background

Friday, May 25, 2018

Whoosh....

That would be the sound of the days rushing past.  I have worked from home the last few weeks, so while getting a lot more stitching done, I am also totally confused time-wise.  I'm heading back into the office on Tuesday (there was an issue with asbestos and lead-based paint in the office next door to mine and as there is a door connecting the two offices, after a bit of a tiff with upper management, we were allowed to work from home until they finished the remediation), so my extra stitching time is leaving, but I have a lovely 3-day weekend before that happens.

So where to start...

Well, the 15th was the check-in day for Gifted Gorgeousness which is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  It is a lovely way to thank people that have gifted us with stitching things or to show things we are stitching as gifts.  I have three pieces that fit this SAL, but I can't show any of them just yet, so while I am checking in, there is nothing to see here just yet.

The 15th was also the TUSAL check-in.  TUSAL is hosted by Sharon at it's daffycat.  It's a fun SAL that only requires that you save snips and bits of thread in a container and then show them off once a month.  Here's my jar so far:

  None of the cats volunteered to be in the photo this month, so it's just the jar and boy do I need to get out an trim those shrubs in the background.  It's filing up nicely, but really isn't too colorful.
 
Last weekend was .  Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and Joyze at Random Ramblings keep this one going.  On the third full weekend of the month, you have permission to sit and stitch - all weekend.  I participated and can show you one piece that I worked on and finished.
 

This is Just Nan's Pearl Orchid.  It's stitched on a 28-count Cameo Rose Cashel with the called for DMC.  The pattern came with a bit of over-dyed thread and all the beads and the orchid charm. This is also my piece for the Smalls SAL which is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus.  This SAL is a celebration of the smaller pieces in our stash.  You get to decide the pieces, you get to decide what a small is and you could have twelve finishes through the year.

And last for the SAL check-ins is WIPocalypse which is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings.  I have two pieces that are official WIPocalypse pieces but they've been set aside while I stitch up my secret pieces (I believe I will have them finished up by the end of June).  WIPocalypse encourages us to focus on those pieces we've already started and she also gives us questions each month to get things rolling.  This month's is:  Where do you love to shop for stash?  I love shopping for stash at Stitches 'n Things in Fenton, Michigan.  I started shopping there when they were located in Davison.  We would stop in while we were on our way from New Hampshire to my parent's house.  When she moved the shop it wasn't as convenient for me to be able to physically stop in but they do have a web store.  It's a small store, but every inch is used to the fullest.  Deb has a great selection of charts, an amazing thread room and all the fabric you could want.  If you can't make it there in person, check them out on-line.  Whenever I'm in Michigan and can carve out some time, I take a little drive to the shop (it's about an hour from my sister's house) and spend a wonderful few hours.  They also host two stitching retreats each year if you're interested in those.

This post is longer than I expected, but I want to continue with the WIP parade I started last time. 

First is the 1999 Sampler in a Year by Linda Driskell  and yes I started this the year it came out.  This is a mystery sampler and is done all in shades of white on a white linen.  I am not sure why I didn't get more done on it.

The next is Alpine Garden from The Drawn Thread.  I love The Drawn Thread pieces and have started and finished others after I started this one.  I think this one got put aside when I moved from New Hampshire and was sort of forgotten.  I bought this as a kit and have not changed any of the materials.  While they don't sell kits through stores anymore, you can buy kits for a very reasonable price from their website.


This last one is from Cross Stitch and Country Crafts and is Visiting the Neighbors from the Amid Amish Life triptych.  I have finished the other two so just need this one to finish the set.  It's stitched on 28-count Wedgewood Lugana with DMC.  Back when I started the series the "rule" was three strands with 28-count fabric, I find that much too bulky now which is probably why it's languished.

 
I have a nice long crafting to-do list for the long weekend I also have a housework to-do but I have slowly whittled that one down and only have vacuuming left and hope to cross lots of things off it by Monday evening.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Progress

I have made great progress on my stitching the last week.  I just need to attach the beads to one piece and finish stitching one letter on another for finishes.  Unfortunately, I can't show you either one right now.

Instead of showing you what I am currently working on, I thought I'd show you what I have worked on in the past and not finished.  I got the idea from Jan when she commented she'd like to see my Flower Power.

So, I'll do a few now and a few later and eventually you'll see all of my WIPs.  I will make a tab up top to store them all, but right now, just here.

Since Jan asked, the first piece will be Crossed Wings' Flower Power


The fabric color at the top is more true than the bright bit at the bottom.  I'd say my craptastic photos are because of being in a hurry, but it's mostly that I just take bad photos.  This is done on a 28-count (I think) blue.  It sort of looks like Nordic Blue from Wichelt, but I honestly don't remember the name.  I'm using the called for DMC.  The insects and hummingbird beaks are over-1.  I started this as a SAL on RCTN back in the dark ages of the stitchy internet world.  The fabric was too long for the largest pair of scroll rods I had at the time, so I'm stitching it on it's side, so the bottom is on my left when I'm stitching.

I think I'll just put the three that I mentioned in my last post, so Rebecca de la Tour's The Heavenly Kiss is next. 


I had more of this done than I thought.  It's on a 28-count black evenweave with DMC - all in shades of grey, white and black.  There is splash of gold, but that is the only color.  I bought it fully kitted from the designer and thought myself very brave to do something on black. 

And the last one for today is Floral Welcome from Cross My Heart, Inc.  I don't know who the actual designer is as I can only find my working copies and not the actual pattern.


Hopefully you get the idea on this one as Blogger insists on turning it on its edge.  This is stitched on a white 18-count evenweave (probably an Aida) with DMC and lots of gold Kreinik.  It was originally charted vertically, but I needed it to be horizontal to fit the space I was stitching it for.  This was one of the first pieces that I didn't stitch EXACTLY as the designer called for.  Biggest issue for this one is that it was meant to go over the door between the living room and hall in my house in New Hampshire and I moved from there almost eleven years ago.  I am going to finish it as I really like it, but not sure where it will fit in this house.

There you have it, three of my seventeen non-Chatelaine, non-HaED WIPs.  I will post the others over the next few weeks.


Monday, April 30, 2018

A 3-fer post

I'm late, I'm late for three SAL posts.  Not sure where the time has gone - I'm blaming allergy brain for the fogginess.  We're well into "yellow car season" here in central Virginia.  If you happen to live in an area that doesn't experience this, thank your lucky stars.  EVERYTHING is coated in a layer of pollen right now.  I was driving the other day and noticed a hazy look up the road, it took me a bit to realize it was pollen blowing across the fields and road.  We've turned on the air conditioning, not because it's hot (yet, we're supposed to be close to 90 by the end of the week) but to filter out the pollen.  We have such a short period of time when we can comfortably leave the windows open and I hate that it gets shortened even more with the pollen.

So the three SALs I'm late for are Smalls SAL and WIPocalypse

International Hermit and Stitch Weekend was last weekend.  I did stitch but I didn't post here.  I did post on the Facebook Page, so I counted as completed on my check-in list but didn't seem right to not post here too.  If you're interested in participating in next month's, May's, weekend, click here to be taken to the direction page (direction sounds so much better than rules doesn't it?).  I worked on Japanese Zen (or Moss) Garden.  It went from here: 
to here:


I would have gotten more done, but I started playing around with my Cricuit (a Christmas gift from the whole family) and made these:


Aren't they the cutest?  There are small, 3" square, and were really fun to make.  I found the frames at Michael's for about $3 USD each (not including the coupon).

The Smalls SAL is the easiest post as I didn't complete it this month (maybe I could count the shells as a small finish?).  I am a few hours away from a finish, but didn't get there.  Just Nan's Pearl Orchids is here right now.

I do have to work on color balance in my pictures.  The fabric is Cameo Rose Cashel and it's a dusky peachy/coral/rose color, not purple or lilac.  Anyway, the two corners, an inner boarder and an outer area of stitching are all that's left.

This last weekend was WIPocalypse.  Melissa at Measi's Musings hosts WIPocalypse.  In a nutshell, you give your already started pieces some lovin'.  Given all the folks I've heard that are taking part in Stitch Maynia, we may have a lot of new people participating in the near future.   Melissa gives us blog ques each month and this month's is:  Talk to us about your longest running WIP or UFO.  I honestly don't know.  Most of my long term WIPs were started right around the time my first husband died (stashing and starting were my therapy) and that was 20 years ago.  I have three pieces I know were started before that:  Crossed Wing Collection's Flower Power Crossed Wing Collection FLOWER POWER No 28 PAULA MINKEBIGE 574 x 340 stitches; Floral Welcome Classic Cross Stitch Kit Cross My Heart FLORAL WELCOME CSBK-134-2 ; and Rebecca de la Tour's The Heavenly Kiss The Heavenly Kiss- De La Tour Designs (discontinued)Flower Power is about 1/3 done, Floral Welcome is about 1/2 done and The Heavenly Kiss is barely started.  Yes, I do have plans to finish them all (as well as the other 14 on my WIP list) just don't now when.


For current pieces, I have two that are on my WIPocalypse list this year.  Zen Garden (pictures above) and Goldie.  Goldie is a custom chart from Heaven and Earth Designs and will be my In-Law's Christmas gift some year.  She went from here: 
to here:


Goldie was on the frame this weekend, but I didn't put any new stitches into it.  I spent most of the weekend on card making fun, the Just Nan and one of my secret pieces so nothing more to show.  Except for a picture of Salem (the other two have had their pictures, so it's his turn)

If you look very closely, you'll see that while doing his yoga he's scratching the base of the scratching post - he's lazy but efficient. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness for April

WOW! half way through April already.  The weather is behaving much more like mid-March with all the crazy temperature ups and downs.  We had snow a week ago, it was 82 F on Saturday and it's 40 F something today. 

I got sidetracked tonight so this will be short.  Yesterday was the official check-in day for Gifted Gorgeousness.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and is designed for us to thank those wonderful folks that have gifted us with stitch things or show the things we're stitching for gifts or anything else we can shoehorn into the theme.  Except for my Small SAL piece, all of my pieces this year are gifts (all two of them) - I've just recently added three more projects but I can't show any of them right now as they are surprises.

Goldie is a gift for my in-laws.  It's a stocking that was charted by Heaven and Earth Designs of their German Shepherd puppy Goldie she has some really long registration name that I can't remember but her call name is Goldie.  Last month she was here:

and yesterday she was here:

I will withhold judgment for a while but the blue in her nose is a major distraction for me.  I am happy with my progress on this one. 

My other piece is Japanese Zen Garden by Chatelaine.  This is a gift for my son.  At last month's check-in it was here:

and when it went on the frame last night it was here:

I finally figured out that the corner is a water feature splashing around the rocks.

Not included in Gifted Gorgeousness is Just Nan's Pearl Orchid which went from here:



to here:

The colors are much truer in the top picture - amazing what lighting will do as they were both taken with the same camera.

It is too early in the month to report, but I have officially blown my Stich from Stash budget.  I had patterns but not fabric for the projects I need to start, so while only a bit over, I went over.  Oh well, it could have been much worse.

And before I forget, it's also TUSAL time.  Sharon at It's Daffycat hosts this SAL.  Click on the link for all the rules, but they can be summed up as: Save your bits and scraps, put them in a jar, take a picture and post.  This is a "because we can" type SAL.

Spot is not as enthused about being the model cat as Trouble was last month.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

An April Weekend

At least that's what the calendar says.  We woke up to snow on the ground this morning, so it is not a normal April so far.  It is supposed to warm up by the end of the week so maybe we will actually have spring before summer hits.

Not a very exciting week here - work was unnervingly quiet normally I like quiet but given the weird, craziness that we've been living through, quiet is scary.  I ran over to King's Dominion on Friday  we only live about 6 miles away so we have season tickets and rode Twisted Timbers their new roller coaster.  It is a wooden coaster with steel tracks.  It was a good ride, lots of air time, but other than looking like a wooden coaster it didn't have the feel of a wooden coaster - it was too quiet.  I'll definitely ride it again, but prefer the two wooden ones.

The rest of the weekend was stitching - or should have been - I did the usual "oh I can do XXXX because I have two whole days for stitching so a few hours won't matter" and frittered away a lot of the weekend.  I had a small start on Just Nan's Pearl Orchid


This is stitched on 28 count Cameo Rose Cashel with DMC.  The fabric, pattern, beads and a length of overdyed silk came in a "Pattern Pack" so I just had to pull the DMC.  I'll hold my opinion on the fabric until I've finished the stitching, but as of right now, I would not have picked it as the light pink thread (DMC 225) is getting lost.

I spent the majority of my stitching time this weekend working on Chatelaine's Japanese Zen Garden.  It went from here:


to here:

Stitched on 32-count Summer Sky Jobelan with DMC conversion
I didn't think I'd had much progress, but looking at the before and after, I'm pretty happy.  I'm still aiming for a finish this year, but I don't think that's terribly realistic.  I have a few other crafting things that I need to do and they'll take one or two weekends each, so that's almost a month of stitching time that I won't have.  This whole working for a living is getting really old.  Why was I born beautiful instead of rich?

Monday, April 2, 2018

An eyelet, a dog and a chart

Despite a bit more housework than usual and trying to get settled back into a routine before I head into the office I worked from home today it was a good stitching weekend.

The missing eyelet on Happy Bluebird from Just Nan is now in place, so I have a finish.  I picked Pearl Orchid by Just Nan as my small for April.  I didn't get any stitching time on it, but the threads are pulled and it's ready to start - maybe later this evening.

Lots of progress on Goldie.  On Friday, she was here:


and last night when I put her up for the week, she was here:


I think I finished four colors and yes, if you're looking closely that's blue on her muzzle. There is also some green that will go in later.  I don't know how those colors work, and I have learned not to question them as I'm stitching, but it is always a surprise when you come across something like that.  The lighter brown you see is more a mauve color - again how your eye makes it brown, I don't know, but it does.

I also finished the main stitching on Forever Love:


I've put this up for a while as I am deciding whether to stitch the band with the bride and groom's initials like this:  , or leave the block off and stitch their names and the date just underneath or have their names and date painted on the mat when it's framed.  I'm leaning towards stitching their names, but have until December 2019 to decide. 

Japanese Zen Garden is on the frame for this week.