I forgot to mention in some of my past posts that I used to hang out on the rec.crafts.textiles.needlework USENET group many years ago and through that I became part of a group that got together in Austin every so often to stitch. We did a fun shop hop down to San Antonio too. Through one of the members of that group, I had a chance to volunteer at the Alma Lynne booth at the Spirit of Cross Stitch Festival when it came to Austin in 1996. It was tons of fun and I spent tons of money! In the process of working the festival I finally "got" the idea of what really high-quality stitching was about through looking at some of the competition winners. Since then, not only do I take more care in getting all my stitches to go the same direction, but I've also taken more care in "carrying over" and making the top stitches lie flat (well... flatter... I'm still a little sloppy at times) and not letting fuzz from dark threads show on light and vice versa. I'm by no means a competition quality stitcher, but I am definitely improving.
Also at the festival, I caught the bug for stitching small. I've mentioned it before, but I really enjoy doing stuff on high count fabric, although I'll admit that I haven't done a lot. The project that caught my eye was a small section of "Jacque's View" from Graphs by Barbara and Cheryl done on 28 ct. over one. I was working with Cheryl of the above design team and she had the model for that chart in the booth with us, including the section around the cat done small. I was entranced!
The above project was probably the biggest that I've done on 18 count to date. I started it in around 1993, but it wasn't finished until several years later. It's from a Candamar Designs book called "Something Special: Home Sweet Home".
I also thought I would toss in a picture of one of the few needlepoint projects that I've done so far but I've got a couple more kits in my stash. I think that the sunflowers above are from a Dimensions kit, but I'm not 100% sure. I also did a eyeglass case for my mom that was a needlepoint kit... I'll have to get a picture of it someday. I also did a magnolia for her a little over 10 years ago that I also need to grab a photo of.