Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weird happenings in TX and some stitching too!

I am still a little bent out of shape over what happened a last weekend.  Maybe if I post it to the world it will get out of my head like some bad song you can't seem to stop singing.  Anyway, it was rainy here but we were out of groceries, so off to the local store I go with DD in tow to supposedly help me.  What teenager is ever helpful?  but that isn't the point of the story.  I have a long list in hand, plus my favorite umbrella because I know we will have another downpour just as I open my trunk to load things up.

So we happily finish perusing the produce and baked goods and are about 1/3 of the way done with shopping.  In goes the biggest turkey breast they have for dinner that day - YUM!  Sweet potatoes to go with it - YUM!.  DD wanders away at this point since she is vegetarian the meat aisle grosses her out.  See - Helpful!  So I stop by the chicken breast that are on sale and pick up a few packages.  Turn back around and my half full cart of groceries is gone!  GONE!!!  Who takes someone else's buggy that is half full of groceries? I even moved it to the opporsite side of the aisle against a display case so it was out of the way. I start wandering down the aisles and can not find anyone with my cart.  Boy are they lucky.  So I go up to customer service to have a look see and no cart there.  So now I have to start my shopping all over again and am out my grocery list and my umbrella.  UGH!  Let me just say the person who took my buggy is lucky because I would have let loose a little Jersey justice on them for being so inconsiderate!

Oh well - said daughter is no longer my shopping buddy since she abandoned my buggy in my time of need.

Well, despite the trials and tribulations at the grocery store, I have managed to stitch a little in the past few days.  I signed up for a class from Amy Mitten.  You can see the project here.  There were three different options and I chose the Vierlande style.  I have never stitched a motif sampler and am enjoying the project so far.  I am such a slow stitcher but that is ok, I am looking forward to learning some new techniques that will be included in the finishing.  The braided edge and pinballs are things I have never done and will be a new skill.  Here is a snap of my progress so far

I am about half way done with the largest piece, so good progress for me.  One of my goals this year was to take a class and I am doing pretty well with my goals.  Margaret has her whole Quaker Winder stitched and it is really wonderful.  Go take a look at her wonderful work.

I enjoy the stitching but not finishing so much.  I decided that I should enjoy some of my pieces and have hired someone to finish some of my favorite ornaments.  Over the years I have stitched 7 of the 8 Sheperds Bush Christmas ornaments that appear in the JCS Ornament issue.  Here is what they looked like before being sent away.

I will let you know how they turn out.  I am so excited to have something finished and I am sure they will be fabulous.  Well, it is lunch time here and I really need to hit up the corner Starbucks so I can last the rest of the day and get the kids to games after work.  Hope you have a wonderful stitching day!


Overdue Thanks!

This post is so long overdue that I am embarrased how long it has sat in my draft folder.  But I am so thankful for such a wonderful friend.  I received a wonderful gift from my friend  Sylvia.  She had a drawing on her blog some  time ago and I can't believe all the treats she sent.  Here is a photo before the family got their sticky paws on my treats. 
Wonderful Truffles and chocolates
Two wonderful Frenchmagazines and some lovely linen to try

There was some wonderful coffee roasted in Heidelberg.  Two packages of the most delicious truffles and two packages of spices.  But the best part were these two wonderful French magazines.  I wish there was a way to get these in the US. There are some really wonderful projects in these issues.  I think the first is a  wonderful  snowflake pillow that this linen will be perfect for.  I can't wait to try out this linen.  Now if I could only find a few more hours in the day.

Thanks you so much Sylvia - you really made my day!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 BAP Challenge

I am off to a good start keeping my stitching goals for this year.  Unlike the annual lose 10 lb goal that is not to be mentioned ever again, I am sticking to my goals for stitching so far.  Goal number one was to start a new project on New Year's Day.  Let's check that one off!   I know it is now Feb 6, but I had intended to post the information amout the challenge back in December when i decided to participate.

Anyway, my dearest gifted me with the entire kit for Dorothy Walpole by The Scarlet Letter.  I forgot to take a photo of the kit, but it is the overdyed silk conversion done by The Attic and 40 ct Lentil linen by Lakeside Linens.   What a wonderful set of silks to stitch with.  I will try to capture the silks in the next update of this piece.  I was tempted to start it before I even finished opening my other gifts! Then we had guests until Jan 1, so I didn't even get a single stitch in anything until the afternoon of Jan 1.  So here is my January progress on the lovely Dorothy.

Dorothy Walpole reproduction by The Scarlet Letter
40 ct Lentil by Lakeside Linens
 It is a large sampler with a finished size of 9" by 24".  I think that qualifies for the BAP Challenge sponsored by BeckySC.  You can find the details of the challenge here 2012 BAP Challenge.  Besides this wonderful challenge, she does some beautiful stitching.  The number of smalls she finishes is amazing.  I have loved this since last May when it was the sampler of the month chosen by The Attic.  I think this is a good challenge piece for me because it also fits my #3 Goal of stitching a larger sampler.  I plan on stitching about 2 inches per month and that will get me to finish it by the end of the year.  At this time that seems realistic, but I tend to have Stitching ADD, so hopefully the challenge will keep me on track.  The top portion may take longer because of the 3 alphabets, then I can get to the wonderful flowers at the bottom.  I am looking foward to the Bargello area just above the flowers because that is something I have never tried.

Here is a photo of the completed sampler from cover of the pattern.  I am sure a much better photo can be found at the The Scarlet Letter.  Be warned - you may be tempted by many of the wonderful samplers there. 
We have had nothing but cold rain for the last 2 weeks.  Although it isn't snow, it still manages to make my old bones ache.  I am ready for some spring weather.  I miss having a garden of spring flowers so I treated myself to a beautiful pot of daffodils.  They are one of my favorite flowers and I hope they make you smile too.
Have a great stitching day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jenny Bean Finished!

Just a quick post that I have finished my first larger sized sampler.  It may be small to some by 160 X 160 is pretty large by my meager skills.  I started this on Jan 17, 2011 and just put the last stitches in December 2011.  I did my own conversion from the called for overdyed cotton to Vikki Clayton's Hand Dyed Silks.  I am pretty proud of how it turned out.  I should have finished it back in September but ran out of the overdyed silk I used for the border.  I don't know what I was thinking but instead of finishing the border I decided to stitch the house.  So all that roof stitching sucked in the last of my dye lot like a black hole.  I ordered some more on 2 different occasions but was never happy with the match.  Fortunately, Maureen from the HDF boards loaned me the 18" piece I needed to finish up the borader and the cartouche.  So here is Jenny Bean - finished but not framed.  I will save that for another day when I decide where her permanent home is or when a good framing sale comes along!

Jenny Bean's Halloween Sampler
Designed by Shakespeare's Peddler
Stitched on 40 ct Pearled Barley by Lakeside Linens
Stitched with hand dyed silks by Vikki Clayton

Finishing a larger project like this give me confidence that I can tackle some of the projects on my wish list. My dearest hubby gifted me with Dorothy Walpole for Christmas (http://www.scarlet-letter.com/samplers/walpole.php)  and I think I may even kit up the large Ann Dale from Shakespeare's Peddler as my next projects.  If you haven't seen this one, it is a real beauty, but may take me a lifetime to finish! http://shakespearespeddler.blogspot.com/2011/11/thread-usage-for-ann-and-whats-next.html

See y'all soon!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

2011 Ornament Finish

Work has piled up lately and before I let too much of the year slip away from me I wanted to show two finishes I was quite proud of.  My new monitor arrived last week, so I was finally able to download my photos.  Everything is right with the world once again.

I had purchased custom Name Tree ornaments from La D Da around 2009 I think.  It was the year following the appearance of the first one in the JCS Ornament Issue.  I stitched that tree and loved it.  That one still lingers in the "Box of Shame".  But I was determined to get these ones stitched up for my lovely kiddos this year and I did finish the stitching by August of this year.  They were then forced to serve a short sentence in the "Box of Shame" until I could find some appropriate beads and backing fabric.

Since I have not completed the stitched stockings I had intended to, I decided that I would make these two little treasures into flat fold stand ups for my mantel.  I must thank the very talented Twisted Stitcher.  Without her wonderful instructions from Learn to finish with The Twisted Stitcher, I would never have attempted this.  I followed step by step and think they turned out "practically perfect in every way" as Mary Poppins would say.  So a huge thank you to Vonna for her help.  She has a wonderful blog too and you should stop by and say hello.

Here are my finishes.  Both stitched over one on 32 ct Coconut Macroon Legacy Linen.  Backing fabric is shown behind. Posted by Picasa

I struggled finding backing fabric with a Christmas theme for the first one to match the dark blue overdyed thread.  I finally stumbled on this Batik at my local quilt store that I think is a great match. 

What do you think?

I also wanted to share a snap of my girl, Zoe.   It is incredibly hard to get a good photo of a black dog and this one came out pretty well.  I don't know what this expression is for but it cracks me up.  Maybe she is thinking "Duh - of course I want what you are eating!"

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great day!
See y'all soon!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year - New Stitching Goals

I have had the best intentions of making some posts while off over the holidays but it seems the planets were aligned against me.  First the battery in the camera was dead and I couldn't find the charger.  So DH went to the store and bought me a new one but I had taken the battery out of the camera and now couldn't find it! ARGH! By that time it was almost Christmas and  with the awful cold I have been battling all of December I was way behind in getting all my Elf chores done - you know baking, wrapping, decorating, shopping.  Then my dear brother and his wife came for a visit.  It was wonderful having family visit but not really helpful in getting time to work on the computer.  So last night I finally got all the camera pieces in order, took pictures to share and what happens - the computer monitor won't turn on.  What now?  I have no idea what is going on but DH promised to try and fix it while I am at work today.  I am writing this during lunch so SHHH - don't squeal on me.

I have done some serious thinking about my stitching affliction.  How can I have stitched for so long and have so little accomplished?  Maybe I am just feeling like the under achiever after surfing through so many blogs with all these wonderful finishes.  But with a new year stretching before me it is time to teach this old dog some new tricks and be optomistic (or is that unrealistic?)  They will also go up in my sidebar (when I figure out how to do that!) so I will have them mocking me all year.  So here it goes:
  1. Start a new project on New Year's Day and finish it before the end of the year.
  2. Take a class to learn a new technique
  3. Work on larger projects that I can display in my home and enjoy seeing everyday  That means that they also must be framed/finished and not
  4. No stitching on new ornaments until half of those from the "Box of Shame" get ornamentified (that's from Daffycat - see her Dec 11 post  and I love it)
  5. Blog more (plus figure out how this darn blogger program works!)
  6. Improve my stitching photos

I am not very good at making or keeping resolutions but I heard a quote that "A goal is a dream with a deadline". (Napolean Hill) I like that!

If DH can fix my pc issues I will work on the year end update I wanted to post.  If not - because of goal number 5 I will post again soon.

See y'all soon!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crafty Superpowers?

I love being able to craft most things.  Being able to see something and say - Yeah, I can make that!  That is so cool!  It is like having a secret superpower!  I work in an office and am surprised that so few people know how to make anything with their own hands.  What do the uncrafty do with their free time?

But sometimes there is a downside to being crafty and creative.  Like when the rest of the Girl Scouts see your  expertly sewn patches and now you are the seamstress for the entire troop. I am sure you all have found yourself in that same predicament.  Please say you have? Here is the a photo of my 6th grade history project.  The assignment was to make a hat that represented a government.   I whipped up a Russian military hat from looking at a few pictures online.  Thank you crafty superpowers.  BTW - I got an A on my assignment

 So I somehow volunteered myself to make new hairbows for my daughters lacrosse team.  I thought to my crafty self "How hard can it be to tie a few ribbons to a hair elastic?"  I had two weeks before the tournament and there were only 20 girls, seemed easy enough to get done in a few hours.  Oh how wrong I was.  My first clue should have been the number of videos that came up on YouTube when I looked for Hairbows.   After two hours of watching other crafting wonders work their magic I had found a style that I thought the very sporty girls would tolerate, especially since the team colors are hot pink and navy.

Let me just say this took a lot longer than I expected and severely cut into my stitching time over the last few weeks.  Each bow had 5 different types of ribbons and a total of 19 pieces that needed to be measured, cut , trimmed and then each cut end needed to be heat sealed.  I had no idea you needed to do this to prevent the ends from fraying. 

I finally had my little ribbon assembly line going (after 2 more trips to Hobby Lobby and a few bent needles).  Here is a photo of my pile of bows and my daughter modeling them.  I am pretty proud of how they turned out once I used the full force of my crafty superpowers!
I just hope they last the whole season because they really taxed my crafty superpowers.  I am so glad she is not a cheerleader!

YaY me!  See y'all soon!