Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Many Gifts and a finish

I've been sitting here driving myself crazy trying to think of something to write, then realized, I have a finish. And I got the most lovely gift in the mail last week that I haven't shown. Finally got around to taking pictures--if the pictures are dark, I apologize right now. We've had very dark days lately and a lot of rain.

First up, my finish. It's a simple one, a freebie from LHN called Two Sheep. I wanted something simple and easy to do over the weekend when hubby was home. Can you believe, after nearly 20 years of marriage, he still doesn't know about interrupting while I'm counting--so I keep it simple. I really loved this design, especially for the simplicity of it. I chose to do it all in Crescent Colour Cottons and used a 32 count linen that I dyed and called "summer sky". To bring out the color of the sheep, I framed it in a frame that I used liming on. Lets the wood grain, what there is of it, show through. Whatcha think? I also have LHN's Poinsettia House nearly finished--just needs 6 more stitches and ironed, and I can show you.

Now, my gift. This really sweet lady from Lyons, France, sent me an email about something she saw on my blog. And sent me a link to her blog. Her name is Marylin, and wow, is she a great stitcher. Anyway, out of the blue, she sent me this lovely package with threads and charts from France. (I'm in the middle of putting together a package for her--if you'd like to send her something, send me an email.) She says that stitching things are really dear there, and that all of the stitching stores are very tiny. Her dream is to some day visit an American stitching store. Won't she be in Heaven then? Anyway, she also sent me a lovely scissor pocket that she stitched me, and it's gorgeous. I'm sure my photos won't do it justice but I did try.
Isn't this scissor pocket just adorable? It's stitched on the front, on the flap and on the back.
And the entire thing is stitched over one thread. Then she sent me two full kits, a DMC book on Hearts, and two other charts. She also sent a package of tea and a bag of chocolates but guys, those are gone, gone, gone. Yummmmmm!

Wasn't this the most lovely package? And from a stranger that I now call friend. This world sure is a small place and stitchers have made it that way.

I mentioned before, that I'm preparing a package for her. I'm nearly finished with the stitching and have pulled out some stitching things for her. If you would like to send something for me to include, just email me. If you would like to send her a package yourself, email me and I'll be happy to send you her address. Oh, I'll be adding her blog address to my sidebar so you can visit that way also. She said her friends are impressed when she gets a comment from Americans, lol.

Stitch on, my friends. And keep our family in your prayers. Hubby has returned the truck he was trying to buy and is spending the next week or two fixing the one we have. That means nearly two weeks of him in and out, dirty door knobs, hair pulling (mine), no patience (me) and a lot of trying to stitch to keep my mind at ease. And no stash, sob, sniffle, sob. Oh, well, this too shall pass, and I think I have enough stash to see me through. Hugs to all! And thanks for the comments.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I believe all that were getting PIF's have received theirs, so now I can post and show you how they turned out. I also have a new finish and nearly a second one, but I'll leave that for another day. (I need help finding things to talk about, lol)

You've all seen these stitchings before but not all finished into their final state.

I really enjoyed stitching these pieces over one thread but it sure wasn't like that the first few times I worked over one. And I will admit, the over two pieces took half the time as the over ones. And yes, I do have a 'thing' for scissor fobs. Love making them and love receiving them.

I'll leave you with this photo of Spooky, my vampire cat. (her little fangs hang over her bottom lip--do cats have lips?) I pulled the sheets off the bed yesterday, for washing, and when I brought the clean sheets back in, there she was ! Ensconced on my pillow, looking for all the world as if she belonged there. And let me tell you the yowls of disapproval when I moved her could be heard all over the house. Okay, so I have a very small house but she has a very loud yowl!

Stitch on, dear friends. I get a lot of encouragement from all of your finishes! Keep warm.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Teeny Tiny Finish

For the past week, I've been doing finishing work on PIF projects so they could be mailed today. If you are waiting for something from me, it's in the mail. I also was able to fit in a small fob kit that I recently received, Eek! by Lizzie Kate. Since I can't show the pictures of the finished PIF's, I'll just show you a picture of my Eek! fob.

I have done some more work on SB's "Into the Night" but not enough to take a progress picture. I get a bit jealous of people like Nicole who seem to get so much done so fast. Actually, I spent most of my time on the computer, looking up directions and addresses for hubby, who had a 6 stop Menard's run, delivering bathtubs and shower enclosures, all over Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. That was fun. (took 2 days to get it all off.) Now, it's Friday, and I don't know if I want to go back to work on Into the Night, or find something new and/or quick to work on for the weekend. I'm leaning towards the something new and quick, lol.

This Eek ! fob was fun and very simple to do--until it came to sewing on that dratted button for the spider's body. That button is tiny, almost infinitesimal. I mean smaller than a baby button. So, there I was, trying to get it in perfect position for the legs, holding it with my finger nails, and snap--I flicked it off into the nether world. It went sailing over my chair and took me 20 minutes to find. Good thing my kid was already in bed. I would have been so embarrassed with him seeing me frantically searching for that teensy tiny button. (I'm not trying that other word again, lol.) I was crawling around on the floor, moving things--my cat thought I was a nut. It was one of those times when everything I touched fell over. Eventually, I found that dratted button, got it sewn on and quickly put the project away to iron at a later time. ( I could just imagine what would have happened had I tried to iron it then.) Anyway, I waited until the next evening to get the finishing done on the fob. I did NOT attempt to ruch a ribbon around this fob like the picture on the kit showed. I want to be able to use this piece so just sewed on cording. Sorry for the dark picture, we've had rain all day.

Hope this finds all of you well and ready for Halloween tomorrow night. Stitch on, my friends and thank you for all the lovely comments you leave.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Winter Thread Keeper

Two finishes, Winter Thread Keeper and Winter fob. Winter Wonderland was what I was working on last post, and had lost the picture. When I got close to being done, I decided to postpone my blog post until I had the piece attached to the Winter Thread Keeper by Impie, Hattie and Bea. The fob was worked over one on a scrap of the same fabric, Raw Linen, I believe, and the design was from Winter Wonderland, by LHN. The front shows the snowman and the back, just one of the trees from the piece. Both pieces were worked as charted. I did "embellish" a bit by making a few of the single stitches Smyrna's, along with the little blue snowflakes. I backed the "pocket" on front with a grey blue dupioni silk that a friend sent me and hand sewed the piece to the front of the keeper. (I also lined the pocket with interfacing for stability.)

A word here. I usually hesitate to voice my opinion on anything, but a while ago, I voiced an opinion on the Impie, Hattie and Bea piece for LHN's Traveling Stitcher. I said that my piece was uneven and that I thought I could do it better. I still think I could have sewn the piece better, and probably could even sew 5 of them better. But, I recently found out that these pieces were all sewn by one person. I definitely could NOT have sewn 100 of them better, or 1000. (I get way too bored, find ways to cut corners, when I do more than one or two of the same items.) Long ago, I did sewing for a stitching store in Michigan, making pillow tops, finishing stitcher's pieces into wall hangings and other things. Almost all of these things were "one of a kind" and therefore didn't bore me. But, when you sew the 10th pillow top, or pin the 12th ruffle, etc, it does get somewhat boring. So, I deeply apologize for my "big mouth" on that post. In doing as many as she did, she did pretty awesome work. Now, with a red face, and a grimace, I will slink back to holding my opinion to myself.

The fob work was practice for all the PIF's I've been working on. I had an idea and wanted to see if it would work, so I practiced on my own piece. Now, on to finishing the other three pieces I've already shown you. I will post a picture when the three are completed. And in between finishes, I have been working on my Shepherd's Bush "Into the Night". I'm past the wording now so better than half done. After that, I'm thinking of doing LHN's "The Library". Just ordered the fabric today.

Autumn has come to northern Indiana, bringing more restful and cool nights. I hope all of you are enjoying the autumn colors which are rich and wonderful this year. Stitch on, dear friends, and thank you so much for your constant encouragement and comments. Until next time. . . . .

EDITED TO ADD: Terri asked for pictures of the inside of the thread keeper and the inside of the finished pocket, so I'm editing this post to add those pictures. Please keep in mind that it's rainy and very dark here in Indiana today, so I wasn't able to take these pictures outside. The dining room table had to suffice. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finishes and framings

It's been nearly a month since I posted any finishes or framings. It's been a bit strange around here. Hubby got angry over a settlement that seemed short on earnings, so opened his mouth and quit his job before his sensible side took over. He's been at his new job three weeks now, and is liking the job but not where the job is sending him. For the first time in his career, he's spending time on the east coast, and not liking it one bit. As much as I love the east coast, I can see his point. Some of the roads over there don't seem wide enough for a horse and buggy let alone a 60 foot tractor trailer combo. And all the roads are toll roads--ok, not all of them but one week he paid nearly $200.00 in tolls. I thought the Chicago area was bad for toll roads.

I turn to my stitching whenever "life" is getting me down, and this time, I made a little dent in my stash. Four finishes, three framings, and a new start, all Little House Needleworks pieces.

First up, Lavender Hill. This is the first chart I bought of LHN's. I picked it up at Cecelia's Samplers in Branson, MO, while vacationing with my parents. I got it to make for my hubby. When he was growing up in Illinois, his mother ran an herb nursery and called it Lavender Hill. Their property in Kingston still wears the name. Shawn wanted me to give this to his mother so I framed it fast, so he could take it with him on Sunday. He's planning on being with his parents this weekend. Whoa! A free weekend for me--that just hit me. (his mother has been ill and just recently got home from hospital. She's doing much better now.) The piece was framed in a pine colored stained frame that I made.

Next is Psalms 145 by LHN. I changed this one a bit--I don't much like red houses so made mine blue but the rest of the piece was completed according to the chart. Those leaves were a pain. 52 of them. I didn't think I'd ever get finished with them. I also decided to leave off the stitchers initials and instead, I stitched our last name, and the date we were married over one thread. I put it in a rosewood stained frame and added that little carving to the top for interest.

I had my last PIF to stitch, so I chose Small Sampler House, again by LHN. It's a freebie that I've had for ages. I thought it would make a lovely, over one thread piece. It turned out so pretty that I stitched it over again but this time I did it over two threads. Framed it in a colonial pine colored frame. (I really like the color of wood and the grain that shows. Bet you figured that out!)

Banshee seems to have mastered the "going outside to potty" so we don't have to watch her so closely anymore. That thrills me no end. She's quite the bundle of energy and luckily, she's found a friend in Shadow the cat.

I started a new project and did take a picture of it, but somehow I managed to delete the photo I took. I'm working on Winter Wonderland by LHN to sew to the Winter Thread Keep. I'd say I'm about half finished with it. After it's completed, I'm going back to Shepherd's Bush, Into the Night. With Halloween in about two weeks, I'd really like to have it finished.

Thank you all for the loving comments you leave. Those comments keep me going, encouraging me to keep on. Autumn came quickly to this part of Indiana, and it has been so much easier to sleep with the colder nights. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Dance times 2

Another finish, well, another two finishes. Gentle and Kind by LHN. This was a silk thread pack, and there was nearly enough thread to do both of these. Yup, I did the one the way it was supposed to be done, on 28 count Putty Linen, and the other on the same linen but just over one thread. You might notice that the personalization has NOT been done on either piece. The larger one will be a sister present, and I'm not sure which of my four sisters will be getting it--though I have a good idea which. The mini one is blank because while I know who its going to, its a PIF and a secret so in case that person is reading, I don't want them to know its for them. Hahaha.

So, that's why I've been going a bit over board on the over one stitchings. Seems like lately, everything I stitch, I stitch twice. But, I'll tell you true, that mini took more than twice as long as the full sized one. (But, I think its cuter. What do you think?)

I've run into the problem of the deep red silks bleeding when I iron because I dampen my fabric. Is there any other way of getting out fold lines? Anyway, my son had an idea that really worked. I lay my fabric face down on a towel, as I always iron stitching this way, but after dampening, I lay a paper towel over the back and then iron. Strangely enough, the bleeding bleeds up into the paper toweling instead of into the fabric or towel. Isn't that amazing? The silks used in this thread pack were Crescent Colours Belle Soie, ah so lovely to work with.

And finally, I've framed up Americana Samplings and Pine Tree Hill with frames I had bought ages ago. I pulled out my two tubs of picture frames and sure enough, had a frame for both. I loved the red antique like frame for Americana Samplings.

Off to pull threads for my next project. It's a LHN small one, but its charted for DMC and I want to use Crescent Colours Cottons. So, I'm taking it all outside to match up colors. I've already pulled all the DMC used, now to match them up.

Until next time, stitch on, my friends.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Americana Sampling

Didn't think it would take long to get this one finished up, so here it is, Americana Sampling. This was a limited edition kit for 2005. I changed the date to reflect the year I stitched the piece. This was a fun stitch--but I had to substitute a thread color. It used Crescent colours Bunny Honey but my skein was just too light--the alphabet faded right into the fabric color. I ended up using Country Lane, but even that was really too light. And obviously, my try for interesting photos was a total bust. Maybe one of these days, I'll get a good picture of something.

Haven't touched "Into the Night" lately so no update photo. I will get back to it soon. I've left it on my stitching table to keep it in sight.

On the home front, the animals are being more friendly towards each other, and Banshee is pretty much house broken now. There are still a few encounters with Spooky, the oldest cat, but somehow I think it's all friendly fun. (Spooky comes looking for Banshee, if you get my drift.) Banshee and Boo are such a Mutt and Jeff pair. I snapped this picture the other night--it was just too cute to pass up.

Last night I started LHN's Gentle and Kind, and I'm doing it twice. One will be two over two and one will be one over one. Both are likely to be gifts of some sort. Since I only managed to get a tiny bit of border stitched, I didn't bother taking a picture. There is nothing recognizable there but a line of stitching. Word of warning to anyone stitching any of these charts. The charts are computer generated, and with the alphabet at the bottom for personalization, the computer doesn't put the centering arrows in the correct spots. The same was true for her Traveling Stitcher, which comprised two charts, and the computer chose to put the arrows in between the charts and a lot of people, myself included, started on their linen in the wrong space.

While our weather here is still hot for the most part, we're having a bit cooler temps at night. A welcome relief. It will soon be autumn! Stitch on, dear friends, and thank you for all your wonderful comments.

Friday, August 21, 2009

WIPs and Finishes

Summer is nearly over, and I, for one, am extremely happy about that. Autumn brings cooler evenings, the kids are back in school, and for some, time seems to slow down a bit. I take much joy and solace from my stitching, so I'm happy to report, I have two small finishes and two WIPs.

First, the finishes: Pine Tree Hill by LHN. I think this one was supposed to be an ornament but I plan on framing one and making a scissor fob out of the other. (I thought it too big for a tree ornament.) I saw this design on artisticneedle's finishing album, thought I had the magazine it was in, and YES, amazingly, I did have it. When I started the first one, on 32 count Belfast, I didn't have all the recommended threads, so I substituted Manor Red for the Ruby Slipper I was missing. But, Ruby Slipper arrived soon after, so the second one was done with all the charted colors. I haven't done a lot of over one stitching but I think this one turned out fairly well. This little one will be part of a special project I have planned.

Next up are my work in progresses: Into the Night by Shepherd's Bush, and Americana Sampling by LHN. I'm enjoying both of them, but I had to step away from the Shepherd's Bush piece because I just couldn't concentrate well. Hubby is home, has been in and out for the past week or so. I needed to get stitching on something that I could "sail" through and still be stitching. After Americana Sampling is done, I might be able to get back to Into the Night.

We finally had two days of thunderstorms and while still humid, it's not quite as hot as it had been. In fact, today is positively marvelous. Too bad I'm stuck inside doing laundry, LOL.

Thank you all for the lovely comments left. Our stitching community sure knows how to show love and encouragement. And you all have kept me very entertained with your blog posts lately. Happy stitching everyone!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Finishes, birthdays, and gifts, oh, my!

I'm a bit late in getting this post written and posted. July ended up very busy, as was the start of August. We're into Birthday months--and September is THE worst of all. (five and counting) My birthday was at the end of July and I have a few gifts to show you from that, and then my youngest granddaughter's birthday was August 1st. Hubby actually made it home for both of those days, though he couldn't stay long for mine. More miles run mean more bills caught up, and thanks to my Mom, Dad and Hubby, a stash order will be forthcoming. (I'm panting in glee right now, and can't wait to get started with my online shopping.)

First, a finish finish. Took me far longer than I expected, but Witches Hat Scissor Case is now completed. What an absolute pain it was to do but it turned out looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. I'm thinking of using the leftover black belfast and the chart to make a fob for my witch's scissors so have left the threads and chart out. (okay, so I'm a slob and haven't put them away yet--but I can still make a fob, right?) Putting the cording around the edges hides a multitude of tiny mistakes, or tiny linen threads that just didn't want to stay put. If ever I do another finish like this, I'm using GLUE!!! Of course, my friend Deb would say there is nothing wrong with a little judicious use of glue in finishing. (though I know she uses very little.)

I tried copying some of your techniques to make pictures interesting, so here is my Witch's Hat Scissor Case, front and back, with my Witch's Scissors by Uncommon Scissors. (She makes great and cool scissors.) Okay, so I know I take boring pictures, sorry about that.

My birthday was a lot of fun. The grandkids came over and brought their Wii, so we had a Wii party. I won on archery--yeah for the old lady! Both my boys got me a game for my DS, Guitar Hero and Harry Potter. Chad also got me a leather notebook/journal, and a lovely pair of opal earrings. I baked a three layer cake, and thankfully, no one put candles on it. (could of burned the house down, lol) We all had a great time, and the day ended with me feeling very loved and appreciated.

My dear friend Beth sent me a lovely package for my birthday--stash! Wonderful, glorious stash. And all from Shepherd's Bush. She sent me three kits, all wonderful: My Pins, Home (the newest sheepie with hat) and Purple Snowman (I've been wanting this one a long time) and a leaflet that I really want to do up for Chad: Halloween Night. It's shown done on 20 count but I thought doing it on 28 or 32 count would look really awesome.

I mentioned last post that we had a new puppy. She's part Cairn terrier, and feisty! She weighs like 5 pounds and thinks nothing of attacking Boo's nose to play--and Boo weighs in at about 95 pounds. Unfortunately, one week after bringing her home, son got called back to work, so the job of house breaking her has been put on me. BOO! HISS! I so hate that job. But, she's doing well, not many accidents and the cats are putting up with her.

In trying to take pictures before Chad got home from work, I forgot to snap a picture of what I'm working on right now. I'm about half done with Shepherd's Bush's Into the Night and nearly finished with Little House Needlework's Pine Tree Hill. Will try to get pics taken soon.

That's all for now. Hope everyone's summer is going well, and that the heat isn't getting to you. I know we have really high temps coming this weekend and I plan to stay inside with the a/c and my stitching. Stitch on, my friends! And for those of you who have children in school--school starts soon! Yay!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More finishes, well, sort of.

Its been a strange summer so far. The new truck has had troubles a plenty--boo, hiss, but the hubby keeps keeping on. He's passed the frustration on to me--which is my job, to keep him as cool headed as possible--and I pass the frustration on to my stitching. I wonder how many of us do that? Deal with all the negatives in our lives by stitching? Sure does keep me a lot calmer. How about you all?

First up, GOODWILL by LHN. I stitched this one because of the lovely colors and because it was a thread pack. I didn't have to hunt down any of the threads, just a lovely piece of linen to stitch it on. And I didn't even have to make a frame up--I have two large tubs of frames I've bought over the years and I had a perfect size to use. (I actually had 4 the perfect size but wrong colors.) There was a lot of mindless stitching, stitching without having to count very often, and that made it absolutely perfect for my purposes. I was sad when I got it finished, but today, very happy that I could stick it in a frame and hang it on the wall. I'm thinking, for the time being, that the wall is finished. (I did think of doing LHN's The Rose in Morning and doing it over one, for a tiny horizontal piece.) Does it seem that I was in a hurry to get that wall done? Absolutely, hubby should be home in the next day or two.

The next piece isn't really finished. The stitching is done but not the finishing work--and I'm a bit nervous about doing this finish. It's Witch's Hat Scissor Case by Historic Stitches. It was really easy to stitch, but would have been much easier to stitch on a different color linen. Done on Black Belfast, I couldn't believe how much difficulty I had in seeing the threads. I think it took me twice as long as it would have on a lighter color. My picture turned the fabric gray but it really is black. The chart called for two pieces of Black Belfast, 11 x 11 inches--I stitched it on one piece of Belfast, 11 x 11 and still have two large squares left over to do a scissor fob or biscornu. But, I've hesitated starting the finish process as I don't think I have enough skill to do it justice. I'm going to try anyway and I'll let you all tell me what you think of it.

I spent most of the past weekend watching Harry Potter movies and stitching on Shepherd's Bush "Into the Night". Didn't really have enough done to take a picture of it. Hopefully, after getting the top part done, the specialty rows will go quickly enough so it actually looks like I stitched something. Of course, eldest son has already said it's going to be his one day--and I think I'll surprise him and give it to him when he buys his first house. (He's looking.)

It's hard to believe that summer is half over already, and the grandkids go back to school next month. What's up with that? Am I the only one who remembers going back to school right after Labor day, in September? I shudder to think of all those young people sweltering in classrooms during the hottest part of the summer.

And with all the heat, the problems with finances, truck troubles and all, we have a new member of the family. Banshee is some kind of terrier, very small, short, with these tiny short legs. We are having a terrible time getting her housebroken but she's finally getting the idea. She is Chad's puppy and he's doing most of the work with her. She really is adorable, and I'll have a picture of her next post. But, do you see a theme here with pet names? We have Boo, Spooky, Shadow and Banshee--two black pets and two gray ones. Shadow has finally taken to the new puppy but Spooky is still hissing and spitting at her. Boo has become her protector, though she's not too fond of Banshee using her tail as a toy. As you can see from the photo above, Spooky seems to spend all her time sleeping on our bed--its a high four poster and the puppy can't reach her there.

I've had a lot of fun reading everyone's posts, and I am amazed at those who can post nearly every day and show pictures too. How on earth do you do that? Debbie, if that was your first framing job, how talented you are. You did a super great job. And Terri Boog, that sampler is to die for. Coni, I love your newest LJP finish--its super spectacular! It would make a really lovely pillow with some patriotic fabrics--or a great wall decoration. Nicole, as always, I'm amazed at how much lovely stitching you do, and with three small boys to raise. Cathy, I love seeing pictures of those grandchildren just as much as seeing your stitching. Deb, busy as always but when do we get to see the pics that are hidden behind those smiley faces? Kath, been missing you and don't think my emails are getting through to you. And to anyone who has been waiting for an email from me--I probably already sent it, but our ISP has been having problems the last few weeks, and most of what I send out is not getting where it should go. Anyway, I love reading all your blogs, it's nearly like visiting in your home and stitching with you, without the drive.

Stitch on, dear friends. Can't wait to see what you stitch on next. Enjoy your summer, and Terri, watch out--that was a lovely looking and very appetizing table you set on the deck. Made me ready to jump in the car and come for a visit. For those that don't know, Terri lives in my old 'neck of the woods' and there are times that I sure do miss Michigan. Until next time. . . . . . . .