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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

On the Road Again

I finally got my bag unpacked and all the laundry done from my St. Louis trip last week and am packing it up for a trip to Michigan starting tomorrow.  This trip is for fun so packing will be a little different than last week's which was for work, but still takes a bit to figure out what I need (of course if I forget anything, there are stores nearby...).  A bit of stitching has happened but nothing that will win me any speed awards.

First up, Christmas Presence.  I spent a good chunk of a morning working on it and got several colors completed.  It went from here:

to here:


I think I will work on him this afternoon as the blank spaces are big blocks of color and should fill in fairly fast.

I pulled out a semi-oldie for my small piece this week, 12 Days from Plum Street Samplers.


I finished the vertical between 9 and 10 and started the bottom line on 9.  Oh yes and started 10th day.  I think the black bit is a hat, but I am not 100% sure.

To Have and To Hold had the most progress and is here now:


More backstitching.  This band also has three Rhodes hearts which I am looking forward to.

I am just waiting for clothes to dry so I can pack my bag so while I'm doing that I think I'm going to work on Christmas Presence and then put To Have and To Hold back on the frame for tonight's stitching block.  I have a small piece I found in my stash drawer that I may take with me in case I get tired of reading.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness and IHSW

It's a bit past the 15th, so a little late for the official Gifted Gorgeousness check-in.  Fortunately, Jo keeps the check-in open for a few days to allow us stragglers to catch up.  If you click on the Gifted Gorgeousness 2016 picture, it should take you to the official rules page.  The Reader's Digest version is - stitch with something, pattern, thread, needles or fabric, that someone else gave you and show it off to the rest of the world to say "thank you" or if you're stitching something that will be a gift, you can show it off here.

Stitching has been a bit slow but I do have two pieces that fit the criteria.  The first is:

Christmas Presence  This was one of the 2015 Heaven and Earth Designs SAL pieces.  As it was a freebie, I am counting it as a gift from the charter/designer.

I finished a column and got a good start on the next one.  I am debating whether to do the last column or not. The piece will be  a 4.75"X4.75" square once this new column is completed.  I like the idea of a square, but I also like the idea of having a bit of play for framing.

My second piece is another Heaven and Earth Designs piece, It's About Time. Kate at Needles and Haystacks gifted this pattern to me. 

I finished one more square in this column.

And that's all I have for Gifted Gorgeousness this month.  These are also the only two pieces I worked on for http://joysze.blogspot.com/2016/07/ihsw-july-2016.html.  Not as much as I would have liked but time just got away from me this weekend.  I'm all packed for my trip.  The weather is supposed to be miserably hot in the central US this week and I've seen predictions for 101+ F for Wednesday - so glad we'll be inside.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Not Much Stitching

Stitching has been a bust the last week or so.  Time just seems to be zipping past me.  I can't tell you exactly what it is I'm doing, but it's taking all day to get it done.

The one piece I did work on was The Sweetheart Tree's To Have and To Hold Bridal Sampler.  I am happy with the change to purple/lilac threads.  I am a bit concerned with the beads, but have a while before I get to those.

The colors are a little off and there isn't a fold in the middle - very strange what shows up on the camera.


The silver cord just above the Scotch stitches is not enjoyable to work with, but the little bit of sparkle is nice.

They started the office repair/renovations today, so my last day in the office was yesterday.  I fly out to St. Louis for a week on Monday and then start two weeks of vacation when I get back on Friday.  Right now, I should be back in the office on August 8th, but there are so many offices being done in the building that I think they are running behind schedule, so it may be a little later. 

This week is the third weekend of the month so it's http://joysze.blogspot.com/2016/07/ihsw-july-2016.html.  Click on Hermie there and it should take you to the sign up page.  It's supposed to be a scorcher here so a good weekend to sit inside and stitch.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Finish, a Start and some WIPs

No excuse for not posting, not reading or not commenting, I just managed to stay away from the computer, except for work, for the last few weeks.  I filled in the time with reading, stitching and yard work.  There was some housework in there also, but I don't like to think of that too much.

As the title says, I had a finish!  Here is Just Nan's Christmas Soldiers


Now to get the fabric and get it finished-finished.  As I mentioned before, I am thinking of green for the backing and cording.  One stocking down, one to go.

While the recipient of the next stocking makes up her mind on a pattern, I started DNephew's wedding sampler:


This is To Have and To Hold Bridal Sampler by The Sweetheart Tree.  It is stitched on 28-count Platinum Cashel with DMC, WDW, Kreinik, perle cotton, and Mill Hill beads.  I did change the charted blues for purples to match the wedding colors.   As usual for a Sweetheart Tree there is a ton of backstitching, which is my least favorite stitch, but so far it's going well and I am excited to try all the different stitches in the sampler.

In addition to these two pieces, I worked on four other WIPs, It's About Time, Shakespearean Fantasy,  Christmas Presence, and The Sampler Life SAL.

I finished one column and one block of the next column of It's About Time.

 
The lines that are showing up in the picture do not show up in real life - not sure why they show up in this photo.
 
Next?  More black in Shakespearean Fantasy:
 
 

Slowly but surely moving along. 

A bit more on Christmas Presence:

I think I'm stitching paneling and curtains, but not completely sure.

I also added a few more stitches to Tiny Tiger on my The Sampler Life SAL piece:


The nice thing about such a small piece is that the focus shows up almost immediately (although the right ear looks a bit strange right now).

Hard to believe it's July already.  The really nice thing is that between office renovations (they're finally coming in to repair the damage from the 2011 earthquake and replace the 1970's era carpeting), a week long training and my vacation, I only have to go into the office four days this month.  I will also have a week's worth of telework in there, and it will be so nice to have that extra three hours of sleep each morning.  Oh and being home at 4:45 rather than 7:30 will be a treat too.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

IHSW Check-In

Not as much stitching as I hoped the weather was just too nice, but hermitting happened this weekend. In addition to the three pieces I showed in my last post, I worked on Christmas Soldiers from Just Nan and am happy to report that the cross stitching is done.  Specialty stitches, beading and the name tag are left, but definitely in the home stretch.


I think I am going to use a forest green for the back and trim, but will see what I can find once I get to that point.

The next piece I worked on was Tiny Tiger from Artecy Cross Stitch:


I'm not sure how this style block will fit with the others, but I did sign up for a mystery sampler block project to try different designers.  This is the April block for The Sampler Life group SAL.  I have  just fallen behind on this project and do need to buckle down and get on with it again.

WHEW!!  Two posts in one weekend!  Not something to get used to, but it sure does feel good!!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness and IHSW

My blogging is slipping again.  I'm not sure what is going on, I take pictures and even have posts written, at least in my head, but they never seem to get out of my head.  Something to work on. 

It is the third weekend of the month and that means !  Yeeaahhh!!  Hop on over to Random Ramblings to sign up.  What?  You haven't heard of International Hermit & Stitch Weekend? Click here and you can read all the "rules" (more like guidelines) and then sign up.  As Joyce says, "the more the merrier" and who can say "no" to a SAL that encourages you to sit and stitch?

I started my weekend a little early and have stitched on three pieces already.  Fortunately for me and my inability to keep up with my blog the three pieces also fit into my Gifted Gorgeousness check-in! 

You haven't heard of Gifted Gorgeousness either?   Oh my. Well, you can find out everything you need to know and sign up on Jo's blog, Serendipitous Stitching.  This SAL gives us an opportunity to thank those wonderfully generous stitchers that have gifted us with patterns, fabric, threads or anything else stitching related.  We can also highlight pieces we are giving as gifts.

The first of my three pieces is It's About Time by Cireo Marchetti and charted by Heaven and Earth Designs.  The pattern was gifted to me by Kate at Needles and Haystacks


I think I will have a column finish soon.

Yesterday afternoon I worked on Christmas Presence by Myles Pinkney, also charted by HAED.


The pattern was given as part of the 2015 HAED SAL, so I'm counting as a gift from the designer/company.  Not sure if what I put in is woodwork or curtain shadow but it did fill in very quickly.

Last night I worked on Shakespearean Fantasy and yes, it's another HAED.  The pattern was a gift from Pull the Other Thread


Yes, more black.  I have the rest of this column and then a partial column and I will have a page finish.  This piece more than the others show me that my rotation is working as it took almost a year for my first page finish and this one will have taken about six months.  I know that's not stellar speed compared to lots of folks, but it is only out for a couple hours a week, so not too bad.  I do need to work on my rotation and get these large pieces worked into it somehow, but I will probably leave that for next year as I plan to have all the obligation stitching out of the way by the end of this year.

Just Nan's Christmas Soldiers will be on the frame for the rest of today and tomorrow afternoon.  I have to decide which smalls piece I will pull out as I would like to have a finish this month and I do still have enough time to start and finish a small piece.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

June?!?

June?  I seem to have lost May somewhere.  If you see it, please let it know I'm looking for it.  Those two weeks that I thought would interrupt my stitching actually threw my entire life schedule off and I am just now getting back to it.  That and the weather turned nice, so the siren call of reading on the deck was difficult to ignore.

I did get some stitching done but that darn deck and all those books slowed me down considerably.  Before I get to the stitching,  Secret Victorian Garden came home from the framer yesterday.  I am thrilled with it:


The outer mat is a bit lighter than the photo shows and has a bit of texture to it.  The frame was a wonderful find.  Face on it has a beading detail that adds a bit of texture and color, but edge on,


there is an echo of the outer boarder.  Just a little unexpected extra. 

I also did some stash shopping.  Yes, me.  I know that isn't a common statement but I could not resist this:


I want to stitch EVERY design in this booklet.  I was first attracted to the dove and house in the upper right corner, but when I read that three out of print designs, Christmas Garden, Tis the Season and Blessings be Thine, were also included (Blessing be Thine had been on my wish list for years), I jumped right over and ordered it.  When I got it and looked at the rest, well, I fell hard and fast for all the other designs, so a very good purchase.

So, stitching...

Well, let's see...

Things are coming along on Christmas Soldiers and it is looking like a stocking:


I finished the flourish after I took this picture, so there is just a short stripe of ecru perle stitching and the toe left, oh and the name tag and some beads and a bit of metallic.  I would love to do a fancy finish like the cover model, but mine will be a bit plainer.

Staying with the Christmas theme, I finished the few stitches for a column finish and put a few stitches into a new column on Christmas Presence


I am looking forward to getting my rotation moving again so I can spend a bit more time with him.

I also had a column finish on Shakespearean Fantasy


All the stitches were in that green blob so I will be back to stitching black on Friday.

On It's About Time rather than stitch block by block, I did a modified cross country and carried on with a color down the column.



 I will have to see how many stitches I missed before I decide whether or not I will use this technique for an entire column.  This will be back on the frame Thursday evening, so hope to fill in lots of those empty spaces.

No classes or traveling this month, so hopefully I can really settle back into my stitching, and blog reading and writing.