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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.

Friday, January 13, 2017

After the Storm

We got the promised snow last weekend.  We ended up with 4" to 5" here at my house and then it got COLD.  When I left my house Monday morning it was 1 F.  Any readers in the colder climes of the world are thinking "yeah so it's winter", for central Virginia that's crazy cold.  To make up for it, yesterday afternoon it was 71 F.  We've moderated into the 50s today but it is much warmer than usual right now.  My heating bill likes it, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. 

I got back into my stitching rhythm last weekend and had quite a bit of progress.

My The Sampler Life SAL piece went from here:

to here:



Santa and the Mouse had some more window added and went from here:


to here:


Still stitching the background on Shakespearean Fantasy


I added another 300 stitches in that column and should get down into the colors soon.

I had a wonderful session with To Have and To Hold and am so close to a finish. 


All that is left is the green backstitched section and the beading.  I should be able to finish it up this weekend.

We are forecast to have freezing rain, sleet and rain late tonight and into tomorrow, so I did the grocery shopping this morning (it's my Friday off) and am all set to stay inside this weekend (even though they're only calling for the sloppy stuff tomorrow morning) and stitch there may be some housework thrown in but it will be as little as possible

Friday, January 6, 2017

Before the Storm

I have been remiss in thanking everyone that stops by and reads my blog.  I appreciate you taking the time to click over, read and comment.

So my blog title, refers to the snow "storm" we're supposed to have.  Well, what passes for a snow storm here in my little corner of Virginia.  The forecast is for 2" to 4" of snow between late tonight and late tomorrow - which means, the road crews have been out on the highways applying the liquid salt stuff (I assume it works, but mostly it just makes great white clouds after it dries), and the grocery stores are crazy. Part of the grocery stores could be a normal Friday, but it seemed a bit busier than usual.

We're all set for weather and had no plans to go anywhere this weekend, so we can settle back and enjoy it.  I have almost crossed everything off my vacation to-do list.  All that is left is laundry (again) and house cleaning (again).  Oh yes, I do put things like that on my list as it gives me a major sense of accomplishment to cross things off the list.  I've been known to put something on the list that I just finished so I could cross it off.

One of the things on my list was to start Enchantment of Winter from Dimple Designs.  I had planned it as a January 1 start but didn't get it on the frame until later.  Here's where it is today:


This is done on 28-count Wintered Marble from Stitches and Spice with the called for DMC, Access Commodities' Soie D'Alger  and Kreinik.  The fabric has faint traces of blue and pink on it, rather like the glint of sun off the snow.  I am trying out a new technique (to me) with the blending filament.  Rather than making it a blend while stitching, I am stitching it separately and only going over the crossing stitch.  It takes a little longer, but it shows up better and besides you only see the bit on the top anyway.

Not (originally) on my list was Winter Wonderland from The Silver Needle.


My first finish for 2017!  The finishing kit came with the painted snowflake, bumpy yarn, mounting board, backing fabric (a glitter felt), quilt batting and a pre-tied bow.  The bow covered up too much of the stitching, so will put it away and use it on something else.  It is stitched with perle cotton and Fuzzy Stuff (fluffy thread with bits of sparkle in it).  Fuzzy Stuff is so much easier to use than Wisper.  It would look super in Santa's Magic as the opalescent fiber would give that little bit of extra sparkle - because Mirabilias are so dull and colorless ;-).  I probably wouldn't use it to replace animal fur, but depending on the context of the animal maybe...

I am making Enchantment of Winter a WIP and will pull out Santa and the Mouse for this afternoon's stitching and then Shakespearean Fantasy for tonight and To Have and To Hold for tomorrow and Sunday.  Back to work on Monday.