Thursday, November 22, 2007

The most fabulous Ladies Room in History

Again, its been ages since I've updated my blog. Life has been a total mess, but it started with a lovely and fascinating vacation. Our trip to Branson, MO.

We left fairly early on Tuesday morning, and headed out. I felt like I had overpacked but guess what? I think my Mom packed even more. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch, which was a lot of fun. I always enjoy that place. Not long after we got back on the road, we got a phone call from Mom and Dad, they were stopping at a Cracker Barrel for lunch in Effingham. Great minds and all that, eh? They had come from Michigan, us from Indiana so they were nearly caught up to us by St. Louis. We met up just outside of Springfield and by then, it was time for dinner. We headed for Lamberts, the Home of Throwed Rolls. That was a real hoot and the food was just excellent. Then, on to Branson.

It seemed like the further we drove, the more out in the boondocks we were. Around and around, and suddenly, there it was, all laid out beneath us, like a jewel. All bright lights. We checked in to our motel, Comfort Inn West, unpacked and collapsed. Okay, hubby collapsed, I got my stitching out and worked on LHN Prairie Moon. By the time I had threaded up a needle, hubby was sleeping and snoring to beat the band, so I didn't stitch long.

It was a great vacation. We saw several shows, hit all the Outlet Malls, ate at fantastic places, and I found the stitching store. We kept on the run the entire time, going, seeing and doing as much as we could in the time we had. The most fantastic show had to be the Shoji Tabuchi show. (hope I didn't butcher the spelling of his name). Shoji is Asian, a brilliant violinist who fell in love with country music at age 18. His show was the best we saw. But even before the show started, we were amazed. The rest rooms were palatial. I heard, but didn't see, that the Men's Room had a pool table in it. The Ladies Room was like something out of a dream. All the stalls had solid wood doors that went to the floor, so once you were inside, you had total privacy. The wash room was a separate room, with about 10 separate sinks, with mirrors over the area, wall sconces with lovely clear and lavender crystals hanging from the bottom, and each "vanity" had a vase with an orchid on it. Over the entire room was a huge crystal chandelier, clear and lavender colors, matching the wall sconces. A burning fireplace at one end and at the other end, a pretty stained glass table, with an under light that warmed the glass, and made it glow. The show was almost anti-climactic. I'll try and post a few pictures of this room.

Another really lovely "show" we went to was on the Branson Belle. It's a huge paddle wheel boat where we had lunch and saw a show. The food was good, but the show was way better. And the day we went aboard was my Dad's birthday.

I got really tired of shopping the outlet malls but we had a good time, brought back gifts for all the kids and grandkids, and I found the cross stitch store. It's called Cecelia's Samplers and its a really cute shop. Okay, yes, I bought stash--and my Mom bought me some too. I got several LHN charts, a piece of fabric for one of the charts, 3 small kits for my daughter in law and two granddaughters, a cute pair of swan scissors, 10 skeins of Belle Soie silk by Crescent colors, and a few other things. At Cecelia's, they give you freebies with every purchase--not just freebie charts but little gifts, a tape measure, a calendar, a ruler, etc. I liked the place so much, we went back again before leaving town.

We bid a good night and good trip to the parents the night before. They were headed to Alabama for another few days of vacation, and we headed home. We took our time, but this trip, stopped at Steak and Shake for both our meals before getting home. The dog was happy to see us, the cat acted miffed that we'd been gone so long. And since we did get home on Saturday, dh had Sunday to rest up before hitting the road again. Then came the shocker of the century.

Did I say shocker? It was worse than that. Dh called in for his dispatch and was told that since he showed such a lack of concern over his job by taking a vacation after only 4 months, (even though he gave them a two week notice--who can say no to a paid vacation?) that he could find another job. He obviously didn't think the company was very important. What a total jackass!

Which brings me to why I haven't updated for ages. Dh has been home, or had been, for over a month, trying to find a new job. Of course, it had to happen this close to Christmas. It was almost like the boss used this as an excuse to get rid of dh--he was working too hard and making too much money. I'd sure love to give that man a piece of my mind. Last week, dh spent it taking a class on tankers, and is now back to work but we have no idea when first paycheck will arrive. It's not a happy household right now. I keep thinking, if we had known ahead of time, we could have saved all the money we spent in Branson. But on the other hand, it was our first ever vacation, we had a great time, made a lot of memories, and how do you put a price on that? I also got to spend Dad's birthday with him. If its true that what goes around, comes around, Dan had better watch out. I see a lot of bad Karma in that man's future.

Thanksgiving was great, we all ate too much, we have a lot of leftovers but the dh is home, the kids have gone off to their respective homes, the animals are sleeping, and so is dh. Guess I should apologize for my bitter feelings expressed, and for taking so long to update. I need to get back to my stitching, I have a Christmas exchange that needs mailing out real soon, several things that need to be stitched for gifts (I'm doing the Lady Scarlet's Secret Garden for my dil, and a scissor fob and pincushion for a granddaughter) but I really want to get back to Prairie Moon. I'm almost done and its being stitched with Belle Soie. I can't say enough good about this silk floss. It's absolutely the best silk I've ever stitched with, covers great, beautiful colors, and it feels so soft--doesn't get fuzzy either. If anyone has a conversion chart, Crescent colors to Belle Soie, please let me know.

Enough rambling. Off to stitch. I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving, or a really lovely Thursday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halloween Exchange

Now that my partner has received her package for the Halloween Exchange, I can share what I stitched for her, and what I got from my partner. I stitched "Hatz Boo-tique" by Brightneedle and I did it over one. Isn't she cute? Look at her tiny high heels, and the attitude in the set of her head. I'm making another one for myself, but NOT over one. I'll use mine as a scissor fob.

And wasn' t my package wonderful? From Laura, she stitched me a really cute cube--I've never made one of these, doesn't it look great? She also sent me a project envelope, a pair of spooky socks, a flicker candle (runs on a battery) three skeins of Crescent colors, and a really cute package of Kleenex (which my youngest granddaughter nabbed for herself.) Sorry, the flicker candle is not in the picture, its on my mantle flickering in a spooky candle holder.
I emailed Laura to ask her who the designer was for my lovely cube, as I'd had someone ask. Its Prairie Schooler, and the design name is Pumpkin Patch.

Not much else to report right now, no finishes to show. I'm in the early stages of stitching Indigo Rose's Remember Me. Also trying to decide what to take on vacation. Hubby and I have never been on a vacation in the 17 years we've been married. We are going to Branson, MO, with my parents, to see a few shows, and relax--well, relax as much as possible, going with my Mom to the outlet stores. I might even try to find the stitching store there, Aux Arcs? I have heard from friends that the prices there are a bit high.

Until next time, thanks for reading and many thanks for all of your lovely and insightful comments.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Designer Exchange

Let me start by apologizing for being so lax in updating this blog. In my own defense, I signed up for way too many exchanges. This exchange had to be mailed by mid September and the next one has to be mailed tomorrow. So, I've been concentrating on getting it ready for packaging and mailing, but had to wait before sharing this exchange with you all.

This was a designer exchange. All participants expressed the designer they liked the most, and their partner was to stitch that designer for them. My designer was Shepherd's Bush, of course, and my partner's was Indigo Rose. I was thrilled because, as you know, I also love Indigo Rose. I don't have many charts by Indigo Rose but I do have a few charts from the kits I've bought. I chose to make my partner a bourse, and used the charts from "Mary's Pin Pillow" and "Bee Charmer" for the stitching part of it. I think it turned out exceptionally--I changed the colors of the silks to suit my partner--she's into pastels, and used a lovely Silver Lilac silk dupioni for the outside. I was very happy with the way it turned out, and I think she liked it also.

I, in turn, received two SB scissor fobs, "Happy Wishes" and "Snow", I think its called. My partner did a great job with the stitching, and my package from her was very thoughtful. She also made me a really pretty beaded scissor fob with a tiny pair of scissors attached. Here is my package that made me so happy. She also sent me several skeins of Needlepoint silk and two of Vikki Clayton silks. (I really love using Vikki Clayton silks, the colors are so scrumptious.)

As soon as my partner for the Halloween exchange gets her package, I'll post a picture. I really enjoyed stitching the Halloween one--I don't often stitch that theme.

And while I'm thinking about it, on our Yahoo group, we got to talking about scissors, and collecting them. I pulled out all of my scissors, from the rack they hang on, the lamps they hang over, from sewing boxes and stitching bags, and laid them out on the dining room table to photograph them. I surprised myself at having, in excess of 70 pairs of scissors. I counted 72 but then forgot the pair left hanging on the rack with a SB fob, a pair in a stitching project bag and a pair in my big Vera Bradley stitching bag. Looks like I have at least 25 pair that are languishing without fobs--boo, hoo. Guess I need to get busy with stitching up a few more. I think I also need to make another herb drying rack to hang some more--my only problem, I'm not sure where to hang this new rack. My stash room, perhaps? Sorry that there isn't more detail in the picture. I ended up taking four other pictures just to show a few of the pairs in detail.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Smalls

Now that my pin exchange partner has received her package, I can share the stitching part with you. I stitched her Sea Shells, by Victoria Sampler, and finished it into a needlebook/pin keep. I really enjoyed doing this one, and it was on her wish list. She loves the ocean.

And here are my new finishes. The biscornu on the left is Twilight by Indigo Rose. I changed the colors to suit my daughter in law's taste and tonight, I gave it to her. She seemed to like it a lot. The biscornu on the right is also by Indigo Rose, Pretty In Pink, and its a lot smaller than it looks. It came with its own tiny wooden stand, and was a lot of fun to stitch.

These are both Purple Rosebud by Ewe and Eye and friends.

These two fobs were both from the same kit. Incredibly, there was enough fabric and threads for both. The one on the left is done the way the instructions read, with one strand over two threads. On the right, I used two strands over two threads. It was interesting to see the difference in texture and intensity of color in the two fobs. My daughter in law liked the one on the right the best, so she took that one home. Sooner or later, I'll fill her sewing box with smalls.

Now, on to the next exchange. This one will be a designer exchange, and I think I'm going to finish the piece into a bourse. That will be different for me. But, I think I'll wait until tomorrow to pick the fabric and fibers.

Thank you to all of you who read my posts and a special thanks to those who leave comments. I do appreciate the time you take. Visit any time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pin Exchange

Today I received my Pin Exchange from our Yahoo group Friends in Thread. Isn't it a lovely package? It was filled with all sorts of pretty things, as you can see. First, the biscornu. Isn't it exquisite? More about that later. Then there are the pins to use with it, hand made by Rachel, from our group. Now those pins are lovely and they'll look really good in the biscornu. In fact, I may parcel them out amongst several of my biscornu's. And look at those scissors, aren't they cute? A little snowman. Now why can't someone figure out a way to make those embroidery scissor size? Wouldn't they be great in our stitching boxes, especially in the winter, when we're working on Christmas gifts? Jodi also sent a lovely pair of earrings with an aqua teardrop at the bottom, a pretty little photo frame with sparklies all around and . . . . . . a skein of Vikki Clayton silk thread in the color Dragon Ice. Jodi, you went way over board on the gifts but I love them all. Thank you.

Here is the biscornu top--isn't it the loveliest thing? See the beaded edging all around? What a perfect color those beads are. See the bead in the middle? It's a pink glass rosebud, isn't that sweet? Jodi, this project really came together perfectly. Rachel did the finishing on this piece, along with making the pretty pins.

This is the other side, could be top, could be bottom. Both sides are different but both sides match and I can't quite decide which side I like the best. What to do? I'm just going to have to find the perfect place to display it, and then every day, flip it over. And don't you just love those little bead loops at the corners? I would never have thought of doing that with the corners. Makes a nice change from the tassels.

Jodi, thank you for making my first Friends in Thread exchange the best ever.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Another birthday gone by

Sorry to be so late with the update this time. You would not believe just how busy we have been.

Another birthday has come and gone, and I'm feeling older than dirt. Nah, not really. It was just a hectic last two weeks, or I would have updated sooner. I had a really nice birthday party. Hubby and I started off the day by going to Berne, Indiana's Swiss Days with my friend Jean and her hubby. Very hot outside. Did a bit of shopping, (got some splendid lace) ate part of a funnel cake, (not the best thing for my diabetes) and was totally relieved to get home to the a/c. After dinner, the family gathered. My daughter in law baked me a scrumptious cake (cherry chip), the kids made me all kinds of gifts--one was even a wrapped nothing. The boys thought that was great fun.

I received: nail polish set with fancies, a cell phone case, a game of "Are you as smart as a 5th grader?", a watch with Eeyore on its face, a glass heart and a fiber optic lamp, and the cross stitch kit "Purple Rosebud" by Ewe and Eye and Friends. There was no wrapped gift from hubby, just a card with cash, promising a trip to House Of Stitches.

I received two lovely gifts in the mail from stitching friends. From Adana, a lovely pin keep, with a bluebird of happiness right in the middle. She did a great job stitching and finishing it. Thanks, Adana. Never again tell me that you can't do finishing well.

My friend Deb sent me a book thong. It is gorgeous to behold, but even better to use. It's a real classy piece, a one of a kind, and the colors are just perfect. Isn't it pretty?

Okay, the trip to House of Stitches took place this past weekend. What a great day from start to finish. My daughter in law decided to go with us, she's becoming a great stitcher, and as hubby had to turn in his paperwork close to where the store is, he joined us. The weather was perfect for the trip--and trip it is, at over two hours one way. He dropped us off and went about his business, and we entered paradise for stitchers. We investigated every nook and cranny, bought leaflets and kits, silks and linens, scissors and laying tools. Fabulous models covered every inch of wall space, and we searched out charts for the ones we fell in love with. Time passed way too quickly, and before I knew it, hubby was back and laughing about the filled basket I was trying to carry. We talked about our shopping the entire way home, and poor hubby, feeling so left out, took a nap. We ended our trip by stopping at the Ponderosa my son manages, and had dinner. It was a perfect day.

My new stash: A lovely kit by Indigo Rose, Pretty in Pink. New silks. A few new leaflets. I didn't take pictures of the fabrics I got, but I got what was specified in the leaflets. And I finally broke down and bought a Just Nan with the whimsy frame, Summer Spell. Its really cute.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Indigo Rose "Messages"

Seemed to take me a good long time to get this piece stitched up. I'm not sure quite why it took so long, what you see is what you stitch--no stitching on the back or inside. Stitched with four colors of Waterlilies (Moss, Steel, Cherry Cordial and Antique Brass) on 28 count linen, lined with fabric, with beaded edging. Now that edging took me most of the night to complete. Not that I'll ever use this--my desk gets much too dirty and dusty, but I like stitching items that I can actually use. And if you can't figure out what it is, it's a cover for a telephone message pad. I think that is the best of cross stitching, to make something that you can use in every day life, and make your life more colorful, more artistic. Isn't that just the greatest gift you can give yourself or others?

On the other side of life, my grandchildren have moved into our little town and are now close enough to walk to Grama's house. They've been here about a month, and I've seen more of them in that time than in the last year. It's been fabulous. We've been playing kick ball, and going swimming, having dinners together--tomorrow evening we're going to see the new Harry Potter movie. My lovely daughter-in-law has been over to stitch with me, and I've got her hooked on Shepherd's Bush Americana pieces. My grandson wants to learn to stitch. I am really enjoying life this summer, even with the heat and humidity. 'They are so close by, that when my husband got home today and the grandsons found out he was home, over they came to wrestle with him. In the living room, too. I am loving it, totally. This summer is going to go by way too fast.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A New Finish and an addition

I have finally managed to finish Shepherd's Bush JINGLE. It wasn't really a hard stitch but as it's not close to Christmas, I had a real problem trying to get it done. Just wasn't enthused with working on it.

I was more "enthused" with working this biscornu and adding it to my Victorian Elegance set. The chart for the needlebook front was perfect for the top of the biscornu. I barely had enough fabric, had something like 4 threads for a seam allowance but I worked carefully so as not to lose any of those. I cheated and didn't stitch anything on the bottom at all. Used the same Magnifica beads on the edging, and I think it matches very well. This set will be a nice edition to my sewing box.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dyeing Fabrics

I've had a lot of ladies asking me about dyeing fabrics and linen, and what I use to do that. It sounds kind of dumb, but I use liquid Rit dye. I know, its not the fancy dyes that the companies use, but I find it's easy, works well, and the color doesn't wash out. And its inexpensive to play around with.

There are several different ways to work it, but this is the way I do mine. I use a large bowl, glass is good because the dye doesn't stick to it, and dissolve salt in very hot tap water. Be generous with the salt, it helps the dye set. The bowl I use is about a 4 quart size, and I use approximately 1/4 cup of table salt. (Yes, I do have a container of salt set aside just for dyeing.) Using an old wooden spoon I stir the salt until it dissolves totally, then add the dye. It doesn't take much--just depends on the depth of color you want. For more control, make sure your linen is wet before putting it into the dye bath. Now, I don't like wrinkled linen and I don't like ironing my linen before stitching. I fold my fabric loosely before holding it under the tap to wet it, then slide it into the dye. Since I'm usually going for a lighter color, or less intense color, I just use my wooden spoon to keep pushing it under the water, or flipping the fabric so all sides get the same amount of dye. One thing to remember is to let the fabric get a bit darker than you want it, because it will lighten up when it dries.

Okay, so now your fabric is the color you want it to be and you have a bowl of dye left--do you throw it away? I don't. Set your fabric aside, on a papertowel. I usually either dye more than one piece of linen, or find something else that I want to dye. Like a nightgown, or a bra--go ahead and laugh but ladies, I find it very hard to get my bras in any other color but white and black. Boo, hiss, how boring. After dyeing everything I want that particular color, then I throw it away--right down the sink. (at last count, I had a lavender, purple, aqua, blue, denim blue, pink, rose, and green colors of bras.)

After you have dyed everything you want to dye, leave the odd things in the sink, and fill your bowl with clear water, cold is fine. I keep the water running in the bowl and rinse the folded fabric the same way I dyed it. Continue until the water in the bowl is clear, and then rinse again. Blot extra water from linen with a papertowel. Does any dye come off on the towel? Rinse again. If not, hang your fabric to dry. Takes a few hours but doing it that way, you don't have to iron before stitching. (Now, rinse well the other things you've dyed, and when the water runs clear, put them in the washer, run a quick cycle and you're done. No, washing won't wash out the dye. After a few years, your nightie might fade a bit, but so will any other nightie.)

There is another way to dye your fabric other than a bowl wash. A friend of mine dampens her fabric and then makes up her dye and "paints" her fabric with a soft paint brush. Gives her fabric a more mottled appearance. The wetter your fabric is, the more it will spread. If you plan to do it that way, I'd make sure the dye is fairly weak looking.

Okay, so now you know how I dye my own fabric but you are probably wondering why I don't like to wrinkle or iron my linen before stitching. Good question. Susan Greening Davis taught me to stitch on linen. She said that if you lightly dampen and then iron your stitched piece, the linen will actually "shrink" a tiny bit and make the stitches set up on the fabric. Gives it a more dimensional look. Of course, you have to be a bit careful when stitching with silks or overdyes, but I still iron my stitched pieces. I dampen the piece slightly, lay it on a towel, and let it sit until nearly dry before ironing. I've only had one piece bleed--SB's Thoughtful Heart.

So, now are you ready to try it for yourself? Go for it. You might surprise yourself. And be sure to post pictures on your blog. Any other questions, just email me.

My Victorian Elegance

It's finally done, my version of Indigo Rose's Victorian Elegance. What do you think? I dyed a piece of Belfast linen, and stitched with Waterlilies Iris and Amethyst, and used Magnifica Beads by Mill Hill to finish it off. Just need to find a nice pair of scissors for the fob. I saw a pair on The Silver Needle website that would be perfect, Tooltron but a lovely pale lavender color. Oh, well, put that on my wish list for my birthday.

Now, to decide on my next project. Any suggestions? As always, I thank you for your kind comments and the time you take to read my posts and comment.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hanging on by my fingernails !!

Well, its been 3 weeks and counting with my hubby home day and night, working on the truck. Good news is; the truck is done. Bad news? His new job that he was supposed to start Monday? Bossman went on vacation and we're stuck until Friday. Or should I say, I'm stuck until Friday before I can have my day of relaxation.

On the other hand, knowing what a mess he had made in working on the truck, hubby has been more than willing to help with the carpet cleaning, putting dishes in the dishwasher, and falling asleep on the couch by 9 pm every night. I don't know about all of you, but I just can't stitch when it sounds like the express train is speeding by. Thank goodness that all the television shows I watch are over for the season. I would have hated to see the season finale of HOUSE or BONES while the train was rumbling by.

Which brings me to a question. If any of you watch HOUSE, what do you think is going to happen with the new season? Will Dr. House hire three newbies? Get the old ones back? I really don't like cliffhangers. Not when it will be something like 5 months before we find out.

Even with hubby snoring on the couch, I have managed to stitch some. Right now I'm working on my Victorian Elegance. I dyed up a piece of white Belfast, and I'm using Waterlilies in two shades: Iris and Amethyst. The stitching is done on the needlebook but I'm fighting with the over one for the fob. Am also considering making a biscornu to match as I find I have enough fabric to do that. I really like how it's looking so far, but the real test will be after it's finished. And darn, still need to find some lavender felt. If you are wondering what color I dyed the linen, it's about the color of this font.

Now I'm off to make dinner. Another downside of Hubby being home during the week is having to have dinner at a specified time. Can you imagine, he'd like to eat on a regular basis !

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sweet Baby James by Indigo Rose

Here is my version of Indigo Rose's Sweet Baby James Needle pocket. I say my version because I did it with silks instead of the recommended Wildflowers. She used one variegated Wildflower and three solid shade Wildflowers, and I didn't even know that Wildflowers came in solid colors. But Caron did use the same color numbers so I did it up with the Waterlily Moss and the Soie Crystale solids that matched the Wildflower numbers. I did use the fabric she called for.

The finishing was fairly simple, along the lines of the scissor pocket Allysum with the Dinky Dyes. I really enjoyed the finishing, and the stitching of this piece. My only problem was trying to figure out how "thick" to make the various cordings. (The instructions were for the cording made with the Wildflowers.)

The stitching of this piece is what has kept me calm during my hubby's stay at home, (its been over 2 weeks already) and the ongoing work on the truck. What a mess its been! He comes in covered in grease and oil--I have rags covering the door handles--and as humid as its been, he's consuming a huge amount of water--which necessitates an inordinate amount of bathroom visits. Oh, well, soon the truck will be finished, running well, and back on the road. Then I'm taking a day for myself, reading and stitching, and just whatever I decide I want to do. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Friday, May 18, 2007

This one's for YOU

Yes, readers, this post is for you. (I feel like Stephen King, and his Dear Readers) I usually post about what's happening in my life, what I'm stitching, what I've finished, and sometimes, even what I've been reading. I tattle on my hubby and the stitching store. So, now, it's YOUR turn.

Yes, I know that most of this information is on your respective blogs but I don't happen to have all of your links. What I would like you to do, when you leave a comment, let me know what you are working on, or reading, or whatever you would like to share about yourself.

Until then, here is my update. I'm still stitching on Shepherd's Bush Jingle and Fright, though I'm not liking Fright at all. (supposed to be Halloween-y, but it missed a bit.) I'm about half done with Jingle. I threw caution to the wind tonight and started a new piece by Indigo Rose. Sweet Baby James. I was hoping to purchase the kit but it's a bit old and I hadn't found anyone who still had it in stock. Bummer. Imagine my surprise when a dear friend told me that it was first out in an old issue of Just Cross Stitch. An issue that I have. (that really amazed me.) The recommended fabric I did have, the fibers, I did not. I didn't even know that Wildflowers by Caron came in solid colors. Where have I been? But Bless Caron for numbering colors the same, whatever line they are in. Soie Crystale had the same numbers as the solid Wildflowers, so guess what? I'm doing it in silk. Where I'll find the wood needle holders, I'm not sure, but I know a friend sent me one awhile ago. That's what I did tonight, cut the fabric and prepared it, pulled the threads, and actually had time to stitch an entire length of silk.

On the family front, we were sick this week. All three of us got sick at the same time very early Tuesday morning. It was something like the flu but without the respiratory problems. Lasted about 36 hours, and then another day to feel less weak. The funny part was three adults sharing one bathroom during this. All are hale and hearty again now.

Reading: Just started James Patterson's THE 6TH TARGET and before that was Joe Hill's THE HEART-SHAPED BOX. Now that was a great read. I hate when others say it but it really was a "page-turner". I look to see it as a movie in the near future.

That's all for me for now. I've run out of things to say. Hubby will be home soon. Good night, my friends.

Monday, May 14, 2007

New Finishes

At long last, I can reveal what I've been stitching. It was a gift for a friend, and while I was waiting for the postman to deliver it, I stitched another project. That way, I can post both pieces at the same time.

For all who helped me find Victorian Elegance, a big thank you. It was what I wanted to stitch for Adana. But, not in the original colors. Pastels. The silk was Threadgatherer Easter Egg, and the fabric a silk/linen blend. I think it turned out very nicely, and now I turn to making a set for myself. I'm considering deep purple on lavender.

While I was waiting for the postman to deliver, I stitched on Indigo Rose Bead Blanket. I have to say that I loved every minute of stitching this. The colors were great, in Waterlilies by Caron and the fabric had this lovely feel to it. I'm really pleased at how it went together.

I seem to be having a difficult time posting tonight so I'll leave it as it is and maybe the blog genies will fix it all up. Even my fonts keep changing. Until next time, happy stitching!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I found it at last!

Yes, indeed I did find it. Lois at Elegant Stitch had one left and it's on the way to me. Thanks Lois. And thank you all, who looked for this kit for me. I appreciate the time and trouble you all went through looking at the various sites for me. You ladies are the greatest! And isn't Lois the sweetest person out there? Drema is a close second. I'm sending out a great big hug to all of you who joined the search.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Finally, a Shepherd's Bush Finish

Yes, you read that right, after weeks and weeks of stitching, I finally have a SB finish to report. And a blue SB--almost unheard of. Not that it took me that long to stitch this--I just couldn't get going on it with so much else in front of me. This was started Sunday afternoon, while hubby was watching the race, and the front was nearly finished before I started dinner. Which, of course, meant that I really resented starting dinner when I could have continued stitching and had a faster finish. OH, well, it's now done, and I'm off to clean out some of my unfinished items. Think I'll stick to the SB ones, like Fright and Jingle that have been started.

Don't you just hate seeing something that you would love to stitch and then you can't find it at any of the online stores? I saw a finish on Legacy Finis forum, Victorian Elegance by Indigo Rose, that I just fell in love with. But, none of the stores I'm familiar with is carrying it. I'm wondering if it's a limited edition piece. It looks fabulous in her Black on White but I think it would look really pretty done on antique lavender linen in a deep purple silk. Or even done on a dark linen with a lovely variegated pastel silk. Oh, the possibilities.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Alyssum Pocket

Finally, a new finish. This one was an easy stitch, Alyssum Pocket by Cat's Whisker, but a very difficult finish for me. I loved the color of the Dinky Dye used, and the silk was really lovely to use. I also liked the shape and everything about it--except the finishing. But, for those of you who are doing it, or have done it, you'll know what I'm talking about.

I'm planning on using the small design of the plant in the vase that is on the back to make a matching fob for the scissors. I've already gotten the design stitched, just have to decide exactly how I want to do the finishing.

Next project? Shepherd's Bush 2007 Scissor Fob, which I've already started this afternoon. Hope to have another finish soon. After that? I have to do some clean up--way too many projects partially completed, and sitting on my table.

My question to all of you? What are you working on? And do you have way too many unfinished projects sitting around your house? And what is the next thing on your stash buying list? I think my next purchase will be Indigo Rose's Victorian Elegance. I saw it finished on Legacy Finis Forum and just fell in love with it. Actually, I'd like to find just the chart as I'd prefer a different color rather than black. I'm thinking a nice lovely deep purple would look smashing. Maybe on antique lavender linen?

As always, I love reading your comments, suggestions, and such, as much as I love reading your blogs. Its just so much fun sharing our love of stitching.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Gift for a Friend

I've mentioned that I was working on a gift for a friend that I couldn't post until she received it. She got it today, so now I'm free to share with everyone what it looks like.

It started out a kit from Elegant Stitch, called From the Heart, pocket smalls. It took me a while to understand all of Lois' instructions as it was the first project I'd done of hers, beyond the Essy kits. There was a lot of pulled stitches and over one stitching, with perle cotton no less, but I think it turned out really well. After stitching and finishing the scissor fob, for the scissors included in the kit, and the needlebook, I decided the set needed a pincushion. Using the chart for the front of the fob, I enlarged it a bit, to make it square, with the pulled stitches around the outside, and used the rice stitches to make it a bit more colorful. The bottom side only has the pulled stitches. It made a very small biscornu but looked very nice and matched the set quite well.

This set was sent to Beth, Cabin Cross Stitch, with love and gratitude. She knew we have been going through some financial hardships and without even asking, took it upon herself to send me stitching kits. She has, over the last few months, sent me most of the new Shepherd's Bush kits. She's also sent me fabric and other projects we've both had an interest in stitching. Beth, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are a friend, indeed.

Side bar. Beth has been trying to start an online cross stitch store, and posted on the SBBB about a sale, to introduce herself to the community of stitchers. She offered a 30% off any item Shepherd's Bush; leaflets, kits, etc. Besides me, she had one person take her up on her offer. So, if there are any of you out there contemplating adding a few more projects to your stash, give her a shout, or send her an email. Her email is: I give you my guarantee, she's the best.

My thanks to you, the readers who leave such encouraging comments.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

An Essy Kit Finish

I haven't posted for about two weeks. Usually only post when I have a finish and my last finish can't be posted as its a gift for a friend and I don't want her to see it here first. I have taken pictures so I'll post it as soon as she receives it.

This finish is the last Essy Kit by Elegant Stitch and its a cutie. Its a stitched case for chapstick brand lip balm. It could easily have been finished a bit larger to hold a different brand. These are the things I love, every day useable objects made pretty and special with a little stitching. They make a person feel special just using them.

I'm sad that this is the last kit Lois is doing. I have had a wonderful time stitching her monthly kits and she has done such great work for Breast Cancer. It was always such a surprise when the kits arrived in the mail box, and without fail, I had to drop anything I was doing to stitch the new kit. Thank you, Lois.

So, what do you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Topiary Ornament

This is Topiary Ornament, 2000, by Hillside Samplings. I made it into a scissor fob, because I needed a heavy fob to balance these scissors. It is filled with the poly pellets. The top charm, a glass star is by Mill Hill and the bow is from Threadgatherer, Gilded Lavender. I think it turned out well, but I didn't enjoy working on this particular linen. For some reason, the fabric seemed to reflect the light, and that made it difficult to see just where the stitches went.

I have several other things in the works right now, which I can't talk about or show you, as its a gift for a friend. As soon as she receives the gift, I'll post a picture here. Next project will probably be the Shepherd's Bush 2007 Fob kit, or I might act responsible and finish Jingle. Or maybe I should find something new--learn a new skill. Oh wait. That will come when I finish off that gift--its lined in regular fabric, and not linen. And I have a few changes I want to make to the inside of it.

Thats all for now. Thank you all for your kind comments and for visiting. Until the next time. Happy Stitching.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bee Charmer Biscornu

For some reason, I have become addicted to "smalls". Those of you in the same position will understand. Is it because they are small? Compact? Intricate? Addicting? All of the above, I would say. Yet, how can I possibly use that many needle books, pincushions, biscornu ? I don't add fobs to that list because I use every one of them, for all the scissors I've collected. A quick sidebar to the fob situation. I'm about 8 fobs behind for the scissors I have, so if anyone would like to stitch up a fob for me, or design something special, I'd be very happy to have some more. Like most stitchers, I treasure what other stitchers spend their time stitching for me.

Lately, I've been working on the biscornu, those cute little 8 sided tuffets that look so complicated to sew but are relatively easy to do, once you know the trick. And they do look very elegant. I've been displaying them in the china cabinet, sitting on top of pretty china cups. One of these days, I want to make an entire matching set, little pockets and fobs, needlebooks and ruler holders, pincushions and beeswax holders, all to fit into my Shaker box--when I find the right Shepherd's Bush picture for the oval top. (If anyone has a suggestion, please, I'm all ears. I've been searching for the "just right" one for years now.)

Here is my latest biscornu--and just how is that pronounced? Its The Bee Charmer by Indigo Rose. It came as a kit, and the nicest packaged kit I've ever gotten. The silks were all in their own little baggies, the Bee and the bottom button, along with the tassel beads, in another. The linen was of the very best quality, and the stuffing was included. Yes, isn't that amazing? A baggie of plastic pellets, the ones used for fobs and dolls, was included. I'd never even considered using those pellets to stuff a biscornu but it makes the cushion fairly heavy, and it feels good in your hand. Also makes it easier to position it for display. It does make the button a lot harder to sew on.

My pictures aren't the best--it was a bit dark in the house and I was in a hurry. We're going to watch a movie, make popcorn, and I'm going to stitch. Last night, after finishing this biscornu, I started the Elegant Stitch From the Heart, pocket smalls. Another needlebook and fob--just what I need, eh?

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my blathers. Have a great weekend and get those needles smokin'.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Look what I just finished

I saw this design and fell in love. The stitching was not a problem. I did change the colors because blue is more to my taste than the colors the designer choose. Finishing was going to be a problem. I'd never done anything like this, or on this scale. And let me tell you, even with all the pieces stitched, the cording made, the special pieces done, and all the prep work done, it still took me all day Sunday to get it put together, and nearly two hours to sew it all the way around. Had to do the pincushion twice and it doesn't look exactly like it should as the designer used silk to cover it and I had to use linen. (No silk in the house of the right color.) I did change the way the scissor pocket was finished. I didn't like the way it was tucked and sewn so I finished it like the inside pages were finished. Instead of lining it with silk, which the scissor tips would pierce and damage, I applied a backing of ultra suede and that worked just fine. I'm hoping to find a pair of blue handled scissors to match the set.

I stitched this project on white Belfast linen, with Threadgatherer Silk 'n Colors Alpine Grass and Irish Blues. The cording was made from the Irish Blues, with the scissor bow made of 6 strands and the outside cording made with 9 strands each.

This was sort of a challenge piece for me, it's something I've never done. It was, in some ways, more difficult than I had thought, and in some ways easier. So, my challenge for you--to try something you have never done before and post about it. One of these days, I'll finish the edging on my first crocheted sweater, and post a picture of it. Took me all last winter to get it crocheted and by then it was too warm to wear it. (Of course, most of the sweater was crocheted while riding in the truck.) With the 24 hours of snow heading our way, its just the time for it. And I think I'll pull the yarn I have to start my first knitted sweater. But, if we are stuck in the house by the 8-12 inches of snow heading our way, maybe I'll just stitch. Get those WIP's out and get the needles smoking.

Keep safe, keep warm, and keep stitching.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Fabulous Gift from a Sister

Most of you reading, don't know that I have four younger sisters. The five of us are all crafty, in a manner of speaking. Middle sister P is very crafty. She started with stitching and found that it took too much time--she's also a tax expert so is often quite busy--and she has a family to care for. She's tried several different crafts, can do most of them, but a few years ago, she found beading. Found it in a big way. I have been the lucky recipient of several lovely bracelets with matching earrings, but this Christmas, she outdid herself. Isn't this the most lovely necklace you have ever seen? The charm is sterling silver, with Austrian crystal beads, hematite beads, and those lovely black beads. And I got a pair of matching earrings. The necklace has a good weight to it, and is the perfect length.

I think all of you would agree, my sister is really great at making jewelry. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Bourse

I finally did it. Made a bourse. Not sure I'm happy with how it turned out, but now that I know how to do it, I can make another one and omit the obvious mistakes. The fabric I chose was beautiful but unsuitable for this project. It was a patchwork fabric, with a lot of seams, which made it difficult to construct the bourse, and it doesn't gather very well.

The sampler inside was inspired by Shepherd's Bush Pretty Pincushion but I changed it all around, added specialty rows and special stitches, more hearts, even a Rhodes heart in the middle. I picked all my favorite colors of silk and really enjoyed the stitching part. The sewing part, not so much. Its been so long since I sat in front of the machine that I got a bit rusty. As I have a ton of leather scissor sheaths to sew up, I'd better get some practice in.

So, what do YOU think?