Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Event

For those of you who have been hunkering down trying to stay warm and dry, shoveling out, and otherwise enduring a miserable winter, I am here to provide you with a giggle.

I live at the beach.  The threat (and reality) of hurricanes is a way of life.  No biggie.  But a rumor of a whisper of a hint of the possibility of snow and life comes to a halt.  I am not kidding.  I seriously considered going to the grocery store last night just for the entertainment value.  I am a native Southerner and really hate it when people make fun of us, but even I am smart enough to realize that in most cases, if I take a nap the snow will be gone when I wake up.  But just in case, I have bread and peanut butter.  I will not starve even if we lose power, which we did not. 

This is only the third snow event in the sixteen years that I've lived here.  So yes, it is an event.  Unfortunately, this one is ice.  There was a dusting of snow, but it's frozen into a sheet on top of the ice now.  Even I don't leave footprints! 

However, Otis doesn't care about all that.  There is a tennis ball and he wants to chase it.  I kid you not, he would chase it in a hurricane.
This is what he's begging for.
"If I stare at it long enough, Mom will throw it!"
That's not a rabbit, it's Otis chasing a tennis ball.
"Throw it again, Mom"
Otis, the Great Tennis Ball Hunter

Monday, January 27, 2014

Don't Sneeze on My Sampler!

Yes, I've had a horrible cold this week that drained me of even enough energy to stitch!  Hard to believe, I know.  But I'm much better now, except for that annoying post nasal drip. Yck.  However, I'm not the one sneezing on my sampler! 
Otis, genus PlayWithMeDon'tIgnoreMe, was looking over my arm while I was working on Jean Scrimgeowr.   Ignoring him doesn't help.  It just brings on the tiny, WhatchaDoin' sneeze.  Thankfully, they pattern shielded the fabric for the most part.

I hope Jean's little dogs (I'm assuming those are hers pictured in the first band) were better behaved than Otis while she was laboring over this piece.  Although, it's hard to imagine a 10 year old sitting quietly stitching rather than out romping with the dogs.  I know what my preference would have been at that age.  Perhaps they provided the distractions that caused so many little glitches in Jean's sampler. 

 Peacock, trees and some unidentifiable animal.

Beginnings of fruit bowl, tree (snake yet unstitched) and Adam and Eve's hair/eyes

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Football and Stitching, What Could Be Better?

It may not look like it, but I’ve made significant progress on Jean Scrimgeowr.  I spent several days with my mom, where I usually don’t get a lot of stitching done.  But I informed her on Saturday that I would be watching football and stitching all afternoon and evening on Sunday.  She knows better than to disturb me when I’m watching football.  So I did get a lot done. 
This sampler continues to be an exercise in diligence and focus.  Lots of the little tendrils on band two are shaped differently, the vine is not symmetrical, the spacing of the flowers with respect to the vine varies…  And I love it! 

I stitched the vine in Holbein or double running stitch, instead of backstitch, just because I can.  Holbein is like working a puzzle for me and I really enjoy it. I wasn't sure how the upright Gobelin would look on the tops of the flowers, but it's quite effective, I think.  

This next band is primarily cross stitch, so it should go fairly quickly even though it's huge!  I suppose I should work on the border some more too.  I managed to come down with a cold this weekend, so who knows how much stitching I'll get done over the next few days.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Flower Power

Progress has slowed slightly in the last few days due to an interruption to stitch a couple of Habitat samplers, but I haven't posted in a week, so I thought it time.  And actually, this picture is from Jan. 10th, so there's even more done on the Holbein band than is pictured. 
There are a lot of asymmetrical aspects to this piece (thank you, CarolM, for warning me!) that require focus and diligent counting.  So far, I'm doing pretty well.   Remember how the top border rises from left to right?  Well, I am now also forewarned about the same thing happening down the right hand border!  I'm going to pull my hair out trying to frame this piece.  Although maybe it won't be too bad.  I don't remember it being a problem when I framed it for a customer many years ago.

All three flowers on the first band are different and the spacing between them is different too, even though, at first glance, it is not apparent.

Monday, January 6, 2014

What Was She Thinking?

I'm having so much fun with Jean Scrimgeowr that I told my husband yesterday that I might not sell a lot of stuff for a while.  I would rather stitch than promote my Etsy shop.  Fortunately, we don't have to live off the income from my fobs and stitch markers.  And yesterday, I had to take a break to stitch a Habitat for Humanity sampler, so I am really itching to get back to JS.
My New Year's good luck is holding so far...or maybe after decades of stitching reproduction samplers, I have actually learned to look for compensations and other oddities, especially in borders.  As I worked my way across the top border…and unworked my way back a way… I discovered that each repeat of the border motif moves up one stitch all the way across the top.  Now I can hear you asking why I think my luck is holding given that I had to frog a little.  Well, normally, I would make it all the way around the border (and it's a big one) before I thought to look for those aberrations.  And now that I think about it, what probably made me take a second look is one little backstitched tendril extended above the graph and I thought, 'hmmm, wonder what that means'.  So I probably haven't really learned much in all those years, I'm just lucky.  And, it’s a good thing I left a decent sized margin at the top because I thought the top left was the high point in the design.   
What's the lesson?  Never make assumptions when stitching a reproduction.   And it just occurred to me that I'm probably going to go nuts when I frame it!  Do I square up the large border or the truly square inner red backstitch border?  Aaaargh, I'm going to obsess about that until the piece is done.  I hate it when I starting thinking too much.

Another interesting thing I've found is that the vine in the first band is in two different shades of green.  They are so close that it is difficult to tell that they are different unless you look very closely.  It seems to be planned, as opposed to not having enough of either color, but I wonder what Jean was thinking. 
I'm also wondering if the two dogs (one is on the far left side of the first band) are pets, since they are both pictured in two colors.  That green blob will be a bird once I add the legs, beak and eye. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It’s a New Year And I’m Baaaaack!

Happy 2014 to all my stitching buddies.  I’ve missed you, so I thought I would give the blog another try.  Since I tend to work only one project at a time, and usually large ones,  I’m always afraid I will bore you to death with pics and updates of the same thing.  But I decided that if you get bored you will just quit reading, so apparently I’m only in this for myself.

Since September, I’ve been very busy with holiday stitching, commonly known as “The Christmas Panic”.  This year’s ornament total was 28.  I planned (resolved) to work on ornies through January, but I’ve already broken that one.  However, I did get eleven done before I switched over to my latest project.  More on that later.  Here are a few of them, but you can see more here


Business also took a large chunk of my time since I last posted.  My new stitch picker/needle threader sets have been very popular.  I made a set for each person in my stitch group and found these precious pincushions at UpTheCreek on Etsy to go with them.  

Lots of folks must have received scissor fobs and counting pins for Christmas too!  Thanks to all of you who shopped with me at TJBdesigns this year.  I’m looking forward to creating even more exciting needlework tools this year.  Stay tuned.
 My new project is another one that has been in my stash for almost two decades.  “Jean Scrimgeowr” by The Scarlet Letter.  I framed this one for a customer way back in the 90s and fell in love with it then.  Scottish samplers have a special appeal to me and I’m not sure why.  This one is stunning and I have it hanging by the end of March.  Happy Birthday to me.

I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you.  Happy Stitching!