Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stitching Withdrawal!

This week (starting Wednesday) has been devoid of stitching time. Aaahhhh! My husband's brothers and families are here visiting for a week. (No, they are not all staying at our house. They rent a cottage on the beach.) It happens about every other year. And we have a lot of fun, but I don't get a lot of time to stitch. And as I've mentioned several times before I don't just like to stitch every day, I NEED to stitch every day. Well, this year, what little spare time I have I've spent just maintaining my presence in my Etsy shop. A little tweeting, a little Facebook, list a new item once or twice, but not much else.

Dick and I always smoke a pork shoulder (commonly called a Boston Butt, don't know why) and make Lexington style (NC) barbeque with all the good artery-clogging, yummy side dishes to go along. He smokes the pork, I cook all the rest. That was yesterday. BTW, did you get the license number of that big truck that ran over me about 8 p.m. last night? Lester looks about like I feel.
So, today I decided to take a few minutes to tell you all this just so I could absorb some stitching vibes from all of you who are actually getting to stitch this weekend. Speak to me, please!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Who knew the Christmas Panic Could Cause So Much Blogging Angst?

I'm really tired of not being able to show you the sampler I am working on now. But blame it on L., who is a wonderful friend and birthday recipient of said sampler, and reads my blog like a loyal friend should. If I wasn't so needy, I'd tell her to quit reading for a couple of months, so I could show the rest of you my progress. But I'm not sure I would trust her not to peek anyway.

So, I will share a little more of my continuing bargello experimeent. Alas, I cannot explain the details of this experiment with you either. Man, I have way too many secrets. But fear not, I will show you the finished projects and tell you all the gory details in the upcoming weeks.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New item for Crochet

Now I know some of you don't crochet or knit, but lots of people do as an alternative to stitching. So bear with me just for this post.

I've been making stitch markers for knitters for several months now and recently I've had requests for row markers for crochet. These are open ended so they can be removed from the stitch. They will also work for knitting, except for very small needles. They might fall off needles smaller than size 5. I've been working on these for a little while now and I think I'm ready to show them to the world. These, and more, will soon be listed in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stitch Your Heart Out

Loose Thread Stitchers has launched a new campaign to promote needlework to stitchers and non-stitchers alike. It's called "Stitch Your Heart Out" . Please check out the site for all the wonderful things that are planned. And tell your friends too!

I am proud and honored to be a part of this campaign which includes the ABC’s of Cross Stitch Coffee Table Book. This book is filled from A to Z with stunning photos of projects and supplies that will catch the attention and spark an interest in even the hardest to please non-stitcher. Stitchers can use it too! The book also doubles as an autograph book. Now you can bring your book on retreats and at tradeshows to collect all 26 signatures.

I was asked to provide these counting and marking pins for cross stitch and needlepoint for the "M is for Marking Pins" page in the book. Check out all the ABC books on the photographer's blog, Alphabet Soup .
The photo is reprinted here with permission from MKC photgraphy.

And, of course, you can check out all sorts of needlework accessories like counting/marking pins and scissor fobs in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Absolute Must-Follow-Blog

I follow a lot of blogs and actually read most of them regularly. But if I'm ever stranded on a blog island and can only read one it will be this one! Spinster Stitcher is one of the funniest blog writers on planet Earth...especially if you share our love of stitching. And the occasional ghost writing dog is pretty hilarious too. I always take a potty break before I read it because I really don't want to mess up the chair I share with DH in the computer room. He would not be amused.

So, add it to your blog list and prepare to laugh.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I want to thank everyone who read my most recent post and did NOT send me a comment on my make-you-giggle typo! I'm assuming you all realized barbello is really bargello. Hopefully, you got a chuckle out of it.

Just a few more ornaments

As you can see, my bargello-fest continues. These stockings were a freebie chart from The Caron Collection, but I don't believe they are available anymore. I love choosing Waterlilies from my stash and digging through all my solid silks of various types and just seeing what happens.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quaker Sampler Addiction

For those of you who were a little late jumping on the Quaker Sampler bandwagon, here's a little goodie for you.

Yes, I know it's out of print, but if you click on the link you may send a smile my way!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bargello experiments

I can't tell you why, but I've been doing some stitching experiments with bargello. I am fascinated by the various patterns and ways to combine colors to acheive different effects. Some time ago I found this great book, copyright 1974, on needlepoint bargello patterns.

And this book is fairly recent. I got it from Nordic Needle last year I think. It includes a lot of information on how to modify or create your own patterns. It is available here.

Anway, there are lots of examples of unusual patterns in both books. Admittedly, some of the colorways in the 1974 book are ...bold? But if you use a little imagination, you can come up with your own beautiful interpretations. Here are a few of mine. All of these include one Waterlilies overdyed silk from Caron Collection, and Splendor Silk from Rainbow Gallery.

Treasury for Tommye Woohoo!

I'm in an Etsy Treasury! It's been a busy weekend and I'm way behind on reading all my favorite blogs, but I just have to share my excitement. Eline, from , was kind enough to include my Slate Blue Scissor fob in her latest treasury.Everything in the treasury is BLUE, my favorite color. I'm honored to be in a treasury with all of them. Eline has chosen some really beautiful pieces.

Most of you won't care, but it's a biggie for me. The following is a definition straight from Etsy.

"The Treasury is a member-curated gallery of short-lived lists of 12 hand-picked items each. Members can feature their favorite items, items selected on a theme or just whoever they like. The Treasury is not intended for self-promotion, but instead to acknowledge and share the many cool things for sale on Etsy. Admin often choose an exceptional Treasury list to promote to the the homepage hand-picked items. "

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Red, Red, Red

I found some gorgeous knitted items on Etsy this week and I decided to share some of my favorites. Maybe it's because I have Christmas (remember the Panic?) on my mind, but they all turned out to be RED.

I've admired this rich mohair capelet from elineof for a while now. Wouldn't this just dress up the little black dress for a Christmas party?

This red fashion shawl from mucar makes a statement ... funky, beautiful, striking are just a few. What does it say to you?

I'm fascinated by knitted lace patterns like this elegant wool shawl with crochet trim from Berniolie. It could dress up or dress down any outfit you choose.

And this Cherry Blossom scarf from Sweetknitting will certainly draw lots of compliments wherever you wear it.

Gorgeous Pumpkin Giveaway

Check out the latest feature and giveaway on Audrey's Craft Giveaway Blog from The Q Store.

I'm a sucker for a purple satin pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm not a Halloween Junkie

I don't really get into Halloween. It probably started when Bess, our cocker spaniel was young...many many years ago. Bells made her nuts. "Wheel of Fortune" could only be watched with the sound muted. Doorbells brought on barking insanity, so we got in the habit of turning off the lights and acting like we weren't home.

Anyway, I don't stitch for many holidays, except Christmas. And since orange is my least favorite color of all time, the chance of me stitching a Halloween design is about as likely as pizza becoming a health food. However, I did stitch this cute little autum design for my friend, Laura, because I know how much she likes warm colors and this season. It's stitched with Needle Necessities (one strand) on some 40 count linen (color unknown). It was fun and pre-Christmas panic.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More ornaments

I'm visiting my mom this weekend and don't spend nearly as much time on the computer as I do at home, so this is a quickie. Just thought I'd show you a few more of the ornaments I stitched to give away this year.

This snowflake design is done, appropriately, in icy blue. However, I think it would be just as stunning in other color schemes. I'm considering an emerald green, a purple, and maybe a pink version.

I love this cute little snowman with the bird and mouse. One of the kids will probably get this one.

And this primitive reindeer design just kinda spoke to me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I am Soooooooooooo Boring

I can't figure out what to blog about.

1) This is supposed to be a stitching blog, but I can't post any pics of what I'm stitching due to reasons stated several times before.
2) Lester, the Wonder Pug, sleeps all the time. And even if he was doing something cute my camera battery is recharging now and I live in the dark ages so my cell phone is JUST a cell camera.
3) I thought about showing you some of my new Etsy stuff, but if you can't see the Etsy mini off on the right side of the blog you have bigger problems than I do. (Shameless plug - I make some mighty fine stitching accessories, so check out my Etsy shop, if you haven't already.)
4) I have no children, cute or otherwise, to talk about.
5) DH is banging away on the computer upstairs working on something I don't even care about.
6) I havent' taken any more ornament pictures...dead battery, duh.
7) I have no giveaway to advertise today.
8) I have no new recipe to share, although I do have enough Amish Friendship bread in my freezer to feed all of my followers.
9) I don't have any beautiful flowers in my yard to show you.
10) The beach is covered in sand and water, pretty much like every day. So just imagine that one.
11) I don't even have a funny joke to tell you.
12) And I'm still trying to figure out the meaning of life.

So, after over 30 years of left-brained, serial, anal retentive, one-project-at-a-time stitching this blog is going to drive me to become someone with multiple WIPs! Oh, the shame of it all. My stitching values gone to hell to keep you coming back.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Christmas Panic

That's what my husband calls it when I start getting twitchy in June. You see, I've been stitching ornaments for my family plus ? for over twenty years...make that thirty years. Suffice it to say that when I look at the early ones I can see growth in my stitching skills. Not to mention my finishing skills, which are still not expert.

I also try to stitch a larger framed piece for my three sisters at least every other year. In the off years I just take one off my walls that each sister has admired. My mom gets a sampler every year. I stitched a Santa for my dad every year for 16 years and they cover the living room walls 365 days a year. He loved those Santas and used to come into my shop and peruse the Christmas charts trying to figure out which one I was going to stitch for him next.

Anyway, the ornament thing has become a tradition and I've been threatened with familial excommunication when I've mentioned that I might not get them done. So I try to get about half of them done in the weeks after Christmas when I'm still in the mood, but the pressure is off. So, you may ask, "how many ornaments do you stitch?". Well, just for family, I'm committed to stitch fifteen. (Fortunately for me, my family is not very prolific! lol) And by "committed" I mean I want to stitch them. After that I have eight friends that I stitch ornaments for every year. After that, the number varies between five and ten. So that makes 28-33 ornaments a year.

The point of telling you all this is that I have put "Shores of Hawk Run Hollow" down for a nap to stitch a birthday gift for a friend who reads my blog. Since I can't show you pics of that piece I've decided to share this years ornaments with you...a few at a time. Most of these are not yet finished. I usually do that in an assembly line manner when they are all stitched or when the mailing deadline gets close, whichever comes first. You guess which. (Excuse my grammar.)

Some of these are freebies I've collected over the years. Some you will recognize from charts and previous JCS ornament issues. Some will even be repeated in various color schemes, rarely do I repeat the design exactly. Sometimes there is a theme, mostly not.

Amazing Giveaway!

Check out this amazing stitching giveaway at Annettesacre!
You will not believe how generous she is.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Habitat for Humanity sampler

Several years ago our local EGA chapter starting stitching a "Home Sweet Habitat" sampler for new Habitat for Humanity homeowners. Unfortunately, due to attrition and other factors, our chapter decided to disband. We just didn't have enough members to support the bureaucracy and required paperwork. But we still stitch together as often as we can and we decided to try to continue this outreach effort for Habitat.
So this weekend I've been stitching one of these samplers for a homeowner whose name slipped through the cracks. Now I just have to frame it and deliver it. It's a simple design , but I've seen how much they are appreciated. The Habitat staff tell us they are always hung in a place of prominence. It humbles me to realize how something so simple can mean so much.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Block 5 is done

Well, I finally finished block 5 last night and I actually remembered to do the backstitch steps and window panes. Haven't decided which block to do next and in fact, I may put it down for a nap while I do some smalls for Christmas.
The white areas don't show up well in the photos, but they show up well enough in person that I have not yet decided if I'll outline them. If I do, I'll use a very pale gray.