Wednesday, January 27, 2010

LHN Sailing, Sailing

And finally, it's done. I didn't want to show you Sailing, Sailing until it was all framed up. I don't know exactly why. Perhaps it's because my photo taking skills are primitive at best, and taking a picture of a flat piece of fabric is especially difficult for me. OH, well, here it is.

I had some trouble with the mast lines. I knew I needed them tight, but not too tight as to pull the fabric apart. But, tight. Linen does shrink a tiny bit when dampened and ironed, which is great because stitches seem to "pop" up. In this case, my threads came a bit loose. Ick. Okay, so perhaps padding the piece in the frame would help. I did that, and it did help, just not enough to keep those darned mast lines straight and tight. Or are they gibb lines? I know absolutely nothing about sailing, never even been on a sail boat. So, what is a person to do? Without tight lines, don't the sails fall down? Okay, I'm reaching now--but seriously, it wasn't looking that great with those loose lines/threads. I had the worst time with that really long one. Glue. That's the ticket. A tiny dab of glue (Aleene's) on the under side of the longest thread. If I'd been smart, I would have done that before framing and on the back of the piece, to tighten it and keep it hidden. But I thought the problem would resolve itself when it was all in place.

Now, the big question. What do you think of the frame? My son, who gifted me the chart, thinks the decoration above is "too much", and that it looks over done. What do you think? Honest opinions please. Personally, I love tarting up these frames, and I think it makes them look more "one of a kind" so to speak.

Moving on. My newest project is really an old project. I'm stitching CCN's The Tea Room on a tea cozy. It's one of those Adam Originals, all sewn up. Can anyone stitch on those? I tried, I really did, but could not stitch with it all together. I ended up taking the tea cozy apart so that I could stitch the piece. When I'm done, I'll have to resew the thing together again. Crazy, I know. I could have just made one of my own, and not gone through the taking apart. Does anyone know how to stitch on a finished piece? I have another tea cozy, cup cozy and several other items that need stitched on--I know, stupid. Should have tried stitching on the first one I bought before buying more. But, its so tantalizing to see something all finished up that just needs stitching.

While I'm starting new projects, I have another one waiting to be started: Mon bo sapin by Tournicoton. It's part of a SAL for a group I'm part of. Most of the others are stitching it monochrome so that's what I'll probably do. Now to find an interesting silk color that is full of color changes.

Here is the picture of our little Banshee, begging. I didn't get the perspective quite right--I was sitting on the floor so her nose is what you see the most of. I'll be trying again, because she's just the cutest thing.

Before anyone asks, yes, this is our kitchen and yes that is a scrap of carpet on the floor. We took the carpet up when we were remodeling (which isn't done yet) and found more carpet underneath. Since we needed to dry wall the ceiling or do something with the ceiling (right now there is some cheap kind of paneling up there)--I was voting for pressed tin ceiling tiles--we haven't put in the new floor tiling. I so can't wait for that to be done. This floor is the absolute pits!

Off to get a little bit of stitching going. The house is quiet, everyone's gone for now and I'm sure enjoying the time alone. I hope everyone reading gets a little of that, the peace and quiet. Stitch on, my friends, and thank you so much for all of your encouraging words. Things are getting a little better each week. Hugs to all!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Two months zipped past. . . . .

and now its 2010? I feel like I've been left in the dust by all that's going on. Ever want to just grab a flashlight and a huge down comforter, and your favorite book, and hide some place that no one can find you? Hunker down under that comforter and read that favorite book by the light and not hear the family calling your name because it's supper time, or laundry time, or whatever time? To just be invisable for an hour or FOREVER?

That's how I'm feeling right now. Our life is a mess, I'm trying to take solace in my stitching (while drooling over some new designs that I won't be able to afford for months) and everyone wants my attention RIGHT NOW!

Confused? Me too. Oh, well, before I attempt to explain, let me show you what I've been up to in these two months that I disappeared--it's not a lot.

First, when I last wrote, I had just a few stitches left to finish LHN's Poinsettia House. That piece has been finished, ironed and framed. Took me about a week to get a frame made that I thought complimented the piece and also looked good in our house. I love the color of the frame, rosewood. Has just that hint of reddish pink color in the brown. I think it goes well with the colors in Poinsettia House.

Next up, LHN's ornament Fa La La. I did change a few colors--ended up doing it all in Crescent colour cottons, and changed the one girl's dress from green to blue. This piece took me ages to do. I'd pick it up, stitch 5 or 6 stitches, and set it down again. Maybe because I knew I wasn't going to frame it--or there was just too much "stuff" going on to be really interested in finishing it. But, Diane is a wonderful designer, able to evoke certain feelings with just a few stitches, and now that it's done, I like looking at it. This will get finished into an ornament, some type of flat piece, for our tree next year.

And here is what I'm working on right now. LHN's Sailing,Sailing. It was a gift from my son Chad, the chart, the fabric and the 4 skeins of Crescent Colours cottons. When I first looked at the picture for this, I loved the ship, but didn't notice much else about it. But, there is a lot going on in this picture. It has a whale, a compass, two mermaids sunning on a rock, pine trees and palm trees, the sun, moon and stars and an anchor. Lovely colors. It really flows. I think I'm about half done with it and it's stitching up fast. Too fast.

I was blessed to get some wonderful gifts in the mail for Christmas. Jodi, whose father is Max Bloom of Bloom Woodworks, sent me this lovely thread keep. Isn't it the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen? I love that the dragonfly is blue, and so sweetly painted. What a joy to use! Thanks, Jodi, this means a lot to me.

I also received another lovely gift from France from my friend Marylin. She stitched me an armchair aid--one of those things that lay over the arm of your chair, and it has a pin cushion, a place for needles and an ort bag. My picture doesn't do it justice but she did a really nice job of stitching it and a great job on the finishing. Of course, being Marylin, she couldn't just send that lovely piece--she added this really sweet pincushion that looks like a flower--isn't it the cutest thing? And a bourse for my buttons. (She added in candy and goodies but those were gone the same day the box was opened.) Marylin, thank you. You've brought joy to my heart with these lovely hand made items. And aren't handmade and hand stitched items, the best things in the world?

Now, the confusing part. Our life has turned upside down. Just when we thought we were going to make it in this economic slow down, we failed. Hubby took a job with Tradewinds here in Indiana, and even though he was roaming the North East, he was happy in his job. Until the company deductions left us little money to pay bills. The cost of fuel has been creeping up and when you purchase 300 gallons instead of 25 for a car--the amount is just astounding. There wasn't enough money in the paychecks to pay the household bills, let alone make a $1200 a month truck payment. The last straw came when his check for over 2000 miles came in at $30 (after deductions.) He turned back the truck to the finance company, and took what little money we had to fix up our old truck--no monthly payments on that one. After fixing, (buying parts, working in the cold for two weeks, etc) he decided that he'd rather not be a truck driver--rather be at home, and have a normal life. Well, duh, you couldn't have thought of that before we spent $900 on parts? So, he's been home, looking for jobs that would keep him in the area, home nights, to have a "normal" life. Yeah, 6 weeks he's been home, no income. Driving me crazy, not just with worry over the mounting bills but despair that there wasn't going to be a Christmas at our house this year. (and there was no Christmas. I did put up the tree though. ) With him "helping" me with chores that he didn't know how to do. Or, the best part, him laying on the couch, snoozing, while others around him were working. I couldn't believe that the stress wasn't getting to him--or maybe that's why he spent so much time sleeping. When we missed the third house payment, I went into full panic mode.

When things got the better of me, I called my dad for a loan so I could at least buy groceries and get prescriptions. Let me tell you, that was embarrasing. Hubby finally got a job and started this Monday. His normal job/normal life is working 11 am to 11:30 p.m. nearly an hour away. So he leaves at 10 am and gets home some time past midnight. Real normal. But, I'm thankful for a little time to myself since I hadn't had any for two months.

Please don't misunderstand me. This is not a plea for help, loans or anything other than prayers. (Unless there happens to be a gazillionaire out there reading my little blog, then said gazillionaire can feel free to send whatever they have in petty cash and I'll willingly accept it. And even spend it on bills first, before doing a bit of online shopping.) This economic situation is affecting everyone. Even if you, my dear reader friend, have enough to pay your bills, and get groceries, and even shop a bit online, even you are watching how you spend your available money.

I am thankful that I have friends, friends who encourage, who pray for my sanity, my family and who leave lovely comments. (Hint, hint) I am thankful for the stash I have, and the ability to bury myself in stitching, or a good book. Or a good movie. And very thankful that I have a daughter-in-law who runs a Movie Gallery so I always have movies to watch. And thankful to all of you, updating your blogs so I have something interesting to read with my morning coffee. (Please, don't share this little fact: I read your blogs all day long, every chance I get.)

Now to see if I can add the pictures. I got a few good photos of Banshee which I'll try to post tomorrow. Stitch on, my friends. Y'all totally amaze me with how much you accomplish stitching wise and how much other stuff you do. Thanks for reading.