Thursday, November 1, 2007

Two finishes I am really proud of

I finally got around to taking pictures of two pieces I finished earlier this year. I try to photograph and/or scan everything that I do, especially pieces I make as gifts. The first piece is something I stitched for my husband for Valentine's Day. I worked on it in secret when he wasn't home so it was a surprise for him.
Well, sort of. I ordered the frame and mats from PictureFrames.com.

When I went to put it together though, it seemed that the top beige mat was slightly off. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it, or if I was doing something wrong, so I ended up showing the piece to my husband before it was completely finished (he was still surprised). It turned out that they cut the top mat to the same dimensions as another mat I had ordered at the same time for another piece. The sizes were similar, but just different enough to really mess me up. I called and explained the problem and their customer service person was VERY helpful and apologetic. She checked my order, said it was completely their fault and they sent a new mat out at no charge the next day. She even told me to hang onto the old mat in case I could use it for something else. The new mat arrived shortly thereafter and we put the piece together.

I've ordered from PictureFrames.com several times and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone, especially if you're not framing a complicated piece. It's definitely a lot cheaper than having the piece framed at a shop or craft store and the quality of their materials is excellent. (We'll stick to having things framed at our LNS for really complicated pieces). It's a little difficult when you can't see things in front of you, but I've chosen well so far. Also, I HIGHLY recommend you ask them to send you a set of sample mat pieces. There used to be a link on their site to order a set for free, but I can't seem to find it. I'm sure, however, if you call and ask them to send you a set, they will. The mat colors look very different in person than they do on a monitor, and it's really best to have the sample in front of you.
One of the things I like best about their website is that you can upload a scan or a photo of your piece and play around with different combinations of mats and frames to see how it would look. You can even change the wall color! If you want to try framing some of your own pieces, they're definitely worth looking into.

This is one of the other pieces I photographed yesterday, Celtic Seasons by Vickery Collection. I started on this piece last year when my husband was in the UK for six weeks for work and finished most of the color stitching. I set it aside when he came back, but picked it up again earlier this year.

I finished the last of the color stitching and started in on the outlining. I love the look of outlining in a piece, but I really hate doing it. Mostly because I am obsessive and for most backstitching I force myself to do it square by square (over 2 if that's how I did the cross stitching.) In most cases, it looks neater and stays tighter - you don't have long stretches of thread that can sag or droop in a finished piece.

It took weeks to finish the outlining in this piece, but I think it was well worth it. It's still unframed, but it's one of the few pieces I've completed for myself.

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