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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March's Gifted Gorgeousness

I'm sure I mentioned that we recently had 80 F temperatures here in central Virginia.  WELL, we are paying for it in spades.  If you're on the East Coast of the US you know what I am talking about, if you're not, there is a major storm moving up the coast with lots of snow, ridiculously cold temperatures and strong winds.  In other words, it's a good ol' Nor'easter and we should have had it in January or February, not the middle of March. We missed the snow at my house, but when I got up this morning, there was a coating of ice on everything.  They called a 3-hour delay into work or unscheduled telework.  As that kind of delay doesn't fit in the train schedules even on a good day, I teleworked again today.  It was nice to be inside and warm (except for that 10 minutes at lunch when I went out to fill the bird feeders).

DSon lives in Vermont and his last text to me was that he can't remember a storm like this one. At the time it had been snowing several hours and he had 7" with up to 20" predicted (just got another text and there is just under 12" right now). Before it got too bad, he went out and made


Yep, snow angles.  He figured this was so much better than getting snow down the back of his jacket and besides as you can probably tell, there wasn't that much snow at the time, so falling into it would have meant a painful thunk on the frozen ground.  

Any way, onto stitching and March's Gifted Gorgeousness.  Jo at Serendipitous Stitching hosts this SAL to give us a way to say thank you to everyone that has gifted us stitching goodness or to show off pieces that we are doing as gifts or anything you can shoehorn into the term "gift".  The link will take you to the Gifted Gorgeousness page where you can find all the information you need to participate.  While you're there, click around Jo has a wonderful blog and lots of beautiful stitching.

I actually have quite a lot to show so this will be picture heavy.  First up is Santa and the Mouse.  This is a retired freebie from Heaven and Earth Designs.  It's taken from a Scott Gustafson work.

I finished two columns and another 300 or so stitches into the new one.  As this was a freebie, I count it as a gift from the company/designer.

Also from Heaven and Earth Designs is Shakespearean Fantasy.  This one is an adaptation of a James C. Christensen work.  

I have almost finished another column.  I should be able to finish the last couple of blocks and maybe start a new column on Friday.  The pattern for this piece was a gift from Pull the Other Thread.

And my last HaED is It's About Time by Ciro Marchetti.  

I got another 100 stitch block done.  Don't know what is going on with the lines, they don't show on the piece. Oh well.  The pattern for this one was gifted to me by Kate at Needles and Haystacks.  If you haven't seen any of her stitching you need to check out her blog.  She does the most amazing redesigns and her stitching is gorgeous.  Oh and she's started designing too.

This piece is a gift to DNiece and her husband (well he will be when they open the gift).  It's Sentimental Hearts from The Sweetheart Tree with one modification so far:

It's a craptastic photo as usual.  The area where the saying is was lengthened a bit and the saying replaced an alphabet.  I am going to replace a section a little further down with their names and the date of the wedding. Lots of beads, paillettes and heart beads finish it.  Mostly DMC, but some perle coton and one Needle Necessities that was converted to a ThreadworX color.

And finally another piece that was a freebie:

This is the block from Golden Circle Designs for The Sampler Life SAL.  22 designers donated squares to the SAL, so like the HaED's freebie, I am counting it as a gift.  I am aiming for a finish this month, but it seems to have taken forever to get it just this far.

Friday, March 3, 2017

More than a bit late this time

Once again, I had post ideas running through my head and photos downloaded and all I had to do was sit down and put it all here.  It just didn't happen (obviously).  No reason other than time got away from me again.  So without further ado, here is:

Smalls SAL,  Heather at Stitching Lotus hosts this SAL.  No strange rules or special patterns to purchase for this SAL.  Just stitch a small  and post your finishes on the last Friday of each month.  Simple right?  The rules are simple, actually finishing something has been the challenge for me, but I finally had a finish in February. You've seen it before but as it took me sooooo long to finish it I am showing it off again.


The more I look at it, the more it looks like it's been sucking lemons or forgot to put its dentures back but something just looks off about the mouth.  I think I'll stop looking at it too hard and just move onto the next small. 


Not close to a finish, but a little more progress.  You can really see where I frogged in this picture.  I need to invest in a lint roller to get all those bits of frog fuzz off the piece.

The second SAL I am late for is WIPocalypse.  Melissa at Measi's Musings hosts this SAL.  Not only does this SAL help me focus on finishing up those pesky WIPs, but Melissa provides prompts for us in the event we can't figure out what to blog about.  This month's is:  What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  That is easy.  I love doing Rhodes stitch in all its variations.  Squares, circles, rectangles, hearts - the more the merrier.  This http://www.needlework-tips-and-techniques.com/rhodes-stitch.html will take you to a site that has instructions on square, heart and a few variations on the Rhodes stitch.  I like it because it adds a bit of texture to a piece without being too bulky that and I LOVED doing string art pieces when I was a kid and it seems to have stuck.

I had progress on three of the projects on my WIPocalypse list this month.

First It's About Time went from here:

to here:

It's only 200 stitches, but it was a hard won 200 stitches.

Shakespearean Fantasy was here  at last month's check in.  Today, it's here:    I had more progress on this one than I thought as there is a column finish and about 400 stitches into a new one.

Santa and the Mouse went from here  to here 
I finished two columns and got a bit of a start on the next one.  I'm still not completely settled in with this one.  I am not used to starting in the center and I feel all discombobulated.  

And Sentimental Heart looked like this in January  and today it looks like this  While I like doing Rhodes stitch, those little spiderweb roses are a very close second.  I finally, finally, finally, have the wording changes all figured out and drafted.  I should get to them this weekend. So all that muttering and swearing you hear on the wind is me.

I am not sure how much stitching I will get done in the foreseeable future like so much stitching has been getting done anyway as my telework schedule was changed from Thursday and Friday to Friday and Monday.  Same number of days but not the same amount of time.  I can stay up later on Thursday knowing I don't have to get up at 4:00 Friday morning.  Unfortunately, I do have to get up at 4:00 on Tuesday morning, so it's an early night on Monday.  I think I'm going to lose two or three hours of stitching time while this is going on.  I'm very happy to pass along my knowledge but ugh. Oh well, at least they didn't take the telework day away.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Bit Late

I am a bit late for theGifted Gorgeousness check-in.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is a way for us to thank someone for gifting us stitching bits and bobs or for showing things we are going to gift, or whatever we can squeeze into the spirit of the SAL.

For all the stitching I have done since my last post, I will have to make most of it my check-in. The patterns for Shakespearean Fantasy and It's About Time were both gifted to me so they fit in perfectly.

This  is my start on the Golden Circle Designs pattern for The Sampler Life SAL.  As it is a freebie, I count it as a gift from the designer.  I was a bit further along, but it seems as though I can't count and was one off, so had to rip a lot out.

I also had a bit of progress on Sentimental Hearts


Another fan, a few more roses and I have made a decision on the wording, so now to figure out how to make it fit.  This is a wedding present for my DNiece, so another easy fit for the SAL.

Unfortunately, I have nothing else to show for this week.  I feel like I am sliding into a slump.  As long as I'm progressing on Sentimental Hearts I won't be too hard on myself about it, and maybe the progress will snap the slump before it really grabs hold.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Finish

This finish gets...

Yes, I finally finished


Tiny Tiger by Artecy Cross Stitch counts as the longest it has taken me to stitch something this small. The piece is 50X50 stitches and I started it in June 2016 and just dragged and dragged. I decided that it had sat around long enough and was determined to finish it. I finished the majority of the stitching yesterday and spent a good chunk of today filling in missing stitches.  

I have progress on a few of my other WIPs too.

It's About Time was pulled out after a few month's hiatus:


It has 100 new stitches and I was able to get a little bit of a rhythm going.  That rhythm passed over to Shakespearean Fantasy


I finished one column and started another.  Lots of black for the next few stitching rounds, but I am getting close to a page finish.

After I finished Tiny Tiger, I put Sentimental Hearts back on the frame and got it to here:


The little spider web rose was fun to do.  After looking at the picture, I think I need to redo the eyelet on the left as the center hole isn't the same size as the one on the right.  I still haven't made any progress on the name/saying decision, but need to do it soon as the vine on the right is close to the beginning of the alphabet section that I want to replace.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

SAL check-ins

I'm home!  The training I did last week went well (or at least I think it went well, haven't seen the evaluations yet).  There were only two problem "children" but my training partner and I figured them out pretty quick and kept them under control.

As I mentioned in my last post, no new stitching happened this week, but I do have four SALs that have check-ins this weekend, so new words, old pictures.

The first is TUSAL.  Sharon at It's Daffycat hosts TUSAL and everyone is welcome to participate. TUSAL is not your usual SAL.  SAL typically means "stitch along" whereas TUSAL is a "save along".   All those end bits of thread, dogears from quilting and whatever other loose bits you have when crafting get saved in a container of some sort, you take a photo and post about it on the new moon. Super simple and it doesn't really take any special preparation or supplies either.


A chunk of this is frog fuzz from Sentimental Hearts but the majority is bits from Winter Wonderland. 

And speaking of Winter Wonderland,  it is my finish for the Smalls SAL.  The 2017 Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus.  This is another straight forward SAL - stitch a small piece and post a picture of your finish on the last Friday of the month.  You get to define small and you just have to finish the stitching not finish-finish it.

Here's my January small finish again:

This is Winter Wonderland from The Silver Needle's Secret Needle Night.

The third check-in is for WIPocalypse.  Melissa at Measi's Musings hosts this SAL.  It focuses on finishing some of those works-in-progress that you may have sittings around.  Up there at the top you can find a tab that lists out my WIPocalypse projects.  I worked on three of them this month.

Santa and the Mouse started the new year here:


and went to here in January:


Enchantment of Winter was a blank piece of fabric on January 1st.  It ended the month here:


And here are Shakespearean Fantasy's before and after photos:




Melissa also gives us conversation starters each month.  This month's is:  What SALs are you participating in this year?  I am currently doing the three that are in this post, WIPocalypse, TUSAL and Smalls as well as Gifted Gorgeousness.  IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) is on the list, when I can remember and I am doing (so far unsuccessfully) Stitch From Stash on Facebook.  I am always open to new SALs, but have cut back drastically from years past as I tend to over-commit myself.

Speaking of Stitch from Stash, here's my report on that.

Budget:   $10.00
Purchase:  15.50 - The 12 Berries of Christmas (colly birds, golden rings and geese a-laying)
Balance: ($ 5.50)

Not a good month.  $10 USD would normally be plenty, but when I set my budget amount I forgot about the auto-ship for the berries.  Fortunately, the balances, good and bad, carry forward so on February 1st I will be back in the black.  There is a provision to give yourself credit for finishes and if I did that, I think I would have been even for the month, but as the finishes don't generate real money, it really doesn't balance out the real money I am spending.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

One Down

One wedding sampler finished, one to go.  After finishing DNephew's wedding sampler I pulled out the fabric and thread and got started on DNiece's.


This is Sentimental Hearts by The Sweetheart Tree.  It's done on 32-count antique white Belfast with DMC floss and perle cotton.  There will also be beads and paillettes to add a bit of sparkle.  I am debating whether to add the happy couple's names or a saying with their names painted on the mat.  I will need to make changes to the pattern either way, but have a bit before I get to the must-make-a-decision part of the piece. 

I am still not in my usual rotation rhythm, but I did get a bit done on Santa and the Mouse.  It was here when you last saw it:


On Friday, I got it to here:

 
 
This morning, The Sampler Life's SAL went from here:
 

to here:


I cannot believe that this small piece is taking me so long to finish.  I'm going to hazard a guess and say I am "just not that into it" so I'm not putting in the effort.  Hopefully now that I have a very good base in, I'll settle in and get this finished.

Not much stitching is going to happen this week.  I'm off to Nashville tomorrow for a training session (I'm giving not taking), so long hours standing, talking and, worst of all, being "on" add up to being too beat by the end of the day to do much more than stare at the hotel walls.  One hint as to how much I am really not looking forward to this trip is that it is now 8:15 PM and I have not started packing.  Oh well, I'm going to finish this post, a chapter in my book and then I'll be upset that I left my favorite and most comfortable black shoes in the office.

Monday, January 16, 2017

January Gifted Gorgeousness

The problem with frequent posting is there often isn't a lot of progress to show and that certainly is true today, BUT it is time for Gifted Gorgeousness and I am determined to match last year's posting success.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching (I have learned to spell both gorgeous and serendipitous because of her) and is a way to say "thank you" to everyone that has given us stitching bits and bobs for gifts and to show what we are stitching as gifts.  Each of the pieces I showed in my last post were gifts of some kind - either from Internet friends or designers or, in the case of To Have and To Hold will be a gift.

Despite having a four day weekend, I didn't get as much stitching in as I had hoped.  I did; however, get the taxes all drafted out and ready to file, finally got the DVD player hooked-up in the den (my stitching area) and had a totally clean house for about 10 minutes.

The stitching that I did do resulted in a finish.  To Have and To Hold Bridal Sampler is complete. 


The original design was done in teals and green, but the wedding colors are lilac and green so some changing was necessary.  The most difficult part was switching out beads, but I think I found suitable replacements.  It took much longer than I expected to finish off the backstitching at the bottom.  The beads were a bit fiddly as the stitching didn't fall in nice neat blocks, but it lines up well enough.  Just have to wait for a nice sale at the framers.  And as I'm looking at the photo, I realized I forgot an entire line of beading - so much for that happy dance.

I'm going to count it as a finish as it will be complete within the hour and then I can put Sentimental Heart on the frame and get it started it needs a few more changes than this one, so I'm glad I have until October to have it finished.