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Storykeeper by pinkythepink Storykeeper by pinkythepink
Here's my final submission piece for my group stitchingpirates Finish The WIP Contest. Here was my starter entry:
Storykeep WIP by pinkythepink

This is my very first, and hopefully very last, Heaven and Earth Designs (commonly HAED) pattern. This particular pattern comes from a series of "Storykeeps", bookmarks, which are essentially cropped sections of larger artwork. When Mattsma picked this pattern up for me a few years ago as a gift its title was simply Storykeeper Storykeep and was genuinely the only pattern on the whole of the website I thought I might do. And they have a lot of patterns. This bit of original artwork is by Selina Fenech and, if I'm reading the PDF correctly, the pattern for HAED was created by Michele Sayetta.

This is stitched over-one on linen, and if you cross-stitch like a regular human you'll know that that becomes dangerous business as stitches have a tendency to slip under and into the fabric weave itself. It's also stitched with one thread. For comparison, the grand majority of pieces I do on linen are over-two with two threads! The over-one nature of this piece both cuts down on the bulkiness (the stitches are awfully close together) and stops it from being nearly two feet tall. It also means with the 25 count linen that I could fit 25 stitches per inch - this piece is a mere 51 stitches wide which allows the two inch width.

I started this back in October and put it back down for all the work I've been caught up in. Then, a little counter intuitively, I took it with me to work :lol: at H&R Block. Since all I'm doing is answering the phone, setting appointments, filing, etc, when I'm between tasks my bossman lets me work on stitching, beading, and such. Well when I'm stuck at a desk waiting for the phone to ring for several hours and there's no internet to distract me I get a whollllllle lot of work done. So this was finished in just about a month! Customers coming in often commented on what I was doing, and how I must be going blind, or how they used to cross-stitch but don't do it anymore and it was never that tiny but oh gosh what hard work you do yessss thank you would you like to make an appointment already-

On one part, I am really happy with how this turned out. My stitches are clean, the colors went together as they should, the final piece is nice enough that I went and got it framed for myself. It is truly something I was happy to show off to customers coming in and will be something I continue to be proud of when Mom predictably waltzes people into my room to boast. Can you hear the "but"?

But.... this style of stitching simply isn't my thing. I'm reluctant to complain about it because I know - I know - that a great amount of patterns, especially those sold en masse all around the web and those given out as freebies, are done in this style. Before I really got into my own design work these types of patterns are the ones I was making, and I even stitched a few. Most prominently, Resonant from cosmicbound's artwork is done this way:
Resonant by pinkythepink
And many of the freebie prize patterns I do for stitchingpirates are done in this way, like this one Katjakay finished of her own photograph:
McGuire Lake Cross Stitch by Katjakay
And! That's just fine. Because a lot of people have no grief or complaints with this style of stitching. HAED and people who swear by this style will tell you: it's simple. There's no backstitching, there's no beads, no partial stitches or anything fancy. Just Xs.

Now... HAED is big. Like, they sell in magazines, and there's organized foreign piracy boards that make a point of knowing when HAED has a sale so that they can hoard up as much of it as they can and spread the patterns around. Oddly enough, while I'm comfortable tearing down problems with designers I greatly admire, when it comes to HAED I find myself horribly intimidated. Obviously Mirabilia has similar magazine sales and a good percentage of piracy out there, but still when I worked on my Dressmaker's Daughter piece I pointed out all the things I didn't like and made changes and had no second thoughts about it. Honestly, I don't know why it's different, and it's not going to stop me from continuing on below, but I thought it worth mentioning. It's weird for me to be so up and bothered about sharing my complaints.

HAED is worthy because they have an amazing selection of artists under their belt. Amy Brown is the notable name for me, since I grew up with her artwork in my home. And I thought a lot about it: if you wanted amazing artwork like Amy Brown in cross stitch, HAED is the place you go. And, far as I know, artists like Amy Brown don't really care what a cross-stitch pattern turns out to be. They get the royalties for use and may not even know, let alone care, about things I consider to be quality control. Case in point: the Storykeeper pattern was hardly readable to me. It came in a PDF, which was fine, and the symbols were clear, which was appreciated, but the symbols were obviously not chosen by hand.

How do I know this? Because they're using either the same program I use for my patterns or a very similar one. The symbols started out as 50 and when I opened up my program to convert it into symbols I could actually read wouldn't you know it - the 50 symbols on the chart were exactly the same first 50 symbols the program automatically selects for you. Which means a few symbols that're terribly similar, like, say, a dot and a circle, end up being next to each other on the chart.

There's also, like in the majority of computer generated patterns, no color condensing. This could be a stylistic choice, since eliminating that one slighty-off-shade-of-tan for a very similar slightly-off-shade-of-tan to lower the color count is something HAED just doesn't do... but I suspect its more that when they generate the pattern they don't go through and go, "Hey, you know, that pale shade of blue is used for an entire two stitches in the piece, maybe it's just not needed". Again, how do I know this? It's because I used to do it in my pattern generation.

What really ended up steaming me as I stitched this was a request that came in to me for a custom pattern back in January this year. My customer wanted a piece converted from an artist here on DA, she even got the permissions and everything and was ready to go! And she wanted it in HAED's no backstitching, no fancy nonsense, massive tapestry style. So what was her problem? Why did she come to me? It's because HAED charges an absurd $125 to do what takes hardly an hour, and - yes, I am sure they are busy with how large their business is - say it'll take 4-6 weeks to complete the order.

Insert a dramatic pause for me right here, because that is beyond unreasonable. My customer-to-be told me I should up my custom pattern pricing because of it, but really it flared me up so bad I wanted to just do everything for free! How dare they charge so much! Name recognition. "I have a custom HAED chart!" Except, unlike designer clothing brands, HAED is nothing but a reflection of my early beginner, no skill, two seconds of computer generated work.

So... yeah... I have grief with them.

...but even still, this piece is really pretty.

I'm just not happy about it. :stare:

Other than the pattern redrawing that I did for myself the 'large' change I made to the actual pattern was removing a shade of blue (or purple?) that was only used for two or three stitches, I can't remember now, lowering the color count from 50 to 49. I also replaced all the randomly inserted Kreinik with plain white because honestly, HAED, can you just take two seconds to make a pattern adjustment, the white on her skin does not randomly begin sparkling, and I didn't have it in me to stitch Kreinik into 25 count linen over-one. Otherwise... there's really nothing to this piece. It's only X's. No partials, no backstitching, no beads. I would complain about a lack of blended colors, but seeing as these are "designed" to be over-one it's not that surprising.
:iconkorrahornsplz: Alright I'm done whining.

Color Total: 49
Size: 2 x 10.25 inches stitching
Time: 94 hours
25 Count ivory Linen
Halloween Castle by pinkythepink Tribal Cat by pinkythepink Floral Mini Pillow by pinkythepink
Add a Comment:
 
:iconthestarlightprincess:
TheStarlightPrincess Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Very pretty! :aww:
Reply
:iconmattsma:
Mattsma Featured By Owner May 30, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
In person, AGAIN, far more beautiful!
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner May 30, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
:hug:
Reply
:icondenofshadows:
denofshadows Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
LOVE this bookmark.
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! :flirty:
Reply
:iconhorrorfreakjuh:
horrorfreakjuh Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Great outcome :heart:
i have to say I fully agree with what you are saying about haed, I have a stash of them to but still I agree but there are Some more thing about them that my mind says are your seriously thinking I would belive that? I do make my own charts every now and then most are from anime series and games. But like hell I would never ask anyone when they want a chart to let them pay that I think it's a shame asking so much but that is me.
but back on your work it's really great :D
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
:lol: I'm glad I'm not alone in this! Thank you. :love:
Reply
:iconhorrorfreakjuh:
horrorfreakjuh Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm happy about that to you know :) but i'm sure there are more people who think that right :)
Reply
:iconthriin:
Thriin Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017
I LOVE the outcome!!Love Love  I have quite a few *ahem* HEAD charts, even requested one mini but I agree their custom charting is absurd, if people are willing to pay it's everyone choice but it is expensive like hell. Giggle 
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
:la: Thank you! That's alright :lol: it's the style you like and there's nothing wrong with that.
Reply
:iconstalwartt:
Stalwartt Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017
She beautiul :3
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks :heart:
Reply
:iconstalwartt:
Stalwartt Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017
😁
Reply
:iconmattsma:
Mattsma Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is an incredible critique.  The patterns I have were selected carefully because of the potential for stitching a huge blurry thing I see so often on the larger pieces.  Your pattern was lovely and has some definition.  I'm very hopeful that mine come out just as nicely. 

As you know, I'm already poo poo-ing the background on the Bubbles pattern as I feel those colors should be blended :D  And I'm ranting.  Sorry!  Beautiful critique, so well done! Applaud fella (Reactions) 
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
HAED just inspires ranting, I say! :shakefist:
Thanks Carla :hug:
Reply
:icontheiceorchid:
theIceOrchid Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Student General Artist
This looks really awesome. Love it. Well done and thanks for showing this^^
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
:la: Thank you!
Reply
:iconphenometron:
Phenometron Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017
So beautiful. <3
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! :heart:
Reply
:icontoveanita:
ToveAnita Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017
Clap Gorgeous!! Fantastic embroidering, well done!! Love 
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you much!
Reply
:iconururuty:
Ururuty Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
nice work
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!
Reply
:icondarkcat273:
DarkCat273 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow! This is beautiful!^~^ I can't believe how much detail you put in to these, truly wonderful work!👍👌👏👏👏👏👏
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! :love:
Reply
:icondarkcat273:
DarkCat273 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem^~^
Reply
:icontheinnercat:
TheInnerCat Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
Absolutely love this : )
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks much! :la:
Reply
:iconlumenix:
lumenix Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
Very nice!
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!
Reply
:iconurzapw2000:
urzapw2000 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
beautiful!
amazing work!
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks!
Reply
:iconurzapw2000:
urzapw2000 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017
welcome!
Reply
:iconclovercarmen5:
clovercarmen5 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Student Artisan Crafter
she looks beautiful
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
:flirty: Thank you!
Reply
:iconstarfoxfanatic4ever:
Starfoxfanatic4ever Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
G O R GE OU S
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! :squee:
Reply
:iconwass0990:
wass0990 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
WOW Love 
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
:squee:
Reply
:iconlilia-ariana:
Lilia-Ariana Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WAS OVER ONE HOLY CHEESE BALLS 
..please tell me the kreinik was not on her bosom, because I can see them doing something like that...
The first ever pattern I got was a HAED Fairy spell kit when I was 12, thinking it'd be an easy, long term project, it's only x's after all... It all arrived, and I was so excited. I took one look at the pattern and all but cried, handed it off to my mother and it hasn't left the chest in over 10 years ^^" 
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:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yaaaaaa it's over one and the sparkly kreinik was definitely on her chest, and face, and arms, and the sky...

Aw you poor thing :C it's a really pretty image too, if you want maybe we could work something out so I can convert it into something readable for you in the future.
Reply
:iconlilia-ariana:
Lilia-Ariana Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017
If only it came with the pdf, hard copy only ^^" Will have to pull it out one day and have another look now that I'm more advanced, it definitely had several symbols that were very similar.
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
If you ever come across a scanner and want it done, you know where to find me. 8-)
Reply
:iconlilia-ariana:
Lilia-Ariana Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
Reply
:iconsunlit-creator:
Sunlit-Creator Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Student General Artist
My goodness... this is absolutely amazing!
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!
Reply
:iconuniesque:
UNIesque Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017   Digital Artist
This is absolutely beautiful~
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks!
Reply
:iconpeluchiere:
Peluchiere Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Well I do not know much about cross-stitching but that was really interesting to read :) And I really like the result even if you don't ^^
Reply
:iconpinkythepink:
pinkythepink Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thanks much for reading all the same! :love:
Reply
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