such a small piece, but it turned out really well! I then added a little sword next to it. I’m still trying to figure out how to display it.

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I’ve discovered that the skills I learned charting designs for crochet transfer over well to cross stitch (usually just being bigger charts). I started another pattern, an actual cross stitch pattern, but gave it up for now after the first color. The pattern was just symbols so I didn’t realize that the colors were really, really weird. Like ‘wtf, why are you using that color’ weird. Zoomed out the colors looks appropriate, but close up with those colors it looks just wrong.

I then went on to a quote piece with an intricate border. I’m a big fan of the Iron Druid Chronicles book series, so I picked a recurring quote from it: When in Doubt, Blame the Dark Elves. The border is a pretty celtic knot one I found.

My first attempt I miscounted by one stitch across 125 stitches. The miscount made it so nothing would work. Lesson learned: Don’t count more than about 30 stitches at a time, max.

My second attempt, I picked a really horrible fabric and thread color. It was just hideous. Lesson learned: use the damn program I have to check how things look together.

My third attempt went really well … until I realized I’d started with the wrong corner of my frame. So there wasn’t enough fabric on the one side for everything to fit, and there was no way I could adjust the pattern without removing all of the stitches anyway. Lesson learned: Pay more attention when starting and mark the top.

My fourth attempt is the one I’m on and it’s going very well. I’ve got all of the text done and now there is just the border to finish. I really, really wanted this thing, which is why I refused to give up. I’m slowly getting it done.

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The orange paper is there so my frame doesn’t hurt my stitches.

I’m finding I really enjoy cross stitch and it’s something easy to pick up and put down. I bought a magnetic pattern holder a while back (I think it’s originally meant for knitting patterns) and that’s been helping me stay on the right bit of stitches. I can also technically cross stitch with only one hand (though it’s faster with two) so it’s something I could do during my infusions if I didn’t want to play on my phone the whole time.

Then I finally got off my butt and booted up my etsy store again. I had this pile of patches (76ish at last count) that were just gathering dust and not being out there in the world and cool. I had my light box and my tripod and my new camera … but no motivation to work on photographing and listing stuff when I was at home.

I recently reorganized my office at work (including designating storage areas for my bags so they’re not on the spare desk taking up space). There is a nice spot to my right when I’m sitting at my laptop that is free and open so now it’s my photographing area. I had a day where all I had to do was answer the phone and the door (because the other two were on a house job and it’s impossible to get any tint or electronics done alone with the constant interruptions) so I sat down and photographed almost all of my patches.

My wonderful office. I hate the floor and I hate the desks but it's what I have to work with.
My wonderful office. I hate the floor and I hate the desks but it’s what I have to work with.

I have to re-take almost all of them for two reasons. One – etsy’s thumbnail display window is an odd size so almost all of my photos have parts of the patch cut off in the thumbnail display. Two – daylight bulbs are awesome, and ‘home’ bulbs (that burn out in less than two months) are not. The colors are much clearer with the daylight bulbs.

Daylight on the left, ‘soft white’ on the right. The Elder Sign really is that bright green.


Another intimidating thing about listing ALL OF THE PATCHES is writing ALL OF THE DESCRIPTIONS! I had about five descriptions already written up from my last attempt, so on Wednesday night I decided to just go ahead and list those ones, and then just slowly work my way through the pile. I was able to list a few more on Thursday but nothing spectacular.

On Friday morning I made my first sale! That is the best sort of encouragement! I also learned I wasn’t quite charging enough for shipping, so I fixed that on the others. The patch is already shipped out and on its way to a new home.

I also decided to make a facebook page for the Tower. Why? Because I could. I’m pretty sure my family and friends get tired of listening to me talk about crafting all of the time.

I’ve been making progress!

I’m also sick this weekend, so the progress has been slow. Hopefully the sickness won’t become too severe and require mass medical intervention. I just got my infusion on Wednesday so my immune system is as strong as it can be. Tea! All the tea!