Friday, August 28, 2009

Window Shopping

I've been Etsy shopping for a birthday gift and found a whole lot of wonderful things, so I decided to deviate from stitching today and share a few of them with you.

Hand painted sock yarn from SeeJayneKnitYarns

Pugs on the beach print from k9artgallery

Greeting cards with seeds implanted in the paper by GreetingsthatGrow

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Counting Fiasco

I know it happens to everybody sometime in their stitching life, but it just doesn't happen to me very often. Thank heaven. I'm very fond of telling people that I am very left-brained and the counting part is the fun part for me. Well, not last night!

It started at stitch group so I could blame it on the distraction of stitching in a group, but I've been doing that for about 15 years. I ripped out approximately the same 30 Italian cross stitches FOUR, yes I said four, times. Shoot me now! After I got home, I ate some dinner and picked it up again. Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment. Apparently, my brain needed food. Got it right the first time. (Do you hear the Hallelujah Chorus right now?) Then I went on a tear. Finished both flowers, a dividing band and started a satin stitch band. Woohoo!

I'm almost scared to stitch tonight. But I will persevere.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yes, it's mine!

Yesterday when I posted about my blog makeover it never occurred to me to point out that the band in the new banner is from MY stitched "Truth Sampler" Copyright - 2011 Anne Edward If you are familiar with this sampler then you will understand why I am now claiming ownership and all bragging rights to this masterpiece! It's hanging smack dab in the middle of my dining room wall where I can visit it often. Just ask my friend Laura, who also visits it every time she comes to visit.
And, for those of you who have it in your stash, get busy. It is so much fun to do. And the stitch diagrams are impeccable.

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Look

Yes, you are in the right place. I just decided to give my blog a makeover. I figured out a new way to make banners. So I chose one of my favorite bands from one of my favorite samplers, "The Truth Sampler" from Samplers of Sylke. Sadly, Marianne is no longer publishing her designs, but I have a major collection and I love them all. I'd love to hear what you think of the new look.

For those of you who haven't known me very long, you may not know that I'm a sports fanatic. My husband used to refer to himself as a sports widower...especially once ESPN went on the air. When they first started broadcasting the ACC basketball tournament I used to take a day of vacation from work to watch the first day. Then I sat in front of the TV with my stitching all weekend. We lived in Seattle at the time and basketball might as well have been cricket for all they cared about the sport. But for a good southern girl who used to shoot baskets with her dad in the driveway til midnight, I was in heaven.

And sports on TV provides a perfect background for stitching, except basketball because I get too involved, which you can interpret at "screams at TV". If I could eat, stitch and watch sports on TV simultaneously my life would be perfect...except for the resulting large rear end. Anyway, this weekend the Golf Channel televised the Solheim cup. This is a biannual team golf event between the USA and Europe. The quality of the golf was outstanding and I made massive progress on my "Band Sampler I", which is why you all started reading this. So here it is.

For a fast stitcher like myself, this doesn't look like I spent hours and hours working on it, but I did. The band below the numbers is Holbein, or double running, and I did not cheat and use backstitch. So that takes time and concentration. Satin stitch, especially on 40 count, is also time consuming. The ripping out is even more time consuming, which I did several times on the last third of the lighter blue section. Grrr. The chain or rope section is an Italian stitch variation, each one of which has 4 legs, not 2, like cross stitch, so that basically takes twice as long as you'd think. But, it's coming along and I am enjoying it.

But I keep thinking about all the projects I want to start. I may have to give up sleep. For now, I'll just keep using every spare hour I can to stitch.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Must read blog for stitchers

Even if you don't care about this giveaway, you must read Vonna's blog on a regular basis. It's fun, beautiful and interesting.

And this is a beautiful giveaway. What a generous stitcher! Check it out.

A decent pic...finally

I finally got a decent picture of Band Sampler I this morning. Since I also made some progress last night I thought I'd show it to you. And after some work on the banner for my Etsy shop this afternoon, I'm going to stitch some more. I love this piece so it's hard to make myself do anything else, but I forced myself to walk again today even though the humidity is about 500%! And I listed this gorgeous fob that would look absolutely terrifc on a black purse. And I may even take the time to fix a healthy supper! I got lucky last night. DH had a meeting that included dinner, so I just snacked and kept on stitching.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Finally, I have time to stitch!

I've had a busy week playing catch-up on a lot of tasks and not finding a lot of time or energy to stitch. I work Wednesdays at my LNS (local needlework shop) and the good news is that business is good. The bad news is that I was so tired when I got home yesterday that I couldn't stitch.

Well, I decided today that I after walking Lester and forcing myself to do my 3 miles, I decided that I was going to sit and stitch all afternoon. So I'm finally making a little progress on Band Sampler I. (I refuse to shorten it to BS 1)And, for the most part, that's exactly what I did. I did take a few minutes to check the Etsy shop and tweet, but I didn't let myself get sucked into a mindless pit of posting, as I frequently do.
I'm going to grab a little supper and then...wait for it...stitch some more. What a life!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lots to do, shortage of time

Well, my company has gone home and all is quiet...except for Lester's snoring. That is just background noise since pugs make noise with every breath.

I definitely have to make a to-do list because a week out of my routine has turned my brain to mush. I just realized it's time to bake the friendship bread again. I already listed a great new fob and counting pins early this morning. I've already done 4 loads of laundry (okay, I started them last night). Gotta make a run to the vet for hearworm/flea pills. Need to inventory the frig and pantry before I can go to the store because a 16-year old boy is the mammoth version of a tapeworm! He cleaned us out and took a box of Cheez-Its with him for the 3 hour ride home!

Plus I need to make a framing plan. Mary Wigham is done and I have a at least 8 more finished pieces in the bin ready to be framed. One of them is a wonderful little piece that my friend, F., stitched for me as a surprise. I was so shocked I was almost speechless, which doesn't happent very often. I'll definitely be showing that off as soon as it's framed, but it's too hot yet in the garage to spend a lot of time on the mitre saw and router making frames.

And I have to get off my duff and go for a walk. Lester and I went for a walk, although that doesn't count as exercise since he has to stop and rest about every 20 yards. (Black, 3-legged pug in August in NC does not make for a lively pace!) My sister got me jump started on that and I'm determined to keep it up. Of course, yesterday I had to ice my knee for 15 minutes after I got back. My DH calls it OWS...Old Woman Syndrome. I can't really argue. My mom has said for years that "getting old is not for sissies". Well, middle age is not a lot of fun either...unless you're stitching. So I'm going to use a reward system. Every day that I go for a walk I get an extra hour of stitching! Like I need an excuse to stitch.

So, I'm off. I've had enough caffeine to get me moving and I can't procrastinate any longer. Are you listening, F-R?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A New Start

Okay, as promised, a picture of Maragaret Gatis as she looked when I put her down for a "nap". I figure I'm about 15% complete. I actually started to enjoy it after I finished the over three Holbien band from hell. I'll get back to it soon...

after I finish Band Sampler I from Pat Taff. This one has to be done in the next few weeks so I decided I better get started. Not much to look at yet, especially since all the stitching so far is with a very pale blue (on 40 count ivory). But I should get more concentrated stitching time this week, since my house will be my own again. I enjoy having company, but it sure puts a crimp in my normal routine.

And here's a goodie for you. Visit "Feathers in the Nest" blog for a great fall chart giveaway. You will enjoy reading Jennifer's blog regularly, if you don't already.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'll do better, I promise

Somehow, I just don't seem to get any of my regular tasks done when I have houseguests (family). It's not like I have to entertain them, but I'm out of my routine. So hopefully, you won't abandon me. I promise I'll post pics of Margaret Gatis (which is back in the to-do box) and my latest start, "Band Sampler 1" by Pat Taff. Catchy title, huh? But I love this piece and I have a reason to stitch it right now. I just started last night, but with a late supper and change in routine, I only got one dividing band and one letter done. So the picture would be unimpressive now anyway. (Rationalizing...)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still Waiting...

Well, it's Wednesday morning and I'm still anxiously waiting for the FedEx guy. (I wonder if he knows how many middle-aged women are ready to jump him for his packages...that's plural, get your mind out of the gutter!)

The good news is I haven't wasted all this time sitting by the front door. I've been making pins to match scissor fobs, adding new stitch markers, taking pictures, learning how to use Picasa. I've been using Microsoft Photo Editor which is older than dirt and my initial experiment with the editing aspect of Picasa was hugely successful. However, I really don't want to use it for file management, so I'm still working on eliminating that step.

Here's a quick preview of what I've been working on.

PS These pics have not been "Picasa'd" yet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hurry! New Stitching Giveaway!

Check out The Lacey Thread blog for a giveaway of 3 beautiful charts from Lacey Thread Designs.
My own news is that I waited and waited yesterday for FedEx to deliever my latest bead order. I have so many ideas and plans. I was on pins and needles. After lunch I went on-line to track the package, only to learn that I had my dates mixed up. It's not expected until Wednesday! What a bummer. Oh well. Good news is I got some stitching done. I'll post a picture later.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Big Weekend Plans!

Did my title get you all excited to figure out what I'll be doing this weekend? Well, chill. Those of you who really know me have already figured out that I'm going on a stitching binge. No parties, no big dinner out, no Jumbo Marguerita. Just me, the TV, and Margaret Gatis. Now that I'm done with the satin stitch flower and Holbien band (on 40 count, over 3-don't forget), I'm actually enjoying working on it again. But don't quote me. By Monday I may be pulling my hair out again.

I hope I get a lot done this weekend because my sis and nephew are coming for the week for their summer's last hurrah before school starts. And I'm expecting a big beading order on Monday. So I'll have a lot of work to do. I already have some ideas bouncing around in my head for new scissor fob designs. And since my local yarn shopowner practically cleaned out my inventory of stitch markers (not complaining) this week, I need to conjure up some more of those.

Hopefully, you'll see lots of progress in my next MG update next week.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Friends

I've "met" lots of people this year through my Etsy shop, Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. There are some really amazing stitchers and artists out there and the internet makes it so easy to find them. (The size of my backside is testament to how much time I spend on-line searching for them!) Anyway, I met one of my new friends in person today.

I commented on her good fortune (I was jealous) on winning a recent giveaway on a blog. Looking at her profile I noticed we were geographically close, so I contacted her and we traded emails. I invited her to the stitch group I lead at my LNS. So she came today and I feel like we've known each other for years. And, in fact, we've probably met before. Turns out we were in the same dorm in college for 3 years, one floor apart! I spent many hours (most weekends) in the computer center in the building where her major was headquartered. The best part is she says she felt so comfortable with our group she's coming back next week! And it's not a quick drive for her.

So, thanks to all of you who read my blog, write blogs for me to read, and create amazing things. Virtual friendships are terrific and someday you may actually get to meet in person.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Margaret Gatis make me want to read.

I haven't really made much progress. I had the first band and the rope thingy on the left side of the second band done a year ago! This over three thing on 40 count is making me want to read instead of stitch. And I've worn out a couple of strands of floss due to massive frog stitching on the Holbien...OVER 3!

Hence the new bookmarks in my Etsy shop. These shepherd's crooks are great for a jazzy beaded bookmark. I'll be adding beaded book thongs in the near future too.
The paper ones with pattern darning are all different because the Watercolors overdyed thread comes out differently with every length that you cut.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Now I remember...

Now I remember why this piece is a UFO. Don't get me wrong. I love "Margaret Gatis" sampler from Scarlet Letter. But so many of the bands are stitched over three (3) threads. Ych. I love stitching over two threads because your needle just falls into the right hole when you use the sewing motion. (I never stab anymore. It's too hard and too slow.) But stitching over three threads requires that you count almost every thread to get the stitch right. It's very tedious and hurts my brain.