Starry, Starry Night
I love to cross stitch. Trying to explain to folks out there who stop to see what I'm doing at coffee shops; there's the really funny reactions: 1. The young-ish crowd with this line: "I haven't seen anyone knit since my Grandma did it when I was a little kid."
Yeah, that doesn't make me feel old at all. [Insert face palm here]
2. The "older" crowd with something like this: "Oh wow! Cross stitch! I used to do that when I was younger for many years. What are you working on?!" -
This part of the conversation tends to get really interesting because the "older" crowd usually doesn't like the snarky, swear word stuff. I get that, I respect that, which I why I typically try not to actually stitch the swear words in public; though, not always possible when you're trying to wrap up a project. OR, the younger crowd, trying to understand why you do it and wondering which social media platform you're on to gauge how famous you are... LOL.
POINT BEING [since I know I'm about to just type away on some long journeyed story that I didn't initially intend], as of yesterday, March 14th, 2019, I've begun the cross stitch, legendary journey to complete the Heaven and Earth Design of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry, Starry Night. It's the super-sized service that HAED offers to their customers. So, if you visit their website: https://heavenandearthdesigns.com , check out the special services tab. This is where I requested this chart be supersized but they also have services like color charts, custom dyeing, layaway, background removal and even gift certificates! I actually had zero clue was HAED was until this year but, after looking into their social media pages and finally finding their site, they've been around since 2002!
Van Gogh fascinated me in art classes growing up. His love life, his self portrait. Even when "Mona Lisa Smile" came out with Julia Roberts and her class did the paint-by-numbers, Sunflowers, in the film, I was still in awe on him. Living overseas gives me an incredible opportunity to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam which is currently featuring his paintings, Sunflowers and Self-Portrait as a Painter. I cannot wait! [Website for the museum: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en]
This specific blog post is to begin the showcase and opening page to journey the progress of this beautiful piece. The HAED finished design is to be 39-7/8" W x 31-1/8" H! In total, I think it's 780,219 stitches [Chart states 999Wx781H]. It's going to take me YEARS to complete between the jobs I take on (currently 2.5), volunteering (Family Readiness Group-FRG + Soldiers' Angels program), somehow keeping a social life (very little), and somehow also taking care of myself. Me time. THIS, sewing, creating, being inspired, as I like to call it "keeping myself busy," is my me time. Keeps my head out of my own head. Let's just take a moment to to reference the legenDERRY "Letterkenny":
Love What You Do And Never Work A Day In Your Life.
So, without further ado, here is the very first photo to feature the first 33 stitches of this giant piece completed. Like I said.... It's going to take me YEARS to complete. :)
I do also want to throw out there that I am 100% on board with PDF patterns. Below, you'll see a screenshot of the 33 stitches I've completed on Day 1 of this piece by utilizing the highlighter tool with iBooks. This is EXTREMELY helpful in that I can track my progress but also, as I do so often, when I highlight something incorrectly, there is an eraser tool! Whoo! Before I came to the wise realization of electronic gold, I was using paper copies of everything; kits, printed things I purchased online, etc. Initially, I was strictly going by sight and follow until my grandmother suggested using the slight touch of a pencil. That way I could erase if I colored in too far or if I frogged on the project. It was brilliant! UNTIL lead was getting all over my hands, canvas and threads causing issue after issue. Especially on larger projects. I don't know if any of you have ever washed project but I kind of get this shortness of breath that something terrible is going to happen: Are all the stitches fastened properly in the back? Are the colors going to bleed together? Is the canvas going to fray anymore than it already has? If any of these things happen, do I have time/energy to fix it? Will it just discourage me? Oh man... It's a crazy thought process. I've only ever had one project mess up and it was easy to fix, thankfully.
I've also set up a separate page from the blog to further showcase this project since it is going to take such a long time. Please visit https://www.sarahbelaine.com/starry-starry-night to see more progress updates as time goes by!