Thursday, December 31, 2009
My guest room is where all my fabrics reside in the dresser drawers, sorted by stitch count and all my fibers are sorted by brand and stored in various cabinets in the well designed closet. Until about an hour ago it looked like the Stitching Stash Monster barfed all over the room. And you should have seen it before I finished and distributed all the ornaments. There was twisted cord EVERYWHERE!
All the stash enhancements from the last 4 months, all the fibers and charts used for all the gazillion Christmas things I stitched, mailing receipts from all the packages I mailed, and various and sundry other pieces of trash have accumulated on the bed and dresser...thankfully, not on the floor because Lester the WonderPug has been roaming around lately. (He apparently has a fiber deficiency because he loves to eat paper.) But, I digress.
I have sorted 13 different brands of threads, sorted through about 20 charts and returned them to their nice little cubbyholes (sorted by designer and/or style), thrown out trash, AND started my 2010 stitching list. I am ready to go! So read it and weep. I'm outta here!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
DH, Lester the WonderPug, and I went to visit my mom and sisters for several days over Christmas. We had a great time, ate too much, and didn't get much sleep. The last is primarily because Lester snores like a revved up monster truck. At home he sleeps an entire floor away from our bedroom and I can still hear him snoring sometimes. At Mom's he sleeps in the same room with us. OMG, you would not believe the noise that comes out of his facial orifices. I finally got used to it on the third night, but woke up when he didn't snore because I was worried he was dead! But I digress.
My sister, B., sometimes behaves as if she has more $ than sense. Actually, she has a lot of trouble making choices so when she went to the bead store by herself she became a preferred customer on her first visit! And I got a whopping great Christmas present! I can't wait to start playing around with all these gorgeous beads.
And while we were away a package arrived from my friend, Karen. You might remember that I stitched a band sampler for her birthday in October. Well, I have no idea when she finds time to stitch given all her responsibilites, but this is what she sent me for my birthday. Isn't is gorgeous!? (We don't worry about when the birthday actually occurs. In fact, we prefer to ignore them completely except for the stitching!)
I've found a little bit of time to stitch over the past couple of days. I've been working on my annual tree skirt addition. That story and pictures coming soon.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
For those of you who have listened to me talk about the sampler I couldn't show you because Laura reads my blog too...here it is. "Quaker Hornbook" by Examplars From the Heart. Stitched on 40 count (can't remember the color...something hand-dyed), with Vicky Clayton silks.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I used this lovely gold and cream fabric on the back and a piece of trim that I found in a tiny little craft store. If I could tat (another thing on my list of things to learn) I would have tatted a lacy edgy for it.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
On another cheery note, the Christmas Panic has been officially reduced to The Christmas To-Do List. I've finished all my ornies, framed my mom's Christmas present, wrapped almost everything, mailed everything that has to be mailed. I just have to create a couple of fobs. One to replace the stethoscope bling my sister gave to one of her patients and one for a purpose to be specified later (big secret). There's some baking and delivery of baked goods to be done, some cooking and laundry and cleaning...scratch that... I'm sure I'll think of more, but for right now I'm feeling pretty good. Oh wait, I have to finish Laura's birthday present so I can mail it tomorrow.
In case you were wondering, Mom's sampler is an adaptation of "Exampler" from Joanne Harvey of The Exemplarary. By adaptation, I mean I stopped when I got to a band that looked like it might be the end. It was either that or pull my hair out. And frankly, my hair is my only redeeming feature and I'm not willing to part with it without a really good reason. This wasn't even close. There were about 18 inches of stitching left to do, including a verse. I love the piece, but between you and me, I couldn't take working on 26 count for another minute. Especially with two strands of pre-cut 18" pieces of floss. So I adapted. And I don't feel a bit guilty. My motto is "If it isn't fun, why are you stitching it?"
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I am back to working on Laura's birthday present. (I heard that sigh of relief, L.) It has to be in the mail by Friday, so I'll be sitting on my duff and stitching for the rest of the week. Speaking of which, my husband looked at me last night as we were watching TV and said, "Are you back in your happy place?" I guess that s*!@-eating grin on my face gave me away!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Here are the two necklaces I made using glass pendants which most craft stores sell. I knit I-cord using pearl cotton #5 and complimentary Kreinik #8 braid. I think they turned out pretty well. I'm the only non-jewelry freak in my family, so when I get the urge to do something like this there is always someone to give it to.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
My tree skirt is a result of living so far from our families when we were first married. We didn't have any traditions of our own, so I used my love of stitching to create our first Christmas tradition. I made a huge (approx. 6 ft. in diameter) skirt from very heavy red felt and trimmed the edge in green grosgrain ribbon. Back then I stitched a lot of ornaments for gifts, but didn't have time to stitch some of the larger Christmas pictures that I love so much. So I decided that I would stitch one each year in the week between Christmas and New Year's Day when Boeing was shut down for the holidays. Then I appliqued it onto the red felt skirt with the year incorporated into the stitched piece. Some have meaning like the one with the puppies that I did the year we got our first dogs and the Americana Santa from 2001. A lot of them are just pieces I liked and wanted to stitch. One year I didn't finish the piece until February, but I have never failed to add one each year. Well, I have space for only one more picture on this tree skirt and then I'll have to come up with another idea, but I'm not giving up the annual stitched Christmas picture. It's almost like an anniversary.
All in all, the tree is always the focal point of my Christmas decorations because of all the memories.
And, on a less serious note, Lester apparently wasn't as interested in the tree as he was in kissing me. That's me on the floor, Lester on my stomach watching my husband take pictures.
Friday, December 11, 2009
And have I mentioned how much I love stitching, but hate finishing?
Christmas Panic To-do list
1. shopping - 100% DONE
2. stitching - pieces chosen and taken off the wall for sisters laying on wrapping table, one STILL to frame for Mom
3. knitting - one cowl DONE(and very pretty, I must say), 2 necklaces left assemble
4. finishing - 9 ornies finished and still too many to count and one hardanger Christmas tree (haven't even thought about it yet)
5. decorating - STILL naked tree standing in living room
6. baking - not started - next task, as soon as I post this
7. wrapping - STILL not started
8. selling - still shipping orders (yeah!) and still adding new things to Etsy because there is still time to ship for Christmas. But you better hurry!
Monday, December 7, 2009
1. shopping - 95% done
2. stitching - taking things off the wall for sisters, one to frame for Mom
3. knitting - one cowl left to do, 2 necklaces left assemble
4. finishing - too many ornies to count and one hardanger Christmas tree (thank God for the friend who found the candlestick and painted it for me.)
5. decorating - naked tree standing in living room
6. baking - not started
7. wrapping - not started
8. selling - still shipping orders (yeah!) and still adding new things to Etsy
Oh, and let me not forget the December birthday present still being stitched. At least, I'm enjoying that!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
My mama loves everything I stitch so it's not much of a challenge to find just the right thing for her. But she really loves samplers (thank goodness) so I whipped out this "Snow Flower Accent" from Periwinkle Promises. I've probably stitched more of Barbara Rokosnik's work than any other designer. I did nineteen in one year so my LNS could have it's own little PP trunk show. (Barbara's trunk show was booked up for about 2 years!) But I digress... These little accents are supposed to be pillows with little tassels on the corners, but they make great mini framed pieces. It comes out about 4" x 5". I had some scrap pieces of this moulding so I was able to frame it without ordering more or going to the frame shop. And to top it off, I have an extra piece of fabric (the back of the intended pillow) and enough silk left over to do it again...assuming no frog stitching. And when was the last time that happened?
So, now I go back to the birthday present I can't show you because Laura does read my blog.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
check it out at
Feathers In the Nest
Not only will you want to enter the give-away, but you will also become a lifetime follower of her blog. She does amazing needlework and is a very caring person.
My Saturday stitchathon with Faye produced this cute little reindeer peeking aroudn the tree. It's from this year's Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.
Off to work on a couple more.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I really know how to pick 'em. Turns out all my "bestest" friends don't want to shop or go to the beach when the come to visit. They just want to sit and stitch. Can it get any better than that.
Thanks for a fun day, Faye. See you soon.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
But the main reason I'm glad to be home is that I have so much stitching left to do in a short 5 weeks. I'm still stitching ornies and I have to finish about 26 of them! That's the really tedious part. I'll be in a cord twisting tizzy. Thank goodness I have the old electric hair braider to make it go faster. I can't believe I used to used a pencil to twist cord. That's like watching TV without a remote!
Anyway, I have finished a couple more ornies, including the pink angel I showed you only a start of.
I'll try to keep up with the blog a little better, but don't hold me to it...at least for the next few weeks. I really need to catch up on my blog reading too.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Of course, playing with the colors was the best part, but I enjoyed searching through my various reference books for interesting bargello patterns too. It was time consuming and a bit of arithmetic was required to figure out the size of various pattern repeats, but I think that's fun too. My nephew, who is not a big fan of math, would say "you're evil". There wasn't nearly as much frog stitching as I anticipated, but that is probably because I took the time to do the math.
Now I can get back to the 29 ornies on this year's agenda!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Last week I made a few "Honor our Veterans" posts in various places with all sincerity, but today I read this story in Nordic Needle's weekly newsletter. I felt the need to share it because the National Anthem still gives me goose bumps...and I'm proud of that.
The Music Stopped
(For those who are unaware: At all military base theaters, the National Anthem is played before the movie begins.)
This is written from a Chaplain in Iraq :
I recently attended a showing of 'Superman 3' here at LSA Anaconda. We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings. As is the custom at all military bases, we stood to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going well until three-quarters of the way through The National Anthem, the music stopped.
Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and yell for the movie to begin. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.
Here in Iraq , 1,000 Soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again and the Soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. But again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect 1000 Soldiers standing at attention to do ?? Frankly, I expected some laughter, and everyone would eventually sit down and wait for the movie to start.
But No!!... You could have heard a pin drop, while every Soldier continued to stand at attention. Suddenly, there was a lone voice from the front of the auditorium, then a dozen voices, and soon the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off: "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave."
It was the most inspiring moment I have had in Iraq and I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you. Remember them as they fight for us!
Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here at home and abroad. Many have already paid the ultimate price.
Written by Chaplain Jim Higgins LSA Anaconda is at the Ballad Airport in Iraq , north of Baghdad
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I just realized that I did the green one on 32 count apparently, because the cabachon used for the face doesn't fit. Oops. I'll have to think of something. And I'm not real thrilled with the Algerian eyes in metallic. Hard to be consistent. Oh, and I haven't put the beads on yet. (Did I mention that the beads and 3 cabachons come with the chart?)
And I've started the pink one, but obviously not much is done yet.
I'll probably do more once I figure out an alternative to the cabachon for the face. Any suggestions? I really love these sweet ladies.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
And I even managed to get about halfway thru one of those angel ornaments. I'm on a roll! Unfortunately, tomorrow real life intervenes. I'll be cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and finishing a custom order scissor fob. (That part is good.) So I'll be back to stitching after supper only. What a life!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I was looking for some new ones to stitch (in a hurry) and found these hardanger angels from Twisted Oak that I added to my stash some time ago. I promptly filed the chartpack with all my other Christmas patterns like the good, right-brained, anal retentive freak that I am. They definitely fit the parenthetical criteria because hardanger has few, if any, color changes and the geometric nature of hardanger makes it easy to follow the pattern.
Of course, I have to do something different with them (I have a contrary nature, as my grandmother used to say), so I'm doing them in the three colors you see here. Unfortunately, there are beads, but I'll suffer through. Ironic, isn't it, that my Etsy shop is all about beads, but incorporating them in my stitching projects makes me want to scream. Okay, I admit it, I'm a little weird.
Hopefully, my finishing will be somewhat close the models. Not my forte. But you should see the ones I stitched for my family 30 years ago! Scary.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Everybody needs a beaded needle threader.