Sunday, April 20, 2014

April's IHSW

I went to work on Monday with the hope that a walk around the Tidal Basin at lunch would be under blooming cherry trees.  Unfortunately, the majority of the blooms were in the Tidal Basin but the walk was still very nice - if a bit crowded:

Fortunately, the cherry tree in our front yard is a bit behind the ones in DC so I did see a tree in bloom:

We planted the tree about six years ago so it's still very young for a cherry tree but it certainly doesn't scrimp on the blooms.

The wild dogwoods are just past their peak but are still pretty:

And I found several clusters of wild grape hyacinth in the yard.

It's the third full weekend in April which means it's  I stitched on three pieces this weekend but will only show two as the third was a small finish that I'll show the end of the month.

The first one I can show is Just Nan's Strawberry Summer.

Here's where it was on Friday:

and here's where it was when I put it away yesterday:

This is stitched on 28-count Savannah Rose linen with DMC floss and perle cotton and beads as kitted.

And Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine went from here:
To here:

Stitched on 32-count Carol's Meadow with the called for fibers and beads
This one will be on the frame for this week, so I am hoping to have a bit more progress by next weekend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April WIPocalypse - picture heavy

It's time for April's WIPocalypse posting.  2014 WIPocalypse Measi at Measi's Musings has hosted WIPocalypse for the last three years.  If you click on the block you should be taken to the information page and you'll get all the information you need to participate.  This year, in addition to theme months which I pretty much ignore, Measi has provided some questions which I do try to keep up with.  This month's question is how do we organize our stash?  A few years ago, I would have said, "In the craft room", but when I moved to Virginia, I went from a craft room to sharing a room with The Hubs and his computer.  There was 30+ years of crafting supplies in that craft room in New Hampshire and I wasn't sure where it was going to fit in our new home here in Virginia.  It was pretty unorganized the first few months or so (read in boxes all over the house and basement) but then I took the doors off the closet, and put curtains up to use as a display board:

And put shelves up and filled the closet up:

The top shelf has my quilting supplies, the next shelf down has my beading supplies (behind the curtain on the left) and some project boxes.  The fabric is on pants hangars and labeled with fabric color, count and the project it is for.  The colored boxes in the middle there have Carriage House Samplings, Shepherd's Bush and Prairie Schooler patterns.  I use a lot of those scrapbook storage boxes for my needlework. I have several 6-drawer Iris storage carts that I use for both paper crafting and cross stitch storage. For my cross stitch, I put one project per drawer (the drawers are actually storage boxes that slide into the cart), so when I'm ready to stitch on that project, I pull it out and have my pattern, fiber, beads and fabric all in one place. The rest is for paper crafting and rubber stamping.  This is the after, before, it was rather a hodgepodge - now it is just messy.

After another year or so, I bought an Expedit bookcase from Ikea and moved a bunch of stuff out of the closest and the packing boxes from the basement and got this:

The drawers hold my sewing supplies, the two tan baskets have my printed Chatelaine patterns, lots of beading, sewing, stitching patterns, crafting paper, floss and fibers and craft books and magazines fill up the rest of it.  The baskets on the right have my knitting supplies and some mending that needs to be done.

I then bought these units from Michaels for my kitted patterns, my DVDs, assorted papers and The Hubs' books and game manuals:

And that's where I keep my craft stash.

I have four projects left from my original WIPocalypse list, Santa's Magic, Elegant Doily, Secret Victorian Garden and Three Tulips. 

I had a finish this month on Three Tulips.  It went from here:


Santa's Magic was here at the March WIPocalypse:

 and here for this one:

Secret Victorian Garden

and Elegant Doily went from here:

to here:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

End of Vacation

I had a very relaxing week off from work, but back to the grind tomorrow - oh to have been born rich instead of beautiful!!  On the plus side, the boss is out next week so it should be quiet and I can catch up on everything - yes that is wishful thinking.

The warmer weather has really greened things up.  The dandelions and violets are blooming all over the yard, the dogwood are blooming in the woods and our cherry tree should be flowering by the end of this week.  I'm sure that in the next couple of weeks I'll be pulling the mower out and spending a good part of Sunday walking around the yard behind it.

Fortunately, the grass held off growing until after my vacation, so I could spend my time off reading, stitching, and watching all those shows I DVRed.  On the stitching front, I had one finish, one start and some progress on another project.

My finish was With Thy Needle and Thread's, Three Tulips (Thanks Mom and Dad for the wonderful Christmas gift):

Stitched on Weeks' Dye Works 30-count Parchment with Weeks Dye Works fibers. 
My start was Lizzie*Kate's Holly and Hearts (Thanks to The Hubs for the wonderful anniversary present):

Stitched on an unknown 28-count Silkweaver's evenweave with Weeks Dye Works fibers (I hope to get a better photo soon)
and my progress was on Little House Needleworks' All is Calm:

Stitched on 30-count Natural Northern Cross linen with DMC
Just Nan's Strawberry Summer is on the frame for this week.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

First Saturday

March was a loonngg month!  April is making up, weather-wise, for all of March's lack of warmth and sun.  We have had a couple of days in the 70s which has caused all the flowering trees and bushes to pop.  The Bradford Pears and Redbuds are all in their full glory, as well as just about every other tree, which means my allergies are in *their* full glory.  The cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington DC were hazy pink when we went by yesterday - a sure sign they will bloom within the next week or so.  I do hope they hold off as I am taking next week off from work and do not want to miss my annual cherry blossom walk - when the weather is nice I walk around the Mall at lunch but always take at least one walk under the cherry blossoms. 

It was nice enough this morning to get outside and do some yard clean-up as well as some plant dividing and moving.  Several years ago there was some major roadwork up the way a bit, when they laid out the new road route it went through a daylily patch.  The Hubs stopped one night on his way home to talk with the work crew and they said to take what he wanted.  He didn't bring home many, but what he did liked where they were planted - of course these are the old-fashioned ditch lilies  that seem to live just about anywhere on anything so I wasn't too surprised and no, this is not a photo of my flowers - at least not yet!!!  We have an embankment that is starting to erode badly, so this morning I transplanted several dozen daylilies onto it - hopefully they will look like that picture in the next few years and hold the bank in place.  I have another area with hybridized daylilies that needs to be dug and divided but I will leave that for another day mostly because sitting at a desk all winter does NOT prepare one to do the necessary spring yard work!!

Sitting at a desk all winter DOES prepare you for stitching though!  And as it is the first Saturday it's YOTA posting day!!!  YOTA is hosted over at Pull the Other Thread and focuses on finishing your WIPs.  I have four projects on my YOTA list and stitched on each one at least once in March.

You can see my progress on a couple of projects at my March WIPocalypse post here.  Two of the projects have progress photos to show since then:

Elegant Doily by Kayann's Kreations went from this:

To this:

And Santa's Magic by Mirabelia went from here:

to here:

Santa will be on the frame the rest of today and maybe tomorrow.  I mentioned I was taking the week off, well I have no plans for the week other than sleeping in and not going to work so I will have a lot more stitching time than I usually do so will have plenty of time to work on Three Tulips which is up next in the rotation.  Not taking Santa off the frame won't take anything away from Tulips or at least that's what I have convinced myself of and I am really enjoying working on Santa right now.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Second New Moon

It has been an interesting year, moon wise, we had two new moons in January and two in March.  I believe we get back to a more normal one a month in April.  Other than being an interesting trivia item, it has made TUSAL posting a bit off.  TUSAL?  Yep, TUSAL - it stands for Totally Useless Stitch Along and is probably the easiest SAL you can participate in.  If you do needlework of any kind, you have the raw material for a TUSAL post.  All those little bits of floss that are too short to use for anything else? Instead of your family wearing them to work or school your pets dragging them around the house on their fur throwing them out as trash useless leftover bits, save them and post a photo on the new moonWhy?  That is the totally useless part but of course Why Not?  seems to be as good an answer as any.  It is also fun to look at all the jars/containers that others show - amazing how pretty bits and pieces of thread can look.

2014 TUSAL is hosted by Sharon over at It's Daffycat - if you click on the button it should take you to the information page.

The perle cotton bits from Elegant Doily do a wonderful job of tamping down the stack and dominating but bits and pieces from Snowy Pines, Strawberry Summer and Secret Victorian Garden have also been added this month.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Smalls SAL, late IHSW and Early Just Nan Check-in

Another blog opening that rants about the weather!  We had snow again on Tuesday, not a lot, but it covered the ground and then it got windy, REALLY windy.  It was 19 degrees when I went into work on Wednesday.  Given that our average morning temperature this time of year is in the 40s, I was not happy.  Snow flurries again Wednesday morning.  They are saying it will warm up to almost normal sometime in the next few months...  I am really afraid that spring will be consumed by winter and we'll jump straight into the heat and humidity of summer.  DSon has made it known that the first person he hears complain about the heat this summer is in danger of bodily harm!

Anyway, IHSW was last weekend, so I am a bit late posting but one of the pieces that I spent a lot of the weekend on was for my Smalls SAL so I decided to wait on those two and post a little early for the Just Nan SAL.

First up is my 2014 Smalls SAL check-in.  I started Snowy Pines by Little House Needleworks late last month but it was pushed to the side for a while.  I pulled it out this weekend and finished it:

It is stitched on 30-count Northern Cross Natural linen with DMC.  The extra for this one was the Mill Hill Beads in the snowflake and the snow drift in front of the house.  Tomorrow is my AWS day off  I think I've mentioned that I work an alternative work schedule (AWS), 8 - 9 hours days, one 8-hour day and one day every other week off which is my smalls stitching day so I need to pick another one out of the stash.  I seem to be on a roll with these Little House Needleworks' ornaments and I have a lot of them ready to go, so I will most likely start another one.

For the rest of I worked on Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden and Elegant Doily

SVG was shown in my last post, but I did get a little bit more done before its rotation time was up:

Elegant Doily from Kayann's Kreations went on the frame Sunday morning after I finished Snowy Pines

Lots more eyelets stitched mostly those right there in the center section with lots more left to stitch.  I do get into a rhythm while stitching them so they don't take long but they do get a bit boring.

And for my early Just Nan SAL 2014 check-in:

I didn't finish a Just Nan this month, but I did make progress.  Here is where Strawberry Summer was:

I was able to get it to just past the half-way point:

This is stitched on 28-count Savannah Rose with DMC floss and perle cotton.  The beads are from the bead pack that was sold along with the pattern. 

All of the buttons in my post should take you to the site hosting the stitch along.  If they don't and you are interested in any of them, please let me know and I will get the link to you.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

March Stitch from Stash

It seems like ages ago that I posted my February Stitch from Stash post, but it was only a month ago - I do not remember March being this long.  I am sure part of it is the weather - we are not having typical March weather here in central Virginia.  We had another snow storm Sunday into Monday (8" or so in Washington DC meant the offices were closed again) and they are predicting another chance of snow on Tuesday.  This is not at all what my previous Marchs have been like.  I do hope that we don't go from winter cold straight into summer heat this year.

 I am happy to report that  2014 Stitch from Stash  has really allowed me to focus on what I have  and what I really need how many seasonal series, etc. can one house support?.  While I am finding lots of pretty things, I am now stopping and questioning even adding them to my wish list, never mind buying them.  Mel at Epic Stitching is hosting and  even though registration for official participation is closed, you can still play along.  The button above should take you to all the rules although it is pretty easy - you get a monthly budget and you need to stick with it for 11 out of 12 months.  There are occasional splurges allowed (we recently had Market weekend) and unused funds do roll over so you can save up for that big project.  Since my last post:

Carry Over -            $50.00
March Allowance - $25.00
Purchases -              $0
Balance Forward -   $75.00

I didn't have any new starts from stash, but I did replace a project in my rotation with one of my WIPs.  Chatelaine's Serengeti was replaced by her Secret Victorian Garden

Here is where it was when I pulled it out of the WIP box:

And here it is today:

Secret Victorian Garden by Chatelaine.  Stitched on 32-count Carol's Meadow evenweave from Silkweaver Fabrics with fibers and beads as kitted from European Cross Stitch
The lower right corner is finished through part 11, the blue line is the beginning of part 12.  I am leaning towards doing part 12 on each side as I go as stitching that outside border all at once might do me in.

Here is one of my favorite parts of this entire piece:

It isn't a very good photo, but I really love this blackwork section.
This will stay on the frame through today and tomorrow Elegant Doily will be put on the frame.

Before I forget, it's!!!!  This is an easy SAL - sign up and stitch!  Yes, that's it, stitch and then show us all what you accomplished.  I love no stress SALs...