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Thursday, August 27, 2015

August Small Check-in

A day late, for Smalls SAL but the mid-week check-ins are tough for me and I forget to schedule posts, so late I'll continue to be.    Before I get going, thank you to all my new followers.  I appreciate you taking the time to read my blathering.

So, Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus.  Because I like large, fairly intricate designs, if it wasn't for the SAL, some years I would have no finishes.  This year I am using The Sampler Life's Sampler blocks as my smalls pieces.  This month's is from Olde Willow Stitchery and is called Spring Hearts.  Here is the block:


The border and flowers on this one look springy to me, but the hearts remind me of sunflowers which aren't but I do like the finished piece.  Here is the entire piece so far:


The fabric is Vintage Light Exampler from Lakeside Linens and is too light in the photo but the thread color is fairly accurate.  All of the blocks are stitched with DMC and any beads are either Mill Hill or Delica.

Another few days of stitching what I want before jumping back into my rotation, I haven't been any more productive but it's been fun for me to flaunt the rules, even if they are my own!

The weather has been amazing here the last week and is supposed to last another day or two, so The Hubs and I are going to get up early tomorrow (just what I want to do on my day off), drive down to Virginia Beach to visit the boat (I'm sure it has been wondering where we've been) and go fishing. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

August Stitch From Stash

Month: August
Spent: $0
Earned: Not participating

I had a wonderful week in Portland. I didn't really get to see too much of the city, I was in an office during the day and the hotel we were booked into was in Lake Oswego; however.  I did get to participate in rush hour (that is such a misnomer in every city I have ever been to) each morning and afternoon.  It was much warmer (95 or so one afternoon) and drier than I expected but I would definitely like to go back to explore.

I came back to beautiful weather. It is in the low 80s with low, for central Virginia, humidity.  I would like to say we've turned the weather corner into fall, but that would be very premature for this area.

No stitching happened while I was traveling but I do have a bit of progress to show from last weekend as part of Stitch from Stash.  Stitch from Stash is hosted my Mel at Epic Stitching.  It is a helpful reminder that we don't need to purchase every new pattern that comes along. Anyway, each month we get a very generous $25 budget, so if you just have to have that pattern, or thread, or fabric you can.  It does roll over each month so by the end of the year there will be a very nice bit of change available.

For this month: 

Carried forward: $25
August Budget: $25
Available: $50
Spent: $0
To September: $50

I had one start from stash:


This is Spring Heart from Olde Willow Stitchery and is the August block for The Sampler Life SAL.  I hope to finish it this weekend.

I also spent some time with Santa's Presence from HAED.  He went from here:

 
to here:
 
Slowly filling in the gaps. I am seeing the draw towards parking with this style pattern. I may give it a go with page 2.
 
No more scheduled travel this year, okay through the end of September, but I am looking forward to spending a bit more time around the house and settling back into a routine.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Gifted Gorgousness

It's time for Gifted Gorgeousness.  Gifted Gorgeousness is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching and gives us a chance to thank people that have gifted us with patterns, fabric or fibers.  My major piece is Shakespearean Fantasy from Heaven and Earth Designs.  Pull the Other Thread gifted me with the pattern.  I started the first of the year and put a few stitches in each month. 

Here's where it was at last month's report:


and here's where it is today:

 
I have close to half of page one finished.  At this rate, I will have a finish sometime around 2030. 
 
I have decided to ditch the rotation for the next month or so as I would like to make some serious progress on Christmas Presence and that isn't happening with only an hour or so of stitching a week.  I won't get too much stitching in this week as I am heading to Portland, Oregon for a training session.  


Sunday, August 9, 2015

A rare non-SAL check-in post

For the first time in ages, I am not posting about a SAL check-in. 

Elegant Doily from Kayann's Kreations was on the frame this week.  The last time it was in the rotation, I found every excuse I could to not work on it. This piece is the only WIP I have that is a chore to work on.  I know, if it's not fun, why do it? Shear stubbornness.  I am so far along on it that I can't bring myself to throw it away and I know if I take it out of the rotation, it will never be seen again. 

Here's where it was when I pulled it out:













I finished the wrapping in those nine blocks and did a lot more cutting. I also decided that I didn't like the spider webs and took them out. I think I am going to leave the border open, but as always, it's subject to change.







In my last post, I talked about the Chatelaines I had finished. Jo from Serendipitous Stitching suggested I show them all. So, this collage is for you Jo...

The picture is clickable
The six smaller ones in the first two rows are the Mini Mystery Mandalas. I don't remember which one is which, but I do remember they are stitched on Silkweaver fabrics - the third one from the left in the top row was a finalist in their stitching contest one year (I don't remember that either).  The one on black fabric is Roses and Violets, it was Sampler Mystery IV when I did it. The Christmas one is Christmas Mystery IV. There are two photos of Egyptian Garden, the first shows it at the framers (Jill Rensel) and the second was taken at the fair.  Caribbean Mandala was Mystery XII when I stitched it. I did the framing, and it is hanging in my office.

I started the new The Sampler Life block this morning.  It's called Spring Hearts and was designed by Olde Willow Stitchery. 


This one was smaller, 47X47 then the others, 50X50, so I backstitched an additional border to make it the same size.  Shakespearean Fantasy is on the frame right now and I will probably be stitching black, black and more black this afternoon.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Four check-ins?!?

So much for my little brag in my last post about being all caught up. It only took a few days and I am late for two and have two more for today. Fortunately for your reading time, the pieces fit all four SALs so the post should not be too long (yeah right!!).

First up is DESIGN or Designers Everyone Should Instantly Get to Notice. It is hosted at NCC International Headquarters.  This month I'm going to highlight my favorite designer Martina Rosenburg (formerly Weber) of Chatelaine. I have Secret Victorian Garden in my rotation right now and it is now here:


One more corner, the outside border and thousands (yes thousands) of beads and it will be done. Where to start with Martina's designs? I suppose Leonore's questions are a good place...

-Have you stitched a piece by this designer before? YES!!! I have started nine other pieces (see the list in the right side bar and pictures up there in the Chatelaine WIPs tab. I have finished a number of her smaller pieces, three of her samplers and two of her large mandalas. Just tooting my horn a bit, the Caribbean mandala shown on the chart pack was a photo of mine (I think the background color has been photoshopped with black now, I did mine on African Daisy) and I won a first place and Best in Section in the Virginia State Fair for my Egyptian mandala.
-Would you buy/stitch a piece by this designer again? Again YES!!!  I have many, many, many of her large mandalas and a few of her smaller samplers in my stash with most of them fully kitted and ready to go. I only need more stitching time. I have not bought a new one recently but that is a function of my economic situation rather than falling out of love with her designs.
-What made you chose this particular design/designer?  It was a combination of color and design. Martina has an amazing eye for color. She also combines various types of threads with specialty stitches and beads and sparklies to create a feeling that evokes the design name perfectly.
-Did you notice anything that distinguished this designer from others? Yes. She was the first designer that I had noticed that released a large pattern in monthly pieces.  Her large mystery mandalas are her signature pieces and it was like getting a gift every month when that email showed up telling us the new part was available. The mystery aspect was also new for me. It was a leap of faith to invest the time and money into a piece that you had no information on other than a name and description.  I was never been disappointed.  She also has large mandalas that were released all at once for when you were feeling less adventurous.  The only draw back is the price.  The materials can be costly if you decide to use the called for silks and over-dyed threads. Fortunately, Martina provides a conversion to DMC which makes these much more affordable and unless you put your DMC one right next to a called-for-thread one, nobody will know that yours is the "economy" version.

From DESIGN to WIPocalypse, YOTA and the HAP SAL.  WIPcoalypse is hosted by Melissa at Measi's Musings, YOTA is hosted by Pull the Other Thread and the HAP SAL is hosted by Stacy at Crossed Stitches.  All three aim to help us focus on finishing what we have already started rather than just adding to that stack of WIPs.  I worked on a few pieces from the WIPcolaypse and YOTA Project tab (up there at the top) and one of them, Shakespearean Fantasy, is my HAP SAL piece.

Shakespearean Fantasy was here when I put it up a few weeks ago:


Secret Victorian Garden, Spring in the Air and Christmas Presence are also on the list. Spring in the Air was finished and can be seen here (if the link doesn't work, there is a Finishes tab up top).  Christmas Presence went from here:

To here:

Still so many stitches left just to finish the first page...

This month's WIPocalypse question is: What makes you pick up a long abandoned UFO rather than begin a new piece? Oh that is easy! Guilt!  I have a total of 32 UFO/WIPs and do not need any more.  Because I gravitate towards large pieces, whenever I get the urge to pull out a new Chatelaine or HAED, I look at the WIP list (I refuse to call them UFOs as I intend to finish each and every one) and the urge evaporates. I have also been able to satisfy the new start urge with smalls. I have participated in a smalls SAL for several years so I have the impetuous to finish them each month.

So much for a short post...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Smalls Check-in

I am back from my trip to Michigan (thanks Nancy, Joe, Alex, Mom and Dad for a great time). For the first time in years, I didn't take any stitching with me. Between the catching up, reading and running around, I didn't have time to miss the stitching.  Just before I left for my sister's, I finished Just Nan's Swan Lake

 
 
This is my July  Smalls SAL piece. I, once again, wasn't thrilled with this month's piece for The Sampler Life SAL and didn't feel like digging around for a replacement, so gave the large piece a miss and focused on this one.  The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus. It encourages us to give the smaller pieces a bit of attention too.  I am a BAP stitcher and to often forget that these smaller pieces are just as beautiful and, in many cases, just as intricate as the larger ones.
 
I did all my running around this morning and just have a bit of housework to finish up and I will be done for this week. I hope to sit back, stitch, and enjoy the rest of my vacation. 
 
And just because it's been a while.  Here's a picture of Trouble that The Hubs sent a while back.
 
 
The cats love to hid behind the blinds and spy on you.

Monday, July 20, 2015

IHSW and Stitch from Stash

Month: July
Spent: $0
Earned: $0

Two posts in a week? and I am (or will be when I publish this post) current on check-ins? Vacation is wonderful! 

I really did go into this IHSW (sponsored by Joyze at Random Ramblings) with hopes of sitting and stitching and possibly finishing Just Nan's Swan Lake. The reality was somewhat different. More reading than stitching and no finish, but it was very relaxing.

Swan Lake is now here:


It continues to amaze me how much detail a designer can pack into a small space. The fabric color is slightly off (it's a bit more green) but the thread colors are very accurate.

That little notation at the very top of my post is for Stitch from Stash.  Mel at Epic Stitching hosts Stitch from Stash and broke 2015 into two separate SALs. I took part in part A and decided to give part B a go. Stitch from Stash is a reminder to look at what we have before buying yet another pattern that will probably just sit in a file folder somewhere.  We get a very generous $25 USD each month (or your currency) so it isn't a fast, but a diet.  So, for July:

Budget $25
Spent $0
Forward to August $25

Hmmm, checking back it doesn't look like I had any starts from stash this month. I did pull a pattern, threads and fabric out of my stash to start Just Nan's Florentine Floral but no actual stitching happened.

 I will probably continue with Swan Lake this afternoon and maybe put a few stitches in Secret Victorian Garden but there is no hurry (and THAT is the reason I get so very little done while on vacation - I keep thinking that there is no hurry and before I know it, it's time to go back to work).